October 7, 2016

Season 2 of L’oeil Vigilant—a poetry magazine in the form of a surveillance feed for your smartphone

Broodthaers Society of America
Courtesy of Broodthaers Society of America.

Today is the launch of Season 2 of L’oeil Vigilant, a poetry magazine in the form of a surveillance feed for your smartphone. The feed offers a view, in the foreground, of the streetlights just outside our South Bronx editorial offices. The background depicts the Robert F. Wagner Houses in Manhattan and the landing approach to La Guardia airport in Queens. All around, the ambient flow of sunlight, passenger jets, and municipal security lights are monitored 24/7. Also freight trains bound for the landfills of Pennsylvania loaded down with medical waste.

L’oeil Vigilant functions in monthly episodes written and designed by artists within the constraints of our surveillance apparatus: an Everfocus Ultra 720+ security camera with low light capability and a 60–160mm manual zoom lens connected to a Swann 4-3425H DVR. The DVR features SwannView Link security software with optional motion detection and sound. Based on each artist’s instructions, we log into the apparatus and make daily visual and verbal adjustments to the camera, the time code, a moveable text box within the feed, and up to four rectilinear masks. Edited by Joe Scanlan, Season 2 will take a reflexive bent and feature episodes by E L Burchfield, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Eileen Myles, Neeta Patel, Hirsch Perlman, A Tribe Called Quest, and Alice Yang.

MBnb is our ongoing engagement with the sharing economy that is in keeping with Marcel Broodthaers’ enterprising spirit. The apartment is currently occupied by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard, two theatre professionals who are in town performing Underground Railroad Game, their critically acclaimed play that is currently on an extended run at Ars Nova, New York.

The artists will be residence until November 15, when MBnb will return to its regular Airbnb bookings, public appointments, and private reading group sessions. Broodthaers fans from across the United States and around the world will once again be able to settle into MBnb’s five-star amenities and enjoy secure access to our Broodthaers archive and related material.

Reading Room
Several rare items related to Broodthaers’ early years have entered the collection as we continue to focus on his ambivalent salad days as a communist surrealist in the late 1940s and 1950s. These items include a copy of the Brussels Surrealist manifesto of 1946, for which Broodthaers was a cosigner; a copy of Le Savoir Vivre, in which Broodthaers first printed words appeared; and a complete set of Edda numbers 1–5, a Brussels-based art and poetry magazine that features tantalizing evidence of Broodthaers’ pre-exposure-to-Pop Art milieu.
To make an appointment, contact [email protected]. For more information on the Broodthaers Society of America visit our website.

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