Monday, November 27, 2006

Two Projects for Fun and Enlightenment.


So I'm proposed two Gothic Funk projects this week, and both have had a lukewarm reception. They don't need much, though, to succeed. If any of you, of humble readers, would like to contribute, I'm pasting the original instructions below.

Any questions about Gothic Funk can be answered here.
Any questions about these projects, write me here.
We have a listhost you can join if you like. Just let me know.

GF Project: Write an Epistle.

I've been thinking for awhile about a manifesto, but the form seems a
little stale to me just now. We have eight manifesti and a number of
addenda. Until we make a new critical mass of membership or activity, or
someone becomes an expert on contemporary art theory and riles us with
their theorems, I don't know that a new manifesto would really be of much
use. Ongoing conversation, though, is important I think.

I've been thinking of epistles for awhile now. Writing about Gothic Funk
informally and as a collection of ideas, and reflecting upon them, with
frequent and casual segue into other matters, impressions of daily life,
and so on. I've started on a Gothic Funk Epistle several times, but I
think the idea is still missing something.

I would like the first epistole to be a communal effort.

Here, then, is what this project involves:

I would like for people to submit between one and infinity portions of a
letter. They will be collected and their order randomized, and submitted
to the website (and on the listhost) as an open letter, from Gothic Funk
and to Gothic Funk. You could write about Gothic Funk, obviously, as
observed in parties, manifesti, art, life, politics, music, and culture.
Or you can write about something else. Since we collective comprise the
Gothic Funk movement, what is relevant to our lives is on the momement's
mind and is fair game for discourse.

I would just say... try not to say anything that *you* think is frivolous
or trivial. You wouldn't write a letter to someone close telling them
things they already knew or didn't care about. And don't make passive
confessions... we don't confide in someone unless there's *something*
(profit maybe, or comfort) to be gained from the confession. Active,
invested confessions are fine, though.

Don't send your submissions to the listhost. This letter isn't from you
to me, or from you to the group, but from Gothic Funk to Gothic Funk...
our voices, then, must be individually anonymous and undifferentiated.

Send your submissions any time between now and December 3rd (Sunday).

I will try to post the letter in its entirety by the end of the following

GF Project: What Would Fletcher Christian Do?

... So I'm worried that the project I'm about to propose is going to
founder before I even try to launch it. Maybe 99% of GF parties and 48%
of other projects have had success so far. This one involves some
sustained effort over the old computer, so maybe its odds of survival are
even less. But I'm so excited about it that I want to up the chances as
best as I can. I have great confidence here. Like the best theater
projects, with time and willpower the results are inevitable.

So I'll preface. A lot of GF talk revolves around sentimentality and
postmodernism, but this project doesn't have much to do with that. It's
all about imagination.

When I was growing up, my brother and sister and I had a set of
encyclopedias of technology, and in one edition of these, under "Ship"
they had a diagram of a yacht with all of the different riggings,
portholes, decks, and masts labeled. We chalked out its outline in our
living room and went sailing through the Panama Canal. All we needed to
do this was our will and imagination. Later, when thumbing through a
Carnival cruise catalog I found a tiny photograph of the Oz Discothèque
and my brother and sister and I spent a weekend trying to make our
basement into a bizarre pink-and-green lounge where Gerry Mulligan played
live on Tuesdays (since we had my dad's Gerry Mulligan cassette tape and
my grandma's tape player). Just last week, on a impulsive Google driven
search for the Oz Discothèque, I found that its ship, the Jubilee, had
been bought by the P&O cruises out of Australia and rechristened the
Pacific Sun. The Oz remains on the Sun, still decked out in its original
colors and tragically tacky decor. The Sun's cousin, however, the Pacific
Princess, offers a 102 day tour around the world...

I'm sure you did things like this when you were a kid, and it was a way to
make boring day exciting.

Envisioned today, this project is a way to create a dual-perspective on
our daily tasks, ordinary and extraordinarily. With minimal effort and no
expenditure of money. On the one hand, we are allowed the sheen of an
ideal world, on the other, we accept the tangibility and fleshiness of
each day, sensed and real and before us.

Just keep this all in mind throughout the following:


On January 10th, the Pacific Princess will really launch from Ft.
Lauderdale, Florida on its 102 day tour around the world. It will stop in
such locations as Pitcairn Island, Tahiti, Australia, China, India, Egypt,
Greece, and finally dock on April 22nd in Southampton England. As even a
casual perusal of the Princess' deck plans
( and Vitual
Tour (
suggest, the ship has more than the necessary accomodations to meet our
varying needs.

(This is not, btw, an ad for these cruises... this one costs around
$20,000 at the cheapest, and there have to be more cost-effective ways to
travel. But we're going for convenience and flair at the moment.)

In an envisioned world, a world not so different from our own, an
anonymous donor from the wilds of Iqaluit, Nunavut with bottomless pockets
has offered to buy a ticket for any Gothic Funk member who wants to
travel. This will, of course, require alterations in our daily life. Too
much ease muddies the mirage. I, for example, will have to make
arrangements with my advisor to develop my MFA thesis project from the
open ocean, and beg, borrow, or scam my way down to Florida. You might
have to take a leave of absence from your job or make some gentle
alterations to your wedding plans. We'll all have to contrive some way
home from Southampton, England.

But there it is.

We'll have a blog and a separate listserve, which will update us on our
travels and destinations, provide pictures, weather, on-ship activities,
and the like. There will probably be shuffleboarding seniors aboard, but
no shortage of sexiness and charisma as well. Meanwhile we'll continue
whatever work is most important to us from the relaxation of the ship,
correspond with each other, maybe commemorate our voyage with a daiquiri
or a simple pineapple punch.

There is no objective to this project other than to make our January
through March a little bit more memorable. Perhaps, the suspension of
juxtaposing the majesty of Chicago/NYC against that of the South Pacific
will make a new image in our heads, and thereby make our lives and
activities just that much more vivid.

Send me an email if you want in on this.

~ Connor

PS. In short, this is just like D&D, except you're basically yourself,
there is no dice rolling, and no obligation other than to imagine yourself
on a trans-global cruise.



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