Kenneth Goldsmith

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Born June 4, 1961(1961-06-04)
Freeport, Long Island, New York, United States
Web UbuWeb, Aaaaarg, Wikipedia,

Kenneth Goldsmith (1961) is an American poet and critic. He is the founding editor of UbuWeb and since 2020 is the ongoing artist-in-residence at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW) at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches. He is also a senior editor of PennSound at the University of Pennsylvania. Goldsmith hosted a weekly radio show at WFMU from 1995 until June 2010. He has published ten books of poetry, notably Fidget (2000), Soliloquy (2001), Day (2003) and his American trilogy, The Weather (2005), Traffic (2007), and Sports (2008). He is the author of three books of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age (2011), Wasting Time on The Internet (2016), and Duchamp Is My Lawyer: The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of UbuWeb (2020). In 2013, he was appointed the Museum of Modern Art's first poet laureate.

Goldsmith was born in Freeport, New York, to a family employed in the garment industry. He attended various schools in Long Island and Port Washington before receiving a BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1984. From 1995-2010, he was the host of a weekly radio show on New York City's WFMU. He is the editor I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, which is the basis for an opera, Trans-Warhol, premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. Goldsmith held the The Anschutz Distinguished Fellow Professorship in American Studies at Princeton University for 2009-2010 and received the Qwartz Electronic Music Award in Paris in 2009. In 2011, he co-edited, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing. Later he published a book, Wasting Time on the Internet, based on his class of uncreative writing at the University of Pennsylvania.

His work has been subject to two film documentaries. In March 2018, Goldsmith was honored by a symposium at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens, Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens, which included discussions, performances and an exhibition. Participants included Peter Sunde (The Pirate Bay), Marcell Mars, Tom McCarthy, Dušan Barok, Emily Segal, People Like Us, Craig Dworkin, David Desrimais, Dina Kelberman, and Coco Sollfrank. The event was organized and curated by Ilan Manouach.

He and his wife, artist Cheryl Donegan, have two sons, Finnegan (1999) and Cassius (2005). He divides his time between Istria County, Croatia and Long Island.


Fiction, Poetry[edit]

  • No. 110 10.4.93-10.7.93, Lodz: Artists Museum, 1993, PDF. Chapbook.
  • with Joan La Barbara, 73 Poems, Permanent Press, 1994. [1]
  • No. 109 2.7.93-12.15.93, New York: Bravin Post Lee, 1994, [14] pp, PDF. Chapbook.
  • Soliloquy, New York: Bravin Post Lee, 1997, 281 pp, (edition of 50); new ed., New York: Granary Books, 2001, 487 pp, HTML, PDF, HTML.
  • Gertrude Stein on Punctuation, Newton, NJ: Abaton Books, 1999, PDF. Chapbook.
  • 6799, zingmagazine, 2000, 92 pp, PDF.
  • Fidget, Toronto: Coach House, 2000, 107 pp, Applet, HTML.
    • Inquieto, trans. Carlos Bueno Vera, intro. Esteban Pujals, afterw. Marjorie Perloff, Segovia La Uña Rota, 2014, 159 pp. (Spanish)
  • Head Citations, Great Barrington, MA: The Figures, 2002, 88 pp, HTML. Review: Fama.
  • All The Numbers From Numbers, /ubu Editions, 2008, 21 pp, PDF.
  • Seven American Deaths and Disasters, New York: powerHouse Books, 2013, 176 pp, Log, EPUB.
  • Theory, Paris: Jean Boîte, 2015, 500 pp, Log, PDF.
    • Théorie, trans. Léa Faust, Paris: Jean Boîte, 2015, 500 pp, Log, PDF. (French)


  • editor, I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004, EPUB.
    • Interviews mit Andy Warhol, intro. Klaus Theweleit, trans. Susanne Höbel, Kippenheim: Liebig, 2005, 381 pp. (German)
    • Entretiens: 1962-1987, trans. Alain Cueff, Paris: Bernard Grasset, 2006, 405 pp. (French)
    • Będę twoim lustrem: wywiady z Warholem, trans. Marcin Zawada, Warsaw: Twój Styl, 2006, 391 pp. (Polish)
    • Wo jiang shi ni de jing zi: An di wo huo er fang tan lu [我将是你的镜子: 安迪沃霍尔访谈录], Beijing: San lian shu dian, 2007, 463 pp; repr., Guangxi Normal University Press, 2022. (Chinese)
    • Entrevistas: 1962-1987: treinta y siete entrevistas con el maestro del pop, intro. Reva Wolf, afterw. Wayne Koestenbaum, trans. Ferran Esteve, Barcelona: Blackie Books, 2010, 559 pp. (Spanish)
  • Letter To Bettina Funcke / Brief an Bettina Funcke, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2011, 35 pp. (English)/(German)
  • editor, with Craig Dworkin, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing, Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 2011, Log, PDF.
  • Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age, New York: Columbia University Press, 2011, Log, EPUB, HTML.
    • Escritura no-creativa: la gestión del lenguaje en la era digital, intro. Reinaldo Laddaga, trans. Alan Page, Buenos Aires: Caja Negra, 2015, 331 pp. Excerpt. (Spanish)
    • Uncreative Writing. Sprachmanagement im digitalen Zeitalter, trans. Hannes Bajohr and Swantje Lichtenstein, Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2017, 351 pp, ARG. Enlarged edition. Publisher. (German)
    • L'écriture sans écriture: du langage à l'âge numérique, trans. François Bon, Paris: Jean Boîte, 2018, 248 pp. Publisher. [4] (French)
    • CTRL+C, CTRL+V – Scrittura non creativa, Rome: Nero, 2019, 288 pp, PDF, EPUB. Publisher. (Italian)
  • Je ne me tourne vers la théorie qu’après avoir réalisé que quelqu’un a consacré toute sa vie à une question qui m’avait à peine traversé l’esprit jusqu’alors, trans. Nicolas Garait, Paris: Jeu de Paume, 2013, 68 pp. Audio. [5] [6] [7] (English)/(French)
  • Against Translation: Displacement Is the New Translation, Paris: Jean Boîte, 2016, 8 x 32 pp. 8 books in a box. Publisher. (English),(French),(Spanish),(German),(Chinese),(Japanese),(Russian),(Arabic)
  • Wasting Time on the Internet: The Art of Mindless Surfing, HarperCollins, 2016, 224 pp, EPUB, AZW3. Publisher. Review: Nygård (Kunstkritikk).
    • Perdere tempo su internet, trans. Luca Bianco, Torino: Einaudi, 2017, 192 pp, EPUB. Publisher. (Italian)
    • Ru he bu zai wang shang xu du ren sheng [如何不在网上虚度人生], trans. Chang Liu (刘畅), Beijing, 2017, xxviii+215 pp. (Chinese)
  • The PXL-MAD Lectures, eds. Arne De Winde, Evelin Brosi and Kris Latoir, Ghent: Het Balanseer, 2017, 100 pp. Publisher.
  • The Ideal Lecture (In Memory of David Antin), Ghent: Het Balanseer, 2018, 62 pp, Log, PDF. Publisher.
  • Duchamp Is My Lawyer: The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of UbuWeb, New York: Columbia University Press, 2020, x+318 pp, Log, EPUB.
    • Patrimoine pirate. Archives, circulations et polémiques artistiques à l’âge numérique, trans. Lionel Ruffel and Stéphane Vanderhaeghe, comm. Jacopo Rasmi, Paris: JBE Books, 2023, 304 pp. Publisher. (French)

More texts

Artist's books, miscellanea[edit]

  • Kenneth Goldsmith Annotates 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus' by Ludwig Wittgenstein, London: Marginalia, 2018, 72 pp. [8]
  • Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors Even (The Green Box), [1934] 2018. Bootleg edition. [9]
  • One Square Kilometer (for Walter De Maria),, 2018, 2568 pp. [10] [11] [12]
  • editor, 1000 Infrathins, University of Pennsylvania, 2018, 121 pp, Log.
  • I Declare a Permanent State of Happiness, London: Eris, 2018, 148 pp; 2nd ed., 2023, 148 pp. A collection of sixty-two new artworks inspired by Wittgenstein's Tractatus. [13]
  • Hillary: The Hillary Clinton Emails, ed. Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, Rome: Nero, 2019, 400+12 pp. Publisher.
  • NYC Street Poets and Visionaries, Paris: JBE Books, 2023, 493 pp.

Recent art projects[edit]

  • Uncontested Spaces: Guerilla Readings, MoMA Galleries, Jan-Jun 2013. As part of Goldsmith's Poet Laureate program, writers were invited to choose works in MoMA's collection, develop a response, and then select a space in the Museum galleries in which to perform the resulting readings and texts. Participants included David Shields, Sheila Heti, Rick Moody, John Zorn, Stefan Sagmeister, Charles Bernstein, Christian Bök, Vanessa Place, Maira Kalman, Heidi Julavits, Alex Ross, Vito Acconci, and others. Every Friday, from January to July 2013, Goldsmith himself contributed readings in the galleries.
  • JSTOR Pirate Headquarters, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Apr-Aug 2014. 250,000 pages of pirated JSTOR documents (a cache of papers from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society made available via The Pirate Bay) were printed in tribute to suicided information activist Aaron Swartz. Part of the Smart New World exhibition. [14] [15] [16]


Documentary films[edit]

On Kenneth Goldsmith[edit]

  • Marjorie Perloff, "Conceptual Bridges, Digital Tunnels: Kenneth Goldsmith's Traffic", ch. 7 in Perloff, Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century, University of Chicago Press, 2010, pp 146-166.
    • "Pontes conceituais/tuneis digitais. Traffic, de Kenneth Goldsmith", trans. Adriano Scandolara, in Perloff, O gênio não original: Poesia por outros meios no novo século, Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG, 2013. (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Darren Wershler, "Kenneth Goldsmith and Uncreative Improvisation", in Improvisation and Social Aesthetics , eds. Georgina Born, Eric Lewis, and Will Straw, Duke University Press, 2017. [22]
  • Daniel Morris, Kenneth Goldsmith's Recent Works on Paper: Exactly Wrong, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2019, 200 pp.
  • Gill Partington, "Kontext ist alles. Kenneth Goldsmith und UbuWeb", Merkur 866, Jul 2021, pp 59-66. [23] (German)

See also[edit]