The House of Dust by Alison Knowles

Alison Knowles, The House of Dust. Image courtesy the artist and James Fuentes Gallery.

On view at the James Gallery September 8 through October 29. More information on the exhibition and all related programs at the James Gallery website

Curators: Katherine Carl, Maud Jacquin and Sébastien Pluot

With the works of: 

Alison Knowles and 

Ay-o, Chloë Bass, Keren Benbenisty, Jérémie Bennequin, Marcel Broodthaers, George Brecht, John Cage, Norman C. Kaplan, Alejandro Cesarco, Jagna Ciuchta, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Mark Geffriaud, Beatrice Gibson, Dick Higgins, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Allan Kaprow, Katarzyna Krakowiak, Nicholas Knight, Mikko Kuorinki, Theo Lutz, Stephane Mallarmé, Alan Michelson, Nam June Paik, Jenny Perlin, Nina Safainia, Mieko Shiomi, James Tenney, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, and Emmett Williams.

Alison Knowles's computerized poem of 1967, The House of Dust, and her subsequent built structures of the same name are the focus of this presentation. Her prescient yet under-recognized project has been an inspiration for contemporary artists' and architects' responsive artworks and spatial interpretations included in the exhibition along with documentation of Knowles's poem and built structures, discussions, publications, and performances.

Knowles’s The House of Dust is among the earliest computerized poems, consisting of the phrase “a house of” followed by a randomized sequence of 1) a material, 2) a site or situation, a light source, and 3) a category of inhabitants taken from four distinct lists. In 1968, the computer-generated poem was translated into a physical structure when Knowles received a Guggenheim fellowship to build a house in Chelsea, New York. This architecture was later destroyed, restored and moved to Cal Arts Burbank, California, where Knowles was invited to teach in 1970-72. She enjoyed teaching her classes in the House and invited artists to interact with with its open structure by creating new works.

Reactivating the pedagogical model proposed by The House of Dust (and by Fluxus with which Knowles was associated), this project at the James is the outcome of collaboration between artists and scholars in disciplines including art, architecture, poetry, literature, music, computer science, and performance. Over the fall semester, reactivations of Knowles’ workshops will engage students in Social Practice Queens at Queens College as part of their curriculum. The exhibition publication will include texts by Ph.D. students in English, Art History, and Theatre at The Graduate Center connecting their research interests on this project to their dissertation topics.

Off-site, related exhibition: A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s, on view at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University September 8–December 10, 2016.
 

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF

ART BY TRANSLATION

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH PROGRAM IN ART AND CURATORIAL PRACTICES

DIRECTED BY

MAUD JACQUIN AND SÉBASTIEN PLUOT.

ESBA TALM ANGERS – ENSA PARIS / CERGY –

CNEAI, PANTIN

THIS PROJECT IS SUPPORTED BY THE FRENCH

MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND THE FRENCH INSTITUTE.

Co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in Art History, Ph.D. Program in English, the Ph.D. Program in Theatre, and the Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Submitted on: AUG 16, 2016

Category: James Gallery