Wednesday, Oct. 16: Arcosanti, AZ


Finishing up in Crown King and had a free breakfast ticket for Doozies Café at the Prospector’s Mall in Crown King.  Had breakfast with Aurora and her friends from the Bay Area, Ana, Tyler, and Adam, who are making a documentary about HDTS 2013.  Aurora and her crew headed to Arcosanti early and I was trying to write another blog entry and the only place with wifi was Doozies.  Christian “the Blacksmith” and Tellef “HDTS Tech Support” came by just in time to fix one of the blog glitches that had been making my life hell.  I swear I tried to write blogs on the way, but then technology happened, also having to get in the car to make it to he next art event right after the last event, being drunk and tired, and blah blah. 


AZ came by and Christian gave her a throwing knife and promised he would teach her how to throw it.  AZ responded by staying she had seen better throwing knives, and some other ball busting comments I wouldn’t be allowed to write in this blog, believe me I’ve tried.  Tellef and Christian  had spent the night at the KJ’s (Karaoke DJ’s) and they stayed up all night drinking and throwing knives.  Christian said the only reason he wasn’t hung over was because the KJ’s gave him a glass of moonshine for breakfast.  Perfect.  Also, AZ and I spent some of our valuable wifi time, looking up dogs at the Albuquerque animal shelters.  When Tellef and Christian left, Ray, one of the proprietors at Doozies joined me and AZ to shoot the shit.  Ray was a Vietnam veteran, with a cane, a knife holster attached to his belt, a camou hat and pants, and he called me “Young lady.”  Ray told his co-worker Debbie, I think that was her name, that if he was gone the next day it was because he was with me.  I responded by saying “Yea, we’d be in the hospital.”  Ray also said he understood some Filipino and said Vietnam was one of the most beautiful places he had ever been, had it not been for the war, he would have considered living there.  Ray asked AZ to marry him at one point, and was serious, and AZ is still considering it.  Ray was upset that not everyone said goodbye, so AZ gave him a hug.  Then we left for Arcosanti.


Brad really liked Katie Shook’s piece “Stratify” which was a puppet performance piece held in the Sky Suite balcony.  Dinner was held in the cafeteria and was served to us by the Arcosanti volunteer cooks.  It was Southwest vegetarian hippie with Arepas, black beans, rice, and Brewer’s yeast, delicious.  I also did a quick Tarot reading for Léa Donnan, creator of the piece “Desert Applique”, which resulted in her following her instincts and returning to Joshua Tree to figure out her next step. 



Matias Cantzler’s “Plenty of Shit” piece gathered everyone into the amphitheater where his 16 mm film was hung throughout the amphitheater architecture.  His film projector ranon the methane produced by the dog feces he had collected and converted.  The film was of dogs shitting, presumably the dogs that contributed to his shit collection.  The audience’s reaction was a mixture of laughter and groans of disgust but you just couldn’t turn away from the screen, it was gross yet shamefully enjoyable.  A film about the making of the art object which created the film, run on the objects produced from and by the making of the film, which is shit.  Cantzler’s piece was super post-modern perfection, you’re welcome Derrida, you’re welcome.  Cantzler also did a short Q&A which was mostly about why he did it, and in his very heavy accent, gave one sentence answers that seemed satisfactory enough to get a laugh from the audience.  Brilliant. 












Korakrit Arunanondchai’s piece “2556” was a touching and hilarious film about the artist’s identity within the world, you know, the classic unanswerable question all artists are trying to figure out universally as well as personally.  The video played on language through subtitles in English translated from Thai.  Featuring the artist moving through different landscapes doing actions that follow the narrative.  From being born as a hero and being shown carried in a flesh colored body suit to him swimming a specific stroke used as a metaphor to what being an artist and making art is.  Arunanondchai will also be doing more with HDTS someday soon.

Rose Mackey & Erin Olivia Weber’s piece “Fox, Come and Sleep in the Snow with the Tiger Leopard” was an amazing performance that involved puppets, costumes, yoga, the Crime Dog McGruff, and electronic music. The piece was about everything you could think of, exploring themes that ranged from new age “authentic movement” face painted yoga, to Chinese mythology through animal puppetry, and revolution expressed through the use of music and visual technology.  It was also a very self-aware and made fun of itself as well. The buildings of Arcosanti were also featured on the fronts of their costumes.  Also, after the ending of this piece, we were happy to announce that the government shutdown was over and the next HDTS event, scheduled for tomorrow, at the Petrified Forests National Park was a go.  Thank God cause Aurora and I were trying to figure out what to say at dinner about the closed National Park issue but luckily the Republicans were tired of being hated on more than usual.  Yay.


Also, a last minute add-on to the HDTS event in Arcosanti was a piece by artist Patrick Doyle called “Fireball.” Doyle is famous for his spheres and lives in Rochester New York but spends several months at Arcosanti every year.  “Fireball” was a bonfire that was held within a metal sculpted sphere pit.  During this piece, our HDTS travelers and Arcosanti friends were able to unwind a little and really get to mingle with each other, which was a perfect ending to a very cold night. 


We had gotten lost going to our shared room.  Our room was simple and practical with all the necessities:  two twin beds, an armoire, a desk, pillows, sheets, towels, blankets, a sink, a shower and a toilet, and fresco flower paintings on the ceiling.  There was also a binder book about Arcosanti on the desk that I would have liked to have read had I not passed out.  3 am I awaken to AZ with insomnia, she’s looking up dogs and planning our trip for tomorrow, I go back to sleep.