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Christian Bök

Close Listening: a reading and conversation with Penn Students, April 20, 2005

Studio 111 Conversation with Christian Bok and Penn students (39:42): MP3

transcript at Jacket2

Studio 111 Reading (at Kelly Writers House)

  1. introduction by Charles Bernstein (2:49): MP3
  2. Grain Boundaries (1:11): MP3       Rough Take (1:05): MP3
  3. Euclid and His Modern Rivals (9:19): MP3
  4. Umlaut Machine (11:49): MP3
  5. Mushroom Clouds (1:59): MP3
  6. Totenklage by Hugo Ball (1:57): MP3
  7. Synth Loops from The Cyborg Opera (2:27): MP3       Rough Take (2:47): MP3

Produced by Charles Bernstein

Performing as Keynote Speaker for Species of Spaces: A Transdisciplinary Conference on the Work of Georges Perec at Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK, March 28, 2014

in association with information as material and The Laurence Sterne Trust

with a pre-recorded introduction by poet Hannah Silva

The Species of Spaces conference was organized by Rachel Carroll, Michael Hall, Simon Morris, Helge Musial, Heike Salzer and Chris Thurgar-Dawson. It was funded by the Modern Humanities Research Association and Teesside University.

  • Complete audio recording (1:24:48): MP3

Watch on

Performing as part of A Tribute to Paul Dutton

The Supermarket, Toronto, Ontario, March 4, 2014

Univeristy of York May 19, 2011

(1:06:30) MP3
Organized by Bill Sherman, who writes: Bök started the evening with a performance of Hugo Ball's 'Seahorses and Flying Fish' from 1916. He then read excerpts from each of the chapters of his best-selling book Eunoia (in which each chapter uses only one of the five vowels), 'Flarf, Arf, Arf, Arf!' (his hilarious defence of conceptual writing), 'Ten Maps of Sardonic Wit' (from his book made of Lego), and 'Busted Sirens' (a cybernetic response to Ron Silliman's 'Sunset Debris') before singing a hymn in the artificial language he created for Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict. He finished with several texts related to his infamous new project, The Xenotext, in which he is encoding a poem into the DNA of a bacterium that will outlive humanity. Bök's concluding manifesto, 'The Extremophile,' paid tribute both to Deinococcus radiodurans (the virtually indestructible host for his ultimate poem) and to his enduring trust in the resiliency of language itself.

Appearing at North of Invention: A Canadian Poetry Festival, Kelly Writers House, January 20-21, 2011

  • Complete presentation (49:47): MP3

  • Complete reading (29:16): MP3

Launch Reading for Umlaut Machine: Selected Visual Works at the Kelly Writers House, November 18, 2009

co-sponsored by Writers Without Borders and KWH Art, followed by a conversation featuring curator Kaegan Sparks, Astrid Lorange, Danny Snelson and Henry Steinberg

  • Complete recording (1:33:08): MP3   MOV
  1. introduction by Jessica Lowenthal (2:51): MP3
  2. introduction by Keagan Sparks (7:57): MP3
  3. Seahorses and Flying Fish (Seepferdchen und flugfische) by Hugo Ball (1:18): MP3
  4. Karawane by Hugo Ball (0:46): MP3
  5. Excerpt from Eunoia, from Chapter "I" for Dick Higgins (1:38): MP3
  6. Excerpt from Eunoia, Excerpt from Chapter "U" (1:31): MP3
  7. Voyelles by Arthur Rimbaud (1:39): MP3
  8. Vowels (1:27): MP3
  9. Phonemes (1:53): MP3
  10. Vocables (1:45): MP3
  11. Valuvëula (1:51): MP3
  12. Two Equal Texts (1:31): MP3
  13. Ten Maps of Sardonic Wit (1:13): MP3
  14. From "Patent # 3,005,282" by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (0:58): MP3
  15. From "The Great Order of the Universe" by Democritus (0:59): MP3
  16. Excerpt from "Busted Sirens" (3:29): MP3
  17. American Dada (1:10): MP3
  18. Sipher ING-ARD614 (1:59): MP3
  19. The Doomsday Song, For Frederiech Nietzsche upon the Death of Superman (1:14): MP3
  20. From "The Ursonate" (1:53): MP3
  21. Aria of the Three-Horned Enemy, From "The Princess of the Stars" (4:01): MP3
  22. "Mushroom Clouds" from The Cyborg Opera (2:14): MP3
  23. "Synth Loops" from the Cyborg Opera (1:56): MP3
  24. Totenklage (1:58): MP3
  25. Q & A and Discussion with Christian Bök (41:07): MP3

Explodity: An Evening of Transrational Sound Poetry, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, February 4, 2009

  1. Introduction by Nancy Perloff (1:02) : MP3

  2. Historic Repertoire
  3. Excerpt from "Dunes" (French Version) by F. T. Marinetti, 1914 (4:02) : MP3
  4. "Seepferdchen und Flugfische" by Hugo Ball, 1916 (1:20) : MP3
  5. "Karawane" by Hugo Ball, 1916 (0:55) : MP3
  6. "Totenklage" by Hugo Ball, 1916 (1:58) : MP3
  7. Excerpt from the First Movement of Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters, 1922–1932 (4:40) : MP3
  8. "Aria of the Three-Horned Enemy" from The Princess of the Stars by R. Murray Schafer, 1981 (3:31) : MP3

  9. Personal Repertoire
  10. "Valuvula" (2:01) : MP3
  11. "Noyta CCCP" (1;12) : MP3
  12. "The Doomsday Song (for Friedrich Nietzsche on the Death of Superman)" (1:15) : MP3
  13. Excerpt from "Mushroom Clouds" in The Cyborg Opera (2:18) : MP3
  14. Excerpt from "Synth Loops" in The Cyborg Opera (1:58) : MP3
  15. "Ubu Hubbub" (3:47) : MP3


  1. Introduction (00:25): MP3
  2. Chapter A (18:13): MP3
  3. Chapter E (15:28): MP3
  4. Chapter I (08:40): MP3
  5. Chapter O (16:43): MP3
  6. Chapter U (05:08): MP3
  7. And Sometimes (00:38): MP3
  8. Vowels (00:32): MP3
  9. Voyelle, for Arthur Rimbaud (01:01): MP3
  10. W (01:51): MP3
  11. Emended Excess (04:48): MP3

Recorded on June 2, 2002 by Steve Venright, Torpor Vigil Industries.

  • Digital setting of Eunoia available at UBUWEB
  • Order the book and CD or the reading from Coach House

From Charles Bernstein's Portraits Series: Christian & the Plains, January 1, 2008

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Christian Bök
I met up with Christian and Brigitte a few days earlier. We had met at the noisy lounge at his hotel on West 55th and walked over to the Mandarin Oriental lobby sky bar overlooking Central Park. But it was too dark to take any pictures. I saw Christian again at Kenny's on New Year's Day. Cheryl's studio was fairly quiet and the light was right.
(mp4, 1 min. 2 sec., 8.1 mb)

From Audioei 1 / OEI #26, 2006

  1. Synth Loops (2:27): MP3
  2. Mushroom Clouds (1:59): MP3

Reading as part of The Line Reading Series, December 4, 2001

Complete reading (26:38): MP3

Segue Reading at Double Happiness, NY, May 19, 2001

Complete Recording (26:45): MP3

  1. introduction (3:19): MP3
  2. Seepferdchen and Flugfische by Hugo Ball (1:03): MP3
  3. Totenklage by Hugo Ball (1:39): MP3
  4. from "Chapter A" in Eunoia (4:49): MP3
  5. from "Chapter E" in Eunoia (1:23): MP3
  6. from "Chapter I" in Eunoia (3:59): MP3
  7. from "Chapter O" in Eunoia (3:56): MP3
  8. from "Chapter U" in Eunoia (1:39): MP3
  9. Motorized Razors from The Cyborg Opera (1:27): MP3
  10. Mushroom Clouds from the Cyborg Opera (1:33): MP3
  11. Ubu Hubbub (1:20): MP3

Poetry Across the Frontier, Steel Bar (Steven Cain, Natalie Caple, Neil Hennessey, Mark Sullivan, Steve Venwright, Alana Wilcox, Paul Dutton & Christian Bok), April 14, 2001

  • Complete Reading (1:24:47): MP3

Recorded Live at SUNY-Buffalo, 2001

Complete recording (17:15): MP3 , RealAudio

  • from "Motorized Razors" in The Cyborg Opera
  • from "Mushroom Clouds" in The Cyborg Opera
  • from "Chapter A" in Eunoia
  • from "Chapter E" in Eunoia
  • from "Chapter I" in Eunoia
  • from "Chapter O" in Eunoia
  • Valuvëula
  • Ubu Hubbub
  • From Carnivocal

    • Sea Horses and Flying Fish by Hugo Ball (0:51): MP3 (from Carnivocal)
    • Motorized Razors (1:05): MP3

    Recorded Live at SUNY-Buffalo, 2000

    1. And Sometimes (0:32): MP3
    2. Valuvëula (1:16): MP3
    3. from Motorized Razors (2:24): MP3
    4. Ubu Hubbub (0:46): MP3
    5. Bök performs Kurt Schwitters' "Ursonate" (18:36): MP3

    Recorded Poems on Harry's House Vol 2 CD

    • Totenklage (by Hugo Ball) - Christian Bok (1:29): MP3
    • Gadji Beri Bimba (by Hugo Ball) - Christian Bok (1:17): MP3

    Also of Interest:

    Christian Bök on PennSound Daily

    These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2004-2014 Christian Bök. Studio 111 Conversation © 2005 Christian Bök/Charles Bernstein. Used with permission of Christian Bok. Distributed by PennSound.