Mentor Meditation: The Book of the Dead
Workshop led by Emily Brandt
Dates: Thursdays, March 22-April 19, 2018 (5 weeks)
Capacity: 12 participants
Cost: sliding scale, $125-250 total ($25-50/session)
Registration deadline: March 20th
Rukeyser writes: “The men and the water are never idle / have definitions.”
In this 5 week course, we will explore Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead via obsessive reading, re-reading, imitating, resisting, meditating, and discussing. While discussion will of course center around Rukeyser’s craft and content, it will also allow us to track our relationship to a single text as it deepens, shifts, and inspires. The reading practices undertaken here aim to challenge and provoke our creative practices. To that end, we’ll spend class time generating and workshopping poems that grow out of our shared reading and meditation on Rukeyser’s work.
Rukeyser wrote The Book of the Dead in response to one of America’s worst industrial catastrophes, the Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster in Appalachia. How does this text, written in the spirit of 1930s radicalism, read in our present catastrophic socio-political climate? And how does an intentional practice of re-examining its various parts and their methodologies contribute to our understanding of the whole, and by extension, our understanding of our own creative practice.
As part of a stimuli-cleanse (or durational performance piece), participants are invited to immersively read only The Book of the Dead and related criticism, repeatedly, over the course of the 5 weeks.
During the first week, we’ll read The Book of the Dead in its entirety and discuss the scope of her project as well as some of its criticism. As the course progresses, we’ll revisit individual poems and excerpts. For instance, one week we may examine her inclusion of court documents in text, and another week we may examine the caesura in her tercets. All exploration is intended to deepen our relationship to this text as a means of galvanizing our own work.
Emily Brandt is a poet, editor, and educator. She’s the author of three chapbooks, including Sleeptalk or Not At All (Horse Less Press). Her poems have appeared in Gigantic Sequins, LitHub, The Recluse, The Offing, Apogee, Washington Square Review, and other journals, and were recently anthologized in Inheriting the War (W.W. Norton). She earned her MFA from New York University where she facilitated the Veterans Writing Workshop for veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s been in residence at Saltonstall Arts Colony and was a 2016 Emerging Poets Fellow at Poets House. Emily is a co-founding editor of No, Dear and Web Acquisitions Editor for VIDA.
Workshop led by Rachel James and Georgia Wall
Dates: February 12-March 26 (8 weeks)
Public screening at Spectacle Theater on April 9
Time: Mondays, 7-9pm
Cost: Sliding scale, $200-400 total
Capacity: 12 participants
Registration deadline: February 10th
First offered in the fall of 2017, IMAGE SPEAK is back by popular demand! This 8-week course delves into the world of video art, specifically works with little hierarchical delineation between text and the moving image. In addition to making video essays, we will discuss texts that address the theoretical underpinnings of the medium and screen seminal and experimental works in the field. Examples include videos by Moyra Davey, Peggy Ahwesh, Hito Steryl, Martine Syms, Ismail Bahri, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Harun Farocki. The course will culminate in a public showcase of student work at Spectacle Theater.
Does the moving image become an illustration of text, or is text created in response to footage? What does a process look like in which the text and image is being developed simultaneously? Exploring these processes together, the eight weeks will include many experimentations in writing and image making. Students will be asked to self-generate material as well as respond using the video essay form. Each participant will have the opportunity for group critique. By the end of Image Speak students will have produced at least one video essay for public screening and a series of written, video, and response pieces as potential material to develop in the future.
Participants will ideally have access to:
- a computer with video editing software (iMovie or another free video editing software)
- a device to record footage (smartphone or camera)
If you would like to sign up for this course yet access to equipment is prohibitive, please contact Wendy’s Subway (email@example.com) as limited equipment is available.
Rachel James is an artist and poet with a background in cultural anthropology and experimental ethnography. She has exhibited or performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, including at Essex Flowers, La MaMa, Situations, Spectacle, and Recess in New York City, The New Gallery in Calgary, Totaldobze, in Riga, and Kamppi Chapel in Helsinki. She is an MFA Candidate at Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts and curates exhibitions and performance events in Mexico City and New York, where she lives and works.
Georgia Wall is an artist based in New York. Wall’s videos have been exhibited at Team Gallery, Document Space, Faena Art Center, Anthology Film Archives, Spectacle Theater and Flux Factory. In New York she has presented her performance work at New York Live Arts, HERE, US Blues, Dixon Place, Movement Research at Judson Church, Ortega y Gasset Projects and CATCH at The Invisible Dog. Her work has been written about in publications including, ARTnews, Mousse Magazine Online, The New Yorker, Hemispheric Institute E-Misférica, and Time Out Chicago. Wall also has a curatorial practice and is part of Bottom which has organized events at Abrons Art Center, Spectacle Theater, Glasshouse Projects and Essex Flowers. Wall holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.