Poetry BookFair

December 15 – 21 2001

Poetry Book Fair and readings.

Nabokov, Evolution, and Insect Mimicry, lecture by Victoria N. Alexander

November 10, 2001

Emergent Teleology and Nabokov’s Aesthetics

Although Vladimir Nabokov may be better known for his outstanding literary achievements, he also had gift for science. While acting as curator at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology in the 1940s, he became an expert on a group of butterflies popularly known as “Blues.” He named one species and several have been named after him. He published nine articles on lepidoptery in prestigious scientific journals. During this time, he also developed compelling ideas about evolution. He argued that some instances of insect mimicry did not result from Darwinian survival strategies; that is, slight resemblances could not be furthered by the function or purpose they served, leading gradually to better resemblances. I contend that Nabokov’s understanding of the origins of biological forms can be compared to recent work in evolutionary biology, namely structural evolution and neutral evolution. I also argue it was Nabokov’s aesthetic interest in the mechanisms behind teleological phenomena that gave him the insight to construct a theory of mimicry that now appears quite progressive for its time.

Mike Piscitelli, Devolution- Opening Reception

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Mike Piscitelli, Devolution

November 3

Curated by Neil Grayson

November 3 – December 8, 2001

Curated by Neil Grayson

In “Devolution,” artist Mike Piscitelli has re-rendered photographs in a striking collection of red and black painted bitmaps. Bitmaps are commonly used in image-editing computer programs to represent images through a grid of small squares known as pixels. Piscitelli has appropriated the bitmap technique to create paintings that reveal their images by breaking them apart.

As the name suggests, the works in “Devolution” follow a controlled pattern of deteriorating detail. As pixels are added and removed, the images they represent are surrendered and re-rendered at varying distances.

The paintings take their images from Piscitelli’s photographs of friends and models. The figures are starkly androgynous, suggesting a sexual, as well as graphic, retrogression. Thin and free from curves or irregularities, their bodies recall the innocent and straightforward, though nonetheless charged, eroticism of adolescence. Simple, direct poses and a preference for anonymous parts over expressive eyes reveal a decided rejection of the innuendo and role playing typical of the figure in art and fashion photography.

Piscitelli is a young, New York-based artist. Rather than the university or art school, Piscitelli came up through the ranks of porn, fashion photography, and music videos. His photography and video work displays an unusually perceptive connection to youth culture. A series of promotional video shorts Piscitelli directed for MTV earned him an Art Directors’ Club award for Outstanding New Talent.

The connection between popular and fine art is undeniable in contemporary culture. Rather than apprenticeships and a mastery of classical painting techniques, today’s sharpest talent digests a canon of music videos, movies, television, and fashion magazines. “Devolution” examines the source and product of a contemporary artistic lineage.

“Devolution,” curated by Neil Grayson, contains Piscitelli’s first collection of large-scale paintings, an interactive installation, and a limited-edition hand-made chap book.

Opening Reception: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2001 6-8pm
Exhibition Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 1-6pm

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Yelena Yemchuk

October 5 – November 12 2002

Photography exhibit  entitled “Phenomena+Existence No. 1″  by artist Yelena Yemchuk.

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History, Memory, Trauma, lecture by Dominick LaCapra

September 28, 2001

History, Memory, Trauma,” a public lecture by Dominick LaCapra, recipient of the Dactyl award for aesthetic theory.

Ever since Theodor Adorno argued that “writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric,” all kinds of artists, not just poets, have been debating whether or not one can depict life optimistically. The Holocaust certainly questions how one can believe that every event ultimately serves some divine [continue...]

Laird Hunt

Sunday, September 23 2001

Laird Hunt, The Impossibly (Coffee House Press).

Keenan Milton

July 7, 2001

A memorial service for Keenan Milton with video screening.

Metropolis

June 7 &8 2001

Film screening, Fritz Lang’s 1926 landmark silent sci-fi film, With a new soundtrack by electronic musician Jeff Mills, with moderators: Anuj Desai, Editor in Chief, Black Book Magazine; Tara Anderson, Dactyl Foundation, presented by Black Book Magazine and Dactyl Foundation.

Book Party

May 10 2001

Book party with The Figures: On the Nameways (Vol.2) by Clark Coolidge, My Terza Rima by Michael Gizzi, Push The Mule by John Godfrey, Savage Baggage by Roger Mitchell, The Drift of Things by Terence Winch, Roof: Christophe Tarkos: Ma Langue est Poetique–Selected Writings, Vocoder by Judith Goldman, Free Will by Craig Watson, Pen Chants By Lissa Wolsak.

“The Poet, The Critic, & The Interpreter: A Crash Course,”

April 26 2001

A public lecture under the title “The Poet, The Critic & The Interpreter: A Crash Course”

Angus Fletcher (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Graduate School, CUNY)
Respondents:
Nico Israel (Asst. Prof, English, Hunter College, CUNY; critic, Artforum International Magazine)
and Victoria N. Alexander (Dactyl Foundation)
Hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:30. Lecture begins at 7pm.


Dominick LaCapra, 2001 essay award recipient

2001

Award Recipient: Dominick LaCapra, “Trauma, Absence, Loss,” in Writing History, Writing Trauma (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, 2000)

In his essay, “Trauma, Absence, Loss,” Dominick LaCapra shows a sensitive understanding of the subtleties of deconstructive technique, and then, without refuting any of its claims, he advances the next intellectual step that takes us beyond postmodernism and into a [continue...]

Judy Glantzman, works on paper

April 7-May 21, 2001

Works on Paper by Judy Glantzman. Curated by Neil Grayson [continue...]

Richard Howard and Susan Wheeler

April 4 2001

Antioch Review 60th Anniversary Celebration.

Richard Sandler

March 15 2001


The Gods of Times Square, a documentary by Richard Sandler.
Introduction by Tara Anderson, discussion with the artist to follow

Before the Disneyfication of the melting-pot mecca, Times Square was home to religious zealots offering every kind of strident redemption. Street journalist and documentarian Richard Sandler has created a cinema verite film on the rich characters of New York’s secular cathedral of skyscrapers.

An encore presentation of the critically acclaimed documentary

Re-edited with new footage

Winner 1999, Best Documentary, Chicago Underground Film Festival
Winner 1999, Audience Award, Popcorn International Film Festival

First Screening at Dactyl: February 28th, 2000

Washington Market School

Mar 10 2001

An exhibition of children’s artwork entitled Small Works 11 curated by the Washington Market School.

Ken Kobland

Feb 22 2001

A video screening of work by Ken Kobland.

Brett Vapnek

February 15, 2001

A film screening of Dream Machine by Brett Vepnek starring Mary Timony.

Edizioni Mazzotta

Feb 6 2001

Publication party celebrating Edizioni Mazzotta’s monograph on Norman Bluhm.

Norman Jewison

Jan 10 2001

A screening of work by artist Norman Jewison.