Ashley Haywood is a writer, researcher and poet. She recently received a PhD in Creative Research with her thesis Harlequin Blue and The Picasso Experiment on signs, minds and creativity, or how to write like painting. Ashley’s creative and scholarly work has been published and performed in Australia and overseas. Some of her most recent poetic work appears or is forthcoming in TEXT, Rabbit, Southerly, Verity La and Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2017. She recently performed at the World Science Festival Brisbane (2017), and was highly commended in the Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Prize: Queensland Poetry Festival (2016). Her research background in biological sciences continues to influence her creative research pursuits. 


The Cell of my Art as an Amoeba


The Cell of My Art as an Amoeba is a philosopoietic essay. Theory is manoeuvred with poesies, as creative thinking and experimentation is informed by theory. Rainer Maria Rilke’s concept, the cell of my art, invites philosopoiesis, and the outcome, here, is a mouth poetics. The cell of my art is an imagining with mouths. The cell of my art is becoming-mind as mouth, and mouth as amoeba. Mouthness is an articulation of openings and enfoldments, and an amoeba is a body of mouths, feeding on multiplicities of being and otherness. The cell of my art becoming-mind suffers indigestion and vomitous reconfiguration to accommodate newness. Mouthness is used as a ‘molecular’ language to bring bio/semiotic concepts and world-making ontologies into my thought experiment: the cell of my art becoming-mind, receptive to complex semiotic and material loops and flows of my Umwelt, is feeding into my understanding of what is mind and sign. This essay is a writerly embodiment of mouthness making itself into a body of mouths, desirous of ‘everything’ in its mouths, a ‘total’ impossible articulation. My philosopoiesis brings what it can of my poetic engagement out into the open, making my deeper processes—mind in a Play of Musement, a state of playful passivity, in open-ended relationships with/in my Umwelt—more explicit, along with my partnerships with many writers. Other writers and theorists, including Wendy Wheeler, Gregory Bateson, Karen Barad, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Donna Haraway, Floyd Merrell and Clarice Lispector, are brought into the Peircean folds of this essay.