pickles & jams by cris cheek

‘pickles & jams’ is out now from the excellent BlazeVOX [books]. Beautifully designed, it contains 99 lyrics and is shipping now. You can order direct through BlazeVOX: http://www.blazevox.org/…/pickles-and-jams-by-cris-cheek-4…/. A clutch of responses to the work are on the BlazeVOX page to wet your appetite.

$4 postage for buyers in the UK and EU . . . making the book worth the price of postage alone. Book and postage for a round $20.


Networks have structured our social – and media – development long before the emergence of the “network society.” From the letter-writing networks of the proto-Italian aristocracy to the electrical networks that facilitated industrialization; from the spread of woodcuts, pamphlets, and ballads that supported the Protestant Reformation to the twentieth century emergence of broadcast radio and television networks, media have always been situated in the matrices of networks of circulation and distribution, facilitating historically specific modes of connection. These histories often remain disconnected from research on digital networks, the latest to re-shape our socio-technical environment into a mesh of interconnecting nodes. An archaeological approach, one that routes between contemporary and historical networks, Alan Liu argues, has the potential to regenerate a sense of history that would temper the presentism of digital culture, all too often experienced as instantaneous and simultaneous.

This special issue of Amodern features original research, initially presented in 2012 at the “Network Archaeology” conference at Miami University of Ohio, on the histories of networks, the discrete connections that they articulate, and the circulatory forms of data, information, and socio-cultural resources that they enable. Drawing from the field of media archaeology, we conceptualize network archaeology as a call to investigate networks past and present – using current networks to catalyze new directions for historical inquiry and drawing upon historical cases to inform our understanding of today’s networked culture. In this introduction, we elaborate how network archaeology opens up promising areas for critical investigation, new objects of study, and prospective sites for collaboration within the productively discordant approach of media archaeology.


Other Room events rest of 2013

Some dates for your diary for the rest of 2013 and many readers confirmed.

All events take place at The Castle Hotel, Manchester at 7pm

June 24th – cris cheek, Sarah Crewe, Lewis Freedman
August 15th – Jo Langton, Harry Gilonis and Elizabeth James
October 16th – The Dark Would, Manchester launch
December 4th – TBC

cris cheek: a preview

cris cheek will perform at The Other Room on June 27th at The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LE. This film is of his performance at the Southwest Ohio Poets festival. For more, you can read some of his work at Jacket, this interview at the Poetry Foundation, or his Wikipedia page.

cris cheek: poet, artist, interdisciplinary performer and director of creative writing at Miami University in south-west Ohio, makes a rare visit to Manchester. He has a herstory of collaborative and transdisciplinary practice; as co-founder of Chisenhale Dance Space where he worked alongside Mary Prestidge and with Ghislaine Boddington with whom he founded Shinkansen and cocurated the Voice Over festival. For seventeen years he worked in various text-sound combinations with Sianed Jones, including Slant (with Phillip Jeck). He taught performance writing at Dartington College of Arts during which time he made a substantive body of performance writing with Kirsten Lavers under the moniker TNWK (things not worth keeping). Since then he’s been making and showing works in spoken and projected text-sound, such as Impluperfections and b a c k l i t. Most recent publications include the church, the school, the beer (Critical Document, 2007) and part : short life housing (The Gig, 2009).

The other performers will be Sarah Crewe and Lewis Freedman.

Change of line up for June Other Room

Sadly, Corina Copp is unable to read for us on June 24th as previously advertised, but happily, Sarah Crewe can. The changed line up is now cris cheek, Sarah Crewe, and Lewis Freedman. Previews of all three readers will appear on the site over the  next few weeks. An amended flier can be found in the ‘Upcoming’ section in the centre column.

Upcoming polyvocal explorations

A double bill – talk and performances – of polyvocalia at Birkbeck. Monday 20 June. Free and all

6pm, 43 Gordon Square, Room 124
Cris Cheek, ‘Before I am Anything Else: provisional transatlantic communities in polyvocal poetic

& then around the corner…
7.15pm, 32 Tavistock Square
Lawrence Upton, Chris Goode, Cris Cheek, Holly Pester & others revisit work by Sumner, bpnichol,
Basinski, Cobbing, MacLow & other scores, poems and possibilities

cris cheek’s part: short life housing

Published by The Gig, 2009, 259pp. The most substantial collection to date of cris cheek’s ‘poems performing thematic extraction’: mud (and fluff), fogs, squat, broom sleigh, plain speaking yet, canning town chronicles, short life housing: texts begun in the 1980s & ’90s and worked through into the 2000s.
£17 + £2.24 UK postage. Payment by cheque or PayPal.
or West House Books, 40 Crescent Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1HN
‘is your tongue a glom / weapon that stains?’ cris cheek is the Kepler of Chisenhale Dance Space. After a century of developments in poetic form best understood as a series of metaphors for transcribed speech, cheek’s poetry often is transcribed speech, throwing shapes on the page that pay homage to (and lay the ghosts of) all the dead metaphors. As in Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room, the speech in cheek’s work functions as something like echolocation: its reflections (on him and in us) mapping out an ever more complex and multifocal shape for the public sphere, ‘where others fear to / t / read’. Peter Manson
‘For all its thickness, unanticipated moves, visual beauty, and playful language acrobatics, the poetry of part: short life housing consistently retains the edge of serious critique. There are few poets as attuned to the sounds and ambient fogs of everyday life as cris cheek, yet his record is tuned and sharply turned toward the reimagining of social knowledge. This volume is a generous move towards the full representation of cheek’s crucial project.’ Carla Harryman
‘Finally a good and rich span of writings from cris cheek. Here’s an artist and writer whose work has always taken up active tenancy of the languages and the streets of urban living, recording them and composing them back into the dense abstract neighbourhoods of his pieces. With this careful selection, cris cheek reminds us that he is a Londoner and as such is inhabited by Dickens’ dark maze of industrial streets as by mind-altering years of activist art lodgings, smoggy thoughtful wanderings or the eerie shock of the thatcherite city. That’s at least two hundred years of grime, greed and energy you’ll find distilled in the cellular lines and ink splashes of this great volume.’ Caroline Bergvall