Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When Does It or You Begin? WEEK FOUR

collage by Tisa Bryant

WHEN DOES IT OR YOU BEGIN? (MEMORY AS INNOVATION)
Festival of Writing, Performance, & Video

Curated by Amina Cain & Jennifer Karmin
at Links Hall
3435 N. Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL


FINAL WEEK
Memory’s Place: Alternative Sites and Histories
featuring documentary, sound work, performance art, and stories

When Does It or You Begin? closes with the impact of memory on space(s) and the way(s) that histories are created by highlighting the multiple cultures that happen within creative communities. Time and time again, the historical record demonstrates discrepancies between lived experiences, the official record, and the imagination.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30 at 8pm

Tisa Bryant
Duriel Harris
video
by Bryan & Jake Saner
video by Chi Jang Yin

talkback with Tony Trigilio


SATURDAY, JANUARY 31 at 8pm

Tisa Bryant

Amina Cain with Rachel Tredon

ThickRoutes Performance
Collage
video
by Bryan & Jake Saner

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1 at 7pm
Amina Cain with
Rachel Tredon
Duriel Harris
ThickRoutes Performance
Collage
video by Chi Jang Yin

TICKETS $12

$10 students, seniors, & working artists/writers

FULL SCHEDULE ONLINE

http://www.linkshall.org/09-pp-jan.shtml

(Note: Miranda Mellis has cancelled due to illness)


FESTIVAL CLOSING EVENT
1968/2008:
The Inheritance
of Politics and The Politics of Inheritance
Sunday, February 1 from 3-5pm

at the Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago
4427 North Clark Street
free


Readings and discussion with writers in celebration of the latest magazine release of AREA Chicago, a publication and event series dedicated to researching, supporting, and networking local social, political, and cultural movements. Featuring AREA #7 contributors: Samuel Barnett, Frank Edwards, Cathleen Schandelmeier, Earl Silbar, Michael Staudenmaier, Daniel Tucker, Ashley Weger, Rebecca Zorach. Check out AREA #7, all publication content is free online. http://areachicago.org/p/issues/7/

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This weekend, I thought about space.


Well, Jen and I both did. The space of the room the festival takes place in; the space of our dreams. The room is for a quiet reading, or it is for a video by Cecilia Vicuña projected on the wall. It is full of people, or only a few. The audience is on stage with the performers, or sitting in their seats. With his collaborators, Quraysh Ali Lansana filled the room with an Oklahoma landscape, and beautiful, haunting music. Nathanaël read in the middle of the room, space all around. Karen Christopher sang like a trumpet would, then sat on the floor to watch what she remembered. Vanessa Place read against the back wall, in a tunnel of light, and Jen and I read with her, from other far reaches of the room. Christine Stewart read about the space under a bridge, out across the land. A conversation between two writers, audience readings, Gaelen Hanson's selves projected onto the wall-- these things happened too. What do spaces have to do with selves? Where are we when we...? One night over the weekend I dreamed Jen and I were trying to escape from a prison in the middle of a swampland. Then Jen dreamed of prison too. She dreamed of a light tunnel. I don't think we're in prison. Why did we dream that?

Above is a picture of Teresa Carmody reading in the space of the room.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When Does It or You Begin? WEEK THREE

Le passage du rien au rien.
c. Nathanaël, June 2006.

from Absence Where As (Claude Cahun and the Unopened Book)
forthcoming from Nigtboat Books

WHEN DOES IT OR YOU BEGIN? (MEMORY AS INNOVATION)
Festival of Writing, Performance, & Video

Curated by Amina Cain & Jennifer Karmin
at Links Hall
3435 N. Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL


WEEK THREE
Memory’s Encounter: The Language of Position
featuring experimental literature, creative lectures, and multimedia presentations

The festival moves to how we, as humans and artists, meet our experiences. Working from the idea that there is no fixed self, who or what is present in a moment, as well as in a memory, emerges as a question. Who are these selves that make us? What are these experiences we come forward to meet? And does difference of social-cultural position change form and content?

FRIDAY, JANUARY 23 at 8pm
Karen Christopher
Quraysh Ali Lansana with collaborators
[G Baker, Preston Poe, Craig Nakamoto, Shanta Nurullah]
Vanessa Place
Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël)
video by Cecilia Vicuña
talkback with Ed Roberson

SATURDAY, JANUARY 24 at 8pm
Teresa Carmody with Vanessa Place
Nathalie Stephens (Nathanaël) with Christine Stewart
video
by Gaelen Hanson
video by Cecilia Vicuña

SUNDAY, JANUARY 25 at 7pm
Teresa Carmody
Karen Christopher
Quraysh Ali Lansana with collaborators
[G Baker, Preston Poe, Craig Nakamoto, Shanta Nurullah]
Christine Stewart
video by Gaelen Hanson

TICKETS $12
$10 students, seniors, & working artists/writers

FULL SCHEDULE ONLINE
http://www.linkshall.org/09-pp-jan.shtml

COMMUNITY EVENT
Open House hosted by Laurie Jo Reynolds
Thursday, January 29 from 7-9pm in Logan Square
$10, reservations and advance ticket purchase required

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We talked about collaboration and isolation.



For the second weekend of When Does It or You Begin? Jen Hofer and Patrick Durgin made a book called Tangelo, which they read aloud. Because they made books for all of us, we read along silently. We took the books home with us. It was still cold outside, sometimes ten below zero, but we were warmed by readings, bilingual, multimedia, and operaesque ones, by Jen and Dolores Dorantes, John Keene and Christopher Stackhouse, and Jennifer Karmin with special guests; a performance by Tradeshow; and videos by Temporary Services and Laurie Jo Reynolds.

Because we looked at collective memory, we looked at collaboration, and, as Friday night audience member (and musician/writer/record producer/curator) John Corbett noted in a talkback discussion led by writer and performer Terri Kapsalis, isolation.

On Friday, with collaborator
Amy Partridge and others in the Tamms Year Ten project (including three ex-prisoners of Tamms), Laurie Jo staged a performative lecture about the campaign to protest this supermax correctional facility in southern Illinois. There, men are locked up in solitary confinement. Sometimes they mutilate themselves; sometimes they forget what other people look like up close. John said something like, "This weekend's focus is all about collaboration, which was the very thing you were denied, the ability to work with other people."

During the talkback, the three men who served time at Tamms-- Darryl, Mustafa, and Johnny-- recounted their devastating experiences. The rest of us sat in a line of chairs much longer than last weekend's line, not wanting or needing to speak, just needing to listen. As Jen and Patrick said to the audience, "Anytime you want to talk to us about our collaborative process you can...just not right now."

Above is a photo of Jen and Dolores.

A good event in LA to go to


Performance
Explodity: An Evening of Transrational Sound PoetryThis event provides a rare opportunity to hear both the Russian Futurist poetry called zaum' ("beyonsense"), in dramatic readings by the Russian scholar Oleg Minin, and the contemporary sound poetry of the experimental poets Christian Bök and Steve McCaffery, in their own performances. Gerald Janecek, an expert in 20th-century Russian avant-garde poetry, will introduce the evening. By bringing together sound poetry of the historical and contemporary avant-gardes, the program will chronicle the singular influence of poets Velimir Khlebnikov, Alexei Kruchenykh, and Vladimir Mayakovsky on subsequent experiments, particularly those of Bök and McCaffery, with invented words, sense and nonsense, and the creation of "meaning" through sound.Learn more about this event.Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 5:00–9:00 p.m.Reception and Gallery Viewing: 5:00–6:45 p.m.Getty Center, Getty Research Institute Exhibition GalleryPerformance: 7:00–8:45 p.m.Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Report on Ventura: 2:30 - Sunset



a little stranger passing me on his way to the water
says, "I'm just going to get my feet wet. My daddy says I can." "Be careful,"
The water in Ventura is cold as bones and cleaner and more different from the secrets I keep from my doctor.



it is bad luck to stare at boats on a horizon



with omnibus feelings towards a person you don't know

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When Does It or You Begin? WEEK TWO

drawing from Seismosis, Christopher Stackhouse

WHEN DOES IT OR YOU BEGIN? (MEMORY AS INNOVATION)

Festival of Writing, Performance, & Video


Curated by Amina Cain &
Jennifer Karmin
at Links Hall

3435 N. Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL


WEEK TWO
Collective Memory: Collaboration is Group Work


From the individual, When Does It or You Begin? shifts to innovative practice as it unfolds within a collective effort. Looking at collaboration in multiple forms, within writing and book projects, translation, visual art, community organizing, and performance groups, the focus is on how interdependency determines what occurs in our lives, and how we remember those occurrences.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 16 at 8pm
Patrick Durgin with Jen Hofer

John Keene
with Christopher Stackhouse
Laurie Jo Reynolds with collaborators
[Amy Partridge, Stephen F. Eisenman, Tamms Year Ten]
video by Temporary Services

talkback with Terri Kapsalis

SATURDAY, JANUARY 17 at 8pm

Tradeshow

Jen Hofer with Dolores Dorantes

John Keene with Christopher Stackhouse

Jennifer Karmin with collaborators

[Mars Caulton, Joel Craig, Lisa Fishman, Krista Franklin,

Chris Glomski, Daniel Godston, Lily Robert-Foley]


SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 at 7pm

Tradeshow

Jen Hofer with Dolores Dorantes

Jennifer Karmin with collaborators

[Kathleen Duffy, Brandi Homan, A D Jameson, Lisa Janssen,

Erika Mikkalo, Ira S. Murfin, Timothy Rey]

video by Laurie Jo Reynolds


TICKETS $12

$10 students, seniors, & working artists/writers


FULL SCHEDULE ONLINE
http://www.linkshall.org/09-pp-jan.shtml

PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP

January 17
from 10am-4pm
with Karen Christopher and Bryan Saner,

Goat Island
Performance Group members
$70


INAUGURATION DAY
PARTY
January 20 from 6-7:30pm
Anti Gravity Surprise
book launch & panel discussion
at the Chicago Cultural Center,
78 E. Washington

*free*

A festival began.



It was in Chicago. It was snowing. There was an ice installation by Jenny Roberts. There were performances by Timothy Yu, Judith Goldman, and Nicole LeGette. There were films by Abigail Child. There was an avant-garde lingerie show/reading put together by Lee Ann Brown, starring her daughter Miranda Torn. There was a song by Anni Rossi.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Note on the Les Figues Blog, + A. Carter + A. Cain

While part of our purpose at Les Figues is to create a community of writers, we also want to engage those writers in conversation with each other. It's no secret that talking with other writers can help one in her own practice, just as talking with artists working in other mediums can illuminate new ways of thinking about old literary problems.

What about narrative, for example?
How is Harold Abramowitz making a story in a medium meant to be read on-screen?

A blog is a good place for a kind of conversation. I say "a kind" because it's different than sitting down over a drink. It's a conversation in writing, best done in short form, given the size of most screens. It's a conversation in images, for unlike letters or even attachment-heavy emails, one can easily post an image to a blog, even as blog text is something more like image than print.

What about the images posted by Vanessa Place?
Or Jennifer Calkins?
Are they illustrative? Representational? Not?

Starting in 2008, Les Figues asked six writers to be guest bloggers for at least six months. That first six months went by fast, and while we hope these first guests will continue posting, we're inviting six new writers to join in. We're asking them to post thoughts and information: What are you reading? Are you curating any events? What are you thinking about? Who and what are you seeing? What's happening, inside and out?

Please do tell. We hope, eventually, to create a multi-headed monster.

Which brings me to Allison Carter. Author of A Fixed, Formal Arrangement, Allison lives in Los Angeles, where she is the editor of P S Books. She has also published work in Word For/Word, Combatives, P-Queue, 5_Trope, Fence and other journals. Oh, and she has a new chapbook too, Shadows are Weather by Horse Less Press. We're very excited to have Allison as a bonafide guest blogger.

As you may have noticed, Amina Cain is also here. Her book I Go To Some Hollow is forthcoming from Les Figues (in the same series as Allison's). Amina is a recent LA transplant from Chicago; she is currently curating (with Jennifer Karmin) an amazing conference called "When Does It Or You Begin (Memory as Innovation)." Amina's work has also appeared in many journals, such as 3rd bed, Denver Quarterly, La Petite Zine, and Action, Yes.

AC + AC = Hooray!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Conceptual Fiction -- Submissions


We have come to know conceptual writing largely through the world of conceptual art and poetry. But what about conceptual fiction? Or narrative conception? What new forms lay in store for us? Beyond new narrative, post modern narratives, even Oulipo fictions, there are new forms waiting to be discovered. What makes a piece of fiction conceptual? Ideas over emotions? Scaffolding? Constraint? Better yet, what makes it successful? Readable even. Admirable, better still.

Send us your best conceptual work. Excerpts are fine. Statements are great. 4k max. January 15th.

conceptualfiction@gmail.com

Sina Queyras & Vanessa Place eds.

Sina Queyras is the author most recently of Lemon Hound. She is contributing editor of Drunken Boat.

Vanessa Place is a writer and lawyer, and co-director of Les Figues Press.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Report on Los Angeles, For You

1.



skunk, garlic
everything blooming

2.



isn't this the rosemary bush
like the bougainvillea?


3.



the rosemary are getting away with it
the sunflowers are having difficulties
the kittens are melting away

Happy 2009: Happy [One] Factorial

We're delighted to welcome the new year with a special collaboration. In 2009, all new and renewing members to Les Figues will receive a complimentary copy* of [One] Factorial (Factorial Press, 2002), edited by Sawako Nakayasu. The issue aptly focuses on collaboration, and includes work by Nelson Howe & Rosemarie Waldrop, Dennis Phillips & Paul Vangelisti, Carla Harryman & Amy Trachtenberg, plus Yoko Ono, Eileen Tabios, Keith Waldrop, Rachel Levitsky, Jen Hofer & Patrick Durgen, and oh so much more. You can find a complete table of contents here.

How can you become a member of Les Figues? You can either sign up online, or mail a check/money-order, payable to "LES FIGUES PRESS" with a little note that says "Yes, Make Me a Member." And we will. A subscription membership is $60; as a member, you'll receive each of the 5 books in the current TrenchArt series -- Tracer -- including our most recent release re: evolution by Kim Rosenfield.

Mail To:
Les Figues
Post Office Box 7736
Los Angeles, CA 90007

*while supplies last

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

When Does It or You Begin? WEEK ONE

Second Sight, Jenny Roberts


WHEN DOES IT OR YOU BEGIN? (MEMORY AS INNOVATION)
Festival of Writing, Performance, & Video

Curated by Amina Cain &
Jennifer Karmin
at Links Hall
3435 N. Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL


WEEK ONE
Individual Memory: A Celebration for
Hannah Weiner
featuring performative readings, butoh dance, & installations

January’s inquiry into innovation begins by remembering the practice of one artist, the late Hannah Weiner, a clairvoyant poet who came into view, and then helped shape, the New York avant-garde of the 1960s. To this end, local and national writers and artists have reanimated Weiner’s work or created new pieces in memory of her.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 9 at 8pm

Judith Goldman with collaborators
[John Beer, Lisa Janssen, Julia Klein & Monica Westin]
Nicole LeGette
Jenny Roberts
Timothy Yu
video by Abigail Child
talkback with Laura Goldstein
opening night reception with festival artists

SATURDAY, JANUARY 10 at 8pm
Lee Ann Brown with collaborators
[A D Jameson, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Sarah Merchlewitz,
Anni Rossi, Aurora Tabar, Rachel Tredon & Miranda Torn]
Roberto Harrison
Nicole LeGette
Jenny Roberts

SUNDAY, JANUARY 11 at 7pm
Lee Ann Brown with collaborators
[A D Jameson, Toni Asante Lightfoot, Sarah Merchlewitz,
Anni Rossi, Aurora Tabar, Rachel Tredon & Miranda Torn]
Judith Goldman with collaborators
[John Beer, Lisa Janssen, Julia Klein & Monica Westin]
Jenny Roberts
Timothy Yu
video by Abigail Child

TICKETS $12
$10 students, seniors, & working artists/writers

FULL SCHEDULE ONLINE
http://www.linkshall.org/09-pp-jan.shtml

WEEK ONE: BUTOH WORKSHOP
January 10 from 11am-3pm
Topography of the Subtle Senses
with Nicole LeGette
$35