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Reading

The Observer Effect: Observing and Eavesdropping as Literary method

Anne-Claire Barrig, Kenneth Goldsmith, Petr Januš, Gauz, Judith Keller, Pavel Klusák, Pavel Novotný a Jana Přikrylová
Moderated by Sára Vybíralová, Olga Pek
Organized by Psí Víno / Školská 28
Wed 29.6. - 19:00

“Independent observer”: isn’t it an oxymoron? Doesn’t observing mean also getting involved? In quantum physics this is called “the observer effect”. How effective can observing, eavesdropping, collecting of lines, sentences, fragments, facts, data be in literature? How substantives, verbs, numerals, adjectives filter (or contaminate) the external world via the observer’s internal world – and is the less substantial made more substantial by observing? How the demand for comprehensibility or a disavowed addressee delimit (and shape) the internal monologue? What it’s like to eavesdrop (on oneself)? Is the poetics of objective scientific description always exhaustive, exhausting?

The evening of literary spying, voyeurism and quantum literature will consist of readings, translations and micro-performances by authors and visual artists. Some questions will be answered; others will by posed. Bring your own binoculars, microscopes and kaleidoscopes!


Anne-Claire Barriga (* 1985) comes from Brittany. She studied sociology and literature at the Sorbonne in Paris and graduated from the Prague School of Applied Arts in the studio of Jiří David. Her multimedia works often combine text and video. She is also the creator of the short film Medusa (2015). This year, she was a resident at the Meet Factory.

Kenneth Goldsmith (* 1961) is an American conceptual poet, advocate of “non-creative writing”, and author of ten books of poetry, among other things. In 2011, he was received at the White House.

Petr Januš (* 1975) is a Czech translator and publisher. He did Czech Studies at the Faculty of Arts in Prague, and completed work on sound poetry. In 2010 he founded, together with Jaroslav Tvrdoň, the publishing studio Rubato. He has translated the works of Jean Cocteau, Maurice Blanchot and Peter Handke from German and French.

Gauz, real name Armand Patrick Gbaka­Brédé (# 1971) is a French writer of Côte d'Ivoire origin. In France, he lived first as a student but stayed after his visa expired. He lived there illegally for some time, which is reflected in the variety of jobs he held. His debut essayist novel “Paying for Parking” (PAYE-Debout, 2014) attracted the attention of critics and the public.

Judith Keller (* 1985) is a Swiss poet and Germanist. She studied in Biel, Leipzig, Berlin and Bogotá. In 2014, she won the New German Fiction Prize. Her texts have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, most recently in the collection “Lyrik von jetzt” (2015). She lives in Zurich.

Pavel Klusák (* 1969) is (not only) a music journalist, curator and theorist pop culture. Because of a crashed hard drive, he held back a book on the Minimalists. The rest will be expressed in anagrams: LULKA V KAPSE (a pipe in the pocket), SPALA V KUKLE (slept in a balaklava), VLAK U SKLEPA (a train from the cellar), PŮLKA KLÁVES (half a key).

Pavel Novotný (* 1976) is a poet, translator, head of the German Department TUL and literary handyman. He has published several collections of poems and created a number of radio compositions. His lifelong creative project is “Tramvestie,” which is in principle an infinite set of audio and text recordings that chart a tram ride between Liberec and Jablonec nad Nisou.

Jana Přikrylová is a Czech linguist and doctoral student at the Institute of Czech Language and Theory of Communication. Professionally, he researches the slang and speech the police.

Olga Pek (* 1988) is editor in chief and crisis manager of the magazine “Dog Wine,” an occasional translator, and a poetry and literary organizer.

Sarah Vybíralová (* 1986) is a translator and aspiring novelist.