Friday, July 22, 2011

Stacy Doris's The Cake Part (Video)

Thom Donovan and Lucy "Labchow" Lasky from Stacy Doris on Vimeo.

The Poetry Foundation has a useful write-up about Stacy Doris's book project with Publication Studio, The Cake Part, which will feature "fantastic" censored literature from the era of Marie Antionette. As Doris tells PF:

The Cake Part is a fantastic redeployment of banned pamphlets from the time of the French Revolution in the form of a book-length poem. Long kept hidden because of their transgressive content, these pamphlets were stored in a secret archive at the Bibilothèque nationale called the enfer (hell). Highly pornographic and formally promiscuous, The Cake Part is an eruption of all the repressed joy and terror of that 18th century revolution, back into our time, into the 21st century. Set in the typography of Web 2.0, the design of this book searches for the modern day equivalents of these banned pamphlets in the virtual networks which aid and abet current revolutionary movements.

The project includes videos of Doris's friend and colleagues reading and performing selections from the book, including a video I shot with my dog, Lucy.

Here is some of what Poetry Foundation has to say:

In a consideration of how best to launch the book, Doris and Matthew Stadler decided to use the revolutionary potential of the internet and ask varied and friendly poets to participate in an online book launch for The Cake Part (which will take place at the Morgan Library in NYC). Doris told us that she was interested in how “online presence is central to the structure of revolutions today, and how in a sense it was in the French Revolution as well, where zines and other networks were key for circulating information and propaganda.”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice with Sanford Biggers

This month's 5 Questions features artist Sanford Biggers:

Time is my recent fascination. By that I mean the effect that time has on history, how past truths are debunked over time through research and new understandings. For example, the New York Times recently reported that Memorial Day actually began on May 1, 1865, when Black workmen re-buried over 250 Union Army casualties and later, with other freedpeople, White missionaries and teachers, staged a 10,000 person parade and celebration.

I’ll provide a few examples from my own work. A few years ago I made a series of chrome plated lawn jockeys based on the story of Jocko Graves. Jocko was a stable boy who sought to fight alongside George Washington. Deemed too young, Jocko was ordered to maintain the stables and keep a lantern lit to guide troops home after battle. One evening, Washington and his troops returned finding Jocko frozen to death, still clenching the lantern. Touched, Washington erected a statue at Mount Vernon honoring Jocko. Later replicas evolved/devolved into the lawn jockeys we are more familiar with before being denounced as derogatory symbols after slavery. Ironically, some lawn jockeys were reportedly used as markers along the Underground Railroad. The three sculptures in the series Jocko, are frozen in a state of emergence and dissolution, symbolizing the conflicted history of Jocko and the lawn jockeys he inspired. Similarly, my recent repurposed quilt drawings entertain the contested history of whether or not quilts were used as “signposts” along the Underground Railroad.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Opposite of Apocalypse

--after Dana Ward's "Diamond"

The beginning of worlds the diamond is
The facet is saved by space
Made coherent by all it isn’t, messianic, an epic

Paper bag over the face
Of the whole world, world-covering
This is the covering of

The world not merely its end
What you affirm by saying it isn’t
Shines radiantly like rest

Or silence when the world recedes
It resembles an ear
When we were not hearing, just listening

This was the soundtrack
To my soul
I say these things because I want to get over

My voice, do the
Voices you do
Waiting for the tape

To cut-off, the lip synch to appear
The body wholly voice
The angle of incidence it comprises

A fire so many have died for
Prismatically a universal bling
Compressed to this singular dedication

The products of culture
Form no ground
To base this love on

Yet they are all we have
Love of what is missed
In the absence of what we never had

Or could possess, this song
We just made up—here it is
The applause sign blinking soundlessly

Before the studio
Audience of our souls
The kind of participation that affect is

Crying tears on the inside
Before they ever shone.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Face

--after C.J. Martin

This disgust that begins with us
Flesh of the wind that is between
The wind and things we are singing

Abjectly, I think that’s how you said it
Belief like a labor like an effect
Paid back to the subject in naked force

When the faces we make fuck us up
When a dress is what you address
The faces we make like sunshine

Might harden, forget our fall into
Mass like a poetry I fight against
Call this resistance, charged into

Symbolic efficacy, forgetting I am
Just flesh, the procedures of the face
Cover it so corrosively the world begins.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Rights of Participation (III)

--after Ryan Trecartin

What path to hell are you seeking
Participation paves it with credit
Object-relations keep saying it
What you are not prepared for and

Dying for this preparation start
Breaking shit that is all we have
Dead labor’s the thing you
Keep spraying all these ghosts

Of Warhol’s 15 minutes the gender
Of Jack Smith’s creatures when
We are not dead labor sings
A blue screen to a jump cut sings

A thousand windows open while
A million others shut
To be the cell phone singularity
To be the corporate second

While the world elapses
While it does not matter this gender
That is no one because it is
Everyone anywhere does us all in

Transcends the body at work
Equals the soul imbibing
Energy drinks, spilling fake blood on
Your friends in this three-way.

This is what they drink in hell
Energy drinks and Listerine
The world shrinks to surplus
Occluded by what we see
In cell phone time in lip synch time
In matted time the teeth
Blacked-out emphasize the poverty
Of zombies, seasons in hell move me
Catastrophes of techniques
Hell of a do-over acting when no
One is listening in this chatroom
A thousand angels and a thousand devils
On the head of a pin number
Like cell phones evoke their reason to exist
When money and affect are one
Long done with the message
Voices that leave messages.