The Frank Moore Archives

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

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Category: Miscellaneous (page 2 of 2)

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:

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:

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”

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!!


Frank to be included in the Live Art Research Space of Performistanbul

Frank’s work will now be archived in a new performance art research library in Istanbul, Turkey, the Live Art Research Space.

We were contacted by Performistanbul requesting a donation of Frank’s work to their archiving project. As a result, all of Frank’s digitized videos (almost 1000), and all of his published books will be added to the collection, plus other publications, a collection of posters, some original performance scripts, paraphernalia from Frank’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and more.

Performistanbul Live Art Research Space will focus on archiving, documenting and exhibiting performance art while providing space and resources for doing research.

“Over the course of our conversations and collaborations with performance art experts in the past two years, the need to conduct further research and access the means by which to do so has become ever more pressing. To this end, Performistanbul has decided to create the Live Art Research Space to meet the needs of students and researchers working in the field of performance art both locally and globally.”

“Performistanbul believes in the uniting and healing power of performance art, which is at the same time, a very effective tool to reach out to people around the world. This has motivated us to plant the seeds of discovering and creating new languages in the field of live art and as a first step, we decided to establish a specialized library and an archive of more than 7000 physical and digital resources within the research space. Planning to open in 2018, the Live Art Research Space will also launch Performistanbul Publishing, aiming to publish new books as well as translated books in Turkish.”

Learn more about Performistanbul at
See Frank Moore’s website at

San Francisco Examiner 1977

There was a period of time around 1977 when Nina worked with Frank at his Haste Street storefront when he was doing relationship counseling 8 to 10 hours a day! We taped this San Francisco Examiner article to the front window and it stayed there until we moved out of Haste Street and into the Blind Lemon in March of 1979.
Download a pdf of the article to read.

The Blind Lemon

We just ran into this poster for the Mutants show at our club, The Blind Lemon. Here’s something Frank wrote about the Blind Lemon:

We got the little theater that I named THE BLIND LEMON (because there was a painting of Blind Lemon Jefferson in the lobby) on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley in 1979. In the thirties it was the communist center. In the sixties it was a hippie club at which Bob Dylan once played. Obviously it also had been a blues club. So I continued the tradition! I did a lot of different things in the space. Including having bands play on Fridays. I was doing THE OUTRAGEOUS BEAUTY REVUE at the San Francisco punk club, THE MABUHAY GARDENS on Saturdays. So I booked bands that played at the Mab at my club. It was an all-ages club before all-ages club was a popular concept! Sure, no drugs/booze. But also no smoking! I actually made the scary hard-core chain smoking band, THE MUTANTS, to not smoke! Hey, I have always been a mother fucking bad ass, not a “harmless” guy as Kevin described me below. Would Kevin write the below great piece thirty years after I only booked him. Not ripped off his clothes and licked his nipples! But I am flattered. The work just is that powerful! Thanks, Kevin !

We ended having bands play at THE LEMON because we thought we were doing too many different projects. Which seems silly considering how much we are doing now!

Here is the link to read Kevin’s piece:

Blind Lemon poster
Tots at The Blind Lemon

Frank’s Roots Rock’n’

In 1996, Frank re-ordered Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Top 500 Songs of All-Time List” to his liking. He then had Mikee download all of the songs on the list and add them to the mix on his internet station,

Here’s his top 50! (There’s a link to a .pdf of the entire list below)

Sunday, December 01, 1996

  1. I Put a Spell On You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  2. Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino
  3. Downhearted Blues – Bessie Smith
  4. Ain’t That a Shame – Fats Domino
  5. Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
  6. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
  7. Boom Boom – John Lee Hooker
  8. Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
  9. Imagine – John Lennon
  10. Yakety Yak – The Coasters
  11. The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals
  12. I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
  13. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
  14. Hound Dog – Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton
  15. Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  16. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
  17. River Deep, Mountain High – Ike & Tina Turner
  18. The Great Pretender – The Platters
  19. Spanish Harlem – Ben E. King
  20. Boogie Chillun – John Lee Hooker
  21. Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison
  22. This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
  23. Bus Stop – The Hollies
  24. C.C. Rider – Chuck Willis
  25. Got My Mojo Working – Muddy Waters
  26. Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
  27. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  28. Born Under A Bad Sign – Albert King
  29. Ball ‘N’ Chain – Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton
  30. Pastures Of Plenty – Woody Guthrie
  31. Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan
  32. C’mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran
  33. Caldonia – Louis Jordan And His Tympany Five
  34. Driftin’ Blues – Charles Brown
  35. Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf
  36. Pretty Boy Floyd – Woody Guthrie
  37. Good Golly, Miss Molly – Little Richard
  38. Dust My Broom – Elmore James
  39. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
  40. Give Peace A Chance – John Lennon
  41. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – The Animals
  42. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
  43. Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  44. Good Rockin’ Tonight – Wynonie Harris
  45. Walk Away Renee – The Left Banke
  46. I Fall To Pieces – Patsy Cline
  47. The A Teenager In Love – Dion And The Belmonts
  48. Party Doll – Buddy Knox
  49. Respect – Aretha Franklin
  50. Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins

Download the entire list (.pdf)

Old floppy discs

We dropped off 45 old 5.25″ floppy discs from Frank’s Atari computer from the 1980s at our computer repair store this evening to see if they can access the files and transfer them to a data CD.

The Used Computer Store on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley.

The Used Computer Store on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley.

John Seabury art

by John Seabury … he came over and Frank modeled for this in the early 1990s. Frank knew John since the 1970s. We performed our Outrageous Horror Show at the Psycotic Pineapple reunion show at the Berkeley Square in 1988 by invitation. We were honored. John also played in Frank’s Cherotic All Star Band.