Wednesday, 25 August 2010

zine cover art in teal triggs' new book

Cover shots of two of my zines, 'UK Ladyfest Artwork Zine' (2007 - somehow I managed not to include the cover on this PDF version of the zine - glad it's been captured by Teal elsewhere then!!) and the really old 'I'm Not Waiting: Doin It Yrself Now' (2003?) are to feature in the wonderful Teal Triggs' new book 'FANZINES' which is to be published by Thames & Hudson, Oct 2010.

Thanks Teal xox

laura mckellar interview on pikaland

My new interview with the wonderful Laura McKellar is now up here on the Pikaland site. I heart Laura's work big time!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

purple rhinestone eagle are heading over the ocean

Purple Rhinestone Eagle - The European Tour 2010 - looks a little something like this:


1rd september @Madame Moustache, Brussels, BELGIUM
3rd september @Le Sfero (squat), St. Etienne, FRANCE
4th september @Sonic, Lyon, FRANCE
7th september @Le dynamo, Toulouse, FRANCE
8th september @La pequena Bety, Madrid, SPAIN
9th september @Moog, Barcelona, SPAIN
10th september @El Refugio del Crápula, Zaragoza, SPAIN
14th september @Rhiz, Vienna, AUSTRIA
15th september @Kapu, Linz, AUSTRIA
16th september Leipzig
17th september @SO36 (ladyfest berlin), Berlin, GERMANY
18th september @ AZ, Cologne
19th september @AJZ, bielefeld (with cloak/dagger)

22nd September - Swansea, UK
@ Bar Sigma w/ Woolf, Trash Kit and more tbc

23rd September - Bristol, UK
@ Midnimo Centre w/ Trash Kit and Bellies

24th September - Glasgow, UK
@ Nice N Sleazy w/ Comanechi and DIVORCE

25th September - Leeds, UK
@ Upstairs at Mook w/ Trash Kit + more tbc

26th September - London, UK
@ Korsan Bar w/ Trash Kit, Woolf, Italian Casuals and Truly Kaput and Unskinny Bop DJs

27th September - Manchester, UK
@ TBC!/event.php?eid=148306088532699&ref=mf

Tour organised by the bloody ace Em Ledger xox

Thursday, 19 August 2010

lynnee breedlove on kathy acker - an interview

Bloody ages ago in 2009 I did an interview with Lynnee Breedlove. I thought I'd put it up here for folks who want to read it. The interview was about inspirations...

Lynnee Breedlove is the founder/frontperson/main yeller of the first American out dyke punk band Tribe 8. Tribe 8 has always stood for queer, transgender, multiracial, and working class visibility, and influenced and inspired the hell outta me in my late teens.
Lynnee is also the author of the highly acclaimed autobiographical novel – Godspeed - later converted into Godspeed the short film. Lynnee has also toured regularly with the spoken word troupe, Sister Spit.
Most recently though, Lynnee has been touring the world with One Freak Show, a solo, queer, punkrock spoken word/ standup comedy show on transgender bodies, feminism, family, and "community." It was after the Leeds and Manchester shows and subsequent workshops that this interview, about the influence of American writer Kathy Acker happened…

How have the shows/the tour been going so far in the UK/Europe?

Great. I was reminded that English and American are two different languages. Not to mention my own made up words and the fact that I am a member of one of the most miniscule cultures in the world: sf queer transfeminist. So I drew pictures like I do for Germans and Frenchies, and it helped a lot.

What is ‘One Freak Show’ all about, for those who haven’t seen it?

It’s about being a bridge between warring factions that are supposed to be on the same side but aren’t. It’s about being a no-op transguy who is not a real fill in the blank. Doesn’t measure up to anyone’s standards but his own.

Thinking about this interview, I recently read Tobi Vail state,

‘as with any oral history, my favorite part is listening to those involved track their influences. It involves hours of research and hanging out, [with] people who have been around longer than you, asking them questions, listening to how they discovered what means the most to them and learning how what they unearthed evolved into their own art and how it provided them with the tools to create a meaningful existence and try to change things via be more than a realize your place in history....that history forms you ...and then to try and use that same methodology to impact future use being in a band or making a fanzine as a way to create the world you want to exist...and to recognize that this is totally possible because it has happened before and it will happen again.’

In thinking about this, how important to you was knowing and working alongside/under Kathy Acker, as somebody who had ‘gone before’, doing what you were embarking on doing at the time (writing)?

Kathy was a queer leather clad Harley Davidson riding gnarly death bitch. We were all posers. She had her shit together but had been to some dark places. She had risen to a place of power in academia and used it for good, still bringing in the punks and encouraging us to make art out of whatever we were doing. She was a mom and a big sister to us. We all need older role models to bring us up. She believed in us. We needed someone who was like us to believe in us. Our parents didn’t get it. But we needed parenting. She said ok, so you’re a bike messenger. Write about it. She validated our experience, instead of what I was doing which was more ephemeral, in the moment, and just out of total self destruct mode, flying through life. She encouraged me to chronicle it as I went.

Kathy’s writing classes encouraged you, with Kathy telling you to write as a result of your attendance; leading to Godspeed chapter 1 being written (and beyond)

How important to you were those classes?

The classes were the seed of the writing community that supports me today. Writing is lonely work. We need each other to read to , to listen, comment on each others work.

What were they like? (format/ideas shared/atmosphere)

Kathy would talk about some esoteric shit I didn’t comprehend, then read some Bataille or de Sade I didn’t comprehend. Then she would tell us to write then we would read what we wrote. Sometimes there were shows where her students would read and the rest of us would listen.

Who attended?

We were punks, queers, whores, strippers, messengers, junkies, survivors. Many of us went on to become university professors and published writers like Daphne Gottlieb and Anna Joy Springer. Some died of AIDS. Some died of overdoses. But what we created was a moment in time that would inspire all of us to keep passing on that encouragement: “write.”

What was it about Kathy’s presence that was so inspiring?

She was a badass. She didn’t take any shit, she was an intellectual, and she did shit like jerk off and write like Jean Genet and challenged us to do it too. She brought the ghosts of literary heroes into our lives. She brought queer history to life. She lived it.

I read that those classes were secret, open classes that Kathy did (unpaid) in order to make such education open to poor punx (etc).

Well the cool thing was she got paid by SF Art Institute and she held them at a pub called Edinburgh Castle where anyone could come in addition to the students that were paying tuition.

How did you hear about them / become involved/active?

Anna Joy, one of the singers of Blatz, a punk band at Gilman Street who did a split 45” with us called Bitches and Brew, brought me. I thought she was the hottest most fascinating babe on the planet so whatever she told me to do I did.

How important do you think it was that it was Kathy’s intention to increase accessibility to writing in that way?

She put her money where her mouth was. She modeled integrity. And she let us know that punks and academia were not mutually exclusive. Where I went to school, I was the only queer punk stomping around in a Mohawk and a leather jacket with a skull painted on the back. So for her to say yeah you are writing something important and you don’t have to put on a suit to do it, that was different than what my parents and my school said.

And, as a result, is this something you too also hope to achieve by performing internationally to punk/DIY/queer crowds, and by doing associated workshops?.. To increase those waves of participation?

I do feel we created community through art, we encouraged each other to talk about our lives intimately in a public forum, politically, humorously, wildly. I do want to pass on that gift.

Kathy believed in the performative function of language.
I know that verbal expression is really important to you – as heard in Tribe 8 lyrics; there’s a definite urgency there to be heard and understood.
However, did Kathy’s ideas of the performative function of language lead (in part) to your wish to present your writing as spoken word performance; performance that elicits audience attention?

Before then I had written for 25 years, journals, poems, but it was private. Yes, I handed them to girls, but I never read them aloud in front of an audience. I had performed other people’s work onstage since I was a kid though, so it was natural for me to fuse the two forms.

Going back to talking about punk, and performing to punk audiences, how influential to your current work is your punk background / present?

It’s integrated. When I perform solo shows, comedy, it’s in your face, funny, naked, impertinent, asking questions designed to wake people up.
I am working on a book with my mom, working title, How I Became an American Anarchist. It’s about not understanding what’s happening politically as a child but being a product of it anyway, and later as an adult putting it all together and choosing actions based on a retrospective analysis.

Do you still believe punk is about Intellect, Education, and Social Commentary?

Yeah. That sounds right. Why, did I say that? It’s also about humor. I know I am at a punk show when I am cracking up. There’s all this jumping around and childlike stuff. It’s about freedom, not censoring yourself. The government will take care of that. It’s our responsibility not to hold back.

Kathy too was deeply entrenched in punk, and this showed in her portrayals of subcultures, and in her experimental/anarchic approach to literature that created her transgressive writing style.
Was Kathy’s body of work influential to you; in terms of it confounding expectations of what fiction should be? (i.e. showing you that fiction could be transgressive and punk and queer)

She was a balls out plagiarer. She said, “That’s right. I plagiarized it. What. Men have plagiarized women forever. Anon. is a woman. Shut the fuck up.”
That told me I could freely incorporate pop culture into my work without trying to come up with something new under the sun. It was punk for me to admit that I was a product of pop culture, that I was old, and quote a led zeppelin song, without worrying, oh they’re not punk enuff, I have to prove I am cool, all this self conscious bullshit. I felt free to just be as uncool as I was, and that I had the balls to admit it, that made me cool.

I see a huge parallel in the use of “queer theory” and queerness in yours and Kathy’s writing and performance.
Kathy’s work [not to sound too poncey] was incredibly post-structuralist and deconstructive. She played with characters and autobiographical personas and pronouns, upsetting conventions, and thus opening up gender possibilities (in a time before this was to become more commonplace).
Her writing wasn’t universal writing that would be maintaining a skewed concept that rested on normativity.
Was this encouraging to the queerness of your work to come? To you, as a no-op trans writer?

I actually never read Kathy. I knew Kathy. It was who she was and who we all were together in the bearded Lady cafĂ©, dykes reading to each other about acting out politically incorrect straight rape fantasies on our girlfriends that let me know, like Pat Califia let me know, like diet popstitute, and all the homocore queens and fags and dykes and transsexuals, it didn’t matter what our bodies were or what anyone told us feminism was or what rules we had to adhere to. We were going to break down every barrier that we had built for ourselves. We stood by as each of us did it brick by brick. Kathy stood with us shoulder to shoulder. It didn’t matter if I understood Foucault. What mattered is Kathy and all of us stood up for each other’s right to be any kind of fucked up way we wanted to be. As long as we wrote it and lived it and made art and made it funny or hot as long as it was smart and called society on its shit by saying what real people felt. Thanks to her I read Genet and knew that a whole line of queer writers and outsiders came before us. And it was up to us to carry on the tradition.

How do you process all of your influences in life in terms of ways in which you are then able to share it all, creatively, with your community?

I integrate into my life what I have learned everyday. So when it is time to pass it on, it’s easy to put together spiritual and intellectual concepts. What I see as key to building the community we want to live in is looking inside, bringing it out in art, sharing it. That is trust. When you trust a group of people with your deepest emotional experience, you create community. However you bring it, you are modeling it for the rest. So bring your very best, and what you want to see in your world everyday, because it will instantly be reflected back to you.

Huge thanks for this Lynnee,
Thanks pal. My pleasure…

remind me again why i live the wrong side of the ocean?

I wish I could be at this:

Tammy Rae Carland
Funny Face, I Love You
September 10 - October 23, 2010
Silverman Gallery, 804 Sutter Street (between Jones and Leavenworth), San Francisco, CA 94109
Opening Reception: September 10, 6 – 8PM

Silverman Gallery is pleased to present Funny Face, I Love You, an exhibition of new work by Tammy Rae Carland on view from September 10 - October 23, 2010.

The artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery features a suite of new photographs, a selection of mixed media works as well as a cast porcelain sculpture. Inspired by the history of female comedians, Carland explores questions of humor and desire,
juxtaposing images of empty stages with singular figures caught mid-act. These works isolate the body, focusing less on the artifice of public personas than the sheer spectacle of performing corporealities. Through these, Carland foregrounds the fragility and pathos inherent in these acts of vulnerability and self-humiliation—acts which also resonate with the unraveling of gender roles through acting out. Invariably, the conversation opens onto a larger meditation on the fragmentation of the body and the currency of the abject, while engaging the politics of performativity and the legacy of feminism.

Tammy Rae Carland received her MFA from UC Irvine, and also attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Her work has been screened and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin and Sydney. She has been featured in numerous publications, including Artforum and Pulse. She is co-founder and owner of Mr. Lady Records, an independent record label and video distribution company. She is currently chair of Photography at California College of Arts and Crafts. Carland lives and works in Oakland, California.

For more information contact

wears the trousers meets ladyfest ten for zine fun

The seriously lovely Charlotte of Wears The Trousers Magazine is putting a zine together in time for Ladyfest Ten.
She's looking for anything from 50–200 words about your favourite female-centric band, singer, song or album and why they mean so much to you. Photographic submissions are also welcome.
When she has a good spread of chord-riffed memories and girl-sung nostalgia, it'll all be collated into a one-off, free-for-all zine that will be distributed at this year’s Ladyfest Ten events in London in November. It'll also be available to download.

See all the info, and details on where to send your contributions here on the Wears The Trousers blog post about it all.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

katy on pikaland

My interview with Katy Horan went up on the Pikaland site today... go read what Katy has to say about her amazing artwork.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

female illustrators needed

Rag (Maga)zine are looking for women illustrators to contribute to their fifth annual magazine.
See their blog post for the list of articles that need illustrating, plus contact details:

Sunday, 15 August 2010

feminist poster project

There's many reasons why I love Nina Nijsten; her latest project, The Feminist Poster Project is just one of those reasons.

The Feminist Poster Project website archives feminist posters, postcards and stickers for you to print and paste. It will offer a network for feminist poster artists and a space for inspiration. You can share your own self-made posters, postcards and stickers too.
The Feminist Poster Project wishes to support feminist poster making by offering a space where feminist posters are collected and archived. All posters on this website are available for downloading in pdf and can be easily printed.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

the worlds a mess 2

Em Ledger has released issue 2 of her zine, 'The World's A Mess And You're My Only Cure' and it's really really great

There's an interview in it that me and Em did in 2009 with The Thermals, plus oodles of other stuff including articles and interviews by: Osa Atoe of 'Shotgun Seamstress' Zine and New Bloods, Pike, Em herself, Author and Musician Debi Withers, Elizabeth Rockett of 'Riot Grrrl Life' Zine, and a seriously kick-ass Charlotte Cooper interview.

Find out more, and buy copies here

riot on the page: thirty years of zines by women

Zines in the Museum of Modern Art... Riot on the Page: Thirty Years of Zines by Women

Sunday, 8 August 2010

carnival of feminist cultural activism

3-5 March 2011, York, UK

We welcome proposals for a three-day festival and conference of presentations, performances, exhibitions, academic papers & workshops.

The carnival is designed to offer a huge variety of activities, from zine workshops to art exhibitions; from skill sharing to band showcases; from open mic sessions to scripted plays; from radical stitching to interactive installations; from comedy to academic papers.

We welcome people new to presenting and performing as well as those with years and decades of expertise and experience.

We ask: can feminist art* change the world and, if so, how? and we invite responses from activists, artists and academics.

The event is designed to generate action as well as debate, and to inspire, celebrate & challenge understandings of women, grassroots art & politics.

It is a deliberately open invitation - surprise us!

We welcome provisional ideas as well as full proposals. Please send draft ideas asap, and full 300-word proposals for papers, panels, exhibitions, workshops and performances plus a 50-word biography, by 31 October 2010.


P: Carnival of feminist cultural activism
Centre for Women's Studies
University of York
Yo10 5DD


Facebook: here

See website for further details or email if you have queries.