Folding and Unfolding: Graphics, Human Nature and Surprise: A Conversation

On Thursday, October 26th at 7pm cartoonist Anders Nilsen will be joined in conversation by Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer for the release of two books: Nilsen’s Tongues Chapter One and Sonnenzimmer’s Café Avatar. The artists will each present their own new works and interview one another about the intersections of graphic design, book-making, human life and expression, and the particular strangeness of getting ideas across with pictures. Nilsen and Sonnenzimmer are each unusual exemplars of their mutual disciplines: both are at once highly respected practitioners in their chosen fields, as well as being noted iconoclasts and experimentalists. The conversation will be structured as a kind of game of reveals, injecting some of the unpredictability and surprise the artists have all fostered in their own work. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.

About the artists:

Cartoonist and artist Anders Nilsen is the author of nine books including Dogs and WaterThe EndDon’t Go Where I Can’t Follow and the multiple award-winning Big Questions. His comics have been featured in the New York Times, the Chicago Reader, Medium, Kramer’s Ergot and elsewhere. His work has been widely translated and exhibited internationally. After thirteen years in Chicago Nilsen currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Sonnenzimmer is the collective work of artists Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi. Their collaborative practice was established in 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Initially recognized for their idiosyncratic commissioned screen-printed posters, their practice has since morphed into an interdisciplinary toolshed spanning multiple platforms, including exhibitions, publishing, performance, graphic design, and exhibition design. Equal parts balancing act between art and design and radical reclamation of all aspects of visual expression, the studio is grounded in the lasting potential of the graphic arts, while exploring the physical and conceptual friction between abstraction and communication.

About the books:

After a number of more experimental ventures in comics and visual storytelling Nilsen’s new book Tongues marks a return to the more traditional comics form he last explored in Big Questions. Nilsen’s first book in full, lushly rendered color, Tongues is at once an adventure story with roots in ancient greek mythology and an exploration of human nature, language and evolution. Set in the contemporary middle east the book is a meditation on our present fraught historical moment.

Sonnenzimmer’s new book Café Avatar explores the folding graphic fabric of humanity. Through text and illustration, Sonnenzimmer posit the current age as a graphic-centric plane. As humanity enters a new skin, how will we remember our physical selves…or are we becoming computational mochas? Co-published with Perfectly Acceptable Press and released on the occasion of the exhibition Café Avatar at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the artist book functions as a meta-catalog and a stand alone work.

Alain Jugnon + Artaud in Amerika

On Friday, October 27th at 7pm Alain Jugnon, Nathanaël, Patrick Durgin and Alison James will give a reading. Following the reading will be a discussion on and around Artaud’s essays Postscript from Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society and Conclusion from To Have Done with the Judgment of God. Please contact (Devin at Sector.2337) for copies of the text. The reading and discussion will also be broadcast over radio by radio artist Brett Balogh–please check Sector 2337’s social media accounts for up to date info on the broadcast. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.

Alain Jugnon has written for the theatre and has published essays and articles on Nietzsche, Artaud, and Bataille. He is the editor of Cahiers Artaud and the political and poetic journal La contre-attaque.

Nathanaël is the author of more than a score of books written in English or in French. Her translations include works by Danielle Collobert, Édouard Glissant, Hervé Guibert, and Catherine Mavrikakis.

Patrick Durgin is a poet-critic and co-curator of the annual Festival of Poets Theater. His most recent book is PQRS: A Poets Theater Script.

Alison James is associate professor of French at the University of Chicago. She has published a book on Georges Perec and articles on the Oulipo, contemporary French fiction, documentary writing, and connections between literature and philosophy.

Brett Balogh is a Chicago-based artist and designer making sculptural, aural and cartographic explorations of the electromagnetic landscape. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he teaches courses in digital fabrication, robotics, sound and electronics.

Faith Wilding + Robin Deacon

On Saturday, November 11th at 7pm, Faith Wilding and Robin Deacon will give readings and have a conversation. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.

Faith Wilding is an intermedia artist, writer, and educator, deeply engaged with teaching and learning, and the intersections of feminism, social justice, cyberfeminism, biotechnology, radical pedagogy, and eco-feminism.

Robin Deacon is a British artist, writer, filmmaker, and educator. His work has explored questions of memory, absence and fiction in performance, through a constant reconfiguration of his role as an artist – as a journalist and biographer, operator and technician, imposter and stooge. His recent research projects have explored histories of video documentation and outmoded media formats, as well as the practice and ethics of performance reenactment. His live and screen based work has been extensively presented in Europe, the US, and Asia. Robin is Associate Professor and Chair of Performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alan Felsenthal, Geoffrey Hilsabeck, + Jennifer Nelson

On Friday, November 17th at 7pm, Alan Felsenthal, Geoffrey Hilsabeck and Jennifer Nelson will give readings. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is free.

 

Alan Felsenthal runs a small press called The Song Cave. With Ben Estes, he edited A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind: The Poems of Alfred Starr Hamilton. His writing has appeared in BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, Critical Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, and Harper’s. Lowly, published by Ugly Duckling Presse, is his first collection of poems.

Geoffrey Hilsabeck is the author of the chapbooks The Keepers of Secrets and Vaudeville. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Seneca Review, 6X6, Bomb, Wax, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, and the Poetry Foundation. He teaches at West Virginia University and lives in Morgantown, WV. His first collection of poems, Riddles, Etc., is forthcoming from The Song Cave.

Jennifer Nelson is an assistant professor in the department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also the author of two books of poems: Aim at the Centaur Stealing Your Wife (UDP, 2015) and Civilization Makes Me Lonely (Ahsahta, 2017). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in BathHouse, LIT, Make: A Literary Magazine, Palimpsest, Pinwheel, and Versal.

Third Annual Festival of Poets Theater

Sector 2337, in association with Green Lantern Press and Kenning Editions, is pleased to present The Third Annual Festival of Poets Theater, curated by Devin King and Patrick Durgin. Poets theater is a genre of porous borders, one that emerges about the same time, and involving many of the same artists, as performance art, performance poetry (“spoken word”), conceptual and “intermedia” art. But poets have long been playwrights, either primarily (Sophocles, Shakespeare) or as a platform for postmodern literary experimentation (the operas and page plays of Gertrude Stein, for example). While previous iterations of the festival have concentrated on giving an overview of the genre by connecting historical and contemporary examples, this year the festival is separated into two main sections: 1) artists in response to the visionary work of the Ivory Coast writer Werewere Liking and 2) artists using online media formats. On December 8th – December 10th, 2016, The Third Annual Festival of Poets Theater presents performances, screenings, and readings over two nights, plus an afternoon of electronic theater accessible over the internet. This event is free and open to the public.

Partial Schedule / Order Subject to Change

Friday, December 8th

Artists Working in Response to Werewere Liking’s It Shall Be of Jaspar and Coral

7:15 pm Josh Hoglund + Corina Copp

A past and present conversation about the future, which may or may not be interrupted by a chorus of unruly children. A play that is a dialogue based on a conversation about a book.

8:15 pm Sherae Rimpsey

Two viewpoints converge, a film and a performance separated by a wall, framed by a door.

Ongoing:

Matthew Sage

Two works that address the faulty compartmentalization of identity, the liminal spaces between emotion and logic, and the dissonance, resonance, absorption, and reflectivity of the self as dictated by surroundings. Framed multi-layer drawings on vellum in graphite, pastel, acrylics, found paper and treated mirrors. Multi-layered video-capture of GIFs and Javascript text functions embedded in HTML.

Jen Hill

A flog (fake blog) tangential to the world and to Werewere Liking’s It Shall Be of Jaspar of Coral. How does a broken knee hinge? How does narrative power coincide with that of the webmaster?

Saturday, December 9th

Artists Working in Response to Werewere Liking’s It Shall Be of Jaspar and Corel

7:15 pm Max Guy

A two-person adaptation of It Shall Be of Jaspar and Coral, inspired by the formal techniques of Noh drama. How little can be done to embody a text?

8:15 Dao Nguyen

27 minutes. 9 overlapping horizontals.

Ongoing:

Matthew Sage

Two works that address the faulty compartmentalization of identity, the liminal spaces between emotion and logic, and the dissonance, resonance, absorption, and reflectivity of the self as dictated by surroundings. Framed multi-layer drawings on vellum in graphite, pastel, acrylics, found paper and treated mirrors. Multi-layered video-capture of GIFs and Javascript text functions embedded in HTML.

Jen Hill

A flog (fake blog) tangential to the world and to Werewere Liking’s It Shall Be of Jaspar of Corel. How does a broken knee hinge? How does narrative power coincide with that of the webmaster?

Sunday, December 10th

Beginning at Noon on the internet, Website addresses and specific times TBA

Suzanne Stein and Steve Benson will construct a responsive exchange in real time, streaming it as they work it out spontaneously across the continent.

Douglas Kearney will present a set of streaming micro-operatic works.

Annie Dorsen presents Youtube 1-4, a small collection of music videos made from pop songs and youtube comments.

Patrick Durgin directs Alain Jugnon’s radio play Artaud in Amerika, translated from the French by Nathanaël. Recorded, edited and scored by Mark Booth, voices are by Booth, Durgin, Jeremy Biles, Caroline McCraw, Joel Craig, Devin King, and Fulla Abdul-Jabbar.

Antonin Artaud’s To Have Done with the Judgment of God (1947), a radio play embodying the “theater of cruelty.”

Bios:

Antonin Artaud is considered among the most influential figures in the evolution of modern drama theory. Affiliated with Surrealism in its heyday, he would break from this circle and found the Theatre Alfred Jarry with Roger Vitrac and Robert Aron. Author of The Theater and Its Double, Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society, The Nerve Meter and other texts straddling modernism and the historical avant garde, Artaud was also a magnificent actor (with a pivotal role in Carl Dryer’s classic Passion of Joan of Arc), a prolific visual artist, and he inspired the philosophical corpus of Gilles Deleuze, among other leading postmodernists. His radio play To Have Done with the Judgment of God was commissioned by French national radio but banned hours before it went to air. It has circulated and been studied in print and in its original recording for years and will be broadcast to cap off this year’s festival.

Steve Benson has lived in downeast Maine since 1996. He was an actor in productions of Poets’ Theater in San Francisco and directed Carla Harryman and Nick Robinson in Carla’s La Quotidienne at New Langton Arts in 1983. He directed a poets theater workshop at Intersection for the Arts in 1992. His poetry readings have often incorporated diverse media applications, oral improvisation, and collaboration with writers, musicians, and filmmakers. Benson continues to write and perform his works and shares links to on-line appearances through http://www.stevebensonasis.com/. A current project of daily poetry texts appears at https://www.tumblr.com/blog/stevebensonasis. He wrote or transcribed from orally improvised performances the material contained in Blindspots (1981), Blue Book (1988), Open Clothes (2005), and other books. He co-authored The Grand Piano series of autobiographical essays (2006-10) with nine friends.

Jeremy Biles teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the author of Ecce Monstrum: Georges Bataille and the Sacrifice of Form.

Mark Booth is an interdisciplinary artist, sound artist, writer, and musician. Booth is on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited and performed his work in Chicago, nationally, and internationally in a variety of known and obscure venues.

Corina Copp is a New York–based writer of poems, performance, and criticism. She is the author of the poetry collection The Green Ray (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015), several chapbooks, and the three-part play, The Whole Tragedy of the Inability to Love, fragments of which have been presented at Artists Space, Home Alone 2 Gallery, NYC Prelude Festival, and Dixon Place. Her talk, “Euphoria of Acting a Part,” was recently presented at the James Gallery (CUNY Graduate Center of Humanities); and another, “Goodnight, Chantal,” at After Chantal: An International Conference (U. of Westminster, London, 2016). Other work can be found soon or now in Pelt Vol. 4: Feminist Temporalities (Organism for Poetic Research), Los Angeles Review of Books, Imperial Matters, BOMB, Cabinet, The Poetry Foundation’s Harriet, and elsewhere. She is in the midst of translating Hall de nuit (Night Lobby, L’Arche, 1992), a play by Chantal Akerman (forthcoming, e-flux journal).

Joel Craig is the author of the poetry collection The White House (The Green Lantern Press, 2012). He co-directs MAKE Literary Productions, and serves as poetry editor for MAKE magazine. For many years he curated the Danny’s Reading Series in Chicago.

Annie Dorsen is a director and writer whose work explores the intersection of algorithms and live performance. Her most recent performances, The Great Outdoors, A Piece of Work, Spokaoke and Hello Hi There, continue to tour extensively in Europe and the US. She received the 2014 Alpert Award in the Arts, a 2017 Artist Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and currently teaches in the Theater and Performance Studies Department at University of Chicago.

Patrick Durgin is the author of PQRS (Kenning Editions, 2013) and The Route (with Jen Hofer, Atelos, 2008). His artist book Zenith was published by Green Lantern Press in the spring of 2016.The Volta published “Prelude to PQRS,” a reflection on his work in poets theater originally presented at the New [New] Corpse event series. His performance piece Interference was featured in the 2015 Festival of Poets Theater and published in Emergency Index 2015. “Recent Acquisitions” was featured in the 2014 issue of Text-Sound. An essay on New Materialism, Deleuze-Guattarian “schizoanalysis,” and disability poetics is forthcoming in The Matter of Disability (University of Michigan Press). In 2010, he commissioned The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater: 1945-1985, edited by Kevin Killian and David Brazil.

Max Guy is an artist based in Chicago. In his conceptually-driven work he gives form to existential crises, moral and ethical dilemma. He has performed and exhibited at DEMO Project, Springfield, IL; Prairie, Chicago; AZ-West, Joshua Tree National Park, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Signal Gallery, New York, NY; Ghost, Deep River, CT; What Pipeline, Detroit, MI; Federico Vavassori, Milan, and the Manila Institute, New York, NY. Max co-hosts Human Eye, an occasional podcast on art and life with Miranda Pfeiffer. He has collaborated on curatorial projects such as Szechuan Best, Spiral Cinema, and Rock512Devil in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his M.F.A. from the Department of in Art, Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in 2016, and is currently artist in residence at the Hyde Park Art Center.

jen hill make Things with sound, image, music, video, objects, jokes, the internet, ideas, etc. their recent works express an obsessive interest in pursuing of the imaginary, the impossible, and the useless. they have a bachelors of music in composition from the university of north texas (2015) and are pursuing a masters of fine arts in sound art from the school at the art institute of chicago (2018).

Josh Hoglund directs collaboratively devised performance works. His performance, writing and video have been shown in Chicago at Links Hall, Defibrillator, The Nightingale, Mana Contemporary, The Studebaker Theater, The Prop Theater and elsewhere. Recent projects include On Blue By You, presented through Links Hall’s LinkUp Residency and in Rhinofest 2017. This fall he will be performing Tino Seghal’s Kiss at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Upcoming projects include a concert reading of Gertrude Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (Rhinofest, January 2018), for which he is directing and composing original music.

Alain Jugnon has written for the theatre and has published essays and articles on Nietzsche, Artaud, and Bataille. He is the editor of Cahiers Artaud and the political and poetic journal La contre-attaque.

Douglas Kearney has published six books, most recently, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). BOMB says: “[Buck Studies] remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” M. NourbeSe Philip writes that Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues (Subito, 2016), “meets the anguish that is english in a seismic, polyphonic mash-up that disturbs the tongue.” Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in the Santa Clarita Valley and teaches at CalArts. Douglaskearney.com

Devin King is the co-director of Sector 2337 and the poetry editor for the Green Lantern Press. He teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Caroline McCraw is a writer and artist based in Chicago.

Nathanaël is the author of more than a score of books written in English or in French. Her translations include works by Danielle Collobert, Édouard Glissant, Hervé Guibert, and Catherine Mavrikakis.

Dao Nguyen is an interdisciplinary artist who choreographs thought experiments, play apparatuses, obstacle courses, and transformation rituals. A score becomes a map is a situation where objects, actions, and bodies encounter philosophical questions concerning representation, systems, and relations. She has exhibited and performed in backyards, bathrooms, stairwells, highways, and gallery spaces, including Defibrillator, the MCA, Sector 2337, Hyde Park Art Center, Sullivan Galleries, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Brea Art Gallery, The Foundry Arts Centre, and Irvine Fine Arts Center. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was Artist-in-Residence at ACRE, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, In>Time Performance Festival 17, and Elsewhere: A Living Museum.

Sherae Rimpsey is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. She has exhibited her work in the U.S and internationally, most notably at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland; the Zentral Bibliothek in Zurich, Switzerland and National Library of Buenos Aires, Argentina as a contributing artist in Luis Camnitzer’s El Ultimo Libro – The Last Book project; and the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany where she was awarded the prestigious Solitude Fellowship. She is the recipient of a Philadelphia Foundation Grant, as a Flaherty Fellow and a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship and Residency. She has a BFA in Technology & Integrated Media with an emphasis in Visual Culture from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she currently teaches.

Matthew Sage is an aspiring non-specialist from the Mountain West living, teaching, and working in Chicago. He operates Patient Sounds, a private press record label and book publisher. He is fond of compost, bread rising, and reading landscapes. He has exhibited, performed and improvised works at MOMA PS1 in New York, Sullivan Galleries, The Block Museum, and The Comfort Station in Chicago, and at numerous DIY spaces, public parks, and rock venues across America.

Suzanne Stein’s publications and performance documents include The Kim Game, TOUT VA BIEN, and Passenger Ship. Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Elderly and Best American Experimental Writing 2018; performance recordings are archived at PennSound. Other texts in the live, performative, and conceptual vein include Three-Way, HOLE IN SPACE, and Orphée. She is the founding editor, and for eight years was editor in chief, of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s online art and language magazine, Open Space. Together, Steve and Suzanne are the authors of DO YOUR OWN DAMN LAUNDRY, a manuscript documenting the 36 improvisational dialogues they performed together between 2011 and 2012.