*Olio House Party* // Art as Activism or Art for Art's Sake?

Presented with Tompkins Ave Apartment

Big Electric Chair - Andy Warhol

Why Poetry is Really Important, Maybe

Taught by Geoff Klock

Some famous guy, maybe AE Housman, said once that some people claim they like poetry but what they actually like is something IN the poetry, which is not the same thing. Let’s talk about poetry as the thing-in-itself – ding-an-sich as intimidating hardcore German philosophers would say. Let’s talk about Hedonism and Social Activism and look at some Ashbery and Stevens and Brecht.

Dial-a-Poem, Music, and Sparking Poetic Revolutions

Taught by Jessica Rogers

In this Olio we will begin unpacking the history of John Giorno’s Dial-a-Poem Series – from the phone lines and answering machines installed at MoMA in 1968, featuring provocative and diverse works by poets boldly confronting the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, racial inequality, and increasingly the AIDS crisis, to a series of innovative vinyl records, VHS tapes, and CDs produced by Giorno Poetry Systems (GPS) in the 70s and 80s. 

Discussion of these works will ensue, facilitated by text copies of particular pieces (to be provided). If part of the purpose of Dial-a-Poem was to use new and accessible technologies to spark poetic revolution, what relevance can we draw in an era of digital phones and emails? And yet we are also seeing a resurgence of vinyl – last year record sales hit a 25-year high – how might Giorno Poetry Systems influence experimentation and collaboration in the arts and activism today? 


The complete Dial-a-Poem/ Giorno Poetry Series vinyl set includes twenty-one records, all of which will be on hand with related ephemera for attendees to view. We will also listen to a selection of tracks, on an amplified portable record player, which typify each stage in GPS’s evolution, moving from pure poetry to the greater incorporation of experimental sound techniques and music. 




Location: Tompkins Ave Apartment

355 Tompkins Ave, 3rd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11216

Third floor apartment where we can bring our own drinks and gather together to learn in an intimate setting in Bed Stuy.


Other upcoming Olios


Sep 29

Ban This Book (If You Can)

Taught by Charles Riley
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Oct 13

Oct 15

Oct 16

Aestheticism, Pop Culture, Evil & Oscar Wilde

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at The Old Stone House

Sign Up - $15

Oct 19

Oct 20

Oct 27

Turning the Soul: The Hero and Humanities

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $15

Nov 7

*Olio Seminar* Know Your Rights? Know Your Rights!

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7 p.m. at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP

Sign Up - $50


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