Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ordering for Sovereignty and Us: Critical Objects 2005-2010

One of my many new year's resolutions is to collate and revise a manuscript of essay, reviews, and statements about poetics and cultural politics. Here is what I've got so far in case any have suggestions about a possible architecture/order/design/publisher.

Sovereignty and Us: Critical Objects 2005-2010

Sovereignty and Us:

Splitting: after a photo-document by Gordon Matta-Clark
Call Backs: on Tyrone Williams
Aporia and Progress: Rachel Zolf’s Neighbour Procedure
Every Name In History Is hannah
Hannah’s Bifuraction
Into Bride (Army of Rose)
Every Name In History Is I: on Catherine Sullivan’s Effusions of Meaning
Kyle Schlesinger: Insofar As a Metapolitics of Sense
Entrance Wounds: Richard Foreman’s Deep Trance Behavior in Potato Land
Undeserving Lebanon by Jalal Toufic
Sovereignty and Us: Eleni Stecopoulos’ Autoimmunity (TAXT, 2006)
Bare Life: Taylor Brady’s and Rob Halpern’s Snow Sensitive Skin
Love Among the Ruins (3 A.K.): on Brett Evans’ and Frank Sherlock’s Ready-to-Eat Individual (Lavender Ink, 2008) and Rob Halpern’s Disaster Suites (Palm Press, 2008)
Lawrence Giffin’s Get the Fuck Back Into That Burning Plane
On Judith Goldman’s The Dispossessions
Paul Chan's "Sade for Sade's Sake" at Greene Naftali Gallery, NYC
Reading Martha Rosler Reading
In the Open: John Taggart’s Susan Howe
On Vision in Make Believe
A Work of the Actual: on Brenda Iijima
“In the dirt of the line”: on Bhanu Kapil’s intense autobiography
Doing the Twist: notes on Modern American poetry and vitalism
Robert Kocik (introduction for Peace On A)
Choir Praxis: on Daria Fain’s and Robert Kocik’s Phoneme Choir at Movement Research festival, May 4th 2009
Are We Human, or Are We Dancer?: on Daria Fain’s and Robert Kocik’s The Extent to Which
WIlliam Forsythe's Decreation at BAM
George Oppen’s Inoperative Poetics
Presencing the Disaster: recent poetry and art after George Oppen
Allegories of Disablement: some consequences of form towards potential bodies
Open Letter to Patrick Durgin on Disability Theory
“None of us have rules, none of us have scripture”: CA Conrad’s Advanced Elvis Course and the Politics of Spirit


Myung Mi Kim’s River Antes
The Course of Particulars: on Terry Cuddy
David Levi Strauss: A Poetics of Fact
Michael Cross (intro for Just Buffalo series)
“how real or imagined it was real”: E. Tracy Grinnell (Peace on A)
Paolo Javier (Peace on A)
Eléna Rivera’s Unknowne Land (Peace on A)
Wayne Koestenbaum (Peace on A)
Rob Halpern’s Disaster Suites
Rob Halpern’s Imginary Politics (Peace on A)
Lola Ridge’s The Ghetto
Activist Presses in the '00s
Leslie Scalapino (Segue)
M. Mara Ann (Segue)
Erica Hunt (Segue)
Dawn Lundy Martin (Segue)
Stephanie Gray (Segue)
Tony Conrad (Segue)
Corina Copp (Segue)
Propositions After Talking to Robert Fitterman Before Reading Notes on Conceptualisms
Robert Fitterman and Vanessa Place’s Notes On Conceptualisms
To See 360 Degrees: Elka Krajewska and Alan Licht’s Plany Mela
Magdalena Zurawski’s The Bruise
CA Conrad’s The Book of Frank
George Oppen’s Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers
What We Do When We Believe: 8 Poets Discoursing After John Taggart
Arthur Russell Revived: Tim Lawrence's Hold On To Your Dreams

For a Discourse:

ON Contemporary Practice 1 editorial (with Michael Cross and Kyle Schlesinger)
Statement for ON1 launch
A Meme For Suzanne Stein
On Certainty
On Negative Criticism
On Stephen Burt’s “The New Thing”
ON Contemporary Practice 2 editorial (with Michael Cross and Kyle Schlesinger)

Blogging at Harriet January-March

I feel honored to be invited by Poetry Foundation to blog at Harriet with Sina Queras (of Lemon Hound), Bhanu Kapil (of Was Jack Kerouac a Punjabi? and her many wonderful books), and Fred Moten, who will coincidentally be reading for SEGUE with Mónica de la Torre later on this January. It is difficult to imagine a better company. For my contributions, I am planning to interview different writers and artists, generate questionnaires, write brief reviews and essays, generate curriculum/exercises, and engage with fellow bloggers/commentors. Please feel free to join the conversation via comments boxes and/or by being in touch directly with me: tadonovan [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Iijima's If Not Metamorphic in Publisher's Weekly

Publisher's Weekly has the following to say about Brenda Iijima's new book, If Not Metamorphic:

In Iijima's fourth collection, shifts and spaces on the page animate the messy and glorious process of making meaning. As suggested by “metamorphic” in the title (meaning a change in a rock's physical form or substance, usually as a result of heat or pressure), geological metaphors are essential to these four long poems. The stunning title piece, composed entirely of questions, sifts and settles across its pages like sediment, both moving (in every sense) and unwaveringly direct. “Tertium Organum” has a noisier geologic structure, suggesting the violence of human intervention: “Twisted corset the tectonic plates make/ when crassness butts up against steel.” This collision of registers and the resulting dissonance is much of the point. Language, here, “encroaches,” “is engorged,” and “is hit by passing vehicles.” Often, it moves metonymically, leading us from idea to idea by way of sound: from “loan” to “lone,” “suffer” to “sulfur,” “sees” to “siege,” and “sunder” to “tundra.” Sometimes Iijima jumps between registers via overt protest, as in “song birds gave way to acid rain.” At her most self-reflexive, she describes her “affection for/ provocative contrasts.” The experience of following these contrasts is thrilling; as Iijima writes, “In a manner of speaking we flew.”

Tears Are These Veils at tumblr.

I started a new blog today, mainly for links and photos:

Will be tweaking it and adding pics when I can. I like the simultaneous slide-shows so far.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reading Martha Rosler Reading at MUSEOXIII

The following is from an essay I wrote about Martha Rosler's reading practice in her 1975-1985 video works, now up at MUSEO XIII online. Thanks to Martha Rosler for allowing me to interview her, and to David Shapiro who edited the essay extensively.

"In three videos from the late 70s and early 80s—Domination and the Everyday (1978), A Simple Case for Torture, or How to Sleep at Night, and If It’s Too Bad to Be True, It Could Be DISINFORMATION (1985)—Rosler elaborates her reading practice as a means of encountering the United States’ geopolitical involvement with Latin America. These works pose questions about how one reads video intertextually, how the medium can be used as a vehicle for counter-hegemonic strategy, analysis, and critical reflection, and perhaps most importantly, how to read the United States’ unofficial wars and conflicts. Given the strategies of blackout, disinformation, and distraction enacted by popular media outlets, how is it possible to redirect a viewer’s reading process and critically navigate a terrain of signs intended to draw attention away from the culpability of the state? How is this a matter of “bringing the war home”—a popular slogan from the 60s which Rosler borrows for her mash-up collage works treating the Vietnam and Iraq wars?"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Elective Affinities

Carlos Soto just added me to his wonderful Elective Affinities blog, a project which intends a "map where affinities, differences, and unexpected connections coexist in an ongoing, collective construction." Posts consist of bio, poetics statement, poems, and tags of five contemporaries.

Monday, December 21, 2009

M. Mara-Ann SEGUE Series introduction

As we gather here, politics is failing us again. It is failing us, in particular, at the current Copenhagen summit on climate change. If there were ever a feeling of “now time” in our era it would seem to crystallize around these past two weeks. Reading the reports on Copenhagen, we are told repeatedly that we must act in decisive ways now to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperature of 3 degrees Celcius. Politics is failing us because, as Naomi Klein says, the United States is “holding hostage” the rest of the world by attempting to broker a 'take it or leave'-style deal in terms of its willingness to provide aid. Such is our politics of the worst.

M. Mara Ann’s Containment Scenario: DisloInter MedTexId entCation is a book of hyper-appropriative poetry cum performance score written in emergency. It is an attempt to presence now time, to make now time felt through the urgency of words that defy normative-linear syntaxes to produce an emotive, political grammar of environmental crisis. Given the challenging legibilities of M. Mara Ann’s text—the fact that her book is as graphically complex as it is wildly abstract—I am very curious how she will read it aloud, and what it would mean for such a text to be read aloud. M. Mara Ann’s work requires that the reader learn not simply how to read the work, but how to relate its layers of understanding—its senses of becoming world.

Utterance is so important here because it sounds into the commons what is available as information to all—the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 “Climate Change” summary, the Global Green USA & Green Cross International reports on “Confronting Climate Change”—yet which is withheld from our distracted attention spans, our reified lifestyles and senses of work. Partly incantatory, partly didactic, definitely a sincere shout into a void of citizens who will not have heard, Containment Scenario is ultimately consciousness raising. Mediating primary documents of the climate crisis, it wishes to refocus our attentions by underscoring key phrases from the aforementioned documents; yet it also wants to attune us to the ways that we could view becoming—a more global and heterogeneous eternal return of the same—beyond our outmoded and cynical views of economy, ecology, and justice.

Without thought—without thinking through what has brought us to this point of emergency—ecological problems will only persist whether or not we avert this particular crisis. M. Mara Ann wants us to hear this too—amidst the din of her insisting. That thinking as the ultimate emergency—thinking in motion, thinking in relation, thinking thinking—becomes more important than ever before. And that this thinking should be heard as much as it is seen and read. It should be felt, and this would be a kind of medicine for things in relation. What Parmenides originally imagined as becoming, and what M. Mara Ann reinvents for a politics of human-animal subsistence.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Everything Will Be Taken Away

Or what I mean by this can’t matter
The grave will just be a hole
My self some sense of self
Will be a hole when I am done singing
A place where I lost you of course
Where I stopped world forming
There would be a politics in this
If loss could be felt and not seen

Or it will not be at all no one will be
The land expropriated from the free will not
Be because it will not be a part
Of history every part of the whole is false
Which is not spoken by those who can’t speak
So great is what was taken from them
No amount of naming no amount
Of cash will replace it.

Pastoral for COP15

Everything we pretend to possess
Will be taken from us the land
What is left of the land
Three feet above sea level
In an other’s democracy who
Are "we" fooling

There will no mythology
Except in what we allow
To melt except in what blood
Will be shed pastoralist
Blood soil of whose science fiction
Whose practice let this occur

Lays waste to charitas good deeds
Need of mountains commoner trees
For neighbors not to take up arms
And posit myths of origins
A stressed imaginary reduces

Eschaton of this big lapse of judgment
Grand mal of theory who will be judged
Insufficiently civilized barbarity
Is on the right side of history
When every one is wrong

Who do not interrupt (it) soon enough
Slavery in a storm of progress
No name in history enough
Frightened finally by ‘hybridity’
Necessity, not contingency, pounds
The shores of us

No boundaries but a disaster
Which universalizes makes differences
Also more stark
The little ones less
Developed simplified by disaster
Reduced to their breath bigger than
The lungs
Like Kafka’s mouse singer.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Klein on Climate Apartheid

"There’s an inverse relationship between who created the problem and who can afford to save themselves from the problem, and it isn’t only in the Global South. Think about New Orleans. Right? It’s also the South in the North. The people who had resources could drive out of the disaster zone; the people who depended on the state were left on their roofs, a kind of a climate apartheid, in the United States."--Naomi Klein

SEGUE READING SERIES: Fiona Templeton + M.Mara-Ann

Saturday, December 19, 2009
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
New York, NY

Fiona Templeton is a poet, and director of the performance group The Relationship. Books include YOU-The City (an intimate Manhattanwide play for an audience of one), Cells of Release, Delirium of Interpretations, Mum in Airdrie, London, and Elements of Performance Art. She lives in New York and London. ( &

M. Mara-Ann is the author of Containment Scenario: DisLoInterMedTextIdentCation: Horse Medicine, luminous (the CD), and mirrorrim (the audio visual installation);works related to the multimedia performance, Containment Scenario. Other books include lighthouse (Atelos, 2002) and forthcoming: ecnelis (a+bend press, 2000).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On "Vision" in Make Believe

Back in September I was asked the following question in regards to my Wheelhouse Press chapbook, Make Believe: "Many moments in Make Believe are concerned with vision. These poems, among other things, explore vision in various modes, from the spectacle of cable news to the very formation of subjectivity. Do you think of your work as constructing what might be called a poetics of seeing?"

Here is a link to my response.

Thanks to Nathan Moore at readwritepoem for his interest.

"While I am saying all of this, I wonder how much any of what I’m saying is conveyed by the poem itself. The poem leads, as David Wolach points out, with its ear, but often the senses become cross-wired — confused and ruinous. I dedicated the poem to my friend Gregg Biglieri who is a master of the pun, and of what he calls “negative synaesthesia” after Zukofsky’s Bottom. Flights into nonsense — into language play — seem necessary for the brain and the senses to sync themselves. So in “Berkeley Island” “when dissolves to wind” and a lens “points and chutes” as though to conflate photography with branching. Nonsense, of which poetry obviously has a lot, is meta-political in that it refuses to reduce language use to a representation (whether for a vulgarly conceived common sense or for the sake of communication).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Living Labor

Criss-cross this chorus
Not marshaling us
The state of the soul or
The soul of the state
Is a formal feeling

An emotional thing
Swerving into the doing
Latent reserves of energy
And potentia across personnel

Body of living labor
Gives me a sign
We are not done with you yet
This is the place we were born
And this the place we became

Slaves in an air other
Than our own
The indentured sing
Of power in a new form

But are not themselves we
Are not ourselves
Beholden to a brand
Locking the flavor in like value

If an emotion possesses us
If a theory of value signs
Off into the void let us rule
For another decade

Let our nets cast us larger
Than our appetites appear
For control or the armies
That we lead
With their hands blown-off

No longer forced to rule
Who will resurrect
What we could not feel
The first time?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Come and See

The withdrawal of those
Guns and eyes never fair
A single one the sun
Not shining on us here
No one lucky enough
No dirt brave enough
To tuck us in
Speak our names a photography
Worn thin with history
A kind of stench our stories leak
A kind of lack our eyes want
When meaning won’t
Be strained.

The starlight on their eyes
It is sometimes
And we are them
Disastered because our voices
Muffle in the din
Of voices given up control
Of what they mean
Bogged down by the dead
And having seen
And not heard
Too much where we wake
We supposedly wake.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Alan Bernheimer SEGUE series introduction

Social histories of poets has always been an interest of mine. Whether Alan Bernheimer is a 3rd generation New York School poet or a 1st generation Language Writer does not matter so much as the fact that Bernheimer is writing and publishing poems again—after a hiatus of nearly a decade—and that these poems are available for our delectation.

Delectation is not a glib critical phrase in the way I’m using it here because Bernheimer’s poetry is all about enjoyment. It is also about an adventure of the mind tuning the senses, exchanging them, inverting them, desynching them—reversing the roles, making them haywire. Synaesthesia rules in Bernheimer’s work, and perhaps that is why he can be easily confused with a New York School poet. Psychadelia is of the hour, it is of practically every line. Sense always negotiating nonsense, and nonsense ideation. His company is Larry Fagin, and Bill Berkson, and Ted Greenwald swerving from the radical cultural movements of the 60s, forward looking at the deconstructions of “a political economy of the sign” in the 70s and 80s.

What Bernheimer shares with Language Writing is a sense of language as a proposition about sense, and how sense-making determines the socio-political. Underpinning each of Bernheimer’s lines is a pun, or, when there is not a pun, a sense of surprise or defiance of expectation that one did not appear. Among my contemporaries there has been a lot of use of the pun towards a political poetry in the last decade or so. I am thinking here of Gregg Biglieri, David Buuck, Louis Cabri, Craig Dworkin, Judith Goldman, Jennifer Scappettone, and Kyle Schlesinger among others—Schlesinger in particular, whose poetry resembles Bernheimer’s own perhaps more than any one else. As I have argued of Schlesinger’s work, and I will say the same of Bernheimer’s: to challenge sense via the pun is always political; it is what undergirds a politics of language insofar as it challenges language’s tendency to become instrumental and representative. Something that stands in for direct action, participation, expression, thinking.

Like Kit Robinson’s work, or Bob Perelman’s, or Lyn Hejinian’s, or Charles Bernstein’s, with Bernheimer there is also a sense that ideas are always affective, and that words—as an abstraction of the real, and as envelopes of the mind—were always bound to our emotional complexes. There is a warmth that radiates from Bernheimer’s work that I associate with the aforementioned writers, though Bernheimer’s political commitments are perhaps a bit more elliptical, his theoretical references a bit less theory laden, his attempt to dissolve the referent in wild significations less performed, more breezy.

I like the term breezy because it underscores an ease or facility of speaking/writing, a kind of grace. What if you could turn le mot juste to all the purposes of language doing philosophy, or simply scoring our least plausible thoughts and sensations? What would any of this prove except that in what we write inheres an incredible potential for language to express non-experience and subtle sensation, to make us dream the actual, to put the real back into what was supposed dream?

Through a logic of language games poetry in the 70s and 80s was able to achieve a distinctly American kind of surrealism—a surrealism beyond the logic of symbols, or the phenomenology of a subconscious; a surrealism of what words can do unleashed from master discourses—of performance, and speech act, and grammatology. With Bernheimer’s recent 'new and selected'—The Spoonlight Institute—we are transported to the beginning again. Of an actual dreaminess that is our everyday having to live with words.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Review of Parades and Changes Replay in The Brooklyn Rail

Here is a review I wrote of Anna Halprin's, Anne Collod's, and Morton Subotnik's Parades and Changes Replay.

"When art historians eventually look back on the aughts, I think it will be said that the predominant art form of this decade was the reenactment, works that “replay” or “redo” previous works of art or cultural texts. RoseLee Golberg’s Performa biennial, which began in 2005 and in 2009 seems largely established (if not fully armed) as a cultural institution, has been a major force in establishing the reenactment as one of today’s most relevant and important art forms.

While the reenactment can have many uses, one of the primary ways it’s been used is to revivify events that would seem lost to the present, and to root these events firmly in materials from the past—documents, artifacts, relics, and the memories of surviving artists and participants. Attending choreographer Anne Collod’s replay of Anna Halprin’s 1965 collaboration with Morton Subotnick, Parades and Changes, I was aware of a work from the past being reconstructed for our present."

Audio from Emergency Series at Penn

Here is audio from a reading I gave a couple weeks back with Julian Brolaski at Penn's Kelly Writers House. The reading is followed by a conversation in which Julian and I discuss our work in relation to community discourse, "New Brutalism," "composition by breath," biopolitics, and intertextuality.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review of Paul Chan at Fanzine

My review of Paul Chan's Greene Naftali show, "Sade for Sade's sake," is now up up at Fanzine.

"Chan's tarrying with the negative also comes across in a series of poems he wrote from 2005 through 2009, Texts, in which many of the words of the poem are crossed out. These "erasures" (the popular term for poetic texts produced by the crossing-out of words) form interesting language effects. Reading the poems for a first time, the words that are crossed-out stand out. Reading them a second time, I read them without the cross-outs. The meaning differs radically depending on whether you read the poem with or without the cross-outs; the first reading yielding a wildly aphoristic poetry, the lines of the poem wending and cutting-off like a poem by Emily Dickinson or Robert Creeley, the second reading yielding something more bare. In the second reading you get something radically reduced, yet equally pithy and contradictory—like a koan or revolutionary slogan from May ‘68. These poems I read beside much of my favorite lyrical poems being written today for the ways that they foreground dialectic tension, and negotiate a theoretical lingo with common speech."

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

SEGUE series presents Alan Bernheimer and Danny Snelson

Saturday, December 12, 2009
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
New York, NY

Alan Bernheimer’s Spoonlight Institute was published this fall by Adventures in Poetry. Earlier books include Billionesque and Café Isotope.

Danny Snelson is a writer, editor, and archivist recently relocated to Philadelphia. He is the founder of Aphasic Letters (with Phoebe Springstubb) and No Input Books (with James Hoff). Recent writing projects include Endless Nameless, Equi Nox, and Radios.

Monday, December 07, 2009

David Buuck's "Exercises in Seeing"

"Audio guide for one night only exhibition 'Exercises in Seeing' at Queen's Nails Projects in San Francisco, held entirely in the dark. The guide to the works in the show was written by poet/artist David Buuck, without having seen any of the artworks. The exhibition was curated by Post Brothers." [...]

from "None of us have rules, none of us have scripture": CA Conrad’s Advanced Elvis Course and the Politics of Spirit

I have been trying to write an essay on CA Conrad's poetics via his recent Soft Skull book, Advanced Elvis Course. Here is a selection from the essay destined for publication in Paolo Javier's 2nd Avenue Poetry:

"Conrad’s work puts forth a genealogy of morals in the spirit of Spinoza’s ethics and Nietzsche’s evaluative philosophy. This genealogy, like Spinoza’s and Nietzsche’s, radically calls into question the relationship between morality and law. Elvis, like a certain Jesus of recent liberation theologies, is that which permits, and he whose only law is love. Not “love thy neighbor” or “turn the other cheek,” but love for the body as that which grounds a just and reasonable society—Spinoza’s socius or Nitezsche’s active affects which overcome that which is resentful, disaggregating, and reactionary. One overcomes (or over-cums) because they are bursting with love for multitudes. As in Melville’s homoerotic law of sea articulated in “The Squeezing of the Sperm” chapter of Moby Dick, singularities “splice” singularities—affect-to-affect, man-to-man. Material bodies are plastic/synthetic; all flesh is just flesh as though related by a blank before or beyond social discursion. Melville makes an appearance in Advanced Elvis Course through reference to a concert Elvis gave in which he shouted the words “Moby Dick” during the break between “Jailhouse Rock” and “Don’t Be Cruel.” Conrad reads this eruption as having to do with American barbarism: “Consider, once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began.” (43) Yet Advanced Elvis Course, like Moby Dick, takes one figure as its central fact, and from this figure spins an allegorical compendium of socio-political consequence. Elvis, like the Whale, is in all of us. One becomes paranoid to seeing Him everywhere the more one looks."

Corina Copp: SEGUE introduction

I have a strong impression of first hearing Corina Copp read her work. It was at the bar on 11th Street between Avenues A and B in the spring of 2006. What left a strong impression was a sense that her language was doing something—that it was having an effect on me—and yet I could not tell where it was coming from, what was holding it down so too speak. The language was like pure performance—a gestural language seeking a referent.

Or seeking characters? Four years later Copp now pursues an MFA in play writing at Brooklyn College, studying under the play write Mac Wellman. Reading her plays “Office Killer” and “Manon Maria Braun,” I am struck by how suited her playful language work is to the theater, and specifically a theater that prioritizes action and gesture over plot or character development per se. Characters are ciphers for what can or cannot be said. Fairly routine dialogue will suddenly kick into language acrobatics. I like this about Copp’s plays. I like the sense that a language for the theater becomes possible again. Conditions of possibility lurk in the leveling of character and dialogue through gestural lyric. The problem goes back to Stein, and continues in Copp’s other mentor, Fiona Templeton, whose recent "Medead" (or “me dead” as I prefer to call it)—a phonemic based representation of the intercultural figure of Medea—resembles Copp’s own concerns with sonic, rhythmic, and metonymic language values.

There is content of course to Copp’s work. And it has to do with being a woman, and the violence that is enacted against women. It also has to do with sex, and identity and many other recurrent concerns of any theater. These concerns, evoked through schizophrenic speech, evoke what Copp calls a “deep threat” in an essay she has written about Poets Theater and Rodrigo Toscano’s Collapsible Poetics Theater for the 2nd issue of ON Contemporary Practice:

“What’s incredible is that Poets Theater is a threat to order, and that entities are threats to equilibrium. Threat is deep; even multiplicity is still threatening. Polyvocal pieces are more and more prevalent among poets and play writes, hinting at our effort to equalize (provoking discomfort with lack of distinction), create cacophonies of sound, resist traditional structural modes, etc. What follows from an effort to equalize is the dissolving of individual character traits. In much current writing, for instance, characters A, B, and C might variantly have nervous legs, low IQs, or violet auras or not—but often they are types who witness strangeness in a place (the theater) meant to show something.”

I like this phenomenological description of what Poets Theater might contribute to theater at large. A leveling of hierachies between the essential elements of theater, which are obviously not just plot, setting, character, and psychological motivation, but language as a form of action and the expression of embodied affect among interchangeable bodies—the chain of substitution of post-industrial serialization comprised by “types.” Theater then becomes, as Copp tells us, more like an equilibrium of forces. By writing poems as plays or plays as poems (I can’t which) Copp is channeling the forces which inhere in language and make up our lives.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Call For Critical Writing on John Taggart's Poetics

The following is a call C.J. Martin and I are making for work regarding John Taggart's poetics. The call is one part of the feature we recently curated together at Little Red Leaves vol. 4:

"When C.J. Martin and I originally put out a call for the works collected in this feature, we had intended not only to include poetry ‘after’ Taggart, but also to gather critical responses to Taggart’s body of work thus far. For a future print volume, Martin and I would like to publish works having to do with the critical reception of Taggart’s work. These works may proffer scholarship about Taggart’s various sources, which derive from visual art, literature, theology, philosophy, music, and natural history. They may also address Taggart’s work through approaches in art history, cultural studies, political economy, ethnomusicology, literary theory, comparative religion, and gender studies (in other words “across fields”). While Taggart’s project continues to be served by festschrifts, Martin and I believe it all the more important that more criticism and scholarship be generated about the work itself. Robert J. Bertholf has compiled a comprehensive bibliography of critical responses to Taggart’s work, which we include here in the interest of soliciting submissions for the projected print volume. Bertholf’s contribution is an excerpt from his full Taggart bibliography—to be featured in its entirety in that volume—which includes (among other things) an exhaustive (and fascinating) record of Taggart’s journal publications. To be in touch with us with submissions and inquiries please contact tadonovan [at] hotmail [dot] com and littleredleaves [at] gmail [dot] com."

Travis Nichols is in The Huffington Post

writing about Eric Baus, Christian Bok, Grand Piano, Bhanu Kapil, and Gertrude Stein:
This is Your Brain on Poetry!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

All Small Caps vol. 3

In the mail today I received Jess Mynes' wonderful All Small Caps reading series anthology. The third volume of this series features work by John Coletti, Arlo Quint, Frank Sherlock, Geoffrey Olsen, Alan Davies, Patricia Pruitt, Peter Gizzi, Lori Shine, Betsy Wheeler, Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, Ed Foster, Thom Donovan, Dorothea Lasky, Joseph Torra, Geraldine Monk and Alan Halsey.
To get your own write allsmallcaps [at] gmail [dot] com.

Dorothea Lasky on Object-Based Learning

Here is a wonderfully informative article by Dorothea Lasky on object-based learning for 21st century art education.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Copp and Reines at SEGUE series

SEGUE READING SERIES: Ariana Reines + Corina Copp
Saturday, December 5, 2009
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
New York, NY

Ariana Reines is the author of The Cow and Coeur de Lion. Her first play, Telelphone, ran last February at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Corina Copp is the author of the e-book Carpeted, and chapbooks Play Air and Sometimes Inspired by Marguerite. A staged reading of her performance text, “OK” was produced in 2008 by Theatreworks, and her play “A Week of Kindness” appeared in the 2007 Tiny Theater Festival. She is the editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter.

Entangled Activisms at Vera List Center (NYC)

Entangled Activisms: Emergence, Betrayal and the Possibility of Rethinking the Possible / Iain Kerr in Conversation with Brian McGrath, Petia Morozov and Nato Thompson
Tuesday, December 8, 2009 – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Parsons The New School for Design
Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Avenue at 12th Street, New York City
Admission: Free

"We still do not know what a body can do." (Spinoza/Deleuze)

The early Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously claimed, "You can never step in the same river twice." Comically, one of the rebuttals to this observation was, "You can never step in the same river once." The logics of activism invariably relate to ideas of how change happens – how we step in this seemingly paradoxical river. This discussion is an attempt to test and experiment with the linkages between activist practices, ideas of change, and theories of time.

Arguing that theories of activism need to frame activism as essentially a theory of time, the presenters propose that the time of change not be defined chronologically but qualitatively. Rather than sequential time, they propose measureless time. But how can we think and experimentally work with qualitative time today? How do we take into account the ruptures, swerves, emergences, and folds of becoming that sweep us far beyond identity, being, and the logics of critique? What are the new possibilities and techniques of activism and activist art that develop out of these logics of the event? This is an evening to debate and develop new models of time, and in so doing to rethink and propose new ideas of artistic practice.

A presentation by Iain Kerr, artist, theorist and founding member of the research collective spurse, is followed by discussion with respondents Brian McGrath, architect, writer and Associate Professor of Urban Design at Parsons The New School for Design; Petia Morozov, architect, writer, educator and urban explorer; and Nato Thompson, writer and Chief Curator of Creative Time.

Presented as part of "Streaming Culture / Art and Politics," a new interdivisional initiative organized by Victoria Vesna, Visiting Professor (UCLA) and Director of Research, School of Art, Media and Technology, Parsons The New School of Design, in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, on occasion of its 2009/2010 program cycle on "Speculating on Change."