aow 12

The notes from this year’s AOW are finally together, about to be posted to the Brown site. Below – a quick digest in two parts…

HIGHLIGHTS (The short of it: 2p)



How do you hold your world to its center?

How is your center an art –

the saving of a life?

People offer most value when they are what you least expect in a certain place

But you’re there, choosing to be first in discovery…

then later, negotiations

Scoring all these voices… and displacement feeds the writing

Cook a lot

Pay tithes

Someone collapses and run to wrap

Find the questions – Gertrude Stein on her deathbed had questions


I sustain myself as a peacebuilder and artist of living

By constructing a model of the world that allows it to shatter over and over again

Because we have capacity to hold contradictions and there’s beauty in that


A realization this year –

I’m trying to make things one thing

To bring myself and my political work back together to where I want them to be

Everything is one thing, and everything must fall apart;

The power of art speaks beyond what we can understand in the moment

And it is so important artists don’t get afraid


I feel the most grounded when I’m learning. It’s difficult trying to be a teacher

If I’m not creating I get depressed

The question of productivity

When I don’t immerse myself, the world/the work gets too heavy

We need language and its difficulty

Ritual reality (opposed to material, objective reality) is a way of being; earth centric/homeopathic

Institutionally produced art is opposed to my ritual art

But – we can redirect institutional resources

Switching from art gladiators to art families

Structure in the creative process is crippling when it pulls you away from your center (home/family)

A home is a better structure than an institution – how do we make more homes?


The name of the artist is alive in community

The earth is our drum and who we are is our troupe


What is? How do I have the opportunity to create right now?

The activism of presence: not a mask, but a shedding of shields

As moved as moving – allowing ourselves to be made poor by poverty –

To have no need for metaphor, to be in the metaphor, and not its critique

This is the secret face of forgiveness



Give life over

Home is a practice

Truth + translation

And perseverance inevitably (providentially)

leads to collaboration

Change directions

Lead with breast or shoulder or butt; run backwards; jump up and roll and run and over again;

Walk around with eyes closed; walk around as close as possible to other people

So many long debts


The last time I worked she was mad at me for not making the kind of work I used to

So I did

She said

Yes to my idea, an opportunity comes and you say

Yes our malformations are beautiful


Our way into heaven


Immortality in the medium of mortality


Is a place of becoming

Climb down to find a way up and out

There’s an obstacle-wolf

And the world is soundproof

“What can you take from me now? You’ve taken everything else.”

I hope there’s hope and that

Nobody ends up with nothing

It’s your secrets that make you seen

Address physical mercy

The premise: our actions change reality

The relationship of schools and prisons:

they are businesses and force conformity

to the market

“Our communities

Are built on slave labor.”

Ten cents an hour

Handling toxic materials

Survivors have to survive a new culture;

(One doesn’t survive without remaking the culture)

Turtle and magpie:

Carry your home on your back; thrive

As a collector

Joy is the work

“There’s nothing sweeter or better than growing wings”

Have wings; expand from there


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