Friday, September 30, 2005

Webzine 2005 Conference Part 2.5

Located centrally at the conference, the Chi was circulating at the Concession/Badge making hub! I felt in control of the Webziners general internal satisfaction. I delivered Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Hansen’s Mandarin Lime, Kiwi Strawberry and Key Lime, bottled water and Cliff bars for only $1.00.

One general observation I made during the conference. I’m not really that funny. I’ve been living in a false reality for ten years at work. Everyday I walk into work at my business casual, fortune 500 company and walk the corridors saying, "Whoooooweeee it’s a Monday!”, “Working hard or hardly workin’?”, “You got time to lean you got time to clean!”, “Whoa…you caught me slackin’ on hump day!”, “Thank goodness it’s a Friday!”…

OK, you might not be laughing…but add in wild gesticulation and quirky facial expressions and I’m killing on main stage at the Comedy Store. Nope, not at Webzine 2005. My wild gesticulating and flirty smiles complimenting a contagious booming laugh…got nothin’. So, I resigned myself to just delivering the goods somberly like a solid B volunteer. I trudged through my 6 hours of volunteer work like a trooper.

I did, however, make a top secret business deal with Sir Srini Kumar of Unamerican Activities and StickerNation. All I can divulge at this time is that I am playing a feature-role as “Waterwoman!” Don’t even try to pry any more details out of me. I will tell you it has to do with water, but that is it. No more than that, well other than I will be a woman handling water. So, my lips are sealed. This secret is safe with me. I’m a vault. (A lot more on this later!)

(Subliminal message: log onto )

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Webzine2005 Conference Part 2.25

The San Francisco public transit is amazing! I can now count on two hands how many times I have used public transit. I feel so cool and so "city."

I arrived to the conference in plenty of time for my volunteer shift. Yep, this cheapskate volunteered for 5 hours to save $24 bucks! I was really hoping to use this opportunity to network. As some of you know, I give myself over to “The Man” Monday through Friday at a large, local insurance company. Networking is a mandatory survival skill. Armed with my best weapon, Leila my volunteer organizer, gives me my new title: “handler.” Oh yeah, I will definitely excel as a handler. I can handle anything…bring it on. My wit and charm will dazzle the Webzine organizers…maybe there will be a “Webzine Volunteer of the Year” award. Watch me handle…

Leila gave me the low down. I was to find Scott. A tall guy, with a very funky shirt. He is the current “handler” and will give me my orders. I head to the sponsor room and thinking the description was vague, I spot a very in charge looking fella, tall and funky shirt…that must be him. I ask, are you Sccccoooooottttt? That bit is to indicate that Scott is probably the most handsome man I have ever seen. Did she forget to mention his striking blue eyes; his just rolled out of bed hair and scratch my body red all over beard? So Scott, you’re the current handler...I’m a handler too. I can handle some things if you need me to handle them, I mean I just talked to someone and they said to talk to you about handling. Can I handle anything right now? Yep, my wit and charm didn’t fail me! Scott looks me up and down…says, well I think I have everything under control. Wanna make a sign. Like a lap dog, I nod enthusiastically. I made the sign. He said good sign. I panted and smiled proudly at my Master’s Lounge sign-up sheet. Anything else? No…why don’t you go see Leila maybe she'll have something for you. I see Leila and report that it is all under control. I handled the sign. She informs me that basically, I was to be there for the sponsors and speakers in case they need anything. At that moment a frantic man pops over to her. He says, I need a monitor and a 45RTX cable (something like that). Leila looks at me….I look at Leila…Leila and I spent a few seconds looking at each other, she looks toward Ryan, then me then asks Ryan…Do you think you can “handle” this?

So, Julia…you think you could sell concessions?

Oh yes, I can sell concessions, boy can I sell concessions. I’m a volunteer at a non-profit theatre and I sometimes sell concess…OK, I’ll talk to Jake about selling. Thanks Leila…uh, ok…sure, talk to you in a bit. Oh yeah, Ms. ConcesSIONS...wooooweeeee, I can SELL concessions!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Webzine2005 Conference - Part 1

I’m two days back from Webzine 2005 and I’m still marinating. I left Bakersfield late on Friday. As always, leaving meant a thousand errands to ensure I would have a positively positive webzine experience. I stayed with my friend Jan, an artist I met at an artist book class at the San Francisco Center for the Books Arts about three years ago. She lives in the Sunset district and you can see Golden Gate park from her house. I called Jan to confirm my stay. She said that I had to be there at 7:00 pm and better put my shoulder to the wheel so we could go to a Thai restaurant with some of her artist friends from out of town. Well, it was 6:30 pm and I was in Hayward. Nope, I wouldn’t make it by 7:00. I told her I would call her as I got close and she could give me directions. So, I’m on the Bay Bridge, its 7:00 pm and I realize I don’t have her cell phone number. Lovely. I’m sure she’ll call me. I hope she calls me because I'm hungry and really have to pee. I then proceed to drive around Mission and Market Street, hoping for a call, hoping for a parking spot, hoping I could pee. It was 7:45 pm. No call, no parking spot and well, you know the rest. By this time, I have resigned myself to parking anywhere and getting my city “tough face” on. Yes, I have a tough face. (I’ve had to use it on a few of my gallery artists for not being on time to drop off their work…you know who you are!)

I find a beautiful parking spot. I see a busy restaurant. I had a strange feeling. I’ve been here before. I was just driving around randomly solely focused on food and relief. I hike to the restaurant make the needed B-line to relief. I’m told a 45 minute wait or I could eat at the bar. I squeeze myself up to the bar. No stools, yet people were eating a full-course meal standing up. Only in San Francisco. I wedge myself between Mr. Fancy Pants and Nice Lady from Japan. Mr. FP took it upon himself to educate me on the menu. I decided on the Caesar salad. He loudly states, “Nice choice…it’s an authentic Caesar, well, except they don’t use a wooden bowl…they use a stainless steel bowl, but not by choice you know, there are health issues if they were to do that.” I’m glad I am getting an intimate verbal tour of my meal and I get to enjoy its authenticity standing up. It only seems deserving of such an ovation.

I state to NLJ that this place feels so familiar. My friend John took me to his gallery and it looked just like this area. Mr. FP butts in and says do you mean Lincart gallery?...becaues it is right across the alley. I look through the window and see, yes, it is John’s gallery. The current window display looks like a sporting goods store with book bags neatly filling up the window. This goes right back to my feeling of odd coincidences. A whole city with just one parking spot and it just so happens to be right across the street from John’s gallery. Synchronicity is there if you watch for it.

It was 9:30 pm, I get a call from Jan and she is home and I am thankful and tired. My authentic Caesar salad was OK (wooden bowls are a critical ingredient) and I’m ready to rest my brain for my big Webzine 2005 Conference!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Webzine2005 Conference!

I'm roadtripping to San Francisco for the Webzine2005 conference!

You will hear all about it next week.

Short inspirational note:
I've noticed that this year has been filled with synchronicity in the arts. Put yourself in the middle of what you love and amazing things will start to happen.

Controversial unveiling.

Do artists have a responsibility to challenge group thought? Do we veer off into two categories of artists: Decorative vs. New Thought/Social Change? Can something be both? Would that be a piece that is sneaks into someone’s home and subtly changes the owner’s behavior?

I recently read an article about a public sculpture that was unveiled in Trafalgar Square in London. The fourth plinth was a sculpture of a naked, pregnant disabled woman titled Alison Lapper Pregnant. There were gasps at the unveiling vs. cheers from the audience. Some saw beauty and some saw horror. The audience wanted to know why the sculpture had to be naked and shown pregnant or were they just veiling their horror of seeing an armless and disfigured woman glorified?

Like artist Marc Quinn, push yourself to provoke thought and drive change!

Group think is dangerous.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Artist Stamps!

Thanks to my friends John Held, Jr. and Tim Mancusi, I am stepping into the underground art world lair. I’ve dabbled in mail art, have collected zines, secretly drooled over a world captured by Juxtapose…now, I am starting my first artist stamp project.

Artist stamps have been given some attention recently in the news for images of our President with a gun to his head.

Tim Mancusi will be schooling me in the fine art of artist stamp set-up while Mr. John Held, Jr., also know as “The Perforator” has graciously offered to perform my sheet perforation. I’m all giddy like a little school girl! I will keep you updated on the project.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The place to be on Saturday!

The Empty Space Gallery had a great turn out for Michael Biagiotti’s solo exhibition. See what local art scene writers N.L. Belardes and Matildakay have to say about the evening!

If you want to stay connected with what is really happening in Bakersfield…check their blogs out daily!

Monday, September 12, 2005

I've only just begun...

A friend of mine recently responded to my blog entry "Brewing Rant" saying Marylee is probably: “a lock-step servant of the printed Bible. A "every jot and tittle" type.” I loved his use of words…

Speaking of the bible, I wanted to add the below research regarding further inquiry about homosexuality and religious activists.

The biggest passage “those people” site from the bible is Leviticus 18:22

KJV: “Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman: it is an abomination.
NIV: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Living Bible: “Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin,”

The book of Leviticus is a part of the Hebrew Law and contains everything from commandments for men not to shave the edges of their beards (Lev 19:27); orders not to have intercourse during menstruation (Lev 18:19); not to harvest different crops in the same field (Lev 19:19); as well as numerous dietary laws. All of these are an abomination.

Another interesting note: Jesus never talked about Homosexuality. The prophets never talked about Homosexuality.

This and more detailed information was thoroughly researched and put together by Justin R. Cannon. Please visit his website at

Thank you Joseph for your research!

Brewing Rant

I must veer off the Art Speak road for a moment.

Two things have me fired up today, but I will only begin to talk about one.

The big ONE would be: “Doesn’t Your Vote Count for Something” article by Marylee Shrider on the front page of Saturday’s Local section of The Californian.

Mind you, my response is just brewing…

Miss Marylee opposes gay marriage. Miss Marylee feels strongly about supporting the ignorance of the majority of the Kern County voters. Miss Marylee believes “Marriage, as it has been defined for thousands of years, represents the foundation of our social order. …the majority of Californians aren’t ready to give up on the institutions. Not yet. Not anytime soon.”

WOW, that is a great ending comment. An “institution” should not be questioned!!! My frustration with her flip ending began my search on the institution of heterosexual marriage.

I must defer to a brilliant letter written by Gary Leupp, Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa, Japan and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900.

An excerpt of his letter:
“You invoke "History" as though it's some source of authority, but you really don't know much about it, do you? "No investigation, no right to speak," I always say, and if you want to talk about homosexual unions in recorded history you should do some study first. First I recommend you read John Boswell's fine book Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press, 1980), in which he documents legally recognized homosexual marriage in ancient Rome extending into the Christian period, and his Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe (Villard Books, 1994), in which he discusses Church-blessed same-sex unions and even an ancient Christian same-sex nuptial liturgy. Then check out my Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokuga wa Japan (University of California Press, 1995) in which I describe the "brotherhood-bonds" between samurai males, involving written contracts and sometimes severe punishments for infidelity, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Check out the literature on the Azande of the southern Sudan, where for centuries warriors bonded, in all legitimacy, with "boy-wives." Or read Marjorie Topley's study of lesbian marriages in Guangdong, China into the early twentieth century. Check out Yale law professor William Eskridge's The Case for Same-Sex Marriage (1996), and other of this scholar's works, replete with many historical examples.

What the study of world history will really tell you, is that pretty much any kind of sexual behavior can become institutionalized somewhere, sometime. You know that polygamy remains normal and legal in many nations, as it was among your Mormon forebears in Utah. In Tibet, polyandry has a long history, and modern Chinese law seems powerless to prevent marriages between one women and two or three men. Getting back to same-sex issues, the Sambia of New Guinea have traditionally believed that for an adolescent boy to grow into a man, he absolutely must fellate an adult male and chug the semen down. I'm not making this up; see Gilbert H. Herdt, Guardians of the Flutes (Columbia University Press, 1981). Now you and I would see that as a kind of child abuse, but to the Sambians, it's just common sense. It's been that way for well over 3,000 years of their history. (You might want to ask yourself: does that 3,000 year record make it right?)”

Over the last 3,000 years to which you specifically allude (someone else was telling National Public Radio that the Supreme Justice Court ruling defied 5,000 years, which would make departure from precedent even more serious), there has in fact been no global marriage norm. In some societies, a man and woman, of their own free will, formed a relationship, decided to forge a life-long commitment, got the necessary permissions and ceremonial legitimacy, started having sex after that, and maintained a monogamous union thereafter until one died. That's been very unusual, though. Arranged marriages involving varying degrees of input by the couple (usually less by the female) have been more the norm. (Do you realize how radically sections of humankind departed from the prior "history" you so validate, when we started insisting on the freedom of young couples to marry without their parent's consent, and to do so based on "love"---which is another complex and evolving historical category? You might perhaps read Friedrich Engels' still relevant book The Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State, and learn something about how capitalism and the whole notion of the free market played a positive role here.)

For demographic and economic reasons (rather than articulated moral ones), monogamy has generally been far more widespread than polygamy. But in more societies than not, wealthy, powerful men have enjoyed the polygamous option. That of course goes for the ancient Hebrews.

My point, again, is just that views on these issues aren't historically static, and good decent people can work to change them.
The freedom to link yourself to another, and benefit from whatever range of privileges your political and cultural environment confer on "marriage," should not be arbitrarily confined to males who are attracted to females, and to females attracted to males. Even if that premise had, in fact, as you suggest, prevailed since the dawn of civilization, it would be irrational. If history (with a capital H), has any function at all, it is to induce people, merely through cumulative experience, to get more rational, and thereby alleviate the kinds of suffering they can inflict upon themselves. Recognition of gay marriage is a step towards recognizing reality, and alleviating the oppression homophobic ignorance and hatred inevitably inflict. That's the reasoning behind the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts' ruling.”

Read the entire article on

All I can say is WOW, that is a pretty great institution!

Like I said...this one is brewing and might spill out in another entry.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


I have a guilty pleasure. It is glossy, tough and dirty. Juxtapoz. Yep, Juxtapoz magazine. I know I should be burning the mid-night oil with Art Papers, ArtForum and Art News…but no, I have locked my bedroom door, stole the flashlight and am silently flipping from Barry McGee to Mark Ryden to Camille Rose Garcia. I’m torn between disgust from the pumped up, pimped up objectified images of young, nubile women to a sort of pornographic glee at the grit and spit of street punks taking a bite of the financial action someone once told me exists. I only thought of “financial action” as the unicorn from my childhood or the desire for Flipper to come and live with me in my middle-class, mid-America back-yard. I know dad could build a pool for him and we could swim together faster than lightening…well, at least in a tight circle.

With a bit of grit and spit and a unstoppable urge to turn our guts inside out we can have that house in the mountains and maybe one in San Francisco and while we are at it, we can escape to our East Coast country estate like Sir Affleck to just get away from it all.

So, I flip off my flashlight, scoot my guilty pleasure under the bed and contently drift off to sleep knowing my dirty little secret is safe with you.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My Art is in Turkey!

Check out the mail art I sent in for the Women and Ecology mail art exhibit in Instanbul, Turkey. Unfortunately, the Erotic Museum ticket title got cut off on the far right. Could that have been on purpose?

Host, Sinasi Gunes, has put together a great site documenting all participants.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Our Country is trying to shut us up! Art shows are being closed down because our government doesn't want to expose the underbelly where dissention brews.

Participate in
Propaganda 2.0 at StartSoma in San Francisco! No rules and no censorship and everyone gets in! Learning starts with dialogue and dialogue can't begin if you don't see opposing viewpoints.

Let your voice be heard while you still can!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mark your Calendars!

The Empty Space Gallery
706 Oak Street
Bakersfield, CA 93304

I Got The Shakes - Mike Biagiotti
September 16 – October 1
Artist Opening: Saturday, September 17
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Los Angeles artist and musician, Michael Biagiotti, brings his urban, punk rock attitude influenced oil paintings to The Empty Space Gallery September 16 – October 1. Michael’s work is influenced by the energy flow of the city. Although Los Angeles has its share of problems, there is a chaotic beauty that exists here because of the crazy mix of culture, religion and race. It is this type of beauty which Michael portrays in his work.

Meet Michael at the artist opening on Saturday, September 17 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Michael’s band Drowse, a four-piece, punk-edged band will perform, giving the evening a raw pulse of the city that influences his work.

El Dia de Los Muertos - Group Show
October 14 – 29
Opening Event: Saturday, October 15
3:00 – 7:00 pm

On Saturday, October 15 The Empty Space Gallery will be hosting a public celebration of the Latin American holiday, the Day of the Dead.

El Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is celebrated widely in the Western Hemisphere around the first day of November, when the worlds of the dead and the living are felt to be in close proximity. It blends African, Native American and European elements in a joyful, humorous and creative remembrance of the ancestors both recent and remote. The holiday typically involves processions, art installations and exhibitions, community altars and "rooms for the dead" as well as public performances, music and dancing. It is not a mournful holiday, but one of laughter and celebration that has become an important venue for the contemporary arts. The Day of the Dead recognizes death as a part of the cycle of life.