Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bob Cobbing was the first explorer of sound poetry in England and a long-time experimenter in visual and performance poetry. His activities beginning with the Hendon Experimental Art Club in 1951 eventually grew into his press, Writers Forum which began publishing in 1963. Within ten years he produced over a hundred small press publications of experimental writing with hardly no budget. His weekly Experimental Poetry Workshop and numerous performances of his own poetry, influenced a whole generation of English experimental poets.

favourite typewriters - hmmm....
Merci a Brett, qui a trouvé ce travail sonore:

Le cinéma pour aveugles
Raymond Queneau’s One Hundred Million Million Poems
An Introduction to Guillaume Apollinaire

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vision in verse from the bard of the boardroom
By David Honigmann
Published: March 17 2009 02:00 | Financial Times

Twenty years ago, David Whyte, a Yorkshire-born poet, was invited by a consultant into the world of business. Ever since, he has made it his mission, through corporate speaking tours and seminars, to help businesses harness the insights and metaphors that poetry can offer to broaden their language, improve interaction within the workplace and stir imaginations.

His first serious in-company work was with AT&T and, over the years, he has worked with corporations from Boeing to Microsoft and organisations from Nasa to Kaiser Permanente. He is an associate fellow of Saïd Business School in Oxford, and is about to talk to MBAs at Stanford.

A poet's craft, for him, is as "a maker of identity". Sometimes he is a guest speaker running through a conference; other times he will give seminars in-house. Typically, he has about five long-term clients at a timeand he works with their senior management.

He begins with poetry (his own and that of Rilke, Wordsworth, Yeats and many others), and then broadens out into conversation and reflection. "I do everything from 45 minutes to three days," he explains. He recites the poems slowly, repeating lines until he is clear that his point has hit home. He does not work in soundbites, but through a scrupulous precision over language, listening and talking to a group until he is able to articulate an uncomfortable and unspoken truth.

"All these organisations are like Shakespearean plays writ large, with the nobles telling their truths from the podium while the gravediggers are telling it like it really is in the bathroom. And every epoch ends with a lot of blood on the floor," he says.


Monday, March 16, 2009

From the Green Box to Typo/Topography: Duchamp and Hamilton's Dialogue in Print
by Paul Thirkell

This paper examines Marcel Duchamp's use of the collotype printing process for publishing the contents of his Green Box and Boîte-en-valise in the 1930s. It subsequently traces the linguistic and graphic interpretations of this work by the British artist Richard Hamilton in his 1960 The Green Book and in his recent fusion of this work with the 'topography' of the Large Glass in the print Typo/Topography, published in 2003.

Between text and Image in Kandinsky's Oeuvre: A Consideration of the Album Sounds
by Christopher Short
Between text and image in Kandinsky's oeuvre: a consideration of Klange in relation to the synthesis of the arts Focusing on the album of poetry and woodcuts called Sounds (Klänge), published c.1912, this paper examines how Kandinsky understood and exploited the relationship between text and image. It shows how he conceived of the album as an example of synthetic art and explores the broader principles underlying his idea of artistic synthesis.

Some Notes on Words and Things in Cy Twombly’s Sculptural Practice
by Kate Nesin.

Tate Papers Issue 10 2008. Read the essay here.

One particular kind of visual description is also the oldest type of writing about art in the West. Called ekphrasis, it was created by the Greeks. The goal of this literary form is to make the reader envision the thing described as if it were physically present. In many cases, however, the subject never actually existed, making the ekphrastic description a demonstration of both the creative imagination and the skill of the writer. For most readers of famous Greek and Latin texts, it did not matter whether the subject was actual or imagined. The texts were studied to form habits of thinking and writing, not as art historical evidence.

from Writing about Art by Marjorie Munsterberg.
Ekphrasis -- A Poetry Journal

We are looking for well-crafted poetry, the main content of which addresses individual works from any artistic genre. Please identify the specific work that is the focus of your poem. Because the source work will not be reproduced, the poem should stand on its own.

Acceptable ekphrastic verse transcends mere description; it stands as transformative interpretational statement.

All poems published in Ekphrasis within a given calendar year will be considered for the Ekphrasis Prize. The awarded poem will be selected by the editors of Ekphrasis. Currently, a $500 consideration will accompany this selection. No entry fees are required.

Ekphrasis is published twice yearly, and the annual subscription fee covering two issues is $12, payable to Laverne Frith in US funds. Send checks to the submission address listed below.

Submissions should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for reply/return, a cover letter with bio, address, telephone #, and email address. Send 3 to 5 poems. No email or simultaneous submissions. We will occasionally consider previously published verse if properly credited. Send to:

P.O. Box 161236
Sacramento, CA 95816-1236


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thomas Elovsson
Diamonds, Clown, Rock bands, Crayons
12 mars – 25 april 2009
vernissage 12 mars kl 18 -20
Roger Björkholmen Galleri
Kommendörsgatan 15
Öppet: Ti-Fre 13-17 Lö 12-16
För ytterligare information kontakta galleriet 08- 611 26 30

A tip from Ron:

Det är med stor glädje Roger Björkholmen Galleri presenterar Thomas Elovssons fjärde utställning på galleriet,
Clowns, Diamonds, Rock Bands, Crayons.Det är en serie nya målningar baserade på texter, fotografier och abstrakt måleri som relaterar och refererar till olika typer av musik, underhållning, clowneri och konstnärliga strategier. Hela utställningen blir till ett färgtest där färgens betydelse - historiskt, politiskt, socialt prövas och undersöks. Texterna i målningarna kan vara direkta citat eller återgivningar men är handskrivna (målade) och har karaktären av en hastig minnesanteckning eller något upphittat. De kan anspela på en specifik situation eller händelse, men visar sig också innehålla en annan historia som sedan kan komma att gå igen i ett annat verk i utställningen.
Clowner är målningar i sig, deras ansikten dolda bakom smink och lösnäsor och peruk. Clownen blir därför en symbol för en snubblande, stapplande figur som ständigt försöker på nytt och aldrig slås ned. En slags överlevare
–som måleriet. En serie abstrakta målningar använder sig av utseenden och gestik som känns igen genom historien av abstrakt måleri. Här är de utförda som monokromer och befriade från all sentimentalitet. De tillåts rymma berättelsen om sin tillkomst och sina beståndsdelar.

I utställningen visas också verket ”The Red Krayola with Art and Language”, som består utav 96 teckningar där varje färg i krittillverkaren Crayolas serie av vaxkritor används. Verket är ett arkiv över alla kulörer men beskriver också ett samarbete mellan rockgruppen The Red Krayola och konstnärsgruppen Art & Language, och i förlängningen sig självt – vaxkrita, konst, språk.

I sammanställningen av olika verk uppstår betydelser och samband som inte funnits där tidigare. Elovssons metod är den fria associationen där kopplingar kan uppstå mellan olika berättelser.
...Each of these three organizations seeks to eliminate physical suffering by using words...

Atrocity and Interrogation
by James Dawes
To enter the headquarters for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Turkey, you must pass through barbed wire gates and a security checkpoint. If you are applying for asylum (because, for example, you have escaped Iraq after being raped and tortured or because you will be executed if forced to return to Iran), you will be escorted through these gates and then taken downstairs into the holding chambers of the basement. There you will be required to answer a series of questions to determine whether you meet the specific conditions for refugee status under international law. If your answers do not suffice, you will be deported back to your country of origin. The interview rooms are small with poor ventilation. Larry Bottinick, eligibility officer for the UNHCR, explains that they will be moving to a new building soon. "Whenever you ask an Iraqi to describe the conditions of their detention," he says of refugees from Saddam Hussein's Iraq, "they answer: `It was like this room.'"
But this article is not about what it feels like to be interrogated. It is about what it feels like to interrogate someone. I visited the UNHCR in Turkey as part of a larger research project on organizations that intervene in humanitarian crises by using language instead of food, medicine, or weapons, organizations whose most important act is, finally, not delivering supplies but asking questions. Through a series of formal and informal interviews I documented the organizational dynamics and communicative practices of some of the world's most recognizable humanitarian inquisitors: the UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Human Rights Association (HRA). I focused in particular on the everyday practices of activists in the field, hoping to better understand not only how we can use language to alter the operations of violence but also to see how, by using language in such ways, we might be altered.


Friday, March 13, 2009


'THE OTHER SIDE OF A CUL-DE-SAC' is a major new exhibition by Lawrence Weiner, commissioned by The Power Plant. The project highlights the continuing vitality and currency of Weiner's sculptural practice through the commissioning of new work and by providing a striking architectural context in which to situate his works, including interior, transitional and exterior spaces and surfaces of The Power Plant building. For Weiner, the literal realization of a work is in many ways superfluous its existence. 'THE OTHER SIDE OF A CUL-DE-SAC' intentionally highlights this conceptual pre-condition by emphasizing opportunities for reception of the works in the exhibition beyond the gallery spaces of The Power Plant.

'THE OTHER SIDE OF A CUL-DE-SAC' consists of five works that function as fragments of a whole. The lobby of The Power Plant creates the entrance to the exhibition with Weiner's FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE (2001). Its attendant multifarious meanings lead into to the largest gallery on the ground floor of The Power Plant, which contains MORE THAN ENOUGH (1998). This alchemical work culminates, or explodes if you will, into a fragment MORE THAN ENOUGH, a work commissioned for the smokestack of The Power Plant. CUL-DE-SAC (2009), the newest work and produced expressly for the exhibition, responds to a culmination of sorts on the forty-foot high walls of the clerestory of The Power Plant.

The fifth element of the project is the forty-eight page hardcover publication THE OTHER SIDE OF A CUL-DE-SAC, which shares the title of the exhibition. Co-designed by Weiner and Hahn studio, Toronto, the publication re-configures the works within the book format, and includes texts by exhibition curator and Director of The Power Plant Gregory Burke and critic and poet Wystan Curnow.

His most substantial exhibition of new work in Toronto to date, 'THE OTHER SIDE OF A CUL-DE-SAC' also builds upon Weiner's long-term relationship with the city. This enduring relationship began in earnest in 1977 with an engagement at the Centre for Experimental Art and Communication (CEAC), where he created one of his earliest sound-work installations.

Curated by Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant

Lead Donor:
Albert and Temmy Latner Family Foundation

Smokestack Commission Support Donors:
Michael F. B. Nesbitt
Victoria Webster & Gabe Gonda

CAREY YOUNG, 'Counter Offer'
Drawing together works in video, photography, text and performance, 'Counter Offer' presents an overview of Carey Young's witty and insightful explorations of corporate and legal culture. For the past decade Young has investigated art's links with global commerce, together with legacies of Conceptual art and institutional critique. Immersing herself in the business and legal worlds, Young examines them from the inside out. As such Young makes no claims to an outsider status, but teases out her own, her viewers' and her host organizations' complicity with corporate values and processes as a way to discuss ideas of critical distance.

The video I Am a Revolutionary (2001) shows a motivational trainer coaching Young to sound like a convincing 'radical'. In Product Recall (2007) we see the artist in a psychotherapy session attempting to match advertising slogans about creativity with their respective global brands. Notions of listening, learning and speaking figure in other key works. For the public speaking project Speechcraft (2007 and ongoing) Young collaborates with a Toronto Toastmasters club. Meanwhile the video Everything You've Heard is Wrong (1999) shows Young trying to lead a corporate communication skills workshop at Speaker's Corner.

Carey Young (born in 1970, in Lusaka, Zambia, lives in London, UK) has exhibited widely, recently with a solo show at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2007) and Thomas Dane Project Space, London (2008). 'Counter Offer' is her first solo show in Canada.

Curated by Senior Curator of Programs, Helena Reckitt

Carey Young 'Counter Offer' Support Sponsor:
Aylesworth LLP

Carey Young 'Counter Offer' additionally supported by:
Charter Communications

All Systems Go: Recovering Jack Burnham’s ‘Systems Aesthetics’
Luke Skrebowski


I want to argue that we might think systems theory (as mediated to the art world by Burnham’s systems aesthetics) as a productive methodological framework for considering postformalist art as a whole. 14 As Pamela Lee has recently reminded us: ‘systems theory was applied to emerging forms of digital media ... but it also served to explain art not expressly associated with technology today: conceptual art and its linguistic propositions, site-specific work and its environmental dimensions, performance art and its mattering of real time, minimalism even.’15 Although Burnham used concepts drawn from technoscience in his theorisation of postformalist art, I want to insist that this is not the same thing as advocating art that simply dramatises scientific or technical development (a position he has unjustly, but perhaps to some degree understandably, come to be associated with).

The Aesthetics of Intelligent Systems
by Jack Burnham

in On the Future of Art (New York: Viking Press, 1970), pages 95-122

Online here.
Art by Telephone (1969), 44:00

Shortly after its opening, the Museum of Contemporary Art planned an exhibition to record the trend, incipient then and pervasive today, toward conceptualization of art. This exhibition, scheduled for the spring of 1968 and abandoned because of technical difficulties, consisted of works in different media, conceived by artists in this country and Europe and executed in Chicago on their behalf. The telephone was designated the most fitting means of communication in relaying instructions to those entrusted with fabrication of the artists' projects or enactment of their ideas. To heighten the challenge of a wholly verbal exchange, drawings, blueprints or written descriptions were avoided. -Jan van der Marck (covertext)

Participating artists: Siah Armajani, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Iain Baxter, Mel Bochner, Geoge Brecht, Jack Burnham, James Lee Byars, Robert H. Cumming, Francoise Dallegret, Jan Dibbets, John Giorno, Robert Grosvenor, Hans Haacke, Richard Hamilton, Dick Higgins, Davi Det Hompson, Robert Huot, Alani Jacquet, Ed Kienholz, Joseph Kosuth, Les Levine, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Dennis Oppenheim, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Guenther Uecker, Stan Van Der Beek, Bernar Venet, Frank Lincoln, Viner Wolf Vostell, William Wegman, William T. Wiley.

Cover: b/w, gatefold, documentation-photo, texts about the artists and an introduction by Jan van der Marck. Design: Sherman Mutchnick.

Listen on Ubuweb.
Martha Rosler is an artist who works primarily with images and texts. Most of her work concerns social issues, which are manifested at sites as various as the kitchen, the television set, the streets and the transport systems. Rosler's career retrospective, "Positions in the Life World," was exhibited in five European cities and two museums in New York City. Rosler lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Emotional Rescue
by Jörg Heiser

FRIEZE Issue 71 November-December 2002

Romantic Conceptualism

Andy Warhol’s film Kiss (1963): the screen lights up and without further ado – no titles, no violins, no cuts – we see a black-and-white close-up of a man and a woman kissing. Real kissing. Full lips, full on. Closed eyes and short, excited looks. They kiss for endless minutes before the image whitens, flickers and falters, as if Warhol had simply let the film in his camera run out (which is exactly what he did). The screen remains white for a brief moment, and then the next uninterrupted close-up of a long kiss appears. Out of the 12 kissing couples several are male on male, Gerard Malanga kisses both men and women, and one is a black man (Rufus Collins) and a white woman (Naomi Levine). In 1963 this was a daring statement, the polymorphous evaporation of sexual (and racial) identity through the serial fulfilment of romantic dreams.

Sounding the Alarm, in Words and Light

Jenny Holzer: Protect Protect, including “Red Yellow Looming,” above, and other Holzer works from the past 15 years, is at the Whitney Museum of American Art through May 31. More Photos >

Published: March 12, 2009/The New York Times

Basically, Jenny Holzer has spent the last three decades pelting us with unsettling and increasingly relevant portents of things to come. In tones alternately poetic or oracular, inflamed or numb, Big-Brotherly or tender, Ms. Holzer’s terse snippets of prose have warned of evolving threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. She has tracked the inner thoughts of bereft lovers or shellshocked survivors and articulated the baser instincts unleashed by social chaos.

To do this, she has turned various user-friendly, pop-culture modes of public address into early warning systems, including posters, T-shirts, billboards, broadsheets, plaques, giant projections and incised marble benches. Electronic LED signs are her best-known, most spectacular method; they also reflect the military-commercial-entertainment complex that, bit by bit, her art exposes.

Ms. Holzer has infused Conceptual Art’s playful language with real-life seriousness and has put words in Minimalism’s sleek mouth. And few contemporary artists have as much right as she to say this: I told you so.

Why Jonathan Jones is wrong about art
To accuse art of killing culture is to lump all art-making into a monumental mass. It's far more complicated than that

by Michael Archer

Now, here's a trite comment: "All the shallowness of modern mass culture began in avant-garde art 40 years ago. We're Warhol's ugly brood". This was Jonathan Jones in his art blog earlier this week, lamenting the fact that modern art has "killed culture". This was the day after he told us that, anyway, "art as we know it is finished". Jones was bemoaning the absence of the sad, the severe and the serious, dimensions to experience that we were once regularly forced to encounter and deal with in art. I read his words at the end of a fortnight in which I had discussed with my students a range of contemporary artists whose work variously deals with economic exploitation in west Africa, the fraught politics of Israeli-Palestinian relations (from a number of perspectives), the quality of urban experience in India, the indelible trace of the holocaust in central Europe, power relations between central America and the US, and much more. All this work had been exhibited in Britain within the past year or so. All of it, too, was able to speak as it did of the human dimension to these issues through the command of the artists concerned over the possibilities inherent in the imagery and materials they used.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Assignment 3


1. “Ekphrasis and the Other” W.J.T. Mitchell (handout)

2. An Inadequate History of Conceptual Art Silvia Kolbowski
October, Vol. 92, (Spring, 2000), pp. 52-70

(available via JSTOR)

Reflect on the relation between image and text. i) Find an ekphrastic text which you feel is particularly effective. Prepare a short class presentation (5 mins) on why you feel your chosen example is so effective. Be specific and persuasive. ii) Select an image, event or artefact of your own choosing (this may include your own work if you wish) and write a short text (1 page) which attempts to engage imaginatively and critically with your chosen image/artefact. Bring both source material (image/artefact) and text (copied for other students) to the next class.

Monday, March 09, 2009


John Cage performing "Water Walk" in January, 1960 on the popular TV show I've Got A Secret. via WFMU.

Animated poem read by Flora Coker

Lost and Found
Animated poem read by the poet.

Born Digital
A poet in the forefront of the field explores what is—and is not—electronic literature.


Read at the Poetry Foundation.
Concealment and Law in the Work of Carey Young
Clancco || 4 March 2008
Carey Young’s art projects—invoking legal language and procedures—highlight the connection between law and visual culture without divorcing themselves from art historical discourses. Young’s work revolves around the role of categorization, narrative, and rhetorical/linguistic contestations. In particular, Young’s work seeks to elucidate how these three modes of linguistic production function not only within legal frameworks, but also how they in turn frame and are framed by other cultural discourses.

Read more.
Antonin Artaud
Henri Chopin at Poesiefestival, Berlin 2003


Pioneer of sound poetry Live at ESPACE GANTNER - Bourogne - France 2005 - at 84 years old.

'Sounding-board of thought and feeling'
Sarah Maguire and Martin Argles present an illustrated performance of her poem, 'My Father's Piano'

We meet in S1 all day tomorrow. Schedule is as follows:

9.30-11.00: Assignment 2 crit
11-00-12.00: Ron Jones x+1 (on how to respond to the ‘But is it art?’ question).
13.00-15.00: Tanja von Dahlgren: Word & Art & Film
15.00-16.00: Rolf Hughes: Ekphrasis

13.00: Kim West: Word + Film (as per schedule)

Tom Sandqvist: Word + Dada (as per schedule)

Each meeting in S1.

Please document Assignments 1 and 2 in a way that is accessible online (as well as in other forms as appropriate).

Sunday, March 08, 2009


12 March - 31 May 2009
Curated by: Ellen Blumenstein

When describing the crucial years in the genesis of Minimal and Conceptual Art, the American art critic Lucy Lippard stated that there was a "cult of neutrality" in 1960's Minimalism, while Conceptual Art, around the same time, was focusing on the clarity of the idea. Taking this as a reference, the exhibition A mancha humana is based on the opposite extreme: the presumption that not only was this supposed purity and neutrality exceeded by the neo-conceptual artists of the eighties and nineties, but that a 'human stain' (a reference taken from the title of a book by the novelist Philip Roth) was always a constituent element of Conceptual Art from its very beginnings.

German curator Ellen Blumenstein has delved into the CGAC and Fundación ARCO collections focusing on the common rather than the dividing aspects of the relationship between Conceptual and non-Conceptual Art. The main aim of her curatorial project is to demonstrate that the notion of 'idea' is not necessarily opposed to 'subjectivity', 'poetry' or 'politics', but that a productive tension may arise from the relationships established between these diverse elements which run through a work of art.

A mancha humana begins with one of the most important –and recently acquired– works in the collection, the early Conceptual work by Joseph Kosuth, Clear, Square, Glass, Leaning (1965), in which he introduces a dialogue with other artistic positions of the same period in time: Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt and Joseph Beuys, among others. It also considers a unique group of feminist artists such as Martha Rosler, Ana Mendieta, Helena Almeida or Anna Maria Maiolino; and politically-committed positions, as shown by the eastern European artists Július Koller or Mladen Stilinonovic. Finally, it contrasts these more historical positions with exponents of neo-Conceptualism such as Liam Gillick, Jac Leirner or Iñaki Bonillas.

CGAC (Galician Center for Contemporary Art)
Valle Inclán s/n
15704 Santiago de Compostela
A Coruña (Spain)
Telephone: 981 546619
Fax: 981 546625

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Assignment 2
Due: Tuesday 10 March 2009

A. Read

1. Dissociated Objects: The Statements/Sculptures of Lawrence Weiner
Birgit Pelzer and John Goodman
October, Vol. 90, (Autumn, 1999), pp. 76-108

2. An Inadequate History of Conceptual Art
Silvia Kolbowski
October, Vol. 92, (Spring, 2000), pp. 52-70

Both available via JSTOR

B. Write/design

“Using language + materials of your choice, in less than 100 words, design an ‘experience’ for your audience/viewer/reader.”

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Assignment 1

Devise a distribution system for your own practice designed to enhance the impact of its content on a target group of decision makers living in a specific region of your choice in Sweden. Define the content, visually, with language or otherwise and then describe how and why the system would work and estimate its effectiveness.

Presentation: 15 mins.

Due: Wednesday 4th March
Recommended reading for lectures on Thursday 5th March

My thanks to Ronald Jones for the following references:

Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood
Rosalind Krauss, Passages in Modern Sculpture
Rosalind Krauss, “Sculpture in the Expanded Field
Alex Potts, “Space, Time and Situation
*Philip Leider, “Literalism and Abstraction
Donald Judd, “Specific Objects”
Tony Smith, Interview with Samuel Wagstaff
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, “Eye and Mind”
*Rosalind Krauss, “1965”