Category Archives: LITERATURE/POETRY

LEGACY RUSSELL AND MCKENZIE WARK IN CONVERSATION

In a dystopic global landscape that makes space for none of us, offers no sanctuary, the sheer act of living—surviving—in the face of a gendered and racialized hegemony becomes uniquely political. We choose to stay alive, against all odds, because our lives matter. We choose to support one another in living, as the act of staying alive is a form of world-building. These worlds are ours to create, claim, pioneer. We travel off-road, away from the demand to be merely “a single being.” We scramble toward containing multitudes against the current of a culture-coding that encourages the singularity of binary.

Glitching is a gerund, an action ongoing. It is activism that unfolds with a boundless extravagance.1 Nonetheless, undercurrent to this journey is an irrefutable tension: the glitched body is, according to UX (user experience) designer, coder, and founder of collective @Afrofutures_UK Florence Okoye, “simultaneously observed, watched, tagged and controlled whilst also invisible to the ideative, creative, and productive structures of the techno-industrial complex.”2

We are seen and unseen, visible and invisible. At once error and correction to the “machinic enslavement” of the straight mind, the glitch reveals and conceals symbiotically.3 Therefore, the political action of glitch feminism is the call to collectivize in network, amplifying our explorations of gender as a means of deconstructing it, “restructuring the possibilities for action.”4 — Legacy RussellGlitch Feminism*

Legacy Russell, author of Glitch Feminism, and McKenzie Wark, author of Reverse Cowgirl, “meet online to discuss the divide between the digital and real and whether this divide has in fact already collapsed, virtual as the ‘new normal,’ and whether it is still possible to find utopian space in the virtual.”

To r.s.v.p. to this Verso Live event, see link below. On October 15, the School of Visual Arts will host a Glitch Feminism launch, and Russell will join Zoe Leonard in conversation.

LEGACY RUSSELL and MCKENZIE WARK IN CONVERSATION

VIRTUAL—THE NEW NORMAL

Thursday, October 1.

10:30 am on the West Coast; 1:30 pm East Coast; 6:30 pm London; 7:30 pm Paris.

*Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism (London: Verso, 2020), text and footnotes courtesy and © the author and the publisher.

1.The glitched body is a body that defies the hierarchies and strata of logic, it is proudly nonsensical and therefore perfectly non-sense. I think here of philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s “Fifty-eight Indices on the Body,” Indice 27, wherein he muses: “Bodies produce sense beyond sense. They’re an extravagance of sense.” In Jean-Luc NancyCorpus, translated by Richard Rand (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008), 153.
2. Florence Okoye, “Decolonising Bots: Revelation and Revolution through the Glitch,” Het Nieuwe Instituut (October 27, 2017), https://botclub.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en/decolonising-bots-revelation-and-revolution-through-glitch.
3. Maurizio LazzaratoSigns and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity, translated by Joshua David Jordan (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2014), 18, 26.
4. Ibid.

From top: Legacy Russell, photograph by Daniel Dorsa, image courtesy and © the author and the photographer; McKenzie Wark, photograph courtesy and © the author, the photographer, and Verso; Victoria Sin, performance at Glitch @ Night, organized by Legacy Russell as part of Post-Cyber Feminist International, 2017, ICA London, photograph by Mark Blower, courtesy and © the photographer and ICA London; McKenzie Wark, Reverse Cowgirl (2020), cover image courtesy and © the author and Semiotext(e); Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism (2020), cover image courtesy and © the author and Verso.

HILTON ALS AND MARY WANG IN CONVERSATION

For this season’s inaugural Miscellaneous Files event—in association with the School of Visual Arts’ Curatorial Practice program—Hilton Als will join Guernica senior editor Mary Wang in conversation.

Hilton Als once called the essay “a form without a form”—a description equally applicable to his work as a staff writer and theater critic for The New Yorker, but also to his work as a curator. For this virtual studio visit, writer and editor Mary Wang will use clips from films foundational to Als’ practice to discuss the formal transgressions in his work and how such methods can help bring muddled presents into shape.*

A FORM WITHOUT A FORM—HILTON ALS IN CONVERSATION WITH MARY WANG*

Wednesday, September 23.

5 pm on the West Coast; 8 pm East Coast.

This event will be held via Zoom. To receive a link to attend, please RSVP to macp@sva.edu with your name and the event you plan on attending.

From top: Hilton Als, photograph by Dominique Nabokov, image courtesy and © the photographer and Als; Mary Wang, courtesy and © the photographer and Wang; Marlene Dumas, Hilton Als, 2018, from the series Great Men, 2014–present, courtesy and © the artist and David Zwirner.

LIFT EVERY VOICE LAUNCH

Join Nikky Finney, Sonia Sanchez, Jericho Brown, Tyehimba Jess, Elizabeth Alexander, Mahershala Ali, and Kamasi Washington for the launch of LIFT EVERY VOICE, “a year-long nationwide public humanities initiative exploring African American poetic traditions.”*

Presented by the Library of America and the Schomburg Center, the event also celebrates celebrates the publication of the new LOA anthology African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, edited by Kevin Young.

See link below for details.

LIFT EVERY VOICE LAUNCH

A NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION OF 250 YEARS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY*

Thursday, September 17.

3:30 pm–6 pm on the West Coast; 6:30 pm–9 pm East Coast.

From top: Nikky Finney, photograph courtesy and © the author and the University of South Carolina; Sonia Sanchez, photograph courtesy and © the author and Mezzocamin; Jericho Brown, photograph courtesy of the author; Tyehimba Jess, Olio, cover image courtesy and © the author and Wave Books; Jess, photograph courtesy and © the author; Elizabeth Alexander, photograph courtesy and © the author; Kevin Young, editor, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, cover image courtesy and © the Library of America.

CAULEEN SMITH — MUTUALITIES

I always think of Sojourner as being in conversation with many different objects, wallpapers, surfaces, textures, and banners. By the time viewers watch the film, they have already received so much informational groundwork from the environment that the film can focus on conveying a particular kind of imagery or feeling. When the title credits appear at the end of Sojourner, the room is completely dark, and that’s the moment when people can see the disco ball installation producing a cosmos on the ceiling. I always consider who the work is made for and what I want it to convey. It is so important that people are given an experience that cultivates their intellectual and physical well-being. That’s why I started making installations for my films, instead of simply showing them. — Cauleen Smith

MUTUALITIES—Smith’s first solo exhibition in New York City—has reopened at the Whitney. The show, which includes her 22-minute video installation Sojourner, was organized by Chrissie Iles, with Clémence White.

This week, join Smith and curator Amber Esseiva for a virtual conversation presented by the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard.

See links below for information.

CAULEEN SMITH—MUTUALITIES

Through January 31, by appointment.

Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevoort Street, New York City.

CAULEEN SMITH and AMBER ESSEIVA IN CONVERSATION

Thursday, September 10.

4:30 pm on the West Coast; 7:30 pm East Coast.

Cauleen Smith, Mutualities, Whitney Museum of American Art, February 17, 2020–January 31, 2021, from top: Alexis Hold Audre Lorde, 2020, from the ongoing series Firespitters, gouache, graphite, and acrylic ink on paper; Gregg Bordowitz, 2020, Firespitters series, gouache, graphite, and acrylic ink on paper; Sojourner, 2018, stills (2), video, color, sound; Pilgrim, 2017, still, video, color, sound, Whitney Museum of American Art; Natalie Holds Dionne Brand, 2020, Firespitters series, gouache, graphite, and acrylic ink on paper; Natalie Diaz, 2020, Firespitters series, gouache, graphite, and acrylic ink on paper. Artwork and video images courtesy and © the artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, and Kate Werble Gallery, New York City. Firespitters series photographs by Matthew Sherman, courtesy of the photographer and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

THE 50 YEAR ARGUMENT

Robert Silvers was a brilliant, demanding, funny, painstaking, and inspiring editor, a walking chronicle of postwar literary-political history, an intimidating sweetheart, and very dear to me. At the end of an editorial session, once he had identified all your piece’s weaknesses, evasions, and missed opportunities, he would close with a brusque, even peremptory, but always, somehow, hopeful, “See what can be done.” In the world according to Silvers, there was always something to be done. — Michael Chabon

The New York Review of Books was founded in 1963 by Barbara Epstein, Jason Epstein, and their West 67th Street neighbors Elizabeth Hardwick and Robert Lowell during an extended newspaper strike in New York City. They asked their friend Robert Silvers to edit the broadsheet—and he agreed, if Barbara would join him as co-editor.

The Review was an immediate success, and during first decades published Mary McCarthy on Vietnam, James Baldwin (“An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis”), Isaiah Berlin, Hannah Arendt, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, Richard Hofstadter, Edmund Wilson, Susan Sontag, Noam Chomsky, I. F. Stone, W. H. Auden, and many more. Today, Zadie Smith, Yasmine El Rashidi, Zoë Heller, Janet Malcolm, Hilton Als, Darryl Pinckney, James Fenton, Colm Tóibín, and Daniel Mendelsohn continue the intellectual tradition.

Before Silvers died in 2017, Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi filmed the editor in his domain. The resulting film—THE 50 YEAR ARGUMENT, narrated by Michael Stahlbarg—documents the history of the paper with in-person interviews and a rich selection of clips. The film is available through HBO Max and is streaming free in September, courtesy of the Review.

See link below.

THE 50 YEAR ARGUMENT

Directed by Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi.

Now streaming.

From top: Barbara Epstein and Robert Silvers in 1963 in their first office in the Fisk Building, New York City, photograph by Gert Berliner, courtesy and © the photographer and The New York Review of Books; David Moore, Mary McCarthy, New York, 1956, courtesy and © the photographer and the National Portrait Gallery, Australia; The New York Review of Books, May 25, 2017; Gore Vidal (center) with John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy; Nina Simone and James Baldwin, early 1960s, photograph by Bernard Gotfryd, courtesy and © the photographer’s estate and the Library of Congress Collection; Isaiah Berlin (left) and Silvers, photograph by Dominique Nabokov, courtesy and © the photographer; Darryl Pinckney in London, 1991, photograph by Nabokov; Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi, The 50 Year Argument (2014), image courtesy and © HBO Documentary Films; W. H. Auden; Joan Didion, photograph by Jill Krementz, courtesy and © the photographer; Francine du Plessix Gray and Silvers, photograph by Nabokov, courtesy and © the photographer.