My intention is to live wildly and lovingly, be(coming) dynamic self/ves, interacting and learning from the bodies and wisdoms of other self(ves). My intention is to incorporate and nurture the changing body. My intention is to use BODY, WORDS, VOICE, MUSIC, EPHEMERA, IMAGERY, to create dialogue around the questions and concepts that feel URGENT and keep me fascinated and ENGAGED with the world. I practice THROUGH and WITH my body (I try not to plan too much what it will do). I WRITE and use recorded and spoken TEXTS and words written on papers and screens, I want to communicate texts in ways that feel good. I use the medium of MUSIC and song, drawing from many traditions, like my mother singing rounds with me as a child. MUSIC is a shapeshifter that calls for creativity in its presentation, in its improvisation and in the act of its repetition. I examine the various SIGNIFIERS carried by clothing and costume on bodies, nudity and the skin that holds our bodies. I experiment with the presentation of my BODY in various CONTEXTS–gallery, stage, bedroom, concert hall, squat. I am in constant dialogue with various selves, with the exploratory sexual body and the body that plays and presents on stage, with the writer body and the body at work. Some of what I do was recently featured on ARTE’s TRACKS.
I produce electronic music and create multimedia performances with my polypartner TUSK for our technoshamanistic project HYENAZ, which is a life project. We are scavengers, shapeshifters and androgynous creatures whose soundscapes spring from the surplus and detritus of civilization’s cultural and consumerist material. We think a lot about how to create the fabric of music entirely from found sounds, how to make a bass synth from buzzing insects. We are learning and conversing with the world around us, a world that is increasingly harder to SURVIVE in without amassing MONEY. We are challenging ourselves to live with LESS and interact with the world MORE. We are currently presenting our group ritual, an experimentation in focused energy–CRITICAL MAGIC–in a transparent process/workshopping phase called Probability Praxis. We are also now in the sounds-gathering and direct action/volunteering phase of our project on MIGRATION and BODIES IN MOTION called FOREIGN BODIES.
For many years I have been exploring, moving within, singing and writing about a concept that I call ALIVE:ness — the extent to which OTHERS are ALIVE TO US — and have been investigating this idea relative to the contemporary digital context in which we live, one in which we are divided by geopolitical borders and encouraged to draw personal and moral boundaries between self and other. I have been writing about our tendency to COUNT and MEASURE and to CREATE HIERARCHIES and CATEGORISE our experiences, to DIVIDE ourselves. It is my intention to queer my identity in the world, to see myself as SIMILARLY DIFFERENT with all the queer bodies in the world. I sing, create music, move and incorporate my texts into a multimedia project with acclaimed guitarist Jaco Bertacco aka Tide of Sound, that we call Mad Kate | the Tide. I am given the opportunity to explore many genders and identities in a multimedia, hyperlinked and textual approach to live and recorded musical performance.
My performative, artistic selves and my sexual selves are deeply integrated; these are all examinations and explorations of my body in various contexts. My work as a performer is in constant dialogue with the various ways that I practice sex, all of which I see as valuable and similarly different (partnered, paid, casual, anonymous, etcetera). I wish certain types of sex weren’t stigmatized because I know there is deep power and wisdom available to us in the playfulness of sexual encounters. I believe that like performative play, sexual play offers us the possibility of imagining ourselves and our partners as differently bodied, it can undo deeply held assumptions about borders between bodies and hierarchies between bodies. Investigating those power dynamics and playfully imagining ourselves as one and the same has far reaching implications for how we interact with the world and take on responsibility for each other. These are all themes which are investigated in my life’s questions, brought into every realm of my artistic and sexual personas.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how my poly-queer-identities dialogue with my sense of home, so I dreamed up a concept I call POLY-HOME-FULL. I am relating these ever-widening senses of home(s) to how I interact with the world as performer, as sex worker, as parent, as activist, as advocate. It is a decentralized sense of home that is tethered to people and energy. I feel that the structure of capitalism does not value the lives of poor and marginalized people; that marginalization is built into the capitalist structure itself. I believe that every one of us plays our role in continuing the structure, even those of use who are actively trying to tear it down. I am trying in some small ways to minimize my waste and divest from the cycle of consumption by sharing a large collection of costumes, masks, wigs, jewelry, fabrics, and inventive props with fellow artists so that we can re-use, up-cycle, and share our creations. Anyone can come by and take a look inside Carni Closet, located in the back of the Berlin boutique, EXIT.
I got my MFA in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies with an emphasis in Gender and Sustainable Development from the University of California, Berkeley. I loved school and I love learning. But I never wanted to just study OTHER BODIES so I had to take MY BODY out of the academy and experiment THROUGH and WITH it. I want to share my writing and especially engage with my readers. I try to blog regularly in my LOVE LETTERS. My writing has also appeared in among other places, Bend Over Magazine, Z Magazine, Bitch, Other , Off Our Backs, ExBerliner, and the online exhibit, Imagining Ourselves: A Global Generation of Women, a project by the International Museum of Women.
There will never be enough time to explore all the different genders I would like to inhabit. But in each of the personas I explore, the through-line has been my intellectual and artistic interest in the politics of borders–both between bodies and within bodies. This pursuit has manifested itself in many forms–whether it be interviewing women who live in rural farming cooperatives in Nicaragua and Haiti; advocacy of immigrants and political asylum seekers in the Bay Area; teaching creative writing inside the San Francisco Women’s Jail; sex / work / performance /art; critical and creative writing; or diving off the stage into a crowd of rowdy pogo punks while singing with my band.