[-empyre-] last "week" of December greetings and intros

Josh T Franco jtobiasfranco at gmail.com
Sun Dec 29 02:50:23 EST 2013

Hi Y'all, Josh Franco writing. I just came out of yoga, where this month I
have been doing a call-and-response (c-a-r) experiment in preparation for
my week here. I wanted to investigate the c-a-r between the body and the
voice. I decided to do this in two ways:

1) I wanted to see what would happen if I refrained from making any vocal
sounds unless they were absolutely forced out "involuntarily", i.e.,
directly from my body acting on my throat acting on my voice. The result is
that my voice has felt more precious to me, and silence has felt more
substantial, like fuel, like energy that's mine. The sound lets me know
when I am working, growing. I've really enjoyed the conversations here
about silence, waiting, and non-responses.

 2) As in most yoga practice, the class begins and ends with choral "Om"s.
If I have one criticism of the crew I yoga with, it's that silence is not
valued enough as the energy I've emphasized it as for myself these few
weeks. I was already a pretty silent participant anyway, to the point that
I'm sure most classmates' impression of me is unfriendliness. I wonder if
it occurs to them that the chatter that bookends the class is unfriendly to
my practice. It's always felt that way. It's hard to say such a thing, even
to the instructor, without sounding like a prick however. So I try to
radiate both conviviality and silence while I hold a pose before and after
class. It's difficult.

And finally, to Sarah (for everyone), YES, I am a West Texan, and I've
never met an Australian with whom I didn't feel instant kinship. It must be
to do with our topographies? The c-a-r of flora and fauna? I always liked
the scene in the first episode of Season 7 of Buffy where Willow pulls a
flower through the earth from South America to where she sits in Britain. I
think West Texas and Australia must be connected like this. Sarah, perhaps
we can try some experiments! I also wonder if you would agree with me about
another aspect of silence I've considered this month: I live in New York
State now, and I feel like there is much more of a culture of chatter here
than in West Texas. It was much easier to be silent without being read as
unfriendly where I grew up than it is here, I've noticed. I guess it's my
vaquero ancestors and our vast spaces. Growing up West Texan also taught me
about how much there is to hear when we are silent.

Josh T Franco
2013 - 2014 Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellow, Ithaca College
2013 - 2014 Imagining America PAGE Fellow
PhD Candidate, Art History
MA, Philosophy, Interpretation & Culture
Binghamton University, SUNY

On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 2:56 PM, Irina Contreras <icontreras at cca.edu> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello and happy Thursday!
> Thanks so much again for reading and participating December guests.
> Thanks too to all you looky-loo's of the voyeur variety. ;)
> Last guests of this week will be as follows below.
> We might have some people updating their bios as they see fit and I will
> wait a bit to see if anyone jumps in with questions etc.
> It would be great if any of the guests can pipe in on what they have
> observed from other guests etc.
> Just a note too that guests were paired a bit haphazardly because of
> holiday traveling schedules. I had initially planned for example to have
> Josh T Franco speak to Sarah Jones work etc. It's just so happens that this
> week somehow became the "music" week thought it was intended to be a bit
> more dispersed. That said, in retrospect....it does seem interesting to me
> that it has become the "sound" week.
> Looking forward!
> Irina
> Essex Lordes is a San Francisco based DJ, writer, amateur photographer,
> activist for social justice, and full-time student. Hailing from Detroit,
> he has been chilling around the bay area for 3 years. His alias, DJ Booty
> Klap, has spun jamz at homolicious & poc-centric nights such as Ships in
> The Night, Fruitcake, BLACKOUT, and is one of three driving forces behind
> the new Party Hole. His blog, Pieces of the Kaleidoscope, seeks to examine
> life in the queer/black/radical intersection within the city of San
> Francisco, where the black population dwindles as the cost of living
> rising, and in the greater context of the U.S. empire and the world.
> Full-time student at SF CIty College, Essex studies sociology while working
> towards a certificate in HIV prevention. He is a supporting member of SF
> Pride @ Work, aka HAVOQ. With some of his free time he works to create
> community by gathering black queer people in SF for monthly meetings for
> discussion and socialization in a safe space.
> Josh T Franco was born in West Texas in 1985. He attended Southwestern
> University near Austin, Texas where he graduated as a Paideia Scholar in
> Art History (2006). Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Art History at SUNY
> Binghamton in Binghamton, New York. His dissertation focuses on the
> multiple aesthetics present in the town of Marfa, Texas. This year he holds
> two fellowships, one residential, one nominal: Predoctoral Diversity
> Fellowship at Ithaca College and Imagining America PAGE (Publicly Active
> Graduate Education) Fellowship. At Ithaca College he is teaching Chicano/a
> Art this fall and will lead a seminar on Minimalism in the spring. Franco
> is an Artist-Guide at Judd Foundation, 101 Spring Street, the home and
> studio of artist Donald Judd in New York City. He is also the Texas
> correspondent for New York City-based zingmagazine. Since 2008, Franco has
> been an active member in the Modernity / Coloniality / Decoloniality
> Collective, working primarily with philosopher Maria Lugones, with
> occasional study with Walter D. Mignolo, Laura E. Perez, and other advanced
> scholars in the field. His most recent publication, "Rebozo [Man] in
> Nepantla: Gender and Arts Revolutions in San Anto, Tejas", appears in the
> trilingual anthology *México en sus revoluciones, *from University of
> Toronto Press. In 2013, he also presented the public talks "Minimalism y
> rasquachismo: Questioning 'Decolonial Aesthetics' in Far West Texas" and
> "EXPOSED: Process, Couture, and Photography in Marfa, Texas" at Marfa Book
> Company and the Frick Collection respectively. Franco also maintains a
> slow, but steady studio practice. Since 2009, his work has been exhibited
> at the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center and as part of the Gloria E.
> Anzaldúa Conference both in San Antonio, Texas and at CoLab in Austin,
> Texas. Currently, he is working on piece commissioned by Spare P*art*s
> and Lady Base Gallery in San Antonio.
> Among other things, Los Angeles native Nanny Cantaloupe (aka Mitchell
> Brown) is a DJ on KXLU and Dublab, a music label owner (Melon Expander) and
> an assistant to mentally and physically alternatively-abled children. As a
> sound artist/musician he improvises and composes using analog electronics,
> magnetic tape manipulation, electro-acoustics and percussion, among other
> things. Cantaloupe’s artistic sensibilities can sometimes be related to the
> various natural psychological and physiological states one can channel when
> casting aside social judgments in favor of a more solipsistic approach to
> the human senses. Seemingly foreign inner landscapes can become a familiar
> canvas upon which feelings, perceptions and sounds without common
> descriptions by established verbal languages, can flourish
> transcendentally. And sometimes he just makes people boogie and/or scratch
> their heads to his esoteric record collection. Current musical projects
> include Golden Hits (with fellow labrats Frosty, Jimmy Tamborello, Katie
> Byron & Ben Knight), Fancy Space People, Brain Sucking Peanunanners
> (founded with children), Points of Friction and collaborations with Joseph
> Hammer, Matthewdavid and Hymnal, among many others.
> Juba Kalamka is most recognized as cofounder of "homohop" group Deep
> Dickollective (D/DC), development of the micro-label/distributor Sugartruck
> Recordings, and direction of PeaceOUT World Homohop Festival (2002 -
> 2007). He received a 2005 Creating Change Award from the National Gay and
> Lesbian Task Force for his activist work in queer music community. He
> recently appeared at Life Is LIVE 3 (Berlin, Germany) and is included in
> the lyric compendium The Anthology of Rap (Yale University Press, 2010).
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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