Tuesday, October 23, 2012


At the gallery party in the Ford Building.

At the panel for Floating World Comics

Breakfast at The Projects!

The Church of Awesome Thought Dream Grant play with Julia Gfrörer, Allie Hankins, Amber Smith & Wally

I stole all of these photos off the various facebook folders for The Projects facebook page. I was unable to get any pictures myself. 
This was one crazy beautiful show! 2 nights of Gridlords plus the panel I conducted the opening night & the panel I was on Sunday afternoon were all a serious experience of absolute wonder, magic, explosive excitement, otherworldly delight & occasional awkward dips into new & awesome territory!
On Thursday evening the Projects had a little dinner party at Blossoming Lotus that I just barely made after practicing Julia Gfrörer's performance, in which I played a merman in a pair of black tights. Later after the dinner there was an opening art show curated by the projects that featured a rad selection of Igor Hofbauer prints & I was able to also see a couple pieces made by a favorite of mine, Mark Beyer. Friday afternoon I met Matthew Thurber while he set up a beautiful vibrating wall with wizard! He told me all about a series of amazing sounding books I hope to find. One about a wizard & another about a study of a little girl whose scientist aunt was analyzing her artistic growth. In the evening on I met Sammy Harkham & reaquainted with Matthew Thurber as well as Jonny Negron who was on a book tour with Sammy. At Floating World Comics I then led a Gridlords panel with them & buddy Chris Cilla to discuss various topics derived from a slideshow of images I conducted & transitioned in a Mr. Rogers fashion via casiotone flourishes. These images were meant to get them to talk about things such as their mothers, their fathers, their work habits & concepts of living in an almost psychoanalytical party. All of which they avoided with great skill. Overall Sammy gave a great show of getting the boys to be boys. Right after, Emily Nilsson & I met up with Andrice who introduced me to Gabrielle Bell & Tom K who had a reading at Powell's, sadly parallel to our event. I got to get my frustrations with Doods & comics off my chest with Gabrielle & Nicole Georges over whiskey drinks with yummy house-made Ginger soda. Then Emily & I went to the House show at Mike's Basement. I never once saw anyone perform because my buddies who had a corner in the house with a box of beers, Jack Hayden & Goodyear are way too entertaining, genius & rad! The next morning (11am Saturday) I was met along with Andrice by Lisa Mangum & Anna Ehrlemark to help prepare a breakfast for the artists & planners of the Projects. I mostly ran circles & I made a large amount of coffee, then I ate large quantities of sausage & salmon spread! It was amazing to be at a table again with such a wonderful eclectic group of artists in such a great mood! Later that day as in a trance I hung around the projects soaking in the atmosphere of screenprinting madness & people drawing together on the wall, on the tables, on the floors! If only they had scaffolding to draw on the ceilings! My pals Kelly Froh, Eroyn Franklin & Max Clotfelter from Seattle arrived just in time to do a panel on new school festivals. I started to crawl inside myself as the time came closer for what was my most ambitiously planned Gridlords yet, with potentially a larger audience and with many more new people to win over. Before I knew it we were in the thick of it & it was marvelous!!! Maia Bambul started it off with an epic show that melted me into a beautiful bliss to live music by Pulse Emitter. Everyone who followed was like a new delicious flavor added to the perfect meal that I could only describe as being like my favorite food Sundubu jjigae. Austin English went second & then Clara Bessijelle, while Julia Gfrörer & I played live music to accompany her reading of Face Man. Next Julia gave a very dark performance of her comic Black is the Color with dancer and choreographer Allie Hankins, Suzette Smith, a dood name of Jacob & me as merpeople that was nearly too dark to see.  Matthew Thurber did a scroll comic presentation specially made for the Projects that had everyone in post-modern stitches! Then it all wrapped up with Jesse McManus doing the most phenomenal performance of Oof Tah! that he later told me had him in tears when people of the audience, undirected, joined in making his sound effects. It was truly moving! Later Andrice, Graham Kahler, Julia, & most of the Projects met up to eat dinner at the moon & sixpence. I was so relieved at this point that Gridlords had worked! I was slowly awesomizing into maximum overdrive now! We blasted through some fish & chips then on too the Hollywood Theater where my body was put through the tests of restraint & utter madness as we watched one of my favorite bands Nice Nice play an extremely beautiful dance music set that I was so angry we were in a seated venue for, & that no one else was dancing. I am too self conscious to just get up there by myself. I was shaking our aisle with rambunctious restless leg dance in my seated position! The next morning, once I started to feel more clear & alive, I found myself still fiending for the dance (this is really like most mornings) & I was suddenly standing eating a bowl of cereal dancing to Daphni djing live on youtube which was a video showing Dan Snaith (Daphni or Caribou) at turn tables getting rad while people danced behind him & behind them '90s videos of people danced behind them. Later at the Projects I was able to share this experience on a panel I was on to talk on performance, comics & the internet from my Gridlords perspective. Before the panel however I needed to get nourished. Andrice & Emily picked me up to get to the Projects & I caught up briefly with Jason T. Miles who had some new rad books! Andrice & I both had different understandings on this new publishing thing he had started called Fantasy Graphics. We went to get Burritos where Graham Kahler met up with us & I decided that we should all do a cover zine of Jason's new comic based on the idea we thought Fantasy Graphics was. So all three of us redrew the 8 pages of his zine & Graham & Andrice photocopied it into its new cover zine to give Jason while I was on the panel. I hope Jason was delighted! He seemed like he was out of his mind with excitement! It was the most fun I had drawing in days as well as it felt like a smart healthy & magic exorcize! I hope he publishes it as Fantasy Graphics. That's my Fantasy!
On the left is Andrice Arp's cover version of Jason T. Miles's zine cover & on the right is Jason's cover.
 Later after the Panel I flipped right into Gridlords, & before I knew it I was setting up the brilliant Erik Nebel who performed a magnificent electric violin set to his new color comic series! It was so amazing! Each comic is only 3 panels but all in sequence together it felt like a crazy trailer for the most amazing psychedelic questionably children's animated movie! Then Chris Cilla gave one of my favorite performances I've seen him do! In Cilla white glove & Boombox voice he showed us the world! 
I then presented my greatest achievement I have ever made! Allie Hankins, Amber Smith, Julia Gfrörer, & Wally our understudy & prop maker (who learned his lines in full at Gridlords to fill in for our ailing Alicia who was in the role prior) performed my Church of Awesome thought Dream Grant comic mini in full as a play accompanied by me on synthesizer for music!!! I couldn't have been more proud! I almost cried! But I had to keep it together to host the show! But it was truly the best thing I've ever been part of! The cast was just so overwhelmingly perfect that it was its own living thing that I am having trouble even understanding how that came from me or whether i can even take credit for it! SO ABSTRACT! You know? I wrote that thing, & directed that thing, but then watching it happen live in real life felt like I was dreaming an event as opposed to creating it! How can one create people acting out your ideas? IT'S CRAZY! It was also the 1st time it was performed in full costume. We never did a costume rehearsal, and each of them chose their own costumes, so it was really like a dream to have that new element right there fresh & new for me. 
Tom Neely & Keenan Keller followed in there Dudular way, & thoroughly man-yonnaised our minds to send us out of the Projects! Jason ushered us out sentimentally. No one seemed to know quite how to leave. How do you get out of the Projects? Aren't your projects your life? What's your life project? A fountain of us washed over to Hungry Tiger to get some food in our systems. All the work I had done for the event caught up to me & I had become sick. I went on with everyone to Holocene to see my friends Manny & Tim perform as Atole. I was accosted (for the 3rd time all weekend) by the Useless, brutal, Immature, angry, violent Misogyny of the sadly never maturing (in his 50 something years) Frenchman's animation before Atole played. Atole had a sick lover among the band at home so they played a short & sweet set of mostly new material (to me), & ran. Then with a series of hugs we all parted into the night to sleep off our stupor & dream.             
 Thanks to all who were there & all who participated in making this all so amazing!!!
I would like to thank a bunch of people! Jason, Lisa & Dunja for making me a part of their world. Asher Craw for helping me all weekend during Gridlords. Sam for thinking of me & getting me a bagel & beer. Graham for being such a wonderful friend with such able spirit and creative drive! Wally for jumping in everywhere I needed & being such a great friend of intense spirit! Allie Hankins, Julia Gfrörer & Amber Smith for being the most phenomenal cast I could have ever dreamed!!! I wish I could write a million things for you all to perform (Allie, how bout that Opera???). Emily for being at my side & making Gridlords possible with me & driving me everywhere all week! And Andrice for keeping me of positive mind with confidence & support in everything I had to do!
You are all the greatest of Projects! May we never stop making projects together!  

No comments: