various apparatus for the I + We Movement Workshops as H.R.

various apparatus for the I + We Movement Workshops as H.R.

…presented by Robby Herbst at Human Resources – LA’s favorite community artist-run performance/art space – for ten days of activities, is where I went tonight to join a group of eight mostly familiar friendly faces for a couple hours of activity and conversation around general ideas of collectivism.

I + We is an experimental and participatory (political) movement workshop. Borrowing techniques from dance, social sculpture, and new games, the structured hour and-a-half experience explores collective identity, play, and movement. Workshops  will include “floor work” and the use of “play apparatuses;” slides, ladders, masks, and restrictive toys. Sociologist Alberto Melucci suggests that in today’s alienated culture people find deep meaning and power through group identities that emerge through political social movements. 



Katie Grinnan's 'Junk Heap' for Crescent City

…opened tonight, featuring set installations by artist friends Alice Konitz and Katie Grinnan (presenting a bright shiny colorful dramatic ‘Junk Heap’).

Crescent City is a hyperopera with music by Anne LeBaron, libretto by Douglas Kearney, and directed by Yuval Sharon. It’s the inaugural production of The Industry, a new home for new and experimental opera in Los Angeles. The Industry is bringing together over 50 artists from every discipline to create and inhabit the landscape of a mythical city called Crescent City. Anne LeBaron’s raucous, electronica-infused hyperopera, featured twice in New York City Opera’s VOX Showcase, springs to life in an industrial warehouse at Atwater Crossing.


On January 29th, 2012, MY BARBARIAN AT THE BALL…

My Barbarian in heavy make-up and scarves and loungey gowns at the Ball

…(the Ball of Artists, that is) last night gave us a little preview of some upcoming new work for their big big show at Human Resources next month – yes, we are looking forward to that.



whirling dervish sort of dancer as a white disc collapses

…presented a dramatic scene at the entry to tonight’s Ball of Artists – on the very West Side, very Beverly Hills, very opposite side of town from me and my circle, where I was feeling like I had entered another dimension of my typical urban reality here – with a dancer hypnotically  twirling a white disc dress on a round disc of carpet in the motor court, and then finally collapsing.


On January 21st, 2012, PIETER…

Nick Duran and Jmy James Kidd performing at Pieter

…is the cozy Los Angeles (but feels like a downtown NYC 1970’s loft, in a good way) dance community space less than two years old, that I wish had been around when I first moved to town..and tonight there was the pleasure of gathering in a seated semi-circle on the wood floor to watch Jmy James Kidd and Nick Duran dancing – really dancing. (website)


On January 13th, 2012, NATIVE STRATEGIES…

Native Strategies #1

…is the new biannual L.A. journal of performance initiated by Brian Getnick, Zemula Barr and Molly Sullivan – and I’ve got my mitts on the new/first issue. (website)


On December 4th, 2011, MAO MARATHON IN NEW YORK CITY…

Mao Marathon at the Jane Hotel

…at the Jane Hotel’s luxe comfy ballroom, where I found a spot on an old homey velvet upholstered couch, was an all afternoon performative reading of the entire text of of Frederic Tuten’s 1971 novel The Adventures of Mao on the Long March by over 70 people including Linsey Abrams, Michael Almereyda, Kurt Andersen, Laurie Anderson, Véronique Béghain, Ross Bleckner, Thomas Bolt’s, Cecily Brown, Lori Marie Carlson, Mary Ann Caws, Jerome Charyn, Clifford Chase, Michael Coffey, Lydia Davis, Mónica de la Torre, Jim Drummond, Deborah Eisenberg, Adam Ende, Barbara Epler, Francisco Goldman, Brad Gooch, Francine du Plessix Gray, Adam Green, John Haskell, Amy Hempel, Oscar Hijuelos, A.M. Homes, Richard Howard, Dakota Jackson, Ben Janse, Wayne Koestenbaum, Bettina Korek, Anne Kreamer, Paul La Farge, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Douglas Light, Phillip Lopate, Karen Marta, Patricia Marx, J.W. McCormack, Edward Mendelson, Gregory R. Miller, Hannah Tennant-Moore, Walter Mosley, Linda Norden, Sarah Paley, Robert Polito, Ernesto Quiñonez, Jonathan Rabinowitz, Dawn Raffel, Pedro Reyes, Rachel Rosenfelt, David Salle, Grace Schulman, Wallace Shawn, Aurelie Sheehan, Julie Sheehan, Geoffrey D. Smith, Iris Smyles, James Leon Suffern, Betsy Sussler, Lynne Tillman, James Traub, Lily Tuck, Edmund White, Andrew Zornoza – which just happened to coincide with my breezing through New York on the way to a few days in Princeton.


On November 5th, 2011, REASON TO BE BACK IN L.A. #1: HUMAN RESOURCES…

Zac Monday's crocheted monsters guiding visitors in a performance

…(the local artist-run performancey venue initiated and run by a loose collective of five, including friends Giles Miller, Dawn Kasper, and Eric Chen moved into a grand new space on Cottage Home in Chinatown while I was away) hosted the release event for Darin Klein’s Box of Books tonight, featuring colorful crocheted monsters by Zac Monday who took you by the hand to guide you through a performance. (website)


On September 5th, 2011, NIGHTLIFE IN OSTUNI…

late night dance and puppet shows on the streets of Ostuni

…which seems to be a very tranquil town during the day, surprised me last night when the very designy chic bars and lounges spilled out on the the ancient whitewashed pedestrian streets, and the whole town (crying babies, rambunctious kids, cool teens, strolling couples, shuffling elderly) turned out to fill the Piazza San Oronzo and surrounding streets which were punctuated by a range of performances and activities like puppet shows, break-dancing, cooking presentations, and a peculiar panel discussion up on a stage hosted by the local TV news anchor woman that featured a sparkling-costumed horse and rider and a group of folk dancers lead by a young man we later found out was the local meteorologist – whom after finishing his dance gave us the weather outlook for the rest of the week.

By Fritz Haeg on September 5, 2011 | Italy
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Emily Lacy performing in the Walker's glass corridor facing Hennepin Avenue

…was the happy surprise of the day – as I caught my folk-singing friend‘s last performance (involving layers of gorgeous vocals live and delayed echoing through the cold cavernous corridor of the 2005 Herzog & de Meuron designed addition, accompanied by a painted steamer trunk full of costumes such as pioneer bonnets and equipment like cassette recorders from the 1980’s) in a series of daily appearances throughout the public spaces of the museum as a part of the summer series of projects and events organized by my long-lost favorite community cultural center: L.A.’s Machine Project.



the mysterious couple from the show, and Villa Medici with St. Peter's in the background

…which I arrived to from an earlier opening at Unosunove this magical warm summer evening by bicycle – locked up below at Piazza di Spagna to hoof it up the 132 Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti steps for shows presented by the French Academy fellows incluing films, a wandering bassoonist, an installation in the magnificent Islamic room on top of one of the towers, carefully arranged and spotlit plaster statues and period furniture in studio windows, (ugh, we missed the naked hula hooping performance from the Monday show) the highlight being an elaborate performance by Rémy Yadan in the formal salone overlooking the city where a cast of around ten formally dressed performers arrived – the rest remaining impossible to describe, but involving standing around for a long time making subtle tsking noises, moving a piano around, walking hurriedly across the room, operatic singing, energetic dancing, monologs directed face to face at particular audience members in French, opening of windows and then closing of windows, mooing, crying with backs to us, and towards the end, the doors to the terrace overlooking the city opened and in walked a mysterious couple who proceeded to walk out of the room onto the the back loggia where they stood still for the rest of the evening – so people looked at them and took pictures – some were mystified, especially those who hadn’t even seen the show.


On February 25th, 2011, ‘CASTING JESUS’…

two of my favorite actors from 'Casting Jesus' by Christian Jankowski

…tonight’s live, recorded, and simultaneously projected three hour performance in Vatican City by Christian Jankowski at Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Saxia (the city’s oldest hospital, dating back to 727 and first reconstructed in 1204) had a Catholic American Idol Broadway Chorus Line Biblical soap opera vibe – with a series of svelt swarthy actors in their early thirties draped in flowing tunics slowly entering the long cathedral like hall of the old hospital and then following instructions to perform simple Jesus-like gestures, gentle raising of hands, serene smiles, distant gazes with stoic three quarter profiles, etc. by three discerning gentlemen (priests, producers, judges?) behind a table at the head of the hall. (website)

By Fritz Haeg on February 25, 2011 | art
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On June 18th, 2010, EI ARAKAWA…

"I am an employee of United," 2010, by Ei Arakawa

…is a New York artist that I have been a fan of for a while, having first become aware of his work through friends that were in grad school with him, and who brought me to a few of his “performances” (more like chaotically staged collective activities that happen to have people around who want to watch – but are always getting in the way of the tasks being carried out by Ei and his friends and collaborators) over the years, including the Japan Society and Reena Spaulings, and now he is in Greater New York at PS1, and featured in this interview with Kevin McGarry in today’s New York Times – check it out here.


On June 5th, 2010, “PERFORMANCE ART WORLD”…

Sonya Robbins of robbinschilds in "Layla and Sonya Go Camping," 2009

…is the new blog recently started by My Barbarian’s Alexandro Segade that features interviews with various performance artists, so far including Zackary Drucker, and Sonya Robbins of robbinschilds (who performed at Sundown Salon #19 in 2005). (the blog)



the crowd at Human Resources, Los Angeles, May Day opening festivities

…was tonight with lots of inaugural performances, a cedar smudging ceremony by My Barbarian, and lots of excitement & love for the new L.A. collective performance social space in Chinatown.



Animal Collective and Danny Perez at the Guggenheim on March 4th, 2010

…performed in the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum the other night, as a mega-fan I am extremely disappointed to have missed it – shucks. (website)

Here is their text about the project:

One of the things that you notice almost immediately in the jungle are the birds; so many different sounds coming from so many different directions. Are they communicating to each other? What are they saying? Does each variation serve a purpose? Why are there repetitions? Is there a pattern or is that just your imagination? If you don’t know the first thing about bird songs, these questions can rack a brain for days. The jungle seems louder than most New York apartments but its symbiosis makes it subtler if not more pleasing to foreign ears. The longer you sit awake in bed listening at night, the more you hear. It brings to mind Jane Goodall hanging out with chimpanzees in Tanzania and how she noticed them reacting to distant or inaudible sounds that at first she couldn’t hear, but as her ears adapted to the environment after months she began to hear them too.

But as the environments around us change quickly, as people encroach more and more on land where only select symbioses occur, we wonder how this will change the sounds around us and how this alters the way we hear things and react to them. As New Yorkers we are all familiar with the everyday noise around us—the car alarms, the subway trains braking, the music in bars—so familiar that sometimes we drown them out. But then do we not realize how these sounds are affecting us? How they make us feel or act? With this in mind we wanted to create an environment where people could take some time to listen to other kinds of sounds and get away from those familiar sounds of the city. Keeping  in mind the birds of the jungle, we’ve created an array of sounds with Animal Collective’s music that is seemingly random…or is it? We invite you to come take some time out and sit with us. As time passes it is our hope that you will wonder if you are hearing songs or patterns or maybe simply hearing more. The visual work of Danny Perez has been incorporated to turn the environment of an empty museum into a more   mysterious hideaway. The core elements and colors are worked into the piece in order to unite this room of sound with the inside of your brain. We hope you enjoy.

Thanks for joining us.
—Animal Collective, February 8, 2010


On January 31st, 2010, TERENCE KOH…

Piano of monster hands by Terence Koh for Lady Gaga at the Grammys

…is an old friend who has penetrated the core of mainstream pop culture tonight with the piano he made for Lady Gaga to play with Elton John at the Grammys.


On January 10th, 2010, ANDY KAUFMAN…

Andy Kaufman wrestling a woman in March 1983.

…is on TV this morning as played by Jim Carey in “Man on the Moon” which I was watching, even though it is a beautiful sunny day in the upper 70’s, because I am sick in bed – and having never given Andy Kaufman much thought, now I am kind of obsessed – so I’m going to start by listening to Laurie Anderson talk about him on “The Ugly One with the Jewels.”


On January 1st, 2010, MY BARBARIAN…

Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alex Segade of My Barbarian perform at an all day New Years Brunch at Anna and Giles' residence in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

…performed (in Anna and Giles’ living room during their New Years Day potluck brunch) a collection of songs from baroque meditations on arts patronage to theatrical re-enactments of interviews with the staff of a troubled museum; and after watching them (Alex, Malik, and Jade) this afternoon, I was reminded that they are Los Angeles people everyone should know about! (link)