Daily Postings
Art : Oral History

Adger Cowans

by Carrie Mae Weems

BOMB’s Oral History Project documents the life stories of New York City’s African-American artists.

Adger Cowans is a renowned fine arts photographer and painter whose works have been shown by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, International Museum of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum of Harlem, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Harvard Fine Art Museum, Detroit Art Institute, James E. Lewis Museum and numerous other art institutions. His photographs were highlighted in the exhibition, Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2001. Cowans was awarded the Lorenzo il Magnifico alla Carriera in recognition of a Distinguished Career at the 2001 Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art. In 2015, Glitterati, Inc. will be publishing a book of his work.

Cowans attended Ohio University where he received a BFA in photography. He furthered his education at the School of Motion Picture Arts and School of Visual Arts in New York. While serving in the United States Navy, he worked as a photographer before moving to New York, where he later worked with Life magazine photographer, Gordon Parks and fashion photographer, Henri Clarke. The New York Times described Cowans’ work as “Boldly inventive and experimental ... the artist is a craftsman to his fingertips.”

Funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts with The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, with additional funding from the Dedalus Foundation and New York Community Trust, as well as A G Foundation and Toni L. Ross.

BOMB’s Oral History Advisory Panel is Sanford Biggers, Thelma Golden, Kellie Jones, Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Stanley Whitney, and Jack Whitten.

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Art : Interview

Keith Haring: Languages

by Andrew Blackley Johanna Burton Scott Treleaven

Ciphers, graffiti hieroglyphs, and lateral communication.

This conversation between Andrew Blackley, Johanna Burton, and Scott Treleaven is the third and final component of Keith Haring: Languages. It supplements an exhibition at the Fales Library and Special Collections (NYU) of 130 never-before-exhibited, understudied artworks and documents held by the Keith Haring Foundation. A conference featuring nine speakers coincided with the exhibition's opening, bringing together figures from across academic and professional disciplines in order to publicly address the lineages available in these text-based materials as adjacent and precedent to the more well-known visual art of Haring’s later career. The text below threads together the major themes from Keith Haring: Languages—historicity, methodology, and the readership of artists’ writings and papers as substantive material and theoretical categories.

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Music : Interview

Graham Lambkin

by Matt Krefting

Childhood memories, dinosaurs, ghosts, and "other vaguely aquatic forms intermingling."

Graham Lambkin first came to public attention in the 1990s as a member of the band the Shadow Ring. He is also an accomplished visual artist, lending his art to countless record sleeves and maintaining a steady home practice of drawing, painting, and collage. Since 2009, the London-based Penultimate Press has published four books by Lambkin, including the recent Came to Call Mine, a gorgeous book of poems and drawings described by the artist as “a children’s book for adults.” The book’s release coincided with an exhibit of the same name held at Audio Visual Arts in Manhattan, as well as with Lambkin’s first-ever solo musical performances. Twenty years since the release of his first record, we see a host of fresh firsts for the artist.

One gets the sense that Graham Lambkin sees the world through a very peculiar lens. His observations on the mundane are often startling, though rarely far-fetched. William Burroughs said of Denton Welch that Welch “makes the reader aware of the magic that is right under his eyes,” and the same could be said of Lambkin. He looks at an everyday object and sees an ocean of possibility.

The following conversation was held in my living room, spread out on the carpet, nursing a few beers, and enjoying each other’s company.

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Literature : Word Choice

Four Poems

by Darin Ciccotelli

Assistance

You have the vague hope. Like a fritillary
it ekes along the perimeter of what
you can see. It is some consequence of youth,
this idea that you can be revived.
Until then, each day seems like that
apartment you’ve lived in—unfurnished,
wet with primer. Then the weekend is gone,
television having usurped it with
the dressage portion of the event. Increasingly
you rely on the idea that you were nearly
understood. The sky all fumes.
Inside, a refrigerated lily holds itself
still. The post-industrial town fits its
hours in envelopes. So you assuage yourself
with the person you never knew.
She sits in the mind like a
telephone. The feeling can’t help be
compounded. I read the article that said
we weren’t supposed to look each
other in the eyes. Without being asked,
the unceremonious plot resets itself. You are
in love. Everyone, at every corner,
suddenly like road flares.

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Literature : Interview

Kate Durbin

by Gabriela Jauregui

Literary television, tragicomic starlets, and objects galore.

Kate Durbin and I sat together to gossip and eat pink food on her pink leather sofa—the only fit way to celebrate the publication of her most recent book, E! Entertainment, which was printed on pink paper. She wore a pink angora sweater (she’s always a little cold) and I wore a pink Lycra jumpsuit (and was therefore too hot). We had fish eggs, salmon, radishes, wild strawberries, Pink Lady apple tart with blush crème fraîche, and a dry rosé wine while we discussed the best shade of nail polish (powder rose) as well as writing and process. In the background the television set was muted and I could see flashes of a gemstone infomercial.

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Events

Read BOMB Daily

August 13th - 7:00pm
Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop
126A Front St,
Brooklyn, NY 11201


A selection of readings by contributors to BOMB Magazine's daily supplement! Featuring:

Jenn Joy
Sasha Fletcher
Bethany Ball
Michael Barron
Virginia McLure
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Film : Interview

Josef Kubota Wladyka

by Gary M. Kramer

Companionship and levity emerge from the exploitation of the drug trade.

Manos Sucias, co-written and directed by Josef Kubota Wladyka, is a tense and urgent drama. The ripped-from-the-headlines story has nineteen-year-old Delio (Cristian James Abvincula) and Jacobo (Jarlin Javier Martinez) transporting a torpedo full of drugs to a rendezvous spot in the middle of the ocean off the Pacific coast of Colombia. Their journey—a coming of age road movie set on the water—has the pair encountering racism and setbacks as they also contemplate their future.

Wladyka, who deservedly won the Best New Narrative Director at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, has created a gritty but lyrical drama. Many of the elements in Manos Sucias are palpable—from the heat that beats down on the characters, right down to the rocking of the boat. Wladyka shrewdly makes the characters’ moments of boredom and anxiety interesting and authentic by emphasizing the space—from a cramped boat on the open water to the barrios and jungles the characters inhabit. The film memorably conveys a vibrant sense of time and place.

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Art : Portfolio
Literature : Word Choice

from Blonde Summer

by Andrew Durbin

In Basel, I smoked hash and listened to Sophie’s “Bipp,” a little out of date by the time I heard it, zoning out on the line I can make you feel better. I used to think life was about feeling better and searching for the better in what is not. I have now realized that there are errors in this pursuit.

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Music : Interview

OOIOO

by Scott Davis

Nature, melody, and the primal urge to make music.

Yoshimio joined Yamatsuka Eye in the noise band UFO or Die in 1987, and, the next year, joined Eye as drummer (among many other roles) in the seminal and highly influential Boredoms. Aside from Eye, she is the longest running member of that experimental project. In 1996, she was asked to do a photoshoot for a magazine and asked a few of her girlfriends to join her. They created a fake band called OOIOO for the shoot, but then decided to make it real. Gamel, the band’s eighth album, marks a shift in their sound with the addition two new members who are both trained in the the traditional Indonesian music of gamelan.

Although she was here last year for a few one off performances, including Doug Aitken's Station to Station event last year with Hisham Bharoocha and Ryan Sawyer and a performance at Union Pool with Ikue Mori, it's been seven years since Yoshimio—who recently added the o to her name—and OOIOO have graced American soil. With a seven date tour starting on July 15 in Chicago, Yoshimio and company bring their flowing, organic, and genre-less music to the States in support of their new album.

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Art : Interview

Coco Fusco

by Elia Alba

Being a provocateur, Planet of the Apes, and the "wow" factor of Cuban Art.

The complex structures of power and control have preoccupied performance artist, writer, and curator Coco Fusco for over 20 years. In A Room of One’s Own: Women and Power in the New America (2008), a performance lecture explores the expanding role of American women in the War on Terror.

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Music : Interview

Chris Corsano

by Michael Barron

The cross-pollination of noise and high-energy improvised music.

The first time I saw the drummer Chris Corsano perform live, it had been out of his usual element. Corsano, a beloved figure in the noise improv music scene, was on stage at Radio City Music Hall as Björk’s live drummer during her Volta tour. It was an unlikely juxtaposition of two master stylists: Corsano is the lion king of improvisational drumming, but there is no room for improvisation in Björk’s music. Somehow, it worked out. Last month, when I caught a live set with him and guitarist Bill Orcutt jamming it up at Baby’s All Right, the bombastic ecstasy of their performance had the audience whooping and hollering.

For Corsano, who has drummed on over one hundred records, it is easier to appear on an album than it is to record something independently. Such a statement is not something to be taken lightly. He has only recorded a small clutch of solo albums, including his grand experimental percussive record, The Young Cricketer (2006), and Blood Pressure (2007) which features no drumming at all. Cut (2012) is his latest.

This conversation took place on a stoop in Brooklyn in June of 2014.

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Literature : Word Choice

Three Poems

by Gale Nelson

Lasting Cure’s Ideal

Filters draw on water’s flow, spell specks
in unfit draw and bring the well
past clouds. After such, quench every
thirst. Exceed thirst, drip on this water’s tap
as thirst extracts a fine drench. The
ooze infecting us panders and
enters flooded senses—
it logs up past swollen pipes,
and wading past tap’s flow, engulfs
tide’s water. Quench anew, but
floods anew swell even now. Quench
the thirst after water ebbs—endow
extended bursts as if a tap’s
long oozing lurks—bottom’s up. As
ice melts, fountains blend the ice
and coil water—long drench that well.

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Literature : Interview

David Ohle

by JA Tyler

Camera-eye in the future ruin, “freedom” prison, and cutting up the news.

One of the most frightening and brilliant aspects of David Ohle’s futuristic novels is how eerily they parallel our own landscape. Motorman (1972), The Age of Sinatra (2004), The Pisstown Chaos (2008), and Boons and The Camp (2009) all share the same backdrop, a realm not explicitly said to be post-apocalyptic, but certainly one where the workings of the world have been inhumanely redefined and most of its inhabitants struggle for life and scrap for sustenance—physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Ohle’s latest foray into this world is The Blast (Calamari Press, 2014), which centers on Wencel, a teenager at St. Cuthbert’s Boys Academy, a school unafraid to torture and maim students for their grooming habits; and Wencel’s mother, whose daily combat is to make what little they have count, braving the “souk” market and the threat of wild and vicious poodles, all the while attempting to instill her own slim virtues on her son as best she can. Wencel’s father reappears mid-novel, too, having been arrested for stealing a radio, then released from his sentence as another victim of an awful and rampant illness—one that turns people into husks of their former selves, with bodies that no longer require food or sleep, but tooth pullings and odor shellac instead.

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: Paper Clip
Art : Interview

Chris Domenick

by Natasha Marie Llorens

From science to cyber-punk: an artist and a curator read his works via books.

While he works primarily in sculpture and large-scale drawings that read like sculpture, Chris Domenick also composes performative lectures that sketch a chain of associations between 30–50 images over the course of 15 minutes. These lectures are (perhaps) exercises in widening the viewer’s capacity for associative reading. They try to forge an understanding between materials, objects, images, and fragments of history. I didn’t get something basic about Domenick’s objects—their layered literacy—until I saw the lectures and watched him slideetween reading surfaces.

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Literature : Podcast

Contemporary Poetry Marathon Reading

The NADA Contemporary Poetry Marathon Reading from May 10, 2014.

Contemporary Poetry was a marathon reading featuring thirty emerging and established poets, which took place on May 10, 2014 at NADA New York. This is a podcast of the program with portraits of the poets by Mariah Robertson, which also serves as the announcement for Contemporary Poetry Too, a postscript to the first reading.

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Music : Interview

Skygreen Leopards

by Andrew Aylward

Short, sweet, and sad (but funny).

The California psychedelic pop duo Skygreen Leopards releases its latest full-length, Family Crimes, on Woodsist on July 8th. Songwriters Glenn Donaldson and Donovan Quinn split their time between a bevy of other musical endeavors—New Bums (among others) for Quinn—that run the gamut from experimental noise to macabre chamber pop. In these two auteurs' universe of bands and side projects, the Leopards are but one planet in the solar system. As a duo, Donaldson and Quinn possess a formidable discography, which dates back to 2001 and represents an aesthetic that owes much to the melodious, hook-heavy songwriting of The Byrds and The Monkees as well as to the eccentricities of groups like Beat Happening or The Go-Betweens.

Family Crimes manages to fit fourteen songs into thirty minutes, and accordingly reads as a leaner body of songwriting when compared to the band's earlier records, which sometimes favored psychedelic atmospherics over pop tune craft. Simple drum beats and persistently strummed rhythm guitars underpin woozy keyboard lines and husky vocal melodies from both Donaldson and Quinn. The production was handled by San Francisco's Jason Quever, and the breathy shimmer that in some ways is his studio signature, exemplified on his own records as Papercuts, is well suited to Family Crimes's overarching theme of sunny, short and sweet songs.

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Art : Portfolio

Portfolio

by Till Gathmann

A research project about a self-taught scholar, the history of writing, and the alphabet.

Alfred Kallir's fascination with the letter V begins in 1942 in London, after Winston Churchill's famous "V is for victory" gesture. Born in Vienna in 1899, Kallir was a self-taught scholar whose research focused solely on the study of the alphabet. In his will, he drew up plans for an institution, called "V-Forum," that would carry on his legacy, but one was never founded.

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Art : Interview

Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler

by Irina Arnaut

Where cinema and video overlap: the filmmakers on their subjects, process, and recent exhibitions.

I met Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler in 2011. They were teaching at Bard, where I was getting my MFA. That summer I was working on a video of four ambiguously related vignettes that included, among other scenes, a talking mushroom and a woman slow-dancing with her dog. The narrative approach tended toward the experimental, but the aesthetic sensibility was unabashedly cinematic. One day, during a small critique, a fellow student said, “If you're going to be doing anything filmic, you should probably meet with Teresa and Alex.” I promptly nagged them for a visit. Working in the obscure space where cinema and video overlap, I was grateful to talk with Teresa and Alexander about the possibilities of developing a nuanced, critical relationship with an audience, a narrative, and even the camera, through the structures that cinema offers. We had this email conversation on the occasion of Eight, Eighteen, their recent exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, and Sound Speed Marker, a show that includes a trilogy of videos shot over the last five years, at Ballroom Marfa in Texas, which is up through August 10.

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Paper Clip
Music : Interview

Georgia

by Nick Earhart

Multitasking, over thinking and how music is like working out.

Justin Tripp and Brian Close have put together a sort of creative ecosystem. As Georgia, they make music and do video and design work, both for themselves and a range of client-collaborators. Across their prodigious output there remains a sense of continuity—the smaller, more experimental projects counterbalance the high-profile promotional spots, and the whole thing holds itself in orbit, with its own gravity.

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Literature : Interview

Jeff Jackson

by Joyelle McSweeney

Trauma, gatekeeping, and a bid for the youth cult of decadence.

Jeff Jackson’s intensely lyrical first novel, Mira Corpora, arrived dressed in praise from such authors as Dennis Cooper, Don DeLillo, and David Gates, and made many of last year’s top ten lists. This triumphant reception is happily at odds with the minor-chord timbre of Mira Corpora, which traces an unnamed protagonist as he is shot from the cannon of a mythically violent childhood through various lives of estrangement and intimacy, nomadism and arrival, pleasure and fright. Throughout the book, Jackson’s prose style continually astonishes, tossing up hot sugar-clouds of language that cool into fatal blades. The straits our hero endures—not to say survives—are both impossible and somehow plausible, surreal and all too real in the brightly lit misery-scape that is contemporary America. Our homeless speaker is both everyman and nowhere man, prone to wander and tugged stumbling along by a mysterious inclination toward the hidden and the bright.

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