Wednesday, October 29, 2014
This interview takes place at the end of Frank's 48 hour performance, Dying is Sexy, in Toronto, Canada in August 1999. Paul Couillard, the artist who curated this series, and who also attended this 48 hour performance, is asking Frank questions about the performance. This is one of the best interviews with Frank talking about his vision of life and his art.
To see the video of the performance:
Posted by Michael LaBash at 5:08 PM
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Recorded May 8, 2014.
Last night’s book party was amazing. Take 5 is a small café/gallery in South Berkeley, a section of Berkeley that has not yet been gentrified, but is on its way to it. Take 5 has sandwich boards sitting in the median strip along the busy street saying ‘THE BEST COFFEE IN SOUTH BERKELEY’. Karen, the owner of the café enthusiastically offered us her place for this Book Party, knowing that there might not be a lot of people that show up so she might not make many sales, but saw it as an opportunity to let the community know that she is there. And as usual, Corey and Alexi (& Erika on her days off from work) plastered Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco with our flier.
We arrived an hour and a half before start time to do our usual set up in Karen’s amazing gallery full of unique collectibles & furniture. Our set up included hanging on the walls the large vinyls of Frank’s paintings, setting up the books and give away displays, setting up the large beautiful photo of Frank on the easel, the mic and amp, Tha Archivez keyboard, etc. etc. We managed to be done early enough so that we could buy a full plate of an assortment of Karen’s delicious homemade baked goods, along with organic herbal and black teas in beautiful small tea pots and killer hot chocolates! We sat on a big sofa and enjoyed our treats on a glass table in a room that had been transformed into Frank’s magic cave. If that had been all that happened, it would have been very, very satisfying!
The first person arrived early and ordered himself some food before the Party got started. Another sale for Karen! We got into position, camera on, and people started arriving. The small group included a couple of people who have been following Frank since the 1970s Mabuhay Days, one of which said, I don’t think Frank liked me very much, but I wanted to come tonight to say how much I respected Frank and what he did. This guy had notoriously been the guy that provoked Frank and John the Baker to sing at top volume to him, John’s song, FUCK THE FASCIST U.S.A. when he had arrived at our FUCK THE WAR BALL at John’s Burnt Ramen in a very bad part of Richmond wanting to debate Frank about not supporting our country in the war. He bought a book last night!
Two of our neighbors came, who had already bought 2 copies of the book from us and who had never attended any other of our events. There was a young guy who only knew Frank from seeing fliers around town. At one point more than half way through the evening, after everyone had taken a turn reading a section of the book, the young guy said he was particularly interested in the Shamanistic aspect of what Frank did … how to bring that reality into this Western Culture. We read a few more of Frank’s pieces that addressed this, but then got talking about how we live and Frank’s very practical, everyday living, enjoying, focusing on each other way of shamanistically, sneakily leaking magic into the world. Forgetting for the moment that two of our neighbors were right there, we started talking about how neighbors tell us how important it is to them to have us on the block and our neighbors in the audience piped up supporting what we were saying in such a moving way! Frank’s magic filled the room.
We ended the evening with Tha Archivez (aka Kene-J, aka Frank’s son) singing “To Be Free” the song he wrote inspired by playing music at Frank’s performance for these past years. He opened by telling everyone how many hits on Vimeo the “music video” of that song from one of our performance had gotten!
( https://vimeo.com/47973331 )
After the party ended, our neighbor told us he had always felt great feelings about us as neighbors, and then finding out more when Frank ran for President in 2008, and now reading the book and seeing how deep this all goes. He said how much it meant to him that we were continuing on with Frank’s work. It was so moving to be seen like that. Frank always said, these are the things that give us fuel, keep us going. Yes, yes, yes.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Recorded Thursday, April 24, 2014
PROGRAM NOTES FOR SWAPFEST 2014: TAC salutes Frank Moore
U-Haul sound installation
Frank Moore's series at TAC
Frank Moore (1946-2013), “one of the U.S.'s most controversial performance artists” (P-Form Magazine), performed monthly at Temescal Art Center from February 2009 until October 2013. Frank changed the name of his series over the years. Starting as “Reality Playings - experiments in experience/participation performance”, it then became “The Uncomfortable Zones of Fun”, “Risk for Deep Love – a ritual audience participation experience experiment”, and finally “Erotic Risk for Deep Love”! Frank always created the performances around the people who came … Frank always said that he “just followed” … if the audience was willing to risk, the performance melted, in Frank's words, “into a cozy little joyful community, willing to be uncomfortable and whatever else it takes to go into adventures of fun” … “willing to play together deeper than the normal reasonable world allows”. Nudity, eroplay*, dressing and undressing were among just a few of the “tricks and tools” from 40+ years of performance that Frank used at TAC to create this altered space. Frank greatly valued the ability to have an ongoing series at TAC, which he really considered his performance home for this period.
*”Eroplay is intense nonlinear physical touching, rubbing, licking, exploring for physical pleasure for its own sake. Eroplay is foreplay which is released from the linear goals of reaching genital orgasm.”
– from Expanding Sex by Frank Moore, 2003
What you are hearing:
From: “Risk For Deep Love”, August 4, 2012
Frank Moore wrote: “This one is simply the most warmly erotic of my performances in years. That is because the audience was willing to take personal responsibility for saying YES, for playing, for risking for deep love. This shows what saying YES opens up, calls forth, and creates. Aroused erotic juicy sexy fun was created by rubbing nude bodies together within tribal intimate pleasure friction. This bodes well for the society as a whole! The whole night was pure uninhibited fun!” This audio selection begins with Frank saying that it is by far the best group in all the years we have been doing this series. Toward the end, much of the audience dances nude to Tha Archivez singing “To Be Free”. The rest is everyone sitting around (most nude) talking about the evening and their experiences, including one woman saying she feels that we can all do this in some form in our daily lives. Very inspiring. It ends with Frank telling everyone about Betty and her jewelry (Betty, our 85 year-old church-going friend and neighbor of many years) and how Betty loves that people take off their clothes and wear nothing but her jewelry!
Posted by Michael LaBash at 11:03 AM
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Recorded at Temescal Art Center, Oakland, California.
Oh, another year has begun and another amazing performance starts it! A week ago I had to cancel THE SHAMAN’S DEN because I felt pale shitty physically. I wasn’t that hot this Saturday either. But I hate to cancel! So there I was, just drifting floating on the radiancy music of Tomek. Then people started coming in from their life quests, with their questions, their vague feelings that they had detoured from their childhood passions and hopes and joys. And they started asking! It got deep fast. Me, I was half-baked, running on fumes. But the performances are never about me! So everything read or muttered by me ignited insights in the people who stayed [I don’t know about the people who left]. They started running with these insights on their own! Most of them said they will start doing art that they had stopped doing. They will start because of what they have experienced in the performance. They came up with that on their own! Shit, can an artist ask any more before he admits success? Yes, I take the credit for the success even when I was half-baked and ran out of gas during the jam when everything that had been explored verbally /intellectually was becoming musical /physical. Hey, I am the star!
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Recorded February 25, 2007
This is Frank's college friend, Steve. It starts out with Steve playing music and ends with the Legs Wide Open Jam with Steve, Erika and Frank. In between you can hear Frank and Steve telling their great stories from Frank's college years and early performances, including the story of when Steve pushed Frank into the Marine Recruiting Office so that Frank could enlist!
Monday, October 13, 2014
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Recorded April 20, 2002
In 2002, Frank fought a year-long battle with the Berkeley City Council and the Berkeley Community Media board who were trying to censor adult programming on Berkeley's public access channel, B-TV. The censorship efforts were specifically focused on Frank's show, Unlimited Possibilities (http://www.eroplay.com/fmup/cabletv.html) and The Dr. Susan Block Show (which Frank sponsored). Dr. Suzy came up to Berkeley to participate in a live debate on B-TV about this censorship effort. This video was shot before and after the debate.
Go here http://www.eroplay.com/fmup/archive/censorship.html for a complete archive of the 2002 censorship battle with the BCM board and City Council.
Posted by Michael LaBash at 11:21 AM
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Recorded December 4, 1987
From the original poster:
You are invited to join in a five-hour ritual of reality-subversion by performance artist Frank Moore.
This is a journey into innocent immorality and sensual vulnerability. Your guide will be the black beast who reigns in this hidden realm of uncensored touching, silly play, and howling fun. Bring mats, pillows, or blankets.
“In performance, Moore takes advantage of his disadvantage, becoming an unlikely guide into the pleasures of the body, taking audiences where 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…” C. Carr, Village Voice, May 26, 1987
“Frank Moore the Bay Area’s resident Bête Noir/Flower Child … could bring back the participatory aspect of performance that dominated its salad days.” High Performance Magazine, November 1, 1987
First performed at 455- 10th Street, San Francisco, California, October 9, 1987.
Posted by Michael LaBash at 11:48 AM
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
We were invited to perform at the Western Naturist Gathering in 1990 which was being held in Lupin,California in April, which is not a warm time in this area. It turned out that because of the damage done from the Loma Prieta earthquake in October 1989, the building that normally would have been where we would have done our performance was condemned, so we had to do the performance outside, at night! We, of course, were nude for the performance, "Eroplay-The Cave." We were cold during the day and mostly wore clothes while everyone else was nude. So at night for our performance it was much colder and everyone else had lots of clothes on except us!
Frank likes to tell the story ... as we led the people blindfolded into the cave (made from our backdrops) to play with Frank and his cave mate who were lying nude on the mat, Frank would gesture me to lead the "beefier" people to him to cuddle with and keep warm!
Posted by Michael LaBash at 10:36 AM
Monday, October 6, 2014
Recorded March 27, 2014.
Thursday night at Modern Times was amazing ! Full of magic and of Frank!
Here is what Corey Alexi and Erika wrote about the night. xxoo
Thursday night was the first event for Frankly Speaking: A Collection of Essays, Writings & Rants, which just came out last month! It was billed as a “Book Party” and “celebration of the life and work of the iconic bay area cultural pioneer, and world-known radical shaman performance artist, Frank Moore”, and it was very much both! The setting was Modern Times Bookstore Collective on 24th St. in the Mission, San Francisco. In the '90s, Frank did poetry and zine events at Modern Times when it was on Valencia St., and now Modern Times has been struggling to stay open with financial difficulties. We could not say enough about how welcoming and warm Carolina and Ashton were at Modern Times. They have created an environment of freedom there, and we fit right in!
After Ashton cleared the room, the five of us transformed the space like we would at performances … hanging Mikee's colorful painted panels, and the vinyls of Frank's paintings “Frank and Linda”, “Shy”,“Falling In Love”, Frank's definition of Deep Love, and a selection of our great t-shirts. Frank was there with us. Of course we all felt him there deeply … plus, we blew up one of our favorite (there are so many!) photos of him to nearly live size, and framed it, and Frank sat there with us on an easel, smiling out at everyone all night! Tomek soon arrived, Frank's “band” for so many years at performances, and set up his electronic music rig, proceeding to lay down an amazing musical accompaniment for the next 2+ hours, including a sample of Frank's vocal jamming, which we would hear coming in and out throughout the night.
A wide range of people came … Michael, who has been attending Frank's performances for 25 years; Kaye for even a little longer; Larry the “Flower Vato”, a veteran of Shaman's Den jams and performances in Sacramento and Davis, driving all the way down from Sacramento with his girlfriend Kendall; Diane, one of Alexi's handyman clients; a young guy who came to Frank's second to last performance (the last one Frank was at) and an artist friend he brought with him; a couple who met for the first time in 2011 by doing Gestures at one of Frank's performances at the Center for Sex and Culture in S.F.; Geri who saw us putting up fliers at Rainbow … and we even noticed Larry-Bob from Holy Titclamps zine enjoying the readings for a while from the side of the room.
The night was deeply inspiring and moving. In addition to telling stories from a long history of life and art with Frank, Linda asked everyone to read something from the book. Diane cried when she read “Creating a Masterpiece”. Tomek said afterward that he was very inspired by the description of our daily life in “Imagine the Possibilities”, one of Frank's presidential speeches. This piece was actually passed around to different readers, including Larry, everyone really enjoying Frank's presidential plan! Kendall told us afterward that Linda's stories about the origin of Frank's webstation LUVeR were really inspiring to her. She is a DJ up in Sacramento, and was already a fan of Frank's, but now even more so! The couple traded off reading the “Gestures Intro”, and others also read “An Open Letter to Senator Jesse Helms”, “Dance of No Dancers”, “The Inner Maze” Chapter 21, and “Shamanistic Art”. And Michael Peppe was there in spirit, a jamming partner of Frank's from many performances over the last 15 years, as Linda read his great piece about Frank that he just sent to us.
The night really amazed us and fueled us … Frank was so much there with us, enjoying the way that everything continues … it had the feeling of all of Frank's performances … the intimacy, smallness, vulnerability, and willingness to just go wherever the writings, the stories, the music, etc., took us.
And last but not least, we sold some books!!!
Posted by Michael LaBash at 11:55 AM
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Recorded at Temescal Art Center, Oakland, California.
Ah, sometimes there’s not much for me to say about a performance. I will let others below fill in the details. But this last public performance of the year was extremely satisfying. It was enough… The kind of enough that is more than enough! Me doing my Don Rickles’ bit. Stand-up comedy chews up comfort zones! Always eat the fucking cookies when you are with Alice! Don’t be rude! The guy who ended up on the drums was awe-inspiring… Way beyond his comfort zones, his television fantasy just leaked out into his everyday life and he kept a good downbeat! And he just came to buy a video! Playing jamming with him and the Master musicians Tomek and Jhon [smoking guitar!], it don’t get better than that… Well, dancing explicitly with the three sexy female skin warm juicy flesh pleasure creatures… It don’t get better than that! Well, breaking out with a hard-core version of THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY… Seriously it don’t get better than that!
Ah, I have not used Somala in years! But it is always in my bag of tricks. I saw the Mrs. Fields’ cookies and saw the uptight fragile couple, and voila! It just shows it doesn’t matter in the performance alter reality if something [Somala] physically exists if it exists conceptually. It has physical, psychological and every other kind of arousing effects. Hey, this is a core principle of the shamanistic performance I do. Somala did cut through the bullshitting… And isn’t that one of the things art is supposed to do?
And this brings us to the end of this year and this word file. This year at the performances, people have been yapping about comfort zones. In the past people have come to be taken beyond their noses and assholes and normal boxes to be expanded into possibilities and potential paths of newness and flexibility. It is called growth and risk and freedom. Lots still came for these horizons. But there has been a growing peanut gallery who think they are entitled to be comfortable and get really pissed, shocked and discomposed when that isn’t “respected, “ that we will not engage in “reasonable acceptable discussion” to find out why they are entitled to demand that reality stay confined to within their personal taste! We don’t have a constitutional right to not have our comfort zones threatened or violated. Go to Richard Pryor or Lenny Bruce and try to yap about comfort zones! So 2010 will be THE UNCOMFORTABLE ZONES OF FUN! So be warned!
For more: http://www.eroplay.com/Cave/reality_playings/reality_playings_dec09/index.html
Posted by Michael LaBash at 11:36 AM
Saturday, October 4, 2014
for more info: http://www.eroplay.com/franklyspeaking/
In this, the first collection of prose by “one of the U.S.'s most controversial performance artists” (P-Form Magazine), Frank Moore explores his deep and uncompromising vision of human liberation and art as a “battle against fragmentation”. In the essays, writings and rants of Frankly Speaking, roughly covering the period from the late 1970s until his death in 2013, Moore reveals his plan for the complete political and social transformation of American society (see Platform for Frank’s Presidential Candidacy 2008), stirs up the “art world”, urging fellow artists to truly live their calling and not accept censorship (see Art is Not Toothpaste or The Combine Plot), pulls the reader deeply into the heart of magic, responsibility, shamanism, play, and expanded sexuality (see Inter-Penetration or Dance of No Dancers), and much much more. Frank Moore's essays have been praised by political activists, authors, artists and cultural icons like Bill Mandel, John Sinclair, Penny Arcade, Annie Sprinkle and many others for their comprehensive and revolutionary world-view. The reader gets to join Frank's joyful and fearless digging into the core issues of human experience to get to something deeper: intimacy, tribal community, freedom. Frankly Speaking also gives us a peek into the history of these pieces, which have been widely published all over the world, from the smallest of underground zines to the most established mainstream art journals. But Frank always focused on the small, personal, intimate level, and always fought to stay “underground”. As he writes in Mainstream Avant-Garde?: “The underground is where the real freedom and the real ability to change society are to be found.” The writings in this collection have this “beautiful slow pace as if forcing the mind of the reader to change pace as well and let the other world come to the forefront – the cartography of the soul is where you take us … each in our own way … rather than your way … which is generous indeed of you.” (Shelley Berc, writer, teacher) “You’ve hit another homer ... You ought to publish a book of essays or perhaps a Frank Moore anthology.” – Bill Mandel, broadcast journalist, left-wing political activist and author, best known for his televised condemnation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the early '50s and later for his dramatic defiance of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in May 1960.
Posted by Michael LaBash at 12:40 PM
Friday, October 3, 2014
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