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

Category: Writings (page 1 of 8)

Art of Living

From Frank Moore’s book, The Art Of Living, 1974.


You and your group take yourselves much too seriously and don’t take your lives seriously enough.

You must do what most people want to do — to do in their dreams, but they dare not bring down into reality. A few men have done what you are about to do, but they are exhibitionists and egoists, little men trying to project illusions to show their contempt for their fellow men. One of their motives is pride. But what is really driving them is fear — fear that behind all of their illusions there is nothing. So while daring to stand out in an extreme way, they don’t dare to drop their illusions and stand naked as themselves, in their selves. They live out of fear and doubt as much as the masses of which they are so contemptuous.

You must not live out of any kind of fear. If you do, you are not who you say you are and will not do what you said you would do. These people whom we have been talking about take their illusions very seriously, believing their illusions are their only selves. They have lost their real spirit, or life, in the reflections of reflections, the thought forms of their egos, their brains. Now you see what I mean by “don’t take yourselves so seriously, but take your lives more seriously.”

Now it is time for most of you to create an illusion to walk about in the world. It is the same process that you used in spirit after you chose the thought form of your present body. After all, your body is an illusion that you created yourself after you and the thought form were matched up. Now you are creating another illusion using thought forms. But your spirit must do the creating, and not your ego or brain. This is what is hard for most of you to grasp. You are told you are the only one who can create you, who knows what you require, and that you owe nothing to anyone else save love. You take this as a command to do what you want, what makes you “feel good”. It does not mean this. Your wants can make illusions without, if you please, a “zipper”. You get trapped in it, having to tear your way out finally, bruising yourself in the process. The illusion that you are creating must come out of you and not out of your wants or from what you think you should do.

What you have created may appear to be taking you into hardships. As soon as I say this, some of you think you have to have hardships and pain, and will start creating hardships and pain for yourselves. This is not what letting you create means; you are just creating another zipperless illusion out of which you will battle. You have to create an illusion that is like clothes that you can put on to deal with the world, and that you can take off to play naked with your friends. If you can’t take the illusion off, you had better start ripping it off because you are trapped, no matter how fine the illusion may be. As the body is still there when it is clothed, you are still there under the illusions; it is impossible to create an illusion as beautiful as you. Know this because it will save you time.

• • • • • •

Use your own judgment when you listen to what I say. Believe only what feels right to you.

• • • • •

Your group will be concerned with the creativeness which is in every human, every spirit. This creativeness is truly the God who is the reason for all life. This is so obvious. But Man has rarely understood the process of creating. He starts, let’s say, a painting with a set idea of what he is going to paint. Sooner or later he makes a “mistake” — a color or a line which doesn’t fit in the original idea — which “ruins” the painting. When this happens most people give up, thinking that they are not cut out to be artists, and withdraw back into the common existence. Others try to pretend that they didn’t make the mistake, that the color or line isn’t there on the canvas. They go on painting as before. When they are done, they have painted the shadow of what they wanted. Moreover, this shadow is covered with a haze. Others keep starting over whenever they make mistakes, not accepting any mistakes. They are rewarded for their endurance with the perfect copy of the thought form which they had held for all this time. They are rewarded by what they think they want to create. Their thought form has been brought down into the material plane. The creation is perfect. But it is not a masterpiece. It is perfect within the limitations placed around it by the rigidness of the artist. The work is perfect, but not free.

A masterpiece is perfect and free. The master artist paints an adventure in color, words, or notes. What others see as mistakes, he sees as challenges, boxes out of which he has worked as the basis on which he creates a totally new, fresh pattern. These challenges, boxes, keystones, keep appearing as he works, demanding the artist’s flexibility. If the artist looks back, trying to hold on to what he thought the painting was or would be, he gets trapped in a box out of which he must battle or be turned into a rigid, bitter pillar of salt. The artist has to keep his whole attention on the swirling colors in front of him in order to be the creator.

To create a masterpiece, the artist has to use and risk every bit of himself. But he also has to create with God, for God is the one who creates what most people call mistakes, and that the master artist sees as his tools and materials. God does not create for the artist. God just provides the tools, the guiding bumps. It is up to the artist’s free will whether he creates or gets dragged down by the weight of the tools. When the artist is creating, he feels no weight.

The most important masterpiece is a lifetime. This is a statement of hard fact. Creating a masterpiece in every day living is governed by the same rules as creating a masterpiece in paint, but much harder because the artist is also the canvas. In every period of time, in every land, there are a few masterpieces of art and writing. But a masterpiece lifetime is much rarer. Moreover, there has never been a time on your world where there has been a society where masterpiece lifetimes abound.


Art of Living
A guide to down-to-earth spirituality as channeled by Frank Moore.
published 1987
https://eroplay.com/books/index.html

Introduction to Cherotic Apprenticeship

by Frank Moore, 1991

breaking taboos releases a magical freedom if done in certain contexts. this is true and important, but only in the first stages of magical training. taboo can be defined as social or moral forbiddens which maintain a dogmatic power structure by fear of what is outside that structure.

the things that are taboo, and hence are magically charged, in the normal social reality, are not taboo in the reality of the magician. there are no taboos or morals within the reality of the magician. for example, when i eroplay with someone, the eroplay itself is not taboo or transformative for me. the being with the other person in the eroplay is transformative, but not in the taboo dynamic. for me, eroplay, ritual reality, etc. is just everyday living. magicians will not do a lot of things, but this is never from a taboo/moral consideration, but from a practical ethical knowledge of how things work.

in what i do, breaking taboos is important in the first stages. in the public and private performances, as well as in my short-term work with people, breaking taboos plants seeds and time bombs, cracks the normal frame to let in a glimpse of an alternate reality.

but within the apprenticeship, there comes a time where, if the student relates to the magic life as breaking taboos, rather than as her everyday life, it becomes clear that she is taking a vacation from the normal social world, rather than truly living beyond taboos as her own personal reality.
the first ring of the chero apprenticeship, introduction to cherotic magic, lasts for 10 weeks. i meet with the student once a week for 2-4 hours. (for someone who lives outside the bay area, this ring can be done as a 10-day intensive.**) this ring focuses on the cherotic basics of the magical work. this is done one on one, focusing on how the student can use these basics in her life even if she does not go on to the advanced rings.

the break between each ring has proven to be vital. the minimum break period after the first ring is a month. there is no commitment to return from the break.

the second ring, practice and performance of cherotic magic, is 6 months. this is an intensely physical training, which includes both public and private ritual. this training will affect every aspect of the student’s life profoundly.

the third ring, living magic, is 2 years and is focused on the student’s devoting his life for the 2 years to the aiding of the shaman in the magic work. because of this, during the break between the second and third rings, after the student hears the calling for this devotion, he should arrange his personal life to make this devotion possible.

beyond these first three rings of magical training lie four deeper rings into the realm of the responsibility of the shaman. but it is important to stress that each ring is complete in itself, reaching a different level of shamanism.

**the out-of-towner may stay at the ashram/salon of all possibilities during this intensive. subject to availability.


Brochure cover art by LaBash

An update of the last 37 years of my life

Ok, here it goes…fast forward through the 35 years since Debbie and I left the community. A bus ride to D.C. to her family…the Jewish mother-in-law from hell [years later she sicked a hit man on me!]. I quickly called my friend Moe…whose head shop was in that book I was writing and which is lying unfinished in a trunk….but I did turn the material I was “channeling” into a book art of living. [The metaphysical writing is in the same trunk.] Moe rescued us and put us on a plane to San Francisco. The first person we ran into as we stepped off the airport shuttle was another of my college friends who put us up for the night. The plan was for Debbie to go to the S.F. Art Institute [where I would go years later]…but she couldn’t get in. After a week getting kicked out of rooms [crips weren’t in fashion yet], we boarded a bus to Santa Fe before we ran out of money. Santa Fe is where I lived before I went to the community. We got into Santa Fe at 4am without any phone numbers of my friends. But a friend drove by and saw me…and woke my dear friend Louise up. She picked us up. We stayed with her for a while. But to get Vocational Rehab money, I had to get back into college. So we moved to Albuquerque, staying with my friend Steve in the mountains until we found a room in town. My channeling made a spiritual community interested in me…until my muckraking nature raked up muck! I got my B.A. much too soon in terms of our money. We met Jo who we became intimate with. We three moved back to Santa Fe, where I got into an intensive film course. We met Ray. We four got married. After the film course, not having money to make films, I did nonfilm performances. I also started a drop-in workshop combining theater, ritual, intimacy, eroticism, etc. A community began to develop out of this. I began doing all-night audience-interactive ritual performances. We moved, with some of the workshop people, to N.Y.C. to continue the work in a loft off of 5th Ave. Both Debbie and Jo were pregnant. Louise flew out to deliver the boys at home after the hospital wouldn’t let me even on the ward [again before crips were in fashion!]. The boys came three days apart. We raised them tribally…the sanest way! They are in their 30s now…one is becoming an acupuncturist; the other is a musician and an instrument maker. After they were born…and after I did 2 nights of ritual performance in a ballroom…the tribal we moved to Berkeley…after a short attempt in San Bernardino. There I got a motor wheelchair. Imagine me mobile, driving myself all over the bay area, driving into all kinds of adventures. I even drove into a travel agency and met a sexy travel agent Linda who quickly quit to be my partner in crime for the last 35+ years!

A guy who saw a flyer for my workshop came to check me out. He didn’t want to do the workshop. But he did want to come to me for weekly individual sessions where I kicked his ass about his relationships and his life…and he paid well! He turned out to be a psychic teacher. All of his students and clients wanted to see me! For a couple of years I worked 8 hours a day and had two weekly workshops going. Although I always charged just what the person could afford, money was good, especially when they started moving in with one another and came as households! I even got a masters degree just by documenting this work. But problem solving was boring. I wanted a community of deep intimacy. So I demanded more. A community of 30 in several households emerged. Sound familiar? Also quite a few successful businesses came out of this sexy coming together…not to mention a few millionaires [never me!]. We won a legal battle with the I.R.S. over getting church status. They were saying we didn’t believe in a God. We had to go to D.C. with my channeled and metaphysical writings and the A.C.L.U.! But Inter-Relations was born, which has made doing the work much easier.

I started putting on events like free concerts and sexy parades, and directing plays at our storefront. I also started doing 48-hour improvised performances. Everything was small and underground. But then I directed what was supposed to be a one-night-only wacky tacky sexy take-off on beauty contests, the outrageous beauty revue, at the S.F. punk club the Mabuhay. The room held 500. It was packed. The first two rows were photographers and reporters [we were on the third page of the next day’s S.F. paper]. Scary! The club’s producer made me announce that it’ll be a weekly show. So it became the ever-evolving early show every Saturday night [and often Thursday too] for three and a half years. So we opened for EVERY punk/hardcore/whatever band! And we got international coverage of all kinds…magazines, t.v., films, etc. I had to work hard to not let it get big or lose its edge…to keep it underground where you have the most effect and freedom…just popping up everywhere to interject bits of subversive alternatives. At the beginning, I was not in the show. But I started worming myself in. I added a live band, the superheroes…of course I was one of the lead singers! The band started getting gigs at other clubs. And we opened our own club, the blind lemon, in Berkeley. But by the second year of the show, the community began to decay. It took years for that painful process to play out.

In the meantime, I started making small films [after walking out of a “real” film deal!] and mainly put them in the closet…waiting for the internet and public access t.v. to give them outlets! The first film, Fairytales Can Come True, even was distributed. In the meantime I went to the S.F. Art Institute graduate program for “performance/video”. I/the work freaked them out bad! But Linda and I stuck it out for two years…which landed me a cover story in the major performance art magazine… which made me the darling of “THE ART WORLD” for at the most two years, until they figured out I wasn’t a nice safe thankful crip artist, but an artist who pushed limits. But during these two years, before the art world blacklisted me, Linda and I started touring the U.S. and Canada, doing both the long ritual performances and singing gigs. I also started being invited to lecture at colleges. I was one of the featured performance artists in the film Mondo New York. I also kept making videos [directing, acting, editing, even creating musical scores and Linda doing the camera work]. I began a performance series at the University of California. This series, which lasted for three years, gave me a lab where I could improvise/jam with other artists/musicians. When I got on the art world’s blacklist, I moved into poetry readings and other underground worlds. But then Sen. Jesse Helms got me back into the art world’s graces, kind of, by including me on his list of six targeted performance artists whom he considered obscene. That opened more possibilities for touring. I rode that pony for all that it was worth!

My writings, as well as articles about my work by other writers, began to be published in a wide range of magazines and books. In the early 90’s, I began to offer shamanistic apprenticeships. My book, Cherotic Magic, came out of this. By this time, the community had shrunk to our household of five and the two boys. And even in our house, the original vision, principles, etc. had faded. Linda and I finally moved out…in with two of my apprentices, Mikee and Alexi. Debbie and the two others of the old household went into walking around town nude as The X-plicit Players.

I continued performing, directing, touring, etc. But we also started publishing an underground zine, The Cherotic [r]Evolutionary which became very popular…which ain’t saying it was a profit-making thing! The Work has always been a holy addiction that we pour money, etc. into to create community and to effect social change. We jumped into the web full force when it was born. FreespeechTV.org gave me free unlimited space to put up videos and audio content …that lasted for years! We put up the works of other artists as well as our own work. Our site, eroplay.com expanded and expanded. Over 7 years ago I started doing a radio show the Shaman’s Den, on a web station. But my muckraking their ambitions to make it big didn’t sit well. They suggested not politely that I start my own web station. So we did within a week. luver.com started with a live music show web casting from Japan, followed by my 2-hour show on Sunday nights. But LUVeR quickly evolved into a radical 24/7 station with all kinds of music, news, whatever shows. It became a black hole for our time and money, forcing us to stop publishing our zine. In about a year LUVeR started webcasting video as well. My show started to be a video show of me either talking to a very interesting person or of bands from all over the world playing live at our house. Then I started doing shows on Berkeley’s cable public access station. I use the shaman’s den shows as the base of these cable shows, but throw in videos of my live performances, films, concerts, erotic explorings, poetry readings, whatever. For a year the City Council tried unsuccessfully to get me off the air. But now I’m on the channel every night of the week, up to 6 hours a night!

Now we have two houses on the same street. I live in the “Purple House” with Linda [we have been together for over 35 years!], Mikee [who has been with us for over 15 years,] Erika [who has been working with me for 5 years and moved in over a year ago], and three cats. And in the “Blue House” Alexi lives with Corey and Cookie the Cat. The two houses are on the same block. We designed the Blue House, and Alexi and Corey basically built it. Alexi learned construction by working for a company that grew out the community of 30. We have set him up with a successful handyman business. Corey works at the natural food store around the corner. Through it we have started an international food testing project for GMOs. Erika has become the director of enrichment at a large retirement community, injecting our sexy subversion in there. Linda, Mikee and I work at home keeping everything going. Mikee does the tech and graphic stuff [which, btw, he is available for hire cheap!]. Linda does all the practical stuff that makes everything possible. And me?…a cult leader always with big ideas! We are a good team, a tribal body.

Hey, I just found out that we are putting on a LUVeR benefit at the illegal infamous historical hardcore dive burnt ramen with my jamming erotic band the cherotic all-stars in May. Not bad for a crip turning 60 in June! True, we have pretty much stopped flying to places touring. But there is no sign of slowing down!

WHAT A LIFE!

Frank Moore March 2, 2006


From the book Frankly Speaking: A Collection of Essays, Writings & Rants by Frank Moore


“An update of the last 37 years of my life”
written by Frank Moore, March 2, 2006.
Read by Attaboy.
Background music by Sander Roscoe Wolff.
A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 6: https://frankadelic.com/episodes/episode-6.html
Watch episodes of the series: http://frankadelic.com/

“Pure” and “Applied”

Excerpt from Cherotic Magic Revised, “Reality Shaping”, Section 15, by Frank Moore.


In the primitive world, reality shaping was the function of magic and of the shamans. The shamans used rituals and myths as dream boats to travel outside of the normal frame of reality into the web of all possibilities to communicate with the gods and to shape reality for their tribe. Sometimes through the myths and rituals, the shamans took the whole tribe into the web. But often the shamans went deeper into the web alone…alone because of the increasing dangers that exist in the web. This magical activity was seen by the tribe as vital to their survival. The shamanistic activity was not limited by the reality frame, by what was practical, although the practical reality was shaped by the shamanistic activity. As a result of these common mythical journeys, the frame was very flexible for all in the tribe.

But this began to change in the modern cultures, especially in the West. The shamanistic activity began to divide into philosophy, religion, art, science, and the occult. Each of these areas began to subdivide into sects, schools, disciplines, mediums, etc. They also divided into “pure” and “applied.” “Pure” activities are done for themselves to explore, shape, create reality, to travel outside the normal frame, to capture possibilities not enclosed within the frame, to bring these “new” possibilities into the frame to magically widen or shift the frame of reality.

The “applied” activities try to use, to control, harness these new possibilities into the service of the established frame. This is the washte brain activity. In the modern culture, the pure activity is seen as being of value only as it relates to the applied activity. This severely limits the magic change of reality shaping which is what the pure activity is meant to be. What also limits the shamanistic magic in the modern world is the fragmentation of the pure activity. There is a holistic myth developing in science, in philosophy, in art and theatre, in religion, in psychology, in the occult. But this myth cannot get into the frame because the modern myth travelers are talking, thinking, and seeing in different technical languages, depending on their fields. Because of this, they do not realize they are visualizing the same myth. So the new possibilities contained in this myth cannot get through except in fragments.


Artwork from Cherotic Magic Revised by LaBash

I AM LOOKING FOR PEOPLE FOR MY FILM

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

I AM LOOKING FOR PEOPLE FOR MY FILM

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

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

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

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

Frank Moore

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

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

The EROART Group on Vimeo

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

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


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


EROART

Frank Moore
1984

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are the fundamental reasons why to be anti porn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

about play (playing)

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


Enjoying playing unlocked every possibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HISTORY OF FRANK MOORE FOR PRESIDENT 2008

by Frank Moore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from “The Combine Plot”

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artwork by LaBash

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

Expansions & Contractions

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art by LaBash from Cherotic Magic Revised