los angeles experimental artspace curating sub-avant-garde

Thursday, January 28, 2010

calarts ***the tasty avant-garde experiments***

i am not an art writer, but i love writing and talking about art, it is what excites me, and it is my natural instinct to seek dialog after witnessing any work or performance that has caused my synapses to fire even more rapidly and connect making all sorts of new patterns in my brain, so if i offend by my lack of linguistic or factual expertise i apologize...i am so fired up though! and i want to share it...

the evening that has so captivated me was a presentation of mfa composers work created in the concert theatre intensive workshop, taught by anne lebaron and mark menzies. only about a week of time was available for these projects, and i was thrilled by the outcome of all five of the pieces, most especially the john cage open.

for me, who knows little about golf, and doesn't speak any other language fluently by any means, this performance was stellar...the lack of knowledge on my part only added to the piece by alex sramek. it was so good it didn't matter.

on the stage are random objects for making sound and to make sound off of. implements to 'hit' 'holes'. these 'holes' are suspended random objects which each of the two players 'swing at' using whatever household object they choose as their weapons. the piece was hilarious, i was crying with laughter because two 'commentators' in sportscoats using the hushed or chatting tones in rhythms recognizable as golf talk to detail the two competators angle, 'club,' history of the 'course' and discussion of past events. one spoke in english the other in japanese.

the competators: 'the hammer' and 'lionheart' are each called to the stage, go two rounds and are eventually interviewed, and each player's technique and past plays are described through the language of the commentator. i can't take the whole day to describe it now, i want to continue it as an art form / sport. i would love to go to or host or play in the next john cage open! what a great idea! the other pieces were amazing as well.

there was an ingenius version of a string quartet by bobby halvorson, where the quartet literally playing with string. on the box stands the puppeter, who has strings attached to the conductor, a lovely woman with the most expressive hands...she is in front of four musicians, all who have made their instruments out of string. there is a tiny stringed instrument resembling a cello the size of a violin, another is an instrument which is hit with string mallets, then there is an instrument that reminded me of an accordian, and another which i couldn't see, but it looked as if the musician were wrapped up in string. they played a full piece, very attentive to the conductor, their countenance and movements exactly those of a string quartet. and of course there was no sound, except the occassional hit in a non-stringy place, or the audience doing any more than breathing. i really liked this one. the concept was excuted so beautifully, and it had a strange lovliness, and also was a bit disturbing in that the members of the piece, the conductor and musicians were not real, not really able to make music, they were puppets, and therefore making the only sounds puppets could make at the direction of the puppeteer as well as the conductor. it was multi-layered and i watched enthralled.

there was a solid and engaging piece by taylor brizindine called au puch. it was 'text transcribed from a dead city radio production by william s. burroughs entitled 'ah pook is here...[and is]...written partially from the point of ah puch, the mayan deity of destruction....sit and listen to the man in the easy-chair as the mayan god of destruction places a shotgun in his mouth and pulls the trigger'... using two harps, organ, violin, cello, and a gong which stood in the center....

a man in a suit and tie sits center stage reading from a newspaper...names of mayan origin, names that questions and answers about the end of the world. off-stage a megaphone voice responds and requests information. the music was beautiful, and the presentation felt like a finality ritual, as if this man was the last on earth to broadcast before the ultimate disintegration of the universe.

another piece : 'chain' by kwan fai (felix) lam, was a visceral, emotional, vision and sound performance of strange structures of conflict and power, conveyed through movement, subtle then building to chaotic instruments engaging in sonic, linguistic and spatial relationships. this piece animated the characters with their individual voices, a cellist, a flautist, a violinist, and a clarinet.

a blindfolded cellist takes center stage in a chair, the other instruments are harsh to her and keep her in her place, a violinist enters and acts as another voice, in a different timbre, which seems to be a narrator of the choas. there were even fights between the flautist and the clarinet who scoured the stage for chairs and stands blocking each other physically and shouting both words and notes...

the last piece was by james klopfleisch, the ultra-talented, witty, side-splitting commentator from the john cage open. it was a piece called jingle couch. a bedspring with pvc pipe edges for four bearers and musicians to carry / perform with. decorated with found object percussion, and other
odd objects: a mannequin hand, bottles, tinsel and other holiday paraphernalia,...the audience was told to follow the jingle couch, and the band leader, with a giant pipe spiraled with festive green, began the ceremonial trek to the reception. the bearers at the four corners were instructed to move in different ways to change the sounds of the couch as they walked, skipped, loped, according to the instructions of the leader.

this was one of the most satisfying and entrancing concerts i've seen. talking to anne lebaron afterwards she gave voice to many things i think of when making art or hosting / supporting it...she said that she loved the traditional presentation of music, but it was exciting to do new things. to think outside just wearing black and sitting in a pit and having a conductor or written music to perform.

this was a fabulous night.

love & ruckus

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the future of intellectual property and the artists' immortal and mortal self

i guess traditionally there are three factors here :

one - you are an artist and have to do art and therefore will do art whether you are paid or not, it is a necessity to do art.

two: artists need to eat, and have hot water, or at least water, and to be safe, and to have some place to do their art. ... See More

three: either an artist will have another source of income or they must get paid for their art.

i was listening to npr and the cleveland orchestra is on strike so they can keep the 5% inflation raise in pay. their salaries being average $115.000, one of the best in the world...one woman, a patron of sorts said, "we just have to dig deeper"...and it's the society as "we" who will dig deeper here, not the artists, but most people are worried about having transportation and a job and keeping a place to live. how much deeper should they have to dig? it is difficult, and i know she's speaking to other donors like herself, but this is the quandry. people are in rough times.

to do art, that in and of itself is the most profound reward, goal, process and way of being. the eternal question of how to secure resources is a frustrating, but still exciting one to have as problems go...it would be wonderful to pay all artists, but who is going to do that? the government could do more probably, but that's what comes from the people...art and music get cut. that's just how it is. and it's too bad, but i don't know what to do about it necessarily...i think more community based not-for-profit, or non-profit art vans that could be mobile, and go to communities, or schools as special programs......?

i don't know. i don't expect to make money doing anything i do...i've put far more money into hosting people than i've ever received, but many people feel that money is the most important thing to work for, and fame or becoming immortal is a whole other beast which makes each aspect difficult.

i am sure most artists have strong opinions regarding these issues...

love & ruckus

13 moon series ethos

"art is time"

zero-point's 13 moon series full art experience:

co-curated by mark ferem, dana bean & christie scott

a one year project to inspire and celebrate the creative nature of the human spirit

through themed rituals consisting of music, visual and oral tradition,

interactive art and collaborative mash-ups

to create community

and build on a cultural narrative of peace and integration with our various environments.

we will create full art experiences:

utilizing the arts platform from musical ensembles to poets,

visual totems to interactive organic audience participation.

we will ferment and propagate compassion / awareness

as we return to the source of creativity,

the conscious convergence of zero-point 'energy'.

zero-point energy embodies the idea that all is one.

we will build on the 13 moon natural cycle of time,

zero-point will host 13 shows,

one every month in a sense ceremonial with nature,

because we must

harness the collective ether,

inspire positive change,

take back the lexicon and framing of language through collaborations,

create our own myths as storytellers,

learn anew to daily make a more livable space

where our spirits gather to restore the nature of our consciousness.

zero-point invites you to participate in your own evolution and transformation.

zero-point is a new arts warehouse in sodo (south downtown) los angeles

run by previous proprietress of il corral christie scott and soundman stane hubert.

zero-point is interested in hosting/fostering experiments in the expressive disciplines.

visual arts, music/sound, and word-based arts form the three ring 'circle acts',

the structure for the new & multi-media 'art circus' - salon style rowdiness.

zero-point press

Zero-Point is the New Il Corral

Rowdy 'Feminine Oddities' Show Inspires Old, Old Ideas

By Ron Garmon

In the two years it lasted, Il Corral was little short of a civic miracle. Hidden behind a routine length of vine-covered brick just off an ill-lit stretch of Melrose, the now-defunct club was less a rock venue than an irregularly-scheduled Temporary Autonomous Zone. The giddy avant-basement experimentalism of their scene was compressed into 40 Bands in 80 Minutes, a splendidly punky documentary documenting little of the chummy human tumult that attached itself to the space. Sure, you can hear well-crafted pop or prog-nosed rock whilst posing by the bar at any leading-brand Westside clipjoint, but how many of these invite patrons to swing across the floor on a rope?

Halcyon daze, to be sure, and unlikely to see revival anywhere near Hollywood anytime soon. Despite tolerant neighbors, effective DIY security, and dueling norteño decibels from two nearby dance halls, some residual hillbilly-moonshiner’s sense of the possible told me the place was impermanent at best. Like Al’s Bar, Zamakibo!, and the Garage, Il Corral joined the ranks of the padlocked, closing late last year in the usual white-noize Yuletide blizzard, only to reopen as Zero-Point last month in the even less-trendy precincts of South Downtown. Again hidden in plain sight (on the second floor of a barnlike warehouse off S. Central), the space is well-suited to partners Christie Scott and Stane Hubert’s announced ambition of inviting artists from various media into “three ring circle acts” and “salon-style rowdiness,” like the one-off multimedia “Feminine Oddities” show last Saturday night.The seeming idea was to hurl burly-q hoofers, girly punks, femme-flavored art, and a platoon of miscellaneous beautiful women – including Playboy model Foxy Natalia – into a crowd of downtown bohos and await the combustion already well underway by the time we arrived. My date, a pink-haired model who occasionally suffers her nude body to be painted with leopard spots for Art, did her innocent best to blur the line between spectator and exhibit, as intriguing images on the walls subtly raised the ambient sexual temperature. Debra Haden’s spread-legged, fish-netted Medusae jostled with Bryan Barnes’s bosomy death’s-heads and Mary Macker’s goth moppets for attention, as inhibitions relaxed and patrons began to paw and nuzzle discreetly. Indeed, my girl and I were on the verge of indiscretion ourselves when a peremptory feedback skronk redirected our attention to the ad-hoc performance space.Fallopian, an all-girl punk act from the disaffected proletarian hellhole of Santa Monica, set up an overamped clatter sounding less like every trick in the chickpunk book than the book itself stuffed into an elderly, sputtering woodchipper. These tubular belles, delectable in thrift-glamour couture, didn’t stint on audience by-play, even mixing in a little self-promo. “Hayley Duff loves us!” shouted the guitarist, bidding the rest of us follow her example. The audience yipped and bawled in delight, naked of inhibitions and earplugs as an old-timey mosh pit, but infinitely better looking.My date and I exited and walked around the block in a self-generated marigasmo haze, returning in time to see Fallopian’s boy groupies laboriously wrangle the band’s designer gear to the pavement. Upstairs, red-haired Foxy was shaking her well-made kewpie ass at a battery of photographers, as poses of other kinds had been long since abandoned by the congenial crowd. The über-hip governors of the place were beaming as the Hollywood Pin Up Girls strutted out. This “retro feel-good cabaret” consists of a gaggle of undeniably lovely ladies tripping Fosse-like to canned chestnuts like “Le Jazz Hot” and David Rose’s “The Stripper.” It was cheesy and about as un-serious as gallery showings get, but it worked like Wonka. As we edged to the door, the wolfish leers we saw plastered all over the room told of the power of art to stimulate ideas.2008-02-07the article online: zero-point oddities


Los Angeles Times - January 10, 2008

Words from the 'bathroom blogosphere'

Mark Ferem documents the best of bathroom-wall scrawls in his new book.

Elina Shatkin

MARK FEREM has made a career out of crawling around urinals -- and he's not a janitor. Inspired by a Rainer Maria Rilke quote ("For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror") scrawled on the bathroom wall of a Houston dive bar, the native Angeleno began a small photo essay on the subject. Thirteen years later, his obsession with latrinalia has led to dozens of trips around the country and a 160-page photo book on the subject, "Bathroom Graffiti" (2007, Mark Batty).

Where tagging and street graffiti obsess over marking territory and artistic self-aggrandizement, the "bathroom blogosphere," as Ferem calls it, is devoted to a more interactive form of self-expression. "I used to think bathroom graffiti was invisible, and I never really paid attention to it. But seeing that [quote] got me more interested in it as a ritual. Why is it that people use this medium to acknowledge these moments in their lives?" Ferem says.

Christie Scott, one of the organizers of now-defunct punk club Il Corral, has an idea: "It's a pure democracy. It's anonymous. It's complete expression with no censorship. You have the same power as anyone else who can mark a wall." During Il Corral's reign, graffiti and stickers dotted the entire club, but the nexus was in the bathroom and adjacent hallway, where patrons first began marking the vivid orange walls as they waited in line to use the club's only toilet.

It was one of Ferem's favorite haunts. For the best of latrinalia, he recommends cafes Insomnia and Karma Coffeehouse, the Hollywood outpost of Thai restaurant Toi, Echo Park dive bar Little Joy and another all-ages club, the Smell. Though he hasn't noticed a distinct difference in graffiti varietals from city to city, the sheer quantity of L.A.'s bathroom graffiti continues to awe him. The nastiest bathroom in L.A.? That distinction belongs to Al's Bar, circa 1995. "The men's bathroom was crushed with graffiti, layer upon layer. It was like a time capsule," Ferem says with palpable regret.

Scott, whose years at Il Corral turned her into a de facto curator of latrinalia, will celebrate the art form at the launch of experimental art and performance space Zero Point. Guests will, of course, be welcome to mark up the bathroom walls. But a curated exhibit of Ferem's photos of bathroom graffiti, printed, framed and under glass, will also hang in a gallery area. "Maybe next time when someone goes into a bathroom," Ferem says, "they'll perceive it in a different way."


WHERE: Zero Point, 1049 E. 32nd St., L.A.

WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday

PRICE: $5-$10


see the article online: calendarlive.com


LA WEEKLY - December 27, 2008

go: SATURDAY, Dec. 29

Bavab Bavab, +dog+, Hop-Frog Kollectiv at Il Corral

It’s the final show at Il Corral, a place that has for three tumultuous years presented some of the most aggressively interesting — and occasionally just plain aggressive — new music in 21st century Los Angeles. Since January of 2005, all manner of noise has sandblasted the performance space, not to mention the rowdy neighbors, area muggings, assaults by key Satanists and the sweaty limitations of a confined venue. It’ll reincarnate in 2008, moving to a new space, Zero-Point, in SoDo (South Downtown). So enjoy the shrieking cacophonous bilge of +dog+; the minimalist noise pop of Bavab Bavab (the duo of Il Corral proprietress Christie Scott and Il Corral soundman Stane Hubert); and the mystical rhythms of postmodern primitives Hop-Frog Kollectiv. They wave goodbye as if in reply to Col. Troutman’s “It’s over, Johnny!” by channeling the spirit of John Rambo: “Nothing is over!” (David Cotner)

see the article online : laweekly.com