Saturday, August 12, 2006

fame and fortune is a magnet

Hello Supervisee-

We are still in San Jose, where this ZeroOne Festival is splayed out all over the downtown of the city. It is causing a lot of unusual pedestrian activity and bringing a lot of people into the town core to walk around and look at stuff, just like we used to do in the olden days when I was a child. Some cities still do that but a lot of places we have visited on this tour are in the process of rediscovering themselves in terms of urban space. The inner cities were often abandoned in terms of commerce and that usually leaves the poor folks and the artistic types and the urban pioneers that want a lot of space to live in for cheap rent. Eventually, somebody figures out that the city is being "wasted" and so they start pouring money back into the commercial corridors to "revitalize" things. They may put in some newfangled transit and start renovating former manufacturing districts into luxury condos. They may tear down buildings that are considered eyesores and build shiny new office towers. They may sink a small fortune into a new city hall, like here in San Jose. And people may actually come downtown and hang out. Or not.

I was standing in the plaza in front of the art museum yesterday, in the middle of the day and there were maybe 50 people standing around and looking at the various art projects going on and I heard s woman remark "it's really crowded here today" which led me to believe that it is usually entirely deserted, despite all the spiffy-fication that has gone on. So, I'm glad that the festival is bringing people out to enjoy the pleasure of pedestrian life in their own city. And there are excellent burritos to be had for very cheap all over the place. I love it.

Tonight, I will be doing the final show of this venue with my friends here. I want very much to put a picture of the interior of this theatre on the blog because it is INCREDIBLE, so I will try to make that happen. Then after the show, we are all going to see a performance by the acclaimed apocalyptic performance group Survival Research Lab, who have not done a show in a number of years. They got kinda turfed out of SF, their home, because they explode and burn a lot of things and somebody decided it was too dangerous. I am very excited to go see a show that might hurt somebody or destroy property in an unplanned way.

I will report fully, of course.

Meanwhile, keep on truckin'.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

do you know the way

The Builders are back on tour, after a couple of months of doing whatever for the summer. We've currently in San Jose, CA as part of a festival called ZeroOne which is here because of the ISEA conference. For those of you not aware, ISEA is the Inter-Society for Electronic Arts and that's what it's all about here in San Jose for this week. The whole town seems to be involved in one brand of interactive electronic art or another. There are projects involving cell phones, pigeons wearing GPS chips, and making music as you walk down a rigged street, to name a few. It's quite impressive and bursting at the seams with creativity and we're here to put our Builders' spin on the concept.

Everyone seems good so far. I haven't seen the entire company quite yet, though most and everyone looks a little sun-exposed and happy after some time off. San Jose is a little odd since it's kind of like they tore down the old downtown and rebuilt it all nice and I just don't trust that. I know the crappy part must be around someplace and god knows there must be poor folks here but so far, I haven't seen it. In time, the urban grittiness will reveal itself but for now, it's all clean concrete with not even pesky skater kids to be found. I will seek out the countercultre and report back.

If anyone out there has some tips for me on where to look, I'd appreciate it. Please write in.

Must go off to rehearsal now. It's been a long time since we've done the show so I will have to brush up on my lines. Got new makeup when I was in New York so that I will be all looking pretty again in no time.