4000 WORDS 4000 DEAD
& REVOLUTIONARY OPTIMISM
street performance by Jennifer Karmin
Thursday, June 12th from 5-7pm
at the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk
5pm beginning in front of Metropolis Books
440 S. Main Street, between 4th and 5th Streets
I want to start with the milestone today of 4,000 dead in Iraq. Americans. And just what effect do you think it has on the country?
-- Martha Raddatz,
ABC News' White House correspondent
to Vice President Dick Cheney
I have been collecting 4000 WORDS for the 4000 DEAD in Iraq. All words are being used to create a public poem. During street performances, I give away these words to passing pedestrians. Submissions are ongoing as the Iraq War continues and the number of dead grows. Send 1-10 words with subject 4000 WORDS to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participating writers include:
Harold Abramowitz, Amanda Ackerman, Manan Ahmed, Michael Basinski, Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Teresa Carmody, Maxine Chernoff, Catherine Daly, Patrick Durgin, Arielle Greenberg, Kate Greenstreet, Carla Harryman, David Hernandez, Jen Hofer, Pierre Joris, Matthew Klane, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Joyelle McSweeney, Vanessa Place, Susan Schultz, Juliana Spahr, Stacy Szymaszek, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Andrew Zawacki, and many more.
4000 WORDS 4000 DEAD is a companion piece to Revolutionary Optimism, an anti-war poem I wrote in 2004. Grasping with the images of violent torture and death, Revolutionary Optimism contains multivoiced text based on the confessions of Iraqi prisoners, sympathy cards, and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Throughout the last 4 years, I have performed this poem over a dozen times at art spaces and on city streets in Chicago and around the country.
A special thanks to the members of Betalevel for their help bringing this project to Los Angeles. FYI: Betalevel is located in a basement in Chinatown, Los Angeles, and plays host to various media events such as screenings, performances, classes, lectures, debates, dances, readings, and tournaments. Its members are artists, programmers, writers, designers, agit-propers, filmmakers, and reverse-engineers.