Coyote

“Wut u?” (A text message). Snacks, ritual sitting on the floor of my make-out-palace, the club. Wafts of cologne. Vintage Top 40 (Rihanna “yellow diamonds in the light-“)  It was like in Baz Lurhman’s Romeo & Juliet – bright colors pulsing and blurring.

All sitting in the “VIP Lounge” (on the ground of a well-lit corner), eye contact with Sarah, fashion line for Lime Lodge, “how are you?” says Christian, Christian and Lucas talk.

Dancing is boring because the music upstairs is uninspiring. Benji grabs my elbow and leads me to the Top 40 below, everyone is doing a synchronized dance. I had just been wishing the dance floor would become a grid to match the techno.

Driving is fun. Listening to music upstairs, looking through all the sounds discretely, clearly. Jay getting a tarot reading from Christian. Everyone going to sleep.

Floating around the next day, something moved and clicked into place. Feeling attention from others. Shifted from character to protagonist.

Coffee and verde juice at Collected Works. Lucas met me on the plaza with Frito Pie.

Wine and appetizers at mom’s. Joe Hayes. There was a rainbow so Hayes told Rainbow Boy. We called Bea “White Corn Girl.”

I picked Will up, took him back to hang with the gang. Benji asked if I could give him a ride to Velvet Teen. We saw Sarah in the parking lot.

In taking West Alameda too far we went down some unknown roads and we saw a coyote.

8.12.15

I felt it was worth it to wait until everyone left, to say: “it has come to that point” and see Angelo’s hand gesture toward his bed as confirmation. We both would have been happy to lie with our wrists and foreheads touching, but ended up following whatever internal motion that drew our lips together – I’m not sure if it originated from either one of us. Our bodies moved naturally together. I discovered Angelo likes having his ears bit.

I felt it was worth it to stay up until 6, entranced by Angelo’s form. Floating to work Someone yelled “hey hottie” and whistled. With my privilege I assumed it was a friend, which it was. Lynn and Clay gave me a ride. Clay and I bought coffee. I was efficient at work.

8.11.15

 

Dion and I were going to visit Hoku.

“How can we visit our dead?”

If an idea for an art piece gives me exhilarated, squirmy terror, that means it’s good? Eating the little people in pools. It’s spooky because you can identify with the eater and the eaten, it references pools of collective consciousness, structures of oppression. It’s a very me image because of the pools, the implied genocide, and the stated veganism. But maybe it feels too squirmy, too sci fi and I have to make larger aesthetic strokes.

We’ll see.

 

8.9.15

Waking up to Angelo’s overly-loud alarm, a default ring tone, I said: “Wow what a cool jam, where did you find this?”  “Youtube, I get all my new music from Youtube then release it straight to cassette.” I am still laughing. I am still sleeping.

Samantha and I are becoming closer friends, she rubs on my legs and rolls over on her back. She sleeps on my feet. People ask Angelo who Samantha is, because he has a heavy gothic tattoo of her name on his forearm. 

Jay, Angelo and I listened to records upstairs. Minimal Italian techno which I made fun of for being “equestrian.” Jay referenced the dream I had where fire fell from the sky and I remembered the dream I woke up to. I laughed because it was so stereotypical of me: there were rows of metal boxes, coffin sized, arranged in an expansive grid. Naturally we were to be separated into these boxes and would die there, and of course it was calculated genocide.

We all laughed.

Angeo’s crystals holding the curtain, white on white. Our foreheads touched, we held hands quietly, I gently wove my knees into his. He fell asleep and jolted awake. 

This morning Angelo got up after 3 alarms. He kissed me on the cheek and accidentally tried to put on my shoes. I slept with Samantha and dreamed about a restaurant.

Other things, though they have faded. Travel and a river. Last night I got a message from Adhit that we should video chat before he comes here, maybe that’s why.  I haven’t seen him or heard his voice in 3 years!

John was reading a book of poetry and eating Apple Jacks, or off-brand Apple Jacks when I got up. I drank a wine glass of tap water and left for work.

 

 

8.1.15

Everyone was worried about Hoku. I found him in a cave, head between his legs, in a trance, unresponsive. It was something his dad had done to him.

Fire falling from the sky and onto our bodies. 

At an event on a boat. Hoku approached, dressed in purple, apparently drunk, singing inappropriately. Everyone avoided him but I went up to hug him.

 

A week or two ago my dream also referenced Hoku.

Torrential rain. On the phone with Frey, they asked if I had had any dreams about Hoku lately. I read dreams I had written over the phone, draping my body over my pregnant wife.

There was silence on the other end and I asked Frey if they were still there. They said yeah and excitedly asked if I wanted to get a “Euro six-pack,” which it is okay to drink in the day or any time because it is “mixed and matched.” Frey said they wanted to have “brown and blacks.” I got Black IPA. 

The back yard started to flood.

Waves crashing over the house.

 

Easy, a dream, one of mine. Freyr, Hoku andwater. I don’t need to write it because it is not interesting. I should just make a mark for each reoccurring symbol and create excel charts later.

A jukebox played perfect running music and I ran – away from pregnant wife and long lost friend and long dead friend.  A fat woman with a brown braid and dark blue polo shirt walked by with a cigarette and started dancing. She put out the cigarette, donned an apron, and went inside to her cafe.

 

Wingrens on a Yacht

Hanging out with Wingrens brought familiar patterns: sitting in the same room, reading different books, occupying most air space with jokes, and taking a long time to plan things, then discussing which parts of the plan could have been better.

We went for a walk to a drought-ridden nature-walk with airplane noise overhead. My uncle and I talked about neuroscience. Noah and I were still playing our vacation game and had located 3 vegan restaurants within a mile, one of them open on July 4th, 2015.

“We are going back to our natural habitat.” Dad and Pat walked with us, impressed by organic fries, blueberry lavender lemonade, and elaborate salads.

Getting on a bus with a selection of suits and dresses was fun, as was being on a yacht. An article has been going around recently, about how blue is one of the last colors to be named in any given culture – in the odyssey for instance the ocean is “wine dark,” but modern construction states that the ocean is “blue,” so too were many of the dresses at the wedding.
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Apparently my cousin and her groom met in the bird aisle of Pet Co, a friend’s speech mentioned how they were brought together by a love of animals. For dinner there was beef, chicken, and salmon.

Noah, cousin Audry, and I were each given a gigantic artichoke as a substitution. A grandmotherly figure grasped my hand and led me to the dance floor where the rest of the guests  followed hesitantly. The next day we tried to skip wedding brunch, but were told our “vegan omelettes” had already been paid for. I subsided on mimosas and had a great time. Turns out my new cousin-in-law (if that’s a thing) recognized me from Austin and knows SCUBA. We were seated next to the groom’s older Italian family, who it was easy to bond with over a shared love of breakfast-alcohol.

Dad and Pat had been toting around this gallon of gas station milk, trying to offer it to passersby. My aunt mixed some with warm Coca Cola by the pool, where we all loitered for hours after checkout.

Dad asked if I would be opposed to drinking milk from a family cow. I said that on a personal level I am not interested in consuming the hormones of other animals. From an environmental standpoint it is less sustainable to operate a small, organic, free range farm than a factory farm, and both are objectionable. Pat was surprised that supposedly “good” farms still killed their dairy cows, after the small window in which they are kept perpetually pregnant (all male offspring gotten rid of on the spot or sent into veal production, and finally calf leather). Her ideology got stuck on the idea of operating her own personal cow and she talked happily about it as we drove to union staton.
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At union station we hugged goodbye. Noah and I searched for corn chips to go with our avocado and chile powder and were surprised by cheap vegan orange “chkn” etc. – of which Noah bought 3. The second train ride was only delayed 3 hours. I slept on the floor of the observation car surrounded by pizza-eating boy scouts, a sweater over my head. I finished reading ‘What I Talk About when I Talk About Running” and decided to start running.

Mom picked us up and took us grocery shopping. I bought flowers for Bea and told the cashier I was going to use them to break car windows and kill cops.

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We just follow the rules we make up by our own logic, within literal and cultural architectures, all systems feeding back into one another. Supply, demand, and marketing.
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We took the bus to this vegan restaurant because it was one we hadn’t tried, because we swoon for the novelty of seitan sandwiches. We tip 20% no matter how spaced out the service is. We need a fully charged phone to take the right 4 busses to Newport beach, Noah finds an outlet at the record store. I say: “if that place has $5 pints I will charge my phone there.” The sports bar across the street has $5 pints so I am charging my phone here.
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Earlier, at MOCA, we were received hugs from Rothco, as we do in any city with his paintings. There was a split screen piece by Khalil Joseph – beautifully done. Color, sound, synthetic continuity, all perfect. Nostalgia and sorrow from a culture that isn’t mine, their marginalization structure for my privilege. It made me feel weepy.

Every singing bum is a performance artist, outsider art built into a system that herds, and segregates, that creates and then doesn’t treat mental illness. A man spoke about how there was no money for the arts… No one would buy one of his poems. Noah bought a poem of his, along with a photo… Said the poem was pretty good, it was about the prison system.
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Walking at night, following “the rule” (directions determined by which pedestrian signs were illuminated), A man with his pants half pulled down, with white shower sandals, a backpack, and no shirt, talked to us about how someone had just strangled him, about how terrified he had been.

Here we are, fitting into the slots that are made for, and shaped by us, hardly moving.

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L.A. Hedon-Vegans

After sleeping, sort of, on the train I ended up with an sinus infection/little bleeding blisters on and couldn’t hear out of my left ear for the first day navigating LA. They don’t sell painkillers on Amtrak, but the kitchen attendant said he would punch me in the face if that would help.

We instantly morphed into LA babes and brought cold-pressed juice before taking a bus the wrong way. The “Cool and Trendy Artist Loft” we had found on Air B&B did not have windows, as it did in the pictures, or a bed. It did have turtles though, which smelled a little. I went to buy drugs then met Noah and our new  ACNE studios girlfriend, who joked with us about gender equality and the liberation of the female nipple. We started the game we had been looking forward to and yelped: “Vegan” finding a restaurant within two blocks.

Galaxy Club LA

Front of “Cool & Trendy Artist Loft”

A vegan Rueben is just the ticket after an accidental juice fast. Within a few hours we also wanted pizza.  We walked for half an hour to a lively spot where we split a large happy-hour “Seitan meats Jesus,” saving half for breakfast. The bus that came every half hour didn’t stop for us, so we gave our bus fair to the fellow who asked for it and walked back to the “loft.”

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When on vacation you have to instagram your house-made almond milk latte, the cost of which justifies extended loitering in exacting ambiance. We walked for another day, bought fruit with salt and chile in little Mexico, found ourselves in little Tokyo and discovered museums are closed Tuesdays. Playing the game again we found a spot that made vegan Pho and served kombucha cocktails. Our waiter boyfriend was vicariously excited about our being vegan in LA. The map of our trip is a series of polygons whose pinpoints are food icons – probably food icons with a “V” and a little fucking leaf.

Hatchtag vegan hatchtag green tea hatchtag mochi hatchtag cake at hatchtag Japanese Vegan restaurant

Hatchtag vegan hatchtag green tea hatchtag mochi hatchtag cake at hatchtag Japanese Vegan restaurant

We followed “the rule”  (crossing streets based on which pedestrian signs were illuminated) to avoid returning to the loft before absolutely necessary. In this way we found a late night book and record store where we loitered until closing. Our new book store boyfriend returned our backpacks and talked to us about Murakami (who’s memoir I had just bought).

Nothing Space

Nothing Space

As previously mentioned I met with Tom and Tom of CalArts for lunch. Some amazing stairs and hills connected my location to the cafe where Noah was drinking iced coffee and drawing. The sun in California is so soft compared with New Mexico. It’s like a slightly clingy friend who won’t stop hugging you. The prototypical barista is essentially the same but maybe a little higher-end: nicer glasses, a sweeter smile, probably fewer PBR cans in their recycling.

Downhill

Downhill

Upstairs

Upstairs

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"Enjoying this fucking architecture museum called LA" - Noah

“Enjoying this fucking architecture museum called LA” – Noah

Noah and I walked to the Sage Bistro, where any sandwich has the option of being served on a vegan croissant. I had the jackfruit nachos and we split a waffle with coconut ice cream for desert. We spent several hours in book and record stores following that, filling in blanks in our noise and Murakami collections respectively. We wanted to visit a little all-black boutique we had spotted when following “the rule,” and Noah went into another record store to ask for bus change. I sat outside with a beachy kid’s dog as he went into the record store next door.

The boutique, Akai Ito, ended up only being open on Tuesdays and by appointment. Top 40 rap was echoing from inside so Noah called to make an appointment just then. The music must have been too loud because no one responded. A woman in a mall-goth outfit came to the door and we walked in behind her. The boutique owner gave us ample space to look around. After about 15 minutes he asked if we were from Berlin. The collection was small and well-curated, out of our price range until he said everything was 40-60% off for us. He asked if we had seen “the rest” and pointed us to a metal wall, which turned to be a pneumatic door. “When I found out this place had a blade-runner door I knew I had to be here.” Stacked shopping carts with fluorescent tubes provided ambiance and luminosity – they were left over from the Comme des Garçons flagship store in the 90’s. Noah and I each bought tops made from vintage deadstock Japanese military fabric. Mine has a faint white circle and says: “Unseen.”

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The only time we broke vegan restaurant separatism was for a snack (vegan chili cheese fries, root beer and IPA) at a late night diner a block away from Akai Ito. It was fun to have our appetites and personal culture be the protagonists of Los Angeles, I look forward to being a wealthy international art babe and living this way all the time ;)

My placid floating through cars on the Amtrak is interspersed with intense happiness. Feel-best neurochemical showers have punctuated the last several days, three of which were a marathon of slumber parties.

On Friday Christan rolled into town and went to Izanami with Angelo. John, Anaïs, Noah and I made vegan pizza. Sean and Mariah came and went, Sarah popped in from time to time and Karl arrived at around 2am. I snuck into Angelo’s room, participating in cross-futon pillow talk and skinny-jean sleeping.

Samantha Harmsworth

Samantha Harmsworth

My grandparents came to Currents and I had them over for dinner. Grandpa Obie and I sat in the back yard and discussed the age of the tree in the backyard. We talked about how watching the clouds float across the sky is better than going to see a new media art festival.

I played my gender set at “Queertopia.” People danced but mostly to the ironically placed dance songs and not to the noise – opposite of the crowd I’m used to. Spacesuits, which Anaïs organized, was the multifaceted happening of the night. Dirt Girl played one of the best sets I’ve ever heard and I remembered how to dance, multitasking by showering in my own sweat. I toned it down with “cerebral dance jams” as Benji dubbed them. Angelo played gentle and dark. One minimal 4/4 beast had me and Benji jumping continuously for 15 minutes.

I snuck into Angelo’s bed again. We looked at his books, in describing photos by Aaron McElroy Angelo illuminated how he is essentially romantic. We listened to records and smoked out the second story window, talking with fleeting, sparkly eye contact. Our foreheads and hands touched as we slept.

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Not to brag, but I am adept at maintaining my work ethic without much sleep. I ran into Juliet Meyers at work while fetching water, she asked if I had stayed up late. I mentioned that my set didn’t begin until well after midnight. LizzE, who works the floor, was surprised by this double life. In the evening of course I repeated the process.

Benji’s video for spacesuits will hopefully be at a contemporary museum soon. Christian rattled the furniture with bass and chugged water while wearing leather gloves. Axl Contemporary was outside and we offered Juliet Meyers a treat from the gas station. Standing around the bonfire Karl outlined his project, trees with various positions in society enacting their positions in society: a cop tree, a doctor tree, a lumberjack tree…

Anaïs brought coconut bliss brand non-dairy frozen desert – which is the best non-dairy frozen desert. Standing in the kitchen eggs came up. “Yeah, chicks are gross” I said. Karl countered that an egg would only be half a chick, or the empty potential of a chick. I meant to draw a parallel between the cultural thought that human periods are gross, but enforced chicken periods are nutritious. Laughs all around.

This time Angelo and I snuck upstairs together.

Currents + Proxies

In one slo-mo swoop I moved into new-old house (former Ghost Olympics) with Sean & Noah and built an experimental new media art installation. That + full time job + sparse parties took 12-18 hours a day for about two months. When the project was finished (ha ha, as if any project can be finished), Tristan and I stared at it, exhausted, for 20 minutes. “This is, cool? right?” Tristan asked. “I have no idea.” I replied.

Pepper's Ghost

Pepper’s ghost experiment with Margeux & Tristan

Tristan Love and I ran into each other at Skylight (also known as Cologne or Dick Village) when I was dropping off a fog chiller I made for their Halloween party. We talked about projecting onto fog and new media art and decided to create a proposal for Currents.

Our piece ended up with the same name as my last, “Proxy,” and is essentially a joke about new media art:

A face floats on a screen of water vapor, it is not immediately clear whether is is interactive, if it is artificial, or if it is a live feed.
Proxy is comprised of duplicate stations. If both are occupied each person sees the other as a live hologram. Proxy tricks people into an immediate (mediated) human interaction within a context of new media art: artificial-artificial intelligence.

Proxy Currents Vapor Projection E M Wingren II-

Last December we experimented with a Pepper’s ghost rig and with projecting onto humidifer vapor. Water vapor was cooler. Tristan got busy with Meow Wolf so I designed and created the mechanics of the project, learning metal-working to fabricate a waterproof design and building a high output water vapor machine. Our friend Matt Fernandez programmed our arduinos to work with a force sensitive fabric (velostat) and helped build a Max patch, which we ran on free-trial throughout the show ;)

After two old towers Dave Mcpherson generously offered us couldn’t run the piece we used my computer. The day of de-install I left for L.A. The train was 5 hours delayed so Noah and I went with our mom to her job sites in the area, talking about modern furniture with her client. Waiting for another hour for the train was one of the first enforced breaks I’ve had in several months. I sat down and wrote most of the application for CalArts.

A highlight of the Currents opening was when Erika Wannenmaker (Ditch Wytch) and her friend Tom said that Proxy was their favorite. Tom encouraged to apply for the Art and Technology MFA program at CalArts. I said that it would be too expensive. He said that he, and his friend (also Tom) are the directors of the program and they hope to fund one incoming student, again, he encouraged me to apply.

I met with Tom and Tom in L.A., eating Papaya salad at a strip mall, meeting Tom’s little dog, admiring resilient trees in face of draught. We talked about art and spectacle, about sociology, I saw Tom’s 19th century voltage tester. I think it is funny that I am not differentiating between the two Toms. One Benji refers to as “The biggest nerd we know.” It was his house in Echo Park, his voltage tester, his pointy-faced dog with cancer. “This is what grad school is like” the Toms  said. Of course I want to go to graduate school.

Another highlight of Currents was Myriam. Her piece was my favorite. It referenced the lineage of spinning disks with slowed-down and sped-up vocal samples. I waited around after her performance to ask inane questions and invite her to “negronis on the terrace” (beer on front porch) but lost confidence and left. Bea and Leo made me go back and actually talk to her. I drove up the mountain to feed my boss’s dog and when I got home Cole and the gang iced me. It was the first time I have been “iced.” It was really fun.

Myriam came over, we talked about paying rent, drinking coffee, and making art. She has a French accent and a boyfriend with curly blond hair. She left. Angelo and Jay arrived. We talked about minimalism and watched the lightning storm from the front porch. The sky is, and always will be a better artist than I.