Wednesday, 30 September 2009

holy cow, this weekend is hot

This weekend, if you can't go to the Brighton thing below, and Team Gina at the Brudenell in Leeds ain't your bag, then go to this and make me jealous:

The Fat of the Land is a queer chub Harvest Festival that will take place on 3 October 2009, 2-6pm at St Anne's, Dean Street, London.
Seriously, this event is gonna kick total ass... and is in some respects like a blast for the past for me, as BJ is gonna be there; I remember writing about BJ in a women's studies MA assessed paper (on lesbian/queer beauty pageants) way back in 2002 - I was kinda obsessed at the time. Plus, Allyson Mitchell is gonna be showing art work there too (swoon). I curse being up North sometimes. Bring me back stories and jam if you go!

brighton on sunday

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Jessica is inside my head, I'm sure of it...

Jessica Hopper 27/9/09:

I think today might be the first time I have felt normal in a month. It feels momentous. Or maybe it's more like 10 weeks? After one thing passes, I think "oh after this, then things will be "normal" but there keeps being an AND THEN lately. I know it's a myth, that the "and then" is stoppable--it's all AND THEN. When I was about 25, I had this idea that if I did certain things perfect, or got my life "arranged" it would become slower and predictable and manageable and then there wouldn't be some much AND THEN AND THEN and I could be on a peaceful mountaintop of life and just spend my time painting pictures of dogs or catching up on old New Yorkers and no one would die or move away or be sick or I would have money and no one would be on crack or mad at me. I thought you could do things to prevent the AND THEN barrage.

Friday, 18 September 2009

good to know

I was lucky enough to contribute bits from Colouring Outside The Lines zine issues 1-5 to this zine project, created by the incredibly awesome and inspiring Amy of Pikaland, one of my favourite blogs (in fact, to call it just a 'blog' is selling it waaay short). Amy is so great at bringing creative folks together and forging links, networks, and communities - this new zine project of hers in particular is full of advice and inspiration, and I'm so pleased it exists...

We just launched the FIFTH issue of Good to Know zine, and it's our heaviest copy yet: 68 pages filled with advice + inspiration from artists about the topic of art education:
"Do you think that artists need to have degrees/qualifications from art school in order to be one? Did you study art? Does it matter?"

You can purchase the issue in PDF or hardcopy (and find out more info about the zine) directly from here
For subscriptions – PDF or a physical copies – you can head to our Etsy shop

Thursday, 17 September 2009

sometimes when writing is really great i feel a little bit MORE

MBS makes me feel like this.

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore on Close to the Knives...

In the early ’90s, everyone was dying—that’s how it felt, it felt like everyone was dying. We were the first generation of queers to grow up knowing that desire meant AIDS meant death, and so it made sense that when we got away from the other death—the one that meant marriage, house in the suburbs, a lifetime of brutality, both interior and exterior, and call this success or keep trying, keep trying for more brutality—it made sense that everyone was dying, because we had only known death.

Queer heroes were dykes, or they were dying—some of the dykes were dying too, but not as fast, unless it was suicide or a cancer they hadn’t mentioned, cancer like childhood sometimes you can’t say it. So when I found David Wojnarowicz, he was already dead; I didn’t find him, I found his words.

Close to the Knives: This was the first time I’d ever read something and thought: me. That rage I felt at the world, the world that left nothing but words. Words and these gestures of desire and longing and searching crazed madness. I was finally learning to say help, help me, I need help here, can you help? And there was Close to the Knives.

David Wojnarowicz wrote about a “disease in the American landscape,” the literal disease of AIDS, but a crisis caused because the people in power decided who was expendable. Close to the Knives is so intent on exposing the layers of oppression between government and God and family and the “one tribe nation” of “walking Swastikas.” One minute you’re driving through the landscape of light and dark, shadow and memory and space, so much space, and all of a sudden: “I feel that I’m caught in the invisible arms of government in a country slowly dying beyond our grasp.”

We were queer freaks and incest survivors and anarchists, feminists and whores and vegans and sluts and activists taking all these words into our ears our arms our mouths. We exchanged manifestos and zines, books, and fliers and gossip, organized direct actions and art projects, got in dramatic fights over politics, over the weather, over clothing, over who was sleeping with whom; we held each other, we painted each other’s nails and broke down, honey we broke down.

I carried Close to the Knives around like a litmus test; when I met someone new, I’d hand it off—some would turn to me and say, “Oh, this is too much, I can’t handle it.” Others would look me in the eyes with recognition, and those were the ones. Close to the Knives helped me to embrace my rage like a “blood-filled egg,” a shift in the texture of breathing, a way to further opportunities for connection rather than just the isolation we knew so well.

Close to the Knives conjured this world of bathrooms and parks and alleys and rotting piers and other public opportunities for sexual splendor, and I, like David, was “gasping from a sense of loss and desire.” Sure, “I was afraid the intensity of my fantasies would become strangely audible,” but I knew that this public engagement with the sexual could infuse all moments of hope and horror, escape and claustrophobia, landscape and longing, death and remembrance.

I carried Close to the Knives around in my bag for years and sometimes when anything or everything was too much, I would reach for the familial texture of these words: I was learning and living and giving the potential of embracing outsider status in order to create safety, love, community, desire, home on my own terms. David Wojnarowicz reinforced this drive to build my own systems for understanding and challenging the world, my own sense of morality. He knew that “Hell is a place on earth. Heaven is a place in your head.” Queerness became “a wedge that I might successfully drive between me and a world that was rapidly becoming more and more insane.” A wedge I still hold on to.

Via: here

Reading stuff like this reminds me of why it's really important to hear about what inspired those who inspire us.
And is really important in helping the blood pump furiously to my heart and brain
And how importnat it is that truths are shared
And the importance of community / network(s) / media(s) for us to do this within and with

Monday, 14 September 2009

getting a craft on

Since the dawning of September has seen my social life crash and burn :( I shall mostly be spending my Autumn working through these 25 tutorials on how to make books & notebooks by hand.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

like another part of me

I was asked a little while ago to contribute to a zine to accompany the Seripop exhibition at The Baltic centre for contemporary art in Newcastle. This weekend was the first chance I've had to sit down and read the whole zine in full.

I'm not just saying this because he's a friend, but the piece that Michal William (of l o c a l k i d) wrote for the zine made my eyes fill with emotion. He's a bit special, for sure.
Here's part of what he writes:

When we book a tour, or hold a show, or greet each other in the street, or boil water, or take a souvenir snapshot, we control the space - our space - by means of COLLECTIVE and ORGANISATION and CARE. And when we speak of 'LOVE', these are the words we are trying to say. And the actions we make are: 'I will look out for you'.'I will treat you like another part of me', 'and when we meet, we will embrace with looks of companions and comrades'

I've been thinking a lot about 'community' recently, and how a lot of what purports to be community falls waaay short and in truth isn't community at all. But also, I've recently felt what Michal speaks of, and it's something I want to feel 24/7, comrades.

Friday, 11 September 2009

this is home

If home is where the heart is, where is yours? A visual exploration of the concept of 'home,' across continents, oceans and neighborhoods.

Here are your semifinalists! And now it's time to cast your vote — you have until Sunday 13 September to do so.

Viewers will vote on their favorite piece, and finalists will receive their design in a limited edition postcard pack.

re/group leeds


A collection of work by Frances Bickerdike, Anna Peaker, Laura Robinson and Jessica Thomas.

At Leeds City Library Gallery, running the whole of September.

Private View on Monday 14th, 6 - 8pm

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

getting emails like this one turns me on

From my inbox...

Let's start this season with a gay bang. The Stage is Set.

R e e n a S p a u l i n g s F i n e A r t is thrilled to announce....

K8 HARDY, artist
"to all the g#$%!s I've loved before"
(party to follow)
Reena Spaulings 165 East Broadway NY NY 10002

SHOW: September 13th - October 11th, 2009; Thursday through Sunday, Noon to 6pm

On May 27th 2009 I wrote the following exciting press release:
Attention: (!!!!!_)

Reena Spaulings Fine Art

I don’t appreciate anyone trying to control my expressions and I will not let any gallery control what goes into a show of my art. I AM TAKING BACK TOTAL CONTROL! I don’t care if it won’t be any good. My work is fucking good! It’s not some minimalist anti-aesthetic don’t care about the world conceptual project, ok? It’s messy and I DON’T NEED YOU TO TAKE OVER THE PRODUCTION! I don’t want my hand taken out of my own fucking art show in order to take it “to the next level”. I am completely against that patriarchal view of success. I don’t care if my shit is unprofessional or tacky. I’ve been making art since before I ever walked into a gallery and been involved in crazier shit (LTTR) than this gallery.

ANYWAYS, All the guys my age are on their stupid Nintendo 9th show and I haven’t had one- so I got a lot of shit to show, ok? In fact I hope my shit show is really fucking bad and embarrassing for everyone in this super cool art scene. I want this to be the same as I had ten years ago in my dyke punk rock house: I’ve got something to say.

DO I HAVE ANY COLLECTORS ANYWAYS? Well you know that answer is NO. well why, why, why, I wonder why? So please just help me out this summer so this downwardly mobile “celesbian” can have her first show.


But before that I wrote...

“Re-working In the In-Between, Shaking It Out.”

The Process is Power conference caught my attention because it addresses two important issues for me:

Process as a foreign/other language inside one dominant language; frequently spoken by Lesbians but not limited to this Tribe; most often used outside of Patriarchal circles.

Process as a metaphor for working used most often in relation to Artists.

These are topics I am currently investigating in my new work, “Notes on Lying”.

What motivates me? I am an artist and an outsider, both simultaneously and distinctively, so a total of 3.

I studied various fruits in my education, each one sliced or deconstructed an/other way, an endless amount of variations- but not quite infinity. Yet, when confronted with “Process” I tend to let it go. As I release this grip, or hailing, there creates a void, torn open through rejection. This void is an open space, never able to be filled or closed, that which is not one. And so I stand empty-handed before myself, and before my reader. But I’m convinced this situation needn’t remain so. I think if we stretch the limits, we might find some wonderful tools for regarding Process.

In a theoretical world, there are as many ways to view a situation as there are ways of viewers. For this reason, I will use simply my own, sketch it briefly and then illustrate some results. I don’t pretend to present any ground-breaking or revolutionary ideas in this text, just to shift my point of view, and possibly yours.

Fluidity, fragmentation, and pleasure are associated with the metaphorical ground breaking. The nascent intellectual current is conceptualism, a modality that creates a structure with hierarchies, it’s symbols and signs. It gives process a rigorous, “one, two” and then falls to the floor. So it’s not what I’m looking at, it’s not the finality, but the backwards unfolding. When I say backwards, I do invoke a form of linearity, but don’t limit it within actual directions.

The focus on “Process” by which meaning has been achieved inherently reveals feminist concerns. Inherently you may ask why? Inheritance is a patriarchal mode of moving power that distinctly and forthrightly excludes women, when I use the word woman now, just briefly to make my point, it is to classify that which is outside heteronormative patterns. Here I assert that again, my concern is not much with what has been said or made or produced. I postulate a different strategy, a risk, for the inscription of Process.

If to speak is to act and I say perform, perhaps performance is a form of lying? That’s philosophy. But it’s hard to answer if you consistently question what is Real.

Objects are less important than process. Process will never earn a dollar. As related in point #2, the (O)ther Tribes, have a whole foreign language of process. Communication and dialogue create friction, a small warmness. Lying is done with language, writing, and also the space between words. Gaping holes of nothing, caverns of emptiness, the liminality of abject unknown. A preferred space to occupy, like a country. Let us not forget power.

I don’t always want to be an artist. Part of it to me is about carrying around a heavy load of ideas and an intense drive to write about them. By writing I mean making art. By writing, I like to imply the gesture of my hand so may I also call it painting? Is it controlled? Is it messy? Is it queer as a two-dollar bill?

Politics are intrinsic here, activating questions and thoughts in the world we live in today; all wars considered. It’s a load of dirty clothes for most in the United States. However, I wear dirty clothes every day. Cleaning, putting away the mess, taking the visibility out of mess, making mess invisible, belongs to the privileged. Visibility now marches into the room, on the paper.

I think of my basic gesture as the American middle finger flying in the air of defiance. We’re supposed to be rebels anyways. I will name the specificity of my stance. Two able bodied legs supported by the ground in the United States of America, foreign soil.

So who owns what and why? Who claims to own the unknown thing that dares not bare its name? If one had to live in a closet, lying out of necessity, does the closet ever leave the room?

Persona is a reaction to Patriarchy. As everyone searches for their true self, they use the fake one they have been given, or fail miserably at that effort. Authenticity is slippery. Mimicry is the tenet of femininity.

It’s easy to obsess over the little things, scrape off the top layer of eye shadow your sister’s friend gave you from her stash of samplers at the department store where they both work. She’s a make up artist. It’s another kind of great artist. I look at the scraped up dirty little pads of packed powder and wonder if the germs from all the rich ladies, because it is a nice department store, I wonder if they could seep all the way to the bottom, totally saturate the rectangle of color. No matter, I’ll let my immune system work it out.

It’s so rude when an acquaintance maybe friend says, “I’m going out with my girlfriends tonight, me and my girlfriend, I just love all my girlfriends, and I really need to have girlfriends.” The gendered friendships keep slapping me on the face with their hallowed placement. Now every time I here a sex signifier I become suspect. I feel like there must be something conservative lurking around it. And these days you can guarantee if something is called a Women’s group, it’s usually for conservative means.

It’s scary how activist terms can get co-opted to the point of innocuous. Yet still I am part separatist and have no problem with making statements about Men. Oh Power. No problem at all. Bold statements regarding the still dominant sex, but oh how those women dream that’s behind us. It’s oh so embarrassing for straight people. Ha ha ha. Must we really bring that up? Let’s just party and have a good time. tickle tickle he he. Me and my girlfriends are liberated.

Stereotypes can’t contain the people within them. It’s violent. So take me on my own terms, or lay yours out so that I can see them. Take a position. I’m wary of silent terms, unspoken, invisible ground.

I’m still not fitting in. I’m a collision. You know what I mean?

Should we decide what to do together? I’m stuck in a pattern. I want to continue. I want clarity. The emotions are muddled. I have a deep commitment. I have conceptual questions. I want to check out.

It’s time to look over all my notes and find some more meaning. I need to keep adding meaning, searching. I make no apologies. I want everything to be clear to myself, not to you.

And coffee. Why does it have to be so bad for you? Is it? Everything is bad. All the artists are sober tea drinkers eating lots of greens and staying in shape. No more drugs, we run our studios like a tight little business ship. You can’t be a mess if you want to succeed!

I’m flipping pages. I’m looking at old super 8 movies. Animals I filmed at the zoo, incessantly walking back and forth, pacing in the cage, back and forth and back and forth in black and white. It’s kinda hard to watch. I think about Guantanamo. I think about this upcoming election and I get freaked out. The elephants are out of focus. The footage from France with the topless girls on the beach makes you want to question your participation in perversity, that’s the United States at work in your mind.

My jeans are dirty. The special black jeans from Trash & Vaudeville where the punks have been making the same cut of jeans since the real deal. The ass has ripped so many times, just came back from the tailor at the dry cleaners, and I feel like I am walking around with a diaper on. It’s weird but my ass still looks good in them. I wish I could afford new clothes. Some avant-garde designer with the freakiest weird shit, who knows if they even sell it to stores even.

I still believe in the male gaze. Seems like everyone has given up on that.

Different ideas. I’d like to dress up as each of my friends and take their portrait, a portrait of me, an homage. Maybe I’ll do it but I wonder if it’s worth it.

The underwear were merely a symbol for the body. The location of the most disgusting form of abjection. I chose the underwear for the location. I buy used underwear. Everyone says they don’t do it. I mean, I check the crotch and make sure it’s not stained, and only if they are like really cool or interesting. And of course I wash them before I wear them. A friend lost my favorite pair of crotch-less panties while performing in the Miss L.E.S. Pageant. Can’t blame her for that. I got them from a Saver’s in Springfield. Now used crotch-less panties no worries. They were low-cut, black lace, from the 70s.

I like to carry around my twenty-something half finished notebooks and journals. I want to finish them because I don’t want to waste the paper. I wish I was an eco-terrorist, but I try to get close. So I try to carry around them with me wherever I go if it is a significant amount of time. I have little ones and regular too. At a certain point a journal will become so time specific that I can’t possibly add to it. Then I will tear out the unused pages and recycle them, making lists and notes and whatnot. I’m so jealous of those hyper organized people. They probably keep their lists in their journals and never fall behind deadlines.

The fancy ones are nice. I can’t afford them all the time, but then who cares. If they get too precious yr fucked because the pages’ value combat the value of your words. You see someone with those pristine perfect notebooks, perhaps in black leather? You wonder, what kind of ideas are going into that special notebook? Probably ones that are continuing to make that person richer. I digress, but details like that are always on my mind. I’m not jealous, just aware. Details, like I was saying. Signifiers as others properly note.

I look cute today and I would like to go somewhere and be appreciated for it. Guess I’d like to go thrift shopping or somewhere public or something in a cruising zone but my money is so tight I can’t even afford that, much less the cab I would need home. I suppose most people could resolve that problem on the Internet, a blog or whatever. I need immediacy, human contact, and human feelings. I need to feel desired.

I’m really pushing it now in a total new over the edge way. Credit cards are maxed out, no more savings. It’s weird to identify with what the politicians are saying, like hey that’s me. No Health insurance, no nothing, broke. hahaha. Borrowed some cash from a friend. Never done that before. Big fucking sigh. I’m freaking out about food but I still continue to look glamorous and that is so confusing. No not the looking part, that’s confusing to other people, it’s the notoriety. I’m not supposed to complain about that. It’s just alienating when you’re broke. And I’m an elitist, and educated, total cultural elitist.

Downwardly mobile they used to say and still some may say about me. It doesn’t stick though anymore. My generation can’t expect to do better than their parents, like our parents could. So there is a downward shift and then slap on being an artist, slap on fighting to be an artist, and downward the finances go. Maybe I’m just in shock cuz I was raised middle class.

Isn’t that so embarrassing for some people? Yet they don’t know what it’s like to have nothing to lose. I wonder how much my not boring life is worth. It sure is fetishized. Glamour. Is that what it costs? It feels like poetic vindication to all the boring straight people out perhaps. They’ve got the Internet, TV, and magazines but not the people.

Is that mean? I really don’t want to sound mean but then I’m afraid I couldn’t write anything down at all.

I’d like to just walk around and let my tits accidentally fall out of my shirt, or hang out. I’m an exhibitionist so it gets me off. Ask an old crotch and she still may say it’s an offense against women. I’d like to offend men and women simultaneously.

I’d like to do a performance with an amp so I could get so loud. I have so many fucking ideas like an idiot high school boy with a boner and a guitar.

Timing again. It’s weird when someone gives you flowers. Every time my dad fucked up or made me mad I would get flowers. It’s like the offense of making your girl cry, not an apology. Flowers make it all better. I like getting flowers now. Maybe it’s the city or the person sending them has better taste than carnations. Really it’s the luxury and color and gesture. Is that killing the earth?

I like to spray myself with perfume before I go to bed. Roll in it. Especially the ones I don’t wear out anymore, like CK1. I was 16 going to gay clubs in Dallas by myself. It was hot. That smell permeated the whole fucking club and that whole time period. You couldn’t turn around without smelling it. I would bring an apple to the Village Station, the three story-12 room mega dance floor gay club, and dance for hours on end. I was exhilarated. Just dancing, no drinks. The thrill of gay movement and being on a floor without being ogled or mauled by men was beyond any free space I had ever known. It was mostly men there. A separate room and bar, of course, for the drag queen shows. I was transfixed, the only white girl with bleach blonde hair in the corner. Often then I was the only white girl and I really enjoyed that.

I feel subservient to the politically righteous conceptual artists of my peers. They frame themselves in such a safe way, who could argue? If you did, if you dare to disagree, then you disagree with the politics. Sometimes I feel like that is what is put on the line, challenge me and my feminist work and that means you are ignorant and patriarchal. And I don’t know what they risked. I guess I want that. I want to feel a little passion. I want to put up a high school art show. I’m not a minimalist. I want to make a mobile, can’t decide out of what.

“I pledge allegiance to shit” is what my Born Against t-shirt said in high school. A soldier saluting a coffin. I got sent home one day for wearing it. Maybe I can find it on eBay. I almost got up to do just that as I wrote it.

I’m horny but I don’t feel like doing anything about it. It’s the end of my period. My flower pharmacy panties are ragged out. I have a thing for pharmacy panties. Especially if I am in a foreign country. I want to touch the average woman. In Austria they had thongs at the pharmacy, could you imagine? Here they call the condom section family planning. We have a language problem in this country.

It barely gets hot up here and that makes me homesick, though by now I don’t know if home could be used properly in that world. I guess there is a forever argument regarding that one and formative years.

I’m probably too old by mainstream standards to walk around with my ass hanging out of my pants like this, but I guess that’s the beauty of it. I keep having to battle my personality aka performance against my work. It’s like S says about how people decide to take things seriously or not. By now I’m not going out of my way to suntan in order to keep my skin looking nice. I’m concerned about wrinkles.

I have deep dream fantasies of places to call home. Houses on the beach left with the past inhabitants possessions including a closet of vintage clothes. Every one of these places unfolds and becomes an endless maze of undiscovered bedrooms and closets. Our parents all expected us to do better than they themselves, only this time the American dream didn’t work that way. None of us expect to do better, doing as in money having. Although we all hope for it. It leaves us in this hole of expectation without work. Not that I can compare myself too much, if I did have the same values, I would be doing “better” most likely.

So here I AM an artist and what do I have to hold on to?

Some respond RIGHT ON SISTER, I am feeling you.

Others are confused think, she’s asking me to look at her and look away at the same time. I feel compelled to look. Another says FUCK YOU TOO.

Jessica: tiny, lucky genius.

Seriously, '' i.e. tinyluckygenius aka the Unicorn's Tear is my favourite blog right now. I LOVE the way Jessica thinks.

This, from a recent post, rings many bells for me; my life, my purpose, my productions & creativity...

'It's been a long summer of being disconnected from writing. Writing with actual thought about it, writing that isn't about my work, my writing, my book. My life, I know, for a while, maybe an extended while, will be the care and feeding of the thing I made. To wrest away from that feels nessecary and strange. I have barely read, barely taken in, mostly just presented and talked and arranged and hustled. I am home, a little broke, medium tired, missing the entire part of the summer that is the part where you vacate and do nothing. Where you read. Look at stuff and hatch plans that are not terribly ambitious. Like "makin' a pie" or strip mining the massive pile in yr room known as "Clothes Mountain"'.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

future fuck all - submissions wanted

from my inbox...

Future Fuck All

"Hello friends, I am putting out a call for writing, art, comics, photographs, on the practicial and philosophical aspects of gender, sexuality, bodies, and queerness. Personal experiences (good, bad, and other), philosophies, rants, funny stories, observations, interviews, dreams of the future. Ultimately, I want to put a zine out that is a positive fuck yeah for queerness, transgenderisms, bodies, sexualityies, and ultra wave inclusive feminism. A recognition that all oppressions are interconnected, and the time is now to share our stories and deconstruct the dead ends.

Years ago I did four issues of a crudely similar zine call "Girl-Boy" with a co-editor. It was a fun and enlightening exploration, I want to do it again, this time with everybody!

After the submissions have been picked and assembled I will submit the final zine to an awesome independent publisher. I might also put it on a blog thing for the world to share. If you want to specify rights reserved in your works, write that on the work, or let me know in some way. This is not a profit venture, it is to share experience and open minds, our own, and anyone that reads.

If you have suggestions for a title, please send them in! My original brainstorm title idea "Beyond Girl-Boy" seems entirely cheesy. My new working title is" "Future Fuck All."

Deadline is November 1, 2009.

Drop me a note if you have questions." - Robert, robotearl(at),

x x x

Plus, also...

Nowhere 2 Be Found Magazine

is a fanzine that focses on diverse views & culture from a queer perspective. We're looking for gear heads, geeks, dorks, sci-fi/horror fans, punks, metalheads, those dealing with health, mental health, & substance abuse, doing tell their stories, share their art, poetry, fiction/non-fiction, advice, how to, sites, project, events, etc. Send all submissions to nowheretwobefound(at) You can find more info on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace.

oh, so rad

EveryBody!: Visual resistance in feminist health movements, 1969-2009 from September 11-October 10, 2009 at I Space Gallery, Chicago

Monday, 7 September 2009

rubber ring - seeking suggestions

From my inbox...


I need some assistance with a design/illustration project I’m doing.

The project is called:
Rubber Ring: A zine of artful words as a life raft for adolescence. {The title is named after a song by The Smiths about remembering the music and the words that helped you in your youth once you’re grown and ‘laughing and dancing and finally living’}

Basically I’m creating a small self-published magazine that uses the song lyrics of music that is related to various themes such as:

Love / Sex / Death / Beauty / Fear / Alienation / Work / Fashion&Adornments / Bodily Changes&Illness
Anger / Violence / Difference / Creativity / Friendship / Inequality

What I hope to say with this is that in the world there are all of these things, and they exist simultaneously, and despite feeling it no one is alone in fearing isolation and inadequacy. That we are often manipulated and misinformed and that we have value and power and creativity. With these little pocket sized publications I intend to provide something that will do what music often does, offer comfort, recognition and inspiration; but visually. I will be illustrating and designing these words appropriately and including other things such as poems / stories / information / etc. to bolster the rich visuals and link them within a wider context. Basically harnessing popular culture and interpreting it in ways that might reassure someone when in the midst of that most tragicomic of times. I want to mix a blend of humour, mundanity and drama. I want to encourage and challenge, infusing it with the best kind of feminist humanity.

You can help me by:
* Recommending songs that you think are appropriate to one or more of the above themes. OR
* Recommending songs that you think are appropriate to one or more of the above themes that you loved when you were at that age. And a brief description of why that particular song is appropriate, was it helpful / inspiring etc? OR
* Do both of the above and tell me any anecdotes you have about things that were important to you then, embarrassing moments, love, fashion faux pas, fears, sexual encounters. Whatever you feel comfortable sharing with me really that you think might help someone going through something difficult. I won’t use any real names in the zine nor will I share the information about anyone’s identity with anyone else, not a soul.


a small, potentailly setimental post about friends and community

I just got back. I've been in New York, working. I got two nights off, the only time off for the whole trip. I knew I had to spend it wisely. It was then I realised how lucky I am to have such an extended family of friends over the world; friends that have been gained through my projects and by keeping in touch with people who pass through my city. I'd been told about a gig happening in New York, co-incidently on one of my nights off...
7:30 Dibs, 8:00 Dan Fishback, 8:30 Susie Asado, 9:30 Andrew Phillip Tipton, 10:00 Nan Turner, 10:30 Horror Me, 11:00 Kat Burns, 11:30 Toby Goodshank, 12:00 Sibsi

I got to the Sidewalk Cafe and it felt like falling into the arms of the best hug ever. Nan had told me of the show, and it was *so* good to see her, both personally, and to see her solo set - now complete with rapping!! And oh, Dan... we have shared friends, and immediately after his set I knew I wanted to be his best friend, I fell head over heels. And Lisa came down to the show to say hi, and I met Yoko for the first time, years after interviewing her. And I bumped into folks that I've worked on shows with in the UK like Toby, Phoebe, and Matt. And it felt so wonderful to be alone in a strange city and wandering out into the night to this venue full of friends and love and community.
And not just for how they personally welcomed me that night, coming forward with hugs and smiles, but also the knowledge of how crazily talented they are. The awareness of this crazy-talented set of people interacting and performing and creating this music and art in such a supportive environment, in this creative community. It just felt so electric that these people who found each other in the wilds of new york and have come to work together as such a dynamic community - supporting each other, putting on shows and events, listening and collaborating. From an outsiders perspective I felt a pang of jealousy and knowledge that I don't really have that friendship community available to me 24/7. Yet so happy to be there, and feeling included and participating to the buzz of something important.

The sense of community I felt was different yet totally the same to that that I felt in San Francisco only a few short weeks before; that feeling of acceptance and love and shared worlds, and excitement and creativity, and small degrees of separation and the knowledge of how small the world can be, the sense of potential, the warmth, the wanting to forge a better sense of community in my day-to-day not just on these off-chances.
I know the greatest people. I need to stop forgetting that, cuz these connections and friends I have are just so ridiculously positive and inspiring.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

lily, yuka, and fumi

I've done quite enough zipping over the Atlantic for the time being, but, oh, what I wouldn't give to see this show in Los Angeles at ThinkSpace...