html giant says yes

March 5, 2010

posted by caroline picard

Blake Butler of Scorch Atlas just posted some madprops for the North Georgia Gazette (and other titles). You can check it out by going here. It’s like seeing Parry’s name on internet lights. Which is pretty great considering he spent so much of his time in an unelectrified dark.

posted by Caroline Picard

Hey! We got a write up! check out the whole thing by going here…what follows is an excerpt-

Isolated Fictions at FLUXspace–our collective memory

By libby | March 2, 2010

You have a few days left to get to Isolated Fictions, an evocative exhibit at FLUXspace of work related to the publication of The North Georgia Gazette, a beautiful reprint of an 1821 shipboard journal, by Chicago’s Green Lantern Press.

Bookmark/postcard from nowhere to nowhere, that comes with the North Georgia Gazette. Like this bookmark, everything in this bookmark is thoughtful and artful.

Green Lantern Press is the artist-run organization that also publishes the Phonebook, a national directory of artist-run spaces. (The most recent edition, 2008-2009, Philly’s artist-run spaces are severely underrepresented, but then even we can’t keep up.) And of course this show is at an artist-run collective space. There’s a theme here.

The story behind the book goes back to when a British fleet of exploration ships got stuck in the Arctic ice while searching for the Northwest Passage. Trapped for eight months, waiting for the ice to melt, they published a ship’s journal, The North Georgia Gazette, on orders from the fleet’s Captain Parry to keep spirits lifted. No whining allowed.

Amanda Browder, Installation, 2010 and Nike Desis standing there for scale

posted by Caroline Picard

As you may or may not know, Barry Lopez’s book, Arctic Dreams, was the inspiration for the North Georgia Gazette. He mentions it, along with equally interesting stories about the history of Arctic exploration–what the mythology is, the structure of ice even, the way that mirages can result from refracting light on the ice’s surface–it’s a great book and I’d highly recommend it. In any case, I wrote him a note and sent him a copy of our reprint. He wrote me back! Amazing! An amazing gesture, he said of the Gazette, “Like the original, its sui generis and captivating.” Which is pretty cool. In any case, I posted an image of the letter (typewritten and everything) below.

Fluxspace Card!

February 3, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

check it out!

image by Deb Sokolow

Our Trip to the Northeast

November 4, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

Last Thursday the Green Lantern went off to the Northeast. We landed in Boston in order to do a reading at Whitehause Family Records in Jamaica Plain on Friday night.

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Nate ended up playing acoustic in the beginning of the evening. I read a little something from the Gazette, Chris played a set, as did Luke and then Devin King read the response he’d written about the Gazette; the same one he read at the Whistler a few months ago. Some of the photos are kind of dark, but hopefully you’ll get a sense for the ambiance of the place. There seem to be a bunch of folks who live there; the house itself is large and leggy with numerous door to other rooms which, from the glimpses supplied, seem to boast their own largess. The people there were really nice, though we spent the most time with Kate and Brian. Otherwise, housemates appeared to enter the front door, come in the living room, spend some time watching out show, and then leave quietly–in what direction, I’ve no idea.

I really liked thinking about how the Northeastern architecture might influence alternative exhibit/art spaces–namely because they seem so undeniably domestic. Even the apartments I happened upon during my trip felt more like mini houses inside of larger houses. In any case. Whitehouse Family Records was decorated with years and years of detritus, art project and collective inspiration. There were Jimi Hendrix flags in the windows, paintings dedicated to the Beatles. There was a chandelier decorated with drift wood and horns and glass beads. An orchestral noise-machine composed of similar materials stood in the corner. We sat on a carpet in the living room, lights dimmed, and listened. It was great.

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As all this was taking place, I was also installing a show in Providence, at AS220. That meant that every day, Devin and I drove out to Rhode Island to install the show, “Isolated Fictions.” “Isolated Fictions” is a group show featuring the work of Deb Sokolow, Jason Dunda and, in this manifestation, Rebecca Grady. As well, of course, as the Gazette. Neal Walsh was of great help–he had just opened up a small room in the AS22o’s project space; that room is to be dedicated to print projects. Thus it was a good match. In addition to helping us with the installation process, he also brought us to the Atheneum Member’s Library in Providence, where we got to see an original copy of the Gazette.

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This library is awesome and feels totally haunted in that way that old places filled with old books and old wood feel haunted. The library was allegedly built in 1828, at the same time that the state built its first prison. The library was built with the intention to educated new immigrants who came to the region for work. It was believed that if the state provided the illusion of power (via education) the emerging lower/working class would not revolt. In the event that they did revolt, Rhode Island also built a prison.

Of additional note is the card catalogue: at a certain point in the 1900’s, a woman went through the library by hand, copying down library cards for all of the books, by hand. In that elegant, spidery script of our forefathers. Her index cards are still prevalent.

This is Providence at Night: On the Night of the Opening

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The Main AS220 Space:

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Our Show at the Project Space:

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Devin King at The Whistler

September 26, 2009

Finally!  At long last, the long awaited videos of Devin King performing his response to the North Georgia Gazette at The Whistler bar on Milwaukee Avenue.  September 3, 2009.

The North Georgia Gazette, a republication of a series of newspapers written onboard a ship landlocked in the Arctic Circle in search of the Northwest Passage at the beginning of the 19th Century, was released from The Green Lantern Press on September 3, 2009.  It will be available for purchase… someday soon…?

– Posted by Lily Robert-Foley

Another Gazette Review!

September 17, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

We got an awesome review/interview by Jonathan Kaplan in NewCity’s lit section. You can read the article in its entirety here and what follows is the very short beginning….

Westward Through the Ice: Green Lantern Press looks back 200 years

By Jonathan Kaplan

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When resurrecting a piece of writing predating the Civil War, precautions must be taken to maintain the genuine message of its words. So when Green Lantern Press decided to reissue a publication about a sea voyage during the winter of 1819-1820, they took it to a whole new level.

“The North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle” came into Green Lantern’s hands as a weathered yellowing pile of newspaper pages still holding the dust and mold from almost 200 years ago. From there, the transformation became a polished and readable bound edition of a piece of history. The editors of the Gazette had to figure out their goal as far as how they were going to bring back this moment in time. Did they want to replicate the original experience or make it something completely fresh? By the time it was finished, the revised edition was aesthetically modern while keeping the heart of a work created generations ago.

Two weeks ago on September 3rd, The Satellite version of The Green Lantern Press assembled a book release party at The Whistler for The North Georgia Gazette—a book (mostly) of newspapers written by sailors onboard the HMS Hecla and Griper in the beginning of the 19th Century, while the ships were landlocked in the Arctic Circle in search of the Northwest Passage.

Below, after a brief introduction on the work, Basia Kapolka, the Green Lantern’s resident actor reads a poetic selection from one of the newspapers by a sailor named Wakeham entitled, “Reflections on Seeing the Sun Set for a Period of Three Months or More.”

– posted by Lily

posted by Caroline Picard

We got this super awesome review in this week’s TimeOut Chicago which is due out (in print) tomorrow…anyway, I thought I’d share the first paragraph to whet the appetite, so to speak. What follows was written by Jonathan Messinger…. (photos courtesy of Sonnenzimmer)

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Anonymous critics may have found their ultimate playground in the comments sections of countless websites, but cowardly griping is no 21st-century invention. In fact, in 1819, a sailor saw an opportunity to namelessly sound off in a letter to the editor of The North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle, complaining that the theater scene had grown too concerned with putting up new work and had forgotten the old favorites.

Of course, we’re willing to cut “A Looker-On” (as he called himself) a little slack, given the risk of retribution. He was in a more closed community, being one of 92 men stranded just off the Baffin Bay in the winter, waiting out the season on two ships moored to the ice.

Royal Navy vessels Hecla and Gripere made the voyage from England in 1819, attempting to find the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. The ships had been prepped to wait out the winter months: Heavy cloths covered their decks, and they were stocked with fuel, food and provisions to last them through. But Lt. William Edward Parry knew the men would need to keep themselves busy, so he commissioned The Chronicle, designed to report the good news of the camp, and plays to provide entertainment (which stuck in A Looker-On’s craw). The North Georgia Gazette and Winter Chronicle was produced in numerous editions, a historical document that doubles as historical oddity, and brought back to print by Chicago’s Green Lantern Press.

Dancing Young Men and Octopii

September 9, 2009

posted & written by Caroline Picard

Last week we released the North Georgia Gazette. As part of that release, we had two readings–one at The Whistler, the other at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park. At The Whistler, Basia Kapolka read on behalf of the Gazette, reciting a poem about the setting of the sun for three months. John Huston followed with a lecture about his recent expedition to the Arctic and after that Lily Robert-Foley read some passages from her end notes. We were lucky enough to see Devin King read as well–he had prepared a response to the Gazette (it’s awesome: it involves ghosts and villianized octupii and Victor Hugo) and I will post part of that response below, encouraging all of you to follow it up to his blog, Dancing Young Men From High Windows. After that, Nick Butcher from Sonnenzimmer played with Jason Stein. The whole thing was fantastic (I thought) and while an awkward MC, I had a great time.

Devin also read this piece at 57th Street Books–a nice gathering, slightly more intimate, there was an old couple in the corner who chuckled periodically. Another girl eating a sandwich. Anyway. Many thanks to our hosts for letting us have the reading, both were exceedingly gracious (Paul (the bartender and mastermind drink gourmet), for instance, would shake his cocktails in the basement stairwell to avoid making noise–I couldn’t believe how considerate)….and of course to all participants, helpers, proofreaders and contributors: here’s to a job well done and thank you thank you thank you.

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Victor Hugo’s Last Musical

The musical’s grand opener is called, “We belong to the night,” and then there’s the famous actor Hooper, done up in a pelt but looking like a bat, bounding on all fours, giggling, his back to the curtain, trying to find a dark, circular, puzzle image. There is a detachment in his gambol, a kind of stoicism of the present; the alternately accusing and mutely questioning face of a dead man is all that describes his strange twisting associative dance. All features belong to the actor, Hooper, himself: a force utterly deployed in the world at any given moment, entirely characterized by its full set of features.
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Ever since the philosophers distinguished the living from the non-living children have seemed to display an extensive capacity for awe and wonder along with their horror, a horror that remains distinctly consistent, arising from an experience of cognitive dread which cannot be escaped or evaded. At times Hooper’s actions on the stage suggest that all humans takes things “as” what they are, the actor claims that even blindly using a hammer takes it “as” a hammer. It was such an unusual and unlikely event, this musical; like when the centaur is mated with the cheetah, and their off-spring is not some hellish monstrosity, but a thoroughbred colt able to carry us for half a century and more.
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In the autumn of 1853 Victor Hugo’s family began talking to ghosts. The American habit of table-tapping had reached Europe a few months earlier and the Hugos, bored and in exile, began by contacting their child Leopoldine, who had drowned in a boating accident ten years earlier. At first a sarcastic patriarch, Victor became enthralled by the practice and eventually would talk to Dante, Shakespeare, Moliere, Aeschylus, Galileo, Moses, Jesus Christ, St. Augustine, Voltaire, and Death itself.

Please go here to continue reading.