Archive for March, 2007

Beats Per Minute

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Fun opening coming up this Tuesday, March 13th: Julio Morales (who as far as I can tell, no longer sleeps) has curated a very cool show at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art called Beats Per Minute. As the fabulous Christine Wong Yap is one of the artists in this show, with Julio that makes TWO Galleon Trade artists who are affiliated with this exhibition! Go Julio! Go Christine!

And I’m thrilled that Trisha Lagaso Goldberg is in the exhibition as well. Trisha, her husband David, and their son have been living in Honolulu for a few years now, and are dearly missed by the Bay Area arts community. It’s so nice to have her back for a bit, especially in her reinvigorated life as an artist!

Beats per Minute, curated by Julio Cesar Morales, features recent sound-based and visual artworks by emerging and internationally acclaimed artists Walter Kitundu, N. Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, Mung Lar Lam, Christy Matson, and Christine Wong Yap, and the artist collective Torolab, featuring Nortec.

The exhibition’s title refers to the term BPM, used by disc jockeys who blend sounds from various sources to create a new piece of music. Through the influences of craft and folk art, these artists make unique works that blur the boundaries of music, visual arts, and new media.

Beats per Minute: Contemporary Artists Influenced by Craft and Folk Art Practices

mocfa_bpm_144pxw.jpg March 13 ”“ April 29, 2007
Museum of Craft and Folk Art
51 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA

Reception: Tuesday, March 13, 5”“9 pm

Meet the Artists
(Mung Lar Lam, Christine Wong Yap and curator Julio Cesar Morales)
Thursday, March 22, 5:30 pm

What is Your Favorite Word? Workshop:
(hosted by Christine Wong Yap)
Saturday, April 28th, 1-3 pm

All events are free with admission.
Admission: $5 adults / $4 seniors / 18 and under Free
Museum hours: Tues.”“Fri. 11-6 / Sat.”“Sun. 11-5


Worlds In Collision In Collision In Collision…

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

So I mentioned in an earlier post that Rico Reyes and I are co-teaching Worlds In Collision: Filipino American Art History at USF. It’s been pretty great: our students are super-open and engaged, and it’s been going well. I’m a little stunned that it’s already midterm break, though (at least, at USF: spring break at Berkeley is two weeks from now).


USF students working on their first project

The class is a nice mix of Filipino-American and non-Filipino-American students. Some are art/design majors, some are Filipino Studies minors, some are just curious to know more about what Filipino American art history might look like, given that it’s not been documented too well. As far as I know, when Carlos Villa started this course a few years back, it was the first Fil-Am art history class ever.

Rico and I got a great deal of support from Paula Birnbaum and Jay Gonzalez at USF, and submitted a syllabus for the class that garnered us “CORE” status in a couple of departments. The course is 1/2 seminar (with guest artists, field trips, discussion, written work) and 1/2 studio (with 4 projects over the semester).


USF student Erick Perez, studio project 1

As I got the memo pretty late on this whole “blog” phenomenon, it seems that I’m making up for lost time, and am now afflicted with beginners’-enthusiasm. Hence, Worlds In Collision has its own course blog now, where much of our work is being posted. Given the real lack of conventional historical resources around Filipino American art, and the immediacy of the web, it just seemed like an interesting way to make our process public, for anyone who might be interested.

Carlos and Rico put a great deal of effort into getting the original Worlds In Collision website launched a couple of years ago, which we’re still using in our course. This site had its own blog function, but it was a little cumbersome, so we started our new one on Vox. Vox’s banner ads are truly annoying, but outweighed by a lot of the other user-friendly niceties of their service.

One of the things I’ve found in my years of teaching is that while a great deal of any deep learning process is private and interior, certain kinds of learning really thrives when it’s made public, and truly shared and celebrated. I’m beginning to realize, slowly, that this can happily occur in both traditional (class presentations, exhibitions, or community events) and non-traditional ways. My hope is that by the end of the semester, our USF students will have really grasped the significance of the work they’re seeing, the work that they’re doing, and its place in the world at large.

Galleon Trade, the website!

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

It’s not more than a teaser at present, but it’s still pretty thrilling to have this website placeholder up and running! I think I mentioned it in an earlier post I wrote whilst delirious from having just fired off another Galleon Trade related grant application, but it’s been really fun expanding the long-term vision for Galleon Trade. Initially, this project was motivated by a pretty simple desire to get more arts exchange happening with the Philippines, but it’s growing before my eyes into something bigger, and far more long-term than I would ever have imagined.


Bookmark for the future, y’alls. Good things are gonna happen here! And there! And there! And elsewhere!

Many thanks as usual to Max LaRiviere-Hedrick for busting this out today.

Even Bindlestiff-er.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Frankus just emailed me a few more incriminating pictures from the Bindlestiff panel discussion last week. I just saw Reno 911: Miami the other night (aside: early Oscar contender!!), and all I can say is, “Don’t hate, ladies…don’t hate…”: being in your thirties is every bit as good as we make it look.



Our mamas raised us right.

case study in why Mr F adores/fears we Filipinas…

But back to Reno 911. Why have I never seen this show before going to the movie theater (besides not watching TV or having cable, I mean) this weekend?

I came to it with an outsider’s fascination, so I was completely captivated. It was far more satisfying for me as a semi-improv comedy piece than, say, Borat: comparably healthy levels of obnoxious tastelessness/ unpredictable stream-of-consciousness surreality/ infantile humor, but Reno 911 really nailed a number of little (dare I say subtle?) details that I really appreciated. There was something in the cadence and banter between the cops, their conversational quirks and group (psycho)dynamics, that just delighted me to no end. I think I also appreciated the relative gender balance in a comedic ensemble: the women of the cast got a healthy amount of camera-time, which was nice.

Perhaps if I were more cultured, I’d be better apprised of the wealth of female comics out there, but since I’m usually under a rock somewhere, the rock prevents me from being in the loop. (Yeah, yeah, the old “rock/loop” excuse.) I’ve watched my DVDs of Amy Sedaris’ “Strangers With Candy” countless times. I enjoyed Sarah Silverman’s “Jesus Is Magic.” There are a couple of Bay Area women (Sam Chanse, Ali Wong) who do stand-up comedy that, conceptually, I’m a huge fan of. (I’ve never actually seen them perform, but that’s beside the point. I think they’re great.)

As it turns out…Bindlestiff Studio, in solidarity with women around the world, has an upcoming show entitled “The Fountain of Youth is a 16 Ounce Jar of Vaseline,” which pokes fun at the value of youth, monogamy, and hormonal imbalances. Principle writers include Gayle Romasanta, Samantha Chanse, Lorna Velasco and Rhoda Gravador, with performances by Aureen Almario, Andrea Almario, Kat Evasco, Maggie Suarez, Nicole Maxali and Jamie Nallas. It runs on weekends, March 15-31. I’m planning on checking it out: if anyone wants to go with, lemme know…

Julio Morales: There’s Gonna Be Sorrow

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Incoming! Galleon Trade artist Julio Morales has a solo show opening at Galeria De La Raza this Friday, March 9th.

From the press release:

“There’s Gonna Be Sorrow, is Julio Cesar Morales’ first solo exhibition at the Galería de la Raza. The exhibition is inspired by singer David Bowie’s 1974 failed theatrical adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which later became the concept album Diamond Dogs.

There’s Gonna Be Sorrow is a stunning sonic and visual landscape that evokes the dystopian future explored by Orwell’s novel and Bowie’s music. In Morales’ work, peril, expectation, desire and disillusion create a field of tension. Working from a Latino perspective, Morales uses mutated sound samples of Diamond Dogs, language, typography, and idiosyncratic symbols from the Latin American urban landscape ””such as the broken bottles that are often found embedded in the concrete atop walls to protect and define property boundaries””to create a dangerous topography that evokes issues of immigration, alienation, dystopia and surveillance.

The project includes multi-channel video, sculpture and sound with original music by Los Creamators and additional audio of the artist’s aunt singing obscure Mexican songs. Morales utilizes digital media in the broadest sense ”“ as a printed mural, recorded sound, LED signs, video etc. His artistic practice can be described as employing the DJ’s method of remixing as a means to analyze the politics of culture.

Morales’ work has been previously shown at The 2006 Singapore Biennale, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany; 2005 ARCO International Art Fair, Madrid, Spain; Swiss Cultural Center, Paris, France; The Rooseum Museum of Art, Malmo, Sweden; Peres Projects, Los Angeles; 2004 The San Juan Triennial, San Juan Puerto Rico; Fototeca de Havana, Cuba; Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York City; MUCA ROMA, Mexico City; and The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art. There’s Gonna Be Sorrow was made possible thanks to an Individual Artist Grant from The San Francisco Art Commission.”


There’s Gonna Be Sorrow runs from March 9-April 28.

The reception is March 9, from 7 pm on. Julio’s also giving an artist talk on April 6 at 7 pm.

Monster Drawing Rally revisited

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Well, the magical white cord finally returned from its vacation to god-knows-where, and I was able to successfully transfer some pics over to my laptop. Voila: last Friday’s Southern Exposure-sponsored shenanigans at the Verdi Club:


MDR 2007  in full swing: the Verdi Club was a gorgeous venue. I don’t know how the other artists felt, but I’d love to see the event return there next year. Crowded, happy, art-nerdy mayhem, with fancy lights, to boot.


The Mikes in action.


Emily, PJ, Mike A, Mike H, Ricci, me


You know, you’re just not a serious artist without a halter dress, sez two of us…

Afterwards, a crew of us ended up at the Ritespot, where the pens and paper came right back out again:



This time, it was all hands on deck: MDR artists and non-MDR artists alike. Drawing is fun, and far more social than people give it credit for. Try hanging out and just drawing with friends. It’s a lot less boring than drawing alone.

progressive women digressing

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Whew! So last night’s panel was epic in length: Frankus clocked it at 2 1/2 hours. It’s almost like people had a LOT to say…many thanks to Gayle Romasanta for organizing, to Bindlestiff for hosting, and to guests who came to listen to us!


You can’t see Golda Supernova (or her two super-cute kids) in this pic, but L to R, it’s Rhoda Gravador, Jeannie Barroga, Marianne Villanueva, Eliza “Neneng” Barrios, Reanne “Immaculata” Estrada, and Jenifer “Baby” Wofford.

The three of us haven’t been in matching outfits since last May’s lecture at Stanford: I really, really miss having more time to clown around with Reanne and Eliza. We’re able to get together every couple of months, but what with me in grad school, Eliza fleeing the country, and Reanne down there, it’s been challenging to start another M.O.B. project. Soon, though…soon…

In any case, last night was lively, grouchy, hilarious, and of course, deeply moving and inspiring. I’m sure that we’ve inspired the masses to rise up. Our lies were that good!

Here’s another photo of the O.G.s, post-panelizing:


Gayle, lil’ M, Golda, Jeannie, Marianne, Reannimal, EBX, moi (Rhoda had to leave a minute early)

I’m in my thirties so my memory’s at sixes and sevens.

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

So I just checked a message on my cellphone, which turned out to be from the infamous Frankus, warning me that he and some of his Pinay crew are coming to a panel discussion I’m on this Thursday night:



Erm, kind of forgot to write about it earlier. Old age. Mind going. Memory slipping.

Anyway, dig it:

The Progressive Woman:

Continuing Artistic and Self Defining Work Beyond Your Twenties

7 pm, Thursday March 1, 2007

Bindlestiff Studio

505 Natoma Street, SF 94103

The event was organized by the wonderful Gayle Romasanta. I get to be reunited with my fellow Mail Order Brides Reanne and Eliza for this event, and finally get to meet the fabulously talented Alleluia Panis, Golda Supernova, Jeannie Baroga, Rhoda Gravador and Marianne Villanueva. We all get to tell many lies about the fabulousness of our thirty-somethingness! They will be very good lies. You’ll never even know.

Grant-y panties, Ramly Burgers

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

Oyyyy….my brain is mush. A big stewy pot of arroz caldo, gone cold.

Today I just fired off another grant application for Galleon Trade, hence the mush. That makes three I’ve now written. If you’ve ever had to do this, you know how draining and daunting it is (unless you’re my friends Gigi or Megan, who make professional mincemeat out of scary grants). It’s a ton of work, but in the long run, hopefully it’s worth it, since Galleon Trade needs some cash-ola, and pronto!

Still, I think I’m getting better at it: the challenging part for me is knowing that there’s a certain standardized, professional lingo that one needs to be fluent in in order to speak these grantors’ language, but still wanting to entertain myself as I’m writing this. (Note to self: blog is for stand-up comedy. grant application is not.) I do have to admit, though, that the twisted fun in grant-writing is how its structure and accountability aspects challenge me to think bigger and more clearly about what I envision this project becoming, and it definitely pushes me beyond my normal, undisciplined tendencies.

I’ve been meaning to post up some fun photos that were taken at Monster Drawing Rally, but the magical white cord that sends the data from the picture-taking doodad to the internet-surfing folding thingie has decided to take itself on a vacation somewhere. As soon as it returns from its holidays, I will put it to good use.

If I were a magical white cord, I’d be on the beach on Pulau Tioman, Malaysia, right now.

And I’d be eating a Ramly Burger.

And I would be impervious to UV rays of any sort.