Dennis Cooper’s second novel composed of animated gifs shows him progressively in command of the gif-fiction hybrid medium he first invented in 2015 with his novel "Zac’s Haunted House" and its more expansive follow up, the short works collection "Zac’s Control Panel". In "Zac’s Freight Elevator", Cooper’s employment of the gif as a language-like material is increasingly complex, poetic, and thrills-packed on the surface level, while, at the same time, offering adventurous readers a more bounteous, clear-cut, and easily accessible narrative.


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"Violations: An Evening of Interpretive Readings of Dennis Cooper’s GIF Novels"

“Violations” is a response to Google’s recent deletion of author Dennis Cooper’s blog (for “violations of terms of service,” without further explanation), and a celebration of the innovations in writing represented by a series of GIF novels he drafted there. In a recent article for the New Yorker concerning the Google controversy, Jennifer Krasinski described Cooper’s approach to these novels: “Thinking of [GIFs] as language, Cooper places them together, stacking them or opposing them to create a story—and, in so doing, effectively forging a new form of fiction.” While the contents of Cooper’s blog were eventually returned by Google, the situation prompts urgent reflection on the borderlines of trust, interpretation, and freedoms of speech at stake between users of social media and the corporations who provide such services.

This event convenes a small handful of Cooper’s closest friends, allies, and artists whose work he admires to imagine what it might mean to “read aloud” from these GIF texts. The presenting artists work across a spectrum of practices and include poets, musicians, choreographers, and dancers. While the program seeks to draw attention to the vulnerability of artworks produced through social media, it will also celebrate the highly anticipated release of Cooper’s third GIF novel, Zac’s Freight Elevator (on Kiddiepunk Press), which was temporarily lost when the blog was deleted.

The lineup for this evening includes:
M. Lamar
Dorothea Lasky
Yvonne Meier
Aki Onda
Richard Hell
Chris Cochrane with Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Niall Jones

Each artist has been invited to choose material from any of the three GIF books and do whatever they’d like with that content so as to perform a “reading” of it—in whatever sense they interpret such a task. Cooper will emcee the evening, and a discussion will follow the readings.

For more info and to book tickets visit the New Museum website