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Be kind to your self, it is only one
of many on the planet, thou art that
one that wishes a soft finger tracing the
line of feeling from nipple to pubes–
one that wishes a tongue to kiss your armpit,
a lip to kiss your cheek inside your
Be kind to yourself Harry, because unkindness
comes when the body explodes
napalm cancer and the deathbed in Vietnam
is a strange place to dream of trees
leaning over and angry American faces
grinning with sleepwalk terror over your
Be kind to yourself, because the bliss of your own
kindness will flood the police tomorrow,
because the cow weeps in the field and the
mouse weeps in the cat hole–
Be kind to this place, which is your present
habitation, with derrick and radar tower
and flower in the ancient brook–
Be kind to your neighbor who weeps
solid tears on the television sofa,
he has no other home, and hears nothing
but the hard voice of telephones
Click, buzz, switch channel and the inspired
and he’s left alone for the night, he disappears
Be kind to your disappearing mother and
father gazing out the terrace window
as milk truck and hearse turn the corner
Be kind to the politician weeping in the galleries
of Whitehall, Kremlin, White House
Louvre and Phoenix City
aged, large nosed, angry, nervously dialing
the bald voice box connected to
electrodes underground converging thru
wires vaster than a kitten’s eye can see
on the mushroom shaped fear-lobe under
the ear of Sleeping Dr. Einstein
crawling with worms, crawling with worms, crawling
with worms the hour has come–
Sick, dissatisfied, unloved the bulky
foreheads of Captain Premier President
Sir Comrade Fear!
Be kind to the fearful one at your side
Who’s remembering the Lamentations
of the bible
the prophesies of the Crucified Adam Son
of all the porters and char men of
Be kind to your self who weeps under
the Moscow moon and hide your bliss hairs
under raincoat and suede Levi’s–
For this is the joy to be born, the kindness
received thru strange eyeglasses on
a bus thru Kensington,
the finger touch of the Londoner on your thumb,
that borrows light from your cigarrette,
the morning smile at Newcastle Central
station, when longhair Tom blond husband
greets the bearded stranger of telephones–
the boom bom that bounces in the joyful
bowels as the Liverpool Minstrels of
raise up their joyful voices and guitars
in electric Afric hurrah
The saints come marching in, Twist &
Shout, and Gates of Eden are named
in Albion again
Hope sings a black psalm from Nigeria,
and a white psalm echoes in Detroit
and reechoes amplified from Nottingham to Prague
and a Chinese psalm will be heard, if we all
live our lives for the next 6 decades–
Be kind to the Chinese psalm in the red transistor
in your breast–
Be kind to the Monk in the 5 Spot who plays
lone chord-bangs on his vast piano
lost in space on a bench and hearing himself
in the nightclub universe–
Be kind to the heroes that have lost their
names in the newspaper
and hear only their own supplications for
the peaceful kiss of sex in the giant
auditoriums of the planet,
nameless voices crying for kindness in the orchestra,
screaming in anguish that bliss come true
and sparrows sing another hundred years
to white haired babes
and poets be fools of their own desire–O Anacreon
and angelic Shelley!
Guide these new-nippled generations on space
ships to Mars’ next universe
The prayer is to man and girl, the only
gods, the only lords of Kingdoms of
Feeling, Christs of their own
Bicycle chain and machine gun, fear sneer
& smell cold logic of the Dream Bomb
have come to Saigon, Johannesburg
Dominica City, Phnom Penh, Pentagon
Paris and Lhasa–
Be kind to the universe of Self that
trembles and shudders and thrills
in XX Century,
that opens its eyes and belly and breast
chained with flesh to feel
the myriad flowers of bliss
that I Am to Thee–
A dream! a Dream! I don’t want to be alone!
I want to know that I am loved!
I want the orgy of our flesh, orgy
of all eyes happy, orgy of the soul
kissing and blessing its mortal-grown
orgy of tenderness beneath the neck, orgy of
kindness to thigh and vagina
Desire given with meat hand
and cock, desire taken with
mouth and ass, desire returned
to the last sigh!
Tonite let’s all make love in London
as if it were 2001 the years
of thrilling god–
And be kind to the poor soul that cries in
a crack of the pavement because he
has no body–
Prayers to the ghosts and demons, the
lackloves of Capitals & Congresses
who make sadistic noises
on the radio–
Statue destroyers & tank captains, unhappy
murderers in Mekong & Stanleyville,
That a new kind of man has come to his bliss
to end the cold war he has borne
against his own kind flesh
since the days of the snake.
June 8, 1965
Number of suicides in the United States, 2007: 34,598
Number of homicides in the United States, 2007: 18,361
Earlier this year civil rights, radical, revolutionary thinker and writer Elizabeth Betita Martínez was interned in a assisted living center in San Francisco, California. This was a dramatic change of Betita, an independent, self-determined woman and leader. I am joining in to support Betita!
Betita’s life work has spanned several historic movements and organizing struggles that produced deep changes, uplifting social justice. Active in U.S.-based civil rights and anti-racist movements that erupted onto the national and international scene in the late 1950s and 1960s, then the Chicano justice movements and through radical political movements since the 1960s, Betita was a community-based organizer and activist-writer forerunner initiating crucial social justice ideas, projects and organizations. She started the renown Chicano newspaper, El Grito del Norte, after moving to New Mexico, where there were critical struggles for land rights and self-determination. Later she was the first Chicana to run for statewide public office in California. She published in 1976, exposing the history of the U.S. bicentennial, the classic “450 Years of Chicano History.” She re-issued the book in 1992, to also tell our story the quincentennial of the Colombian disaster, re-titled “500 Years of Chicano History.” Betita said in 1992 that 50 years hadn’t passed since the first edition but that this was a critical moment for the Chicano community to remember and understand the significance of 1492 and Chicano struggles for justice and rights.
Betita’s political writings have been compiled in “De Colores Means All of Us” and her most recent work, a monument ensuring our collective memory is set right, 500 Years of Chicana History, where she weaves hundreds of biographies of Chicana and Latina women who have been leaders, organizers and groundbreakers in our freedom struggles and movements.
Betita has lived her life in service to our communities and in service to liberation. Now she needs your support!
Please show your love and support for Elizabeth Betita Martínez, a courageous and working class internationalist thinker, activist and community fighter! She dedicated her life to community struggles of deep justice and human rights and now she needs your support.
Contribute as generously as possible. Make your checks payable to “Social Justice” and write on the check memo “Elizabeth Martínez Project” and mail to:
1607 Josephine Street
Berkeley, CA 94703
If you need a tax ID number email, Tony Platt at: email@example.com
reposted from lacarpadelfeo.blogspot.com
Guy Gabaldon, born in 1926 and raised in East L.A., shined shoes on skid row from the age of ten. At twelve, he moved in with the Nakano family of Boyle Heights, where he learned Japanese. When the Nakanos were sent to camps in Arizona, 17 year old Gabaldon joined the marines and used “backstreet Japanese” to capture 1,500 Japanese troops on Saipan. In the movie version, he was played by a white actor named Jeffrey Hunter, who suffered a stroke at age 42 in 1969 and died falling down the stairs.
In the movie version, skid row was played by 1960s Bunker Hill and age 12 was played by a grasshopper flying in a summer field. Sweetness careened down the streets in buses and trolleys.
In the movie version, a ten year old boy shining shoes was played by Route 66 and the relocation camps were played by cars going by. Packards were played by Dodges.
In the movie version, the cold beer is played by country music nasal twang, and Jeffrey Hunter was played by slight nausea and nostril flare. His headache was played by the 20th century.
In the movie version, the actual colors of the rushing ocean were played by a whirr of a strip through the machine and the sizzling palm leaves were played by folded taco smell. Somebody was played by nobody.
In the movie version, East L.A. was played by the blood bursting an artery and dust specks thrown into a ray on the stairs. The golden moment balking.
In the movie version, the present is played by an off-camera past with seagulls added or removed and palm trees painted on a canvas backdrop of night. Popcorn smell was played by cotton candy.
In the movie version, wishes were played by a voice over of broken dishes and bouts of influenza were played by old magazines in the back. Smoke in a funnel over the hills was played by extras dressed like citizens.
the ticket of the cockroaches and the ticket of the rats
the number of the crows laughing and the numerals of the hills shining
the names of Chinese elms and Chinese alleys and the names of the veins and the nicknames of arteries
the wings of notions and realizations and the legs of the mornings and the afternoons
the cloud wisps of total information and total relationships
the nobody of laundry and the nobody of dirty and clean dishes
the somebody of paper and the somebody of spit
the plains of smoke and rhythm and the planes of hair and faces
the eyeglasses of alphabets and the eyeglasses of eyeballs and the films of ants and the films of trees
the bad luck of the rivers and the bad luck of the memories
the hard luck of the night and the hard luck of the cold universe
the leftovers of the miles and the leftovers of the long stretches
the runny nose of the early deaths and the runny nose of the ruined centuries
the used napkin of the tenderness and the unused napkin of the thoughtfulness
Photography by Dianna Santillano-Romo
KXPO is Xolotl Grease radio, we broadcast tonight to you from dark and sanctified folded crevices of East Los Angeles, from some other reality where maybe someone got their shit together and decided to listen, to entertain all demons, to make deep their practice… in other words, this is what it might have been like had things been different in 1492, 1999, 1841. As always, if we’re doing our work right, by the end of the night, smoke just might be obscuring your vision…
* Tonight we are proud to present a special program in honor of Bill London and his famous muffler shop, El Pedorrero, 4101 E. Whittier Blvd., master folk art installation that sadly closed this summer. The artistic legacy of Mental Bill London and El Pedorrero is represented by a host of contemporary Chicano artists and Eastside cultural venues that still exist today. Tonight we’re relating the legacy of this existential timeless muffler shop to Antonio Villaraigosa, Oscar Zeta Acosta and Ericka Llanera, among the most influential artists of contemporary Los Angeles. Now that Pacific Standard Time has put Los Angeles on the world cultural map, according to the New York Times, L.A. is “an art capital in the same league as New York, Berlin and London.” Antonio Villaraigosa is viewed by many as a foremost rising cultural icon, sharing a love of suspenders with the famous Bill London.
Jose López Feliú was born in Los Angeles, California in 1933. He worked a series of meaningless jobs throughout his early years, all the while nurturing a life-long respect and interest of esoterica and books. His library, housed floor to ceiling in his tenement was lost upon his eviction in 1961 during the last phases of destruction of the Bunker Hill neighborhood.
In 1965, he started working at the Los Angeles Public Library where he remained until his transfer to the El Sereno branch.
In 1996, while at work in the library, López-Feliú and his long-time collaborator Eufencio Rojas met when Rojas was blown through the front window during a freak tornado.
Since then, López-Feliú and Rojas have worked closely together in discovering and documenting the various portals, vortices, disturbances and strange phenomena in Los Angeles. In 2001, he founded Rojas Press which publishes and distributes to the interested public the archives of their collaborations.
Ericka Llanera was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1944. In 1963, she left Los
Angeles and moved to an outpost in the Sonoran desert run by followers
of Carlos Castaneda’s Elemental Tensegrity cult.
In 1969, after returning to Los Angeles, Ericka Llanera resurrected East
LA Dirigible Transit Lines by launching a home-made geodesic balloon
from an old anchoring point in the community of City Terrace. Renaming
it East LA Balloon Tours, she began to offer a limited route to and from
California State University Los Angeles from another anchor point in
the community of El Sereno.
Llanera was also founder and editor of Filth Saints/Manifestos/Ballons. The magazine covered a diverse range of topics within the field of entheogenic physics, urban design and prophecy. It was also designed as an echo of the revolutionary events of 1968… a kind of delayed echo and elaboration of some of the policies put forth by the student revolutionaries those years ago.The magazine folded in 1989 after a joint FBI/LA County Sheriffs raid on her house in El Sereno caused a fire which destroyed her papers.
Maria Jolina Villalobos appears in records 2 years later. Her lasting contribution is her Codex, now named Codex Jolinaus. The codex, written between 1996 and 1998, appears to be a consolidation of decades of research by Villalobos into the esoteric knowledge base of hidden
societies in Los Angeles.
Those close to Villalobos note that she saw herself as an animal. Shortly after finishing the codex, Villalobos was arrested and upon release, abandoned the Jolina identity and project.
Dr. J. Eufencio Rojas was born in Tucson Arizona in the mid seventies. After being exiled from the state of Arizona, he began a trek across Mexico, exiting the US through Las Cruzes by foot. Little is known about the doctor’s whereabouts at this time, though he was rumored to have studied under Carlos Castaneda in an aluminum geodesic mushroom in the Sonoran Desert. The next corroborated sighting of the doctor was in Los Angeles, being swept up in a freak twister that ripped through El Sereno in 1996. From there, he went on to gain fame and notoriety for his work with Renato Frias on the High Low Radiance Corridor Project. He continues to work and live in L.A.
As part of the Getty Foundation Daylight Savings Time art exhibits, four-term President Bionic Villaraigosa (the first bionic Chicano president of the United States, 2018 – 2034) and his presidential party along with a crowd of hundreds sporting festive balloons descended today to unveil a 4 ton bronze bust of the the president’s famous smile at the corner of Eastern & City Terrace. In his remarks, President B. Villaraigosa spoke through his trademark shoulder apparatus, saying, “My success in life can not only be attributed to dribs and drabs of Democratic health reforms but to crucial innovations in smile reconstruction, Schwarzenegger injections and genetic surgery. Even if global warming threatens the destruction of America and all it stands for, SMILE AND ALL THE WORLD SMILES WITH YOU (as William Shakespeare said), and the smiles of our children and our children’s children will live on forever in this statue, so what if their future had to be sacrificed for income redistribution to the rich? So what if Enron stole all California’s money in the 90s and in the decades after that we gave the state capital to Wall Street? Even if our children’s children are to grow up stunted and impoverished they will be happy on the inside. I grew up in City Terrace, and the least that I owe them is a smile in their hearts. This eternal smile says, we are the 99%.” With that Brown Prince #1 flashed his Cheshire cat grin, that Republican critics were quick to allege is not natural and has been digitally enhanced. This allegation has been routinely denied by White House spokesperson, Jean Quan.
One of the best known authors to come out of the Chicano Movement—“Chicano by ancestry and Brown Buffalo by choice”—Dr. Gonzo was given a race-change operation by Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, wherein Thompson depicted Zeta Acosta as a 300 pound Samoan, a description which is said to have pissed Zeta Acosta off. In the movie version with Johnny Depp as Hunter Thompson, Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro plays Zeta Acosta, but nobody watched that movie because the book was better.
In May 1974, Zeta Acosta’s son Marco said that he was possibly the last person the hear from him alive, saying that he was in Mazatlan, about to board a boat loaded to the gunnels with drugs, and he was never seen again. However, in recent years, Liki Renteria, urban organic farmer and ace detective, has followed promising local leads into Zeta Acosta’s disappearance. These leads include possible former 1970s-era safe houses where allegedly Zeta Acosta may be hiding out with refugees from Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie or Sly & the Family Stone’s Woodstock band. Verification is sought for tips that place Zeta Acosta’s whereabouts in naked anarchist networks underground in Northeast L.A. Likewise, unnamed informants report that “reliable” or “strong” sources have located Zeta Acosta variously in a second floor back apartment at 2923 N. Broadway next to Pollos Chapalita (Capitol Provision Co.), Lincoln Heights, or back apartments on Breed or Chicago Streets off First in Boyle Heights. We have conducted secret raids disguised as Jehovah’s Witnesses, knocking on doors and rounding up astonishing files of evidence we are prepared to release at a later date.
Meanwhile, combing through four linear feet (8 boxes) of the Oscar Zeta Acosta papers at UC Santa Barbara, we located Zeta Acosta’s personal collection of fortunes from fortune cookies gathered at every Chinese restaurant he visited in 1974—and in that spirit—we offer them here, testament to the future:
YOU WILL SOON RECEIVE AN UNEXPECTED GIFT
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
SOMEONE IS SUCCUMBING TO YOUR MANY CHARMS
TRAVEL TO DISTANT LANDS IS IN YOUR FUTURE
BLUE AND YELLOW ARE YOUR BEST COLORS
ITS ALWAYS DARKER BEFORE THE DAWN
YOU WILL SURFACE IN TOPEKA, KS
I DON’T WANT TO WORK IN A MEAT FACTORY DO YOU?
YOUR FORTUNES ARE CHANGING
TOMORROW WILL BE YOUR LUCKY DAY
IT IS SUCH A PERFECT DAY
YOU MAY HARNESS THE WINDS OF THE WORLD TO YOUR BALLOON
NOW IS BOTH THE PRESENT AND A GIFT
YOU ARE AN EXCELLENT WRITER; YOU SHOULD WRITE A LETTER
IT’S COMPLICATED, JUST TRY TO UNDERSTAND
ENJOY MORE LEG ROOM FLY DELTA AIRLINES
YOU MUST SOON FIND WHAT YOU WERE SEEKING
CONSIDER THE WATERMELON, THE GUAVA
TO UNDERSTAND SOMEONE ELSE, TRY TO WALK A MILE IN HIS SHOES
A QUIET AFTERNOON IN DINOSAUR, CO
THE BURNING PALM TREES OF THE COACHELLA VALLEY
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
YOUR GOLDFISH IS CALLING YOU
Big crowd at Cal State Dominguez Hills, backed out the door, standing along the walls. They were still entering.
Foggy spring night 2011 in Southern Calif., I had some vague idea of what I could do, what I was going to deliver.
I had a couple of my books on the podium, with a piece I’d read in Santa Cruz for big crowd recently that went for it.
Night fell against the windows of these big academic halls. As usual, I had one ear pressed to the ground.
I had one ear open to pick up the vibe from the crowd. As I read, I tried to hear inside me their rhythms, whether they laughed or went silent.
I tried to hear their leaning, feeling for their reception of the material. I tried to balance out the material with the delivery.
I tried to roll out unexpected useful information with new bright notes of expressive energy, interspersed with a few laughs.
I got some of it. Lots of questions afterwards, a good sign, with a line of people with books to sign. I got it done.
Somewhere down the line, a shaggy-haired skinny rockero stepped up to deliver me a letter, with arm covered in Xmas-colored dragon tats.
I probably stepped back with a shock when the kid said it was from his mom, daughter of a murdered woman I wrote about in a previous book.
The kid said the letter was from his mom to mine, writing to thank her for her kindness to the family after the murder. Probably this happened when I was 13, 14.
His grandmother was found in a car, shot behind a supermarket, after she ran away they said with a man.
When I put it in a book, I had pictured the kind of ramshackle peach-beige Dodge station wagon our families drove in those days.
I thanked him and put the letter in my pocket, very grateful he wasn’t jamming me up with a bunch of hard questions. I was just a kid, I might’ve said.
But he was just delivering a message. That message rode so many years out of the past and pressed on the right side of my chest.
12 or 13, I’d stood on the steps and looked up as she had opened the door. Whoever I was asking about (maybe Oscar, or his brother) wasn’t home.
I was surprised, shocked then as now, by the lack of anything like interest or kindness or warmth in her eyes, though maybe something like a smile had faded from her face.
I had always thought it was because of what women in the neighborhood said about her—that she was unhappy because she was ill. She turned away and shut the door.
After 40 years, about the street lamps of the foggy parking lot damp night hung like a black dress.
Man in His 50s:
That was absolutely exhilarating. A decade of chaos complicated by strict rules of order in a society that has denounced its own beliefs on behalf of artificial coddling by corporations that drain blood at every turn.
Overly paranoid with a touch of self-hate.
Keep him talking.
Man in His 50s:
I must have traveled several hundred thousand miles across treacherous urban terrain.There were a few special moments like flying over the Rockies in near whiteout conditions, crawling across the Zócalo in a maddened race against timelessness, cruising along the fast lane at the slowest of speed on the L.A. freeways, and kissing my grandchildren for the first time after they seemingly sprung up from a beautiful dream, and watching my daughter perform an intense flamenco against all wars, while my son spoke to me of his plans to vanquish all who would dare challenge his beliefs.
This guy slipped the noose from his condemned neck and bypassed the garrote by paying a partial fraction of the total amount owed over a two year period causing his loans to be sold and resold until the value of his capture was subsumed by the cost of the effort to collect the debt. I still feel like kicking his ass over the $135,000.00 that he stole via an abusive and convoluted plastic credit card scheme. In the end, I was never paid in full.
His value has certainly remained constant. Let’s see, divide/multiply zero by multiples of anything and you still get nothing.
Man in His 50s:
I began my 50’s awash in tears of anguish over the loss of dear friends who never had the opportunity to have their say in the matter of all things attributed to fate. My eyes were flooded as I recalled the ambivalence that was my youth. I was at the threshold of doing something that has somehow lost its importance in the inelegant shuffle.
My gun is jammed.
The fog machine isn’t responding either. I’ll switch it to battery power.
Man in His 50s:
So I worked at various jobs, oftentimes in different cities separated by nearly a hundred miles of concrete even though most places were reached via disparate connections between inept transit systems. I learned how to make full use of my time while observing the masses who appear to be perpetually trapped in the morass of consumerist sludge.
He’s probably been implanted with a dialectical device. Turn it off now!
I’ve encountered the worst of everything: Sadistic prosecutors, racist judges, thugs of every spot and stripe, psychopathic guards, deranged chaplains, victims without recourse, and cops who’ve used Tasers to torture pregnant women and their lame children. Nothing has prepared me for our current falsehood. But, I will testify against him in exchange for leniency or a pack of menthol cigarettes.
The knife is dull too.
Man in His 50s:
I had the opportunity to meet new and exciting people, mostly young, energetic and smart, but every so often someone closer to my age who had discovered unexpected elements that could be integrated into differing ideas about how to defray the wear and tear of utter boredom. My body changed during this period as it became unrecognizable to me. I’ve said nothing and wonder why no one has pointed out the incredible and objectionable signs of plague. In any case, I wear a suit and tie as often as possible in the hope that such theatrics will enhance the simultaneous playing of multiple roles while singing, screaming, and yelling to a deadened/dead end choir.
Is the hypodermic syringe ready? Strike him down with a cocktail of the most intrusive sedatives to counteract the cumulative effects of LSD, traces of nuclear fallout, and living in L.A for more than half a century.
Hand me the icepick. I know a neat trick that will put a stop to his ramblings.
Man in His 50s:
I grew a beard that was nine years, eleven months, and nearly thirty one days long. I shaved this morning in preparation for the new stage of the 60‘s that will need for me to put on a fresh face of old flesh. I once frolicked, and licked, in a field of peach fuzz.
Sneak up behind him, he might be armed.
Shank him with sharp observations.
Don’t overstep your authority. Losers are a lost cause.
My teeth are falling out without any provocation or Nonocaine.
Your hair is thinning at an alarming rate too. Quick, get his signature on an affidavit.
You won’t last long. Here, take this. You’ll get sleepy and then it’ll be over. By the time you wake up there won’t be a pound of flesh left to extract from this extrajudicial situation.
I should have kept my mouth shut. Snitching is the easiest way to lose one’s soul.
Man in His 50s:
He doesn’t look so bad. He’s quite easily manipulated by suggestions of imminent death or any form of pain. Delusions of inferiority have cost him his life and the countless lives of others whenever and wherever he’s pointed his poisoned finger.
Look, his eyes have sunken deep into the sockets. The tongue, it’s completely shriveled into a dry wagging stick.
Ugh. Blah. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I’m losing money here. He’s fallen asleep.
He’s dead. Obviously a case of terminal capitalist rot. I wouldn’t recommend the selling of his body parts.
Such a complete loss of profits. So much for laissez-faireism.
The wrong people always die first. Plastic bags have been outlawed in this municipality. I’ll wrap him in wax paper.
Man in His 50s:
Dead on the day the 7th billion person on earth was born. We’re all in line for
replacement. Uniqueness is defunct and should be stricken from all dictionaries.
Man in His 50s:
The aurora borealis scratched my retina just as I was about to blink. Everything seems to be clearer now. First impressions contain immense amounts of information. I discussed the concept of nothingness with a woman who appeared to have it all and she completely understood why my lack of empathy has been so essential to my survival. In the end, she left me with an empty palm. I’m not making any plans to relive any moments.
You should have your head examined. How’s your gut feeling?
The session is nearly over. All samples are accounted for. Only one fatality.
I’ve reloaded the 9 mm and put new batteries in the GPS device. We’re giving you only a little bit of a head start. Better get going now.
There is no telling how far you’ll get.
Man in His 50s:
Maybe I’ll walk backwards into this next phase so I can see where I haven’t been before. Look away, so you won’t see me disappear into smoggy day.
Harry Gamboa Jr. (born 1951) is a Chicano essayist, photographer, director and performance artist. He was a founding member of the influential Chicano performance art collective ASCO. Gamboa’s work as a writer, photographer, film-maker, performance artist and multimedia creator of “things” is diverse, but in all his efforts (including those as a member of ASCO) his focus has been to reveal the absurdity of urban life and to confront both the dominant white culture and various perspectives within Chicano culture, pointing to the pain and alienation caused by both. This is often achieved by altering the media of the art itself, as opposed to just the subject matter. Gamboa’s most significant 20th Century works include mail art of the 1970s, ASCO’s “no movies,” and the “urban operas” Ignore the Dents and Jetter’s Jinx.
Harry Gamboa Jr. is the author of:
Aztlángst: La La Fotonovela (Volume 1)
WITH SANDRA DE LA LOZA, REINA PRADO, RITA GONZALEZ AND OTHERS
Los Angeles is often called the City of Dreams, yet those dreams frequently point away from the Mexican-descent population at its core and toward a dream factory (Hollywood), consumer mecca (Rodeo Drive), or make-believe world (Disneyland). This symposium brings together artists, curators Chon Noriega, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, and Terezita Romo (pictured), and scholars to reconsider the history of L.A. art, not from the perspective of dreams, but as an ongoing dialogue about place.
The symposium schedule follows:
12 pm Welcome and Introduction
Marla Berns, Shirley & Ralph Shapiro Director, Fowler Museum at UCLA
L.A. Xicano Curators: Chon Noriega, Terezita Romo, and Pilar Tompkins Rivas
VIDEO: “Antepasados pero no pasado….”
Introduction by Tomas Ybarra-Frausto, Independent Scholar
Videos: Dora de Larios, Artist, and Roberto Chavez, Artist
PANEL: Archaeological Finds: Uncovering Chicano L.A. Art History
This panel focuses on the research process by which hidden histories are recovered, and some of the surprises and complications that follow.
Sandra de la Loza, Artist
Rita Gonzalez , Associate Curator, LACMA
Ruben Ortiz Torres, Artist
Chair: Tere Romo
2 pm VIDEO: “It is the artist’s function to act like a camera for society.”
Introduction by Colin Gunckel,Assistant Professor, American Culture and Screen Arts & Cultures, University of Michigan
Videos: Oscar Castillo, Los Dos Streetscapers, Los Four
2:15–2:45 pm BREAK
2:45 pm PANEL: Space, Place, and Race: Rebuilding L.A. Through Art
This panel considers how the arts have participated in community building in the face of residential segregation, urban renewal, and police riots.
Karen Mary Davalos, Chair and Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies, Loyola Marymount University
Reina Prado, Adjunct Lecturer, Glendale Community College
George Lipsitz, Professor, Department of Black Studies, UC Santa Barbara
Chair: Chon Noriega
4 pm DIALOGUE: The Future, Again….
Introduction by Pilar Tompkins Rivas
Arturo Ernesto Romo-Santillano, Artist, and Sesshu Foster, Poet & Writer
4:30 pm Concluding Remarks
4:45 pm Reception
Sponsored by the California Community Foundation.
L.A. Xicano: A Symposium on Art and Place
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Fowler Museum Auditorium