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artofmulata

i`m your puppet now…

Category Archives: history


shadows 1,
originally uploaded by artofmulata.

coming back from the implied violence performances in new york has been difficult. sleepless nights, moving to my new home, changes in attitude towards friends and the idea of what constitutes a relationship.

i`ve been doing a lot of soul searching and reading deleuze. his work is always grounding and helpful. especially the 1000 plateaus stuff he produced with guattari.

the other day, the degenerate art ensemble had a listening party for their new album. i`ve got some work on it, lyrics and singing; it`s pretty fantastic. when it`s available i`ll post procurement info!

the photo is one i took of a friend. loving the high contrast right now. sometimes the lack of detail says more…

hello, i have no time to write anything new; luckily, i don’t have to.

as you know, i have been doing the artist in(n) residency gig at the new museum with the degenerate art ensemble. they have some great posts, pictures and videos up on their site so check it out: The DAE on Tumblr.

i’ll post my own shots, stories and whatever else ephemera over the next week.
it should be juicy and scandalous. especially if jeff gives me those bathtub shots he promised…

pol

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i’m off to korea in a few days… for lim inza’s seoul marginal theater festival 2008. i’ll be there for two weeks and not as a performer. simply as an observer.

this will be the first time i have ever traveled alone. it’s kind of a frightening prospect. i’m taking a couple of cameras, video and film, and a small field recorder with me. it’ll be interesting to only have my own head to bounce things off of.

right now i’m kind of scared. not by my trip. my trip is necessitated by that which i’m nervous of, namely, this smooth transition of power. or perhaps i should call it a smooth transition in narrative.

we have a new guy in the seat of highest public office in my country. i’m sure you know who i’m alluding to. the night they announced that he’d been granted the reigns people poured out into the streets in so many cities. dancing and cheering. drinking and blowing things up. that’s us. that’s what we do. we’re americans. it’s good.

for the last few days since that event so many people, including my banal self, have been expressing the same sentiment. seeing people smile again in such great numbers was beautiful. striking. humbling.and infectious.

it even got to me. now, i love a good street party, but as my friend 9 was saying only tonight over glasses, healthy glasses, of whiskey, “it was so weird to be surrounded by all those smiling happy people. i’d gotten used to only feeling that kind of bonding at protests and riots.” and i had to agree with her.

the last time i can remember that kind of bacchanalian emo-overflux i was with the marching band in new york to say ‘eff-u’ to the republicans four years ago. we swamped a deserted area in the city with two other marching bands and we all went to jail. for days. and it sucked.

i have always believed that the endpoint of any successful revolt, revolution or uprising should be the party. and not just the drunken melee, but the real party. you know, all that peace and justice and respect stuff leading to a land and a lifetime of joy and fulfillment. where the pain you feel isn’t from a truncheon upside your nay saying head or finding out who got shot in the eye with a rubber bullet or the back with a steel jacketed one. the reason we should be making all these demands is to find some happiness in the day to day. all the time. world without end. amen and forever.

so the gathering in the streets on election night. some woman grabbed my hand and yelled, “yes we did!” and it was intense, man. so very spiritual and overwhelming. sitting in a car for a moment with my friend sruti and she said, “when i found out that he’d won it felt like i should be making out with someone…” god. it’s so weird to hear people say all the things that are perpetually playing in your own heart.

for forever i felt that i was alone in thinking these things. such hubris. and maybe that’s why i’ve fallen from such great heights so many times. it’s just a shock to hear it spoken by so many people out loud your own post-philosophical mantras.

but it’s wonderful. and it makes me realize why i keep my art-mouth shut so much now a days. because it’s becoming evident to everyone how this shit should be going down.

but here’s my concern. a philosophy professor i was hanging out with in the spring of this year told me that he’d already prepared a zine with obama’s face on it. the title of the pamphlet is, “the face of the new enemy.” and it doesn’t matter how much you love the man or his principles or his story. it’s true.

obama’s just taken on the mantle. the crown. this is the office that truly waves the velvet glove. nothing changes that. the office is metonymic, a synedoche, for all the brutal policies that issue forth from our country to the rest of the world. remember that. he’s your man, but he’s also a policy himself now. he is an image and a representation. old school critical thinking on my part to be sure… true though.

i will give him his first 100 days and then some. because in spite of his being terribly conservative by my reckoning i want to see him promote the slow move of this juggernaut back to something a little less ugly and frightening.

i wanted to be gone from this country for a while after the election. cast my vote and bail, say, on the night of the fourth be on a plane to korea. not come back until after the furor over the fuhrer was spent. i didn’t think i could handle the gloating of the ‘bamites over those other people. but it hasn’t been so bad.

i forget sometimes that i’m surrounded, by choice, by groups of people who are aware that this changes very little. yes we have a wonderful new story to write thanks to all this marvelous hope that’s floating around, but we also have a lot to do still. it’s so good to know that the people i run with aren’t allowing a small thing like an election to interfere with their plans for social restructuring.

i think it doesn’t really matter to some of us who wins that boring race. there’s always so much to be done. and people want to talk about how the left shouldn’t put all it’s energy into running this candidate and defeating that one as if there is such a thing as the ‘left.’ the left as it was once understood no longer exists. when clinton (either) can be referred to as a liberal it’s time to put the term away.

the left is no longer monolithic and it never was. the left is constructed of so many small and autonomous groups doing what they feel is necessitated by circumstance. and the circumstances have barely changed. and they will remain more or less the same set of suspect circumstances up and through january the 20th when they ride the motorcade through the streets of dc.

does anyone remember what happened four years ago when george junior had his second little moment in the limelight? people came to dc in droves to protest. to riot. to ruin the day for the old fool and his cronies. and folks went nuts. banners and loud speakers and eggs. and none of it really made the news.

i met these two ladies from chicago the day after the election who’d just flown in to seattle. they told me about the street party there. and about throwing up on the plane ride. my kind of people. they told me that they had already bought tickets to dc for the inauguration. they want to do that whole dancing on public land with a drink in your hand thing again. i can’t blame them. i suspect they will not be alone. i would not be surprised if a lot of people go to dc just to party the bush away. and i hope rice and powell cry as they pack their bags singing, ‘free at last/free at last/lord god almighty/i’m free at last”

not that you should ever trust those motherfuckers again.

hi.

i’d like to present to you a short letter i found from my past that i believe neatly sums up my feelings about most everything that has ever happened on the earth. perhaps even before that, too. and thus after. perhaps so far after that heat death is forgotten. don’t know about heat death? i refuse to provide a link to help with that one. but here is this little letter. it contains a philosophy and a telos and an ethics and even some fissionable yellow cake. please enjoy. and thank you for reading. soon i will post about my new queer-friendly film exploits. ciao!

“so how are things out there? it’s been pretty quiet around here. lars is painting all the time and i’m just asleep about 18 to 27 hours a day.

i went to fallujah last week and blew some shit up, took out some allied forces. it was cool, but i think i caught a cold out there. it gets pretty cold at night in the desert. i also hurt my ankle again changing a light bulb for the imam. he is old and doesn’t like to stand on chairs. obviously you see where this is going. some acolytes rushed into the room wanting a clarification on some minor point of shiira and knocked me off the chair.

bombs gone wild

in spite of my limp i think i might go to israel next week. they really want some help over there taking out that wall. i might just go scope it out instead of doing the old boom boom. my ankle, you know? it’s hard to escape the scene when you are on meds.

did you hear that my sister’s old college debate team boyfriend, Assad, is being implicated in the UN’s inquiry into the death of some guy from like Lebanon? i mean i remember that he wasn’t always the nicest guy and that’s why my sister dumped him, but an assassin? these german prosecutors really like to make everything ought to be so much worse than it ever actually turns out to be. remember that hostage crisis in 72 at the munich olympics? “hostage crisis.” hardly anybody killed and they got to keep the airplane and the games continued. they act as if it’s some big deal when some kids get pissed and then go do some crazy stuff. kids are kids all over the world. i don’t see them hiring steven spielberg to make a movie about their baader-meinhoff gang or that woody allen. he’s a disgusting old perv.

lars and i cleaned your room. i accidentally spilled a lot of powdered plastique in it the other day when these federal agents showed up looking for your brother. i told them he was at the track or maybe in new orleans or florida doing refugee assistance work. i had just enough time to kick the fertilizer barrels thru your door as that traitor cortez walked them into our house. he claimed he met them at the cha cha lounge. i don’t know. those women appeared to be nice girls at first and one of them was a very good kisser. but as soon she got my pants down out came the badge.

conflict market

i thought it was some kind of game at first. you know how canny those white women can be! but she was the real thing and now she has pictures of me and lars and jeff and cortez all doing the pyramid with uwajimaya bags on our heads. i think lars liked it as he dribbled a milky white substance for about an hour after they left with their insurance policy. well, they did apply a car battery’s worth of electricity to his penis. but i really do think that he liked it.

okay. i have to go now. a shower and a small trim to my beard so that i can be presentable at work. we might be hiring some more former mujaheddin for the barrista positions. the french and italian secret service really do a great job of teaching those guys how to pull a really tight shot.

pol akbar-rosenthal”

hard lady

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i’ve pretty much resisted dropping just straight links to other sites in the guise of updates or posts to artofmulata, but i just can’t resist. this is a link to an abbie hoffman interview from 1989 first published in 2007 and recently dropped on us again by the wonderfully fun Reality Sandwich webmag. pretty damn strange to find an interview with the gentleman from that time period, too.

mr. hoffman, for those of you not in the know, was a political activist from all the way back in the civil rights movement days. he was down south getting harrassed by the klan. moved out east at some point and got involved with those who came to be known as the hippies. went international and ran with sinn fein over in ireland. and got in so much trouble for having too much fun showing us how stupid the governments of this world are that he had to change his name and his face (plastic surgery. plastique surgery?), abandon his life and family, and go underground.

\
dearest abbie (pic swiped from liberalstreetfighter.com)

pretty shitty if you ask me, but, hey! those are the rewards you receive when you monkey with the powers that want to be a little too much. check out the history of the weather underground. or if you really want to get down to a system of rewards based on behavior go read up on the history of the black panthers or the george jackson brigade (those are 3 separate links). for their efforts at social/cultural revolution these cats were awarded the bullet, the trumped up charge, the erasing from official history and many more awards.

awesome.

but enough babbling from my pop-revolutionary/post-political/pre-nuptial ass; go read this fine interview with mr. abbie hoffman. i know he would agree with me that no matter who wins this presidential election you can’t trust them or truss them. and remember it’s your job (after you foolishly vote these barbarian apes into office) to hold them continuously accountable. because they are out to get us. i promise you.

and when you have complaints about their behavior don’t talk to me about it. i’m warning you right now that i will have no sympathy for any of you who vote for the winner. because it will be your fault when they bomb iran or look the other way when israel does it. or whatever warped scheme the new guy signs off on that violates all his campaign promises; unless, of course, mccain wins. at least we know what a fucking nutjob that pickaxe is.

sorry. i am so happy this morning and whenever i get that sensation of sheer ‘goddamn-i-am-so-in-love’ i get to ranting. or kissing everyone around me. or throwing money in the air. i bet you wish you were here with me right now to catch some cash, don’t you? or maybe that you were in love, too? don’t worry. you are. it just hasn’t hit you yet.

until the next post, lovelies!

*pol*

here’s the link again in case you missed it the first time through: http://www.realitysandwich.com/i_know_we_won_abbie_speaks

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for alice.mp3

this is a track i wrote based completely on samples from alice coltrane’s work. i have been in love with her music since one of her sons turned me on to it at a party many years ago in san francisco. an old girlfriend of mine, polywog, was djing her first gig at a private lusty lady party downtown. a really nice cat approached me (we were the only black guys there…) and we got to chatting. i mentioned how i’d just gone to the church of john coltrane in sf for the first time. “that’s my dad’s church,” he told me. wild. the synchronicities of everyday meetings have been dictating my life path for years now.

always listen to your intuitions. even if you don’t follow their suggestions it’s a good idea to pay attention to their prodding. somewhere in our minds/brains a lot of instantaneous processing is taking place. what could have once been explained as the silent voice of the gods/ancestors was probably just some salient aspect of our own neural firings…

hope you enjoy the track.

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djma el fna live 2007.mp3

one day in marrakesh, i was sitting on a rooftop drinking coffee. the city was just waking up. i had this amazing view of the entire djma fnaa (city square/market place) from our vantage point. so lovely.

all these amazing sounds started building/roiling from the ground. cars. people’s voices. goats and braying donkeys arguing with their burdens.

there were two opposing sound systems set up on opposite sides of the fnaa; record sellers attempting to grab some attention. playing the same song at the same time, but not having started the track at the same time, they delivered the craziest, most wonderful cacophany for coffee drinking.

the song they were playing was one i’d been hearing everywhere in morocco. some crazy berber electro. always in 3 just like most everything heard during my stay in that magical country. it was definitely one of the highlights for me.

one night i sat on the windowsill of my apartment because the craziest music was coming across the rooftops. transfixed, my body extended through the window, i ignored the catcalls (inevitable in morocco) from kids playing some strange game involving hitting playing cards with a shoe to make them fly through the air and the curses from the drunk i’d threatend to kill if he ever attempted to harm my travelling companion or myself ever again. all i wanted was to hear this sound. and i wondered how could i ever produce a sound like that. how could anyone ever catch the vague echoes and pulses that only ancient clay, low clouds and cheap speakers can reconstruct music, calls to prayer, arguing animals and oblivious cars into.

the next day on the rooftop i heard this song again. i hadn’t realized it was the same music i’d been hearing on every radio for weeks because the echoes were twisting it in ways that no trance production team could hope to emulate. i ran downstairs to the closer of the two sound systems and bought it immediately. such a perfect purchase. perhaps the most exciting and fun music i’ve ever gotten in all my travels around the world.

this is just a short sample of the sound from the rooftop. maybe it will sway you to go to morocco. it’s definitely a shock to travel 600 years into the past while living in the present. who knows what the world will hold for us if we finally all catch all the improvements everyone is clamoring for.

i’m all in favor of free housing, education, food, and clothing for everyone everywhere. and the dissolution of borders and nations and government as we know/understand it. i just hope with the inevitable rise out of poverty (it BETTER happen or i suggest we all leave the fucking elites to their own grotesque devices…) on a global scale that music and art and theater don’t suffer the ravages of a pop smear, i.e. a top 40-ization of everything to fit a more homogenized populace. a global audience. please god don’t let the individuation of culture be wiped out.

i value mine. do you value yours?

the rooftop

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