Theoretical Music: No Wave, New Music, and the New York Art Scene, 1978-1983

November 3-5, 2010

An event organized by Branden W. Joseph and David Grubbs for ISSUE Project Room.

The last several years have been witness to an increasing number of exhibitions, books, and archival audio releases representing New York art, music, and underground cinema from the years that hinge the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The Metropolitan Museum's exhibition The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984, the traveling retrospective Dan Graham: Beyond, Thurston Moore and Byron Coley's No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York, 1976-1980, Marc Masters' No Wave, Tim Lawrence's Hold on to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992, and the DVD release of Ericka Beckman's 135 Grand Street New York 1979 all speak to a growing interest in historicizing this period of multidisciplinary ferment.

"Theoretical Music" is a three-day event organized by art historian Branden W. Joseph and musician David Grubbs to take place at ISSUE Project Room. Its purpose is to examine the intersections as well as the failed encounters of art, music, and cinema in downtown Manhattan from 1978-1983. In addition to an evening of panel discussions among some of the most notable figures to emerge from the art, music, and film scenes of the time, the event will include a rare screening of James Nares's no wave epic, Rome '78 and conclude with a concert performance headlined by the first New York appearance in years by the fearless, crucial downtown band, Ut.

Wednesday, November 3
Film Screening and Conversation with Filmmaker and Artist, James Nares
Rome ’78 (1978, 90 minutes, dir. James Nares)
Starring Patti Astor, James Chance, Bradley Field, David McDermott, Eric Mitchell, Lance Loud, John Lurie, Lydia Lunch, Anya Phillips, and Pat Place, among others.

Thursday, November 4
Panel Discussions
Speakers: Beth B, Nina Canal, Byron Coley, Kim Gordon, Peter Gordon, Dan Graham, John Miller, Thurston Moore, Ned Sublette, and Taro Suzuki. Moderators: David Grubbs and Branden W. Joseph

Friday, November 5
Talk Normal

ISSUE Project Room
At the Old American Can Factory
232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215