Friday, April 30, 2010

Nonsite Collective 3 Years In (@ Harriet)


Since the spring of 2007, Nonsite Collective has organized a number of events, all of which contribute to the collective’s purpose of establishing curricular resources. This series of events includes talks and presentations by CAConrad, Frank Sherlock, Jonathan Skinner, Amber DiPietra, Bhanu Kapil, Norma Cole, Miranda Mellis, Kyle Schlesinger, Dont Rhine (of Ultra-red sound collective), Tanya Hollis, Taylor Brady, Michael Cross, Emily Abendroth, Kevin Killian, Bruce Boone, Alphonso Lingis, Eleni Stecopoulos, Robert Kocik, Brandon Brown, David Buuck, Susan Greene, Chris Nagler and many others. For the collective, events are not discrete (”No event in isolation!,” as Halpern says), but articulate one another—extend and intensify existing conversations, problems, lines of research and concern. The non-isolation of Nonsite Collective events—mediated by curricular documents—I find a crucial aspect of the collective’s practice, and a necessary alternative to events dynamics as they occur in other institutional and non-institutional locations. The poetics of gathering, and of event, in this sense is about generating new modes of attention and of collective problem solving, conversation, and action within a duration. It is also about the perpetual movement of site and nonsite, as expressed by the draft proposal; that whereas sites present ‘real’ conditions of socio-political disparity, nonsites abstract and mediate these realities as art, science, writing (metaphor, representation). Through the movement from site to nonsite to site, a negative dialectics forms whereby what remains is social conflict, discrepancy, and difference rendered visible, manifest, and sensible.

The Hole notes cont'd: on William Pope.L (@ Harriet)


What I mean by having
Something is the fantasy
That having is possessing [and]*
That possessing is knowing

Therefore this sort of theorizing/[deodorizing]
Could only come from someone
Who believes in having things
As a political condition

Conversely, this theory
Could only come from someone
Who lacks something
As a political condition

Hole Theory engages lack
Across economic and cultural
And political boundaries
[Lack is where it’s AT]

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Notes on The Hole (@ Harriet)


"So is the hole what remains after remediation or before it? I think it is what remains period as inequality, unassimalibility, radical loss..."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Interview With Charles Bernstein Part I (@ Harriet)

Thom Donovan: Making a selected is a time to be retrospective obviously. I was thinking of Zukofsky’s notion of a life-work, his Bottom weaving the strands of an organic whole. What emerges for you as the strands of the weave?

Charles Bernstein: I wanted to create a work that was refracted by changing forms, in changing parts (synchronic); the retrospective aspect gave me an additional diachronic scale to work with: works/themes/motifs changing over time, an old-time trope for sure. And one of the things that I’m interested in is seeing how far I can not follow that Zukofsky idea that everything is connected, to see to what degree everything is disconnected, or simply acknowledge that there is disconnection. I don’t think either is true or not true, by the way. Connection and disconnection, in the sense I mean here, are heuristic devices. When things seem to be disconnected on the surface that allows for other kinds of connections, elsewhere. So, in the end, I think that the relation of part to whole is unstable (or modular); still, shifting constellations emerge. … and that you discover what those constellations are not by trying to consciously make things that connect, but often by a poetics of aversion. In aversion we find unexpected connections (my own Emersonianism).

7CV Blurb

Here is the blurb I submitted for the Tan Lin 7CV EDIT event Wednesday night at UPenn:

Besides being a book framed by metadata--performing metadata as a dispersal of the book’s ‘substance’--7CV is a creative treatise anthropologizing current administered worlds. As such it exists where the utopian and the dystopian cleave, and where atopia (no place) posits The Open. What can (should?) be salvaged from the apparent judgment day of bar codes, pharmaceuticals, post-disco, Walmart-type 'superstores' and reality programs at the level of the concept and of material practices? 7CV makes us attend the most banal and transparent aspects of contemporary experience with renewed insight and interest. I’ll never view a Post-It note the same. Nor perhaps my experience of waiting at an airport during a flight delay.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior (@ Apex Art)

Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior
by Sreshta Premnath & Thom Donovan

Featuring interviews with artists, scholars, scientists, writers, and theoreticians.

Saturday, May 22: 4-6 pm
291 Church Street, NYC, 10013
t. 212 431 5270

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior (@ Harriet)

I could not imagine a more auspicious person to collaborate on this project with than Premnath, who is currently working on an installation which deals with the ways that monuments project symbolic values and retroactive cultural narratives. Visiting Premnath’s studio a few weeks ago in Sunset Park, Bklyn, upon entering the studio I immediately encountered a statue in the center of the room, covered by packaging materials bound in rope and standing on a wooden crate. Around the center of the room were propped mirrored sign boards upon which images of rope and newspaper photographs were silkscreened. In other incarnations of Premnath’s “monument,” the staue is surrounded by blank sign-boards, as though a particular political content were erased (vanished? forgotten?) or more likely yet-to-be-inscribed. In Premnath’s work, one always moves among multiple durations, historical contexts, and memory circuits, all of which potentialize the present through aesthetic-critical encounter.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Poetics of Distribution, Metadata as Poesis: Tan Lin’s 7CV @ EDIT: Processing Network Publishing (@ Harriet)


"Tags: a poetics that foregrounds problems of data description/retrieval, Additionally, an impromptu workshop will be created (picture a nerdier version of Warhol's Factory), and Gordon Tapper, and the status of the book as an administered object., April 21 on the UPenn campus, as well as Lin's lively interview with Katherine Elaine Sanders at BOMB, blurbs, book arts, Danny Snelson, Danny Snelson has organized an evening to celebrate Tan Lin's recent book publication, Dual Language (Chinese/English) Edition, EDIT: Processing Network Publishing., etc.), graphic design, I include a lengthy excerpt from the interview below., I recommend checking out Lin's Tumblr site, In place of a book launch the event Wednesday seeks to enact and extend a poetics of distribution and/or metadata. Which is to say, In preparation for the event, information distribution, itself a kind of laboratory for a poetics of metadata, Kanban Board/Post-Its, Kristen Gallagher, library science, Lin has been conducting an extensive interview with Christopher W. Alexander, literary theory, Appendix, media studies, micro lecture, PDF, Powerpoint, Q&A (xerox) and a film.", Selectric II interview, Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking [or SVC] through his event series, This coming Wednesday, Through the event, which will be published in its entirety on Wednesday. To give some sense of how Lin himself is thinking about 7CV in relation to the 'future of the book' (a problem which persists across poetics/poetr, which will extend the book through hand-made printed objects as well as digital ones. As the release for the event describes: "[...] the EDIT staff will accompany Tan Lin in the reauthoring and republ, wine/cheese reception"

If Not For This Ocean

And having found
The plane in chunks
Those track marks
Upon what dawn

Comfort us confront
The world with
The things that
Should have been

If not for this ocean
Between consequence
And actions what
Gives life to us

If not for this ocean
Between conscience
And what survives
The dead as wreckage
Revived by semblance.

Without Walls: Kyle Schlesinger Edits ABR


For my contribution to Schlesinger’s gallery, I chose to write on three small presses prominent thruout the aughts (Krupskaya, Factory School, and Palm Press), in terms of my sense of those presses’ "activism." Before my discussion of the presses themselves, I discuss at some length how I see small presses working in general via an activist function in relation to larger, ‘mainstream’ (i.e., hegemonic) cultural discourse. To what extent do the other bloggers here (or readers for that matter) see the press acting to effect socio-political transformation? Given the fate of off-line publishing, how does one view the future of small press activism on the web, and via print on demand and other electronic and psuedo-electronic media? What is the relation between printed matter and the expression of a particular socio-political content and/or idea? How can the book and/or printed matter give way to needed change?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

For Us

Park rots, the possible hope
That it will bring us anything else

Things turn to metaphors
(easier to imagine)
Our ideas become materialized by time

The curation of the museum in contrast
To the neglect of the world

Yet traces social relation
Yet traces the products of culture

For the sake of any one
The good no one needed.


If the buildings stacked
Up on the shore of our perpetrated
Language materialized as what
We could have been

Those you missed the things
You missed in their firstnesses they would seem
To step from out of some portion of the blame
They would say we are actually missed*

How we work would not be whole
Not what we produce or legislate
How this will have been

The only place we could be
Or see so we are called from
Wrecks to light dreaming.

* Some time still seems to be missing us

Creative Speaking: Fiona Templeton (@ Harriet)


"Reading Templeton’s work for over a decade, and attending a handful of her performances in recent years, Templeton’s work is highly original for its process, which uses movement–and speech-based movement primarily–as the principal means of composition. In a tradition which encompasses border ballad, folk song, traditional theatrical elocution, improvisation, Socratic peripatetics, and post-Beat (Burroughs, Ginsberg) composition via tape recorder, Templeton is led by a writing which is simultaneously speech and vice versa–what we would say if we ever knew what we were going say during the discontinuous present of performed utterance. What occurs through Templeton’s poetics is a radical intention defying the autonomy of speech and writing and proving creative expression once again to issue from embodied conditions."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tan Lin Metadata Extravaganza


Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking is Tan Lin’s latest book, or rather, it’s three or four books in one, linked by a Google search, a dilemma, and a tourist’s itinerary. Lin provides a provocative answer to our reading conundrum in a post-book world of Web 2.0: he makes everything into a book.

In a book filled with photos from flea markets, bar codes, and meta data tags, Lin traces the movement from reading books to reading everything everywhere: text messages, RSS feeds, your status updates on Facebook, the Company blog, tapas recipes, Yelp and Netflix user reviews, scribbles on electonic Post-It notes, tags on Flickr, fluttering balloons, and aisle signs.

What used to be called non-reading is the new reading. Lin—an intellectual trickster of a very high order—has written a book that defies categorization. It traps beauty in a bar code, on the back of a moist towelette, and in recipes for moo goo gai pan.

AND ON APRIL 21st 2010, as part of 'EDIT: Processing Network Publishing', organized by Danny Snelson at the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia,

the EDIT staff will accompany Tan Lin in the reauthoring and republication of SCV on the spot in multiple formats.

The event will begin at 1pm and conclude at 7pm. A reception and Q&A is scheduled for 6pm. The works to be published include

Handmade book, PDF, Appendix, Powerpoint, Kanban Board/Post-Its, Blurbs, Dual Language (Chinese/English) Edition, micro lecture, Selectric II interview, wine/cheese reception, Q&A (xerox) and a film.

“Edit: Strategizing Writing Technologies,” organized by Danny Snelson, focuses on editorial strategies and textual conditions in contemporary writing. It is a roving events series pairing innovative performances with focused critical responses toward an exploration of editorial strategies in contemporary writing and the arts. From reframing techniques in conceptual writing to live processing in new media performance, editorial issues of mediated composition seem increasingly pressing.

The events series is distributed in diverse locations around Philadelphia—from institutions such as Slought and the Kelly Writer’s House to smaller venues and galleries throughout the city. An extended argument of editorial theory will relate these diverse locations, with each event expanded online and occasionally drawn together in print or other media.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

What Is Poets Theater? (@ Harriet)


"In anticipation of this Wednesday’s celebration of The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985 (edited by David Brazil and Kevin Killian) at St. Mark’s Church, I asked a handful of poets theater practitioners and scholars to respond to the question, 'What is poets theater?' The following are extensive replies from David Buuck, Rodrigo Toscano, Patrick Durgin, and Corina Copp, preceded by information about Wednesday night’s festivities."

Friday, April 02, 2010

Fuck Death Revisited (@Harriet)


I remember seeing Conrad read for the first time in spring of 2007. Conrad’s best friend, the Philadelphia-based poet Frank Sherlock, had just recovered from a life-threatening illness, a meningitis which he contracted in Philadelphia, and nearly died from. It was Easter weekend at SEGUE series and Conrad said he did not believe in the resurrected Jesus, but that he did believe in the resurrected Sherlock. Conrad’s comment, interjected between readings of poems generated using his (Soma)tic Exercises, was powerful to me for the ways it deflated Easter’s otherworldly promises of salvation and transcendence.

During the poetry reading, Conrad also read a poem in which he intoned “fuck death,” a statement which I took to mean “forget death,” but also that one should have sex with death, that death undergirds life comingling life’s forces with its own. The confluence of living and dying, for Conrad, as for many gay men who grew up in the 80s and 90s, is an unforgettable, if not unforgiveable, reality. An unmistakable melancholy touches many of Conrad’s poems, and especially those poems collected in Deviant Propulsion and The Book of Frank in which people and things that have disappeared are often underscored through their absence—longed for, mourned. In many of Conrad’s poems the inanimate often becomes animated by a spirit of mourning—a longing for ex-lovers, as well as for the victims of sex and gender based crimes. Grief forms the conditions of possibility for action, communication, life loving. Animism grounds impossible return.