[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 175, Issue 11

Margaret Rhee mrheeloy at gmail.com
Tue Oct 15 06:11:13 AEDT 2019


Thank you Kenji, Lynne, Truong, and Maria for your illuminations on poetry
and play. I find myself wanting to stay with these insights and observations
:

Considering Kenji’s playful process of “Frankenpo” of erasure, collage, graphic
design, and social practice in the community of Little Tokyo; Filmmaker and
poet Lynne’s playful collaborations with poet Paolo Javier and how a
poem/experimental film centers play from 8 mm to enjampments on the
page. Maria’s
thoughts of “Lets take refuge in play..." and the etymology of these words
becomes important within a political context, and I think about the impulse
that whether in poetry or weaving; Truong's words of "I play because I'm
afraid that someday I will lose the desire to play," and playing whether in
language or in mylar, and as anti-performative. Although even in typing, we
can see/feel the poetics/performative, and yet speak against it, and is
that also play?

It bears to mind many of these insights connect back to the intervention of
play in the structures and violences of institutions and the connection of
play to institutional critique. That as whimsical a we see it, play can be
an intervention of neatly taffy boxes we're to reside in? I admire these
poets greatly, and for their interventions in language, other art forms,
and in their insights and the urgency of their interventions. I think about
Samuel Delaney buying Lynne's book, and heartened also in how we make
and remake one another worlds in this age of catastrophe.

I've been thinking a lot about Mina Loy, and Ill include a quote here: “Poetry
is prose bewitched, a music made of visual thoughts, the sound of an idea.”

This week's concerns, poetics, and insights connects so well to our next
forum on Queer Methods, Ethnography, and Play and given the connections of
poets and poetry on this forum, I hope the dialogue continues. I hope we
continue to play.

On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 12:22 PM Truong Tran <truong.celan at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>
>
>
> I have been thinking a lot about play in my own work.  I play with
> language to get to a deeper understanding of my own relationship to the
> written word. I play with materials in an attempt to get at what’s hidden
> inside. I play to think through the consciousness of this time. I play to
> know that I can still move through language and colors and shapes and
> textures. I play because I am afraid that someday one day, I will lose the
> desire to play. I was working with mylar and acetate today. I was trying to
> make the colors bleed and it seemed to resist the notion of blending. I
> gave up and went back to what I knew in the moment. Started to think about
> titles for this seemingly failed work of art. I am calling it “America, the
> pot is melting and this melting pot is racist as fuck!” It seems to make
> sense now that it has been attached to language.
>
>
> I tell my students to play with language. Wander and explore. I am often
> met with resistance. Without saying as much, I get the sense that they
> think play is indulgent, frivolous and privileged. And just like that, I
> find myself agreeing with them. I worry that play interpreted in this time
> is rendered as “play” written and staged and we become actors, our lives
> charactered in this performance of otherness. I have been writing a lot
> about this very thing. I have been resisting this performance and yet in
> writing this as an anti performance, this play, playing. Am I not
> performing right about now?
>
>
> Hera are some words I’ve written. I was playing around with language in
> the hopes of getting inside of language. Truth be told, i am not sure what
> I meant by that. On the day that the MacArthur Genius grant was announce
> this month, I received two Facebook messages and an email congratulating me
> on having been in proximity to the actual recipient of the award. I am
> Vietnamese and I am gay but seriously wtf? Play.
>
>
> Truong Tran
>
>
> three fragments from The Book of Others
>
>
> 1
>
> You begin with a foundation premised on shame. Take what you know to be
> your pride. Bury it deep in the telling of shame. it will grow in time.
> Tell the story of your mother. Know your reader and tell them of her shame.
> Know your reader. Take ownership. Tell them of your shame. Sing them a
> song, a song from your country or better yet one of theirs but foreign
> enough that they could see it as your song. Your otherness. Yours. Never
> speak out of turn. Remind them of the war. Always ask for permission when
> in their house. Speak as though you are about to cry. Make them cry. Their
> tears will grow whats buried deep in shame. This pride sprouting through
> your shame of being an immigrant, gay. Perhaps even literary. in the movie
> version of this story, this is rendered as a nightmare or a dream. A field
> of bodies covered in ash. Your family. Your friends. People from that place
> you refer to as your village. This scene in the movie is shot in slow
> motion wide angle. You emerge gasping for air. This is how you stake your
> claim to the status of refuge. This is the performance you have prepared
> for your whole life. This performance of otherness, of trauma and of shame,
> of overcoming your shame. This pride of becoming, of being. You give this
> to your reader, pruned and planted as a bonsai tree. Let them know by
> presenting them with this tree. Your mother should be standing beside you
> right about now. Bow. Pause. Let them take in this moment. In unison, bow.
> They can take pride in knowing their tears helped you grow out of your
> shame into their proclamation. That you are their national treasure. If
> only there could be a living museum.  They will take pride in believing
> that your story is one that can only happen in this place,  this country.
> In this time. You willingly give and so your story is now their story. This
> story born of shame. It will sit in their house where it will be nurtured
> and grown. It will occasionally move them to tears until it is forgotten.
> And this is how you write for the white readers of your story. You begin
> with a foundation premised on shame. Make sure when read, it is your shame
> and never theirs.
>
>
> 2.
>
> The fact is when confronting whiteness in the form of discrimination, you
> find yourself confronted by a Vietnamese lawyer in a room full of white
> people. She as the lawyer and you as the  complainant in a room witnessed
> by a room full of white people. You and this Vietnamese lawyer are in a
> play two actors one act. The fact is you want to say this is my life. You
> debate the legalities of discrimination. The fact is you are fighting for a
> job and she is doing her job.The fact is there needs to be a winner. There
> needs to be witnesses. The fact is this needed to happen in the presence of
> white people. The fact is you write this poem because you have to. This is
> your job. You are doing your job in the same way that she was doing her job.
> The fact is you are doing the job of writing this poem for when the time
> comes for when you can look back for her or someone like her. The fact is
> you write this poem for you. For when you can for when you will see this
> for what it is. Dear Vietnamese lawyer doing the work of deposing, I wrote
> this poem. I wrote it to document an extraordinary encounter when two
> Vietnamese met in a room in a country that was not Vietnam. They played the
> lead in a play about whiteness. Only it was not a play but lives in play.
> Yours and mine. I wrote this poem for you in the hopes that you will find
> this poem sometime in the future. The fact is I could never have imagined
> this happening as it did. Two Vietnamese in a room debating the
> constitution of being discriminated in full view of a room full of white
> people. The fact is dear fellow Vietnamese. The fact is dear you. I wanted
> to ask this but I didn’t. As one Vietnamese to another. Where are you from?
> The fact is dear white.
>
>
> 3.
>
> You want to end with *you motherfucker* because you hope to convey the
> reality of arriving. This is not the performance of anger or outrage. This
> will not be archived or contained. Tempered or triaged. This is arriving at
> the present. This is not anger. It is angry. And so you want to say *you
> motherfucker* but you are afraid. Conditioned into knowing this language
> is lacking decorum, politeness, the civility needed to be seen as
> literature. You see you are afraid of someone saying they are afraid of you
> because of your tone, your voice, your choice of words, your use of
> diction. You have been told this throughout your life. Watch your language.
> Mind your manners, You have no accent. We don’t use that sort of language
> around here. Language please.  As if to say. This is our language. Be
> careful with our language . As an immigrant teaching college english you
> have this fear of being exposed. Your english is corrected because it still
> needs correcting. You are afraid of being pronounced. Tran Duc Truong you
> are an uneducated villager. You come from a country made up of villages. *You
> motherfucker*. That is to say it is quite alright to declare your mother
> as an uneducated village peasant. Perhaps this is even encouraged as a
> starting point. The trauma of your uneducated mother as other as seen
> through the eyes of the gay son. This othering of the self. This is
> expected. That is to say a good story needs a humble beginning. Language
> please. *You motherfucker.*
>
>
>
> On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 6:01 PM <
> empyre-request at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> wrote:
>
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>>
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>
>> Today's Topics:
>>
>>    1. Re: Poetry and Play (Kenji Liu)
>>    2. Re: Poetry and Play (Lynne Sachs)
>>    3. Re: Poetry and Play (Jamika Ajalon)
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2019 11:02:17 -0700
>> From: Kenji Liu <paramista at gmail.com>
>> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Poetry and Play
>> Message-ID:
>>         <
>> CAFbgB6v65yfy3Qy3PQgJuTsZ75B-SYRnRCFfnFLxrRVb86E4Tw at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
>>
>> Hello everyone, glad to be with you all. Many thanks to Margaret for
>> inviting me to participate in this forum, I'm looking forward to the
>> conversation.
>>
>> I'm primarily a poet at this time, but definitely interdisciplinary?I
>> also work in graphic design and digital video. My most recent poetry
>> collection, Monsters I Have Been (which came out in April), is
>> definitely play-oriented in its methodology.
>>
>> To write many of the poems in the book, I developed a process called
>> "frankenpo" (or frankenstein poetry), which owes its inspiration to
>> other techniques such as erasure, collage, and Oulipo's n+7. I was
>> interested in finding a way to write that didn't rely solely on me as
>> an author generating some kind of personal narrative.
>>
>> Frankenpo plays with ideas of composting and taxidermy. As you all
>> might know, Frankenstein's monster was a "man" constructed from the
>> parts of other men. In this way, frankenpo finds 2 or more source
>> texts (news articles, speeches, film scripts, songs, religious texts,
>> academic papers, etc), combines them, breaks them down to their
>> individual words, uses text manipulation software to randomize, which
>> results in a big jumbled block of all words from both sources. I then
>> chip away at the block, focusing on finding interesting phrases and
>> juxtapositions that emerge from the randomization process. I then take
>> the remaining text and arrange them into a final poem.
>>
>> The political aspect of this is in the choice of source texts, and how
>> one decides what to keep and arrange into a poem. For me, I was
>> interested in exploring masculinities?especially toxic masculinity,
>> but also un-conventional forms of masculinity. So the source texts I
>> chose had something to do with these topics.
>>
>> Here is one example of a frankenpo:
>>
>> https://apogeejournal.org/2018/01/12/outlast-empire-kenji-liu-frankenpoetry-monsters-toxic-masculinity/
>>
>> Some of the other poems in the collection also engage artificial
>> intelligence, divination, and google translate in their writing
>> process, but I can save that for another email.
>>
>> Just to finish this intro, my arts practices also find grounding in
>> the community work that I do in the Los Angeles Little Tokyo
>> community, directly and indirectly. This comes out of a long personal
>> history of being both an artist and community activist.
>>
>> These days, I'm increasingly social practice-oriented, due to the
>> "creative placekeeping" work that I do in Little Tokyo, where I help
>> facilitate creative projects that are community-engaged and social
>> justice oriented.
>>
>> That's all for now -- looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts.
>>
>> Best,
>> Kenji Liu
>>
>>
>> Monsters I Have Been  |  Alice James Books, April 2019  |  IG:
>> @monstersihavebeen
>> Craters: A Field Guide  |  Goodmorning Menagerie, 2017
>> Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry
>> Prize  |  Inlandia Books, 2016
>>
>> [he/him/his]  |  kenjiliu.com  |  Graphic Design  |  Manuscript
>> Consultations (Poetry/Essay/Hybrid Genre)
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 10:45 AM Margaret Rhee <mrheeloy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi everyone,
>> >
>> > Writing again to start a new thread for this week on Poetry and Play.
>> Honored to introduce the following poets to this week who play across
>> poetry and other artforms; such as the visual art of Truong Tran, textiles
>> work of Maria Damon, graphic design interventions of Kenji Liu and
>> experimental films by Lynne Sachs and her new collection YEAR BY YEAR POEMS
>> just released by Tender Buttons Poetry.
>> >
>> > The artists this week express a range of practices in conversation with
>> poetry. Building upon this notion of play, and other issues that emerged
>> such as logics and academic capitalism for example, we?re honored to hear
>> further from this week?s participants to share about their work and
>> practices of play in multiple genres and poetics. I placed their bios
>> below, and the description of the forum. It would be great to hear further
>> about your poetry practice and as it intersects with other art forms. Thank
>> you Truong, Lynne, Kenji, and Maria for joining us.
>> >
>> > Bios
>> >
>> > Truong Tran is a poet and visual artist. He received his MFA from San
>> Francisco State University in 1995 in the field of writing. He is the
>> author numerous volumes of poetry. He is a self taught visual artist whose
>> work has been exhibited in venues including the California Historical
>> Society, California Institute of Integral Studies, SOMArts Gallery,
>> Telegraph Hill Gallery and The San Francisco International Art Market Art
>> Fair, Avenue 12 Gallery and The Peninsula Museum of Art. Truong lives in
>> San Francisco and teaches at Mills College.
>> >
>> > Lynne Sachs makes films and writes poems that explore the intricate
>> relationship between personal observations and broader historical
>> experiences. Her work embraces hybrid form and combines memoir with
>> experimental, documentary, and fictional modes. In recent years, she has
>> expanded her practice to include live performance with moving image. Lynne
>> was first exposed to poetry by her great aunt as a child in Memphis,
>> Tennessee.  Soon she was frequenting workshops at the local library and
>> getting a chance to learn from poets like Gwendolyn Brooks and Ethridge
>> Knight. As an active member of Brown University?s undergraduate poetry
>> community, she shared her early poems with fellow poet Stacy Doris. Lynne
>> later discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco where
>> she worked with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer,
>> Carolee Schneeman, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.  Lynne has made thirty-five films
>> which have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sunda
>>  nce Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of
>> American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Wexner Center for the Arts.
>> Festivals in Buenos Aires, Beijing and Havana have presented retrospectives
>> of her work. Lynne received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in
>> Brooklyn. In October, Tender Buttons Press, which publishes experimental
>> women's and gender-expansive poetry, is releasing Lynne's book YEAR BY YEAR
>> POEMS (2019) which is now available through Small Press Distribution.
>> >
>> > Kenji C. Liu is a visual artist and author of Monsters I Have Been
>> (Alice James Books, 2019) and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015
>> Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry is in
>> numerous journals, anthologies, magazines, and two chapbooks, Craters: A
>> Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of
>> Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community
>> of Writers, he lives in occupied Tongva land, where he lectures in Asian
>> American Studies at UCLA, Art at Occidental College, and manages creative
>> place-keeping initiatives in Little Tokyo.
>> >
>> > Maria Damon teaches in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies
>> and in the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute of Art. She holds a
>> Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a B.A.
>> from Hampshire College, and taught for many years in the Department of
>> English at the University of Minnesota.  She is the author of The Dark End
>> of the Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry(University of Minnesota
>> Press, 1994) and Postliterary America: From Bagel Shop Jazz to
>> Micropoetries(University of Iowa Press, 2011), both of which explored the
>> edges of ?poetry? from alternative canons to subcultural imaginative verbal
>> practices. She co-edited (with Ira Livingston) Poetry and Cultural Studies:
>> A Reader(University of Illinois Press, 2009). She has published a number of
>> online multi-media/poetry projects with mIEKAL aND, which have also been
>> published as print books: Literature Nation(Potes & Poets), which was the
>> first full-length hypertext poem o
>>  nline; pleasureTEXTpossession(Xexoxial Editions); and eros/ion(Ntamo)
>> ?all of which (and a few more) can be found at
>> http://joglars.org/multidex.html. She has also collaborated with Adeena
>> Karasick, Alan Sondheim, Michelle Goldblatt, and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen. Her
>> scholarship has been published in American Literary History, SAQ, Cultural
>> Studies, Cultural Critique, Postmodern Culture, Modern Fiction Studies,
>> jacket2, Xcp: Cross-cultural Poetics, Cybertext Yearbook, Iowa Journal of
>> Cultural Studies, Electronic Book Review, etc., as well as in a number of
>> books of essays on subjects such as performed poetry, cultural Jewishness,
>> modernist American poetry, queer beat poetry, diasporic avant-gardes, and
>> individual writers such as Bob Kaufman, Jack Spicer, Gertrude Stein and
>> (forthcoming) Nathaniel Mackey. She edited a special section (focused on
>> the work of Bob Kaufman) for a special issue on jazz poetics of Callaloo.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > She also has a practice as a textile worker in weaving and counted
>> cross-stitch, and has produced two chapbooks of ?x-stitch vispo?
>> (cross-stitch visual poetry): meshwards(Dusie Kollektiv, 2011 and
>> http://www.dusie.org/Damon%20Meshwards.pdf) and XXX(nous-zot, 2015). Her
>> work has been exhibited in various visual poetry and/or text/textile shows.
>> >
>> >
>> > On Practice and Play: Gestures Across Genres
>> >
>> > In this month's -empyre- forum, we take up the question of productivity
>> and and the politics of play, and how playing across genres, mediums,
>> forms, disciplines, and departments, etc. makes for new kinds of innovative
>> art, thinking, and community; and in doing so, better intervenes and
>> gestures toward transformative futures. The current conspiracy-us versus
>> them- culture perhaps exemplifies the problem of singular thinking and the
>> need for creative, eclectic, and innovative practices more than ever. We?re
>> interested in artists, thinkers, and activists with practices that cross
>> over boundaries and intervene in dichotomous logics. With attention to
>> justice, we explore how multiple forms of art practices prompt us to
>> reimagine different kind of worlds, as strategy and survival. Initially
>> inspired by Tony Conrad's work, his practice spans across film, music,
>> writing, and sculptures, we playfully ask how play lends itself to more
>> libratory ways of creation and practice.
>> >
>> > We begin with the first week on media and new media art in
>> conversation. with Tony Conrad's playful work across mediums, we then move
>> into a second week asking questions on poetry and playing across the
>> visual, cinematic, and theoretical, the third week is dedicated to the
>> theme of ethnography across forms such as photography, film, and poetry,
>> the forth week focuses on the ways artists advocate for decolonial and
>> racial resistance through playing across genres and forms. While seemingly
>> diverse, we hope the loosely organized topics will lend itself to
>> connections between the weeks, and across the genres and themes presented.
>> With attention to questions such as capital, creativity, institutional
>> critique, and justice, we?re honored to have the following artists and
>> thinkers join us for this conversation and reflect on the possibilities of
>> practice, gestures, and play.
>> >
>> > We also invite our -empyre- subscribers, whose own work broadly
>> resonates with the themes of practice and play, to join the conversation.
>> What are the ways your practice has played or plays across genres? Have you
>> faced institutional challenges in crossing disciplinary divides, and if so,
>> how did you overcome them? Is play and practice productive? We explore this
>> topic of play through four loose themes. We welcome our guests and all
>> -empyre- subscribers to actively participate and post this month and share
>> your practices and experiences of playing across genres and any questions
>> that arise. We look forward to the conversation.
>> >
>> > --
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.
>> >
>> > College Fellow in Digital Practice (2018 - 2019)
>> > Department of English
>> > Harvard University
>> >
>> > Assistant Professor in Media Theory (2019)
>> > Department of Media Study
>> > SUNY Buffalo
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2019 01:57:22 -0400
>> From: Lynne Sachs <lynnesachs at gmail.com>
>> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Poetry and Play
>> Message-ID:
>>         <
>> CAHdoTQqHq+fK2qap+WpJa+6+7KLntfvGJNzp-kJGYPr9iNYL8A at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> Hello empyre community,
>>
>> Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. In 2014,  Queens Poet Laureate
>> Paolo Javier invited me to create a short film that would speak to one of
>> the poems in his newly published collection *Court of the Dragon*
>> (Nightboat Books). I chose the poem "Starfish Aorta Colossus" and
>> interwove
>> text from Stanza 10 with my own images. In my film of the same name, I
>> travel through 25 years of my own unsplit Regular 8 mm film -- including
>> footage of the A.I.D.S. Quilt from the late 1980s, a drive from Florida to
>> San Francisco, and a journey into a very un-touristed part of Puerto Rico.
>> Paolo?s poem became the catalyst for my digital sculpting of a five minute
>> Kodachrome canvas. His syntactical ruptures and his celebration of nouns
>> that moved without the assistance of verbs pushed me to illuminate
>> twenty-five years of my own rediscovered cinema archive. You can see the
>> film here: https://vimeo.com/124461098
>>
>> Poets and experimental filmmakers share an obsession with / repulsion for
>> grammar.  When we decide that we want to break the rules of common syntax,
>> we are freed to make the work that we love and - to use the word of the
>> day
>> in empyre-land - we begin to *play*.  A few weeks ago, Tender Buttons
>> Press
>> published my first book of poetry *Year by Year Poems *
>> (https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9780927920209/year-by-year-poems.aspx
>> ).
>> While writing poetry has been at the foundation of so much of my work as
>> an
>> experimental filmmaker for the last 30 years, this is the first time that
>> my writing has appeared on a published page.   I did a reading at Penn
>> Book
>> Center in Philadelphia recently. The very first person to buy my book was
>> none other than beloved science fiction author and literary critic Samuel
>> Delany. Immediately after his purchase, he explained to me that he was a
>> prose writer ? only ? as much as he appreciated poetry. I asked him why
>> ?prose? had gotten such a bad name for itself when turned into its
>> adjective ?prosaic,? and he immediately followed the etymological root to
>> ?prosa? or ?everyday, straightforward?.  In contrast, poetry begins with
>> ?piling up, building, making? and has, somehow attained a kind of elevated
>> stature. Then Delany quoted a character in Moli?re?s Bourgeois
>> Gentilhomme.
>>
>> Monsieur Jordain: Oh, really? So when I say: Nicole bring me my slippers
>> and fetch my nightcap,? is that prose?
>> Philosophy Master: Most clearly.
>> Monsieur Jordain: Well, what do you know about that! These forty years now
>> I?ve been speaking in prose without knowing it!
>>
>> In my collaboration with Javier and in my conversation with Delany, I
>> discovered an irreverence for any form of rigid differentiation between
>> forms of expression. Whether I am making a film, writing a poem, or
>> ?speaking? in prose, I try to bask in the inchoate evolution of form.
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 1:45 PM Margaret Rhee <mrheeloy at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > Hi everyone,
>> >
>> > Writing again to start a new thread for this week on Poetry and Play.
>> > Honored to introduce the following poets to this week who play across
>> > poetry and other artforms; such as the visual art of Truong Tran,
>> textiles
>> > work of Maria Damon, graphic design interventions of Kenji Liu and
>> > experimental films by Lynne Sachs and her new collection YEAR BY YEAR
>> > POEMS just released by Tender Buttons Poetry.
>> >
>> > The artists this week express a range of practices in conversation with
>> > poetry. Building upon this notion of play, and other issues that emerged
>> > such as logics and academic capitalism for example, we?re honored to
>> hear
>> > further from this week?s participants to share about their work and
>> > practices of play in multiple genres and poetics. I placed their bios
>> > below, and the description of the forum. It would be great to hear
>> further
>> > about your poetry practice and as it intersects with other art forms.
>> Thank
>> > you Truong, Lynne, Kenji, and Maria for joining us.
>> >
>> > *Bios*
>> >
>> > Truong Tran is a poet and visual artist. He received his MFA from San
>> > Francisco State University in 1995 in the field of writing. He is the
>> > author numerous volumes of poetry. He is a self taught visual artist
>> whose
>> > work has been exhibited in venues including the California Historical
>> > Society, California Institute of Integral Studies, SOMArts Gallery,
>> > Telegraph Hill Gallery and The San Francisco International Art Market
>> Art
>> > Fair, Avenue 12 Gallery and The Peninsula Museum of Art. Truong lives in
>> > San Francisco and teaches at Mills College.
>> >
>> > Lynne Sachs makes films and writes poems that explore the intricate
>> > relationship between personal observations and broader historical
>> > experiences. Her work embraces hybrid form and combines memoir with
>> > experimental, documentary, and fictional modes. In recent years, she has
>> > expanded her practice to include live performance with moving image.
>> Lynne was
>> > first exposed to poetry by her great aunt as a child in Memphis,
>> > Tennessee.  Soon she was frequenting workshops at the local library and
>> > getting a chance to learn from poets like Gwendolyn Brooks and Ethridge
>> > Knight. As an active member of Brown University?s undergraduate poetry
>> > community, she shared her early poems with fellow poet Stacy Doris.
>> Lynne later
>> > discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco where
>> she
>> > worked with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Carolee
>> > Schneeman, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.  Lynne has made thirty-five films which
>> > have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival,
>> > the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker
>> > Art Center, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Festivals in Buenos
>> Aires,
>> > Beijing and Havana have presented retrospectives of her work. Lynne
>> received
>> > a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn. In October, Tender
>> > Buttons Press, which publishes experimental women's and gender-expansive
>> > poetry, is releasing Lynne's book YEAR BY YEAR POEMS (2019) which is now
>> > available through Small Press Distribution.
>> >
>> > Kenji C. Liu is a visual artist and author of *Monsters I Have Been*
>> (Alice
>> > James Books, 2019) and *Map of an Onion*, national winner of the 2015
>> > Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry is in
>> > numerous journals, anthologies, magazines, and two chapbooks, *Craters:
>> A
>> > Field Guide* (2017) and *You Left Without Your Shoes* (2009). An alumnus
>> > of Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the
>> > Community of Writers, he lives in occupied Tongva land, where he
>> lectures
>> > in Asian American Studies at UCLA, Art at Occidental College, and
>> manages creative
>> > place-keeping initiatives in Little Tokyo.
>> >
>> > Maria Damon teaches in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies
>> and
>> > in the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute of Art. She holds a
>> > Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a
>> B.A.
>> > from Hampshire College, and taught for many years in the Department of
>> > English at the University of Minnesota.  She is the author of *The Dark
>> > End of the Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry*(University of
>> > Minnesota Press, 1994) and *Postliterary America: From Bagel Shop Jazz
>> to
>> > Micropoetries*(University of Iowa Press, 2011), both of which explored
>> > the edges of ?poetry? from alternative canons to subcultural imaginative
>> > verbal practices. She co-edited (with Ira Livingston) *Poetry and
>> > Cultural Studies: A Reader*(University of Illinois Press, 2009). She has
>> > published a number of online multi-media/poetry projects with mIEKAL
>> aND,
>> > which have also been published as print books: *Literature Nation*(Potes
>> > & Poets), which was the first full-length hypertext poem online;
>> > *pleasureTEXTpossession*(Xexoxial Editions); and *eros/ion*(Ntamo) ?all
>> > of which (and a few more) can be found at
>> http://joglars.org/multidex.html.
>> > She has also collaborated with Adeena Karasick, Alan Sondheim, Michelle
>> > Goldblatt, and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen. Her scholarship has been published
>> in *American
>> > Literary History*, *SAQ*, *Cultural Studies*, *Cultural Critique*,
>> *Postmodern
>> > Culture*, *Modern Fiction Studies*, *jacket2*, *Xcp: Cross-cultural
>> > Poetics*, *Cybertext Yearbook*, *Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies*,
>> *Electronic
>> > Book Review*, etc., as well as in a number of books of essays on
>> subjects
>> > such as performed poetry, cultural Jewishness, modernist American
>> poetry,
>> > queer beat poetry, diasporic avant-gardes, and individual writers such
>> as
>> > Bob Kaufman, Jack Spicer, Gertrude Stein and (forthcoming) Nathaniel
>> > Mackey. She edited a special section (focused on the work of Bob
>> Kaufman)
>> > for a special issue on jazz poetics of *Callaloo*.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > She also has a practice as a textile worker in weaving and counted
>> > cross-stitch, and has produced two chapbooks of ?x-stitch vispo?
>> > (cross-stitch visual poetry): *meshwards*(Dusie Kollektiv, 2011 and
>> > http://www.dusie.org/Damon%20Meshwards.pdf) and *XXX*(nous-zot, 2015).
>> > Her work has been exhibited in various visual poetry and/or text/textile
>> > shows.
>> >
>> >
>> > On Practice and Play: Gestures Across Genres
>> >
>> > In this month's -empyre- forum, we take up the question of productivity
>> > and and the politics of play, and how playing across genres, mediums,
>> > forms, disciplines, and departments, etc. makes for new kinds of
>> innovative
>> > art, thinking, and community; and in doing so, better intervenes and
>> > gestures toward transformative futures. The current conspiracy-us versus
>> > them- culture perhaps exemplifies the problem of singular thinking and
>> the
>> > need for creative, eclectic, and innovative practices more than ever.
>> We?re
>> > interested in artists, thinkers, and activists with practices that cross
>> > over boundaries and intervene in dichotomous logics. With attention to
>> > justice, we explore how multiple forms of art practices prompt us to
>> > reimagine different kind of worlds, as strategy and survival. Initially
>> > inspired by Tony Conrad's work, his practice spans across film, music,
>> > writing, and sculptures, we playfully ask how play lends itself to more
>> > libratory ways of creation and practice.
>> >
>> > We begin with the first week on media and new media art in conversation.
>> > with Tony Conrad's playful work across mediums, we then move into a
>> second
>> > week asking questions on poetry and playing across the visual,
>> cinematic,
>> > and theoretical, the third week is dedicated to the theme of ethnography
>> > across forms such as photography, film, and poetry, the forth week
>> focuses
>> > on the ways artists advocate for decolonial and racial resistance
>> through
>> > playing across genres and forms. While seemingly diverse, we hope the
>> > loosely organized topics will lend itself to connections between the
>> weeks,
>> > and across the genres and themes presented. With attention to questions
>> > such as capital, creativity, institutional critique, and justice, we?re
>> > honored to have the following artists and thinkers join us for this
>> > conversation and reflect on the possibilities of practice, gestures, and
>> > play.
>> >
>> > We also invite our -empyre- subscribers, whose own work broadly
>> resonates
>> > with the themes of practice and play, to join the conversation. What are
>> > the ways your practice has played or plays across genres? Have you faced
>> > institutional challenges in crossing disciplinary divides, and if so,
>> how
>> > did you overcome them? Is play and practice productive? We explore this
>> > topic of play through four loose themes. We welcome our guests and all
>> > -empyre- subscribers to actively participate and post this month and
>> share
>> > your practices and experiences of playing across genres and any
>> questions
>> > that arise. We look forward to the conversation.
>> >
>> > --
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.
>> >
>> > College Fellow in Digital Practice (2018 - 2019)
>> > Department of English
>> > Harvard University
>> >
>> > Assistant Professor in Media Theory (2019)
>> > Department of Media Study
>> > SUNY Buffalo
>> >
>>
>>
>> --
>> Lynne Sachs
>> www.lynnesachs.com
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>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:26:08 +0200
>> From: Jamika Ajalon <jamikaajalon at gmail.com>
>> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Poetry and Play
>> Message-ID:
>>         <CAM0TTE4ybkiGOrRqn9T_yTtOzYxyZOtr+XP1=
>> rrew5NDgpUV3w at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>
>> happy to meet fellow poets
>> comrades in cross disciplinary work
>> just reaching out into the network     ... think there could be/is  a lot
>> of crossover in our works
>>
>> check out www.jamikaajalon.com
>> and www.lpressl.com
>>
>> i will be visiting your sites ! excited.
>>
>> On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 4:16 PM Kenji Liu <paramista at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> > Hello everyone, glad to be with you all. Many thanks to Margaret for
>> > inviting me to participate in this forum, I'm looking forward to the
>> > conversation.
>> >
>> > I'm primarily a poet at this time, but definitely interdisciplinary?I
>> > also work in graphic design and digital video. My most recent poetry
>> > collection, Monsters I Have Been (which came out in April), is
>> > definitely play-oriented in its methodology.
>> >
>> > To write many of the poems in the book, I developed a process called
>> > "frankenpo" (or frankenstein poetry), which owes its inspiration to
>> > other techniques such as erasure, collage, and Oulipo's n+7. I was
>> > interested in finding a way to write that didn't rely solely on me as
>> > an author generating some kind of personal narrative.
>> >
>> > Frankenpo plays with ideas of composting and taxidermy. As you all
>> > might know, Frankenstein's monster was a "man" constructed from the
>> > parts of other men. In this way, frankenpo finds 2 or more source
>> > texts (news articles, speeches, film scripts, songs, religious texts,
>> > academic papers, etc), combines them, breaks them down to their
>> > individual words, uses text manipulation software to randomize, which
>> > results in a big jumbled block of all words from both sources. I then
>> > chip away at the block, focusing on finding interesting phrases and
>> > juxtapositions that emerge from the randomization process. I then take
>> > the remaining text and arrange them into a final poem.
>> >
>> > The political aspect of this is in the choice of source texts, and how
>> > one decides what to keep and arrange into a poem. For me, I was
>> > interested in exploring masculinities?especially toxic masculinity,
>> > but also un-conventional forms of masculinity. So the source texts I
>> > chose had something to do with these topics.
>> >
>> > Here is one example of a frankenpo:
>> >
>> >
>> https://apogeejournal.org/2018/01/12/outlast-empire-kenji-liu-frankenpoetry-monsters-toxic-masculinity/
>> >
>> > Some of the other poems in the collection also engage artificial
>> > intelligence, divination, and google translate in their writing
>> > process, but I can save that for another email.
>> >
>> > Just to finish this intro, my arts practices also find grounding in
>> > the community work that I do in the Los Angeles Little Tokyo
>> > community, directly and indirectly. This comes out of a long personal
>> > history of being both an artist and community activist.
>> >
>> > These days, I'm increasingly social practice-oriented, due to the
>> > "creative placekeeping" work that I do in Little Tokyo, where I help
>> > facilitate creative projects that are community-engaged and social
>> > justice oriented.
>> >
>> > That's all for now -- looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts.
>> >
>> > Best,
>> > Kenji Liu
>> >
>> >
>> > Monsters I Have Been  |  Alice James Books, April 2019  |  IG:
>> > @monstersihavebeen
>> > Craters: A Field Guide  |  Goodmorning Menagerie, 2017
>> > Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry
>> > Prize  |  Inlandia Books, 2016
>> >
>> > [he/him/his]  |  kenjiliu.com  |  Graphic Design  |  Manuscript
>> > Consultations (Poetry/Essay/Hybrid Genre)
>> >
>> > On Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 10:45 AM Margaret Rhee <mrheeloy at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > >
>> > > Hi everyone,
>> > >
>> > > Writing again to start a new thread for this week on Poetry and Play.
>> > Honored to introduce the following poets to this week who play across
>> > poetry and other artforms; such as the visual art of Truong Tran,
>> textiles
>> > work of Maria Damon, graphic design interventions of Kenji Liu and
>> > experimental films by Lynne Sachs and her new collection YEAR BY YEAR
>> POEMS
>> > just released by Tender Buttons Poetry.
>> > >
>> > > The artists this week express a range of practices in conversation
>> with
>> > poetry. Building upon this notion of play, and other issues that emerged
>> > such as logics and academic capitalism for example, we?re honored to
>> hear
>> > further from this week?s participants to share about their work and
>> > practices of play in multiple genres and poetics. I placed their bios
>> > below, and the description of the forum. It would be great to hear
>> further
>> > about your poetry practice and as it intersects with other art forms.
>> Thank
>> > you Truong, Lynne, Kenji, and Maria for joining us.
>> > >
>> > > Bios
>> > >
>> > > Truong Tran is a poet and visual artist. He received his MFA from San
>> > Francisco State University in 1995 in the field of writing. He is the
>> > author numerous volumes of poetry. He is a self taught visual artist
>> whose
>> > work has been exhibited in venues including the California Historical
>> > Society, California Institute of Integral Studies, SOMArts Gallery,
>> > Telegraph Hill Gallery and The San Francisco International Art Market
>> Art
>> > Fair, Avenue 12 Gallery and The Peninsula Museum of Art. Truong lives in
>> > San Francisco and teaches at Mills College.
>> > >
>> > > Lynne Sachs makes films and writes poems that explore the intricate
>> > relationship between personal observations and broader historical
>> > experiences. Her work embraces hybrid form and combines memoir with
>> > experimental, documentary, and fictional modes. In recent years, she has
>> > expanded her practice to include live performance with moving image.
>> Lynne
>> > was first exposed to poetry by her great aunt as a child in Memphis,
>> > Tennessee.  Soon she was frequenting workshops at the local library and
>> > getting a chance to learn from poets like Gwendolyn Brooks and Ethridge
>> > Knight. As an active member of Brown University?s undergraduate poetry
>> > community, she shared her early poems with fellow poet Stacy Doris.
>> Lynne
>> > later discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco
>> where
>> > she worked with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer,
>> > Carolee Schneeman, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.  Lynne has made thirty-five
>> films
>> > which have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film
>> > Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art,
>> the
>> > Walker Art Center, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Festivals in
>> Buenos
>> > Aires, Beijing and Havana have presented retrospectives of her work.
>> Lynne
>> > received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn. In
>> October,
>> > Tender Buttons Press, which publishes experimental women's and
>> > gender-expansive poetry, is releasing Lynne's book YEAR BY YEAR POEMS
>> > (2019) which is now available through Small Press Distribution.
>> > >
>> > > Kenji C. Liu is a visual artist and author of Monsters I Have Been
>> > (Alice James Books, 2019) and Map of an Onion, national winner of the
>> 2015
>> > Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry is in
>> > numerous journals, anthologies, magazines, and two chapbooks, Craters: A
>> > Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of
>> > Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the
>> Community
>> > of Writers, he lives in occupied Tongva land, where he lectures in Asian
>> > American Studies at UCLA, Art at Occidental College, and manages
>> creative
>> > place-keeping initiatives in Little Tokyo.
>> > >
>> > > Maria Damon teaches in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies
>> > and in the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute of Art. She
>> holds a
>> > Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a
>> B.A.
>> > from Hampshire College, and taught for many years in the Department of
>> > English at the University of Minnesota.  She is the author of The Dark
>> End
>> > of the Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry(University of
>> Minnesota
>> > Press, 1994) and Postliterary America: From Bagel Shop Jazz to
>> > Micropoetries(University of Iowa Press, 2011), both of which explored
>> the
>> > edges of ?poetry? from alternative canons to subcultural imaginative
>> verbal
>> > practices. She co-edited (with Ira Livingston) Poetry and Cultural
>> Studies:
>> > A Reader(University of Illinois Press, 2009). She has published a
>> number of
>> > online multi-media/poetry projects with mIEKAL aND, which have also been
>> > published as print books: Literature Nation(Potes & Poets), which was
>> the
>> > first full-length hypertext poem online; pleasureTEXTpossession(Xexoxial
>> > Editions); and eros/ion(Ntamo) ?all of which (and a few more) can be
>> found
>> > at http://joglars.org/multidex.html. She has also collaborated with
>> > Adeena Karasick, Alan Sondheim, Michelle Goldblatt, and Jukka-Pekka
>> > Kervinen. Her scholarship has been published in American Literary
>> History,
>> > SAQ, Cultural Studies, Cultural Critique, Postmodern Culture, Modern
>> > Fiction Studies, jacket2, Xcp: Cross-cultural Poetics, Cybertext
>> Yearbook,
>> > Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, Electronic Book Review, etc., as well
>> as
>> > in a number of books of essays on subjects such as performed poetry,
>> > cultural Jewishness, modernist American poetry, queer beat poetry,
>> > diasporic avant-gardes, and individual writers such as Bob Kaufman, Jack
>> > Spicer, Gertrude Stein and (forthcoming) Nathaniel Mackey. She edited a
>> > special section (focused on the work of Bob Kaufman) for a special
>> issue on
>> > jazz poetics of Callaloo.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > She also has a practice as a textile worker in weaving and counted
>> > cross-stitch, and has produced two chapbooks of ?x-stitch vispo?
>> > (cross-stitch visual poetry): meshwards(Dusie Kollektiv, 2011 and
>> > http://www.dusie.org/Damon%20Meshwards.pdf) and XXX(nous-zot, 2015).
>> Her
>> > work has been exhibited in various visual poetry and/or text/textile
>> shows.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > On Practice and Play: Gestures Across Genres
>> > >
>> > > In this month's -empyre- forum, we take up the question of
>> productivity
>> > and and the politics of play, and how playing across genres, mediums,
>> > forms, disciplines, and departments, etc. makes for new kinds of
>> innovative
>> > art, thinking, and community; and in doing so, better intervenes and
>> > gestures toward transformative futures. The current conspiracy-us versus
>> > them- culture perhaps exemplifies the problem of singular thinking and
>> the
>> > need for creative, eclectic, and innovative practices more than ever.
>> We?re
>> > interested in artists, thinkers, and activists with practices that cross
>> > over boundaries and intervene in dichotomous logics. With attention to
>> > justice, we explore how multiple forms of art practices prompt us to
>> > reimagine different kind of worlds, as strategy and survival. Initially
>> > inspired by Tony Conrad's work, his practice spans across film, music,
>> > writing, and sculptures, we playfully ask how play lends itself to more
>> > libratory ways of creation and practice.
>> > >
>> > > We begin with the first week on media and new media art in
>> conversation.
>> > with Tony Conrad's playful work across mediums, we then move into a
>> second
>> > week asking questions on poetry and playing across the visual,
>> cinematic,
>> > and theoretical, the third week is dedicated to the theme of ethnography
>> > across forms such as photography, film, and poetry, the forth week
>> focuses
>> > on the ways artists advocate for decolonial and racial resistance
>> through
>> > playing across genres and forms. While seemingly diverse, we hope the
>> > loosely organized topics will lend itself to connections between the
>> weeks,
>> > and across the genres and themes presented. With attention to questions
>> > such as capital, creativity, institutional critique, and justice, we?re
>> > honored to have the following artists and thinkers join us for this
>> > conversation and reflect on the possibilities of practice, gestures, and
>> > play.
>> > >
>> > > We also invite our -empyre- subscribers, whose own work broadly
>> > resonates with the themes of practice and play, to join the
>> conversation.
>> > What are the ways your practice has played or plays across genres? Have
>> you
>> > faced institutional challenges in crossing disciplinary divides, and if
>> so,
>> > how did you overcome them? Is play and practice productive? We explore
>> this
>> > topic of play through four loose themes. We welcome our guests and all
>> > -empyre- subscribers to actively participate and post this month and
>> share
>> > your practices and experiences of playing across genres and any
>> questions
>> > that arise. We look forward to the conversation.
>> > >
>> > > --
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.
>> > >
>> > > College Fellow in Digital Practice (2018 - 2019)
>> > > Department of English
>> > > Harvard University
>> > >
>> > > Assistant Professor in Media Theory (2019)
>> > > Department of Media Study
>> > > SUNY Buffalo
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > empyre forum
>> > empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> www.jamikaajalon.com <http://www.zenzile.com>
>> www.facebook.com/jamikaajalon.artistpage
>> www.itchysilk.com
>> http://inter-zones.org
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>>
>> ------------------------------
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre mailing list
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>>
>>
>> End of empyre Digest, Vol 175, Issue 11
>> ***************************************
>>
>
>
> --
> www.gnourtnart.com
> truongtran.tumblr.com
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu



-- 



Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.

College Fellow in Digital Practice (2018 - 2019)
Department of English
Harvard University

Assistant Professor in Media Theory (2019)
Department of Media Study
SUNY Buffalo
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