October 05, 2011
September 29, 2011
September 28, 2011
August 18, 2011
July 19, 2011
These 'verses' are snapshots in text of homeless lives, in all their moods - joy, terror, humour, resilience, anger. Famously, Engels wrote about the harshness of 19th Century Manchester; people today who live a comparable existence are the homeless. The writing imagines a dialogue between Engels and the homeless people of Manchester. Interspersed through the poem is found material from Engel's correspondence with Marx, and his classic The Condition of the English Working Class.
The idea of the poem was developed with Candian Steve Giasson - who suggested a kind of anti-epic, inspired by Louis Zukovsky. Geof Huth met several Big Issue vendors, prompting several of the lines. The Mancunian poet copland smith helped to give the poem formal design, inspired by the traditional Welsh poetic form the englyn. Longtime arthur+martha colleague Rebecca Guest helped Philip edit the final piece.
This project is in partnership with the Text Festival, The Big Issue in the North, The Red Door (Bury Housing Concern), Brighter Futures, The Booth Centre, The Lowry, LOVE Creative, the BBC. Poets and writers who've been involved include Steve Giasson, Geof Huth, copland smith, Anna MacGowan. Editors Philip Davenport and Rebecca Guest.
The resulting long poem will be tweeted over the coming weeks and streamed as occasional online video through an LED by LOVE Creative.
June 23, 2011
June 16, 2011
May 30, 2011
May 15, 2011
Guest curators Helen Kaplinsky & Maurice Carlin of Reading for Reading’s Sake bring New York based Rainer Ganahl to the Transport Museum. Ganahl, who represented Austria in the 1999 Venice Biennale, arrives on Wednesday though installation of his exhibition at the Bury Transport Museum starts on Monday. Ganahl has ambitious plans to create various works this week including two films. The show is called Engels…Engels…Engels and is an investigation through videos, assemblage, photos and prints of “The Condition of the Working Class in England” (1844).
As part of the project Ganahl will facilitate Engels seminars on the 18th (6:30-8:30pm), 19th (2-4pm) and 20th (6:30-8:30pm) May at Bury Transport Museum. No prior reading required but to book email email@example.com. The artist will also present a talk on Thurs 19th May 6pm at Islington Mill.
May 03, 2011
April 29, 2011
Initially, I commissioned Phil Davenport, Carol Watts and Tony Lopez to create new Bury Poems - which all 3 performed at the 2009 Text Festival. Also during that festival, while Ron Silliman was here, he spent time on his wanderings between events working on a new poem called "Northern Soul" to be part of his Universe project. Initally I suggested that we publish it in time to launch at this festival, but Ron felt it may not be appropriate or ready within his plans. But I remembered a comment that Ron had made to me backstage at his festival reading along the lines that he could see in the performances of the artists on stage before him direct resonances to his own work. This made me consider: what has no-one asked Ron to do? A piece of public art. So we commissioned him to make a public text, a neon work which will be shown in the Art Gallery and then located permanently as an artwork in the Bury Tram Station. The making of this work in itself then became an additional sequence in the Bury Poems. With the final addition of works written by Geof Huth also in response to the Text and new works written by Holly Pester, one of the performers at this years event, the collection was almost done. Done in my mind anyway. Having editorialised it to this stage, I invited Phil Davenport to co-edit and continue the project to publication. All that was missing was my commissioner's contextualising essay, but Phil felt that my own poetry was also a response to the context that I had created and so pressed me to select new works from "The Tragedy of Althusserianism" which I have been writing for ifpthenq but had to delay because of the festival workload.
April 27, 2011
April 20, 2011
April 18, 2011
April 16, 2011
Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl
April 14, 2011
@ The Green Room, Manchester
Friday 15 April 2011
In a pre-festival partnership event with the Green Room, Manchester, the Text Festival presents an evening of virtuoso vocal performance and groundbreaking sound art.
Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is an Icelandic poet and author of three novels. He works with performance and sound-poetry, and regularly appears at poetry and music festivals, as well as dabbling in the dark arts of the concrete. In the recent years he has explored the possibilities inherent in the European and North-American avant-garde traditions, and focused on disassembling language into its visual, social and linguistic units. Nothing can prepare you for the power and dexterity of his performance, the sonically richness of his sound poems, and his amazing control of his material. His huge contortions twist his mouth to stun the audience.
Phil Minton is a dramatic baritone with a free-form style of "extended techniques" that are extremely unsettling. His vocals often include the sounds of retching, burping, screaming, and gasping, as well as childlike muttering, whining, crying and deep-throated drones; he also has an ability to distort his vocal cords to produce two notes at once. Phil Minton's voice occupies a category apart, as joyously accessible as it is radical.
For over thirty years, Maggie O’Sullivan has been one of the leading figures of British innovative poetry. An international performer and visual artist, she is committed to excavating language in all its multiple voices and tongues, known and unknown, in visceral gestures that collage and pulverization at the service of a rhythmic vortex.
Phil Davenport & Ben Gwilliam are artists engaged in collaborative practice across different artforms: Davenport the poet and Gwilliam the sound artist merge experimental language through the infrathin processing of the silence between sounds.
The event will also feature interventions by Sarah Sanders and Matt Dalby.
April 13, 2011
April 11, 2011
April 10, 2011
Cointreau and blood orange jellies, home-made orange ice cream, and home-made orange-scented short breads; with Muscato d’asti to drink.
Cheese board followed by coffee and home-made chocolates (and for old times, no doubt some Finnish Cloudberry liqueur)
April 09, 2011
Finally found Brazilian sound artist Bruno Bresani and agreed the work I want for one of the gigs.
April 08, 2011
In 2009 during the Bury Art Gallery exhibition "Not at this address", the UK sound artist Ben Gwilliam performed a new work using ice casts of Beethoven's molto semplice e cantabile. Today, we received the conceptual conclusion of that work with delivery of a limited edition of the disc cast in transparent vinyl. Ben will be performing at the Green Room on 15 April with Phil Davenport as the opening gig of the Text Festival. molto will be available for sale at the Festival shop (£15) - I would suggest that your art collection is incomplete without a copy of this work.
April 02, 2011
Without that pain, this time round is doubly exciting because the Text has achieved a presence in many artists’ thinking so lots more practitioners than previously have engaged with it.
Each time I walk into the receiving office at the gallery there are tables full of newly arrived works, packages wait to be unwrapped, fresh printed digital submissions: beautiful visual poetry from Japan via Vienna, the first 50 of 100 vispos by Geof Huth, a delicious limited edition by Eric Maximillan Zboya (pictured), Alexander Jorgensen’s prints from Prague, an unexpected video poem by Kazuo Takakatabe & Peter Jaeger which will be in the Transport Museum; two brand new, unseen, works by Aysegul Tozeren, a dozen poems from Zeynep Cansu Başeren arrive by email. A long Skype conversation with Steve Miller in Berlin about how the fonts should work on his powerpoint work; email exchanges with Marco Giovenale in Rome about his performance, with Derek Beaulieu in Calgary about his conceptual text response to the UK arts cuts, the complicated arrangements for Christian Bök’s construction schedule, Helen White’s early installation in the museum, the confirmations of On Kawara and Ian Hamilton Finlay for Requiem at the Fusilier Museum; testing sound works in location – Matt Dalby’s sound great in the Greenroom; contacts from Poetrifestival Berlin or the Journal of Contemporary Visual Culture in Dubai wanting to set collaborations; comings and goings of various media enquiries – BBC interview schedules, a possible World Service documentary (Catharine Braithwaite our media expert is doing a miraculous job as usual) – , advising on travel arrangements, suggesting hotels; checking the proofs of “The Bury Poems” publication which we hope will be ready just in time for the Festival. This was just the last few days. It’s been like this for weeks and it will just ratchet up day after day as the opening gets closer. On Monday, Christian arrives to start work; Helen White the week after; the big delivery of artworks from various London artists and galleries is awaited with great anticipation. On Friday we curate and install the museum Tradestamps show and curate the Transport Museum and maybe the Fusilier Museum too if we have time. The following week the Wonder Rooms (visual poetry) show is installed and on the Friday the first gig - Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, Maggie O’Sullivan, Phil Minton and Ben Gwilliam & Phil Davenport. Blimey! It’s getting close!
March 31, 2011
March 12, 2011
which I would illustrate with an image from the installation of one of my texts at the Dubai Drawingspace (above). At the last minute, I thought of adding one of my favourite 50 Heads poems; then came the surprise. On opening the folder, I uncovered maybe another 8 'Heads' poems that I decided not to include because the structural mathematics of the whole only required 49. I had completely forgotten these existed - as my dad jokes the upside of Alzheimer's is you are always making new friends. So here is a new Head:
0. How long ago it was. Closeness is measured by how many
fluents change. The place and the placing matter little and for
clarity, for order, for certainty. When sweat can move you
through the air, stochastic on the way, the heresy lays inside
dedication to the vertical axis – instructions for measuring
some significant item symbolising pry loose separation.
Counterintuitive, a day alone through the eyes of people not
here. Their demand that maps serve as aids for accurate
travel is fairly recent, the geometry of in-between precision is
less important than connection. Like the space, is there one
thing? Renormalisation avoids these infinities, steel glass,
music of voices extended to their Hill sphere, sanitary in a
good way, sterile in a good way, implying in a good way
infinities that interchange this/that/them/there/not here.
You never lose the accent, whereas formulas that are 'true'
blanket intuition, authentic to its provenance. Rejecting nature,
the theory cannot prove its own consistency, upward,
concrete editing of the gaps in between the geometry
of scaffolding,ephemeral, celebrating construction and noise:
A plea to somewhere else plus: 1