The Showroom

The School of Public Life: presentations and performances by Fred Dewey and Brandon LaBelle

Saturday 28 February 2015
Free, no booking required


How does public life encourage thinking, action, and imagination, and how can public life be fostered and built up? How might culture actualise the people and public life? In what ways might we respond to and understand powerlessness and questions of the political voice? How might cultural work help us discover our existing power? Are there new forms of solidarity to be found within acts of intimate sharing and simply coming together?

Such questions are investigated through recent publications by author Fred Dewey and artist Brandon LaBelle. Whether through working in grass-roots initiatives in Los Angeles and Berlin, or reflecting upon the state of political subjectivity and its unexplored potentials, both seek to encourage and find strategies for enabling people power.

In celebration of their publications for Errant Bodies Press, The School of Public Life by Fred Dewey and Brandon LaBelle's Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian, the author-artists will present and perform their respective works.

Fred Dewey is a writer, teacher, editor/publisher, curator and co-founder of the Neighborhood Councils Movement in Los Angeles. He directed Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center in Los Angeles from 1995–2010 and has edited, published and designed twenty books and anthologies, featuring work by Ammiel Alcalay, Simone Forti, Jean-Luc Godard, Daniel Berrigan, Abdellatif Laabi, Jack Hirschman, Christoph Draeger, Ed Ruscha, Diane di Prima and more. His writing has appeared in the anthologies Architecture of Fear (Princeton Architecture), Most Art Sucks (Smart Art), Cork Caucus and in magazines and newspapers such as the Neighborhood Councils Movement Newsletter, the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, New Statesman, LA Weekly, LA Times, Metropolis, Venice Beachhead, LA Forum for Architecture & Urban Design, and Coagula. Dewey has performed with the dancers and artists Simone Forti and Jeremiah Day at London’s ICA, New York’s Ludlow 38 and Berlin’s Errant Bodies. He teaches in Berlin and in the graduate fine art program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Brandon LaBelle is an artist, writer and theorist working with sound culture, voice and questions of agency. He develops and presents artistic projects and performances within a range of international contexts, often working collaboratively and in public. He also develops publishing and pedagogical projects through Errant Bodies Press and project space in Berlin. His artistic work has been presented at NGBK, Berlin (2014), Whitney Museum, NY (2012), Image Music Text, London (2011), Sonic Acts, Amsterdam (2010), A/V Festival, Newcastle (2008, 2010), Instal 10, Glasgow (2010), Museums Quartier/Tonspur, Vienna (2009) and 7th Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Allegro (2009). Recent projects include Civic Center, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Sixth Housing Estate, South London Gallery, London and Hobo College, Marrakech Biennial parallel project. Also a prolific writer, his books include Lexicon of the Mouth (2014), Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian (2012), Acoustic Territories (2010), and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art (2006). He lives in Berlin and is a professor at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.