Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Thursday, January 12, 2012, 7:00 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, CA

in an evening of performative pedagogy !

City Lights is pleased to be hosting this unique book launch open to the public. The event will feature performance artist and writer Guillermo Gomez-Pena, a long time author of City Lights in dialogue with Canadian theorist Laura Levin (editor of Gomez-Peña's recent book) and City Light's Executive Director Elaine Katzenberger

celebrating the release of

Conversations Across Borders

by Guillermo Gómez-Peña

edited by Laura Levin

published by Seagull Press

For the last fifteen years, performance artist and writer Guillermo Gómez-Peña has led a series of ongoing conversations with cultural luminaries from both North and South America. These dialogues with theorists, curators, activists, and fellow artists—such as Lisa Wolford Wylam, Tim Miller, Felipe Ehrenberg, Orlando Britoo Jinorio, Silvana Straw, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, among others—explore the terrain between art and theory. In Conversations Across Borders, Gómez-Peña has gathered the most challenging and captivating of these conversations, revealing their significant contribution to key debates within the international art world.

Both bold and humorous, these conversations address issues of timely concern to artists, including border culture, new technologies, urban hipsterism, and globalization gone wrong. Conversations Across Borders explores dialogue as a performative act, as a radical space for initiating and testing the boundaries of critical culture. Together, these texts propose a distinct set of critical practices that are invigorated by the endangered art of conversation.

"Gómez-Peña's commitment to force North America to adjust to the South, to acknowledge the hemisphere’s cultural imbalance, places him among the most significant of late-20th-century performance artists."—Village Voice Literary Supplement

What Guillermo Gomez-Peña has to say about the book:
'Conversations Across Borders,’ was published by my padrino Richard Schechner and edited by Canadian theorist Laura Levin. It contains an anthology of very bold (and performative) conversations I’ve had in the last 10 years with rebel curators, pioneering artists, cultural anthropologists, art historians, activist writers—in essence a wide variety of intelligent, engaged and fierce contemporary art practitioners and theorists. It also contains gorgeously provocative never before published photos. My Canadian sister Laura Levin and the amazing team of Seagull books made sure that the book functions both as an accessible (and activist) treatise on theory as well as a beautiful art/ifact.

Guillermo Gomez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. Born in Mexico City, he moved to the US in 1978. His performance work and 10 books have contributed to the debates on cultural diversity, border culture and US-Mexico relations. His art work has been presented at over eight hundred venues across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia. A MacArthur Fellow, Bessie and American Book Award winner, he is a regular contributor for newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico, and Europe and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT). Gómez-Peña is a Senior Fellow of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and a Patron for the London-based Live Art Development Agency.

Laura Levin is Associate Professor of Theatre at York University in Toronto. She is the editor of Theatre and Performance in Toronto (Playwrights Canada Press) as well as a number of collections on performance, art and public space (in Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Theatre Review, and Performance Research). She is Vice President of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research and editor-in-chief of Canadian Theatre Review. A director, dramaturg and performance deviser, she recently has collaborated on several transnational performance projects that investigate the intersections of performance, geography, and digital technologies,

Elaine Katzenberger is the Executive Director of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. an editor, and past friend and collaborator with Pocha Nostra.