038. reading by proxy

- Grand Open Reading, Red Door Hall, Baltimore, us@

- January 4, 1981

- I was invited by Tom DiVenti to participate in a large reading. We misunderstood each other - I misunderstood his invitation & he misunderstood me to have consented. Usually I avoid such readings because I don't like conventional readings at all, because I rarely consent to read unless I have something special in mind, & because I find most readings to be little more than Mutual Admiration Society Group Therapy Sessions in which little or no critical standards are present. Disgruntled that my name was on the poster & knowing that everybody would ultimately just be sick of each other at the end of such a long reading & glad for it to be over, I asked Richard Ellsberry to be my proxy & to simply be the last person to read & to read the list of everyone who had read before him. Sure enough, the crowd roared with disapproval with Keith Worz (usually creative in his heckling) going so far as to try to cut apart Richard's names list with scissors while Richard attempted to read it.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

039. attempt to undermine "reality" maintenance traps

- next 2 t he keswick home 4 t he incurables across from t he rotunda, Baltimore, us@

- Monday, February 2 (Groundhog's Day), 1981

- While embedded between 2 floors of a building I listened to a "hypnotic" tape that I'd made which attempted to convince me that I could walk thru walls & perform other extraordinary defiances of "consensus reality". The audience was kept at a distance from this action by 2 "bodyguards" (Kirby Malone & Richard Ellsberry). The "attempt" was either witnessed thru doorways or on 2 monitors which were stacked vertically in the attic of the building that I was in the 1st floor & the basement of - the top monitor showing the top half of my body in 1 room & the bottom monitor showing the bottom half of my body in another. Because most of the time none of my flesh showed, it was unclear to those who had arrived late whether there was even a body in the clothes. This was sponsored by Desire Productions.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

040. 3 part action

- APT 81, Peking Poolroom, Montréal, CacaNada

- Mercredi, 18 Février, 1981

- First, I explained to the audience that I was going to kiss everyone there while I said the word "Pleasure" in 26 different languages. Each audience member was to rate which word they thought was most pleasurable to be kissed during the saying of. This explanation was translated into French from English by Kiki Bonbon. I proceeded to do as explained while a tape of mine played as "background usic". Most of the audience was male, 1 of the women refused to be kissed, & there was general extreme discomfort with such an intimacy from a "stranger".

- Second, the audience was led to the bathroom where they were asked, again with Kiki translating, to write the names of all of the objects in the room on those objects. The purpose of this was to make everyone more conscious of how much language surrounds us. This deteriorated into a more ordinary, but still "spirited", graffiti session.

- Finally, having moved to the bedroom, it was explained, Kiki translating, that I was going to read from the "Arabian Nights" removing all vowels - as I had heard is done in Arabic writing. This was, of course, a deliberate absurd misinterpretation of "scholarly" information meant to reduce a narrative text to gibberish & to provide a ridiculous challenge for the translator.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

041. krononautic divector field didaction

- APT 81, Peking Poolroom & the streets, Montréal, CacaNada

- Samedi, 21 Février?, 1981

- In the kitchen, the oven door was open with a turntable on it. The turntable had a record on it which I had painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. The main lighting in the room was from a clamp lamp over the turntable & from lasers which were set up to reflect off steam irons (a neoist symbol of severity) held by Kiki Bonbon & Zbigniew Brotgehirn. While the turntable turned, I blotted out the record's light by spray-painting black on it & Richard Ellsberry (then known as Richard X) gave a lecture accompanied by chalk writing on the walls about the Krononautic Organism (the time travel "society" that those of us from Baltimore at this festival represented). Ruth Turner did something out on the roof adjacent to the kitchen. Doug Retzler wandered the streets of Montréal, under the influence of LSD, aiming a low-intensity portable laser into windows & doorways of bars & other buildings periodically calling the Peking Poolroom to interupt the lecture & report on his activities. The action more or less ended when Kiki asked Zbigniew " Do you really want to do this?" (i.e.: hold the steam irons to reflect the lasers) to which Zbigniew replied "No" & they stopped doing so.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

042. Paper Dolls in Dava's Class

- School 33, Baltimore, us@

- summer, 1981

- Two groups of "child-size" paper dolls were given to the students to wear & they were encouraged to write & draw on each other. Most of the students were uncomfortable in the restrictive "costumes" & 1 of the girls ripped her way out. After this, all of the students were encouraged to do the same - which they did with great gusto making a total mess & throwing the paper scraps around enthusiastically. I thought of this as my sly way of providing them with confining role models to break.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

043. No No Class Umbrella Lesson

- Experimental High School -> the streets, Baltimore, us@

- fall, 1981

- Asked to co-teach a class at the Experimental High School, I named the class the No No Class & centered it around the teaching of guerrilla activities. At the 1st class I told the students that no matter how well they'd do in the class I planned to give them all "D"s (the lowest passing grade) since grades were aspects of a different political system than what the class represented. Some students dropped out immediately. They were then shown 2 vaudeos of quasi-documentation of 2 "guerrilla theater" type actions. At the end of the 1st class, they were asked to bring umbrellas to the next class.

- The 2nd class consisted of my having the students walk down the sidewalks, tightly clustered together, with umbrellas over their heads - despite its not being rainy or sunny. The purpose of this was to force other pedestrians to have to navigate under the moving variable height ceiling that the clumped umbrellas created. As the finalé, we blocked the entrance of a supermarket until a guard chased us away.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

044. Seatbelt Violation Public Works Promotion

- Public Works Festival, Toronto, CacaNada

- October, 1981

- Eugenie Vincent & I were tied to the roof of a rented car to attract attention to us while we drove around the city with signs advertising the festival we were to participate in & "HOMEX" - the magazine that 1 of the drivers, Ricki Kilreagan (the other driver being Sin-Dee Heidel), was editor of. After 20 minutes or so, we were stopped by a cop, who was eventually joined by 2 others. The cops tried to figure out what they could charge us with & eventually decided on "seatbelt violation" - much to the general amusement.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

045. contest at Public Works Festival

- YYZ Gallery, Toronto, CacaNada

- October 10, 1981

- As an impromptu contribution to the "Neoist" night at the Gallery, Eugenie Vincent stripped, with her face wrapped with toilet paper (so that no photographs could be used to incriminate her in case she were to run for political office later), & lay on the floor. Unwanted left-overs from a very authentic Chinese meal we'd had earlier (cow's lung or some such) was spread out on her chest & abdomen. The audience was told that whoever ate the most food off of Genie without using their hands would win a free Chinese dinner. Of course, we knew that it was unlikely that anyone would want to eat any more chinese food after undergoing this experience but we figured that at least a few people in the audience would want to eat this slop off of the naked girl. I, most likely, conceived of all this & acted as judge. Ricki Kilreagan attempted to play some sort of kitsch tv music. Sin-Dee Heidel probably assisted in some way or another. 2 or more guys from the audience tried to eat the food off of Eugenie. I think everybody but 1 guy dropped out repulsed by the food. The remaining one who would've won pulled out a pocket knife in a frenzy of sexual aggressiveness & started scooping up the food with it. He was disqualified as a result & no-one won. To top it off, a sleazy Yugoslavian Photographer chased Genie around, still naked with toilet paper wrapped around her face, photographing in an "artistic" frenzy. This same photographer documented Skin Transfer (#51) - telling us "I believe in you" but refusing to give us copies of the photos. Hhmmm..

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

046. Neoist Parking Meter Action

- APT 4, Montréal, CacaNada

- October, 1981

- Wearing sandwich boards that said in English & French: "Neoist Parking Meter Action - Pay Me to Go Away" & wearing a parking meter hood over my face, I stood at empty parking places & waited for cars to park there. Then I followed the drivers when they left their cars with an impassive face & my hand out-stretched mechanically. The drivers all avoided me by walking somewhere where I wasn't - after which I left a Neoist Parking Ticket under their windshield wiper. Finally disgusted by what I thought was a mediocre response to my imaginative begging, I started to walk back to the LOW theatre. En route, 2 guys stopped me & asked me what I was doing. When I explained, they thought it was so funny that they pretended to get out of a car & gave me money.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

047. Mont Royal Cathedral Painting

- APT 4, Montréal, CacaNada

- October, 1981

- Wearing my Tim Ore clothes, I set up an easel with a canvas on it in a park across from the Mont Royal Cathedral. Going thru painterly gestures such as extending my thumb to "check perspective", I proceeded to paint a very crude depiction of a house that wasn't intended to look like the cathedral. Keeping a straight face, I knew that people would look over my shoulder & look at the painting & think that I was some sort of "poor crazy man" & give me wide berth after seeing my "crazy" picture. It amused me that a simple child's painting of a house with a smoking chimney (or some such) when placed in this context could become a catalyst for fear. Eventually, 2 people had the nerve to ask me if I was attempting to paint the cathedral. I laughed & explained what I was doing - after which they were relieved & explained that, sure enough, they'd been afraid to talk to me because they thought I was crazy. Things aren't always what they seem, eh?

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

048. LOW show

- APT 4, LOW Theatre, Montréal, CacaNada

- October 15?, 1981

- Wanting to only perform street actions during this festival but wanting to make money off of them by charging entry to the LOW theatre (a basement apartment with a bay window in the front) I decided to charge admittance to the theatre & then perform my actions outside so that the audience would be watching thru the bay window what they could have watched for free from outside. With a tv outside facing in (or inside facing out with the reflection visible inside?) showing video of the previous 2 street actions, I stood outside trying to sell "Neoist Passports" (large, elaborately folded & rubber stamped "blackprints" made from passports of Istvan Kantor's that he'd had altered by various friends & aquaintances in his travels) which I was trying to sell for some ridiculously LOW price - something like $3.00. Probably few people, if anyone, paid to enter the theatre. No-one would buy a passport off this "deranged-looking" character. As usual, I didn't make any money - but I'm sure that whatever free meal I got that day courtesy of Gordon W. Zealot & Monty Cantsin was delicious!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

049. American Manoeuvres

- APT 4, Vehicule Art & someone's home, Montréal, CacaNada

- October, 1981

- Announcing our intention to launch the money-making activity to be known as "American Manoeuvres" at Vehicule Art, Monty Cantsin/Istvan Kantor, Gordon W. Zealot, & I presented a ceremony primarily steered by Monty. Monty later got us some home repair work where I fixed a doorbell successfully & poorly caulked a bath-tub & where the 3 of us tried to fix the roof. Monty & Gordon may've painted a room. I was paid enough money for this to take a train back to Baltimore. So much for American Manoeuvres.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

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