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  1. International Festival of Text-Sound Poetry
    November 7-10, 2015 

    ISSUE Project Room, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Goethe-Institut New York, and Wendy’s Subway present a four-evening series of lectures, listening sessions, and performances exploring contemporary practices and historical approaches relating to text-sound poetry, a genre of spoken word poetry emphasizing the sound of speech over textual meanings, often combined with use of new media. The series features performances by an array of international artists including Anton Bruhin (CH), Anne-James Chaton (FR), Ian Hatcher, Swantje Lichtenstein (DE), Marc Matter (DE), Stine Motland (NO), and Antje Vowinckel (DE), as well as presentations by Charles Bernstein, Edwin Torres, Steve McCaffery, and Erin Morrill. 

    The history of spoken poetry incorporating technology, from microphone and recording-technique to sound-effects and digital-sound-processing, is around 100 years old. The French poet Guillaume Apollinaire encouraged poets to make use of the gramophone to manipulate recorded language, Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov did artistic research on spoken words, voice, and machine-noises, and the German composer Ernst Toch performed his “gramophone-music” while manipulating recordings of voice and speech. After the second World War, a vivid scene of sound-poets evolved with the rise of Concrete Poetry, many of them experimenting with media-machines, as did most authors of “Neues Hörspiel” and “Ars Acustica” in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Tracing these 100 years of history, this series attempts to identify the unique voice of contemporary experimental sound poetry, asking to what extent contemporary artists working in this field today are inspired by its history, and whether the tradition itself has developed, or something completely new has evolved from it.

    Saturday, November 7 - 5pm (Free, RSVP)
    at Goethe-Institut: 30 Irving Pl, NYC, 10003


    Introduction: Lawrence Kumpf, Marc Matter, Rachel Valinsky, Macgregor Card

    Charles Bernstein: PennSound@11: Close Listening to Poetry Recordings
    5:30-6:45pm, 75 minutes

    An introduction and discussion of organization and history of PennSound, the largest archive of digital poetry recordings on the web. We'll do some close listening to PennSound's sound poetry, audio works, and "deformance" sections, with a focus on what it means to listen to a sound recording of a poem rather than read it or see it a video or experience the work at at "live" events. Before you come, browse the site (writing.upenn.edu/pennsound) and prepare a few questions to ask.  

    Erin Morrill: Through the Dadaist Ear
    7-8pm, 60 minutes

    Through the consideration of the work of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven as localizing parameter this talk will explore de-automatization of listening practices via a Dadaist mindset of urban (dis)orientation.

    Followed by reception from 8-9pm.

    Sunday, November 8 - 3pm (Free / Suggested Donation $10)

    at Wendy’s Subway: 722 Metropolitan Ave., 2nd Fl., Brooklyn 11211


    Steve McCaffery: Language, Rematerialization, and Expenditure: the 20th Century Sound Poem
    3-4pm, 60 minutes

    McCaffery will play, perform and discuss various 20th century sound texts. Topics to be discussed are notation, simultaneity, non-representation, and sono-poetic movements.

    Edwin Torres: POETRY IS POW: The Body Politic as Sound
    4:30-5:45pm, 75 minutes

    The body's orientation within sound and language is where the landing points for a sort of territorial poetry can begin — the hearing points that define what we own and the borders that invent our identities. From electro-processed faith to kinetically fuzzed organisms that para-sail vocal ingenuity with pulsified rhythmetics, this session will revolve around the astounding capacity for human invention as a place where poetry can start to pow!

    Marc Matter and Swantje Lichtenstein: Conceptual Sound Writing and Sample Poetry
    6-7:30pm, 90 minutes

    This listening session focuses on works of (pre-)conceptual poetry / literature that deal with sound as a crucial element in relation to a European tradition of text-sound-compositions, poésie sonore and experimental Hörspiel, as well as contemporary examples of conceptual sound writing’ and ‘sample poetry'. The discussion will range from our theoretical and practical experiences of sound writing to broader issues related to sound as literature/poetry especially in conceptual writing.

    Monday, November 9 - 8pm ($15-12 for ISSUE members)
    at Wendy’s Subway: 722 Metropolitan Ave., 2nd Fl., Brooklyn 11211


    Antje Vowinckel (DE)
    Marc Matter (DE)
    Swantje Lichtenstein (DE)

    Tuesday, November 10 - 8pm ($15-12 for ISSUE members)
    at Wendy’s Subway: 722 Metropolitan Ave., 2nd Fl., Brooklyn 11211


    Anne-James Chaton (FR)
    Stine Motland (NO)
    Ian Hatcher (US)

    The Wendy’s Subway library will be open for browsing before and during the festival, featuring books, documents and related listening.


    Saturday, October 31, 12-5pm
    Sunday, November 1, 12-5pm
    Saturday, November 7, 12-3pm
    Sunday, November 8, 12-3pm

    Charles Bernstein
     is author of Recalculating and Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions. He is Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of Pennsylvania. With Al Filreis, he co-directs PennSound.

    French sound artist Anne-James Chaton (b. 1970) has developed a multipolar body of work, based on a close study of the textual materials which make up everyday life in contemporary society. Chaton co-runs the "Sonorités" festival in Montpellier with Carole Rieussec, Enna Chaton, Didier Aschour, Jean-Christophe Camps, Yann Granjon, Mireille Nell, Christian Déric and Isabelle Deltour.

    Ian Hatcher is a performance poet and programmer whose work explores cognition in context of digital systems. He is the author of Prosthesis (Poor Claudia 2016) andThe All-New (Anomalous 2015). With Amaranth Borsuk and Kate Durbin, he is co-creator of Abra, a conjoined analog (artist's book) and digital (iOS app) poetry instrument/spellbook.

    Swantje Lichtenstein is a poet and transdisciplinary artist working in the fields of textures, language, voice, poetronics and sound. Her conceptual writing, improvisations and compositions utilize electroacoustic elements to write poetry and sound works. She is a professor of literature and aesthetic practice in Duesseldorf, Germany.

    Marc Matter (b. 1974) works as a media artist, musician and freelance curator. He is a founding member of the group of artists known as Institut fuer Feinmotorik, with whom since 1997 he has published numerous sound recordings, an experimental film, a book and all manner of other trifles, as well as dozens of live performances. 2005 saw the publication of the anthology Feinmotorik Kompendium, an artist's book in the form of a lexicon. His work Radio-Imitat, produced exclusively for Radio Arthur, was released on CD at the end of 2009. For Die 50 Skulpturen des Institut fuer Feinmotorik [The 50 Sculptures of the Institut fuer Feinmotorik], he received the Karl-Sczuka Prize for Works of Radio Art in 2011. He devotes intense research to artist publications (artist books, artist records etc.), acoustic art, Poesie Sonore and Visual Poetry. Together with Marcus Maeder and Bernd Schurer (domizil, Zurich), he has interpreted a dadaistic novel by Hugo Ball in the shape of an experimental radio play for Radio DRS2. In 2012 he was a research fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht (NL). In 2013 he was the Edith and Richard French Fellow at the Beinecke Rare Books & Manuscripts Library at Yale University (USA), doing research on the sound-poet and publisher Henri Chopin and his publication OU. Since 2010, he has been lecturing in the major Music and Text at the IMM.

    Steve McCaffery was a founding member of the legendary Four Horsemen sound ensemble. He has participated in Fluxus performances and performed his sound text around the world. He is the author of over 45 volumes of poetry and fiction and the author or co-author of 5 critical volumes. He lives in Buffalo where he is the David Gray Chair of Poetry and Letters at the University of Buffalo.

    Stine Janvin Motland (b.1985) is a performer and composer based in Stavanger, Oslo and Berlin. With an instrumental and physical approach, she explores and pushes the limits of the natural acoustics of the voice, and what a singer can, and cannot be. Her work involves elements of conceptual and spontaneous composition, structured improvisation, performance, and sound poetry. Ongoing projects are the solo piece In Labour, Native Instrument with Felicity Mangan, and brigitte & paula band with Maria Ramvi and Camilla Vislie. In 2014 Stine released two solo albums; Ok, wow (+3db) and In Labour (Pica Disk). Alongside her own work, Stine is a performer of contemporary music, and works with composition, movement and voice in a number of interdisciplinary projects, such as the solo performance Prelude (Janvin Motland/Sickle/Leguay). She is currently performing in the baby opera Korall Koral (Dieserud/Lindgren & Maja Ratkje) and in the live band of Meshes of Voice (Susanna and Jenny Hval).

    Edwin Torres is a New York City native and self-proclaimed lingualisualist, rooted in the languages of sight and sound. He’s the author of 8 poetry books, including,Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press), Yes Thing No Thing (Roof Books), andThe PoPedology Of An Ambient Language (Atelos Books). He’s toured overseas solo and as a member of the poetry collective "Nuyorican Poets Café Live" and continues to create multi-disciplinary performances. His poetry CD, “Holy Kid” (Kill Rock Stars) was part of the Whitney Museum’s exhibition, The Last American Century, Part 2. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the DIA Arts Foundation. Anthologies include: American Poets In The 21 Century, The New Poetics Vol. 2 (Wesleyan University Press), Postmodern American Poetry Vol. 2 (Norton), Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing (Counterpath), and Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe (Holt). His process-oriented workshop, “Brainlingo: Writing The Voice of The Body,” combining sensory exercises with games of permeable awareness, has been presented nationwide. In April 2016, Edwin will be performing a one-person show, “Mi Voca Su Voca” at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA.

    Antje Vowinckel is a Berlin-based sound and radio artist who studied literature and music. She has been commissioned to do radio plays and shows for a variety of public radio stations such as (WDR, SWR, BR) as well as for foreign stations and festivals (ZKM Karlsruhe, TESLA Berlin, Biennale Bonn, Prix Italia, Festival for Contemporary Music Alicante/Spain, Hammer Museum Los Angeles, British Council, Berlin, Humboldt-Lab). Her works have been broadcasted and presented in Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Czechia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Portugal, Poland, Australia. In recent years, she has created also live performances (organ and objects), installations and video compositions. Her focus is on the musicality of the spoken word, for example in compositions with dialect melodies or in pieces based on automatic speaking.


    International Festival of Text-Sound Poetry is presented by ISSUE Project Room, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Goethe-Institut New York and Wendy’s Subway. Curated by Lawrence Kumpf, ISSUE Project Room Artistic Director, Marc Matter, Rachel Valinsky, and Macgregor Card.

    Made possible by support from the Goethe-Institut New York, the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and with the support of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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