T.S. Eliot: Reading Group

Winter/Spring 2015

In tandem with the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Sector 2337 is holding a monthly reading group focusing on the work of T.S. Eliot. The group is still open, and members may drop in and out as they please. For more information please contact Devin at: devin at sector2337 dot com.

The full schedule of dates is: 2/28, 4/4, 4/25, 5/23, and 6/20.

Reading List:

1. 2/28:

Prufrock and Other Observations (1917)

Poems (1920)

Tradition and the Individual Talent

2. 4/4:

The Waste Land (1922)

Hamlet and his Problems



3. 4/25: TBA

4. 5/23: TBA

5. 6/20: TBA



Structures Deployed: Fo Wilson & Ira S. Murfin

Featuring two presentations & one performance

At 7pm on Friday, April 03 Ira S. Murfin and Fo Wilson will each present short talks about structure in their respective fields, and then together present Murfin’s table-performance piece, Our Theatrical Future: A Talk Duet Between Hong Kong and Chicago (Re-Performed).

Artist Talk: (Fo Wilson)

Wilson will present a few examples of her work within the context of furniture and domesticity that question the role that objects play in domestic space and how we project our own identities and desires on them. She’ll also discuss how objects can not only have function, but exhibit behavior as a reflection of the human condition.

Lecture: Talk Shows: Talk as Performance Material (Ira Murfin)

This lecture introduces the cross-disciplinary history and possibilities of talk as a performance genre. It is based in a comparative historical project exploring the use of ordinary, extemporaneous talk by artists from disparate disciplinary backgrounds working in the post-1960s American avant-garde. These artists used talk to both position themselves within disciplinary structures where their work could be received and circulated, and to remain outside the formal limitations of disciplinary traditions and expectations. By putting their minimalist tendencies into tension with the institutional and media formations that articulated and circulated their work, Murfin argues that these artists were able to both keep open and foreclose the expansive possibilities promised by avant-gardes of previous decades. The talk surveys this idiosyncratic cross-disciplinary history and gleans from it models for materializing talk in performance practice and re-imagining the role of arts categories, while also hinting at a an interrelated repertoire of talk performance circulating outside the art world in performance genres that define public life, like pedagogy, popular culture, and public discourse. Ultimately, Murfin asks if talk can be distinguished as a performance media apart from cognate examples such as dramatic text, and traces how talk performance has been identified and deployed across genres.

Performance: Our Theatrical Future: A Talk Duet Between Hong Kong and Chicago (Re-Performed)

Conceived by Ira S. Murfin

Created by Ira S. Murfin with Aaron Kahn + Guest Artists

Performed by Ira S. Murfin + Guest Artist (Fo Wilson)

Ira is a graduate student in Chicago. Aaron is a yoga instructor in Hong Kong. They have been making theatre together and not making theatre together for over 20 years. On December 10th 2014 in Chicago and December 11th 2014 in Hong Kong they had a conversation via video chat over the internet, in the way it is possible to do now. They talked about theatre they have made together and theatre they have not made together and theatre they might make together someday. At each performance of Our Theatrical Future a different Guest Performer from a distinct artistic background joins Ira onstage to re-perform his conversation with Aaron, and Ira and the guest have a conversation of their own about making art and not making art, or whatever else comes up.


About the Participants:

Ira S. Murfin is a Chicago-based writer, theatre artist and scholar. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre & Drama at Northwestern University, where his dissertation examines talk-based performances in the post-1960s American avant-garde. He also holds degrees in writing from New York University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Critical and creative writing has appeared in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, Review of Contemporary Fiction, 491, elimae, Fiction at Work, Chicago Art Criticism, Chicago Arts Journal, and Requited, where he is now also the Performance Editor.  His solo and collaborative performance work has been seen at MCA Chicago, Links Hall, the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival, and the Chicago Cultural Center, among other places. Ira is a member of two ongoing theatrical laboratories: The Laboratory for Enthusiastic Collaboration (LEC), a collective concerned with the unique phenomenon of the performance event, and the Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials (LDSM), which makes collaborative performances about cities and science. He is currently a Chicago Shakespeare Theater PreAmble Scholar and a Graduate Affiliate of the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, this summer he will be a 2015 Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Fellow.

Fo Wilson is a maker, educator, independent curator and writer. She uses furniture forms to create experiences that reposition historical objects and/or aesthetics in a contemporary context, and offers audiences new ways of thinking about and interacting with history and objects. Fo received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Furniture Design program in 2005 with a concentration in Art History, Theory and Criticism and is an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago. She has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and her design work is included in the collection of The Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design in New York.



Orale ese vato

Please Don’t Bury Me Alive! (Action, Lecture, Screening)

April/May Artists in Residence: Josh Rios & Anthony Romero

At 7pm on April 16th, Josh Rios and Anthony Romero will present Part One of Please Don’t Bury Me Alive!—a performative lecture that brings various gestures associated with pedagogy and theater together in a zone of imaginative investigation, a zone where diverse interests like speculative Chicana/o futures and the Othering of Modernism can co-mingle in uncommon and unpremeditated ways. Doors open at 630 pm. This event is free.

While in residence at Sector 2337, Josh Rios and Anthony Romero will present a two-part project titled Please Don’t Bury Me Alive!. Part One, a performative lecture, brings various gestures associated with pedagogy and theater together in a zone of imaginative investigation, a zone where diverse interests like speculative Chicana/o futures and the Othering of Modernism can co-mingle in uncommon and unpremeditated ways. Part Two, an installation staged in the project space, draws on vernacular forms of picture collecting and display indicative of mood boards, bulletin boards, and other casual approaches to aggregating images and objects. Specifically, the installation embraces the visual pleasure of presenting and arranging an excess of Chicana/o centered images where they would not appear otherwise.

Anthony Romero and Josh Rios, both originally from south Texas, now live and work in Chicago. Over the past several years they have been developing various performances, 2 and 3 dimensional works, curatorial projects, installations, writings, and screenings that deal with the experience of being US citizens of Mexican origin in these challenging times. Broadly speaking, their collaborative works center on contemporary Chicana/o aesthetics, the elided histories of the Chicana/o struggle, and the dismissal of Chicana/o contributions to US culture in general.


Swimming Pools Book Release

Readings from Jeff Sherfey and Leila Wilson

At 7pm on April 22nd, we will celebrate the release of Jeff Sherfey’s Swimming Pools, out from Polyploid Press. Sherfey and Leila Wilson will give readings. Doors open at 6:30pm. This event is free.

Jeffrey Sherfey

Jeff Sherfey is a poet currently living light on the land. He operates two projects in their inchoate form: The Library Cormorant and The Latest School of Correspondence. His first book of poetry, Swimming Pools, is published by Polyploid Press.

Leila Wilson

Leila Wilson is the author of The Hundred Grasses (Milkweed Editions, 2013), finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award.  She is the recipient of a Friends of Literature Prize from Poetry Foundation, and her poems and essays have appeared in Iowa Review, Chicago Review, Poetry, A Public Space, American Letters and Commentary, and elsewhere.  She teaches creative writing and literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also runs the Writing Center.


Polyploid Press is a small press that publishes poetry, experimental writing, and other curiosities, always with a discerning eye for style and aesthetic. Swimming Pools acts as the press’s debut. The book is in two parts. The first part collects nine untitled poems that explores suburban (and sometimes urban) imagery and ideology. The second part is an expansive collage poem that finds its cohesion in the Lakota figure Crazy Horse. Swimming Pools features illustrations by Chicago artist Nick Jackson.