Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goo Gone (at CUP)

Risk, Responsibility, and Toxins in the Landscape
Tuesday, July 7, 2009, 7–9 pm
The Old American Can Factory (In the courtyard, weather permitting)
232 Third St at Third Ave
Gowanus, Brooklyn
Free and open to the public, RSVP to info@anothercupdevelopment.org
Refreshments provided!

CUP's office is now located in a potential SUPERFUND SITE. Superfund is a federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. There are over 1,331 final and proposed sites on the National Priorities List (NPL), and thousands more wait for approval. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed adding the Gowanus Canal to this list.

Please join the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), and Urban Omnibus for a different kind of Superfund discussion. Artist Brooke Singer, advocate Anne Rabe, and historian Sarah Vogel will discuss the history of the Superfund program, the politics of designation, and the changing legal definitions of toxins, risk, and responsibility. Local experts will also give updates on the status of the Gowanus’ designation.

Anne Rabe is the BE SAFE campaign coordinator for the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. Anne has 25 years of organizing experience on environmental and social justice issues. From 1990 to 2003, she was director and co-founder of Citizens' Environmental Coalition, a statewide grassroots organization in New York State helping communities harmed by toxic pollution and organizing campaigns on State Superfund, radioactive waste disposal, Kodak's dioxin pollution, and other issues. She has received eight state and national awards for her work.

Brooke Singer is a media artist who lives in New York City. Her work blurs the borders between science, technology, politics, and arts practices. She works across media to provide entry into important social issues that are often characterized as specialized or opaque to the general public. She is currently Assistant Professor of New Media at Purchase College, State University of New York, and co-founder of the art, technology, and activist group Preemptive Media. She recently created Superfund365, an online data visualization and communication tool that highlights 365 of the worst toxic sites across the U.S.:

Sarah Vogel is currently the Program Officer for the Environmental Health program at the Johnson Family Foundation. She received her PhD from Columbia University’s Department of Sociomedical Sciences. Her dissertation, The Politics of Plastics: The Molecular Biography of Bisphenol A, tells the history of the science and politics of this chemical, used in plastics production since the 1950s, known to have estrogen-like properties, and now found in the vast majority of American bodies. Her research and writing considers the question of how we all became a little plastic and the changing meaning of chemical risks and safety over time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Perplexed Bear

Dottie's photo from a dinner plate last night is begging for a poem about it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pages (Iran)

Surfing to find out information about the current situation in Iran I came across Pages. http://www.pagesmagazine.net/2006/magazines.php

PennSound author page

I now have a PennSound author page. Thank you to Michael Hennessey for his work on the page! More recordings are on the way with any luck...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

After Temple Grandin

It is not a complex feeling
It is pure empathy in the
Sense that I is not I but

One of them slaughtered
The animal is the most log-
ical creature for the ways

It computes the real smells
Its way back from distances
Memorizes whole geographies

I want to remember you
Like a series of chutes and
Bolts which feel no pain

As they are appearing to
You watched I want to calcu-
late the pain that we are

All worth and does not speak
Except wordlessly like a
Single picture can sometimes

Tell the truth of our
Cruelty or the malice of
These everyday embodiments.

War and Peace 4: Vision and Text

WAR AND PEACE 4: VISION AND TEXT is devoted to collaborations between visual works and poetry, includes collaborative works of Charles Bernstein with Susan Bee, Amy Evans McClure with Michael McClure, Kiki Smith with Leslie Scalapino, Denise Newman with Gigi Janchang, a film on paper by Lyn Hejinian, Alan Halsey's visual texts, Simone Fattal, and Petah Coyne. Judith Goldman interviews Marjorie Welish, Lauren Shufran interviews Jean Boully, Leslie Scalapino interviews Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. Also included are E. Tracy Grinnell's homophonic translations of Claude Cahun's "Helene la rebelle" and poems by Fanny Howe, Thom Donovan, and others.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yes Men Strike Again

I received another "hopeful news pandemic" form the Yes Men's mailing list this morning, this time strategizing for the Copenhagen climate conference coming up December 7-18 later this year. Read all about it...

June 18, 2009

Newspaper Ignites Hope, Announces "Civil Disobedience Database"

* Civil-disobedience database: http://BeyondTalk.net
* PDF of printed newspaper: http://iht.greenpeace.org/todays-paper/
- Online version: http://www.iht-se.com/ * Video: http://iht.greenpeace.org/video/ (coming soon)
- The Yes Men, mailto:press [at]theyesmen [dot]org
- Mark Breddy (Greenpeace), mailto:mark.breddy [at]greenpeace [dot] org,
(+32) (0)2 2741 903, (+32) (0)496 15 62 29 (mob.)
- Lawrence Bogad, mailto:l.m.bogad@gmail.com,
+1-212 300 7943

In a front-page ad in today's International Herald Tribune, the leaders of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference that will be held this December. "It was only thanks to your massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically shift our climate-change policies.... To those who were arrested, we thank you."

There was only one catch: the paper was fake.

Looking exactly like the real thing, but dated December 19th, 2009, a million copies of the fake paper were distributed worldwide by thousands of volunteers in order to show what could be achieved at the Copenhagen climate conference that is scheduled for Dec. 7-18, 2009. (At the moment, the conference is aiming for much more modest cuts, dismissed by leading climate scientists as too little, too late to stave off runaway processes that will lead to millions or even billions of casualties.)

The paper describes in detail a powerful (and entirely possible) new treaty to bring carbon levels down below 350 parts per million - the level climate scientists say we need to achieve to avoid climate catastrophe. One article describes how a website, http://BeyondTalk.net, mobilized thousands of people to put their bodies on the line to confront climate change policies - ever since way back in June, 2009.

Although the newspaper is a fake (its production and launch were coordinated by Greenpeace), the website is real. Beyondtalk.net is part of a growing network of websites calling for direct action on climate change, building on statements made in recent months by noted political figures. (For example, in September Nobel laureate Al Gore asserted that "we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants.")

Leading American environmentalist Bill McKibben was enthusiastic about the newspaper's message and the methods BeyondTalk.net calls for. "We need a political solution grounded in reality - grounded in physics and chemistry. That will only come if we can muster a wide variety of political tactics, including civil disobedience."

"Non-violent civil disobedience has been at the forefront of almost every successful campaign for change," said Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, who helped write and edit the newspaper and are furnishing the technology for BeyondTalk.net. "Especially in America, and especially today, we need to push our leaders hard to stand up to industry lobbyists and make the sorts of changes we need."

"Roosevelt would never have been able to push through the New Deal if people hadn't taken to the streets, occupied factories, and demanded it," noted newspaper writer/editor and University of California professor Lawrence Bogad. Segregation, British rule in India, and apartheid wouldn't have ended without a lot of people being creatively uncooperative - even if that meant getting arrested. Nonviolent civil disobedience is the bread and butter of progress."

The fake newspaper also has an ad for "Action Offsets," whereby those who aren't willing to risk arrest can help those who are.


Today's fake International Herald Tribune is part of a rash of recent publications which mimic prominent newspapers. Last November, a fake edition of the New York Times announced that the Iraq War was over. A few days earlier, a hoax USA Today featured the US presidential election result: "Capitalism Wins at the Polls: Anarchy Brewing in the Streets." And this April 1st, a spoof edition of Germany's Zeit newspaper triumphantly announced the end of "casino capitalism" and the abolition of poor-country debt.

The rash of fakes is likely to continue. "People are going to keep finding ways to get the word out about common-sense solutions those in power say are impossible," said Kelli Anderson, one of the designers of the fake International Herald Tribune and co-designer (with Daniel Dunnam) of BeyondTalk.net.

"We already know what we need to do about climate change," said Agnes de Rooij of Greenpeace International. "It's a no-brainer. Reduce carbon emissions, or put the survival of billions of people at risk. If the political will isn't there now, it's our duty to inspire it."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Snow Sensitive Skin review at Jacket 37

Here is a review I wrote of Taylor Brady's and Rob Halpern's collaboration Snow Sensitive Skin, published in a small edition chapbook by Michael Cross' Atticus/Finch press back in 2007.

I hope this book will come back into print, as it has so much to say about the state of lyric today in relation to the disasters which have come to define daily social existence and geopolitics. Few books I have read feel closer to the "real" of our super mediated present. Few books are also as intensely musical, during an age in which most of the poetry that counts is resolutely against lyricism except to sample, parody, or simply destroy it from the inside-out.

Snow Sensitive Skin proves that prosody can be an effective counter-hegemonic strategy in any age, but especially this one.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Red Lines at Queens Museum of Art

Damon Rich [director of Center for Urban Pedagogy] opens his latest exhibition Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center at the Queens Museum of Art on Saturday, June 20. Red Lines is a large-scale installation that explores how we finance our living environments, and will remain on view through September 27, 2009. Opening day events include: a 3–5 pm screening and discussion of Primetime: Fighting Back Against Foreclosure, a documentary by Jennifer Fasulo and Manauvaskar Kublall looking at predatory loan practices and their aftermath, and a blow-out 5–7 pm reception. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Queens Museum Panorama of New York City has been used to map the pattern of 2008 foreclosures across the city. Red Lines is curated by Larissa Harris, and is a project of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). More information at

June 20, 2009
Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY
7 to Shea Stadium

Sunday, June 07, 2009


I feel very honored to have the following (Soma)tic Exercise dedicated to myself and Dorothea Lasky by our colleague and friend CAConrad. I am looking forward to trying out the writing exercise as soon as my leaf is ready...

(HH) Hamlet House review at FANZINE

Here's a review of Lilac Co and St Johns Theater's work-in-progress (HH) Hamlet House up at FANZINE now. Check it out!

from the review:
"In (HH) hamlet house we are neither what we do or what we say, but the desynching of saying and doing, speech and gesture. Even though (HH) hamlet house is live, it presents the now obvious fact that what is said and what is done are virtual to each other. I am reminded of this desynching, too, when Ophelia announces that she will turn green, takes her hands from a bucket of water, and starts painting herself green with a dab of paint. The effect of this action is affecting not just because it is weird (it would be too easy to call this gesture “weird”), but because of its play between what can be imagined at the level of speech (“I will paint myself green”) and what the theater can make real (the act of painting one’s self green). When the possible becomes instantiated (where it once existed only virtually at the level of statement) we wonder and are moved."