WELCOME TO V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #104, May 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. 2 MESSAGES FROM YOUR EDITOR, V. VALE: Humans Are Becoming More Robotic!
2. Counter Culture Hour with filmmaker Mike Kuchar, twin brother of George Kuchar, Sat May12 – 6PM Pacific time – SF cable channel 29, also simulcast on-line (see below)
3. ** RE/Search eBooks! For starters: “Confessions of Wanda Von Sacher-Masoch” now available on Kindle, along with a companion reading of “Venus in Furs.”
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing
6. Writing Advice…
7. Recommended Links – send some!
9. Letters from Readers
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1. EDITORIAL FROM V. VALE: HOW MANY JOBS HAS THE INTERNET KILLED? (You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!)
If I were an alien from Outer Space wanting to ruin life on Planet Earth, I think I’d invent the Internet.
I’d get every earthling constantly connected via some electronic wireless gizmo to an ADD-creating, creativity-sucking, time-wasting, globally-exploitative hive-video-brain offering:
1) massive discounts no “local” merchant could afford to give
2) “free” illegal downloads of the entirety of the world’s cultural output, thus chopping off at the root any chance of lengthy artistic development and maturation
3) billions of shocking / titillating images, films, videos and words whose net effect is even more passivity-inducement and lethargy
4) fake social networking whose RESULT is: nobody gets together in the same room anymore — too much trouble. Everyone’s at home consuming images and audio on an electronic screen, writing inconsequential fluff, and twittering their lives away…(Yes, a few who can still afford it, sit “alone together” in coffeehouses, glued to their electronic devices).
5) in sum, constant, hypnotizing distraction so that silence and solitude have become unthinkable, obsolete and positively quaint…
Then I’d sit around and watch 99% of the earthlings get fat and insane as every possible place offering “real social contact in real time” goes out of business — most never to return. The 1% left are like the actors in the ancient Roman Games, living the “real” lives while the other 99% act like the zombie spectators they are, each unemployed spectator telling themselves they’re truly unique and “special” and deserve to be celebrities…
Meanwhile, none of the 99% ever suspect that the Internet was the cause…
(Ironically, since this is posted on the Internet, this “rant” will doubtless be ignored… Oh yes, it was written by a luddite BOOK publisher – almost forgot what a “book” was – I once saw one, long ago… )
2. EDITORIAL FROM V. VALE: The Internet Has Already Changed Your IDENTITY/Animal-Bodily-Functioning/Brain Synapses… But Was This VOLUNTARY?!
1) Think about the way you live, process information, recall important details, remember favorite moments, prioritize your life & future traveling. 2) Now imagine that the Internet had never existed. 3) Then visualize yourself traveling to a strange (but “human”-populated) planet and observing some of its inhabitants sitting at a table:
1. A being asks a question. Someone else produces an iPhone, pushes some buttons, reads an answer from the screen. Everyone at the table lavishes admiration upon the answer-producer. But, did that person TRULY deserve that admiration?!?
2. A being walks around all day looking at their iPhone. Posing as an amateur anthropologist, you follow them around. They scarcely notice any other human on the street, are unaware of being followed, almost get hit by a car swerving around a corner, and wherever they go, they stay focused on their iPhone.
3. It turns out they are constantly receiving messages from afar (or from other beings in their own town or city). Like a slave they consume an endless, smile-giving (or shock-administering) stream of images/soundbites promoting someone else’s ”content”…
4. Finally, they get summoned to a bar or cafe where they see, IN PERSON, other beings. The whole time they are there ostensibly talking and interacting, they’re glancing at their iPhone to monitor the constant flow of messages appearing — are they looking/hoping for a “better offer”?
5. Occasionally they suddenly leave the room, presumably to talk to somone? It turns out they were placing a last-minute bid on some heavily-discounted brand-name luxury item whose auction was closing.
6. The being boards a public transport bus. The whole time they ignore the other humans around them & talk on the phone (this is the best time to talk to mom or dad, when trapped and there’s no other option). Or, they’re texting or web-surfing or watching videos or listening to music. Many times, they’re being “mentored” by algorithms — (“If you liked THAT, you might like THIS…”), not even a real human being with unique taste, discernment and sensitivity… (Now, the whole topic of being “MENTORED BY ALGORITHMS” deserves an essay in itself!)
7. CONCLUSION: Has it finally dawned on you that these beings are literally behaving as though they’re partially “robotic”? As ostensibly human-animals, their perceptions, reflexes and animal instincts seem to be largely non-functioning, as almost all their attention is directed toward a small screen in their hand. They are barely receiving any information or stimuli from the actual physical environment immersing them. And after years of this behavior, they appear to be barely capable of fine penmanship, artistic drawing, spontaneous wit, complex humor and fantasy generating, role-playing, aphorism-coining, big-picture-imagining, lateral thinking, and everything that humans used to engage in that falls under the penumbra of “play” (remember “homo ludens”?).
8. CONCLUSION: Language of gesture and bodily self-expression seems to be severely reduced, truncated or even ”disappeared.” You learn that they are addicted to watching pornographic images and films, so that THAT creative ability seems to have atrophied. Emotional stunting seems to have occurred, save for the all-pervasive cynical-laugh-reflex and the quick penning of anagrams/emoticons such as “LOL” or “:)” upon their iPhone.
9. CONCLUSION: Usage of the Imagination and dreams of these beings also seems to have atrophied. We recall the Thomas de Quincey observation that “the machinery for dreaming and imagination in the human brain was not implanted for nothing.” Well, that notion went out with 19th-century button shoes!
10. CONCLUSION: Why should these beings even exist? They have lost the ability to ask the question, “WHY”? What is the MEANING of their Lives? Why do they exist? Are these beings even coherent? Are they a community? Do they have basic morals and ethics — or even question what these might be? Which means: they have become semi-robots. Can robots/computers ever ask WHY? No. They just DO what they do…
These beings all seem to be in one solid pursuit: checking the iPhone, which is their new “God.” Oh, their 2nd “drive” is to attain profit and money (& maybe celebrity), preferably without working hard for it. Money/Profit/Trying to Get A Bargain is their Secondary God / Goddess. All else is just pure distraction… So, the new “norm” is distractibility, like some kind of universal nervous tic: always checking the iPhone. No one can look anyone else in the eye for a full minute without feeling the urge to… check the phone. Just start people-watching and see if you don’t agree?!
Who needs mutation the old-fashioned way? Mutation has already happened; the next generation will have faster, more dexterous thumbs and be more short-sighted… and definitely, fatter… Wait a minute; the Future Is Already Here! And it is ROBOTIC…
2. Counter Culture Hour - Sat May 12, 2012 – 6:00 PM PACIFIC TIME.
This conversation was filmed at the RE/Search office in San Francisco and features filmmaker MIKE KUCHAR, pioneering ”underground” San Francisco/New York filmmaker and film-making teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute. Mike’s identical twin brother George recently departed this world, as well as a household cat, so Mike was hardly in the most cheerful frame of mind, but he soldiered on and graciously did this interview.
Edited/filmed/produced by Marian Wallace; interview by V. Vale.
The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also simulcast ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 — 6pm Pacific Time, Sat May 12, 2012
- see this link at broadcast time:
You need a fairly decent internet connection and computer to “get it.”
USA west coast: 6:00 PM Saturday, May 12, 2012
USA east coast: 9:00 PM Saturday, May 12, 2012
London: 2:00 AM Sunday, May 13, 2012
Tokyo: 10:00 AM Sunday, May 13, 2012
If you cannot get this online email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Would you like to have a Counter Culture Hour showing in your town? Please write & ask us how you can do this. (write: email@example.com)
See RE/Search channel on youtube: “researchpubs”
3. REminder: one RE/Search book is on Kindle! Our “Confessions of Wanda Von Sacher-Masoch” is now available along with a companion eBook of “Venus in Furs.” ”Wanda” is the gripping narrative written by a late 19th-century proto-feminist coping with the perverse demands of the father of her 2 children — the father being the writer who published in book form the behavioral archetype of SM (the masochist enslaved to his dominatrix). “Venus in Furs” is the novel, written from the husband’s standpoint, of his literary invention of the “classic” scenarios deployed in the Master-Slave relationship, complete with leather-fur fetishes, whips & all the accoutrements readily available in certain shops in the Castro/SOMA neighborhoods. These 2 books are still outside the mainstream, and posit many “consensual/power/relationship/hierarchy issues” still relevant today. A feminist classic, Wanda’s version of her life had to wait almost 100 years until RE/Search published it for the first time in English.
Support the digitization of RE/Search Publications: Get these fascinating books at http://amzn.to/eCM52a And check out: http://aerbook.com ). They design and build enhanced eBooks for all the major eReaders, including readers on the iPhone and iPad
4. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco unless Otherwise Noted)
() We always encourage readers to go to thrillpeddlers.com & support the Hypnodrome, S.F.’s unique Grand Guignol/Humor Noir Revival Theatre showcase. Children ages 8-15 in particular will highly benefit from their 4 2-week summer creepshow camps ( http://thrillpeddlers.com/creepshow-camp-2012/ ), which teach the arcane arts of applying fake wounds, blood, gore and zombie makeup. On May 19, 2012 The Thrillpeddlers’ Hot Greeks ends – it’s a Cockettes musical; enuff said! http://thrillpeddlers.com/
() FREE. Sausalito. Tue May 1, 6pm. 52-min US/French Documentary Film featuring Author Sebastian Junger. Tiburon Film Society (tel 415-381-4123) will present “Into the Forbidden Zone“ at the Bay Model located at 2100 Bridgeway in Sausalito. Author Sebastian Junger and photographer Reza enter a modern day Armageddon. Traveling through war-torn Afghanistan, The filmmakers follow these two journalists on their search for Ahmed Shah Massoud, the resistance leader known as The Lion of Panjshir. Junger and Reza must trek to Massoud’s front lines deep in the Hindu Kush Mountains, a treacherous place in the best of times, a death trap in war. Follow an unforgettable journey through courage, fear, and the heart of a nation torn by war.
() Worth a Trip to GERMANY: RIGHT NOW THROUGH AUG 12, 2012: a William S. Burroughs Exhibition:
the name is BURROUGHS − Expanded Media [ www.zkm.de ]
ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art - Burroughs, as a cross-media artist, also produced a comprehensive, varied body of work that no less experiments with audio tape, film and photography as it does with painting and collages. The comprehensive exhibition “the name is BURROUGHS” − Expanded Media presents the author’s artistic output in Germany for the first time. It examines the multiple affiliations between literary and experimental image production, further augmenting the image by way of the representation of “collaborations” Burroughs produced in association with other artists. The exhibition gains additional appeal thanks to a series of works by contemporary international artists who each make unambiguous reference to Burroughs’ writings and his method of “expanded media”, and thus, from a present-day perspective, sound out the individual pictorial potential.
The exhibition’s goal is to make tangible, in review and for the first time within Europe on such a scale, the visionary volatility of William S. Burroughs‘ literary output while at the same time showing the impact of his ideas and philosophy on a wider network of authors, musicians, composers, painters, photographers, video artists and filmmakers. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, Burroughs is more than ever considered – especially owing to the experiments he carried out in the 1960s together with painter, author, inventor Brion Gysin, with mathematician Ian Sommerville and filmmaker Antony Balch − as a pioneer of media art. In this respect, with the exhibition the name is BURROUGHS − Expanded Media, the ZKM also reflects the institution’s unique mandate and its own history − that it was, indeed, Burroughs, who was awarded the first Siemens Media Prize in Karlsruhe, in 1993.
Curators: Udo Breger, Axel Heil and Peter Weibel with valuable support by James Grauerholz and his staff
Publication: In conjunction with the exhibition, a richly illustrated publication on William S. Burroughs as representative figure of the counterculture is available; the work includes a written contribution by Ian MacFadyen, and is edited by Axel Heil as part of his series ”Future of the Past” (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne).
During the exhibition, the ZKM plans, in cooperation with the “Estate of William S. Burroughs”, a comprehensive publication including numerous essays and over 300 illustrations – mostly hitherto unpublished works from the artist’s varied oeuvre.
() FREE. Berkeley. Thur May 3, 11-5pm. Berkeley Art Museum, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley.
() FREE. LOS ANGELES: Thur May 3, 730pm, Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium. Presentation on Photographer Herb Ritts by Dr. Jonathan Katz. Free, but call 310-440-7300 for reservations!
() $$. NOW THROUGH AUG 19, 2012, Tue-Sun, de Young Museum, SF: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk: the first major exhibition dedicated to French designer Jean Paul Gaultier. More than 130 iconic haute couture and prêt-a-porter ensembles created between the early 1970s and 2010 in scenic contexts ranging from the boudoir to graffiti streets and the catwalk.
() FREE. Sat May 5, 6-9pm. Free PHOTO SHOW/Reception at Moxi Salon, 1980 Union/Buchanan, SF. Daniel Konhauser & 14 other photographers.
() FREE if you have a BofA credit-debit card: Sat-Sun May 5-6: de Young Museum, Legion of Honor Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, more…
() FREE. Tue May 8, 11-530pm. SFMOMA, 151 3rd St/Mission-Howard, S.F. ALSO: 930-5pm. Legion of Honor Museum, 100 24th Ave, S.F.
() FREE. Tue May 8, 930-5pm. de Young Museum (Gaultier Show; is that a separate $$ admission?), Golden Gate Park near Japanese Tea Garden.
() FREE. Thur May 10, 830-930pm. V. Vale interviews Greg Scars, guitarist/songwriter for the Avengers (1977-era S.F. Punk band). Homestead (back room), 2301 Folsom/19th St, S.F. Event curated by Maureen Russell. 12 bus.
() FREE. Fri May 11, 6-8pm. SFAI MFA Graduate Exhibition Opening Reception. Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy St, S.F.
() FREE. OAKLAND. Fri May 11, 6-930pm. James Stark’s photographs & Crime posters at 1234Go Records, 420 40th St, Oakland. 510.985.0325.
() FREE. BERKELEY. Sat May 12, 10-530pm. 11th Annual PAGAN FESTIVAL AND PARADE. Theme: Paradigm Shift. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 94704 (at Center Street Next to Farmers Market – South of University Avenue and East of Downtown Berkeley BART.
() $$. Sun May 13, 12-8pm, HOW WEIRD Street Faire. Howard/2nd Sts & more, SF. www.howweird.org
() $$. SAN MATEO. Sat May 19-Sun May 20, 10-6pm. MAKER FAIRE, San Mateo County Event Center, makerfaire.com
() FREE. OAKLAND. Sun May 20, 5-8pm. Bucky Sinister reads poems! New LP, too. ISSUES, 20 Glen Ave, Oakland 94611.
() FREE BOOKS. Sat-Sun Every Weekend 9-6pm. www.bayareafreebookexchange.com 10520 San Pablo Ave/Moeser Ln, El Cerrito CA 94530
5. What We’ve Attended/What We’ve Been Reading/Seeing/Listening to/What We’ve Been Sent
() RE/Search attended Sun April 22, 8pm NOH MERCY live show/record release party at Café du Nord, Swedish-American Hall in San Francisco. Erase Errata (all-women band) was the opener. Note that V. Vale wrote introductory liner notes for the NOH MERCY LP/CD, and that this was the band’s first live performance in over 33 years! Esmerelda & Tony Hotel performed just a tantalizing few of their ahead-of-their-time-songs. However, Esmerelda’s beloved Farfisa keyboard had not been touched in 33 years, so the audience was treated to ONLY voice and drums… which meant that EVERY WORD could be heard and understood (well, almost). Additionally, there was more room on the small stage for Esmerelda to freely express her theatrical persona and vocabulary of gesture and choreography. Up close, both Tony Hotel and Esmerelda sported beautifully designed, colorful kabuki mask makeup, plus Japanese-inspired costuming.This felt like a kind of classic legendary event, and a few people did drive over 100 miles for the experience which definitely did not disappoint. The evening felt more like a kind of trance ritual than a standard “music concert” — and like all great events, left the audience wanting MORE!
The live set list was 6 songs: Revolutionary Spy. Girl. Fashion Chant. My Wild Love. Pay the Devil. Caucasian Guilt. The end of “Revolutionary Spy” is: “Who is the enemy? Is it you, or is it me? Who is the enemy? Is it you? Or is it FaceBook?! “This “new” ending to “Revolutionary Spy” brought on wild cheers…
A number of people from the late 70s/early 80s San Francisco Punk scene showed up. As Esmerelda remarked, “Winston Tong looks like a Chinese Keith Richards… I didn’t recognize him!” Designer Patrick Roques (with friend Jennifer from Mill Valley) flew up from Los Angeles. Photographer Dan Nicoletta. Neal Pauline & Bobbi. filmmaker Mindy Bagdon. Marc Huestis with the star of “Whatever Happened to Susan Jane?”  Peter Urban. Victoria. Brenda Tong. Matt Heckert./Kelsey Kerr. Janlee (Kim Danders RIP). August Ragone worked the door.
Talked briefly with Esmerelda after the show and here are some highlights: “When we played Madame Wong’s in L.A., with Tuxedo Moon, well — Madame Wong is a real person & she’s like a true grande dame – she owns this nightclub in Chinatown L.A. where all the punk rock shows were. And she got really offended when she heard us do “Caucasian Guilt” at soundcheck — she freaked out, and kicked Noh Mercy off the bill. And she threatened us with the real TONG gang ‘cuz she IS a Tong. Winston Tong was our saviour ‘cuz he was able to calm things down so at least Tuxedo Moon could play!
“There should be some kind of monthly Punk reunion in San Francisco somewhere — after all, many of us still live here, but we never see each other. Tony Hotel [who lives back East] said, “Do I have to come out here for everyone to see each other?!” Where could this monthly free Punk Salon possibly be? Viracocha? El Valenciano? It’s an idea: First Mondays, MONTHLY PUNK SALON. People can put on little performances, or shout poetry, or whatever they wanna do.”
Times have changed: a favorite moment happened when Esmerelda yelled out onstage, “63 is the new 31!” Her daughter is 41 or 42, and has a 2-year-old. Esmerelda’s son is 43 and has an 18-year-old; yes, the grandson is 18, and “he’s great…” This event happened to promote the new Noh Mercy LP and CD releases, on Steve Wascovich’s Superior Viaduct Records — look for it at superior small record stores, or order direct from Steve himself! http://www.superiorviaduct.com/nohmercy/
() RE/Search attended two STELARC presentations within the past month. 1) Fri March 30 Dorkbot SF (Gray Area, 998 Market St): STELARC, SRL founder Mark Pauline and artist Leo Villareal each gave presentations with video. Stelarc’s show was titled ”Zombies & Cyborgs: The presentation explored varying constructs of the body in an age of Mixed Realities and Circulating Flesh. People will increasingly become portals for sensory feedback and for remote manipulation, becoming extended operational systems performing beyond the boundaries of the skin and beyond the local space they inhabit. Bodies have become chimeras of meat, metal and code.
“Stelarc will show videos, animations, demonstrate the Prosthetic Head project and will also show his extra ear which is presently being surgically constructed and cell-grown on his arm.” Yours truly was privileged to actually feel the ear-on-arm...
“Stelarc is currently the Chair In Performance Art, School of Arts, Brunel University London… STELARC has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body. He has made three films of the inside of his body. Between 1976-1988 he completed 25 body suspension performances with hooks into the skin. He has used medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, Virtual Reality systems, the Internet and biotechnology to explore alternate, intimate and involuntary interfaces with the body. He has performed with a Third Hand, a Stomach Sculpture and a 6-legged walking robot, Exoskeleton. In 2010 he was awarded the Hybrid Arts Prize at Ars Electronica. His artwork is represented by the Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne http://stelarc.org/ ”
Mark Pauline‘s presentation was titled “Spine Robot Lives! Mark Pauline presented detailed info about the Spine Robot progress (he had to design/machine 1500 separate parts!) and showed video of it operating at the new Petaluma shop.
“Mark Pauline originated and developed the concept of large scale machine performance beginning in 1978 with the founding of Survival Research Laboratories. Staged over 57 machine performances in the US, Europe, and Japan as director of SRL. The most recent performance was staged at MOCA in Los Angeles, September 2011. Mark constructed and designed dozens of large, complex robots and machines for use in these performances and has trained and supervised the efforts of over 400 assistants in the art of machine performance. Mark has given over 180 lectures, panel discussions, and seminars such as Oxford University, Yale, Commonwealth Club of SF, etc. and has over 150 TV spots in the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan ranging from interviews and video documentation specials to anonymous reports of mechanized pranksterism. There have been over 450 articles and interviews both in print and online…” http://www.srl.org
Amy Critchett is helping Leo Villareal do his Bay Lights project. Bay Lights is an iconic light sculpture which will live for two years on the Bay Bridge West Span starting with a Grand Lighting in late 2012. Created with over 25,000 energy efficient, white LED lights, it is 1.5 miles wide and 500 feet high, viewable from San Francisco and points north but not by drivers on the bridge itself.
“Leo Villareal orchestrates complex, rhythmic artwork composed exclusively of points of light; his groundbreaking work is part of the permanent collection of major museums worldwide. He received a BA in sculpture from Yale University in 1990 and a graduate degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). http://thebaylights.org/ ”
2) One of the most avant-garde cultural exploration/elucidation series happening today has got to be Ken Goldberg’s ATC (Art-Technology-Culture Colloquium) Lecture Series. A recent installment featured Stelarc (Performance Artist, Melbourne): The Comatose, the Cadaver, and the Chimera, Mon Apr 2, 2012, 7:30pm to 9:00p at Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley. Stelarc uses medical instruments, prosthetics, robotics, virtual reality systems, and the internet to explore alternate interfaces with the body. A publicity email provided the following text:
“Caption: “Third Ear”, Stelarc, 2007. (Photo courtesy of Stelarc.) ”Flesh is circulating. Organs are extracted and exchanged. Limbs detached from a dead body can be reanimated on a living body. Ova are fertilized by sperm that was once frozen. The skin cells from an impotent male can now become sperm cells. And more interestingly the skin cells from female bodies can be re-engineered into sperm cells. The face of a donor body becomes a third face on the recipient. Cadavers can be preserved forever with plastination whilst comatose bodies can be sustained indefinitely on life-support systems. Cryogenically suspended bodies await reanimation at some imagined future. The dead, the near-dead, and the yet to be born now exist simultaneously. And if body parts can be stem-cell grown or Organ Printed, then organs will be in abundence. Organs will be in excess. There will be organs awaiting bodies. Organs Without Bodies. This is the age of the Cadaver, the Comatose and the Chimera. The Chimera is the body that performs with mixed realities. Liminal spaces proliferate, blurring what it means to be a body and whether it is any longer meaningful to remain human. Perhaps what it means to be human is not to remain human at all…”
Now this was easily one of the most thought-provoking presentations of the year, literally crammed and jammed with challenging ideas and language, all grounded (occasionally) by Stelarc’s signature deep laugh, which has to be heard to be loved (or at least appreciated). What a difficult territory for an artist-scientist to be exploring: the body’s relationship to the latest progressive technology involving cutting-edge (literally) medical research, robotics, the invention of new metallic alloys — at the frontiers of never-before-glimpsed human experiencings. We certainly look forward to the posting of this symposium on the ATC website [atc.berkeley.edu] , which would easily bear several viewings.
After an extremely detailed lecture followed by a Q&A featuring intelligent questions from the audience, RE/Search followed Stelarc to a local Indian restaurant where, under extremely noisy conditions, the artist granted a small interview for The Counter Culture Hour. [Thanks, Ken Goldberg, for making this happen!] We hope this will soon appear on our monthly cable TV show, possibly to be paired with another small recent interview with Genesis P-Orridge plus Marie Losier, in San Francisco recently to promote their new film, “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye“ which began screening in movie theaters worldwide. If you would like to see this episode, please write us — it helps to have encouragement to finish projects!
() Friday, April 13, 2012, 8:00 pm. ATA, 992 Valencia/21st St, 415-824-3890. ILLUMINATED TEXTS: Whether it is the exploration of language emerging from the body in Finkelstein’s “Marvelous Discourse,” or the opulent verbal/visual splendor of Mike Kuchar’s “Opal Essence,” these complex collages of music, images, words, and sounds all aim to use video in order to bring poetic texts to life. Collaboration between the two artists: Kuchar’s “The Dreamer’s Tale,” in which performer and writer Finkelstein sleepwalks down into subconscious corridors. http://www.atasite.org/2012/04/illuminated-texts-new-language-based-videos-by-david-finkelstein-and-mike-kuchar/
() Saturnday, April 14, 7-9pm BEAT MUSEUM, 540 Broadway, SF featured legendary San Francisco criminal defense attorney Tony Serra on his prison experiences; poet Marc Olmsted (he once made a short film on Burroughs), and the enchanting Los Angeles poet /siren Liv Zutphen.
() Sat April 21. Went to the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St, to enjoy the last day of the George Kuchar installation (magnificent job by Kent Long and others), and ran into John Waters! He was dressed in purple (as befits, um, underground royalty) and carrying a canvas bag from a London bookstore (?). We love what he once said: “If you go to someone’s home and they don’t have books, don’t f–k ‘em! We have to make books cool again.” John himself is an appreciator of the rarest, strangest, weirdest books on the planet… (well, so is RE/Search)…
() FREE. Wed April 25, 6pm-9pm. JOHN WATERS talks/introduces A Dirty Shame. Timken Lecture Hall, CCA, 1111 8th St, S.F. 415.703.9563.
() FREE. Fri April 27, 4-7pm. ANNIE SPRINKLE talks/introduces Herstory of Porn: Reel to Real. CCA, Carmen M. Christensen Production Stage. 1111 8th St.
() We have to thank our friends in Los Angeles who flew us down for (3) events in the last few months: 1) Extreme Futurist Fest, curated by Rachel ___ – check out her FaceBook page. We met ALEX from Russia there — more on that, later! 2) L.A. Zine Fest - fantastic one-day event (find their FaceBook page), at the end of which Henry Rollins interviewed V. Vale for at least 90 minutes – what a pro Henry is! Thanks to Rhea Tepplim/Nag Champoy for inviting us & LastBookstore/JoshSpencer for sponsoring everything! 3) Shelf Life 2, another independent publishing / zine festival hosted by USC and curated by Ewa Wojciak, married to Bruce Kalberg [RIP] who published No Magazine. We also thank SkylightBooks/Dan & our hosts who put us up in L.A.: David, Gail, Richard M and others…
() DARN. It’s past 2 AM already. No way can I review all the fabulous books which legendary San Francisco independent publisher Last Gasp sent me. PROMISE to review ‘em for the June Newsletter – V. Vale
6. WRITING ADVICE TO “RICHARD” who was arrested at an OCCUPY LOS ANGELES: “Richard, write 1st thing in morning before you get out of bed – channel every possible memory & sensation – do not edit, do not censor, it’s for YOUR EYES ONLY – keep notebooks around the house & whenever you think of a DETAIL or something write it down – editing/pulling it all together into a linear narrative is the last step, if it needs to be done at all. You’re doing this first of all for yourself, because you have been severely traumatized and you need to EXTERNALIZE what happened to you, in your body (where emotions reside) OUTSIDE OF YOUR BODY, onto paper. You need to FREE YOURSELF (sort of) from this traumatic experience (sort of) … writing is CHANNELING - never stop & edit or censor – just write every DETAIL you can summon up. Start with what you were wearing (details) when you were “arrested” – what OTHERS were wearing – try to recall exact phrases, thoughts… ah, you already know all this!” … You don’t want to kill memories of “injustice you’ve experienced” but you must try to separate yourself from what happened, toward the goal of getting the biggest possible picture, of which you are an actor in a drama, but maybe not the only actor, but still, since you are the CENTRAL actor in YOUR drama, it’s important to make it as vivid as possible, with DETAILS, even smells, environments, timings of what happened. The LANGUAGE OF AUTHORITY needs to be captured, then only later can it be critiqued, analyzed, etc. The BODY LANGUAGE of AUTHORITY — ditto. It’s the best project you could do for yourself, i think!!! … Richard, don’t forget to WRITE so you can purge that awful Occupy experience from your BODY – not just your mind!!!
7. RECOMMENDED LINKS (send some!)
() V. Vale interviewed by Henry Rollins (1st hour of 90 minutes) at LA Zine Fest: http://vimeo.com/37583048
() from Richard M & Gail T: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAHDP-j5-dY YOU TUBE: WARHOL & BURROUGHS
() Jon Savage intv: http://dummymag.com/videos/2012/04/19/a-dummy-film-about-jon-savage/
() from Graphic Garrett: http://shootbucket.blogspot.com/
() written intv with V. Vale by Chris Ziegler: http://larecord.com/interviews/2012/02/17/v-vale-our-job-is-to-fight
() A Real History of the last 62 years? http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/#more-46802
() Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail? http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bank-of-america-too-crooked-to-fail-20120314
() ballardian.com - frequently updated with J.G. Ballardiana …
() realitystudio.org - dedicated to William S. Burroughs, posting old underground press intvs, et al… [google "reality studio burroughs" ]
() from JOEY SKAGGS: www.mobilehomelesshomes.com - coming soon! Or call Joey Skaggs at 212-254-7878
() from VyVy ”Have you been tweet-bombed?” : http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2012/04/20/the-tweetbomb-and-the-ethics-of-attention/
() A 30-minute V. Vale interview by George Chen: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3D3F93E42148DB64
() Rev Billy Banking Action site: fearofbanking.com
() from James “National Lampoon…” http://books.google.com/books?id=nOLvftldSSAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=national+lampoon&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qbKBT49ypqeIAvPwjI4D&ved=0CFkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=national%20lampoon&f=false
8. QUOTES chosen by, or authored by, V. Vale
() Long ago J.G. Ballard wrote about the “new” theatricalised behavior affected/adopted by people who talk on their cellphones in public… the increasing 360-degree self-consciousness aided & abetted by “reality TV shows” (which Ballard also predicted decades ago)…
() “Sometimes you see things that are so amazing, so humbling, that you realize you will always be a student, that you will never know enough.”- Henry Rollins, Occupants, p 142. (Dazzling new all-color photo book with great commentary; Henry’s best so far.)
() At the End of the Day Ask: WHAT HAVE I ACHIEVED “FOR THE AGES”? Make a DAILY LIST: Artwork, Creative Writing, Music Composition, Dark Humor… (Or, at least try to do this weekly!!)
() “Imagine if we deliberately gave up on the future? If we refused the pressure to move forward & consume the latest hip technology as an early adopter?”
() “The concept of the “future” is now being seen as some kind of dodgy capitalist construct to market and abet “modernism” … as the best way to get consumers to buy the newest iteration, of, say, the iPhone5 or iPad4 or MacBook Air…
() “In any situation where humor is absolutely not allowed, be very, very afraid!”
() “Dreams reveal the cosmic humor of the universe — especially to those who think they have Free Will & Total Control of their lives, destinies, and minds…”
() “I love seeing apocalypse movies. Why? Because whatever happens in the future will NOT be precisely predictable. Each new apocalypse movie ensures that THIS Will Not Be How the World Ends…” [Now, on the other hand, we are running out of pure water and are getting low on a lot of world resources, so...]
() You know that song, “Stay young & beautiful/Just as long as you can”? As advice, it’s not bad…
9. LETTERS FROM READERS:
() ”To our Patient Readers Who Have Made It This Far, A tiny Notice: Two of our favorite books, RE/Search #8/9: JG Ballard & RE/Search #14: Incredibly Strange Music Vol One, are down to our last handful of copies. In today’s non-print-publishing eWorld, it is doubtful they can ever be reprinted (although one can always HOPE!). If you want a Brand New Copy on real paper, best get one now! And, I’ll autograph it upon request… – your editor, V. Vale
() from George P. in Canada, ordering one of the last hardback copies of Brion Gysin’s HERE TO GO book: “I’ve been an avid RE/SEARCH reader for many years now. Still have my autographed copy of Ballard’s ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’!” — Well, nice to know there’s one copy in Canada!
() from Joshua N. in Canada, ordering Search&Destroy#1-11 set: ”I have read RE/SEARCH Pubs for over ten years. Finding these books in the used bookstore of a small town have influenced me in more ways than I can count — from discovering new Punk bands to my love affair with the writings of JG Ballard and was instrument [sadly, ran out of room]
() from James C-G of Australia who ordered a R/S logo t-shirt: “ LONG TIME DEVOTEE. DONT MAKE ME BEG FOR A STICKER !!!!!!! – Sorry James, but we don’t have any stickers, although — now’s the time to produce a RE/SEARCH LOGO square to stick over your MacBook Air logo…
() from Kate in Canada: “We’ve never met, but I just wanted to tell you that finding a couple RE/Search books in the library at the art school I went to last year was a huge deal for me. Reading the interviews you did really helped me figure out my attitude towards art-making (and life in general). I think it inspired me to take a lot more risks and not be so afraid of being a little bit bad (in the good, Pranks kind of way, you know?) So thanks for that!”
() from Dan of Skylight Books in L.A, one of the few stores to carry DIY zines and books: “it was V. Vale that inspired me the most. He said to write and create that which we are passionate or obsessed about. It has to drive you to get up and do something. You don’t have to cater to an audience. It’s what drives you. And you have to meet the public in order to get your stuff out there.” [Gee, Thanks Dan!]
() from anonymous Denver, Colorado citizen: “All of these San Francisco Photographers showing their ’70s “Punk Photographs” in Denver would not have made the photographs if not for you!! And the MCA even named the citywide event Search & Destroy…” [I know for sure that Bruce Conner would not have made a single Punk Photograph if I had never been born." - V. Vale]
() “There is no TRY. Only DO.” – Yoda
MAY 2012 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & other contributors (sorry for gap; last newsletter was March/April 2011). RE/Search website powered by http://www.laughingsquid.com. This May 2012 newsletter is an “experiment”: Add us (“firstname.lastname@example.org“) to Your Address Book
Physical Address since May 1979: RE/SEARCH | 20 Romolo #B | San Francisco CA 94133-4041 | 415.362.1465