the Rest is Noise

The rest is noise is an amazingly ambitious undertaking by the Southbank centre, an attempt to reflect upon the cultural force of the early 20th century in America and Europe and all that entails, speading its roots into art, poetry, music...This really is the period that possesses my work and research most, my interests being the early avant gardes, Dada, Eastern Europe, fin de siecle culture, Austria, Judaism, Russia and so on. I was lucky enough to be invited to be involved in two events over the America weekend.

The first event focused on EE Cummings and Wallace Stevens. I introduced, contextualised and led the questions - Matthew Caley was talking about Cummings’ work, and Oli Hazzard did the same relating to Wallace Stevens.The event was called Wallace Stevens and EE Cummings - America: a new world discovers its voice (1910 – 1945) held in the blue bar. I thought both Matthew and Oli spoke remarkably well, both such brilliant poets and interesting men, it was such a pleasure to be part of this event, and it had an impressive audience too.

The following day I gave a Bite lecture on Dada and ethics, talking about my research, and my theory about Dada and its ethical impetus, its drive to destroy traditional aesthetics, and how this travelled from Bukovina to Brooklyn, its beginnings in northern Romania... The focus also leaned toward New York dada, to stay on theme, for this talk. It went ok, I rambled a bit, winged a lot, spoke without notes, so it could've been better but overall flowed out alright. A tug on the thames interrupted me with its horn, which was appropriate. 

The others speakers were wonderful, some interesting stuff on the Spanish civil war and the Armoury dada show in NY, and Diane Silverthorn's talk on Mondrian in New York blew me away, an amazing woman, immensely down to earth and funny. The audience was also fantastic, intimidatingly big. To be part of an undertaking, if only a small part, this sizeable and ambitious and comprehensive, and to get to speak about a subject I am so passionate about, as though I were expert, will always be a privilege.