Proteus Gowanus » tom lafarge An interdisciplinary gallery and reading room Sat, 19 Sep 2015 22:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Water Reading Fri, 02 May 2014 19:21:48 +0000 Friday, May 9, 7-8pm

Many of the words we use to describe our experience as readers and writers come from our much earlier experience of water: flow, reflection, transparency, stream of consciousness. We sink into a book, or become immersed in a story. Poets have used rivers, the sea, rain, storms, as a fortune-teller uses a crystal ball: to read the obscure messages that come from both without and within. Novelists have used water imagery to structure narrative: time as a river, or the passage of lives as waves. Come join us as we continue our yearlong exploration of water and listen to the work of Emily Dickinson, J.G.Ballard, Tarjei Vesaas, Stevie Smith and Virginia Woolf, as they contemplate water in its many forms.

Reading organized by Wendy Walker. The readers are Cathy Fuerst, Janice Everett, Tom LaFarge, Henry Wessells and Wendy Walker.

 Nils Johan Olsson Blommér, The Water-Sprite and Ägir’s Daughters
Nils Johan Olsson Blommér, The Water-Sprite and Ägir’s Daughters
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Translation Workshop for the Mono-Lingual Fri, 21 Dec 2012 14:50:21 +0000 Saturday, December 29, 2-4 pm
Cost: $10
Free wine for $2/glass donation

Texts and paper will be provided; please bring a pen.

The War of Words contains at least one fruitful struggle: the clash of languages on the battlefield of the translator’s brain, as loaded vocabularies mass and charge. Yet no struggle is more pleasurable since, of all readers, the translator enters into the most intimate relationship with the source text. But what if you know only one language? Or don’t know the language you want to translate? To this dilemma solutions will be offered by Writhing Society leaders Wendy Walker and Tom La Farge.

Homophonic Translation

There’s more to translate than just the sense of a text; there’s also the sound. Homophonic translation strips the sense out of the original text and keeps only the sounds, then finds English words that repeat those sounds as nearly as possible. Participants will be given text to translate from some little-known language, and we will see what sort of sense different people make from that sound-montage. [Those ambitious to translate both sound and sense will be given that opportunity.]


Ezra Pound admired Chinese ideograms because they made words into images. But he didn’t know Chinese. To make his translations, he asked his friend Ernest Fenollosa, a professor at Harvard, to make a character-by-character translation of some classic Chinese poems, giving the possible meanings of each character. Since the ideograms themselves do not declare much about their place in the sentence but only their meaning, he first chose the meaning that seemed to fit best and then came up with the syntax on which to string these pearls. We will do the same, using a trot prepared by Proteus Gowanus friend Ron Janssen.

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Learn Diplomacy the Easy Way with Tom LaFarge Sat, 01 Dec 2012 01:41:48 +0000 Sunday, December 2, 2pm

Proteotypes editor Tom LaFarge will conduct an instructional Diplomacy workshop in the Proteus Gowanus War Games Room. Diplomacy is a board game set in Europe just before WW1 requiring both negotiation and strategy in order to win. This workshop is intended for those who would like to learn the basic rules of play. When you’ve learned the basics, you can play the game in our War Games Room, Saturdays and Sunday, 12-6pm. Class fee: $7

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War Games Room opening; Discussion of Game Theory and War Mon, 19 Nov 2012 14:29:52 +0000 Sunday, November 25, 12-6pm
Lecture: 3pm
$5 per player

As part of our yearlong theme, Battle, and in conjunction with our current exhibition, War of Words, we are pleased to launch the War Games Room, a space to play at war with your favorite friends and enemies. You can play on a handmade Risk game, designed by Ryan Jones with New York City boroughs, not nations, vying for the upper hand. Also featured will be a magnetized Diplomacy board assembled by Tom LaFarge, a beautiful hand-tooled game of Connect Four by Nick DeFriez and other games made available to us by our partners in gaming, the Brooklyn Strategist, a game room on Court Street where you can play year round and eat snacks too. The Proteus War Games Room opens at 12pm on Sunday and will be open every weekend from 12-6pm.

At 3pm, Jon Freeman, PhD, founder of the Brooklyn Strategist, will give a talk on game theory and the conduct of war:

Diplomacy and Risk: How to alienate friends and influence enemies.  

Decisions about the likely consequences of waging war (whether in actuality or in simulation) can be understood in the context of game theory. Freeman will employ game theory to compare and contrast the war games, Risk and Diplomacy. He will show how the games alter players’ attitudes toward conflict. By engaging in the “zero-sum” games described in game theory, players of Risk and Diplomacy enter a realm of bounded rationality and decision-making. How they  respond to moving reference points affects their attitudes towards rational choice or pseudorational certainty and these attitudes, in turn, affect their chance of success or failure.  In both games, players engage in direct conflict but the nature of the conflict differs markedly. And, of course, each player will approach conflict according to their own natures too (Are you a “carebear” or a “cutthroat”?).  Come meet Jon and learn more about how games and game theory help us to understand the varying nature of war and conflict in the world and within ourselves.

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A Party for Cryptozoo, a new Proteotypes Book Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:02:39 +0000 Saturday, September 22, 7pm

Join us for wine and conversation to launch Proteotypes’ new publication, Cryptozoo. In this handsome feuilleton twelve writers have undertaken to respond to twelve images from Erik Schurink’s “Cryptozoo” portfolio. With his mind on paradise, theme of a Proteus Gowanus show he was co-curating, he started to notice animals coming out of hiding as if summoned. They emerged from sidewalks, walls, and streets, from bits of industrial scrap, from wire window-grates, from rust stains and scuffings in dust, and posed briefly for his camera.

When Proteotypes editor Tom LaFarge saw them, he knew these animals wanted to inhabit a book, so they invited writers to answer one particular image, chosen for them by lot. Come to the reception to view the charming results and stay for a glass of wine or two.

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