David

Caity was telling the group of us gathered at the ICU that everyone grieves differently and each way is fine, barring self harm etc. My process always necessitates a blog-post, and to take part in the ritual of post-mortem-facebook-posts, post post post post. It’s a poignant end-of-life yearbook and it is weeping love.

I woke up thinking about how I if I live to be old I will likely experience the deaths of many friends, but then thought “anyone could die at any time.” I was also thinking about David, because he liked the installation I did in my room some years ago and I was always equal parts perplexed and delighted that he thought it was so special.

It’s not uncommon for me to think about death and my friends, in fact those topics are probably in my top 5 most common things to think about. I think about David fairly often because I admire his photography so much. He also comes in conversation frequently, because his booming voice echoes into many Meow Wolf anecdotes.

When I saw a missed call from Amelia I immediately thought: “Something is terribly wrong and someone is dying” which is what goes through my head any time I get an un expected call, and most of the time I am wrong.

My mom bandaged my bleeding fingertip as she dropped me off at the Idiot Haus, where I had the sad-joy of hugging all of my red-eyed friends. Amelia made tea and I sat in the sun with a cat. Whenever someone else came in everyone would take turns hugging them.

As we caravanned to Albuquerque I looked up recent functional imaging studies on coma patients, and read them aloud. We wondered what David was going through. The sun was setting over the mountains and our emotional landscapes made the natural beauty seem surreal.

We sat in a circle in the ICU waiting room, maybe 30 of us passing around a postcard with an anatomical heart design that someone had fished from their bag, writing our thoughts for David. We visited him two or three at a time, from sunset to moonrise. I was one of the last people to visit. David’s mom, brother, and dad greeted everyone in the hall.

David’s mom had gotten his heart beating again through CPR when she found him unconscious in the morning, but my understanding is that he didn’t breathe until he reached the hospital. His brain had swollen from lack of oxygen and he was hooked up to myriad tubes, looking handsome as ever, but deeply unconscious. I didn’t feel any sense of his presence, just the struggle between the bodies’ natural breathing patterns and the ventilator.

There is a specific horror that comes from seeing a loved one on life support that I couldn’t have comprehended before. I imagined what David’s psychological space might be like, which is of course something else I can’t comprehend, so I focused on sending him, whatever he was at the time, pure love.

I held his hand before leaving the room, and realized we would most likely never do our secret handshake again

As always I don’t know what death is and I am left with a big deep spacious feeling. I polish these jewels of memory with my friend. At the funeral there were cards where we could write our favorite memory with David. On one of them I wrote about the time we were in Chicago and in the middle of a quiet workday he loudly proclaimed: “I love tools.” He was so earnest, and it was so funny.

Another fond memory I have with David took place at the beginning of last winter when he was photographing some of his friends nude, originally for a Meow Wolf calendar. He ended up deciding the project needed more time because it was some of his best work.

When I met with David about my photo he bought me breakfast before work and we talked about what would best represent me. In the evening we set up the shoot for a double exposure of me hugging myself. To make the pose David and I would hug and I would hold my arms in the embrace as he slipped out to take the photo. It took five hours with the two of us repeatedly hugging to get the photo. It was a fun night, and we learned about each other in the space he created. Looking at the image now, the negative space where David was is the most affecting part of the photo.

The ongoing process of mourning was soothed and supported by a continual stream of hugs and grief-parties. Matt and Caity opened their house to our community and every night people would get together to make dinner, drink cream soda/rootbeer in honor of David, and sit quietly. We watched The Moon is to Live On, Meow Wolf’s experimental play that David starred in, and finally threw the game night that David had been enthusiastic to initiate. The Dytch Wytch left a box of “live again” incense for everyone and its fragrance lingered in the kitchen as we stood around in silence, tears, and laughter, our emotions suspended between us.

On David’s birthday party in 2012 he was staying at the Hotel Santa Fe. We looked at the photos he had taken of us and sat in the hot tub. It was a hard time for David and that was apparent to the point where every conversation ended up raw and tender. Overall I think we all had a good night however, or at least I did. I saw a shooting star and said so. Vince said “no one cares.” I replied “also I saw a rainbow and I had this dream…” Everyone laughed.

During David’s interment everyone noticed a rainbow. My Facebook status was: “Today I saw a rainbow.” Ironically it was well received. Megan commented: “I think it saw us too.”

Abstract Feelings

I have memories of being a little kid and waking up, sitting on the edge of my white bedspread and feeling disgust. It was an overwhelming emotional nausea. I felt weird, sad, and grossed out to be a human.

These feelings happened around the same time I had the dream I was accidentally eating my cat, when I heard about the concept of infinity, and when I prayed to a god that lived in the center of my head and understood everything while also not understanding anything.

I think I was just over 6 because it was also around the time my brother was born and around the time I became a vegetarian, explaining to my parents that we had eaten all the dinosaurs and that that was not acceptable.

Weird vague body-emotions with rubber-head or rubber stomach, or some time capsule of energetic space that gets popped and fills you with a sentimental depression or someone else’s tarnished emotions that then become your internal state as you sit inside a clothing rack under fluorescent lights or in an arroyo, nearly passing out, everything 2d. These are now almost fond memories of how recklessly open and sensitive my internal state was.

I don’t know when it mostly stopped and I became a dynamic individual, capable of elegantly handling many situations without feeling freaked out. Sometimes I remember those feelings, or get gut-flashes from feelings of the same brand. Today that was happening, some leaky depression of 70′s-hued stagnation with big unresolved stomach loops done diagonally in shapes like big seeds. Who knows, it wasn’t personal, but it was heavy on my left side.

Corporal reality comprised by and/or interrupted by abstract feelings. Like a very detailed punch. There is always color and form, but usually ephemeral/transparent, and having to do with a direction and a movement. Beyond the aesthetics there are heavy emotional states – the feelings you get when thinking about something with emotional weight but without concrete thought. The feelings within the colors and forms have their own more concentrated colors and forms, and sometimes they are folded together. Multi-layered moments. Sometimes they’re body-based and sometimes they make me feel like I am not much body, they are outside me and then I am a me outside me.

Viewing my ribcage from outside, like a sculpture.

There’s also when you get shot in the throat, or through your back windshield and left temporal lobe, or when your lungs are replaced by machines. Thick blood, death, gore, sadness, trauma, brain damage, irreparable destruction never coming back everything is ruined crying over spilled milk from animal virtue’s bloodied tribe. Even so, that’s what, so everything is okay and we can cry on our clean sheets if we are thinking this.

We can have these space-pockets of someone’s sad story and complicated color-emotions. But also oscillating sinusoidal space pockets can be benevolent or neutral, combining us into stacked galaxies in multiple moments, making our shining migraine back dissolve gleefully into what earth is. Or suspended blue power noise with gleaming gold in the center with the essence of water woven with a dead-friend’s magic and true love.

Tailflower

My former Geronimo competition sent me his screenplay to look over. Writing the critique reminded me of how fun film classes in college were and I decided to post my response on this blog.

In summary the short is about an ever-expanding group of men who are painting a woman at a coffee shop without her knowledge. She eventually looks at all of their paintings (essentially their fantasies of her) and choses one to couple with.

TwigsThe woman at the coffee shop is reading a book and I suggested the title: “Le Voyeur” by Alain Robbe-Grillet to be meta about the theme. In one of the men’s paintings the woman is featured with flowers, and I offered the placement of tailflower, once again to be suggestive, and because I had just seen this FKA Twigs video. It took me a while to write a detailed response so I wrote a quick note to my friend saying that I liked the layers of voyeurism in his piece and would make a thorough critique when I had Internet again. He responded saying “Oh no, voyeurism? I might have to do more tweaking than I thought… …” I chose to interpret that as sarcasm…

Here is my response:

I made notes of places where I saw necessary grammar/punctuation/phrasing changes, particularly in regard to the consistent capitalization of “She” and “Her (also “Woman.”) It is confusing to call the protagonist “She” or “Her” as a name but I understand this may be for the sake of allegory. Either way, I am uncertain if it was your intention to name the woman “She” or “Her” but I think you should pick one, or just give her a different name, even if it’s as simple as “The Woman” to avoid grammatical confusion.

Moving on, story wise I liked how surreal the screenplay became as it unfolded. I can picture zooming out/panning/vertigo shots that are over stimulating along the lines of a Marco Brambilla collage, especially in sequences that show all of the men’s paintings. The surreal nature was one of the strongest parts of the short and I would go further to extenuate that. I would also go further to point out the voyeurism inherent in the perspective of the piece, to the point of making the viewer feel uncomfortable for watching the film. Visual signifiers that come to mind toward this end involve watching the woman through windows, and possibly making it as if the viewer is spying on the woman along with the men. An idea for a twist in this regard would be to make the woman some sort of voyeur, or to have another field of people sketching the men who are sketching the woman, but on second thought these ideas would lend subjectivity to the woman and take away from the theme of the heterosexual male gaze.

More than anything I saw this as a story of the male gaze and you demonstrate that comically with the use of 17 men all painting their version of the sole female character. This is also shown in that the only character that is given a name (Man #17, Anthony) is the purveyor of his own gaze to the extent that he wins the object of his voyeurism. Because the woman is an object of the male gaze (Anthony’s gaze) and doesn’t have the characteristics of a real person (our sole view into her mind is the book she is reading while our views into the thoughts of her suitors are their fantasies/interpretations of her) she is essentially an embodied version of the male gaze itself. One thought I have to further delve into the idea of the embodied-male-gaze is to have the woman flicker and turn into Anthony for a second as they are walking off together – to point out that she is a projection of his fantasy. Overall this short is an interesting exploration of the male subjectivity/female objectivity dichotomy. I can picture a finely polished, cinematically-maximalist, and surreal final product.

Tickle the Blacklight

After going to bed at 4 am I got up at 8 to bring the golden retriever to “Doggie Day Care,” where it was scheduled to have a bath. I told the people at the desk I had to pick it up at 3:30 instead of 4:00 because I had been called in to work at 4:00.

 

When I got back to my house-sit I cleaned the dog diarrhea off the floor, did the dishes, swept and mopped.

 

Lots of bright ice bridges

Groups of friends on scattered around mesas.

Benji and Emily were standing at an expansive peak. I went up to them and was talking about how we were dreaming.

 

It was a wonderful nap. I scrambled some tofu with vegetables and chile and hurried off to pick up the dog.

 

At the daycare a woman told me: “We’re sorry you were hired, Chester usually likes to stay here another 1/2 hour.” But then they were fifteen minutes late getting him out, and he seemed more happy to see me and stink up my car with wet-dog than anything. I was $5 late for work.

 

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On XMAS eve my mom made this bomb-ass-dank-ass hot chocolate with adobo, which I enjoyed with Brandy, and it temporarily cured the cold I got after sleeping poorly in a bed with Jessie. Later Jessie got a cold 3X worse than mine. Merry XMAS Jessie!

 

Jazmyn, Jessie, my dad, Sheb, Mohit and I all linked arms and slid down the icy hill.

 

On XMAS my grandparents were in Oregon, visiting their new grandchild, so the kiddos took over their house. My uncle Ian made puff pastry and flying fire lanterns and everyone else brought beer.

 

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Boxing day was good practice for NYE, in terms of getting the subwoofer to work, staying up late, and setting up lights. Nothing better demonstrates the tension between cultures at Molly’s Bar and Lounge than the mixture of neon Meow Wolf decorations and seventies-era beer-mirrors/wood panelling. That and the main bartender, with her blond bee-hive, 80′s patterned windbreaker, pink high heels and Lana del Rey-long nails, who’s main point of contact with dance-party-goers is to scowl at them. Apparently she is down on the raver crowd who come to Molly’s and do ecstasy instead of buying drinks.

 

On solstice Dirt Girl was thanking this woman for letting us throw events. The woman scowled in reply.

 

Meow Wolf has one great friend at Molly’s who graciously IDs at the door and is friends with everyone. On NYE we’ll have around 700 people in the venue, with barely enough room to walk, and I’m pretty sure he’s the main reason we can get away with it.

 

I hired my brother and his friends to be dance Catalysts for my set on Boxing Day and it worked, so next time I’ll have to up his beer-payment. Everyones hands were up and I became drunk with power (and giant $6 margaritas) yelling dance-commands. “Alright ladies, are you ready for a workout?” – “lift those knees!” “Tickle the backlight!”

 

The next DJ also yelled at the crowd, but he used a microphone that was turned up too high and said “How are you feeling Santa Fe?” “Put your hands up!” At the end of the night I started a group chant to aid the tired-looking Molly’s-staff in herding people out: “Put your hands in your pockets and go home!” “Seriously, call that girl later, it’s time to go to sleep!”

 

Of course most of us just went to an after party where Benji and I continued to chant our revelations: “Summer sooner sacrifice!” High-tek-low-life, everything’s real in the low light!” “Deoxy Ribo Nucleic Acid!” Delirium is a fun drug, but at 4 I had to go back to my ice-palace.

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Interview Therapy

I apply to every legitimate job/gig-posting that I’m remotely qualified for on Craigslist and Indeed.com, which turns out to be around an application every other day, and an interview a week. Job interviews have now become therapy sessions.

I tell my potential employer about my hopes and dreams, applicable experience and education. In an interview at a yoga studio the other day, the last question I was asked was what animal I would be (my response: a big white dog with a crown). I always feel listened to and reaffirmed in my creative projects after a job interview, and I never get the job.

Sometimes its obvious that other people are more qualified than I, other times it’s not, but either way it’s becoming more clear to me that I don’t want a menial job in a dirt-bag factory (production sewing for “Awesome Harvest”) or as a Barista in a cafe I don’t frequent. I just want to be able to pay some bills and buy groceries occasionally, save up for a camera, and buy art supplies.

On the way to a meeting for a gig involving a book and a photographer from New York, Googs told me to drive up the mountain and turn onto a narrow service road (which was closed and had about 3 feet of snow). I parked and laughed, thinking about being a person on a mountain, and thinking about being neither a person nor a mountain.

As I waited for proper directions from the Craigslist person I found a cardboard box in my car and went sledding, snow getting into my slick little mod boots. A couple of kids questioned me about my high-tech gear.

Retrogade by James Blake was playing when I arrived at the correct location. The photographer was on the phone and offered me a glass of the best wine I’ve tasted. It was smooth and red and had a minimalist gray label that said “2011.” Later I found out the photographer had been a sommelier, he said some things about the origins of the grapes and what kind of weather had affected them that I don’t recall in detail, and mentioned that one of his skills in this vein was to judge wine by its label.

Jet Blue had lost the photographer’s expensive equipment and he was left with one lens, an SLR, and a point and shoot. He took some photos for reference as the sun went down and we talked about art. He had just shot a video for James Blake and mentioned this friend of his he thought I should meet, who did transcendental meditation and made weird movies. I did a David Lynch impression and he said “Yeah, that’s the guy.”

We talked about everything from what makes a good DJ to experiences losing loved ones and our evolving perceptions on death. It was my best therapy-interview yet, only this time I got the gig. We ended up talking until 9:00 pm, opening a second bottle of the delicious wine, and calling James Blake up so I could ask him out (he didn’t pick up).

Hot Water

The day my brother was born my dad went to Video Library and was so overwhelmed he sat on the floor in one of the isles. A woman came up to him and said that seeing a child born releases a chemical with similar effects to peyote in the father’s brain. They became friends, and I became friends with the woman’s daughter, Jazmyn. I have a strong recollection of the first time I played with Jazmyn near a cave-like structure where little white flowers bloomed. 

Jazmyn and I were in a creative writing mentorship in high school and conceived of a tandem multi-media performance we dubbed “The Bridge.” 5 years after fizzling we decided to finish our project, keeping only the title. The night we decided this we went to a dance party that featured some kind of boring techno and then snuck into the hot tub at the Hotel Santa Fe, something I had never done but most people who went to high school in Santa Fe are familiar with. Jazmyn jumped over the pointy-iron gate before her boyfriend and I realized it was unlocked and simply walked through. 

After a pleasant hour we were kicked out by an angry security guard. I apologized for inconveniencing him as we used the hotel’s towels and put on clothes. We ended our night by driving to the top of the Dog Park and looking over the city, like the romantic post-teenagers we are. 

Some weeks later I found out my high school friends Miles and Marshal were in town and had plans to soak at 10K Waves. They closed on Santa Fe time however (9:30 PM) so we snuck into the Hotel Santa Fe hot tub. This time I had a swimsuit, and a white fluffy robe like the guests wear with a beer in each pocket. We caught up on our menial jobs and lack thereof, social life and lack thereof, and how Miles had just bought a one way ticket to India. Then we got kicked out by the same grumpy security guard, who was liberal in his curse-words toward me, having recognized me from the time before. I complimented his memory and told him he was an excellent security guard, saying that next time I would wear a wig. He made threats about if there was a next time as my friends and I shivered and said goodbye in the parking lot. “See you next week!” I yelled to the security guard as I drove away with my music at a respectable volume. 

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A picture I took of Jazmyn in the winter of 2011 or 12 and later photoshopped.

ATTN: ❀♥☉CAT LOVER$☉♥❀

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One night Emily and Benji came over with an eye-balloon and a bottle of wine shaped like a cat, and we wrote this Craigslist ad:

 

Greetings,

I am a passionate vessel conveying harmonic atonement to ALL BEINGS of Gaia and Elsewhere.

Taking this journey with me are my four babies who unfortunately are unable to manifest optimum self-care (at this time) ~ therefore I am requiring assistance ~ as we all do from TIME to time. 

Now we have to get down to the nitty-gritty (kitty)($). It’s beyond my control that I must ravel at this time. I must travel…

I have 3 “cats” and one furry apprentice (Chloe ;) 

This is where you come in ~ I know you for I have already met you ~ ANd I’m glad that we could meet at this time, Naturally, the little ones need some guidance. (Except for Chloe – ha ha ;)

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES WILL BE:

I: Feeding the little ones thrice (thrive) daily – 12:00 & 6:30 (when the sun has lunch – when the sun has dinner). All little ones prefer the ancestral diet ~ BUT if Shadow may refuse he is to be supplemented with ‘Fancy Feast’ ~ which is available at Albertson’s (in the De-Vargas Center) ~ ask for Reina (NOT Evan).
II: Let them onto the Meditation Deck – if they feel like it. It’s all about the little ones ~
III: Administering supplements ~ B12, Essential minerals, Visuvyenite, etc. (These can be located in the second cabinet next to the sink).
IV: The little ones have trouble sleeping at times (awakened states are hard to get to sleep :) There is a tape-player (in the goddess shrine, to the left of beloved Shakti ♥) ~ I will leave the Whale Song to your discretion (NO seagul sounds PLEASE!!!)
V: Morning time we must let ourselves come to us :) I would appreciate you limiting your “red-arrow” thoughts to a level IV. 

If you wish to caretake my (as we have already met ;) ~ *little ones ~ PLEASE “message ” ;)

* Except for Chloe ~ she requires far less guidance ~ SHe may rebuke the ordinary routine as she has already ~ ascended ~
** No toys designed to purrrrpetuate the cycle of violence ;)

Be present ALWAYS in ☯ all ways ☯

  • Location: Santa Fe
  • Compensation: As I’m sure you too have realized ~ the devaluation of curren$y is all too transient.
  • This is an internship job

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We got pictures of a shrine and cats by googling “my cat” and “my shrine.” This is not a far cry from the types of postings on SF Craigslist. I got a number of professional responses from overqualified college students, but one seemed to be in on the joke, writing “Can you hemp mE FIND my ChAKRa??” and “somethinG SPEciaL about CHOoe comes to MINd, she has  A VERY MICHEVIOUS aURa. :]]]]]]] <2 4$$$$$” So she got the job:

 

Hello Moon-one,

 
I feel it could be that you ARE the one my ~ little ones ~ having been seeking to attune ❧HaRMonIcALLy❦ w/.
 
I live in the ❥sacred – land of NAVA ADE and go into the head energy of “daily” Santa Fe life for sessions ~
 
join me later in the weak for an AURA READING  A@ “THE ARK” bookstore and we;ll know ETERNALLY if you are a guidor of ~ little ones ~. of Course with the tran$ient nature of currency (the “current” of energetic exchange) I will accept only cash or paypal. 
 
<<< MaNy BLeSsiNgS >>>
Wave ~

Fun-nnui

While I was housesitting for my dad the property manager’s ex-husband (our friend Sheb) called me up with an extra ticket to Metropolis at the Lensic.

The property manager is our friend too. I modeled for her and when my dad was looking at houses he saw a picture of me on her wall.

I was meeting Sheb before seeing Metropolis and a guy asked if I had some change or a cigarette. I didn’t so he told me his name was “Bobby Chupo” and that he is “an artist for real,” then took me to see his art in the Santa Fe Arcade. A man sitting in a rocking chair, who was seemingly the assistant for the closed gallery, asked Chupo about his black eye. Chupo told me to “go eat pizza.”

I ran into Chupo again later and he pointed out all the other galleries he’s represented at before starting to cry and saying he didn’t want to be an artist anymore.

Metropolis was as good as I remembered. It was the day before halloween and I wished I had time to make an art-deco robot costume. I said that Metropolis was one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best roles and Sheb said: “Come on, it’s definitely his best role.”

 John invited me to see electronic music at Red Cell’s “3 Times a Lady” with Lady Uranium, Lady Gloves, and Lady something else.

It was refreshing to see band-generated, dynamic electronic music in Santa Fe. The first two bands were good and the last one had basic lyrics that we made fun of in John’s bronze Tercel on the way to see our pals in “Alamo Sun” in one of the historical asbestos-baracks at SFUAD called “The Squish.”

Every time I see Alamo Sun it is their best show. They put intense fun into every scream and forceful beat. Each song is the hit and is only played once. The last band was named after one dude but it had like 15 people. They were full of joy and friendship, dancing around while playing their African drums/tambourines, fringe pants and cargo shorts shaking. We had to leave. We spent the rest of the evening sitting on chairs and talking sleepily. “Maybe taking these plastic eggs full of prescription drugs followed by weed are the source of my ennui.” “I know I am bored when I am just staring at my books.”

I met Laura while I was DJing “Mix” and she gave me a blank business card. I was impressed. She retracted it to print her information with a rubber stamp. I was impressed. We met for beer and subsequently invited one another to parties that neither of us showed up to.

Before I met Laura I talked to the owner of the gallery that represents Bobby Vigil (FKA Bobby Chupo). He asked if I was the person who was walking with Bobby the previous night. He pointed out the use of motion in Bobby’s art and we discussed experimental music. He gave me some names to check out and told me to come back and show him my work.

I sold out (paused my vegan-separatism) and applied to Geronimo. I found out my competition was volunteering for the Santa Fe Film Festival so I asked him about the contest they’re hosting that I haven’t been able to find information on.

I got the job over him (barista experience) and he emailed me the information I requested. Then he asked me out.  I replied with friendly feedback that him believing men should be the heads of their households and  that women are obligated to shave their legs, among other things, may be perceived as sexist. Haven’t heard back. Heartbreaker.

Geronimo wanted me to start the next week, and I called them every other day when no one contacted me. After 2 weeks of this I stopped by to ask what was going on and the manager told me the dude responsible of scheduling told her he had called me and I didn’t get back to him. If he did call he got the wrong number.

* Update, heard back from Geronimo-competition dude, he says he’s a feminist and name-dropped “The Second Sex.” If he’s not reading that for historical value he must be a first wave feminist. He said “I know it’s really girls running the place, it’s nice of them to pretend men are the ones in charge.” I replied “It’s nice of you to pretend we don’t live in a patriarchy where only you are not marginalized.” Neither of us can find a job.

Austin-Boston

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When I got home from Chicago I had a mild cold, which I made worse by working, DJing and dancing. I spent 2 days in bed and then drove across the country again.

Will and I stayed with his brother and sister in-law in Austin and were treated to a lot of good beer. The percentage of profits in the beer market that microbreweries make is around 6% When Will and I are in Austin it probably soars to 6.01%

Even Will is bigger in Texas.

Even Will is bigger in Texas.

We ate well, drove in hot rain listening to Ros Sereysothea, went swimming with Cole and visited the UT museum. Will’s sister in law had been working night-shifts and sleeping in the day, but still managed to be as bubbly as the mineral water she constantly sipped. As we drank she worked on creating lungs for the child in her womb.

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Cattle bones above, pennies below, connected with a spine of communion wafers.

It was another 3 days to Boston listening to Lord of the Rings and sleeping poorly. When we got to Rex’s house/Will’s new house we opened the bottle of whiskey on the counter. Our other college buddy Nick came and we celebrated our reunion by being inefficient at using public-transit and enthusiastically discussing pop-culture and philosophy until we were dreaming.

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The next day we dragged our sleepy headaches through east coast traffic to IKEA to buy Will a desk and a plant, and to nap on every bed. The carts for hauling furniture are SO FUN to ride on in the big IKEA parking lots. There are balanced perfectly for carrying human form (if I am the standard of human form).

We played beer-pong at Rex’s friend Wes’s house and visited my friend Christine, a comedian who interned at SITE and now works at Harvard and gigs around Boston. I felt myself becoming city-slick again, walking to save money and getting $2 dinners of samosas. I also got to see my former Australian roommate Liz, who now does flight booking and gets to travel with her job.

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My last night in Boston Rex, Will, and I watched the movies we made together in early college. As I left Rex said he would write about my visit in his journal, I said I would write about him writing in his journal in my journal.

I thought it would be funny to listen to 100 Years of Solitude as I drove across the country alone, and I’ve been meaning to read that book. I listened for a few hours thinking the book was really experimental until I realized the files I downloaded were out of order.

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I rationed my food out on the road (multi-grain chips, chile that Will made, two apples, chocolate almond milk, coconut water, a thermos of coffee, and a mushroom, arugala and pepper-jelly sandwich) but ran out of money anyway and had to borrow some from my mom for the last tank of gas.

Because Will is one of my dearest friends and lived 5 minutes away from me he was also my biggest distraction. Due to his move and to to being essentially unemployed at the moment it’s the perfect time to get to work on projects and live like a degenerate leech.

Shit-Bog-O

2013-08-27 19.15.28I had a stomach of hatred toward Chicago, but I had been planning to do an installation there with Meow Wolf for months.

After a fun and sleep-deprived road trip of hailstorms, Allsups nicknames, and fields of cron, we arrived at our month’s home. Living 6 to a room, and starring a reality TV show called “7 Dudes in a Room” (this figure included Noah’s cardboard GF “Princess Miami)” The household was fun and inconvenient.

The landlord of our “Bed and Breakfast”  gave us a discount based on our vibe and had glamorous fingernails. We eventually figured out he was from some other dimension. He decorated the place with  (partially up-side-down) African art, a mirror, and a mass-produced painting of the Eiffel Tower. Our room was outfitted with three box springs and three beds. Half the “beds” had bottom sheets and half had top sheets. Most of the pillows were throw pillows and they all had pillowcases that matched the sheets. There were two 2013-08-14 15.48.35triangular plates, no cups, one dented pan and the cupboard was stocked with a bag of MSG and some lollipops. It was as if little by little the landlord would figure out what humans liked/needed and would go out of his way to make them comfortable – “Oh, humans like art and women, I will put glossy paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn on the floor.” Whenever he did laundry we would each loose six pairs of socks.

One day as we were leaving the house we heard ghost noises “hoooooooooo ooooooo-woooooooo!” from upstairs. We deduced it was the landlord and some days later he asked if we believed in ghosts. Another time I was the only person in the house and landlord didn’t seem to think anyone was home. As he did laundry he sang: “I just wanna smoke some wee-eee-eed but right now I gotta do these chores, but later on I will be done with these chores, I cannot wait to go upstairs, and smoke some WEE-EEE-EEEEEED ——– YEA-AH-YEAH!”

2013-09-09 19.23.31When we weren’t at the house Noah and I were skateboarding to the gallery, at the gallery, or more rarely, eating food. There was some skateboarding to grocery stores and eating off of triangular plates. We also had some Bomb Ass Dank Ass vegan diner-food courtesy of Feather, and found a fancy-but-resonably-priced vegan joint near the gallery where they had a waterfall and where Noah had to instagram the elotes in root beer aioli and fauxrizo sliders in order to truly enjoy them.

Another anomaly of the trip was going to a penthouse with Feather and taking part in corporate bonding/bondage exercises. Her friend had brought some “shit wine” which by my standards is “good wine” and afterward we went to a wall of graffiti, which had a hidden door that led to the best cocktails I’ve ever tasted.

My dad and my friend Blaire made brief appearances in our trip. Dad brought a huge bag of chia which became a crucial dietary supplement toward the end of the 2013-09-03 02.10.55show, some Santa Fe Brewing Company Happy Camper IPA, and a shirt/shoes for Noah and I. I helped Blaire drink rum and orange juice.

Noah had been intent on fighting Molly Soda but was not let into “Total Therapy,” where she would be. Luckily we were invited to her barbecue by our new friend Toothepaste. We brought a hostess gift of a number 8, and Molly Soda ended up being nice person who gave Noah cron on the cob – so she won the fight.

Our DJ friend Teena Pizza had just moved to Chicago and was always either bringing pizza or coming up with fun things for us to do. I talked about going to the lake every day,  a couple of times a day, so toward the end of our visit she and I went to the lake with Blaire. I’ve never seen a lake so big. It was basically the ocean.

One day we were skipping back from Glenna’s house when Benji splashed into a bog. From there on out we referred to Chicago as “Shit-Bog-O.”

By the end of the install 17 of us were at Thomas Robertello Gallery “bumping booties” as Golda had prophesied. Noah began the comic “Cat and Lady” based on our friends who would work until at least 3am every day, featuring two cute animals with a strong work ethic. The fuel for the show’s creation was 23.5 oz. cans of Shaq Soda “A Big Can for the Big Man.” Shaq’s face ended up part of the installation’s skeleton. If you let little tendrils tickle your face at one point on a wall, you will see Shaq smiling back at you.

There was a bottle of absinthe in the bathroom, which tempted Benji and I for weeks before we each sipped a cap-full. A paint-covered coffee machine steamed the bathroom with the aroma of a well-balenced esspresso from La Columbe down the street every afternoon around 3-5, when most of Meow Wolf would arrive.

2013-08-17 21.17.34We created the infrastructure of the show with dumpster-dived cardboard – it seemed like all the neighbors had been getting new furniture: “Chicago, Meow Wolf presents: YOUR TRASH!” It’s doubtful many of the neighbors around came to the show however – they mostly seemed concerned with yelling at my friends to get jobs and to wash their hair, along with an excess of other violent-communication. Our other neighbors at the restaurant Wishbone, where many ate daily, liked the show and gave us gift certificates.

Meow Wolf got some nice words/publicity in Bad At Sports, Hyperallergic, Chicago Arts and Culture, Yareah, and the Chicago Tribune. My favorite review was posted in Visual Art Source, because it was more thoughtful/critical and less “Meow Wolf makes stuff that is cool and trippy – whoa!” They mentioned that we took three months to create the installation, (it was actually only one) and that “The level of mastery that it takes to improvise a work that necessitates such engineering cannot be overlooked.” They also pointed components that stood out as “blue notes,” including my piece: “…This reality check of self awareness helps drive home the fact that “Nucleotide” is not just a romp of artistic whimsy, but a large scale contemplation of viewership within an experiential artwork.”

I spent some time conceptualizing my portion of the installation, but I spent more time wiring LEDs. The metaphor for Nucleotide is that of a collective consciousness manifest through blending organic structures. As we built the show we talked about parts of the process as the “skeleton, nervous system, and skin.” Two friends created a whale out of miniature whales after discussing the things things are made of. I had been thinking about similar questions after Hoku’s death: What are the components that make a life? What makes a body? I kept coming back to space.

My part of Nucleotide is a space like space, a reflective and watery space made of mylar, hundreds of LEDs, and a mirror ceiling. An ambient drone plays until someone comes in and the infrared camera recognizes their skeleton. The movement of bodies affects filters and activates virtual space-instruments. (Here is a streamlined version of the track(s): (https://soundcloud.com/stickypsyche/skeleton-dance) When you put your hands up a dance jam plays and RGB flashing lights are activated.

In my heart the piece is a shrine to Hoku.

Our glitchy skeletons dance.

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