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The Becoming Resurrection: A Chris Kraus Intervention

23 Jun

The Becoming Resurrection: A Chris Kraus Intervention

Date: Saturday, July 10, 2010
Time: 8:30pm – 11:30pm
Location: Beaubourg 268
City/Town: San Francisco, CA 94132

“[T]he more false starts one has, the better off you’re going to be.
Young artists should test themselves again and again . . .
A string of failures is probably the best way to get where you’re going.”

-Dennis Adams


Beaubourg 268 brings you a night of uber-feminism, anti-feminism, in-différance and perhaps the highest aesthetic examples of Hegelian Aufhebung. Join Chris Kraus and friends for a discussion of the art world, her writing career, and her new art book “Where Art Belongs” that will be out in Feb 2011.

In the stifling antechamber that was the 90s, Chris Kraus wrote her debut Text about the “risk of failure” and “the inability of practice of any kind.” Five years after Dick Hebdige’s arrival to CalArts, in the wake of the reshaping of the General Education curriculum, Kraus published her first novel I Love Dick (Semiotexte 1997). Inspired by an evening she had spent with the English academic rock star, Kraus’ intervention had captured – in a kind of “downward synthesis” – the shattering importance of the two bodies converging due to, in part, the shared belief in the creative, emancipatory potential of failure.

Chris Kraus’ exegesis is a reversal of Otto Weininger’s thesis that ‘Woman Doesn’t Exist.’ Like with Sex and Character, the thing that strikes many readers about I Love Dick is its indifference to “Différance”. I Love Dick can indeed be read as a deconstructive proof that meaning is forever “deferred” or postponed through an endless chain of signifiers; nonetheless, Chris Kraus’ epistolary novel additionally begs to be read as a messianic breakout; an act, a cut, a one-time Event to redeem the core of Chris[x]ianity by abandoning its institutional shell.

Woman Does Exist, or more precisely – A Woman Exists: Christ Cross. As the poet Eileen Myles reformulates it: “(I keep typing Christ. Is Chris our girl on the cross?)” It is from this serendipitous theological proposal that Beaubourg 268 would like to present the works of emerging artists Tracy Molis, Cameron Adair, Robert Hansen and Aaron Spafford. For what dies on the cross/Kraus is not simply the sexist phantasmatic support of dumb ideology (Weininger: ‘Woman is only and thoroughly sexual’), but the superego Big Other/Big Dick/the injunction to Experiment! that haunts and betrays today’s art schools.

So that what is left is the holy spirit, or less hyperbolically: “Another Space which can no longer be dismissed as a fantasmatic supplement to social reality.”

The Becoming Resurrection: A Chris Kraus Intervention
Saturday, July 10, 2010, 8:30 – 11:30 pm

This Ain’t A Happenin’

10 May


San Francisco, CA
This Ain’t A Happenin’: Transient Acts & Documents A Production of Beaubourg268 & the Slete Orcha Exploratory

Curator: Erenberg

Artists:  Sean Clute, Justin Faris, Jenny Galipo, Aimee Goguen, Jessica Gomula-Kruzik, Robert Hansen, Maxi Kim, Bunny Lampert, Jeff Mclane, Chris Peters, Josue Rivera, Katie Shapiro, Erenberg

When: Saturday May 22nd 2010 – 8pm – 1am

Where: Beaubourg268, San Francisco, CA.

Admission: $Donations (contributing artists Free Admission)

Guests: Contributing Artists and those Attending may bring up to 3-5 guests

What: BBQ/Open Bar/BYOB/Bring your own Pillow/Bonfire Madness

This Ain’t A Happenin’: Transient Acts & Documents

What might one say of a harbinger? The son of neither steed nor pursuivant. The weight of all things- as one’s personal experience with endurance and survival- may bring one’s concerns to a rather diluted state of cognizance. “This Ain’t A Happenin’ “ will discuss topics both imperative, yet coincidentally immutable. This will the S.O.E.’s 3rd bi-annual exhibition, as we present 13 fertile mishaps & honorable collaborations. We welcome you to an adventure in video, sound, illustration, photography, sculpture, text, and performative acts- held at the newly established Beaubourg 268.

What to Expect! Film Screenings will occur in the main bedroom at midnight. If you are planning on staying the night, please bring your own pillow- we have plenty of blankets available. Video Installations & Projections begin at 9pm. Music & chimney collaboration begin at 11pm, in the backyard den & the living room. Manifestos will be handed out throughout the evening of the event. Don’t forget to sign our guest/mailing list at the door!

Biographies of Exhibiting Artists

Aimee Goguen

Aimee Goguen is a video artist & documentarian born in born Spanaway, Washington. She is currently in post-production on her second feature film- since the completion of her BFA at California Institute of the Arts. At any given length, her work confronts psycho-sexual dillusions & investigations in video, illustration & animation. She currently resides in Southern California.

Sean Clute

Sean Clute is an inventor of video, sound, installation and
performance. He has built and performed in suspended pods, geodesic
domes and cacophonic sonic environments. Currently, Clute lives in
Berkeley California where he is Co-Artistic Director of DOUBLE VISION
and frequently feeds his neighbor’s hungry cat.

Jenny Galipo

Jenny Galipo a San-Francisco based artist who works across the fields of photography and text. She is currently working on her photographic ‘At Home’ series, and documenting current collective experiences through creative writing.

Josué Rivera

With a spectacular eager face and wonderful teeth, I hold no identity; hence my work revolves around dimensions of anticipation, space and generality. The Place, even a poetic, a gesture or an oracular sentence that carries with it an escape, or belief as a wager or thought as contradiction.


Erenberg encourages playing with your food, at all times. Over the past decade she has worked across a variety of media- including full scale photographic installations, and live performative video feeds. He/she conducts observations in memory, hallucinations, familial issues & other ‘distractions’. Her interpretations on human/animal psycho-social behaviorial disorders and hypnagogia, allow room to explore privy mental territories.

Jessica Gomula-Kruzic

Artist Jessica Gomula-Kruzic’s intermedia installation work employs the use of animation and video sequences projected into large scale installation environments which elicit viewer interaction and participation. Her work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, in traditional and non-traditional settings. She is professor of Time Based Media at California State University, Stanislaus.

Vitamin Wig C

Vitamin Wig C started out between circuitrist Aaron Spafford and polluted water analyst Robert Hansen, in 2004. Vitamin Wig C plays on vocal prosody, electric porpoise calls and non-stinky techni-color stool samples from famous cartoon characters in the Yucatan Peninsula. Hansen is also the founder and creator of Astral Abuse Video Productions. His most recent video and illustration works can be viewed in the latest issue of the LA released magazine, Penne Ante.

Maxi Kim

MAXI KIM is the author of One Break, A Thousand Blows. His writing has been compared to the visual art of Richard Prince, Wallace Berman, and the films of Sofia Coppola.

Chris Peters

Chris Peters, faculty and director of the Video facility in the Program in Art at CalArts , is a Los Angeles-based multi-media artist . He has had one-person shows at Mario’s Furniture Gallery, Office Space, and Sundown Salon in Los Angeles. Co-wrote with John Wagner “Pre-post-erous” -a review of “La Jettee-Cine Roman” on the Electronic Book Review His work has also been shown in numerous group shows and film festivals such as Scott Donovan Gallery, Sydney, Sundance, LA Freewaves, NY Underground, Cinema Texas, CINEVEGAS, Cohen Leslie & Brown NY and Rosamund Felsen LA. and Barnsdal Art Park LA.

Bunny Lampert
Bunny Lampert majored in Photography and Media at California Institute of the Arts. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee making small sculptures and collecting light.

Jeff Mclane

Jeff McLane is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. Born in Oklahoma, his photographic works have focused on rural land function, urban landscape and image capture technology. He received his BFA from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and is an active contributor of the Los Angeles based art collective From Here To There. Recent exhibitions include New Works, Bandit Gallery, 2009 and From Here To There presents From Here To There,Synchronicity Gallery, 2009.

Justin Faris

Justin Faris is a multimedia artist, born and raised in Southern California. From his paintings to his performative works, Justin explores the inner dialogue of social construct, and its relation to personal psychology as a basis for true ontology. His perspective of art in it’s relation to cultural pertinance and identity define his apprehension of spacial relativity- as the presence of myth as artifice. Justin spends his time traveling throughout the socio-cultural topography of California, and Puerto Vallarta, alongside his dog Bodie.

Katie Shapiro

Katie Shapiro is a Los Angeles based photographer. Born and raised in LA, she started photographing at age 13 when her father put a 35mm Nikon camera into her hands. She went on to earn her BFA in photography from the California Institute of the Arts. After graduating she created the local art collective, From Here to There, with fellow students. She no longer shoots with the Nikon her father gave her, but continues to photograph with a passion and to exhibit her work widely.

About Beaubourg268 and the Slete Orcha Exploratory

Beaubourg268 is a live/work space, ever so recently located in the South Bay San Francisco, CA 94132, Phone N/A-EMAIL ONLY. Gallery hours are by appointment only. For information on how to Apply for our Artist Residency Programme, Attend a Workshop, or to make a Donation:

The Slete Orcha Exploratory is an exhibition and performance group, for the investigative & meditative arts, founded in Oakland, in 2007. Neither Slete nor Orcha, are words that can be defined- as a basis relative to our group’s modus operandi. Events are held at Beaubourg268, and other venues around California, London, and your own backyard. In terms of future collaborations & events- we encourage individuals to express freely in their own medium. Furthermore, we stress the caliber of teachers as students and students as teachers themselves.

Founded & Created byz:  Maxi Kim – Editor, Interviews, Manifestos.  Erenberg– Curator, Reviews,  Video, Events Coordinator. Jenny Galipo – Perspective & Activities Coordinator. Robert Hansen – Editor, Reviews & Video Coordinator.   Josue Rivera – Website & Projects Management


3 May


Date: Friday, April 30, 2010
Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Sublevel, C.V. Starr East Asian Library, UC Berkeley.


In a post-Kim dynasty North Korea what will the sensitive, artistically inclined Hyok Kangs of that world gravitate to, in terms of the arts and literature? Many Westerners have speculated George Orwell’s 1984 or Animal Farm as the inevitable, future North Korean bestsellers that will strike a chord and light the long-awaited fire of inspiration that will prompt a flood of post-totalitarian memoirs and artistic activities. Though I have no doubt about a future translated North Korean edition of 1984, I have my doubts about its overarching success and artistic dominance in the East Asian peninsula.

When this subject matter was presented to me last fall, what I immediately thought of was Nabokov’s Lolita and Azar Nafisi’s memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran (2004). This impromptu workshop will entertain additional supplementary texts and other creative possibilities.

This is the second of three talks that will make up a 150 page text on The Becoming Resurrection (presented at the beaubourg, May 22).

This event is free but capacity is limited.


30 Apr


Date: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: Beaubourg268, San Francisco


On April 1993 Jacques Derrida delivered a lecture titled Specters of Marx at an academic symposium sponsored by the University of California at Riverside on the topic “Whither Marxism?” Since then a slew of critics and commentators, from Aijaz Ahmad to Terry Eagleton to Richard Rorty (to name only a few), have reproached the Sephardic-Jewish Algerian Marxist for the effective indifference and utter contentlessness of his post 1989 approach to a Marxism without Marxism, which is to say a Marxism deprived of its malevolent historical content. Upon re-reading Derrida’s Specters of Marx in today’s post 2008 Credit Collapse, post 9/11 political landscape, one can’t help but agreeing with the anti-derrideans of the 90s; not only has Derrida passed away, his theoretical specter too seems impotent – without substantial force or relevance in the short twenty first century.

But is there then a way to save Derrida without Derrida? which is to say a derridean deconstruction that doesn’t defer to the specter of a purely imaginary “New International”, one “without status, without title, and without name . . . without party, without country, without national community”? More pointedly: what would a positive hauntological manifestation that didn’t rely on Derrida’s empty, formalistic messianism, look like? How would an institution that embraced the specter of an effective utopia function?

This is the first of three talks that will make up a 150 page text on The Becoming Resurrection.

This event is free but capacity is limited.


6 Apr

“The book you hold in your hands has become the principle piece of evidence in an anti-terrorism case in France directed against nine individuals who were arrested on November 11, 2008, mostly in the village of Tarnac.” So begins the Semiotext(e) edition of my text, originally published as L’insurrection qui vient by Editions La Fabrique, Paris, 2007. Though I was amused by The New York Times’ coverage of the book release party at the Barnes & Noble at Union Square, I was genuinely taken aback by Fox News’ Glenn Beck’s “review” of the book on Wednesday, 1st July 2009.

According to Beck: “As world economies go down the tank and unemployment continues to rise, disenfranchised people are set to explode. The dangerous leftist book that could spark this is ‘The Coming Insurrection.’ This is a call to arms for violent revolution, authored anonymously by a French group called the Invisible Committee who want to bring down capitalism.” Firstly, I would just like to set the record straight: I do not want to bring down capitalism. I would admonish anyone stupid enough to disseminate an actual call to arms for violent revolution. As the writer Stewart Home so aptly put it, “It should go without saying that terrorism is always vanguardist and can never be justified.”

So why did I write the manifesto? If I indeed didn’t believe, and still to this day can’t make myself believe, in a call to arms for violent revolution, what was the point? Well, it’s quite simple. In a word: satire. Just as Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel wasn’t really “a call to arms for violent revolution” – but a work of sardonic humor, that in part exposed a certain 90s “end of history”, false “revolutionary” mindset; “The Coming Insurrection” was never meant to be read as a real call to arms – but was always meant to be read as a work of satire, that was in part written to expose a certain twenty-first century “return to history”, false “revolutionary” mindset.

Recall the memorable basement scene in David Fincher’s movie Fight Club (1999) when the charismatic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) talks to a group of especially frustrated young men: “God damn it. [We’re] an entire generation – pumping gas and waiting tables, slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes; working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of History man – with no purpose or place. We have no great war. No great depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rockstars – but we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

Here we are witness to the pure palpability of both the reverberating irony and the weird indignation of the late 90s. Today in the year 2010 we have indeed a “great war” and a “great depression” – yet we are still “very, very pissed off.” Why exactly? What accounts for the rage? And the near unrelenting intensity of the Tyler Durdens of this world? Though I agree with my colleagues that much of the populist fury has to do with the rising jobless rates and growing social inequalities – this analysis is simply not enough to account for today’s emergent nihilism.

Enter The Invisible Committee’s rather predictable diagnosis: “Two centuries of capitalism and market nihilism have brought us to the most extreme alienations – from ourselves, from others, from worlds. The fiction of the individual has decomposed at the same speed that it was becoming real.” The Committee goes on to conclude that the answer is to reinvent the commune: “Form communes. A commune forms every time a few people, freed of their individual straitjackets, decide to rely only on themselves and measure their strength against reality.”

But what if this alienation “from ourselves, from others, from worlds” began far before the emergence of capitalism? Far before even the emergence of modernity? As the armchair anthropologist Christopher Hitchens so lugubriously put it – “Here’s what you have to believe to be a theist: For [atleast] a hundred thousand years humanity is born, perhaps twenty-five percent of it dies in childbirth or very shortly afterward, life-expectancy twenty five [years] for a very long time, infant mortality extraordinary . . . killed by microorganisms we didn’t know existed, by earthquakes that we thought were portents, by storms we didn’t know came from our climate system, . . . for the first 96,000 years of this experience, heaven watches this with folded arms, with indifference, without pity. And then around 4,000 years ago decides, Gee – it’s time to intervene.” If you’re a certain kind of myopic leftist radical, you have to further make yourself believe that the last 200 years of humanity’s existence was the worst of it; so worse is today’s alienation, they claim, that we all have to return to a more authentic, pre-capitalistic communal existence.  Can any thinking person reading this bring himself or herself to believe this?

It was only a month ago that I saw both tea party groups and self-described anarchists join hand in hand and flood the San Francisco streets and schools proclaiming their solidarity to the coming insurrection. It was precisely these pitiful, disenfranchised solipsists whom I wanted to mock with the manifesto; I sincerely apologize to all who misread my work of satire. But most of all I want to apologize to Glenn Beck and Fox News for the misunderstanding. Next time I will genuinely attempt to be less opaque, and more deliberate in my mordant efforts. -Maxi Kim

A Communist Utopia?

23 Feb

A Beaubourg268 Workshop & Extensive Explorative

A Communist Utopia?
Sunday 1 – 3:10pm  

Instructor: Gina Clark                           

Office Hours: Wed 8am – 2pm,  San Francisco.


Course Summary

According to the filmmaker Jiri Menzel,  

This course will combine Marx’s fundamental mistake that a new, higher social order (Communism) is possible – and run with it, not by reading Marx, but by making an 8 foot paper mache Karl Marx bust, as shown in Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie (Criterion Collection) (1974). Weekly screenings of para-Communist flicks such as Sweet Movie will hopefully underline the point that Marxian Communism destroyed and inspired so many different countrires; nevertheless, this bodily notion of a society of pure unleashed productivity outside the frame of Capital (a body without organs as Deleuzians would say) is still operative in maintaining Albert Meister’s utopian vision of the beaubourg – a place that acts as both the ideal art school and the perfect Commune (a Tarkovskyian zone where all of your authentic desires become actualized).

Virtually everyone today “knows that” Communism was the central catastrophe of the XXth century – but how many of us “knows how” to repeat Marx’s mistake – to sensually actualize unbridled productivity as something that is ultimately independent of the concrete capitalist social formation? We are all too aware that an 8 foot, gray, paper mache sculpture of the head of Marx will not resuscitate Marxian Communism – nor would we want to; nonetheless, we’d like to not only celebrate Marx – but underline the influence of a certain Marxian Communism in cinema and the utopian symbolic order.

Today it is

Tentative Film Screenings

Oblomov (KINO Video) (1979), Nikita Mikhalkov(Director), 142 mins (M. also directed Burnt by the Sun)
Capricious Summer (Facets Video) (1967), Jiri Menzel (Director), 74 mins,                                                           Closely Watched Trains (Criterion Collection) (1966), Jiri Menzel (Director), 93 mins.                                       Skrivánci na niti ( Larks on a String ) (1969), Jiri Menzel (Director).
The Flat (Kimstim Collection) (1968), Jan Svankmajer (Director), 13 mins.
Stalker (Russian Cinema Council) (1979), Andrei Tarkovsky (Director), 163 mins, color.
Sweet Movie (Criterion Collection) (1974), Dusan Makavejev (Director), 98 mins, color.
WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Criterion Collection) (1971), Dusan Makavejev (Director), 85 mins, color.
The Omega Man (1971), Boris Sagal (Director) Color
XXY (2007) , Lucía Puenzo (Director), 86 mins, color                                                                                                           The Firemen’s Ball, (1967), Milos Forman (Director), 73 mins.

Course Requirements
– Faithful attendance / meetings and office hours negotiable
– Regular weekly viewings

General Policies
1. Attendance: Absences may be offset with meetings and office hours
2. Office hours: Please feel free to contact me so we may arrange an alternate time to meet.

Provisional Schedule

Beaubourg 268: Understanding Contemporary East Asian Nihilism

17 Jan

beaubourg 268

Understanding Contemporary East Asian Nihilism
MW 1:10-2:30
Maxi Kim
Office Hours: Wed 3-4
 San Francisco

“When Bertolt Brecht saw a Japanese mask of an evil demon,
he wrote how its swollen veins and hideous grimaces ‘all betake /
what an exhausting effort it takes / To be evil.’ The same holds
for violence which has any effect on the system.”
-Slavoj Zizek

Course Summary

This course is designed to explore a certain nihilistic dimension in contemporary East Asia – the hikikomori phenomenon in Japan, the pitilessness in New Korean Cinema, the increasing influence of guangchang giant malls in China, etc, etc – through its art, texts, and films. We will begin by discussing issues of violence, utopia, and “evil” as they relate to the disavowed ghosts that haunt East Asia: North Korean totalitarianism, the psychic deadlocks discernible in otaku culture, the specter of the revolutionary Chinese future from the first sentence of The Communist Manifesto. In Jonathan Romney’s May 2006 Artforum article on the South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, Romney makes a series of observations about Park’s oeuvre. His stories evoke “absurdity, futility, inevitability: Park’s characters are, as it were, always destined to shoot themselves in the head, and although it will always be the right head-the one that hurts-it will also be the wrong one, for all action in Park’s universe is doomed to catastrophe.” It is precisely against this background that this course will pay particular attention to the nihilistic moments when the Absolute appears in all its “absurdity, futility, inevitability:” from Park’s last man who discovers that familial piety is an illusion, to Kim Jong-il’s obscene familial investment in the figure of the Leader; from the extremely fragile cognitive mapping cultivated by Takashi Murakami’s Tokyo Girls, to the subversion of the cyborg-comic mode of existence guaranteed by Giant Robot; in all of these examples, we will hopefully see how the implicit reference to some traumatic kernel keeps the dream of a utopian universe alive.

Suggested Texts
Michael Zielenziger, Shutting out the sun: how Japan created its own lost generation
Kim Jong Il, On the Art of the Cinema
Dai Jinhua, Cinema and Desire: Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua
Ryu Murakami, Piercing
Banana Yoshimoto, NP
Chun Sue, Beijing Doll
Guy Delisle, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
Hyok Kang, This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood

Course Requirements
– Faithful attendance / meetings and office hours negotiable
– Regular weekly readings
– Take-home Midterm Creative Project / Essay
– Take-home Final Creative Project / Essay

General Policies
1. Attendance: Absences may be offset with meetings and office hours
2. Deadlines: Creative assignments are due at the beginning of workshops. Constructive criticisms only; the group will not tolerate personal attacks. Workshops will not accept any papers more than one week late.
3. Format: All essays must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins, paginated and stapled (please do not use folders or report covers). Feel free to use MLA format as outlined in MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (fifth edition).
4. Office hours: All students are greatly encouraged to visit me during my office hour throughout the quarter. If you are unable to visit me at this time, please feel free to contact me so we may arrange an alternate time to meet.

2/22 Shutting out the Sun; after class optional screening of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Bright Future (2003)
2/24 Shutting out the Sun; after class optional screening of Tekkonkinkreet (2007)
3/1 Workshop
3/3 Workshop
3/8 On the Art of the Cinema; after class optional screening of Paprika (2007)
3/10 On the Art of the Cinema; after class optional screening of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006)
3/15 On the Art of the Cinema; Workshop
3/17 Workshop
3/22 Cinema and Desire
3/24 Cinema and Desire
3/29 Piercing
3/31 Piercing
4/5 Piercing & NP; Midterm due
4/7 NP
4/12 NP & optional workshop
4/14 Beijing Doll & optional workshop
4/19 Beijing Doll
4/21 Pyongyang & This is Paradise!
4/26 Pyongyang & This is Paradise!
4/28 Workshop
5/3 Final paper