16 December 2010

NONSITE || Robert Kocik's "Offering Up The Body As Food"

Please join us this Wednesday, December 22nd at 7pm for a conversation with visiting architect, artist, and poet Robert Kocik.

Robert writes of his thematic, "Offering Up the Body as Food," "I'd like to place together (as they are inseparable) two major Nonsite concerns: commoning and somatics. Perhaps the discursive is getting us down (it's so little of what we are and what language is). It's hard to get the commoning meetings to get us anywhere (just as when I work with the Phoneme Choir or teach saw-sharpening or voice, if I don't cut the talk and just 'do,' there is no transformation.) Spread-thin is the mode we're all in and need to use to our advantage. Let me introduce INSTEADS (instead of what we'd be doing otherwise, instead of our recognizable artworks, instead of the status quo and to some extent instead of homesteading (in that all the land is already owned) as clear (well, luminous) objectives to be carried out. Wholly speaking, somatics is tripartite: bodywork and then offering up the energized body as activism and I-lessness (the ultimate protest against privatization). Thus commoning, though seemingly an objectiveworld practice, comes from emptying and quickening of compassion within. What I see with I aside (what hurts most and offers the greatest alleviation): Planned Pauperization Of Almost Everybody (PPOAE) and the need to translate the green of the forest of the commons of old as today's money—like water or air, nobody should be able to own a billion parts to another's one. Taxation is an unsolvable distraction—preemptive maldistribution is the work of poets. Vowed to change, as it is from the power of vow that means arise."

In preparation for our conversation, Kocik suggests reading writings from the Chod tradition of Machig Labdron (Machik Labkyi Dronma); Just Give Money To The Poor by Joseph Hanlon, Armando Barrientos and David Hulme; and any strategies and wording for de-financializing the economy. We hope to post excerpts from this material on our website (http://www.nonsitecollective.org/) as soon as possible.

If you are interested in joining us, or require any accommodations to attend, please email directions@nonsitecolletive.org for details regarding location and accessibility.

Robert Kocik’s cutting-edge work blurs the distinction between art and architecture. He has studied poetry at the New College in San Francisco and engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique IBOIS in Lausanne, Switzerland. After apprenticing with Japanese woodworkers in the San Francisco Bay Area, under the tutelage of Makoto Imai, and working with the Compagnons du Devoir, a traditional French wood-framers guild, Kocik began fusing these two traditions in his own work, beginning with furniture, and gradually evolving into architecture and sculpture.

He has been commissioned to design buildings for several well-known artists, including internationally acclaimed sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard and prestigious art critic David Levi-Strauss. As an architect in the public sphere, he works toward the realization of “missing civic services,” conceptualizing, designing, and constructing buildings that serve a public function and provide an activity that in some way “turns the world around.” Examples of past missing civic services include Preemptive Peace Place, Enfranchisement Ranch, and Furniture While You Wait. Kocik has exhibited related sculptural work at P.S. 122, Hunter College Gallery, the Kentler International Drawing Space, and the Makor Gallery, all in New York, among many other venues. His work is currently on view at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan.

Kocik is also an acclaimed poet whose books include Over Coming Fitness (Autonomedia, 2000) Rhrurbarb (Ecopoetics, 2007) and the forthcoming The Prosodic Body (The Factory School, 2009). His poetry and writings have appeared in the journals Acts, Object, Crayon, Action Poetique, The New Coast, and Ecopoetics, among many others. He has also translated and published the work of several contemporary French poets.

In 1990, Kocik co-founded the Atelier Trigon, a multidisciplinary arts, trades, and performance space in Paris with choreographer Daria Faïn, where he served as Co-Artistic Director from 1990-94. In 1997 he founded the Bureau Of Material Behaviors, a materials research, consultation, design, and building practice located in Brooklyn, NY. Kocik has taught and lectured extensively throughout the United States.

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