Monday, May 28, 2012

5 Questions for Contemporary Practice with Melanie Gilligan (at Art21 blog)

"When I made Popular Unrest I suppose I opened up a Pandora’s Box by experimenting in creating non-individual subjects – i.e. I developed that film using acting workshops in which I asked the group of actors to work together to make up different aspects of a particular person or of an emotional state. I was trying to push for a breakdown of individual, separate characters and to see if I could depart from making the type of drama that is premised on this separation. I didn’t get all the way there by any means but I think I made some headway. But now with this new film the questions that arise from the premise are potentially more difficult to handle – e.g. what would feeling someone else’s feelings mean, and how do I as a filmmaker represent it? These questions are challenging but fascinating because thinking them through has implications beyond the construction of the film to broader inquiry pertaining to political solidarity and collectivity."
--Melanie Gilligan

David Brazil, Sara Larsen, and Robert Kocik at The Multifarious Array

The final event of the 2011/12 series is upon us...

All I want is to be in a band (at The Brooklyn Rail)

Thanks to Anselm Berrigan for printing (and posting) my long poem, "All I want is to be in a band," at The Brooklyn Rail this past month.

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

Damn the Caesars: Crisis Inquiry (essay)

ed. Richard Owens



Michael Cross • Andrew Rippeon • John Wilkinson • Luke Roberts • Laura Kilbride • Brenda Iijima • Marianne Morris • Edgar Garcia • David Rich • Nat Raha • Ryan Dobran • Josh Stanley • Reitha Pattison • Joe Luna • Emily Critchley • Robert Sheppard • Richard Owens


Recent poetry, prose and lecture notes from Halpern | critical comments on Halpern by John Wilkinson, Thom Donovan, Kevin Killian, Brenda Iijima, Tyrone Williams, Samuel Vriezen, Kenneth Jacobs and Lee Spinks | bibliographic checklist of writing from and on Halpern.


Recent poetry, email and essays from Sutherland | critical comments on Sutherland by Josh Stanley, Neil Pattison, Robin Purves and Laura Kilbride | annotated worksheet on Hot White Andy by Justin Katko | bibliographic checklist of writing from and on Sutherland.


The full text of Sean Bonney's Four Letters Four Comments (including responses from Jennifer Cooke, Pocahontis Mildew, Danny Hayward and Lara Buckerton) and Frances Kruk's Down You Go, or, Négation de Bruit are reprinted here as they appeared through Punch Press in 2011.

For Terry

When the sky is falling
And your baby is walking reluctantly

Who won’t stop talking
Until the sky is right again

Tex Mex is on you
Why doesn’t this water look right

Our videos are a commons
Cows bring on a welcome lethargy

When a town becomes you
When you stop wishing

When you step back from the video
What’s the angle

What’s relational
The grass for real and the video of the grass

Do not a public make
Who is a commons at the movies, at the video

Sings a song like it could become common
Waste was only the beginning now where will they put it

Stuff it up their asses
Neither Democrat or Republican

Light beer won’t overtake you
New Wave done as Honky Tonk

Love for the student is a virtue
Let the video lose control again

Stop the waste water Machiavellian
Fuck the filtration of what should be good

Capture the sky, put a little here
Who think about process their life becomes a process 

Against control
Let the video lose control again

Say goodnight like a shout out to the world
Sleep is your megaphone

All that is good little one
This shift from alarm to infancy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Lana Del Rey’s Video Games its post-
Exceptionist decadence like a sublime
Glitch flickering within the silent arrest

Of this system of social wealth tattoos
The hand yellow the soul it looks like a magik
Marker smudge commemorating where

The hand fractured the ethical is aesthetic
Because we are in this bright and fading
Light of spring Arthur who I didn’t know

Before we were introduced this sunlight
Occupies us art becomes a sudden dis-
traction when it is all we can seem to know


Can we march there differentiated like
The police outnumber demonstrators what
The fuck’s with that

From sunlight do we come back
From white cuffs and being here
In piss and piss-colored sunlight
Unmediated by

Can we march there differentiated like
This DIY-ness wasn’t necessitated
By the lack of a WPA in 2009

Like we couldn’t make some way better art
Where is the conscience that defies
Social contracts?


A group of folks in the future
That is not prophecy but description

The constant monotone buzz that is Empire
To be otherworldly in this world

Bodies in movement producing sound--both lover and loved
The clock of one protocol with another

To allow an inner-freedom in ourselves
And others conditions freedom externally

Freedom that is the result of an in-
exhaustible desire to be capable of response.*

*with some language from Fred Moten

Thursday, May 17, 2012

MONDO BUMMER Reading for Boog City

MONDO BUMMER authors Jedidiah Clarke, Thom Donovan, Brenda Iijima, Lauren Ireland, Lily Ladewig, Nate Logan, Kendra Grant Malone, Thurston Moore, Matthew Savoca, Sparrow, Leigh Stein, Adam Tobin, Zack Tuck, and Anna Vitale are reading at ACA Galleries in New York City on Tuesday, May 29. This free event starts at 6 p.m. sharp, and features a performance by Brooklyn's own La Défense. The reading is presented by Boog City, as part of the d.a. levy lives: celebrating the renegade press series. 

ACA Galleries address is: 529 West 20th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10011

Monday, May 07, 2012

Our Occupations (after the Occupations): with Kathy Westwater

Something I am wondering about kind of broadly is how your practices might have changed since the beginning of the occupations, if we can mark this beginning in the fall of 2011 (the occupations obviously having their immediate precedent in the Middle East and Europe).

Do you think it may be possible to speak to this a bit? […] Succinctly, in a paragraph or two? Maybe it has had no perceivable effect, which is fine of course, and in which case you might talk about why it is important to maintain what you are doing parallel to (or beyond?) current social movements and political events.

Manhattan skyline behind PARK performers on North Mound at Fresh Kills (credit Marina Zamalin)

By Choreographer Kathy Westwater

When Occupy Wall Street began last year I was deeply entrenched in a creative residency on Staten Island at the Fresh Kills landfill, site and subject of PARK—an interdisciplinary performance project with collaborators Jennifer Scappettone and Seung Jae Lee—as it undergoes a 30-year transformation into a park.

Work on PARK began in 2008 during a residency in California around the time that the first tent cities started cropping up in municipal parks there, and my research immediately began to encompass non-recreational residential behavior in parks. 

I was in fact deeply obsessed with the collapsing economy, having spent 2010 doing extensive research to understand the derivatives market, including how we managed collectively to have not known about something so massively detrimental to us all. That research got channeled into the performance/lecture “Deriva-trivia”.

Door to The Vault, 14 Wall Street (credit Kathy Westwater)

Throughout my time working at Fresh Kills in fall 2011, Wall Street felt very present, like a part of or extension of the landfill. The financialization of the processes of making and doing that feed our global culture of consuming and enable the materialization of monuments to waste, Fresh Kills being the archetype, link the two sites, as well as the fact that one can see downtown Manhattan from Fresh Kills. Unsurprisingly yet still worth noting, one cannot see Fresh Kills from Wall Street.

Work on PARK since April 1 this year has occurred while in residence in a former vault in the basement of 14 Wall Street, a building right across the street from the New York Stock Exchange and around the corner from Zuccotti Park. This former vault has been “occupied” by artists for about five years via the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Residency Program.

The Vault, as it’s been dubbed, is essentially two floors of office space that you access through a set of massive steel doors. I imagine what used to inhabit this space was mostly a whole lot of paper that held a whole lot of value and that now doesn’t hold value as efficiently as electronic ones and zeros, hence the handing over of this seemingly valuable, yet apparently not, real estate to artists.

Dance Studio in The Vault (credit Kathy Westwater)

Last week as I finished a rehearsal at 14 Wall Street, the artists coming in after me said that demonstrators were being lead away in handcuffs outside. When I got to the street I turned east in the direction of the audible sounds of protest nearby. A few doors down, on the steps of Federal Hall, there were protestors holding signs, drumming, and addressing one another and people assembling. There were so many barricades and police it was not possible to engage with the protesters. I could barely see them. But what I could see of them and of the agents of the state looked highly performative.

That the police used Department of Sanitation trucks to cordon off the street, didn’t escape my attention, nor that Federal Hall is overseen by the National Park Service.

Protestors and Police in front of Federal Hall, Wall Street (credit Kathy Westwater)

Two days later I received a letter from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council saying that the landlord of 14 Wall Street was withdrawing LMCC’s access to 14 Wall Street and that all the artists who were working in the Vault would have to vacate, cutting short a six-month residency by five months.

While I don’t want to say here that the termination of artists’ access to the Vault had directly to do with the protest activity, I will say that throughout the making of PARK I have experienced a perceptual and temporal integration among the phenomena of bankers causing financial meltdowns, economists ineffectually anticipating economic disaster, homeless living in parks, protestors occupying public spaces, police attempting to contain protestors, unaccountable politicians, artists working in underutilized and marginal spaces, and parks being built on former landfill sites.
NYC Department of Sanitation truck blockading street at protest site on Wall Street (credit Kathy Westwater)

To view previous contributions to this survey click here

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Our Occupations... (at Harriet)

For National Poetry Month at Harriet I conducted a survey with the following prompt:

Something I am wondering about kind of broadly is how your practices might have changed since the beginning of the occupations, if we can mark this beginning in the fall of 2011 (the occupations obviously having their immediate precedent in the Middle East and Europe).

Do you think it may be possible to speak to this a bit? […] Succinctly, in a paragraph or two? Maybe it has had no perceivable effect, which is fine of course, and in which case you might talk about why it is important to maintain what you are doing parallel to (or beyond?) current social movements and political events.

Here are links to those who contributed to the survey:

Stephen Collis and Steve Benson
Brian Whitener and Richard Owens
Brian Ang and Ana Božičević
David Buuck
Suzanne Stein and Anna Vitale
Dan Thomas Glass and Lauren Levin
Anelise Chen
Lara Durback
Jeanine Webb
Jennifer Scappettone

Stay tuned for more!