MUDD UP BOOK CLUBB: Jo Walton’s My Real Children

The Mudd Up Book Clubb rides again. I’m trying to fit in 2 more meetups before 2015 arrives, so to that end:
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On Sunday November 30th, we will meet in Manhattan to discuss Jo Walton’s My Real Children. Published earlier this year, it’s an incredibly moving novel about an elderly woman with dementia who remembers two distinct lives, which the book traces out as intertwined narratives.
There’s an understated cumulative power at work here, within an elegant structure. Aging/dementia, sexuality, parenting, also gelato, and a glowing background of divergent geopolitical realities… it’s all really real.

Walton is a prolific Welsh-Canadian sci-fi/fantasy writer, and writing of Samuel Delany in her regular column for Tor, she could easily be describing herself (although apart from the alternative history structure My Real Children doesn’t quite have sci-fi elements): “You know how life and real history are always more complex and fractal than fiction can manage? Delany manages it. He does the thing where his science fictional innovations have second- and third-order consequences, where they interlock and give you worldviews. Other people do it, but he does it all the way down.”

WHEN GOD IS IN THE ROOM: new talk @ Union Docs this Friday

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I CAN’T STOP TALKING! Come join me this Friday, November 7th, as a I present on soundsystems & audiences at Union Docs in Brooklyn. From my experiences dancing to jungle back in the day to thoughts on Koranic recitation & improv, robots who love shape-note singing, and maybe some Billy Joel. This forms part of a series on spectatorship curated by Mathilde Walker-Billaud.

Here’s the description for my talk, called When God Is In The Room:

What’s so special about experiencing sound in a packed club? Why does music sound better when God is in the room? How did supercomputers listening to geology improve pop music? Jace Clayton (aka DJ /rupture) will explore these questions and more. From personal stories of after-hours dancing in Boston and Jamaica to a discussion of Koranic recitation in Egypt. Listening audiences considered from the body, the earth below, and the heavens above. Jace Clayton will play music, show videos and images.

Union Docs is a great space with interesting programming — if you haven’t been then you should remedy that this week! Friday, Nov. 7th, 2014. 7:30p. $9. 322 Union Ave., Williamsburg
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COOPER UNION TALK

jace clayton - cooper union talk
On Tuesday October 28th I’m giving a free, open-to-the-public talk at Cooper Union. It’s part of their Interdisciplinary Seminar speaker series. Expect discussion of Sufi Plug Ins, Enkutatash እንቁጣጣሽ, and, if the clock allows, my thoughts on nonlinear time vis-à-vis databases, Aztec loop music, and Christopher Columbus’s faulty biodiesel clipper.

I was asked to assign brief readings for students in the course, and gave them this:

Jace Clayton, “The Voice of HuitzilopochtliFrieze

Jace Clayton, “Something New: Cairo finds a voice in festival musicFader

Lev Manovich, “Database as Symbolic Form

JEMD in TORONTO

avant xThis weekend we’re bringing The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner to Toronto! I’m happy to make the project’s Canadian debut at the Music Gallery’s Avant X Festival, which is hosting all sorts of interesting events, such as the JEMD afterparty event with Dutty Artz’ DJ Ushka and our Quebecois point-man Poirier!

Things begin on Saturday at 5pm, when I have a free public conversation with Marcus Boon. Then JEMD at 7pm, and the party with Ushka, Poirier, and special guest DJ happens after we take our collective disco nap.

There’s been a nice buzz of preview press for the show, including this article by LBBTQ mag Xtra: “Jace Clayton Honours A Gay Guerilla.”

L.A. – JEMD & artist talk

JEMD @ REDCAT previewVIVA LOS ANGELES!

On Saturday October 11th, we bring the Julius Eastman Dinner to Los Angeles with a performance at REDCAT! Very excited for our West Coast debut. Eastman fans are in for a rare treat: the evening begins with Amy Knowles presenting her interpretation of Eastman’s “Crazy Nigger” for looped electronic percussion.

Two days before that, on Thursday October 9th, I will speak at the Art Center in Pasadena. The talk is free and open to the public. info PDF. OK gang — see you in the sunlight.

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QUIETEST PLACE: Art Assignment Highlights

Back in April I did a video for Sarah Urist Green & John Green’s Art Assignment, PBS Digital’s weekly series where artists devise ‘assignments’ for the viewers to complete. My assignment was: take a stroll until you find the quietest place within walking distance and document it with photo or video, sharing the results on social media via #theartassignment. Amazing documentation poured in from all over the globe.

Ssshhhhh – YOU PEOPLE ARE GREAT. ‘The Quitest Place’ received a record number of responses, several of which are featured in this highlight reel:

And here John riffs on my assignment in an airport for his wildly popular Youtube Vlog Brothers.


“attention has become so fractured on the internet that there is no longer room in YouTube videos for any silence”

MUDD UP BOOK CLUBB: Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya

mudd up book clubb: horacio castellanos moya
On Sunday August 24, we’ll be meeting to discuss Senselessness (2004, 2008 English trans.), a dynamite novella from Central American author Horacio Castellanos Moya.

It takes the form of a monologue, so everything we get comes from the mouth of, as the book jacket text describes, “an alcoholic, atheist, sex-obsessed writer [who] finds himself employed by the Catholic Church (an institution he loathes) to edit the testimonies of the survivors of slaughtered Indian villages.”

Senselessness is agonizing/ly funny, profane & political, entertainingly written yet dealing with huge issues surrounding language and authority, grieving and historical memory — it’s no surprise that Castellanos Moya’s early novels earned him death threats, leading him to take up residence in exile…in Pittsburgh.
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LOVE SONGS & CINNAMON

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[Etel Adnan]

I recently spent time in the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. My hosts make sure that I left with fresh cinnamon and many love songs from Palestine.

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Shatila Camp Mix – track 9

She’s talking about love for her land/country, the water. She addresses a traveler who is going to Ramallah, she says take my soul with you.

The second half she says:
Oh mother, there’s a knock on our door it’s our beloveds
There’s a strong knock on our door, it’s the fedayeen, the ones who long for/love freedom
They knock on our door

And then some love for a dark palestinian woman

It sounds like a folk song or a combo of a few folk songs

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Shatila Camp Mix – track 7