7×7 LA is a new online magazine based in Los Angeles that invites writers and visual artists to collaborate in the production of wholly original illuminated short stories and poetry. These exchanges, loosely based on the Surrealist game of “exquisite corpse,” allow collaborators to respond to one another’s ideas as they venture into new imaginative terrain. Founded by LA-based artist Axel Wilhite and writer Amy Bonnaffons, 7×7 LA offers a new kind of literary space, one that promotes spontaneous exchange and interdisciplinary collaboration.
In the course of this exciting multimedia reading event at TAM, several authors and artists featured in the magazine will share their hybrid work with the public.
July 9 will feature Marie Chambers reading from her collaboration with France-based artist Daniela Bershan; Sean Bernard will read his story in collaboration with Los Angeles illustrator and artist Gabrielle Rosenstein; artist Amanda Katz will read her poems from her collaboration with artist Renee Petropoulos; and founding editors Amy Bonnaffons and Axel Wilhite will share their own 7x7 collaboration.
Marie Chambers received an MFA from the Professional Writing Seminars at Bennington College. Her work has appeared in The LA Review of Books, The Atlanta Review, Talking Writing, The Quotable, The Ilanot Review (Israel), Printer’s Devil Review, The Seven Hills Review, Ironhorse Literary Review, the California Poetry Society and (upcoming) Bookwoman, a publication of the National Women’s Book Association and Sentinel (UK). She was a winner of the 2015 ARTlines2 Ekphrastic Poetry Contest for work inspired by a piece of art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (judged by Robert Pinsky and published by Public Poetry, September 2015).
Daniela Bershan is a visual artist and DJ best described as a media vagabond and fearless sampler. In her work - ranging from sculpture and performance to social organization - the function of the DJ/Producer has slowly infected all aspects of practice. Ritualizing and remixing circumstances on multiple strata of material, thought, text and sound, she dissects choreographies and scores, be they political or social, technological or musical. Proposing forms in order to make tangible how they operate, Bershan’s work extends into potentia-spaces for erotic/aesthetic practices and nonmonotonic thinking.
Sean Bernard's work has appeared most recently in Crazyhorse, Glimmer Train, and Western Humanities Review. He is the author of the story collection Desert Sonorous (winner of the 2014 Juniper Prize) and the novel Studies in the Hereafter, published in 2015.
A recent BFA graduate from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Gabrielle Rosenstein is currently a freelance illustrator living and working in Pasadena, California. Her character creations, dynamic distortions, and satirical psychologies are realized through the limitless qualities of digital illustration. She strives to evoke wild individualities and emotions in each of her portraits.
Amanda Katz grew up in Midtown during the height of the Giuliani years. She now runs Katz's Deli, a micro-residency and discussion-based exhibition program, out of her Mid City Los Angeles studio. Working at the intersections of art, poetry and social practice, she frequently produces collaborative work. Most recently, she performed a reading at the Little House Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), hosted a brunch at the Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena, CA), and designed a project translating a three-part poem into a three course menu (with chef duo TABLE | TABLE), serving dinner at her studio for forty two people.
Renée Petropoulos is an internationally exhibited artist. She works in different media always in relationship to site. Recent performance projects include “Venice to Venice” (2012), part of the Hammer Museum Venice Beach Biennale, and "Black Star," a performance in continuum in Berlin begun in 2006. Her outdoor public sculpture “‘Bouquet’ (Flower Tower) Between Egypt, India, Iraq, the United States, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Mexico” was installed in Santa Monica in 2014. In 2016, Petropoulos will release a cd of sound work (in collaboration with composer Greg Lenczycki) entitled “Between Libya, the United States and Scotland” based on her installation at LAMOA. She is currently working on a performance piece with the Isaura String Quartet and on a collaborative project with Neapolitan scholar Dr. Denise Spampinato.
Amy Bonnaffons is a writer, editor, and educator. Her teaching practice focuses on intersections between writing and the visual arts. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including Kenyon Review, The Sun, and The New York Times. She is working on a novel and a book of stories. Originally from New York, she now lives in Athens, Georgia, where she is completing a PhD in English and Creative Writing. She is a founder of 7x7 LA.
Axel Wilhite is a Los Angeles-based artist. His interest in the intersection of literature, storytelling, and visual art has led to numerous cross-genre collaborations and experiments. He has shown his artwork in Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. He is a founder of 7x7 LA.