We want to take another opportunity to acknowledge all of the wonderful writers who participated in our second undergraduate LED writing contest at the University of Missouri. Last Wednesday, we were lucky enough to hear from the winning writer and three fantastic finalists. We were also so pleased to see their friends, family and faculty turn out to celebrate their accomplishments.
We love hosting this event in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery— the showcase of undergraduate visual art is a perfect complement, but it seemed particularly meaningful this year. The works that were read all offered insight into the writers’ generation, into their experiences in an era of gun violence and political paralysis. It was powerful to hear these readers raise their voices in a room full of visual art through which their peers are engaging many of the same issues and ideas. Their art and writing sincerely gives us hope for a better future.
We were also fortunate to have a great photographer on hand. The photos above are from Jovani Jones.
Jovani Jones is a senior at the University of Missouri majoring in Health Science. He runs his own photography business with Fisheye Focals and can be found with a camera in hand most of time. His goal is to capture the life of the community through his photography and bring light to local talent and other venues.
Thanks again to Catherine Armbrust for hosting our event, and Jeff Wasserboehr for judging the contest!
We moved on to our next installation, Sonnet (51) by Nikki Wallschlaeger, without posting any photos from the wonderful reading and poster-printing event that wrapped up our MU Undergraduate Writing Competition. So, in the spirit of better late than never, we’ve finally organized some images to share!
Click the images to read the captions. Not pictured is runner-up Sabrina Brons, who read her piece, “Gossip.” The first gallery features images from the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, where the reading was held. The second set of images is from SRLBX x THERETHERENOW, where we held a reception with refreshments, a reading room stocked full of artist’s books and zines, and a poster-printing session for Kirstin Smith’s broadside (the contest’s publication prize).
LED co-founder, Carley Gomez, introducing the readers.
Runner-up Sabrina Heffern reading her short story, “On the Wings of Her Fledglings.”
Classmates and runners-up, Kelly Schoessling and Sabrina Heffern.
Kelly Schoessling reads her story, “Is it Distance or Space?” (Photo credit: Emerson Davis)
The 2018 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition made the George Caleb Bingham Gallery a lively location for a reading.
Contest winner Kirstin Smith introduces her piece, “Milk Carton Faces.” (Photo credit: Emerson Davis)
Kirstin also shared why creative writing is important to her, and how she hopes her writing helps her readers.
Travis Shaffer, MU photo instructor and founder of There There Now, simultaneously snacks and supervises as Kristin Smith prints her own broadside.
The risograph resting after 200 copies of “Milk Carton Faces” have been printed.
In the other room, we had set up a reading room with an assortment of artist’s publications.
After the reading, we will continue the celebration at SRLBX x THERETHERENOW (207 Hitt St.), where the winning piece will also be displayed on our new, permanent LED installation. Join us there for snacks and refreshments plus art and lovely people.
Lisa Torem will be joining actor and writer Susie Griffith for a launch and reading at RoscoeBooks. The event is this Wednesday, May 24th at 6:30 pm. There will be snacks!
Having launched our own anthology at RoscoeBooks earlier this year, we are sure you’ll have a great time at this amazing independent bookshop! If you need an extra nudge, read Lisa’s LED contribution and you won’t want to miss Wednesday’s reading.
The LED Anthology is printed. All that’s left to do is celebrate!
Please join us for a reading by LED authors to officially launch the book. We’ll be returning to the site of our April installation: the wonderful RoscoeBooks! The event will begin at 6:30pm on January 7th, 2017. Join our Facebook Event for updates.
We’ll have refreshments and crisp new books – what could be better?
Our first installation went as smoothly as we could have hoped, and we even managed to snap a few photos of the process. We devised a portable frame for the LED display so we could take advantage of the storefront’s elevated window and avoid mounting anything in the ceiling. Our friends at Knee Deep Vintage were very accommodating, and the whole process took less than two hours.
Almost all of that time was programming Kanga’s piece, Aubrey Graham, into the display. We did this with a remote control, one letter at a time! Though slow, the process is fitting for Literature Emitting Diodes. The project investigates the impact of constraints on literature, for writers, readers, and publishers alike. Just as the writers are limited to 500 words, and the readers are constrained to the scrolling speed of the display, so are we publishers held to the limitations of the process.
Part of our fascination with limitations in art and literature is with their relative nature. Surely a remote controller is slower than a computer keyboard, but what about other methods still used by small presses? The slow pace and disorienting experience of only seeing a few characters at a time reminded us of setting metal type for letterpress printing. With so many contrasts between these two publishing media, their common ground as a generative constraint is one of the reasons we are so excited to see this project progress!
We are thrilled to share some documentation of our inaugural publication, Aubrey Graham by Surabhi Kanga.
We first photographed our LED display as soon as the text was programmed. Knee Deep Vintage was still bustling with Friday afternoon shoppers and Literature Emitting Diodes was just one among many elements in the storefront. Competing and collaborating with graffiti, posters, reflections and more, LED calls attention to the rich layers of language that inhabit the urban environment.
At dusk, the context changes. The LEDs glow brighter and the writing reads differently though, of course, the text has not changed. The writing scrolls on by, as it will do thousands of times before the end of July, unaware of the constant changes around it. Every reader will have a different experience, as we do each time we return to photograph the installation.
We hope our readers find this as exciting as we do, and we would be happy to share photos and videos taken by our readers as they experience the piece in their own respective ways.