All in People

Jamuna Shrestha

I may or may not stalk other Nepalis. When I see a racially ambiguous brown person with a South Asian name or hear the slightest hint of a Nepali accent, my mental gears start turning. I don’t always say hi, sometimes I just sit nearby and hear the soft hum of Nepali families in action.

Nicole Shaffer

Nicole and I sit in her art studio. Or rather we lay together on one of their works in progress -- a piece she conceives of as a “bench” at the moment, covered in light pink carpet with a large, central crystalline gape lined with sharp pink halite clusters. We have to adjust our bodies to lay on our sides around the bubbling, cubic, pink hole between us. So much like a cunt I’m simultaneously turned on and aware I’m being tugged into an undercurrent of material seduction.

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson is rolling a blunt on live television. Tonight’s the opening reception for the group show Forever, a Moment: Black Meditations on Time and Space at San Francisco’s SOMArts, and the dorm-sized Zenith rests atop the middle of several stands, each holding a copy of Wilson’s loose leaf poetry…

A Conversation between Jerónimo Rüedi & Kit Schluter

“We wanted to see what would happen if there was a space in the city that wasn't trying to sell you anything. The idea was to rent a private space and make it public. And to put our private book collections there, and make them public, too. This might end up sounding like Marxist propaganda, but we thought, and we still think, that the people need spaces that exist on the margins of capitalist logic. [Raises fist in the air, like a good Communist.]”

Barbara Browning + j.j. Mull

I haven’t received your letter, so this one will cross it in the mail. You’d suggested such a possibility yourself, which I liked—like two people speaking to each other at the same time without being able to hear each other, but maybe later it will sound like a conversation.

Emerson Whitney + Claire Boyle

I used to be really proud of the flaming chili pepper on from a while ago. And, also really proud of the fact that on, nobody knows my pronouns, which is hysterical in that format because the entries somehow alternate pronouns one after the other. Which I now find completely amusing.

Claire Buss + Hannah Kingsley-Ma

An important thing to me is intention even when we’re doing a bit that is aggressively stupid. I don’t like things that are weird just for weird sake, or like some Burning Man shit. I want everything we do to have a reason for being there. Some of the more outlandish things we’ve done include: trapping our contestants in a micro-studio built live on stage, an elaborate flashback narrative that involved a 1950s set sitting on top of our regular set, a high school drumline surprising the audience with a very long digression, a too-long ode to Las Vegas, and unleashing a wet dog to run through the audience.

Yosefa Raz + Leora Fridman

The ecstatic is another theme I see consistently in your work, along with the disappointment involved in existing alongside the search for the ecstatic. I see in your work something I connect to other poets of Occupy Oakland: a piling-on, a constant over-fullness, a desire for complete inclusion of experience, specifically including mess.

Julio Linares + Sophia Dahlin

You bring so much gusto to everything, Julio, as if you were totally unafraid, but your art makes me think that you live in a world that vibrates with danger. And to choose to make art, each time, is difficult enough. How do you bring yourself to grab your paintbrush, that snake-birthing snake? Does it scare you?

Davey Davis + Andrea Abi-Karam

I’ve long been drawn to the epistolary exchange between writers. Before I was involved in any sort of creative community, I turned to these exchanges with an urgent desire to know what it was like to be a part of a network of people thinking, writing, & fucking. The unarchived moments of what precedes the published book, the historic performance, what were they thinking about & what were they wearing.

Thanh Hằng Phạm + Jeannine Ventura

I feel some deep shifts happening as well as a need to keep going. I’m thinking about what it takes for us to connect deeply to ourselves, be our very most and help our friends, family and community to be their very most without being sucked up in capitalist and ableist ideas around “proving yourself/productivity.”

Mary Welcome + Nicole Lavelle

Undefined spaces in places and in relationships often are the most productive ground for creative thinking, problem-solving, digging deep, and transformation. I spend a lot of my relational practice working to draw community members together in new ways/venues, in order to establish veins of solidarity that relationships can grow out of. So maybe it’s more about water-witching for compassion points, rallying moments, and unity energy—and knowing that I can lean hard on those powerful hot spots in order to navigate difficult differences.

Jasmine Gibson + Ra Malika Imhotep

two writing-ass blk wimmin connected via email to discuss our relationship to drapetomania—“the disease causing negroes to run away.” one a mental health practitioner. the other phd student. both drawn to poetics as a medium of articulation. both kind of into black women performers in vintage porn. both curious about the other’s work.

Kwame Boafo + Dongyi Wu

I decided to look at the fringes of these markers and present a performance that will not feed into the narrative. I remember after one of my performances a Japanese friend came to me and was like, “When I read that a Ghanaian and a Nigerian are performing, I thought it was going to be a beautiful dance but no, you guys talk about serious issues, it was dark and too much for me.” So immediately you see you’ve deflated their Expectations 101. Now you can have a genuine and proper conversation on the performance.

"Sometimes I feel like it's a little boring to just tell your own story over and over again"

Sometimes, Pete told me, he needed to ask his crew, “White people also do this, right? And they’d all be like, ‘Yes.’ As an Asian-American filmmaker, you’re very wary of someone not getting your culture right.” Pete didn’t want to turn around and do the same thing even if, we agree, white people are over-represented in popular culture. “I still feel like I have a responsibility to reflect things honestly.”