Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank you Mark Allen

Sorry I've been away from the site for a while. I was on vacation in northern Wisconsin, where, yes, I got quite a bit of reading done. Plus I've been busy with my day job at Coffee House Press, and since I've just been named publisher there, there is quite a bit to learn.

Which is another reason I'm excited for Reading Room. I have to remind myself, and I hope you do the same, that it's worthwhile to take time for yourself, and, in my case, take time doing something I love (reading) to remind myself why I do the job in the first place.

The other day I went to a lecture by Mark Allen, head of the very cool Machine Project at the very cool Soap Factory.

The talk more or less explained what Machine Project is, since they are in town for the very cool Open Field at the Walker Art Center. (Reading Room is part of Open Field this summer.)

At one point in the lecture, he talked about how sometimes people treat art they don't understand in a way that is different than how they view other things. That is, if the viewer/reader/whatever doesn't understand the work of art, it's considered "bad." (This is especially true in book reviewing, I can tell you.)

However, replace "art" with "physics." No one, Mark says, who doesn't know much about physics, takes a look at a complicated physics equation and says, "I don't understand this physics, it must be bad."

I think I am going to be using that example for a very long time. Thank you, Mark Allen.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Vonnegut: Literaure is the only art form in which the audience performs the score.


If you send me interesting pictures of yourself reading I will post them. If I can figure out how to post pictures. Tomorrow I am going to buy a flip camera of some kind to see if I can start posting videos. Exciting action shots of people reading. Maybe in slow motion even.

Any recommendations for one of those cameras for under $200?

In Search Of

We're looking for a very specific kind of library card holder. Not a card catalog, but remember when you wrote your name on the card and it was stamped with the date? Then the librarian took that and filed it in a little wooden box, vertically. It was about a foot long, maybe 3 inches high. Do you know what I'm talking about? We need one. Help.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Open Field

Heading over to Open Field in a few minutes. Partly, it's an excuse to eat a burger at the grill. But I'm also going to this


put on by another Field Officer.

Then I'm meeting a few Coffee House poets and we're going to brainstorm ideas for poetry / space / performance events that we can put on this summer at Open Field. If you have any ideas, feel free to share them.


I forgot to mention that Reading Room is free. It's free.

Reading Room Hours Announced

Reading Room Mpls Hours Announced!: August 12-17, Fr 6-8, Sat 2-4, Sun 2-4,Tues 12-2, Wed 3-5. Walker Art Center, Flatpak House.

Welcome to Reading Room MPLS

Part of Walker Art Center's Open Field Field Office Fellowship program, Reading Room is an experiment in intention. Finding myself unable or unwilling to make time for personal, nonwork pleasure book reading, I realized that I would, probably, actually pay to go somewhere, preferably a quiet place with comfortable chairs, proper lighting, and no electronics, and read. In our busy lives, will book lovers actually make time, intentionally, to go to a designated place solely to read a book, for an extended period of time, unplugged? Does reading (a solitary act) somehow become more attractive, more meaningful when surrounded by others (a crowd) who also have taken time to intentionally read? By putting a frame around the act of reading, will participants somehow gain a new appreciation for their time, and take Reading Room on the road?