Julian Kabza (born August 1952) is an American experimental video artist and writer whose work in publishing and video art is sometimes associated with the language movement.
In the experimental music scene of the 1960s, encounters with Eric Dolphy, John Cage, Andy Warhol, R&B artists and Ann Arbor Film Festival influenced Kabza's early music and writing. He associated with members of the ONCE Group, in Ann Arbor, worked with Robert Sheff and Jim Osterberg – Iggy Pop. A 1966 festival organized by Gene Tyranny, 12 Hours of the New Music included music by Kabza along with pieces by John Cage, Gordon Mumma and Robert Ashley.
In the late 60's and early 70's he performed on the folk music circuits in Ann Arbor, Boston, Boulder, and San Francisco, working and traveling with U Utah Phillips, George Pedersen, George Koppel (a.k.a. Van Rozay), Kate McGarrigle and guitarist John Bian.
In 1973 he founded Annex Press, a non-profit publisher of experimental art work. Along with This magazine and Burning Deck Press Annex Press was one of a handful of small literary presses publishing work of the Language group Phil Smith, Bob Perelman, Ron Silliman and Rosmarie Waldrop, among others. In the mid seventies Kabza lived in Paris and discovered the work of French writers Alain Veinstein, Anne Marie Albiach and Claude Royet-Journaud. He later translated Veinstein texts with Maria Claudia Saiz, Larry Shields and Rosmarie Waldrop (The Archaeology of the Mother) by A. Veinstein, Spectacular Diseases, 1986. In Paris, Kabza met the dancer-performance artist Mark Tompkins who later appeared in his film Spiral Notebook, 2009.
In 1980 he founded the Translation Work Center in New York. With grants from Poets & Writers, he directed the Annex Press Poetry series in Ithaca, N.Y. In 1982 he co-founded the Memphis Cinema with visual artist Lisa Marie Majewsky. Kabza's machine, text and dance work AMINO SHIM premiered at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum performance festival in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1984. He created over 20 short video works including Spiral Notebook, a blend of narrative and non-narrative that fragments encounters with the cities of Detroit and Paris, France, and spans the years 2000–2009. Writing on Kabza's edit style Stashu Kybartas compared Kabza's 90's work with Jonas Mekas's intervalometer films. Kabza sees his work in writing and video as linked, both by scrolling texts which mimic film credits or subtitles and by the use of voice-over commentary, i.e. footnotes. His works Metamorphoses 1 & 2 for Kate Mcgarrigle, (Ron Silliman's blog, Aug. 2009), are examples of this text on image tendency. His work based on Franz Kafka's Before the Law, 2000, a two screen work with sound environment and texts, employs actors, fragments of comic books and new music for a narrative reworking of Kafka's oft deconstructed fable.
- ONCE Group
- Tai, Paul. "ONCE". Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- 'Blue' Gene Tyranny
- Kate McGarrigle
- Annex Press
- "open library Kabza". Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "MarkTompkins". Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "SpiralNotebook". Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- "international movie data base Kabza". Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "metamorphoses". Retrieved 11 February 2013.
Mumma, Gordon. “The ONCE Festival and How It Happened,” Arts in Society, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1967, Madison, WI. Revised by Gordon Mumma 2008. Copyright 2008 by Gordon Mumma.
Veinstein, Alain translated by Maria Claudia Saiz & Julian Kabza in O.ARS 3, 4, 5: Translations: Experiments in Reading. I SBN 0 942030 03
Veinstein, Alain: The Archeology of the Mother. Trans. from the French (with notes) by Rosmarie Walfrop and Tod Kabza [ Peterborough, Cambs.]: SpectacularDiseases, 1986. Serie d’ecriture, 1.
Reynolds, Roger. Preface to score publication from Generation, Vol. 15, unmarked number, 1963. University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library.
Sheff, Robert and Mark Slobin. “Music Beyond the Boundaries,” from Generation, Vol. 17, No. 2, 1965. University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library.