May 2009


[On the second night of the Ups & Downs thing noted below, I’ll also be doing this…]

BRIAN KIM STEFANS, BRANDON DOWNING & STAN APPS

Saturday, June 6 2009 at 4pm

@ The Poetic Research Bureau
3702 San Fernando Blvd
Glendale, CA 91206

Doors open at 3:00pm
Reading starts at 4pm

$5 donation requested

Wine and snacks served before the reading

Brian Kim Stefans‘ recent books include Kluge: A Meditation, and other works (Roof, 2007), What is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers (Factory School, 2006), and Before Starting Over: Essays and Interviews (Salt Publishing, 2007). His digital works such as “The Dreamlife of Letters” and “Star Wars, One Letter at a Time” have been shown in gallery settings worldwide; many of these can be found at his website, www.arras.net. He is an Assistant Professor of English at UCLA, specializing in poetry and electronic writing.

Brandon Downing is a videomaker, visual artist, and writer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry collections include The Shirt Weapon (Germ, 2002), and Dark Brandon (Faux, 2005). An online gallery featuring his photographic work can be seen online at http://brandondowning.org. A feature-length DVD collection of recent video works, Dark Brandon // Eternal Classics, was released in 2007, and a monograph of his literary collages, Lake Antiquity, will be published by Fence Books this fall.

Stan Apps writes poems and essays. His books include: God’s Livestock Policy (Les Figues, 2008), Handbook of Poetic Language (eohippus labs, 2008), Grover Fuel (Scantily Clad e-book, 2009) and Info Ration (Make Now, 2007). A chapbook of Sonnets is forthcoming soon from Peachpit Press, and his essays will be collected as The World As Phone Bill (Combo Books) late this year. Stan’s poetry emphasizes direct statement, obviousness, economics, and the phatic nature of the self-explanatory.

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The Ups & Downs
Scriptor 1.0 by Brian Kim Stefans

Friday June 5 & Saturday June 6 from 7-10 pm
with a short artist’s talk each night at 8pm
a General Project at workspace

Google Map

The Ups & Downs is an installation series. The show goes up, the show goes down. Opening party on Friday night and closing party the next night, on Saturday. No time for exhibitions. Low impact, ephemeral and immersive art. People with lots of People. The market. It’s a party. Time for the underground. It’s a ball. It’s for The People. This has been made for you. You look familiar? The show must go on. Installed and De-installed. Up. Down. Now what? Now then…

artist’s statement:
The Scriptor series is meant to bring free form doodling into the digital world. For the project, I created my own letterform creation program that, purposefully, lacks many of the elements of professional graphics programs such as Illustrator and Flash that encourage symmetry, cut-and-paste, and the mathematically precise placement of objects that we associate with digital design, not to mention much digital art. These letterforms and doodles are all “by hand,” and “by eye” – they are a version of penmanship for the screen, but one in which each line or stroke of the letterform can be animated algorithmically (something you can’t do with digital fonts). The words themselves are parsed from news articles – interesting phrases are randomly picked out, given randomly generated sizes, placements and trajectories, as well as a “crazy level” (that’s the name of the variable in the program) that determines their legibility. This “crazy level” can grow or shrink – once the “crazy level” reaches a certain pitch, the letter explodes, but in some instances letters can be brought back from the brink of disaster to reach a stable state again.

Scriptor teases the eye into a game of determining when a form is merely a scrawl and/or when it makes that invisible transition into an icon, a “letter” – or, inkblot-test style, into something else. These are not films – nothing you see on the screen will ever happen again (or, for that matter, ever happened).

Watch a version of Scriptor in action.

contact curator Mathew Timmons anathemata@sbcglobal.net for more information about this exhibition.

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And here are more screencaps than you’ll ever need… click to view in higher res.

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Sample footage of algorithmic poem/painting digital projection Scriptor, version 1, captured from the computer screen by CamStudio.

“The Scriptor series is meant to bring some of that free form doodling into the digital world. For the project, I created my own letterform creation program that, purposefully, lacks many of the elements of professional graphics programs such as Illustrator and Flash that encourage symmetry, cut-and-paste, and the mathematically precise placement of objects that we associate with digital design, not to mention much digital art. These letterforms and doodles are all by hand, and by eye — they are a version of penmanship for the screen, but one in which each line or stroke of the letterform can be animated algorithmically (something you can’t do with standard fonts). The words themselves are parsed from news articles interesting phrases are randomly picked out, given randomly generated sizes, placements and trajectories, as well as a crazy level (that’s the name of the variable in the program) that determines their legibility. This crazy level can grow or shrink — once the crazy level reaches a certain pitch, the letter explodes, but in some instances letters can be brought back from the brink of disaster to reach a stable state again.”

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I realize I didn’t mention on this blog having three poems in the new issue of Fence. Well, not so new now — actually, I think nearly 5 months old. Includes new work by Jordan Davis, Shelley Jackson, Rae Armantrout, Alexander Kluge (after whom my book of that title is NOT named), Michael Harper, and a slew of others I’d never heard of or sort of heard of (or you haven’t heard of, or might have).

Anyway, they picked my poems for their website as well. But I’m really psyched about is having the big O on my cover, though he looks like he’s trapped in a corkboard (idea for a new R. Kelly series?).

cover.jpg

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Please join us for a monthly lit reading in the company of art @Agitprop in North Park, co-sponsored by the gallery and local smallpresses 1913, Kuhl House, and Tougher Disguises.

This event is free and open to the public. There will be a receptionafter the reading. Donations to the gallery are greatly appreciated.

Poets Brian Kim Stefans & Geoffrey Dyer will read from their work on Saturday May 2 @ 7pm in the Agitprop Gallery in North Park:
2837 University Ave (entrance on Utah), San Diego, California, 92104,619.384.7989.

Brian Kim Stefans’ recent books include “Kluge” (Roof Books, 2007),“What is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers” (Factory School, 2006)and “Before Starting Over: Selected Essays and Interviews” (SaltPublishing, 2006). Recent digital projects include the interactiveKluge (http://www.arras.net/kluge/) and a series of digitalprojections called “Scriptor” that are intended for gallery andenvironmental settings, one of which appeared in the show “Contranym” in New York City’s ABC Gallery in September, 2008. He is presentlyAssistant Professor of English and Digital Humanities at UCLA, editsthe online mag arras.net and writes the Free Space Comix blog; helives in Los Angeles half a block away from Scarlett Johansson (’sface on a billboard).

Geoffrey Dyer’s first book of poems, “The Dirty Halo of Everything,”was published by Krupskaya Press in 2003. Of Dyer’s work, John Yauwrites, “Welcome to the ‘valley of the near yonder hell, an Out Westsort of place,” where you will find “Golgotha embellished in cement”and the “mascara of Andromeda.” While you are here, “pay attention tothe words collaborating inside [y]our skull.” Geoffrey Dyer certainlydoes. So much so I swear that Apollinaire, William Eggleston, andHarry Dean Stanton have been slipping Dyer some potent Kickapoo Joy Juice. …This is America. And, like Eggleston and Stanton, Dyer is adamned wonderful guide.” An original member of the New Brutalistpoetry collective and a graduate of Mills College’s MFA Program, Dyerlives and blogs in the Bay Area.

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