SUN

16

MAY

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

Christian Bök, Craig Dworkin and JLIAT
19:30 at Tramway 4
Tickets: Free, but reserve at Tramway Box Office

WHO

PortraitChristian Bök: who's work spans thrillingly conceptual poetry1 to body-shaking vocal performances. (If you dug Steve McCaffery at INSTAL last year: Christian will be talking about one of McCaffery's major works, and displaying some seriously post-McCaffery-esque chops).

PortraitCraig Dworkin: one of the chief practitioners/ champions/ thinkers of conceptual writing, who's own brilliant work often takes medium-reflexivity to its impossible conclusion2.

PortraitJLIAT: UK conceptual/ drone/ noise artist, who is seriously posing what might seem to be unanswerable questions of music. 3

WHAT

Insanely expressive sound poetry and absurdly, arduously conceptual writing that asks us to reconsider what it means to read.

Far/clear sighted and self-erasing future musics as non-representative fictions that ask us what it means to listen…

WHY

Conceptual writing exhaustively tries to exceed established ways of making art (the various permutations of what we try, (or try not) to express and intend), by (as it turns out) very similar means to the complex ways JLIAT has advanced the boundaries of what can even be considered music.

What, we ask (in a modest way), is to be done, so as to exceed tradition?

Christian Bök: Eunoia, Chapter U [5:14]

Christian Bök: Sound Poem 1, Hugo Ball, NY, 5-19-01 [1:03]

Christian Bök: Patent Number 3005282, Umlaut Opening, KWH UPenn, 11-18-2009 [0:57]

Craig Dworkin: Reading Night of Translations, 9-17-03 [19:26]

Craig Dworkin: An Explanation of Crustal Provinces, Segue, NY 12-11-04 [3:56]

Craig Dworkin: Compositional Inhomogeneities, Segue, NY 12-11-04 [1:22]

1He's written: book length poems where each chapter only uses one vowel (Eunoia) that not only still make sense, but rhymes in complicated way and bring to the fore the specific characters of each of our vowels ('u': smutty), and; poetry using the intricate structure of crystals. Most absurdly impressive, he is currently working on the encoding of a poem within the DNA of a near-indestructible bacterium, (500 times more resistant to radiation than humans), to be passed down in it's genetic code a billions of years. (!?)

2 He has asked: “What would a non-expressive poetry look like? A poetry of intellect rather than emotion? One in which the substitutions at the heart of metaphor and image were replaced by the direct presentation of language itself, with "spontaneous overflow" supplanted by meticulous procedure and exhaustively logical process? In which the self-regard of the poet's ego were turned back onto the self-reflexive language of the poem itself? So that the test of poetry were no longer whether it could have been done better… but whether it could conceivably have been done otherwise.” Could we ask the same of music?

3 For e.g. the Still Life series composed continuous streams of data to create digital silence: maximal data values read as different 'nothings' by your CD player, turned directly into DC voltage; warning - “playing a silence which is based on a very high or low binary value at high volume will produce a high DC voltage in the system that could cause overheating of speaker coils and other electronics.” That is to say, a commercially available CD of thousands of 'nothings', which knackers your CD player. Not just a joke, but a diamond-hard conceptual critique. And brilliant.