Category Archives: performance art

Sara June @ Woodstock4

i absolutely LOVE this clip of Sara June’s collaborative, improvised public intervention performance with Endguys out in Boston Common for Woodstock4

Sara June Woodstock4 from Uncle Shoe on Vimeo.

Movement artist Sara June in performance at Woodstock4, presented by Whitehaus Family Record on the Boston Common August 18-19, 2012. Improvised music by Endguys (Steve Norton, bass clarinet / Matt Samolis, flute). Video by Douglas Urbank.

the theatre of Work, ReVisited

theatreofwork_preview

back in 2009 when i still conducted critical design research for Dynamic Media Institute in Boston i decided to start up a presentation series aimed specifically at helping my greener friends coming into the industry with some of the basic challenges they might encounter along the journey of their profesional lives

i’ve encountered more than my fair share of interesting twists and turns in my rather adventurous career as an accomplished experience design professional — and some of the joys and tribulations of navigating the glorious terrain can benefit by simply continuously building a better and better understanding and awareness of the environments in which we need to perform

in delving into the digital archives of my mind i recently rediscovered a few slides appropriately titled the theatre of Work — survival tips for newcomers to the workForce

the theatre of Work

the phrase by itself starts to imply some of my subconscious views and feelings regarding: the social dynamics; the essential personal behaviors we need to exude while performing; and general feel of the landscape set up by the workaday world as a means of reaching toward success for ourselves and for the companies we work for

i am an experience designer and a performance artist

i never studied the theatre, which is an important key differentiator i need to continually remind myself of along the way

its also vitally important to have an unrelenting sense of self-awareness and continuous introspective reflection for the kind of trek we’re all on within ANY industry

just this hybrid mash-up between designer and artist can have extremely important internally conflicting motivations embedded within the very nature of each role

but anyhow, i digress { i just heard someone on blogging across the way stand up and scream, ‘DigreSsioN!’ ala that famous set of passages from A Catcher in the Rye ;] }

after living a little longer and experiencing a few more years of this life of work we all live and breathe, i believe i have even deeper, more profound wisdom to share than i originally intended by designing up a few slides for a future-such talk to be about workerly advice

i am therefore re-opening this thread of thought — copy-pasting the open Keynote file and the PSD folder from my portable harddrive back onto my current active MacBook Pro device to really start digging into what new significance i can bring to the table to help people navigate the choppy waters and hopefully not make all of the same foolish mistakes i’ve made along the way

i know my triathlon could’ve gone a LOT smoother so far had i just had proper mentorship or perhaps better personal self-awareness and more thoughtful empathy to guide me

but i’m an impatient clown, for the most part

i always want the impossible and i design to reach for the bluest of the bluest skies

i would be more of a fool, however, if i continue to noodle and clown without ever learning and growing for the journeys i’ve made — and i feel that if i share some of my story in a thoughtful and meaningful way it might actually make up for my own silly idiocies and hopefully make for a better overall experience for colleagues, friends, acquaintances and frenemies that even care to listen at this point

i need to focus on my storyFirst presentation out at Massachusetts College of Art for the next few weeks, but i also hope to put some time into this theatre of Work concept, too, as it is near and dear to my heart — i want to help people and give them better perspective and hopefully facilitate better and better experiences in the world through my designwork and my design leadership

but, until then — shove off, bitchez! ;]

 

logo_storyfirst

 

words

poetry_words

my wife Carol told me about this article she read or a radio interview she heard or something where the main topic up for discussion dealt with ways to guide your career — one of these fucking ‘paths to improvement’ kinda things, ya know?

aight

so

i guess the main person talking or writing about how to guide your own career toward better success mentioned owning certain words to help you channel / filter / control your behaviors and hopefully build a bit of a purposeful brand story for yourself — forgive me, i don’t know the real terminology from the article or interview, just the main concepts i took away from our conversation over the dinner table and all, ya know?

huh, i just said ‘ya know?’ to finish off 2 main paragraphs in this blogPost

not cool

but back to the main topic here, aight?

so, not sure if you’ve read some of the previous posts here about a little riff i got goin’ on called storyFirst, but its right here if you wanna go back — like you even have the time for that kinda schtuff right now and all, right? but the idea, the basic gist of it all is that you use the power of personal storytelling to drive whatever it is you might wanna change up in life, which seems, like, directly in-line with this article / interview Carol and i were discussing, right?

thank gawd i didn’t say ‘ya know?’ — ya know?

anywayz

so, i thought i’d take a few minutes to just jot down what i think my words are, the ones i’ve gravitated towards in both a purposeful and more subconscious manner over the years — what i’d love to see, if any of you can participate by chiming back through any of the myriad mechanisms or channels of communication afforded to us at this advanced age of ‘staying connected’ — i’d love it if anyone had feedback to say, like,

‘woah, lou, really? that was the vibe you were going for? well, you almost had it, but there was that fucking time you totally flipped out in the office about that email from Steve or something, i can’t even remember at this point, right? and that kind of behavior is not only totally uncool and all, and unprofessional, but it definitely goes against the idea of < put the word from my short-list in here >, which i thought was more along the lines of what you were tryin’ ta be all about — dude, what happened there?

get what i’m sayin’?

so, with that minimal contextual information and backStory in mind — here’s my list, my career list of words { or whatever you wanna call it }, and more importantly to me, my storyFirst vocabulary for some sort of self-guidance as: a colleague in the workplace; a friend in life; an acquaintance or friendly random strangerly cohort on the streets of San Francisco; an advocate for better human-centered design processes, methodologies and design results; a practicing Design professional and leader; a semi-professional wrestler sans mohawk, body piercings and backtatt skin graffitti artwork and speedo; an unprofessional japanese filmmaker; a storyteller of dark humor and adventure in a modernday world gone mad; a sometimes practicing open mike music or near-comedic performer; a laugh research practitioner and performance artist; a lover, a father, a husband and lifelong friend { only a very selected few can judge me there, at least from the special first-person perspective vantagepoint i’m personally looking for in my feedback communications }; etcetera and so on forever and ever ad infinitum farsi, amen

and thus, with no further ado, here is

my list of storyFirst personal life guidance and career-like words

fun

collaborative
highly collaborative in that kind of face-to-face sort of way that i think is absolutely vital to keeping things fun, light and efficient in the right kind of way { for the kind of energy i want to create, encourage, foster and be associated with every step of the way }

not innovative, although that’s almost the word i wanna hold onto — its just SO cliché at this point, right? and NOT every client, project, interaction or process is going to require or ultimately lead to a truly new and innovative approach or end solution — not even interpersonal, more everyday interaction needs constant innovation in the true sense of the word — i think the words that are related in some semi-sweet and semiotic fashion are more like:

nimble { really trying hard on this one lately, its a difficult one sometimes, especially when trying to improve team dynamics, etcetera nd so on }

big picture &/or blue sky — yes, its true, as a human-centered designer, after some ridiculous 15+ years of trying a million different ways of approaching a design challenge { if its even truly a design challenge at all after our initial investigations into the problemSpace / challenge context / all that }, i can say with full confidence that i always, always, always encourage and want to show off my ability to think big — in fact, to think bigger — when it comes to the way i research, actively design, think through, refine and execute my processes as a Design professional — if i don’t push for the biggest and the best right up front, the projects fucked

its that simple

its my job, as the Designer, to put the big vision { so i guess visionary could take the place of innovative, hmmmm } out there on the table { BAM! } and then to listen to like a dozen people typically sitting in 3 different office geolocations ask me big, doubtful questions — the sort of getting to NO approach of breaking the vision of what i’ve done to help funnel down the scope, the timeline and keep everything super slick and reasonable from a develper’s perspective — and THEN its my job, if i’m asked ‘Why?’ or ‘How?’ to ask, ‘Why not? Why can’t we just develop what I designed?’

ridiculous — yes, that’s what i said, ridiculous — i embrace it, all the way — i’m a goofy bastid and wherever i can fit in a laugh along the way, some subtle, twisted humor to cut through the heavy fog in the room at some of the dull ass conversations we all get to deal with in an office environment, i think ridiculousness { not the show, just the activity, the verb ridiculize, if that can even happen } is a tool i use, like laughter as an action in itself { even without the permission system of humor, joke or play to precede the guffaw, titter or ha ha } to break the monotony and move forward in a hopefully refreshed and lighter manner

along with that one, i guess, words like humorous, satiric, farcical — any word that’s associated with literally ‘making fun’ out of a situation, not to literally ‘make fun’ of it in a mean-spirited way, but merely to help us all survive and play together nicer — to ‘make it into fun’ i suppose — is a phraseology that i foster, support and want to be affiliated with — so, back to that top word, again, i guess, right?

hands-on and tactical but also high-level

well, let’s not get fucking crazy now, right? that’s starting to sound like typical corporate bullshitnot part of my personal storyFirst vocabulary list for this week at all

piece

let’s discuss design performance

i recently bumped across this rather incredible article on Co.DESIGN entitled, ‘4 Secrets For Doing Gonzo User Research‘ — and the article helped put some interesting historical context around one of the 4 major project streams i pursued and captured in my MFA Design thesis ‘confounded: future fetish design performance for human advocacy

so, in the Co.DESIGN article they discuss a form of first-person research as first formalized by the designer Patricia Moore — as a way to study the actual human experience of target demographic, Moore …

‘… dressed as an elderly lady, wearing prosthetics that restricted her movement and eyesight.’

moore-elder

the insight that Moore gathered by going undercover as an elderly woman with realistically limited visual and physical faculties helped influence her thinking as a designer, bringing a heightened awareness and perspective to her work — one more closely aligned with the actual people that would eventually use the designs resulting from her research and design work

Her experiences transformed the way Raymond Loewe’s team designed for less able users

as a user experience design professional with a secret nighttime, after hours life as a performance artist — my graduate work at Dynamic Media Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design quite naturally delved into explorations that combined these 2 areas of practice in ways i had never previously personally explored

my personal heroes — the original inspiration for the kind of performance art i do — came from the work of fantastic innovators that i’ve admired, like: Andy Kaufman; Sasha Baron Cohen; George Carlin; Alan Funt; Chuck Barris; Anaïs Nin; Carolee Schneemann; Rod Serling; and numerous others — but, first and foremost, my brand of performance art follows the interventionist and subversive spirit found throughout Kaufman’s work

from the outside of his ofttimes off-putting and controversial work, the majority of Kaufman’s target audience — apparently the general american public { mostly television watching, suburbanites } — might not even understand the prankish nature of Kaufman’s work — in other words, the audience is not in on the joke, which is very confrontational, very aggressive and unkind in many ways

now — of course — most of us watching the historic footage of Andy Kaufman’s appearances on the first episode of Saturday Night Live, on David Letterman, etcetera — remain part of the other side of these performances, but now that we understand that he’s a comedian delivering from the practice of performance art in the unusual context of mainstream televised media — now that we’re in on the joke — Kaufman’s work seems less threatening and a LOT more humorous, clever, and to some, like me, actually ingenious — the oeuvre of his work becomes a sort of ongoing performative social commentary meant to wake us up and start to question, as the audience, this one-to-many, one way, consumeristic broadcast delivery mechanism — and, much-like the very iterative and experimental way in which a traditional stand-up comedian tries out his or her bits on stage to eventually build, test and refine a set act of material, Kaufman very bravely discover and build his very own vocabulary in mediated performance art for the mainstream to then engage in this dialog of awkward self-awareness

at this point i think of Andy Kaufman’s comedy as something situated between Theatre of the Absurd and Theatre of Cruelty — he’s showing us in the 1970s just how silly television really is, how easily we are consumed by our own consumerist broadcast box but then also showing us, as the audience, just how stuck and defenseless we are as well-trained american citizens

if we watch some of Kaufman’s earlier appearances now, and switch our own perspective to imagine what it must’ve been like from Andy’s perspective to perform in this way — after all, i really think that’s what his work is all about at the end of the day — its more for him than us — he’s getting a total rise out of these subversive experiments with the medium of mainstream television — just looking at his later work of challenging women to wrestling matches alone exposes this aspect of his work, this sort of total provocation of the masses accompanied by a personal rise, even, in this case, quite literally, a sexual rise { as according to Zmuda’s Andy Kaufman Revealed!, Kaufman sexually enjoyed getting sexually excited in the ring, and most likely also got turned on during his rather ridiculous anti-femminist shouting matches with potential future female wrestlers, with his ‘weaker sexed’ adversaries — such a despicable ploy, to play the part of the male chauvinist asshole comedian }

Andy_Kaufman

so, it seems to me there are 2 rather valuable lessons to learn from this conversation about what Co.DESIGN calls gonzo design and what i am calling design performance — and as a design professional i very highly recommend we all start to get more active with our design processes and explore deepening our personal awareness of the experiential aspects of our potential designs using the following 2 activities or experimental approaches:

  • be the user / audience / participant — go ahead, put on a costume and get out there and experience the world with some semblance of a prototypic manifestation of the environment, object or experience you’re exploring in your design research — get all Patricia Moore on that shit, aight? — you’ll be delighted and surprised how much insight you can gather using this amazingly enlightening first person approach { although it can get a little risky at times, too, depending on how far you take it }
  • confront the user / audience / participant — take a well-established medium, like television in the case of Andy Kaufman, and be bad with it — do all the wrong things for a change — break some conventions, hurt people’s feelings, destroy all the typical expectations we all have with a medium we might all now take for granted — i’ll bet there’s some valuable terrain to discover, and things will get crazy sociological real fast in quite a wonderful and fun way — you’ll get a LOT closer to understanding context, delivery, mental and behavioral modes and concepts of distribution, consumption, use, and so on — this is definitely the path less traveled that could lead to areas of innovation, excitement and adventure

nobody said you need to sit on your ass in front of a computer to design, right? that’s just the toolset they keep pushing on us in academic and professional settings — its up to us, its our obligation as designers, to keep the field fresh and active and exciting and to make sure we keep the word DESIGN in the realm of an action verb, not just a noun that describes the final, object-based results of the actual living, breathing, writhing process we all know and love along the way when its done right, when its injected with the proper doses of vigor, vim and real human energy

Making a show of it

Artist Vela Phelan of Gang Clan Mafia — photo provided courtesy of JONATHAN WIGGS / GLOBE STAFF

Artist Vela Phelan of Gang Clan Mafia — photo provided courtesy of JONATHAN WIGGS / GLOBE STAFF

Its totally exciting to see the recent press about the vibrant performance art scene in Boston as covered by Cate McQuaid in The Boston Globe in her article Making a show of it { for some reason delivered with a re-imagined headline ‘Performance art is thriving in Boston‘ in the eVersion on bostonglobe.com }

The amazing historic reference to Raphael Montalez Ortiz’ destructive Fluxus work aired on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show way back when — direct references to Mobius all over the article, and deservedly so — mention of all the groups and spaces that’ve come and gone over the years, like Meme, Oni Gallery and others { they failed to mention Cambridge’s legendary venues, like: Zeitgeist Gallery; Out of the Blue Gallery; Open Faucet Productions; Squawk; Naked City Coffeehouse; the Art Cheerleaders; and Burlesque Revival Association ( better known as BRA ) as well as other more musicky venues that regularly support performance art on a regular basis, like: Lizard Lounge; TT the Bears Place, Middle East Café; Precinct Bar; PAs Lounge; Milky Way Lounge and Lanes; Midway Café; Middlesex Lounge; Book Cellar Café; Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center; The Actor’s Guild Workshop; Club OBERON; and so on, etcetera }

Of course, front and center and most vital to the performance art scene to me and to SO many others growing up in the Greater Boston Area is the legendary and incomparable Marilyn Arsem — the founder of Mobius and such a passionate performance artist, educator, mentor and performance artist community leader in Boston and around the world — without her contributions and the amazing and gentle spirit she brings to performance art, and without the photodocumentary contributions of her incredibly visionary and talented late husband Bob Raymond — I think the Boston performance art scene wouldn’t be what it is today

And what better time than now to experience and celebrate live performance art? The article quotes Arsem’s definition of performance art as:

‘An action designed and executed by an artist that takes place in time and space with or without an audience’

… and as vague and confusing as that might seem, its such a refreshing and honest way to describe this rather unique and elusive artistic, expressive medium — and its actually far more specific than the now seemingly rather outdated, original New York City definition of performance art by RoseLee Goldberg from her book Performance: Live Art Since 1960. Goldberg says performance art is:

‘Live art by artists’

Seems a lot simpler than Arsem’s definition, right? I think Goldberg does go on to elaborate more on the extreme interdisciplinary tendancies and potentials for performance art, as do most folks trying to help drive better understanding about what performance art is and isn’t — but I prefer Arsem’s definition mostly because it describes an audience, and as a user-centered and experience design professional this concept of audience is at the core of what experience and performance art is all about — and then, in the end, I also tend to trust Arsem’s definition of performance art more just due to the fact that Marilyn is a living, breathing, passionate performance artist, whereas Goldberg comes from the comfortable and removed distance of being an art critic and historian

Anyhow, back to the point — so cool to see this recent press about performance art and the promotion of such amazing professionals as Marilyn Arsem, Bob Raymond, Vela Phelan and others working in this space — you can read the full article here on Boston Globe dot com — and if you’re not quite up to speed on the vast and interesting history of performance art as a medium, you can check out more context on Wikipedia here, which I personally hope will lead you to deeper research and reading on the topic in books, journals, magazines and on Amazon’s Kindle eReader { but not The Nook }

don’t forget

medium-is-the-massage

the wheel
is an extension of the foot
the book
is an extension of the eye
clothing, an extension of the skin,
electric circuitry,
an extension of
the
central
nervous
system

The Medium is The Massage, Marshall McLuhan

i think we can all interpret these effects, as McLuhan calls them, in various extremes, dimensions, and ways

one way i interpret some of our extensions as influenced by books like The Body has a Mind of Its Own and The Moving Body: Teaching Creative Theatre is that in some way, the tools we use become a part of us, and likewise the other way, too — we become part of the tools we use

i specifically think of the performance art and new media works of the Australian artist Stelarc — in his piece called Muscle Memory { seen in the image included in this post, below }, the artist installs himself into a robotic, spider-like structure that augments and extends his physical abilities as a human being through this strange, science fiction-like machine contraption

003_mm_stelarc

a question i think about a LOT recently is — well, what’s so controversial and different about this performance and the gadgetry involved and, let’s say, the average commuter driving to work at 6:34 AM?

in the case of Stelarc’s Muscle Memory, the artist demonstrates the sheer power and new capabilities afforded the machine operator to an audience in a gallerySpace — its a performance and a demonstration, and its very future-forward and cyberSurreal and interesting in a way that might inform the audience in both a positive and negative way — we might be able to very obviously see how Stelarc, now living and breathing within the confines of this ginormous metal robot, might start to behave, well, like a ginormous metal robot — he, in many ways, becomes the machine, and he learns and adapts and adjusts to both the new things he can do with it while simultaneously sacrificing his own human experience along the way — or, maybe i’m thinking far too much like a transitional, if that’s even a term — i’m not sure that he evolves in any literal way by using the robotic equipment as part of his Muscle Memory performance piece, but his discussions on the topic of this Singularity between man and machine, the combination of the biological and the technological extensions of the previously nearly-pure physical human form, put us in the typical uncanny valley of confrontational wonderment — what does this all mean for us as human beings — will we all need to put on a robotic suit in the near future to perform our on-the-job tasks and assignments? or are our human capabilities ‘man’ enough to get the job done? perhaps it depends upon the line of work you’re in, not sure though, but i’m sure we’ll find out in 10 to 15 years

now let’s take the case of driving to work in the morning — i embed myself into my maroon Honda Accord every morning and drive from Boxford to Waltham every day and i would like to argue that while i am in the car i actually become the car — i adopt the personality, the feelings and the mentality of driving to work, at least for 40 minutes to an hour, twice a day — and, depending on traffic and the flow of traffic and other automobiles on the highway as i drive down Route 95 South, and depending on my mood as a human being now living and breathing as a wetware organ beating inside the machine like a nearly obsolete heart of meat, i act quite differently than i normally do when we talk face-to-face in the office or when i’m at home playing with my son or my grandchildren on the floor — i really think i can become the car in a very literal way, at least if you let yourself follow the subconscious flow of desire that stands in front of you like the temptress you know she is

let’s say you’re in a hurry and you know that if you stay in your conscious state as a person sitting at the wheel that you’ll get to work in about an hour and 15 minutes — not bad, not bad

but why not trust you’re own muscle memory as a driver, as a commuter that’s gotta get shit done, as a worker bee that’s gotta shake the tree and make the magic happen today, ya know? that care now becomes far more than a mere vehicle for rapid movement across a peripherally streaked landscape of trees and jersey barriers and guardrails flying by at 80 miles an hour

that’s right, think about it

from a human-centered perspective, you’re not really moving at all — in fact, you may move here and there, adjust the ball of your foot to move from brake to gas, click the direction into the left position to send a signal to the 20 people behind you as you course like blood through the body that is the highway, but for the most part you’re parked solid and still on your ass, sunk into a quite comfortable chair that let’s you command your magic journey some 30 to 50 miles away from where you live

if you let go a bit and begin to think and behave like the car, you start to decipher new rules of the road that can be leveraged to your advantage — little openings in the flow of traffic beckon you to quickly shift lanes and push ahead of the losers driving slowly in the passing lane to the left — sure, they’re supposed to pass you, but for whatever reason the first and second lanes are wide open and you can make better progress by ignoring the implicit rules of the road — let’s get moving, right? and so on, and so forth

your a little less human when you drive, and more like the pilot of a zombie robot that’s bolting to the office, zipping in and out of the lanes that help you make it all happen

the wheel is an extension of the foot is what McLuhan said in the original quote from The Media is the Massage, but i beg to differ

with our newly adapted and evolved modern lives and our commonplace daily use of machines and devices like cars and trains and other vehicles, the person becomes and extension of the automobile — we become the force that operates a vehicle such as a car, a forklift or an airplane — we become a reverse-extension of it, or them, and we do all the adjusting and discover the new terrains now opened up by our technological progress

i’m not sure where that leaves us as human beings

but i think we should all exercise, at times, a little more conscious awareness and control over our newly-extended selves

cyberSurrealism is about looking at the self by psychoanalyzing the human element through our cybernetic machine influence back on the wetware components of our society — how do our machines change our behavior? how do they then influence: our culture; our interactions with each other as people; and our capabilities on a more holistic scale? as certain capabilities improve, is it inevitable for us to lose other very valuable skills and qualities as human beings? and, in all of this, these thoughts and experiments and explorations through progress and innovation, do we still have any control whatsoever over the evolution and invention of the tools we create and use? or do these things almost subconsciously invent themselves now? how do we keep focusing on the valuable potentials of these human ingenuities and foster more humanly helpful technologies and progress? and most importantly, what the fuck does 4G mean? 

mediaLuscious Design + Art Review

i just recently finished editing up the official exhibition catalog for mediaLuscious Design + Art Review — thanks to everyone for not only showing your work and participating in such an amazing gallery exhibition, but for also patiently putting up with my random email requests for photos, writings, input and feedback over the last few weeks

i have to say — this is probably the best book i’ve put together to-date, much better-looking in my mind’s eye than my own thesis even, which can probably be contributed to the fact that this project of capturing the spirit, energy, community and fun of this show was done for DMI and The DMI Family moreso than myself

anyhow, after a few more tweaks here ‘n there, i will be sure to post this up to Blurb and get a print proof to deliberate — and then and only then the book will be open for more public consumption via Blurb, ISSUU or wherever

[: what a show :]

a box full of music, rose petals and seaShells

last night i found a box in the basement, a treasure

as much as Marco and i buckled under the legal pressures brought on by our contractual relationship to XeXeX | OBLiViON back in the ’90s and stopped recording our beware the haberdash material on carefully planned, sequential schedule — we did move forward in our secret underground recording studio to capture that haberdash magic on tape to create a veritable bucketful of bootleggy sounds

only select tracks made it to any official releases over the years, however, as litigation got rather nasty and we both chose to focus on the positive experience of making music over fighting against ‘The Man’ every step of the way to merely preserve this rather eclectic and strange post-deathmen project we both still treasure to this day

so here you have it — the visually-designed artifactual remains of the overarching master gameplan for every pre-Sewingbox beware the haberdash release as envisioned and begun back in the late 1990s / early 2000s

lou suSi: secrets revealed!

46085591-Outloud_lousuSi_nov2012Promo1after lots of preparation + hard setup work on the old MacBook Pro — including several really tumultuous + concentrated moments of utter frustration, technical difficulty + failure — i rather successfully beat all technological odds stacked against me on Wednesday, November 28th + presented my ‘cyberSurreal episode 16 — deletedStreams’ iterative presentation number 1 to the nurturing + gracious community of my colleagues at Outloud Open Mike at The Beebe Estate in Melrose — long story short, starting with the secret sauce base presentation remains from my MFA thesis from Dynamic Media Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, i put together a peformance art rendition of my critical analysis and concerns from the last 3 years of my intense research in design and technology + presented some of the main concepts, projects, research + findings through humorous storytelling, small songish interludes and smatterings of poesiac interjection — and, from my personal yet somewhat humble + semi-removed assessment of the overall evening, i feel the material was well-received + enjoyed by an ecclectic audience filled with talented musicians, orators, poets, writers, storytellers, philosophers + other near + dear mostly liberal compatriots that enjoy a slightly bent + silly view into the subconscious meanderings of the world’s last honest man barely standing

my interestingly entertaining, embedded distraction du jour for the evening revolved around a rather crazy band concept i came up with a couple of years ago — i wanted to put together { let me know if you’re interested, cuz this one could be fun } a band called The David Schwimmer Band as a sort of Bare Naked Ladies concept band that used a swindling, scammish band name convention to potentially lure unsuspecting fans of this famous television + hollywood heartthrob originally known for portraying the loveable but slightly goofy ‘Ross’ from the 90s situation comedy ‘Friends,’ more recently portraying the giraffe from the ‘Madagascar’ animated big screen film series — anyhow, the idea behind the band goes something like this — The David Schwimmer Band travels the states on their first ever national tour, there’s lots of critical acclaim, tv + radio promotional spots for various stops in key cities across the land, and tons of interviews on OWN, The View, Ellen, The Jimmy Fallon Show, E! and all the hawtest shows ‘out there,’ right? But, whenever The David Schwimmer Band actually graces the stage, they need to announce that, unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstance, David Schwimmer will not be able to appear tonight — he, of course, would send his best, maybe even sending along a short video to let the audience know just how much he really wanted to be there and let everyone know, though, that the show will still go on without him — at that point the band would start to play The Barney Miller Theme Song + introduce each player on the stage with horn hits, shuffles and all sorts of little ‘shucks + jive’ — the band would then go on to play an entire 4 hour set of television theme songs from classic shows like Barretta, Kojak, Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, Night Court, Cheers, and the list goes on. And so, in tribute to this amazing + geniusly riduclous idea, I interspersed my own a capella renditions of some of my favorite, classic television themeshow songs, including: Alice; Land of the Lost; and 8 is Enough — my devious plan ( that actually fell through for this performance-presentation-event ) was to also present my rather infamous ‘Butterface Remix’ of The Monkees classic song ‘I’m a Believer’ including rude references to various female attributes that ‘then I saw’ at various key points throughout the chorus segments of the composition, but alas, I only got through about three-quarters of the entire presentation

46085937-otherSide1following the main setup thematics behind The David Schwimmer Band interludes, i presented streams 1 and 2 from my thesis ‘confounded — future fetish design performance for human advocacy’ as well as the first part of stream 5, one of the many ‘deletedStreams’ i propose to re-open my investigations for further research, writing and reflection — i first reported back on my intervention-like persona-based design performance testing of certain ‘found systems’ in the world for stream 1 — i then discussed my findings from the ‘deletedStream’ i call ‘the other side of 7’ in a short photo-essay format, strange observations captured at a North Shore cemetery, otherworldly + frightening perceptions of the lines and lines of tiny flags marking each soldier’s grave in a green, green September autumnal grassy gravesite lawn — i never got to elaborate on stream 8, a ‘deletedStream’ i originally planned to present after the object-oriented performance work included in stream 2stream 8 continued from 5 to explore some internal subconscia broiling the worrisome sentiments gathered at the site of the soldiers’ graves

i have so much more to examine, to question + wonder about, i just hope i can muster the focus to seriously scour my notebooks + photodocumentation to understand some of the more analog, truly multisensorial work i produced while in that pre-thesis phase of internal self-excavation — i still want to better understand what i might find inside, just a little deeper in — i think it might be simultaneously gentle + ferocious in there at that level — pure, yet full of blood + puss, mucus + semen

its a laughShowdown @ 20 paces

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‘at’s right pardnerz, Laugh Foundation takes these laughing matters quite seriously. In these days of the ever-descending wild, wild west — as Arab Springs rise and flail, as capitalist economies continue to rupture and crumbleLaugh Foundation challenges you to challenge us to a full out laughShowdown at high noon!

Let’s do it spaghetti western-style, aight? You tweet us up a nice lil’ laughShowdown challenge and we’ll meet up in the street and settle these matters mano a mano, know what I’m sayin’ lil’ cowgirlz ‘n’ ‘boyz? It’s a shoot ’em up public nightmare laughfest to show who’s gonna hit ’em up with the ha has until there’s only one dusty laughstr left standin’. So, whaddaya say, eh?

don’t fergit to check out Laugh Foundation out here on the webz while you’re @ it, aight?