The Smart Set: Lauren Cerand’s Weekly Events

So…Monday’s gone and it’s not coming back. Blame it on the stars: Mercury’s in retrograde. If it makes you feel better, the last time that “Brand New Colony” by The Postal Service came up on iTunes, I dedicated it to you. Herewith, the rest of the week:

12.14: Cupcake, the reading series that, Honey, I just love with all my heart (and co-founded), tonight features Nell Freudenberger, author of Lucky Girls, and emerging writer Dika Lam, whose stories have appeared in Story, Scribner’s Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999, Washington Square, One Story and elsewhere. Journalist Katherine Lanpher, co-host of Air America Radio’s Al Franken Show, will moderate a short discussion with Freudenberger and Lam immediately following the reading. 7:30pm, FREE. Also, Tuesday is the last day of the blowout holiday book sale at Poets House. 11:00am-7:00pm.

12.15: At The New York Studio School, lauded art critic Robert Storr (who I have seen interview artists Bruce Nauman, Sophie Calle, and Shahzia SikanderThe Smart Set is a weekly feature, compiled by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to by the Thursday before publication for consideration.

on separate occasions; he’s entertaining, unbelievably well-prepared and informed, and always asks the best questions) discusses “soul dizziness,” an expression originally coined by nineteenth-century writer Jean Paul to describe “the existential state produced by the grotesque.” 6:30pm, FREE.

12.16: “Cory Arcangel is a computer artist whose work is concerned with technology’s relationship to culture and the creative process. He is a founding member of BEIGE, a group of computer programmers and enthusiasts who recycle obsolete computers and video game systems to make art and music, and a member of RSG (Radical Software Group).” Thursday evening, he discusses his work at Columbia University as part of the provocative and highly necessary series of Art & Technology Lectures, currently dedicated to examining “the legal, technological, and conceptual issues that confront artists in the age of open source culture.” 6:00pm, FREE. Later on that same night, Chelsea Peretti, the woman who saved your ass with The Rejection Line, puts on a performance of Floating Palace, her one-woman show. 10:00pm, $10.

12.17: James Frey, Matthew Rohrer and Hannah Tinti read from their work at a benefit for Washington Square, “the biannual literary journal published by New York University’s Graduate Creative Writing Program,” as well as celebrate the upcoming Winter 2005 issue of the magazine, with a reception to follow. 7:00pm, $5. Also on Friday night, you can finally tell your kids what you tried to tell your mom back in the day: get the facts and learn how to stay on message when author and illustrator Ricardo Cortes reads from and discusses It’s Just a Plant at Bluestockings. 7:00pm, FREE.

12.18: Susanna Clarke, author of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, meets and greets both practicing and theoretical magicians and their friends at the quite fantastic shop, Books of Wonder. [Related: Jenny Davidson’s review of the book for n + 1.] 12:00pm-2:00pm, FREE. Also of note: powerHouse is holding an ongoing book sale through December 31.

12.19: “Continuing through January 16, bitforms gallery in Chelsea presents a small survey of early computer-based work entitled, ‘Scratch Code.’ … Increasingly, a contemporary generation of artists, web-designers and animators draws from this aesthetic of early computer animation, games and sound. For those that grew up playing with the electronic games and learning the programming languages of the 1970s and 80s, the significance of this history is intrinsically related to this particularly strange literacy and the set of references created by these types of designs and formats.” [at bitforms, via Eyebeam’s reblog.]


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