This Tuesday, October 23rd, The Green Lantern Press — a slow-media, art press I started in 2005 — has a book release party at the powerHouse Arena in Dumbo, New York. There, Anne Elizabeth Moore will read from the GLP’s latest book, Hip Hop Apsara: Ghosts Past and Present. Hip Hop Apsara is a collection of essays and photos that examine Cambodia’s emerging middle class, with a particular emphasis on ways in which people gather in Phnom Penh’s public space to dance. They dance together in choreographed rows all evening. It would be similar to Tai Chi or Country Western line dancing, except that these dances involve a mash up of traditional Cambodian ballet, called The Apsara, and contemporary Hip Hop. The older folks dance earlier and their moves tend toward the traditional side. As the dusk turns into night, dance moves become ever more contemporary and the old folks—mostly survivors of genocide, mass killings, or poverty-enforced starvation— are replaced by younger generations. Its functions as both excercise and entertainment, and represents a significant turn in Cambodian life. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that people were hungry and had to conserve as much energy as possible. On the 23rd, from 7-9pm Anne will be reading along with a colorful cast of characters including the hatefully talented Mike Taylor, acclaimed novelist and cardigan-curator Elizabeth Crane, ‘funny’ Joe Garden, and internationally renowned cat-spotter Elizabeth White. It’s going to be an exciting night with lush projections of the Cambodian night life, stories about rock, ghosts, and social change. The powerHouse Arena is located at 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.Go here for more info.
And, last but not least, here is the playlist, as promised, and read more about Anne’s book in an essay she posted on Largehearted boy’s website. (what created the original impetus for the mixtape). The audio clip featured at the top of this post was recorded live at Quimby’s, when collaborative duo The Speers played a music set for Moore’s book. Additionally, Moore will be reading at Bluestockings in Manhattan on the 24th of October.
About the Author:
Anne Elizabeth Moore is a Fulbright scholar, a UN Press Fellow, the Truthout columnist behind Ladydrawers: Gender and Comics in the US, and the author of several award-winning books. Cambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh (Cantankerous Titles, 2011) received a best travel book award from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation in 2012. Hey Kidz, Buy This Book (Soft Skull, 2004) made Yes! Magazine‘s list of “Media That Set Us Free,” and Reclaim the Media’s 2004 Media and Democracy Summer Reading List. The first Best American Comics made both Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” and Publishers Weekly‘s Bestsellers List. Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity (The New Press, 2007) made Reclaim the Media’s 2007 Media and Democracy Summer Reading list and was named a Best Book of the Year by Mother Jones. Moore herself was recently called “one of the sharpest thinkers and cultural critics bouncing around the globe today” by Razorcake.
About the participants:
Joe Garden is a grown-ass 42-year old man incapable of making basic decisions without input from strangers on social networks. In the past, he was features editor at The Onion (where he created the characters Jim Anchower and Jackie Harvey), co-wrote two episodes of the award-winning cartoonWord Girl, co-wrote three novelty books (The New Vampire’s Handbook, The Devious Book For Cats,and The Dangerous Book For Dogs. Great gifts! Check ‘em out!), and appeared in the critically acclaimed film Big Fan. He currently working on a new website for Adult Swim.
Elizabeth White‘s work includes photography, video, installation, and social practices. Her work has recently been exhibited in the Artisterium International Contemporary Art Exhibition in Tbilisi, “No Soul For Sale” at the Tate Modern in London, “A Map is not the Territory” at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, and “Surveil” at the Center for Endless Progress in Berlin. Her work has also been shown in New York, Dublin, and Leipzig as well as Japan and New Zealand. White was awarded a project grant from CECArtsLink in 2011 and has been honored with an Aaron Siskind Fellowship and the support of the Hattie Strong Foundation. She has been featured on ArtInfo.com and her interview with Dina Kantor was published by The Girl Project. White holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and a BA from Vassar College. Based in Brooklyn, she teaches digital art and culture courses at the College of Staten Island (CUNY) and Ramapo College, and has been a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in Vermont.
Elizabeth Crane is the author of three collections of short stories, most recently You Must Be This Happy to Enter. She is a recipient of the Chicago Public Library 21st Centu
I wrote an article a few days ago on my sit down talk with Tony Fitzpatrick about his new series of work and the new show “This Train” that is appearing at The Steppenwolf theater. At the time I really wanted to have some video to go along with the post and now we do. Below is an exert from the performance which shows July 15 – August 1, 2010, enjoy.
There are bums. There are tramps. There are hobos. And then there’s Tony. That’s how the description of Tony Fitzpatrick’s new show “This Train” goes, and after talking to him at length about it, I would agree when at first it didn’t seem fitting.
Tony Fitzpatrick loves America, and not in that “I love the coast vs. the plains, the hills vs. the valley or certain cities over others” kind of way. No, Tony is of that rare type that from the surfers on the west coast to the bar patrons in the northeast and from the shrimp boats in the south to the factories in the north, he identifies with what makes America whole and loves it equally.
That’s what the “This Train” performance is seemingly for him; a 100 minute mix of art, music and spoken word that looks back on the working class, post civil war/early industrial influences in America (the music, the hobo alphabet, the melting pot) and how many became one without being the exact same.
With the support of the vocal skills of Kat Eggleston and his long time friend Stan Klein, “This Train” looks to give its audience a sample of the music, visuals and soapbox plain direct speak that Tony loves and has sewn into his work for a long time.
The idea for the show grew in the death of Studs Terkel in 2008. Studs, a man who greatly influenced Tony, was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster who received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for “The Good War.” A man who made his home in Chicago after being born in New York City and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans.
To hear Tony talk about “This Train” feels more like a tribute to Studs and his ideals of enjoying the differences in people, finding that common humanity be they unionists, capitalists, Klansmen or even misguided members of the Tea Party movement. It reminds people not to over glorify the origins of American thought, politics or art; that we are all just immigrants; and that the Bughouse Square/Washington Park soapbox speeches in Chicago are as noble and important as the ones in the Capital building. That High Jazz music was born in the bosom of the whorehouses of New Orleans and that Art is at its best when it speaks to everyone with the purpose of sharing a story.
“This Train” runs in Chicago, July 15 – August 1 at Steppenwolf’s Merle Reskin Garage Theatre, 1624 N. Halsted St.
More can be heard from Tony in an audio interview here