a/typical week at naropa

Last week Bhanu Kapil talked about stories and antidotes. She also talked about trauma theory, Neanderthals burial rituals, and the Festival of Holi in India. She said she was interested in gore as an ecstatic principle of decay ? and the encounter as the thing that alters the space ?. Very cool stuff.

We began class by reinacting a performance piece by Vito Acconci.

With a smile like the Chesire Cat, Bhanu asked us all to roll up our sleeves. She explained that Vito Acconci was a poet who studied architecture and became a performance artist. After reading too much text on post-modernist architecture he created a performance piece where he bit himself all over his body.

Then she asked us to bite ourselves until we had […]

Information Wants To Be Free

What’s not free are books. I thought keeping a wish list would help me curb my book buying habit. But I got my credit card bill today and I spent around $400 on books this past month. Most of that was on textbooks, or atleast that’s how I’m justifying it.

One of those textbooks is Massive Change by Bruce Mau and the Institute Without Boundaries. It’s one that Bhanu Kapil has been using in class. There are some incredible articles and interviews that have me thinking.

One such interview is with Lawrence Lessig. He talks about intellectual property and copyright law. He discusses the Oxford English Dictionary as one of the first open source ? publishing projects. It seems that the OED began with an announcement in English newspapers asking people to volunteer to submit words and definitions of […]

Inspirational Burlesque

Last week I went to a burlesque show with a friend of mine at Trilogy.

The show was pretty cool. Music. Woman of all shapes and sizes on stage wearing pasties. Most of the women were students at FlashDance Studios and looked like they were having fun.

One woman was particularly talented: Brandy Dew danced to a Decemberist’s song. For the finale, a guitar player and a violinist came on stage while she performed some kind of trapeze act with two silk ropes hung from the ceiling.

I was amazed! There were some really breathtaking moments. It was obvious that she was fully dedicated to what she was doing and that she truly loved it. She was able to tie a knot using her feet! And she […]

Prospectus: Notes on Architecture and Writing

Naropa’s requirement for an MFA degree includes completing a creative manuscript and a critical thesis. Today I talked to Donald Preziosi about being my advisor for the critical thesis requirement. I gave him a copy of the prospectus of the paper I’m working on this term for Bhanu Kapil’s course. He seemed as excited about my topic as I am. My critical thesis will build on my paper last semester (Power of Story Form) and the paper this semester.

Last semester the paper I wrote turned out very different from the prospectus. As I read I my interests changed and evolved. I asked new questions. I expect the same to happen this semester, but this is a place to begin.

Title: Notes on Architecture and Writing

This […]

Failure: Strength and Writing

These are my Notes on Failure ? for Bhanu Kapil this week.

Before I started writing there was an idea, a memory. An area of Prospect Park in Brooklyn called Rick’s Place. This is where male prostitutes bring their costumers. The ground is littered with condoms and condom wrappers. My memory is of a boy, a teenager with full lips and deep eyes leading an older man into Rick’s Place passing me and my friend and saying, hello. ?

I start the writing with the teen leaving Rick’s Place alone. I write several paragraphs. He passes two Brooklyn teens with foul mouths. They taunt him. There is a conflict. I extract another memory of a fight among high school students on the subway. There is a moment of love and hate, peace and violence. Then the conflict is resolved. […]