I performed a piece called BAD GIRLS (Toot Toot, Beep Beep) in January on Ear Meal Webcast with my friend Gabie Strong on guitar and feedback. Ear Meal is Alan Nakagawa's project that invites performance artists engaged in sound work to do longer work on camera and for an online audience. It was a bit of a challenge to wrap my head around performing for an absent audience, or to imagine a different way of giving my work and putting my faith out in that the reception of it would be as committed by anyone sitting on the other side of a computer screen.
Anyway, the piece itself is a continuation piece I first did two years ago for the LA VS WAR event curated by several people. The performance component was curated by Amitis Motevalli. BAD GIRLS (Toot Toot, Beep Beep) of course is a reference to Donna Summer, but it's a song that carries a particular psychic load in that it is what LA Sheriff deputies would blast from their patrol cars at dawn as women were being released from the Sybil Brand Institute in City Terrace, a neighborhood in East Los Angeles. Sybil Brand isn't there anymore though, it had closed down due to earthquake damage from the quake centered in Northridge in 1994.
BG (TT, BB) is also working for me as a meditation on maternity and the liminal space I inhabited as someone who got close to previously incarcerated women dealing with custody issues with family and the state and as someone who was seeing friends working with the state to foster children whose mothers were unable to care for them due to mental and addiction issues.
Yes, lots of issues, but this performance is not a news stand. I can assure you of that. Gabie Strong provides the dissonant soundscape for my 29minute stream-of-consciousness mantra making about the ambivalence that alternative motherhood produces within the confines of state-sanctioned structural violence.
I've never been a mother. I don't intend to become one though I think we're always in these loose networks of familial kinships without having to avow the hierarchical relation structures.