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Lifework: Welcome
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Events and Writings

ESTAR(SER) is an international collective of artists and scholars concerned with archival poetics and the history of practices of attention.

Lifework: List

In Search of the Third Bird 

(Strange Attractor Press, coming November 2021)

The definitive account of the intertwined history of the scholarly organization ESTAR(SER) and the principal objects of their inquiry: The Order of the Third Bird. Editors: D. Graham Burnett, Catherine L. Hansen, Justin E.H. Smith.

The 2016 Joint Symposium: ESTAR(SER) at the Museum of Jurassic Technology – September 10, 2016

An exhibition of curious objects and a lecture series hosted by the Museum of Jurassic Technology (Culver City, CA). Co-chairs: D. Graham Burnett and Catherine Hansen.



ESTAR(SER)'s blog. Selected entries: "Sanchōden: The Transmission of the Three Birds" (July 23, 2017); "The Ornithologists: Notes on A Walk Through H" (February 24, 2017); "Embodied Thought" (January 21, 2016); "The Gulls" (September 26, 2015); "Je Te Veille: The Masked Ball of Judex (1963)"; (March 3, 2015).

The Milcom Memorial Reading Room
(Board of Trustees)

From the Reading Room's page: "Opened in August of 2018, The Milcom Memorial Reading Room and Attention Library is a space devoted to the study of attention in the broadest sense — which is to say, to the ethics, aesthetics, and politics of the focused mind and the directed senses. A creation of the research collective known as ESTAR(SER), this installation houses a book collection, a portion of ESTAR(SER)’s archives, and an exhibition of archival objects that bear on the historicity of the so-called “Order of the Third Bird” (a self-sequestering body of attentional artists, known for giving themselves to works of art in collective, durational rites of trance-like intensity)."

Events Highlights

Selected workshops & performance-lectures done with ESTAR(SER)

* Arts Initiative Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan)

         “Polishing the Spectacle of Myself: a Brief Introduction to the Work of ESTAR(SER)” (11/24, 2017).

* Salt (Galata) (Istanbul, Turkey)

         “The Boğaziçi Rolls: Erich Auerbach and Practical Figuration in Istanbul, circa 1943” (1/28, 2016).

* Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA)

         “The Nachtigall Convolute: Metempsychotic Figuration & the Matter of Lost Objects” (12/3, 2015).

* The New Museum (New York, NY)

         “The Hale Transcripts” (5/12, 2015).

* The American University of Beirut

         “The Second Philistine Protocol” (4/20, 2015).

* Kamel Lazaar Foundation (Istanbul, Turkey, with artist Sibel Horada)

         “The Void: An Archaeological Survey” (8/22-31, 2014).

* MoMA P.S. 1 (New York, NY)

         “The Rülek Scrolls and the Practice of the Door” (4/6, 2014).

* Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France)

         “The Rülek Scrolls and the Practice of the Door” (3/15, 2014).

Kiss the Wing

(Tank magazine)

Tank Magazine, Issue 89 (Travel issue), 2021. "Kiss the Wing: the secretive operations of the Order of the Third Bird."

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Events and Writings


Lifework: List

Twelve Theses on Attention

Written with the Friends of Attention at the workshop and symposium The Politics of Attention: Art, Time, Technology, Action (Mildred's Lane, PA; August 19-25, 2019). Now published with Princeton University Press (2022), edited by D. Graham Burnett and Stevie Knauss.

Manifesto for the Freedom of Attention

Written at the workshop and symposium The Politics of Attention: Art, Time, Technology, Action (Mildred's Lane, PA; August 19-25, 2019)

October 176 (Spring 2021): On Burnout

"The Fuse; Its Refusal: Notes on the Politics of Burnout" (with the Friends of Attention)

Los Angeles Review of Books – Blog

“A Roundtable on COVID-19 and the Attention Economy” (with D. Graham Burnett, Carlos Montemayor, Gabriella Warren-Smith, and Josefina Massot)



Events and Writings


Lifework: List

The Public Domain Review, Inaugural article of new "Conjectures" series (August 2015)

"In Search of the Third Bird: Kenneth Morris and the Three Unusual Arts"

The Milcom Memorial Reading Room and Attention Library (Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, October 2018) – Inaugural essay of the Reading Room's opening

"Milcom the Metagnome"

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Articles for Cabinet Magazine


Lifework: List

Issue 67: Dreams (January 2019)

"A Brief Geography of the House."

Issue 49: Death (Spring 2013)

"We Shall Not All Sleep"

Issue 33: Deception (Spring 2009)

"Colors / Porphyry"





Lifework: List

The Dance of Polarities
The Surreal Sirkus 
October 23, 2021

A performance by Rebecca Playfair with the Surreal Sirkus
– inspired by my PhD thesis on the Infra Noir surrealist group –
Click on the icon for the video.

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Underland Arcana

Issue 4 – Fall 2021

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Lifework: Image
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