I packed a backpack, suitcase, and the 5 foot canvas heart to bring to the space–(the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts). Called my friend John at the last minute when I realized how heavy the stuff was to see if I might get a ride. He was busy. So I dragged all of it–amp, microphone, insane-amount-of-battery-eating boombox, extra batteries, art supplies, paper, extra hearts and all sorts of clothing, accessories, umbrella(it’s been pouring sporadically)–to the bus stop, onto the lurching danky bus, onto the BART train, up a long ass staircase, to the Center.
The security guard recommended I set up outside, in a little painted nook, as there would be a band playing right outside the center, and he thought my presence would lure in street traffic. I agreed to this. It’s a nice little space!
I set up the area. The sign with the pink heels as paperweights says “Valentine’s Day Alienation–I’m taking it all on so you don’t have to. armchairperformer.com”
The hearts were designed/spray painted/stomped on/rolled over with tires by the wonderful Jenny Mitchell.
The pic on the right occured a few hours into the piece. Everything got a touch cluttered.
I brought a cd of some of my music, including a piece I put together special for the event. The following video is a montage of usable video clips set to that piece of music. I spliced it in and out of the band’s music. When they started playing, it paused my spoken performance, which gave me time to dance, awkwardly hold signs, do sit ups ,and lie down and stare at the sky. In spite of all the clothing I lugged along with me, I decided to just stay dressed in the clothing I had on. I did paint my face more dramatically than usual.
I made the signs spontaneously. When I felt they’d served their purpose, I shredded them and stuffed the entrails into a lace heart-shaped pillowcase. Some of the messages I recall writing:
“I have fear I nobody I’ll love will ever love me.–anonymous” (this one drew in a man who said he knew the feeling. I asked him to tell me his heartbreak story and then regretted it, as the resentment-ridden tale of crack addiction went on for a mighty long time. I finally told him this story was getting a bit too epic and he went away. I didn’t ask anyone else to tell me a story.)
“Happy Valentine’s Day. I have to go to the bathroom.”“Smile! Somebody loves you! (probably)”
“I love my grandma. “I have remained on this heart all day. I only get off of it to go to the bathroom. I have gone to the bathroom one time.” “I am nobody. Somebody has to be a Nobody. Then, when Nobody Loves You, Somebody Loves You!”
My grandma loves me.
I love you.
My grandma loves you.
Do you love me? Do you love my grandma?”
“I love my grandma.
“I have remained on this heart all day. I only get off of it to go to the bathroom. I have gone to the bathroom one time.”
“I am nobody. Somebody has to be a Nobody. Then, when Nobody Loves You, Somebody Loves You!”
I did read Love Stories From Hell people sent me. Due to the presence of children, I had to edit certain matters.
A number of people asked me what I was doing. I basically said “This.”