What: Mark Amerika book launch for “remixthebook”
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe, 1203 13th Street Suite A, Boulder
More info markamerika.com; innisfreepoetry.com
I t was once said of late philosopher Jacques Derrida that he “wouldn’t change the way you think about everything but everything about the way you think.”
Perhaps the same could be said about artist/writer and University of Colorado art professor Mark Amerika.
Would make sense considering his latest work, “remixthebook,” deals with the mixing, mashing up and, well, revisiting of art and media from the past in order to reinterpret the future.
Amerika will host the North American launch of “remixthebook” at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Café on the Hill at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Named one of Time magazine’s 100 most innovative minds of the 21st century in 2001, Amerika has led a wildly successful career in the various modes of multidisciplinary art, having published five books, produced numerous installations for museums around the globe and produced a healthy glut of web-based art.
“My creative work as an artist always begins with writing, with experiments in art and language,” said Amerika in an email.
Amerika has taught at CU for 12 years and is currently working on a project with the organizers of the 2012 London Olympics.
“‘remixthebook’ is my second book in four years that takes contemporary art theory out of the realm of traditional academic discourse and relates it more to what it means to experience life as an interdisciplinary artist and thinker,” Amerika continued.
Amerika said he is excited about the Boulder launch — which will be part of a worldwide tour of the book — and that, “grad students, creative writers and hip scholars that I network with really appreciate my attempt to make these sometimes inaccessible forms of theory more accessible. The idea is to remix your own thoughts into new forms of art and writing that reflect the age we live in.”
Despite Amerika’s international acclaim, Brian Buckley — who owns Innisfree with his wife Kate Hunter — said he never knew that store regular “Mark” was the Mark Amerika until the duo began having regular conversations about a mutually favorite poet. I
t wasn’t long before Amerika and Buckley became friends and a short time thereafter that Amerika came to Buckley with the book launch idea.
“We’re always thrilled about these kinds of events,” Buckley said. “We love collaborating with the school and others at Innisfree. We do bring in a large spectrum of people — some homeless, for instance — who might not go to a campus event to see artists and writers like Mark. So I think it’s good it all came together.”
Though Amerika’s latest opus does not necessarily fit neatly into what one would normally expect from a bookstore specializing in poetry, Buckley isn’t concerned.
“I love the scene he’s working on,” Buckley said. “Poets need artists from different realms to feed the poetry. We’re excited to have Mark here for the people in his field, but also for poets who will get something they can’t otherwise gain just reading poetry. It’s great that we have another person of artistic innovation like Mark in the ‘hood.'”