Kenneth Goldsmith: Seven American Deaths and Disasters (2013)

26 June 2014, dusan

“What are the words we use to describe something that we never thought we’d have to describe? In Seven American Deaths and Disasters, Kenneth Goldsmith transcribes historic radio and television reports of national tragedies as they unfurl, revealing an extraordinarily rich linguistic panorama of passionate description. Taking its title from the series of Andy Warhol paintings by the same name, Goldsmith recasts the mundane as the iconic, creating a series of prose poems that encapsulate seven pivotal moments in recent American history: the John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and John Lennon assassinations, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, the Columbine shootings, 9/11, and the death of Michael Jackson. While we’ve become accustomed to watching endless reruns of these tragic spectacles—often to the point of cliché—once rendered in text, they become unfamiliar, and revealing new dimensions emerge. Impartial reportage is revealed to be laced with subjectivity, bias, mystery, second-guessing, and, in many cases, white-knuckled fear. Part nostalgia, part myth, these words render pivotal moments in American history through the communal lens of media.”

Publisher powerHouse Books, New York, 2013
ISBN 9781576876367
176 pages
via Marcell Mars

Interview (Christopher Higgs, Paris Review, 2013)
Reviews: Dwight Garner (NYT, 2013), Douglas Luman (Found Poetry Review, 2014).


EPUB (updated on 2015-10-9)

Gerald O’Grady, Bruce Posner (eds.): Articulated Light: The Emergence of Abstract Film in America (1995)

28 December 2013, dusan

Catalogue for “the most comprehensive retrospective of abstract films ever mounted”, covering the period 1920-1970, curated by Bruce Posner.

With texts by Bruce Posner, Gerald O’Grady, Vlada Petric, Fernand Léger, Oskar Fischinger, Harry Smith, Raúl Ruiz, Stan Brakhage, Cecile Starr, Mary Ellen Bute, Dwinell Grant, William Moritz, Robert Haller, James Whitney, Rani Singh, Hy Hirsh, James Sibley Watson Jr., and a filmography and bibliography compiled by Bruce Posner and Sabrina Zanella-Foresi.

Publisher Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA, and Anthology Film Archives, New York, 1995
16 pages

Exhibition review


Martin Duberman: Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left (2012)

3 October 2013, dusan

“Howard Zinn was perhaps the best-known and most widely celebrated popular interpreter of American history in the twentieth century, renowned as a bestselling author, a political activist, a lecturer, and one of America’s most recognizable and admired progressive voices.

His rich, complicated, and fascinating life placed Zinn at the heart of the signal events of modern American history—from the battlefields of World War II to the McCarthy era, the civil rights and the antiwar movements, and beyond. A bombardier who later renounced war, a son of working-class parents who earned a doctorate at Columbia, a white professor who taught at the historically black Spelman College in Atlanta, a committed scholar who will be forever remembered as a devoted “people’s historian,” Howard Zinn blazed a bold, iconoclastic path through the turbulent second half of the twentieth century.

For the millions who were moved by Zinn’s personal example of political engagement and by his inspiring “bottom up” history, here is an authoritative biography of this towering figure—by Martin Duberman, recipient of the American Historical Association’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Given exclusive access to the previously closed Zinn archives, Duberman’s impeccably researched biography is illustrated with never-before-published photos from the Zinn family collection. Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left is a major publishing event that brings to life one of the most inspiring figures of our time.”

Publisher The New Press, 2012
ISBN 1595586784, 9781595586780
365 pages

Review (Michael Kammen, Los Angeles Review of Books)
Review (David Greenberg, New Republic)