reFMRL / curating, conversing, drifting

reFMRL is a series of events for which I’ve asked artists, writers, performers, musicians to remix, rewrite, re-read my book: to use the book as raw material. I’m doing this to challenge the frustrating conventional format of the book launch (where two or three people praise a book that nobody else in the room has read), to work with the book as material presence instead, and to enhance the polyphonies that inhabit and shape F.M.R.L.

2 June: Bergen, Østre. With Jeremy Welsh, Conrad Kemp+Maia Urstad, Signe Lidén.

6 June: London, Hardy Tree Gallery, Mahu. 
With Christian Patracchini, Eleanor Vonne Brown, Georgia Rodger, Helena Hunter, Jess Chandler, Mark Peter Wright.


25 June: Resonance104.4FM. With Salomé Voegelin and guest voices.

20 July: London, Café Oto. With Christian Patracchini, Colin Potter, David Toop, Elaine Mitchener, Georgia Rodger, James Wilkes, 
Natasha Soobramanien, Patrick Farmer
, Richard Skinner, Rie Nakajima, Salomé Voegelin, Steven J Fowler.

Following last year’s Writing Sound 2 in Bergen and the sense of drift that motivated it and moved it, reFMRL lets the book drift into unpredictable sounds, activities and voices. Curating as a generative activity, rather than a controlled one with predictable results. Curating (like my approach to writing in F.M.R.L.) as channelling, unstable arrangement, transmission and interference.

A few years ago I stopped curating because its contingent demands and constraints had become more and more distant from my initial motives: eventually curating prevented me from writing and asked for a level of control beyond my inclinations and ideas. Then I knew I had to stop.
When I started curating in the late 1990s, it was because of and for writing and because of and for conversations, held in most part as interviews for a music magazine I contributed to. These conversations would end up in a text, they would generate writing and in parallel, they would generate invites for some of my interlocutors to present their work within a series of projects. It was not about displaying: it was another instalment in the conversations, brought into a public context. Today I also start to see curating as a series of performed conversations.
I treasure those encounters and I long for those conversations—the time spent before, during and after, the commitment, the exhilaration and complicity as well as the misunderstandings, dead ends, again, the drifts, to generate and let grow, wait and see what takes form, edit, think, write. I’m looking for them again in this year’s new projects, reFMRL and two more, one bringing reading and translating to a sound art gallery, the other bringing sound, voices and listening to a literature centre. They appear as the inner lining of writing: the counter-space of writing, the space of my intermittent silences where I’m less concerned with plans and control than with listening to the words, voices and sounds of others, from which more words will emerge and contribute again to more conversations and to other writing.

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