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artofmulata

i`m your puppet now…

Category Archives: life at its finest

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.

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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.

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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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it’s really hard to write any more about this. the theft has been traumatic. i actually started crying the other night. and i get panicked if i’m in the art space for too long, convinced that the thieves are back, running amuck, while i’m there. it’s absolutely horrible at times.

i’ve been talking to everyone about it. and all my friends, you, have been so very supportive. and i couldn’t ask for better friends. thank you.

the only advice i’ve been getting is to move on and how to do so. and i am taking that advice. i’ve made the move to do something i’ve been wanting to do for a long time and that is making my first film. i mentioned that before, i know, but i’ve actually set a date for shooting. july 27th. it’s the most exciting and frightening thing i’ve done in a long time. even more than chasing down that lovely woman in korea last year for a two month date to europe and africa. well, maybe not that scary…

last year i decided that i wanted to make the move to photography. and secretly i had decided i also wanted to get into film making. photography was no problem, but stepping into motion pictures? that was tough. no equipment. no training. no connections. how to start?

luckily it just fell into my lap. like so many other wonderful things and opportunities. dk pan just looked at me one day and said, “why don’t you make a movie? you can use my camera.” jesus, dk, are you ever going to stop accidentally upgrading my life? thank you!

so i’m working on it. and it’ll debut in august. i’ll let everyone know the details of the showing and you can all watch me whimper and freak out in public. and if you have any comments i will be open to them. scared, but open.

turn it on.

since i’ve been through so much in the last week i have barely been taking pictures. it’s just too depressing. my biggest decision has been whether to get a new laptop or buy a smart, new camera. at this time i’m thinking of a camera; the canon rebel series comes highly recommended. and now that i doing a worktrade with the photo center northwest it seems like a great idea.

maybe the transition into a new field of operation for me, from dancer/musician/performer, will actually occur. i hope so. i’d like to think that all this work in other fields will translate. that my work in the other genres will be beneficial to my new eye. and i have ideas. just wait. you’ll see. and hopefully i’ll continue to keep you amused so you’ll keep inviting me to dinner and drinks. thanks for the dinner and drinks!

some old shots to keep you entertained. enjoy:

a crumbling building in cheunchon, south korea

a crumbling building in cheunchon, south korea
working on an old dance theater piece with anna b as the mummy
working on an old dance theater piece with anna b as the mummy
a mobile sound device in japan

a mobile sound device in japan

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I’m trying to hold a formidable countenance in the face of a blow from a completely unexpected corner.

earlier today my studio was broken into.
the thieves were bold; they absconded in broad daylight with my last half year of work.
on a crowded street and no one saw them.

i was at work at my new job in the pike place market.
it was kind of sad to be at work while pride was happening in the streets above me,
but i saw it as an opportunity to continue strategising my further entry into the art world.

the phone rang a little after 1 and it was my old cohort, ___.

pol, j just got to the studio and  he’s freaking out.
someone’s broken into the space and all his art supplies are gone.
the violated space

oh no. oh no. this can’t be real.
i was convinced that it had to be a mistake.
but it wasn’t. it isn’t.
on the phone with my fellow studio dwellers i had someone survey my space for my laptop.
gone.

i didn’t feel sick. i felt relieved.
i had backed up everything only days ago to an external harddrive.
i could lose one box secure in the knowledge that another would save me.

the computer is just a palette knife.
i didn’t want to lose the painting.
i consoled myself thinking of how smart i was to have backed up all my new photo essays and videos, my latest writings.
i’d lost a lot of digital media in the past and i had bought the drive to specifically avoid that scenario ever again. i even kept the drive in an obscure location away from the laptop to prevent someone from grabbing them both.

i couldn’t guess that my own personal thieves would be so meticulous as to destroy my rooms in their search for valuable cargo.

arriving at the space, i went straight to recover the drive.
i’d take it to a friend’s to leave for safe keeping until we could further secure the place.
but i opened the door to my rooms and realized that wasn’t going to happen.
the motherfuckers had tossed my things every which way.
my violated space 2

my books were dumped on the floor. except for my noboyushi araki volumes; they were gone.
favorite sweat shirt: gone.
two laptops: gone.
new audio inbox for making digital noise: gone.

but the only thing that mattered was that the back up drive should be there.
and you can already see the arc of this tale so you know where this this is going.

today i lost something i can never replace.
two different photo essays on strange objects of everydayness from korea, japan and the states.
4 different sets of nudes i had planned to publish over the next year as a series of handmade books.
my first forays into video art. about 7 near completed pieces.
and a lot of writing. a lot of writing.

i just felt sort of null.
as if a part of me was gone forever.

i got dumped earlier this year by the person who might have been the culmination of every desire i have.
and that nauseous sensation of despair i felt that night is approximately similar to what i am feeling now.
and it makes sense: all my approaches to my own work come from my confrontations with love and sex.
so now i am impotent and heartworn.
and some one has breeched my area.

well, thank god for booze.
i am drinking the first of what might be many beers and soon i will go to a secret convocation of seattle poets to gaze through a telescope at heavenly wonders.
and apparently we will be requested to read a lot of verse of a cosmologically significant nature.

sounds good.
my whole life just dropped into the sky.
i could use a fluid tongue.

perhaps the only way that this can be viewed without risking personal destruction is as a meditation on moving on. not that that is an easy choice. i could just as happily drink myself into oblivion over it. but i think i’ll have to find a more positive approach to survival.

you know, i wish i could i drop some crazy photos into this post that have next to nothing to do with the text, but the lousy creeps also took my camera cable.

ah, pathos. and i am not even angry at the thieves. just hurt. really quite hurt.

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i just finished reading germaine greer’s article on the artist’s muse.

for the last year i have been contemplating this very same concept. i came face to face with my muse one year ago and i have been enveloped in a heady, headstrong rush ever since. it’s life threatening. it’s altering. it’s a knife to the cocoon. a bullet to the balloon.

this ephemeral being has enveloped all of my thoughts and inspired an output and a desire to output (‘put out’) like i haven’t experienced in years.

but unlike the classic concept of the muse as totalized by ms. greer so sweetly and lovingly in her pitch for the guardian uk, my conception of the muse is more ephemeral.

it is not a model you use.

it is a mental construct, an ideal like the islamic concept of the Beloved. (1 2) a concept that inspires the artist. this unpacifiable being functions as a call to apostasy. one which we should give in to readily. it is better to drown in the milk of creation than to thirst in a desert of stagnation.

i see my muse as my friend, as wife and mother of all my work. you can follow all the explicit ideas that engenders on your own. if you know what i mean…

when i found her (or, more accurately, when she chose me) i was in a state of deepest creative funk. and in weeks she had resurrected me. in the most literal senses. i was dead when she found me. suffocating in so many ways. and as saul williams (yo holmes!) said, “we all know what a lack of breath signifies…

but back to some semblance of conscious thought. i can wax about the ecstasy of my being chosen forever. ask anyone who knows me.

this idea of a model who gets paid X bucks an hour to get your artistic jollies off is just absurd. i can understand, though. for years i stood around naked and immobile for photographers and painters, sketch brands and horny old guys pretending to not be pornographers (i hope no one ever finds those shots). and i don’t decry them their needs (except that damn perv pornographer. i did not know what i was getting into. folly of youth and broke on the streets). it was the classic method.

not that i have ever been a muse in the classic sense. but i know that at certain points i have been an inspiration for certain people and, um, institutions. and i have found mine in so many places.

and the ones that last, that we continue to return to, are the muse. they are our obsessions made manifest. dk pan always told me that it is our obsessions that we should follow to make our art. i don’t dare contemplate what that means after some of the things that guy has gotten me to do in the name of his art, but i understand his point and i love him.

and while it would be interesting to have some amazing human around to draw and paint and whatnot i don’t really work in those mediums. so i had to find a form of living theater to draw out my demons and let you be exposed to them. when i feel lost and afraid of my self and my work i draw out that modern scrying ball, my cell phone, and contact my muse who gives me the cheek up. or i find an avatar in the form of a friend who i can project the aura of my chosen one upon and listen to their advice. it always seems to work.

i suppose it is a form of black magic. luckily i believe in magic. i don’t believe in god. and my muse always tells me that the universe loves me. so sweet and so true. if it wasn’t i’d be horribly disfigured, imprisoned, dead or on that murderous rampage you read about.

and another reason why that untouchable being wouldn’t work for me is because, as an ex-girlfriend of mine once said by way of explanation for why she ‘did it’ with that bland motorcycle jock behind my eye, “i’m like a cat: i have to play with it until it dies…”

but i want to thank germain greer for her essay. it filled me with rhapsodic joy. i love my muse. i am in love with my muse. and my muse loves me. or i wouldn’t be floating night and day in tears of such profound sorrow, grief and happiness.

do you know that feeling? when happiness strikes and you want to cry and throw up and you get dizzy? have you felt that power?

if not you should drink more.

love.love.love.

hippy-ing out for you tonight,

pol

*special thanks to models ‘dan’ and ‘creampuff’


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1. Rent a hotel room

2. Invite a local performance artist to perform there

3. Invite interesting and fun locals to your room

4. Repeat in a different city

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