393. "Called" + "Selected Shorts 2000-2011"
- The Pink House Studio, Milwaukee, us@
- Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 7:00PM-9:00PM
- Thanks to Ross Nugent's dedicated organization, I had 3 screenings booked in a mini-tour of Chicago & Milwaukee. This was the last of these programs. Since there was an upright piano there in more-or-less working condition, I decided to start the program w/ a playing of a short piano piece of mine called "Called". This was composed in 2008 but has never been performed publicly before (except at mm 05, February 1, 2012 before a small audience of friends at my house). The piano had 2 non-working keys & was somewhat out-of-tune w/ rather clunky action but it was good enuf for my purposes.
Because I played the piano what was otherwise a straight-forward screening deserves inclusion here. This was the program:
246. "Defenders of Goolengook"
- shot in Goolengook rainforest in Australia w/ additional footage filched from SKA TV's "Fortress Goolengook AD 2000"
- 1/2" VHS cassette -> DVD
- shot in '00 / edited december 26 & 27, '04
243. "I.A.C. Deer Head Sculpture @ former Rankin Steel Mill"
- interview w/ Tim Kaulen of the Industrial Arts Collective
- 1/2" VHS cassette -> DVD
- shot in october '00 / edited in december '04
242. "Ledger of St Dermain"
- shot in a limestone mine in Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania
- slides, slidestrip, super-8, sampling, scripting, editing, etc: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- mini-DV camcorder: Who is like God? (Pestel)
- sound: Who is like God?s
- lighting: Jarrett Buba
- film to video transfers: Jesse McLean
- Earl Ballard played by: Johnny Evans
- APPARITION of ST Dermain played by: John Allen Gibel
- Thanks to Daniel Bruce for mine access
- mini-DV + slides + slidestrip + super-8 -> DVD
- shot in the spring & summer of '04 / edit made in december '04
250. b. "Haircut Paradox"
- starring: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE w/ Julie Gonzalez: Civilian Barber
- october/december, '05; march/april, '06
259. "Capitalism is an Ism"
- footage filched from a diversity of sources
- editing. etc: tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- june, '06
264. "The Ballad of CodyodeeodoooO"
- shot while on a boat trip w/ the Boat Kids on the Ohio River in Pennsylvania & West Virginia
- mini-dv -> DVD
- shot june, 2006 - finished april 2, 2007
270. "Subtitles (closure version)"
- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- Organized from left-to-right, top-to-bottom, oldest-to-newest (almost) this presents a 3X3 grid of the 9 main versions of Subtitles that've been made in the last 28 yrs: (regular-8mm) [1981-82 - 019], (super-8mm) [1980-82 - 010], (16mm) [1980-82 - 025], (16mm analyzed) [1980-82/1984 - 037], (rough draft for 3/4") [1980-82/1984/1986 - 041], (overkill) [1980-82/1984/1986/1990 - 137], (June/July '92) [1980-82/1984/1986/1990/1992 - 148], ('final') [1980-82/1984/1986/1990/1992/2002 - 226], & "What happens in the brain while witnessing "Subtitles (16mm version)" - as explained by a brain researcher who's screened the movie for 2 volunteers while their brains were fMRI-scanned" [2005/08 - 267]. All of these have been edited so that they have changes corresponding to those of (16mm) - following the edits made for the (8 simultaneous versions version) [1980-82/1984/1986/1990/1992/2002 - 227]. ADDITIONALLY, this brings some _footage to the forefront - both visuals & sound - to make some elements more comprehensible. The ('16mm <- brains') is sometimes added as an overlay, etc.. This "(closure version)" may very well _be the last. It's certainly the most complicated to date! It's also a pinnacle of a certain type of formalism in my work that I'm a bit sick of by now - hence "closure" - time to move on.
- regular-8mm, super-8mm, 16mm, VHS, image data files & mini-dv -> computer -> DVD & mini-DV
- brain scanning done early 2005, brain research interview shot april 8, 2005
- edit finished february 27, 2008
335. "TV 'News' Commits Suicide"
- starring April Gilmore as Nancy Newscaster/Newswoman & Civic Association meeting attendee; Rich Pell as Officer Such'n'Such; tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as the Infiltrator; Kelly Stiles as Officer So'n'So & the Man-on-the-street; Deanna Hitchcock as the anarchist cook & Civic Association meeting attendee; Julie Gonzalez as questioning Civic Association meeting attendee; joy toujours as Civic Association meeting attendee; & Leah as Civic Association meeting attendee
- concept by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Rich Pell
- camera by Kelly Stiles; Rich Pell; & tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- catering by Deanna Hitchcock
- script by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- framing graphics & music from Rich Pell
- editing & titles & archival footage & scanning etc from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
- shot Monday & Tuesday, September14th & 15th, 2009; edit finished Thursday, September 17th, 2009
340. c. "Robotic" (for YouTube)
- this is just the above-named section from "Systems & Processes 3 (HiTEC 067 Y)"
- shot & edited (etc) by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE @ 4 Mile Trailhead in Boulder, CO; Garden of the Gods, CO; Cave of the winds, CO; & Amy Catanzano's apartment
- stills shot by Paula Gillen at Amy's apartment's Fitness Center & @ 4 Mile Trailhead
- sculptures by Paula Gillen
- kinetic toys & ads from the collection of Amy Catanzano
- mini dv & digital stills -> internet file & DVD & mini-dv
- shot in December of 2010, January, May-June, 2011 - edit finished August, 2011
This was, if I understand correctly, somehow connected to the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival. The screening was followed by a Q&A where people asked intelligent questions. Thanks also go to Tony Balko & Michael for their connection to organizing screenings here.
- March, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
394. May Day Parade speech
- the intersection of Finland & Melwood, Spit'n'Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, us@
- Saturday, May 5, 2012 - early afternoon
- Starting in 2010, an annual May Day Parade has happened for the last 3 years. The parade is more festive than political - with an emphasis on costumes, a marching band, & a few group efforts that link together people into 'float-like' constructions. This year, I was asked to give a very short speech about the history of May Day to try to put things into political perspective. I was wearing my S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) outfit that consists of a large Shamu (an orca whale captive at Sea World that died in 1971) stuffed doll that I'd gutted & altered so that I can wear it as if it's eating me & shitting me out head-first. Using a megaphone I proclaimed:
In the anarchist magazine, "Street Rat-Bag" issue 5 from November 2001, I wrote a RATicle entitled "Recommended Reading" where I reviewed Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Regarding May Day, I wrote:
"And let's not forget the 8 hour day: something so taken for granted by now that many people forget that it didn't exactly come easy now did it? "A movement for the eight-hour day began among working people after the [Civil] war, helped by the formation of the first national federation of unions, the National Labor Union. A three-month strike of 100,000 workers in New York won the eight-hour day" & "By the spring of 1886, the movement for an eight-hour day had grown. On May 1, the American Federation of Labor, now five years old, called for nationwide strikes wherever the eight-hour day was refused." The bosses didn't exactly cooperate but the workers won eventually anyway, eh? There, now, that wasn't so bad was it? You bosses can still rob us blind!"
Earlier that year, I participated in a cheerful May Day parade through Pittsburgh's Financial District. It was suppressed by the police. Ten people were arrested, including Spit'n'Polish Hill's very own JOY, & charged with the usual trumped-up bullshit. As I recall, there may've even been snipers placed on nearby rooftops. Ridiculous? Indeed.
Nine years later, the 1st of these Spit'n'Polish Hill May Day Parades took place without any violence or apparent substantial irritation on anyone's part. There were no police present. Same thing the next year. A good time appeared to be had by all. This year, there was another May Day march through downtown Pittsburgh. Police presence was minimal, no one was arrested. &, now, we're in the midst of another perfectly pleasant celebration of worker's gains & the pleasures of spring!
Recently I told someone that the 1970s Church Committee investigation of such abuses as COINTELPRO had uncovered that the FBI had targeted May Day events for special suppression. I thought I'd probably read that in Zinn's book. When I went to look up the relevant passage for quoting today, I couldn't find it there so I looked in quite a few other books AND online & couldn't find what I was searching for ANYWHERE.
The question is: ARE WE IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE OR SOMETHING?! Because a society where a peaceful May Day Parade goes unmolested is NOT the society I grew up in! Maybe RESISTANCE IS FERTILE AFTER ALL! Keep it up!!
Or, rather, that's mostly what I proclaimed. Unfortunately, since 9 people had been arrested & 22 others given citations the night before at a related event, the unmolested part wasn't quite as true as it had been when I wrote the speech. As such, I had to make some last-minute changes.
Shortly thereafter, I also wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper who had, predictably, printed the almost entirely, if not completely entirely, untrue police version of the story. Equally predictably, my letter went unpublished. Here it is:
Read Between the Lines
On May 6, 2012, an article entitled "Party leads to charges against 31" appeared in the Post-Gazette regarding arrests made on the night on May 4th. Below are some thoughts responding to that article regarding this situation.
"Police trying to disperse what they described as a disorderly party"
What is an "orderly party"? A party where people aren't having fun? A party where people stand still and don't talk?
"near the Bloomfield Bridge charged 31 people beginning late Friday night with crimes ranging from summary disorderly conduct to rioting and aggravated assault."
Read between the lines. A party becomes a "riot" when 20 police cars suddenly appear and very aggressive policemen with dogs, guns, tasers, mace, clubs, and threat of kidnapping ('arrest') is introduced. The police deliberately cause fear, panic, and chaos and then blame it on their victims.
"Nine people were arrested and 22 others were released and will receive their summons by mail. Police said one of those arrested, Jason Oddo, 26, of Irwin, pepper sprayed an officer and was charged with aggravated assault."
"Police said", yes, unfortunately, police ALWAYS make such claims in order to justify it when they use excessive force. And the people who know this best are the prosecutors and the police themselves. Talk to retired prosecutors who couldn't stand the constant lying. Any honest policemen will be at least willing to admit this to him or her self - even if they'll never have the courage to admit it publicly.
Let's take a more realistic, HUMAN, perspective. The officer is chasing the accused while macing him from behind. The officer trips and maces himself. This is very embarrassing and he feels like a fool. SO HE BLAMES IT ON THE ACCUSED. A courageous officer would admit his own mistake instead of then threatening his VICTIM with jail time for a felony charge. Believe it or not, officers, people would respect you more IF YOU STOPPED lying.
"According to criminal complaints filed Saturday, officers from across the city began responding about 11:30 p.m. to complaints about a crowd numbering between 60 and 100 people at Sciullo Field."
Ok, here's the back-story: someone defaced the Officer Sciullo memorial plaque in Sciullo Field a day or more before this party happened. The partiers didn't know this. If they had, they probably wouldn't have partied at that park. The police, understandably very touchy over the vandalism to the tribute to their murdered comrade, go to the park thinking these might be the same people and approach them in full-on attack mode. They want REVENGE - but their assumption that the partiers have something to do with the vandalism is unsupportable. The police, therefore, create an unnecessarily bad situation that wouldn't have happened without them.
"Arriving officers said attendees refused orders to disperse, yelled profanities at officers and became aggressive."
Try thinking of it this way: you're having a good time with friends on a beautiful night when you're suddenly attacked by a gang of some very angry and heavily armed people. You get scared but you try to keep your calm. Perhaps profanities are yelled. But the main aggression and the main profanities come from the attackers who happen to be LEGALLY ENABLED TO KILL YOU. Would you be upset?!
"Police said Mr. Oddo interfered with officers and when told he was under arrest ran away."
Let's get real: the officers arrived and instigated chaos. No overall order of dispersal occurred. At least one of the arrestees was told to disperse by an individual officer on an individual basis. As he started to leave, a different officer told him to sit down. He told the 2nd officer that he'd been told to leave and that that was what he was doing. The 2nd officer then insisted that he sit down. He complied. He was then arrested by another officer for "failure to disperse".
"Police said that as they pursued Mr. Oddo along Canoe Way, he raised up his hand and sprayed one officer in the throat. The officer, who scraped his knee, was treated at the scene."
A scraped knee is not a serious injury & in this case it was the result of the officer's clumsiness. Using it as an excuse to press felony charges is inexcusable.
"She was charged with riot, institutional vandalism, escape, failure to disperse, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness."
If the city doesn't like "public drunkenness" I strongly suggest shutting down the stadiums and bars. But then think of all the lost tax and pay-off monies!! Ever hear of "tailgate parties"? The police harass and prosecute people on a selective basis. Poor people who party are "rioters", rich people, people who can afford to go to Steelers games, can do no wrong. It must be 'nice' for the rich but it sure ain't fair for the poor.
The giving out of addresses is a way of shunning people. None of these people have been tried yet, let alone found guilty. THEY ARE NOT CRIMINALS! Every time someone writes an article like this they should put their own addresses there so that they, too, can be made available for any shunning consequences.
"As arraignments were under way Saturday evening, about 20 people lined the wall outside City Court to help defendants post bail and show support upon their release. The crew had posted $2,600 in bail for five of those arraigned and were scrambling to figure out how to raise $10,000 to bail out Mr. Oddo."
Given that most of these people are working class, the raising of this money was a very generous and caring act. Some gave their entire paychecks, some gave almost everything they had, some had to borrow the money. The people donating the money will have to suffer for this. All because of the insanity of this judicial system.
People go to superhero movies to see the spectacle of 'little people'
with extraordinary abilities win against seemingly undefeatable forces of
oppression. In real life, these forces are often the very things that keep
the seemingly 'respectable' criminals in power - providing injustice for
those of us who see through the lies. We need more superheros.
- The movie from this is on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/loBDoK5Gyi0
- July, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
395. "Skeletal Remains"
- as part of "SIX x ATE" at the 2013 Carnegie International's satellite space, Pittsburgh, us@
- Monday, June 18, 2012 - early evening
- 2 side-by-side buildings in a Pittsburgh neighborhood known as Lawrenceville were rented or purchased somehow in connection with the upcoming Carnegie International & substantially refurbished as a place to have events. Casey Droege, someone that I'd met thru Lenka Clayton, was the organizer of a series there called "SIX x ATE" - short performances by 6 people on the same bill with a gourmet meal. Casey had come to 2 of the PHEW! (Polish Hill Elucubrating Writers) meetings that I host at my house. At one of them, I performed "Skeletal Remains" for her & the only other attendee. She'd liked it alot so she invited me to perform it for her series. Given that "Skeletal Remains" is a very short piece without any performative elements other than its mere playing, it's not really something that I would've ordinarily chosen to present solo. Instead, it's intended to be something presented as part of a larger reading type event where I skip from using different types of A/V to another. Nonetheless, I was happy to deviate from my usually more ambitious MO to oblige Casey's request & to get a nice meal out of it. Making matters even better, my friend Florian Cramer was visiting from Rotterdam so I could take him along.
The genesis of "Skeletal Remains" was that I listened to all the recordings in my personal collection of pieces that use excerpts from James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" as its text. This includes James Joyce & Siobhan McKenna reading from the "Anna Livia Plurabelle" section, Cyril Cusack reading the "Shem the Penman" section, Andre Hodeir's Jazz Cantata on "Anna Livia Plurabelle", John Cage's "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" as performed by Robert Wyatt & Richard Bernas (the latter not audible here) & as performed by Joan La Barbara & William Winant, Cage's "Nowth Upon Nacht" also performed by the latter duo, Cage's "Writing for the Second Time Through Finnegans Wake" as performed by Cage himself, Cage's "Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake" performed by Cage & Heaney & Ennis & Glackin & Malloy & Mercier, & "Laughtears" - a conversation re "Finnegans Wake", & Cage's use thereof, between Cage & Klaus Schöning. I then sampled from all these recordings trying to both choose sections that interested me & to choose a wide variety of material. These samples are then played in a way generally designed to create a new continuity. The title refers to "A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake" by Joseph Campbell and Henry Morton Robinson - but instead of offering a key to understanding this dense work, as does the Skeleton Key, "Skeletal Remains" takes fragments of its bones & sculpts a new critter from them.
For this SIX x ATE presentation, I was the 5th of the 6 performers. We'd each been given 5 minutes apiece & I stuck to that rigorously. All of the performers had been thanking Casey as part of their presentation so I decided to do the same but to incorporate this thanking into the performance itself. Once I decided to do this, I pulled Casey aside & announced this intention. Assuring her that I wouldn't say anything to embarass her or make her look bad, she nervously agreed.
For my introduction I said something like this: "I don't know Casey very well but when we first met she generously gave me a copy of her "Tracks of My Tears" record. I asked her whether she'd like to collaborate on something relevant to this record & because she's open-minded she agreed. I put her against a wall & put on Throbbing Gristle's "Very Friendly" & explained that I'd be demonstrating my knife throwing abilities & then the lights went out. This piece is made entirely of samples recorded from the conversation we had in the next 5 minutes." I then began playing "Skeletal Remains" with the C7 sample from John Cage's "Nowth Upon Nacht" as performed by Joan LaBarbara.
This intro & "Skeletal Remains" beginning was multi-layered in content. Casey's record is of her telling stories about all the songs that've made her cry. All of the stories are somewhat non-traumatic on a scale of safe-to-terrifying. Contrarily, the song "Very Friendly" is about Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, 2 sociopathic sadistic serial killers. Their story is very traumatic. As such, by referencing it, I was upping the trauma level of songs that might make one cry & also referencing a different type of skeletal remains than those that my performance was otherwise referring to - viz: the skeletal remains of their victims. Of all the samples I was using, the "Nowth Upon Nacht" one is the most dramatic. Hence my choice of it as the 1st one played.
The actual playing of "Skeletal Remains" revolves around creating new continuities among the mostly text based samples. As such, I tend to do things like link together theme related 'sentences' such as by grouping references to Joyce's character Anna Livia Plurabelle. Restricting myself to a mere 2 minute realization, I then explained that, yes, I'd lied in my intro & then explained the actual nature of "Skeletal Remains" in some quick detail.
A short movie of both the PHEW! realization & the SIX x ATE one can be found online (@ http://youtu.be/6EicbqmLvbk ).
Here's more specific info about the works quoted from:
"Skeletal Remains" (aka "Our Song" aka "New Irish Stew") sources
1929 excerpt from "Anna Livia Plurabelle" (read by James Joyce) - 8:40
_- use 2 excerpts: :03, :08 = :11
1942 "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" - 2:19 - John Cage
_- Robert Wyatt: voice, Richard Bernas: closed piano - obscure no. 5
_- use 1 excerpt: :03 = :14
1942 "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" - 2:38 - John Cage
_- Joan La Barbara: voice, William Winant: closed piano
_- New Albion NA 035 CD
_- use 1 excerpt: :10 = :24
1959 "Shem the Penman" (read by Cyril Cusack) - 28:16
_- use 6 excerpts: :04, :05, :08, :07, :14, :21 = 1:23
_& "Anna Livia Plurabelle" (read by Siobhan McKenna) - 30:56
_- use 7 excerpts: :08, :02, :03, :04, :08, :08, :06 = 2:02
_- directed by Howard Sackler - Caedmon TC 1086
1962 excerpt from "The Coach with the Six Insides" - :33 - Jean Erdman & Teiji Ito
_- ESP Sampler 1051 Stereo - use 1 excerpt: :13 = 2:15
1966 "Anna Livia Plurabelle" - 52:37 51:17 - Andre Hodeir - Philips PHS 900-255
_- use 12 11 excerpts:
_:07, :04, :07, :05, :04, :05, :02, :04, :06, :03, :07 = 3:16
1976-1979 "Writing for the Second Time Through Finnegan's Wake" - 59:29
_- John Cage - mode 28/29 - use 14 12 excerpts:
_:07, :06, :04, :09, :05, :04, :08, :02, :02, :07, :05, :03 = 4:30
1979 "Roaratoria: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake" - 60:30 - John Cage
_ - mode 28/29 - use 15 12 excerpts:
_:06, :03, :04, :04, :05, :05, :06, :06, :06, :09, :04, :07 = 5:35
1979 "Laughtears" - 30:55 - John Cage & Klaus Schöning - mode 28/29
_- use 7 excerpts: :04, :05, :01, :08, :08, :07, :09 = 6:17
1984 "Nowth Upon Nacht" - :58 - John Cage - Joan La Barbara: voice,
_William Winant: closed piano - New Albion NA 035 CD
_- use 1 excerpt: :03 = 6:20
The score for it is shown below. This score simply gives my brief description of what pressing down my controller's 61 keys will yield. The ways in which it's performed should ideally change every time.
- July, 2012 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
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