September 20, 2018 –
August 14, 2019
Dodie Bellamy is on our mind.

This year-long research season uses the work of the writer Dodie Bellamy as a lens to think about our contemporary moment.

We begin with Dodie Bellamy's work, which provides a point of departure. From there, a series of open questions map out a broad thematic territory for a year-long schedule of public events: reading groups, lectures, performances, screenings, and other events explore artists and ideas that emerge as related or as relevant in productive ways. We end with two publications: a book about Bellamy and an issue of our annual reader.


(learn more about our research seasons and explore past seasons.



Introduction
by Anthony Huberman

According to Dodie Bellamy, you can never trust a person with a neat bedroom.

The bedroom is a place fraught with conflicting emotions. It’s where we go to feel safe and protected, to put our guard down, rest, and build ourselves back up. It’s our innermost sanctuary, our last line of defense: when everything feels like it’s falling apart, we can always just stay in bed. At the same time, the bedroom is where we go to expose ourselves to others, to test and experiment with what our bodies want and need from and can do to other bodies—which can be soft and sensual but can also get loud, sweaty, and even a bit rough. For those (and many other) reasons, the bedroom needs a door that closes, so that it can be kept separate from the rest of the house. It’s where private gets even more private, or, as my aunt Judy likes to say, it’s the indoors indoors. And even though it’s our most familiar place (considering we’re there for hours every single day), it’s also our most sacred and cherished possession, shared with others only at personal risk.

(... continue reading)

*

A series of open questions:

What is new about narrative? Is art ever honest? What is the "undeath" of the author? How do you make a mess of meaning?

What is "sickness" and who gets to define it? What is a body beyond its interior and its exterior? What happens to love when it clutches trauma? What is Barf art? What does the vulgar have to do with the poetic? How can excess and reason co-exist? Is the intellectual always in conflict with the libidinal? What kinds of intimacies can and can't be narrativized? Is anything sexier than don't tell anybody?

How can vulnerability and exposure become productive and political forces? Where are the tiny revolts? What are today's many feminisms? In what ways can the future be queered? Can art be a form of uprising? How do you depict a culture that isn't yours?

Can you ever trust a person with a neat bedroom?

*

More about the artist

Dodie Bellamy (b. 1951, North Hammond, Indiana) is a novelist and poet based in San Francisco.

Learn more about her and read excerpts from her work.

*

Schedule of events (September 2018 - July 2019)

We began in September with a lecture about Dodie Bellamy by Andrew Durbin. Then, Dodie Bellamy read from her novel-in-progress and gave a talk about the internet. Then, a younger generation of local poets and writers, Linda Bakke, Michele Carlson, Victoria Gannon, Carlos Jackson, and Ismail Muhammad read from their newest work. Then, Sara Lyons presented her stage adaptation of Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark's books of email exchanges, I'm Very Into You. Then, Anne McGuire hosted an evening of films with Mike Kuchar. Then, Frances Stark discussed videos she made using sex chat rooms. Then, Joanna Fiduccia, Jennifer Nelson, and Carmen Winant launched the second issue of the journal Apricota, on Cults, Communes, and Collectives. Then, Young Joon Kwak and Kim Ye performed a new piece titled "Motherhood." Then, Tara Jepsen and Michelle Tea hosted an edition of JOSH, their stand-up comedy pop-up, in a local living room. Then, Tonya Foster talked about talking shit via bluster, bluff, braggadocio, and a poetics of illegibility. Then, Jack Halberstam presented a manifesto of nothingness with trans* readings of art, architecture, and literature. Then, we closed the season with a celebration of Mirage and readings from new issues.

Two books were published on the occasion of this season:

Dodie Bellamy is on our mind
Edited by Jeanne Gerrity and Anthony Huberman, with texts by Dodie Bellamy & Kevin Killian, Andrew Durbin, Anthony Huberman, Megan Milks, and Kaye Mitchell. Co-published with Semiotext(e)
Find more info and purchase book here.

Where are the Tiny Revolts? (A Series of Open Questions, vol.1)
A reader edited by Jeanne Gerrity and Anthony Huberman, with contributions by Sara Ahmed, Nicole Archer, Marcela Pardo Ariza, Kaucyila Brooke, Tammy-Rae Carland, Michele Carlson, Johanna Hedva, Glen Helfand, Juliana Huxtable, Alex Kitnick, Audre Lorde, Lisa Robertson, Frances Stark, and many more. Co-published with Sternberg Press
Find more info and purchase book here.

*

On the occasion of this season, Bellamy and Kevin Killian are relaunching Mirage #4/Period[ical], a photocopied zine they co-edited between 1992 and 2009, publishing 155 issues. Beginning in September 2018, they are publishing 12 new issues, one per month. Each issue is available at the Wattis Institute. Click here for more information.

*

The reading group included Nicole Archer, Michele Carlson, Tonya Foster, Jeanne Gerrity, Lisa Heinis, Glen Helfand, Anthony Huberman, Trista Mallory, Anne McGuire, K.R.M. Mooney, and Marcela Pardo Ariza.

With special thanks to Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian.

Season 6: Dodie Bellamy is on our mind is made possible thanks to generous support from the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.