First published in The Los Angeles Review, June 2018
For the 2018 Art in Odd Places BODY public art festival and exhibition at Westbeth Gallery in New York City, I performed Bruce Nauman’s “Body Pressure” (1974) on a bus stop wall. An invitation to connect, “re/touch” responded to the isolating impacts of capitalism on the city’s body. For the exhibition, I reassembled Nauman’s instructions into a poem and paired its lines with small documentary photographs, legible when standing close to the gallery wall.
Today I Saw
Inspired by Gertrude Stein’s poem “What Do I See,” this installation at the Milton Art Bank re-imagined the town of Milton, Pennsylvania, through the lenses of its residents and in relation to a “foreign currency” of sounds and sights. “Today I Saw” created an archive of sights seen in Milton and put the town in a global context, bringing descriptions of local sights into contact with two other sources: a video of a farmer spraying fields in Italy, and an audio recording of bombs dropping in Syria, hidden inside a deposit box. A sound collage of described sights played continuously in the gallery. Visitors were invited to “deposit” their own site-specific sights, contributing to the archive.
Light On Sound
A collaboration with Jessica Houston, this installation reactivated the historic Lewis H. Latimer House Museum and surrounding neighborhood of Flushing, Queens, with the voices of community members reading poems. The work commemorated Lewis H. Latimer, poet and inventor of the filament for the incandescent light bulb. Poems could be turned on through light and called up with a cell phone. The poems filling the Latimer House and extending into the neighborhood were generated, recited, and shared by the public. This project was funded by the Historic House Trust of New York City's Contemporary Art Partnerships Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the NYC Department of Transportation.
I invited twenty artists to make visual responses to poems in my collection, Emoticoncert (Four Way Books), as a way of forming a visual iteration of the book. Participating artists: Fletcher Boote, Kiran Chandra, Jamie Emerick, Kay Gordon, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Jessica Houston, Sara Jones, Melora Kuhn, Mary Lamboley, Haley Mellin & Bob Mellin, Dorota Mytych, Nurit Eini-Pindyck, Carla Repice, Elise Schonhowd, Dasha Shishkin, Kirsten Stromberg, Tereza Swanda, Rebecca Szeto, Angela Rose Voulgarelis, and Andrea Wenglowskyj. These works were exhibited at Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop as part of the book's launch in March 2016.