Thursday, March 18, 2010

CA Conrad, New Somatic, & Robert Mittenthal's "Autonomous" U

A huge thanks to CA Conrad and to Robert Mittenthal for sharing their time and energy with Evergreen students as part of two separate PRESS events that occurred in the past two weeks.

Conrad gave an amazing reading (ranging over work from his latest Heretical Text collaboration with Frank Sherlock, to work from The Book of Frank and Deviant Propulsion, to newer work that has yet to be published).  The reading was followed by a captivating discussion.  Seemingly without need for sleep, even rest, Conrad proceeded in the following days to fit in two workshops with different sets of students, culminating in the collaborative writing of a new (Soma)tic, which can be read here, on Conrad's (Soma)tic exercises blog.  The several days we were together, Conrad continually brought people together in this magnetic, loving way, was truly wonderful to have around.  We got so accustomed to his presence that we spent several days after he left trying to figure out what to do with ourselves.  

Luckily a week later Robert Mittenthal gave a fascinating (and fascinatingly different) talk and reading (from his forthcoming Chax book, Wax Works) in the intimate setting of my house (often referred to as "the shack").  Robert's talk essayed potential relations between philosophy of mind, poetry, and politics, working thru questions of agency and responsibility in poetry and poetics, giving close reading to the work of Isabelle Stengers, drawing out her exhaustingly interesting political ecology of fostering difference and cohabitation in order to challenge a more normative anti-authorial thread in much contemporary poetics as not going "far enough" if desiring to argue for something other than the author-as-non-author, or for Spinozan continuity in the service of rightly complicating simplistic notions of agency.   

I'll stop there and say simply, if interested in reading Robert's talk, it's available online here.  

And many, many heartfelt thanks to both Conrad and Robert.  Not to say anything about the awesome contributions of Evergreen students and faculty who attended the events--see my post below for more about all that.  

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