Stir & The Ghost In Us Was Multiplying: Barry Schwabsky, Marianne Nowottny and Brent Armendinger at Bas Fisher Invitational


Barry Schwabsky & Marianne Nowottny’s


Brent Armendinger’s



Tuesday, April 7th, 2017

7:30 pm

In collaboration with O, Miami Poetry Festival, BFI presents Barry Schwabsky and Marianne Nowottny reading new compositions of poetry and electronic music, as well as a reading from poet Brent Armendinger. Brent will read from his book The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying, an exploration of the relationship between ethics and desire.

There's a rampant nostalgia these days in New York for the city that was and no longer is. A city of cheap lofts and artistic experimentation has been swapped for big box stores, glass towers, and market-proven art. Seamless and tidy, I'm beginning to feel that New York is much like Paris: a place where once great things happened, but now we go there to pay homage to a mythic past where such wonders took place. Paris is a tomb. New York is quickly becoming one.
And yet there are pockets of resistance. You're holding one in your hands (or more likely streaming one through your infrathin aether). There's something old-fashioned -- I dare say impure -- about a musician and a poet creating a set of crystalline miniatures, both in scale and in inception, hearkening back to an earlier time when it was only natural for disciplines to be truly crossed. Think of Judson Church: on any given night you'd have poets dancing and musicians painting pictures, all on the same stage. But things began to change in the Seventies, when if you could name what you did, you had a good chance of getting grants for it. And once that happened, the arts remained forever separate.

Don't look back. The Twenty-first century is invisible. We were promised jetpacks but ended up with handlebar moustaches. The surface of things is the wrong place to find the Twenty-first century. Instead listen closely: you'll hear that the unseen, the impure, the horizontal, and the uncanniness of this music locates you firmly in the present. The uncomfortably strange meets the comfortingly familiar. Impossible to deny or improve, this disc at once exudes gravity & conviction, a power born of two mature artists collaborating at the very height of their powers, bucking both trends and time, in order to be completely contemporary.

-Excerpt from Kenneth Goldsmith from A Voice Hears You from Mysterious Places, by Barry Schwabsky & Marianne Nowottny

Barry Schwabsky is the art critic of The Nation. Schwabsky has been writing about art for the magazine since 2005, and his essays have appeared in many other publications, including Flash Art (Milan), Artforum, theLondon Review of Books and Art in America. His books include The Widening Circle: Con¬sequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art, Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting and several volumes of poetry, the most recent being Book Left Open in the Rain (Black Square Editions/The Brooklyn Rail). Schwabsky has contributed to books and catalogs on artists such as Henri Matisse, Alighiero Boetti, Jessica Stockholder and Gillian Wearing, and has taught at the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, New York University, Goldsmiths College (University of London) and Yale University.

Brent Armendinger was born in Warsaw, New York, and studied at Bard College and the University of Michigan. In addition to THE GHOST IN US WAS MULTIPLYING, a book of poems from Noemi Press, Armendinger has published two chapbooks, Undetectable and Archipelago. His work has appeared in many journals, including Aufgabe, Bateau, Bloom, Bombay Gin, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, LIT, Puerto del Sol, RECAPS Magazine, Volt and WebConjunctions. In 2013, Armendinger was awarded a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at Pitzer College, where he is an Associate Professor of English and World Literature.

Marianne Nowottny has released numerous CDs over the past fourteen years, including Skymother Mountain: a selection of poems by Li Bái and Divine Cantos: based on Dante’s Divina Commedia. Recently she provided the soundtrack to Provocative Dramas by Arch Oboler, a CD featuring two plays by one of radio’s most entertaining and influential writers.