Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kirkdify - Part 1: The Tallest Hooker on Earth [58]



Kirkdify
Williamsburg, BK
Kirkdify.tumblr.com
http://kirkdify.blogspot.com/


The Tallest Hooker on Earth


http://kirkdify.tumblr.com/post/3034300514/i-am-kirkdify
I wrote and recorded this piece to garageband on December 1st, 2010. I first performed it live, at PS 122 as part of a 16 person workshop with Tim Miller. More recently, this was performed live as part of the variety show "Muffins" produced by Stephen Michael Rondel. This second live performance included costume, dramatic, and mult-media elements as well as a live performance of my other music video RUACF. I hope to continue performing this piece in various forms and contexts. The Tallest Hooker on Earth is now a part of my YouTube channel, kirkdify, which exists as a performance art autobiography. It's not a metaphor, ok

The Tallest Hooker on Earth from kirkdify on Vimeo.



Kirkdify performed this piece in the East Village at PS 122, a performance art space co-founded by Tim Miller who is also responsible for organizing the workshop of which this performance was a part. Knead was first performed, in December 2010, by a group of 16 artists.

the tallest hooker on earth from kirkdify on Vimeo.



My name is Kirkdify. I have existed for nine months which is exactly how long I was with, and how long I’ve been broken up with, my ex boyfriend. I make autobiographical performance art. I’ve made over 300 videos. YouTube is the hub for, or main depository of, my video work. My photography is installed mostly on facebook. I’ve also constructed accounts on vimeo, buzzfeed, ilikemystyle, blogspot, tumblr, hypem, twitter, and others. I invented the name and persona kirkdify after being denied my requested screename for a gmail account. Kirkdify is my name as a verb. It is the persona I’ve constructed for myself as an artist, for when I am in action, for when I am making things. Kirkdify reflects a public identity similar to my personal and social identity. My emergence into the public arena was marked by the taking of a name, a new construction, partly in the spirit of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk on creativity. That and Eve Ensler’s talk on Embracing Your Inner Girl, were the two most temporally tangential video influences on Kirkdify.

My work is also informed by the four years I’ve spent in New York City attending NYU for theater. I studied theater as well as practiced. The continual coupling of theory and practice was one of the most rewarding parts of my education. I was able to extensively study the histories of theater and performance as well as continually do the thing. As my studies came to a close I experienced tremendous anxiety about my future. Also, I had just concluded my first romantic relationship – a dream highly valued by me as a gay man from rural Idaho.

My first youtube recording was born in a moment of desperation. Despairing with my roommate, friend, and associate Molly Vila, about our future, our lives and our selves I casually mentioned I had set up a Youtube account. She was immediately excited and from there we followed our impulses, or the impulses of the universe, and a current of energy carried us into costumes, to a piano, through a webpage tutorial, and within an hour we had pressed record on our first Youtube video. It was posted directly. That day we made as many videos as we could, with whatever clothing we had in our apartment, with whatever material we could think to present. Molly had written several songs already; I had written several as well. They were all performed. Other actions were fully improvised. This went on for several weeks: escaping, no using, our anxiety and our existence for hours at a time, coming up with ideas, playing together, off, on, and for the camera. Our initial collaborations are a joy for me to watch and ignited a project that continues to this day.

I intend to document my life on youtube as I see fit. I employ a combination of direct to camera addresses, live performances of original music and covers, music videos, art videos, readings, conversations, and performance art/theater pieces. My work is autobiographical. I use my body, personality, history, dreams, and point of view to generate visual and aural products.

My reasons for this continued production are varied. I enjoy it. I believe what I’m doing is important. I value the documentation of a subject by the subject himself as an historical as well as culturally relevant artifact. I wish to encourage people to follow similar desires. Make things. I think a society of subjects, perhaps a culture of artists, is a necessary requirement for a new economic system. A dream I hope to see manifest in reality.

I believe our economic system is the single largest killing force in human history. I would like to push the reset button and start over. That is a likely impossible. It is possible to push for progress through the quagmire of corruption, alongside everyone else who is doing the same, with everything you can think of.

Capitalism is a failed system. Participation in capitalism is coercive and mandatory for many. Often, there is a failure to see and identify the machinations of this system. How it consolidates and reconsolidates power in its own self-interest. How it controls the dissemination of information, art, power, freedom and ultimately consciousness. Direct and subversive resistance, not acceptance, complacence, compliance, rationalization, or subservience is the only option for me. This is true not just on a macro scale, but in the most intimate micro scale as well. My direct interpersonal relationships to power are informed by the same being that reacts against this patriarchal power establishment. The political is personal. I make personal art that is directly, intentionally, and overtly political.

For political and personal reasons I choose to not participate, or attempt to participate, in the American work force. I choose to follow my own professional goals regardless of monetary benefit. However, in order to pay rent and eat I solicit my body for sex. This is the least participatory way I can survive in our economic system. Obviously how I spend my money is very important to me. Though I wish it were not so. How I make my money occurs in the most excruciatingly perfect metaphor for the economic system of capitalism.

The most important consideration for me in assessing my own work, as well as the work of others, is the intention behind the work. Then we may consider the success the artist finds in meeting his intentions as well as any secondary results that have arisen from his labor. I value work where individuals can interpret their own meaning. I value work that is conceptual, while still requiring other skills, talents or labor. I trust in the universe and in the creative spirit that arises from within and shapes from without, or vice versa. I value work that is brave, personal, sincere, and inspirational. I consider the term art to be deployed deceptively by agents of the status quo and I’m suspicious of its canonization.

Kirkdify is intended to be both for myself and for an audience. It is catharsis. It is invention. Creation. Imagination. Reclamation of agency, of the future, of collective consciousness, of possibility. It plays off, and is informed/inspired by, traditions of Andy Warhol, Duchamp, Lady Gaga, Glee, Hegel, Levinas, Arendt, Chesterton, Wojnarowicz, Duse, Emerson, Tim Miller, Cindy Sherman, Lynda Benglis, Barbara Kruger, Laurie Anderson, Leigh Bowery, the futurists, positivism, constructivism, astrology, myth, the subconscious, Jung, diy, Reality TV, pop culture, queer culture, internet and Youtube culture, musical theater, performance art, activism, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, nyu and the wandering traveler fresh off the boat in New York City. It is - as am I - a pastiche of influences and inspirations, some filtered some not, some conscious some not.

Through my subjective channeling of these influences coupled with my own dreams, fantasies, visions, thoughts and intuition the work becomes and is original. I am acutely aware of and interested in my historical moment, especially in terms of gender, technology, power, politics, and identity. Kirkdify is intended to be an amalgamation of the most convenient subconscious portals, or reference points, in order to act and exist as a reflection of the current state of mind of a person of my age and background and historical moment.

This concept relates to something I recently read of Hegel’s about a new aesthetic culture in which all formal divisions are ignored and the artist is free to cull whatever movements, histories, techniques or references she/he is interested in. It is often the most recent things on my mind that make it into my work. Psychic tension is next alleviated. And hopefully a connection to a universal subconscious is made and transmitted through the work. I trust the universe to tell me when to create, which invariably leads to what I create. I think it is the responsibility of the artist to set the bar for what he/she considers art. We have a responsibility as citizens not to clutter the dialogue, but to enhance it.

My work isn’t intended to be good or bad. It is not intended to be a commodity. It is intended to be seen as a whole work, a body as singular thing, as well as compartmentalized and separate. The body is a metaphor as well as the thing in and of itself. Experiencer and experienced; mediator of internal and external. My work is intended to be a call for help and a claiming of my own agency. It is intended to be viewed in different contexts, to be displayed in exhibits, to be interactive, to combine genres. The content is intended to be extensive. That’s part of it. It is intended to be a representation of a time and a place. It is intended to be stream of consciousness. Either/both and/or neither/nor. It is intended to be new, to grant permission to myself and to the audience, as well as instructional, a learning experience, a new comparison, establishment, side of a coin, end of a pole. To explore subjective coincidences, to implant coincidences for the viewers to follow. It is intended to be given up to the universe and born from the universe.

The work is informed by my spiritual point of view. That we exist in a universe of paradox. It is the acceptance, not attempted resolution, of two opposing poles that is the goal for me. Everything is because nothing is. Everything exists because its opposite exists. The poles actually meet at their infinite ends becoming a loop. Moving, locating, identifying yourself and your positions in a universe of polarities is freedom. The clearer and easier I can be about who I am, where I am, and what I’m doing from moment to moment the freer I can be. Awareness is the first step. I believe that we are both agents and victims, subjects and objects. We have utter free will and our every move is pre-determined. Fate and destiny are luck and chance. Specificity breeds universality. There is an after and this is all. The universe doesn’t make mistakes. It makes everything. It transcends the good/bad and/or any other binary/label in existence becoming everything and nothing. Always becoming. I interact with it by following my sense of truth. It is intentionally accidentally unfathomable. We must surpass logic, the mind, senses, bodies and existence to even imagine transcending to a point of understanding. We are a part of it just as everything else. I live in service to the universe, and I live to change the universe.

(Source: kirkdify.blogspot.com)

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