Future Beyond Reason Panel Presentation

This event occurred in the past

Future Beyond Reason Panel Presentation

This event occurred in the past

Future Beyond Reason Panel Presentation

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Saints Tekakwitha and Serra Hall, 200, Humanities Center

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




Presented in conjunction with an evening performance in Shiley Theatre, the Future Beyond Reason panel discussion features Dr. Nancy Perloff, Curator, Modern & Contemporary Collections at the Getty Research Institute (GRI) speaking about zaum (“beyonsense”) in Russian futurist book art. Taking as a launching point her book, Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art (Getty Publications, 2017), she will argue that manifestos by avant-garde poets Velimir Khlebnikov and Alexei Kruchenykh dismissed referentiality and advocated the new poetic language of zaum. This abstract language, which derives its suggestive meanings from sound, was first invented in the artists’ books of the Russian Futurists—books meant to be read, looked at, and listened to. By placing zaum in its original context, Perloff will demonstrate how Futurist books became vessels of sound poetry.


Following Dr. Perloff, Christopher Adler, professor in the USD Music department, will discuss his composition Zaum Box, a creative setting of selected zaum poetry for solo speaking percussionist in which zaum principles are deployed in compositional methods, musical notation, score preparation, and the realization of the works in video form. The evening concert will feature a performance of the complete Zaum Box by percussionist Jordan Curcuruto.


Finally, Charissa Noble, lecturer in music at SDSU and USD will speak about the phenomena of vocal sound, language approximation, and meaning formation in the vocal music of Kurt Schwitters. She will examine his work within the broader context of Dadaism and the geopolitical events that shaped early twentieth century aesthetic modernism.

About Nancy Perloff:
Nancy Perloff (Ph.D. University of Michigan) is Curator, Modern & Contemporary Collections at the Getty Research Institute (GRI). Trained as a musicologist and as an art historian, she pursues scholarship on the Russian avant-garde, European modernism, and the relationship between music and the visual arts. Her exhibitions at the GRI include Monuments of the Future: Designs by El Lissitzky (1998–99); Sea Tails: A Video Collaboration (2004); Tango with Cows: Book Art of the Russian Avant-Garde, 1910–1917 (2008–9); and she led the curatorial team for World War I: War of Images, Images of War (2014). Perloff is the author of Art and the Everyday: Popular Entertainment and the Circle of Erik Satie (Oxford, 1991), coeditor, with Brian M. Reed, of Situating El Lissitzky: Vitebsk, Berlin, Moscow (Getty, 2003), and author of Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art (Getty, 2016).  Explodity was Recipient of the Innovation in Print Award in the 2017 American Alliance of Museums Book Design Competition.   Perloff has written and lectured widely on avant-garde composers such as John Cage and David Tudor.  Her exhibition, Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space, was on view at the GRI from March 28 – July 30, 2017.  As an outgrowth of this exhibition, she is currently editing the book, Concrete Poetry: A New Anthology for the Digital Age, forthcoming with Reaktion Books.

Future Beyond Reason is presented by the USD Department of Music and the USD Humanities Center, with the support of the USD Provost’s Office, the Department of Art, Architecture + Art History, and University Galleries. 


For more information about the concert, visit: https://www.sandiego.edu/events/cas/detail.php?_focus=73077




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5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110