Hidden treasures discovered while digging through Frank Moore's huge archives.

Category: Writings (page 1 of 8)

I AM LOOKING FOR PEOPLE FOR MY FILM

We just found the original sign that Frank had taped to the front of his board to get people for his film Erotic Play. The resulting raw footage became the Nonfilms. Here is the sign and the text that appears on it:

I AM LOOKING FOR PEOPLE FOR MY FILM

I WOULD LIKE TO SHOOT YOU FOR MY FILM. I JUST RECEIVED MY MASTERS IN PERFORMANCE/VIDEO AT THE SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE. I AM ASKING PEOPLE WHO I FIND ATTRACTIVE … ALTHOUGH MAYBE NOT IN HOLLYWOOD’S CONCEPT OF ATTRACTIVENESS, BEAUTY, SEXINESS. THEN I AND MY WIFE, LINDA, SHOOT THESE PEOPLE ALMOST LIKE IN PAINTINGS, IN DIFFERENT POSES, DIFFERENT CLOTHES, SOMETIMES NUDE (WHEN THE PERSON FEELS COMFORTABLE WITH THAT), FOCUSING ON DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE BODY AS ABSTRACT FORMS. THEN I WILL EDIT THESE PIECES INTO A SERIES OF COLLAGE SHORTS WHICH WILL BE FUNNY, BUT ALSO HOPEFULLY EXPAND THE CONCEPT OF BEAUTY. ONE OF THESE SHORTS WILL SHOW PEOPLE JUST PLAYING AND HAVING FUN; ANOTHER WILL SHOW THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BODIES; A THIRD WILL POKE FUN AT THE PIN-UP CONCEPT OF BEAUTY.

I HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS SAME SUBJECT IN MY OIL PAINTINGS AND PLAYS … ESPECIALLY IN MY ROCK COMEDY, the outrageous beauty revue, WHICH RAN FOR FOUR YEARS IN S.F., AND IN MY FILM, fairytales can come true, WHICH WILL BE USED IN SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASS.

I HAVE BEEN SHOOTING ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE, FROM LITTLE BODIES TO OLD PEOPLE. IT IS FUN.

IF YOU WILL POSE, WRITE DOWN YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER FOR ME, AND PUT IT IN MY BACKPACK, AND LINDA WILL CALL YOU TO SET UP A TIME FOR US TO GET TOGETHER. IT USUALLY TAKES TWO SESSIONS. DURING THE FIRST TIME, WHICH USUALLY TAKES BETWEEN ONE AND TWO HOURS, WE WILL JUST PLAY AROUND AND TALK ABOUT IDEAS FOR US TO FILM, COSTUMES, POSES … AND IN GENERAL, HAVE FUN. THEN AT THE SECOND SESSION, WHICH USUALLY IS BETWEEN ONE AND THREE HOURS, WE WILL VIDEO YOU.

Frank Moore

P.S. IN THE FALL AT U.C. THROUGH A.S.U.C., I AM TEACHING A COURSE IN THE ART OF PERFORMANCE … ARE YOU INTERESTED?

Frank talking to a student on Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley circa 1984.

The EROART Group on Vimeo

In August 2011, Frank created the “Nude Performance Art, Dance and Video: EROART” group on Vimeo.com. He used the essay, “Eroart” on his group page, as an introduction and guiding theme for the group. Every night when Frank was working at the computer, he spent time searching for videos to add to the group and moderated videos that were submitted to the group. The Eroart group became one of the most popular groups on Vimeo with almost 13,000 members and almost 16,000 videos before Frank was booted from Vimeo in 2019.

Here is the text that appeared on the group’s profile page:


I wrote the below manifesto before the internet, before people like Annie Sprinkle reclaimed the word “porn” for life affirming art, before VIMEO.com, really before a lot of things. I am bringing it back from the vault because I am starting a new group on VIMEO.com, NUDE PERFORMANCE ART, DANCE AND VIDEO. There is a ton of what I called below EROART of all kinds on VIMEO.com.
Frank Moore, August 2011


EROART

Frank Moore
1984

Thanks to the repressive, anti sexual, anti pleasure morality, romanticism, and pornography, the traditional area of eroart — art that uses nudity, physicality, and/or sex to turn people on to life — has been ripped off by pornography.

Almost everyone is against porn films. Almost everybody in his right mind. But everybody isn’t in his right mind, which is why there is porn anyway. But it is fashionable to be against porn. There are many good reasons to be against porn. Fashion is not one of them. The anti sex, anti pleasure, anti nudity morality is not one of the good reasons to be anti porn. This kind of repressive morality is the main reason why during the nineteenth century kinky violent porn caught on.

What I am interested in is art that creates in people the desire to go out and play with other people, and to enjoy life. This is the art of eroplay. Historically, one of the tools of this art has been the sex act. But sex has only been a tool, not the goal. And it is just one of many tools.

Isadora Duncan is a person whom I would call an artist in the eroplay tradition. She used nudity (especially at private parties where she could dance without feeling moral judgments) and movement to turn people on physically to their own bodies and to passion for life. This is the true goal of eroplay art, which has been called eroart. Most books on eroart miss the true purpose of such art. There has always been sexual erotic art. This kind of art is universal and can be traced back to the caves and beyond.

This is not true for what is defined as porn. I am trying to define eroart. We are forced to separate it from porn, and rightly so.

It is fashionable to be anti porn. But it is human to be anti porn because porn is anti human, not only anti female. It is violence between individual people. At times, this violence is graphic. It is personal and intimate violence in a hostile and impersonal form. I hurt you to make me feel turned on because I cannot get turned on in any other way because I cannot feel … besides, you like being hurt … if you don’t … who cares. This isn’t the symbolic or surreal violence in other kinds of films.

Porn is also anti human because it creates a picture of what sex should be that is unreal and boring. It creates pictures of what you should be like … pictures which are hard to live up to … and if you do live up to them, you will be a big- dicked jerk or a big titted bimbo.

These are the fundamental reasons why to be anti porn.

But face it, the main reason that most people are anti porn is because porn is boring and dumb. The people who make porn (I am talking about straight porn now, leaving the kinky, violent porn in the trash can) think that the main reason why people go to see porn is to see tubes going in and out of holes. So they cram in as many tubes going in and out of holes as possible in ninety minutes … and as close up as possible. This may be true for some people, but for most people, it gets boring once curiosity is satisfied, curiosity about what it looks like, and once the possibility of seeing everything is fulfilled.

It is fashionable to be anti porn. But it is not fashionable to offer an alternative to porn. It is not fashionable to admit that people like seeing other people nude, seeing other people getting turned on and being turned on. It is not fashionable to admit people are curious to see other people’s bodies, to see what they are really like under those clothes. It is not fashionable to admit people feel cheated whenever the camera moves away, fades away, when people on the screen are getting intimate. It is not fashionable because it would be putting yourself, your body, and your emotions where your ideals and your politics are.

To make videos that satisfy that child like need of seeing nude bodies and seeing people playing, making out, and having fun is not as profitable as either what Hollywood does or what the porn makers do. This child like need is the healthy human desire that is perverted in porn.

The time is right for an art form that addresses this healthy desire. The women’s movement has changed people’s standards with regard to sex and the quality of relationships. This is true of both men and of women. They have scrapped, or are scrapping, the old sexist ways and attitudes, and now they find the old style porn disgusting … but more importantly, they are finding porn is not meeting their needs and desires. They want to be turned on in a way that is not sexual; they want to see nudity without stupidity; they want to see new ways of relating between humans both in and out of bed. Eroart in all media can show this way of relating … can show both purely nonsexual eroplay and eroplay as foreplay in sex.

Film and video can do this. But the producers of porn haven’t the foggiest idea of this, and have a vested interest in the meat approach. In its broadest definition, erovideo could be any kind of film westerns, thrillers, science fiction, etc. — in which the unwritten rules are not followed. The camera doesn’t fade or cut away from erotic scenes before it is logical to do so … bodies wouldn’t be cut off. Cable has made porn so available that it has removed the glamour of the forbidden. As a result, porn has to stand on its lack of merit. As a result, the sales and rentals on adult tapes are going down, and the adult cable systems are going out of business.

The desire to see nudity and intimacy and to be turned on is not being satisfied. Hollywood is caught between being ruled by taboos and being in the business of teasing. Andy Warhol once said Hollywood has been doing a forty year striptease, showing a little more each year to get people to come back.

The closest Hollywood comes to the erotic/sexual (except for a few maverick directors like Roeg) is the sex exploitation and youth exploitation films. There seems to be an unwritten rule that if it is sexy sexual nude, it has to be dumb. Hollywood does exploitative films because they make money. They make money because they are the closest thing to the erotic/sexual that is offered. But sitting through a dumb movie to see nude bodies of dumb people is not worth it. Hollywood, however, will not take risks.

Hollywood will not make such a risky, daring product as a truly erotic film mainly because of the high money stakes involved. The pornographers will not do it either because of their lack of skill, insight, and morality, or because they too are ruled by money, and by criminals.

But breaking taboos has always been a part of art, at least the area of art that seeks to change consciousness, change morality, change reality. The breaking of taboos ideally should not be a part of eroplay for everyday life. But it is. Art can slowly take eroplay out of the taboo area. This is one of the functions of art.

Here is where art comes in. As I have said, this kind of art creates a kind of bubble in which the forbidden can be done with immunity, releasing the energy of the broken taboo … energy which then affects society as a whole. Art makes a clear circle of difference between this bubble and everyday reality; it is a kind of safety valve for society … much as dreams are to the individual. According to the book THE PAINTED BODY, the caves where the first artists did their work where no one could see were such bubbles, as was body painting. Performance art is this kind of consciousness altering art. It creates a special time and place where taboos can be broken, where new ways can be introduced into the society.

The other way that art can make it easier for us in everyday life, and at the same time fight against the anti pleasure, anti human morality, against sexism, against pornography, against romanticism, is by showing us eroplay, both with and without sex, and getting us acquainted and comfortable with eroplay. This can be done in all media. Enter erovision. Erotic projects could be made on half inch video tape by individual artists to be sold directly by mail from the artist to the individual viewer. This would avoid the power structures that grow up around big money.

Half inch video, home video, is cheap in materials, editing, and post production, and distribution is much, much cheaper than in any other format. The technical quality is acceptable, and free from the comparison with film or professional three quarter inch video. Home video is the workable channel for any product that the establishment will not touch … or that you don’t want the establishment to touch, hence control. Such is erovideo.

Whether we as artists do eroart to release magically eroplay into the air (such as through performance art) or to show the non sexual way of relating that is eroplay (such as through video or film) … whether we choose to use the sex act or not in our eroart … we must not let our work be defined in relation to pornography. There has been a huge amount of time and energy wasted trying to define and ban pornography. The best way to undermine sexism and pornography is to create an alternative to them. Take back nudity, pleasure, sex, and eroticism from pornography. Show pornography up as being drab, inhuman, unfun by creating a fun, human, happy alternative. Create eroart! This is overstating the case somewhat because you cannot do good eroart if it is in reaction to porn … only if it comes from some warm and playful place, can it be good eroart. Unless we put ourselves — our creativity, our minds, and yes, our bodies — into representing eroart as the humanistic alternative, the pornographer, the sexist, and the moralist will win by default.


A collection of screen captures of the EROART group profile page (thanks to The Wayback Machine):

MARCH 11, 2016
JANUARY 16, 2017
APRIL 8, 2018

about play (playing)

By Frank Moore, May 1, 1995, from his book, Cherotic Magic.


Enjoying playing unlocked every possibility.

Schechner defines performance as “ritualized behavior conditioned (and) permeated by play.”

We will get technical in this. But we should always remember that at the root, the student comes to the teacher, the audience comes to the performance, the person comes to the bodyplay to be deeply and intimately with a flesh and blood person or a group of flesh and blood people in a way that is usually denied to her in normal polite social life. She comes for touching, holding, rocking, playing, having fun, and healing. This has been usually forgotten under rigid serious rituals, techniques and theories. Again, western medicine is a prime example of this forgetting. But even spiritual methods of healing in our culture have put the rituals and techniques over the playing and fun.

This is why, before we get into the techniques of chero bodyplay, we have to be clear about what we are doing. By doing the apprenticeship, by doing performances, by doing bodyplay, we are calling forth the liminal state of controlled folly. Controlled folly is liminal because it is a combination of the awake reality and dream reality. Rituals make this combination possible.

In the state of controlled folly, the activities of playing and creating fun are intensified and expanded, because rituals take the place of the normal rules, taboos, fears, and inhibitions. This makes it possible to go into the unknown where anything is possible. Ritual is what makes this magical playing safe by giving the playing a living, breathing structure. Playing is only possible within a structure. But when ritual becomes important in itself, rigid and serious, it starts limiting and killing the play and fun. So it is important to remember that the ritual is just the channel of the play and fun.

Playing is a primal state in which things are drained temporarily of their normal meanings. Life goals for a time fade in importance in this state. Tensions and stresses of normal life are safely transmuted into creativity. In play, newness appears. This newness is translated into inspiration, into new ideas, new ways of doing things. The young, both in the higher animals and humans, learn the most through the state of play. Both man and the higher animals use play to transform violent energy into safe acting out. The human mind and civilization were evolved by playing.

In bodyplay, chero is aroused by playing with the body. Fun is created and released by this play into the world directly. Fun is energy focused upon itself, rather than upon some goal. The fun we are talking about in this work is a deep, intense fun that corrects imbalances and induces newness. This kind of fun comes from risk taking and work. This deep fun feels very different from the surface, light, fast fun of the world of politeness, glamour, romance, and social rules.

Through bodyplay, erour is slowly reached by calling forth chero in all parts of the body by eroplaying. This is true not only in the “receiver,” but also in the “healer.” Moreover, through the energy released through these magical sessions, a collective social erour is gradually created for the general world. This is the ultimate reason for this work. The chero released as focused fun “writes” upon the place in which this magical play is performed. It transforms the place into a magical site. The more play is done in a place, the more chero is stored in the physical site. The more chero that is contained in a physical site, the easier it is to perform more intense play.

Cherotic bodyplay releases, frees, creates new possibilities. This is true for the people who are actually directly playing together. But this is also true for the society, the people, the world, the outer reality surrounding the eroplaying people. This makes bodyplay not just an individual problem solving therapy. Instead, it is a playful but powerful ritual that has effects on many different levels. There is a danger in focusing too much on what it will do for the individual, how it will affect his life, what does it mean in terms of his life, how it will help him. This kind of focus can turn bodyplay into encouraging individualism which keeps the person in the prison of fragmentation.

To be successful, bodyplay has to be intensely personal between the playing people, but should not be individualistic. It should not push the people inward onto their “selves.” Bodyplay should expand them outward into others.

Front page of the handout which was on display and available to take for free at performances. Drawing by LaBash.
Handouts on display at a performance.

Download the handout here:
https://www.eroplay.com/aboutplay.pdf

HISTORY OF FRANK MOORE FOR PRESIDENT 2008

by Frank Moore

Well, are not all political campaigns performances? That doesn’t mean they are not serious. My performances often start with something seemingly trivial then grow by themselves very quickly into forces unto themselves. The campaign started with a t-shirt of The Three Stooges. Michael [“Mikee”] LaBash, who is one of six people I live with in a tribal relationship and who is our graphic/web designer, had a CURLY FOR PRESIDENT t-shirt. For Christmas 2006 Mikee made me a FRANK MOORE FOR PRESIDENT shirt. When I wore it, people started asking me what my platform was. So I wrote a platform up. Everybody who read it got excited, overflowed with hope, saying it expressed what they felt and wanted. They didn’t see a performance artist in a wheelchair. They didn’t check the odds of my winning. Instead they saw someone who they could excitedly vote for… somebody who shared their dreams, who talked deeply about what really affects their lives. Their reactions placed on me a responsibility to mount a serious campaign, to commit and surrender to it…and to hang on no matter where this ride would go. I never know where a performance or a project will evolve.

In one of my speeches from the campaign I said that I started running basically because none of the prominent candidates were talking honestly and directly about the state of things, were committed to fundamental change, and had a clear plan to create a humane, sustainable, and just plain enjoyable society. So I took on that role. My running for President created an excitement for how possible it is to bring our dreams for our society into reality… to remove fear and isolation; to get the boot of big corporations off our neck; to provide everyone health care, life-long education, a minimum income, and a livable wage; to restore our rights and freedoms; and to bring our troops home! We everyday people know the real state of the union! But more importantly, we have the sense of what is possible! We need leaders who share our dreams and who do not sell us short. Or sell us out! 

This excitement extended overseas, and we received much more coverage of the campaign in Europe than we did locally, although there were a handful of great interviews and articles about the campaign here in the U.S..  In Europe, there were great articles written about the campaign in France, Germany, Poland and the UK, and an appearance on Swedish TV!

We did many local events and attended many different local festivals during the over two years that I ran for President, and they were some of the most effective pieces I have ever done …  Here is what I wrote about the campaign coming to the “How Berkeley Can You Be” Parade in September of 2007: 

“The whole day blew me out. Linda and Mikee took turns pushing my chair close to the lines of people along the parade route so I could shake hands, look into people’s eyes, hear their responses, interact one on one…all of which would have been impossible if I sat on a truck. I was moved when people thanked me for running, when whole sections started clapping and chanting “GO, FRANK, GO!” Erika, Corey, Alexi, and sometimes Linda or Mikee gave out over 1,200 copies of the platform. And people didn’t throw it away as is common, but started reading it, shouting out planks they were moved by. I can see that “pressing the flesh” can be addicting! And a lot of people are devoted viewers of the public access shows of Suzy and mine.  “I WATCH YOU EVERY NIGHT!”  “WE TIVO YOU!”  “I LEARN FROM WATCHING YOUR SHOWS!”

Camping out in our beautiful booth, which we put up for most of these events and festivals, was only slightly less intense.  We were a visual magnet, decked out with banners, t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, peace flags and platforms.  And people got the tribal body that the 6 of us are together!

Here is a selection of 10 of my “planks”:

— We will have universal prenatal-to-the-grave health care and universal free education with equal access.

— Every American will receive a minimum income of $1,000 a month. This amount will be tied to the cost of living and will not be taxable.

— Public mass transit will be free, 24/7, and reliable.

— I will encourage a society of small villages connected by mass transit.  Within these small villages, people could walk or bike to work, to school, to shopping, to entertainment, etc.  Mass transit will combine these small villages within 15 miles radius into dynamic communities.  Living in these villages will end gridlock traffic, will cut greenhouse gasses, will cut stress and isolation.  Housing for all incomes will be included equally in each village.  

— I’ll do away with all tax deductions for over $12,000 income.  Instead, there will be a flat tax of 10% on annual income of less than one million dollars for an individual and less than five million dollars for a corporation.  But the flat tax will jump to 75% on annual income exceeding these limits.

— I’ll cut the military budget by at least half.

— I will bring the troops home from Iraq immediately. Moreover, I will change this country’s self-image from that of THE SUPER POWER/ WORLD LEADER to that of a member of the global community.

— The use of drugs should be legalized and taxed. Pot and spirits should be sold over the counter to adults only. Tobacco and other addictive drugs should be sold by prescription only. Free drug rehab programs should be readily available.

— Prisons should be only for violent or otherwise dangerous criminals.  Prisons should be a part of the health and educational system and should include drug rehab programs.  This should also be true for the new creative in-community programs for non-violent criminals for paying-back, rehab, and education sentencing.  These programs will be more effective and much less expensive and harmful to the community on every level than the current human warehouse system.  Flexibility of sentencing should to be returned to judges.  I will ban the death penalty. 

— Every corporation should come up for a renewal every 25 years, at which time it must prove that it has been operating in the public interest.  If it fails to do this, it loses its right to exist. Corporations that have existed before this policy will have 10 years before they will have to prove they are worthy.

By the “official” count, I received a handful of votes, spread across a number of states, Maryland, Illinois, Kansas, Georgia, Utah, West Virginia, and of course California.  But the “official” count for write-in candidates is always just a small part of the picture, because so many of the states that actually accept write-in candidates for President will never actually count or record the votes unless the number of votes becomes large enough to contend with the “major” candidates.  For instance, we know directly that I received votes in New York, but there were 0 votes counted for me in NY.

The campaign also had a direct effect on the electoral process for write-in Presidential candidates in a number of states.  We not only forced several states’ elections divisions to learn their own system, we also challenged and/or changed procedures and requirements in other states both before and after the election.  In states like Vermont, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Nebraska and others, the campaign had the effect of familiarizing elections officers with their own procedures, which they did not know before the campaign contacted them!  We did all this with a lot of help from elections expert Richard Winger, who was an early fan of my campaign. 

In Arkansas, the campaign challenged the Elections Department’s stand that “Write-in candidates are not allowed in presidential, municipal, or primary elections.” 

In Pennsylvania, the campaign got an elections official to admit that Pennsylvania’s system for write-in Presidential candidates is “archaic and not good”.

In Wyoming, the Secretary of State’s Elections office actually did not know what the procedure was for a write-in candidate for President in Wyoming.  The representative there asked, “What does this say about our country, and this democracy” that she didn’t know how this can work in Wyoming, and that they were not set up for a candidate outside of the political machines …   She said that she should be the person to know, if anyone knew.  She said, “But I am going to find out!  And I’m going to call you!”  In the end, the elections office in Wyoming refined their system through this correspondence.

In Utah, we got the office of the Lieutenant Governor to correct their own Elections office, which was giving out false information about the process of becoming a write-in candidate for President.  It turned out to be much cheaper and simpler than they were telling us!

In Minnesota, we challenged their rejection of my candidacy because my Vice-Presidential running mate, Dr. Susan Block, and I were both from California.  This was wrong!  And we won, I was accepted!

For much much more information about the campaign, with great photos and video from the various events, visit:  http://www.frankmooreforpresident08.com/index.html

Excerpt from “The Combine Plot”

Originally written in 1990, The Combine Plot was widely published in such publications as P-Form Magazine and Short Fuse.


For months I have been thinking about writing a piece about what I call the plot of fragmentation. It would be about the aspect of the plot that focuses on making us think that to do anything meaningful, to be an effective force for change, you have to reach a large number of people, commonly known as THE MASSES or THE MASS MARKET. I was going to talk about how this aspect of the plot has limited art by making artists and galleries think that to reach this market, or at least a fraction of it, artists have to reach levels of educational, technical, and marketing skills which are set by, and acceptable to, the real world of mass communications.

Moreover, the subject matter was set to certain “in fashion” areas such as AIDS, feminism, the homeless, the environment, etc…what are “in fashion” subjects keep changing every six months or a year (obviously, the homeless people did not get homes nor did people stop dying of AIDS…rather, the glamour attention‑span wears off and the focus quickly switches before things crack through the surface into the uncomfortable depth of universals where issues explode, leaving us trying to live together).

This aspect of the plot leads artists on a chase of college degrees, of skills to operate high‑tech art‑making machines, of money or positions that will give them the opportunity to do art, even when the style, the subject matter, and maybe the content of the art is dictated by this chase, by the combine plot.

This was what I was planning to write about. I was going to call it THE PLOT OF BIGNESS. But the plot has overtaken me during my thinking about the article. I see in the press that Sen. Jesse Helms and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher have nominated me, along with Annie Sprinkle, Karen Finley, Johanna Went, Cheri Gaulke, as well as other unnamed artists, to be the next target in their war on art. By doing so, Dana and Jesse have given us artists a platform from which to fight the plot. Because doing battle with the combine plot is one of the main functions of an artist, I am flattered to be nominated as one of the top ten on the new McCarthy hit list. I was feeling left out. All my heroes in the past were banned, jailed, harassed for their work. Artists such as Finley who I respect have been fighting the censors for years. My ego was crushed when I saw Rohrabacher on CNN label Annie Sprinkle a threat to the established moral order. After all, my work is as threatening as hers. But days later, someone sent me the NEW YORK CITY TRIBUNE (Feb. 5) special report that named names, and my name was there. What a relief! I only wish Dana and Jesse had invited me to testify. Jesse, I am available.

I know the last paragraph sounds like light humor…not taking the war seriously. It is a serious war with the high stakes of freedom and liberty for everyone. But you must understand the nature of the combine plot. It does not understand humor or the personal level. It can crush you if you operate by the mass rules and try to fight it on its terms. But once you drop out of the mass headset, the plot becomes very fragile, very threatened. This is why the plot’s Helms is after me and you. Because of this, my article is forced to take on a larger scope and a certain nonlinear quality. Please bear with it.

To understand what is really going on under this “sex” witch‑hunt, it is important to understand the nature of the general plot of fragmentation, the combine plot. I took the word “combine” from the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. In the book, the combine is a fear machine network which secretly installed pacemakers of fear, doubt, and mistrust in almost everyone in childhood. This made people much easier to control. It isolates people into cells padded with fear and doubt, making the people part of the combine. There are some misfits whom the combine missed with its fear pacemakers. In others, the fear pacemakers blow their fuses. These people without the fear pacemakers are very dangerous to the combine because if they are not checked, destroyed, discredited, isolated, or enfolded into the combine, they can show others how to blow out their own fear pacemakers, can show others how to be free humans linked to other free humans. The combine rarely has to directly destroy the misfits itself. Just direct eliminations would reveal the existence of the combine. So such direct eliminations are kept to the minimum. The real tool of the combine is a vague sense of uncomfortableness, of inferiority, and of mistrust within the victims of the combine. The setting of the novel is a mental ward in which most of the patients are self‑committed. They believe themselves weak, unable to cope with the outside world. They believe the fear comes from themselves, not from the pacemakers. They just have to start believing in themselves, and they could pull out the pacemakers and walk out of the hospital. But every time they reach this threshold of freedom, the combine, by clever remote manipulation, turns up the vague uncomfortableness and mistrust. The victims themselves do the destroying of the misfit either in themselves or that con man pied piper who laughs at their fears and limits, who shows them the way to freedom. It is the victims who do most of the censoring.

Read the full essay here: https://www.eroplay.com/Cave/Writings/combineplot-web.pdf

Artwork by LaBash

Also published in Frankly Speaking: Essays, Writings & Rants by Frank Moore.

Expansions & Contractions

From Cherotic Magic Revised, Chapter 2: Chero (Section 7) by Frank Moore, first published in 1990:


The expansions and contractions are the natural cycles of growth. They are life breathing. Each cycle is different in length, depending on what is happening in the life.

Both the expansion and the contraction phases have their own dangers of illusions. In expansions, things open up and become easy. Opportunities and people are attracted to the student by the chero. When this happens, the student is tempted to throw away her framework, or to go outside of it, to pursue, to run after these opportunities and people. If she does this, she loses both her base and what attracted these things to her in the first place. She finds herself out of power.

Another common reaction to expansions is to think one is not worthy enough, not able or strong enough to handle all of the good that life suddenly offers her. Such a person destroys the expansion, her framework, and sometimes even herself to avoid having her “unworthiness” be found out, to avoid the responsibilities that being happy and creating a full life bring. This reaction is more widespread than one might think. The student usually has little problem accepting criticism from the teacher. But when the teacher starts talking about the student’s strengths, abilities, and potentials, the student very often forgets her pact of trust, and starts arguing with the teacher. This is because if the student accepts her worthiness, her strengths, abilities and potentials, she is admitting her responsibility for creating her life and reality, and the effect she has on others. The student should trust the teacher even when the teacher is praising her, although this praise may be rare.

In contractions, the student faces a different set of illusions. In contractions, everything seems, appears to be falling apart. What the person thought would be a direct path to what she wants falls apart. People start flaking out on her, leaving her. Things get hard and difficult. Things seem to stop happening for her. Her life sphere gets small. The pace of living becomes slow.

Most people panic in contractions. They feel trapped, penned in. They feel like they are losing everything, going backward, dying as who they thought they were. When this happens, they grab onto things and people to save themselves and to get what they want; or they give up, thinking they are not strong or worthy enough to get to all possibilities. They usually tell themselves they really do not want all possibilities, they really want less. They lie to themselves to make their settling for less more livable.

In reality, contractions are periods in which the old phase is being rearranged to prepare for the new expansion that is coming. Some old stuff has to be burnt away to make ready for the new. Some valuable stuff is stored away to be used later. This feels like losing. This loss is not real. The creative progress in contractions is far too complex for us to rationally, logically understand or try to rationally plan out. Evolution is an automatic process when you let go into it. When you know that after every expansion comes a contraction, you will be less tempted to break out of your framework to pursue some glamorous or exciting avenues that appear to be more direct routes to what you want. You can be sure they are not.

When you know that after every contraction comes an expansion, you can better practice active passivity, which is the key to using contractions as a quiet building of creative potential. In this way, in both expansions and contractions, you can maintain the even focus that puts you in control of your reality. By knowing the cycles of expansions and contractions are irregular, you can relax, not holding on to anything, but not waiting in dread for the next contraction to hit. This is one of the aspects of erour, the vulnerable power.

Art by LaBash from Cherotic Magic Revised

Notes on “Season of Hidden Hope”

Frank originally wrote the poem “Season of Hidden Hope – a radio musical” for his appearance on Barb Golden’s KPFA radio show, Crack O’ Dawn on December 2, 1993.

Here is the original script with the poem and songs that Frank would sing as part of the reading of the poem:

Walking along cold dark homeless roads clogged with ice fears my only friend is the wind chilling my bones into longing and lost and beyond… into a cynical loneliness. Herding my sheep, looking in windows of unattainable desires, looking at presents useless because I don’t have anyone to give them to, looking into the past soft colored warm homes that are no longer mine. Everyone has left, everyone is gone. Even the sun has left long ago, long before the manger. And the sun will not come back ever again. This is the season of dark depression and fragile suicide. Yes, I know I can always bum up the $29.95 to buy the plastic hope and faith at 7 Eleven and pretend it is my wonderful life playing in the video store’s window. But instead I wrap myself in a jaded pretense of dry ice isolation of not caring, and drinking the stale but warm wine of regrets.

1. Meatloaf’s “2 out of 3”
2. Dodie Steven’s “Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”
3. Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”

The birth of new hope has always been hidden within the long cold winter darkness. Huddle together, clinging to our tribal warmth as our only protection against dying into the scary black unknown, we always have been blind to the evergreen hope of life. It has always been the first time the sun and easy hope have gone away. So we always think they will never come again. The evergreen hope has been hidden away in the womb of the humble and in children’s dreams. The forces of greys have always overheard the possibility of the hidden hope…have always searched for it to pervert it into human isolation…or, failing that, to kill it for all time. But the forces of power always overlook the hidden human hope rocking in the baby’s cradle. As power goes on a desperate killing, chopping hacking gorging, eating the old world up……we huddle together in the silent night upon the hill, rocking together in our tribal body warmth. The shaman, the holy woman, the medicine man have always shifted our attention away from the dark cold outward fear, have always shifted our gaze to the guiding light of new birth…at first in the stars, then in the roaring tribal fire which pulled all human feelings within it, and still later into that corny home hearth crackling with bright colors popping. Into this fire we have always gone, hearing the drumming of our innocent heart beating in a slow excitement, meeting again our love of life. We curl up with our love and wait for warm spring to arrive…as hope grows into knowing.

4. Elvis’ “Silent Night”
5. Johnny Mathis’ “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
6. Bing Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy”
7. N.K. Cole’s “O Holy Night”
8. John Lennon’s ”Happy Xmas (War is Over)”


Scan of Frank’s original script

Here is the recording of the reading of the poem from the show:


Below is the front and back of the postcard that was mailed out to Frank’s mailing list (snail mail at that time!) promoting the show:

Photos from the postcard “photoshoot”:


Here is the complete Crack O’ Dawn show from December 2, 1993:


Christmas 1993: Frank, Linda, Mikee and Kittee.

Carlos

In the early days of people being diagnosed with AIDS, one of Frank’s students, Carlos, got the AIDS diagnosis. Frank told him his job now was to bring death into life and to live and die joyfully. Carlos followed Frank in this and was a joy and inspiration to all of us around him.

Frank believed in type casting. After Carlos found out that he had AIDS, Frank cast him as the “dying man” in his performances. At the 5+ hour ritual performances Frank had nude, body painted Carlos wearing his “I have AIDS” sign around his neck inside of a small tent. Each audience member was led into the tent before entering the performance space and Carlos talked to them briefly about death, that it is not something to fear, that it is not painful in itself, it is part of life. When Carlos passed away he was in a very peaceful, joyful state of mind. When we got the word that Carlos had passed we looked at each other and said let’s have ice cream sundaes!! (Eating ice cream was one of the indulgences Carlos allowed himself with Frank’s encouragement, as part of his dying process.)

Carlos, street performance at The Lab, San Francisco, 1988. Photo by Linda Mac.

Below is a transcription of an excerpt of a conversation recorded December 10, 1995 at Father George’s house in San Francisco. Frank Moore, Linda Mac, Mikee LaBash, Corey Nicholl, Father George, and Louise Scott were present. (Father George was a friend of Frank’s during his time in Santa Fe, New Mexico when Frank lived with Louise Scott and her family.)

Linda:  What, the house?  No, Carlos?  Um, one of Frank’s students, Carlos, died of AIDS-related stuff.  And he’d been working with Frank for a few years when he found out that he had AIDS.  And Frank said, “O.k., your job is to die as lustfully as you’ve lived, and to bring death into life.”  ‘Cause it was a whole group of us that were part of like the community that were working with Frank, and doing performances and stuff too.  And so, well he did fine for a long time …

Frank:  I …

Linda:  … You cast him, Frank cast him as the dying man in performances, after he found that out.  And so people, it was in the all-night ritual performances, people are lead in by nude body-painted dancers, and it’s like all very ritualistic and quiet, and there’s body music playing.  And they would be lead to this little kind-of cave made out of back-drops, and Carlos would be in there, nude and body-painted with a sign that says he’s the Dying Man.  And it would be like two people at a time, and they’d be left in the room with him for like a minute or two, and he’d give them a rap about death.  And he said, that death is not painful in itself.  And it’s not something to be feared, that it’s just a transition.  And then they’d be lead out.  And most people actually didn’t realize that …

Louise:  … that he really was.

George:  … that he was really dying.

Linda:  … the dying man.  And …

George:  Did he do it when he was really sick?  I mean, did he continue doing it?

Linda:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Oh yeah, right up to the time he died.  And at the point where his body really started to go … he was like really fine up until that point.  And then, he moved upstairs with a couple that had been his friends, so they could take more care of him.  And they called us, and they said, they called us one afternoon and they said, “We’re worried about Carlos because he won’t get out of bed and he won’t eat.”  And we had a tour coming up to Portland that Carlos was planning on going on with us.  And so, Frank gets in the car, we drive over to San Francisco.  Carlos is lying in bed, doing this Camille thing, you know, that was his like picture of himself dying. (all laughing)  And Frank said, “Look, you have to look and see if you’re dying or not.  If you’re dying, tell us, and we’ll help you die.  If you’re not dying, (Frank screams), you have to eat, you have to start having fun with us.  Eating, you have to be in shape  to go to Portland.”  And he said, “Take the night to think about it, and tell me in the morning.”  And he said, he told Carlos that people are afraid to push him because they’re afraid that he’s gonna die if they push him.  And he said, “I don’t care if you die, because it’s better to die than to live and be a wimp.”  And so, you know … and next morning they call us and they said, “I don’t know what you did, but not only is he eating but he insisted on getting up at the table.”  (George laughs)

And it kind of went up and down for a while.  We started going to his house for sessions ’cause he was too sick to come to meet with Frank.  And Frank had everybody …

Frank:  He came to …

Linda:  Oh, an all-night thing?  Yeah.  He had never gone to one of the twenty-four hour, like Frank does these twenty-four hour like workshop type things …

George:  Carlos had never gone?

Linda:  … and Carlos had never done one of them, and he really wanted to.  So we had one scheduled, and he was in the hospital, and he got out like the night before, he was in and out of the hospital a lot.  So he shows up with like, it was like a portable hospital room … Well he was late.  O.k., so … when he had first started meeting with Frank years before, he was late for everything.  And that was one of the first things that Frank said had to go.  You know, “you have to be on time anytime you say you’re gonna be some place.”  So he was always on time then.  And now, here he is, like really sick, depending on other people, and he’s like a couple hours late for this thing.  And so, while we’re waiting for him to come … a lot of the people that were in the workshop had never, didn’t know any of us.  They were just doing this workshop they had signed up with to do with Frank.  So Frank said, “Well I have someone coming who’s gonna be playing the part of a dying man.”  And he starts giving this whole rap about how he’s gonna pretend he’s dying of AIDS, and he’s going to da da da da …  And so Carlos shows up then two hours later with his entourage of like he’s on oxygen, he has all these medications for his skin and all this stuff.  And he’s in tears.  He’s so upset ’cause he’s late.  And he comes in, “Frank!”  You know, and he’s like … and Frank, you know, lets him talk for a minute, and  he turns to everybody, he says, “This is him.  See?” 

And Carlos is looking, and Frank said, “I told them that you’re playing the part of the dying man.”  And Carlos just looks at Frank and goes, “O.k., Frank!”  You know … (all laugh)  And Frank had set it up so that he could set his own pace, ’cause we didn’t know like what he’d be up for.  And he said, just join in as much as you want.  And by the end of it, he was off oxygen.  He like was totally, you know, back into everything and he was involved in everything, through the whole thing.  He didn’t like take a break at any point.  And he said that it, you know, he felt a lot better at the end of it.  And the process of him, he would kind of go in and out of being o.k. …

George:  Yeah.  That happens pretty regularly.

Linda:  Yeah.  At one point when we were over there, he told Frank that Frank didn’t know what it was like to have to depend on people for your every need.  (all explode screaming/laughing)  Which he denied saying.  He said, “Frank, you made that up.  I never said that.”  The thing would be, Frank had, you know, everybody that was part of this little community, somebody was with him all the time, and they’d just hang out with him, or play cards or just whatever, you know.  And he would be this, (plays Camille) like “Ohhh … you knowww … I’m in soooo …”  Like that.  And then we’d get a card game going.  Boom.  He’s sharp, he’s fine, nothing hurts, he’s winning.  (all laugh)  You know, and so … that was like during his period when he’s going in and out of things.  One time he’s in the hospital and the Portland trip is approaching and Frank had told him he has to be able to walk, you know, to go on this tour.  And, we get there and it turns out, he’s not walking.  He’s not getting out of bed, he’s not moving.

George:  He’s in the hospital at this point.

Linda:  Yeah, he’s in the hospital, this is one of those like three or four day things, and then he’d be in and out for different things.  And, Frank said, “O.k., I told you you should be walking.  I want you to lean on Michael,” and another guy that was with us, Rourke, “and walk as far as the door and back to your bed.”  And he says, “Well I’m not gonna lean on anybody then.  I’m just gonna walk.”  He gets to the door, and the door is open.  He waits ’til he gets to the frame so that he’s in view of the nurse’s station, and GRABS onto the frame, trying to get Frank in trouble!

And Frank just yells at him, and says, “I told you to lean on Michael and Rourke.  Now you lean on them to get back to bed.”  And that all happens, and he goes through this trauma over that, and we play cards, he’s fine, you know.  And we’re leaving and the nurse calls us over and she said, “What did you do to get him to walk?”  It turns out that they’d been trying to get him to walk.  He said he needed a physical therapist.  They brought a physical therapist.  The physical therapist said, “You should be able to walk.”

“Oh no, I need a doctor.”  They bring a doctor:  “You should be able to walk.”  No, he can’t walk.  And then they see him walking, you know.  And so Frank said, “Well, not only that.  He’s supposed to walk a step more each day.”  The nurse said, “Fine, I’ll enforce that.”  (all laugh) 

So by the time he died …

George:  You should have billed him.  (all laugh)

Frank:  Uh huh!

Linda:  You did!  Oh yeah, he paid.  He paid all the way to the end.  By the time he died he was pretty consistently at peace with it, and a pretty jolly soul with it all.  It was very neat, and … so it actually felt, you know, it wasn’t as drastic a thing when he died, ’cause he was so kinda right there with us.  Yeah.

Frank:  We ate …

Linda:  Right.  The day he died, we decided … you know, his whole thing when he was dying was that, his fantasy had been having ice cream or something, something like that.  And Frank said, “Pffft, you know, you’re dying, have as much ice cream as you want.”  So he used to have the people he was staying with make him milkshakes, so he could get up in the middle of the night and drink a milkshake if he wanted it.  So, the day that he died, we’re sitting there, and we said, “Well, let’s have a sundae.”  You know, so that started like a ritual.  So on his birthday and on his death day we go out and we have these decadent sundaes, and it never makes us sick, you know …

George:  (laughing)  Banana splits …

Louise:  Right, you just do it.

Linda:  … if we did that on any other day, it would be like “Ooohhh.”  You know, but we do that …

George:  Oh jeez …  People do dance around dying, though.  We’ve certainly, we have people who come this close, you think they’re gonna be gone in two hours, and then they back away.  And then … for another couple months, and approach it again, and back away.  Just never know …

Linda:  Yeah.

George:  … but we’ve never had anyone eating ice cream on the way out.  (laughs)

Frank:  Carlos was joking …

Linda:  … with the nurse, as he died.  Right.  He was getting a transfusion, and he was joking with the nurse, and he just passed.

George:  He was getting, what, how did, did he have cardiac arrest, you know, was that the thing …?

Linda:  I guess that was it.  Did he have cardiac arrest as he was having the transfusion?  (Frank – yes)  Yeah.  Yeah.

The Lab, San Francisco, 1988.
“Journey to Lila”, EZTV, Los Angeles, California, 1988.
“Wrapping/Rocking” at Poetry Bash, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, 1988.
Poetry Bash, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, 1988.
“Journey to Lila”, ATA, San Francisco, California, April 8, 1988. Photo by Linda Mac.

This is the text that displayed in the “Dying Man” tent along with a large photo of Carlos wearing his “I have AIDS” sign at performances after Carlos died:

I AM CARLOS. FOR THE LAST YEAR, MY ROLE IN THESE DREAMS HAS BEEN TO GREET THE PEOPLE, AND TO PREPARE THEM FOR THEIR DEATH WHICH THEY (AND YOU) WILL EXPERIENCE IN THIS DREAM. I TOLD THEM THAT DEATH IS NOT SOMETHING TO BE FEARED, SOMETHING THAT IN ITSELF IS NOT PAINFUL. I TOLD THEM, IN MY MARVELOUS VINCENT PRICE VOICE, THAT DEATH IS A PART OF LIFE TO BE LUSTFULLY RELISHED AND ENJOYED.

I WISH YOU COULD HAVE HEARD MY VINCENT PRICE. I TRIED TO GET HERE IN MY BODY, WHICH WAS FINALLY FITTING THE BODY OF THE DYING MAN. I EVEN FANTASIZED ABOUT DYING HERE WHILE I WAS TALKING TO YOU ABOUT DEATH. BUT THAT WAS NOT TO BE. 2:35 P.M., JANUARY 30, 1989, MY HEART STOPPED. BUT I AM HERE WITH YOU BECAUSE LIFE, WHICH DEATH IS A PART OF, GOES ON.

WHEN I FOUND OUT A YEAR AGO I HAD AIDS, THE KNOWING I WAS DYING LIBERATED ME SO THAT I COULD LIVE MORE FULLY, MORE HAPPILY, MORE OPENLY, MORE PEACEFULLY THEN I EVER LIVED BEFORE. FRANK, ALWAYS A BELIEVER IN TYPE-CASTING, CREATED FOR ME THE DYING MAN ROLE TO SPREAD THE LIBERATION TO PEOPLE WHOSE DEATHS ARE NOT IN SIGHT. A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT THE “I HAVE AIDS” SIGN I WORE AROUND MY NECK AND THE DYING MAN WERE FICTIONS OF THE ART. BUT WHEN THEY DISCOVERED THAT I WAS REALLY DYING, THE DREAM BROKE OUT OF ART, AND INTO THE REALITY OF EVERYDAY. I HOPE BY MY BEING WITH YOU IN THIS WAY IT WILL SPREAD THE LIBERATION TO YOU.

The sign that appeared outside of the “Dying Man” tent (painted by LaBash).

Videos with Carlos

EZTV – Wrapping/Rocking & Statues
Los Angeles, California, September 9, 1988.

Playing with Reality
(in two parts)
Berkeley, California, November 19 & 20 1988

The Outrageous Horror Show
Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California, October 29, 1988

Censorship Address to the Berkeley City Council

Written September 8, 2002.

City Council member Kris Worthington, Frank Moore and Dr. Susan Block

Hi. I am Frank Moore, the producer/host of the targeted UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES and the sponsor of the targeted SUSAN BLOCK SHOW. It is interesting that this proposed ordinance is designed to target shows by an uppity crip and a smart sexy woman…or is it a smart sexy crip and an uppity woman? My show is politically, culturally, and artistically radical, offering in-depth conversations about issues that affect us all with a wide range of people, live music, and cutting-edge performances, films, and art. We throw everything in this stew for social change, explore everything, including eroticism, to find alternatives. This is what got me targeted by Sen. Jesse Helms in the early ’90s. And this is why our shows are being targeted now. A few people, including some on the City Council, want to sweep these alternatives from public access because they are threatened by these alternatives.

Councilmember Betty Olds, who introduced this ordinance, has publicly proclaimed that if she had her way, she would ban these alternatives from our public access channel. She bemoaned the fact that it is illegal to censor or ban community shows on public access channels. This ordinance is an attempt to get around this legal fact. Olds actually has said she would take away B-TV, the channel of the community, if that was the only way she could force the removal of the shows that she doesn’t approve of. So the real targets and victims of this ordinance are not our two shows, but the people of Berkeley, their freedom of expression on their channel.

This ordinance came about when both the staff of B-TV and the board of BCM refused to adopt a censoring scheduling policy, following their mission of promoting free speech and diversity. They knew getting some complaints is always a part of running a free speech channel. All of us producers were acting responsibly, requesting that our shows be aired after 10pm, the standard “safe harbor” for adult content. But the City Council, fueled by very few complaints, decided to ignore B-TV’s staff and producers and the BCM board. It decided to issue rules controlling what could be shown on B-TV when. When politicians do this, it should always set off loud alarm bells.

This ordinance is a dangerous product of this misguided adventure. It purports to protect children from “indecent” programs. It doesn’t do this. Again Olds has admitted that protecting children is just an excuse to get rid of shows that she and people like her find unsettling, etc.. This ordinance does not provide cheap hardware to concerned parents that allow them to block any program they deem unfit for their kids. Instead, it does away with the “safe harbor” of the 10pm-6am timeslot for adult programming. In its place there will be an “indecent” timeslot of midnight to 6am. Except for the shows which fall into a very narrow definition of what “indecent” is as defined in this ordinance, all other shows can be shown anytime! As Councilmembers Spring and Maio pointed out as they voted against the ordinance, the two targeted shows are not indecent. In fact, B-TV doesn’t have any shows that are indecent as defined in this ordinance.

In reality, this ordinance is not about protecting children at all. It is about chilling free speech. It is about forcing people to do “acceptable” shows. Under this ordinance, a producer is expected to label her show as indecent or not. If she doesn’t label it as indecent and somebody complains, there is a hearing. This hearing, its process, its rules, etc. are not remotely spelled out in the ordinance. If the show is found “indecent” in the hearing, the show is exiled to after midnight. But if the show is found not to be indecent…well, the complainer can do it again next week…until the producer is ground down into watering down her program. This is the real goal of this ordinance, not protecting kids!

Well, Suzy and I are not chillers. We do not chill. We boil. If this ordinance passes, we will fight lustfully! And we will win. We have to because, as Kriss Worthington keeps pointing out, this would give this and other city councils the power to control what we do and say on OUR public access channels…and freedom of speech dies!

By the way, are we going to let them limit our possibilities?

The complete archive of the censorship battle is here:
https://www.eroplay.com/fmup/archive/censorship.html


This piece was published in
Frankly Speaking: A Collection of Essays, Writings & Rants.

Gestures

Gestures was a ritual that Frank developed during his three year performance series at University of California, Berkeley in the 1980s and that he continued to use as a module in many of his performances for the next 30 years.

It is based upon the book MANWATCHING by Desmond Morris. During the ritual, those who choose to participate are paired, then strips of paper are drawn randomly from two bags and read aloud; one bag filled with the gestures (the complete list is below), one bag filled with adjectives.

The Gestures bags
Adjective and gesture strips.

Here is the introduction to the ritual that was read during a performance:

A Chanter sings:

“This is a ritual, a magical ritual, a ritual of Gestures which will open up a physical, magical force within those who choose to participate. At times the ritual will be very silly. At other times there will be a raw vulnerability, an intimacy that is not limited by social taboos, not framed in by romance or sex.”

“This magical ritual operates on the random principle. Magicians and mystics have used the factor of change throughout the ages to get past the rational, the logical, the linear, to get to inner knowledge or to universal wisdom. Shuffling the tarot cards and the throwing of the yarrow sticks for the i ching are but two examples of this random principle. In this ritual, the random principle, pulling gestures out of the box, will direct the ritual. Some gestures are silly. Some gestures are intense and intimate. The random principle makes each gesture equal. The random principle will remove the linear limiting taboo, sexual, romance context.”

“Linda will now pair people … to do the gestures.

The Chanter waits until Linda finishes pairing. Then the Chanter sings:

“Slowness is important in the quiet gentle sounds and laughter will help the magic. Watchers should refrain from talking during the ritual.”

“Each gesture has a special time length. You should keep doing one action until Linda sings the next gesture.”

“You will start releasing the physical force of eroplay in your bodies. This ritual will take eroplay out of social, moral, sexual, and romantic contexts, so that the focus will be on the pure magical fun and pleasure. It is important that each act be done gently, slowly, softly, completely.”

The Chanter quietly exits. Linda takes over.

“Gestures”, U.C.B. Series, Spring 1985. Photo by Mary Sullivan.

Here is the complete list of gestures:

HUNCH YOUR SHOULDERS

PUT YOUR HANDS OUT PALMS UP

TILT YOUR HEAD TO ONE SIDE

LOWER THE CORNERS OF YOUR MOUTH

RAISE YOUR EYEBROWS

HUG YOUR LEGS

CROSS YOUR LEGS

CROSS YOUR LEGS

CROSS YOUR LEGS

CLASP YOUR HANDS ON YOUR THIGHS

OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

SHAKE YOUR WHOLE BODY

SHAKE YOUR WHOLE BODY

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

OPEN YOUR LEGS WIDE

WAVE

SMILE

LIFT YOUR EYEBROWS UP

BLOW A KISS

SHAKE HANDS. Focus on having all touching and exchanges be deep, gentle, firm, self-confident, and fun.

SPREAD YOUR ARMS AS IF YOU ARE GOING TO HUG

LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER, VISUALLY EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER, PASS TABOOS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BACKS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S RIBS

PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS

MAKE BRIEF EYE CONTACT WITH THE OTHER, THEN JERK AWAY

HOLD HANDS

RUB EACH OTHER’S HANDS. Feel the gentle warming pleasure

EXPLORE EACH OTHER’S HANDS. Feel the gentle warming pleasure

HOLD HANDS. We have started releasing a physical force in our bodies, EROPLAY. We feel this EROPLAY now as we hold hands. This ritual will take EROPLAY out of social, moral, sexual, and romantic contexts, so that the focus will be on the pure magical fun and pleasure. It is important that each act be done gently, slowly, softly, completely.

RUB NOSES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BARE ARMS.

RUB FORHEADS

RUB EACH OTHER’S HEAD, HEAD TO HEAD. Turn on each other’s scalps. Make one another feel like a puppy having its belly rubbed.

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BARE ARMS, ARMS ON ARMS.

RUB FORHEADS, FORHEAD TO FORHEAD

RUB EACH OTHER’S HEAD, HEAD TO HEAD. Turn on each other’s scalps. Make one another feel like a puppy having its belly rubbed.

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S ARMPITS GENTLY

RUB CHEEKS, CHEEK TO CHEEK

LOOK DEEPLY INTO ONE ANOTHER’S EYES

RUB ONE ANTHER’S FEET. Turn them on to an intense warm glow of relaxing pleasure.

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

STICK YOUR TONGUE BARELY OUT, CURL IT UP AND MOVE IT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH GENTLY. Rock out of any fear or taboos…rock back to primative humaness of being one with another by physical contact

CURL UP, HUG YOURSELF, AND GENTLY ROCK BACK AND FORTH. Rock into comforting trust

JERK YOUR HEAD VERY SLIGHTLY

SHOW EACH OTHER YOUR BARE BELLY AND RUB YOUR BELLY

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BARE BELLY LIKE A PUPPY’S BELLY, SOOTHINGLY

RUB BELLIES, BELLLY TO BELLY

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BELLY

HUG ONE ANOTHER

SQUEEZE ONE ANOTHER’S HANDS

SHOW YOUR BARE CALVES TO THE OTHER

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CALVES

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S CALVES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CALVES, CALVES TO CALVES

RUB ONE ANOTHER, ALL OVER

RUB HEADS, HEAD TO HEAD

STROKE ONE ANOTHER’S HAIR

RAISE YOUR HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD AS HIGH AS THEY WILL GO

PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR GENITALS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BACK

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BACK

LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER

PUT YOUR HANDS ON ONE ANOTHER’S GENITALS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS AND NECK

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST, CHEST TO CHEST

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS, BREASTS TO BREASTS

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS

EXPLORE EACH OTHER BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BODY BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BODY BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BODY BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

RUB YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

EXPLORE YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

PUT THE OTHER’S HAND ON YOUR GENITALS AND GUIDE IT SENSUALLY

RUB EACH OTHER’S GENITALS, NOT FOR SEXUAL REASONS, BUT FOR BODY COMFORT

HUG ONE ANOTHER…AND ROCK TOGETHER

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BACK

LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S SHOULDERS AND NECK

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S CHEST

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BREASTS

PUT YOUR HEAD ON THE OTHER PERSON’S SHOULDER. HUG AND ROCK TOGETHER

RUB FACES

RUB FACES, FACE ON FACE

EXPLORE FACES

STICK YOUR TONGUE WAY OUT

LICK ONE ANOTHER’S EAR

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S KNEES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S THIGHS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S KNEES, KNEES TO KNEES

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S THIGHS, THIGHS ON THIGHS

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S KNEES

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S THIGHS

HOLD ONE ANOTHER’S WAIST

EXPLORE ONE ANOTHER’S BUTTS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BUTTS

RUB ONE ANOTHER’S BUTTS, BUTT TO BUTT

RUB YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

PUT THE OTHER’S HAND ON YOUR GENITALS, GUIDE IT EXPLORINGLY. RUB EACH OTHER’S GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT, CALMING AND RELAXING

RUB ANYWHERE ON ONE ANOTHER’S BODY

EXPLORE EACH OTHER BY USING EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY

RUB BODIES

INTERTWINE YOUR BODIES AND SLOWLY MOVE TOGETHER

ONE LAY UPON THE OTHER AND MOVE IN SLOW MOTION

RUB YOUR GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

RUB EACH OTHER’S GENITALS FOR BODY COMFORT

IN VERY SLOW MOTION, RUB YOUR BODIES TOGETHER AND TALK TOGETHER


Gestures at University of California, Berkeley, July 24, 1986