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

Irina Contreras icontreras at cca.edu
Fri Jan 3 09:06:57 EST 2014


Thanks so much everyone for "joining" everyone, whether or not you actually
responded! Thanks to guests/participants and to Renate for letting us play
with the Empyre.

Josh, I so very much loved your email from the yoga experiment as it
relates and doesn't to call and response/CAR and the connections to Sarah's
work and emails. I know nothing of Buffy but am a huge Firefly fan and
heard that Buffy was an anarchist. I really should have paid closer

Silence, waiting and non-response or I think as I may have brought up at
some point, "refusal to participate" are so very interesting to me. I think
there is something to be said for the time it takes to experience
something, the waiting that this current culture doesn't permit us to do.
And as you said, a silence that may not convey what it seems to. There's so
much there even the pleasure or perception of pleasure from a "correct"
participation or sound to an incorrect one.

Thanks also for your last response Dorothy! I am excited to check out the
artist you mentioned. Ableism is huge within call and response depending on
your definition I suppose of how rigidly one might think of it. I don't
necessarily think of it so rigidly, I think?

Quick story since we haven't gotten to talk about this important subject
matter yet and it's one I am super interested in. For those not privy to
such language, in the Bay Area in California, I think that awareness in
some communities (rightfully so) is an ongoing attempt to articulate
awareness around accessibility, ableism and "scent-free"
performances/events etc. Scent free would apply to those who have MCS or
 environmental/chronic illnesses that might be affected by scents from
soaps, perfumes etc. Interestingly enough what has happened is that a
"call" is issued in which people are told not to wear certain things etc
while the majority of people outside these communities then "ignore" the
call since they don't understand/perceive the call. In my experience, it's
become a slippery slop particularly around privilege and language etc. I

So, the real story is that a few months ago I participated in a dance
workshop/class interpretation of Yvonne Rainer's seminal piece, Trio A. The
piece developed when Rainer was considering saying goodbye to dance forever
looks at what she calls "pedestrian movement" ie the movement of the
non-dancer. I was ecstatic to participate and then realized we were a.
mostly practicing with people who are actual dancers with a capital D and
B. part of a group of mixed ability dancers. Both of these groups were
amazing but I found that it created a situation in which I felt that our
collective response was so far from the initial "call" to the pedestrian
movement that Rainer wished to invoke. Rather than thinking about our own
personal movements, some focused on getting things exact and right and then
how the mixed ability group would translate the movements. The ending
result for them became a mix of using the chair for example. I think that
the use of the chair was meant to speak to obviously the wheelchair but
also the use of a folding chair as a dance prop. As a former
dancer/"entertainer" for men's parties, I immediately thought of the chair
as a tool for lap dances. I am sure I was not the only one because it's a
common place for women to make money period and/or while in school. It was
a bizarre and also very interesting experience to say the least. In a way I
think it also likens itself to the game of Telephone, memory and (mis)

Lastly, I saw the Sarah Polley film last night, Stories we tell...I highly
recommend as well. I think it's super connected to Byron's film, Reinas,
issues brought up by Josh, Dorothy etc.

Huge thanks again everyone! Looking forward to January's Empyre!



On Wed, Jan 1, 2014 at 8:05 PM, Dorothy Santos <dsantos at cca.edu> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Josh,
> When you brought up your yoga practice related to the call and response
> theme, the first thing that came to mind was able vs. disabled bodies
> (specifically, hearing impaired). I bring this up because I am interested
> in writing about artist Christine Sun Kim (http://christinesunkim.com/)
> who was born deaf but is a sound artist. She brings up such a fascinating
> perspective because she observed social rules around sound (i.e., why do we
> tip toe around the house when it's 2 am in the morning or yelling during a
> meeting). There are social cues based on sound and not necessarily around
> language.
> Your example reminded me of Kim's work. She relies on working with her
> audience/listener to help create the work. This is a unique call and
> response relationship. You mentioned wanting to see what happened if you
> refrained from making sounds during your practice and wanting others around
> you to note the silence is, well, a type of sound itself. I'm getting
> pretty abstract. But I wanted to raise the issue of ableism and how it
> affects this notion of call and response. For instance, a DJ, a
> musician, even a yoga instructor goes into a particular venue or
> establishment and probably assumes that most if not all participants are
> able to hear and respond. In any case, thanks for sharing your experience.
> I'm trying to write a paper on music notation in graphical form (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_notation#Examples_of_graphic_notation)
> so the call and response theme is resonating with me at the moment.
> On Sat, Dec 28, 2013 at 7:50 AM, Josh T Franco <jtobiasfranco at gmail.com>wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> 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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