Interview, Poetry

5 Questions with poet and artist Lauren Klotzman

Catch Lauren perform this Friday at Bostonhassle.com's RADICAL ACTS, this Friday June 7th at DAP

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Lauren Klotzman, originally hailing from Texas, has landed in the Boston fringe arts scene with poetry books of translation errors and stripped down guitar sets. While her art seems to have no boundaries and smoothly intersects with other forms at every turn of predictability, what stands out most to me in Lauren’s work is the rye humor and a hesitated laugh, that to me, feels like she comes from a place of deep care.

Lauren was kind enough to e-chat with the Boston Hassle ahead of Radical Acts, Bostonhassle.com’s first installment of their interdisciplinary programming.

Boston Hassle: You’re from Texas and spent time in Austin (shoutout Linklater’s Slackers). Why did you come to Boston? How is it here vs. other cities or creative environments?

Lauren Klotzman: I mostly moved here because the names rhyme. I joke that Boston is kind of like the “bizarro world” of Austin. You know, like the alternate universe where everything is the opposite. As in: in the middle of Austin people are doing stand up paddleboard yoga with their dog on the board and here they’re rowing crew… Bizarro!!

In all seriousness, I like Boston and it’s really chilled me out. But I’m definitely still seeking out my niche in the creative communities that exist here. Overall, it has seemed to me that Boston – like so many cities – is rich with potential, but starving for space. I definitely miss my big warehouse artist spaces… but where in the US can those even exist anymore? We live in interesting times…

BH: Thanks for reading June 7th at our upcoming show Radical Acts with Evan Greer and Lin Pang! What does the word ‘queer’ mean to you right now in 2019, if anything?

LK: Yeah of course! I’m super stoked to be reading! This question reminds me that once I wrote down that the word queer “sounds like a honking horn.” The line has always stuck with me, but I’ve never been able to incorporate it into a work. You can take it to mean whatever you want. Trust me, I’m a POET.

miley's lament_((check yr vernacular) from Lauren Klotzman on Vimeo.

BH: When I saw you read a few months ago at AllstonLivingRoom your set was remarkable and humorous. You even played some songs on guitar. Why interject songs at a poetry reading?

LK: Wow, big complement! Thank you! I’m starting to want to make poetry readings more like small performance sets which rotate around a loose theme. I was thinking a bit about the evolution of Lesbian folk music, which I think has vestigial threads with a lot of popular queer and queer-adjacent musicians today. So I played some old songs in a more raw and vulnerable fashion. I mean, I usually use drum machines!! But this was stripped down to me and my unplugged Mustang, as if I were practicing in my own home. So that convergence of a queer community event and a queer domestic space seemed appropriate to test out these ideas. I may or may not keep going with this method of performing… we’ll have to see what happens on Friday!!

BH: You are also a visual artist who explores themes of entropy, planned obsolescence, and appropriation, among other things. Where does poetry fit into all of this for you?

LK: Well I originally came to poetry through art. When I was 20 years old I lived in Marfa Texas and thought I “hated” poetry. I was then confronted by a poet who showed me that the work I was doing was – in fact – completely in the realm of poetics! After I realized that and got introduced to poetry I actually liked, I couldn’t stop.

The best convergence of my art and poetics practices is a book completely comprised of a mistranslation/error that I generated by attempting to convert a video file of Carolee Schmeeman’s Meat Joy into a .txt file. It’s called Meat Joy Error Failure: It’s over 6000 pages long and spreads across 8 volumes. When you stack the books together they are one foot high. It was recently shown in Switzerland, and I am super proud that my book made it there before I did. I like to think that it interrogates how these forms of data transmission (book, file format, etc) have, do, and will continue to encounter obsolescence and information decay.

BH: Do you have any plans for 2019 or beyond?

LK: I want to stay alive, eat good food and travel more. I’m really embracing my Sagittarian nature lately.

I’ll also be starting up grad school for archives in the Fall. I’m essentially exploring the themes of my art practice in a way that will hopefully directly lead toward working to save fragile information that is at risk of entropy and obsolescence. I like to think that it’s a noble cause… information “deserves to be free,” but it also deserves be saved and protected by folks like me. That is, when I’m not actively trying to tear it up.

Lauren Klotzman is an artist, writer, and occasional curator. They studied art and poetics at Sarah Lawrence College and Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and are interested in plagiarism, appropriation, and recuperation in media, hardware, and software. They have published with Hyperallergic, Salon, TROLLTHREAD, and The Operating System. Their recent work and research explores planned obsolescence, digital entropy, womxn technologists, and the 1990s. They are a firm believer in lo-fi decadence. – Taken from http://www.laurenklotzman.com/

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Chris Hues is a human & writer from Boston, Ma & music editor of bostonhassle.com. //// They can be reached at [email protected] or @crsjh_ via instagram & twitter.

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