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Everything Bends: An Improvisatory Evening of Demonstration, Performance, and Conversation  


Everything Bends:
An Improvisatory Evening of Demonstration Performance, and Conversation

Doors 6:30 PM / 7:00 PM Saturday, August 1st
Bandit Gallery
1549 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

As writers and artists, we are all driven by an improvisatory impulse, even if it is unacknowledged. However, audiences commonly focus on the temporary and performative aspects of improvisation, not on its limitless potential as a critical invention that provokes further conceptual considerations.

More than just a gesture, improvisation is a sort of aesthetics of existential responsiveness. It is process and not just result, one that constitutes both cognitive and kinetic experience.

If indeed everything does bend, and no creation is fixed, static or predictable, then how far can we explore and stretch the possibilities of a practice consciously engaged with improvisation?

With Special Guests:
Douglas Kearney / Ryan Tanaka / Brian Moss /
Dennis Moser

With MC: Joe Milazzo

And Additional Installations/Performances by:
Stephen Van Dyck / Daiana Feuer /
Dennis Gonzalez
& Yells At Eels

Suggested donation of $5-10 will be appreciated.

3strophe at gmail dot com


Swapping Spit: Translation as Representation  


After the event:
Here's some of the responses we received to Laura Vena's presentation...

Laura asked collaborators to join her in fantastical linguistic play.

Etymaginaries are
mercurial word myths, forwards and backwards. produced by constellations of purple dust spots on the retina of the imagination, these notional creatures anxiously anticipate your polyinterpretations.

Some examples Laura shared:


Imbroglioronic N.: any oily liquid with a bitter flavor, esp. any such liquid prescribed as an emetic. Term coined by Cesare Musatti in 1943 to describe an abnormal personality compulsively given over to twisting lengths of her—more often, his—hair into knots. At the time, Musatti was in the employ / operating under the patronage of Adriano Olivetti, who had brought the pioneering psychoanalyst to Ivrea for the purpose of helping his engineers overcome a mysterious "block" that was impeding their development of the Divisumma electric abacus. Musatti's application of a placebo hair tonic in various clinical tests related to this case (the final diagnosis being that an imbroglioronic was suffering from a combination of acute hysteria, euraesthenia, and suicidal depression) is still a subject of medical debate to this day. Contributed by: Joe Milazzo


lufarcity soundtrack by Joe Milazzo


vandodacular the undulating function of the five bones of the sacrum [now fused] that allowed homosapiens’ ancestors to flick their tails1. 1 the movement also allows one to cast off his or her tail, which could help one escape from predators, who are either distracted by the wriggling detached tail, or left with only the tail while the rest of the body flees. tails cast in this manner generally grow back over time, unless evolution occurs.
by: Laura Vena


Swapping Spit: Translation as Representation
A Literary Conversation & Workshop

Curated/Organized by: STROPHE

Special Guests:
Jen Hofer
Laura Vena
Hillary Mushkin
Tanya Rubbak
& YOU.

7:00pm Saturday, April 4th, 2009
Ave 50 Studio
131 N. Avenue 50
Highland Park (LA), CA

Every work of art is an act of translation1. Whether done consciously or unconsciously, all artists pull from the cultural phenomena around them, borrowing, blending, and bleeding the residue into new creative responses. In this way, it can be said that writing is an act of swapping spit—every author is in intimate conversation with other artists of various métiers and their works, past, present, and future.

As Jorge Luis Borges writes, a book (or any work of art) “is not an isolated entity: it is a narration, an axis of innumerable narrations.” When cultural phenomena is translated, transferred, re-represented, or remembered, how are these axes mediated by their new form? Here, we look at translation, not only as a replacement of words from one language to the next, but as a larger, more complex system of interconnected representations and narratives.

1 representation, appropriation, transmutation, expression

Jen Hofer is a poet, translator, interpreter, teacher, knitter, and urban cyclist. Her recent and forthcoming poem sequences and translations are available through a range of autonomous small presses including: Atelos, Counterpath Press, Dusie Boooks, Kenning Editions, Palm Press, and Ponzipo. She also makes small books by hand at her kitchen table in Cypress Park.

Laura Vena is a writer, teacher, translator, and photographer whose work has appeared in the L.A. Weekly, the O.C. Weekly, Chronometry and out of nothing. Laura is concerned with both the aesthetic and ethical considerations of translation, with what it means to approach an other, what it means to occupy a space in between, what it means to give an accurate representation, and what it means to listen.

Hillary Mushkin is a Los Angeles based artist focusing on landscape and US national identity. Her drawings, installations and media art can be humorous and absurd while tackling serious issues. Her projects have been exhibited at the Freud Museum (London) and the Getty Museum. Her newest drawings feature cute kids and gilded neoclassical symbols of power.

Tanya Rubbak is a graphic designer who currently resides in Echo Park, Los Angeles. She believes in graphic design as an art of fiction and book form as structure for visual narrative. She teaches book design and typography, works on her own books, co-runs a women's reading salon and makes freelance design work for arts and culture clients.

collaborative work by Jen Hofer and Hillary Mushkin


Avenue 50 Studio, Inc. is an arts presentation organization grounded in Latin@ Chican@ culture. Their monthly shows principally exhibit artists of color who have not been represented in mainstream galleries. Avenue 50 Studio seeks to build bridges of cultural understanding through artistic expressions. Please visit and support this cool space:



Etymology After The Fact  


... and please feel free to keep the conversation going.

From: http://www.etymonline.com

c.1300, "malformed animal, creature afflicted with a birth defect," from O.Fr. monstre, from L. monstrum "monster, monstrosity, omen, portent, sign," from root of monere "warn" (see monitor). Abnormal or prodigious animals were regarded as signs or omens of impending evil. Extended c.1385 to imaginary animals composed of parts of creatures (centaur, griffin, etc.). Meaning "animal of vast size" is from 1530; sense of "person of inhuman cruelty or wickedness" is from 1556. In O.E., the monster Grendel was an aglæca, a word related to aglæc "calamity, terror, distress, oppression."

c.1225, from O.Fr. cite, in medieval usage a cathedral town, but orig. meaning any settlement, regardless of size (distinction from town is 14c., though in Eng. it always seems to have ranked above borough), from earlier citet, from L. civitatem (nom. civitas) orig. "citizenship, community of citizens," from civis "townsman," from PIE base *kei- "to lie, homestead." The L. word for "city" was urbs, but a resident was civis. Civitas seems to have replaced urbs as Rome (the ultimate urbs) lost its prestige. City hall first recorded 1675; city slicker first recorded 1924 (see slick); both Amer.Eng. Inner city first attested 1968.


An Unforgivable Bibliography For THE CITY AS MONSTER  


Berger, Alan. Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. [More info]

Lynch, Kevin. The Image Of The City. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1960. [More info]

Robbe-Grillet, Alain. Project For A Revolution In New York. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Grove Press, 1976. [More info]

Robbe-Grillet, Alain. Topology Of A Phantom City. Trans. J. A. Underwood. New York: Grove Press, 1977. [More info]

Sennett, Richard. The Conscience Of The Eye: The Design And Social Life Of Cities. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. [More info]

Žižek, Slavoj. Organs Without Bodies: Deleuze And Consequences. New York: Routledge, 2004. [More info]


The City As Monster: Phenomenological and Physical Transformations in Writing  


The City As Monster: Phenomenological and Physical Transformations in Writing

A Literary Conversation
Curated/Organized by: Sergio Hernandez, Laura Vena & Janice Lee

7:00 pm
Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Armory
145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, California 91103

With guests:
Joe Milazzo
Vanessa Place
Bradley Powell
& YOU!

This event will be an informal literary conversation where the goal is to promote a critical discourse of various literary concerns and to foster a productive and collaborative environment where writers can come together to engage, investigate, explore, interact, converse, and widen their aesthetic practice.

Please RSVP: 3strophe at gmail dot com

Joe Milazzo has scratched out a living as a postman, tutor, peddler of
rare books, librarian, freelance opinionator, master of arousal, HTML grease-monkey and editor-for-hire. Joe's writings on music and experimental sound practice have appeared in Copper Press, Paris Transatlantic Magazine, One Final Note and Bagatellen, for whom he served as Editor-In-Chief from 2003 to 2005. His literary criticism has been published in Electronic Book Review and The Dallas Morning News, and his fiction may be read in the pages of Chronometry (an anthology), Explorsion, Forces and elsewhere. Joe is also Associate Editor of the literary magazine Black Clock and co-founder of the online arts journal [out of nothing] (http://www.outofnothing.org). The holder of an MFA in Creative Writing from CalArts, Joe lives and works in Dallas, Texas.

"To be an author is to be more than as mere assembler of signs, however construed. To be an author is to be essentially concerned with issues of design. How are elements to be arranged spatially? Temporally? How does any given text define its own legibility? Its own livability? How do mobile, static, open, closed, vertical ("dimensional)"), horizontal ("flat"), conscious and unconscious phenomena interface so as to create an experience, however bizarre and permeable its contours, that we name "whole"? These same quandaries have long occupied those engaged with the design of civic spaces, and, with the help of three guides -- an architect (Kevin Lynch), a social critic (Richard Sennett) and a novelist (Alain Robbe-Grillet) -- together we will explore the potentially unsuspected ways in which a specific notion of planning can inform an otherwise rather different expression of craft."

Vanessa Place is a writer, a lawyer, and co-director of Les Figues Press.

This pure becoming is not a particular becoming of some corporeal entity, a passage of this entity from one to another state, but a becoming-it-itself, thoroughly extracted from its corporeal base. Since the predominant temporality of Being is that of the present (with past and future as its deficient modes), the pure becoming-without-being means that one should sidestep the present—it never “actually occurs,” it is “always forthcoming and already past.”
-Slavoj Žižek, Organs without Bodies

Bradley Powell is more information coming.

fade in:

Monster (V.O.)

The city was a hate crime. Its limitless boarders could never cage the beast. It sprawled everywhere – in the people they knew, in the places they had traveled, in the very ground they had walked upon. All around them. In the smallest and largest of things. And on the silver screen – that luminous projection – flickered a million images. Heard were the cries of a million voices. Their own. Familiar words of ethnography spoonfeed back to them in slick styled hard-boiled fiction. And though they said it merely to repeat themselves, the refrain felt good: Los Angeles … Los Angeles…

Film as monster: Depictions, fictions, and assumptions lost.

Suggested Reading List: TBA

Please check back for more updates and details!