Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dave Bonta's 'Ice Mountain' Published

. . . get a bowl of fresh snow / not to eat but just to admire /....

Cover Art for Ice Mountain 
Artist Credit: Beth Adams

My friend Dave Bonta, a master erasure poet and the scion at Moving Poems, a compendium of videopoems I've featured in this space a number of times, has published a 132-page collection of spare, evocative, and linked poems, Ice Mountain: An Elegy (Phoenicia Publishing, 2017), due out tomorrow. I'm pleased to give this new collection a well-deserved shout-out and to include here the book's trailer, produced by the very talented Marc Neys aka Swoon.

Read Dave's backstory about Ice Mountain and sample the collection's content.

The illustrations in the book, Dave's first full-length print collection, are from Elizabeth Adams's original linocuts.

Dave also is the author of the 25-poem Odes to Tools (Phoenicia Publishing, 2010) and Breakdown: Banjo Poems (Seven Kitchens Press, 2012), selected by Sascha Feinstein as co-winner of the 2011 Keystone Chapbook Prize. Also see Dave's Twelve Simple Songs.

Note: A naturalist and Pennsylvania resident, Dave is donating 10 percent of all sales proceeds to local and regional conservation efforts in central Pennsylvania.

Dave Bonta on FaceBook

Via Negativia, Dave's Literary Blog

Morning Porch, Dave's Journal of Daily Prose-Micropoems

Phoenicia Publishing Page for Ice Mountain

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Muse: 'I Am Not Your Negro'

Film Poster

Novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and social critic James Baldwin's manuscript for Remember This House, begun in 1979 and still unfinished when Baldwin died in 1987, was to have been the writer's own recollection of the lives and murders of three friends, a trio of men who made their names during America's Civil Rights Movement: Medgar Evers (1925-1963), Malcolm X (1925-1965), and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968).

Using the 30 completed pages Baldwin left behind*, Haitian filmmaker and director Raoul Peck brings to the screen, beginning February 3, the documentary I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia Pictures, 2016). Supplementing Baldwin's original words with archival footage, Peck aims to establish the long line from the Civil Rights Era of the 20th Century to the current #BlackLivesMatter movement, and to address lingering questions about being black in America.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson narrates the movie, which was nominated for "Outstanding Documentary Film" at the NAACP Image Awards and, among a number of other honors, was the winner of "Best Documentary/Nonfiction" from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Here's the 93-minute documentary's trailer:

James Baldwin Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures © BobAdelman

* Baldwin's estate entrusted the manuscript to Peck.

Of Interest

Read film critic Kenneth Turan's review "James Baldwin Is Illuminated, with Dizzying Multimedia Savvy, in 'I Am Not Your Negro'", Los Angeles Times.

American Film Institute 2016 Interview with Raoul Peck

Roger Cohen, "McGraw-Hill Drops Baldwin Suit", The New York Times, May 19, 1990 (The suit was brought to try to recover Baldwin's advance for Remember This House.)

I Am Not Your Negro on FaceBookTwitter, and Instagram

Raoul Peck on FaceBook

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thought for the Day

For artists, looking, remembering, and creating art
are themselves ways of recognizing the ambiguities
of the human and inhuman.
~ Viet Thanh Nguyen

Quoted from Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016), p. 99.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer (for The Sympathizer); Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Nguyen's forthcoming book is a short story collection, The Refugees (Grove Press, February 2017). 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is Macrocosm, filmed with a Canon 5D and 100mm macro lens and incorporating space sounds NASA recorded. Those sounds, described as "singing", appear to have come from the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, discovered in 2014 by European Space Agency's Rosetta Plasma Consortium. 

The visualization is by Susi Sie; the remix is by sound designer and musician Clemens Haas.

Macrocosm from Susi Sie on Vimeo.

Original Data Cred: ESA/Rosetta/RPC/RPC-MAG
Sonification: TU Braunschweig/IGEP/Manuel Senfft, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0

Susie Sie on FaceBook

Clemens Haas on FaceBook

ESA on SoundCloud

(My thanks to friend Deborah Barlow for the link.)

Friday, January 20, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

 ✦ Local figurative painter Judith Peck is the subject of much well-deserved attention. In December, Artists and Makers Studios 2, Rockville, Maryland, hosted her solo show "Judith Peck: The Reachable Shore", and Poets and Artists magazine featured Peck and her work in an end-of-year special, "Figurative Painters 2016". See Peck's free, downloadable 12-page catalogue. This month's issue (#135) of American Art Collector magazine includes an article by John O'Hern about Peck's solo exhibition. Next month, beginning February 24, the exhibition "Sight Unseen", curated by Alia El-Bermani, opens at Abend Gallery, Denver, Colorado; the show runs through March 25.

Judith Peck Website

Peck's Blog, Becoming Human

Judith Peck on FaceBook           

 Winner of the 2013 Benesse Prize, Albania-born Anri Sala has taken over a once-abandoned house in Teshima, Kegawa Prefecture, Japan, to create at Teshima Seawall House a visual and audio artwork he has named All of a Tremble (2016). In addition to drums and music boxes, Sala uses in his commissioned, site-specific installation, which opened this past October, video showing an improvising saxophone and a Japanese bamboo flute ("shakuhachi"). In a statement from curator Akiko Miki, visitors are invited "to reflect on the displacement and lives of human beings as well as to physically experience the meeting of two different worlds: outside and inside, eastern and western, ocean and sky, social and private." The house is open for the next three years.

Teshima Seawall House

Sala's work is featured in the January 2017 issue of Naoshima Note, the quarterly magazine of Benesse Art Site Naoshima. Read the feature digitally (pdf); it is in both English and Japanese.

Anri Sala's Website

Anri Sala at Marian Goodman Gallery, Serpentine Galleries, and Hauser & Wirth

✦ The 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the 1942 internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, is February 19. In observance, the Noguchi Museum, Long Island City, New York, is presenting two dozen works of the sculptor in "Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center". Noguchi voluntarily was imprisoned. The exhibition, which opened January 18, continues through January 7, 2018.

Noguchi Museum on FaceBookInstagram, and Vimeo

Poston War Relocation Center, Yuma County, Arizona (aka Colorado River Relocation Center)

Passing Poston (Film)

In addition, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, opens February 19 its exhibition, "Two Views: Photography by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank", featuring photographs of the internment and imprisonment of 120,000 men, women, and  children of Japanese ancestry. The exhibition, which runs through May 14, features  40 images by Adams and 26 by Frank. 

For more information about these important exhibitions, read "'Humanity Uprooted': Noguchi Museum Marks 75th Anniversary of Japanese-American Internment", The Art Newspaper, Section 2, January 2017.

Crocker Art Museum on FaceBook

✦ Australian painter and sculptor Shaun Tan, who is also a writer-illustrator and filmmaker, created for his latest book The Singing Bones (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2016) a series of 75 miniature tableaux of clay that represent his reimagined takes on the Grimms fairytales. Short excerpts from the book are presented with photos of the figurines, which Tan made and photographed between 2012 and 2015. They are compelling, primal, even disturbing pieces, and nothing like the illustrations we've typically seen. (Tan provides extensive commentary about the work at his Website.)

The Singing Bones Cover Art

Additional Images at The Guardian

✦ The University of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum exhibition "Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural" concluded January 15 but its objects and artworks from the 12th to 20th centuries can be explored online. The exhibition travels to Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada, in March. Also, Francesca Leoni has edited a 120-page exhibition catalogue, Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural (December 2016), that includes essays by three Islamic art experts.

Catalogue Cover Art

Ashmolean Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✦ Described as "break-through computer animation", the very short video below, "In Winter Still" brings Claude Monet's paintings to life.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art continues through March 26 "The Artist's Museum", a look at how artists work with other artists' work. Featuring installations, photography, film, and videos incorporating artworks from the past, the exhibition includes a new commission, The Earth Is a Magnet (2016) by Anna Craycroft, Rosa Barba's 35mm film The Hidden Conference: About the Discontinuous History of Things We See and Don't See (2010), Carol Bove's La traversee difficile (The Difficult Crossing) (2008), as well as work by Rachel Harrison, Louise Lawler, Mark Leckey, Pierre Leguillon, Goshka Macuga, Christian Marclay, Xaviera Simmons, Rosemarie Trockel, and Sara VanDerBeek

A selection of images is available at the exhibition link above.

ICA, Boston on FaceBook and Instagram

Artists and Makers Studios 1 and 2, Rockville, Maryland is presenting exhibitions this month at both its Parklawn Drive and Wilkins Avenue locations. You have just five more days to see them.

Four Alexandria, Virginia-based painters, Jenny Davis, Tanya Davis, Rachel Kerwin, and Marilynn Spindler, fill the Parklawn galleries at A&M1 in "Dreams and Exhibitions". 

On Wilkins, A&M 2, visitors will find four separate shows: "Homage: respectful ridicule as art", featuring the wonderful work of caricaturist Mike Caplanis; "Life I knew, Life Anew", marking Nigerian sculptor Maduka Uduh's first exhibition in the United States; "Small Works", an exhibition of 30 of the Washington, D.C.-area's finest emerging and established realist artists; and a solo photography exhibition by Jazalyn Dukes from the Montgomery County (Maryland) Camera Club.

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York City, is host to Trine Bumiller's fifth solo exhibition in the gallery, "Interference". On view through February 11 are selections from Trine's newest series of paintings, which continue her explorations of landscape and memory. See images of Trine's work.

Trine Bumiller, Pattern and Fragmentation, 2016
Oil on Panel, 36" x 48"

Trine Bumiller on FaceBook

Trine Bumiller at Escape Into Life

Also on view through February 11 is "Laura Fayer: Beyond Measure". For this second solo show at the gallery, the New York City-based Fayer is exhibiting multi-layered, abstract works that combine printmaking with collage and painting to evoke the themes of impermanence and imperfection. View images of Fayer's beautiful acrylics and Japanese papers on canvas.

Laura Fayer, In Space and Time, 2016
Acrylic and Japanese Paper on Canvas
52" x 44"

Laura Fayer on Instagram

Kathryn Markel on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ In the Photography Gallery at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, you'll fine "Kertesz", an exhibition of 30 images drawn from VFMA's collection that highlight the influential artist's early career in Hungary and seminal moments during 60 years in Paris and New York City. The exhibition continues through February 12.

Andre Kertesz (1894-1985)

VMFA on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ Tomorrow, January 21, marks the opening of "Rodin: The Human Experience" at Oregon's Portland Art Museum. Drawn from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections, the exhibition, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French sculptor's death, showcases 52 bronzes, including The Burghers of Calais, The Night (Double Figure), Dance Movement D, and Monumental Torso of the Walking Man. Also featured are Rodin's portrait sculptures of writers Victor Hugo and Honore de Balzac, composer Gustav Mahler, artist Claude Lorraine, and dancer Hanako. The exhibition concludes April 16.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

PMA on FaceBook

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Alexandra Eldridge, The Divine Breath
Mixed Media, 60" x 48" 
© Alexandra Eldridge


Today's Artist Watch feature at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life presents the beautiful mixed-media work of Alexandra Eldridge.

Alexandra has had more than 40 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows throughout the United States and abroad. Her art has been used for the covers of 10 collections of poetry and appears in murals in the Place de Vosges in Paris, France.

In addition to eight images of Alexandra's recent work, my Artist Watch features includes Alexandra's Artist Statement, a brief biographical statement, galleries representing her work, and her social media sites.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Wonder: Calder Mobile Conducts

An artwork that is both instrument and conductor? Yes, if it's Alexander Calder's.

In collaboration with Tate Modern, the Calder Foundation and Earle Brown Music Foundation presented last year a visual musical performance of Earle Brown's Calder Piece (1963-1966). A standing mobile, Chef d'orchestre ("The Conductor") is played by and also conducts four percussionists.

In the video below, Gryphon Rue explains the details of Brown's composition, which was performed in New York City on January 9, 2016, by Talujon Percussion Quartet. Rue curated the performance.

Here's a shorter, TateShots video of the performing sculpture during its United Kingdom premiere in November 2015:

Heavily influenced by Calder's work, Brown (1926-2002), creator of a style of musical construction called "open form" (also called "mobile" compositions), composed his one-of-a-kind score for 100 percussion instruments. Four percussionists set the mobile in motion by striking it, and then they "play" the instruments variously as they "read" (that is, visualize or interpret) Chef d'orchestre's movements. Pitch and rhythm are denoted by graphical symbols in the score. No two performances of the composition are ever the same.

The premiere performance of Calder Piece, commissioned by the Percussion Quartet of Paris, took place at Theatre de l'Atelier, Paris, in early 1967.

Of Interest:

Achim Borchardt-Hume, Ed., Alexander Calder | Performing Sculpture (Yale University Press, February 2, 2016) (Thomas Fichter contributes a chapter on Chef d'Orchestre and Brown's Calder Piece.)

See inside the book at GoogleBooks.

Earle Brown Profile at Edition Peters

Tom Service, "Performing Sculpture: Calder's Mobile Comes in for a Hammering", The Guardian, November 16, 2015

Holly Williams, "Alexander Calder: The Artist's Grandson Explains Why His Mobiles Are More Than Just Toys" (as published in The Independent, November 2, 2015)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Apollinaire: French Innovator Still an Influence

Poets will mechanize poetry one day, 
just like other things have been mechanized. 
They will provide a completely new lyricism
driven by the motion now taking place with
the phonograph and cinema. . . .
~ Guillaume Apollinaire*

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), a French poet, novelist, short story writer, playwright, and art critic, is considered one of the early 20th Century's most important literary lights. Though he lived only 38 years, he not only influenced such artistic movements as Cubism (1907-1922), Futurism (1909-Late 1920s), Dadaism (1916-1924), Surrealism (1924-1966); he also is credited with creating calligrammes, or "poem pictures" (birds, clocks, etc.), in which he experimented with typeface and words' typographical arrangement to suggest or produce a visual image on the page. His calligrammes could be said to be a forerunner of concrete poetry — sometimes called "shape poetry" — of the 1950s and 1960s and of visual poetry today.

The charming and informative TED-Ed video below is an excellent introduction to Apollinaire and his innovations in poetry:

The Public Domain Review has uploaded for viewing Apollinaire's Calligrammes: Poemes de la paix et dan la guerre, or "Calligrams: Poems of Peace and War, 1913-1916". The volume was first published in 1918. The original collection also may be viewed at UbuWeb. An annotated, bi-lingual edition (2004) is available from the University of California Press.

An exhibition of the word pictures from Calligrammes took place at Princeton University Art Museum in 2013. At the link is a 1913 recording of Apollinaire reading his poetry.

Apollinaire continues to inspire. Recently, I came across an inventive project, "Calligrammes — A Song Cycle of Visual Poetry", in which composer Albert Behar interpreted Apollinaire's calligrams as a visual music score for accordian and soprano Ariadne Greif. Designer Gretchen Vitamvas crafted costumes for Behar and Greif in which she "embedded" the poems. Behar and Greif gave a performance of the work in September 2015 at La Maison Francaise at New York University.


* Quoted from Apollinaire's Lecture "L'Espirit nouveau et les Poetes", or "The New Spirit and the Poets" (1917)

Official Apollinaire Website (Hosted by Western Illinois University)

"Poems Take Form on the Printed Page" at Poetry Through the Ages.

Also see Robert Simanowski's "Concrete Poetry in Analog and Digital Media" and Peter Mayer's "Concrete Poems Just Are".

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Muse: The Thoreau Bicentennial

This year marks the bicentennial of the birth of writer Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862). Below is a selection from the many activities planned by educational, cultural, and community organizations to celebrate the bicentennial throughout the year. Be sure to check the resources in this post to keep up with events.

✭ In what is described as "the first of its kind" in Massachusetts, the Walden Woods ProjectMassachusetts Center for the Book, Freedom's Way Heritage Area, and UMass Lowell Honors College are sponsoring the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read

(See the planning toolkit page, where you'll find a toolkit for public libraries and a toolkit for high schools and colleges, and scroll to the bottom for other resources, including an application for 10 free copies of Walden and "Civil Disobedience".)

✭ Thoreau translators will present at the Concord Festival of Authors a panel on their motivations for translating Thoreau's work into different languages. (Details about the 2017 festival were not available when this post was written.)

✭ Author, actor, and activist Christopher Childs will appear May 20 and 21 in Concord, Massachusetts, in his one-person play Clear Sky, Pure Light: An Evening with Henry David Thoreau.

✭ Youth ages 14-21 are invited to enter  the "Live Deliberately Essay Contest" in which they respond to a selected Thoreau quotation. The deadline is March 15. One winner in each age group (14-16, 17-18, 19-21) will be awarded a cash prize and a special edition of Walden. The contest is open to youth anywhere in the world.

✭ The Thoreau Bicentennial Annual Gathering, scheduled for July 12 in Concord, will celebrate Thoreau's life, works, and legacy. Walking tours, musical and dramatic performances, and other activities are planned. The keynote speaker will be Terry Tempest Williams.

✭ The Concord Orchestra  will perform a "Thoreau Bicentennial Concert" at 8:00 p.m. on March 31 and April 1, featuring guest pianist Randall Hodgkinson. The concert will include a Hoffer piano concerto inspired by Walden, Robert Schumann's Manfred Overture, Liszt's Les Preludes, which is based on the four elements, and the world premiere of composer Eric Sawyer's Civil Disobedience. David Gullette will narrate.

Concord Museum is co-sponsor, with The Morgan Library & Museum, New York City, of "This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal", the first major exhibition devoted to Thoreau's life. On view will be 100 items, including journals and personal correspondence, manuscripts, rare books, botanicals, and personal artifacts. The exhibition runs from June 2 to September 10 at The Morgan and then travels to Concord, where it will be on view from September 29, 2017, through January 21, 2018.

✭ The Thoreau Society, UMass Lowell, and Mass Humanities have created Mapping Thoreau Country: Tracking Henry David Thoreau's Travels in Massachusetts. This is the first product of a longer-term project to examine Thoreau's historical legacy via multimedia materials.

✭ On July 19, 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., NTQ (New Thread Quartet) will be at 51Walden Performing Arts Center, Concord, to perform David Morneau's new work Not Less Than the Good, described as "a secularized morning prayer service that uses Henry David Thoreau's Walden as  the canticle text." The music features a sax quartet, live synthesizers, and recorded sounds, including from Walden Pond. Selected passages of Walden will be read.

✭ North Carolina's Lisa McCarty last year exhibited her photographs of Walden Pond in "Walden Pond in Four Seasons" at the Bull City Arts Collaborative's Upfront Gallery, Durham. Those images are part of McCarty's Transcendental Concord, documenting the sites and landscapes that inspired Transcendentalist philosophy and literature. A book on her project is to be released in July of this year.

✭ Former Wisconsin Poet Laureate Max Garland will be part of "Poetry in the Shadow of Walden", the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild's Garland Residency on July 13-16. Attendees will discuss Thoreau's writings and legacy as inspiration for new poems.

✭ The Concord Free Public Library kicks off its celebration with the exhibition "'Concord, which is my Rome': Henry Thoreau and His Home Town", July 7 - October 30; and a series of lectures, beginning July 14. (See "Thoreau Bicentennial Offerings" for details.)

✭ New books are appearing, including Thoreau and Reassessments (Cambridge University Press, October 2016), ed. by Kristen Case and K.P. Van Anglen; and Kevin Dann's Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau (TarcherPerigee, January 3, 2017).

A bicentennial edition of Thoreau's The Illustrated Walden (TarcherPerigee, October 2016) also is available from PenguinRandom House. (See the book trailer.)

Also see Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon, available from University of Georgia Press. Coming in July of this year is Laura Dassow Wall's Henry David Thoreau: A Life (University of Chicago Press).


Meet Henry David Thoreau, as Portrayed by Concord Historian and Thoreau Interpreter Richard Smith, on FaceBook

Henry David Thoreau Bicentennnial: 1817-2017 ~ You'll find here a calendar of events (you may add your own).

Henry David Thoreau Bicentennial: 1817-2017 on FaceBook and Twitter

Henry David Thoreau Bicentennial Resources Page ~ You'll find here additional links to information about Thoreau's life and writings, including a timeline and lists of misquotations and misattributed quotations.

Thoreau Farm, Thoreau's Birthplace in Concord, Massachusetts

The Walden Woods Project on FaceBook

James Sullivan, "Why Thoreau Still Matters", Boston Globe, January 4, 2017

Also see N.C. Wyeth's Men of Concord , the catalogue for an exhibition last fall at Wallace Kane Gallery, Concord Museum; and David F. Wood's An Observant Eye: The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . Writing in English is the work of smuggling metaphors
from one language into another. It is a work of mistranslation.
~ Ewa Chrusciel

Quoted from Ewa Chrusciel, "Contraband of Hoopoe", in Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), Abayomi Animashaun, ed.

Ewa Chrusciel, Polish American Poet, Translator, and Educator

Chrusciel's poetry collections include Of Annunciations (Omnidawn Press, Fall 2017), Tobolek (Poland, 2016), Contraband of Hoopoe (Omnidawn Press, 2014), Strata (Emergency Press, 2011), Winner, 2009 International Book Contest; Sopilki (2010; Selections in English, Polish, and Italian), and Furkot (Selections in English, Polish, Italian, and Hungarian).

Ewa Chrusciel on FaceBook