Constance DeJong: Reader
Published by Primary Information.
Edited by Rachel Valinsky.
The first anthology of the multivocal, narrational, performative writings of the intermedia pioneer, who has quietly influenced generations of New York artists and writers from Kathy Acker to Ellie Ga
A leading figure of the 1970s and ‘80s downtown New York performance scene, Constance DeJong has channeled time and language as her mediums for the last four decades. The artist’s experimental prose, multimedia spoken text works, recitational performance, and digital and media art projects expand the possibilities of narrative form, literary genre and technological interactivity.
This reader is the first anthology to collect DeJong’s writing to date. Including out-of-print experimental short fiction such as the 2013 publication and performance SpeakChamber, the book also features numerous scripts for performances such as Relatives, a duet between a television and a performer made in collaboration with artist Tony Oursler. Spanning text for disembodied voices emanating from reengineered radios, sound pieces, video works and public art commissions, this anthology gathers DeJong’s contributions to language and media art in all their forms.
Constance DeJong (born 1945) is a New York–based artist who has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally. Her work has been presented at the Renaissance Society, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Wexner Center, Columbus; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and in New York at The Kitchen, Thread Waxing Space, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Dia Center for the Arts. In 1983 she composed the libretto for the Philip Glass opera Satyagraha, which has been staged at opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York; the Netherlands National Opera, Rotterdam; and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. She has permanent audio-text installations in Beacon, New York; London; and Seattle. DeJong has published several books of fiction, including her celebrated Modern Love (Standard Editions, 1977; reissued by Primary Information/Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017), I.T.I.L.O.E. (Top Stories, 1983) and Speakchamber (Bureau, 2013), and her work is included in the anthologies Up Is Up, But So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974–1991 (NYU Press, 2006); Blasted Allegories (New Museum/MIT, 1987) and Wild History (Tanam Press, 1985).