Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris presents

Impulsive Behavior

An Evening with Poets Bruce Andrews, Edwin Torres, and Charles Bernstein

April 8, 1999

In RealVideo


1. "Crease" Texts and audio-mixing: Bruce Andrews Dancer/Choreographer: Sally Silvers A piece combining intricate live editing of poems and mixing of prerecorded vocal sounds with solo dance improvisation

2. "Super Fine Pitch (Y.D.M): A Duet by Edwin Torres and Sean Blacklung" Vocals and texts: Edwin Torres Percussion: Sean Blacklung A duet in which Torres and Blacklung reveal their own symbiotic language as Torres performs his distinct brand of poetry incorporating vocal and physical improvisation, while Blacklung, on his drumset, responds spontaneously to Torres' words. Torres and Blacklung have been working together in various contexts since 1992. To prepare for this evening's improvisation they have examined, "how the intention of being without intention can become to much of an intention."

3. "Talk to Me: Dialogue in/and/as/or Improvisation" Charles Bernstein uses dialogue as a theme for a solo, improvised performance.

The RealVideo presentation of this event was produced by Anya Lewin, with the permission of the Whitney Museum. The videography was done by Mark Robison of Character Generator, Inc. The program was part of a four-part series of interdisciplinary performances in which improvisation plays a central role. The series was produced and curated by Deborah Singer, Director, Whitney Musueum of American Art at Phillip Morris.

Bruce Andrews is the author of more than twenty books of poetry. From 1978 to 1982, he was co-editor with Charles Bernstein of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. His most recent book is Paradise & Method: Poetics & Praxis (Northwestern University Press, 1996). Recent books of poetry include: Ex Why Zee (Roof Books, 1995) and I Don't Have Any Paper So Shut Up (Sun & Moon Press, 1992). Andrews also has been involved in making music for dance for more than fifteen years, and has worked with numerous choreographers such as Harry Sheppard, Barbara Chang, and Sally Silvers, for whom he serves as the Musical Director of her dance company.

Charles Bernstein is the David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Director of the Poetics Program. His most recent books are My Way: Speeches and Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and Log Rhythms, illustrated by Susan Bee (Granary Books, 1998). Bernstein is the editor, most recently, of Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (Oxford University Press, 1998), and 99 Poets/1999: An International Poetics Symposium (boundary 2 / Duke University Press, 1999)

Sean Blacklung lives and works in New York City. He plays the drums primarily and is especially interested in and music that possesses a high degree of indeterminacy. Forthcoming CD releases include Five Ways to Time, a compilation of five drummers playing solos and Five Improvisations, a trio recording with Mamoru Fujieda and Michihiro Sato.

Sally Silvers has been performing and choreographing for Sally Silvers & Dancers since 1980, creating more than fifty works for the Company. She has performed throughout the United States and in South Korea, London, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Berlin, and Sweden. Her work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Joyce Theater, Symphony Space, P.S. 122, Dance Theater Workshop, and by Creach/Koester Co.

Edwin Torres, a self-proclaimed "lingualisualist," creates text and performance works that mingle textures of poetry with vocal and physical improvisation , sound-elements, and visual theater. He has collaborated with a variety of performers, and performed and given workshops across the nation and overseas as part of the poetry collective Real Live Poetry. His debut CD Kill Rock Stars combines poetry with music, sounds, and homemade tapes. An upcoming collection of poems, Fractured Humorous, will be published by Subpress.

Rev. 29 Sep. 99