I'm an artist, educator and activist particularly interested in learning from tactics, props and gestures used as protests. I use this blog as a platform to archive and communicate examples of what I call 'gestures of defiance'-exciting, urgent and relevant actions that link protest histories and present radical potentials. On this blog I'm simply compiling and reposting examples I find as they happen. Months may go by with out a post but the blog as an archive is still active.
(I address the powers that be; I look at the ceiling)
1. To the Masterminds of Paranoid Nationalism
I say, we say: ‘We,’ the Other people We, the migrants, exiles, nomads & wetbacks in permanent process of voluntary deportation We, the transient orphans of dying nation-states la otra America; l’autre Europe We, the citizens of the outer limits and crevasses of ‘Western civilization’ We, who have no government; no flag or national anthem the undoqueermented of Homoland Insecurity We, the New Barbarians in constant flux, from Patagonia to Alaska, from Juarez to Ramalla, todos somos mojados We, the seventh generation, the fourth world, the third country We millions abound, defying your fraudulent polls & statistics We continue to talk back & make art
2. To those up there who make dangerous decisions for mankind
I say, we say: We, the homeless, faceless vatos aquellos in the great American metropolis little Mexico, little Cambodia, little purgatory We, the West Bank & Gaza strip of Gringolandia We, the unemployed & subemployed who work so pinche hard so you don’t have to work that much We, whose taxes send your CEOs & armies on vacation to the South We, evicted from your gardens & beaches We, fingerprinted, imprisoned, under surveillance We, within your system, without your mercy We, without health or car insurance, without bank accounts & credit cards, We, scared shitless at ground level, but only at ground level like a pack of hungry wolves exploring the ruins of an empty mall we continue to be… together
3. To the lords of fear and intolerance
I say, we say: We, mud people, snake people, tar people We, bohemians walking on millennial thin ice Our bodies pierced, tattooed, martyred, scarred Our skin covered with hieroglyphs & flaming questions We, the witches who transform trash into wearable art We, Living Museum of Modern Oddities & Sacred Monsters We, vatos cromados y chucas neo-barrocas We, indomitable drag queens, transcendental putas waiting for love and better conditions in the shade We, bad boy & bad girls over 50 We, lusting for otherness We, mota, peyote Ayahuasca & cocaine We, todos somos putos y putonas We, ‘subject matter’ of fringe documentaries We, the Hollywood refuseniks, the greaser bandits & holy outlaws of advanced Capitalism We, without guns, without Bibles We, who never pray to the police or to the army We, who never kissed the hand of a bishop or a curator We, who barter and exchange favors & talismans We, who still believe in community, another community, a much stranger and wider community We, community of illness, madness & dissent community of horny angels & tender demons We, scotch, mescal and bleeding saliva We, frail and defiant; permanently outraged but always tender We shape your desire while you contract our services to postpone the real discussion We are waiting, still waiting for you to go to sleep so, we can continue the party
4. To the Lords of Censorship
I say, we say: We, the artists & intellectuals who still don’t wish to comply We, who talk back in rarefied symbols & metaphors against the corruption of formalized religion & art We, critical brain mass spoken word profética, sintética We, bastard children of two humongous nuns: ‘Heterodoxia’ e ‘Iconoclastia’ We, the urban monks who pray in tongues & rap in Esperanto We, who put on masks, penachos & wigs to shout ‘you just can’t take my art away’ We, who dance against the rhythms of the times We, who suddenly freeze! [pause] Standing still in our underwear right in the center of the stage or the street with the words carved on our chests: ‘Performance artist: will bleed for food’ ‘Obsessive artist: will die for one idea’ We, critical brain mass fuga inminente de cerebros y hormonas spoken word profética, sintética We continue to talk back… talk back… talk back…
5. To those who are as afraid of us as we are of them
I say, we say: We, who have no name whatsoever in the news We, edited out, pixelated, censored, evicted, postponed We, beyond the video frame, behind the caution tape We, tabloid subject matter par excellence We, involuntary actors of ‘The Best of Cops’ eternally stalking mythical blonds in the parking lot, We, mistaken identities in your computer memory We, generic brown & black males who fit all taxonomic descriptions We, black & brown lives don’t matter We, black & brown nude bodies in the morgue, taxidermied bodies in the Museum of Mankind We, prime targets of ethnic profiling & capital punishment We, one strike & we’re out We, prisoners of consciousness without a trial We, of the turban, burka, sombrero, bandana, leather pants We surround your neon architecture While you call the Office of ‘Homeland Security’
Yes, we are equally scared of one another
6. To the share-holders of mono-culture
I say, we say: We, Americans with foreign accents & purple tongues We, bilingual, polylingual, cunnilingual, We, los otros del mas allá del otro lado de la línea y el puente We, lingua poluta et disoluta, rapeando border mystery; a broader history We, mistranslated señorita, eternally mispronounced We, lost and found in the translation lost & found between the layers of my words We, interracial lovers, children of interracial lovers, ad infinitum We, Americans in the largest sense of the term (from the many other Americas) We, from Patagonia to Alaska From Sao Paolo to New York in cahoots with the original Americans who speak hundreds of beautiful languages incomprehensible to you We [Shamanic tongues] We, in cahoots with dozens of millions of displaced Latinos, Arabs, blacks & Asians who live so far away from their land We, trapped between ICE and organized crime
We all speak in unison therefore you cease to be even if only for a moment behind the curtain of language I am, US, you sir, no ser Nosotros seremos Nosotros, we stand not united & when we talk back, you become tongue-tied pendejos
yess! magister dixit: the people you call ‘aliens’ are the original inhabitants of this continent
(I will now skip 3 pages for the benefit of the audience)
7. To the masters and apologists of war
I say, we say: We, matriots not patriots We, rebels, not mercenaries like you We, labeled ‘extremists’ for merely disagreeing with you We, caught in the crossfire, between Christian fear & Muslim rage, We, a thinking majority against unilateral stupidity against preemptive strikes & premature ejaculation We reject your arms sales & oil deals We distrust your orange alert & your white privilege We oppose the Patriot Act patrioticamente hablando the largest surveillance system ever, the biggest prison complex to date We, whose opinions are never on the front page of your morning paper We, who are never polled by Fox News who never get to debate those TV pundits We did not vote for you, do not support your wars, do not believe in your violent gods do not respect your immigration laws Standing scared but firm We demand your total, TOTAL withdrawal from our minds and bodies ipso facto
And when we speak in tongues, you disappear
[Finally facing/addressing the audience]
We, baaaad poetry, baaad art! We, techno-pirates, Region 4 We, the shamans exorcising Enron los brujos against Microsoft poetas solitarios contra Wal-Mart We, dervishes under the arches of McDonalds radical clowns confronting the global police immigrant teens torching the cars of the wealthy We, los indignados y desterrados El Movimiento Sin Tierra Paracaidistas en Wall Street the Other ‘99%’ We, the ghosts of the past in cahoots with the future warriors in cahoots with all innocent civilians killed on both sides of the useless War on Terror the useless War on Drugs We, nosotros, going crazy to remain sane literally dying for new ideas performing against all odds dancing on the edge of a crater We, witnesses & willing victims of the End of Empire We, Western World imploding disfunctionalia history’s final chapter… colapso total!
We continue to talk back & make art
Tabula Rasa; take 2:
We, here we are, in (name of the city) mapeando, mapping the immediate future so you and I can walk on it without falling inside the great faults of history. You & I, verbally walking together; you & I, ephemeral community; you & I, a tiny little nation-state; you & I, a one-hour-long utopia titled ‘You & I,’ alone on stage, fighting together the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO & the G-8 cartels; fighting avant-garde desire & the Patriot Act; tu y yo, juntitos, bien abrazados, fucking suavecito fighting isolation & isolationism…. And art is our battlefield, que otra?
And if we fall we are caught in mid-air by a total stranger.