THE FREE & UNIMPEDED ACCESS TO ALL INFORMATION
The free and unimpeded access to all information by all people is necessary for the evolution of humanity, especially in regard to the challenges we face as a global community. The Internet MUST remain an open conduit of information that is uncensored and uninhibited by government. It must also not become cost prohibitive by allowing corporate telecommunication companies to siphon content by price tiering. Most of the art, writings, etc., here are my own or authored by friends and collaborators. If you see your work reposted here, know that it was culled online and available free of cost. If you would like me to take it down, I will, but not before I remind you that the grass-roots revolution occurring now, the collective evolutionary movement to end the plutocracy, relies upon the unhindered flow of information. If you don't want to see your work online, don't publish in the public domain! Contact: email@example.com.
For the sake of a single precious life
witness a hundred wars
welcome home a thousand soldiers from battle
as they return scarred, disfigured, missing limbs
poisoned, addicted, half-insane from atrocities
scorched into memory
committed or condoned
the things men do
to save a life or destroy another.
For the sake of one precious life
buy a few beers for the homeless veterans
playing chess on Market Street
listen to their commentaries
the twice-earned thrice-learned
street wisdom, their politics and songs
etiquettes, epitaphs, whispered elegies
while black's bishop planchettos white rook
trapped by a single resolute pawn
beneath a pall of San Francisco clouds
these men sacrificing their queen...
It's endgame, my friend, endgame...
For the sake of a all life
adopt a three-legged dog from the pound
serve Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter
carry a dead infant on your shoulders
see your parents into their graves
stand by their sweat-drenched beds
hear their screams for morphine, a sister long gone...
let it's ache hemorrhage inside you
peer into the cataract glazed eyes
of those who came before you
those who wiped your tears
bandaged your knees
held you on their laps
protected you from death
when the last expiration sloughs
across the lips that once kissed your brow
and the elders part the bardo gates
the portal to the unknown
mystery that only the true mystics
and seers have scratched its enigmatic facade opens
no pearly gates, no transcendent white light
just the gaping yaw of nonexistence
that swallows all and is no more...
For the sake of human lives
write poems—not love poems—
history has heard enough youthful scribbles
and histrionic cries for a lover whom they were not
even remotely ready for
fill the ghetto halls with the songs of those yet to be born
the generations who inherit our legacy
our spoils and our spoiled
our neurotic foraging for our desires to be quelled
open the apocryphal hymnal and pen your detuned
symphony, the bitter recapitulation:
a backwards tape machine
that slides the vicissitudes
between pineal and pituitary
every wart every fart
and as the last bits of memory
the crumbs of consciousness
are dissolved into oblivion
what final impressions
would you leave?
what is the culmination
of the moment that precedes
the last breath
the last spiral
Listen—with the attention that only the living
can barely muster. Listen—
with the focus of ten thousand monks
Listen—to the delicate crackle as the gasoline-soaked
epidermis blisters and blackens
the tiny percussion
of the self-immolated that thunders elsewhere
inevitably breaking a silence
much like the fabled forest
before the tree falls
listen to the dwindling echo
of your unstrung cochlea
falling in upon itself
and then the deafening silence...
Silence includes all noise
every siren and songbird
the clanging of prison doors
the familiar chatter of the crazies who inhabit the night
the whistle and duduk of the midnight minstrel
who sleeps in the alley and eats your trash
excommunicated blues of those we pushed away
or ate their hearts like the zombies we truly ache to be.
Because to think is already too much
to have to herd one's unpleasant thoughts
much less torrents of emotion so freakily splattered
across the akashic record for everyone and God
to witness like some tragicomedy we've never seen before
they say there's only eleven stories of humankind
not even a dozen dime store fables...
Let yourself grow old simply to experience
the prerequisite grace to feel oneself pale
before the eyes of the young
to feel disconnected from youth
and still know that the mark you left
on this life
its resinous ink
tattooed upon the perimeter
of the black hole
that we all are inextricably becoming
If the decision to shed this coil overwhelms you
what vestige of your ruined humanity will you leave me?
a trail of sanguine blood and maudlin marrow
splintered bone and shattered spirit
spent casings of a smoking gun—
I won't read great apologies
for the whom you thought you were
when you inhabited these realms
better you leave no trace, no gory fingerprint
smudge bone blood ash...
Sometimes the beauty becomes so intense
that it overcomes me, floods me
fills every greedy orifice until
all my hungry ghosts run
for a piece of desiccated dessert
humble crow pie.
Like Rilke's angels, I am consumed
by beauty's sheer terror... knowing
my life is so inevitably
in the penumbra of who we truly are—
Only this moment consoles me
the awareness of the blessedness
to be born a human being
in the midst of its glorious mess
and shitstained beauty
this slowcoming gratitude for life
for the sake of this human life.
January 12 2014
- Chris Sia, Editor, Lucifer in Handcuffs
|artist: Trent Nahas|
On December 1, Sid and I have been creating and exhibiting art in this relatively unknown gem of a space on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, conveniently just a few blocks from our home and studio. The entire building is encircled and tattooed with murals, graffiti, street art de rigueur that is curated monthly, and on the sidewalk in front, is an exemplary smattering of what lurks inside: eerily beautiful sculptures of metallic-clad female travelers burst from another dimension, partial busts hanging in air like alien stalactites; antique carnival and farm bits; mannequins; street art-festooned televisions, bicycles, mohawked buddhas, sometimes the owner's pets—an ebulliently affectionate pit bull appropriately named Mara—and Pallet Space mascot, the proclaimed Bad Cat—all this and the occasional patrons smoking outside next to the oil lamps flickering in the unusually crisp winter air.
Inside is what the purveyor has created: a collective artspace, borne from his antique shop—which is more of a curiosity shop and wonder cabinet— and art gallery. He has invited several artists to participate this winter in what could be described as a bazaar, featuring their art in his space, not only as gallery space but workspace as well. Purdey Darrow, the establishment's steward and proprietor, is almost always there when the doors are open, greeting everyone who steps through the portal... He doesn't exclude anyone, not even the half-crazies, muttering and sputtering, careening around vulnerable breakables, art pieces, etc. Purdey will tell you that they tend to find some solace within the space, that for a tenuous moment, they calm down, or perhaps all the information being piped in from the collective unconscious finds its way through a filter of art, eclecticism, and compassion. Purdey may be art's greatest cheerleader. It is common to hear him give a rousing pep talk to young artists and/or anyone who may harbor artistic potential. I have received a few myself, and seasoned as I am, his enthusiasm is infectious and greatly welcomed.
So tonight I am eschewing the clubs and bars and spending New Year's with the people I've been spending most of my time with and will be creating art, playing music, installing a couple pieces I've been working on site-specific. There's no cover charge: there never is, even for the Second Saturday live art and music that happens here every month.
Sid and I have been devoting all of our time and resources to the development of what is an entirely new creature for us: a space where we interact with the public and our art and offer it up for sale. It's the most challenging aspect of representing oneself, determining a monetary system to value one's creative expression and then communicate that, and the art, to another, whether enthusiastic or mildly curious, all tiers of our capitalist caste system. Until the perfect angel of a salesperson/manager enters our realms, I'm hawking art on San Pablo...
|Black Elk belt|
|Black Elk belt [posterior]|
|Nidhana-Petaka: "Hidden Treasure"|
artist: Chris Sia
|Virago: artist Chris Sia|
So you're invited.... to come see the plethora of work that's come out of us, solo and in our ever-evolving collaboration. We're all in.... as they say in cards, or sex.... We both feel good at this time, pouring everything into it, even as we make sacrifices to pay the bills. And we're continuing to expand, yep, Universe, we are anteing up... I've been saying for years now, "I make art because I have to." And now I've completely invested in it. If you need to augment your New Year's attire, we will custom couture your ass so you will outshine Jean Paul Gaultier, the U.S. Ice Dancing Team, Ru Paul's Drag Race and the late Kim Jong Il. Or just come by and say hello and have tea and we'll give you the tour. Say goodbye to 2013 with us. We're ready for a New Year.
|an –[em]bracer, our signature accessory|
I find myself writing this morning what could be an urgent plea or an eleventh hour request, detailing my current trials and challenges, but that is not the message I want to bridge the lapse in my communication/connection with you. Instead I want to extend an intimate invitation to the space, both physical and online, where the art I have been creating for the last two years, solo and in collaboration with Sid Gabriel, has recently gone up.
Walking between worlds as an artist, human being, and pilgrim, the liminal space that spans concepts in my artistic, intellectual and spiritual process surfaces as disjointed incoherencies, abstractions, diaphanous portals to the nebulous realms of mind. Through the process of improvisation, discovery, and revision--facilitated by trusting in the not-knowing and searching for narrative, meaning, definition--form emerges: thought, image, sound. Sometimes it's quick, other times it's a hundred edits. When I find myself stymied or stagnant, I put it aside, until I can see it again with fresh eyes, hear with clear ears, feel and think with unencumbered mind.
I once described myself as a multimedia or multi-platform and also multidisciplinary artist; however, all of these terms refer to various media being created simultaneously in one work, and not a single artist that works in many media, sometimes simultaneously, but more often, publishing, performing or presenting various artworks throughout one's career. What I find myself creating and expressing only comes through me, and where I find myself detaching from the identification with it is the same place where I am open to the form it takes.
My workflow has always been the process of layering and editing of media, whether it is electronic music, poetry, dance theater, mixed media assemblage, digital paint, photomanipulation, leather couture, cat collars... The process still excites and rewards me--to re-vision one's work, to revisit, to re-experience, to create something new off of a glimpse behind the curtain, a distant riff fading like a dream, to travel down an uncharted road and find something wholly different than where I started--this fills me with gratitude to live this life, able to express the world I perceive around me and the worlds conceived within me, at times profound, sometimes beautiful, other times horrific, graphic. I know there is a certain intensity that is the thread that sutures all these myriad forms together. Perhaps it is the culmination of the entire process of creating this body of work.
Sid and I opened up a retail space on December 1 to present our recent work. We have been making art together for eleven years now, and still discovering ways to co-create and collaborate. We have recently become leatherworkers as an endless stream of die-cut leather serendipitously filled our home and studio, currently around two tons, Sid predicts. Before December we were still just figuring out how to morph this pre-consumer industrial refuse into art you can wear. All of our time, energy and resources were engulfed by it, and three weeks ago we committed to being in a physical space seven days a week. And now after three months of challenges, hardship, deficit, we appear to be coming through the other side.
Today we are celebrating our store. We are part of this amazing space just a few blocks from our home, the Pallet Space. It's an amalgamation of antique store, artspace, gallery, and bazaar. Sid and I are featured artists through February and we are officially launching. I've been installing a few assemblages and creating a couple on site. We will be making art in the space, serving tea, fitting people in custom/one-off leather art, apparel and accessories, playing music all day and extending our normal hours til 10:00, later if there's demand for it. So please come by, see what we've been upto. If you can't make it, we have a photoblog:
and our online store:
Teaser images ...