I woke up unflappably counterfeited is a foray into visual & cut-up poetry, search engine prose, and impossible theatrical scenarios. The present work is the result of an intensive cooperation in which Crank Sturgeon and Marcel Herms reprocessed each other’s creations. In a series of email and physical exchanges, they lifted the other’s words and art from the page and responded to it, building off echoes, regurgitating, and squeezing meaning out of something that came from pure spam.
Crank Sturgeon and Marcel Herms have been active for many years in visual works, noise, poetry, and related forms of expression. Their collective output is often hidden deep underground, where it pushes at the limits of what is possible.
Reviewed by Wayne F. Burke:
The poetry of Crank Sturgeon’s mix of “cut-up poems” and “google search engine prose” sometimes achieves a kind of goofy surrealism in lines like “the epitome of subtle wobble”–“It was his/first scorn”–“presiding over/protocol hurrahed”–“funeral softs/clocking indigestion.” The prose, comprising half the volume, and consisting of “scenarios for impossible theater”–play-lets with stage directions–is mostly absent the goofy and surreal, and lacks the readability of the poetry. Marcel Herms’ offers, in his inimitable style, squiggles and collages of language and imagery abstract and visceral. Wild imaginative stuff. Ink spots, splatters, splotches, used in a chiaroscuro of tonal values in the interstices between menageries of oftentimes gruesome anthropomorphized creatures: black-eyed dough boys sometimes innocent-looking, sometimes sinister; black figures looking like survivors of The Bomb; KKK freak-a-zoids and mutant cartoon characters with webbed feet; teeth, noses, and mouths askew…Jackasses and frog-creatures with stick arms and legs…Drawn in de Kooning-like smears; work oftentimes reminiscent of Pollock’s psychoanalytic drawings…Ralph Steadman meets Miro. Art-brut with a nod to DaDa. Drawings that, unfailingly, surprise and delight.