dance for me, baby

September 15, 2008

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.

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while you were out…

August 05, 2008

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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Review: in/public: esse aficionado

July 20, 2008

yesterday i had the pleasure of leaving work early to escape into the streets. it’s beautiful here in seattle right now and the last thing i want to do is be cooped up in anything. it’s terrible that trapped feeling.

i saw a theater performance last night by implied violence. there was a cage to one side of the performance space made of chicken wire. appropriately, they had a lot of baby chickens in it. my friend lindsey kept murmuring about wanting to take one home and bent down to pet them. i don’t pet chickens. i think they smell bad and i have been attacked by roosters one too many times to have any desire to play with them. and i have seen them do spectacular things, but i still don’t want to touch one.

so i wandered down to pioneer square. it’s an older part of seattle’s downtown where once all the migrant and poor white labor lived and worked. you could go to a dance hall and buy yourself a lady from the phillipines for the night. number girls they called them because they wore little numbers on themselves as identification. choose a number. take a number. it’s a numbers racket. number girls.

it was also where the whore houses were if you hadn’t guessed. i guess all those guys chopping down trees and refining them needed some kind of comfort. they were living in shanty towns on the edge of the city. hooverville is what it was called, the shanty. i don’t know why (editor’s note: president hoover was the president at this time, the great depression, and was blamed for the economic malaise, thus the populace named these rag and stick villages after him. metonymy in action or polysemy?) . i suppose i’ve heard before, but i just don’t remember. all the stories of that place, old pioneer square, sound miserable. nothing to romanticize here, folks; keep moving. keep moving. no wonder that this is one of the places from which the american labor movement rose.

but yesterday was a brighter day. yesterday, on 1st avenue between yesler and western avenues at a little after 5 pm, i saw a group of dancers walk down the street and stake a claim to a section of sidewalk. they were wearing very lovely dark hued costumes reminiscent of ballerina wear. small black shoes and hose. little bubbles of fabrics forming down from their waists. bare headed like frivolous nuns and never really smiling, they formed a single file line down the street. buttressed by two not so matronly matrons dressed as ushers, i think, bookends, maybe, to the dancers.

the dancers also had on these curious mesh aprons. really small ones. if you looked close enough you could see a couple of small speakers inside them. i didn’t notice any wires going to soundboxes so maybe they were using a radio broadcaster to get their sounds. i’ve done shows like that before and it’s a pretty exciting way to sonify a piece.

when you perform in the streets in america it’s really quite different than dancing or playing music in other countries. people react with an attitude that almost borders on hostility. they will make nasty comments. they yell stupid things that don’t really amuse their friends, but helps to diffuse the weird tension that americans have about street performers who aren’t clowns, breakdancers, folk musicians and those guys who use buckets for drums. it wasn’t so bad for the 5 ladies in esse aficionado and i suppose it’s because they looked so dazzling in those outfits and they never did smile. not smiles like you think of smiling, anyway. the tall woman in the middle kept looking as if she was going to grace us with some kind of bounty of joy, but she resisted and the mirth just seemed to play about her lips and eyes.

i should probably say something about their dancing. the 5 of them were in a line going down the sidewalk. motions were synchronized and generally began with one dancer at either end or the principle choreographer, who was the second person in after the matron closest to me, starting some gesture. an arm would go up here or a leg and then you could see it move through all of them. but it would take on a slightly different form depending on the body or personality of the mover.

and that is pretty wonderful. i have only seen one other piece by this group, but i liked it so much i went twice. this piece, late saturday afternoon: portrait, is an extension of that one, early sunday morning, and something i can say about it is that the choreographer, maki morinoue, has brought some movement of the birds to her work that i find enchanting. so watching these movements move serially from one body to the next, even though it’s something you see in a lot of performances, is not tiring or boring or cliched. it just feels very dream-like and almost but not quite sensual. or maybe that’s just me.

i have always loved bringing art that normally is done in theaters out into the public. it’s so fun to watch how people react. a lot of performers get turned off because it can be emotionally hazardous what with all those random folks making the occasional disparaging and loud remarks or doing mock versions of what you are up to, but for the people who are hungry for this sort of thing it’s pure joy when we stumble across it.

i should also say something about the musical element. as i mentioned before, the dancers were wearing these mesh aprons with very small speakers inside. the sounds of bells and gongs would come from them sometimes. other times it was children laughing. this seemed to really resonate with the crowds who gathered and the crowds who passed. looking at the sandwich board the matrons had set down as the group occupied their piece of the sidewalk i saw that the music was composed by morinoue. this is the choreographer’s last name, but i am not sure if she is being humble by identifying herself in this way or if this is a special name that connotes something else or something more. but it doesn’t really matter because the final notion i have is that the sounds played were well chosen and their sequencing was a choreography in itself.

esse aficionado.

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art idea # 3: ‘whitebodycurtain’ (or silently yellow, too)

July 14, 2008

you will need:

1. a film or video to display

2. a projector

3. a lot of naked people.

paint your naked people white or yellow.

have them lined up as closely as possible. train them for various movements if you like as long as they stay close. if your projection is long you will want enough naked people to rotate them out in rounds, as in, one person leaves as another person joins. this could go on indefinitely.

project the film or video on their bodies.

this is an installation.

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Street Theater Original Constructor! "we are winning!"

July 07, 2008

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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