Aula AVU: COI #003 Kenneth Goldsmith on Uncreative Writing

Akademie výtvarných umění v Praze
U Akademie 4 Aula AVU
Praha 7
Czech Republic

Few living American poets have so thoroughly absorbed, and cleverly responded to, the avant-garde traditions in visual art and poetry - including Dada, Futurism, Concretism, Fluxus, and Conceptual Art - as Kenneth Goldsmith. With influences ranging from John Cage and Andy Warhol to contemporary hip hop and internet artists, Goldsmith has pushed the limits of late twentieth century poetics to both reinvigorate and pioneer aspects of visual poetry, sound poetry, the list poem, and digital poetics. If it is true, as Brion Gysin once remarked, that innovations in writing lag 50 years behind those of visual art, Goldsmith has steadfastly worked to bring the form up to date with the accomplishments of conceptual and performance art.
In addition to explaining his concept of uncreative writing, which is also the name of his popular course at the University of Pennsylvania, Goldsmith reads the work of writers who have taken up this challenge. Examining a wide range of texts and techniques, including the use of Google searches to create poetry, the appropriation of courtroom testimony, and the possibility of robo-poetics, Goldsmith joins this recent work to practices that date back to the early twentieth century. Writers and artists such as Walter Benjamin, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Andy Warhol embodied an ethos in which the construction or conception of a text was just as important as the resultant text itself. By extending this tradition into the digital realm, uncreative writing offers new ways of thinking about identity and the making of meaning.
Kenneth Goldsmith was born in Freeport, New York, to a family employed in the garment industry. He attended various schools in Long Island and Port Washington before receiving a BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1984. Since then he has had a successful career as a visual artist and creator of textual objects, as well as being a DJ for the alternative radio station, WFMU (91.1, New York), and the original editor and compiler of the extensive online archive of avant-garde poetries, Ubu Web <>. Goldsmith lives in New York City with artist Cheryl Donegan and their son Finnegan.
January 28th, 2019
Public lecture, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Aula 3rd floor, Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, U Akademie 172/4, 170 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Free admission
No registration required
January 29th, 2019
Semi-public Seminar, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Location: AVU Library
Free admission
Limited capacity, registration required via 

Class of Interpretation (COI) is a joint educational project between Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (TBA21), and the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (AVU). 

The program offers ten semesters (2018–2023) of rigorous academic sessions including both open public lectures and semi-public seminars. A core group of twenty-five students have been selected for these semi-public seminars, but COI has the capacity to extend an invitation to more guests from the general public. It proposes to form an enclave of embodied learning, which will further a deep exploration of some crucial themes of contemporary art, including ecology, philosophy, and politics with international and local experts. 

COI is curated by Boris Ondreička (TBA21) and Václav Janoščík (AVU).