Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lex-ICON: new blog with calls for work on text and image

Seeking University presentations, authors, visual artists, publishers, curators and MORE for the conference that I am co-organizing which will be hosted at UHA in June of 2012. I know, I took a little bit too long to get out the word, but it is now OUT, so PLEASE do go and visit our blog and respond to our CFP and pass on the info: here it is:

Lex-ICON :
treating text as image and image as text

International interdisciplinary conference
7 - 9 June 2012
Université de Haute-Alsace, Mulhouse, France.

Co-organised by Jennifer K Dick (UHA/ILLE),  Didier Girard (UHA/Ille), Océane Delleaux (UHA/CREM/Edith), Eric Suchère (École Supérieure d'Art et Design de Saint-Étienne) and Fréderique Toudoire-Surlapierre (UHA/Ille).

Multidisciplinary conference on text and image creation, use and reception in ultra-contemporary literature and visual art (works created in the 21st century).

« The sum of human wisdom is not contained
in any one language, and no single language is
CAPABLE of expressing all forms and degrees
of human comprehension. »
                                                — Ezra Pound

As Pierre Garnier wrote almost 50 years ago, « la nouvelle poésie s’alimente, quant à son origine, dans les langages typiques d’autres arts, en particulier celui des arts plastiques, qui lui permettent d’atteindre la dimension d’objet récusant la “lecture”. » Since then, many movements have given a central place to the use of the word rather than that of any other visual form. As Johanna Drucker wrote, by the beginning of the 1960s « artistic activity […] had dissolved the boundaries between disciplines which had rigidly distinguished high modern visuality from high modern literariness at mid-century […] the experimental innovation had inbred so successfully with other artistic sources […that] current work actually blends visual and verbal elements into what is an increasingly synthetic unity ».

Is it emphatic attention to the physical substance of language that draws authors and visual artists together today? Or are there very different modes of representation and conceptual creation engendering cultural upheavals in artistic and literary practice?

This conference will unite researchers from varied disciplines in order to begin formulating a new criticism for the 21st century’s authors and visual artists who are given to making texts to see as if they were geometric forms, or forms to read, colors and visual sequences whose nature it had once been to reach spectators and their perceptions with an inherent immediacy.

In particular, Lex-ICON will focus on the reception of hybrid works, asking whether language and words are necessary to say or communicate things and ideas or even to think. Can one simply feel thought through the gaze without ever really having the words, the grammar and thus language itself to describe it? Is a process of translation from the visual to linguistic necessary for thought to take place? The fluid nature of articulation emerges at this time when language has taken center stage in visual art and where graphic gestures dominate literary works. The debates which have surrounded the treatment, classification, teaching, economy and reception of such works are not new, but they are increasingly becoming the motifs of ultra-contemporary art and literature. The theories on lexiconographic work have long lived in separate ponds, but the idea is to unify them and seek a common cross-disciplinary discourse.

The goal is therefore to contribute to the development of theoretical reflection regarding the effect produced by the intersemioticity of verbo-visual practices. Discussions and panels will be joined by a series of artistic and literary presentations and performances during and around the conference in the region of Alsace and the city of Mulhouse.

Potential presentation topics include :
-    The use and novelties of visual protocols (typographic plays, scribbling, collages, importation of images, etc.) in ultra-contemporary literature.
-    The borders of the visual form of letters in books and out.
-    The multimediality of the page as a space for redefinition.
-    The stakes and the modality of an image-rhetoric in the context of emerging screen cultures.
-    Textual processes which lead to “unreadable” readings, to illegible texts.
-    Art for art: metafiction within verbo-visual artwork.
-    The genre of the rebus as narrative rediscovery (hommages to Magritte).
-    Emergent modes of lexiconographic reading..
-    The new relationship to languages—perhaps “a corollary to travel and to the planetarization of culture” (Edeline)?
-    The phenomena of simplification of complex thought or of complexification of reading image and text as applied to the creation of lexiconographic works.
-    Identity (and the interrogation of identity) of the author-artist by these verbo-visual creative practices.
-    New narrative forms in lexiconographic work.
-    The Lyricisms of a lexiconographic text or piece of art.

Artists to study ? :
Works created since the year 2000 by lexiconographic artists and authors such as Rosaire Appel, Julien Blaine, Marcel Broodthaers, Sophie Calle, Amélie Dubois, Brendan Fernandes, Kathleen Fraser, Jenny Holzer, Susan Howe, Vannina Maestri, Jacques Sivan, Nico Vassilakis, Lawrence Weiner,  or, among those who showed language-based artworks at the Art Basel 2011 expo : Vito Acconci, Kader Attia, Martin Boyce, Tacita Dean, Matias Faldbaklen, Claire Fontaine, Doria Garcia, Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick, Philip Goldbach, Leon Golub, Shilpa Gupta, On Kawara, William Kentridge, Sean Landers, Mark Leckey, Fabian Marti, Sara Morris, Michael Müller, Yoshitomo Nara, Jack Pierson, Jaume Plensa, Richard Prince, Allen Ruppersburg, David Shrigley, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Barthélémy Toguo and others.

Paper proposals (250-300 words) in French or English should be emailed before the 25th of February 2012. They should be sent to both Jennifer K Dick ( or and to Océane Delleaux (

The organizers will confirm the final programme by the  15th of March 2012.

All of the information concerning this conference will be posted on our blog at :

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Books Received for 40s project mini reviews 2 & 3

"Wordlick" by Joe Ross (Green Integer N°184:
This new mini-book by Joe Ross published by Green Integer starts with the bang it carries all the way through--a mouth-puzzling soundscape is alive here, from the very start with the first poem's:

"The margin beginning in white helf fold wreck
Visionthinging again ramwording again
Sentences into being tensemaking strange" (p11)

This, Joe Ross' 13th book (is that his lucky or unlucky number? I might say lucky reading this--) is quite linguistically troubling in wonderful, constantly unexpected ways. It does give one a bit of a headache as the mind tries to jostle and jangle with these, as the logical brain tries to force some standard soundsense back onto a writing resisiting such things. But there are these breaths of clarity for the mind in the way these poems touch a tangible world--with an image from a walk, a mention of a place or animal or sky. But this is not the Paris Ross lives in that he explored in his previous book, instead here is a landscape of imagination, filled with the "Crapeating linetoss at sinkerbaited truckhop rodeo" found on page 29 or the "Mossheaded hitting lowfur tuliprise sunset / Slowstraining the unionjack in corporate sponsored naming debt" on page 38.

This is not one place at one time, seen in clarity, but like the nouns, verbs and adjectives rubbing elbows and clicking knees together, it is a mishmash of placetimesepochscountries that makes this book fabulously evocative and like some childhood dreambook, makes the reader imagine in unexplored ways. Yes, as he writes on page 29, this reader is in fact quite "Wowed again by the circusstripe catwalk jest" that is WORDLICK, a poetry book which has come to remind us that poetry is always here because we need inventiveness.

WORDLICK is the "Necessary invention filling lackcapacity gap" of which Ross writes on p 11. A fun book to carry round and listen to and glance in then relook at the world with these sounds, Ross' exciting language, pinging round inside our heads. THANKS JOE!

"The Institution At Her Twilight" by Caroline Crumpacker.
The lovely arrivals in my mailbox of little unexpected books from the Dusie Kollectiv 5 from 2011 has practically stopped. But here is one I am so thrilled to have received--for Crumpacker's poems reawaken in me the pleasure of feeling language move and question. These poems filled with the dailiness of living and reflecting on the past and present are poems with longish lines where gaps come in to interrupt certain lines and make me (the reader) and the author (I presume at least) look at what is taking place in that white--as in poem one:

"The night is 23 years and in that time I feel destroyed but unchanged."

I love the force of this line--and how the gap after "feel" allows me a moment to feel, a moment to see feeling in the space it occupies not as language but as another sense, one that is unlocated in the instant of speaking. The fraction of time also interrogates the distance travelled over 23 years. And then, when the word "destroyed" comes, emerges, is the other side of this white bridge, the gap echoes visually the destruction, the de-construction of the contructed life. Things are not changed--nothing was built, or the building returned again to dust.

Certainly, here I am stretching in many directions and the poems here have a lightness that contrasts which what I am saying, too, a momentum that keeps me reading on so I do not overthink and overfeel one instant in the poem but am carried onward by rythms which are at once natural but also attentive to a kind of hummming that comforts one when one is hurting. A humming that tries to be in tune with an ache and thus alleviate some of the agony of that ache.

These are poems which are trying to assess things--silence, nostalgia, loss, conflict, love, nature, the moment or moments we are in even now as we read or go off to do something else. I enjoy how Crumpacker's work is constantly naming and making conscious not only me but the poems themselves of their reflective process--so that reflection becomes both linguistic and image(imagined). These are poems where, as she writes "sentiment appears luxuriantly articulate." Again, THANK YOU!

To read Caroline Crumpacker's chapbook online, visit the Dusie Kollectiv 5 website: and click on Crumpacker. Or else go directly to her pdf via:

Of course, what you are missing is the wonderful cover on the version I received--a nice architectural drawing which echos the layers of the poems themselves--construction, deconstruction, the concrete and the abstract.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

IVY is back for 2012!

We have had a slow season this year, but things are looking very bright for 2012 despite our unfortunate need to push back Alice Notley's event once again. I look forward as I imagine you all do to hearing her read from her great new book and I will let everyone know when that is happening. For now--here is the announcement for this week's fabu IVY WRITERS PARIS gets 2012 underway!



une lecture bilingue (Bilingual READING) en anglais

et en français avec les écrivains

DYLAN HARRIS (irlandais)


HYAM YARED (libanaise)

Mardi le 10 janvier 2012

à 19h30

AT: Le Next,

17 rue Tiquetonne,

75002 Paris,

Metro Etienne Marcel/ RER Les Halles.

Free/ Entrée libre


Hyam Yared est une poète et romancière née à Beyrouth en 1975. Son premier roman, L’Armoire des ombres (éditions Wespieser), paru en 2006 (Prix France-Liban 2007), abordait le poids des traditions et les faux-semblants de la société libanaise, au-delà de l’apparence trompeuse de la femme libanaise « libérée ». Son deuxième roman Sous la tonnelle paru chez le même éditeur en octobre 2009 (prix Phoenix 2009 et Richelieu de la francophonie 2011) aborde les questions des rapports hommes-femmes dans un pays marqué à vif par la guerre civile, thématiques qui lui sont chères et qu’elle reprend dans ses recueils poétiques Blessures de l’eau (Dar an nahar) et naitre si mourir (L’idée bleue) qui sont une réflexion sur les enjeux du rapport hommes-femmes et l’incidence du refoulé sur la scène sociétale et politique. Son dernier recueil Esthétique de la prédation, présenté au salon du livre de Beyrouth 2011 dans le cadre de l’installation artistique de la plasticienne Amal Saadé, se penche sur la question de la quête des libertés individuelles au sein des révolutions arabes. Son travail romanesque a bénéficié de la Bourse del Duca 2007 décernée par l’Académie française. Sélectionnée par le Hay Festival of littérature dans le cadre de Beirut 39, Hyam Yared fait partie de la nouvelle génération d’auteurs arabes francophones et participe aux chroniques de l’émission La grande Table, sur France Culture. Pour lire quelques extraits de son travail:

Dylan Harris was born in blighty, before Sputnik flew. He’s since lived in Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, France and, soon, the Netherlands. He wrote Europe (wurm press, 2008) & antwerp (2009), wrote and photographed the smoke (The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010) & the forthcoming The Liberation of [Placeholder] (planned 2012), and composed and performed Flock State (Tunecore, 2007). His works have been on and in nthposition, Upstairs at Duroc, Issue Zero, etc. In Dublin, with Kit Fryatt, he coconstructed and coöperated wurm im apfel, wurmfest and wurm press ( In Paris, he constructed and operates corrupt press (, which has published many Parisian anglophone poets. His website ( shews much of his output. Or see a sample at