We look forward to seeing you this September at &Now: Points of Convergence!
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Registration questions: iasinfo@uw.edu.

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Saturday, September 21 • 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Abstraction, Engagement, and Time: the Politics of Form

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In what ways can creative works inform and dictate politics? Three panelists discuss how art can influence social and political change.

Deborah Meadows will read from her book Lecture Notes: a duration poem in twelve parts, which was derived from notes taken during lectures of the ongoing Cal Tech series from March 14, 2007 to November 9, 2007 in Pasadena, California. She explores how time may be more, or different, than “seat time” or “time served” on one’s body, in one’s thought, one’s desire. Relying heavily on readers for critique and engaged reading of the ways that capital markets or human behavior are examined in projects, the background assumptions of virtue, worth, intention, the state of being informed, and how advanced scientific and other research may outstrip our current sets of vocabularies and representations and show those sets for the exhausted garments they are. Interleaved between each set of notes are excerpts from poets, artists, and thinkers such as Eva Hesse, Robert Smithson, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Alain Badiou, Melvin B. Tolson.

Choreographer Merce Cunningham and Composer John Cage worked through an era of intense social and political change without addressing those changes directly in their work. Nevertheless, those works were profoundly of the time. The dance/music pieces Cunningham and Cage produced created an open field that the audience entered in order to complete the work, becoming the third point in a triangle. In this hybrid critical-creative presentation, “Rehearsing in Silence,” Maya Sonenberg will explore ways in which an artistic practice itself can be intensely political, challenging viewers’ assumptions while making space for a convergence of views.

Cole Swensen’s project "Landscape Alive" is based on a convergence of poetry and art criticism and explores the work of landscape artists who have taken an inherently phenomenological approach, emphasizing participation and inclusion in the landscape rather than the separation upon which traditional landscape art relies. Swensen will present poems/essays on Robert Smithson's Mirror Displacements in the Yucatan and Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Running Fence. She will discuss how each of these works redefined the terms of landscape art by emphasizing participation in their given environments and how they present landscape art as engagement rather than as detached observation, encourage an increased sense of belonging to, and thus responsibility for, the earth, honoring it as our sole condition of possibility.

avatar for Deborah Meadows

Deborah Meadows

Deborah Meadows is an Emerita faculty member with California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles’ Arts District/Little Tokyo. Her recent books are: Lecture Notes: A duration poem in twelve parts (BlazeVOX books, 2018), The Demotion of... Read More →
avatar for Maya Sonenberg

Maya Sonenberg

professor, University of Washington
Maya Sonenberg is the author of two story collections and numerous essays. Her most recent hybrid work is the chapbook After the Death of Shostakovich Père. She teaches creative writing at the University of Washington--Seattle, where she has served as Director of Creative Writing... Read More →

Cole Swensen

Cole Swensen is the author of 17 volumes of poetry, most recently Landscapes on a Train (Nightboat, 2015) and On Walking On (Nightboat, 2017). Most of her books are based on research projects, often exploring issues of land-from gardens and parks, involving questions of public vs... Read More →

Saturday September 21, 2019 1:15pm - 2:30pm PDT