Kenneth Goldsmith – Capital: New York, Capital of the 20th Century

Capital: New York, Capital of the 20th Century

Acclaimed artist Kenneth Goldsmith’s thousand-page beautiful homage to New York City
Here is a kaleidoscopic assemblage and poetic history of New York: an unparalleled and original homage to the city, composed entirely of quotations. Drawn from a huge array of sources—histories, memoirs, newspaper articles, novels, government documents, emails—and organized into interpretive categories that reveal the philosophical architecture of the city, Capital is the ne plus ultra of books on the ultimate megalopolis.
Available from Verso – HERE

Kenneth Goldsmith: THEORY

Kenneth Goldsmith’s Theory offers an unprecedented reading of the contemporary world: 500 texts – from poems and musings to short stories – printed on 500 pages assembled
in the form of a ream of paper. Curated by the author-poet, this unique collection maps out the various issues and trends in contemporary literature in a world currently being shaken up by everything online and digital,and calls for the reinvention of creative forms.


Kenneth Goldsmith’s: The Body of Michael Brown

Conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s attempt to reframe the Michael Brown autopsy report as poetry has caused an outcry on social media. The work, he said was “in the tradition” of his previous book Seven American Deaths and Disasters. “I took a publicly available document from an American tragedy that was witnessed first-hand (in this case by the doctor performing the autopsy) and simply read it. Like Seven American Deaths and Disasters, I did not editorialize; I simply read it without commentary or additional editorializing,” he wrote. “The document I read from is powerful. My reading of it was powerful. How could it be otherwise? Such is my long-standing practice of conceptual writing: like Seven American Deaths and Disasters, the document speaks for itself in ways that an interpretation cannot. It is a horrific American document, but then again it was a horrific American death.” More here.

Charmless and Interesting: What Conceptual Poetry Lacks and What It’s Got

“This is a moment, then, for an assessment of the virtues and vices of conceptual poetry.  What does conceptual poetry lack, compared to other poetries, and what does it have to offer?  Any brief answer will, of course, be too general, but we can begin to sketch things out with reference to two aesthetic categories: the charming and the interesting.  Whatever else conceptualism has got going for it, it lacks—at least in its pure form—the former.  And whether one likes conceptualism or not, anyone who has engaged with it has found that it has, wonderfully or frustratingly, got plenty of the latter.”

More by Robert Archambeau at Harriet.

Being Dumb – Kenneth Goldsmith

“I am a dumb writer, perhaps one of the dumbest that’s ever lived. Whenever I have an idea, I question myself whether it is sufficiently dumb. I ask myself, is it possible that this, in any way, could be considered smart? If the answer is no, I proceed. I don’t write anything new or original. I copy pre-existing texts and move information from one place to another. A child could do what I do, but wouldn’t dare to for fear of being called stupid.”

More at The Awl.

Artist plans to print out the entire Internet

“One man has declared his ambitious plan to print out the entire Internet and in true ‘social’ fashion wants the public to help him with his impossible feat.

Avant-garde technology artist Kenneth Goldsmith has 500 square meters of space in Mexico City to fill with ceilings six meters high and has given himself a deadline of July 26th to have the entire Internet printed off and under one roof.”

More here.


From Radi0 Web Macba: “Kenneth Goldsmith, founder of Ubuweb – the most important online repository on sound experimentation –, takes us on a journey through his personal history as a collector of sounds that spans from his childhood to adult life and the creation of  Ubuweb, by way of different stages of obsession with what he calls the ‘accumulation of cultural artefacts’.”

Andrew Motion channels Kenneth Goldsmith

Interesting points on the nature of ownership here, from an area of writing where we might not expect to find them. Interesting too to picture the former Poet Laureate as a “shameless burglar”, although whenever I’ve seen him he looks a bit embarrassed. Read the article in full here. If you want to read a true master of uncreative writing, check out the Kenneth Goldsmith archive at Eclipse.

So what if I copied work says Sir Andrew Motion, Shakespeare did all the time

Sir Andrew Motion has been accused of “shameless burglary” by a military historian whose research he lifted and put into a poem about shell-shock for Remembrance Sunday.

The former Poet Laureate yesterday insisted that his use of quotations that he discovered in a history book belonged to a noble tradition of “found poetry” dating back to Shakespeare.

But Ben Shephard, an expert who produced The World at War for television, complained that the poet had been “extracting sexy soundbites” from his painstaking work on military psychiatry.

Motion’s poem, published as a tribute to war veterans in The Guardian on Saturday, uses quotations from soldiers and psychiatrists whose accounts Shephard spent ten years compiling. “He has no right to claim any sort of legal or moral ownership of the material,” Shephard said. “There is nothing original in this at all.”