The Frank Moore Archives

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

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mutation is evolution

you foolish idiot!
You want to make
everything,
everyone
normal!
You want to cure
prevent
all crips,
freaks,
crazies,
oddballs,
slow ones
misfits,
bums,
artists,
poets,
and all other impractical
different looking
strange mutations
you fool!

How to condemn the human species
to extinction!

Look…
the game of evolution is
change by experimentation.

We freaks are the experimenters

the name of the game
is flexibly adapting
coping
leaping
risking into the unknown newness
of uncontrolled future
we crips,
we misfits have always been the adapters,
the leapers

hell,
I’m not wasting my time
talking to you about magic and such
just about evolution

well,
if you don’t need us crips,
us misfits
if you don’t need us no more…
our advice is
don’t breathe deep
in your air-tight coffin
of normalcy
and move very slowly
very carefully
in your thin-skinned world
of ever increasing fragility

oh yeah…
good luck!

© Frank Moore 04/23/1999

“Mutation Is Evolution” poem by Frank Moore
Read by Annie Krist

A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 7, “Nonfilms”.
Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/
Watch episodes: https://vimeo.com/channels/letmebefrank

A Pussy For Bob

February 17, 2007

Frank wrote:

One night at BURNT RAMEN, Bob said, “Man, I wish you would paint me a pussy that I could hang up on my wall so I could jerk off while looking at it!” So I did. This video was when my crew delivered the painting to Bob’s apartment [I could not get in because of stairs]. This is a glimpse of the backstage of Bob’s reality! For years later he kept calling me… “man, I just see a cheese sandwich in your painting!” But finally, “Oh man, I SEE THAT PUSSY!”

“A Pussy For Bob” by Frank Moore 2007

tortures

© Frank Moore 5/18/94


Reading by Attaboy & Ben Burke on Frank Moore’s Shamans Den, October 24, 1999

events are real,
but victim’s reality
ain’t mine.

loud doctor
judge
voices kept pronouncing
no intelligence,
no future,
no spark,
just a black hole drain…
put him
forgotten
memories
institution.

family screaming voices
over thanksgiving
and christmas table
accused
the mother’s sins taken out on the son…
the son
there
listening
crying
for 13 years.

ugly doll.

kids were pulled away…
maybe it’s contagious.
kids were slapped away
for looking
at the slobbering
doll.

adults,
keeping
the doll
for awhile
to give
the poor woman
a break
saying
over coffee,
why does she keep him,
no future,
can never do anything…
sure, he understands…
but more the pity…
understanding doom…
look at him
listening to us
in the chair…
4 years old
and doomed
to can not.

abandoned at 5…
hospital,
their excuse,
a baby brother being born,
then me
with chickenpox…
but i knew it
was because i shit
too much,
pissed
too much…
so i held it in
until i couldn’t
anymore…
and then sat in it
because i needed
too many baths.
sat in it
until after college…
it was the least
a burden
such as i
could do!

they were going to leave me
again…..
the floppy
ugly
thick-lipped,
buck-tooth
dumbo-ear
no-future
me…
for 2 years…
i’d be 10
before i’d see them
again…
if then…
but my hives
put an end
to that!

frames steel and leather
pinched,
rub blisters,
rub raw red sores
from hips to ankles,
framing
imprisoning
chaining
this gross
abnormal beast
down into the sacred appearance of
normalcy,
that abstract state.
if the beast crossed his legs,
the illusion would crack…
so wedge a lead bar
between these frustrated legs
for 26 years…
never mind
it pinches his balls.
he will just watch tv
all his life.

me
lying on a hard table,
listening to the professionals
discussing my doomed fate.
me
only in underpants.
they want
always
to cut open
my body and brain.
i knew kids
who were twisted zombies
after doctors
cut them open.
doctors want
to give me drugs
to stop my slobbering
and to tranquilize
my body
into the american dream…
or in the ballpark. they settled
on daily physical torture.

dad
missed my ninth birthday party
for a bender….
babbling drunkenly later
about how he loved me.
teachers
bribing
one another
about who would get the freak.
one quit.
but the professionals
decided the schools weren’t equipped
to handle such a creature.
sentenced
to isolation
with mother
in the towers…
with daily outings
to physical tortures.
bent fingers,
arms,
legs
so far into unnatural positions
that it took
three of them
to do it,
so far i screamed in pain,
screaming
i want to be normal.
i lied,
i never wanted that!
one time
i stuck my hand up
into their cunts.
they rubbed ice
all over my body,
then brushed me
hard
with a house paint brush.
i awoke
when i was 13
after an operation
to pull my balls
down,
i awoke
to hear one nurse
saying to another,
“why did they bother,
no woman
would make love
with him.”
mom
once told
me,
“any girl
who would want you
must be crazy.”
in the towers,
i lost my hearing.
the teenage “babysitter”
blindfolded
14-year old me
so i couldn’t see her
and two girlfriends
dance sexually
with one another.

dad was pissed.
he couldn’t hit a crip.
so every night
at the dinertable
he would scream
at my brother,
humiliated my brother,
backhand slapped my brother,
whipped my brother
with a belt….
and then exited to the local bar.
i always cried.
my high school teacher
made me eat clorets
because my breathe
and body odor
stank bad.
college wouldn’t take
me
because my slobbering
would offend and distract
other students.
airlines
used this logic
to not let me
on their planes.

rubbing myself
into climax
in college,
nothing came out
like before.
orgasms weren’t messy
like before…
before that bladder operation.
curious,
i went to the college nurse,
who checked with the doctor
who didn’t see any reason
to tell
a 27-year old virgin
ugly
rag doll
about the side-effect
of the operation
of no-mess orgasm…
after all, rag dolls
don’t have sex or kids…
we don’t want to have more rag dolls!
my would-be mother-in-law
told my would-be wife
“marry somebody else…
and adopt frank!”
she said a lot
more choice things…
but time and space are limited.
but she did bribe
every justice of the peace
for miles around
to not marry us.

if you don’t shut-up,
you spoiled brat…
living
with old drunk
male nurse
who kept rag dolls
in their place
by punching them out.
lived with him for 6-months…
until he pulled
a loaded gun on me.
then i screamed him to sleep.
a knife at the crashpad…
if i didn’t stop laughing at him…
i wasn’t laughing.
a paper dixie cup at the headshop…
if i didn’t start talking,
he’d push it down my throat.
never mind the hitman.
never mind linda’s mafia papa.
and i’m sure i’ve forgotten a lot.
my first french kiss
was from a guy
who then tried to rape me
putting his penis in my mouth.
i like french kissing.

but all in all,
life has been good!

Detail of “Luna” by LaBash ©1991

Small Press Exhibit 2005

Small Press Exhibit at the Alameda County Library, Albany Branch, Albany, California, July 2005

Part of the Inter-Relations collection of zines, books and chap books collected between 1988 and the present.

More photos: http://www.eroplay.com/smallpress/exhibit.html

Review of Cherotic Magic by Barbara Smith

Cover of the original photocopied edition by LaBash

Cherotic Magic by Frank Moore
by Barbara Smith, 1991

Due to complex reasons of historical conditions and need, artists from the industrialized nations of the world more or less simultaneously (late 1950’s – early 1970’s) felt a depth of experience uncontainable in ordinary and available cultural forms.  They emerged with a language of remarkable similarity – clearly felt in retrospect to be shamanic and whose purposes extended far beyond the realm of the commercialized art market.  One of these performance artists is Frank Moore who has just published an introductory manual for prospective apprentices in shamanic/art practices.  The book is also a very helpful means of access to this particular realm of performance art for the historian and student.

Moore, paradoxically a severely disabled cerebral palsied human being, who cannot clearly utter a single word is simultaneously a clear and eloquent writer about a reality-shifting form of art he calls Cherotic Magic and a spectacularly courageous, ecstatic journeyer and practitioner of shamanic transformational art.

Reversing the ideas of normal causality, his book guides one towards powerful experiences of re-integration into a unified field of consciousness brought about by the apprenticeship.  The radical purposes of the book initiate a teacher/student relationship more appropriately similar to a guru situation than the normal art student context which we all know can be one which borders on charismatic adulation.  Rather, the relationship is intended to awaken and restructure the whole being with access to an interrelated “web of all possibilities,” a potentiated ground of existence, from which the student may return empowered with energy, vision and unflinching faith to change the so-called reality structure of this fragmented and specialized culture.  The process is a form of magic, which inspires a sense of body wholeness and aliveness where the personal power is to be found.   A manual of faith and a description of the nature of apprenticeship, the book is a clarification of the sort of contractual agreement one enters with a teacher, rarely stipulated but here clearly spelled out.  This agreement is one of mutual responsibility where the risk is clearly seen to be taken by both parties.

Having explored these realms a good deal myself both in terms of self-discovery and also with teachers, I find the book to be rigorously tough in its demands (on the potential student and quite naturally the teacher as well), and it also very clearly describes qualities required (such as trust) and the benefits to be gained in these explorations (such as love).

Moore has broken the apprenticeship into segments with re-entry periods back into ordinary life between the intervals in order to accommodate Western students’ difficulty in going through the lengthy course in a sustained fashion.  The fact  that the student must exhibit a deep and long-term calling, will or faith to repeatedly return to the teaching is Moore’s greatest risk, for spiritual apprenticeship is not a common practice in Western culture.  This is a little known fact that the apprenticeship entails risk in the making and/or breaking of the relationship not only in regard to the student but more so for the teacher.

Moore speaks of the a-logical interaction, as a journey along which student and teacher become soul mirrors.  Moore is not seeking a following, however.  He states to his credit, I believe, that such work is highly personal and requires one-to-one attention and becomes non-productive when he has many followers.

The radical nature of this esoteric apprenticeship practice includes the breaking of social mores and taboos in order to reach direct experience particularly in the realm of conventional sexuality.  Moore clearly states however that the touching and erotic playing involved (Eroplay) is not driven by the goal of sexual intercourse, but is the refreshing awakening of what he calls Cherotic energy which becomes a free fund of available and heightened “juice” for healing and creativity.  (These teachings parallel quite exactly the teachings I’ve experienced from my Native American shaman teacher and also Tantric practices.)

My first response to reading Cherotic Magic is one of resonance and appreciation, the feeling of knowing very deeply that of which he speaks as true and uncompromising.  He gives examples and authentication through powerfully written, illuminating stories about his own early life of terrible isolation and study; the breakthroughs which allowed him to finally believe in his own intelligence, joy and beauty and to receive the powerful inner flow of intrinsically experienced wisdom and knowledge of these liberating teachings.  These life passages correspond to such experiences of mystics everywhere.  I appreciate many things about this book, not the least of which are the words Moore has coined to name certain qualities and goals of his work (such as Eroplay and Chero).  One such word Erour, means vulnerable strength.  Its meaning corresponds exactly to my own early performance experience.  In the past, I put myself in very psychologically risky positions in performances and I was frequently criticized for doing so as if I were “hurting myself”.  My own experience was quite to the contrary, although I was in fact going to “the place of fear or pain or constraint” in myself with vulnerability and because I deliberately chose to do so, it was an act of strength and I returned with released energy and power.

If anything in his book is weak, it is this issue of authority and how to define the limits (and/or goals) of guru/student practice.  It is weak not because I think Frank is either weak or inauthentic … but because we live in a spiritually naïve culture.  Most people I imagine are cynics.  The book is not written for such people as there is no language that I know of to convince them a priori to any experience which in itself is convincing.  Further, the way one meets one’s teachers in life is often inherently mysterious and a unique process.  Perhaps the only ways a potential student can judge such persons and situations have first of all to do with one’s depth of calling and an experienced synchronicity.  Failing that, one needs to feel one may leave the teacher at any time despite the pressure to stay and one can also inquire of former students as to their experience.

For me, it would be advantageous if he could paint a picture of what completion might look like.  Is it simply staying the course (twelve years for a resident; seven on, five off approximately / seven days for the introductory course)?  The difficulty is that completion of such a practice might look very different in each of the “graduates” and only a sense of demonstrable knowing and changed behavior would be adequate.

The book is replete with black and white drawings by Michael LaBash. Depending on prior biases, they can appear to be psychedelically violent and visceral with a heavy emphasis on sex.  They are intricate intertwinings of interpenetrating fields which writhe over the entire drawing area with no central image.  Rather, naked figures whole or in parts of both sexes and composite hermaphrodites with breasts and cocks weave in an out of planes and orifices.  As I have said, Moore speaks in the text of making clear how Eroplay is not to be thought of as driving for sex or focused on it. Rather it comes from a presexual state of infancy, yet here the drawings are strongly sexual in my view and often horrific.  (No doubt, however, not meant so much to be sexual as frank (pun intended).

Moore’s writing about the ethics of commitment is a powerful critique of our shallow culture.  What he says rings true and created a sense of gratitude in me and inner resolution.  He speaks with great personal authority.

In the general dialog of art and culture this form of art appears to be the most difficult to speak about partly due to its radicality and partly because it re-integrates art into religion, magic, belief, and effect.  It means and makes change.  I, myself have twice come to a bifurcation point re: some need to synthesize art as I practice it somewhat within the cultural dialog and spaces of my profession as against a chosen spiritual path (Buddhism or Native American teachings).  I finally had to ask the question: which was my core path, art or the spiritual path?  And could the creative process itself be a path to spiritual awakening and inner knowledge?  Or was a core of spirit teachings the only way and the art must be derived from it.  Not the least of which is the question of feminism.  The female spiritual journey is for me a major issue within this questioning.

Moore himself raises the question  of Shamanism  /as art –  /as performance – /as therapy.  He cites performance as the bed of mystical initiation, rites of passage, mystical ceremonies where art/science, philosophy, and psychology and theology merge and become whole once again.  Here, we may experience these things as at once ancient and strange.  The breaking of restricting taboos and inner barriers moves towards a place not of isolated individualism, but one of connectedness both in the interior landscapes and with each other.

Art from Cherotic Magic by LaBash

More information about the book, Cherotic Magic Revised, is available here: http://www.eroplay.com/cheroticmagic/

Cherotic Magic Revised cover by LaBash

Frank’s archives arrive in Istanbul!

The box of Frank’s books, posters, scripts, etc. and hard drive of almost 1000 videos arrived at Performistanbul, in Turkey!

Here are co-director Azra Asmen and assistant director Derya Dinc opening the box holding the hard drive and a copy of our zine, The Cherotic (r)Evolutionary.

Here is a recent article about the space:
“Nonstop art once again at Performistanbul”

The Erotic Greeter

Frank Moore is
The Erotic Greeter

at the Pow!Pow!Pow! arts festival 2010
Viracocha, San Francisco, California
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here is what Frank wrote about this performance:

Monday, October 18, 2010

We didn’t really know for sure if we were going to THE POW! POW! POW! until we got into the van to go to it! That was because of my trach and PEG tube. But performances need risk! It turned out I was up to it! But we had looked up the nearest hospital just in case!

The question of did I have a plant at the performance will never be answered. But if I had, here are my directions to her:

I’m performing Saturday [if my health allows] as THE EROTIC GREETER. I will be in the lobby with a sign EXPLORE THE EROTIC GREETER DEEPLY BY TOUCH. Would you be my erotic plant, going under my robes to rub me erotically magical arousing? This would be when the audience is coming into the theater. The rubbing is the magical focus of the piece… Small, intimate, explicit, practically unseen. In the seventies I had a big padded box into which before a performance i got into with someone to play nude with. The lid was closed before the audience came in. So they didn’t know what was happening in the box. But the erotic focused fun inside the box totally affected the performance outside of the box.

Well, there was erotic rubbing. But not the needed focused sustain turning on to generate a core mass. This can’t be done with people in a long term relationship like Linda and I because of the comfort factor [which we used in the jams]. But in this kind of performance what generates the erotic core mass that sucks everything deeper is erotic exploring breaking through risk into sustained focused arousal. That didn’t happen. The closest was Marz.

But other factors kicked in, making it a powerful demanding performance. Joyful intimacy tends to call attention to what is happening or not happening.

And my conversation with Guillermo Gomez Pena was the cherry on the top! Never know who you are influencing!


Here is the transcript of the conversation with Guillermo Gomez Pena:

Then Guillermo Gomez Pena and the black woman in black face came over. They kneeled in front of Frank and looked at him.

Frank said to Guillermo, “I like your “Defense of Performance Art”. I found it online.”

Guillermo said to Frank that if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t exist.

Then followed a deep and intense conversation that was very moving.

Frank asked “How so?”

Guillermo: You opened the door.

Frank: What door?

Guillermo: The door to freedom and the door to a different kind of beauty.

Frank: I am honored. I am recovering. (Linda explains that Frank was in the hospital over the summer, six weeks in intensive care.)

Guillermo: Thousands of people were beating with your heart.

Frank: I got emails while I was in the hospital that kicked my ass!

(Guillermo asks if he can kiss Frank. Frank says yes, and Guillermo sits next to him on a bench, and kisses him on the side of the head and cheek, very long and soft.)

Frank: We should get together to talk. We should do a performance together.

Guillermo: From the time I moved to L.A., I was a young, angry, immigrant rebel. I never missed one of your performances.

Frank: I am that old? (smiling big)

Guillermo: Well, I am only a couple months younger than you. But spiritually much younger.

More photos and write-ups about the performance here: http://eroplay.com/Cave/powpowpow2010/


“The Erotic Greeter”, Hopkins St., Berkeley
Part of Maggie Lawson’s “Small Pieces of your Truth”
Monday, April 04, 2011

Just got back from doing my part of Maggie Lawson’s performance, small pieces of your truth [see below for her directions].  I picked the option PUBLIC GIFT.  The free service of my part was being available to be touched and physically explored as THE EROTIC GREETER.  I had a sign to that effect as I sat outside the shops on Hopkins Street for about ninety minutes.  It was a great day to be sitting outside!  I don’t know if I used any skills from my Master degrees in psychology and in performance /video [I don’t believe I got any skills from those days].  I did similar performances long before grad school! 

Anyway, I sat in the shade and engaged with people as they passed by as Linda about ten yards away documented it with photos and video.  Most people just passed me, working hard on NOT looking at me.  Of course little kids looked and pointed.  Some people said “hi, Frank,” knowing me from my Berkeley community public access cable show.  And one of my favorite singers, Shelley Doty, with her son stopped to talk.  And a guy pulled up and got out of his car to talk.  He said a few weeks ago he was building a fence for a guy and the guy told him about me.  So he wanted to meet me.  So…! 

A fun day! 


Here are Maggie’s directions:

Congratulations! You’ve become part of the chosen few to play Small Pieces of Your Truth for its first time, in real time.

If you accept this challenge choose ONE of the activities below and do it BEFORE April 9.

On April 9 we’ll meet at Pueblo Nuevo Gallery from 2-4:30 pm (Pueblo Nuevo Gallery, 1828 San Pablo Ave, Suite 1, Berkeley, CA) and keep playing together. There’s no right or wrong way to play. Creatively interpret the instructions and on Saturday come and meet the rest of the group, a truly inspiring group of artists and creatives.

Choose one:

Public Gift  Set up a table in a public space and offer a service for free that uses some skill you specifically received through your formal education thus far.  If and when people stop, ask and record why each person stopped to use your service. N.B. Don’t worry if no one stops to use the service this is interesting information too.  Take photos of the table and/or people that stop to use the service with a caption under each person’s photo of why they stopped to use your service and/or a caption under the table photo of why or why not you were able to attract people to your table.

———-

Scrapbook Collect any materials in your life that either make reference to the highest level of formal education you have received or are things/work/references that are available to you because of your education level. Using the paper and supplies of your choice create 2-3 “scrapbook pages” of these materials (search scrapbook examples under Google images for inspiration or guidance).

————

Pilgrimage

Pligrimage 1. a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion. 2. any long journey, especially one undertaken as a quest or for a votive purpose, as to pay homage.

Identify a time and place in your life when you had the most intense experience of learning.  Now, create a real or virtual way to return to the place where this occurred. For example, this might include finding the people you were with on the internet, going to a place that represents that place near your current residence, or if possible, returning to this place.  Leave something in the place you choose that pays homage to this moment. Answer this Question: How does your most intense experience of learning similar or different from your most important experience in the formal education system?  Record how you paid homage with a text or photo and write out the answer to the question.

I hope to play with you all on Saturday! Feel free to email or call me with questions.

In Appreciation,
Maggie

—–
Maggie Lawson
Artist
Arts and Community Education Director
Eye to Eye: art, travel, activism

Cultural Subversion

Published in New Observations, Issue No. 101 (May/June 1994) Copy Culture, and many other publications.

Cultural Subversion with Frank Moore (vocals), K. Atchley (guitar) and Linda Mac (reading)
Cover of the photocopied publication. Artwork by LaBash.

This will be personal. But the personal level is the key to understanding the cultural, artistic, and political movement which is taking back technology into the personal control of anyone who has something to say, something to create. It is personal technology, anarchistic technology. It is not like cable T.V. which we were told ten years ago would liberate the person by giving him intimate and direct information and communication channels…but which today is simply more channels for the money types who have always controlled the communication flowing through mass media…just more monopolized channels for passive entertainment, selling, and manipulation of information and of reality. The only exception to this is the local access channels which are kept in the closet and are always in danger of being axed by the cable company. These access channels are a part of the personal technology.

Personal technology is basically a slip up of what I have called elsewhere “the combine plot”. I took the term “combine” from the Ken Kesey novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The combine plot is a hidden dynamic system of power, control, and interest that keeps the tools of creation and of effective change out of the hands of the common people. This keeps the people powerless, keeping the power within an elite. The tools of effective change have been kept out of the hands of the common people by false rituals of education, money, and bulky expensive equipment which took a cult knowledge to operate. Added to this maze of creative blocks were the false myths about talent and the acceptable quality levels needed to reach people, acceptable quality levels below which people are trained to not watch or listen.

All of this is too abstract and philosophical. In this article, I will try to pull these issues down into the real world by using my own artistic experiences as a context. But it is important to realize at the beginning that personal technology, anarchistic technology is still technology. All technology has hidden, built-in links to the established order of isolation and fragmentation. These links can frustrate attempts to use technology to subvert the established reality. Only by being always aware of these links to isolation and fragmentation inherent in all technology, can technology be safely used as a tool of cultural subversion. This fact again banged me over the head when I was talking to a successful musician who didn’t understand why all performers do not stop touring, considering the pollution caused by traveling…and do what he does, which is do everything through telecommunications. I just said you can not touch through phones, computers, videos…and even through writing. To restore humanity to our culture by using technology, we must know and admit the limitations of that technology.

All technology is a double-edged sword. This includes the very first communication technology…writing/reading. We usually think of the invention of writing as extremely liberating. And in so many ways it was. But in so many other ways it confined humanity. For one thing, it placed a fixed linear frame of thinking within the human brain much more than spoken language had done. Moreover, writing/reading created a very exclusive elite for most of the known human history. Before writing, everyone knew the tribal language…everyone knew how to paint, sing, dance. Information flowed both between people and within time to the future through this tribal accessible language both of spoken word and of art. If information did not flow through this tribal channel, that information was lost. All of this changed when writing was invented. Now there was a channel that was not accessible to everyone, a channel that did not easily lose information. Those who could access this channel had power. Because of this, for most of recorded history, the skill of reading/writing was monopolized by the ruling elite to maintain its power. This was true even after a larger minority gained limited access to the flowing channel of writing. One of the ways the elite maintained its control was by withdrawing the important ideas…dangerous ideas…both sacred and profane, away from the common people, withdrawing the dangerous ideas into a dead language such as Latin or Greek. Only the members of the elite who went through the rituals of education of the established order (be it religious, political, and/or class) could read or speak this dead language of power. There was another channel of flowing information which was folk art, folk music, and folk words, be it written or spoken. This folk channel was accessible to everyone. It was a dynamic, interactive channel of communication. But the full force of this folk channel was always kept in check by the elite channel with the myth that anything which comes through the folk channel was not worthy or important because it did not come from the hidden knowledge.

This control by the elite did not start to break down until the printing press became cost-accessible to the members of the common people. This opened to the common people a communication channel which was not rooted in physical time…that is, you write something and someone within another time, another place reads exactly what you thought. This is the real force which was unlocked by the printing press, and not the ability to reach mass amounts of people. Without the printing press being to a large degree accessible to the forces of change, the American and French Revolutions may not have happened.

But the elite quickly developed strategies to limit access for the common people to this printing channel. The elite spread the myth that to be really effective, a writer had to go through the rituals of the educational system, and then be blessed by being recognized by the publishing factory, which became increasingly massive and impersonal. Self-publishing was labeled “vanity press”. The presses that offered this service were seen as cons, as scams. Writers who used this service were thought of as untalented fools who got conned. The individual who believed in this myth of the power of the corporate media system to bestow access to communications, and to bestow validity through acceptance, was frozen out of any real position for subversive change.

All of this is an historical background on which I can talk about the issues of personal technology, anarchistic technology in the context of cultural subversion.

I started out in the late ’60s writing for underground papers as a political columnist…sneaking into the mimeograph room at school to run off a hundred copies under the protection of a friendly teacher. Of course, the teacher always, as well as us, got into hot water…and the access to the mimeograph machine was closed. No access, no underground paper. There was not any question about our buying our own mimeograph machine…no money.

But it took only a year or so for the underground press to move from the mimeograph stage into being run off at offset print shops. The underground press had its roots going back through the radical press of the ’20s and ’30s and in the poetry press. The kind of person who put out these papers poured all their personal money into it, then hoped by selling ads, selling papers, by magic, the paper would stay afloat. There was rarely any question of making money on it. But when your nest egg, your dead aunt’s money, ads, sales, or whatever was supporting your rag ran out, that paper of visions died. But there was always a new paper being born to fill the empty space.

There was a rejection of the old standards of quality of both form and content which had kept the common people from creating. As a result of this rejection, a new way of looking at art, politics, and life was thus created. The underground press became so effective that by the early ’70s there were over 700 of these papers and an underground press network. It became so effective that the F.B.I. targeted the underground press for destruction by a covert war. By using the fact that the underground papers rarely had direct access to a printing press, and by using the organization which developed around the underground press, the F.B.I. and the rest of the combine could bring the underground press into control, into the fold.

Around this time, I rejected politics as a means for effective subversive change, and began looking towards art and magic for an effective channel. I took a film-making course, learning the technical rituals of 16mm. 16mm was then the home movie technology. But when I did the technological rituals of lighting, shooting, splicing, etc., they took me away from the actual magic of doing. Hidden within these technological rituals are deadening roadblocks to direct personal creative communications. Roadblocks can be gotten around. But why bother when there are direct alternative routes?

After the film course, I still had no money to make films. One road would have been to put my time and energy into getting money or a position to make films. But I always have mistrusted the myth of changing the system from within. It never works. Once you compromised, modified, changed, distorted both yourself and your message to get the media channel, why bother sending the message? The system myth is a major vacuum that sucks creative power away from people by putting vast amounts of time between the person and the act of creation. Whether the myth is of waiting to get enough money, education, or power before you create, the effect is the same…waiting for Godot.

For these reasons, I created a no/low tech form of live performance which did not need money, theater space, sets, stage lighting, approval, or a particular audience size. This no/low tech form is vital to work which is culturally subversive by expanding the concept of sexuality and reality beyond the frame of taboos.

For me as a no/low tech artist, the personal technology, anarchistic technology is a very important dimension. I first realized this when I was trying to get established in N.Y.C. in the early ’70s. I could not find out about art events until after the fact when I read about them in THE VILLAGE VOICE. So I couldn’t go to them. So I couldn’t meet people with whom I could have gotten something going. One reason for this was there was very little flyering. In N.Y.C., organized crime has a monopoly on putting up posters. I did not realize how much no flyering isolated people until I moved to Berkeley where on every telephone pole, there were 10, 20, 30 flyers. Anyone who has an event, a group, a cause, something to say, can go to a xerox place, run off hundreds, or even thousands of flyers and staple them up all over town. This direct two-way form of the press plugged me immediately into the community where I could do my work.

We have to start seeing flyering, be it on telephone poles or on computer bulletin boards, as a form of personal press, and as such is protected under the freedom of press. Big Brother comes in many forms from the mafia to government (down to the anti-flyer laws as part of a city’s “beautification” campaign) to corporations such as A.T.&T. and Blockbuster Videos.

Just recently I saw the power of this direct personal press. For years I have not been able to be booked in the “alternative” performance galleries in the Bay Area for various reasons…so I put 500 “too controversial for the Bay Area” flyers up asking for leads to spaces in which to perform. From the very first flyer we put up came three good leads into the true alternative art scene. Moreover, the flyer directly exposed the true condition of the established “alternative” art world.

This direct exposing is one of the strengths of the personal technology, anarchistic technology in the context of cultural subversion. Be it a camcorder capturing police brutality or a xerox zine publishing radical heretofore unpublishable material, the effect is to decentralize power, putting it into the personal level. I noticed this again last year when Senator Jesse Helms targeted me for investigation for my art. With only one exception, no one from the regular press contacted me to get my reaction or story. Some of the art magazines printed my open letter to Helms and my article on censorship. But I reached a wide national audience when THE SPIRITUAL REVOLUTIONARY (TSR), a newsletter zine by S/R PRESS, printed both. While TSR has a small readership, other zines reprinted my two pieces from TSR, without my permission but without editing. Then still other zines reprinted the material from those zines. The effect of this anarchistic grapevine of xerox zines is I had exposure to a wide national audience which was made up of small subcultures.

The combine recognizes the uncontrollable force represented by the direct personal communications through the anarchistic technology. The combine is trying to put this genie back in the bottle. The easiest, and the most obvious way to do this is to censor the physical channels…be it phone lines, the mail, or T.V./radio waves.

But there are hidden means by which the combine can thwart the direct personal use of technology. One of these is making equipment such as computers, obsolete every six months, not for any real functional improvement, but for progress. The effect of habitual upgrading is not only that we keep having to buy new soft/hardware, but it also creates a false mystery around the computer very much like the dead language of Latin did in the Dark Ages.

But the best way for the combine to curb the use of personal technology is by the standards of “professional quality”.

When I xerox-published by first two books, I did not run into this wall of “professional quality”. This is because I sold them directly, personally at my performances, as well as by the mail through a review in BOX OF WATER.
But when S/R PRESS xerox-published by book, CHEROTIC MAGIC, we took it, along with my zine THE CHEROTIC rEVOLUTIONARY, around to bookstores. The reason why a lot of the bookstores gave for not carrying the book was not the written or the visual contents of the book, but that it had a spiral binding, rather than a regular binding. Having a regular binding would boost the cost out of the realm of personal level and into the traditional publishing with its concerns of mass sales. Kyle Griffith is fond of saying that if the book’s format is too revolutionary for a bookstore, then the content is also…so it would serve no purpose for us to try to package it differently. I must quickly add that there are quite a few bookstores that are not locked into buying solely from a distributor, that will carry personal xerox-published books and zines. Moreover, there are bookstores devoted to personal xerox publications…for example, METROPOPHOBOBIA in, of all places, Phoenix! These outlets for personal publications will multiply in the coming years.

I have dealt with the barriers of format and technology to personal direct human involvement in every medium I have tried. A lot of people have assumed this was because I was poor, did not know how to get grants, did not know how to use technology, or did not know how to use the system. In reality, even if I had tons of money, I would still use the same no/low tech, because that is the best way to take back the creative force from the combine…back into the hands of anyone with a creative urge…or, for that matter, a destructive urge.

Since we are communicating on the personal level, you can send feedback, inquiries, or whatever to me at:

Frank Moore
P.O. Box 11445
Berkeley, CA 94712
e-mail: fmoore@eroplay.com

Art of a Shaman – the video -Part 1

A new video presentation of Frank Moore’s book using photos, film and video footage from Frank’s life and performances. In “Art of a Shaman”, originally delivered as a lecture at New York University in 1990 as part of the conference, “New Pathways in Performance”, Frank Moore explores performance and art in general terms of them being a magical way to effect change in the world. He looks at performance as an art of melting action, ritualistic shamanistic doings/playings. By using his career and life as a “baseline”, Moore explains the dynamic playing within the context of reality shaping. He brings in concepts from modern physics, mythology and psychology. The full text of the book available here: http://www.eroplay.com/Cave/ArtShaman/artsham.html


CREDITS:

“A Lucky Guy”
Readings by Gerald Smith & Martha Wilson
Background music: “bomg” by Stephen Emanuel

“A Wounded Healer”
Reading by Stephen Emanuel
Chapter Title Animation: Ink Paintings by Russell Shuttleworth, Photos by Stephan Lupino, Music by Barbara Golden
Background music: by Sander Roscoe Wolff

“Art of Reshaping Reality”
Reading by Michael LaBash
Chapter title animation music: Michael LaBash
Background music: Sander Roscoe Wolff

“Roots of Performance”
Reading by Annie Sprinkle
Chapter title animation music: Michael LaBash
Background music: Sander Roscoe Wolff

“A Channel, not a Creator”
Reading by Kayla Moon
Chapter title animation music: “Silenced” by +DOG+ from the album, “the misery of endless suffering” LEM-162 2015
Background music: Phog Masheeen

“Learning the Trickster’s Art”
Reading by Kirk Lumpkin
Chapter opening: “Blind Leading The Blind” by Spirit in Flesh
Background music: Sander Roscoe Wolff

“Nonfilms”
Readings by David Steinberg & Paul Escriva
Background music: Michael LaBash
(Thanks to Phog Masheeen for the film reel sound effect)

“Art of Risking”
Readings by Linda Mac & Tha Archivez
Chapter opening: Excerpt from “Chaos Love Play Jam”, Erika Shaver-Nelson – vocals, Kirsten Rose – vocals & instruments from her bag of tricks, Michael Peppe – vocals, Stephen Jones – moog, Carlos – guitar, Skye – guitar, LX Rudis – moog voyager, Frank Moore – piano, vocals, Michael LaBash – mix/fx, recorded live on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, October 29, 2003
Background music: Sander Roscoe Wolff

“Time, Community, Inter-Relations”
Readings by Richard Kerbavaz & John the Baker
Chapter title animation music: Michael LaBash
Background music: Sander Roscoe Wolff

“Theater Of Human Melting”
Reading by Paul Couillard
Chapter title animation music: Michael LaBash
Background music: excerpt from “I Can See The Sky” by Sander Roscoe Wolff


Opening/Closing music:
excerpt from “Body Music”
performed by Frank Moore’s Chero Company
Leigh Gates, Michael LaBash, Alexi Malenky & Rourke Smith

Photos by:
Jim Appleton
Les Barany
Julian Cash
Craig Glassner
Ken Jennings
Tracy Kauffman-Wood
Eric Kroll
Michael LaBash
Daniel Lorenze
Linda Mac
Alexi Malenky
Debbie Moore
Dave Patrick
Kevin Rice
Annie Sprinkle
David Steinberg
Barbie Sue
Mary Sullivan
Wolfgang

Illustrations by:
David Hochbaum
Lee Kay
Charles R. Knight [Public Domain]
Michael LaBash
Frank Moore
Justin Page
John Seabury

Additional footage:
One Got Fat: Bicycle Safety (1963) [Public Domain]
First Year Anniversary of the Berlin Wall (1962) [Public Domain]
One World or None (1946) [Public Domain]
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) directed by Robert Wiene [Public Domain]
The Night Of The Living Dead (1968) by George A. Romero [Public Domain]
Life and Passion of Christ (1903) [Public Domain]
“Five Minutes To Live” [Public Domain]
Washington D.C. and San Francisco footage: Prelinger Archives
“High Cost of Letting Go” by Carlisle (Robert W.): Prelinger Archives
Gould can 5227.3: Early San Francisco Vaudeville Act: Prelinger Archives
Santa Fe footage from David Santino Scott
Stock footage: Mitch Martinez www.mitchmartinez.com

Editing, Animation, and Titles:
Michael LaBash

Produced by
Linda Mac & Michael LaBash

Directed by
Frank Moore

Thanks to all of the readers so far …
Tha Archivez
Kenneth Atchley
Attaboy
Dr. Susan Block
Paul Couillard
Steve Davis
Stephen Emanuel
Paul Escriva
Edna Floretta
Barbara Golden
Fred Hatt
John the Baker
Dr. Richard Kerbavaz
Michael LaBash
Lob
Kirk Lumpkin
Linda Mac
Alexi Malenky
Jake McGee
Kayla Moon
Corey Nicholl
Carl Off
Vinnie Spit Santino
Erika Shaver-Nelson
Russell Shuttleworth
Linda Carmella Sibio
Gerald Smith
Megan Soriano
Annie Sprinkle
David Steinberg
Veronica Vera
Martha Wilson

And thanks to all of the musicians who have created and contributed music for this project so far …
K. Atchley
Stephen Emanuel
Father of Skins
Barbara Golden
Phog Masheeen
Vinnie Spit Santino
Sander Roscoe Wolff
Jerome T. Youngman (Mutant Press)

From the web series, LET ME BE FRANK.
https://vimeo.com/channels/letmebefrank
http://frankadelic.com

Frank’s archives on its way to Istanbul!!!!

Today we shipped the box to Performistanbul in Istanbul, Turkey!!!

Among the contents are a hard drive of almost 1000 of Frank’s videos, copies of Frank’s books, tons of posters (hard and digital copies), original scripts, original xerox copies of Frank’s writings and lots of miscellaneous stuff!!

YAY!!!