Amodern 6: Reading the Illegible guest edited by Nick Thurston

Announcing the launch of Amodern 6: Reading the Illegible
An issue guest-edited by Nick Thurston

Amodern 6: Reading the Illegible
Nick Thurston

“Anthology of the Illegible: Poésie de Mots Inconnus, 1949, Paris,
Edités par Le Degré 41”
Johanna Drucker

“Reading the Signs: Translations: Multilingualism, and the New Regimes
of Attention.”
Michael Cronin

“On Trying: André Hodeir and the Music Essay”
John Mowitt

“Dredging the Illegible: Photogram, Phoneme, Ph…ontology”
Garrett Stewart

“Style in Quotation Marks”
Diana Hamilton

“Story the Story in It”
Kate Briggs

“Glitched in Translation: Reading Text and Code as a Play of Spaces”
Matt Applegate

“Reading the Redacted”
Stephen Voyce

“Approaching the Contemporary: On (Post-)Conceptual Writing”
Luke Skrewbowski

“Thinking with Zoe: An Interview with Rosi Braidotti”
Heather Davis and Rosi Braidotti

Videos back in the archive

A small part of our video archive, including readings and videos, hosted by MySpace has been down for a while. We’ve a couple more to sort out but meanwhile here are these videos back in action to be watched for the first time or again. Bon Appetit.

Nick Thurston December 2009

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Nick Thurston interview 2009

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Sophie Robsinon December 2009

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Sophie Robinson interview 2009

[vimeo w=250&h=216]

Stuart Calton October 2009 at Oxjam

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Michael Haslam October 2009

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The Text Festivals: Language Art and Material Poetry


The Text Festivals: Language Art and Material Poetry edited by Tony Lopez

It is a remarkable phenomenon that the foremost among recent sites of this interrogation of boundaries has been a series of festivals located in Bury, on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. World leading artists and poets have been brought together in a range of exhibitions and performances that demonstrate a new and productive collision of different cultural enterprises and expectations. Among those shown at the Text Festivals are Fiona Banner, derek beaulieu, Caroline Bergvall, Joseph Beuys, Christian Bok, Brass Art, Marcel Broodthaers, Pavel Buchler, Augusto de Campos, Zeynep Cansu, Henri Chopin, Bob Cobbing, Liz Collini, Philip Davenport, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hamish Fulton, Eugen Gomringer, Robert Grenier, Alan Halsey, Alexander Jorgenson, Satu Kaikonen, Martin Kippenburger, Karri Kokko, Marton Koppany, On Kawara, Helmut Lemke, Richard Long, Tony Lopez, Jackson Mac Low, Hansjorg Mayer, Steve Miller, Kerry Morrison, Maurizio Nannucci, Patrick Fabian Panetta, Holly Pester, Tom Philips, Shaun Pickard, Kate Pickering, Hester Reeve (HRH.the), Spencer Roberts, Ed Ruscha, Ron Silliman, Mary Ellen Solt, Magda Stawarska-Beavan, Harald Stoffers, Carolyn Thompson, Nick Thurston, Aysegul Tozeren, TNWK, Tony Trehy, Nico Vasilakis, Carol Watts, Lawrence Weiner, George Widener, Ming Wong, and Eric Zboya. Artists, poets and curators working in these overlapping fields have written this book. It includes new essays by Tony Trehy (director of the Text Festivals), derek beaulieu, Christian Bok, Liz Collini, James Davies, Philip Davenport, Robert Grenier, Alan Halsey, Tony Lopez, Holly Pester, Hester Reeve (HRH.the), Carolyn Thompson, and Carol Watts.

OUT NOW from Plymouth University Press or via Amazon

Nick Thurston: new book, new show

Other Room reader Nick Thurston has two new projects: Of the Subcontract, Or Principles of Poetic Right, “a collection of poems about computational capitalism, each of which was written by an underpaid worker subcontracted through’s Mechanical Turk service”, and Pretty Brutal Library, “a temporary public reference library, produced as an artwork in the format of a solo gallery show”, opening in at & Model gallery in Leeds on 25th July.

Double Change: Global Conceptualisms

Double Change vous invite à « Global Conceptualisms », lecture collective de
Paal Bjelke Andersen (Norvège), Christian Bök (Canada), Marco Antonio Huerta (Mexique), Franck Leibovici (France), Swantje Lichtenstein (Allemagne), Vanessa Place (Etats-Unis), Carlos Soto-Román (Chili), Nick Thurston (Grande Bretagne)
Le jeudi 7 juin 2012 à 19h30 à la galerie éof, 15 rue Saint Fiacre, 75002 Paris (métro grands boulevards ou bonne nouvelle)
Entrée libre.
Lecture à l’occasion du festival &Now des nouvelles écritures en Amérique et en France, organisé par les Universités Paris-Sorbonne (VALE, EA 4085), Paris Diderot (LARCA, EA 4214) et Paris Ouest (CREA, EA 370), en partenariat avec la libraire Shakespeare&Co, du 6 au 10 juin 2012, à l’Université de la Sorbonne, l’Institut d’anglais Charles V de l’Université Paris Diderot et à l’Ecole normale supérieure.
VANESSA PLACE It appears as if Vanessa Place was the first poet to perform as part of the Whitney Biennial (2012). There was a content advisory posted.
NICK THURSTON is the author of two books, Reading the Remove of Literature (2006) and Historia Abscondita (2007), plus numerous journal articles and artists’ pages. He is also the co-author of two pocketbooks including, most recently, ‘Do or DIY’, which accompanied an eponymous exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery (London). The independent artists’ book publishing imprint that Nick co-edits edit, Information as Material, have just finished a tenure there as the Writers in Residence. Nick holds an academic post at Sheffield Hallam University and works as a Lecturer in Fine Art and Contemporary Curating at various UK HE institutions. his bookworks are collected internationally by institutions including the Tate (London) and MoMA (New York); and his print and sculptural works are held in public and private collections around Europe, including the Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven) and The  Biblioteque Nationale (Paris).
CHRISTIAN BÖK is the author not only of Crystallography (Coach House Press, 1994), a pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, but also of Eunoia (Coach House Books, 2001), a bestselling work of experimental literature, which has gone on to win the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence. Bök has created artificial languages for two television shows: Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley’s Amazon. Bök has also earned many accolades for his virtuoso performances of sound poetry (particularly the Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters). His conceptual artworks (which include books built out of Rubik’s cubes and Lego bricks) have appeared at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City as part of the exhibit Poetry Plastique. The Utne Reader has recently included Bök in its list of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” Bök teaches English at the University of Calgary.
CARLOS SOTO-ROMÁN was born in Valparaíso, Chile. He is the author of “La Marcha de los Quiltros” (1999), “Haiku Minero” (2007), “Cambio y Fuera” (2009), “Philadelphia’s Notebooks” (2011) and the forthcoming chapbook “Con/Science” (Summer, 2012). He is a translator and the curator of Elective Affinities, a cooperative anthology of  contemporary U.S. poetry. He is also a pharmacist and holds a Master’s degree in Bioethics. He lives in Philadelphia, PA.
MARCO ANTONIO HUERTA Mexican translator and post-conceptual poet. Won the Northeastern Poetry Award in 2005. Is the author of three poetry collections: La semana milagrosa (Conarte, 2006), Golden Boy (Letras de Pasto Verde, 2009), and Hay un jardín (Tierra Adentro, 2009). During the summer of 2009 he decided to kill his own lyrical self. His work has been published in several periodicals and anthologies in Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States. He has performed on experimental writing gatherings such as Not Content, curated by Vanessa Place and Teresa Carmody (Los Angeles, 2010), the & Now Festival (San Diego, 2011), and Los límites del lenguaje (Monterrey, 2012). His tweets can be read at
PAAL BJELKE ANDERSEN is a Norwegian writer and editor. In his recent Dugnad and The Grefsen Address he uses poetry as a tool to analyze the notions of community in the Scandinavian social democratic societies. The Grefsen Address is available for downloading at the Eclipse Archive. From 2002 to 2008 he edited the web magazine nypoesi, is one of the organizers of the poetry festival Audiatur in Bergen, edits the small press Attåt and curates a series of readings and talks addressing poetics and politics in Oslo called Folkebiblioteket (The Public Library). All of these initiatives are transnational and -lingual. The last two years he have spend considerable time in Tehran working on a translation of Iranian Language-, conceptual- and visual poets into Norwegian.
FRANCK LEIBOVICI (1975) is often described as a “visual poet”, the meaning of which he redefines with every of his new publications and actions in the public space. By introducing the notion of “poetic document”, Leibovici has created a category embracing a wide range of artistic practices, from visual poetry to conceptual art. During last years, his work has been exhibited at Kunsthalle of Malmö (2005 with Ernesto Neto), Vega-Literaturhaus (Copenhage, 2006) and Jumex Foundation (Esquiador en el fondo de un pozo, Mexico, DF, 2006), among others. He has performed and lectured at venues such as Location One in New York (2006), the OEI-Index Foundation (Stockholm, 2007) or at École Normae Supérieur Lyon (2007). His books Portraits Chinois and Des documents poétiques have been recently published by Al Dante editions in 2007.
SWANTJE LICHTENSTEIN is a writer, editor, artist and professor for literature as an aesthetic practice. (University of Applied Sciences/Duesseldorf, Germany). She is author of „Das lyrische Projekt (The lyrical project)“ (Munich: Iudicium: 2004), „figurenflecken oder: blinde verschickung“ (stains of figures or: blind postings) (Aachen: Rimbaud 2006), „Landen“ (landings) (Munich: Lyrikedition 2009), „Entlang der lebendigen Linie. Sexophismen“ (Along the living line. Sexophisms) (Vienna: Passagen 2010), „Horae“ (Horae) (Berlin: J.Frank 2012). She translated V. Place/R.Fittermans „Notes on Conceptualism“ into German and started to widespread thoughts about Conceptual Writing in German speaking countries through lectures and performances.

Sucking on Words

Sucking on Words

A night of primordial sonatas, to celebrate 10 years of writers’ collective information as material
Venue: Whitechapel Gallery, London, E1 7QX

Date: Saturday 18 February 2012

Time: 19.30-22.30

Tickets: online here or tel: +44 (0)20 7522 7888

A feast of sonic poetry with performances by Rob Lavers and Simon Morris, Nick Thurston, and a headline set by Dutch avant-garde composer Jaap Blonk. A VJ playlist, put together especially for the night by Canadian poet Christian Bök, will provide sights and sounds between performances and alongside the drinks.

The audience are politely reminded that the ears have no lids.

As Jaap Blonk recalls: “The reception of these first public performances [of Kurt Scwitters’ Ursonate] was varying widely. On many occasions I was performing at rock or punk clubs as an opening act for a band, and lots of people were not at all into it. Their preference was either to just talk with their friends or hear their habitual kind of music. So they started to scream and protest, and often throwing things at me, especially beer, which fortunately was mostly given out in plastic, not glass containers. The culminating point of this kind of experience was a performance of the Ursonate, opening for a concert of The Stranglers at Vredenburg Music Center in Utrecht in 1986, for an audience of about 2000 fans. When I was announced, even before I had opened my mouth, people started calling out: “Rot op!” (“Fuck off!”), and when I started, the atmosphere became very much that of a football match, but clearly an away game for me. With massive roaring they tried to drown out my voice, but of course the P.A. made me louder. Six stage guards were working hard to keep people from climbing the stage and hitting me, and hundreds of half-full plastic beer glasses flew about me. But in the course of the performance I managed to win over at least a few hundred people, who were roaring in my favor. The next morning one newspaper had the headline “Jaap Blonk Shocks Punk Audience With Dada Poetry”, which for me was a nice testimony to the fact that Schwitters’ piece was still very much alive, in spite of its age.”

Nick Thurston at the Whitworth Gallery

Other Room reader Nick Thurston will be giving a talk at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester on Tuesday 29th November.

Nick Thurston is the author of “Reading the Remove of Literature” (2006), ”Historia Abscondita (An Index of Joy)”, and co-author of a third (pocket)book, “THE DIE IS CAST (2009)”, plus numerous journal articles and artists’ pages. He has exhibited and performed internationally, and his editions and artworks are owned by public and private collections around the world, including the Tate (London), the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) and the Biblioteque Nationale (Paris). Since 2006 Nick has been Editor of the independent artists’ book publishing imprint, information as material, with whom he is currently (April 2011 – April 2012) Writer in Residence at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.

The Text Festival 2011, Opening Performances

The Other Room was asked to film the opening performances of 2011’s international Text Festival. This represents less than a quarter of the events took place.

On Saturday 30th April The third international Text Festival opened. The montage at the beginning shows a small percentage of the art on display in three galleries around Bury, Manchester. There are performances here by Marco Giovenale, Helen White & Moniek Darge, Marton Koppany, Helmet Lemke & Hans Specht and Sarah Sanders. The Lemke/Specht performance was a durational piece of four hours. What is captured here is only a small portion of that fabulous piece.

The Text Festival 2011 Opening Performances from The Other Room on Vimeo.

Click Here to see the video in a larger screen

“Bibliocidal Tendencies”: British Publisher Information as Material Tears Into Literature for Art’s Sake

“Conceptual writing is a fusion of art and literature. This process-based practice involves works where the idea is the writing and the writing is the idea. It is a non-expressive poetry, a poetry of intellect rather than emotion. Non-conceptual writing involves old-fashioned ‘creative’ prose and there’s more than enough of that material in the world already. Conceptual writing appreciates the wealth of text in the world — from the highfalutin to the everyday — understanding that new meaning can be generated through re-framing extant material. Conceptual writing produces a critical relation to non-conceptual writing, and in so doing opens a space of possibility for new forms of readership. We write through the work of others, comfortable in the knowledge that all writing draws on a host of influences. As James Joyce famously remarked: “I am quite content to go down to posterity as a scissors and paste man for that seems to me a harsh but not unjust description.” In conceptual writing the references are explicit rather than implicit.”

More here.

Review: A Perverse Library

“Conceptual writing is not easy to grasp, or to read. It is not about pleasure, or narrative. It brings together conceptual art and language. The excitement is intellectual rather than aesthetic, and it can be witty. It might be a transcription of a year of weather reports by Kenneth Goldsmith, or John Baldessari’s repetition of the sentence: “I will not make anymore boring art”.

Read more at The Independent

information as material

From Nick Thurston:

“Firstly, (and in another sense, finally!) we’ve readied a new information as material website. You’ll soon notice that it’s WordPress powered, for the sake of compatibility and manageability, and that there’s still plenty of historical information which needs to be posted. However, it’s current, it’s functioning, and we’ll be much more diligent about keeping it so than before. Have a look if you get a chance:

Secondly, attached is the general press release for an information as material-curated exhibition at Shandy Hall (The Laurence Sterne Museum), Coxwold (UK). It runs from September to late October and as you’ll read in the PDF there’s a lot on show and lots of new releases to celebrate. We’ll post full listings on the website nearer the time, but do contact the persons listed in the PR if you’d like to be kept posted by any other means.”

Press release here.

The Other Room Anthology 2009/10

A wonderful thing which is now going to press after finding the bugs in the proof.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Features readers from April 2009-Feb 2010: Tim Atktins, Phil Davenport, Lisa Samuels, Allen Fisher, Alex Davies, Matt Dalby, P. Inman, Tina Darragh, Sean Bonney, Frances Kruk, Craig Dworkin, Michael Haslam, James Davies, Tony Trehy, Nick Thurston, Sophie Robinson, Steve Waling, Rob Holloway, Holly Pester.

More details soon when it’s printed.

Reading the Removal of Literature

Alan Halsey’s review of December Other Room reader Nick Thurston’s Reading the Removal of Literature can be read at Stride magazine. Here’s the start:

Reading the Remove of Literature is unlike any book I’ve looked at. I’ve read it too but the looking at it is the first essential. With all but a few books one reads without consciousness of seeing. Nick Thurston’s book demands that one look at it constantly and never detach the seeing from the reading – and yet it is only marginally what we generally describe as a ‘visual text’.

The first words of Craig Dworkin’s introduction set the scene: ‘The book you are holding is an edition of Maurice Blanchot’s L’Espace littéraire, although not a word of Blanchot’s text remains. Every page of this book has been assiduously erased by Nick Thurston.

click the LINK for more