No Justice No Service: Bay Area Art, Education & Justice Festival” was held at The Lab in San Francisco. An exploration of union aesthetics in the 21st century, art became a concrete organizing tool. Artists, performers, writers, educators and professors, unions, and social justice activists came together in support of the adjunct union movement as it intersects with confronting income inequality, racial injustice, and displacement in the Bay Area.
No Justice, No Service
I began this project when my friend Michele Hessmann died after years of trying to beat breast cancer. My other friend Jennifer Grant died from a heroin overdose. And my surrogate parent, Susan Duggan, unexpectedly died from unknown causes. At the same time my teaching career was crashing to bits. Feeling ripped apart, I started cutting up the Santa Fe Reporter and putting it back together in what seemed like nonsensical combinations. When I moved to Oakland I kept the project going, cutting up the East Bay Express. These random notes have become a roadmap out of grief.
This project is an exploration of coalition building across differences rather than sameness. Using self-defense lessons to consider the changing ideas of feminism, femininity, and community organizing over the past few decades, I was interested in collapsing the divide between the activity of producing art and the activity of building community. During a five-month period in Los Angeles, forty artists and activists - who span the gender and sexual identity landscape - came together to create videos, performances, public interventions, video installations and a 'zine.
Past Present Future
Debris is a collaborative video and installation created with Wil Nicholson. The piece was born out of a crime that occurred - and a friendship that developed - against the backdrop of the art world, gentrification, race relations, and class realities in Los Angeles. This video delves into the story.
Debris:notes from outside the surface
A line from one of my Random Notes became a part of the Snow Poems project. The project was curated by The Cut + Paste Society in collaboration with the Santa Fe Art Institute in Santa Fe, NM. The poems were created out of non-toxic temporary spray snow on windows all over the city. Appropriately, my poem was placed on the window of Labor Ready. The project included a walking tour map, a postcard book, and culminating poetry reading at Collected Works Bookstore.
Debris installation was done in collaboration with Wil Nicholson and a whole bunch of each of our friends. Dealing with how to create a friendship a a crime was committed and against the backdrop of the art world, gentrification, race relations, and class realities in Los Angeles, we invited our friends to drink beer and play domnios together. In the middle of an art exhibit. This video documents the process.
Memory Remnants of Two Existing Acts of Violence examines where reality and memory meet after experiencing traumatic violence. The violence referenced includes a relationship of mine that ended in gunfire and the brutal rape and murder of a friend, Mia Zapata. I blend archival materials, documentary, and constructed images into a fragmented non-linear montage that imitates the operation of memory as defined through psychoanalytic theory. The video is choreographed to move across two TV monitors.
Unhung Heroes is a short comedy about 5 trans* guys dreaming about having a flesh penis. The video, that I shot and edited, is written and directed by Lazlo (Ilya) Pearlman. After finding an internet article announcing the first penis transplants, the guys imagine a scheme to come up with over a million dollars in surgery money. Unhung Heroes is a time capsule that includes Southern and Northern California queer artists and activists who forged the way in trans* community building and organzing. Look for many cameos and fantastic choreography by Cid Pearlman.