Communal Presence: New Narrative Writing Today, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz Conference October 2017
Two videos from my Writers Series are being screened at San Francisco’s famed ROXIE THEATER, where I personally have sooooo many memories of screenings and events from the days when I lived there. You can watch EILEEN (2000, 10:20) and KEVIN & CEDAR (2002, 8:30) on the big screen as part of the UC Berkeley/UC Santa Cruz jointly-organized New Narrative Conference. Pretty hot stuff.
I’ll post more information about the conference dates, screenings, and venues as well as links as the news comes in.
Also screening with EILEEN and KEVIN & CEDAR are Marc Huestis’s Whatever Happened to Susan Jane? and Curt McDowell’s short Confessions.
These are only three of the photos I took of this expansive part of the American Northwest. This is Washington State, but it’s not Seattle. Walla Walla is a small town with suburban development that extends out into what used to be the ending place for the Conestoga Wagons of the early pioneers, the people who moved westward in the late 1800s.
Nightboat Books has just published Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977-1997, an anthology of stories, essays, plays, and other writing edited by Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy. A kool cover by Brett Reichman, too. A lot of the writers are West Coast people, LA and San Fransciso (I really miss both cities), some East Coast, and some have got to be in-between, but if they are, I have yet to discover it.
Anyway, I’ve just started reading Writers Who Love and have begun with Gabrielle Daniels’ essay on Our Nig by Harriet E. Wilson, “the first novel by an African American woman” to be published in the US. Our Nig was published in 1859 and I read this book over a decade ago. It’s on my shelf now. It’s amazing. My girlfriend at the time, Susan, asked me to remove it from the shelves because the title is outrageous, offensive, and needs explaining. But in 1859 it was not. I kept it on the shelf – maybe I moved it to a more private part of the house (I don’t remember). I was always the only person I knew who read this book. The daily life of a Black woman in 1850s New England. Rough, to say the least.
Henry Louis Gates has also discovered this book, and with his skills at finding people from the past, has tried to find Harriet Wilson to learn about her history, the writing of the novel, and anything else he can find about it. His claim is that it is absolutely the first African American women’s novel.
Daniels’ essay is bringing Our Nig back to me and as soon as I’m finished reading it I’ll read the book again. Yes, the title is harsh in 21st Century America – I kind of agree with Susan – but the book’s important!
There’s lots more in Writers Who Love Too Much! My summer reading. It’s a sexy, scholarly (sorry, I don’t find academics very sexy, either, but I find scholarship to be pretty sexy), writerly history of New Narrative.
Thanks to Kevin and Dodie for including me! I am humbled and also kinda proud, too.
I went to Harlem Stage last night to see Parijat Desai’s performance of her piece JustLikeThat. It was intelligent, fantastic, and the dancers are amazing. Thank you, Parijat!
The choreography presented a riff on the news – the who, what, when, where, why and how – journalism with Indian and American influences, ultimately about the collusion of mass media and corrupt politicians to more or less not inform the public of what’s really going on with the people who pull the strings.
Well, I’m not describing it very well! Go see it for yourself!
Here’s a clip from a previous iteration – this piece keeps evolving:
Join the Wexner to celebrate the accomplished work of female filmmakers supported by the studio throughout its 27-year history. Exploring both traditional and experimental approaches to narrative, this program includes Hiatus, Ericka Beckman’s phantasmagoric, analogue exploration of virtual reality (1999, 30 mins., 16mm transferred to video); Gone, Cecilia Dougherty’s split-screen recreation of the PBS docudrama An American Family, here starring artists Laurie Weeks and Amy Sillman and featuring music by Le Tigre and Mike Iveson (2001, 36 mins., video); and the Ohio premiere of Artist Residency Award recipient Jennifer Reeder’s 2016 film Crystal Lake (19 mins., HD video). (program approx. 85 mins.)
Upcoming video screening by Cecilia Dougherty and others.
Fishing for Some Friends is a moving image exhibition in response to the misplacement of images both historic and contemporary. Contained within are images which due to aesthetic and political subversiveness have no collective home within Melbourne’s current cinematic landscape. These homeless images skirt the peripheries on the internet; skimming intermittently into conversations before being lost in the feed of information.
Fishing for Some Friends has caught some people and works that are excited about exploring new modes of representation, reimagining aesthetic expectations and citing alternative perspectives and conversations.
Fishing for Some Friends creates temporary space for moving image works from Cecilia Dougherty (New York), Charlie Freedman (Melbourne), Larisa Kosloff (Melbourne), Lucie McMahan (Melbourne), Meg & Jackson (Melbourne), Phoebe Mackenzie (Sydney), Siegfried A. Fruhauf (Vienna) and Steven Rhall (Melbourne)
6:00 – 11:00pm
115 Little Smith St. Fitzroy
Artist and co-curator extraordinaire David Kalal and I have been working on a screening program and panel, called In-Between Theories, for the 29th MIX Queer Experimental Film Festival based on ideas we’ve been tossing around for at least a year. Or possibly longer!
The program is an exploration of queer ideas and expressions that are not quite the media for academic or even queer-political categorization, and which fall into – or more precisely, create – their own time/spaces.
When: Sunday, Feb 5, 6PM
Where: MIX29, The Dreamhouse, 1022 Wyckoff Ave., Bklyn/Flushing
(L train to Halsey)
What: Film, video and interactive work with a discussion with the artists to follow — things are going to get real — or maybe unreal — promises to be a great evening either way.