Les Figues Press is Los Angeles’s most prominent avant-garde publishing outfit. They put out plenty of cool books by cool people. They also do stuff with artists (as opposed to writers, though this is a distinction they are not keen on). And they’re coming soon to a museum near you—this Thursday, as a matter of fact, to the Pasadena Museum of California Art for the latter’s Written in California series.
It’s a triple feature:
1) Doug Nufer will read from his forthcoming novel, By Kelman Out of Pessoa, which has a procedurally generated structure that is probably best explained by Doug but has something to do with Pessoa’s homonyms, horse racing, and the Scottish novelist James Kelman.
2) Stephanie Taylor will read “Brass can full of gas,” a piece from her exhibition and book of the same name, Chop Shop, which morphs one text into another through transformations of rhyme—“Brass can full of gas” is a Woody Guthrie song turned into a story about, yes, a chop shop, which is in turn turned into an exhibition, in which everything is made from a material that rhymes with it, which is, you’ve probably figured out, the system of rhyme transformations—hence “Brass can full of gas.”
3) Matias Viegener will read from his forthcoming book 2500 Random Things About Me Too, which was generated by iterating a Facebook meme (“Here are 25 random things about me”) one hundred times, instead of the customary one. He teaches at CalArts.
If the above hasn’t sold you on coming out this Thursday, try on this statement of belief from Les Figues: “The Press resists basic market-driven standards of quality, morality, and political identity found in the tried and untrue sectors of mainstream publishing and the current apres-garde, and to this end, is perfectly happy to slit its own throat.” There’s never a dull moment with the experimental types. See you Thursday.
Les Figues Press Reads at the PMCA
Thursday, May 19th, 7 p.m.
The Pasadena Museum of California Art
490 E. Union St., Pasadena
Free! Galleries open from 6 to 7.