Ai Weiwei at Asia Society, New York City

[Robert Frank & Allen Ginsberg. 1989. Inkjet on Fantac Innova Ultra Smooth Gloss. Printed on 20 x 24-inch paper. Courtesy of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Chambers Fine Art. ]

More Ai Weiwei news. All four of his associates (reported on last week) have now officially been freed – Wen Tao, Hu Mingfen, Liu Zhenggang and Zhang Jinsong. All four, like Ai, still face significant charges. Ai has been slapped with a $1.85 million tax bill (5 million yuan in back taxes and 7 million yuan in fines). He plans to challenge this.

Meanwhile, his show of … Read More

My Conscience Says Tell The Truth in Finland

Footage has just emerged of Allen in Finland in 1983 (and of Burroughs too, for that matter) – both snatches of interview(s) and brief glimpses of readings. The footage is from Finnish YLE tv. Allen is seen reading, spiritedly, from “America”- a line at a time, followed by Finnish translation (Burroughs is glimpsed reading sections from A Place of Dead Roads – “and swear to me that you will never wear a policeman’s badge”). The video accompanies an article on the Beats in Finland in that nation’s newspaper and can be accessed here 
AG: My conscience says “tell the … Read More

Allen and Peter and Julius San Francisco footage (ASV8)

[2014 update – unfortunately this rare “home footage” has been taken down and is no longer available on You Tube – Notwithstanding, we retain here our 2011 annotation]

Rare “(at) home footage” of Allen, and Peter Orlovsky, with his brother, Julius, and momentary glimpses of Neal Cassady (that’s him in the striped shirt), and who’s the woman? – we’re really not sure. Of the location, however, we can be sure. It’s 1965 San Francisco, Allen’s apartment, at 1360 Fell Street, near the panhandle district, east of Golden Gate Park. The source of the footage? Clearly, out-takes from Richard … Read More

Stonewall Anniversary

[2011] – Forty-two years on (forty-two years tomorrow? – according to various news reports and historical accounts, the police raided the New York City West Village bar a little after midnight (1.20 in the morning?), so that technically makes the official starting date of the uprising (Saturday) June 28 1969).
We are indebted for a comprehensive account of this pivotal event to the historian David Carter.
Allen wasn’t around on those first two days but, famously, accompanied by actor Taylor Mead was there on the third day, as depicted in Lucien K Truscott IV’s controversial Village Voice account:
“Allen
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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 30

[Ai Weiwei – Books on a table/Allen on the phone – contact-sheet photographs from the exhibition, Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993. via SlamXhype]

This week’s big story? Well, that would have to be the “release”, on Wednesday, after 60 days of detention of noted Chinese dissident, Ai Weiwei (We’d draw your attention to our original coverage here). Once again, Hypoallergic.com are doing a pretty good job of keeping track of all the breaking news. Edward Wong’s Wednesday New York Times article can be found here.
“I’m released, I’m home, I’m fine”, the artist is quoted … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Punk Rocker (part two)

[Allen Ginsberg and Joe Strummer, backstage at Bonds International Casino, Times Square, New York, June 10 1981 – photo c. Hank O’Neal.]
As Allen recounts it: ” (In 1981) I was listening to a lot of punk, and I’d heard about The Clash from Steven Taylor. I went backstage once at their 17-night gig at Bonds Club on Times Square and Joe Strummer said, “We’ve had somebody say a few words about Nicaragua and (El) Salvador and Central America [they were promoting their album Sandinista at the time], but the kids are throwing eggs and tomatoes at ‘im. Would … Read More

More Punk Notes (Hardcore)

Following on from recent postings, here’s Allen and Steven Taylor in Allen’s kitchen (437 East 12th Street) in New York, discussing “hardcore”, the music immediately following punk.
Here below is a transcript:
“AG: …(which) leaves it open to any kind of polymorphous perverse, at best, and is a kind of declaration of independence from social identity, or reassertion of a personal stamp of their own social identity, also there’s a political implication of subversion and rebellion against the rigid moral (morale) of the financial, sexual, commercial, rules and regulations imposed by the American government, or the Russian government, or the
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Jonas Mekas – Hare Krishna (ASV 7)

Jonas Mekas‘ 1966 four-minute short documentary film featuring a kaleidoscope of images, anchored, to some degree, by Allen and Peter chanting Hare Krishna, is the next (seventh) in our series of Annotated Streaming Videos. Here’s Mekas’ note from the catalog of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative: “A “documentary” – one Sunday afternoon in New York – beautiful new generation – dancing in the streets of New York – singing “Hare Hare” – filling the streets and the air with love – in the very beginning of the New Age – Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky (on soundtrack) singing “Hare … Read More

Poetry and Meditation

[Allen Ginsberg, Boulder Colorado, June 1994. photo c. Steve Miles]
In the upcoming months we’re hoping to publish, here on The Allen Ginsberg Project, a number of transcriptions of, previously-unpublished, lectures and talks given by Allen. Let’s begin this week with a 1993 class given at the Schule Fur Dichtung (Vienna Poetry School), initially transcribed by Christian M Katt, with further revisions by Ide Hintze and Juergen Berlalovich – Allen on Meditation and Poetics.
The talk is given prior to a showing of two classic “Beat” movies – Pull My Daisy and Renaldo and Clara (Renaldo and Clara is … Read More