306. Anarkanians Raining on the Parade

- the George W. Bush Self-Styled "Presidential Inauguration" Parade & Vicinity, Washington DC, us@

- Saturday, January 20, 2001

- Rita Rodentia (see just about every entry since 212 that includes etta cetera) proposed that we dress as 'aliens' for the anti-Bush protests. George Bush, for those of you fortunate enough to've not heard of him yet, is a self-styled "president" of a so-called "government" - 2 obviously ridiculous & outdated concepts, but, unfortunately, there are still plenty of people who worship at such obviously outmoded temples. Rita made a dress out of duct-tape with prominent lettering on the front reading: "NO WEAPONS IN SPACE" with smaller lettering reading "Association of Autonomous Astronauts". On the back, "All Fear the King" was written in medium lettering. She wore a duct-tape helmet with a circled "A" anarchy symbol on top. She also carried "The American People", as our megaphone is affectionately known.

I made a 'spacesuit' out of a sparkling silver fabric. This consisted of pants & a sortof poncho with sleeves & a hood. Attached to these parts were 8 'tentacles' of various sizes that were stuffed with balloons so that they had some shape & buoyancy. The hood had 5 eyeholes cut in it in a somewhat starfish-shaped pattern. These holes eventually ripped out into 1 jagged flapping hole revealing most of my face. On the front of my chest was a sign reading "TAKE ME TO YOUR BLEEDER" & on the back a sign reading "TAKE ME TO YOUR BLEATER". Before we even got into DC we quickly become popular tourist attractions for people to be photoed with. Rita explained that she was from the planet "Anarkania" & that she'd come all the way to this so-called inauguration to interfere with the self-styled "president"'s demented urge to put high-explosive trash into space.

I explained that it was obvious that we were very concerned because not only had we travelled 17 million light years to get there but we'd taken PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION to do it which, of course, took a fuckofa long time. I further explained that on Anarkania we accepted that parasites like Bush exist but we trained them (not without great effort, of course) to learn to be BENEFICIAL to their host body instead of just bleeding it dry. As such, as an Anarkanian, I requested to be taken to this earth BLEEDER to attempt to train him & to the BLEATER to attempt to herd away the sheepishness of the follower mentality. As we got closer to the parade route, we joined with meandering fellow CumRATs to enjoy such activities as encouraging the rich balcony gawkers to "JUMP" or to, at least, "TRICKLE DOWN".

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

307. Big As Life - the CumBack

- the Time Warner Screening Room, Museum of Modern Art, NYC , us@

- Thursday, February 15, 2001

- "Big As Life" is a screening series focusing on small gauge moviemaking co-organized by Jytte Jensen & Steve Anker. According to their PR: "One of the most exciting artistic developments in American cinema of the last fifty years has been the growing vitality of a moving-image-making movement parallel to but far removed from all other kinds of films and videos. Unnamed, critically unrecognized, and generally unassuming in intent, this often miraculously inventive movement comprises the countless works with modest 8mm (regular 8mm film, Super 8mm film, and Video 8) technical facilities." Ah, yes. Not too surprisingly, even within these "critically unrecognized" representatives of a "movement" there are superstars whose work gets screened disproportionately. Sadie Benning, eg, has PXL material presented so that she can be squeezed in (since she may not have any 8mm movies) but are any of the other hundreds of PXL makers represented? Stan Brakhage is presented ad naseum, etc.. But where are the thousands of porn makers?

The PR also states that "The Program is accompanied by a catalogue [..with] complete filmographies of the artists included in this three-year retrospective." Correction: if it's complete for ANYBODY, it's much more likely to be complete for the famous 8mm makers. They only listed about a 40th of my output! Oh well. With all due respect to Jytte & Steve, I still think it's been a great series ANYWAY. I wish I lived in NYC so I could've attended. Besides, I'm grateful to've been included in 2 programs - so maybe now some disgruntled moviemaker even more obscure than me is grumbling about how overrated I am.

Why a "CumBack"? I 1st screened as a part of the series in '98 so this date was my "CumBack". It was also my "CumBack" because I got to present "Balling Tim Ore is Best" (a peep-show collaboration with Dick Hertz) & "Satanic Liposuction, Neoism?!, & YOU!!" - both of which feature the explicitly sexual porn material that seems to've been largely excluded otherwise.

Wearing my Tim Ore suit (usually retired but semi-revived especially for this presentation) of flashy patterns, moronically sexist drink coasters & 'homage' sandwich-board paintings with rat-eaten shreds of cheese-on-cheese cracker packages on them, I handed the incomers the original ad mailing for "BTOIB" & program notes for the night. As the evening formally began, I walked thru the vaudience & gave them frames of Mike Film explaining that it marked my transition from artist to mad scientist & telling stories of how it's been distributed internationally.

Prior to the projection of "BTOIB", I showed the marquees that Dick Hertz & I had made for many of our other peeps shows - one of my favorites being for "Nervous Rectums" - an anal sex film. During the projection, I provided a running narrative of jokes to try to set the tone & help the attendees imagine trying to masturbate to the disorientingly fringe quasi-sexuality of this peep-show splurt. Quite possibly unnoticed by most, I unzipped my pants & pulled them down a bit to reveal a photo of my cock & balls with braille spelling out HSV2 on the penis (see also entry 50). This was followed by a straight screening of my collaboration with Gail Litfin: "Neoist Guide Dog".

The conclusion of my half of the evening (the 2nd half was George Kuchar's "Metropolitan Monologues") was a simultaneous 5 projector screening of the epic, mostly neoist group collaboration "Satanic Liposuction.." with footage from Florian Cramer, egnekn, Monty Cantsin, John Berndt, Boris Wanowitch, unknown sex players, & several others. Greg, the MoMA projectionist ran 3 of the projectors & I ran the other 2 while also being the EXPLICATOR (thanks to Basement Films for exposing me to this word) - the person who explained what was happening in the film. Thanks much to Brian Frye & Stephen Kent Jusick for trusting me with last-minute projector loans!!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

308. Multiple Projection Light Show (of Sorts)

- Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, March 2, 2001

- Once again (see entries 303 & 304) I was asked, as a part of my job as an Andy Warhol Museum projectionist, to show Warhol films as background to an evening of bands in the theater. This time, at least, one of the bands was named after one of the Warhol "Superstars": Edie Sedgwick - so the films shown could be relevant. Being more than a bit irritated by now by having my skills non-appreciated at this museum, I didn't approach this with as much enthusiasm as I might ordinarily have & didn't bother to make a video record of it that I could jog my memory with as I write this. I used 2 16mm projectors to simultaneously screen Edie's 2 (or more) "Screen Tests" + (probably) "Inner & Outer Space" & (maybe) "Kitchen" & used the video projector to screen "Ciao Manhattan". All of the 16mms were good material for subtle quasi-phase-shifting, etc.. For example: I superimposed the 2 nearly identical "Screen Tests" & moved them both in & out of focus so that her expressions could sortof 'morph' back & forth..

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

309. SNAFU = Situation Normal: All Fucked-Up

- Film Kitchen, Melwood Screening Room, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, March 13, 2001

- I'd been trying to have the Film Kitchen present 1 of my feature-length movies since about October of 1999 to no avail. Bill O'Driscoll, the FK's curator, programs the FK so that there are usually short pieces by 2 or more people in an attempt to reach a broad audience. As such, he thought that a long movie, especially a long experimental movie, would be too difficult for those targetted. Eventually we compromised on my screening all 3 reels of my 16mm feature "The 'Official' John Lennon's Erection As Blocking Our View Homage & Cheese Sandwich" simultaneously with me mixing the sound live & providing live commentary.

Screening this film at all is a challenge. I can't afford to get a print made so I only have the originals with sound separate. The originals have an ENORMOUS amount of splices & direct-on-film manipulation such as taped on garphics & holes punched in - all of which increase projection problems. In the crowded projection booth we set up the 3 projectors. It had originally been my intention to have the 3 projections flushly side-by-side without any overlaps but the lenses available didn't permit this. Reel 1 was projected on the upper left, reel 2 was in the lower middle, & reel 3 was in the upper right. Some of the corners overlapped slightly. The soundtracks for each reel were on separate CDs to be played thru a mixer receiving input from 3 CD players & a mic.

After the lens problem was solved as best as we could, I moved onto the sound & the 2nd problem appeared: the output jacks of CD player 1 had bad connections. That player was replaced. Projector 1 was threaded & it didn't work either & was replaced. Because of the different lengths & natures of each of the 3 reels, the plan was to have the middle reel project alone for 8 minutes, then joined by the right reel, & finally joined by the left reel a minute after that. We started the middle projector & the bulb IMMEDIATELY blew so we stopped it. This was fucked-up thing #4 & we hadn't even gotten a chance to start yet. Ah, yes! I informed the audience that this was ok because it was an appropriate SNAFU, Situation Normal: All Fucked-Up. We replaced that projector & tried again & the film tore within a few seconds & we had to stop again. Fuck-Up #5. Again the SNAFU was referred to & we began again. This time leaving the soundtrack out-of-sync for expediency's sake. Fuck-Up #6.

Reel 3 has text throughout most of its sound. The 1st text lasts for about 12 minutes & begins as follows below. It pretty much sums up the projection situation:

Fucked.

Fuck-Up.

Fuck-Ups.

Fucked-Up.

Fucking-Up.

Totally Fucked.

Fucked-Upedness

S.N.A.F.U.: Situation Normal: All Fucked-Up

F.U.B.A.R.: Fucked-Up Beyond All Recognition

F.U.B.B.: Fucked-Up Beyond Belief

F.U.M.T.U.: Fucked-Up More Than Usual

J.A.N.F.U.: Joint Army & Navy Fuck-Up

S.A.P.F.U.: Surpassing All Previous Fuck-Ups

S.U.S.F.U.: Situation Unchanged: Still Fucked-Up

T.A.R.F.U.: Things Are Really Fucked-Up

I could be called a fuck-up. I could even be said to have made being a fuck-up into my modus operandi. Then again, the opposite could be said w/ equal accuracy. Whatever. Some people study how to do things so that they can do them "right". By doing it "right" they're often doing it in the same way that someone before them has done it - or building on what's been previously done by expanding its understood logic. Other people just go ahead & do something making mistakes left, right, & center - recklessly pursuing their own vision, despite unpromising conditions, in the hopes of, at least, retaining their own personality, complete w/ quirks, & in the hopes of twisting their mistakes into unforseen advantages.

As a film & vaudeo maker, I shine the most as a fuck-up. Then again, I shine the most as someone who can get an enormous amount done w/ almost no money. As of this writing, I've made about 200 movies. My total expenses for all of them together has been around $11,000.00! Many of them are fucked-up. But, perhaps, this "feature-length" 16mm film entitled The "Official" John Lennon's Erection As Blocking Our View Homage & Cheese Sandwich is my magnum-opus of fucked-upedness. If this film is recognized for nothing else, perhaps it'll become a prime catalog of mistakes.

Given the above, all fuck-ups of the projecting were immediately contextualized as fitting right in. The projectors were stopped & started - sometimes because of problems with the film running thru poorly, sometimes just in an attempt to re-sync the sound & images. Everytime this happened it came across as another fuck-up & sometimes I made commentary to that effect. Everything went splendidly! Once again, the forces of frustration were frustrated!

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

310. 15 Hrs of Video @ 30 Times Its Original Speed

- Jefferson Presents, Pittsburgh, us@

- Saturday, March 24, 2001

- The title of this is also the title of the super-8 film presented. This film was made in 1987 especially for 106 ("Easter Island Bunny Booed Usic") by single-frame shooting 15 hours of finished video of mine off a large tv & animating the tv screen in various ways - such as by placing transparencies on it. This was the 1st time it was presented as 2 projections side-by-side. I improvised a concrete mix of sound materials adapted from the time period when the film was made (& related material from a couple of years later) that were specially prepared on 2 CDs. One of the CDs had a track that was played continuously throughout. The other CD had 60 tracks that were shuffled & looped & played thru a Breakaway Vocalizer 1000 Pitch-to-MIDI convertor. This device has built-in sounds that could be triggered by the CD input + preset rhythms. Both were used to varying degrees. The MIDI output was used to control my K1m wave-table synthesizer. Since the CD sound was mostly very fast, it superceded the Vocalizer's response ability & caused it to frequently malfunction - forcing me to adapt to not always predictable sudden changes.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE


311. (M)Usic - 1885 to the Present

- Seminar Room, Woodland Art Center, Chatham College, Pittsburgh, us@

- Tuesday, April 10th, 2001, 6 to 8:30PM

- This was a somewhat stripped-down variation on the mad scientist didaction previously described in entries 205, 208, 211 & 248. I had changed the recording of the lecture to correct a minor mistake in it & burned a CD to use of it rather than the tape I'd previously used. I was mainly in the front of the room behind a table with a Breakaway Vocalizer 1000 Pitch-to-MIDI convertor, a CD player, a 4-channel mixer, & a K1m wave-table synthesizer on it. Initially, a microphone on a boom stand was in front of where I was standing. A radio transmitter was set up, unknown to the students, in a nearby office. The CD player played thru 2 speakers near the front. The room was generally dark - with the exception of a small lamp used to occasionally illuminate my printed copy of the lecture & a video projection. As before, the pre-recorded lecture played - going over some 'western' (m)usic innovations & playing approximately 1 minute examples. Sound effects gradually entered making the text more & more difficult to understand. I lip-synced the text, speaking over it in & out of sync. As before, I initially tried to create the illusion that the speaking heard was all coming from me talking into the mic until I shattered the illusion by walking away from the mic (while my pre-recorded voice kept speaking) in order to distribute a list of women composers. During the lecture I silently video-projected a video-transfer of a single-layer version of my 16mm film entitled "Hypnopedagogy" being projected onto a white spandex screen that was manipulated from behind to subtly distort the image.

After the lecture proper ended, I projected about 15 to 20 minutes' worth of my "Volunteers Collective" movie while I played excerpts from the pre-recorded lecture that the students had just heard - using the lecture to drive the Pitch-to-MIDI convertor & the K1m. This way, some elements of the lecture were brought a bit more out of 'history' & more into the present tense.

After this section ended , I'd intended to instruct the students to go to a nearby pond where I was going to have 2 friends dressed as a Frothing Catatonic Siamese Twins Oracle interact with them. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily so we changed the plan & had the FCSTO (Spat & Babs) wait for them in the Men's Room instead. In addition to the usual FCST gear (described in many previous entries), they had a radio tuned to the station that I was broadcasting on that was partially disguised by a mask with a long shroud descending from it that etta cetera (see just about every one of the last almost100 entries) had made for a pro-Iraq demonstration. When I finished the "Volunteers Collective" section, a student asked something like "Is there a method to this madness?" & I told her that all questions would be answered if they'd go to the Men's Room.

When they got there, the FCSTO's radio was playing one of my Pittsburgh Pirates Steelers of the Airwaves "It's Always 6 O'Clock" radio shows on the theme of "Us Animals" - a highly edited selection of recordings related to human/non-human interaction. From the office/transmitter location, I broadcast a request that 1 of the students come to the office. Unfortunately, this wasn't understood too well at the receiving end but one of the students was induced to come anyway & I explained that I was broadcasting & asked the student to broadcast a request for another student to come. This was also somewhat unintelligible at the receiving end & all the students ended up coming to the office at once & a Q&A session finished it off.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

312. Multiple Projection Light Show (of Sorts)

- Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, June 23, 2001

- Yet again (see entries 303, 304, & 307) I was asked to project light show materials to an evening of 2 bands in the theater - in this case: "Ladybug Transistor" & "Box Step". Eric, from the latter band, was thoughtful enough to provide me with reels of 16mm educational films - including: a very red "Peking Remembered" & a black & white movie about "mestizos" (or some such). I used 4 16mm projectors & one video projector.

The "Ladybug.." set started with the "Peking.." film projected centrally using a 25mm lens with a crosshatching of masking tape that looked very vaguely like someone's fantasy of a Chinese alphabet character across the booth glass blocking the projection path. Each reel of Warhol's "Harlot" was then projected flanking it using 2 50mm lens so that their images would be smaller. As I usually do, the projections got gradually more complex as another film was superimposed over the 1st with a negative masking so that the 2 films could fill in each other's blacked-out areas. Eventually, I put 2 masking tape stick figures in slightly different positions in front of the 2 central projectors & put the projectors so out of focus that the figures were surrounded by circles of white light. Then I alternately blocked each projection so that the shadow figures alternated back & forth & 'danced'. I also used Warhol's "My Hustler" either in this set or the next one.

For "Boxstep" I used inter-related footage on all 5 projectors: 2 prints of program one of "High School Youth" superimposed over each other slightly out-of-sync in the middle using the 50mm lens, a different program on the left using a 25mm lens, my final superimposition print of my movie "Bob Cobbing" on the right using the other 25mm lens, & a video transfer of the pre-superimposition version of "Bob Cobbing" as projected onto a moving spandex screen being video projected. This latter film is a highly cut-up & masked remake of a "High School Youth" program. As with the preceding set, tape masks were put on the glass.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

313. CircumSubstantial Playing & Blindfolded Tourism

- Mattress Factory -> thru the streets -> Wittamy Do(ugh)Boys secret place -> thru the streets, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, August 10th, 2001, 7 to 9:00PM

- In the basement of the Mattress Factory I set up chairs so that winding walkways went between them. At the front, there were 3 projection screens with the 2 side screens angled at about 30 degrees in relation to the central one + 3 video projectors & VCRs. In front of those was a table covered with electronic instruments including a pitch-to-MIDI converter, a radio mic receiver, a sampler, a keyboard, a mixer to channel the VCRs' sounds, an end mixer/sampler, an effects unit, a MIDI-patcher, & a CD player.

As the vaudience arrived, the room was very dark except for a flashlight that I carried. I was wearing my Anarkanian silver & multi-tentacled 'spacesuit' (see entry 305) & I ushered people thru the confusing pathways. I also had a hidden radio mic & transmitter into which I made sounds that were sent into the pitch-to-MIDI converter & then used to trigger samples. The 196 seconds of samples were all taken from the computer edit of my published Volunteers Collective "Yr of Sundays" tape (see entries 242, 243, 245, 247, 250, & 251 for related descriptions).

After about 10 minutes, I started the video projections - the 3 half-hour sections of my "Volunteers Collective" movie presented simultaneously. The samples & vaudeo footage were related - often from the same sessions. The mix was set so that the sound from the imagery on the left screen was heard only in the left channel, the sound from the imagery on the right was only in the right & the middle imagery's sound was in both channels. The left speaker was front left & the right speaker was back right - to exaggerate the stereo separation. After the vaudeo started, I continued to meander thru the seating aisles with the flashlight & making triggering sounds for another 5 minutes & then eventually went to the electronics table for more complex sound generating & mixing possibilities.

For the remaining 25 minutes of the projections, I mixed the soundtracks, played the samples, looped short tracks on the "Yr of Sundays" CD that was being played, added effects, & recorded & played back looped samples on the final mixer/sampler. The mixing was done in such a way so that only selected parts of the soundtracks were audible. As such, a vaudience member trying to associate sounds with images would have to be constantly searching for the connections. At a few key points, the samples I played were related to the visuals. Hence, when the 2 scenes of the implosion of a downtown Pittsburgh building (500 Wood Street) were shown (footage provided by Sharyn Frederick - see entries 197, 202, 205, 247, 251, & 252; sound provided by Michael Johnsen - see entries 196, 197, 202, 204, 205, 206, 209, 247, & 268) I'd play a sample of the implosion & exaggerate it even further with effects processing to increase the drama.

Throughout, my face & bodyshape (to a minor extent) were disguised by the 'spacesuit' - & I hadn't spoken. When the projections ended, I turned to the vaudience & explained that that (highly dense & disorienting section) had been the "orientation". In a sense, it was, because most of the footage was relevant to CircumSubstantial Playing & presented Volunteers Collective participants playing site-specifically. As such, the vaudience had been prepped for having a CircumSubstantial encounter of their own - which led to my then expressing my hope that they would continue on to the next part which would consist of their being blindfolded & taken on a fieldtrip to an undisclosed location. Just my speaking after the intense unusualness of all those very varied sounds must have been a somewhat shocking contrast. The fieldtrip plan had been widely publicized in many of the local 'news'papers, thru the internet, & thru mailings but I didn't expect many people to be willing to undergo such an experience. Was I in for a surprise! EVERYONE THERE, except maybe for one couple with children, WANTED TO DO THIS!! Over 60 people! Go figure.

They all filed out & up to the parking lot where various vans & cars waited to transport them. There were 9 drivers: Steve, Julia, Jessica, Bill, Stephanie, Michael, Brieanne, Jennifer, & Sara. I got out of my 'spacesuit' so that I was just wearing fairly ordinary grubby summer clothes. I went with the 1st van with Steve from the Mattress Factory driving, my friend John with a camcorder, & Franka Bruns (a reporter/photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) as well as perhaps 9 vaudience members - all blindfolded. Most of the MF drivers had been on a rehearsal run earlier that day to prepare them for what they were expected to do now.

I'd spent more than 50 hours making a 19 minute recording (which I ended up calling "CarCophony") meant to be played during this drive. This was made from over 125 car-related sound effects organized so that their playing would be subtle at 1st & then exaggeratedly obvious overkill. A rough outline of the structure is as follows:

Sparse Sneaky Beginning: 00:00:000-02:43.050

Subtly Silly 1st Continuous Miscellaneous Scenario into Gas Station: 02:43.051-05:44.583

Big Crash Scene: 05:44.584-07:22.804

Aftermath of Crash w/ Bad Batteries: 07:22.805-09:13.888

Motorcycles: 09:13.889-11:35.019

Miscellaneous Traffic Sounds Obviously Effected & Edited: 11:35.020-13:11.939

Approaching Peace at Last..: 13:11.940-15:00.004

..blown by the Races: 15:00.005-17:00.005

Final Car Wash: 17:00.006-19:00.000

In the html version of this text a more in-depth analysis of this can be read by clicking on the CarCophony Plan link. These sound effects were taken (without permission - please forgive me! I love sound effects!) from: Excelsior Sound FX 200 Sound Effects (green box) Volumes 1 & 2, Excelsior Sound FX 200 Sound Effects (orange box) Volume 1, Audio Fidelity (AFSD 5890) Demonstration & Sound Effects Record, BBC Sound Effects: DISASTERS, Sound Effects Volume 4, Lars Eastholm's Sound Effects Volume 3: AUTOMOBILES, Robert Hall Sound Effects 48/49 & 75, "the exciting racing sounds of Grand Prix challenge of champions", & BBC Sound Effects Library 5: Transport. I also recorded & integrated a test run of the trip with the assistance of my friend Joy.

The drivers were instructed to emphasize parts of the "CarCophony" by driving in response to it. So, eg, during the "Aftermath of Crash w/ Bad Batteries", I signalled to Steve that he should stop the van & jerk the car forward as the battery sounds sputtered. I'd timed the drive at 14:28 so the recording took this into consideration by having certain sounds, such as the passing of a diesel lorry, happen when the vehicle would probably be stopped at a light or stop-sign. The timing was also intended to result in the car "Races" section (a very dense & speed-change altered part) occurring around the time that people would be arriving at the undisclosed location so that as they would exit the vehicles they'd be surrounded by loud Grand Prix car sounds.

When the blindfoldees arrived, they were helped out of the vehicles by the 16+ guides/ushers: Mike, Greg, Cory, Woody, Chris, Cerrina, Ron, Joy, Miriam, John, Neo, Tate, Sharyn, Mel, GLF Dave, & Ben, etc. Many of these ushers had clear-plastic masks covering their faces & other masks on the backs of their heads. Ron was bare-chested except for a very stripper-esque fringy bra. The audience had their hands placed on the shoulders of the guides in front of them & the guides then walked & gave them forewarnings of upcoming obstacles to be careful of: curbs & steps & the like. Ironically, many of those ushering have participated in such celebratory political activities as "Reclaim the Streets" - now classified by the Police State's very own FBI in its typical despicable Draconian fashion as "terrorist". Yeah, right. As such, many of the blindfolded were being cared for by so-called "terrorists" & not a hair was harmed. The FBI are the terrorists.

The audience was led into a building & down some steps into a mysterious large space. This area had been lovingly constructed by the Wittamy Do(ugh)Boys (Mike, Greg, Dave, & friends) out of mostly found materials over more than a year. In the interest of keeping this experience continuingly mysterious for any audience members who might find this description somewhere, I'll leave this telling somewhat vague. Three or 4 hairy dogs wandered around rubbing past & adding to the sensations. The blindfolded were led around a deep pit in which 6 masked nudists were making sounds intended to be of difficult-to-ascertain origin. I had anticipated that if people were to peek from under the eye-coverings they'd be further surprised & confused by this sight. Only a very few people peeked! Maybe only one person peeked into the pit! Apparently, they preferred to totally cooperate with what they thought they were expected to do! Once again, I was shocked! The pit crew consisted of etta (who was the coordinator of this end of the activities - see most of the entries from 212 to 305), Swifty, Fruity Dave, Nicole, Spat (see # 310), & Wynne.

Franka, the Post-Gazette reporter, took photos from the pit vantage point & one of them was printed in the paper on the following Monday. Imagine the surprise of the blindfoldees when they finally got to see this aspect of what they could only hear at the time! In the photo, Miriam (a slender maid with a "Sunday-best" hat on) is leading a young blindfolded man on an apparent ledge while 2 troll-like figures are seen in the pit below - one holding a frying pan. The scene looks like a precarious hero's journey from a fairy tale.

The people were then led back out to be driven back to the MF. As they were leaving, I played various mostly whale, animal, & bird sounds over the pirate radio & added audience-specific voice-overs that could be heard via the radios in their vehicles. As the whale sounds played, I told the blindfoldees leaving that they'd just been temporarily altered so that they could be underwater & that if they'd peeped they would've seen rare undersea creatures. For people leaving in a car, I claimed that we'd just broken into the zoo. For others, I said that they'd just been blindfolded by anarchists & taken to an undisclosed location & returned UNHARMED & mentioned that if we'd been the government they might not've been so well-treated. As an elaborate edit I'd made of bird sounds played (from the "Us Animals" CD I'd made mentioned in 310), I explained that all the driving around had just been to confuse people & that they'd really just gone to the National Aviary nearby to the MF. All of these stories were meant to further expand their imaginings of what had happened.

The drivers had been told that the audience could be encouraged to remove their blindfolds when they got far enough away from the secret place. I expected the blindfoldees to be uncomfortable & wanted them to be able to be free as quickly as they could be without ruining the experience. At least 2 people opted in favor of keeping them on all the way back to the Mattress Factory so that they could more fully experience the mystery! Bravo!

Many, MANY thanks to the MF for being so open to supporting such a 'lunatic fringe' project, to the sizeable crew for being so generous with their time & energy (& so TRUSTWORTHY), &, especially, to the BLINDFOLDED AUDIENCE for taking the risk!! Thanks also to Jarrett & Owen & etta for additional camerawork & to all those not mentioned elsewhere specifically by name such as George, Barbara, Jean, & Maggie, etc..

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

314. Multiple Projection Light Show (of Sorts)

- Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, August 17, 2001

- As usual, (see entries 303, 304, 307, & 311) I was asked, as a part of my job as an Andy Warhol Museum projectionist, to show Warhol films as background to a band in the theater. Why do I even bother to list such events here? At 1st, I didn't list 307 (& mightn't have listed this one) because my own input to it was a bit too small & unenthusiastic - but then my completism dominated: if I'm to list the more interesting 303, 304, & 311, I should also list the lesser ones like this one. Besides, even when I'm unenthusiastic about the basic materials used, as I was here, I still end up doing things more ambitiously than many people might just for the stimulation of it - & because I know these Warhol films better than most (for what it's worth). Regardless, I didn't video this one.

In this case, I was provided with a list of Warhol films that either a member of the band (who may've been called "NIJ") requested or their friend (the Warhol Museum employee who got them the gig) requested: "Empire", "Sleep", "Kiss", "Eat", "Poor Little Rich Girl", "Beauty #2", "Space", & "Screen Tests". I only used 3 16mm projectors - since the 3 others I tried to use had various problems. I did use for the 1st time 2 ultra wide-angle lenses & 2 zoom lenses. The only film from the list I didn't use was "Empire". I used reels 24 & 25 of the "Screen Tests". Reel 24 has a close-up of a mouth & a close-up of an eye - &, in both reels, there are deviations from the standard "Screen Tests" static headshot that helped make things more lively.

There were, perhaps, 2 main somewhat remarkable "scenes" in this multiple projection. First, the full-wall screening of a reel from "Beauty #2" with Edie Sedgwick making out (just how do you make "out" anyway?) on a bed with a guy in her (presumably) fake leopard-skin underwear combined with the somewhat smaller 25mm lens projection of Edie in the same underwear from "Poor Little Rich Girl" in the middle combined with a zoomed-in screening of "Kiss" in the upper-left corner. I shifted the 2 larger projections in & out of focus creating a shifting entanglement of related bodies. I think of this as the quasi-'orgy' scene.

Second, I used 2 prints of "Eat" to create a "mirror" projection. Since the museum has an accidentally left-right reversed or "flipped" print of "Eat" I've always wanted to take advantage of it in this way. I started out with the flipped & normal projections zoomed & side-by-side & then enlarged the projection size & superimposed them. Then I switched to the widest lenses & superimposed them. Some of my favorite scenes of the night were when Robert Indiana's blithe face was created anew as the lighting dominating one side, when mirrored, helped create the illusion of a face squeezed into a width-fluctuating hybrid. I played with stopping & starting the projections so that differing degrees of synchronicity occurred between the mirroring versions. Towards the end, the 1st reel of "Sleep" was zoom-projected into the middle of Indiana's forehead.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

315. Release Party for Street Ratbag #5

- Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, us@

- Friday, December 21st, 2001, 7 to 10:00PM

- The 5th issue of the Street Ratbag Liberation Front's magazine features a picture on the cover from the Mark Dixon initiated project "Think Tank VIII: Automobile Re-Visionaries" in which Mark & 4 others (etta cetera, Steve, Erik, James) lived in a roofless room for 2 weeks with an '85 Saab car & turned it into musical instruments. The inside color centerfold is pictures from "CircumSubstantial Playing & Blindfolded Tourism" (see entry 312). There are RATicles about both of these & audio excerpts from both on the CD that comes with the issue.

As such, the evening's program somewhat revolved around politics & quasi-documentation from the above. It began with the premier of "Guitarists Anonymous"- a self-help group designed to help guitarists withdraw from their debilitating addiction. This consisted of my asking the guitarist attendees to raise their hands &, when they didn't do so, explaining that they shouldn't be embarrassed because we were there to confront the problem - not to hide it. After more spiel along those lines the testifyin' began with a duet by Daryl Fleming on guitar & myself on samples of me playing guitar & ended with a duet with me on the same samples & Greg Pierce playing guitar (in a white shirt with subtle drawings on it). This was the 1st time I'd played publically with these guys - even though I'd played with Greg many times in the last 7 years.

This was followed by the 2nd version of the vaudeo from "Auto.. Re-Vision". After an entirely too long intermission during which I loaded a massive array of Mechanically Repetitive & ReRecorded Records samples, the Hip Criticals portion of the evening began. They're a "generic HipHop" group consisting of radical cheerleader extraordinaire HipHopCrates (aka etta cetera - see every entry under the sun from the last 4 &1/2 years) & Little Orphan Anarchy (aka Neo Havok). This was my 1st attempt at sortof playing HipHop (& I do mean sortof) & I probably wasn't very successful at it! My samples were culled from my archives of pieces of mine that I thought were conceptually relevant to some formal aspects of HipHop as I perceive it thru my no-doubt skewed & ignorant perspective. Nonetheless, my friend Spat (who does like HipHop & listens to it) liked it alot so I guess I didn't fail too miserably. The set list of etta & Neo's material consisted of:

"Terrorist Attack" -> Intros -> "Rape Rap" -> "Andie" (a personal favorite about a genetics experiment crossing something like a monkey with a jellyfish - in which family reunions weren't taken into consideration!) -> "WWW - U.S. Economy" -> "Rachel's Revolt" (against rhyming about clits & such-like) -> "Trash Rap" -> "Apparatus" -> "Graffiti"

The evening concluded with a screening of 16 minutes of the feature quasi-documentary from "..Blindfolded Tourism" showing attendees who'd been blindfolded (there were at least 3 present) what they hadn't seen. I thought that this bit of tantalizing would've attracted a large crowd but perhaps they didn't know about it because most people there were friends who hadn't been to the August 10th "..Blindfolded.." experience.

- recollections from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

 

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