Matias Viegener

'Séance', 'n/Oulipo', 'Impunities', 'Feminaissance', & 'Untitled'

by Matias Viegener & Christine Wertheim

Vincent Dachy & Julie Patton at Untitled
Vincent Dachy & Julie Patton at Untitled

In the early 2000s there were already many innovative writers, writing programs and bookstores in LA. However, the main performance venue for experimental writers, Beyond Baroque, lay on the west side of town, once the artistic center of bohemian LA, but now so wildly expensive no young or fringe writers could possibly live there. These now lived on the east side, where readings were held on an ad hoc basis in nightclubs, bookstores and galleries. We decided to intervene in this state of affairs by creating an annual conference for experimental writing at REDCAT, CalArts downtown arts space. Supported by the CalArts MFA in Writing and a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation, between 2004 and 2010 we hosted 5 conferences in LA and 1 in NY, composed of daytime panels, evening readings, and workshops. In total, over 100 writers participated from the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK and France, helping to coalesce the nascent LA community. Three of the conferences yielded anthologies, Séance (Make Now Press), The Noulipean Analects (Les Figues Press), and Feminaissance (Les Figues Press).

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