Sunday, March 20, 2011

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (IX)

But I wanted to be in a band, really
And this being in a band (micro politics)
Free of coercion, modeling a world
Free of coercion, would be an exercise
In freedom—the assertion of language as
Freedom, maintained in the world’s total
Construction (still a soundtrack is wanting)
And this would be, the dialogism emergent
In the sampling of the DJ function (love spreads)
Parallel universes to this one (failed) commons
This poverty of how the commons was imagined
Triaxial (Braxton) would sound us to a new mode
Play us out of the fucking little games of power
(that have played us) – unthinkable corners
Of our sociality and affect and work
Kids waiting for it on almost any corner or cornfield
Know it absolutely ordinary, absolutely common
Evental only after the fact (like any uprising in social fact)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (VIII)

Hoping to avoid ‘my’ voice
Traveling any further than social space
Where the ink may dry—ex-
propriation of failure, here is the
Proper way to deal with property
Art thinking presents a whole
New range of problems
Like, hello, the product was autonomous,
Or the voice—only in a new way
There is territory—capital we still
Ain’t delivered from—like
Parodies of Facebook only excel
In obsolescence timed to capital
So this movement started,
Poetry calls voices to battle,
To capital again

Friday, March 18, 2011

Simon Leung's War After War & Wars I Will Have Seen

Simon Leung | War After War
Curated by Rirkrit Tiravanija at CUE Art Foundation
March 24th – May 15th, 2011
Opening reception Thursday, March 24th, 6-8pm

Wars I Will Have Seen | Simon Leung in conversation with Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior (Thom Donovan and Sreshta Rit Premnath)
Saturday, March 26th, 4:00-5:30pm

This event is FREE but RSVPs required, email jessica [dot] gildea [@] cueartfoundation [dot] org to reserve a seat.

“Simon Leung has been redefining the negotiation of territory and boundaries of identity and culture, both in physical and metaphorical ways…Leung has, in his works both past and present, consistently reflected on cultural conditions that run parallel in daily and intellectual life.”
--Rirkrit Tiravanija

The work of Los Angeles-based artist Simon Leung serves as a companion guide for examining the dislocation and disparities that are left in the aftermath of war. Pulling inspiration from objects, people, and writing that have been removed from
their origins—through the effects of time, circumstance or historical violence, or through his own tactical displacements—Leung recombines these parts to form new allegories that parallel and challenge the received meanings of his source material. This amalgamation of historical specificity and against-the-grain interpretation is rendered in ways that both bestow credence to his original subjects, and open new narratives that question their previous certainty. Using video, performance, and other media, Leung obliquely reinvents the war stories of our time.

On view at CUE Art Foundation, Leung’s first solo show in New York since 1996, is a new single-channel video exploring these themes: War after War (2011). Revisiting the artist’s friend and frequent subject/collaborator Warren Niesluchowski, War After War serves as an accompaniment to the an earlier work, Warren Piece (in the ‘70s) from 1993. Niesluchowski, born in a displaced-persons camp in Germany, immigrated to the United States as a child, only to leave again when he became an army deserter during the Vietnam War. During the last decade he has become, in Leung’s words, a “cosmopolitan nomad”, often spending his time as an international houseguest without a permanent home of his own. These periods of transience in Niesluchowski’s life, paired with his original displacement, provided timely inspiration for Leung – it is not coincidence that both of these pieces were created during times of war – the Gulf War and Iraq/Afghan Wars respectively. Indeed both works function as meditations on the dislocation—physical, psychological, ethical—that wars create.

In War After War, the viewer follows Niesluchowski, playing a version of himself, as he wanders through what seems to be a library and a guesthouse of possibly one of his hosts, where he reads, rest, sings “leftist songs” in several languages, and reflects on his collaborations with Leung over the past twenty years. Throughout the video are voiceover readings from Immanuel Kant’s essay “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch”, a text which considers the possibility of a world beyond war. For Kant, “peace” is a difficult, if not impossible ideal, given that that “the state of nature is rather a state of War.” This is where Leung’s work steps in – taking its audience to the place where ethical ideals and war’s remains look upon themselves, and we are left to consider the ramifications of wars, and to imagine the (im)possibility of living otherwise.

For additional information, please contact Ryan Thomas, Programs Coordinator, CUE Art Foundation, 212-206-3583, or email ryan [dot] thomas [at] cueartfoundation [dot]org

Thursday, March 17, 2011

5 Questions (for Contemporary Practice) with Colectivo Situaciones (@ Art21)

Here goes a feature I did on the Argentinian group, Colectivo Situaciones, at Art21 blog. A BIG THANKS to Brian Whitener who translated Colectivo Situaciones's responses to my questionnaire, acted as go-between, and helped me to proofread the feature. The feature draws largely upon the book he helped to translate from the Spanish, Genocide in the Neighborhood, which documents various groups in Latin American who have practiced what is known as "escrache," a process of achieving direct social justice through community-based rituals of public shaming.

Militant investigation, the practice we developed along with other collectives, was in this moment not only a mode of composition with these and other experiences but, at the same time, a means of intervening in the field of the production of knowledge and political hypotheses. The combination of all these impulses and practices under a form of horizontal cooperation brought the neoliberal project in Argentina to crisis, which became a massive insurrection in December of 2001, and caused a deep historical shift in Argentina and across the region.
--Colectivo Situaciones

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shoptalk series and links @ Open Space

The following is a reposting of some links at the SFMoMA's blog, Open Space, edited by Suzanne Stein. For a series Stein is doing called "Shoptalk," which is "focused on survival strategies artists develop and adopt to gain recognition and financial viability." A nice little bibliography if you ask me:

Hakim Bey, T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone: Poetic Terrorism
Brandon Brown’s Bohemia of Finances series.
Holland Cotter, “The Boom Is Over. Long Live the Art!” New York Times, February 12, 2009
The Culture, Creativity, and Communities (CCC) Program at the Urban Institute, “Investing in Creativity: Support Structure for U.S. Artists,” 2003
Thom Donovan, “Art Strike Anyone”?
The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2009).
Paul Lafargue, “The Right to be Lazy,” 1883
Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), “Artists and the Recession,” May 2010,
Chantal Mouffe “Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces,” in Art and Research, Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2007
National Governors’s Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices; “Arts and the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development,” 2007
Bob Projansky and Seth Siegelaub, The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971, included in the Documenta 5 catalogue

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (VII)

Blows the armor off
Our dance, conversation, amour—
So show me whose blogging
Nowadays? What this is for, the subject
Losing control again—call this
Communal noise what won’t be shared
Names the grave already a trace
Where you put it the sound of space-
Time occluded where you put it
Our hearts beat diachronous like breaks
Over beats, wild styling this Lefebvrian city
Paris 1968, Paris 1871, Egypt 2011
And Vancouver forever, Cincinnati,
Friends of poetry

Saturday, March 12, 2011

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (VI)

Sound blows the armor off
And love remains from fire
Or rather phonemics
Like they were making space up
As they went along phonemics
The place where the voice
Is playing me a prosody of disaster
The regret in this light
Too bright like bad faith
Discovers command—
Expropriated camp and blues,
A reappropriation you can feel, pours
This discovery over horns
And chicken scratch skronk
Of a voice circa 1979
Birth certificate of No Wave
Apotheosis of punk

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dan Thomas-Glass on The Clipse's "Mr. Me Too"

The rap act that would turn out to have gotten the decade right was another regional product—Virginia Beach, Virginia’s The Clipse. Lauded and derided for their uncompromising “coke rap” approach, the duo’s lead single for their 2006 album Hell Hath No Fury was called “Mr. Me Too.” Whereas early Clipse videos (like “When the Last Time” and “Grindin’”) featured “local” spots like pizza parlors, bars, and projects, in the “Mr. Me Too” video the action is decidedly nowhere. Or, more precisely, it takes place in the sublimely blank world of capital circulation. The three major locations for the video are on the tarmac in front of a jet, in a blank white room, and, where else? Standing in front of $100 bills (see fig. 4). Like the Neptunes production that defines The Clipse sound, the video is vacant, full of empty spaces. The city is nowhere to be seen—the closest thing to it a stove sitting on the tarmac, a metonym for the cocaine that is itself just a metaphor for money. Elsewhere in the video women dance in front of different candy-colored screens like echoes of the iPod advertisements, circulating in the tumbler of image consumption in the age of digital music reproduction. In a different song on the album the chorus chants “Hello new world / here we come on our Twinkie Trains / with my man screaming ‘we’re on our way.’” Where we’re going isn’t the point, any more than where we’re from—what The Clipse understand, what is clear as day in the globalized present, is that the world is new, and movement is the only thing left resembling life.

General Strike, Now!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

An Archive of Eyes (@ Stretcher)

Here's a link to a little poem I wrote after Fred Tomaselli's paintings, at the invitation of Part of a larger feature of writers on artists called See/Saw.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Others Letters :: Steven Farmer and Nathan Johnson

Check-out the latest Others Letters, featuring poems and correspondence by Steven Farmer and Nathan Johnson, who via an anagram generator called "Anagramania" mediate a current semiotic terrain of NeoCon fascism in the US, with warm and exuberant interludes about baseball, friendship, and much else.

"Two friends, recently reconnected after over ten years apart, begin an online correspondence: one in California (Farmer), the other (Johnson, a Seattle native) in Budapest, Hungary. Shared interests lead to an ad-hoc collaborative writing project involving constraint-based texts on the subjects of baseball, expatriate-ism, and the recent rise of the Tea Party in the US."

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (V)

Is this the barely
Chiaroscuro of our moon-
like privacy breaking like
Our hearts privately
Into beams?

I want to be in a band,
A poetry band, this is for you
This wreckage Bruce and
Melissa, unlikely pair
Of you tonight

Anarchy of your
Alternative gathering spaces,
Aggressive affect and calm
The person starts again
From pure sound

Materiality of sound,
We are shock effects,
Hypnosis heard through
Orange command, holes we were
Sucked through

On our way to being,
Into another future, I want
To get this armor off
But rhetoric sticks
To substance

Like a permanent
War of subjects, where it wasn’t
Clear who or what was subject,
Just that sense ignited
Some sense of us.

Monday, March 07, 2011

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (IV)

I want to be in a band, man
Like Rimbaud wanted to be in a band
Or more likely wanted to be like all this stuff
The barricades were filled up with
During the Paris Commune, or so I imagine
After Kristin Ross’s The Emergence of Social Space
Which my friend Dana turned me onto,
All that we are the lived duration of our sociality is like
Those barricades made in such a way
That all of these meanings—the meaning of
Our work and life—seem temporary, mutable and arbitrary, yet full.
I want to be in a band
I want to be full like those barricades are full
I want my life to have meaning—or measure?—
Like those barricades have meaning and measure
The whole world thinking about how it is being made
That would be a politics to strive to create.
The whole world represented by its being made, through its being made.
Gives up art to be a worker.
Gives up art to be an (art) worker.
Gives up politics for life.
Because life becomes politics.
I want to be in band, not just a group, definitely not just any public.
Because, as Fred Moten says, there has never been a public
That wasn’t denied to most of us, most people.
The public is what has been historically defined
By its exclusion of certain people and not others.
What would be a public
That didn’t exclude us and others?
A band then? A really big band?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (III)

But I want to be in a band, still
Some unresolved, unforeclosed sociality
(That singing is) (That being in a band is)
Going down like Rimbaud, say
To announce an end to which pronouns
To announce the organs unformed by work
That begin in our play—
To prove that these hands are made and unmade
By the music any one makes
Who is not just ‘me’ singing
Through the violence of that voice
Or a name we impose
On something when we feel
It is special, particular—like a band
Needs a name, like one feels they need to
Distribute this feeling for being in a band
Protean form of revolt, like a public
Not quite public yet, in an assembly of notes—
Like a ‘people’ forms a public—these notes.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (II)

The DJ functions like love
To spread these petals difference
To see we don’t sing too sweetly
The stench of common sense
Wasted on your lips
Kissing me into which future
Like an ark of horns I
Haven’t heard
Because I can’t, I cant
With ears blown off
With an archive like
The tides are rising too
Into song and all those little islands they will
Only seem to rise to it, drowned
These waves like a wall of sound
This is the remix of a disaster hymn
I made when no one could hum immune
Or even probably hear me

Friday, March 04, 2011

from All I Want is to be in a Band, Man (I)

I just want to be in a band, man
And play anything ourselves out of here
Hear these tones like water stutters water
Like sunk ships suture the social or social
History was what we were immersed in
I hear your voice on the other side of disaster
What plays its way out of disaster
Just like it wanted to be, just like it wanted
To be in a band, convince us we are living
In a different future-past because the tones
The political economy of noise with its puncture
Of the present might wake/make a plinth
Through this struggle to be all-too-human
Come back from these feeling tones—
Assemblage, stutter, DJ function

Review of Xavier Le Roy's "Self Unfinished" (@ The Brooklyn Rail)

Here is a link to a little review I wrote about Xavier Le Roy's recent performance of his Self Unfinished at MoMA:

Xavier Le Roy’s Self Unfinished, which I viewed in a packed audience at the Museum of Modern Art in early February, is among a series of works by Le Roy exploring the limits of what, recalling Baruch Spinoza, a “body can do.” Given Le Roy’s background in biology (he holds a Ph.D. in that field), one cannot help but think about the influence of the “hard sciences” on his choreography. This is especially true in Self Unfinished, where one encounters a body that evolves from a robotic state to a post-human one. This dramatic evolution attempts to imagine the choreographic body as radically “other”—destabilized by certain uses of costume, movements, blocking, and props.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Arthur Echo at Zebulon: reading with CAConrad

I will be reading with CAConrad from our collaboration, Arthur Echo, next Tuesday, March 8th at Zebulon Cafe in Williamsburg, Bklyn at 7PM. Many thanks to Roger Van Vorhees for organizing the reading.