Events

Hybrid Poetry and Real Time Collaboration at the New School by James belflower

On 2/22/2018 I spoke with students from John Reed's seminar at The New School about Hybrid Poetry. We discussed the difficulties unique to creating hybrid work and the innovations that can result from collaborating with and through different mediums. At the end of our conversation all 10 of us participated in a real time collaboration through Google Docs. The goal was to write a short collection of hybrid work in 15 minutes. No other constraints were established, so if you were inclined to, you could simply delete for the entire time. No one did, but the discussion afterward revealed that the event pushed each one of us to write, collage, and negotiate different mediums in fresh ways. In the poem you'll notice multiple languages, humor, memes, confessional lines, questions, word acrobatics, texts, tonal juxtapositions, and advertising images, all mingled in a communal sense of play.

The experience was stupendous and the results were so irreverent and fun! I've published the pages from the collaboration below. Enjoy!

Me Is Not Me in the Machine: Further Thoughts Part 1 by James belflower

At the 2017 NEMLA conference in Baltimore, Joe Hall, Jeff T. Johnson, and myself discussed overlaps in the socio-political state of Precarity and the aesthetics of online synchronous collaborative writing. The panel was very productive and generated as many questions as it did more complex considerations. In the spirit of keeping the conversation going, I have asked each panelist to provide a brief summary of their paper along with thoughts and questions that are guiding their further thinking about productive interminglings of precarious labor and creative risk in digital environments.

Joe Hall

What’s a utopic horizon for these tools/writing forms?

An exceptional feature of mobile, synchronous writing tools like Slack and Google Docs is how they relentlessly annotate the identity of the composer and time of composition. They automatically save and date drafts—recording document’s extension and revision down to the minute. These tools have a great capacity to index the role of each poet in each stage of production. My paper, in dialogue with Heriberto Yépez’s theories on the imperial maneuvers in regard to time inherent in American modernist poetry, allows us to see something strange about these tools, time, and scale. On one hand, they invite a form of authorship consisting of micro-compositions distributed in a few slender minutes across days, months, and years. They also provided the capacity to grasp texts from anytime or text reflecting on any time in the total archive the internet aspires to be and to feed portions of these texts into their fields. With these tools, the time of composition can be small and scattered; yet it can involve, the appropriation and remix of a massive volume and range of texts.


Joseph Hall is the author of three collections of poetry published by Black Ocean Press and a PhD candidate at SUNY Buffalo where he is completing his dissertation on representations of liquid commons in the literature of the long eighteenth century. 

Canyons Tour @ PS1 in Iowa City 10.9.16 by James belflower

 Performance Space One

Performance Space One

The Canyons tour ended its first phase in Iowa City at Performance Space one, hosted by John Éngelbrecht. It was a lovely night. The performance artist Jillian Weise screened pointedly political videos of her alter ego Tipsy Tullivan, and poet Raj Chakrapani read from a new work that blended poetry with voice-overs of prominent public figures. Matthew and I played a longer set than previous readings and we enjoyed plugging into PS1's sound system for two reasons. One, we didn't have to lug all our equipment in and out! Two, it was vastly superior! I'll post audio of this performance over the weekend so check back soon! We are in Providence toward the end of October, so if you're in the area we hope to see you. The rest of our tour schedule is available here.

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Canyons Tour @ Absinthe and Zygote in Chicago, 10.8.16 by James belflower

 Photo courtesy of Matthew Klane

Photo courtesy of Matthew Klane

Another amazing evening on the Canyons tour! After a few too many coffees Matthew and I landed in Chicago for our 3rd performance at the Experimental Sound Studio. Anne Shaw and Toby Altman hosted us at Absinthe and Zygote an innovative performance series that changes locations for each event, from dark rooms, to crowded elevators, to hair salons. In front of the welcoming pink baffle backdrop of the Experimental Sound Studio it was a night of multimedia projections, polyvocality, and hilarious characters. We opened our set with "Welcome to Colorado" and sonically constructed an environment in which the "pure products of America go crazy." Little did we know how well that would resonate with the other performers. Poet and playwright Kate Morris read next, projecting maplike watercolor images in the corner of the room. She was followed by Olivia Lilley, whose comparisons of dating life to The Lord of the Rings had everyone cracking up. Olivia Cronk's reading of Louise and Louise and Louise ended the evening, quickly switching through the voices of a slew of characters, inhabiting each deftly. We read in Iowa City on the 10th, and will pick up the tour again on October 22nd in Providence. Hope to see you there!

We just arrived home yesterday so audio of the tour will be posted soon!

 Kate Morris

Kate Morris

 Olivia Lilley

Olivia Lilley

 Olivia Cronk

Olivia Cronk

Canyons Tour Continues @ Woodland Pattern 10.7.16 by James belflower

 Photo courtesy of Matthew Klane

Photo courtesy of Matthew Klane

We had a great night at the exceptional Woodland Pattern bookstore in Milwaukee Friday night. Host, Michael Wendt, introduced the performance. We altered the Canyons set list starting with a prickly soundscape that descended into the haunting sequence "Welcome to Coloroado," interspersed with found sounds from a Buffalo reserve I toured in 2014, & finishing with the final disquieting sequence "The Vanishing Savages'." We had a great conversation over new music with poet Paul Vogel & spent the drive to Chicago the next day blasting Seapunk & Witchhouse. Really digging Blank Banshee & Salem

I'll be posting audio of the show as soon as we return.

Canyons tour begins @ the Just Buffalo Literary Center 10.6.13 by James belflower

 Just Buffalo Literary Center

Just Buffalo Literary Center

The Canyons tour started last night at the beautiful Just Buffalo Literary Center reading series which is curated by Barbara Cole & Kevin Thurston. Matthew & I performed with the high energy Buffalo slam poet Eve Williams, & Donika Kelly who's debut collection Bestiary won the 2015 Cave Canem Prize. The crowd was lively, giggling & bantering with the poets. Our set was a blend of Matthew Klane's deep droning voice & my visceral electronics. Best of all, my fuzz pedal picked up Outkast's "Hey Ya" broadcast from the radio tower on the roof, & our set, which usually ends with thick moody feedback, tapered down to the bouncy chorus and the crowd rolled with the beat!

We recorded the event, and I'll be posting Canyons audio as soon as possible. Come see us at one of these stops if you missed last night.