1st january 2000
391 was reborn at 12:00:00 am, 01/01/00. Self-consciously returned to the blank slate, 391 is a child of the new, whatever and wherever that has been. Each second from now takes us further from the nostalgic nineties into the naughty naughties, 00's. This double-zero (like James Bond) has a licence to kill, and kill it must: the prophets and pariahs of postmodernism, the charlatans and egoists of art, the shallowing social relations of the DisUnited Kingdom.
391 does not formulate these ideas, anticipating or creating critical analyses. Instead the words are a call to arms, to rescue the written word from a downward spiral into insignificance - a fall hastened by the pedestrian musings of once critical artists who have slipped into establishment.
The word is a mirror to the world. It must be allowed to grow and adapt, to find new forms of production and distribution.
391 is a mirror to the word. To do this it asks you to COMMUNICATE. In the last millennium the static dementia of the monologue held sway. When theorists realised a truth (that possible readings of a text are exactly as numerous as the number of readers) they condemned the audience to a sub-scientific laboratory testing of responses, tastes and desires. The guinea pigs were taught how to abandon their values and become part of a new process of generalisations, custom-built averages to determine fashionable consumption patterns. The definition of consumption itself grew to encompass/cater for/exploit those areas of culture which once were able to question. Now the mouth of art moves, but it has nothing to say.
We ask you to move from monologue to dialogue. What do you think?
Go further than this: turn dialogue into the mirror itself. Your words will create discussions or cause confusions; they will be misunderstood, mistranslated, or left for another to participate in the dialogue. These dialogues, and the processes that inform them, can be impartial lights to illuminate ourselves, your selves, and create spaces where the word can find new form.
We don't know who our explorers are, nor how many there will be; we don't know if we will agree with what they say, or even if they will say anything at all. What will you decide to do after reading this word?
Throw it away, leave it in a random place, post it to someone you don't know.
Send us your emails: incomprehensible ramblings, ideas and inventions, instructions, deconstructions, illusions and confusions, delusions and deletions. You'll find us receptive.
BLAST-UP is an interactive installation that revisits, recreates and updates the ambivalent British response to continental avant-garde intrusions of the early twentieth century. A cross between Vorticist manifesto and retro shoot-em-up, it combines playful techniques from contemporary digital poetry with insights from the study of early twentieth century modernist literature. Its aim is to educate users, through their participation in the game, in the spirit and products of compromised and quintessentially British responses to iconoclasm in European arts and culture.
BLAST-UP! Is a computer game, a poem and a tribute to Vorticism, the English response to continental avant-garde provocations in the years just before the First World War.
Conceived by Katy Price and designed, programmed and realised by Chris Joseph, BLAST-UP! is loaded with vocabulary drawn from sources in British mass culture such as Heat Magazine and the Daily Mirror.
The player of BLAST-UP! fires at these invading words as they swarm across the screen, accumulating a list of ‘Blessed’ and ‘Blasted’ terms.
At game over, BLAST-UP! prints a manifesto in the style of the short-lived Vorticist publication, Blast, produced by Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis from 1912-1914.
BLAST-UP! has been created to bring the spirit and ideas of Vorticism into contact with a wider audience. It also aims to extend the capacities of digital poetry, by exploring the extent of reader / user involvement in creating output and supplying input names and terms.
BLAST-UP! needs your vocab suggestions: please post them here as comments – thank you!
The director's blog, temporary home (& working title) of a historical documentary on Japanese noise music and the avant garde.
A New Planning Forum to “Free People’s Minds”: Building a Vision for Buffalo’s Waterfront
“This is not your typical policy meeting. This is about inspiration”
“If you can create a process that’s democratic and inclusive, the product will be one that will be lasting- and that all people will buy into…” -Mark Goldman.
We’re inspired by the work of this highly-motivated group of people in Buffalo, NY who insist on moving away from big, “look-at-me” designs and toward lower-cost, creative interventions that will bring immediate improvements to their under-used waterfront.
Mark Goldman, one of Buffalo’s biggest zealous nuts, along with a creative team of unlikely partners, hosted a 2-day Forum in November 2010 called “Aspirations and Inspirations” to kick-off a visioning process to re-invent Buffalo’s former industrial waterfront as a multi-use public destination sustained by local artists and businesses.
To us, events like these signal a shift away from the traditional master planning process and towards a new, place-based agenda to transform our cities. Instead of a standard design charrette, Buffalo kicked things off with a festival meant to send a message “to the decision makers that there are other ways to think about planning our waterfront.”
Three local artists were each commissioned to create a piece for the occasion, including a waterfront soundscape created by Bryan Wanzer, a metaphorical mime and puppet show by Michele Costa, and sculptural work by Dennis Maher. Every aspect of the event, as Mark Goldman explained, was intended to bring “more creative thinking, more imaginative, more artistic point of view to the way we think about the waterfront.”
Aspirations and Inspirations united a diverse group of local stake holders, including artists, curators, teachers, librarians, business people; in short, “the whole range of men and women who are active in this community.” Involving creative people at the outset of planning discussions, before moving onto policy debates, can set a new course for all aspects of future development.
PPS’ Fred Kent was there to contribute his expertise and encourage Buffalo to seek “lighter, quicker, cheaper” solutions.
Tony Goldman, Mark’s brother and CEO of Goldman Properties, toured the waterfront site and joined Fred in offering his expertise on ways to recognize the potential of under-performing urban areas and transform them into some of a city’s most frequented and beloved destinations. The National Trust recognized Tony’s work with the Crownshield Award for his historic preservation efforts.
Some interventions will be put in place as early as this summer
As Buffalo’s Business First reports, ideas for short-term improvements that emerged from these sessions were recently aired by directors of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and plans are already in the works to get them off the ground, and fast. Here are just a few of the lighter, quicker, cheaper interventions Buffalo is considering:
Buffalo’s Mayor, Byron Brown, who sits on the ECHDC board, emphasized the city is looking for quick wins that will build a great destination over the long term. “These are all part of a great process that really engaged the public,” said Brown. “What we have to do is to see which ideas will work the best and which ones we can bring together in the quickest manner to give us a vibrant waterfront.”
We think Buffalo is leading the way in getting away from behind-closed-doors discussion among officials and policy-makers and towards an inclusive, imaginative, and democratic process for creating great places.
We want to hear from you: tell us about the creative, citizen-led campaigns that are transforming your city!
The Horse Hospital is a three tiered progressive arts venue in London providing an encompassing umbrella for the related media of art, film, fashion, literature and music.
It provides a unique and distinctive arts and artist-led environment in which the arts can flourish for the benefit of local residents, tourists, visitors and practitioners.
As the only independent arts venue of its type in the UK, there is both a duty to aim for the broadest possible access to the arts across a broad range of artistic activity and practice; and an opportunity to encourage risk, innovation and experimentation.
The building its exhibitions, and events attract over 5000 visitors per year. Seventeen years on and with a huge archive of rare films and access to a definitive wealth of underground artists, performance artists, filmmakers, alternative musicians, photographers, fashion designers, and writers who participate in its success, The Horse Hospital is now firmly established in the London arts and fashion industries.
Prestigious organisations such as the BFI, the Hayward Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Barbican Centre, the Shishedo Gallery in Tokyo, and the Brooklyn Museum of Modern Art in New York have all worked in conjunction with The Contemporary Wardrobe, The Chamber of Pop Culture and kinoKULTURE over the years giving the Horse Hospital international recognition.
The main aims of The Horse Hospital are :
• To provide a interactive space allowing for free flow and flux between the related media of film, fashion, art and music.
• To be driven by artistic and community priorities not financial gain.
• To be an advocate for the importance and potential of the arts in everyone’s life, and the empowerment of communities of interest, identity and place.
• To promote at all times the values of partnership and synergy across art forms and artistic practise
• To be flexible, proactive and responsive to ensure that new opportunities are explored and exploited, to provide the best possible service for delivering the arts, and to challenge existing practice
• To provide a positive and supportive environment for staff, users, visitors which encourages shared philosophy and working practices
The Horse Hospital is London’s longest running, truly independent arts venue creating an alternative, celebrating irreverence, individualism, anti-conformism, sincerity and integrity. Championing the outsider, the unfashionable, the other. Rejecting professionalism, strategy, power and selling out, rejecting the market, the secondary market and the homogenisation it breeds furiously. Embracing the DIY, the independent, the difficult, the intuitive, the romantic and the life affirming. This ethos is strongly reflected in the programming of our gallery, The Chamber of Pop Culture, our film program, kinoKULTURE and various events.
POETRY WITHOUT SOUND
POETRY WITHOUT SOUND. Even in its early, tentative stages, the signing poetry emerging as an aspect of the "culture of the deaf" challenges some of our cherished preconceptions about poetry and its relation to human speech. ASL or Ameslan (American Sign Language) represents, literally, a poetry without sound and, for its practitioners, a poetry without access to that experience of sound as voice that we've so often taken as the bedrock of all poetics and all language. In the real world of the deaf, then, language exists as a kind of writing in space and as a primary form of communication without reference to any more primary form of language for its validation. It is in this sense a realization of the ideogrammatic vision of a Fenollosa -- "a splendid flash of concrete poetry" -- but an ideogrammatic language truly in motion and, like oral poetry, truly inseparable from its realization in performance. (Ethnopoetic analogues -- for those who would care to check them out -- include Hindu and Tantric mudras, Plains Indian and Australian Aborigine sign languages, and Ejagham [southeastern Nigerian] "action writing": a history of human gesture languages that would enrich our sense of poetry and language, should we set our minds to it.)
An early and seminal account of ASL poetry, "Poetry without Sound" by Edward S. Klima and Ursula Bellugi, appeared in Jerome & Diane Rothenberg"s Symposium of the Whole: A Range of Discourse Toward an Ethnopoetics (1983), currently out-of-print. Michael Davidson"s "Hearing Things" and Dirksen Bauman"s "Redesigning Literature," presented here, are both scheduled to appear in the long awaited Signing the Body Poetic: Essays in American Sign Language from The University of California Press.
Source:Rothenberg, J. POETRY WITHOUT SOUND. Retrieved from http://ubu.com/ethno/discourses/rothenberg_poetry_without.html
THE MEANING OF MEANINGLESS WORDS AND THE COEFFICIENT OF WEIRDNESS
(from: Coral Gardens and Their Magic, volume 2, "The Language of Magic and Gardening", pages 213-222)
Malinowski's anthropological investigations coincided with the avant-gardist (re)birth of the Dada sound poem and Russian Futurist zaum; a coincidence that provokes comparison.
Introduction by Jerome Rothenberg
Malinowski lays down one major line of British functionalism, as A. R. Radcliffe-Brown lays down the other (structural-functionalism). But if Radcliffe-Brown's version has the greater theoretical carry-over at present, Malinowski has set a model for anthropological fieldwork and its attendant theory and has had an extraordinary impact as a teacher of later anthropologists and on a range of Western and Third World thought outside of anthropology itself. His principal writings in this regard come out of his extended work in the Trobriands and other islands off the southeast tip of New Guinea (1912-1916), and include such books as Argonauts of the Western Pacific, Sex and Repression in Savage Society, and Coral Gardens and Their Magic. The last, in its account of Trobriand ecology and the language of magic and gardening, is truly a major work of twentieth-century poetics. The key to the force of song and narrative set out therein recurs, for example, in Malinowski's description of myth and the attendant process of myth-making in the later but very influential Magic, Myth, and Religion. From a functionalist perspective, myth establishes the charter of a society and creates the group's coherence not merely [as] a story told, he writes, but [as] a reality lived (1948: 100). The implications of this favoring of enactment over explanation are enormous, culminating in one instance in Charles Olson's summary, circa 1953, of the link, through Malinowski, between Trobriand poetics, for example, and our own:
[Malinowski's] emphasis. . . strikes away the idea that a story is symbolical (that it stands for something, instead of being that something); and at the same time that it is meant to explain anything. . . . Malinowski is asserting the primary truth that the human fact is that there is no desire to explain-there is solely the desire to experience: that this is what is meant by knowing: to know is to experience, & vice versa: to experience is to know (histor). That is, to tell about it, and to tell about it as others have told it, is one act, simply, that the reality itself is one, now, & then. [Olson, number 10: 641
The reader who wishes to explore further the connections between meaningless words in traditional and contemporary practice (e.g., sound poetry) might begin with the present co-editor's Technicians of the Sacred (1968: 386- 391 ).
The One-Hit DaDa-Wonders of the Rainforest!
The gibbon is the most dandified primate roaming the forests of Southeast Asia. The Chinese have long considered it to be the wisest and noblest of all animals, and in the eighteenth century the West took over this sentiment when it proclaimed the gibbon to be the animal closest to us in the great scheme of evolution. If you would care to look up the third volume of Richard Owen’s On the Anatomy of Vertebrates (published in 1868) you will find, hidden between endless anatomical minutiae, the first known reference to the distinguishing talent of the gibbon: “They alone, of brute Mammals, may be said to sing.” Ten years later, Thomas Huxley was the first to make a gibbon tune widely available to the general public: “Goek, goek, goek, goek, goek ha ha ha ha haaaaa.” Huxley goes on to mention a naturalist and musician by the name of Mr. Waterhouse, who wrote down gibbon songs in musical notation with the suggestion that a competent violinist “could give a good idea of the gibbon’s composition.” And with these media appearances the music of the gibbon, the lesser ape, became a cult phenomenon.
The majority of gibbon songs are duets, with the female taking the lead and the male responding as a second voice to their rhythmic “great calls.” Alone or in pair, the gibbon sings with gusto! A typical song can be heard at distances of up to two kilometers and will last, on average, ten to twenty minutes, but songs of over eighty minutes have been reported. Biomusicologists rave about the perfect pitch of the gibbon and its keen sense of rhythm. A white-handed gibbon has been observed to call in synch with a metronome; further examination showed that its favourite speed was a cool and collected 60 BPM. Intriguingly, it is far from clear what this singing is supposed to mean or to achieve. Some researchers think that it is meant to demarcate territory, to make the singer known to possible future mates, or to scare away predators, but research is far from conclusive.
The gibbon in all its loudness is not saying anything. The content of a gibbon song is hardwired. Gibbons sing only at fixed periods of the day, and each species and each sex can sing only its own song. When a gibbon is raised without coming into contact with any members of its own species, but only with those of other species, it will still sing its own song. Can it even hear a song of another species? Hybrid gibbons born in zoos sing predictable hybrid songs. Perhaps the gibbon is trying to hypnotize everything that has ears in its territory.
Primatepoetics has a special interest in the gibbon because it sits at the closing end of the primate language domain. The gibbon's condition suggests possibilities of form, use and content of the same ur-faculties that has turned into language and conversation in us and in pure sound and high drama in the Gibbon. The Gibbon is the Dada ape, the ape that chose not for the path of structured information but for raw effectiveness, for audiological mind control. Language is a virus from the great ape; music is an antidote from the lesser ape. Poetry, in our sense of the word keeps them in balance.
Hou Je Bek, W(October 2008). The One-Hit DaDa-Wonders of the Rainforest!. Retrieved from http://fightthegooglejugend.com/primatepoetics/primatepoeticsgibbon.html
Thousands upon thousands were affected by Hurricane Katrina, which struck Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005. The magnitude of the catastrophe is depicted on a personal level in the new graphic novel “A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge,” written and illustrated by Josh Neufeld and published by Pantheon.
The book, released last Tuesday, tells the story of seven survivors who were living in and around New Orleans, and is based on research and interviews conducted by Mr. Neufeld. It is the latest example of the expansion of the graphic format to include nonfiction and reportage as well as superheroes and fantasy.
The cast of real-life characters includes Abbas, the owner of a convenience store that he abandons only when floodwaters force him onto its roof; Leo and Michelle, a couple who find themselves adrift after they leave the city; and Denise, who survives the brutal conditions and scarce supplies at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
“All my comics are reality based,” said Mr. Neufeld, who lives in Brooklyn and has long contributed art for “American Splendor,” the autobiographical comics written by Harvey Pekar. Mr. Neufeld has also chronicled his own travels in “A Few Perfect Hours ... and Other Stories From Southeast Asia & Central Europe” and illustrated “Titans of Finance,” true tales from the world of business, written by Rob Walker.
The winding road leading to the New Orleans novel began when Mr. Neufeld signed up to work with the Red Cross after the hurricane hit, serving as a disaster response worker in Biloxi, Miss., for almost a month. He said the catalyst for volunteering was 9/11. “Having been in New York when the towers fell, I remember that overwhelming feeling of helplessness and displaced anger,” he said. “When Katrina hit, I saw what was happening, and I realized that I, as a single person, could somehow help.” Mr. Neufeld blogged about his experience and self-published a collection of his dispatches called “Katrina Came Calling.” That book got into the hands of Jeff Newelt, the comics editor for Smith, an online magazine (smithmag.net) with a focus on personal narratives.
“I met Josh for coffee, and we started talking, and it evolved from there,” said Larry Smith, the magazine’s editor and founder. “Panel for panel, moment by moment, there’s nothing I’m more proud of on Smith. Josh stretched himself as a reporter. It’s authentic. It’s honest.”
Together Mr. Neufeld and Mr. Smith decided to focus on New Orleans rather than on the whole Gulf Coast and to look for a broad range of people with different experiences.
“There were a couple of story lines that I knew had to be there to represent the New Orleans experience for what it was: the flood waters, the convention center, the Superdome,” Mr. Neufeld said. “We put out a lot of feelers, read a lot about the storm and listened to the radio. I found Denise through a radio program talking about her experiences in the convention center.”
A relative of Mr. Neufeld’s led him to Abbas, while his alumni magazine connected him to Kwame, the son of a pastor from New Orleans East, who had moved to California after the hurricane. “He fit so many characteristics,” Mr. Neufeld said of Kwame. “We were still looking for a young person. He’s African-American. His house was flooded.”
Mr. Neufeld said he thought Kwame’s story captured the post-Katrina diaspora, chronicled in the book’s second-to-last chapter.
Some of the survivors were reluctant at first to have their stories told. Mr. Neufeld said that Denise thought the project, because it was a comic book, would somehow be funny. “Hers was the typical reaction from someone who doesn’t read comics or graphic novels,” he said. “We explained that they tackle weighty subjects.”
Kwame was in high school at the time, so his father asked that the Web version use pseudonyms. “When they saw how it looked online, and saw how sensitively we were treating it, they allowed us to use their real names in the book version,” Mr. Neufeld said.
The Web version includes audio and video interviews and a message board, which allowed Mr. Neufeld to respond to feedback. But the printed version has expanded chapters in which the characters talk about their lives after the hurricane. “That’s been the most interesting part to me: Have they been able to rebuild their lives?” Mr. Neufeld said. “What do they think of the city now?”
Mr. Neufeld deploys color to strong effect: it resonates like the soundtrack of a film. “I tried to use the colors to help the readers through, to create mood,” he said. The bright gold of an early chapter conveys the glory days of the city, when it was still about “great food and booze and jazz and people partying,” he said. Sickly greens convey the march of the storm and a soft crimson is used during the days of unending heat and threatening violence. The normally two-color art shifts to three in the final panel, which includes a Mardi Gras flag with its purple, gold and green hues.
Mr. Neufeld is now on a book tour, which includes stops in New Orleans and New York (on Tuesday, a fund-raiser for Common Ground of New Orleans). He said he was expecting “at least three of the actual characters from the book” to be at the New Orleans tour stop. Sometimes, he said, he feels strange calling them characters, but subjects “sounds like some sort of medical test.”
In a way, though, that word choice is appropriate. “A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge” is a novel, not a documentary: Mr. Neufeld edited parts of the survivors’ stories and combined some characters. “I did whatever worked to make the emotional truth of the stories much clearer,” he said. “It’s what makes a certain scene emotionally satisfying in a way that makes the whole book add up to a novel.”
Gustines, G (8/23/2009). Graphic Memories of Katrina's Ordeal. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/books/24neufeld.html?_r=3
Updated: November 19, 2010, 4:04 PM
On the front lawn of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society (25 Nottingham Court), a brightly colored array of meticulously constructed cakes sits rotting and molding in a steel and glass vitrine.
The cakes, each one crafted in mid-September by local bakers to resemble a different Buffalo architectural landmark, languish in various states of decomposition. They range from a fully formed version of the Richardson Towers (clearly the work of a master cake artist) to a jumble of frosting and white cake that resembles an exploded grain elevator.
“THE CONFECTIONERY WONDERS OF BUFFALO” is a collaboration between New York City-based artists Mark Dion, whose work critiques the role of science and other institutions in society, and Dana Sherwood, who confronts issues of death, transition, melancholia and desire. That’s a lot of conceptual filling to pipe into a pastry pan, but Dion and Sherwood manage to set the brain off in some interesting directions with their whimsical installation.
Issues like decay, transition and the vaguely ominous role of big-time institutions are at play in every community, but they take on an acute resonance in Buffalo. Here, where the city’s “glorious” past (represented in the work by representations of buildings from the 1901 Pan- American Exposition) intersects with the tenuous present in a peculiar and fascinating way.
Dion and Sherwood’s cakes, strange as it may seem, do make curious statements about where the city came from, and the crossroads at which it currently sits.
As mind-bending art goes, it’s not quite enough anymore simply to acknowledge and highlight the intrinsic beauty of decay, an eternal artistic trope about as common as can be in our crumbling city. But Dion and Sherwood’s work goes far deeper than that, pushing us to think about the human fascination with our own physical and cultural death. It’s the same impulse that drives Buffalonians to luxuriate in the past sometimes at the expense of the future, and in a different sense resembles the impulse captured in Jean-Michel Reed’s pictures of house fires in the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
The locally constructed vitrine also houses notions about the sugary scrim of nostalgia through which we view our history and the way we package our fears and preoccupations into unexpected forms
and in unexpected settings. Taken somewhat more literally, the piece could also work as a preservationist war cry — a warning that without major help, the historic structures of Buffalo could crumble and decay like so much angel food and buttercream.
But knowing about the past work of the artists, especially that of Dion, it’s likely that there’s something a little more subversive going on inside that vitrine. The sagging columns of the cake meant to represent the Historical Society, like bowed legs, seem to make a critique of big institutions crumbling under their own weight. As nature takes its course and the cakes gradually disintegrate, Dion seems to suggest that the traditional halls of science and history are doing (or should do) something similar.
That’s pretty out there as a concept, and whether you agree with it or not, it allows us to see the work as more than another long soak in Buffalo’s ongoing nostalgia bath.
Dabkowski, C (11/9/11). Decaying cakes, in 'Confectionery Wonders of Buffalo'. Retrieved from http://www.buffalonews.com/entertainment/beyond/article258482.ece