Tonight as part of Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain, ISSUE is pleased to present the east coast premiere of WOODSLIPPERCOUNTERCLATTER, the fourth collaboration in a decade from poet Susan Howe and musician / composer David Grubbs. Veering away from the stuttering, profoundly fragmented seance of Frolic Architecture (2011), Howe and Grubbs present a sound-work that germinates from new, unpublished Susan Howe text collages (Tom Tit Tot, Childe Roland, Paul Thek, W.B.Yeats, etc.) blended with the resonant sounds and represented spaces of a grand piano and field recordings made in Boston's Gardner Museum. The night opens with a solo guitar set by Grubbs.
PROGRAM UPDATE: Due to personal reasons, Marina Rosenfeld will no longer perform this evening. Rosenfeld returns to ISSUE Dec. 7th as part of Swedish Energies.
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain– a two-month festival celebrating ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary– revisits seminal past projects and initiates new relationships with over 60 artists working across disciplines of sound, dance, performance, and literature. Presented as a series of 24 evenings of provocative double billings, Ten Years Alive blurs the boundaries between divergent disciplines and practices and celebrating the vibrancy of the Brooklyn experimental arts community.
David Grubbs is an associate professor in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY, where he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing. He is the author of the forthcoming book Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording (Duke University Press). Grubbs has released twelve solo albums and appeared on more than 150 commercially-released recordings. He is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with writers such as Susan Howe and Rick Moody, and with visual artists such as Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, and Stephen Prina. Grubbs was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and he has performed with the Red Krayola, Will Oldham, Royal Trux, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, and Mats Gustafsson, among many others. More recently Grubbs played in Noël Akchoté’s ensemble, performing Carlo Gesualdo’s fifth book of madrigals in an arrangement for five guitars. He appears in Augusto Content’s new documentary film Parallax Sounds, and in March 2013 Grubbs and Angela Bulloch presented their new performance work The Wired Salutation at the Centre Pompidou. Grubbs is a member of the ISSUE Project Room Board of Directors.
Susan Howe, one of the preeminent poets of her generation, is known for innovative verse that crosses genres and disciplines in its theoretical underpinnings and approach to history. Layered and allusive, her work draws on early American history and primary documents, weaving quotation and image into poems that often revise standard typography. Howe’s interest in the visual possibilities of language can be traced back to her initial interest in painting: Howe earned a degree from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts in 1961, and enjoyed some success with gallery shows in New York. In addition to painting, Howe studied acting in Dublin. According to Bruce Campbell, “Susan Howe is a kind of post-structuralist visionary.” Campbell went on to explain: “This means that, while attuned to a transcendental possibility, she is fully aware of how mediated both language and consciousness are. This awareness leads her to acknowledge and investigate history, but, recognizing, as she does, the "infinite miscalculation of history," she cannot accept history as truth. Yet, truth be told, neither can she ignore history.” Over a career spanning forty years, Howe has returned again and again to the problems and possibilities of history. Thematically, much of her work also centers on themes of existence, remembering, and the unique position of the female gender in relation to history and the written word. Howe last performed at ISSUE in 2011 with David Grubbs.