Literary Activism – activism that revisits and interrogates an idea of literature – emerges from a radically altered landscape for both publishing and academia, where market pressures are effecting changes – on language, on the measuring of value, on the concept of influence – we might struggle to recognise.
Taking in the roles of writer, critic, translator, academic and publisher, the essays in this volume follow no single line of enquiry. Rather, they offer the beginnings of an analysis of the literary world at a certain moment of globalization, while also questioning whether a literary world exists and, if it does, where its boundaries lie.
The collection moves in many directions – from Arun Kolatkar and his near-heroic refusal of both market place and reputation; to Derek Attridge, who argues for a form of affirmative criticism which positions the critic as a ‘lover of the text’; while, from Amsterdam, Dubravka Ugrešić reflects on life in a literary ‘out of nation zone’, adrift in a territory where intellectual protest has been stripped of ideological impetus and subsumed by the voraciousness of the market.
Taken together, these essays initiate a series of conversations about who reads what and why, about the practice of writing and criticism at this particular contemporary moment, and about the activities and institutions that shape an understanding of what literature is and what it can do.
Literary Activism, edited by Amit Chaudhuri, features writing from Derek Attridge, Tim Parks, Dubravka Ugrešić, Laetitia Zecchini, Peter D. Macdonald, Saikat Majumdar, Jamie McKendrick, and Swapan Chakravorty, with an afterword by Jon Cook.
Lauren Bakst (Ed.)
This publication gathers reflections on and responses to the School for Temporary Liveness, a week-long event that brought performances, workshops, talks, conversations, and new formats for study together within the poetic frame of a school. All who participated were invited to consider themselves students of the school, and to move through several zones of encounter —the Classroom, the Library, Study Hall, and Night School— each of which engaged different modes of viewing and participation, thereby generating radically different choreographies of assembly for the practice of study. The contributions in this publication, all written by students of the school, animate the matter of betweenness that became, upon reflection, the most essential part of the school’s pedagogy. What these generous contributions make clear is that knowledge is not produced by school, rather, it emerges from our experiences of moving through school. Such knowledge becomes tangible to us through what we notice, what we remember, and most crucially, how we weave these experiences together.
Contributions by: Lauren Bakst, Rebecca Schneider, Jon Baldwin, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Andrew J. Smyth, Connie Yu, VK Preston and Donna Faye Burchfield.
Live and Die as Eva Braun and Other Intimate Stories is a bilingual edition of short writings by Roee Rosen. At the heart of this collection are three provocative texts extracted from important artworks by Rosen, offered here as genre-defying literature at the intersection between reality and fiction, speculative narrative and historical-political critique, humor and eroticism.
Live and Die as Eva Braun (1995–97) leads the viewer through a virtual-reality scenario in the role of Hitler's lover.
The project stirred a public and political controversy when first shown in Israel. It was later recognized by many as a watershed work concerning the representation of trauma, Nazism, and the Holocaust. When the work was presented in New York, Linda Nochlin wrote, “The experience of Live and Die, both textual and visual, is unforgettable, like nothing else.” The film The Confessions of Roee Rosen (2008) offers yet another uncomfortable doubling of identity, in which three illegal female migrant workers serve as surrogates for the character “Roee Rosen.” As a text, these highly condensed monologues reveal themselves to be disorienting subversions of the tradition of literary confession. Finally, the script of Hilarious (2010) offers a torturously bad attempt at dysfunctional comedy, set in the Twin Towers as they collapse.
These three texts are complemented by three of Rosen's short political-aesthetic essays, chosen to reflect the theoretical underpinnings of his approach. The volume concludes with a conversation between the artist and the historian Moshe Zuckermann, an insightful critic of the political instrumentalization of the Holocaust. Live and Die as Eva Braun and Other Intimate Stories is published on the occasion of Rosen's first survey exhibition in Germany, at the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg, and was edited by its curators, Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin.
GenderFail Reader 2 is a compilation of four brand new essays written during the pandemic including Small Publishing and Finding Ways to Live, A Touch that You Can Really Feel, Collective Self Isolations: Resistance in the Care of Others and the Violence of Naming. This second printing also has a new essay “Complete Idiots All of Them: Thinking UnFathomable Dreams.
This reader also includes three new poems, Being an Instrument, Douche and Making Friends at 30, by my partner Noah LeBien, who as become such an important collaborator through my work with GenderFail. Noah also expanded their essay, Betraying Authority: Notes on Queer Art that was previously published as a zine.”
Be Oakley, (formally known as Brett Suemnicht) Born 1991 in Clearwater, Florida; is an writer, facilitator and publisher based in Brooklyn, NY. Oakley's projects looks to what Fred Moten calls "the politics of the mess" by framing their identity as a white non-binary queer person in its intersections with failure and internationality. In 2015 they started GenderFail, a publishing and programming initiative that seeks to encourage projects that foster an intersectional queer subjectivity. Their work has been shown in programs and exhibitions at MoMA PS1 (NYC), the Studio Museum of Harlem, The International Center of Photography (NYC), Vox Populi and Sediment Arts. Their publications can be found in the library collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, The Met Museum, The Center for Book Arts and many others.
Adrian Piper has consistently produced groundbreaking work that has profoundly shaped the form and content of conceptual art since the 1960s. Strongly inflected by her longstanding involvement with philosophy and yoga, her pioneering investigations into the political, social, psychological and spiritual potential of conceptual art have had an incalculable influence on artists working today.
Published in conjunction with the most comprehensive exhibition of her work to date, this catalog presents more than 280 artworks that encompass the full range of Piper's mediums: works on paper, video, multimedia installation, performance, painting, sound and photo-texts.
Essays by curators and scholars examine her extensive research into altered states of consciousness; the introduction of the Mythic Being, her subversive masculine alter-ego; her media and installation works from after 1980, which reveal and challenge stereotypes of race and gender; and the global conditions that illuminate the significance of her art.
Previously unpublished texts by the artist lay out significant events in her personal history and her deeply felt ideas about the relationship between viewer and art object. This publication expands our understanding of the conceptual and post-conceptual art movements and Piper's pivotal position among her peers and for later generations.
Adrian Piper (born 1948) is a first-generation conceptual artist and analytic philosopher. She received an AA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in 1969, a BA in Philosophy with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Musicology from the City College of New York in 1974 and a PhD in Philosophy from Harvard University in 1981. Piper's artwork is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Generali Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, among others.
Mixing live performance with algorithms and interfaces, A Piece of Work is the second project in Annie Dorsen’s “algorithmic theater” series. A digital Hamlet for a post-humanist age, A Piece of Work deploys a set of ingeniously designed computer algorithms to generate real-time adaptations of Shakespeare’s original play. New scenes, songs, scores and visuals emerge from an intricate web of technology. With an introduction by Dorsen, and screen-shots of the system as it runs, this book elaborates both the technological and the poetic procedures of algorithmic theater.
Annie Dorsen is a director and writer, whose works explore the intersection of algorithms and live performance.
Second volume of a publication dedicated to the artist's novel, this metafiction follows a detective investigating the conditions of production of a novel within an artistic framework.
Why do artists write novels? What impact does the artist's novel have on the visual arts? How should such a novel be experienced? In recent years, there has been a proliferation of visual artists who create novels as part of their broader art practice. They do so in order to address artistic issues by means of novelistic devices, favoring a sort of art predicated on process and subjectivity, introducing notions such as fiction, narrative, and imagination. In this sense, it is possible to see the novel as a new medium in the visual arts; yet very little is known about it. This two-volume publication is the first to explore in depth the subject of the artist's novel.
The Fantasy of the Novel, is a research project in the form of a novel; it examines the process of creating an artist's novel derived from five episodic performances and an exhibition. The creative process was affected by the circumstances of production, including intersubjective relationships usually invisible to audiences. The protagonist assumes the role of a detective who tries to understand the conditions under which an artist decides to write, and how this writing is possible within an artistic setting.
David Maroto (born 1976, lives and works in Rotterdam) is a Spanish visual artist, researcher, writer, and curator. He is the co-curator of The Book Lovers, a research project on the artist's novel, together with Joanna Zielińska.
Jérémy Laffon & Elvia Teotski
During their residency at Est-Nord-Est in Saint-Port-Joli, Quebec, Elvia Teotski and Jérémy Laffon stumble upon a small shed that seems inhabited but find no trace of its resident Bottle Joe. The artists start to investigate the building and create a series of sculptural yet functional wooden prostheses for its abandoned furniture. Through a drunk photographic journey and a series texts written from the perspective of the mysterious Joe, the publication keeps on zooming in and out of the building and its surrounding environment to account of the temporary monumentalisation of the place and its former inhabitant.
Paul B. Preciado
A “dissident of the gender-sex binary system” reflects on gender transitioning and political and cultural transitions in technoscientific capitalism.
Uranus, the frozen giant, is the coldest planet in the solar system as well as a deity in Greek mythology. It is also the inspiration for uranism, a concept coined by the writer Karl Heinrich Ulrich in 1864 to define the “third sex” and the rights of those who “love differently.” Following Ulrich, Paul B. Preciado dreams of an apartment on Uranus where he might live beyond existing power, gender and racial strictures invented by modernity. “My trans condition is a new form of uranism,” he writes. “I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not heterosexual. I am not homosexual. I am not bisexual. I am a dissident of the gender-sex binary system. I am the multiplicity of the cosmos trapped in a binary political and epistemological system, shouting in front of you. I am a uranist confined inside the limits of technoscientific capitalism.”
This book recounts Preciado's transformation from Beatriz into Paul B., but it is not only an account of gender transitioning. Preciado also considers political, cultural, and sexual transition, reflecting on issues that range from the rise of neo-fascism in Europe to the technological appropriation of the uterus, from the harassment of trans children to the role museums might play in the cultural revolution to come.
A series of choreopoems by Eric Peter. Published at the occasion of 'Assemblages of Intimacy' a group exhibition in a Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam in 2018.
"Whether it’s around a kitchen table or from the pages of a book, hearing the voices of resilient women is like having the companionship of a sister or mother — tender and sustaining, like maha di dahl on a sodden wet day in Glasgow. With that innate knowledge of measuring by eye, atta, chawal, mirch, comes the wisdom of a women’s experience, as she tells us to, ‘be like teflon, be like teflon, don’t let anything stick.’" Jasleen Kaur
'Be Like Teflon' is a new book by Jasleen Kaur commissioned by curatorial company Panel for Glasgow Women's Library. In a collection of conversations between Jasleen and women of Indian heritage living in the UK, arise themes of labour, duty, sustenance and loss. Here we find a place for their histories, experience and strength. Through the simple act of listening, over a hot tava or plate of food, begin acts of solidarity and self-nourishment.
This publication received support from Creative Scotland and was produced by Panel. It is co-published by Glasgow Women's Library and Dent-De-Leone.
A virus inflames a woman with mortal desire; a colonial naturalist seeks an impossible specimen; invisible violence stalks a safari and a man out walking enters into a strange shadow dance with a prizefighter. Ranging from taut human drama to phantasmagoria, these stories make rich and strange connections – between ancient and new, human and animal, Africa and Europe, reality and dream. Taken together, in prose of great precision and beauty, the stories in Animalia Paradoxa map the complexities of the human specimen, in all its troubling glory. This is fiction of the highest quality, from one of South Africa’s foremost novelists.
Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African novelist and short story writer. She is the author of four novels, including Nineveh and Green Lion, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and won the 2015 Prix François Sommer. Homing, a short story collection, was published in South Africa in 2010. She was the 2008 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and runner–up in the BBC International Short Story Award in 2012.
"The geopolitics of empire had already prepared me for this...coloniality constructs outsides and insides, worlds to be chosen, disturbed, interpreted and navigated - in order to live something like a real self."
Internationally acclaimed poet and novelist Dionne Brand reflects on her early reading of colonial literature and how it makes Black being inanimate. She explores her encounters with colonial, imperialist, and racist tropes; the ways that practices of reading and writing are shaped by those narrative structures; and the challenges of writing a narrative of Black life that attends to its own expression and its own consciousness.
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
What a rare mushroom can teach us about sustaining life on a fragile planet. Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world,vand a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made?
A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction.
By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.
"Scientists and artists know that the way to handle an immense topic is often through close attention to a small aspect of it, revealing the whole through the part. In the shape of a finch's beak we can see all of evolution. So through close, indeed loving, attention to a certain fascinating mushroom, the matsutake, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing discusses how the whole immense crisis of ecology came about and why it continues. Critical of simplistic reductionism, she offers clear analysis, and in place of panicked reaction considers possibilities of rational, humane, resourceful behavior. In a situation where urgency and enormity can overwhelm the mind, she gives us a real way to think about it. I'm very grateful to have this book as a guide through the coming years." - Ursula K. Le Guin
Jana Al-Obeidyine (Ed.)
Born during the year of global pandemic, confinement and social distancing, "issue 03: Touch", brings us, paradoxically, stories of connection, transformation and healing. With issue 03, we wander into the underworlds of Northern Japan, find home in the Mediterranean Sea, experiment with manhood in the arctic, unite on a Kurdish mountain and touch Palestine in Dubai. The "Touch" issue recovers some of the powers of a sense that has become restrained.
Read in the "Touch" issue:
• A Singaporean artist connects with Hijikata Tatsumi from beyond the grave
• A Lycanthrope turns into a Manta Ray, a story of metamorphosis
• Connecting during quarantine, with TikTok
• Touching Palestine in a contemporary art center in Dubai
• A Norwegian cartel redefines modern-day manhood
• Dr. Aline LePierre talks about the healing power of touch
Jessica Geysel, Sara Kaaman, Katja Mater, Marnie Slater (eds.)
Dear Lovers, Sisters, Brothers, Mothers, Adopted Aunts, Long Lost Fathers, Half-cousins, Wives, Black Sheep and Partners In Crime
As you know, we have a soft spot for collectives, collaborations, friendships and support structures. People doing things with other people: loving, working, organizing, living. These strategies for surviving together form an underlying thread throughout all our issues. This time we wanted to look more closely at one way of naming these friendly constellations: FAMILY.
Laurent Berlant, Kathleen Stewart
In The Hundreds Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart speculate on writing, affect, politics, and attention to processes of world-making. The experiment of the one hundred word constraint--each piece is one hundred or multiples of one hundred words long--amplifies the resonance of things that are happening in atmospheres, rhythms of encounter, and scenes that shift the social and conceptual ground. What's an encounter with anything once it's seen as an incitement to composition? What's a concept or a theory if they're no longer seen as a truth effect, but a training in absorption, attention, and framing? The Hundreds includes four indexes in which Andrew Causey, Susan Lepselter, Fred Moten, and Stephen Muecke each respond with their own compositional, conceptual, and formal staging of the worlds of the book.