Lab and Field Reports for the Organism for Poetic Research on the Skin of Space/Pelt No. 1 Release

opr-logo-copyDate: Friday, May 25, 2012
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: FREE
Presented by: the Hollow Earth Society

The Organism for Poetic Research consists of exactly what its name says it does. The publication PELT constitutes its epidermal organ, its interface with the world. Operating at the crux of empirical and humanist methodologies, fascinated with differentiation, the OPR has been studying the problem of the Skin of Space as an important political effort.

This event marks the release of the first volume of PELT, titled ‘The Skin of Space,’ and heralds the occasion with the presentation of additional field and lab reports on the subject, in the form of poetry, lecture, and findings presented in printed graphic arts.

Lytle Shaw is the author of Cable Factory 20 (Atelos), Frank O’Hara: The Poetics of Coterie, articles on Smithson, and the forthcoming Specimen Box (Periscope) and Fieldworks: From Place to Site in Postwar Poetry (Univ. Alabama Press). He is associate Prof. of English at NYU.

Ed Keller is Associate Dean of Distributed Learning and Technology and Associate Professor, School of Design Strategies, at the New School. He is also a co-founder with Carla Leitao of AUM Studio, an award winning architecture and new media firm, and his work and writing has appeared in Praxis, ANY, AD, Arquine, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Architecture, Parpaings, Precis, Wired, Metropolis, Assemblage, Ottagono, and Progressive Architecture.

Jeff T. Johnson’s poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in 1913 a journal of formsdandelion magazine, Slope, and Whiskey & Fox, among other publications. Critical essays have appeared in The RumpusColdfrontSink Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, is Editor in Chief at LIT, and edits Dewclaw. He is currently working on LIVE FROM THE VOID, a typographic projection digitally rendered in architectural model space. For more information, visit

Daniel C. Remein and Ada Smailbegović are colleagues as Ph.D. candidates in the English department at NYU, and are co-founders, with Rachael Wilson, of the Organism for Poetic Research.

BF Bifocals is a collective that does contemporary design, free.

Gracie Leavitt’s first book of poetry—Monkeys, Minor Planet, Average Star—is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. She is also the author of the chapbook Gap Gardening, out this year from These Signals Press. Poems have appeared or will soon in such journals as The Brooklyn Review, Conjunctions, Lana Turner, LIT, The Recluse, Sentence, and SET. Transatlantic collaborations appear in Whiskey & Fox’s series “Parks and Occupation.”

The Pornographic Arcades Project: Adaptation, Automation, and the Evolution of Times Square (1965-1975) - IN MANHATTAN at the Cornelia Street Cafe

Photo courtesy Bruce Hamilton

Photo courtesy Bruce Hamilton

An illustrated lecture with Amy Herzog,
professor of media studies and film studies program coordinator at Queens College, CUNY

***IN MANHATTAN at The Cornelia Street Cafe
as part of the BODY AS FUNHOUSE MIRROR series***

Date: Sunday, January 29
Time: 6 PM
Admission: $10 (includes a drink!)
Presented by Hollow Earth Society and Ted Enik
Originally presented by Morbid Anatomy

Walter Benjamin, in his fragmentary Das Passagen-Werk, illuminated the resonances between urban architectural structures and the phenomena that define a cultural moment. “The Pornographic Arcades Project” is a work-in-progress, seeking to build on Benjamin’s insight to ask what a study of pornographic peep show arcades might reveal about the cultural imaginary of the late twentieth century.

Motion picture “peeping” machines have existed since the birth of cinema, and were often stocked with salacious titles. Public arcades devoted to pornographic peep booths only began to appear in the late 1960s, however, although once established, they proliferated wildly, becoming ubiquitous features in urban landscapes. Outfitted with recycled technologies, peep arcades were distinctly local enterprises that creatively exploited regional zoning and censorship laws. They became sites for diverse social traffic, and emerged as particularly significant venues for gay men, hustlers, prostitutes, and other marginalized groups. The film loops themselves often engage in a strange inversion of public and private, as “intimate interiors” are offered up to viewers, at the same time that the spectators are called out by the interface of the machines, and by the physical structures of the arcades.

Peep arcades set in motion a complex dynamic, one that sheds light on wider contemporary preoccupations: surveillance videography and social control; commodification, fetishization, and sexual politics; debates regarding vice and access to the public sphere. Less obvious are they ways in which the arcades subvert far older fascinations, such as technologies of anatomical display and the aesthetics of tableaux vivants.

Amy Herzog is associate professor of media studies and coordinator of the film studies program at Queens College, CUNY. She is the author of Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film (Minnesota, 2010). She recently curated an exhibition at The James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center on the dialogue between pornographic peep loops and contemporary art practices; you can find out more about that exhibition, entitled “Peeps,” by clicking here.


About the series:


Cornelia Street Cafe and Observatory present a series of Observatory talks in the great borough of Manhattan: BODY AS FUNHOUSE MIRROR: Cultural Reflections On The Human Form. These talks will introduce Observatory to a new audience and give presenters the opportunity to update their work.

Produced by Wythe Marschall and Ted Enik. Originally produced at Observatory by Morbid Anatomy Library’s Joanna Ebenstein. Thanks to our hosts, Cornelia Street Cafe, and our presenters: Amy Herzog, Sharon Shattuck, and Mark Dery.