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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1A: EDITORIAL: We’re going to vote, a local viewpoint from Chicken John. SF Punk Renaissance 2015.
4. OUR PAST LIFE: Books we’ve been given, etc.
5. Recommended Links – send us some!
7. Letters from Readers (send some!)
8. Sponsors (Check ’em out! – they make this newsletter possible!)
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Sheriff: Ross Mirkarimi
College Board: Tom Temprano
Board of Supervisors: Aaron Peskin
Prop A: yes Borrrow $300 mil for affordable housing
Prop B: yes Let people play with their kids
Prop C: yes make lobbyists fill out forms
Prop D: no luxury office suites on the waterfront
Prop E: no video complaining
Prop F: yes please, stop Air BnB from breaking our economy
Prop G: no just vote no
Prop H: yes just vote yes
Prop I: yes stop building in the mission for a minute
Prop J: yes keep the shoe repair guy in SF
Prop K: no we shouldn’t give real estate away
Mayor: Stuart Schuffman for mayor. Not that you would want him to actually be Mayor. You are voting for Stuart because the alternative is to not vote foranyone for mayor. You’re voting for him to encourage him to keep doing stupid shit that he is totally unprepared for. You are voting “broke-assed Stuart” for the highest seat in our civic apparatus because Ed Lee promised he wouln’t run, and here he is running AGAIN. I don’t want to get into a comparison thing. I have remained oblivious to his run. I have stayed away. He’s got his own ideas. Weird that my run was 8 years ago… so much is different, so much is the same…
Sheriff: Ross is hated by the downtown machine. Ed Lee hates Ross. The smear campaign against him was like watching fiction. Cheap, petty crap. Ross is endorsed by the beloved Sheriff Hennessey, also an enemy of the downtown machine. Again. This is the right Sheriff for San Francisco. Vicki Hennesy is AGAINST MARIJUANA. She is a draconian, dim-witted thug.
College Board: Tom Temprano. Met him once. I really liked him. Very endearing.
Board of Supervisors D3: Aaron Peskin. Even if you don’t like his politics, his drinking or his jackets with the patches on the elbows. He’s smart. He brings a great deal of experience. And he would be the only progressive on the board in 2 years… He is running against a woman incumbent who is also a Democrat and you may think like Alix Ro “Oh, well they are the same so all things being equal I’d rather have a women.” Nope. Not even close. The lady that is running against him is the person who was the swing vote who voted in favor of gutting the Air BnB legislation in the first place which is why we have a Prof F to vote on now. Aaron would have voted the other way, and your mailbox and recycling-can would have less paper in it. People forget that the definition of “progressive” is that you are for change—usually change for the better. This women who was appointed by our mayor in January (to cover for David Chiu who went to the legislature) is just Ed Lee in a dress. If you live in D3, you MUST put Aaron back on the board!!!!
Prop A: Yes, reluctantly we should borrow $300 million dollars to build affordable housing. I guess. Borrowing money to build housing is weird. If I wasn’t in San Francisco, I might not say yes. But this is where we are.
Prop B: Yes, we should let people who have kids play with their kids while we pay them. A little. OK, a little more than before. But just a little more and then you have to go back to work like the rest of us.
Prop C: Yes, we should make people who are doing lobbying things fill out forms like lobbyists. But what I really like about this prop is that if it passes it can never go away—like the last time when they were just “rules.”
Prop D: No, we shouldn’t EVER take waterfront property and give it away for luxury offices and luxury condos, even if they throw us a few bones in the name of “affordable” housing. Even if they promise that the parks they are going to build will be for all San Franciscans (they lie, they are behind locked gates). No, we shouldn’t raise the height limit on our FUCKING SKYLINE because our limp-assed supervisors fucked up and ruined our city. No, this isn’t a great idea. No. A thousand times no.
Prop E: No, you shouldn’t be able to “go” to city hall from your laptop anywhere in the country. You want to bang your fists against the podium get your fat ass down to City Hall. Yes, it’s hard to get there during the day. That’s the point. No on E.
Prop F: Reluctantly, against every molecule in my body I am telling you that I am going to vote…. YES on F. I detest the idea that the government wants to know my business. I get red with anger when I think of how Ed Lee and his shitheads wrote unenforceable legislation that led us to this place. But if you will do what I am about to ask you to, you will see that there is simply no other choice: go to AirBnB.com. Click that you are 2 people coming to SF in March. Your budget is between $200 and $330. Now. Go find a listing that is someone who lives in SF who is renting their apartment to make ends meet. Go ahead. I’ll wait. It’s possible there is one there. But I couldn’t find it. It’s different than it was 2 or 3 years ago. It’s fucked. Thousands and thousands and thousands of listings. All full-time hotel rooms, not people’s apartments. I love the idea of Air BnB: Rent out your place to strangers. Make extra bucks while you’re not using your place. But the
landlords broke it. It’s gotta be having a huge impact on our availability of rental stock.
Prop G: No.
Prop H: Yes. Prop G and H are about the wording and defining “clean, renewable energy”. Remember when I ran for mayor and I was asking for the city to officially define GREENWASHING? Yeah. That.
Prop I: Yes, we should stop building in the Mission for 18 months. It’s just too hot. There is a place on 25th and Bryant going for $5,000,000. Five million dollar HOUSE. That’s like $5,000 a month in property taxes. What the fuck is that? Don’t believe me? http://www.2700bryant.com/
Prop J: Yes, we should give some of the outrageous property tax money we collect to keep the fucking shoe repair guy in SF. Is it absurd that we have to do this? Totally. Is it contrary to every tenet of self-respect a city should have? Absolutely. Do we have a choice? Nope. Give the cobbler a new lease…
Prop K: Nope, we shouldn’t give REAL ESTATE away for free or cheap so that other people can make money off it. It’s an asset that we control. It has a value. Like money, or diamonds or Johnny Ramone’s leather jacket. Why should we give it away? It’s a totally convoluted way of seeing an asset. That’s what I think.
I have only really been paying attention to local politics since I ran for mayor 8 years ago. I didn’t really get a lot of it. I didn’t go to much schooling, and somehow in my mind I kinda put politics and school together. Somehow. I’ve had a lot of really strange ideas about how the world works. Duh. But now that I can see a longer arc, I can see what things work and what things don’t. And I have to say that this election is really showing us how broken SF is. Our top races are either not contested or the challengers are laughable (as my “challenge” was). The propositions are ALL things that should have been decided at a board level. Tens of millions of dollars or more are being spent… it’s just all so gross. All so disheartening. All so… hopeless. It’s easy to read that into it. It’s depressing.
But I’ve always said that things have got to get a lot worse before they can get better. And I think that we are there. I think that this is as bad as it can get. Here we are in the boom time, with up up up and Breaded Veal Rangoon Crostinis with Basilisk Sauce on a stick selling out of an authentic 1800’s wagon parked in front of a messenger bag store that does pop-up chocolate and sake pairings. I mean, it’s just got to be getting to maximum bullshit already. This is the point where things bounce back from. People are going to look at the voter guide and see that we don’t really live in a democracy anymore.
Things change. And I’m thankful for it. The way things are changing is very very bad for a great many people. And I can’t change that. But I can make the best of it, and if you’ve been with me for a while when I make the best of something it usually is better than if I designed it from scratch. It’s just a muscle that gets stronger if you exercise it. We don’t really have a choice.
So what’s the take-away here? Well, it’s not a freebie. You have to work for it. You just have to see a longer view. We just lost a bunch of battles. We are going to lose a bunch on this ballot. But sometimes, you have to lose some battles to see how your enemy fights.
Stay hungry, Chicken John Oct 18th, 2015
KF: I try to create the best way that I possibly can. I try to be “authentic”… I hope that I’ve been able to inspire. That is what is very inspiring tome: thinking that in my life (or maybe in my career) I’m not able to walk the entire staircase, but I’ve walked a few steps… and that other generations of artists can take further steps. I might not be the one to have certain opportunities or access, but other generations can. Besides women, I have been very interested in equal access for all artists—and artists who are marginalized—in freedom of expression as a whole. Whether you’re gay, transgender, artists of color, artists of the working class or artists that haven’t necessarily been academically trained, I think that there are many issues that need to be addressed in terms of voices being heard, and having opportunities to express them.
ZB: What are your thoughts on society’s opinion of sexuality in art compared to pornography? Orlan had said it’s the difference between one breast exposed rather than two. Irina Ionesco says that it is solely defined in the mind of the viewer. Eroticism seems to be an art form as a personal expression of one’s sensual self, whereas pornography is just a generic product. Do you think pornography affects the censorship (or attitudes) towards women’s bodies? That it helps or hurts how women are viewed?
KF: These are very important questions. All these questions have gone before the Supreme Court regarding what is “obscene.” There are shifts throughout time and culture where these definitions change. I think that in art, pornography isn’t the only definition you’re looking at in court. There are other relationship dynamics, questions, critical thinking, placement, site, where the artist is critiquing society with that work. It’s also about the placement of the work. There has been in terms of pornography and art, a question since the beginning of time, looking back through the ages, you know a woman’s ankle was considered pornographic, Madame X. There’s nudes outside of temples that have been looked at as pornographic.
ZB: You’re in the RE/Search Pranks! book [still available from RE/Search] as one of the few women who engage in them. Do you find humor or satire is more powerful in getting a message across… with the impact of your performance pieces?
KF: I think there is a personal enjoyment with these pieces. I think I’m able to do these pranks because of my whiteness, my gender, my personality. The performance in the JC Penney window was on Market Street, San Francisco. Mike Osterhout had organized a series of performances. I came up with this idea to perform as if I were having a fit in the window. I don’t think that people believed it when they saw me there—they thought I was crazy and called the police. They thought that I was on drugs or insane. The police came and put me in the squad car and I continued performing while I was in the squad car. I don’t know if I could do that now… at that time, I was able to do it, but it was a dangerous thing to do.
ZB: But that is part of the excitement—the danger, right?
KF: I think part of it was an anger towards society… that I really wanted to have an “interruption” and subvert traditional society, change people and the way they think. I’ve done other things, too, like throwing dollars bills into this huge audience and watching everyone look for the bills on the dirty floor. Recently, what I like to do is drive through suburban neighborhoods with disco on really, really loud, just to interrupt their spaces of quiet.
ZB: Do you still like to do pranks like this?
KF: Yes. In certain ways I still have my forms of subversion and interruption. I think though now, living in New York, there isn’t as much room for subversion. Some are just personal, private pranks I do in the world. When I was performing a couple of weeks ago, I took over the stage in a very controlling way: I was told that I was to be given 10 minutes to perform, and I decided I was just going to take more time. I thought: I’m not performing in this way that you’re telling me, compartmentalizing it… There are a lot of little places where I rebel. I even find that academia is a place that I can infiltrate my students’ exposure to content and meaning—try to influence them thinking differently… to subvert conventions into a deeper, authentic gesture.
ZB: Do you have advice for artists (or anyone in general) towards critical thinking, especially now that the Internet encourages memes, and social media is rewiring people’s brains to be solely visual, limiting thought processes?
KF: I think that it’s important to be patient: a combination of patience, dedication, passion… and to allow the mystery. With the Internet, it’s about fame for a day, the notoriety or recognition before the work—the artwork. I think that if one puts the focus on themselves and their work—that is what matters. It really doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook or the Internet—it could be any kind of distraction from the intention of the art. There’s always going to be development in communication and electronics and it’s better to be friends with developments of the world. You don’t want to become addicted to it… but at the same time you have to find a balance: focus on yourself and your artwork.
ZB: Would you like to talk about the NEA Four Reunion project?
KF: I did that in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the piece I did didn’t get videotaped. It was a wonderful experience; I got to meet old friends and create work. I was reexamining and looking at my performance that caused the debate, the controversy. That took place at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, California State Long Beach. I decided that I wanted to relook at that work and discover what was behind the imagery… andwhy I created that work.
ZB: Out of all the different types of art you create, what gives you the most joy, or feels the most liberating?
KF: I try to find joy in making art, in the work… and finding joy in meeting people as part of my artistic practice, in each transaction that I do. While I’m sitting here right now, I am feeling the joy of having this moment of conversation with you. All the events that brought me here to have this conservation with you now, all the years that brought you, too—there is a joy with that! Our life experiences, the time that you took for preparation—I feel that appreciation, that joy of human engagement. That is what I work with in terms of a “humanist experience”—in living… not to get bogged down in terms of other people’s projections, the politics, or the evils of the world. To still have some type of awareness in the humanness and the joy of being human… even within the challenges and the controversy of life.
ZB: Will you mention some memories you have of your peers and collaborators—especially David Wojnarowicz?
KF: I treasure the many artists and peers I have had relationships with. One of the most satisfying parts of my artistic life has been time spent creating art, sharing the passion for making social change with art. But also the feeling of being able to be understood by your peers, and be accepted. David was a close friend. We just liked each other as people—we’re both a bit cynical! We were multidisciplinary and concerned and active in arts and politics.
ZB: What are some of the current pieces you’re working on now?
ZB: Who do you see as contemporary rebels or iconoclasts in the art world today… that you admire?
KF: John Sims, Tony Labat, Kathleen Hanna, Catherine Opie, Bruce Yonemoto, Deborah Willis, Jack Tchen, Clifford Owens, Andrew Ross/Gulf Labor, Tania Brughera… there are many interesting artists working today..
() We offer a 2nd printing of the 64-page MONTE CAZAZZA zine. Price just $12 (plus $5 shipping; just PayPal $17 to: email@example.com). Monte Cazazza is one of the big mysteries in the RE/Search canon, and we think it is a miracle he has survived to this day, integrity more-or-less intact! NOTE: Overseas orders $10 SHIPPING (total $22). CALIF residents add 8.75% tax ($2.19 tax, total $19.19).
The Counter Culture Hour (aka RE/SEARCH TV) is also simulcast ON-LINE as well as on cable access San Francisco Channel 29 — 4:30pm Pacific Time, now EVERY Saturday! – see this link at broadcast time: http://www.bavc.org/channel29 You need a fairly decent internet connection and computer to “get it.” USA west coast: 4:30 PM Sat OCT 10, 2015 USA; east coast: 7:30 PM Sat OCT 10, 2015. Tokyo: 8:30 AM Sunday, OCT 11, 2015 If you cannot get this online email us at firstname.lastname@example.org See RE/Search channel on youtube: “researchpubs”
3. FORTHCOMING EVENTS (San Francisco unless Otherwise Noted)
This performance piece was a long time coming (in theory & in practice) we didn’t just wake up one day & say hey let’s do this.
We actually struggled with “calibrating” the Theremini (Moog) as the essence is sound waves & electrical fields: in my attic space it was very difficult as it’s so small, I was picking up the stove etc anything that was metal. We finally set up in Monte’s garage for some space & had to configure exactly how far apart the two Theremins could be without interference from each other (kind of a metaphor for our personal relationship)!
Anyway… we have been sent excerpts via YouTube but haven’t had time to listen to the radio broadcast etc etc. Jack Sargeant wrote really nice ditty about our performance, something like ” these are two wonderful people making sounds like underwater beasts rising to the surface to copulate with the stars” …..
& Yes We Are Not Hurt: lots of pics of car guts….”—M&M
“I managed to see Ben Wheatley’s film of J G Ballard’s “High-Rise” when
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