Process: Research

Perspectives: An artistic investigation of inherent movement structures in reference to gender and sexuality as coerced by unfamiliar circumstances.

Thesis:
There are instictive reactions of the body relating to the id and ego when a person is put into a situation where the circumstances and outcomes are unknown. This digital media project is a visual and dialectal study of gestures that exploits the uneencumbered movement vocabulary of these reactions in an effort to notate the commanalities and differences between gender, cultural background, sexuality and other demographics.

Procedure:
I connected with friends and strangers through various media (in person, Facebook, telephone, Skype, email…) and told them I wanted to take a photo of them for a movement research project; I told them I couldn’t tell them anything else.

Everyone agreed to meet me at my home office. Each subject was offered tea and after some amicable and irrelevant (to the project) conversation, we retired to my office to begin the project.

I did not look them in the eye when they arrived in the room – I only gave them directions during four different settings in the room. It was interesting to see what was natural and what wasn’t – in the way they moved – and I did not mention or note any of the certain reactions until after the photographic process. All of the initial photos in position #1 and #2 were portraits of the body rather than the face, and the subjects were not notified until after the process of this technique.

When the photos and filming concluded, I apologized to each subject about the vagueness of my request to photograph them and further explained my intentions to build a movement vernacular based on researching the inherent physical reactions to unknown situations across a motley populous of age, race, gender and sexuality.

Purpose:
To develop categories and vocabulary of movement utilizing techniques and methodologies of Labanotation to establish a repertoire to be used in future choreographic/artistic and pedagogy contexts.

Main Conclusions:
Though examination of the quantitative and qualitative results correlating to the physical, photographic and data survey results, the inherent reactions of the subjects in accordance to their respective gender, sexuality and cultural distinctions show obvious patterns that are clearly noted in the photographic study. The men show tension and ease with different gestures than the women, as do the homosexual versus heterosexual. Through the portraits of the body, the subjects display major gestures that include clinching of the hands together versus freedom of movement of the arms, crossing of the legs and/or feet or keeping them open and spread apart, tension in various muscles, leaning or a heightened sense of posture.

Typically, the males make more use of the space than the females, and with each progression in position (from #1-#4), those identifying as homosexual tend to gravitate towards more freedom of movement, with less tension and posing.

The female subjects use less of the space and exhibit more trepidation than the male subjects.

Of the most import is the discovery of the unanimous reaction captured from position #4. All of the subjects were asked to stand against the wall and were told, “I need you to jump up and down for me,” with no inflection in voice or eye contact. Each subject, with little or no hesitation, began to smile and/or laugh. This inherent reaction was apparent in each case, and was documented by the photographic and film study.

Post-procedure comments included that the subjects were nervous but happy. In this moment when told to jump, feelings of youth and being happy were common, thus explaining the commonality amongst the photographic results. It is this tension that is released during this freedom of moment exercise after positions #1, #2, and #3 where the subject is not privy to the results of the camera or the requirements of the researcher – then there is a spontaneous dispute between the id and the ego, and the body is left making a subconscious choice and an initial unknown reaction to the perspective of the environment that up until that point had been completely mysterious and seemingly planned out.

Process: Editing

The golden rule is that writers should not edit their own work. That is, seemingly complete works that are ready to be disseminated. I break this rule all the time, primarily with the happenstance that the general population would classify me as an “emerging artist” given my credentials, and I don’t have the luxury of an editor or an agent (yet). The worst thing you can do is ask another writer to take a look at your writing, as best described by the character of Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s A Midnight in Paris: “If it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate it all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.”

With plays and screenplays it is almost imperative to receive feedback from other writers, the harsher the better despite the fact that a writer is typically his/her own best/worst critic. One of the biggest compliments I’ve ever got was from another playwright who attended my very first staged reading. When I asked him for his contact information after he praised my work many times over and I explained to him that I wanted to see if he could share some of his contacts with me he replied, “I don’t want to give you any of my contacts. This play has got legs…”.

Now that I am shopping around my scripts to people that I’ve networked through my own volition and experience, I know better than to delve into correcting every little comma or expository clause – that is the pain and glory of rewrites that are inevitable and unavoidable no matter the circumstances of the director’s or producer’s lust for your talents.

I’ve been editing like mad – though I know I shouldn’t be, but I must do it in order to fit the brief of special requests, and I do this quite often with my scripts that I submit to contests in order to adhere to specific guidelines therein.

Yesterday I was looking for an old script (much of my complete writing took place shortly after my aforementioned launch pad staged reading during my golden years of 2005-2008 when I had a regular gig writing scenes for a burlesque troupe) and I found one of THOSE UNFINISHED NOVELS. Any writer will know what this is. This is one of those aborted babies that you wouldn’t dare throw out with the bath water. It was “the one” – the genius that was penned in the hopes of proving to the world that you are “the one”.

Originally written on a yellow legal pad, I transcribed the story onto a computer file, and I remember that the idea came about right after I read The Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz. It was compelling to face the demon once again and I took right away to editing it – noting the vast differences in my abilities now compared to then – so many silly typos and so much comma worshipping of my yesteryears!

What was the most daunting and alluring challenge was the period piece nature of the work. Written over 8 years ago, so much of the scenes and stories are made up of time-specific nuances, especially antiquated technology. This is something that I face with my current work; it is hard to keep up with the advents of social media and hardware and software because there is always something new on the horizon.

This novel that I’ll never finish was adapted into a one-act that I expanded into a full length play, with similar themes but new characters altogether. I titled it “The End of the Beginning” and took the opening monologue out and had it performed during a night of contemporary vaudeville at the opening show of my Hokum Arts venture in 2006. That play then became the basis of my newest UNFINISHED NOVEL, a story with a similar background (to break the tension, I write mostly about starving artists and love quadrilaterals).

My goal is to stop editing and give all of these things to an editor, otherwise I’ll keep regurgitating unfinished pieces. It’s a lovely trap that I’ve put myself in – giving birth to all of these babies and enduring the fear of an empty nest.

————————————–

THE BIG RED DOOR

The big red door…What the fuck am I doing here? I wish I could remember who I was, who I am with, what time it is, what’s this shit spilled on my shirt, where this bruise on my arm came from, and more importantly, what the fuck am I doing here again!? I’m being dragged across wobbly, busted cobblestones. There is still no explanation as to why these fucking bars and nightclubs decide to build their establishments right in front of the most fucked up and inconvenient terrain as if it wasn’t challenging enough lurching through dark parking lots searching for any sign of where I left my car or stumbling over potholes being led home by some Ben Affleck looking guy that had the really good smile and the really bad laugh that just so happened to by me a drink just in time for my standards to disintegrate before me. My vision is blurred as I am being practically gang-raped from behind by a big school of drag queens, the Barbara Streissand looking one asking me if I have any crystal, or “Tina” as he/she calls it.

“No man, sorry,” I manage to slur from my cotton-mouthed mouth, coughing and aheming all the way.

“Well, let’s move your arse a little faster honey, Mama needs a little pick me up and fast,” he/she slurs back at me with his/her elbows in my back.

I’m feeling nauseous now, looking up at the infamous big red door, gothic and cathartic in all its glory. A symbol epitomizing all that is passé in the _____ nightlife scene. I am already loathing the feigned smiles and sullen faces. The guy in the corner with the twitching problem, the exhibitionistic couples scattered ever so accurately throughout the dance floor, at the pool table, blocking the entrance to the unisex (and then some) bathrooms that someone’s already puked all over by 10:30; all of them half-naked and embarrassing, tossing themselves about the joint as if they were being paid to put on such a show. The music will suck. I’m sure that D.J. Disappointment will be on hand all night spinning non-stop tracks and mixes and beats of the most overrated, pop hoppy, housey drum and bassish techno bullshit. There will be an abrupt fight on the dance floor between two Guidos trying to get up on the same (girl?) with the really obvious breast implants. I know I’m going to run into everyone except the one I really want to see. There’ll be Mike and John and Mike, and Paul and Sam and that guy with the staring problem (he was always fucking staring at me!). The guy with the vet, Kevin and Jay and the really funny Jewish guy who bought me that funky heart shaped ashtray from Urban Outfitters, and the guy who took me to his office and I cut my leg on the coffee table, and Jim and Jim, and I’m sure both of the bartenders will be working, and the barback (what was his name, Josh?). And Ronnie and Fred, Mikey J., Ralph, Kevin (he still has my Portishead CD), and Jessi and Terry will certainly be here (God I don’t want to see them). I’m sure Rob will be playing pinball. And of course Greg will show up just to top off my night.

I guess I could be a bit more optimistic. I might just get lucky tonight, that’s if I haven’t already. I think I am starting to see shit and my skin is tingling like a motherfucker. What is today anyway? I hope it isn’t pedophile night or hip-hop night or freggin’ Goth night. Not that every night isn’t gay night.

Now I can actually see who is tugging on my hand making me ram into two underage prostitots in pleather pants and spaghetti strap tank tops, one crying because she can’t find her fake I.D. Whatever. Apparently I met some dude with a close cropped beard wearing tight assed Levi’s and a white tee shirt. He’s yelling something back at me. I grin and nod my head as he looks passed me at someone with a big hooded parka and gives him the thumbs up. Where the hell did this guy come from? We’re getting closer to the big red door and I can see Dave the doorman. I can’t wait for him to give me his extra special frisk just for fun since he already knows that I have at least three dime bags of coke, a few tabs of some Saturn Sunset or whatever it’s called blotter acid, a sack of kind bud, a vile of K and a flask of Jack Daniel’s. I’ll meet him in the VIP lounge later.

I reach down in my frayed vintage leather jacket and make sure my flask is still there. I opt to take a couple of swigs before I go in. All of a sudden I’m climbing stairs and I spill some sweet whiskey on my smorgasbord of spilled substances already polluting my new Disel shirt. Whatever. When mystery man and I finally get pushed to the door, I wave to Davey and he smiles and yells, “Hey sexy!”, before returning to his argument with some girl who probably wanted more than just to give him a blowjob. He pushes me through with this guy and we’re in.

Deep breath. I turn around and give the big red door one last look. Mystery man has disappeared already. Social dysfunction everywhere. Just how I pictured it. Just how I always see it. I am so sick of this bourgeois bullshit. What the fuck am I doing here? If only I had cable. The shoving has subsided and I stand paralyzed in a daze. Colors flashing, faggots twirling, bartenders flirting, eighteen year olds ODing, couples dry humping on the smoke laden dance floor, guys cruising meticulously, some of them drinking lukewarm Coor’s Light bottles, others fiddling with their hands in their pockets. I catch glimpses of laughs and strangers calling my name and pseudo conversations but the music is so bad and obnoxious nothing is really audible. My head is spinning but I am still dubiously conscious, recognizing a face here and there. I am scanning the four bars in the four corners of the room (all of them named after a color, respectively) then the game room upstairs that looks down on the club under a big glass floor, and then throughout the dance floor, squinting through the dissipating drama fog. And then, of course, as if in some fucking nightmare, my soothsaying and my pessimistic forecast prevail.

© Louis DeVaughn Nelson

Berlin Fashion Film Festival 2014

The beautiful thing about fashion film is it’s a genre that encompasses virtually every other medium of art. A creative vision is spawned by a seamed collaboration between artists from different backgrounds all with the goal of constructing an indelible presentation of a motif.

The best work in fashion film are pieces that clearly exploit the brand, that invoke a sense of mystery and entice the audience’s curiosity about the product, that maintain a sense of humor, are visually arresting, and have a unique point of view and arouse declarations of controversy.

I was treated to these attributes many times over at the recent bout of public screenings for the Berlin Fashion Film Festival 2014. The selection committee somehow managed to dwindle over 700 submissions down to 70, from 54 countries with a bevy of works spanning all kinds of brands and backgrounds.

 

Tonight is the Award Ceremony where the judges will have the daunting task of picking the winners amongst the group of carefully curated films. The ceremony will also include a live fashion show from eccentric and charismatic Russian designer Andre Bartenev – presenting his Bubble of Hope pieces that I had the honor of adorning at a Fashion Week opening party.

 

 

bfff 2014

 

I couldn’t be any more inspired than I am right now. The films were so creative and well-versed in artistry from the provocative to the hilarious to the seriously satirical. Subjectiveness withstanding, here are my favorites out of the films I got to see*.

1. “Jumper” by Justin Anderson

I don’t know what it is about people with the last name “Anderson” – but they seem to be naturally born filmmakers. He killed it with his arresting composition of reality meets fantasy in a film that I hope everyone in the world will get to see. It’s not online yet, but you can see a sample of his work here:

 

2. “Persona” by Gordon von Steiner

This is a very racy film that uses a very dark sexuality to seduce the viewer but that is not all that I love about it. Yes, sex sells, but what is so meticulously attested to is the importance of the self-reflecting nature of fashion. With the absence of clothes (seen so vehemently throughout) the importance of the wardrobe becomes almost subliminally etched into your memory. The pieces are memorable (those jackets! those shoes!) because when the character is stripped down to that naked vulnerable object, the value of style becomes more apparent. Yes, I’m getting all poetic about it, but this is the sort of work that demonstrates the poetry of fashion – and more importantly, the pith of why we choose the clothes that we choose.

 

3.  “Let’s Not Make It Complicated” – by Samu-Jussi Koshi

This is brilliant. Simple, hilarious, shows the product clearly and the theme of the collection. It just works. It was nice to see some high quality dialog and acting to go with something so visual. That fear factor of using live acting is put to rest here – this film could do very well in a visual-only situation with the addition of subtitles.

4.  “Today, Tonight” by Fred & Nick

It is a difficult task to encapsulate the aesthetics of menswear and womenswear in one film and this does so brilliantly, though I feel as though much of the work was dubiously augmented by an incomparable budget and should have let some more organic aspects of the film linger on, for example: the acting gems they acquired for the piece were usurped by flashes of cinematic genius. It’s not easy to get a model that can act – this could have been taken advantage of.

5.  “L’Agent by Agent Provocateur” by Penelope Cruz

Penelope! You so nasty! J’adore!

 

 

——————

Absolutely loved these other films as well.

“MYKITA + Maison Martin Margiela” by Julien Soulier and Adrien Landre

“Hummel J Autumn Winter 2014″ by Ole Delfs

“K Woman” by Hunter and Gatti

“Prenza Schouler IS” by HARRYS

“ANTWRP SS14″ by Guido Verelst

“The Purgatory of Monotony” by Ace Norton

 

Two of my most honorable mentions go to Badtime Stories – a local mom & pop produced low budget film from the independent label Muschi Kreuzberg Berlin.

I will not say anything about this because it is so riveting you have to experience it first hand. WATCH NOW!!!

http://www.badtimestories.de

 

And last but not least – this ditty really took home the cake for being the most fun!

 

 

Happy Fashion Week!

 

 

*I was only able to attend 3 our of the total 4 screenings

Process: Teaching

Sadists make the best Teachers.

This is most duly noted in the arts and in sports due mostly in part to the competitive natures and the already evident masochistic tendencies therein of artists and athletes. Many adages can be referenced i.e. “No pain no gain.” It is easy to listen to that proverbial Devil voice inside your head but sometimes you need it screamed from someone on the outside looking in, a veritable Saint of motivation. All of my most memorable teachers and coaches have been the ones that have pushed me the hardest and made me feel horrible about myself.

I haven’t been teaching for the past year and a half and it’s killing me. Besides my input on movie sets, my sparse and sporadic editing jobs and working as a movement consultant, I’ve been lacking in that concrete, constructed way of disseminating knowledge. I miss making lesson plans, I miss the challenge of individualized teaching, I miss feeling useful and needed, I miss those painful and pleased faces indicative of “finally getting it right”…I miss my passion.

While I started and finished as a teacher for children and adult learners, I fear that that path has ended for me and I really want to go back to university level teaching. Academia is somewhere I feel the most at home and because so much of my personal artistic work is research-based, I need that nest of higher learning to nurture my craft; I’m jaded from beginners that don’t know what a plié is.

At the end of my stint in teaching a beginner’s modern jazz class almost two years ago, I was so frustrated with the constant of a lack of comprehension (from experience, not my teaching) and I started to get very angry with my students (and also my typisch Berliner Angst was becoming more than I could handle). In this I became that aggressive, demeaning instructor that I try to avoid and a funny thing happened: my students began to love me more.

“That was a really tough class, thank you!” was the general consensus amongst them as they would come up to me after a session, sweaty and nauseous with the pain I doled out – pain derivative of my lack of control in other regards.

My first teaching job (2005) was for a dance school for children and I almost got fired for being too nice.  I was getting complaints from parents that my teaching skills were weak and pacifying; I needed to toughen up. Of course I had already suffered through years and years of being an athlete and a dancer, so I knew what was expected of me – but for some reason I took a gentle approach despite the fact that the most memorable and effective teachers I knew were the ones who called us “fat” and “miserable” while we would sweat for hours in front of mirrors wearing skin tight clothing.

When I started mimicking my predecessors, my efforts were appreciated and rewarded. I then continued on this mean streak in my work as a choreographer and director – and when I tried (again) to finish my Education degree, I molded a sort of pedagogy that involved somewhat of a S/M philosophy with compassion.

 

devo1

I’ve been focusing my energies on my writing in the past few months, revisiting scripts and novels strewn about my notebooks, my computer, my USB drives and in my psyche, and trying to hone them into something presentable.

I am STILL looking for a reputable composer for my musical that I wrote almost 8 years ago. I’ve tidied up a few things and I’ve been correlating all of my efforts with a heaping load of research and I came across this:

 

 

This is such a glaring example of how S/M can play into the teaching realm. If you’ve had the painful pleasure of being involved with a piece by Sondheim, you know very well that his works are a lesson in brutality as they are seemingly impossible to master. Here in the video you can see the joy in his face as he watches his art slaves try to navigate their way through the difficult persuasion he has drawn out for them.

What I love best about this video is that there are glaring examples of individualized teaching and learning through three paradigms of typical art students.

Notice the different styles he uses for each.

 

The Hopeless: There is a method that is used for the student who is shy and does not push as hard as the other students. Usually it is best to leave them alone and create a certain pocket of negative energy within themselves. They are more likely to gain confidence as a bystander or onlooker, taking notes in their head as to how the other more progressive students are adapting to the challenge. The day will come where The Hopeless student will take all of that negative energy from being virtually ignored (besides having the instructor roll his/her eyes at him/her)  and push himself harder to achieve and thus earn the respect and attention of the instructor.

The Diva: You must handle the Diva very delicately, as pointed out by Sondheim in the video. The Diva cannot really be corrected harshly, but guided in a way that reassures their already superfluous superiority complex. This may seem counteractive, but in the end, The Diva will always rely on praise rather than insult, so in a way a bout of reverse psychology is necessary here. Subtle subliminal cues can be given to The Diva wordlessly because like The Hopeless, the lack of attention will enforce a sense of “trying harder” in order to get the instructor’s attention.

The Sponge: The Sponge is the most tortured and respected kind of student. You will see it in virtually every art form and in every sport. The best student or player gets the most negative attention. They are called horrible names and nothing they do is right. I always tell my Sponges “That was perfect, now do it better,” never giving up on them and never letting them get a free ride. That is the nice side. Note in the video that the corrections are taken and utilized immediately, through one of the most difficult musical theater compositions ever created (Sondheim once described the piece as “having an asthma attack gracefully”). Instructors love The Sponge type of student because this is where the most punishment is allocated, and in turn, the most reward is attained.

Process: Writing (From The Archive)

As narcissistic as it is, I revere my love of preserving and archiving my work. Not only is it a vital resource for improving my work (I cringe and laugh at some of my glaring typos from my early days of blogging), it helps me to recognize my growth and acheivement whilst wallowing in the constant cycle that is a variation of a theme. 

I have many times proclaimed that 2007 was the best year of my life and it was also the year that changed my life in so many big ways as it was the beginning of my realization that there was something bigger on the horizon and that my constant plights in my tragic flaw of ambition needed to be thinned out a bit; I was swallowing down more than I could chew up. 

It can be a very healthy exercise for a writer to review their old work – for the aforementioned reasons and otherwise. With my most recent bout of “Am I good enough?” versus “Am I too good?” that all writers (should) face intermittently, this old Live Journal entry helped me put things into a different perspective in relation to my current disposition in trying to focus solely on writing and leave all the other worlds I’ve created behind (as much as I possibly can). It’s also nice to have a giggle about the not so far off history of technology and social media.

 

Monday, April 9, 2007 – 1:49pm

 

“I don’t think my marriage could stand me having any more extra-curricular activities!”

 

 

The title quote is too appropriate for this entry. while reading another’s journal I wondered what it was, what it is, that keeps his relationship together. and then, i read the aforementioned.

was it 4 years ago that i started this livejournal? 

i used to have a lot more time in my life. for me at least. now, things have changed, mostly for the better, which we all know doesn’t fuel my writing as well as all the maladies do. besides, there’s myspace now.

ugh. i’m exhausted basically. since moving in with rob, i have lost so many hours a month. not just from the responsibility of the relationship, but the intense commute i’ve gotten myself into, again.

i’d like to say or not say that everything is going swimmingly. i’ve taken up yet another quasi-career in attempt to be a well-faceted artist. i started sewing and now i’m a full fledged designer. i took it up in the first place so i’ll never have to depend on someone else to help with costumes for my shows, but now it has turned into this all-out awe-inspiring thing. i’m creating these incredible clothes and it’s totally happening by accident. i’m just basically starting from scratch and teaching myself how to do everything, so…

besides that, spring has sprung. i started taking a writing on dance class at dance theatre workshop, which has me traveling to new york once a week. initially i thought it would be a good idea to hone my writing skills (i love classes anyway), because i got hired for this gay interest online magazine and i haven’t contributed anything yet. i’d like to focus on dance, but i can write about anything, as long as it’s gay.

i am also doing an official show for the philadelphia live arts festival. i’ve been planning shows at bars with this urban hipster. i’ve been still submitting paintings to several exhibition opportunities. still starting a nonprofit company (i applied and got approved for pro bon legal service and will be incorporating as a non profit sometime by the end of the year). i still have a loose attachment to the peek-a-boo. i’ve started working out again. i’ve started reading erica jong novels again. and most of all, i’m working at this library which i love, but it is so tremendously time consuming and stressful. and there’s this guy…

this guy is a scorpio. it’s a big issue, so much that i can barely even speak about it.

i’m getting to the point in the relationship where i am constantly riddled with guilt for not contributing enough time, energy or money to our relationship (the one i have with my boyfriend). i’m not as young as i once was, so my sexual artillery (while still potent and very effective) isn’t my best weapon so much anymore, i’m too uninterested and never in the mood. then there’s my wit, which always reminds them why they’re with me in the first place, but sometimes my bitterness just usurps everything.

i’ve been very flirty lately with new guys and old ones. but i’ve always been a flirt. for the first time i am genuinely attracted to someone who is not my boyfriend. i shouldn’t be talking about this.

i guess on one hand, i’m a very loyal, devoted capricorn…on the other, i’m amiss a quarter-life crisis and i’m letting my ambition get in the way of most everything else. the most precious thing in my life, that i’ve longed for so much for as long as i can remember, is taking a backseat to everything else.

i thought that being attracted to 40 year old men would inspire some type of contentment. someone who has seen and heard a lot more than most. a man who can suck it up and not be phased by bullshit or jealousy. nope. 

i forget how awesome i am (and they are, i guess) and the consumption just eludes me.

but i’m a journalist and a painter and a choreographer and a writer and a director and a musician and a fashion designer and a administrative coordinator and a creative director and a filmmaker and an urban hipster.

could it be that since i’ve become so unattainable that the roles have reversed?

i know that living in the suburbs is not for me. i’m a stubborn little bitch and i like my way the way i like it. some how i seem to get it most of the time.

i’m struggling a little bit right now because i don’t know for certain what it is that i want.

i do want that scorpio to go away though. he’s big big trouble.

 

Image

Film Still from a rehearsal of “Human Error” performed at the 2007 Philadelphia Live Arts & Fringe Festival

List: Stalking

I’ve tried all 50 ways (and then some) to leave my lover and I know every step I take he’ll be watching me. 

List making is usually a comforting and stress-relieving activity for me but today it is ripping my entrails apart. For legal purposes, I must make several lists in regards to activities that have transpired over the past 2 years about my ex-lover who has taken up a grand crusade of stalking after my much lamented history of trying to escape his domestic abuse (physical and otherwise). 

Image

 

There is no button I can press to “block” him (as so many doctors, lawyers, therapists, police officers, friends, and family members have suggested) as proven in this list of devices he has used to try and communicate with me. 

1. Email # 1

2. Email # 2

3. Facebook

4. Instagram

5. Twitter

6. Vimeo

7. Kik

8. Whatsapp

9. Gayromeo

10. Bareback City

11. Nasty Kink Pigs

12. Chem Pigs

13. Dudesnude

14. GoChat

15. Viber

16. Recon

17. Youtube

18. Tumblr

19. Cellphone # 1 (SMS and Calls)

20. Cellphone # 2 (SMS and Calls)

21. Skype

22. Blogger

23. Live in Person

 

Image

I use a lot of social media as a primary resource for my work as an artist – I would be a helpless and hopeless Satirist if I were to change any of the courses of my normal daily activities – that, as defined by law (in Germany and USA) is the primary function of stalking: to interrupt the opportunity for another person to live a normal life. 

Why Berlin.

If you come to and stay in Berlin for more than two minutes you will be blitzkrieg’d with the question “Why Berlin?” almost daily. To combat this I usually tout the adage “The same reason as everyone else,” that couldn’t be any closer to the truth – but I’ve complied a list of responses I’ve spat out or forgot to mention otherwise.

1. I wanted to move to Europe – Berlin is an international city that is central in Europe and cheap enough to survive.

2. I like the history of an ongoing artistic renaissance. There are more artists in Berlin than businessmen.

3. I’ve been doing a lot of WWII and Black European History research and I am developing work in regards to minority diaspora.

4. I like the cold, hard architecture.

5. There are a lot of people just like me back home on the east coast – I have a unique edge here.

6. I wanted to expand my artistic experience and broaden my market.

7. All I did in the USA was work – I did not live my life. I wanted to focus on being an artist and enjoy my life more.

8. I’m addicted to Germans.

9. I have a lot of sociopolitical issues with the US…I wanted to see how the other half lives.

10. I’m an artist.

Image

Obligatory Jewish Memorial Photo taken during my first trip to Berlin – October 2009.

 

11.  I was tired of being ostracized, oppressed and discriminated against by my own people – I took a chance at the opposite.

12. I wanted to live in a place where I was not a part of the majority minority.

13. Back home I was too popular. I wanted to escape to a place of autonomy.

14a. The beginning of the demise of my long-term relationship began in Europe – I wanted to start off where I ended it all.

14b. I thought that I would find my proverbial Knight in Shining Armor in Europe, with an accent.

15. I like that wine and beer are cheaper than water, but still people are much more dignified about drinking.

16. After my first visit, I could not imagine living in a place where I cannot drink publicly.

17. The Berlin Winter is so dark and lonely – it is for me the best time and mood for me to write.

18. I needed to have the not so fabled sexual evolution that so many people come to Berlin to experience.

19. I wanted to release myself from all of the other gay-related stigmas that are rampant in the USA.

20. I wanted to wear whatever I wanted, so be it if I look like a smacked ass – and not be yelled at by strangers.

21. In Berlin, everyone goes to see art, not just the higher and lower end of the class divide – culture is important here.

22. The political system eludes me.

23. (Initially) I thought Berlin was a world-class city, gentrification has since destroyed that dream.

24. You can buy a month’s worth of groceries for about 30 Euro.

25. The transportation system is amazing (though much less affordable than it was in 2009). Nonetheless it is a bike city.

26. Obesity is something that really bothers me in America – it is not such a common and vivid issue in Europe.

27. Socialism allows a mellower social playing field. Materialism and superficiality are not welcome in Berlin.

28. People are tough and mean, like back home in Philly. But it doesn’t smell as bad here. I love to hate and hate to love it here.

29. There’s just something about Germans. They are impossible and alluring and so meticulous about sex.

30. At my last job two people that I was very close to died. It was impossible to continue on without them.

31. I was burnt out from the 3 houses, the husband, the cat/dog, the 3 jobs, trying to finish my degree. I almost died.

32. There is much more concern about global issues rather than global domination (i.e. recycling, public health, urban planning).

33. Berlin is the place where Christopher Isherwood got most of his inspiration.

34. I am inspired every single day. All I need to do is walk outside. The city is vast and beautiful and strange.

35. With Berlin, it was love at first sight.