Thursday, April 29, 2010


Live at the Hollywood Theater. Tonight. Four hours ago.

two guitars, three long sets. While this was billed as Jandek featuring Thurston Moore, perhaps due to dint of their playing styles & personalities (& is the blur), TM came out as much more the show stealer. But it was nonetheless an incredible incredible evening. & Jandek's Branca-ish walking blues was a perfect center for TM's surface, which was, of course, all over the place. I squirmed with joy. & I hardly watched, as is my tendency when I'm really enjoying a musical performance.
Jandek spent most of the evening facing the theatre screen, away from the audience, while TM spent most of it facing us, but behind his bangs, & both of them paced from time to time. While TM never really riffed, but moved from high end noise to occassionally percussive sludge into controlled feedback - this may sound typical, I think it was on the contary just difficult for me to put in words. He was much louder, & used distortion & (I think) occasional, if for more than a few moments during the first "jam", effects, whereas, Jandek's tone was thin & clean. It sounded as if he was perhaps in a Lou Reed "ostrich tuning" (all strings tuned to the same note". He played very repetitively, in the afforementioned "walking blues," which is my poor job of describing his circular sounding movement of dissonant chords, & then into a dissonant strumming, & then back. Occasionally Jandek played what seemed to me to be very reminiscent of Sonic Youth, but the show never seemed derivative to me, & it was only after the second long & loud set that I gave in & put in the earplugs. The third set Thurston possibly played near the entirety of with a drum stick, tho this was not the first alternative, extracurricular element he brought in. I was actually surprised to hear them begin a third set, albeit delighted, when the mood changed, & they both sat for the first time. It may have been because I put in the plugs (I think this is likely), but for the third set the sound seemed more balanced.
After the show Chris & I went to Proper Eats for a vegan nacho. On the way out the door I noticed a book by Robert Duncan, & opened it to this poem:


By stress and syllable
by change-rhyme and contour
we let the long line pace even awkward to its period.

The short line
we refine
and keep for candor.

This we remember:
ember of the fire
catches the word if we but hear
("We must understand what is happening")
and springs to desire,
a bird-right light

This is the Yule-log that warms December.
This is new grass that springs from the ground.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



Book Launch at Printed Matter, 195 10th Avenue, New York, NY
Saturday, April 24th, 5 - 7 pm


Sreshta Rit Premnath
Warren Neidich


Éric Alliez
Bernard Andrieu
Eric Anglès
Kader Attia
Elena Bajo
Lindsay Benedict
Nicholas Chase
Seth Cluett
Zoe Crosher
Krysten Cunningham
Yevgeniy Fiks
Dan Levenson
Antje Majewski
T. Kelly Mason
Michele Masucci
Daniel Miller
Seth Nehil
Warren Neidich
Susanne Neubauer
Hans Ulrich Obrist
Chloe Piene
Sreshta Rit Premnath
Linda Quinlan
Patricia Reed
Silva Reichwein
Barry Schwabsky
Gemma Sharpe
Amy Sillman
Francesco Spampinato
Tyler Stallings
Laura Stein
Clarissa Tossin
Brindalyn Webster
Lee Welch
Olav Westphalen
James Yeary

We present scores, scripts, instructions, critical essays and more for Shifter’s 16th issue entitled “Pluripotential”.

Here we invoke a term, which describes the innate ability of stem-cells to differentiate into almost any cell in the body, to think through the possibility of criticality and cultural change through aesthetic strategies.

The skin that we are born with is transformed as a result of its life of touches, caresses and trauma and becomes flesh*. While on the one hand each of us experiences a unique set of circumstances, our common knowledge also shapes this flesh. Analogously, the brain becomes the mind through its history of experiences: A British child growing up in Tokyo speaks fluent Japanese, something her parents having arrived later in life to Japan may never be able to do. The brain is prepared for a multiplicity of cultural and linguistic conditions, within certain biological limits of malleability. Furthermore, as Agamben has noted, "the child [...], is potential in the sense that [s]he must suffer an alteration (a becoming other) through learning."**

These limits of malleability may fall within the paradigm of what Ranciere calls the distribution of the sensible: “the system of self-evident facts of sense perception, that simultaneously discloses the existence of something in common, and the delimitations that define the respective parts and positions within it.”*** Does art have the pluripotential ability to produce events in the cultural landscape, which in turn produce a redistribution of the sensible: a shift in public consciousness concerning how and what we see and feel, and furthermore a reconsideration of who constitutes the public “we.” Here the contradicting ideas of a homogeneous people, versus the singularities that produce differences within the multitude become relevant.

This play between structural constraints and a potential for continuous change is seen in forms such as scores, scripts and instructions; and strategies including "detournement" and remix, which hold within them the potential to be performed and reconstituted in multiple ways. It is therefore through these forms that we set out to explore "Pluripotential".


*"The Merleau-Ponty Reader", Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Ted Toadvine, Leonard Lawlor, Northwestern University Press, 2007; Pg. 405
**"Potentialities", Giorgio Agameben, Standford University Press, 1999; Pg. 179
***"The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible", Jacques Rancière, Gabriel Rockhill, Continuum, 2006; Pg. 12

Shifter ( is a topical magazine that was founded in 2004 by Sreshta Premnath. Premnath continues to edit the magazine in collaboration with guest editors. Copies of the magazine are held in the MoMA artist book collection as well as Printed Matter.

Finding the internet to be the only inter-continental “commons” not policed by immigration policy, Shifter began as an online magazine. It was conceived as a topical magazine in which ideas could be approached from different directions and disciplines. It attempts to create a platform where individuals engaged in various fields including visual art, experimental writing, cultural theory, philosophy and the sciences can view their work in relation to each other without hierarchy. The online magazine has always been free, once again to circumvent the inequities of the global capitalist marketplace.

For Roman Jakobson, a “shifter” is a term whose meaning cannot be determined without referring to the message that is being communicated between a sender and a receiver. For example the pronouns “I” and “you”, as well as words like “here” and “now”, and the tenses, can only be understood by reference to the context in which they are uttered.

As this suggests, Shifter’s topics have often focussed on issues of subjectivity and rupture in language, and contributions reveal an equal emphasis on visual and textual strategies. This is a project open to change and failure and does not depend on revenue. Each issue creates a community of artists and writers who may not have seen their work contextualized together, and in this way hopes to open a dialogue amongst them.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Three poets and one visual artist read and perform from their books that document their walks thru the cities they live in.

Jon Cotner & Andy Fitch will read from their book Ten Walks/Two Talks (with a special guest)

James Yeary & Nate Orton will read and perform from their books My Day Walking Across Portland and it’s Hinterlands, vol. 1-3

Concordia Coffee House
Wed. April 21st 7:30 pm
$5 suggested donation
2909 NE Alberta
For more info:

Spare Room Readings