Panel from Cathy by Cathy Guisewite, 1985.

A.i.A. editors suggest a few of the myriad events in New York this week: a discussion on trans literature at the New York Public Library; a conference on art, activism, and public space at the CUNY Graduate Center; a performance by Akio Suzuki at ISSUE Project Room; a book signing with Charles Leslie at Printed Matter; and a 2MF event with Amy Beecher at Torrance Shipman Gallery.


Wednesday, March 16, 6:00 p.m.

Talk: Trans Actions: Changing the Literary Landscape

As part of “Periodically Speaking,” a reading series highlighting emerging writers from diverse backgrounds, the New York Public Library and the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses cohost a discussion with editors Christopher “Loma” Soto (Nepantila: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color) and Trace Peterson (Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics), along with slam poet Kit Yan. Topics include the recent boom of trans literature in indie publishing and trans representation in the publishing industry among both editors and authors.

New York Public Library, 5th Avenue at 42nd Street


Thursday, March 17, 2:30 p.m.

Conference: Shift: Space, Alterity, Art

Presented by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, this daylong conference on art, activism, and public space packs in a program of lectures and conversations with leading artists and historians.  University of Chicago professor Darby English and Cuban activist-artist Tania Bruguera will deliver keynote addresses and then engage in conversation with CUNY professors David Joselit and Claire Bishop, respectively.

The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue


Friday, March 18. 8:00 p.m.

Performance: Akio Suzuki: Conceptual Soundwork

Avant-garde Japanese artist Akio Suzuki developed his improvisational “Conceptual Soundwork” series from the late 1970s to mid-1980s. Suzuki developed a set of simple rules for performing compositions with modest everyday objects like pieces of paper or dinner plates, often found at the performance sites. Now 75, Suzuki presents selections from the series at ISSUE Project Room to coincide with “pa chin ko,” a solo exhibition of new works at Southfirst in Brooklyn (Mar. 23-May 8).

ISSUE Project Room, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn


Friday, March 18, 6:00 p.m.

Book signing: The Art of Looking with Charles Leslie

Charles Leslie, cofounder of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on gay and erotic art. Leslie began his collection in the 1950s, supporting artists during times of intense homophobia. The museum’s collection currently contains over 24,000 pieces and Leslie’s nearby SoHo apartment has been dubbed the “phallus palace” due to the abundance of male nudes. This Friday, meet Leslie as he signs copies of Kevin Clarke’s The Art of Looking: The Life and Treasures of Collector Charles Leslie (Bruno Gmuender, 2015) at Printed Matter.

Printed Matter, 231 11th Avenue


Saturday, March 19, 3:00 p.m.

Workshop: 2MF with Amy Beecher

Cathy Guisewite’s cartoon strip Cathy was syndicated for more than 30 years, embedding the titular character’s frequent exclamations of “ACK!”—usually regarding her “four basic guilt groups”: food, love, family, and work—into the American consciousness. Does Cathy’s guilt typify women’s collective guilt? Does she serve as an example of the feminine scapegoat? Led by artist Amy Beecher, the event, organized by 2MF (2 Many Feelings, a series of monthly community events facilitated by New York-based artists) seeks to answer these questions. The program will begin with close readings of the comics, followed by a revisionist workshop to produce new versions of the strip.

Torrance Shipman Gallery, 219 36th Street, 4th Floor, Brooklyn