22 August 2005

How excited am I?!

I just returned from a chance encounter with a large percentage of the top-secret, undercover, internationally-dispersed artists about whom I'm writing in my dissertation. I should back up.... My friend Lynn Hershman just finished shooting a film on Steve Kurtz, of Critical Art Ensemble, and she invited me to a dinner with Steve and others, this evening. It was so fun! I was already deeply into Steve's case and work, and I was immediately endeared to him. I sat next to him and Lise Swenson, at dinner, and across from Kenneth Baker (who drew some interesting connections between the art world and the world of pro boxing!) and Josh Kornbluth, who has just started shooting the first few episodes of his new KQED interview show, the Josh Kornbluth Show. Josh and I seem to have had a few chance encounters of our own, starting with when I accidentally sat next to him at a screening of Lynn's film, Teknolust, in which he starred, and then more recently when he was a "judge" for my performance at the Berkeley Art Museum, which he kept telling people, tonight, was "quite charming." Aw, shucks.... Anyway. Afterwards, we all strolled over to Tosca, where I was pleasantly surprised to run into members of the Institute for Applied Autonomy, the Yes Men, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Center for Tactical Magic, and a handful of other super smart, interesting filmmakers and hacktivists. Thomas Jay Ryan (who's playing Steve, in Lynn's film) took what's sure to be an historic group photo, just as the opera music was cranked-up in order to encourage our departure. And though Thomas was toting a non-digital camera (to the techies' amusement), he promised he'd get multiples developed and send one to Steve, so that he can scan it and email it to me. Should it ever arrive in my inbox, I'll post a copy here and as an appendix to my dissertation--should it ever arrive in the hands of a publisher! In the meantime, if you've not already done so, please make yourself familiar with the FBI's ridiculous case against Steve Kurtz and consider make a donation to his legal defense fund. The ACLU hooked him up with a great defense team (knock on motherboard), but their fees are quite high, due to the scale of the case.

Update: Ken interviewed Steve, during dinner, and wrote this piece for for the 8/23/05 SF Chronicle. [Backup link.]

2nd Update: Lynn sent me the photo above, which was taken earlier in the day. I'm still holding out for the party-time pic that includes myself...


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