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Document 45: I Saw (New York)

New York, 16–18 September 2016

Friday, September 16

Erica Hunt
Marty Ehrlich
Kit Robinson
Alan Bernheimer
Miles Champion
Michael Lally

Ted Greenwald Memorial Reading

Saturday, September 17

Benjamin Coopersmith

Urban gardens, Lower East Side
East River Walk

Rashid Johnson @ Hauser & Wirth W 18 Street
Oscar Murillo @ David Zwirner W 19 Street
Wu Jian’an @ Chambers Fine Art W 19 Street
Maleko Mokgosi @ Jack Shainman W 20 Street
Fred Sandback @ David Zwirner W 20 Street
… More

Event 38: I Met (Memorial Site)

23–26 August 2013

My father died on 23 August 2013, and I posted a brief account below. The response of many friends, writers, colleagues, family—in several media but primarily on Facebook—was both moving and helpful. I want to record the names of those who responded here, making a kind of guestbook for the memorial event this page now is.

Heidi Eichbauer
Stephen Vincent
Susan Schultz
Ben Friedlander
Nada Gordon
Ben Lee
Ruth Lepson
Christine Neufield
Nataša Kovacevic
Scott MacLeod
… More

Document 28: In Memory

rhw

Artist: Shiy De-Jinn;
photo: Jan Watten

In memory
Raymond Henry Watten
20 August 1922–23 August 2013

Minneapolis, MN–Santa Rosa, CA

HOME

On Summit Street
across from a marble
monument, a large spray-
painted sign with his
initials in red block
letters. The background
is black. Next to the initials,
RHW, is a high contrast
image, a snapshot of him.
It is late summer, a
humid afternoon with slight
breeze. A bus goes by.
He comes out to meet it.

—from Opera—Works (1975)

I was a new arrival at the Iowa Writers Workshop, c. 1971–72. Given the kind of confessional, autobiographical, narrative poetry the workshop cared about, workshop leader Marvin Bell thought to prompt: “Write a poem about your father!” This is what I came up with. I did not return with a poem in which I was sharpening a tool behind the woodshed, wondering what to do next. The red-on-black high-contrast image appears to be a screen image for Salvador Allende, killed in the Chilean coup in 1973. My father did not represent Pinochet, but he was in his career a military officer and research doctor during the Vietnam War. He wrote a thoughtful support letter in my campaign to resist the draft, I should add. The location of the image (imagined) translates the psychogeographies of Charles Olson and Robert Smithson onto the quotidian landscape of Iowa City. Of course all such cultural references are to my own family romance. It strikes me that the season and weather described in the poem are those of today precisely, 23 August 2013, while in the poem, the bus and his emergence from the “home” of the title do not coincide. As now they just did.

… More

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Engagement ceremony
Asa Watten and Sony Rane
Solon, Ohio
4 August 2013

What you are seeing in this photo: it’s traditional for many Hindu-Indians to exchange rings at an engagement ceremony called Sakar Puda (literal translated as “sugar packet”). Rings are typically not exchanged at the wedding. Instead, where Sony is from (Maharashtra) grooms give a gold necklace with black beads (called a Mangalsutra). Our brief Sakar Puda also included an exchange of new clothes (Sony is wearing the sari Carla bought her in the photo) and a gift of a coconut and five different fruits. Other women in the community also gave Sony fruits and rice as a blessing and symbol of prosperity. –Asa

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I Met (Amsterdam)
Reading @ Perdu
Hotel Lloyd, Amsterdam
30 July 2013
(After On Kawara)

Frank Keizer
Samuel Vriezen
Rachel O’Reilly
Mia You
Wouter Beek
Ton Van t’Hof
[t/k]

I Met (DE Research)
Kassel and Berlin, Germany
23-30 July 2013
(After On Kawara)

Petra Hinck
Donna Stonecipher
Wolfgang Erler
Josepha Conrad
Uljana Wolf
Christian Hawkey
Eugene Ostashevsky
Oya Ataman
Daniel Tiffany
Christine Wolf

Johnson County Courthouse, Iowa City.

I am reminded by Rod Smith’s move to Iowa City of my own arrival in January 1970. I had driven a driveaway Buick from California with several other students; stopped over in Iowa City to drop off my things and just miss an encounter with Alice Notley, then moving to New York; and brought the car to its owner near Kosciusko Boulevard in Chicago, returning by bus. That first night in Iowa City I slept in the car in front of the Johnson County Courthouse, a building renowned for its stolid but eerie architecture. In the morning, when I awoke, I saw farmers dragging fox carcasses up the stairs of the courthouse for bounty. … More

Event 01: I Met (Inutile)

I Met (inutile)
27–30 2009
MLA, Philadelphia
(after On Kawara)

Dawn Michelle Baude
Kaplan Harris
Sarah Schulman
Sarah Ruddy
Jonathan Eburne
Maria Damon
Paula Rabinowitz
Herman Rapaport
Ruth Jennison

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Entry 01: Site Construction

From its launch in January 2010, this site will continuously add new content: writings, events, critical and cultural theory, poetics, and links. The site architecture is built from motifs adapted from Herbert Bayer’s 2,000,000 Mark note produced for the Weimar Republic state of Thuringia—a prescient synthesis of social modernity, modern art, and financial disaster. Many thanks to Asa Watten for his artistic and technical expertise in making this project possible!