TimeoutNY has posted a review of our work-in-progress showing of last week. Read it here.
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…
last year, joshua and haruko, the main instigators/driving force of the dae, asked me if i’d like to collaborate on some song writing for the next album. i assented; working in a musical fashion with those two was something i’d been itching to do for years. unfortunately, my chops had never been proportionate to the task. luckily, all i was asked to do was contribute lyrics and some vocal lines. lyrics i can spit all day if given the impetus. melodies? much the same.
eventually the dae (which now includes composer jeff houston) asked if i’d consider coming on to their latest production as scripter, actor/dancer and to even perform some of those songs i’d helped to lyricise. i of course said yes and my life has been made much richer thereby.
sonic tales will debut in seattle in october over the 30th and 31st of october at the moore theater. in april we all fly out to manhattan where the new museum will be hosting us for a residency slash incubation. we’ll be doing some filming out there and probably play some public participation games (guerilla theater? does that still exist?); the new museum will be hosting a working production of whatever ideas we’ve generated and refined on the 16th and 17th of april. more details on that as they come.
that’s enough for now. if anyone has any ideas for promoting our work while in nyc please feel free to contact me at artofmulata ATsign gmailDOTcom. sorry for the dopey obfuscator. you can also go to the contact link at the top right of the page.
here are some far too dark photos of the dae recording some tracks at inphase productions here in seattle. i’m not in the pics as i was shooting them. make of them what you will.
pol is artofmulata
|Degenerate Art Ensemble 2009 Recording Sonic Tales|
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.
recently i went into the studio with my good friend anna huckabee. we recorded a cover of the cash family’s ring of fire. the song is by the lovely june and popularized by the cranky bastard johnny. and it really is the only song by the man i have ever had any affinity for. i suspect it’s the mariachi horn arrangements and the way that june’s stellar vocals come in at the end of the track. it’s enough to raise the hackles listening to that woman sing.
anna and i travelled through korea and japan last year as part of the p.a.n. dance theater company. the impressario of the group, dk pan, asked us to perform the song as part of the floor show. i was antagonistic at first, but after anna and i had rehearsed it a few times i began to fall madly in love with her strange r-n-b through a country filter vocals. not to mention that the little sprite just threw herself into it so much that i was basically dragged along. and, of course, ‘je ne regrette riene…’
here’s the track: ring of fire (huckabee and artofmulata)
anna sings. i percuss. a really nice cat named chris recorded it and did the cleanup. and it was so much fun.
and yes, i did make a film. it debuted at the northwest film forum a month ago. it was exciting. while i will not be putting the film up on youtube or vimeo or whatever i am planning to write about the experience still at some point. i’ve rreceived a lot of favorable responses to the piece and so i want to shop it out to festivals. if you know of any film fests that would be interested in the work of a black film maker who focused on queer projections of performance and desire let me know. sundance?
Buddha With Thousand Hands
hello humanity, generous, generous humanity…
in lieu of writing about my own experiences in the realm of film making i’d like to present something simply lovely in its performative existence. this is a recording/presentation of an ode to the buddhist goddess of compassion, kuan yin.
i admit it is peculiar to be presenting religious worship from the atheist corners of this world. the government of china has been disabusing its populace of the notion of religion for quite a long time. and if it wasn’t such a horrror show i’d be laughing at the way they install their own proxies and doxies into positions of nonsecular power and prominence. whatever became of the fake dali lama they threw out there anyway?
i’m sure this presentation is no different. who are these young men and women enacting the body of kuan yin? and those white garbed cheerleaders off to the sides? we will never know. and while it is an amazing job they do how much more powerful would the work be if there were no injunctions and the dancers were all believers.
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.
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.
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.