Visit John Ashbery’s Nest, Virtually


“Over the past few years, there has been a lot of attention paid to John Ashbery’s unusual and beautiful house in Hudson, New York, and its relationship to his poetry and aesthetics.  I’ve written about this before on a number of occasions, including about the concept behind ‘The Ashbery Home School’ writers retreat (which at least originally involved a visit to the Ashbery home), a recent gallery exhibit devoted to Ashbery as collector, and a gathering of critical essays on Ashbery’s ‘created spaces’ in Rain Taxi. If you aren’t one of the lucky few to be able to visit Ashbery’s home in person, rest easy: you can now visit this remarkable house virtually, thanks to ‘John Ashbery’s Nest,’ a stunning new project produced by Karin Roffman (who has just published a biography of Ashbery’s early years), in conjunction with the Yale Digital Humanities Lab. …”
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets
John Ashbery’s Nest

People Who Died – Jim Carroll (1980)


“It’s not easy to come up with a second act when your first act was being Jim Carroll. He was the author of ‘The Basketball Diaries,’ a cult-classic memoir of his drug-fueled misadventures as a teenager in the 1960s; he then became a celebrated downtown poet; and then, the star of his own hit rock band. Mr. Carroll had lived a panoramic New York youth that his fans had turned into legend. But by the time he died of a heart attack this Sept. 11 at 60, Mr. Carroll, who had once hung out with the Rolling Stones and Allen Ginsberg, no longer bore much resemblance to the downtown cover-boy with the chiseled cheekbones and flowing red hair. His once-powerful athlete’s body had been weakened by pneumonia and hepatitis C, said Rosemary Carroll, his former wife, who had remained a close friend. At times, circulation problems in his legs prevented him from leaving his apartment. His trademark hair was flecked with gray, and often tucked under a wool beanie. His cheekbones were hidden behind a white beard that plunged to the collar of his T-shirts. …”
NY Times: Jim Carroll’s Long Way Home
Genius (Audio)
W – Jim Carroll
“People Who Died” – by The Jim Carroll Band – February 16th 80’s Quest Song/Band of the Day (Video)
The Basketball Diaries by Jim Caroll – The Paris Review 1988
YouTube: Lou Reed – People Who Died w/ Jim Carroll – 9/25/1984 – Capitol Theatre, People Who Died

Tom Johnson – The Voice of New Music: New York 1972-1982


“The ten years, from 1972-1982, during which Tom Johnson closely followed the developments in the new music in New York and reported his experiences in the Village Voice, constitute the most innovative and experimental period of recent musical history. A considerable number of his articles and reviews has been brought together in this collection. Together they provide a lively impression of the genesis and the exciting adventure of the new music, of the diversity of utterances that were part of it from the very start, and of the circumstances and opinions which prompted it. Johnson recorded the emergence of a generation of composers and musicians which has set out to probe once more all conventions of the Western musical tradition and to remove the barriers between different cultures and various artistic disciplines. That process is still in full swing. Therefore it is of interest today to read how that process was triggered.”
Mediamatic
W – Tom Johnson
[PDF] The Voice of New Music: New York 1972-1982

Einstein on the Beach – Composed Philip Glass / Directed Robert Wilson (1976)


Einstein on the Beach is an opera in four acts (framed and connected by five ‘knee plays’ or intermezzos), composed by Philip Glass and directed by theatrical producer Robert Wilson. The opera eschews traditional narrative in favor of a formalist approach based on structured spaces laid out by Wilson in a series of storyboards. The music was written ‘in the spring, summer and fall of 1975’. Glass recounts the collaborative process: ‘I put [Wilson’s notebook of sketches] on the piano and composed each section like a portrait of the drawing before me. The score was begun in the spring of 1975 and completed by the following November, and those drawings were before me all the time.’ The premiere took place on July 25, 1976, at the Avignon Festival in France. The opera contains writings by Christopher Knowles, Samuel M. Johnson and Lucinda Childs. It is Glass’s first and longest opera score, taking approximately five hours in full performance without intermission; given the length, the audience is permitted to enter and leave as desired. … From the beginning of Glass and Wilson’s collaboration, they insisted on portraying the icon purely as a historical figure, in the absence of a storyline attached to his image. While they did incorporate symbols from Einstein’s life within the opera’s scenery, characters, and music, they intentionally chose not to give the opera a specific plot. This is in accord with Wilson’s formalist approach, which he asserts creates more truth on stage than naturalist theater. Wilson structured Einstein on the Beach as a repeating sequence of three different kinds of space. Between major acts are shorter entr’actes known as ‘knee plays,’ a signature technique that Wilson has applied throughout his oeuvre. Propelling idea of ‘non-plot’ within Einstein on the Beach, its libretto employs solfège syllables, numbers, and short sections of poetry. …”
Wikipedia
The Method and Madness of ‘Einstein on the Beach’
iTunes
NPR: The Minds Behind ‘Einstein On The Beach’ Talk Shop (Video)
UbuWeb: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera (Video)
THE EARTH MOVES. A documentary about Einstein on the Beach. (Video)
YouTube: Einstein on the Beach 4:36:23
YouTube: Philip Glass Ensemble “Train/Spaceship” part 1, “Train/Spaceship” part 2

Edward Dorn – Recollections of Gran Apacheria (1972)


“Edward Dorn (1929–1999) wrote poetry, fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and translations, all from a position outside the centers of power of our time but close enough to see them clearly and to indict their control over our lives. This same position — that of the outsider able to see into the heart of the contemporary world — has been occupied by some of the most incisive and persistently valuable critics of American culture, such as Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, and Charles Olson. Like these writers, Dorn takes as the central obligation of a citizen’s life the task of finding out exactly where one stands — geographically, politically, and spiritually — in order to maintain a critical distance from coercive institutions and to honor the integrity of one’s own sense of things. … In his next book, Recollections of Gran Apachería, Dorn presents the Apaches as noble ‘not in themselves / so much as in their Ideas.’ Apache thought, like the Gunslinger’s, arises from dwelling undistractedly in a timeless, local space, defined by actual geographical features: ‘Their leading ideas / come directly from the landform.’ Western culture, in contrast, wants to control everything through the abstract force of predictive reason, which Dorn labels ‘Mind.’ Mind is a deadly tool in the wrong hands, and Dorn distinguishes it from the thinking practices of people who think with the landform. …”
Jacket2: Introduction to Edward Dorn
Tom Clark: Geronimo in Exile (Edward Dorn: Recollections of Gran Apacheria)
Wordplay this week: Ed Dorn
Ron Silliman: Way More West: New and Selected Poems
amazon: Recollections of Gran Apachería

Black History Month: Post-Soul Culture Circa 1992


“… In the March 17, 1992, issue of the Voice, contributor Nelson George surveyed the ‘post-soul’ landscape and discovered that, ‘as a musical genre, a definition of African American culture, and the code word for our national identity, soul has pretty much been dead since Nixon’s reelection in 1972. But what’s replaced it? Arguing in these pages in 1986, Greg Tate tried to establish a ‘new black aesthetic’ as a defining concept. He had a point, though I’d argue there was more than one aesthetic at work. For better and worse, the spawn of the postsoul era display multiple personalities.’ Indeed, over seventeen pages George explores a broad spectrum of post-soul black aesthetics, and the Voice’s art department helped with diptychs comparing and contrasting Malcolm X to KRS-One and Muhammad Ali and Bundini Brown to Chuck D and Flavor Flav, as well as triptychs of Lisa Bonet and Magic Johnson. …”
Voice

The Kitchen


The Kitchen is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary art and performance space located at 512 West 19th Street, between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in Greenwich Village in 1971 by Steina and Woody Vasulka, who were frustrated at the lack of an outlet for video art. The space takes its name from the original location, the kitchen of the Mercer Arts Center which was the only available place for the artists to screen their video pieces. Although first intended as a location for the exhibition of video art, The Kitchen soon expanded its mission to include other forms of art and performance. In 1974, The Kitchen relocated to a building at the corner of Wooster and Broome Streets in SoHo, and incorporated as a not-for-profit arts organization. In 1987 it moved to its current location. The first music director of The Kitchen was composer Rhys Chatham. The venue became known as a place where many No Wave bands like Glenn Branca, Lydia Lunch and James Chance performed. Notable Kitchen alumni also include Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Rocco Di Pietro, John Moran, Jay Scheib, Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, Peter Greenaway, Michael Nyman, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Gordon Mumma, Frederic Rzewski, Ridge Theater, The Future Sound of London, Leisure Class, Elliott Sharp, Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, Meredith Monk, Arleen Schloss, Vito Acconci, Keshavan Maslak, Elaine Summers, Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones, David Byrne/Talking Heads, chameckilerner, John Jasperse, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, ETHEL, Chris McIntyre, Sylvie Degiez, Wayne Lopes/CosmicLegends, and Cindy Sherman. Today, The Kitchen focuses on presenting emerging artists, most of whom are local, and is committed to advancing work that is experimental in nature. Its facilities include a 155-seat black box performance space and a gallery space for audio and visual exhibitions. The Kitchen presents work in music, dance, performance, video, film, visual art, and literature. …”
Wikipedia
The Kitchen in Chelsea