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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring Quarter Begins

It was a long winter. One for the record books. But spring arrives eventually & the Next Objectivists shake their shaggy pelt & go in search of blackberries of the sort described by Francis Ponge. Or, if I may be so bold as to quote N.O. Gene Tanta, "The nice temps will mobilize poets, put a bounce in their Schlitz."
There was NEVER a BETTER TIME to join or otherwise convert or reconvert yourself into an ACTIVE member of the Next Objectivists. Please recall that we are the world's only 100% autonomous poetry & poetics workshop dedicated to the study and reproduction of Poetry from the Outsidereal. We may not look like much "on the ground" but historically we are a rare & stimulating event. Plus, you may well be spending too much time watching TV on your laptop. It's springtime people, as in time to spring as in into action.

There are three or four items on our current agenda, which I enumerate by genre:

1. A Invitation Accepted: The Next Objectivists @ Three Walls Gallery Tuesday 6 May, 6pm
Core members of the workshop have joyfully accepted an invitation by the artist & filmmaker Irina Botea to participate in her show at Three Walls Gallery. A short back story will be helpful to new members; several years ago, back in the good ole Mess Hall days, Irina & Next Objectivists member Gene Tanta (op. cit.) organized a series of very stimulating writing workshops known as WAM or Writing At the Movies. A number of Chicagoland writers participated; we watched video clips & wrote in response to them. We read what we wrote & wrote what we read. On 6 May, from 6-8pm, we will produce a version of this workshop at Three Walls Gallery, as part of Irina's exhibition.

2. An Opportunity & a Proposal. The Next Objectivists @ Mozart Park field house. Dates TBA.
The Border/bend Arts Collective has given the Next Objectivists the opportunity to present a series of workshops in a very interesting public venue: the field house at Mozart Park in the Logan Square neighborhood. Mozart Park is bordered by Dickens on the North, Armitage on the South, Avers Ave. on the East & train tracks on the West. Border/bend is hosting a number of cultural events at the field house on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the spring and early summer, & has invited us to participate in their programming.

There are many ways we might take advantage of this public space, but it's workshop custom to resist the neoliberal voice of the father, which seeks to distract the subject from the pain of alienation with multiple choices, otherwise known as opportunities. Therefore, I propose we use this venue for a project that has been percolating for several years: PLOP or Performative Lectures on Oppositional Poetics. As the name implies, this project is imagined as series of lecture/workshops about different oppositional practices or writing/editing/performing/theorizing. Each session will begin with a performative lecture by either a workshop member or an invited guests. No definite program or dates have been set yet: it's up to us to discuss, which leads to:

3. An Invitation = Provocation + Free Food & Beer
It's a simple equation once you understand the algebra of four situation. As you may know, the Next Objectivists are currently wandering in exile. After the Mess Hall closed, we met in several locations off-&-on but none of them fulfilled our collective desires. I have resisted hold meetings in private residences because the public nature of the workshop is fundamental; being open to anyone is a core principle, and we have frequently benefited from the spontaneous contributions of members who wandered in. However, we need to get things started now & under this state of exception I'm holding four organizational/planning/strategy hangouts in my apartment: 6809 N. Ashland Blvd. #1.

The dates/times of these meetings are:

  • Wed. 23 April 7-10pm
  • Sat. 3 May 4-7pm
  • Wed. 14 May 7-10pm
  • Sat. 17 May 4-7pm

I promise free food and drink for all who show up. We will try to divide our time into three parts during these sessions:
a) Catching up and hanging out; we eat together, we drink together

b) Deciding upon and planning these upcoming events

c) Revisiting and re-invigorating a number of writing projects; currently there are three writing projects that we have begun but not concluded:
i. Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mashups Chapbook: we produced many pages of Raw Or/e which could be revised into a new collection of poems.

ii. The Next Objectivists Anthology: the first 5 years. We have collected several hundred pages of poetic experiments and written an introduction. We need to find a publisher or determine how to publish it ourselves.Should we submit Next Objectivist poems to magazines?

iii. Into the Skilling, Into the Fire, or Here Comes Some eBad Whether: at our last regular meeting we conceived of an opera organized around the simple & profound fact that Tom Skilling, Chicago weatherman, & Jeff Skilling, of Enron infamy, are brothers. What were their family dinners like? Did Tom forecast gloomy or sparkling weather on the days when Jeff was indicted, tried, convicted? Can we write a libretto & if so why? What is the relation between a Tom, Dick and Harry & a Mutt and Jeff?
Meanwhile, intellectual interest has been growing about the Next Objectivists in Europe. Only last week a researcher contacted me. Let's give 'em something to write about!!!

Remember: you may well be an annual Next Objectivist. Does the bulb of your being, long buried in the frozen earth of sentimental bureaucracy burn for a better poetics? Do the roots of your being pulse with life, the shoots of your desire thrust toward the light? Join us! It's fun, super easy & totally free!
No experience in poetry or poetics is required; in fact, we ask you all to leave your guns & expertise at the door.

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