Sense and Sensuality

firrstExtrasensory, Jacaranda February 24, 2018— Andre Jolivet, Eric Tanguy, Olivier Messiaen, Betsy Jolas and Claude Debussy Midway through its 15th season, Jacaranda presented an updated interpretation of it's two season 2007-2009 celebration of the centenary works of Olivier Messiaen and the 20th century French music informed by and that paid homage to the great composer. Entitled Extrasensory, the concert began with works by younger composers who were students of or influenced by Messiaen; it ended with a seminal work by Claude Debussy, historically the starting point for the kind of impressionistic "sound painting" heard throughout the evening. Jacaranda's creative decisions—from the choice of composers and … [Read more...]

Theatre for Cartoon Demons

Olwui Okpokwasili’s Poor People’s TV Room, REDCAT , Los Angeles Premier —  Related Posts: Attaining the Singular, Death and the Avant-Garde in our Neoliberal Nightmare I had a vision not long ago. It wasn’t a particularly visionary vision, but it was very specific in a David Lynchy kinda way, and it involved a dark, fluid space alive with various currents and lit up with a spectral glow. The fluid was heavier than water but not quite as dense as oil, and out of it the quarter moon arc of a human profile would now and then appear in the form of a whirlpool-like structure, and I understood this to be the way a coherent self arises out of the flood of sensations and perceptions before dissolving again back into the underlying … [Read more...]


‘But still I was ordered to believe, even where the ideas did not correspond with, even when they contradicted, the rational theories established by mathematics and my own eyes' – Augustine, Confessions 5:3 [6] 'For secret assassination the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated' – A Study of Assassination, a CIA Manual According to Augustine, his break with Manichaeism came when he was ordered to see truth in descriptions of the stars and sky that defied all rational inquiry. In one of the most influential personal decisions ever made, he turned from a world of imagined ideas—gnostic metaphors for the eternal conflict of light and … [Read more...]

Pinking Pershing

Chalkupying for the Women's March, Los Angeles, January 20th, 2018 — January 2018 I was busy laying down some more chalk art in Pershing Square, this time for the 2nd Women’s March Los Angeles whose attendance I would learn reached 500K, the largest in the country. My concept of a raised Fist in defiance and defined by power, seemed to resonate with the crowds intent; be seen, speak out, be heard, be counted! The Fist was an overall pink experience and featured a nail job lacquered pristinely in ultra gloss, designed to invoke the spirit of this significant gathering. In the final photos, filmed by drone, I had my own epiphany and the impulse to extend my middle finger was a heartfelt exultant gesture combined … [Read more...]

The Facebook Supremacy – Part 2

Related Posts: The Facebook Supremacy - Part 1, Owning the Means of Connection, The Koons Moment, Sacrifice and the Dream of Form Outside a small market on Sunset I pass a destitute Latino man intently focused on a lottery scratch-off. What catches my eye is the sense of urgent vitality in his movements. He is lit up, charismatic even, and because I am thinking about this post I am struck by how his excitement resembles the way I feel when I'm about to present some new photo or announcement (or maybe an astute analysis of current events) on my Facebook page. How positive will the response from my social network be? How much affirmation will I encounter—scratch-scratch-scratch. The dopamine is flowing, my … [Read more...]

The Facebook Supremacy – Part 1

Related Posts: The Facebook Supremacy - Part 2, Owning the Means of Connection, The Koons Moment, Sacrifice and the Dream of Form For a few years before the 2016 election I was a pretty faithful Facebook user. Photos of my dog, my family, birthday greetings and posts announcing events I was participating in or that I simply liked—seemed like a harmless and very convenient way to stay connected. It wasn’t just superficial either—sometimes there would be non-trivial exchanges of ideas about politics, culture, important issues of the day. It felt good to post a little thought sequence about this or that, and have people like it. Hey, I have to confess, it gave me a little lift to check back and find that a post had been liked … [Read more...]

Looking Back: La Biennale

All Photography Courtesy of Martha Wilcox Venice — After so many blue chip gallery openings, sales-driven art fairs, and blockbuster museum exhibitions this year, the Venice Biennale was a memorable departure. The strong presence of capitalism was still there, lurking always in the background of important cultural events, yet it was upstaged by the quality of the work itself; a rare feat in the art world. Criticism of the Biennale is certainly warranted, from the countries exhibited to the allocation of the onsite pavilions, but there remains a kind of fitting grandeur to the event that recalls Venice’s bygone days of doges and palaces. The Biennale felt both modern and global while taking place in a city that is anything but. After … [Read more...]

Mars, Music, Mayhem

"War of the Worlds" director Yuval Sharon, composer Annie Gosfield, LA Phil, Disney Hall —  From the late 1920s until the rise of television in the early 1950s, two relatively new inventions--motion pictures and radio-- truly united the United States. By the time of their broadest reach in the 30s and 40s, movies had an immensely popular draw; millions of people went to see them every week. For a quarter, you could enjoy two films, a newsreel, a comedy short and a bag of popcorn. Radio was an even more visceral unifier and when families owned one they felt connected to a wider world. The airwaves carried free sources of entertainment and information. Everybody listened to FDR's "fireside chats', popular music, Joe Louis … [Read more...]


Casting JonBenet (2017), Netflix, Directed by Kitty Green — ‘Can you know what your prayers have set in motion?’– CT Dreyer ‘Ordet’ ‘A real whore should be able to attract by what she’s reduced to being’ – Jean Genet ‘The Screens’ It was a crime that re-defined perfect. On Christmas night 1996, the most sacrosanct American values—home, family, children’s innocence—even Christmas—were all violated in a single obscene act. Not since Hickock and Smith had the country at large felt so unsure of itself as a free and trusting society. And like England in the era of Brady and Hindley, the murder of JonBenet Ramsey led many Americans to imagine something unimaginable to them: an impulse so selfish that a child’s life could be … [Read more...]

Death Defying

Sur Les Traces de Dinozard, Faustin Linyekula, Choreographer, September 29, REDCAT — To open its 2017-2018 season, REDCAT offered a dramatic dance/theatre/music presentation of the 90-minute performance of Sur Les Traces de Dinozard ("In Search of Dinozard"), choreographed, directed and danced by the award-winning Congolese artist, Faustin Linyekula. His troupe of seven male singer/dancers, known as Studios Kabako, mesmerized the audience with tableaux of death and survival, music and movement, memory and hope. Born out of more than a century of colonization, corruption and killing in Central Africa, the evening's words and images will haunt anyone who experienced them. REDCAT deserves continued praise for expanding … [Read more...]