Introduction to Organic Honey Notebooks by Joan Jonas
These notebooks date from around the period when I was working on the Organic Honey project. The 1970s notebooks are much more detailed, with sketches and stage directions. When I worked in the ’70s and into the ’80s, there were many more notes related to specific works. The notebooks were in general more like a work diary. During the time that I was thinking of one piece, I would be writing in a notebook ideas related to that, and the process of that work.
I’ve always used lists in the notebooks as a way of remembering, if I’m doing a performance, one action after another. So I’m reminded about what that is. I don’t put the full description because I can remember just by the note. And there’s so many people who make lists. I find it easier to make lists than to write prose. It’s a form that I feel more comfortable with. So I use lists also to make what I call a poem, or make up a performance. And then I could rearrange things in the list, move things around.
—Joan Jonas, April 2020
For further reading, see Notebooks Introduction by Joan Jonas.
Note on Selection of Notebook Pages
The selected notebook pages include drawings and notes related to Organic Honey. Here you will find diagrams, stage directions, and lists of props, actions, and shots for the Organic Honey performances and videos.
Note on Notebook Numbering
In recent years, Jonas’s notebooks were assigned numbers and approximate dates to aid in tracking and inventorying them. The numbers are not strictly chronological as several notebooks were often in use at any given moment, and were often returned to later.