X X Marks the Bökship
210 / Unit 3 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9NQ



Publisher of the Month
Writer in Residence

Writer’s Blöc
A month of performances, readings and writing on artists' writing.

Tuesday 2 April 2013, 7 – 9pm
Talk: Failure, A Writer’s Life by Joe Milutus

Failure, A Writer’s Life is a catalogue of literary monstrosities. Its loosely organized vignettes and convolutes provide the intrepid reader with a philosophy for the unreadable, a consolation for the ignored, and a map for new literary worlds.

“The unfinished, unreadable, unpublishable — the scribbled and illegible, the too slowly published, the countless unpublished, all that does not seem to count at all… here lie all manner of ruins. From Marguerite Duras to Google Maps, Henri Bergson to H.P. Lovecraft, Orson Welles to Walter Benjamin to a host of literary ambulance drivers (not to mention the FBI, UFOs, and UbuWeb), _Failure, A Writer’s Life_ charts empty spaces and occupied libraries, searches databases bereft of filters, files spam and porn and weather reports into their respective _konvoluts_, and realizes the full potential of cultural inscription. In a series of snapshots concatenated in the best surrealist mode, Milutis has curated a catalogue of curiosities as essential to understanding our current cultural condition as they are eccentric. With Nietzschean _witz_ and self-reflexive bravura, he teases out the occult links between heterogeneities in the tradition of Allen S. Weiss and Greil Marcus. In the process, Milutis redefines the ‘virtual’ as something much broader and more interesting than digital simulacra: as the unmanageable storehouse of memory and the inevitable expanse of forgetfulness. Here, in all its glamorous success, is the horizon of failure.”
Craig Dworkin


Saturday 6 April 2013, 6 – 9pm
Broken Dimanche Press
Reading from Five Potential BDP Books by John Holten


For the first time Berlin based BDP will present their work in the United Kingdom at X Marks the Bökship in London. It is with great pleasure that BDP will offer a carefully chosen selection of their publications, artworks and limited editions, ranging from the ephemeral and handmade, to the mass-produced on the occasion of being publisher of the month, April 2013.

BDP started in 2009 as a vehicle for international publishing endeavours, focusing on considered experimental literature, contemporary art and social-democratic social sciences all channeled through the haptic nature of the book and the visual experience of tactile arts. It strives to work beyond language regions and commercial niches and in this manner hopes to offer a progressive, internationalist art book publishing platform for its writers, artists, curators, thinkers and other collaborators in an effort to excavate avant-garde traditions.

At X Mark the Bökship BDP will present some of its titles, book-objects and editions, many of which have been designed by its partner FUK Laboratoties. Co-editor and novelist John Holten will read from his latest project of potential books.

Read Five Potenetial Books by John Holten

Broken Dimanche Press are Publishers of the Month at X Marks the Bökshiphttp://www.brokendimanche.eu


Saturday 13 April 2013, 6 - 8pm
Young, Fresh and Relevant Launch
an evening of performances and readings to celebrate the publication of:

Young, Fresh and Relevant
Issue 3
Edited by Chloe Stead and Rebecca Jagoe
Published by Vanity Verlag


Young, Fresh and Relevant is an open submission journal with the aim of carving a space for writing within the visual arts. Issue 3 features seventeen texts by seventeen artists, some of which have exhibited internationally and been widely published, others who are being published here for the first time.

"The whole thing was a stomach ache she'd been vaguely aware of all day. Now she felt her spine getting hard, that flexible column with its loose joints one above the other was turning into a broomstick. Her back was stiff as a poker but no more stable than a vertical paper fold."

An ongoing interest into translation and bilingualism has lead the editors to accept entries in both the German and English language and subsequently to the inclusion of three German language texts two of which are available in English for the first time translated by Jen Calleja.

With readings/performances by:

Jen Calleja
Elena Colman
Emily Ilett
Rebecca Jagoe
Guthrie Mitton-Mckellar
Chloe Stead
Thea Smith
Ellen Wilkinson

Copies of YFR will be available on the night for the special launch price of £5 and a selection of German Schnapps will be served.





Wednesday 17 April 2013, 7 – 9pm at X Marks the Bökship
Publishing Forum Reading Group, Reading The Social Life of The Book
SLOB #02 Moyra Davey, The Wet and the Dry & SLOB # 03 Louis Luthi, Infant A

The Social Life of the Book is a collection of commissionned texts dealing with books, and how they engage with the circulation of ideas and the agency of social situations. It brings together artists, publishers, writers, designers, booksellers, etc. who consider books less as finished objects or forms but for their disruptive potential and their ability to produce new relationships, new publics and new meanings.

The Publishing Forum: Reading Group is a joint reading group with Banner Repeater, X Marks the Bokship, and Arnaud Desjardin from The Everday Press, with a specific focus on publishing. Continuing with our enquiry into publishing, past, present and future.



Thursday 18 April 2013, 7pm
‘I’ve Never Read Her’ Book Club of Short fiction and Essays by Women.
Reading Pussy, King of the Pirates by Kathy Acker,1996.

Kathy Acker was a major figure in postmodern literature for many years. Pussy, King of the Pirates takes her original, experimental style one step further, marking the apex of Acker’s abilities as a hypnotic and daring storyteller.

Loosely related to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island, Pussy, King of the Pirates is a grrrl pirate story that journeys from the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria though an unidentified, crumbling city that may or may not be sometime in the future, to Brighton Town, England, and, finally, to a ship headed toward Pirate Island, where the stories converge and the vision ends.



Thursday 25 April 2013, 8pm
The Erotic Book Club: Erotica Imitating Art

April’s book club will mark our 4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! As usual, for our birthday we will be turning the tables and asking you to write your own piece of erotic fiction. This years theme is Erotica Imitating Art. Inspired by last month’s exploration of VENUS IN FURS and Severins infactuation with Titan’s painting Venus with a Mirror, we would like you all to write something that has been inspired by an image – be it a painting, photo, film etc.



Friday 26 April 2013, 4 – 5pm, Arnolfini, Bristol
David Berridge and Eleanor Vonne Brown in conversation

A conversation around a selection of publications presented by X Marks the Bökship with David Berridge (VerySmallKitchen) and Eleanor Vonne Brown (X Marks the Bökship).



Saturday 27 April 2013, 6 – 9pm

Launch of Nooo by Nathan Witt
Permacultures Commission [SPACE] Studios

An eBook of new writing from Nathan Witt exploring the cloying existence of life as an artist today.
Reading by Nathan Witt 7.30pm

Nathan Witt is not a writer. He is not a man. He is not Nathan Witt. He is Alvaro de Campos, when he writes “I am nothing./ I shall always be nothing./ I can only want to be nothing./ Apart from this, I have in me all the dreams in the world.” What is nothing? It is everything when it does not speak. It is a bank-robber with his face concealed by a mask. It is a prisoner being questioned. It is a writer, a man, Nathan Witt, when we don’t have enough time to share his silence and his noise.
Federico Campagna

Nathan Witt will be working at Batroun Art Project in Lebanon from May to June where he will be learning to read and write Fushah which has been sponsored the the European Cultural Foundation and the Arts Council. Witt has been working with Delfina Foundation, British Council and Art School Palestine which was recently exhibited at Al Mahatta Gallery in Ramallah with Olivia Plender, Jeremy Hutchison, Jumana Emil Abboud, Bashar Alhroub and Bisan Abu Eiseh curated by Rebecca Heald and showing in expanded form at the ICA as part of Points of Departure in June. Nathan also writes for ThroughEurope and is in the latest edition of Universe Magazine.

ISBN: 978-0-9576413-0-3
© Nathan Witt
Edited by: Lucy Mercer
Introduced by: Federico Campagna
Designed by: An Endless Supply
Price £4


Writers in Residence at X Marks the Bökship

During the month of April we will be releasing extracts from David Berridge’s forthcoming book
Man Aarg! on Poetry, Essay and Art Practice.

Sidsel Meineche Hansen will be working on a project at the fantastic London Centre for Book Arts designing a series of printing blocks unique to their letterpress made out of forms instead of letters. http://londonbookarts.tumblr.com

Rory Macbeth will be working on the final installment of his novel ‘The Wanderer by Franz Kafka’.


Extract from Man Aarg! Poetry, Essay, Art Practice by David Berridge
To be Published by NØ Demand, X Marks the Bökship

A: I went to X Marks the Bökship because I was interested in the convergence of writing and art practice, both its connections to experimental poetry and fiction, but also in what was different about the writing and publications found in such a context.

B: Along with similar spaces including Banner Repeater (London), Motto (Berlin), and Section 7 (Paris), X Marks the Bökship is a venue for the distribution of this work but also where it is performed, discussed, and, sometimes, also written.

C: Pick up a book, open it, look through it, maybe read a few paragraphs, close it, put book back on the shelf, pick up another.

D: Participation in the whole life cycle of a publication informs the aesthetic of the space: between a gallery and a bookshop, a space adaptable for performances and book launches, a Riso printer by the window, a counter for publications that becomes a bar.

E: Francis Ponge writes of “an effort against “poetry””; “We are something other than a poet and we have something else to say.” He asks himself: “Is it poetry? I don’t know, and care even less. For me it’s a need, an involvement, a rage, a matter of vanity, and that’s all.”

F: In a dialogue we conduct by email Nikolai Duffy writes:

For me, reading, often, is a balance between glimpses and fades, connections and gaps. Semantic fields slide and frames of reference come and go in much the same way as my moods come and go.

G: I propose a residency to Eleanor Vonne Brown, proprietor of X Marks the Bökship, to visit a day a week, to read through and respond to the material, alone, when the space is closed.

H: On his Blutkitt blog SJ Fowler writes of when:

genre definitions between avant garde poetry and art die away and the practice of text becomes the join between what has been previously perceived as two wholly different artforms.

I: Reading publications at X Marks the Bökship I find a sociable writing often taking the form of play scripts, with stage directions that make propositions about space, characters and relationships.

J: These texts might be staged on a spectrum between full theatrical production and poetry reading. Sometimes this sociability of writing is intended mostly for its shape on the page and its private reading.

K: People thought Robert Walser wrote in his own private language, on hotel notepaper, cardboard and till receipts. He wasn’t, it was Sütterlin, a particular script taught for handwritten German.

I group together publications I read on my first day at X Marks the Bökship. A copy of Modern Art in Everyday Life has been annotated by an anonymous author. In Sara MacKillop’s re-publication only those annotations are maintained.

In Nick Thurston’s Reading the Remove of Literature, the design of the University of Nebraska Press English translation of Maurice Blanchot’s The Space of Literature is retained, although each page consists solely of Thurston’s annotations.

In RO1& BRtZ d P1sUR ov d Txt, Nick Davies (Nik DAvEz) offers a translation into textese of Roland Barthes’ The Pleasure of the Text, partly, he observes, as a way of exploring the distinction Barthes’ own text proposes between pleasure and bliss.

Davies’ process draws on textese computer programs, which don’t correspond to any individual users vocabulary. Nor do they share Barthes’ vocabulary, so Davies must invent his own textese to complete the project. The opening paragraph of Barthes text (in its original Richard Miller translation) reads:

THE PLEASURE OF THE TEXT: like Bacon’s stimulator, it can say: never apologize, never explain. It never denies anything: “I shall look away , that will henceforth be my sole negation.”

In RO1& BRtZ d P1sUR ov d Txt this becomes:

D PLSUR OV D TXT: Ike Baconz simul8R, it cn sA: nevr apolojyz, never XplAn. It nevr denyz NEtin: “I shaL L%k awA, dat wiL hNs4th my s0l neg8shN.”

Legally, Davies suggests he may have produced a “new work,” no longer covered by the original copyright. Beyond legal criteria, his translation explores the adaptability of Barthes use of many distinct sections or mini-essays. If these equate to units and gestures of thought, is this evident in essay and text message?

Davies tests the efficiacy and potential of all these formats. Joe Scanlan’s Red Flags arranges source texts by Joseph Schumpeter, Milton Friedman, Edward Said and Thorstein Veblen using a colour code system that indicates sections of the originals which have been added, left intact, moved, altered, and re-written.

In all these examples, the reader- artist gives material form to their acts of reading, confidently altering or deleting the source text. Other times, as in the score that comprises the cover of Neil Chapman’s Glossolaris, such procedures are combined with the imaginative reverie of the reader, a sense of each individuals collaboration with a text in creating its settings and characters.

Chapman invites the reader to look through their book collections for words or phrases that instinctively connect to the planet Solaris of Stanislav Lem’s science fiction novel. Then, Chapman instructs:

Use the words or phrases to create short scenarios. This is a meditative process. Start with one word or phrase. Stare at it until it gives up an image. Take the time you need.

All of these examples see reading as an engagement with space and time, with writing less to do with creating new original texts than a foregrounding of that scenography.

Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés is one continued source for a spatial arrangement of text in white space, which Marcel Broodthaers responded to by rendering each unit of text as a solid black block.

Michalis Pichler’s Un Coup de dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard (sculpture) presents Mallarme’s text as a single prefatory block of text before replacing both the original and Broodthaers’ version with cut out “voids” that shift reading and writing towards both an idea and experience of sculptural form.

L: My initial plan is to write a bibliography – thinking of Arnaud Desjardin’s the book on books on artist books where he quotes Simon Ford’s idea (concerning Situationism) of the “bibliographic moment” that arises at a certain point in a “subject’s living death.”

M: Publications produced in tiny editions, without ISBN’s, sometimes without any contact information. If a copy is sold, then when I go back the next week to read it, the chance has gone.

N: This is not a bibliographic moment.

O: Cid Corman’s The Famous Blue Aerogrammes is a collection of poems scribbled on air mail envelopes, a form more suited to a poetics of breath and occasion than literary journals or paperbacks.

P: A category formed by all the publications at X Marks the Bökship, although that is also a collection of singularities, whose authors may not read each other’s texts, or regard each other as colleagues.

Q: Which is again why the playscript form is a useful model, not as something staged in a particular sense of a theatrical production but a form for proposing locations, actions, and characters.

R: A space of enquiry akin to Karl Larsson’s stage directions in Consensus (The Room) indicating a room which “may be described as…”, “The building may be described as…” and “The neighborhood may be described as…”

S: Do you have a copy of Forty Faultless Felons?

T: When forms such as notebook or journal seem more appropriate for this essay, it is as something made at the end of a process of writing and re-writing, not improvised at the beginning or during.

U: The sense of quest and search, which Rachel Blau du Plessis equates to “the psyche bound for glory.” Such structures of apotheosis equate more to sermon than essay, are not practice.

V: Ponge writes:

I resume my maniacal, my voluptuous snail-like wanderings… This snail, alas! leaves no silvery trace… While I am distressed by the bad taste of this last phrase, the clock strikes three a.m…

W: One page each. Send 100 copies of your contribution. Richard Kostelanetz will assemble them together. The title is Assembling.

X: The example of John Berger moving to France (although moving to France is not necessarily what this example is about).

Y: Suddenly aware of the position of my body at the table, the expression on my face, how hungry I am, how heavy is my head.

Z:These questions are those writers in any context negotiate explicitly or indirectly. For myself, I found the questions were much more open and fluid in a space such as X Marks the Bökship because-

I stop myself and begin reading writers whose work explicitly negotiates a position both towards, about, and amongst things, aware of the vast generality of that category, needing such expansiveness, space of/for the obvious:


Friday 26 April 2013, 4 – 5pm, Arnolfini, Bristol
David Berridge and Eleanor Vonne Brown in conversation

A conversation around a selection of publications presented by X Marks the Bökship with David Berridge (VerySmallKitchen) and Eleanor Vonne Brown (X Marks the Bökship).