FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010 /// 6 PM TO 11 PM


Lots of magazines. Books. Posters. Galore.
Broadsides & busy beavers. Newspapers & weeklies.
Zines. Poetry, fiction & all that. Buttons, stickers
& more. Reading & performing, or something like it.
Red carpet. Screenings, Web things & digital
writing — electrified in general; because PRINT DIGITAL .
Making, inking, stamping. Getting hands dirty.
Dancing, music, DJs. Playing. All free.

+ Beer, food & revelry.

Printers’ Ball 2010 Schedule
Friday, July 30, 6:00 – 11:00 PM

Scheduled Events:

6:00 PM: Christian Wiman introduces Printers’ Ball 2010
6:00 – 9:00 PM
: PRINTERESTING.ORG’s “COPY JAM!,” an interactive art print occurrence.
6:00 – 10:00 PM
: Dave Tompkins, the author of How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks, dee-jays his vocoder playlist, with live vocoder and special guest
7:00 – 7:30 PM
: “The Precession,” a digital poem and live performance of original writing and real-time data collection by Mark Jeffrey and Judd Morrissey
8:00 – 10:00 PM
: The Show ‘n Tell Show, hosted by Zach Dodson and Michael Renaud, with Studio Blue’s Cheryl Towler Weese, Edie Fake, Isaac Tobin, and Kathleen Judge
10:00 – 11:00 PM
: Live music by Icy Demons

Ongoing Events:

  • Printers’ Ball limited-edition Busy Beaver Buttons to the first 500 guests
  • Red-carpet interviews with Amy Guth, digital news editor for books at the Chicago Tribune and co-host of ChicagoNow Radio on WGN
  • Gapers Block traffic jam of Chicago lit sites
  • Gallery presentation of and reading from the Printers’ Ball 2010 Art Book, with broadsides featuring the work of the Chicago Printers’ Guild and local poets and writers
  • Book binding by Chicago Books to Women in Prison
  • DEUSEXPAGINA, a live experiment in literary quantum mechanics and wholly fabricated reviews of wholly fabricated books
  • Elevated Diction: poems performed live during your elevator ride between floors
  • The Gnoetry poetry-making machine
  • “Pandora’s Star Box,” a poem-film by Carrie Olivia Adams
  • Public Media Institute’s Mobile Screen-printing Cart
  • Text Object,” a featured digital reading provided by Vanessa Place
  • Video gallery featuring Bound Off, contratiempo, Rattapalax, Switchback Books, and Wholphin DVD, plus metal type animation by students from the London College of Communication
  • Fresh Squeezed Poetry, poetry written to order by Illinois Arts Council award winners
  • Plus more with Anchor Graphics, Captain Carpenter, the students and alumni of Columbia College Chicago, and others
  • The Next Objectivists typing the poetry of the multitude. Poetypists will compose in public and turn “raw or/e” into poetry chapbooks to be distributed on-site.

and the afterparty…

The Printers’ Ball After-Party and MAKE Five-Year Anniversary Fiesta



FREE / 21+

After you gorge yourself on print and digital lit, The Show ‘n Tell Show and Icy Demons, head over to Reggie’s Music Joint for a night of music and piñatas celebrating the celebration of print and digital literature, as well as MAKE’s fifth year of publishing.

The Reggie’s bus will pick up party goers at the Ball at 9PM, 10PM, and 11PM. Look for it (it’s hard to miss) at the front entrance of the Ludington Building.

Enjoy drink specials such as “The Publishers’ Pair,” a cheap beer and a cheap whiskey shot for $5 or keep it clean and classy with $5 shots of Templeton Rye. Order from the grill too.

Beginning at 9PM, Shame That Tune, Chicago’s newest musical comedy game show kicks off the night with a special Printers’ Ball episode featuring Coupleskate’s Andrea Bauer, RUI’s Rob Duffer, and a volunteer from the audience.

Followed by the peerless Magical Beautiful, refined garage rockers Paul Cary and the Small Scaries, and the always delightful Coupleskate.

Preview the bands and download free tunes at

Arts and culture live talk show and podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody hosts an interview room in Record Breakers Record Store throughout thenight.    

Visit the FACEBOOK event page

Yoko Ono Oh

July 29, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

I have been looking into some of Yoko Ono’s work of late–part of my thinking through a possible complement to my on-going Beuys project….

At any rate, I found those clips of her infamous “cut piece” as well as a few stories about its recent reenactment…You can go here to see the entire CBS  article in its original context.

    • Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, cuts away a piece of his artist mother Yoko Ono's dress as she repeats her 1960s performance _Cut Piece,_ in Paris Monday.Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, cuts away a piece of his artist mother Yoko Ono’s dress as she repeats her 1960s performance “Cut Piece,” in Paris Monday. (AP)
    • Yoko OnoYoko Ono (AP)



; Yoko Ono performed her legendary 1960s “Cut Piece” Monday, inviting the audience to cut off her clothing with scissors in the name of world peace.

The 70-year-old avant-garde icon sat in a chair on stage alone at Paris’ intimate Ranelagh theater and asked that each member of the audience silently cut off a piece of her clothing and send it to a loved one.

One by one, the 200 audience members filed onstage and snipped away pieces of Ono’s outfit — a long black silk skirt with matching long-sleeved top. Among them was Ono’s 27-year-old son, Sean Lennon.

At the end of the one-hour event, the Japanese-born artist was left seated in her black undergarments until an aide came onstage with a robe.

“I was just here to say imagine world peace, and to say I love you,” Ono told Associated Press Television News in an exclusive interview after the show. “Let’s create a peaceful world. I’m hoping these things will help.”

The appearance repeats Ono’s 1964 performance in Japan, which captivated the media and art critics at the time for its boldness. She also performed “Cut Piece” at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1965.

It was well before she and the late Beatles’ star John Lennon became a couple — they met in 1966 and married in 1969.

“Following the political changes through the year after 9/11, I felt terribly vulnerable — like the most delicate wind could bring me tears,” Ono wrote in a presentation for the show. “Cut Piece is my hope for world peace.”

By allowing strangers to approach her with scissors, Ono said she hoped to show that this is “a time where we need to trust each other.”

I also found this article.

“CROWD CUTS YOKO ONO’S CLOTHING OFF!” and “YOKO ONO DOES STRIPTEASE FOR PEACE!” and “FRENCH FIGHT SHY OF YOKO’S STRIP!” sensationalized the headlines. None of the media even hinted at the deeper meaning of Yoko Ono—in the name of world peace (and perhaps a new love of life)—having allowed the crowd to cut off her widow’s weeds. Even more symbolic was the fact that Yoko Ono performed this finalé of her legendary Cut Piece in Paris, the fashion capital of the world. Instead of a dress being paraded for potential buyers, a dress was being cut to shreds! This struck me as more than a demonstration for peace, world peace, but a statement against capitalism; a cry for the return to nature that would save our planet, our species. What impresses me most, however, is the courage Yoko displayed—considering the murder of John Lennon with her literally at his side, and the innumerable death threats she’s received ever since—in daring to repeat a performance that would not only expose her throat to a potential assassin but put into the assassin’s hand a deadly weapon: a pair of well-sharpened scissors.

The jagged steel of those scissors she carried glistened against the blackness of her long, layered, silk-chiffon skirt and tight, black, long-sleeved top when she gingerly stepped, as if walking on thin ice, onto the stage of Paris’ intimate Théâtre du Ranelagh. Applause temporarily relieved the foreboding I felt during that Monday evening of September 15, 2003. Here was Yoko Ono: A slender, cool, 70-year-young avant-garde icon; one of the art world’s leaders of conceptual and performance art; in the flesh. My angst over a possible, bloody murder metamorphosed into fascination.

Dear Everyone,

If you’d like to lend a hand setting up, seeing through, or taking apart
this year’s Printers’ Ball, please reply YES to this e-mail. Also provide:

1. Your full name
2. Your preferred e-mail address
3. Your cell phone number
4. Your preferred shift

You can choose from three shifts:

1. 10am to 6pm
2. 6pm to 11pm
3. 11pm to 12am

We need the most help in time slot 3, 11pm to 12am.
Volunteers will receive a special Printers’ Ball care package!

The Printers’ Ball
Friday, July 30, 2010
6pm to 11pm
1104 S. Wabash Ave.



Fred Sasaki
Associate Editor, POETRY

posted by Caroline Picard


July 27, 2010

posted by Heather McShane

I have been feeling nostalgic lately, and the following event at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago—

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
1 PM

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Gather downstairs outside of the performance space, room 012

25 participants of the three-week summer course devoted to abandoned practices and endangered uses have been engaged in research, performance, installation, and writing projects, with teachers Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson, and Mark Jeffery, and TA James Smith. You are invited to attend presentations on Wednesday, July 28, devised in response to the form of the Chautauqua Assembly, a traveling rural adult education institution, the popularity of which peaked in the late 1800s. Sharing the theme of useful knowledge, the four presentations of 18 or 21 minutes in length each weave a series of strictly timed original responses to subjects such as “the concussion theory of rainmaking” and “the ducking-stool,” in alternating presentational modes of expert lecture, traveling exhibition, educational performance, and entertainment performance. An informal reception will follow.

—reminded me that a former professor of mine named Dr. Carrol Peterson had a great influence on me as an undergraduate at Doane College, a small liberal arts college in Nebraska.

Dr.  Peterson encouraged me to write and to teach writing from the very first English class I had with him, which was compositional writing my Freshman year. But it wasn’t until the spring semester of my junior year that I realized I hadn’t the patience to memorize scientific names and data and should therefore not be a biology major—I was more interested in the biology experience (the stuff that appeared under microscopes; the organisms floating in formaldehyde in jars as well as the cadaver in the room where I had cleaned test tubes, Erlenmeyer flasks, Petri dishes, etc., as a work/study student; the “head” room, a small wood-paneled conference room on which walls hung the heads of various ungulates)—and I became an English major, taking around six literature courses taught by Dr. Peterson and attending parties at his and his wife’s house, most notably the one given after a reading by poet Hayden Carruth, whose book Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey gives you an idea of Carruth’s predilection.

And with the announcement of the Chautauqua event at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I remembered with fondness seeing Dr. Peterson perform as Jack London and Walt Whitman in the Great Plains Chautauqua. (First he would perform as the literary character then answer questions as the character then answer any further questions as himself.) I found the below video of him as Thomas Paine:

Dr. Peterson has since retired from teaching (not from performing in Chautauquas) and lives in Maryland with his wife. I am still in contact with him and actually owe him a letter(!), which I plan to write after attending the performance event on Wednesday.

So said Ernst Bloch

July 27, 2010

For a long time uptopias appeared exclusively as social utopias: dreams of a better life. The title of Thomas More’s books is De optima statu rei publicae deque nova insula Utopia, or On the Best Kind of State and the New Island Utopia. The ‘optima res publica’–the best state–is set by More as a goal. In other words, there is a transformation of the world to the greatest possible realization of happiness, of social happiness. Nor is it he case that the utopias were without an ‘itinerary’ or ‘time schedule.’ With regard to tehir content, utopias are dependent on social conditions. Thomas More, who lived during the period when British imperialism was beginning during the Elizabethan period, set up liberal conditions for the feeling among his islanders. One hundered years later, during the time of Philip II and the Spanish dominations of Italy, during the atmosphere of the Galileo Trial, Campanella conceived a countermodel to freedom in his Sun State. He said that all conditions could only be brought to order if the greatest possible order reigned, if everything is ‘patched up,’ as the extremely well-known expression puts it. But the goal of More and Camapanella was always the realm of conscoius dreaming, one that is more or less objectively founded or at least founded in the dream and not the completely senseless realm of daydreaming of a better life. In addition, the technological utopias made their first imprint in Camanella’s work and them most clearly in Bacon’s Nova Atlantis. His ‘Templum Salomonis’ is the anticipation of a completed Technical University, in which there are monstrous inventions, a complete programme of inventions.

Yet there is a still much oler level of utopias that we should not forget, that we lease of all should not forget–the fairy tale. The fairy tale is not only filled with social utopia, in other words, with the utopia of the better life and justice, but it is also filled with technological utopia, most of all in the oriental fairy tales. In the fairy tale, ‘The Magic Horse,’ from the Arabian Nights, there is even a level that controls the up and down of he magic horse–this is a ‘helicopter.’ One can read the Arabian Nights in many places as a manual for inventions. Bacon addressed this and then set himself off from the fairy tale by saying that what he means, the real magic, relates to the oldest wish-images of the fairy tale as the deeds of Alexander relate to the deeds of King Arthur’s Round Table. Thus, the content of the utopian changes according to the social situation.

Curious Excerpts

July 26, 2010

posted by caroline picard

Taken From E.E. Evans-Pritchard, “Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande”

The existence of witchcraft-substance in a living person is known by oracular verdicts. In the dead it is discovered by opening up the belly, and it is this second method of identification that interests us in our account of the physical basis of witchcraft. I have already suggested the organ in which witchcraft-substance is found is the small intestine.

An autopsy is performed in public at the edge of the grave. Those who attend are relatives of the dead, his relatives-in-law, his friends, his blood-brothers, and old men of standing in the neighborhood who commonly attend funerals and sit watching the grave-diggers at their labour and other preparations for burial. Many of these old men have been present on similar occasions in the past, and it is they who will decide upon the presence or absence of witchcraft-substance. They can tell its presence by the way the intestines come out of the belly.

As soon as a youth has eaten medicine he begins to dance, so that I often saw one or two novices dancing at the sceance, though they made no attempt to divine. They were not sufficiently experienced, for they had only eaten a small quantity of medicine, had not yet been initiated, and had not learnt the roots from which the medicines are extracted. Every novice hopes sooner or later to reach a position in the corporation when he will be able to initiate pupils of his own, and he can only acquire this status when he has learnt the proper herbs and trees.

Magic must be bought like any other property, and the really significant part of initiation is the slow transference of knowledge about plants from teacher to pupil in exchange for a long string of fees. A teacher may show them casually to his pupil at any time when they are both out in the bush together, as on a hunting trip, or he may specially take him out for the purpose. Unless the medicines are bought with adequate fees there is a danger they will lose their potency, for the recipient bears the purchaser ill-will. Also, it is always possible for a teacher, if he does not think that he has received sufficient payment for his medicines, to make magic to cancel them so they will no longer function in the body of their purchaser.

posted and written and drawn by Heather McShane

a foot on the first page, possibly my first visual poem

an interpretation of Plato’s The Cave

man with bird

a sonnet, published in Xanadu, my college’s lit mag
which was named after the Xanadu in “Kubla Khan”
by Samuel Coleridge, not the movie of the same name
starring Olivia Newton John

the last page I marked in the dreambook


July 24, 2010

posted by Heather McShane

I recently discovered ubu, which, first of all, is a pretty satisfying word to say over and over again (ubu ubu ubu ubu ubu ubu ubu ubu) and, second of all, hosts a large collection of visual, concrete, and sound poetry—and other avant garde delights. For example, you can find this video about Ruth and Marvin Sackner’s amazing archive of concrete/visual poetry, featuring Tom Phillips (artist of The Humument); in the video, Phillips plays ping-pong with Marvin Sackner!

posted by caroline picard