[-empyre-] Starting the Fourth Week: Chris Funkhauser, Sally Silvers and Bruce Andrews

Sally Silvers silversdance at gmail.com
Wed Nov 23 14:25:11 AEDT 2016

Thank you, Murat for your statement(s) and invitation to join this forum
this week

I really appreciate what you said about my dancing/moving.  Few people,
including many professional writers about my work in the dance world, have
called attention to my movement vocabulary or pointed out "the rehash" of a
lot of other experimenters.   My goal from the beginning was to shed
codified dance vocabulary that was 'learned' on my body and try to find
something outside the dance world and outside my own preconditioned habits
as a way to move.  To give into reality while experimenting maximally.
Just like with language, often the first impulse on the part of the
viewer/reader is to want to take for granted or to expect standardized
vocabulary and  'look beyond or through" the way the body is moving to the
so-called 'real' meaning of the piece.  I have always felt that dance has
to deal with movement first and foremost, as its first meaning. The
layering of other meanings then or simultaneously partners with that base.

Also funnily, I noticed typos in all our names: Funkhauser/Funkhouser,
Andrew/Andrews, Silver's/Silvers'.  But I'm sure I would have made a
mistake in Murat's name as well. (I almost just wrote Marat).

So I wrote a statement and Bruce and I combined forces so I'm going to
paste Bruce's and mine here together and then Bruce will get on board with
his own responses.

I look forward to acquainting myself with Chris's work.  The mix of
words/poetry/sound/music sounds like collaborating with yourself in a
really appealing way. I would be curious if you (Chris) have combined your
own work with people working in different genres or other types of media.

Also I want to at least briefly address Murat's opening questions to Bruce
and me for this week in a later post.

So here are our opening statements:


I'm a performer, an experimental choreographer (coming out of the Judson

have published essays on dance & the body & its intersection with politics
& feminism

[including one on cyborgs], have published poetry & movement descriptions

explicating dance pieces of mine].

Co-directed two dance films (with Henry Hills) & a video project with Brian

I've taught dance composition, repertory & improvisation; organized a

platform, with Jen Abrams, involving the poetry & dance communities in NY —
'TalkTalkWalkWalk' at the Bowery Poetry Club.

Organized two big festivals of 'Live Choreography' at Roulette in NYC —
making new

work live in front of the audience from scratch on unrehearsed dancers,
also involving

collaborations between choreographers & theater directors.

My choreographic work has highlighted multi-media collaborations with

video artists, composers & improvising musicians, set designers &
architects, & a

three decades long collaboration with Bruce Andrews (as text & sound

Most of these artists were 'old school'/predigital 'analoguers'.

I organized a workshop in NYC (under the auspices of St Marks Poetry
Project) —

'Out of Your Mind & Into Your Body' — that included poets & movers who

to physicalize their own texts.

I'm doing a similar two-evening workshop in Jan. 2017 (sponsored by

Research & the Poetry Project):  [I'll have info about this very soon, if
anyone would

like to consider joining] —& in Naropa's Summer Program in June, Bruce & I
are doing a one week long joint version of this.

*On the digital front:*

I created a 'Vimeo' page (of film work & of selected choreographic pieces
that I

digitized). And I created a personal website, which has links to my Vimeo
page, as well as

photos, poems, essays, etc.

Currently, my biggest digital project is digitizing nearly all my videos

rehearsal tapes, raw material, improvised & choreographed performances

back [in many formats] to 1980 — with an eye toward creating an Archive &

with a big online component (which I'm doing jointly with Bruce Andrews)


back at my 'day job' (since 1981), I got my first computer experience at The

Labor Institute, a progressive organization (working with Labor unions) that

researches & develops curriculum on Health & Safety, the Environment &

Immigrant issues for working people.

There, I hated conforming to the computer's mandates & grids (without

or curved lines). I first started to enjoy the computer world when it
became a way to

communicate & present or share work & find out about other artists &
activists' work.

Here's a link to my website:

*www.sallysilversdance.com <http://www.sallysilversdance.com>*

& to my Vimeo page:

*https://vimeo.com/user16409788 <https://vimeo.com/user16409788>*

& to a recent interview about the work Bruce & I have done together:


& to The Labor Institute's website:

*www.thelaborinstitute.org <http://www.thelaborinstitute.org>*


I'm an experimental poet (since 1969 — often, correctly, associated with
the so-called

'Language Poets'), editor (with Charles Bernstein, of *L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E*

1978-1982), essayist (on Poetics), Music Director of Sally Silvers &
Dancers (scores for

improvisers, soundscapes & texts, since the mid-1980s), performance artist

the multimedia political performance project *BARKING* in the '80s), &

left wing academic (teaching Political Science at Fordham in NYC,

*On the digital front*:

 late & slow to jump on, computer & email & Word/pdf documents only in the
21st C.

The sound artist Maria Chavez curated a 25 hour 'Twitter Sculpture' of my
work on my

birthday a few years ago, posting 300 short texts, one every 5 minutes,
with links to

recordings of each on SoundCloud & opportunities for comment, interactive
postings, etc.

Right now —

doing some visual art 'Aesthetics/Poetics' curating on Facebook, as well
as  (right up until

the Trumpocalypse, a series of 'Ridiculous Republicans (or Dangerous

images. [Please friend me on Facebook].

Otherwise, age appropriate (?!) 'out-of-itness' with regard to social media.

No website, but:

a few years ago, I helped the organizers of an academic conference on my
poetry to

create a pretty elaborate web collection of material — both of & about my

[Link here:

<http://fordhamenglish.com/bruce-andrews>     **  ]*

Right now, Sally Silvers & I are (jointly) organizing our archives — of
35-45 years of

art producing & community involvement.

And slowly getting acquainted with the practical/theoretical issues
involved in archival presentation & in the opportunities for doing
something different with a platform (especially an online one) based on an

I'm interested in [& would love to converse about}:

how writers would want 'new work' presented online, or what modes of work

best in that environment;

& how you would want older (archived) work [& surrounding materials]

How can the web function as a *Platform* for the new & for the archivable.

What are the advantages, opportunities, risks, drawbacks.

With 'meaning', what contextual information can be provided — equivalents
of scene-

setting, background, footnotes, forewords;

or of hypertextual links on individual works, phrases, words; or of extra

equivalent of a photo exhibit or slideshow, a Q & A/oral history, an
artist's statement, results of online search, data analysis or data mining,
comparison with other texts or other versions or drafts [as in a 'genetic'
version of a text].

In a dance equivalent, this might involve links to rehearsal material,
source material, multiple performances, notes, photos, drawings, audio or
visual materials — of the kind you might see in a museum exhibit]

Thinking also of Lev Manovich's argument in *Language of New Media* about
the 'data base'

as a model — opposed to the more passive 'following' of a narrative, with
search & analysis

& active user controls in the foreground.

As artists, what can we do with tech & what has tech done to us.


Thanks to Murat for inviting us.

We're both eager to participate in this, to hear from subscribers on this
site —

especially working textually and/or in performance, confronted with this
21st Century


If, for instance, they've been interested or have wanted to experiment with

& writing together:  what could they imagine they wanted to see in a
digital presentation.

A matter of translation:

how to present performance online — how to make the body into data, or into


how to present multi-media collaborations online;

how to create an interactive possibility — even with 'concordances' of
parts of texts or

of choreographic pieces.

Send your favorite movement video (YouTube or etc.) . . .

Send your favorite multimedia use of text . . .

On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 7:28 PM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com>

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> But, Michael, are ordinary and imperfect the same thing?
> Murat
> On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 5:47 PM, Michael Boughn <mboughn at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Finitude (Agamben) and imperfection are the defining qualities of the
>> ordinary, which, Emerson tells us, we have yet to acknowledge as our
>> condition. Hence we keep screwing up.
>> Sent from my iPad
>> On Nov 22, 2016, at 3:35 PM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Chris, I apologize for the typo. I was writing the introduction six
>> o'clock in the morning since I had to be at Kennedy Airport very early. And
>> I did use "tent" metaphorically, but are you sure it was inside Parish
>> Hall? I remember it being somewhere in the boondocks. Like quite a few
>> others, I seem to have disappeared from the PoPro list a few years ago
>> also. Finally, I attributed my case to bad breath.
>> Yes, perhaps the final struggle is "between algorithm/perfection) &
>> human/imperfection." We should pursue it further on. But in *Blade
>> Runner*, even the super human androids are imperfect. They must die.
>> That is the pathos of that film, and also perhaps our ultimate salvation.
>> If you have followed the discussions the previous weeks this month, I was
>> talking about the possibility of a poetics of "failure" or "inefficiency"
>> which may be close to what you mean by ?imperfection." We were also
>> discussing about "glitches" in the algorithmic structures. You say that can
>> not be. Do you mean they are impossible or not permitted?
>> What that architect was telling you sounded more like "laziness," an over
>> trust of machines. That's why so many buildings are, as Jean Renoir says,
>> boring.
>> Good beginning. Welcome to Empyre, Chris.
>> Ciao,
>> Murat
>> On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 9:46 AM, Funkhouser, Christopher T. <
>> christopher.t.funkhouser at njit.edu> wrote:
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> Murat: nice intro, thanks. I'm humored by your recollection of the St.
>>> Marks event. We were, however, definitely at a table in the Parish
>>> Hall--though we may as well have been in a tent! Until about 1998 I was
>>> often invited to perform at the Poetry Project, but since then, not once!
>>> This nearly coincides with when I started teaching in Newark, oddly enough.
>>> Being an academic at a middle-class state school has its perks but probably
>>> also its downsides (at least in terms of getting gigs at the PoProj).
>>> We have known each other a long while, had many exchanges & social
>>> adventures. I've recorded & produced your work on CD, CD-ROM, etc., etc. &
>>> yet after all that there's a typo in my name in the subject line
>>> here--which is fine, considering I have no belief in perfection. (& I have
>>> never cared about the spelling of my last name, which is already a
>>> bastardization of the original--in fact your spelling is true to the
>>> original but is not what appears my birth certificate!). From my pov there
>>> are only a few things in life that require perfection, one of which is
>>> computer code. Thankfully the corporations in charge make it so that most
>>> people never have to deal with code, how nice. I had dinner with an
>>> architect the other night, who was explaining even his plans didn't have to
>>> be perfect (which I thought was strange). Building designs can be
>>> imperfect, code can't! So maybe the certainly possible (imo) "exchange" you
>>> ask Bruce about is a dialog between algorithm/perfection) &
>>> human/imperfection. I like that, something like that, think like that.
>>> Towards cyborgian synthesis, yah.
>>> I believe that we are supposed to start off by posting a statement (&
>>> bio?), so OK, here:
>>> Call what I do research. On a couple of occasions I’ve stepped up &
>>> presented books that helped me & hopefully others understand the world of
>>> digital writing from a historical perspective. *Prehistoric Digital
>>> Poetry *(https://monoskop.org/log/?p=179), a dozen years in the making,
>>> was done with the intent that it would outlast me. It will. Most of the
>>> time, though, I’m a momentary doer/maker rather than a sayer...
>>> Beyond life as poet & multimedia artist I play various musical
>>> instruments, mainly bass (& some voice), in an unnamed completely
>>> improvisational trio, which is such a potent form of expression. This is
>>> part of what I had to say with them last friday, in our first post-election
>>> jam:
>>> https://soundcloud.com/fnkhsr/edge
>>> My work in audio production, documentarian & artistic, started in the
>>> late 80s & continues—I’m a contributing editor at PennSound, & earlier this
>>> year I performed a sound collage at the Whitney Museum’s Open Plan: Cecil
>>> Taylor exhibit (Fred Moten & I also hosted a listening session at the
>>> event).
>>> Since early this summer I’ve been working intensively with Chuck Stein,
>>> who I’ve known since 1992. We recorded more than 18 hours of his poetry (a
>>> retrospective anthology), phase one of a project on its way to PennSound
>>> (part two will be Chuck reading all of Olson’s *MAXIMUS*, apparently
>>> from back to front). In 2015 I did a similar project with Peter Lamborn
>>> Wilson, recording 600 of his poems for PennSound (
>>> http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Wilson.php).
>>> About a year ago I was lucky to get a grant from my employer, NJIT, to
>>> fund research in interactive digital audio (under the title “Expressive and
>>> Documentary Interactive Audio in the Humanities”). I’ve been playing and
>>> performing with MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) since 2010,
>>> & recently I invented a way for my voice to trigger orchestral
>>> instrumentation, which was a significant breakthrough. Haven’t brought this
>>> material out of the woodshed yet, though recently a piece was supposed to
>>> be played as part of a program at the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz that
>>> didn’t end up happening as planned. Perhaps I should use the occasion of
>>> this discussion to go public with it.
>>>  Another relevant work to this part of my life is *Funk’s SoundBox 2012*,
>>> archiving most of the recordings I made over the course of a year in one
>>> web-app, which was nominated for a 2013 Digital Humanities Award & is
>>> housed at https://web.njit.edu/~funkhous/chercher/home.html.
>>> I guess lastly, for now, I wanted to mention I do a monthly literary
>>> arts radio program on WGXC, community station in Hudson NY (sponsored by a
>>> fantastic organization named Wave Farm). On most occasions local poets come
>>> in, read, & we talk. Gratifying work. Since last October I’ve done programs
>>> centered on Allen Ginsberg, Sam Truitt, Anne Gorrick, Andy Clausen, Pamela
>>> Twining, Bernadette Mayer, Philip Good, Lori Anderson Moseman, Chuck Stein,
>>> Robert Kelly, Joan Rettalack, Cecil Taylor, George Quasha, Rebecca Wolff,
>>> Tim Davis, Amiri Baraka, & Lee Gough. Archives of those programs are
>>> available via https://wavefarm.org/wgxc/schedule/ya0aha
>>> *Chris Funkhouser: author of Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeology
>>> of Forms, 1959-1995 (Alabama, 2007), New Directions in Digital Poetry
>>> (Continuum, 2012), Whereis Mineral: Selected Adventures in MOO (Gauss PDF),
>>> the chapbooks pressAgain (Free Dogma), Subsoil Lutes (Beard of Bees), and
>>> Electro Þerdix (Least Weasel). With Sonny Rae Tempest he co-authored and
>>> twice staged a "code opera", Shy nag, whose source was the hexadecimal code
>>> of a single .jpg image (see
>>> https://web.njit.edu/~funkhous/2015/Shy-nag/shy-nag-info.html
>>> <https://web.njit.edu/~funkhous/2015/Shy-nag/shy-nag-info.html> for details
>>> and documentation). He was a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at Multimedia
>>> University (Malaysia) in 2006. In 2009, the Associated Press commissioned
>>> him to prepare digital poems for the occasion of Barack Obama’s
>>> inauguration.  Funkhouser is Professor and Director of the Communication
>>> and Media program at New Jersey Institute of Technology, a Contributing
>>> Editor at PennSound, and hosts POET RAY’D YO on WGXC in Hudson, NY.*
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> _______________________________________________
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> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
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