Published : my essay The Online Empire : on sex and poetry on Versopolis

Nice to have this essay on sex and poetry published, forever locked onto the internet, readable in perpetuity, appropriately, by Versopolis, and the european review of poetry books and culture. It was written for my book Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire, which is tangentially about pornography and will feature in an upcoming volume of my selected essays too. 

http://www.versopolis.com/long-read/604/the-online-empire-on-sex-and-poetry


"The whole business of eroticism is to destroy the self-contained character of the participators as they are in their normal lives.            Georges Bataille

You can never discover for yourself what you’ve been given. Bodies and knowledge, both. The primary purpose of this book is to worry about the division between the experienced and the perceived, and what is lost between that ever expanding gap.

Bataille suggests that you try to imagine yourself changing from the state you are in, to one in which your whole self is completely doubled. He means this to be a disturbance. He reminds us, you would not survive this process since the doubles you have turned into are essentially different from you. Each of these doubles is necessarily distinct from you as you are now, as while you’ve split into two new versions of yourself, you cannot be the same, twice over. A kind of procreation is what he is suggesting and the metaphor is about writing, I think. To mark the pages then release them is to indulge oneself, fundamentally, in a productive onanism. Cells dividing, with some of that division escaping you. No wonder it feels sad, a let down, to release things into the world......"

Published: Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire

I'm happy to announce the release of my new art book, from Hesterglock Press, released in limited-edition hardback first-print of just 40 copies, 20 of which have sold so far. The book is available to purchase here - Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire from my bigcartel page.

"A book that asks, abstractly, are letters shaped like bodies? Can words evoke faces, captured in a screen? Who, or what, is assimilating, who or what? Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire is a collection of art poems, hand wrought in black, grey, silver and white, fashioned with indian ink, paint and pen, worked with techniques that edge around writing, vying with abstraction, constantly harrying semantic meaning and legibility. 

Five years in the making, conceptually this is a book about sex, poetry and pornography and the disconnect between the former and the latter. These pages explore technology in its absence and aim to evidence the power of materiality and the body, and our hands, that are still required for touch."

"Searching AOAE online (Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire) shows a YouTube clip of Japanese cats mating. What's a word in any case if not a monster? A monster that eats words. The toner explodes on the office carpet spilling out a perfectly formed oeuvre. Serifs skywrite like migrating gannets. The rorschach accidentally tells you what to think. The printed facsimile becomes original when the world goes JavaScript. The dollar sign is a duck walking backwards into a lake. The ATM dispenses glyphs. How do we know people have faces when they take the day off work? The tank rolls over the charcoal leaving a map of Iraq or a new version of Cathay. We're back in the world of Artaud's final journal where, thank fuck (and at last) we're not being told what to think. Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire is an almighty triumph, a well-earned relief. Picasso said it took a lifetime to learn to paint like a child. Or, for that matter, like the mad." Chris McCabe

A note on: Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire, a book of marks

Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire : a book I am working a lot on at the moment, in the studio, with inks and experiments, for publication later in 2017 with Blart Books. AOAE will be one of the triology of poembrut books I release this year, and centred on the pansemic tradition, mark marking, material, sexuality, amoeba's and ... I'm writing essays for each of these three books too, to go in the back, not to explain but to discuss and am revisiting much Michaux and Bataille for AOAE.

Published: two works from Aletta Ocean Empire in The New Post Literate

Michael Jacobsen is doing a grand job at his e-journal The New Post Literate in collecting and documenting contemporary explorations of the asemic poetry and abstract writing which is a big interest and concern of mine in practise and especially in my teaching nowadays.

This will culminate in a new book next year with Blart Books, ( http://blartmagazine.jimdo.com/blart-books/ ) entitled Aletta Ocean Empire. It will bring together a series of hand rendered ink and handwritten abstracts and illustrated texts. Two of the early works have now been published.

http://thenewpostliterate.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/3-excerpts-from-forthcoming-book-aletta.html

Kakania Berlin - May 9th : 7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum

7.30pm at Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin kulturforum berlin: kulturforumberlin.at 
ree Entry - May Monday 9th 2016
Stauffenbergstraße 1, 10785 Berlin. T: +49 30 202 87-114 E: berlin-kf (at) bmeia.gv.at

Very happy to announce that the Kakania project will debut in Berlin, with six new literary performance commissions from contemporary artists, each of whom will present a work that celebrates / responds to a figure from the Habsburg era. The event is free to attend if you're in Berlin, please share with friends in the city if you're not http://www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniaberlin

Book your place here: http://www.kulturforumberlin.at/veranstaltung/kakania/

Max Höfler on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas Salome
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Tomomi Adachi on Josef Matthias Hauer
Ernesto Estrella on Gustav Mahler
Ann Cotten on Otto Neurath

This is the first of two Kakania events that will take place in Berlin in 2016, supported by Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin and follows six events, a symposium, two publications and over fifty new artist commissions in London from 2014 to 2016 thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum. www.kakania.co.uk 

About Kakania

There has been no one city's culture, at one singular time in modern history, more widely influential on contemporary thought than that of Habsburg Vienna a century ago. A time so densely constituted with intellectual revolution in fields as diverse as poetry, fiction, journalism, music, composition, philosophy, psychology, art … that it seems it can often only be evoked through a wistfulness that belies the melancholy, the energy and the seismic change that constituted it.

With Kakania, decidedly contemporary, avant-garde, original works of text and art are presented in an attempt to be as complex and genre testing as the works, and the people, they are responsive to. This is a project where the past, and our understanding of it, is not be refracted through historical analysis, but the creative process, and one that is utterly contemporary. Kakania is an opportunity for audiences to discover the Habsburg era in a wholly new guise, as our era.

A note on: Kakania returns to London on March 31st 2016

Kakania in London – March 31st 2016: 7pm at Austrian Cultural Forum, London www.theenemiesproject.com/kakania2016

The Event: 7pm – Free Entry / The Symposium: 2pm – Free Entry / 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ www.acflondon.org

The Kakania project returns to the Austrian Cultural Forum for a night of brand new performances, each from a contemporary artist or writer responding to a figure of Habsburg Era Vienna. The great, groundbreaking personas of 100 years past are made new by some of the most dynamic and innovative performers and thinkers of our day, without nostalgia, but with faithful invention and intensity. Visit www.kakania.co.uk for more information on the project.

Featuring Harry Man on Erwin Schrodinger  ~ Daniela Cascella on Hugo von Hofmannstahl ~ Steve Beresford on Arnold Schoenberg ~ Thomas Havlik on Walter Serner ~ SJ Fowler on Robert Musil ~ Declan Ryan on ...

The Kakania Symposium - March 31st at ACF London
2pm, 3pm, 4pm in 3 sessions www.theenemiesproject.com/kakaniasymposium

Address: 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ. Phone020 7225 730 http://www.acflondon.org/

Preceding the evening’s performances there will be a symposium on Habsburg Vienna, through the kaleidoscope of Kakania’s inventive approach, led and curated by Dr.Diane Silverthorne, a leading voice in Habsburg Viennese studies. The Symposium will feature informal and academic talks about the era, interspersed with poetry and text art readings from poets and writers involved in the first year of the Kakania project, who will also give context to their process. The Symposium will also see a screening of the acclaimed film Altenberg: The Little Pocket Mirror. The schedule is thus: 

2pm - A talk by Dr. Diane Silverthorne on expressionist  landscapes in music and art and  talk by Dr. Leslie Topp, on madness, architecture and Vienna.

3pm - A talk by Jamie Ruers on Cabaret Fledermaus / A talk and reading by Eley Williams on Broncia Koller-Pinel / A talk and reading by Vicky Sparrow on Margarethe Wittgenstein / A talk by Stephen Emmerson on his multi-part performance art response on Rainer Maria Rilke. / A talk by Marcus Slease on writing a new poetry commission on Max Kurzweil. / A screening of Joshua Alexander’s experimental film on Paul Wittgenstein, commissioned for Kakania

4pm - A screening of ALTENBERG: The Little Pocket Mirror  A documentary by David Bickerstaff and Gemma Blackshaw  | 54 min

About Kakania

Following a brilliant first year in which 40 artists made 40 new commissions, 5 events in 5 venues took place in London and 2 original books was launched, Kakania returns with events in Berlin and London. The project is thoroughly documented here: www.kakania.co.uk and the project is only possible through the generosity of the Austrian Cultural Forum London.

Kakania at the Freud Museum - Jan 22nd

In just under two weeks time, on January Thursday 22nd, I’m delighted to say Kakania will once again feature contemporary artists and poets presenting original commissions on the life & work of a figure of Habsburg Vienna from one century ago. This time Kakania will be in the extraordinary setting of the Freud Museum, with the artists performing their works in the rooms of what was once the house of Sigmund Freud in north London. The audience will tour with the artists, going room to room, as each performance unfolds. 

Spaces are limited and the event is ticketed, so please do book using this link: http://www.freud.org.uk/events/75773/kakania/

 Directions to the Freud Museum can be found here: http://www.freud.org.uk/visit/

The lineup:
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Esther Strauss on Anna Freud
Tom Jenks on Otto Gross
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein

& Phil Minton on Carl Jung


I’m happy to announce the final details and lineups for the third and fourth Kakania events to take place in February and March. Please pop them in your diaries. 

Kakania III at the Horse Hospital - February thursday 19th
http://www.thehorsehospital.com/
Caroline Bergvall on Gustav Klimt
Martin Bakero on Arnold Schoenberg
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka
Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil
Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler
Joerg Zemmler on Karl Kraus

Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke 

Kakania IV at the Austrian Cultural Forum – March Thursday 26th
http://www.acflondon.org/
George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler
Ben Morris on Ernst Krenek
Joshua Alexander on Paul Wittgenstein
Thomas Duggan on Ernst Mach
Fabian Faitlin on Otto Wagner
Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke
Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein
Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud
Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka


The Freud Museum event will also be the first time the two ambitious Kakania project publications will be available, with both books to have specific launches later in the program. Both have been designed by http://www.polimekanos.com as part of the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Occasions series. 

Oberwilding is a collaborative poetry collection, written by Colin Herd and I, with a poem marking each year of Oskar Kokoschka’s life - an avant garde exploration of the great painters century in collaborative, experimental poetics.

Kakania: an anthology is a groundbreaking collection of brand new works from 40 amazing artists and poets, that features poetry, portraiture, woodcuts, conceptual texts, photography, graphic design and a multitude of arts and artists. It contains work by: 

George Szirtes on Arthur Schnitzler, Martin Bakero on Arnold Schoenberg, Emily Berry on Sigmund Freud, Stephen Emmerson on Rainer Maria Rilke, Colin Herd on Oskar Kokoschka, Sharon Gal on Anton Webern, Jeff Hilson on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tom Jenks on Otto Gross, Maja Jantar on Lou Andreas-Salome, David Kelly-Mancaux on Egon Schiele, Diane Silverthorne & Ariadne Radi Cor on Alma Mahler, Dylan Nyoukis on Raoul Hausman, Damir Sodan on Gustav Mahler, Marcus Slease on Max Kurzweil, Joerg Zemmler on Karl Kraus, Michael Zand on Hugo von Hofmannstahl, Jaime Robles on Ludwig Boltzmann, Alison Gibb on Bruno Walter, Pascal O'Loughlin on Wilhelm Reich, Vicky Sparrow on Margarethe Wittgenstein, Kim Campanello on Alban Berg, Jack Little on Peter Altenberg, Eley Williams on Broncia Koller-Pinell, Andy Jackson on Oscar Straus, JT Welsch on Hermann Broch, Fabian Peake on Franz Werfel, Aki Schilz on Hermann Bahr, Fabian Faltin on Otto Wagner, Iain Morrison on Alexander von Zemlinsky, Clare Saponia on Julius Wagner-Jauregg, Rhys Trimble on Felix Salten, myself on Robert Musil, Robert McClean on Max Reinhardt, Ryan Van Winkle on Ernst Weiss, Andrew Spragg on Koloman Moser, Peter Jaeger on Theodor Herzl, Nia Davies on Viktor Ullman and Esther Strauss on Anna Freud.


All Kakania events, including this next one at the Freud Museum, will also feature the beautiful books of Pushkin press, with a book table to peruse, accompanied by a Kakania flyer which offers a discount on buying their Habsburg era books online. http://pushkinpress.com/

www.kakania.co.uk / www.stevenjfowler.com

& with thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum http://www.acflondon.org/

Aletta Ocean Empire published in Osmics by Annexe press

Yet another wonderful and innovative publication from Annexe press and Nick Murray. A thing called the Pheromone Party (where people are asked to sleep in a shirt for a week, then bag it, and then given to others attending the night to sniff, blindly, and then choose who they'd like to meet based on the smell - a dating thing I think) commissioned Annexe to produce two zines for the events, as souvenirs, or things for people to read, I assume, if it all gets a little bit awkward. I was delighted to be asked, having a predilection for the olfactory, having done commissions for Lush before etc...I wrote poems called Aletta Ocean Empire (if you don't know who Aletta Ocean is then don't bother looking her up) which were accompanied by an inkblot that looks like the thing the poems are about, and then split into two, and the two lost halves published in the different zines. I have reunited them above, folding the separate zines together for a reunion.