Thursday, October 23, 2008

Untitled Speculations: Where I'll Be This Weekend



(text taken from the conference website)



Untitled: Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing

REDCAT and CalArts present the fifth annual series of experimental writing conferences at REDCAT, Untitled: Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing is a two-day conversation about writing which, in some manner, exceeds the printed page. While familiar with visual artworks constituted as a set of instructions, secrets written by visitors in a book, or one artist erasing of another artist's work, is discussed how to be equivalent in the literary world. The conference is October 24-25, 2008.

Untitled is a common name of contemporary art works and also refers to the incipient moment of a new text or idea. It was chosen to convey a sense of openness and process. A variety of writers and artists will discuss the use of language and words and/or their object status, the book and the letter, the question of the "emptiness" vs. the fullness of language as a poetic medium, the pictorial versus the narrative, the incorporation of extra-linguistic symbols and signs (maps, diagrams, formulas, etc.), the question of conceptual writing and words off the page -- performed, cited, projected, incanted or invoked.

Among the participants is Kenny Goldsmith, an "uncreative" writer who labels himself the most boring writer in the world. He writes books that include everything he said for a week (Soliloquy, 2001), every move his body made during a thirteen-hour period (Fidget, 1999), and a year of transcribed weather reports (The Weather, 2005).

Artist Young-Hae Chang is part of a corporate web art group known as Heavy Industries, whose short Flash texts have mesmerized the art world with their combination of graphic boldness and acute commentary on culture, politics and commerce, yielding a new kind of literary cinema.

Currently teaching in the Writing Program at CalArts, and another participant, Salvador Plascencia's first novel, The People of Paper, takes place in the Chicano Diaspora. Reflecting on the nature of literary characters, some of his people are literally made of paper, and others get paper cuts from them.

The conference will include two panels on the topic of Litterality, and examine how writers use what we normally consider non-linguistic elements, such as symbols, diagrams, maps, or scores placed in the context of writing. Also explored are invented writing systems, and what it might mean to think about the book as an object rather than as a collection of words or sentences.

As in the art world, many kinds of appropriation have been undertaken by experimental writers in the last several years. The panel on Appropriation and Citation will look at these practices, asking questions about whose work and what material gets appropriated, cited or resurrected, who owns texts, and if there is a difference between appropriation and citation.

A panel on The Meaninglessness or -fulness of Language will examine language as a vehicle of meaning. Rather than look at what texts say, it asks if language simply taken on its own is empty, saturated with meaning, both, or something else.

The fifth panel on The Concept of Conceptual Writing, looks at the use of writing not to convey meaning or tell stories but to convey concepts, asking how this might be similar, or not, to the work of conceptual artists in the visual arena.

In addition to the five panels, there will be two evening readings. The participants in the conference are Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Latasha Diggs, Johanna Drucker, Kenneth Goldsmith, Robert Grenier, Douglas Kearney, Steve McCaffery, Julie Patton, Salvador Plascencia, Jessica Smith, Brian Kim Stefans, Stephanie Taylor, Shanxing Wang and Heriberto Yepez. This event is organized by Matias Viegener and Christine Wertheim of the Writing Program at CalArts, and funded by The Annenberg Foundation.

Conference Schedule:

Friday, October 24
12.30 p.m.
Opening Addresses

1.00-3.00 p.m.
Litterality 1
Writing is not speech, it is letters on a page. What do we make of the inclusion in writing of non-alphabetic signs, symbols, diagrams; writing as map or score; invented writing notations; or the book as object?

Panelists will includes Johanna Drucker, Salvador Plascencia, Latasha Diggs, Shanxing Wang

3.30-5.00 p.m.
The Meaninglessness or -fulness of Language
As a vehicle, is language empty, saturated with meaning, both, or something else?

Panelists will include Jessica Smith, Bob Grenier, Christine Wertheim

5.00-6.00 p.m
Drinks at REDCAT with participants and audience

8.30-10.30 p.m.
Evening Readings/Performances
TBD

Saturday, October 25
10.30 a.m-12.00 p.m.
Appropriation and Citation
Whose work and what material gets appropriated, cited and resurrected? Who owns texts? Is there a difference between appropriation and citation?

Panelists will include Steve McCaffery, Doug Kearney, Kenneth Goldsmith

12.30-2.00 p.m
Litterality 2
Writing is not speech, it is letters on a page. What do we make of the inclusion in writing of non-alphabetic signs, symbols, diagrams; writing as map or score; invented writing notations; or the book as object?

Panelists will include Brian Kim Stephans, Julie Patton, Vincent Dachy

Break

3.30-5.00 p.m.
The Concept of Conceptual Writing.
What is the relation between conceptual writing and the trajectory of conceptual art?

Panelists will include Stephanie Taylor, Heriberto Yepez, Young-Hae Chang+Marc Voge

5.00-6.00 p.m.
Summary Discussion with all panelists

8.30-10.30 p.m.
Evening Readings/Performances
TBD

Organized by Christine Wertheim and Matias Viegener from CalArts’ MFA Writing Program.

1 comment:

brian a j s said...

Hope the conference was provocative.
From your description of it,
it ought to have been.


[ I got tired of Salchert. ]