Overcoming Fitness


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Incentive itself is the raw material of Overcoming Fitness. When an artifact is potent enough to influence the germline and be passed onto offspring, that work is called artwork. Overcoming Fitness (the life work of Robert Kocik) traces this process. The various writings included in this pamphlet are contributions to the nascent disciplines known as the Sore, Oversensitive, Insecure, Insensitive and Subtle Sciences. Overcoming Fitness is comedy. That is, because of its provisions we may now live more fortunate lives. Robert Kocik lives and works in Wawarsing, New York, where he directs the Bureau of Material Behaviors. “Robert Kocik diagnoses the disease at the heart of ourfitness-oriented culture. The problem is that the more we insist onimprovement, the more we alienate ourselves from our everyday living. Kocik echoes Rousseau’s Emile as much as the Situationists. But his approach is both more densely textual and more evocatively elusive. Overcoming Fitness is a long poem as how-to manual, providing necessary lessons in the art of undoing.” – Charles Bernstein”Life Science has clearly stolen the fire poets should have known enough to simply hand over. Now there is no indebtedness. No indebtedness – no open arms. I find Mr. Kocik’s sector-envy a typical and predictable consequence of the inconsequentiality of artwork, especially the best of its kind. To be taken as the tangent that could actually provide keys for proteomics, Overcoming Fitness is nowhere near separate enough from what it’s not.” – J. Craig Venter (president and chief executive officer of Celera Genomics)”Overcoming Fitness is the response – naturally Robert Kocik knew it was coming long before hand – to the mapping of the human genome. Overcoming Fitness says: Okay, but c’mon: we gotta do better than just that – and then supplies the whys and some how strategies without missing a beat. Overcoming Fitness is the height of high comedy, the only genre capable of clueing humans in at this particular juncture in Western culture, now that it’s been made perfectly clear, to everyone’s relief, that we are indeed 99.9% the same as a carrot, each and everyone of us; ‘only a fraction of what we are’. If you can just take a second to ‘imagine John Glenn conceiving, constructing, financing and flying his own craft (to fully appreciate poetics)’ you’ll also immediately grasp the achievement of Robert Kocik’s work. Here is an essential instruction manual for poets on how, specifically, to take charge of what. And in this sense, we are all (99.9%) poets after all. Absolutely required reading.” – Stacy Doris

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