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by Gerd Stern
? WHO R U & WHAT’SHAPPENING ? wuz title of our first multimedia in the early nineteen sixties and is still a question to be asked about now. In 2011 already Phill Niblock and Katherine Liberovskaya and Gerd (me) spent over a week in Lisbon Portugal, where whomever thought I would be but some thirty years ago in a wheelchair with lady Isabel Ernesto de Sous arrived from there and I helped Phill to set up his mediation which was good and heavy stuff. Now dead the foundation in his name has a fellowship for media art each year and Phill asked me to be 1 of 7 including him to jury, which in addition to a glorious lunch exposed us to a large cohort of young Portugese artists all digitallly super literate and proposing such fantasies and spectacles that it was hard to pick one
but we did.
In addition at a bar/club Move Katherine and I performed, me (Gerd) reading some of my many recently writ poemlets like bephorisms, headpoems, helppoems, ovepoems with a maskool bass player John Klima who gigs as a game programmer. With those poems I sang bits of old songs like “Cement Mixer Putty Putty” and “Alexander Is A Swoose” o a couple of nites later
us three Katherine video projection, Phill sound what they once called “concrete” and me on the mike at a big art center mansion
initialed zdb or Ze dos Bois. Standing room only and receptive. Lisbon streets at night are fullfull of hangers out like crowds you have to push through but friendly and made quite a few while feeling groovy.
In the meantime Lothar Simon from Nuremberg and I have gotten back together on his writing a program “Poemaker” which can be screen played to choose your words and with selected fonts, colors, sizes dragged around to geometrize what I do with scissors and glue for the poem collages.
Just finished editing “Venice Cantabile” nine minute video DVD of walls, pavements, doors, rained window antennas with churchbells strung out and shot last August when Judith and I artists in residence at Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice. Wht a fantabulous month in every way and accomplishment plus seeing a long ago friend plus making a handful of newsies. And judith is just finishing her Venetian article for th next issue of Na’amat Woman.
Also finished a nearly hour long CD edit, edited four times within the last year, of Huey P. Newton on the Black Panther Party, oneof four CD’s out of eight hours I recorded of the two of us in “seventy three. We were gonna make a film, which didn’t happen but brilliant and tragic he’s long gone and missed. The head of the Huey P. Newton Foundation, David Hilliard and by me Intermedia Foundation are working together on a video/film project as well as audio. Off this early April week to the Bay Area to video a number of still with us Panthers and David, whose powerful autobiography will provide a historic edit backbone.
And the USCO church at Garnerville, our old studio head quarters which is in sad physical shape and without an occupancy permit.
We are emptying the space and are hoping to find funding, grants, donations to restore and renovate so that there can be an artist in residence, an exhibition gallery of USCO work and history and public space for meetings, workshops, performances. Just last month a twenty page profusely illustrated article was published by CAA’s Art Journal, written by art historian Michel Oren, “USCO -Getting Out Of Your Mind To Use Your Head” Michel started writing about us while he was attached to the Smithsonian about forty years ago and got back into it a few years ago. It really swings. We’ll try to get it up on this web.
More from Intermedia soonest…