working papers

... 1991 - 2000 ...

For the decade of the nineties Working Papers provided a forum for artists, writers, and thinkers to examine the various “crises” which have come to seem endemic to the modernist era and which now seem to have come to a head with so-called “post-modernism.”

Questions concerning: social structures, gender formation, scientific epistemologies, contemporary identity and its problems; strategies and possibilities of critique; the place of art in helping to define contemporary life (and vice versa); and, the role of technology in mediating all of these concerns were, and will continue to be. posed in presentations / performances / events, although no longer as a part of the series Working Papers.

We would like to thank all who participated in the series for their time and contributions to always interesting and fruitful discussions, and we look forward to future interactions in whatever form they take.  Many of these issues are topics of podcasts and can be found here*.

The following list is a representative sample of Working Papers presentations. A few traces of what was … the missing parts … ??


Working Papers 3

May 2, 1992
Mark Woodhouse
Conspiracy and UFO’s: What is Happening? Mark is a professor of philosophy at Georgia State University. If you thought that ufos were something that only existed in the checkout line at the supermarket, you may be in for a shock when you attend Mark’s presentation.

May 16, 1992
Richard Grusin
Richard is a professor at Georgia Tech and has been writing about, among other things, hysteria and technology and, most recently, a Baudrillardian reading of the war in the middle east.

June 6, 1992
Jim Williamson and Harris Dimetropolis
Jim and Harris, professors at the Georgia Tech school of architecture, will give a presentation on the dilemmas of post-modernism.

June 20, 1992
Ruth Laxson and Patti Belle Hastings
Ruth and Patti will give a presentation on the making of artists books.

June 27, 1992
Howard Wershil
Local composer Howard Wershil will give a presentation on contemporary classical music and its place in the Atlanta arts scene.


Working Papers 4

September 12, 1992
Glen Harper and Randall Auxier
Glen is the editor of Art Papers and Randall is a graduate student in philosophy at Emory University. Over the past several months Glen and Randy have had an amiable series of correspondences on art criticism and how it relates specifically to performance art. This presentation will be a reprise of some of those issues. It should make for an interesting evening’s discussion.

September 26, 1992
Richard Gess and Dea Anne Martin
Richard and Dea Anne are writers and will present a performative reading of works in progress. “Paula twisted her mouth into Cathy’s mouth, trying to take Cathy’s tongue in her mouth, and Cathy’s skin opened for her and blood blew out from Cathy into Paula’s mouth and the bag of blood exploded all over Paula…” and “This body vibrates and bleeds. Dirt coats it like another skin. Can I deliver myself clean, translated to you? Pain cloaks this planet. Show your face. Show your hand. I want to hear your voice and not this that whispers to me sad and livid lying underground and on clean netal tables scattered across this city, heavy with fluids, lashed with wind and waiting…”

October 3, 1992
Scott Gilliam.
Scott is a sculptor and teaches same at the Atlanta College of Art. When I contacted Scott about doing a presentation, he wasn’t sure what he could do, thinking that Public Domain (and Working Papers) was only about performance. Not true. But even if it were true we think that Scott’s work definitely has a performative, interactive aspect to it. Join us to find out more.

October 17, 1992
Angel Medina and John Johnston
Angel is a professor of philosophy at Georgia State University; John is professor of English at Emory University. Both John and Angel are involved in the issues concerned with the modernism/post-modernism debate which has seen quite a lot of ink lately. Angel is on the board of Advisors for Art Papers, a regional journal of the arts while John makes frequent research trips to Paris. While I am not sure of the exact nature of their presentation, I do know that each has a different take on the contemporary art and culture scene. Oh yes, and be sure to bring your Lingua Theoretica.

October 24, 1992
Thomasine Bradford
Thomasine is a sculptor, also teaches at The Atlanta College of Art and is very much involved in the study of feminist thought. Her presentation and/or performance is nominally entitled Feminist Praxis/Feminist Theory and will perhaps include a co-presentor. Stay tuned for more information.

November 7, 1992
Many folks may remember the TABOO group from Johnny Detroit’s Brunch, being a somewhat irreverent send-up of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. Well, they have a few more irons (branding or curling, we’re not sure) in the fire, so we’ll learn more about how they function, what they eat and who they think. Their title for this presentation is Renaming Art.

November 14, 1992
R. Durham Crout
Durham is an architect currently teaching at Clemson. I attended a conference in Chicago at which Durham was accused of giving a ‘hollow’ (or perhaps it was ‘hollowed out’, ala Adorno) presentation, meaning presumably a thin shell enclosing nothing, an unsupported facade, which immediately endeared me to Durham’s presentation, thinking it the perfect exemplar of post-mod. ‘stuff’ and not at all considering it a put-down (which, coming from a marxist, it presumably was). But of course I may be skating on thin ice here. He will present from a project he is working on entitled Hearing Aids, a project for Piedmont Park.

November 21, 1992
John Johnston
John returns with a reading of the Frank Gehry house in Los Angeles. The Gehry house, along with a few other pieces of architecture, has figured into much of the polemics over so-called ‘de-constructivist’ architecture. If you have never seen the house, it may be worth while to come just to see the slides; really, a very interesting piece of architecture. We can also see if John further decomposes it.

December 5, 1992
Edith Kelman
We had intended on having a ‘Performative Architecture’ month during November but as you can tell it has become slightly skewed. At any rate, we are sort of including Edith’s presentation around this same time period because I understand it has quite an architectural feel to it. Actually we will be visiting Edith’s studio for a little Working Papers field trip. (Her studio is in the Little 5 Points Community Center but we will meet at KLANG! first.) I hven’t seen Edith’s work in person but I understand that it is a wonderful, room-filling combination of stretched fiber and projections.


Working Papers 5

January 4, 1993 MAURICE CLIFFORD
A SCATTERED RETROSPECTIVE + A preview of an upcoming multimedia exhibit: Okefeenokee ::: man becoming woman, woman becoming man.

The Net – What is the Internet? How does it work? What can you do on it, with it? During this presentation we will explore a brief history of international computer networks, the basic utilities they offer users (telnet, ftp, fsp), and how to find and use available information resources and tools. We will also discuss Public Domain’s server at Emory University, and give a brief overview of future plans and projects for the PD computer, including the use of networks as an art medium.

February 8, 1993 MICHAEL GREER
Where Poetry Has Been: The Space of Language Writing language poetry is artistic noise; it resists the dreams of pure communication, placing before us the heterogeneous, ruptured, anti-subjective writing of the American tradition which extend forward from the poetics of Gertrude Stein. This tangent within contemporary North AMerican poetry bridges gaps between theory (postmodern, poststructuralist, feminist), performance art (Cage, Mac Low, Antin) and the technological metadiscourses (Foucault, Baudrillard, Haraway) which fill the air. It aggressively and humorously political: it sets the ear on edge. I will present a montage of textual exemplars, and offer a provisional account of this new writing’s place in the postmodern scene.

February 22, 1993 E. K. HUCKABY
Department of Dysiatrics
Current Projects:
Evidentiary Bolus
Fresh colour slides, spoken welll of, vagary. An update on False Studies, A Revel of Breakage, and a history of working in bed. Non-drowsy.

March 8, 1993 PATRICK DILLON
The Future of Stories
We live in an age that possesses as insatiable appetite for the next generation of everything: of cars, of computers, of scientific discovery. We have even come to the point where we have institutionalized this appetite in the form of what supercomputer theorists call grand challenges: predicting global climate chage, decoding the human genome, retrofitting diffusion models to the big bang. A recent, and worthy entrant to the pantheon of grand challenges is that of the machine generation of stories–or, if you will, the construction of a Storytelling Engine. Ther terms now swirlingabout this nascent enterprise include the now familiar ones of interactive multimedia andvirtual reality. In summarizing his research into the intellectual overlap between the seemingly disparate disciplines of software engineering and narratology, Dr. Dillon explores the prospects and problems associated with our pursuit of the next generation of storytelling.

March 29, 1993 JOHN JOHNSTON
Deleuze/Guattari – Discursive Multiplicity – Machinic Language – Language as Virus


Working Papers 7

April 7, 1994
The Network: Modulations of a Feminist Metaphor
Heather Kelley

April 18, 1994
The New Alien in Science Fiction.
Nicola Griffith:
author of Ammonite, winner of the 1993 Lambda Literary Award, nominated for the 1994 Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Kelley Eskridge:
winner of the Astraea Foundation Writers Award.
(This reading is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.)

May 2, 1994
On Madonna, Paglia, Camp, Queer Theory, and PoMo Feminism.
Queer theory and Postmodern Feminism: Retooling the Phallas
Cathy Switchenberg
Campy Personae
Tanya Augsburg

May 16, 1994
mirror, myopia, modesty, weakness, failure, scandal

L I Q U I D incorporated
Amy Landesberg
Lisa Quatrale
May 23, 1994
The Politics of Representation: Women’s Bodies, the Maternal Body, Fetuses, and Aliens
News Coverage of Violence Against Women
Marion Myers
Image, Agency, and the Female Body In the Aliens Universe
Melinda Harris

June 6, 1994
Conspiracy Theory /The New World Order
Monty Greene

June 20, 1994
The Doll Universe
Once more, to the tune of It’s Howdy Doody Time!
Hope clings to….the transfigured body….the idea of the salvation of the dead [is] the restitution of deformed life through the perfection of its objectification.
– T. Adorno Negative Dialectics … A-performance? A-theory? A-hope? What the hell is…?


Working Papers 8

Jan 9, 1995
The Bluebirds of Happiness
Assorted Demented Artists What kind of destruction happens when you give a bunch of artists a pile of music equipment? I guess you’ll have to be here to find out.

Jan 23, 1995
Quantum Nets
David Finklestein
Dr. Finklestein is one of the most forward thinking quantum physicists in the U.S. You’ve heard of such things as string theory no doubt but quantum networks? (And you thought the internet was the biggest thing around.)

Feb 6, 1995
The Future of Music: Homage to John Cage
Eric Phelps and Dick Robinson
A lecture/discussion/performance on the life and work of America’s most influential avante-garde composer. Cage is not dead…he’s just lying in wait.

Feb 20, 1995
Perforations 6 Release Party
For some of you the end of the world has not happened yet. Maybe this issue of Perforations entitled “The Uncanny Refutation of the Apocalyptic” will help to push you over the edge. Bring some money.


Working Papers 10

April 29, 1998
My Own Holocaust: Compulsions and Failures of Representation and Perception
Janice Eaton

May 13, 1998
(non)Presence of Gender – Traces
Monika Weiss

May 27, 1998
Phantoms of Genocide
Walter Kalaidjian

June 10, 1998
CD Release Party and Performance
Bluebirds of Happiness