By Nicholas Katzban, Special to 24700
Matias Viegener’s new book is not a memoir, but something else entirely. 2500 Random Things About Me Too began with an invitation to the chain-letter-esque Facebook meme, “25 Random Things About Me,” in which friends who were tagged would make a small list of sundry facts and declarative statements about themselves. Viegener wrote one of these lists a day, a collection that culminated with 100.
On paper the project recalls the work of French author Edouard Levé, but the influence of social media lends the work a quality all its own—a new kind of fragment. As the author himself said, “Social media is about writing yourself out in bits and pieces. Now you're only yourself for as long as people read your status updates.” Viegener was so dedicated to the form he continued to compose each list on Facebook, possibly marking the first book ever composed solely on the social media site.
This may be Viegener’s debut book as author, but the accomplished New York native and long time Angeleno has many credits to his name. He is co-founder of Fallen Fruit, “a participatory art practice focusing on fruit, urban ecology and public space.” His work has been exhibited at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). His fiction and non-fiction writings have appeared in Art-Forum, Black Clock, Bomb, and Semiotext(e), to name but a few. All the while Viegener dutifully taught in CalArts’ School of Critical Studies.
2500 Random Things About Me Too is being released by Les Figues Press, a Los Angeles based publisher of innovative, experimental, and avant-garde literature, as part of their TrenchArt Surplus Series. Les Figues’ board of directors, staff and authors include many Calartians—both faculty and alumni. Read one of the pages from 2500 Random Things About Me Too on Les Figues’ Give a Fig blog. The book has an official release date of October 2012 but it’s available now at the Les Figues online store or from Small Press Distribution.
LACE—Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions—will hold a release party on Sept. 20 with Viegener reading from the book fellow author Chris Kraus calls, “an extraordinary capture of a life and a consciousness in middle age, when mortality and the grid of associations laid by one’s personal history cannot be denied.”
25 Random Things About Me Book Launch
LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)
6522 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
Thursday, Sept. 20