Tuesday, October 30, 2007

President's Choice Release Party this Saturday

From Steve Zultanski, editor of the awesome new journal Presidents Choice:

Hi all,

Just letting you know that on Nov. 3 in NYC there's going to be a great reading to launch the first issue of President's Choice magazine.

The readers:

Rodrigo Toscano
Kim Rosenfield
Kareem Estefan
Brian Kim Stefans
Robert Fitterman
Lawrence Giffin
Lauren Spohrer

All appearing at:

The 169 Bar (169 East Broadway) in Manhattan,
on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 5:30 - 8

[Google Map]

The cost is a whopping $5 (five dollars).

Hope to see each and every one of you there.

In the meantime, President's Choice is still available right here:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Christian Marclay at Anthology Film Archives

by Christian Marclay

Image track: BLOW-UP (1966) by Michelangelo Antonioni.
Sound track: BLOW OUT (1981) by Brian De Palma.

"The creative premise of UP AND OUT is stupefyingly simple. Christian Marclay lifts the picture from Antonioni's BLOW-UP and the soundtrack from De Palma's BLOW OUT (two movies which are not unrelated, the former about photography and latent voyeurism, the latter about sound recording and latent eavesdropping) and thrusts these partial cinematic systems along unaccustomed courses of solitude. Each has been forcibly divorced from the sounds or images of a now-absent partner, towards which its structure and meaning were originally devised. In Marclay's video, they never quite conjoin but relentlessly, and independently, hurry ahead to their assigned ends. The clandestine liaisons which they occasionally seem to carry on, vertically across time, occur only as conjurations of the spectator's imagination... "UP AND OUT is a Cage-ian gambit, a forcing together by chance of two readymade elements which do not necessarily belong in the same space. The thematic and rhythmic kinship of one film to another (De Palma was a terrific student of his predecessors) makes the coincidences all the more delectable and persuasive. Marclay reveals the formulization of cinema to stand outside our conventional notions of time. We are invited to introduce our memories - the experience of watching movies, perhaps the experience of watching these movies - complex temporal engagements which we habitually suspend in the cinema. With UP AND OUT, Marclay submits the vectors of time to perceptible scrutiny."
-Ben Portis, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Published in CHRISTIAN MARCLAY: CINEMA, Oakville Galleries, Oakville (Ontario) 2000.

Friday night screening only: Film critic Amy Taubin will be present for a conversation with Christian Marclay following the screening.
Upcoming Showings:

* Sunday Oct 28 8:00 PM
* Saturday Oct 27 8:00 PM
* Friday Oct 26 8:00 PM

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lawrence Giffin on Ceptuetics

Here's yesterday's show,
Lawrence Giffin is the series editor of The Physical Poets Home Library, a small-run journal featuring various American poetry communities' self-edited work. He read from the manuscript Applied Traumatics, which examines the nature of language, child sexuality, and privation through the figures of Christ, Helen Keller, and "Genie," the 'feral' child of Arcadia, California. He also read short pieces from another manuscript, as well as work by Marie Buck, Brad Flis, and Steven Zultanski, as featured in Physical Poets Issue One. You can find out more about the Physical Poets journal at physicalpoetry.blogspot.com.

Links to archived shows are now permanent. You can also find Rob Fitterman's reading here for good.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Apologies for the delay, here's the latest ceptuetics.

1. Xavier Gautier - Lydia (Notre Travail Benefique, 2001)
2. Dick Higgins - Omnia Gallia (1980)
3. Edwin Torres - E Man's Proclamation (The PoPedology of an Ambient Language, Atelos)
4. Jena Osman - Dropping Leaflets (2001)
5. Bob Cobbing - Suesequence (Konkrete Canticle, 1971)
6. Craig Dworkin - from Strand (Roof, 2005)
7. Aram Saroyan - Crickets (10 + 2 = 12: American Text-Sound Pieces, 1965)

The following day, I saw Aram Saroyan read "Crickets" at Poets House, where he was speaking along with Elaine Equi on the topic of minimalist poetry. It remained a beautiful piece, with the mimetic "ts" sound slowly detaching itself from the rest of the word to fill the room with a noise sadly absent in New York City.

"Crickets" is not only equally effective on the page and in performance, but remarkably, each presentation reveals something about the other. I was disappointed to hear that some of my other favorite Saroyan poems - "sky/every/day" or "a leaf/left/by the/cat/I guess" - sounded rushed and lost the visual elements when he read them. Many people have remarked that Aram Saroyan: Complete Minimal Poems is an amazingly fast read, and I also went through its 250 or so pages in about 15 minutes, but there is something unnerving in watching Saroyan read one of his poems while holding the following page open. Saroyan compared his poems with only one word to Warhol's images of celebrities, and in the same way we react to a beautiful and familiar face, I think it's important to stare at Saroyan's words for as long as we want.

Still, that's only one of many reactions I had in watching one of my favorite poets read pieces he had been good and done with for forty years. He told us that by 1967 he had abandoned the minimal poem, and in recent years has not written poetry at all, except for one piece prompted by the release of his Complete Minimal Poems. This poem, entitled "Autobiography", begins with the words "1943, 1944, 1945" and yes, continues through "2005, 2006, 2007." On the page, I don't think it would be very interesting at this point in Saroyan's career, but it was a wonderfully performative autobiography. Saroyan looked down at the podium during the 40s, looked up at the audience after '49 to announce with a chuckle "I've got this piece memorized," then slowly read through the following 58 words with his attention divided between the audience and the podium, his voice faltering at times so that despite the inevitability of the piece, there was actually a tense feeling that we might not arrive at the present year. Most of what we know and celebrate about Saroyan ends with the 1960s, and in a discussion that largely stayed fixed in a moment of Warhol, Kerouac, and Creeley, "Autobiography" was both a chillingly blank and expressive look at what followed.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Rob Fitterman reads and talks poetics

Here's an mp3 of yesterday's show. Rob read from two new manuscripts, Sprawl (Metropolis 31-40) and Rob the Plagiarist, and answered my questions about his use of appropriated language, his development towards the long poem/book format, and aspects of his genre-annihilating work with visual artist Dirk Rowntree, War: the Musical (Subpress).

Rob Fitterman on ceptuetics

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Rob Fitterman performance tonight

Rob Fitterman will be appearing on ceptuetics tonight to read from his new manuscript "Rob the Plagiarist" and talk to me about his poetry. Rob teaches at NYU and has been a great influence and friend since I took a course with him last year, so I'm very happy to have him as my first guest. Tune in tonight at 7:30-8:00 EST, as always.

A bio:
Robert Fitterman is the author of nine books of poetry, including three installments of his ongoing poem Metropolis: Metropolis 1-15 (Sun & Moon Press, 2000), Metropolis 16-29 (Coach House Books, 2002), and Metropolis XXX: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edge Books, 2004). Earlier titles include Leases (Periphery Press), among the cynics (Singing Horse Press) and Ameresque (Buck Downs Books). His most recent title, War, the musical, is a collaboration with artist Dirk Rowntree. He teaches at New York University in both the General Studies Program and the Department of English, and also the writing faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College.