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Monday, June 15, 2015

BACKSTORY OF ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART





 BACKSTORY OF ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART 1998-2019


WHY I CREATED IT:
I was on a roll having completed 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART, 1984-1998; wearing one color clothes and  experiencing thousands of disciplines/vows to keep me anchored in the 7 Chakras. I had also just finished a 7 year performance art teaching commitment at the University of Texas, Austin, 1992-1998, and as a  cocky academeze, I believed that the next move in my process must be an imitation of my  experience and so I developed what approximated a self-designed school based on my past 7 years as a "professor" and called the institution,  ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART.
 My motives were:
1. To extend my research to others.
2. To create an institution devoid of the stink of academia.
3. To allow others to be with me/near me virtually and online, not in the flesh.
4. To dissolve the teacher-student dyad and allow everyone to enjoy their own professorship.
5. To dislodge $ from the equation and offer the experience for free.
6. To make sure that nothing was demanded of the participants: no grades, no dissertations, no nothing if that was what they decided.
7. To make sure that it was fun.

WHAT HAPPENED:
As I write this, it is 2015, and the experience in non-teaching is almost over and as I look back, I am amazed at how  organic it was . That is, it came into being, effulgently expanded and peacefully rescinded.
Here is how it happened;  per usual, I put out a call for participants, advertising it, at  Franklin Furnace. That had worked so perfectly when I had put out a call for THE SUMMER SAINT CAMP which I offered during 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART 1984-1998. Many, many came to be with me at  THE ART LIFE INSTITUTE thanks to  Franklin Furnace and Martha Wilson who let the art world know our needs, then communicated them to our tribe, inviting artists/lifeists to participate.

THE PARTICIPANTS:
During years 1-7, the "school" was in it's infancy. Betsea Caygill saw my request and neither she or I knew what to do, since it was a "school" that had just opened it's doors. We parted ways with blurred eyes and it took me 6 years to grow into my concept or better yet, it took time for me to let go of how to do it and let the concept have it's own life and mood and reasoning and laws.  So here is the second Franklin Furnace call. It is included as written then:
 
 




Linda Montano, FF Alumn, seeks a collaborator.
Do you want to collaborate with Linda M. Montano? Linda M. Montano is looking for someone who would like to perform the Second 7 years of  21 YEARS OF LIVING ART.  After completing 14 YEARS OF LIVING ART, Montano gave the first seven years of 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART to Betsea Caygill and this Term will  finish December 8, 2005. The next  person will begin December 8,2005 and complete the performance December 8,2012.( Actually there were 12 participants in the second 7 years. Two people in the third seven years.)
What to do: you can do research on the seven sacraments, seven chakras, seven sins, the  Kaballah, seven colors of the rainbow or any other intimate interest .It should  be researched before the performance.
Look at  www.bobsart.org to see some images of the ways I lived the 14  Years of my performance.  You , of course, will do things your way. (this is now:  www.lindamontano.com)
Design a  safe, nurturing, help full to self and others vow  that you will take for  those  seven years  that will help your art/life.
What is expected: at the end of the performance, December 8, 2012, you will send me/email also, a seven page paper which consists of one page from a year-end report from each of the seven years.

What you get: A PERFORMANCE ART SAINT CERTIFICATE at the end of the Performance.

To apply:
_(End of announcement listed on Franklin Furnace, 2004 )___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 THE SECOND SEVEN YEARS:
It was time. The response was extraordinary. The following artists/lifeists are graduates of all 21 years:  
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PARTICIPANT IN THE FIRST SEVEN YEARS OF ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART: 1998-2005: BETSEA CAYGILL: LIVING LIFE ARTFULLY.
PARTICIPANTS IN SECOND SEVEN YEARS OF ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART: 2005-2012
MICHELLE BUSH: SEVEN YEARS OF POSITIVE OBSESSIONS, 12/8/2005-12/8/2012. I obsess on one sentence/statement and colour in relation to the chakras producing collaborative or interventionist and performance pieces each year.
BARBARA CARRELLAS: EIGHT NEW/ANCIENT SACRAMENTS OF PLEASURE AND CHANGE, 12/8/2004-12/8/2011. I create chakra-based rituals which I celebrate on the eight natural holidays (solstices, equinoxes, etc.) that explore and celebrate the paradoxes between the fixed commitments/initiations of the seven sacraments of the Catholic church and the ever-changing, fluid realms of intuition, pleasure and nature. EIGHT YEARS OF LIVING ART, www.barbaracarrellas.com
SC DURKIN: SEVEN YEARS OF MUSIC, 12/8/2005-12/8/2012. I endeavor to learn one musical instrument a year for the next seven years. SEVEN YEARS OF MUSIC, www.scdurkin.com
KOOSIL-JA HWANG: 12/8/2004-12/8/2011. www.dancekk.com
VERNITA N'COGNITA: 7 MORE UNTITLED YEARS OF WHEREVER MY ART LEADS ME, 12/8/2004-12/8/2011. www.ncognita.com
ESTHER K. SMITH: THEIR HOUSE IS A MUSEUM, 12/8/2004-12/8/2011. Seven years in other people's houses. EK SMITH MUSEUM, www.purgatorypiepress.com
KRISTA KELLY WALSH: SEVEN MIRRORS, 2006-2012. My work is based on the Cabalist system of reading the will of the seven planetarty spirits in the seven mirrors that are made of seven metals and associated with the 7 days of the week, seven planets and cooresponding themes. Each year I will make a corresponding mirror and wear a bead of the same metal, make projects and performances based on the themes of that metal.
SATELLITE PROJECT:
The satellite project is an ongoing congruent program of artists/lifeists within ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE SATALITE PROJECT:
STEVEN REIGNS: S(T)EVEN YEARS, 1/12007-1/1/20014. I intend to explore the connection between art, life, and spirituality through writing practice, public writing workshops, and publishing chapbooks. S(T)EVEN YEARS SANCTUARY, www.stevenreigns.com
VICTORIA SINGH & KURTIS CHAMPION: SON/ART—CHAKRA COLOR RITUALS, 7/7/04-7/7/11. Kurtis celebrates the chakra colors of each 'year' with art projects on the 7th day of each month.
ELIZABETH STEPHENS & ANNIE SPRINKLE: LOVE ART LABORATORY—7 YEARS EXPLORING LOVE AS ART, 12/8/2004-12/8/2011. We make art about love. LOVE ART LABORATORY, www.loveartlab.org
PARTICIPANTS IN THE THIRD SEVEN YEARS OF ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART: 2012-2019 
EK SMITH; CLEANING/SINGING/DRAWING I will divide my living/working space into 7 sections. Each year, for 7 years, I will clean and organize my space, singing as I work, and documenting my experiences with an ongoing series of drawings.
 NELLS FASTY:"Seven Years of Forgetting" is a 7 year performance, 2012-2019. I will choose a new number everyday based on trying to forget the previous day's number that had been chosen. Each year, the numerical results will be turned into a musical composition using computer software to interpret the data. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
We 12 blossomed, flourished, excelled, soared, flew high, embraced  and as art-lovers, were in continual and  thrice daily email contact. Sometimes phone. In retrospect, maybe the timing was more appropriate because my father had just died and I NEEDED community and virtual "students" (really co-teachers). Not sure.
Or was it because the concept was ripe? Or was it because the "school" was mirroring other low-res  graduate art schools which appeal to already established artists who come together twice a year and then work apart from the institution via skype/email/internet?  Or was it because the internet is giving birth to multi-level interactive virtual communities  and teaching modalities and our "school" hitched itself to this cultural wave? All I know is that we rode that wave hard.
THE LAST SEVEN YEARS :
As usual, I put out the call via Franklin Furnace, but no,  maybe this time Facebook. Yes, now I remember, Facebook also. Facebook my companion and friend and letter carrier and stamp and dictionary and glossary and camera and gallery and meeting place. Many applied. I chose two, wondering what was happening. Was I becoming institutional? Greedy? Self-conscious? No more fun? Judgmental? Distastefully corporate?  Not good. Why do I say this?
BECAUSE:
1. I put a number limit on participants , and committed the sin of academia and exclusion. Not good.
2. I began thinking, hey, I could make money with this and even stated in the admission policy that I would charge $100 a year. Another not good .
3. I was in position of "authority" and said no to people who wanted to be in the "school" and that gave me flashbacks to sitting on committees while in academia and saying yes and no and judging peers and re-visiting that trauma was a real clue that the idea had run it's course but I was committed to ANOTHER 21 YEARS OF LIVING ART!!!! Now what could I do? There were 7 more years!

All of these gut feelings indicated that the "school" had:
1. Been born
2. Blossomed
3. Was evolving in a way I never imagined

A GREAT ENDING
There are now two artists who are completing the last seven years: EK Smith (repeating school for 14 years)  and Nells Festy. We have a great time. No expectations. Are there for each other if we want. We meet on Facebook. The crescendo is kind.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS ENDURANCE:
1. Giving myself time-based performances and endurances has insured my real-time existence. Reminds me to live and that I am alive.
2. We had a ball.
3. I'm BEYOND ecstatic that we went to school together and know we wont meet for a reunion because we understand that we are being primed for the robotic/virtual future, not flesh or face-time.
3. Time flies.
4. The universe is a school and we are all on the same page.
5. Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Instagram, Netflix are school enough.
6. I'm enjoying my semi-retirement.
7. I now go to school at the gym and take SENIOR STRETCH.

Linda Mary Montano , Saugerties NY, 2015

 
 
 
 
                    
 

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