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

Category: Miscellaneous (page 1 of 7)

Taking a break for Bancroft Library Archiving

We are taking a temporary break from posting to this blog while we focus on preparing the next batch of the Frank Moore Archives to send to the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. About two weeks ago we finished the Deed of Gift for approximately 40 boxes of materials. We are currently busy going through hundreds of file folders, page by page, and removing any duplicate pages, making copies of anything we want to keep and packing them in heavy duty bankers boxes. We have already discovered lots of gems that will be future posts to this site.

So see you soon with lots more treasures from the archives!

LUVeR CD/MP3 Collection Donated!

Today we donated the LUVeR CD/MP3 collection to University Pulse Radio, the student-run online station of Boise State University. Avery, a sophomore and the general manager of the station, came with her boyfriend to pick up the boxes of CDs. They were blown out by how much there was. Avery is thrilled to get them for the station. They did not all fit in her car so we loaded the rest in our car and drove them down to the campus where we got to see the music’s new home. Frank would be so pleased with where they have landed.

Here is the link to the station: http://universitypulse.com/

The LUVeR CD/MP3 collection
Avery and her boyfriend (can’t spell his name and don’t want to butcher it!)
Unloading at the University Pulse Radio office
Linda getting a tour of their website
The plaque of past general managers….they stopped engraving them a while ago and started using post-its!
We kept a very small selection of our favorites.

The New American Dream Radio Show, December 22, 2022

An excerpt from the show featuring Linda Mac and Mikee LaBash with hosts Chuck Gregory and Ava Bird … starts @ 36:26

Listen to the complete show here:

Linda: What we’ve always experienced, working with Frank, that censorship was such a huge part of what we were always dealing with. Because of putting out that thing of us all being connected and not focused on the limits but rather the connectedness of people and finding ways to make people more viscerally aware of it. And we found that censorship was always, always … we were always dealing with it and we always took it on. And most of the time won!

Chuck: There’s a certain power. Once you say something and it’s out there in the ether somewhere … in the internet or the group consciousness or whatever it is, somehow people start to hear it and censorship just doesn’t work!

Linda: Yes, exactly! Exactly! Frank always used to talk about it as planting seeds. You plant seeds just by putting stuff out there and connecting with people and that’s more powerful than any of the forces from the power.

Chuck: Yeah.

Ava: I just wanted to add in too, just so Chuck and Tina and the listeners understand some of the work that Frank Moore did. He would host events and have people really jump outside their comfort zones. Share poetry and ask people questions and have people dance together that might not have known each other. And people connecting together in kind of fun and interesting ways. Almost like a live art project.   

Linda: Yeah, Frank was mostly known as a performance artist, even though he did all this other stuff. And he was really good at creating environments. Like the last two years of his life, the thing that Ava is talking about, we did a monthly performance in Oakland. It would run three hours each month. People could pay if they wanted to, but there was no charge at the door. And Frank would just talk to people. Everybody would be sitting around the room. We had it all … we had art all over the walls and all sorts of things. It was a strong environment. He changed the name of the series … one of its names was “The Uncomfortable Zones of Fun”. He came up with that because in these performances he had modules of rituals that he would be able to pull out, so a lot of the time he’d just be asking people “what do you do?”, “what are you interested in?” and talk with the person and see what that got going. And a lot of times he’d run into people saying something like, “well that’s outside my comfort zone”, as if that should be a limit. And so Frank called the series “The Uncomfortable Zones of Fun” with the idea of that once you cross that line everything opens up. And all of a sudden there’s unlimited possibilities of what life can be.  So a lot of times in Frank’s performances it involved nudity, if people wanted to … it was an environment where you could take your clothes off. And he used that as the thing that broke down barriers between people. Because you’re sitting in a room where people don’t have their clothes on, everything changes. People look at each other … they feel different. And there is a lot more possible because all of a sudden sitting around in clothes seems silly. So that’s what Ava is talking about. That was really the thing that Frank was really, really good at. At creating that environment.

Mikee: You felt safe to be free like that too. That was something that he was so masterful at was creating an environment where everyone just suddenly felt safe! Where people would say “I never felt this close to a bunch of strangers like I have in this performance.” That was a very common reaction.

Linda: Some people would talk about the level of intimacy they felt in the room. And it would bring up those feelings of how isolated they feel in their normal life, and why can’t life be like the way this room feels. So that would be the way that Frank saw planting seeds … that people have an experience of the possibilities between us, with us all. And the idea would be that people carry that with them outside when they go back to their day-to-day life.

Chuck: Well, I love that!

Poet: That’s profound.

Ava: Talk about planting the seeds in people … where even if just say, one or two or five people came and showed up, you would see the fliers … I lived in Oakland and Berkeley at the time, that’s how I met Frank and Linda and Mikee. I had gone to his performances and had read about the ones he had done in the past. He’d been doing it since the seventies. In Berkeley, he also had a TV channel … talk about free speech and censorship. He got a show on the local cable access TV channel.

Linda: It’s still going too, Ava! It plays four times a week. And that was one of the censorship fights, because at some point the City Council … because there was a lot of nudity and eroticism in the show, it didn’t censor.  It played after 10 p.m. which is supposedly when adult shows are, where as long as you’re not doing pornography, you can do what you want to do. And we took advantage of that and the City Council decided they didn’t want Frank’s show on so they tried to pass a law that would change the adult time to 2 a.m., which, of course, nobody’s watching. And we fought them! We fought them and the ACLU got interested and said that they would back us. And we would show up at the City Council meetings and we would all say things. And in the end, they never did anything. They never changed it. It just disappeared. And the show is still playing with no censorship.

Chuck: I love that! Very good.

Linda: So it is possible.

Ava: You have to fight for your rights, or they disappear. I wish it wasn’t like that, but it is.  You really have to be looking out for your rights and protect them. If you don’t, they’ll be gone. And it starts at that local level. Those little things. These are our communities and our stations, and we have to take responsibility for it. We take our freedoms for granted and maybe assume they can’t take them away, but they’re always trying!

Linda: And our experience has been, since Frank passed in 2013, that like first … Frank had this Vimeo channel that had hundreds and hundreds of videos and a huge audience where people would, all over the world, would set their clocks to watch our live performances. We’d put them up the next day. And a whole community was created. And over the years they would try to take videos down. They would take videos down. And Frank would protest. He’d write to them and explain to them the context of his work. Like, yes there is nudity, yes there is erotic play, but this is the context of my work. And they would apologize and put the video back up! And then, at some point down the line, the people stopped being willing to talk with us. Because after Frank passed away, Mikee and I still did the same thing, and they always put it back up and apologized. And then there was a point where the people weren’t people anymore. They were kind of like smiley faced, thank you so much but your video is down and there is nothing you can do. And that seemed to start a trend. Then Frank’s whole Vimeo collection was taken down.

Mikee: They kept rewriting the terms of use policy to refine it more and more so that by the end they totally described what was contained in Frank’s performances. It seemed like they almost wrote it just to get rid of him.

Linda: Just to get rid of him! Because he also had a group called the Eroart Group that had a huge following. And he would encourage people who make videos that he called eroart, which is taking erotic, physical video and art that people always want to throw in the pornography place because there is no other place to put it. He called it eroart and he encouraged people to submit their videos.  So there was a huge community of people that were creating videos because they knew that they had this Eroart Group that had a very … it was one of the biggest groups on Vimeo by the time they kicked us off.  So we kind of felt that that was part of what they wanted to get rid of … that whole thing. And our experience has been, you know, Ava was talking about censorship, our experience has been that marked a point where more and more and more censorship, it just kept expanding and less and less people were acknowledging it as censorship and acknowledging that there was a fight to fight. People just got quiet at a certain point. That’s our experience.

Chuck: Was there a particular point where you noticed this change happening?

Linda: The Vimeo thing happened when?

Mikee: It wasn’t that long ago.

Linda: It was after 2018.

Mikee: Alex Jones and Julian Assange.

Linda: People were cheering on that it is OK to take somebody down just because they don’t like them! And we were thinking, what about the idea that people have freedom of speech?! What about that?!

Chuck: Yeah!

Linda: And less and less people were willing to acknowledge that there was something not right about just taking people off like that.

Mikee: It was slowly building, but taking Trump off of social media, the president of a country. It seemed so out there that they could do that, but everybody was cheering it on, going along with it. It seemed like it just snowballed from there. Now all of the COVID doctors have gotten the boot.

Linda: All the stuff that happened around COVID and all of the censorship. All of a sudden are people not only not acknowledging that there is censorship going on, but they’re mad at you for pointing it out!

Chuck: Yeah!

Linda: So it’s snowballed to where it’s flipped into some other weird place where censorship is something that you’re not allowed to talk about.

Chuck: Yeah, I’ve noticed the same phenomenon, especially on social media and just in general. There is an amazing isolation of the media from reality! They say what they’re allowed to say, what they’re supposed to say and that’s it!

Linda: Yep! And way back in the 1980s Frank started talking to artists, in this case, about fragmentation. He said, watch out, because you have the “powers” that are just lurking there and you give them an opening when you start … like at that point it was like “gay” vs “feminists” or “this” vs “that” … where people were blaming each other and fighting each other … he said we’re all on the same side.

Chuck: Yeah!

Linda: Don’t let yourself be fragmented from each other. Because you are going to open the door for “the power” to come in and fragment all of us. And really, his words have totally come true! As we all know. (Laughs)

Ava: It’s one of the big tactics that they use to divide and conquer. And it’s effective! Look at how people fall right into it. They fall into the traps. And you’re the freak! It’s you that’s the freak! It’s you that’s the problem! They make it seem like you are doing something wrong. Just what people went through. Frank was one of the early warriors of online free speech and it’s gotten so out of control. Of course, they’re going to do that! Like, it’s no longer surprising. Like you said, the President of the United States got deleted! That shows you they have more power than the president. That’s the message, and that’s scary!

Chuck and others: Yeah!

Ends @ 52:10

The New American Dream Radio Show, November 30, 2023

An excerpt from the show featuring Linda Mac and Mikee LaBash with host Chuck Gregory … starts @ 25:50

Listen to the complete show here:

Chuck: Before we move on, can you tell us a little bit about what you are doing to celebrate Frank’s work. You’ve got a lot going on about Frank Moore! Tell us about it. (laughs)

Linda: Yeah. Frank died ten years ago. Mikee and I went from having our entire life, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, totally focused on what we were doing with Frank. And Frank was full of ideas, we were always performing, and we had an internet radio station … we were just constantly, constantly going. And after Frank died, Mikee and I were, like, OK, so now what? (laughs) We realized that we always had a sense in those … I was with Frank 38 years … in those 38 years, that we were living like three lives at one time. We didn’t sleep much. We were constantly, constantly, constantly doing things. So Mikee and I realized that Frank graciously (chuckles) left us this huge archive of stuff to do something with. So, over the course of the ten years it’s just evolved and become clearer to us what we need to do. We immediately … the first book we published after Frank died, Frankly Speaking, got a lot of people interested and that hooked us up with The Bancroft Library in Berkeley, part of the U.C. Berkeley system. I casually mentioned to them when we brought them a copy of the book, that we’re looking for a place to give Frank’s archives to and they said they were happy to take it. So, that was in place right from the beginning. We knew at some point we had to organize that stuff and get it to them. We initially gave them maybe ten boxes of stuff, stuff we knew we wouldn’t need, as like a down payment (chuckles). Because Mikee and I had a lot of ideas. So, from that point on we did a twenty-episode video series based on Frank’s book, Art of a Shaman, where we contacted a lot of different people that had been important in Frank’s life and asked them if they would read a chapter. We used that as the audio track. And then Mikee edited in all this stuff, like visual things. We got people to do music for us that had been part of our art community. So that took a bunch of years to do that. And we published a bunch of books. And now it’s getting more down to the nitty gritty because we realized we have to … it’s time to start giving Bancroft Library more of the things. In the period, in that ten years since Frank died and we first talked to them, it seems like they’ve gone through a lot of changes and now it’s more bureaucratic. There are attorneys involved (chuckles). They want to know about copyrights.

Chuck laughs

Linda: So, we’re dealing with that.

Mikee: We’re in the process of a big batch of stuff going any time now.

Linda: So, there is a lot of hustle! Mikee is scanning things like crazy, so that we get everything digitally before we give it to them …like the photo binders. The one thing about us was that we kept everything. So, because we were so involved in a bunch of different sub-cultures … mainly because the different sub-cultures that we would get involved in … there’d always be that line where they supported what we were doing until Frank turned his gaze to what was going on in that community.

Chuck laughs heartily.

Linda: And then we became outlaws (chuckles) … like, for example, as a really vivid example, there was a point where we had stumbled into the art world because we didn’t even know that what we were doing was called performance art. That’s a long story, but we ended up at the San Francisco Art Institute. Frank was getting his second Masters. We found out that what we had been doing was called performance art. So, like, oh, OK! So that opened up the whole art world. And there was a point in the art world where people were afraid to book us and there was a whole thing that happened and the poets rushed in and said, yes, we support you, Frank! And we ended up doing this street performance in San Francisco in front of The Lab, which had booked us and then canceled it. So, that’s a whole story in itself. So, the poets were 100% behind us.

Mikee: So, we were part of the poetry scene for quite a while.

Linda: So, we archived all of that. So, we have a huge collection of poetry stuff. And then we crossed the line with them. Frank was booked to read his poems at a café in Oakland, and the week that that was happening, we were on the front page of the ….

Mikee: East Bay Express, which is a weekly.

Linda: It’s a weekly paper in the Bay Area, very popular. The cover photo was a picture that Annie Sprinkle had taken of Frank and I in the 1980s where I was naked.

Mikee: And body painted.

Linda: And they put that on the front of the paper (giggles). And it was everywhere! You ride down the streets and there are those little boxes with the papers and there it is.

Chuck giggles.

Linda: And we were impressed that they did that. And inside there was a bunch of nude stuff too! It was a really good article, really good. The reporter was great. He spent a lot of time with us. But the person that had booked us read the article and freaked out. And she called us as we’re walking out the door … we’re loading Frank in the van, which is not a small thing, it’s a whole process. So, he’s halfway out the door and she emails and says they read that paper and they’re nervous about what Frank’s gonna do! And they need to know exactly what he’s going to do! So Frank says, and this is him sitting in his chair, halfway out the door, and I’m spelling him out … he says, I have a policy of never saying what I’m going to before a performance …

Chuck laughs heartily.

Linda: … but I’ll tell you this. I always get asked back. (giggles) That didn’t mean much to her. First of all, we were booked to read poetry so obviously that’s what we were coming to do. So, it never came up in our minds that we were doing anything other than going there and reading poetry. So, she says, well, then I’m cancelling! So Frank says, well, you know, we’re on our way out the door … She says, I’m cancelling you as the featured reader. He says, well, you’re still having a poetry reading tonight? She said, yes. He said, well, we’re on the way out the door, we’ll just go anyway.

Chuck laughs heartily.

Linda: So, we had planned on going early and having something to eat. They had a little café. So, we get there and that turned into a whole thing. The owners of the café came down when they found out we were there. Everybody was freaking out. They cancelled the entire reading, even though there was a roomful of poets there ready for this.

Chuck: Wow!

Linda: So, they cancel the reading. So, Frank says, well, we have a bunch of poets here anyway, let’s just read poems together. So, Jesse Beagle gets up. She’s in her seventies at that point. And she starts reading a poem. The owners called the police! The police show up and Jesse won’t stop reading. She’s very feisty. And they drag her out of the café. Literally drag her.

Chuck: Wow!

Linda: And they won’t talk to Frank. The cops won’t talk to Frank. Finally, Frank has me go over to them and say, you know, Frank is the person that was booked. Frank is the person behind this. Why won’t you talk to him directly? Because they have to read his letterboard, right. So finally, one of the cops comes over and once he starts talking to Frank, Frank is very engaging. And by the time he’s finished talking to Frank, Frank says, well, can we read poems out on the sidewalk here?

Chuck laughs.

Linda: And the cop said, well you know Frank, if you sit on their bench, you can’t do it. Frank says, well, what if we don’t sit on their bench? The cop said, well, legally I can’t stop you if you’re just standing on the sidewalk.

Mikee: If you’re not blocking the sidewalk.

Chuck guffaws.

Linda: And he wishes us good luck! So, Frank says, can I just go inside for a second and tell the poets that we’re going to do the reading out on the sidewalk. So, the cop says, sure. And he walks us into the café and walks over to where all the poets were sitting, and the poets literally turned away from us and pretended they were reading something and acted like we weren’t standing there talking to them. So we ended up doing the reading on the sidewalk with most of the poets sitting right inside the glass being uncomfortable that we were sitting outside and they couldn’t leave until we were gone because they were too embarrassed.

Chuck laughs.

Linda: So that’s an example of how we move … there’s a story like that with every subculture we’ve ever been part of … where Frank stands up for something he believes in and it crosses a line for the rest of the people. So, in terms of the archiving, Mikee and I realized at a certain point that we basically have archived the small press during a period of time because we put out a zine. We have a pretty good archive of poets. We had a radio show online, one of the first ones.

Mikee: In the 1990s until 2010 or something like that.

Linda: We had DJs recording shows from all over the world and sending them to us, and that’s a fraction …

Mikee: We have hundreds of cassette tapes and all kinds of things.

Linda: So we feel obligated and a responsibility to find good homes for all that stuff. So, that’s what we do! (laughs)

Chuck laughs.

Linda: And taking opportunities like this, Chuck, that you gave us, to let people … put out, you know, Frank!

Chuck: That’s fantastic!

Ends @ 39:00

Christine Tamblyn, Art News 1987

Excerpted from Christine Tamblyn’s article, “Subversion and Spectacle: Recent Trends in California Performance Art” in Art News 1987.

In non-Western cultures, people with physical or mental disabilities were often designated as shamans. According to these criteria, performance artist Frank Moore’s shamanistic credentials are impeccable. Moore is a victim of cerebral palsy and brain damage who has no control over any of his muscles except for the ones in his neck. Unable to speak, he communicates by pushing a plaster pointer around an ouijia-like board covered with the letters of the alphabet. He is confined to a wheelchair.

            Initially, Moore might seem unsuited to be a performance artist. However, his body actually serves as an extremely powerful performance instrument. Moore has stated that it is fortuitous that he is an exhibitionist, since people are always staring at him anyway. He circumvents conventional expectations in more radical ways than by simply functioning as a performance artist: the performances he presents violate social and sexual taboos.

            Moore is an advocate of what he has termed “eroplay.” He contends that people have forgotten how to touch one another in an innocent, sensual manner in our repressive culture. Thus, his performances provide opportunities for the audience to engage in eroplay. Moore’s performances in the Over the Edge series sponsored by the ASUC Studio in Berkeley from 1983 on often began with his companion, Linda Mac, reading a manifesto he had written about eroplay. Then she would pair people off into same sex or opposite sex couples to carry out instructions picked randomly from a bowl. These instructions exhorted the couples to hug one another or rub one another’s bare breasts. The performance ended with helpers wrapping everyone in a giant circle of cellophane, ribbon, toilet paper and aluminum foil.

            The wholesome humanistic rhetoric Moore uses to convey his intentions contrasts markedly with Mark Pauline’s nihilistic stance, although Pauline’s Survival Research Laboratories performances are equally subversive.

Christine’s note …

And the pages she sent …

Download a pdf of these pages


We digitized some old tapes of interviews that Frank did for the show “Conversations” on luver.com and added them to The Shaman’s Den Archives page: https://eroplay.com/underground/shamansden.html

Dr. Robert Zeiger
An interview by Frank Moore of Dr. Robert Zeiger, the first non-Chinese acupuncturist in the United States. Recorded February 11, 1999.
Listen on the Internet Archive:

Alan Reade
This interview inspired the poem “Art is a Bitch”. Recorded March 10, 1999.
Listen on the Internet Archive:

Joe Williams aka Radman
Worked closely with Stephen Dunifer and Free Radio Berkeley in the manufacture and propagation of low power FM transmitters. Recorded March 15, 1999.
Listen on the Internet Archive:

Russ Kick
Publisher of Psychotropedia: A Guide to Publications on the Periphery, 1998. Recorded March 29, 1999.
Listen on the Internet Archive:

The Rise and Fall of KPFA
with Bill Mandel and Joe Williams aka Radman. Recorded May 26, 1999.
Listen on the Internet Archive:

Kiilu Nyasha
Kiilu Nyasha is a revolutionary journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. Recorded August 9, 1999.
Listen on the Internet Archive:

Kat Sunlove
Kat Sunlove, activist, publisher of Spectator magazine, (and more!) interviewed by Frank Moore. Recorded October 1999.
Listen on the Internet Archive:

Conversation Between Two Muckrakers
Paul Krassner Interviewed by Frank Moore
Recorded April 30, 1994, Berkeley, California
Transcript: https://www.eroplay.com/krassner.html
Listen on the Internet Archive:

Frank and Dr. Robert Zeiger, February 11, 1999.
Frank and Russ Kick, March 29, 1999.
Bill Mandel in our living room, 1999.
Frank and Kiilu Nyasha, August 9, 1999.
Frank and Paul Krassner, April 30, 1994.

Karen Finley Letter

We never got the gig ….

July 8, 87

Dear New Langton Arts,

          Frank Moore asked me to write a recommendation for him to you in helping in his selection at N.L.A. It is my pleasure to do so.

I deeply recommend Frank Moore’s work. Why?

  1. He breaks the current, popular acceptances of time length for performance art.
  2. Through his encounters, makes the audience, participants realize that touching nonsexually is still taboo in our cool, knowing 1987.
  3. Puts humour in place of pity for acknowledging his handicap. And that our handicap (The audience’s) is our preconceived notion to the limits of his world.
  4. His spirit and positiveness of not being a victim to his condition is a precious philosophy to make art by.

After seeing Frank at Franklin Furnace I felt uncomfortable, ill at ease, & oh no, no touchee feelie for me – Wow, I can’t give a complement like that to many artists!

I hope you find a way to present Frank Moore’s work.

Best, Karen Finley



By Crag Hill

This was a night for statement. An artist had been locked out. Because he was too old-fashioned? But why were ninety percent of the people passing by Frank Moore’s performance outside The Lab reacting as if they have never seen any of this before? Who is the audience? Other artists? Art hobbyists? An initiated elite? He was too old-fashioned for whom? Too avant-garde for whom? Too famous for whom? The fact was the performance of Frank Moore’s group (and others whom I will mention shortly) shredded the boundaries of what one does in public, what one does on the street. They were dressed in tights and sweat-clothes with holes cut in them for easy access while skin-drumming. Who does this business-as-usual? There was touch, sound, and sight (for all you addicts of visual stimulus, the performers were painted and/or wore painted clothing), but it was not an everyday touch or sound or sight; it was an intimate touch, an ecstatic sound (a harmonic pitch almost sexual, but something even more satisfying), a welcome sight. The overall effect of Moore’s group was a breaking down of separation, a drawing together. Those who were courageous enough to be present, to stay present, became equal with everyone else, not one, yet closer. Who cares if it’s “art”? It was genuine. At its best it far transcended aesthetic pretensions and all that flapdoodle. I might call it spiritual if that word weren’t so smudged. It activated parts of personal humanity that usually lie dormant, ignored, discouraged, and repressed. Frank Moore’s performance might have been cancelled by this venue, but that was only yet another obstacle for Moore to leap. If you know anything about him, as a victim of cerebral palsy, you are amazed at his leaps. If you’re not, let this quote from the Village Voice serve as an introduction: “In performance, Moore takes advantage of his disadvantage, becoming an unlikely guide into the pleasures of the body, taking audiences places they would probably never go without the example of his vulnerability and trust….that Moore would be the one urging us to stay connected with our physical selves is both ironic and poetic….”

Also appearing on the bill (on the street) were The Outpatients, Jack and Adelle Foley, and Jesse Beagle. The Outpatients protested with a picket march, chanting “All we are saying is give brains a chance,” and a rollcall of lobotomies with an extra emphasis on “art-scene lobotomy.” They topped off their appearance with an energetic version of “Mennonite Surf Party,” which included a searing Rock-and-Roll riff on classical guitar by Tom Hamill.

Jack Foley, appropriately, read his poem “Nightmare,” which is dedicated to the man who tackled him as he read his poetry in a San Francisco gallery. He too knows the thoughtless knocks, the censorship, of an often selfish art world. He also read a chorus or two with Adelle Foley, keeping the street charged with energy.

Jesse Beagle also contributed appropriately to the demonstration/performance. She sang a couple of songs with the spirit, the spunk, of protest, and read a trenchant commentary on Frank Moore’s Café Milano (Berkeley) performance. In effect, she berated the café-goers for their passivity; they only became interested in Moore’s performance when they heard the moaning sounds, and, taking two stairs at a time, only then did they try to peek.

All in all, these people responded strongly, cohesively, to the lockout of Moore. Frank Moore came to do what he had been invited to do (before The Lab cancelled for spurious reasons—they were rude to boot), but on this occasion, on Divisadero, it seemed to have an extra charge. The Lab missed out, but fortunately many people on the street did not.

SCORE REVIEW is a forum for ideas on books, performance, elections, and what not. It appears when it has something to appear with—contributions are welcome and needed. Oakland, California.

Photos from the performance outside The Lab.

The original newsletter

And of course, as everybody knows who has ever played at games, the ones that are the most fun – to lose as well as win – are the ones that are the hardest, with the most complicated, even dangerous, tasks to accomplish. And so it is that artists are generally not content, either in the Orient or in the Occident, with doing merely simple things – and much soon becomes simple for an artist that for the rest of us would be difficult. The artist seeks the challenge, the difficult thing to do; for his basic approach to life is not of work but of play.”

Joseph Campbell, MYTHS TO LIVE BY, page 126.


Saturday March 7, 1992, FauxReal, Oakland, California.

Flier for the performance by LaBash

I, STAVROS experienced a unique event, in which I was shamanized by Frank Moore at an event billed as the “Passions Play.” I met Frank on GEnie, where I learned that Frank Moore had been investigated by Jesse Helms. I was intrigued with Frank’s posts about his Shamanistic Art, and when the opportunity came for me to attend his Passions Play, I couldn’t resist. I had to go to find out what a Shaman was and what he did.

On Saturday March 7, I drove to Oakland, to an artist studio located on the waterfront near Jack London Square. I knew at once that I was at the right place when I saw a woman standing in front of a building with a blanket. Frank had instructed us to bring a blanket.

I entered the studio where I could hear a man singing. It was a chant and his voice would move from high tones down to low ones, as he periodically slapped his body to the mantra he was singing. He was naked. His body was covered only with body paint, as were two other painted men, who walked around those of us sitting on the floor. They moved ever so gracefully and ever so slowly.

After about a half hour or more, one of the men came up to people sitting on the floor and ask them if they wished to be prepared to see the shaman, who was in his cave. The cave was behind the curtain in the front of the room. At this point, one couple decided this wasn’t for them and they left the room, never to experience the visit to the shaman.

Those that elected to go were taken in pairs. They were first blindfolded. Before they were led to the front of the room, where the entrance to the cave was situated, they were kissed on both cheeks.

We could hear weird sounds coming from the shaman in the cave. A very beautiful naked woman, who was also decorated with body paint came out of the cave. She walked up to the blindfolded participant and gave instructions. They were given a cup containing a magical formula, which tasted mysteriously like water. This, they were told, would release their inhibitions. Then they were taken to the cave.

Some would come back sooner than others. Some came back naked, others fully dressed. One young man hadn’t come out yet, when it was my turn. He was one of the first to go in. After drinking the magic formula I was lead into the cave. My instructions were not to speak in words and only in sounds.

When I left the cave I was instructed to go back to my nest and not to reveal what had happened in there. And I will not break that word even for this review.

After I came out, I was asked by an elderly gentleman if it was a positive experience. I gave him a thumbs up. Later, when he came out he gave me the thumbs up sign.

After all had entered the cave and returned to their nests, we prepared to see the shaman. Until this moment I had touched Frank Moore and had written to him on GEnie but I had never seen him.

The Shaman enters and he is placed naked in a wheelchair. Before my very eyes is that great intellect I have come to respect on the GEnie Bulletin Boards.

Then to the tune of music, he made the most God awful animal sounds and grunts. There was a happy smile on his face. I had read other reviews of his work, where they refer to Frank’s grotesque body, but I couldn’t see the grotesqueness. I saw a very happy person.

Frank was later strapped into the wheelchair. They placed a head band on his head, which had a pointer attached to it. In front of him there was a word board. Frank, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, couldn’t control the muscles of 90% of his body. He cannot speak and using the only muscles he can control, his neck muscles, he communicated to us much like he communicates on GEnie, only using the word board instead of a keyboard. It’s his survival in this state, as a happy being, that gives him the power to be a shaman.

We then followed his instructions and prepared to die, so we could be reborn. As I laid on the floor, death visited me and took off my clothes. I was prepared to be reborn. About 40 naked bodies huddled together in the center of the room. It was a cool evening and the body warmth of skin against skin brought warmth to each of us in our bodies and in our hearts. A group of adult men and women were playfully pretending that they were these creatures of evolution. Bodies were rubbing against bodies. Not since I was a naked babe, have I remembered my sense of touch being so fulfilled. My cup of the delight of touch had runneth over. We were single cell beings, multiple cells, seaweed, ants, birds, and other creatures until we evolved to that human form of a child, who was ready for eroplay.

Eroplay is a word coined by Frank Moore. It is a non-sexual but erotic playing. Unlike sex there is no climax. Magically, we were brought to the place where we were ready to be taught eroplay.

We were broken up randomly, mostly into pairs, but some in threesomes. The pairs would be a man and a woman, two men, or two women. At random times we were randomly moved to different partners. We received random instructions to rub your belly, or rub your partner’s belly. Rub cheeks. Rub butts. Lay on top of your partner touching their whole body with your whole body. Embrace and rock back and forth. Touch genitals.

Then we watched the great shaman perform the most erotic eroplay with a woman. In all my life I never have seen anything as erotic, as that woman playing with Frank. We were mesmerized, as he played with her. Strobe lights flashed as assistants came out and covered us with Saran Wrap and foil. It was a sight to behold, as we engaged in spontaneous eroplay under a blanket of wrap, which connected us all. By the end of the evening I found myself filled to capacity with the child-like eroplay. It transformed me to another world. I broke taboos I never dreamed of breaking. It felt good. It was a safe place for all of us.

I said good-bye to the shaman at about 3 AM. As I was ready to leave I stopped to watch three men engaged in eroplay. It was beautiful. I felt beautiful, the shaman was beautiful. I exited the magical cave and entered the world of taboos, left with the memory of a magical experience that will be with me forever.

Thus Stavros was shamanized.

Frank Moore – Out of Isolation, INTERDREAM

A piece written by Veronica Vera that was published in High Performance magazine, #53, Spring 1991.

Frank Moore communicates his world to his audience. It is a slow world built on trust. Because for a “crip” (Moore’s word to describe his cerebral palsy), time is elongated and things happen through cooperation. Frank Moore cannot move a distance of five feet on his own, but he can lead an audience by giant leaps through innerspace.

Out Of Isolation, Moore’s simple two-character video at The Kitchen, described the initial meeting and subsequent week of physical therapy between a spastic (Moore) and his nurse (Linda Sibeo). At first the patient was unresponsive to the nurse’s well-meaning but torturous, by-the-book approach: pulling at his limbs, massaging him with ice cubes and bristly paint brushes, petting and swatting him as she would a dog. Occasionally, she revealed a personal side, using the patient as her confidant. She decided to return on the weekend to pay him a non-professional visit, and by the end of the visit, they lay naked together, cuddling, sharing. Not only has the patient come out of isolation, but so has the nurse.

This is the pivotal message of every Frank Moore performance: that physical interaction—the sharing of energy, the sensual “eroplay”—is essential to life, and the more we strip it down to its basic level, the more we benefit from the force of the interaction.

That same weekend, Frank Moore and Chero company presented INTERDREAM as part of New York University’s “New Pathways For Performance” conference. Body painting, massage, primal music, chanted poetry—INTERDREAM contained all of Moore’s favorite methods of communication, including the shaman’s tent where he lay naked ready to receive audience members, collaborators, who chose to go deeper into the cave. Among the audience were members of “Disabled in Action” and “Artists With Disabilities. Inc.” They greeted his performance with enthusiasm, and contributed to bridging the gap between artist and audience.

Because I had performed with Frank Moore twice, I thought that if I entered the cave as merely one of the audience members, I might feel a let down. Blindfolded, I was led to a clear space on the shaman’s mat. I reached out and felt bodies, some clothed, some bare-skinned beneath my fingers. My clothes were a barrier, so I removed my blouse and bra. I felt Frank, his thick tongue and glasses, then I felt a woman’s breasts, legs and arms, and I couldn’t tell where one person ended and another one began. I lay with the god Shiva, half-man, half-woman, cradled by warm human flesh, so vulnerable, yet so safe. And then I began to cry. I cried my way out of isolation.

—Veronica Vera

Out of Isolation was presented at The Kitchen in New York City, October 6, 1990. INTERDREAM was presented at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, as part of “New Pathways In Performance,” October 7, 1990.

Veronica Vera is a literary artist. She is creator of The Theory of Sexual Evolution.

The article as published in High Performance. Photo by Eric Kroll.
Poster by LaBash.
The cover of the issue of High Performance that the article was published in.