204. "High Evil"

- A building on Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 2nd, 1996, 9:30 to10:30PM

- I was invited by Ed Um-Bucholtz to participate in a Rave / Halloween Party / Whatever called "High Evil" that was organized by tcrps-Bass Culture. One of the advertisements for it was a fluorescent orange sticker with the following text:


They killed S.P. Dinsmoor and Jeff McKissack, they killed James Hampton, they want to destroy the Garden of Eden, the Orange Show, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millenium General Assembly! Where There Is No Vision The People Perish! Join us to expand the earth's field intelligence, expose their hidden hand! All Hallow's Eve, Dia de los Muertos show the gate; join us the second day of November to explode the locks! Come save the world! 456-BASS

I loved the advertising but, alas, I didn't have any fun at the actual event. Providing improvised sound were Sharyn Lee Frederick: child's violin, measuring cups, voice; Michael Johnsen: saw, amplified oboe, baritone sax; Greg Pierce: records, intercom, guitar, alto sax, dictaphone; & Dave W(Ho)le Shim: 4 track cassettes. I contributed projected video mixing. This was an experiment in combining vaudeos of mine ("My Life Flashing Before You" & "Something That Dissolves The Shadow Of Something That Was Next To Something That Combusted Twice. Once") with live drawing using a "VideoPainter". This latter device is a toy with a touch-sensitive screen that sends out a video signal. It can be drawn or written on & has various ready-made images targetted at a young user - such as pictures of a robot, a car, a dragon, a fairy, etc.. I scribbled on it, drew faces with parts made out of the ready-made images, wrote the words "Deeper & Deeper" when a recording of a hypnotist's spiel played (mixed in with sexual penetration footage), mixed the video with VideoPainter ready-made landscape images, etc.. There were various technical problems (such as my inability to get the preview monitor to work properly & the video projection cutting off my view of some of the necessary VideoPainter controls) & this was probably the WORST "performance" I've ever presented.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


205. Picktogrameting

- The sidewalks of downtown Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, November 30th, 1996, 1:30 to 3:30PM

- I made a 32 X 40 inch picket sign with graphics on both sides & no words. On 1 side I painted in red highly bit-mapped images of, "reading" from left to right & top to bottom, a pair of scissors ($) [not shown here due to a lack of the proper font] "chasing" an airplane (() overtop a mathematical symbol of 3 horizontal lines with a diagonal slash thru them (=) [not shown here due to a lack of the proper font] next to a check mark in a rectangular box () [not shown here due to a lack of the proper font]. The pixilation of these symbols rendered them almost incomprehensible as any of the above. This was partially "remedied" by drawing over them with black marker. On the other side was a drawing using black marker again of the international pictograms for telegrams & bathtubs. The image for telegrams shows a lightning bolt across a card. This was placed so that the bolt is headed into the tub. These symbols were largely chosen as "nonsense" although the lightning/tub-with-water juxtaposition was calculated to be provocative/evocative. Since this picket was made with the intention of using it in "guerrilla" actions, I researched the Pennsylvania laws regarding picketing, etc, to try to learn about what I could be arrested for. The only remotely relevant law I found was:

from: Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated

Statute 5507. Obstructing highways and other public passages

(a) Obstructing. - A person, who, having no legal privilege to do so, intentionally or recklessly obstructs any highway, railroad track or public utility right-of-way, sidewalk, navigable waters, other public passage, whether alone or with others, commits a summary offense, or, in case he persists after warning by a law officer, a misdemeanor of the third degree. No person shall be deemed guilty of an offense under this subsection solely because of a gathering of persons to hear him speak or otherwise communicate, or solely because of being a member of such a gathering.

(b) Refusal to move on. -

(1) A person in a gathering commits a summary offense if he refuses to obey a reasonable official request or order to move:

(i) to prevent obstruction of a highway or other public passage; or

(ii) to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire or other hazard.

(2) An order to move, addressed to a person whose speech or other lawful behavior attracts an obstructing audience, shall not be deemed reasonable if the obstruction can be readily remedied by police control of the size or location of the gathering.

(c) Definition. - As used in this section the word "obstructs" means renders impassable without unreasonable inconvenience or hazard.

Underlining [not visible here] mine. - anonymous

1 of the things that I found interesting about this was the use of the word "reasonable". It's funny to me, e.g., that if "obstructs" is defined as "without unreasonable hazard" it's considered "reasonable" to arrest someone for it. As usual, I wonder about how valid I would find any arbiter of "reasonable" to be in a courtroom situation. This law text was then printed out in "Zapf Dingbats 1" font.

50 copies of this were printed in black on red card-stock. The street action consisted of my "picketing" with the sign & giving people the hand-out as an "explanation" when they were extroverted &/or friendly enough to approach me. The basic intent was to use the "loaded" context of the picket sign to try to catalyze people into reading a "heavy" meaning into what might otherwise ordinarily be hardly even noticed as "just a picture" or as "nonsense". I got into at least 30 fairly interesting interactions with people during this. 1 guy interpreted the telegrams/bathtubs sign as meaning "de-oppression" (or some such). He claimed to've once been on death row & said that it made him think of that & electrocution. 1 young girl thought it meant that "people should stop drownding their children". An adult with her explained that there had been alot about that on the news lately. 1 person speculated that the scissors "chasing" the airplane might be trying to "clip its wings." When people asked me what it meant I gave various responses. Sometimes I said "The beginning is near!" as a variation on the old "The end is near!" cliché. Sometimes I told people it meant "nothing" & that "I just like to walk around with this & see how people react." Sometimes I asked people to interpret it for me. Sometimes when I gave out the hand-out as a "souvenir" I explained that if they typed it into their computers in "Zapf Dingbats" font & then converted it into a text font they'd "get a punchline". 1 person even seemed remotely likely to try it. 4 friends of mine (Fabio & Donna & Alisa & Greg) followed me at a discrete distance & photographed me. 1 drunk guy noticed that he was being photoed & aggressively confronted them wanting to know why he was being photographed & whether "he'd passed the test."

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


to index

to Introduction & Glossary

back to previous year

forward to next year

to Personal Favorites: 1959-1989

to Personal Favorites: 1990-2009

to Personal Favorites: 2010-