The Science of Things Familiar

Product Details
$34.00  $31.62
Operating System
Publish Date
7.0 X 10.0 X 0.57 inches | 1.09 pounds

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About the Author
Johnny Damm is the author of The Domestic World: A Practical Guide (Little Red Leaves), Your Favorite Song (Battle Stories) (Essay Press), and The Old Man's Illustrated Library: Issues # 36 5 (No Press). His work has appeared in Poetry, Denver Quarterly, the Rumpus, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. He is editor-in-chief of A Bad Penny Review and Opo Books & Objects. Visit him online at
Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is an interdisciplinary creator currently serving as the Creative Director and Managing Editor of THE OPERATING SYSTEM, as well as Libraries Editor for Boog City. A frequent collaborator across a wide range of disciplines, and a regular curator of events across the boroughs of NYC and beyond, Lynne is a frequent freelance consultant for theatrical and musical performance, visual exhibition, and publication, and in particular on projects integrating digital media. A dedicated educator, she has been an Adjunct Lecturer in English, Architecture, and Anthropology in the CUNY system for a decade, a facilitator for the Salvadori Institute, a Poetry Outreach instructor at The Lorraine Hansberry Academy in the Bronx, and a teaching artist for over a decade. Lynne is the author of GROUND, blood atlas, and Overview Effect, co-author of A GUN SHOW with Adam Sliwinski/Sō Percussion, and co-editor of the anthologies RESIST MUCH, OBEY LITTLE: Poems for the Resistance, and In Corpore Sano: Creative Practice and the Challenged Body, both forthcoming in 2017. She has been published in Wave Composition, The Conversant, Gorgon Poetics, POSTblank, Vintage Magazine, Promethean, The Mom Egg, Coldfront, the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, and The Occupy Poetry Anthology, among others. Also a social practice artist and poet, she has performed/been shown at The Dumbo Arts Festival, Naropa University, Bowery Arts and Science, The NYC Poetry Festival, Eyebeam, LaMaMa, Undercurrent Projects, Mellow Pages, The New York Public Library, Launchpad BK, The Poetry Project, Industry City Distillery, Independent Curators International, Happy Lucky No. 1, and the Cooper Union. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, where her family has lived for 4 generations.
"Johnny Damm's Science of Things Familiar diagrams the ways we move toward and away from one another, exploring relationship through the failures and disjuncts that reveal it. In annotated illustrations taken out of their original context, in comics stripped of their narrative content, and in cinematic essays whose parts are sutured where they've been spliced, these pieces take apart the familiar to see what makes it tick. Troubling our assumptions about the workings of nonfiction, they reveal themselves as highly constructed, interweaving the personal and historical just as the book's "rat-a-tat" refrain rings out both drumbeat and gunfire. If we catch ourselves dancing, we've missed the point. Witty and serious, critical and compassionate, Damm invents a new visual poetics in which what we see and hear do not sync up. This is his way of waking us up with a "BLAM!" and "WHOOSH!" to the history of appropriation and conquest underlying America's popular forms. Nothing here is familiar, even as we recognize parts of the whole." - Amaranth Borsuk "Johnny Damm's 'Science of Things Familiar' mashes up Classics Illustrated, vintage diagrams, and film director bios to create an unlikely fusion that is a oblique yet often poignant autobiography as well as an essay on the way that we transform culture as much as it transforms us." - Matt Madden, author of 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style "'Science of Things Familiar' captures "freeze-frames" from the history of comic books, crime films, and blues music, all from the middle of the darkest century. Johnny Damm accents the pulpish poetics in both the visual poetry and the phonic milieu, experienced by the masses in each cheap genre made on the fly for everyone. " -Christian Bök