Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Magdalena Zurawski's The Bruise (Review*)

As Eileen Myles blurbs of Magdalena Zurawski’s *The Bruise*: “The real story of a female coming to age is not sex but coming to write.” Hence, the bruise of the book’s title: an otherworldly initiatory mark of both sexual difference (becoming woman, becoming gay), and the androgyny of becoming writer. Like a James or Blanchot, Zurawski tracks the loneliness of the writer’s imagination, becoming vigilant to it as it occurs in writing, leaving behind a record of the mind left to its own convoluted patterns and self-reflexive pleasures. The unnamed protagonist is dictated to by a door knob, but also by her own internal monologues and mental pictures. As she falls in love, her desire is kindled and nurtured by the need for someone else to acknowledge her bruise, and care for it. That she receives her bruise from a Rilkean angel while translating the "Duino Elegies" is telling since Rilke could have written in anticipation of Zurawski’s debut: "That is why this too must be the criterion for rejection or choice: whether you are willing to stand guard over someone else's solitude, and whether you are able to set this same person at the gate of your own depths, which he learns of only through what steps forth, in holiday clothing, out of the great darkness." Zurawski brings her reader to the heart of a solitude that all writers recognize, and guard with their lives. She also provides a crucial link between an emergent generation of “experimental” fiction writers and The New Narrative movement (writers such as Dodie Bellamy, Bruce Boone, Dennis Cooper, Robert Gluck, Kevin Killian, and Eileen Myles) which has only recently got some of the wider critical recognition and circulation that is its due.

*this review was originally intended for Time Out, New York, which has a 250 max. word count for their shorter reviews.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dodie Bellamy on Amber and Bhanu's talk

I just noticed Dodie Bellamy posted an entry at her blog, Belladodie, on Amber Di Pietra and Bhanu Kapil's talk in San Francisco the Saturday before last, September 20th:


Thursday, September 25, 2008

O Coevals (III)

I want you
in my mouth like
the sky needs
to rest

in our
eyes when we see
the sky for
what it is

interrupting this
labor the things
you wouldn't

to the sky again if
you had the choice
and you do
have the choice

or develop
useless as the
rise you get
out of me

when we touch
get around
to its sticky


When we get around
to nothing

complicity calls
(this is the call)

no more rock anthems
just some rock

we can't stand on
some out of control

limbs no good for
anything anymore

no longer can we
control them

they speak words
and particles

of words we couldn't
have spoken before

project our
unsaved figures

without grace or shame.


The environment became us
it told us we had tender skin
that we had subtle organs

and were porous to almost
anything they said any reason
they hated us made us stronger

than we immediately seemed
with all these obstacles to the
true the world we have to make

because we can't help what we
are pain is not a mirror we
hold to the world distorting it

but it makes the world possibly
know itself as one subject
abandoned by their justice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Flux Factory's Living Room (Ad)

Flux Factory presents: Living Room
in collaboration with

October 4 & 5, 2008

Flux Factory has invited ten artists to transform strangers’ homes into sites for interactive works. Domestic or historic locations throughout New York City will become arenas for exploring what it means to inhabit a space, to make it one’s own. In conjunction with openhousenewyork, “Living Room” locations range from private living rooms to historical sites throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

Explore a wall of secrets, a room-cum-optical-device, and go rooftop camping, and other exciting projects!

“Living Room” is a continuation of Flux Factory’s interest in the urban experience, in New York history, and in the overlap between private and public space. As a live/work collective, we are fascinated by what it means to make a space one’s own. While satisfying our voyeur desires, this project is also an opportunity for the public to peek into private sites normally off limits.

Works will be on view throughout the 6th Annual OHNY Weekend on October 4 & 5, 2008 from 11:00 – 6:00 unless otherwise noted.

A free, 20 person shuttle will leave the Center for Architecture on Saturday and Sunday at 12pm to transport visitors to the sites.
Please email info@fluxfactory.org to RSVP for the bus tour.

openhousenewyork is a non-profit organization celebrating New York City’s architecture and design, culminating in America’s largest event of its kind, the annual OHNY Weekend.

Participating Artists: Emily Clark, Rodney Dickson, Kim Holleman, Prem Krishnamurthy, John Monteith, Jo Q. Nelson, Trong Gia Nguyen, Douglas Paulson, Tattfoo Tan, Lauren Wilcox

Curated by Chen Tamir

For more info and to view artist maps, go to: http://www.fluxfactory.org/living-room/


Emily Clark
Teacher’s Lounge at P35M–Manhattan High School
317 W. 52nd Street between 9th and 10th Aves, Hell’s Kitchen
In the mind of every kid in school is a secret place sparking rumors and gossip. Clark has turned the abandoned teacher’s lounge at P35M into a functioning one, playing on the tropes of its assumed uses: relaxation, anger, frustration, gossip, lunchtime, union meetings, refrigerators, and (at one time) smoking.

Rodney Dickson
Romper Room
Public Toilets, 2nd floor of the Crane Street Studios, 46-23 Crane Street, LIC, Queens
Romper Room evokes a torture chamber, in which victims are held hostage, tortured, interrogated, and often brutally killed. This work alludes also to methods of interrogation currently used by the US government in the War on Terror. The title was taken from a popular children’s’ TV program in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, which terrorists adopted as a name for a room in which they tortured and executed victims during the worst days of conflict in Ireland.

Prem Krishnamurthy
Berlin/New York
772 Washington Ave, Apt #2, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
This projected slide installation concerns doppelganger cities, parallel interiors, and the unreliability of travel narrative.

John Monteith
Hide and Go Seek
The Arsenal, 830 Fifth Ave/ E 64th St, New York (Entrance on Central Park)
Sat – Sun, 2:45 pm
Participants will play “Hide and Go Seek” as a way of exploring the Arsenal and experimenting in new social settings. To participate, please RSVP to John Monteith at

Jo Q. Nelson
38-09 43rd Ave 3rd Floor, Sunnyside, Queens
Softbox is a completely malleable space where rooms are on wheels and entire environments can be changed around. The flexibility of this live/work warehouse space is due to its role as a testing ground for sculptural and interior architecture projects by Nelson and visiting artists. Focused on “hosting,” Softbox is both a laboratory and a social space where interactive programming takes place including screenings and performances. This will be its inaugural open house.

Trong Gia Nguyen
“The DUMBO Debates”
(formerly known as “A View to a Thrill”)
Barrack Obama and John McCain spend a weekend together on a secret roof deck Garden of Eden in DUMBO. They talk taboo politics, drink Bloody Marys, eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and leave all inhibitions behind.

Douglas Paulson
Urban Examination Initiative, Roofs Department
Locations TBA
Saturday night
This project is an open invitation to engage the city and OHNY from the outside. You are invited to join a group that will travel through sites by day, and camp on a rooftop by night. Participants are invited to join or leave at anytime. For more information and to RSVP to this urban adventure please RSVP to doug@douglaspaulson.com

Tattfoo Tan
Open Secret
393 17th Street #2A, Brooklyn
Open Secret is an intervention between the artist, Tattfoo Tan, a home owner, and the public. Open Secret investigates the junction between private and public by using invisible paint and black lights to reveal secrets in the privacy of a home.

Lauren Wilcox
An Instrument for Viewing the Contents of a Room
213 Montrose Apt 2 (2nd floor) Brooklyn, 11206 (Crossstreet Bushwick Ave.)
Sat 11 am - 6 pm, Sun 11 - 4pm
To paint perspective during the Renaissance artists used Alberti’s Grid, a device which projects a scene onto a flat screen. This installation is a version of that device, a box that captures a room’s elements, both actual and unseen, and translates them, inside, into objects both literal and abstract.

Kim Holleman
Trailer Park
Foley Square Sat and Sun: 10-8pm
This mobile living park, converted from a 14′ x 8′ x 7′ standard aluminum trailer, is an oasis surrounded by the bustling sights and sounds of the city.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Try! (Ad)

David Brazil and Sara Larsen are putting out their zine, Try!, EVERY two weeks(!!!).

With the exception of Stacy Szymaszek's Gam (the new issue of which is due on the streets soon!), I can think of no current magazine culture as vital and immediate for what is really going on in poetry. I am also a big fan of the aesthetic, which cuts and *tapes* in consistently intelligent ways, playing between image and text, typewritten and handwritten, reckless and refined, and which interposes the blogosphere in curious ways (see Suzanne Stein's piece in the latest Try!, which features excerpts from her blog LWC/LWK).

For copies or to submit your work to Try! try: trymagazine@gmail.com.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Free Market

They say you are free
And so we are free
Like a hole we made

In the sky or that
Weather of Septembers
We did not create

They say you are free
To do what you want
To be what you want

As free as a bird any
Other creature of ex-
change but you need

The law like that bird
Needs its wings is
Obedient to the wind

And you are not
A bargain unless
Entropy turns a billion

Lines your pockets
With a void which
Resembles us

Recrudescing bad
Effects while making
Shit up on those days

Liberal economists
Pray to some un
heard of collective.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Conversation at 16 Beaver (Ad)


1. Introduction
2. Thematics
3. How to Participate

1. Introduction

What: Conversation
When: Sunday, 12:00 - 5:00
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
Who: All are welcome

This Sunday we would like to invite friends, colleagues, interested parties (i.e., you) to take part in a conversation. The conversation will be initiated by some opening questions and prepared statements. The event will be videotaped with the specific desire to produce a political document of our present moment and to open up our conversations to a wider public.

Rather than stream this event live (as we have with all other editions of Continental Drift), we are looking to edit a version that will be available for broadcast on alternative television networks and for download after the event.

It is open to anyone interested. We will briefly outline some themes below. You are invited, if you like, to select one of them and prepare questions or a brief statement (0-4 minutes).

2. Marking The Turning Point or Holding the Baby?

Sudden changes in the social and political spheres have painted question marks all over the future. On the American streets the Democratic and Republican conventions just saw a new militarization of public space, with preemptive raids on the alternative media, intimidation of citizens exercising their rights to free speech and above all, mass arrests, in some cases with charges of "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism" (according to Minnesota's homespun version of the Patriot Act).

What will come of this rising authoritarianism? In the corporate media sphere where such abuse is considered normal, the presidential campaign has lurched over into the worst kind of populism, with the Republicans posing as the unbridled candidates of war, ecological rape and yet more market "fundamentals" -- all in the pretense of challenging the "Washington insiders" of their own party, whose policies have created the crisis of the present. Is it possible the Americans could put total denial of reality into the White House again? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rage on, and the politicians seem to think they can win. Yet where the crisis is unfolding at the most extraordinary speed is in the transnational realm of finance, which for the last decade and more has set the parameters of neoliberalism for the entire world.

The magnitude of the credit crisis is staggering, as major banks in Britain and the USA fail and are nationalized, setting the stage for a long and deep recession that might extend as far as China. We are told by the economists that this is the biggest thing since 1929, but what does that mean? Not one of them has the answer. Anyway, this much is certain: neoliberalism as an ideology of purely economic governance is dead, good riddance! We're at a turning point, the past is retreating into history
and something new is struggling to be born. What a scene for a birthday! Come next January not only the new US president, but all of us will be left holding the baby.

This Sunday, the major themes that we have debated in the last three years of Continental Drift are back on the table, in the first person. The idea is not formal presentations, but conversation about the shape of our worlds to come. We want to speak in a time of crisis about new possibilities. Now it's your baby!

3. How to participate.

This event is meant to take in the present and to offer up different positions or perspectives - both considering our Drift discussions in the past years and taking into account the questions you feel most important. We ask each of you to either prepare your own questions or a statement concerning this moment in time, something we have been thinking about and
need to ask to a collective of people. The questions or statements can use the following thematic framework outlined below or you can offer your own.

A. How would you assess the use, abuse, health, status of the concept of democracy today?

B. How do we understand the great political challenge(s) of our contemporary moment and what is the most interesting role that cultural practice can play in that context? or more generally, ... Where do you situate the role of cultural practice in political struggle today? Where do you locate the space of agency?

C. Is this current economic tumult truly a turning point in the model of neoliberal government and if so, how will this crisis be used? Many thinkers and artists have explored how crisis has been used as the primary mechanism through which power is consolidated, but it has historically also offered moments of opportunity for various political struggles. What might this point mean for us as cultural producers?

16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.
New York, NY 10004
phone: 212.480.2099

for directions/subscriptions/info visit:

4,5 Bowling Green
R,W Whitehall
2,3 Wall Street
J,M Broad Street
1,9 South Ferry

Friday, September 12, 2008

Powers of the False

If they say these
are facts then they
are facts

and if we don't
it doesn't
seem to matter

enough to anybody
at all it doesn't
seem to matter

who lives and who
dies as long
as they live

with these facts
as long
as we must live

with them the sky
is so much like
a grave

and they can't
seem to make us die
quickly enough

as though all that
"strength" were
was to pass for the true

and not do anything
to transform
the real...

Nietzsche wrote
the strong must be
protected from the weak

but I don't think
he meant this in
the way they mean it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ultra Red's Dont Rhine with Nonsite Collective (Ad, SF)*

Dont Rhine, of the audio activist collective Ultra-red, will lead a discussion around two texts his group has drafted, texts that come out of an emerging project to further develop their approach to art and activism across specific political investigations and self-organized pedagogy. (Both texts available at links below.)

Get Lost Travel Books
Monday September 22
1825 Market Street
(betwn Valencia and Guerrero)
San Francisco

Ultra-red appears on the cover of the current issue of WIRE, which features a great article on the collective, a pdf of which will soon be available on this website.

Texts under discussion on 9/22:

1) "Some theses on militant sound investigation, or, listening for a change."


2) "A Preliminary Outline of Paulo Friere's 'Thematic Investigation' as Cultural Action."

[see attached pdf: click on “1 attachment,” below.]

For more information on Ultra-red, see www.ultrared.org. The collective will be participating in Critical Resistance 10, Sept. 26-28 in Oakland (see “Events” at nonsitecollective.org)

*originally posted by Rob Halpern at Nonsite Collective's website

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Lyra & Quinn's Petition Against Palin

Friends, compatriots, fellow-lamenters,

We are writing to you because of the fury and dread we have felt since the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. We believe that this terrible decision has surpassed mere partisanship, and that it is a dangerous farce—on the part of a pandering and rudderless Presidential candidate—that has a real possibility of becoming fact.

Perhaps like us, as American women, you share the fear of what Ms. Palin and her professed beliefs and proven record could lead to for ourselves and for our present or future daughters. To date, she is against sex education, birth control, the pro-choice platform, environmental protection, alternative energy development, freedom of speech (as mayor she attempted to ban books and fired the librarian who refused), gun control, the separation of church and state, and polar bears. To say nothing of her complete lack of experience.

We want to clarify that we are not against Sarah Palin as a woman, a mother, or, for that matter, a parent of a pregnant teenager, but solely as a rash, incompetent, and all together devastating choice for Vice President. Ms. Palin's political views are in every way a slap in the face to the accomplishments that our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers so fiercely fought for, and that we've so demonstrably benefited from.

First and foremost, Ms. Palin does not represent us. She does not demonstrate or uphold our interests as American women. It is presumed that the inclusion of a woman on the Republican ticket could win over women voters. We want to disagree, publicly.

Therefore, we invite you to reply here with a short, succinct message about why you, as a woman living in this country, do not support this candidate as second-in-command for our nation.

Please include your name (last initial is fine), age, and place of residence.

We will post your responses on a blog called "Women Against Sarah Palin," which we intend to publicize as widely as possible. Please send us your reply at your earliest convenience—the greater the volume of responses we receive, the stronger our message will be.

Please email your responses to womensaynopalin@gmail.com. Thank you for your time and action.



Quinn Latimer and Lyra Kilston
New York, NY