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Michael Heller, Peter O'Leary, & Wendy Lee Spacek

On February 5th, @ 7pm, poets Michael Heller, Peter O’Leary, and Wendy Lee Spacek will read. This event is free.

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Michael Heller has published over twenty volumes of poetry, essays, memoir and fiction.  His most recent works are This Constellation Is A Name: Collected Poems 1965-2010 (2012), Beckmann Variations & other poems (2010) and Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Work of George Oppen(2008, expanded edition, 2012).  His collaborations with the composer Ellen Fishman Johnson include the multimedia works Constellations of Waking (2000), based on the life of Walter Benjamin,This Art Burning (2008) and Out of Pure Sound (2010).  A new collection of poems, Diánoia, is forthcoming in 2016.

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Peter O’Leary’s most recent book is Phosphorescence of Thought, a book-length poem about the evolution of consciousness. A new book of criticism, Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age, and a new book of poetry, The Sampo, are forthcoming. He lives in Oak Park and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the University of Chicago. He edits Verge Books.

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Wendy Lee Spacek is a poet from Indianapolis, IN. She is a graduate of the Writing Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She curates a reading series called the Soft River and works as an arts administrator at a community art school. Her poetry has been published in LVNG Magazine and online through MonsterHousePress.com.

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Daviel Shy & The Ladies Almanack

A Presentation from Dec/Jan Artist-in-Residence

On February 18th at 7pm, Daviel Shy will give a short presentation about the work she did during her winter residency at Sector 2337  for her forthcoming feature film The Ladies Almanack.

 

For three weeks between 2014 and 2015, Daviel Shy was a resident artist at Sector 2337. During that time she developed the storyboards, props, and costumes for her forthcoming feature length film adaptation of The Ladies Almanack by Djuna Barnes. In March, principal photography for the film commences in Paris and will continue this summer in Chicago. The project features artists, writers, and thinkers like Hélène Cixious (as herself), Eileen Myles (as Monique Wittig), Guinevere Turner (as Liane de Pougy), and more.

The Ladies Almanack is a feature-­length experimental narrative film (now in pre-production) written & directed by Daviel Shy, based on the novel of the same title by Djuna Barnes. The film is a kaleidoscopic tribute to women’s writing through the friendships, jealousies, flirtations and publishing woes of authors and artists in 1920’s Paris. Here you will find profiles of the artists who make up the film’s cast and crew.

Daviel Shy —a writer, performer, and filmmaker, born on April 14, 1984 in Panorama City, California, she grew up on the west and east coasts with five siblings, spending her childhood with them playing ongoing imagination games like “Teen Hall” that would last years, or otherwise drawing all the time and locking herself up in the family RV with a My Little Pony coloring book, coming out of the vehicle parked in the hot Los Angeles driveway, sweat-drenched but with a beautifully finished book ! As an Aries rising Pisces, she possesses the trademark fire qualities of high Energy, Ambition, and Impatience, pinballing across the intersection of a Six-corner Fever and slowing necessarily, deliberately, into privacy, where thoughts often make behind-the-scenes progress until they are ready to Appear, or Shine. In every piece of work is a dedication, implicit or explicit, and in hers, they are clearly love songs for women who have been continuously left out of the story. Her approach begins with historical research and ultimately seeks to revise the canon, blending in her own experiments and fictions, and holding strong to luddite beliefs that aged tools are not dead tools. Daviel currently lives and works in Chicago, hosts a monthly film screening called Lesbian Movie Night Ongoing Project (L.M.N.O.P.), will eventually complete her tattoo series of five wolves, and is working on a novel. She is the Writer and Director of The Ladies Almanack, which will be her first feature film.

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Following Nonhuman Kinds: Reading Group

Winter/Spring 2015

Following Nonhuman Kinds, a reading group that started at Latitude last September, will continue through June at Sector 2337. If you are interested in joining this group, please email caroline@sector2337.com. Space is limited and based on a first come first serve basis. You can also follow and participate with the group via our online forum designed to run in tandem with the offline meetings. The group is hosted on Facebook where the readings are supplied to all group members. Please join to contribute your thoughts and responses. The final session, on Friday June 19th, is open to the general public featuring a few readings and select presentations from members of the group; details TBD. A direct link to the online group is HERE.

Topic: Everywhere we turn, we find a territory of nonhuman things. It is impossible to escape the material din of others—from material structures: plants, robots, animals and objects, to those all but invisible bodies outside the bounds of human perception: atoms, molecules, pollution, viruses, satellites, planets et al. While humanity has historically identified itself as something categorically superior to all else, this reading group examines texts, theories, and works of art that challenge the theoretical terms with which we engage our landscape. Following Nonhuman Kinds pursues the complicated strangers among us, ignoring hierarchical conventions in order to reframe and reconsider the interstitial, interspecies web we inhabit. Organized by Caroline Picard, with texts suggested by members of the reading group and co-curated by Rebecca Beachy, Karsten Lund, and Andy Yang, the reading group will discuss the work of Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, Timothy Morton, Jennifer Moxely, Gertrude Stein, Vanessa Watts, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and others. Following Nonhuman Kinds is a direct continuation of a symposium that took first place in Bourges, France in April of 2014, and continued at Latitude last fall.

Schedule: The first meeting will take place on Thursday, February 19th. After that, meetings will take place on alternating Wednesdays starting March 4th, except for April 28th, which is a Tuesday. The final meeting will be on Friday, June 19th with artist presentations by Marissa Benedict, Lindsey French, and Mel Keiser. The full list of dates is: 2/19, 3/4, 3/18, 4/1, 4/15, 4/28, 5/13, 5/27, 6/10, and 6/19. All meetings take place from 7:30-9:30 PM.

Readings: These will be emailed to participants in PDF format in advance of each session. Additionally, participants can should plan on procuring 5 books included on this list (indicated by an “*”) on their own.

1. Thursday, February 19th @7:30 pm: There Are Things We Live Among,  Jennifer Moxley, Flood Editions.*

2. Wednesday, March 4th @7:30pm
– Tropical MaladyApichatpong Weerasethakul (film)
-“Romanticism and the life of Things: Fossils, Totems and Images,” WJT Mitchell
-“How The Light Gets Out,” Michael Graziano

3. Wednesady, March 18th @ 7:30pm:
-“Play of Signification: Coyotes Sing in the Margins,” Natasha Seegert
-“Why Look at Animals,” John Berger

4. Wednesday, April 1st @ 7:30pm:
– “The Movement and Habits of Climbing Plants,” Darwin
– “An introduction to phytosemiotics: Semiotic botany and vegetative sign systems,” Kalevi Kull

5. Wednesday, April 15th @ 7:30pm
– “Lives of the Monster Plants,” T.S. Miller
– “Should Trees Have Standing?” Christopher Stone
– “Biocommunication of Plants,” Witzany/Baluska
– “Botanically Queer,” Catriona Sandilands (vimeo)

6.Tuesday,  April 28th @ 7:30pm:  Steven Shaviro, The Universe of Things (University of Minnesota Press)*

7. Wednesday, May 13th @ 7:30pm
-“Decolonial Dreams,” Zoe Todd
-“Mountain/s: An Object Oriented Reading” Anthony Opal
-“Indigenous place-thought & agency amongst humans and non-humans (First Woman and Sky Woman go on a European world tour!),” Vanessa Watts

8. Wednesday, May 27th @ 7:30pm
– The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, David Abrams*
–  The Enchantment of Modern Life, Jane Bennett*

9. Wednesady, June 10th @ 7:30pm:  Hyper Objects, Timothy Morton*

10. Friday,  June 19th (Final Meeting) @ 7:30 pm
Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein (emphasis on Objects and Food sections)
– “Telling Friends from Foes in the Time of the Anthropocene,” Bruno Latuor
– With select artist presentations from Marissa Lee Benedict, Mel Keiser,  and others.

About the organizers:

Born in Denver, Colorado, Rebecca Beachy is a recipient of both an MFA in Studio Arts and an MA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In Chicago, her sculptures, interventions and installations have been exhibited at Iceberg Projects, 6018NORTH, the Southside Hub of Production, and Gallery 400, among other spaces. A recent artist in residence at the FRISE Künstlerhaus of Hamburg’s Altona, Rebecca has since been collaborating on a new Chicago residency for German artists through Chicago/Hamburg Sister Cities Exchange. Her written work has been published with literary journal Puerto del Sol and will be included in the Center for Humans & Nature’s upcoming City Creatures compilation (Univ. of Chicago Press, Spring 2014). In addition to teaching at ChiArts, she works as a volunteer specimen preparator and educator, where she demonstrates taxidermy to the public at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for the Chicago Academy of Sciences, Department of Collections.

Karsten Lund has worked as a curator, writer, and artist since 2007, after completing an MA at the University of Chicago. He is currently a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where he has organized multiple exhibitions, including the forthcoming Chicago Works: Sarah and Joseph Belknap, and assisted on a dozen others, including The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology and This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s. Alongside his work at the MCA, Karsten pursues a wide array of independent projects, often as a means to explore experimental approaches, collaborative structures, or more open-ended propositions. Most recently, he guest curated Phantoms in the Dirt, for the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago (July 24-October 5). Past projects have been presented at the Hyde Park Art Center, Peregrine Program, and an immense factory shortly before its demolition, among other locations. As a writer and editor, Karsten has a strong interest in the essay as a creative form and he continues to explore new directions and alternative formats for exhibition catalogues and artist-driven publications.

Caroline Picard is an artist, writer and curator who explores the figure in relation to systems of power though on-going investigations of inter-species borders, how the human relates to its environment and what possibilities might emerge from upturning an anthropocentric world view. To further accent the porousness of borders and bounds, Picard’s projects manifest in a variety of cross-disciplinary mediums including curation, painting, video, administrative practices, interviews with artists, works of fiction, comics, and critical essays. She writes regularly for the Art21, Artslant, and Art Forum, and was the 2014 Curatorial Fellow at La Box, ENSA in Bourges France for her project, Ghost Nature.

Andrew Yang’s research practice explores a range of themes across the evolution & development of form and natural history. His work can be found in journals such as Biological Theory and Gastronomica, and exhibited in Germany, Japan, and throughout the US. He studied zoology and philosophy of science at Duke University (PhD) and visual arts and the Lesley University College of Art and Design (MFA). He is an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago a Research Associate at the Field Museum of Natural History.

 

Anthony Opal & Snezana Zabic

At 7pm on February 28th, Punctum Book authors Anthony Opal and Snežana Žabić will read from their forthcoming books, ACTION and Broken RecordsDoors open at 6:30pm. This event is free.

Anthony Opal

Anthony Opal (b. 1983) is the author of ACTION and founding editor of The Economy. His poems can be found in various magazines and journals: Poetry, Boston Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and elsewhere. He lives near Chicago with his wife and daughter.

Anthony Opal, ACTION

About ACTION “Anthony Opal’s series of unrhymed (or off-rhymed) sonnets begins with a prayer to everything or anything—from a lower case “god” to a “compassionate sloth” and a “homeless zoo keeper.” In these poems reverence and rebellion, desperation and control joust. Then they dance. Opal’s lines are consistently surprising (if that’s possible) and, more important, they make me believe them.” -RAE ARMANTROUT, author of Just Saying and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize

“If you’ve ever opened the hood of a car and found a motor of flowers or opened a closet and out flew a flock of waxwings, monarchs, and philosophers, you’ll be prepared for these poems. Otherwise, reader, get ready for the brilliant onslaught of these prayerful evocations, these rollercoaster sonnets, these radiant affirmations of life and art.” -DEAN YOUNG, author of Bender: New and Selected Poems

“’I write sonnets empty of everything yet containing all things…’ goes a visual and philosophical echo of the unutterable ‘G–d’ ACTION interrogates, prods. Such slippery refrains drive this lively book’s composition and arguments. Birds fall throughout, echoing the rough descent of haloed, winged things; the speaker wrestles an angel by a river and, in a later poem, a father by a sink; prophets stumble about stripped of epic context, conscripted to a world of Doritos bags, iPhones, and prescription meds. Indeed, religion and the sacred’s place in the contemporary are on Opal’s mind. For as much as, say, ‘Out of the Whirlwind’ might aver otherwise, these adroit and contemplative poems don’t only fuck with ‘ideas of the holy,’ they seek them out. -DOUGLAS KEARNEY, author of Patter and The Black Automaton

“Opal’s eye mocks its own seeing. With a ‘strange mercy that pulls us inward,’ these poems glint from the threads tethering private myth to a larger one. Taut with hope and balancing a heavy humor, this is language carved of a voice that wants to shout lullabies: ‘I want to sing / a song to myself in the silence of / myself.'” -EMILY KENDAL FREY, author of Sorrow Arrow and The Grief Performance

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Snežana Žabić is the author of the short story collection U jednom životu (In a Lifetime), and the bilingual poetry collection Po(eat)ry/Po(jest)zija written with Ivana Percl and illustrated by Dunja Janković. She edits Packingtown Review, and occasionally blogs at Spurious Bastard.

About Broken Records (Forthcoming from Punctum Books, Winter 2015)
In 1991, Snežana Žabić lost her homeland and most of her family’s book and record collection during the Yugoslav Wars that had been sparked by Slobodan Milošević’s relentless pursuit of power. She became a teenage refugee, forced to flee Croatia and the atrocities of war that had leveled her hometown of Vukovar. She and her family remained refugees in Serbia until NATO bombed Belgrade in 1999.

After witnessing the first nights of NATO’s bombing, Žabić took flight again. She moved from country to country, city to city, finally settling in Chicago. She realized — reluctantly, because she didn’t want to relive the past — that she had to write about what had happened, what she had left behind, and what she had lost. Broken Records is the story of this loss, told with unflinching honesty, free of sentimentality or sensationalism. For the very first time, we learn how it felt to be first a regular teenager during the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing wars, and then a 30-something adult, perennially troubled by one’s uprooted existence.

Broken Records is not a neat narrative but a bit of everything — part bildungsroman, part memoir, part political poetry, part personal pop culture compendium. And while Žabić represents a Yugoslav diasporan subject, her book also belongs to an international generation whose formative years straddle the Cold War and the global reconfiguration of wealth and power, whose lives were spent shifting from the vinyl/analog era to the cyber/digital era. This generation knows that when they were told about history ending, they were told a lie.

Punctum Books is an open-access and print-on-demand independent publisher dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across a whimsical para-humanities assemblage.