What’s the only thing that could get hoarders, single ladies, animal breeders, professional witches, Japanophiles, Exotic Joe voters, and Instagram famous cats into one room? Cat Camp, which calls itself New York City’s “first feline-focused symposium” is coming the the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea on Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12, for a weekend-long program ranging from serious discussions led by cat experts to a meet-n’-greet with celebrity cat Lil Bub.
The Doulas NYC Launch Party
Monday, November 21 at Bluestockings, 7 pm: FREE.
Bookstore, cafe, and activist space Bluestockings is fittingly the space for the NYC release event of The Doulas: Radical Care For Pregnant People. The book was written by Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell, founders of The Doula Project, a NYC-based organization founded in 2007 that works to provide care and support to pregnant people “across the spectrum of choice,” meaning they will be there for pregnant individuals “whether they face birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal anomaly, or abortion.” Their new book acts as a history of the organization’s work thus far through individual anecdotes chronicling the decision-making that typically goes on behind closed doors, as well as a “guidebook for the future.” The event will feature readings from the book by the authors, and is co-sponsored by a variety of women’s and reproductive health organizations based in New York and elsewhere. Such an evening is unfortunately timely as the future of reproductive choice and health becomes more and more unclear, so there is no time like the present to familiarize yourself with workers and organizations such as this, while you still can.
If you’ve seen the 2013 documentary The Punk Singer, you know Kathleen Hanna was stuck out at sea for a long time when she was creatively paralyzed and overwhelmed by the day-to-day challenges of Lyme disease. One of the harshest consequences of her illness was profound fatigue, something that severely limited her capacity to write or perform music. At times, she found it difficult to even speak.
Lucky for us– oh, and for Hanna too– she’s doing much better these days, so much so that even though her band The Julie Ruin, like, just released their new album, Hanna is making an appearance this week at a speaker store in Soho, of all places, called Sonos.
James Andrew Miller in Conversation with Andrew Ross Sorkin and David O’Connor
August 9, 7 pm at Barnes and Noble-Union Square
With his new book Journalist James Andrew Miller, who also moonlights as a media consultant, delves into the world of the Creative Artists Agency, a secretive conglomerate which controls the vast majority of the entertainment industry, whether it be music, television, or films. In Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency, Miller explores the origins of the CAA and its rapid rise to power.
In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition (through Saturday February 13) Language of the Birds: Occult & Art the show’s curator Pam Grossman (who’s manned the esoterica blog Phantasmaphile for the last 10 years) will host a panel discussion featuring Professor Susan L. Aberth (author of Surrealism, Alchemy, and Art), Jesse Bransford (Chair of the Art Dep’t at NYU, Grossman described him as “an unbelievable occult artist” and his work is featured in the show), and William Breeze of the band Coil.
Read more here.
What will an intellectual throw down look like between an artist, a philosopher, and a choreographer? It’s set inside a boxing ring at a club called Overthrow, for one. And while spectators will be sitting outside the ring, they’ll be encouraged to hop into the debate and battle it out.
Today, most of the disagreement and polemics we encounter are digital back-and-forths, what Cheryl (the International Editor at Large for Artenol magazine, the organization putting on the event) called “spit firing” on the internet. “People talk about social media, but it’s a detached and removed event,” she mused. “What we want to do with this debate is to let that argument happen in real time.” And that means welcoming “the anxiety that actually comes with despair or real disagreement.”
Read more here.
Alexander Melamid speaks in sweeping terms, which is exactly how you might expect a 70-year-old Russian émigré to see the world. “If the system sucks, everyone sucks within the system,” he boomed. “You cannot be right within the wrong system.” This can be intimidating at first. After all, Melamid is the co-founder, along with Vitaly Komar, of Sots Art, what is sometimes referred to as “Soviet Pop Art.” This is someone whose work many of us have read about in art history books, and so his declarations hold considerable weight for us comparatively smaller people.
But if it were up to Melamid, he’d have those books destroyed.
Ever heard of a yottabyte? It’s 1,000 times the size of the internet and the amount of data the U.S. government can hold in its Utah Data Center, Jonathan Stribling-Uss, the director of Constitutional Communications, tells me.
If you haven’t seen Citizenfour yet or read any of Glenn Greenwald‘s stuff, here’s a newsflash: The U.S. government is keeping track of all your online and phone interactions, 24/7, picking up every last awkward text message to a crush or drunk phone call you’d rather forget. (Not to mention the hackers who are getting ever better at infiltrating your system.)
M Lamar is a singular performer to say the least. The visual-artist-turned-opera-composer (who also happens to be Laverne Cox’s twin brother) writes and performs his own unique blend of blues, black metal, and classical music-influenced operas that grapple with the black experience in America. Radical, queer, and ever the intense performer, M Lamar brings his place in a violent, unjust historical continuum to bear on the politics of now. This performance of bits of Lamar’s “most poignant material” is free and open to the public and will be followed by a discussion with Tucker Culbertson, a queer theory and law professor at Cooper Union.
Read more here.
Argos Books Five Year Anniversary Celebration
Friday Nov. 20th, 7 pm at Wendy’s Subway, 722 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg
Yassss to readings with a cause for celebration. And, like, the word “celebration” is even right there in the title, so it’s gotta be good. You know for sure there’s gonna be drinks and it’s gonna get loose. Hell, there’s even a lineup of three DJs for dance inspiration. You might even consider leaving your flask at home for this one. Maybe. But for real, Argos Books, the lil Brooklyn-based indie press that could, deserves a congrats-grad affair in proving that it’s not small presses that we have to worry about, it’s the mega-publishing houses that are floundering.
This October marks the 100th anniversary of Les Vampires, a silent film–surprisingly surreal for its era and rife with gothic imagery– that stars Musidora as Irma Vep, France’s original vamp. “It’s not a vampire movie– it’s a cops and robbers caper– and she’s the brains behind the Vampire gang,” explained Michelle Handelman, organizer of an extensive series of events devoted to Les Vampires taking place later this month at a handful of institutions around the city.
As part of 100 Years of Irma Vep, Handelman is also screening her own 2014 film, Irma Vep, the Last Breath, a psychoanalytic exploration of the legendary vamp as much as it is a radical reassessment of Irma Vep, who’s played by both a trans-woman and a drag queen. “Both of the actors bring their own experience of living in the margins to the character,” Handelman said.
This month marks the passing of 35 years since, in 1980, influential dork-rock gods Devo dropped their third and only platinum record, Freedom of Choice. A new 33 1/3 book out by rock critic Evie Nagy describes this brief moment in time when the forces of a conservative shift were gathering in America and the pre-AIDS party was about to hit its peak. At the same time, people were increasingly hopeful when it came to technology and the possibilities it held for the future. Enter Devo, a band of brothers (literally– founding members included Mark and and Bob Mothersbaugh and Gerald “Jerry” and Bob Casale) whose mission was to call out the greater society for being a bunch of sheepish nitwits. The author, who’d interviewed Devo regarding their new album for Billboard back in 2010, was inspired by this unique moment in American history as well as a band that she said “there just isn’t really anything like them.”