At the height of the AIDS epidemic, artist, writer, and activist David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) began keeping audio journals, returning to a practice he'd begun in his youth. Weight of the Earth: The Tape Journals of David Wojnarowicz presents transcripts of these tapes, documenting Wojnarowicz's turbulent attempts to understand his anxieties and passions, and tracking his thoughts as they develop in real time. By turns despairing, funny, exalted, and angry, this volume covers a period largely missing from Wojnarowicz's written journals, providing us with an essential new record of a singular American voice.
David Wojnarowicz: Cross Country is a triple-LP edition published by Reading Group presenting three tapes from Wojnarowicz’s audio journals. The “Cross Country” tapes document Wojnarowicz’s travels in the American Southwest and beyond in the first half of 1989. Published in a very limited edition of 250 with photos of Wojnarowicz by his long-time friend Marion Scemama.
David Velasco will read from his introduction to the book, and Derek Baron will play an excerpt from the tape journals.
About the Editors and Presenters:
Derek Baron operates Reading Group, a record label in New York. Derek is a musician and a Ph.D. student in Historical Musicology at New York University.
Lisa Darms is an archivist and writer. As the senior archivist at NYU’s Fales Library and Special Collections, she worked with the archives of many downtown artists, including David Wojnarowicz.
David O’Neill is a writer in New York and the managing editor of Bookforum.
David Velasco is the editor of Artforum and the editor of Sarah Michelson, published by the Museum of Modern Art in 2017.
"In these moments I hate language. I hate what words are like, I hate the idea of putting these preformed gestures on the tip of my tongue, or through my lips, or through the inside of my mouth, forming sounds to approximate something that's like a cyclone, or something that's like a flood, or something that's like a weather system that's out of control, that's dangerous, or alarming...." — David Wojnarowicz, from Weight of the Earth