Lance Olsen is author of more than 20 books of and about innovative writing, including, most recently, the novel Skin Elegies, and the novel Dreamlives of Debris, a rethinking of the Minotaur myth. His short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies. A Guggenheim, Berlin Prize, Artist-in-Berlin Residency, N.E.A. Fellowship, and Pushcart Prize recipient, as well as a Fulbright Scholar, he teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah and serves as chair of the Board of Directors at the independent press Fiction Collective Two.
10:01. What’s always intrigued me about the communal event of film watching is how, when you’re partaking in it, you’re surrounded by an ocean of other people, each with his or her own secret history. And I’ve always suspected that those secret histories are much more emotionally and intellectually appealing than what’s usually blowing up on the screen. That suspicion suggested the form and led me to write the print version of 10:01, which is set in an AMC theater on the fourth floor of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota—that is, in the heart of the American Dream. The narrative drifts in and out of the minds of forty-some-odd moviegoers, one mouse, and a cat during the ten minutes and one second before the feature begins, nestling into various narraticules behind what appears to be The Narrative (i.e., the about-to-begin movie), but isn’t. About halfway through writing the print version 10:01, the idea arrived of creating a complementary and complimentary hypermedia one—a version that isn’t simply a digital adaptation of the print one, but rather a rethinking of it that through its hypertextual form and function opens onto questions about how we read, why we read, what the difference is between reading on page and screen, between reading and watching, about which text (the one made of atoms or the one made of bytes) is the more “authentic,” and so forth. Tim Guthrie, an extraordinarily talented artist and friend, had approached me earlier with the suggestion that we collaborate on a project someday, and 10:01 seemed the perfect occasion to do so. The more closely one reads and compares the print and digital versions, the more unlike one will likely see they are. In the gap between them, I hope, exists a third virtual version that’s the most textured.
The Nature of the Creative Process. An early Flash experiment on Tim Guthrie’s part to animate an opening section of my novel, Burnt, about, in part, a professor who murders one of his students because of his awful prose style. Someone once asked me to suggest a metaphor for the creative process. That question never left me. And it’s been dead ducklets all the way down ever since.
Patrik Ourednik was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1957, and has been living in Paris since 1984. He teaches “useful sciences” at the Free University of Nouallaguet, France. He is the author of various texts: novels, poems, plays, essays, non-conventional dictionaries. Three of his novels have been translated into English: Europeana. A Brief History of the Twentieth Century, The Opportune Moment 1855 and Case Closed (Dalkey Archive Press).
What interests me in writing, that of others as well as my own, is what is generally called “the truth of an epoch.” This expression is admittedly extremely vague, for in every epoch there exist and coexist different truths; any given epoch contains a multitude of truths. The trick then is to attempt to gather and to embrace this multiplicity and this plurality of points of view. An author has various means at his or her disposal for effecting this, the most common being the confrontation of destinies, of human lives within the perspective of microhistory.
For my own purposes, I try to apply a slightly different principle based on the premise that it is possible to consider the language of a given period as a synonym of the “truth of that epoch”; in other words, to rely on the polyvocality, the “polyphony of memory” and to situate it in a kind of metalanguage. The narrative voice, whether the “I” be explicit or not, is tasked with incorporating other voices besides its own, to the extent that it can lay claim its own voice.
Just like historians, writers work with writings: chronicles, correspondence, newspapers, and records of a period, etc. One can approach these writings from two different perspectives. Either, and this is what historians do, one can seek in them primarily information about the event itself: “what happened”; “what events occurred?”; or alternately, and herein lies my own approach, we can look primarily for the manner in which an event is portrayed. In such a perspective, the question is not to know for example, who won the Battle of Waterloo but to see how chroniclers have described it. What I have called the “truth of the epoch” is in the description of the event, not in the event per se. If we allow that such a description of the event can be conceived as synonymous with form, and bearing in mind that what we call the historical content has no real substance, we can propose the following analogy: the actual historical content is like a virtual pile of sand; if we wish to derive some sort of truth from this content, we must dump it in a pail and sprinkle water on it to give it shape and substance. It is still a pile of sand, but it has become an historical account or a literary work, depending on the particular approach (from: "L'Oeuvre de Patrik Ourednik, écrivain tchèque." Cercle de Réflexion, Commission européenne, Alain Toumayan trans.]
Bob Perelman was born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1947, and lives in Berkeley; he taught at the University of Pennsylvania for two and half decades. His first book of poetry, Braille, appeared in 1975, and he has since published numerous volumes, including Ten to One (Wesleyan), Playing Bodies, in collaboration with painter Francie Shaw, (Granary), Iflife (Roof), and Jack and Jill in Troy (Roof, 2019). His critical books includes The Trouble with Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky (California), The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History (Princeton), and Modernism the Morning After (Alabama).
From 1975 to 1990 I participated in the West Coast Language writing scene, where there was enthusiasm for formal doings of all sorts: rigorous proceduralism, goofy appropriation -- quoting, misquoting other texts, collage, general exploratory hijinx. Before that, egged on by an early, accidental engagement with Pound’s ABC of Reading, I’d studied Classics at U Michigan, and so was already something of a syntax enthusiast. From the beginning I’ve been a poetry enthusiast, which keeps me trying new things and makes the prospect of providing a capsule summary of my own poetics a touchy subject, to be postponed until I’ve stopped writing, which I hope won’t be for a while.
But I can say something about the two poems collected here. “China” is from my third book, Primer (1981), “Confession” my ninth, The Future of Memory (1998). By accident, “China” became something of a poster child for Language writing; “Confession” addresses it purposely. But neither poem is at all typical of the practices that get called Language writing, various as these can be. In fact, both poems situate themselves outside the panoply of those practices: “Confession” explicitly in what it says and how it says it; “China” implicitly in its everyday syntax and child-friendly tone.
As a free-floating set of lines or paragraphs, “China” was formally, a one-off in Primer, though it shared the book’s impulse to use ordinary language to pry the ordinary apart from the inside. But whatever I might have thought, “China” was received quite differently once Fredric Jameson, in the title essay of his Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, used it, along with a host of other art practices (Warhol, Cage, the Bonaventura Hotel, et al.) as evidence for a new cultural dominant: the postmodern. Jameson read “China” as an example of parataxis and of the breaking of the signifier/signified bond. These more or less aligned with the often-cited Language qualities of nonnarrativity and nonreferentiality.
Jameson didn’t intend an easy moral denunciation of postmodernism -- in places he was almost celebratory -- but in discussing the parataxis in "China," his vocabulary registered significant alarm: when "when the links of the signifying chain snap, then we have schizophrenia in the form of a rubble of distinct and unrelated signifiers."
We live on the third world from the sun.
Nobody tells us what to do.
The people who taught us to count were being very kind.
It's always time to leave.
If it rains, you either have your umbrella or you don't.
The wind blows your hat off.
The sun rises also.
For some, there may be chasms between these sentences, but others may feel linkages of various strengths: the number three and counting; telling us what to do vs. teaching us; rain, wind, and sun.
I wrote “China” looking at a Chinese picture-book I bought in Chinatown in San Francisco around the time that Francie and I had our first child. I had children’s books on the brain. It must have been an early reader: there were a couple of Chinese characters on each page; the cover had a red circle containing the number 3, indicating third level. (The circled 3 is where the first line came from.)
While Pound may have gotten me to tackle Greek and Latin, I could never buy his utopian sense of Chinese as inescapably poetic. Of course I shouldn’t have generalized from his imaginary language to the actual Chinese language situation(s), but I was too provincial not to. At any rate, I ignored the characters -- except for one line: “Even the words floating in air make blue shadows.”
For me the book was a compelling sequence of bright pre-linguistic generalizations. The scenes were Chinese but in a kind of ad hoc negative capability I identified with the simple four-color pictures: family, kitchen, school, rivers, airports, and village festivals. They became a writing-script for a diagram of “the world.” I wrote one line to a page, often coming close to diction of children’s books: “As it fell, what could the doll do? Nothing.”
Despite the ingenuous tone of some lines, irony does appear in the assertions of collectivity. Nobody (from other planets or from heaven) tells us what to do: but that doesn't mean that "we" don't tell each other what to do. A similar tension appears in a later line, "Everyone enjoyed the explosions." It’s one thing if it’s a rural village celebrating the new year with firecrackers (which is what the picture showed): then there’s solidarity, camaraderie. But if the context is the Vietnam War, the explosions are deadly: "everyone" loses its communal character and embodies colonialist violence. The addressee of “China” may be a quasi-child but the speaker/captioner is an adult.
I wrote “Confession” after we moved to Philadelphia and I was teaching at Penn. For a couple of years, I was interested in messing with the boundaries of poetry and prose, and wrote in couplets of 6-word lines: “Confession” is one of those pieces. Originally, as I remember, it was “Confessing to the Listserv” and I sent it to the Buffalo Poetics Listserv in a kind of friendly polemic, since, as a chatty dramatic monolog the poem was transgressing against various innovative norms.
Few poems are at all future-proof. “Confession” certainly isn’t. Future readers will be ever less likely to recognize the Seinfeld gestures: “Jay Peterman” (the pretentious clothing catalog); “yada yada.” And if readers don’t know I’m identified as a Language writer then the mystery of the alien abduction might well remain pretty opaque.
I hope the swirling mix of satire and earnestness will remain legible. One person, syntactically, speaks throughout, but who? At the end it seems to be an alien addressing gravity-bound (history-bound) earthlings, but in other places it’s me. "Confession" is not just a send-up of the dramatic monolog. "That old stuff, the fork / in my head, first home run, // Dad falling out of the car" is in fact autobiographical. My father did have a drinking problem; I was a baseball enthusiast; my sister (so I'm told) did stick a fork in my head when I was a toddler. However, language being multiplicitous, any word or phrase can be "the fork": the site of a branching off. Is the “avant-garde” something to take seriously? Losing my avant-garde card in the laundry sounds like blunt satire, but is the avant-garde the target, or is it myself as a lapsed innovative poet? Is “Confession” avant-garde, anti-avant-garde, or just ordinary? Sometimes, it seems like a Turing test: alien or human? avant-garde or ordinary? Perhaps when the flying saucers return such categories will have merged.
Giles Perring works with music and sound. This includes recording, performing, making 3 dimensional work, installations and multimedia. He co-founded the sonic sculpture and participatory performance collective Echo City and with Nick Cash, he was half of the recording project Unmen, releasing CDs and creating music for TV, radio and film. He has made sound design for theater and public spaces with both Melanie Pappenheim and Susie Honeyman. His 'compositions' include a performable work for musician and telephones, 'The Exchange', and several pieces for choir and percussion. He has also published academic writing in the field of arts and disability. https://www.facebook.com/gilesperring/
Tom Phillips is an English painter, printmaker, writer and composer. He studied English literature at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, from 1957 to 1960 and art at Camberwell School of Art from 1961 to 1963 where he was taught by Frank Auerbach. His early paintings established an eclectic approach to diverse styles and languages of picture making. He also used postcards as source material in paintings such as Benches (1970–71; London, Tate). This interest in process, chance, language and the cumulative effects of multiple reworkings soon led him to prints and books including A Humument which he began publishing in fragmentary versions as early as 1966. Phillips applied his characteristic methods to numerous forms including an experimental opera, Irma (1970), which combined visual, verbal and musical elements; he also composed scores for film, radio and theatre and designed for the stage at The Globe Theatre, London and English National Opera. His translation of Dante's Inferno, accompanied by his own illustrations, was published both as a limited-edition portfolio of screenprints and in smaller format as a book (London, 1985). He applies his literary interests and analytical clarity to his own work, producing the most informative accounts of his own development.
A Humument has been a work in progress since 1966 when Tom Phillips set himself a task: to find a second-hand book for threepence and alter every page by painting, collage and cut-up techniques to create an entirely new version. The book he found was an 1892 Victorian obscurity A Human Document by W.H. Mallock and Phillips transformed it into A Humument. The first version was printed by the Tetrad press in 1973, and Phillips continued to transform it, revise it and develop it up until 2016 when the sixth and final edition, completing the work, was published by Thames and Hudson, fifty years after the work commenced.
Phillips said that poetry is always in the back of his mind while he is working, and choosing a selection of words is his first step in creating a page. Much like a poetry collection, each page is intended to be read in dialogue with the others, but not necessarily in its suggested order. “There are as many echoes of other poets as there are of other artists [in the book],” he said.
Phillips worked in a random order, first picking out interesting phrases and words from certain pages, then adding the drawing, painting, and collage to accompany the poems. Although there is no clear narrative, little stories occur throughout the book, with a couple of characters floating in and out at random. The most prominent of these characters is named Bill Toge, whose last name is formed from the words “altogether” and “together” (a nod to Phillips’s unique collaboration with Mallock). “That becomes a little rule,” Phillips said. “The book has little rules … I found the guy on the page and he came with the word ‘bill’ … which sounds like Mister Bloke to me, Mister Ordinary Chap.”
Phillips has spoken of A Humument as having been exhumed from, rather than born out of, Mallock’s novel; he uses metaphors of excavation and depth to describe his interaction with it: "The first version could be regarded as preliminary opencast mining leaving more hidden seams to be investigated." Thus Phillips has used A Human Document in numerous projects, including a commentary on Dante’s Inferno; an illustrated edition of Cicero’s Orations; the libretto, music, staging and costume designs for his opera Irma; and to decorate a pair of globes of imaginary worlds in the V&A. Phillips has "yet to find a situation, sentiment or thought" that Mallock’s words "cannot be adapted to cover." —Vida Weisblum, 2015
Can we call what Phillips is doing ‘writing’, or would some other term be better? What version of authorship or creativity is at work here? A Humument is a reminder that books are inevitably intertextual—they grow out of older texts—and that all writing involves selecting words from a finite pool: what appears to be a constraint, having to work within the walls of an existing novel, in fact dramatises a condition of literature. Some technologies, the typewriter for instance, make this sense of writing qua selection vividly apparent: writers may create an infinite number of worlds, but the next action can never be more than choosing one from a small number of keys. The pen and the blank page create the illusion of creativity ex nihilo: but it is an illusion. "Disturb a book," A Humument intones: "doctor books … do art … modernise England." —Adam Smyth, 2012
Vanessa Place was raised in the U.S. Army, and received a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an MFA from Antioch University, and a JD from Boston University. Her books of poetry and conceptual writing include Dies: A Sentence (Les Figues), a 50,000-word, one-sentence novel in verse; La Medusa (Fiction Collective 2); and Statement of Facts (Insert Blanc Press, 2010), the first volume of her trilogy Tragodía, which repurposes legal prosecution and defense documents verbatim; among others. www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/vanessa-place
On appropriation as poetry she has said, “…it’s all curating: another quick first draft, more sculptural than anything, then time spent trying to make it physically/imagistically elegant.” [ from “Vanessa Place: An Interview,” Jeremy M. Davies and A D Jameson, www.requitedjournal.com ]
Salvador Plascencia is the author of the cult favorite The People of People, which has been translated into a dozen languages and named a best book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Harvey Mudd College.
“Reading Salvador Plascencia’s The People of Paper,” writes Bookslut, “is like going on a mental carnival ride in each of the letters and sentences he’s crafted. A story told from each character’s point of view, Plascencia’s El Monte examines the life and loves of its inhabitants and those who watch over it. Perhaps what is most puzzling about the prose is how surprisingly straightforward it is, while keeping true to his playful images and the experimental style. The People of Paper journeys to other figurative places in our solar system while keeping curanderos, wrestlers, warriors, lovers and enemies alive all within the city limits of El Monte.”
Niels Plenge (b.1959) Since 1982 I have been working freelance as cinematographer, editor and sound technician for national television or on documentary films. I have also organized cultural events like festivals for poetry, music and art. The last 10 years I have been producing video art installations for galleries, museums and visual artists. My own work is mainly in the field of graphic design, soundart and experimental films.
In 2001 a major festival focusing on American and Danish poetry was going to be held in Copenhagen. Thomas Thurah, who was one of the organizers of "In the Making," asked Lars Movin and I to make interviews for the festival with some of the still vigorous members of The New York School of Poets and the associated group of painters. End of April the three of us went to New York to capture what was going to be a 57 minutes documentary. Lars and I was filming and Thomas was doing the interviews. We spent the months June and July on editing and on August 8th 2001 “Something Wonderful May Happen” premiered in Copenhagen. The title is a quote from New York School founding member Frank O’Hara.
Right after the festival we were looking for a way to distribute the documentary in the USA where we presumed it would have more relevance. On the sad day of 9/11 2001 the people of Filmakers Library were watching their town fall to pieces. Not being able to work they reportedly were considering going home for the day when our VHS tape dropped into their mailbox.
By the way I was one the first in Denmark to hear about the tragic incident in New York. I was working on a documentary on the Danish actress Anna Karina and here role in the Nouvelle Vague and I was phoning one of her friends. He was watching satellite TV during the conversation but soon we had to stop when suddenly the first pictures of a plane crashing into a building was aired. I have never owned a TV set so after phoning my friends and family to tell them turn theirs on (no normal person is watching television at 3 P.M. in Denmark) I spent the rest of the day at the local TV shop. But enough about that and back to our documentary.
The opening shot of the film is The World Trade Center seen from the Staten Island Ferry. In another scene of the documentary David Lehman is reading his poem in praise of The Twin Towers and with these buildings as the backdrop. Both Lehman and Charles Bernstein discuss The New York School and also other writers and descendants contribute.
Charles Bernstein’s reading of “The Answer” was interrupted by the sound of a jet plane crossing Manhattan so we didn’t use this poem in the documentary. A year later when the dust had settled I decided to edit my own version but still according to the instructions given by Charles (which can be heard in the video!). At home he had also pointed out that looping and layering would be fine. At that time I was working a lot with Musique Concrete and as the theme was technology versus politics I found it appropriate to construct an underlying techno rhythm solely from the voice of the poet.
In 2003 we were invited to show “Something Wonderful May Happen” in New York and a critic at The Village Voice tried to put the blame on us that we were calculating on and exploiting the feelings of the Americans. If you look at the production date this doesn’t really make sense. I can assure that it was never the purpose to hurt anyone. This year we re-mastered the documentary for a new DVD release accompanying a book on New York by Lars Movin.
Claudia Rankine is the author of six collections of poetry, including Just Us: An American Conversation, Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; three plays including HELP, which premiered in March of 2020 at The Shed, NYC, The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/ American Repertory Theater) and was published by Graywolf Press in 2019, and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; as well as numerous video collaborations. She is also the co-editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (FENCE, 2015). In 2016, she co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. Rankine teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
Graham Rawle is a London-based author, artist and designer. His weekly "Lost Consonants" first appeared in the Weekend Guardian in 1990 and ran for 15 years. He has produced other regular series for The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, and The Times. Among his published books are Overland, The Wonder Book of Fun, Diary of an Amateur Photographer and The Card. His collaged novel Woman's World, won wide critical acclaim, described by The Times as "a work of genius…the most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade." His reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz won 2009 Book of the Year at the British Book Design Awards. The Card was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers' Guild Award for fiction. www.grahamrawle.com
Woman’s World is a 437-page novel collaged entirely from fragments of text clipped from the pages of vintage women’s magazines and reassembled to tell the 1962 story of Roy and ‘sister’ Norma’s struggle to live up to the prescribed ideals of feminine perfection. The interplay between text and image (or text as image) aims to carry an additional narrative layer that is neither written nor illustrated, but emerges through the required reading of both.
The book took five years to create. I first drafted the novel in outline, then searched through hundreds of women’s magazines, cutting out anything that seemed relevant to the scenes I’d written: sentences, phrases and words that when joined together might be rearranged to approximate what I wanted to say. These pieces were transcribed, filed and stored in catalogue files, and from them I began to assemble my story as a Word document. Little by little, my original words were discarded and replaced by those I’d found. Once the text was finalized, I pasted up each page from the organized snippets. The method was primitive: scissors and glue. Apart from a little post-production tweaking to enlarge very small type to a readable size, everything was done by hand.
Seen through the eyes of a transvestite, 1950s women’s magazines read as instruction manuals for the cross-dressing man: how to apply makeup, how to create the latest hairstyles, how to choose and accessorize the appropriate outfit for every occasion. Norma immerses herself in the fulsome directives on feminine protocol. Roy is thereby reconstructed as Norma Fontaine, transfigured through the syntax and inflection of the source material’s distinctive voice. The gulf between the magazine pages’ impossibly high standards and her real-life situation is bridged by the newfound vocabulary. Empowered by its authoritative tone, she adopts the descriptions themselves as a mantle of femininity, envisioning herself swathed in pale lilac organza supported by a dozen layers of stiff tarlatan, or a simple, elegant white and gold chiffon cocktail dress by Digby Morton.
The very idea of Norma sitting down with scissors and glue, cutting bits from her beloved magazines and pasting them together to tell her story, is a constant visual reminder of her fragmented thought process and her dependence on the magazines to find her female voice.
At the time of writing I am in the early stages of making Woman’s World as a feature film using a similar methodology to tell the same story. The film will be montaged from thousands of clips. Feature films, commercials, public information shorts and television shows from the late 1950s and early ‘60s will provide the new source for Norma’s voice.
Scott Rettberg is Professor of Digital Culture in the department of linguistic, literary, and aesthetic studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Rettberg is the author or coauthor of novel-length works of electronic literature, combinatory poetry, and films including The Unknown, Kind of Blue, Implementation, Frequency, The Catastrophe Trilogy, Three Rails Live, Toxi•City: A Climate Change Narrative, Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project and others. Rettberg was the project leader of ELMCIP (Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice), a HERA-funded collaborative research project, from 2010-2013. Rettberg is leader of the Bergen Electronic Literature Research Group. He is the co-founder and served as the first executive director of the nonprofit Electronic Literature Organization, where he directed major projects funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. http://retts.net
Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project by Roderick Coover, Arthur Nishimoto, Scott Rettberg, and Daria Tsoupikova. During the American-led counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism campaigns in Iraq in the years after September 11, 2001, the torture and abuse of detainees is well documented. Drawing upon extensive interviews with veterans carried out by political scientist John Tsukayama following the Abu Ghraib accounts of abuse, this project aims to build understanding of how a military with a just vision of its practices might allow the conditions for human rights abuses to occur. Hearts and Minds uses new developments in interactive media arts to create the space to listen to these accounts. It uses virtual reality (VR) technology to immerse participants in the minds of people who experienced torture and interrogation during the war to understand its current social and psychological consequences. The powerful content of this artwork focuses on the impact of war and trauma on veterans, and utilizes the technology of VR as a medium to evoke empathy, understanding and awareness. It is designed to broaden public understanding of the roots of violence and abuse, and to build discussion of how to transform abusive practices and the conditions by which they might occur. The work builds upon the premise that, to change patterns of abuse, it is necessary to listen to the witnesses and perpetrators, in many cases young and ill-trained soldiers who never entered the military to become torturers and now find themselves struggling to reconcile their actions in the battlefield with their prior notions of their identities as soldiers. The work traverses from modeled environments to distant landscapes that offer illuminating connections and disjunctions between the here and there, the now and then. Bridging expertise in visual research and ethnography, political science, digital humanities and computer science and offering models of collaborative research through uses of digital visualization technologies, the project innovates in both form and content. The project was developed in the CAVE2TM , the world's highest resolution LCD-based virtual reality environment at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), University of Illinois Chicago, through a unique collaboration between artists, scientists, and researchers from four universities. The production team includes filmmaker Roderick Coover, computer scientist Arthur Nishimoto, writer Scott Rettberg, and virtual reality artist Daria Tsoupikova, with the assistance of sound designer Mark Partridge, production assistant Mark Baratta, senior research programmer Lance Long, and collective violence researcher Jeffrey Murer. The work has been presented and exhibited internationally at conferences and artistic venues such as SIGGRAPH, IEEE VIS, IEEE VR, HASTAC, ISEA, DH, Human Rights/ Human Wrongs, and BIFF Expanded film festival and was the winner of the 2016 Electronic Literature Award.
Frank Rogaczewski was born in Chicago and presently lives in the nearby suburb of Berwyn with his wife Beverly Stewart, and their dogs Jasmine and Seamus. He teaches English as an adjunct at Roosevelt University. He is the author of a book of prose poems, The Fate of Humanity in Verse (American Letters & Commentary Press). His work can also be found in Vectors: New Poetics, ed. Robert Archambeau (Writers Club Press), and in journals including Notre Dame Review, Denver Quarterly, and American Letters & Commentary.
“Inspired by my youngest sister Kathy’s move to Phoenix, AZ, about a decade ago, "So What Else Is New?" re-examines the classical notion regarding change as the fundamental nature of reality given our contemporary reality in which most change is capital driven. Many pratfalls ensue. Much “found material” in The Fate of Humanity in Verse is “material” in the sense of jokes. This poem is no exception, and when the poem moves from verse into prose it also recasts, recontextualizes, and–well—repeats a joke I’d heard back in the day some thirty years before. As to “The Fate of Humanity in Verse” this prose poem—complete with rhetorical figures, literary and historical allusions, and famous quotations—is a “Which Side Are You On?” poem, from its preference for actual news reportage rather than the heavily censored accounts received from embedded reporters working for mainstream news organizations to its satire on the history of suppression of left-wing, working class, feminist or other radical poetry in the United States. The two poems appear here in memory of our beloved dog Sammy, who taught us about doggy love and who would lie nearby on the floor as I worked on these poems and every other one in Fate of Humanity.
Paul Ryan’s video art has shown in Japan, Turkey, Israel, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Denmark, Ecuador, Canada and throughout the United States, including The Primitivism Show in The Museum of Modern Art, and The American Century Show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. His Environmental Television Channel design was presented at a United Nations Conference. His program for a Hall of Risk in Lower Manhattan was presented at the Venice Biennial. 'Radical Software' published his seminal writings on video. NASA published his Earthscore Notational System. Mr. Ryan studied Literature with Conor Cruise O'Brien, George Steiner and Marshall McLuhan. An Associate Professor at the New School, Mr. Ryan authored Cybernetics of the Sacred, Video Mind, Earth Mind and The Three Person Solution. The Smithsonian Institution is archiving his papers and tapes. dOCUMENTA 13 presented his work in 2012.
My water video seeks to inscape the patterns underlying flowing water. I want to "x-ray" the morphology of moving water. I want the water event to happen in the mind of the viewer like a fist in the hand. I want to cultivate in the viewer what Goethe called "exact imaginative sympathy." Toward this end, I use reverse color fields, variable orientations, slow motion and a range of other video production techniques.
For me, each water event is shaped by a ‘chreod’, a necessary pathway. Chreods are the notes of nature. Our species is out of compliance with these notes. I have conceived the Earthscore Notational System (See my Video Mind, Earth Mind) so that we might render nature’s notes with electronic technology, figure out the syntax of how they go together, and compose sustainable ways of living in accord with these notes.