Friday, September 28, 2007

no more poetry readings. i'm fucking tired.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

tonight after work and after shrink and before driving home to oakland i stopped at the rainbow grocery and had the really good fortune to run into one of the loveliest and sweetest of all poets anywhere, cedar sigo, who works there. we had a hug and kiss in the oil and vinegar aisle and a quick hello of what are you doing? cedar said he hadn't been working at the store all that much and has been writing a lot, and he said, you know, the amazing thing about poetry is it will never betray you, the more you give your life to poetry the more poetry gives its life, and gives life, to you. [or he said something very close to this]. this kind of encounter is what makes all the expense and commute and suffering and overbusyness and overcommittedness of life in the bay area exquisitely, infinitely, everlastingly wonderful and good. thanks, cedar. i kiss you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

which practice?

to fully experience one's desire to cause pain to what's pained you, without acting on that desire, or to no longer feel at all the desire to cause pain to what's pained you? is the latter an exchanging of internal experiencing of pain--you hurt me--for compassion for the agent?

but did we co-opt the agent anyway? in which case, as joseph beuys:

"If you cut yourself, bandage the knife."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

i'd like a tshirt that says "constitutionally unable to outgrow my naiveté"

Friday, September 21, 2007

hm. there's a lot to be said about this:
and, new work here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"I have a kind of tiny space in which I can breathe and survive."At a meeting point between art and carnival, Eva Basdekis walks, wearing multicoloured boots which conceal the site of her latest work, entitled I Trust You. "Sometimes you feel quite strange because you walk through crowds of people and they don't know," she explains, "It has to do with the fact that it's on your foot and it will fade out and it doesn't have any value for the market." Using a form of violent embroidery, recent performances in Sheffield, Munich and Bristol saw Basdekis using needles and coloured thread to sew portraits - the Mona Lisa and Mickey Mouse - on to the soles of her feet. The intense, detailed, iconic-ironic result demands close-up examination (and at her Sheffield performance, closed circuit television provided just that). Each piece of fleshly embroidery is done scrupulously, slowly, methodically, literally stitching the traditional and the transgressive together.Unlike a tattoo, an embroidered picture on the skin isn't permanent. But neither does it disappear instantly. After the performance, Basdekis lives with the embroidery on her foot - or in the case of Art Is Beautiful, the palm of her hand - for several weeks, then pulls out the stitches as they become loose. In this way, the embroidery has a life extending far beyond the period of its public exposure. After her performance at Sheffield's Site Gallery in December 2006, Basdekis, alongside her former mentor, Franko B, took part in a public discussion, during which one audience member commented that watching the stitching of the foot was less painful for the viewer than observing Basdekis having occasionally to flex her entire leg in response to "pins and needles". "I am trying to communicate the feeling of obligation to obey the rules," Basdekis comments later, "Repetition is a ritualistic and productive routine-gesture that helps me to indicate the power and violence of authority. I am trying to keep myself deadpan as the alienation becomes more clear. At the seven hour performance at the Site Gallery I was thinking at the same time how insane what I'm doing is.. I try to express the anaesthetisation of the body, of the human being, of the society. I felt quite tired during my performance…it was not so much the pain or the "pins and needles" but this tiring and upsetting obligation to the rule."Evangelia's embroidered images deliberately polarise the over-exposed extremes of fine art and popular culture. "Sometimes I feel contaminated by my education," she reveals, "Mona Lisa is important because of institutions and museums and the way they make you think. When you stitch Mona Lisa you translate a masterpiece in a very low way - a craft, but I have to observe very strict rules to repeat it that way." Basdekis' Greek upbringing didn't include formal embroidery, although she remembers its popularity in traditional Greek homes. The application of embroidery on the sole of the foot, however, does consciously refer to darker aspects of Greek twentieth century history: the falaka tortures (beatings on the soles of the feet) inflicted on political prisoners during the years of military dictatorship between 1967 and 1974. But Basdekis uses violence on her own body to open new possibilities."When I stitched my hand for the first time I released a kind of energy that would last a long time," she says, "Usually people think of self harm as a hidden wish for suicide. But for me suicide has no power. For me to harm yourself expresses control of the body. In my country it's sinful to harm the body. It's a kind of rebellion against that religious thinking." Citing 2005's Art Is Beautiful as a turning point, Basdekis also refers to the importance of two earlier performances. In the case of Tama Art, Basdekis - on her hands and knees - proceeded through the centre of Athens and entered the municipal museum, where she remained kneeling in the position of prayer. The proceedings drew crowds of puzzled onlookers, and took the unwarned museum staff completely by surprise. It was, Baskdekis believes, "Bold to do it in an urban landscape. I used all the city in a different way. I made the viewers use the city in a different way. I decided to go into the museum without any permission. The people in the museum, they could see me praying - that's what Tama means - with 100 people watching, and the museum staff didn't know what to do, how to behave. It was my idea to make it a parody. All that kneeling at the museum made me feel like a piece of work in the museum! People were so quiet - like in church - and afterwards so excited. It was amazing."In We Are The Revolution - a direct reference to Joseph Beuys' work from 1972 - Basdekis videoed herself wearing Mickey Mouse ears, repeating Beuys' phrase having inhaled helium gas from a balloon, undermining the confidence behind the statement. "Beuys changed the rules," says Basdekis, "But I was asking what I was doing. Could I change society? And so, by using helium, I gave myself a cartoon voice.."Besides providing an unnerving quality, Besdakis use - indeed, sense- of humour reinforces the transgressive intentions behind her work. She has previously related her performances to the function of the clown, fool or jester in history, whom she sees as "eerie, insane..marginal in the palace…that he remains without a punishment is evidence that he (his truth) has not any power (over the king, authority)". Basdekis' transgressive actions therefore embody pessimism and rebellion, mysteriously made to unfold in a fixed continuum she sees as "the only time and space I can breathe as a proper Evangelia." She continues, "I feel quite free and original because I believe in what I'm doing. It's my manifesto. I don't have any sense of what the viewer thinks. But it's amazing how liberating it feels when you're doing that - you do the most right thing in the world."During the year she spent being mentored by Franko B, Basdekis seems to have become reassured about the direction of her art. Franko offered her "A kind of philosophy about art and life. I'd been wondering why I was an artist and he put the question in a different way. He said okay you are an artist but why do you have to keep on doing it? He told me don't put pressure on yourself. For Franko B the first is to be a human being and an artist next."Asked about the symbolic value of her body in performance, Basdekis replies: "All my gesture is symbolic - Mona Lisa on the flesh rather than on the canvas. I am considering the body as the subject for torture or action. You take your time to release truths from your body - out, out. I don’t know if it's a kind of therapy. My statement is you take your time to bring out your reasons." And for the onlooker? Basdekis smiles: "I don't look for emotional involvement - it's just the mind."

Bob Dickinson is an arts reporter/producer for the BBC Radio 4 Front Row programme

Monday, September 17, 2007

last night i am now irreversibly in the middle of toward morning of, Anselm (jesus but he's a cute one) read/said (to effect of)
"I was distant because I distrust my face"

& Craig Goodman's video of Cliff Hengst's fantastic performance "This is a song about you". [title?] Did anyone else catch Anselm's midstream lift from? Does it come from elsewhere? I feel certain he said, as Cliff did on video 15 minutes prior, "You were eighteen when you found out it was true."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

none too soon, really—

"For to be faithful to this situation means: to treat it right to the limit of the possible. Or, if you prefer: to draw from this situation, to the greatest possible extent, the affirmative humanity that it contains. Or again: to try to be the immortal of this situation."
I am always wrong: there are many things more important than poetry.
this article is disturbing in too many horrific directions. war on drugs what?
it bleeds towards advert.
fischli&weiss, busi: giant video billboard of a kitty lapping milk.
ou les silky milk, kitty? are you going to prick me with that?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Last night: Small Press Traffic's season-opening presentation of Kevin Killian & Karla Milosevich's Celebrity Hospital. The best advantage to being a poet in the Bay Area, given cost-of-living, lack of living-wage, and the absurd bourgeois attack [especially from INSIDE many local arts organizations] on everything this city once held up and dear and good, must be the opportunity to participate as cast member in or audience to one of Kevin's poets-theater productions. Twenty-five cast members/characters (three of which, Mac McGinnes pointed out, were luxuriously brought in only in the last 10 minutes of the play [deus ex exposé?]) all poets, artists, and neighbors playing: under-over-cover "celebrities" getting/giving lip/lipo at the corner of Madison and Wisconsin in a faux LA, and everyone suffering from the mispleasures of Stockholm syndrome & "Apodyopsis: the act or condition of sexual excitement caused by exposure to medical procedures." Hello the rack on Jaclyn Smith and the Dr Baldwin on Wayne [Gretsky]. Are you going to prick me with that?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

i didn't know how, and i didn't know i wasn't supposed to.

Monday, September 3, 2007

“…hypocrisy plays an important role in the realization of human societies, permitting human beings under stress to feign having certain properties which they abandon as soon as the stress is removed. This is why in a human society a social change takes place as a permanent phenomenon only to the extent that it is a cultural change: a revolution is only a revolution if it is an ethical revolution.”
i sleep, change location, feel confused. can't get the 'inner hug' Tammy calls what the cigarette gives. The sound of Talking Heads' "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" is the exact sensational state of my absent-inner-hug-inner-nervous-system. The apparatus is working overtime but i'm so boring it looks like barely breathing.