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BISHOP BISHOP'S MISSION TO SAVE
THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD AND LITTLE OLD YOU
A SUMMARY OF PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS
PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF FINE ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A B S T R A C T ........................................................................... 4
1. SEE APPEND IX .................. .................................. ....... .............. .5
A BISH OP BISH OP'S M ISSION ........................................................ ...................6
B IO G R A PH IC A L SK ETCH ............................................................................ ............. 86
Summary of Project in Lieu of Thesis
Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Master of Fine Arts
BISHOP BISHOP'S MISSION TO SAVE
THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD AND LITTLE OLD YOU
Chair: Katerie Gladdys
Bishop Bishop 's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you is part of a
transmedia performance and writing practice. This practice blends the highly conceptual with the
highly emotional, never in equal measures; delights in cutting "pure" high art and theory with
low and vulgar and bawdy impurities; stages a tug of war between the scripted and the
improvisational; and strives for a seriously tongue-in-cheek-serious-tongue and an earnestly
ironic-ironically-earnest-rhetoric (Southern Hyperbole). This character and her rhetoric are used
to explore social, political, religious and academic/theoretical issues and also to plumb the
question of how performance made using digital technologies shapes the collective subjectivities
of audiences and performers.
Bishop Bishop 's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you is performed on
many stages, broadly defined, and deployed through multiple media. It is performed in front of
in-the-flesh, face-to-face, audiences on traditional stages, in art galleries, at bars, at conferences,
on street corners and in the classroom. It is performed for distributed-over-time-and-space
audiences on/through social networking sites, video hosting communities, chat rooms, emails,
live streaming video "channels," repostings, mobile phones, its own website and a blog. It is
performed through acting, writing, video making, image manipulation, posting and commenting.
One medium that is a stage for its performance is the academic project paper itself. My
project paper is a piece of creative non fiction that explodes the conventions of the academic
project paper to make artful meaning and meaningful art. The academic project paper in PDF
form can contain texts, images, videos and hyperlinks. It is a stage that can contain and frame
These first few (semi) conventional gestures stage my staging of stages within these pages.
My project description, my documentation, my references are all found in the appendix. I do not
break the rules just to be perverse, though I am being perverse. The art work I most enjoy, my
best art work, plays with and often breaks rules, conventions, norms, standards, formulas,
prescriptions, criteria, codes. I understand that this work needs the norms to work against to
Now that I have set the stage, I will let you work through and against and with my work to
see if it works.
To preserve the integrity of the document's formatting, Bishop Bishop 's Mission to save the
whole wide world and little oldyou starts on the next page. To make it easy for the reader I have
used the same system of page numbering in all sections (title page, table of contents, abstract,
chapter, appendix, biographical sketch) even though the text in the appendix is, in some senses,
its own document that ideally would have page numbers as if it were a separate document.
When video is embedded in the PDF, please click the image to play the video. There
is one instance (page 67) where a Vermon is not embedded due to the sheer size of the video.
Readers are instructed to click the link below the still shot from the video. The best way to
view this document is using Acrobot Reader. The video will not play in Preview.
BI S H O P B I S H O P 'S MISSION N
to save the whole wide world and little old you
(LIKE AWAKE!2 BUT WAY MORE FUN)
To all my faithful followers,
keep on keeping on!
Amen! Awomen!3 A-fucking-alleluia!
TABLE OF CONTEXTS
IN THE NAME OF (CHAPTER AND VERSE)
THE MOTHER 12
The Garden of Speaking in Forked Tongues 13
(grace) Notes 15
A preacher is born 17
(shape) Notes 19
"Speak loudly and carry a big schtick!" 20
The Mystery of Romancing the Formula 25
Schtick floats: Noah's Art 31
Writ(h)ing in a net: Getting down with Academic Discourse 33
(sticky) Notes 36
THE LOVER 39
Feeding the multitude: the long tail 40
(con) Notes 45
Number (A flock finding mission) 46
LABLE OF CONTEXTS (continued)
A CHAT-I-TISM 48
LOW LIVES 54
(key) Notes 56
"If you play rough, expect to get hurt." 58
(duh) Notes 63
AND THE OTHER 65
Art Service: In Service of Art 66
In Defense of Fools 67
One Last (grace) Note 69
Praise be: Roll Call for the Society of Mutual Admiration 70
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION 71
The End is Nigh Notes 82
I love spoken words. I love written words. I love the subtle and shifting differences between
the spoken and the written. I love the ways that repetition and fillers amplify spoken words
in interesting, necessary ways. I love the way that those same devices must be used
sparingly when writing words, unless deliberately trying to mimic speech. My attempts at
writing Southern Hyperbole (a specific rhetorical style that should, as far as I am
concerned, have its own Wikipedia entry) plays with the ornate, dramatic, tangential,
digressive patterns of Southern speech that are not quite the same when written as when
spoken. There are differences. I love those differences.
You may wonder what the hell all this lexaphillia has to do with my mission to save the
whole wide world and little old you. All these words about words are an extravagance; a
kind of hedonism that in my role as your spiritual advisor I heartily recommend to you.
Some religions advise moderation, suggest that you walk the middle path. I find I only walk
the middle path on my way between one extreme or the other.
Bishop Bishop, from Words overflowing the 1au'\1it/tt i
The Garden of Speaking in Forked Tongues5
Take a bite. I know you want to fall. The apple in your eye is a gate into the garden of
speaking in forked tongues. I am on the tip of your tongue. But my fruit is barbed. It eats itself
from the inside out. Hurry.
I believe that there is a place in our intellectual adventures for hyperbole, for
exaggeration, for the purposeful yet ethical misunderstanding of something- some
artwork, some text, some idea.
We learn not only by careful attention to what we think is right in front of us. We learn
not only by playing by the rules- the rules of the thing we think is in front of us, the rules
of a class, the rules of the academic enterprise, etc. and so forth. We also learn by the
mischievous and even malicious twisting and turning of something. Bend it out of shape.
Pull off its wings. Snap its back. Not all violence is bad- sometimes it gives back more
than it takes away.
Besides, understanding is just the flip side of misunderstanding and is just as violent.
Both are constrained by a game of rule following and rule breaking. Neither one is freer.
Neither one is truer. Neither one is more fixed. They are different ways to approach
Click image to play video.
If DJ + video = VJ
and blog + video = vlog,
then sermon + video = Vermon
If online video = vermin,
then vermin + sermon Vermon
(grace) Notes7: Making an obsessity into a virtue
After a scene or some smaller or larger part of a play has been rehearsed, a director gives the
actors notes. Academic writings have footnotes or endnotes, or sometimes, they are just called
I play off these notes.
Click image to play.
When I say "I am on the tip of your" it is tongue in cheek; it is not only meant to be
salacious. "I" am a narrative construct you consume. Whichever "I" I am (and I am multiple I's
in this paper) is a fiction. You- as reader, viewer, audience member, critic- also are a narrative
construct. There are particular, "real world" bodies connected to all these I's and you's and "real
world" consequences for how we use those "I's" and "you's." But we make meaning, in part, by
trying on all sorts of subject positions, sometimes in rapid succession.
This bastardization (changing something to suit my needs) is fundamental to my practice. I
take common tunes and rework them.8
The tunes I retune: plays, poems, scriptures, academic papers, essays, songs, blogs, vlogs,
advertising, exegesis, prayers, sermons, stories, parables, chants, chats, websites, art shows,
criticism, confessionals, fables, myths, legends, jokes, puns, prat falls, endnotes, hypertext,
dialogue, monologue, arguments, debates, protests, cases, proofs, theory. Q.E.D.
I wonder, walking through my apple-eyed gates, if I'm indulging in a common-as-dirt art
attitude exemplified by the motto for Spasticus Artisticus, "Fuck normal. We're not like
Everyone Else!"9 My way is the hard-highway. I often wish this were not so, but I needs make an
obsessity into a virtue. I sow a silk purse in your ears' fields. You could say I have been called.
After a scene or some section of this staged reading,10 I will string together some notes.
These "notes between the notes" are a form of necessary ornamentation." Here you will find
contextualization. Here you will find inspiration. Here you will find some small explanation.
I am trying to capture in the structure of the academic project paper the ways digital
technologies tend to emphasize hypertextual strategies for reading and viewing. I also am trying
to capture the ways my practice is founded on an extravagant, gloriously wasteful, exhausting
multiplication of associative trails.
I am capturing the academic project paper. "Be very, very quiet, I'm hunting habits" ... of
mind. Dr. Greg Ulmer (the coiner of such useful and playful "puncepts" as electracy and
heurectics) argues that the baroque "as a dimension of thought" (often left in the ashes because
its sister stance, classicism, is the belle of the academic ball) offers us a productive way to crack
open the digital. In the baroque mode, we trade "clear and simple as the truth" for "obscure and
complex as the real."12
The baroque is uncanny, disquieting, dimly lit, not precise, redundant, hallucinatory. This is
the mode of French theorists like Jacque Derrida and Gilles Deleuze. I would like to think I am
in good company. I am not theorizing, precisely, but much of my art making is on the razor edge
that separates art from theory. Or perhaps, in my practice art and theory penetrate each other so
often and in so many places there is no way to safely cut one out of the other. Or perhaps, it
would be more true to say that my take on theory is more artful than academic, if we assume that
academic equals the modes laid down by classicism.
"If its baroque, don't fix it" is my standard operating procedure. Deleuze and Guattari call
thought the "witch's flight."13 I am on that broom, flying high, cackling as I turn upside down. I
couldn't straighten up and fly right, if I tried. And I have tried. I will not cut to the chase as I lay
out the case for my work. Instead, I write dvar torah.14
On Friday nights, the dvar torah is like a jazz improvisation. A phrase is taken from the
holy book and the rabbi goes a metaphysical riff. 15
Time for my riff raff.
In 2001, Bishop Bishop cracked out of the skull of the god she may
or may not believe in or, perhaps, she is just a headache for the
Particular artist with whom she shares a last name and corporal
address. Anyway, she was called forth to try to save the whole wide
world and little old you. 16
Click image to play. Tonight, I'd like to welcome all y'all to my revival. Tonight, I will
exorcise some of my demons. And I don't mean that my demons are
going to be running around in sweat pants doing sit-ups and push-ups, as entertaining as
that image might be. No. Tonight, I will purge myself of some personal pain. Tonight, I
will breath new life into myself. It might be a bit self-indulgent, but this revival ain't just
for me. I want to breath new life into all y'all out there.17
What exactly she hopes to save the world from/for is unclear, but she is determined to save it
despite such uncertainties.
A part of me really does want to save the whole wide world and little old you, but
because I realize that my vision for a better world is as imperfect as the next, I content
myself with the more bittersweet pleasure- the joy of putting words together on a page or
stage (live or electronic) to make a train of meaning, which may very well jump the track
and crash, but also occasionally makes people feel less lonely in their emotional,
intellectual, social, political, economic, artistic, religious, theoretical, psychological
Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you reaches out to some
bodies (when she speaks in tongues, it often is dirty) with "the Good (and Not So Good) Words"
any way she can. She preaches, writes and Vermonizes (video+sermon=Vermon) for the
"unchurched" at cabarets, conferences and exhibitions, on blogs, through websites such as
Facebook and YouTube and various other (e)Missionary venues.
B.C.E. (Before the Crazy Epiphany), Bishop Bishop 's Mission was staged in the flesh, face to
face with bodies squirming in their seats. She delighted/s in creating on-the-fly congregations.
Her "live" evangelistic styles ranged/s from highly scripted sermons to impromptu soap box
schpiels. All of her work (past and present) with congregations of flesh involves the use of call
and response. She uses call and response because she has a knack for getting people riled and
enjoys stirring the pot.
A.E. (Anno Electracy 19), which some scholars, well, one scholar20 argues can be dated from
September 16, 2008, Bishop Bishop decided she'd find that damn pony that must be hiding in the
internet and rock down to Electrate Avenue (and then she'll take it higher).21 She began creating
short, improvisational semi-weekly video sermons to post online. The neologism "Vermon" and
her slogan "The Good (and Not So Good) Words" leaked from the holes in her work. Soon after,
inspired to fill a void22 opened up by her reading ofAlain Badiou's Ethics: An Essay on the
Understanding ofEvil, she launched another (e)Missionary project, her blog, The (in no way,
shape or form) Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words.
Today, for the first time, I break a trail and ask that you journey with me for a spell. Walk
with me for a while as I spread "the Good (and Not So Good) Words." I ask you to join
me on this path; to explore a "long and winding road." You won't be disappointed, at
least not too much. Your satisfaction is ... not guaranteed, but you're bound to have a
satisfied mind, sooner or later, if you travel with me long enough. Though you might
think you "can't get no satisfaction" until we reach the next terminus and get off what
seems to be a beaten (to death) track, but then again satisfaction is where you find it.
I seem to have lost my way. I will try to get back on track. I will keep going.23
She was ordained by the Universal Life Church (loosey, goosey New Age spiritual fun for
all) and The Church of Spiritual Humanism (hard-core atheists) to best represent her atheist/
Y'all might think I harp on this but reminding yourself to keep going becomes very
important when you do not have the certainty of conviction to prop you up. I do not know
much for certain, even though I sometimes act and speak as if I do. It is easy for me to
fall down into a puddle and slide off the path, even though it is a path I have chosen. My
bossy as all get out voice and mannerisms belie it, but, in my heart of hearts, I am a true
doubter. This means that I often get lost in a fog of my own dithering and doubting.
Though sometimes, it is hard to distinguish real doubt from doubts trumped up by my
reluctant, passive aggressive, don't want to do much of nothing side to get out of working
on something that may just not turn out the way I want it to.25
When called upon to make comparisons between her Mission to save the whole wide world
and little oldyou, Reverend Billy's Church of Life After .\/ q'lyin" and The Reverend Ethan
Acres Highway Chapel,27 comparisons she does not care to make, she uses a Kinsey-esque28
scale where 0 equals exclusively earnest and 6 equals exclusively ironic. Reverend Billy's
Church is a 3.5 to 4. Reverend Acres's Highway Chapel gets a 2.5 to 3. Bishop Bishop 's Mission
as a whole is a 4 to a 5, but individual (e)Missions might be anywhere from a 0 to 6.
Reverend Billy really does want you to stop shopping, especially at Wal-mart.29 Reverend
Acres really wants you to accept Jesus in your heart.30 And Bishop Bishop, well, she's not really
sure what she really wants you to do, though convincing people to get down on their knees
generally lifts her spirits.
You're going to get down on your knees and pray, "Please god-like being that I may or
may not believe in, let Bishop Bishop bestow her word on me again and again and again
and again and again."31
She can marry, bury and bless you in many, though not all, cities and states.
The previous section adapts, expands and repurposes an online biography found on Bishop
Bishop's website. Recently, I reworked this biography for Artists Wanted.32 I decided to smudge
the already-eroded boundary lines between the character and myself by explicitly stating that the
character shares a "corporal address" with a particular artist. I enjoy theatrical roles in which my
individuality is subsumed by whatever character I am performing, but much of the work I create
purposefully plays at confusions between actor and characterss. This has shown up in my semi-
conventional plays. It, without a doubt, shows up in my more-experimental performance work. It
shows up here in this paper. I am interested in the ways our sense of self is not unified; the ways
it is a collection of voices that can seem distinct but also slip and slide into one another.
Bishop Bishop would not stop nagging me until I promised to write an
introduction ... She said it would make it that much closer to being sort of like a
real published book, if there were an introduction written by someone else. I am
indulging her request, even though the line between her and me is much thinner
than the one between me and you, and it could be argued that she and I are not
exactly separate beings, and so this introduction might not really count as being
written by someone else. But we don't let petty little distinctions like that get in
our way. We have more important fish to fry.33
"Speak loudly and carry a big schtick!"
Based on my own observations from nearly to 20 years of making theater and performance
art and backed by C. Carr's descriptions in On Edge: Performance at the End of the Tii einieth
Century, performance art tends to fall into three camps. There is the earnest work; Marina
Abromovic's Rhythm O, which resulted in gallery visitors cutting her with razor blades and
holding a loaded gun to her head.34 There is wacky hi-jink work; Annie Sprinkle's A Public
Cervix Announcement or Yin-Yang Breasts.35 And then there is work that is earnest and ironic;
Laurie Anderson's Language is a Virus.36
Because of its generous use of salty language and explicit sexual content, Bishop Bishop 's
Mission would seem, on first impression, to be spending the summer at Camp Annie Sprinkle.
But the complicated use of language highlighting the musical qualities of speech and multi-
layered and voiced storytelling, often about serious social and political issues, situates my work a
little closer to the more playful edge of Laurie Anderson's practice. The role of a preacher, which
simultaneously suggests the hysterics of Oral Roberts
and the generous wisdom of Mr. Rogers, and the variety
of media- writing, performance, video, social aREAL
SIN THESE BANI. BAB
networking- used to perform the character allow a wide
variety of tones and themes to be deployed.
In Carry a Big Schtick, Rachel Wolff outlines a
trend of gallery-oriented performance artists such as
Stanya Kahn (with whom I took a multi-week workshop
in the 1990s) and Martin Sastre using "off-the-wall
personae as surrogates through whom they can say or do
anything."37 These works, referencing stand-up and skit
Bishop Bishop is on a Mission to Save the Whole Wide World, and
Little Old You,From Boredom, Anhedonia and the Deniers and
comedy without duplicating the form, emphasize humor Repudato o Pleasure. Bishop Bish op, famed n Gainesville. FL
for preaching the Oh So Good Word will be testifying and soap box
as they explore social and political topics. As curator aningandsavinglostsouandMCing) n StPetrsbuFLon
August 26, 2006 I Cafe Bohemia...937 Central Ave
Thelma Golden points out, "It doesn't make the truth
easier to swallow, but it does create different ways to engage different issues in this world. It
provokes conversations, but conversations that begin with laughter."38
The characters used by artists are "more extreme than late-night TV characters," and the
delivery is often purposely much less polished than one would expect of a stand-up comic like
Margaret Cho or Chris Rock.39 A work like Latins Do it Better (Madonna meets Sor Kitty),
which ends with the Martin Sastre Foundation for the Super Poor Art's slogan, "Adopt a Latin
Bishop Bishop performs in front of video +sermon= Vermon. University Gallery.
artist," is in dialogue with social issues but, quoting Glenn Phillips of the Getty Research
Institute, also is made "specifically to be in a dialogue with other pieces of art-paintings,
sculpture-rather than in a dialogue with TV and other mass media."40
Like much of the work Wolff discusses, in Bishop Bishop 's Mission, I am not "doing
method-acting schtick and [I'm] not trying to disappear."41 I also purposefully work the line
between bad and good acting. I am interested in where things break down. This also can be seen
in my "straight" theater work, directing Edward Albee's Who Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which
is about a relationship's coping system breaking down; and my writing, which works the edge
between sense and nonsense, using a form and breaking it.
The joke-like delivery can be a powerful bait-and-switch, hiding deadly earnest ideas. A
playful delivery can make a serious idea "pop." Some of it is that the surprise, the novelty, of the
joke opens us up. Comedian and teacher Greg Dean tells us, "In order to work, a joke has to
surprise you."42 Some of it is that my generation (Generation X) and following generations, for
better and worse, are disposed to prefer irony. Some of it is that a stark contrast- between a
comedic style of delivery and serious content- helps us see things more clearly.
I suppose I should not expect a well rounded definition of the erotic from the author of
Story of the Eye a freak fest of disturbing porn. Bad boys like Bataille really are
romantics at heart. Instead of romanticizing flowers and chocolates and communion and
warm fuzzy feelings, they romanticize shit and death and pain and isolation and deviance.
I may have mentioned it before, but I'm suspicious of romantics- whether they are the
happy-happy-joy-joy kind or the wallow-in-their-own-excrement kind.43
InMultitude: Between Innovation and Negation, Paolo Virno tells us that a "joke is an
action that undermines and contradicts the prevalent belief-system of a community (endoxa),
thus revealing the transformability of the contemporary form of life."44 I playfully, gleefully race
back and forth across the boundaries between the comedic and the non-comedic because it seems
a way to underscore one of the central tenets of Bishop Bishop's Mission, which is to not put our
faith in fixed meanings but to learn how commit just
enough to get something done but not so much that we
shatter as our understandings of what those things ought to
be shift (and shake).
In a piece like Cant of Can 't, small bits of humor-
the punning title, an unsubtle emphasis on "the Not So
Good Words" of "the Good (and Not So Good Words),"
the sarcastic recasting of Nike's slogan and the oblique
wink at how popular understandings of religion
overemphasize the power of "positive thinking" leads not
to a laugh but to what some of my audience said was a
powerful and useful confrontation with the limits of our
April 20., 2C.9 by admin
Today, I deliver a dose of the Not So Good Words. A cant of can't. Because
sometimes we all need to be told no. Sometimes, it does not turn out all right. We
Today, I remind you of the limits. Push against them. Relax into them. Remember
them For you have need of them
Today, I tell you
This time, you should not 'Just do It."
It is not possible.
Today, I tell you
Don't push yourself.
You will have to wait.
It takes time.
Today. I tell you
It is over.
It cannot be fixed.
It never will be the same.
Today, I tell you
You didn't get in.
You have to do it over.
Today, I tell you
Today, I tell you
It is Incurable.
You will die.
There is no reprieve.
Bishop Bishop shows off her new hair cut,
segue ways into a brief discussion of porn
with old people and some how ends up
suggesting y'all should do a little bible study
(scripture is where you find it) with a
specific clip from Heather Woodbury's As
Sthe Globe Warms: http://vimeo.com/
For her followers who are hair enthusiasts,
she ain't cutting her hair, just showing off a
Category: People & Blogs
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Now that y'all have watched Heather Woodbury's video, I can spoil it all I want; if you haven't watched it, then
you're just being an idgit, and I ain't got any time for you.
So, here's why I think this here video is interesting. First off, it explicitly (and y'all know I like it when things get
explicit) deals with social networking, religion and identity. It is somewhat exaggerated, which is why it is fun, yet
the concerns of a Christian teen about how an video posted online without her permission might affect whether or
not a boy "flocks" her back, is true to the experience of most teens with internet access. The cliched yet true to life
adolescent clique dramas of "everybody hates me, nobody loves me" are now staged online as well as in high school
hallways, at the mall and other places where teen flesh meets teen flesh.
Secondly, it is a great character based performance. As a solo performer able to give voice to multiple characters,
Heather's work is pretty damn fine and a joy to watch, at least for folks like me who love this sort of stuff. I've seen
her perform in the flesh and have to say that is the best way to see her work.
Which brings me to my third point. She is creating this serial performance in front of an audience at a cafe in the
L.A. area, streaming live online and then posting the recorded performances on her Vimeo channel. It's pretty
obvious that the performance is focused on the in the flesh audience. The online audience gets the scraps. It ain't the
end of the world, and trust me, it's much better than her first few performances working the live/online dicotomy-
she is a performer who believes in working out the kinks in front of audiences, which is an attitude I applaud and
ascribe to- but it somewhat frustrating. I'm sure Heather will figure it out as she goes, but to work the live/online
dialectic, I think performers have to remember they are working two stages. The physical stage their body is on and
the stage space created by the limits of the camera frame. It takes some serious chops to work both stages at once.
Heather's work is not quite there yet, but she's getting there performance by performance. I sure as shit ain't there
yet. But there is something lovely about watching someone work her way to working it.
The Mystery of Romancing the Formula
I wanted to start this section with a nice, long, juicy quote from Michael Chabon, Pultizer
Prize winning author of The Amazing Adventures ofKavalier & Clay.45 I wanted to start with a
quote of his about the joys of genre fiction. Chabon waxed eloquent in defense of genre fiction;
or at least, those of us who agree with him say his defense is eloquent;
many think it is misguided. Lev Grossman wrote in Time magazine,
"This literature is mid-transformation ... [t]he highbrow and the
lowbrow, once kept chastely separate, are now hooking up, you can
Click image to pla. almost see the future of literature coming."46 I'm not sure if Grossman
Click image to play.
meant the sexual pun, but it should be noted that anytime you mix
high and low forms it is bound to have a certain erotic frisson. Ruth Franklin wrote in Slate that
"Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre
fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious fiction abandoned it," which out of
context sounds elitist and narrow minded.47 I love genre fiction, and this love shows up in my
I am dedicating the next handful or so of Daily Doses to the scriptural study of romance
novels. I will take specific passages and analyze them, as if they were sacred texts, in a
d'var torah sort of way. I will build meaning up from a scrap of scripture. I will look at
overarching themes. I will search for the moral of these stories. I will seek out what these
stories can and cannot tell us about lust and love.
Now, it would be easy only to use romance novels as cautionary tales that tell us what not
to do. And there is plenty of bad advice we should not take. Some would say that there is
nothing redeeming to be found between the covers of "bodice rippers" and their sistren.
But I would say there is much that is uplifting, in more than one sense. There are ideas,
truths, threads, notions, stories, hopes, dreams and fantasies that can help us find our way
through the dark, scary woods of Lust-Love.48
Why an interest in genre fiction, when the limits of narrative are demonstrated time and
again? The idea that Plain Jane narrative is suspect and too easily the dupe of the entertainment
industry came up in countless conversations during my tenure in graduate school. It came up so
often I began to wonder at its status as received and revered wisdom. The inability to see that
even conventional narrative strategies could make interesting art meant much of my work was
immediately discounted. I think there is something worth redeeming in good, old-fashioned
storytelling. Genre fiction often lays bare what we as a culture think about many things (sex,
love, death, justice, the future, the past, what makes us human, etc) I plan to use and abuse the
notion of genre fiction as I contextualize my work by discussing how other people work the
"borderlands" between forms.
Genre fiction is treated like a red-headed stepchild by many with literary pretensions.
Genre fiction and online video are kissing cousins. Online video is the red-headed stepchild
beaten by video art, which was (perhaps still is) the red-headed stepchild beaten by the art world.
At least, that is my impression.
I wanted to start with a half-remembered quote by Chabon about genre fiction, but I
could not find my copy of the essay. It is buried somewhere in my office, which is a nightmare
mess of projects in process, important papers to file, various bits of electronic equipment with
necessary cables and adapters- not necessarily in close proximity- years of journals, stacks of
other peoples' art I mean to frame some day, boxes of letters, boxes of cards, boxes of snapshots
and anything else from the rest of the house that needed to be hidden from the view of my
mother-in-law who came to visit over last Thanksgiving weekend; or protected from the grasping
paws of my nephew who comes to visit once or twice a month, sometimes for extended stays.
I wanted that quote, but I couldn't find it.
I confess all of this to you by way of an introduction to Ann Hirsch's work The
Scandalishious Project (Scandalishious, for short), which I think of as working a type of genre
fiction. The genre is the autobiographical confession. A genre that transcends high and low
dichotomies, it can be found sipping champaign and nibbling caviar with literature and history
and scarfing down chips and gulping soda with daytime talk shows and vlogs. The
autobiographical confession is, following Foucault's statement that he had "never written
anything but fictions," always fictive even if it, cross its heart, is based on the facts of a life.49
The autobiographical confession is in some senses always truth, even when it really and truly is
not true to the lived experience of a particular person in a particular time and in a particular
"Trickster goes where the action is, and the action is in the border between things."50
Ann Hirsch, currently finishing up her MFA in Art Video at Syracuse University, defines
herself as "an amateur social scientist, professional microfamer but mainly a performance
artist."51 Hirsch's most recent performance, Performing Reality, which aired Spring 2010
involved being a contestant on VH1's reality TV show Frank the Entertainer In A Basement
Affair.52 In Hirsch's Scandalishious, Ann Hirsch "performed" the character Caroline on a
number of online social networking sites. The bulk of the performance occurred on her YouTube
channel, Scandalishious: Caroline's fun fun channel! with supporting and extending performance
on Caroline's "official" website. Scandalishious is a parody of a tradition of vlogs53 found on
YouTube. The character Caroline is an undergraduate art student who used her webcam to made
videos of herself talking about fashion, reading fan mail, responding to "haters," dancing in
skimpy clothing to pop music, talking about boys and occasional making tributes/parodies of
works by famous performance artists. "caroline poem" using a voice modulation and samples of
"O Superman" directly references and uses the work of Laurie Anderson. "Re: Blond Redhead
(Miranda July)- Top Ranking" is a perhaps negative commentary on Miranda July's popularity
and her appearance in video for the song "Top Ranking" by Blonde Redhead.
In spite of the continuing distain or neglect in which most 'nonliterary' genres are held, in
particular by our finest writers of short stories, many if not most of the most-interesting
writers of the past seventy-five years or so have, like Trickster, found themselves drawn,
inexorably, to the borderlands ... writers have plied their trade in the space between
genres, in the no man's land.54
Caroline's confessions are fictions, though the audience, in large part, believes Caroline is
a "real" person. Hirsch as Caroline, like The Yes Men as corporate executives, intrudes into
spaces where one is not expected to be pretending.55 And like The Yes Men, the full meaning of
her work, the fact that it is work, is closed to viewers unless they catch the wink of the work
either while watching it, which is less likely; or more likely, in an after-the-fact reframing of the
work in another venue. For The Yes Men, that reframing happens if they get caught "red
handed," or when news reports uncover one of their hoaxes, or documentaries cover their work. 56
For Scandalishious, that reframing happens when the work is shown in a gallery or repurposed as
a piece of theater.
Scandalishious does not have explicitly political ends like the work of The Yes Men, but
it is a commentary on how identity and sexuality, especially for women under 25, are shaped
through the media of online social networks, and it makes that commentary by acting as if it is
uncritically the thing it examines. Hirsch works with the conventions generated by the form,
specifically one guaranteed to get a lot of viewer response, a young woman dancing in skimpy
clothing to show off her body. Caroline's awkwardly provocative dances in videos like caRoline
+outKAST and Re: Katy Perry- I Kissed A Girl and the responses they provoke ("id tap that
mother fucker ahahaha jk. like when shes having that little seizure at like" and "getting a man
might be hard because you fucking ugly bitch and too damn skinny") offer us uncomfortable
insights into how young women's notions of their bodies and their sexuality may be constructed
through the media they use.57
I think it is difficult for women (and men) over 35, even those of us who have used digital
technologies such as instant messaging as a way to meet
some of our sexual needs, to understand just how much
young women create their sexual identities through their
interactions online. I do not have a study to confirm my
observation; just many conversations with women under
30 about how much time they spent in their tweens and
teens being watched and responded to by (often
emotionally stunted) much older men. Let's maliciously misconstrue Click image to play.
a comment by Naomi Wolf from her article "The Porn Myth." I substitute social networking for
pornography to get something useful out of an otherwise troubling (and untrue) argument that
sex was so much simpler and better in the old days before pornography became the "wallpaper of
our lives."58 "Young men and women are indeed being taught what sex is, how it looks, what its
etiquette and expectations are, by [social networking] training-and this is having a huge effect
on how they interact."59
I would be shirking my duties to truth, if I let you believe that the prominence and
importance in these novels of women losing their virginity was solely a function of the
historical conditions of 19th Century England, when the vast majority of these novels are
set. No, it has much to say about what we think and believe and want now in the 21st
Scandalishious and the actions of The Yes Men are not works, they don't work, until
someone realizes there is a hoax, that the audience is being duped and is the butt of an elaborate
joke; that Hirsch, that The Yes Men, are not who they say they are. The limitation of this sort of
work is that some in the audience never figure out it is, at its heart, an art scam, a creative con
job. Like viewers of All in the Family who loved Archie Bunker without realizing Bunker was
created by Norman Lear to be a parody of right wing bigotry;61 or in a more contemporary vein,
fans of The Colbert Report, who do not realize anchorman Stephen Colbert, a "well-intentioned,
poorly informed, high-status idiot," is a "caricature of televised political pundits,"62 Caroline's
audience of middle-aged men, tweens and young college students engage with Scandalishious as
if Caroline is a real person. Viewers may be critical, but they are critical of the character's
behavior and looks, not of the art project the character inhabits. There is commentary by viewers
who are in the know, but they do not try to destroy the "integrity" of the performance. Even
viewers who know that Caroline is fiction comment as if she is real. Videos like caroline poem
and Caroline's Official Goodbye Video destabilize the character and her world, but because the
character is meant to be seen as a young, pretentious hipster wanna-be-art-star, it is easy for the
audience to ignore these sorts of gestures. Viewers, the illusioned and disillusioned, immerse
themselves in the story, in the situation, much like readers of genre fiction. As I will discuss in
just a moment, the situation of the video and the conversation around the situation engage
participating viewers more than any particular video.
The fact that it is a creative con job refutes those who would brush Scandalishious off as
simply "narcissistic." (Though I am not suggesting it is never narcissistic). It is, following Lev
Manovich in The Practice ofEveryday (Media) Life, a good example of how we have "graduated
from 20th century video/film to early 21st century social video."63 Even if we were to agree with
Rosalind Krauss's argument in Video: The Ae'thetii of Narcissism that the medium of early
video was narcissism (and there is more than one dear Liza, dear Henry hole in that bucket of
wanna-be-Lacanianism) work like Scandalishious does not "withdraw attention from an external
object- an Other- and invest it in the Self."64 It is, as Manovich would say, a token "used to
initiate or maintain a conversation. [Its] original meaning is less important that [its] function as
In The Conceptual Power ofOn-Line Video: 5 Easy Pieces, Marsha Kinder searches for a
way to "illuminate the pleasures of modular on-line video, particularly the brief forms now being
seen on YouTube."66 She turns to Edgar Allen Poe, a poet and genre fiction writer, to find a
"theory that explains the distinctive pleasures of short narrative forms."67 Poe "one of the earliest
American practitioners of the short story ... is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction
genre [and] credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction."68 I also offer
that Poe's stories "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Tell-Tale
Heart" are part of the foundation for the horror genre.
Kinder quotes Poe from The Poetic Principle, "a long poem
does not exist;" it "is simply a flat contradiction in terms."69
"A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites" and "that
Click image to play.
degree of excitement cannot be sustained throughout a
composition of any great length. After the lapse of half an hour, at the very utmost, it flags-
fails."70 Epic poems, according to Poe as filtered through Kinder, are just lots of short poems
Kinder uses this to suggest that our short attention spans, blamed on television and the
internet, may actually predate those particular media. Whether this is true, or even if we buy
Poe's argument, imagining that what makes a poem enjoyable may be similar though not the
same as what makes online video enjoyable may offer us another way to look at work like
Scandalishious. Of course, work like Ann Hirsch's Scandalishious is more like a limerick or a
dirty little ditty than a "serious poem." It is more like genre fiction than "literature" with a capital
L. She has "drawn immense power from and provided considerable pleasure to [viewers] through
play, through the particular commingling of mockery and tribute, invocation and analysis,
considered rejection and passionate embrace, which are the hallmarks of our Trickster literature
in this time of unending crossroads."72 Hirsch's work is an intense burst of something; a bit of
pleasure that with a nudge and a wink asks us to think for a few minutes how social video could
be video art and might just have something to say about our lives.
Schtick Floats: Noah's Art
Row, row, row your boat, not-so-gently in the stream
Warily, warily, warily, warily
The Web is but a (bad) dream.73
I know I have read texts lauding the utopian possibilities of the internet. I know I have read
texts bemoaning the internet as a dystopic wasteland. But right now, I cannot, for the life of me,
remember where I encountered those texts. I have squirreled away countless sources: on
Facebook, on my delicious account, in my bookmarks on my web browser, in my email folders;
cut and pasted into documents, saved as pdf's, listed as books read on my Shelfari account, on
my bookshelves, in my file cabinets, in piles of paper around my house.
I know, I have mentioned this fact before; I'll just warn you now, I am known to be
obsessional, so I will probably say it again and again.74
I lose hold of these threads because I am tangled in too many. We are flooded with
information. And unlike the story of Noah's Ark, there is no dry land on the horizon. The flood is
continuous, never-ending, monstrous. We are awash.
Since I've given The Daily Dose its very own spot on the web in the form of an elegant
Word Press blog on my still needs much improving website, it seems only the Spambots
are "reading" the Good (and Not So Good) Words. This can be a mite discouraging.75
As an artist who posts work online, I have to ask myself what it means to add to this deluge.
Is it a good thing, if my schtick floats? Like the scene in the movie Caddyshack where a Babe
Ruth candy bar thrown into a pool makes swimmers panic,76 I imagine people frantically
scrambling away from what I log.
I finally installed the plugins that should rid me of the spambots' pesky pestilence, but
with their absence, I have to confront my sometimes overwhelming uncertainty about
what it means to send out these (e)Missions (the writings, the Vermons, the live online
events) to save the whole wide world and little old you into an electronic landscape
mired, bogged, swamped, flooded, drowning in text and images and ideas and emotions. I
am not assured that the world needs my works of words.77
I have to ask what this deluge does to my art.
Online my art is not a self-contained ark that will bring my precious cargo (the work) and my
passengers (the audience) safely to shore. There are ways in which all of our online projects are
wrecked as soon as we launch them. The internet breaks up the hull of my ship. My ship is
ransacked by pirates. My art, as soon as it is posted, becomes booty. It will be plundered. I
encourage this plundering by affixing a Creative Commons copyleft78 to almost all of my work
online. I have to accept that parts of my work will be salvaged from this sea to do things I never
Here is one shanty built with my salvaged and savaged schtick. I created a two-part Vermon,
Ugly Ritual, Part I and Ugly Ritual, Part II, in which I shaved my head while talking about
aging, people discounting my Vermons because I was "ugly" and the personal/ritual power of
head-shaving as a way of letting go. Those two videos were reported on forums for hair and
shaving fetishists. The hit count for those videos went way up; now it is in the thousands. All the
comments are about how beautiful (or occasionally how ugly) I am. This is ironic since I was
doing the "ritual" to free myself from obsessing about my physical appearance and as as way to
talk about how enjoyable it can be, in a culture in which a woman's beauty seems her only
power, to deny this by transgressing a norm of femininity. I have nothing against the fetishists,
but I wish their encounter with my work was not such a schtick-wreck.
Writ(h)ing in a net: Getting Down with Academic Discourse
This will be provocative. Of course, with that sort of promise, it is just as likely to fall flat.
The tyranny of hydraulics has impeccable timing, but I am getting ahead of myself. Remember
that tongue firmly planted in my cheek? Good. Now we go deep-sea fishing. Let's rock the
boat. Let's cast our nets and see what gets caught.
Instead of going to class, let's go on a date. And I don't mean one of those dates looking for
love in all the wrong places. I am not writing a love letter. We want to score. We want to get
some. We meet Badiou or Derrida or Judd or Finley or Hirsch or Bishop or Woodbury, or some
other someone/something, we really, really want to get to "know." We literally do not meet
them in the flesh; we meet the body of their work. Though, in some ways we literally meet them
in the flesh, at least our flesh meets their text or art or idea, but that channel hides lots of rocks
that could break our hull, so we will chart another course for now.
More often than not, we meet a small part of the body of their work. It is playing dirty to call
someone a fetishist. But I mean no insult when I say our
date, our encounter, with a small part of a body of a work is
sexually charged. Badiou's void79 just begs us to try to
penetrate it. We never will, because his void is the ultimate
cock tease. I speak, of course, of the academic cock that we
all hold in our hands, regardless of our supposed biological
Click image to play.
sex or culturally constructed gender. We all strain toward the
void, wanting to get inside it.
There are ways in which our encounters, our endeavors to keep going (and going and going
and going) are extended circle jerks. We surround a text, an idea, an art work- we strain toward
it, eager, hungry, wanting. We cannot touch it, and we are not alone in our hard straining toward.
We spend lots and lots and lots of words trying. And we look at the words others have spent
trying to get inside something. If you recoil at my imagery or think it an insult, then I ask you to
think long and hard about why you have that reaction. I mean no insult.
I pause for a moment. The tension and anxiety builds, and so I lash out to deflect imagined
blows. If Paul McCartney can place an animatronic sculpture of a creepy, middle-aged man
fucking a knothole in a tree in a pretend public park into the art gallery,80 and we take and talk
about it seriously, then I can place the image of a not-quite-middle-aged woman wearing a
strap-on and trying to fuck the knothole in Badiou's text into the classroom and expect to have it
taken and talked about seriously. I get to be an intellectual bad boy, too.
But I have to be careful. I am getting tangled in my own net. I twist and turn. I am deep-sea
fishing. It is risky. I might fall off the boat into icy waters. I want to catch something in my net;
something I can never hold. And my net is woven with sexually charged imagery. That is the
net that comes to my hand.
The reason for all this sexually charged imagery is because I wonder about the untouchable
void out of which the next not-quite-touchable void emerges. The imagery is gendered in ways
that could replicate ideas I find troubling. It is not an uncommon trope to imagine intellectual
pursuits as an unmessy, disembodied birth; a strange abstract with no heat or color, no taste or
What if instead of a void we try to but cannot penetrate, we are penetrated by an encounter?
We take it in. We envelop it. We cannot capture it, but we momentary hold its motion. It slides
in and out- moving, seldom resting, never staying. Slick, warm, wet. It marks us. We mark it.
It comes, and then it goes. The thing we took in, that we asked to penetrate us, cannot stay. But
it leaves behind sticky traces of the encounter. And parts of us cling to it even though we no
longer hold its movement.
I am not interested in replacing the disembodied void that gives birth bloodlessly with an
evagination that holds but cannot capture the in and out maneuvers of some thing. I want an
expanded field. A bigger net. I want an art-ark that sails the sea and is the sea.
Much of academic discourse is like bad sex. There are rigid rules about what you can say
and what you can do, and too often, it is deadly boring because people are afraid to take risks. No
one likes to be laughed at when their pants are down, literally or figuratively. Now there is a
(very good) place for rigor, and marking and limiting our field of inquiry means we explore
things in depth. A boundless field of possibility will remain forever unplowed. Rules give us a
place to play. The narratives we use to talk about ideas are necessary fantasies. But we have to
be careful to not get caught up in thinking there is only rule set, in thinking there is only one
right way to play this game. There is more than one way to skin a fish.
We might need to be open to the notion that sometimes we need to spice up our intellectual
life by greeting ourselves at the door wrapped in saran wrap. We might need to be willing to be
ridiculous; to cast our net in shark-infested waters. There is nothing wrong with the missionary
position most academic work takes; it is just important to remember it is not the only position.
Other positions are not better; you don't have to be kinky to have a good time, but rigor without
rigidity is something to strive for.
It is not just because I am a sadist and enjoy imagining you squirming in your seat (and I do
very much enjoy the image of you squirming in your seat) that I weave my net with sex. I want
to give y'all a gift. I want my willful distortion to be so out there that you can't help but think,
"Damn, if she can do that, then what I want to do and say shouldn't be a problem at all."
Here I am an idealist.
I want each and every one of you to feel like you have the right to take in, envelope,
evaginate any art work, any text, any idea. Let fluid motion get you and it wet. Be greedy like
Derrida, try to capture everything in your net, knowing you can never keep your catch. You must
release it. You will be left with traces. The net you use is not the same one Derrida (or Badiou
or any other thinker or artist) used, though you might weave some of his rope into your web. I
imagine almost no one will try to weave my ropes into their nets.
You must remember you did not spin most of the rope you use to weave your net. The fibers
were selected and spun together by conversations that stretch back for generations. I say this
because what you capture in your net, what you choose to take in, what you mark with your
wetness, is not just determined by you. You are not so much outside the net, using it as a tool.
You are caught in it. I am caught in my net. I writhe in it.
Despite being as much caught in the net as being a catcher with net, we still must try to catch
things in our nets. "Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of. ."81 Go fish. Pull that
"crap with a net."82 Just remember the net you use, the net that uses you, limits the type of fish
you will find squirming in your net. Go Fish!83
Online video work in which women's faces and bodies are framed by the camera, whether it
wants to or not, references the ubiquity of webcam chat and sexchat. Artists mining the
conventions, the genre of the webcam, may, like the webcam operators examined by Michele
White, "resist the more submissive aspects of being looked at."84 I do not want to suggest that all
the unproblematic issues of the gaze as laid out by thinkers like Laura Mulvey 5 are washed out
to sea, but I do agree that women framing their own image using webcams and cameras
embedded in their computer offer us another view. We can see "how women .. have
renegotiated their societal visibility, controlled their images, and decided to be visible" and how
"other women use and control computer technologies."86
I tend to agree with Susie Bright that our labeling of something with explicit sexual content
as erotic instead of pornographic has to much to do with issues of class and gender.
Erotic=female, middle/high class. Porn=male, low class.87 A useful, and less problematic
distinction is to say that the erotic can encompass the pornographic, but the erotic also includes a
larger array of sensual experiences and responses.
One goal in my art practice is to lay bare the erotics of art making and intellectual inquiry. I
use sexually charged imagery, sexually explicit content and try to capture with my language the
sensual side of thought. In Against Taste, Minal Hajratwala argues "the erotic is always at risk of
being hidden, collapse or crushed. It must be excavate and protected against all 'opinions,'
'standards' or 'values.'"88
For a number of reasons, I am especially attuned to the ways content is sexualized. Using my
work to point to how art making and rigorous thinking are sensual, erotic, sexualized activities
defines part of this work as feminist. I am choosing to not explicitly talk much more about the
feminist content of my work, even though that content is an important part of the work; because I
have explored that facet of my practice in depth before and because too-often labeling a practice
"feminist" means either it will be ignored by those who would rather not be bothered with pesky
problems like sexism, or the only thing discussed will be how well it lives up to that label.
Click image to play.
Out of the mother we are born.
We now turn to ...
Feeding the multitude: the flailing long tail
Bishop Bishop: I post online.
Bishop Bishop: I post online.
Bishop Bishop just found out that Oral Roberts is dead! Sing with
her, "Ding Dong the Preach is Dead. The Preach is Dead. The
Preach is Dead. Ding Dong the wicked Preach is Dead!"
December 16, 2009 at 11 39am Comment Like
Ir likes this.
Write a comment..
Heyi I'm 's friend in Vienna. I
love your videos, my friends love your videos. Keep inspiring us!
'.'~ ch 22, .''-i-,1 at 11:4 am Comment Like Report
Bishop Bishop Will they sing my praises?
Bishop Bishop: I can't hear you!
Riveting, always poignant, Bishop Bishop's sermons never
fai to open the mind and heart.
hn honor of Dr. Tiller
moni qt to think about ith death of Dr TYle? the
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mSidav muiril. an0 vCoir oCn everi.al death
Bishop Bishop: The internet turns loaves to
fishes. No, I mean feeds fishes to loaves.
No, I mean my fishloaf feeds millions.
T 10) 30am Comment Like Share
Write a comment...
Bishop Bishop: What are my wishes for these re-dishes of dishes of loaves and fishes? Do they
lose their flavor? Who will savor them? Will you savor them?
Bishop Bishop: Will you favor them?
Bishop Bishop: Will you re-flavor them?
Search 's Photos Ain't no party like a Scranton party..
K Photo 40 of 50 Previous Next
Farah's Has it All
Great food, full bar,
hookah lounge. Come in
for daily food and drink
specials. Just 2 blocks
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"You know yall would be Catholic if the alter boys looked like this"
BAH HAHA! Loved it.
@ Gainesville Rock City
in this photo (photos), Sheila Bishop (photos
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Bishop Bishop: The body of art, the bread of heaven-n-hell,
Bishop Bishop: I am on the tip of your tongue. Here is a communion wafer:
This may not have spoken to all of y'all, but I'm sure it spoke to a few of you. And
sometimes that is all The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words can be, a dish
that will be tasted and savored by a select (not in the sense of elect or special, more in the
sense of small number burdened with a particular set of taste receptors) few.89
sent you a message.
^ tMarch 25, 2010 at 4 Olpm
Subject: Today I give thanks once again
Hi! Regarding the latest: To begin with yer hair looks "fab*, really like, uh, good.
You "should' be showing it off! #2--Thanks for posting and for linking Ms.
Woodbury. Great enlivening stuff. Important. It's a grey day here in cowtown
Vermont,and watching the both of y'all has inspired me "so* much. Never ever get
it in yer head that noone pays attention, regardless of feedback or lack thereof, to
your posts Sheila, and never ever, ever blend in. Ya'll rock. Thank You! Best to you
and yours, BP
To reply to this message, follow the link below:
Bishop Bishop: How will you commune with me?
Bishop Bishop: How will you commune with me?
Bishop Bishop: How will you commune with me?
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sirFrancisDasnwoodl (1 hour ago) Hide Reply I Spam
Men are from earth. Women are from Uranus. I hate to spoil a fantasy but there I s- n I Bokser
discriminative pay gap. Men make more because men work more hours and work jobs
that pay more money and jobs that women don't want and jobs that are more
dangerous as 90% of job related deaths are men. Thars overall however single
women on average earn more money than single men as 60% of all college graduates
are female. You need to do more research before pulling such filthy feminist myths
from your anus.
countmockula12 (1 hour ago) Repl I Spam
"Men are from earth. Women are from Uranus" I e I ..Us
I'm Count Mockula and I approve this message
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Bishop Bishop: Will it save them?
Bishop Bishop: Will it save them?
Bishop Bishop: Will it save them?
Bishop Bishop finds this very funny and wishes she thought of it,
but if the Rapture were to sucks all those folks up and off the
planet, she plans on having a mighty good time and wouldn't
want to be burden with their pets.
ete, ra l- heart bound- pets.com
SAugust 29, 2009 at 5 53pm Comment Like Share
damn...this is funny! thanks for sharin
August 29, 2009 at 9:49pm Delete Report
SBishop Bishop You're welcome, ma'am. We aim to
please here at The Bishop Family Compound.
August 29, 2009 a 11 58pm Delete
Write a corrment..
Bishop Bishop: Can I save them? Here is a waiver of communion:
I cannot save you from what it means to be an individual situated within shifting systems
of power and privilege. Power and privilege shift around you, changing moment to
moment. Sometimes you have more. Sometimes you have less. Sometimes you are
innocent. Sometimes you are guilty. Sometimes, you are coated in such a muddled mix of
innocence and guilt that you cannot tell which smell is stronger. Much of it is beyond
your control. That ain't an excuse to do nothing.90
Bishop Bishop: You are not saved! Here is a new flavor for communion
S Bishop Bishop
Confedelate asn ine blooms. A wh ie solar of a flowe on a tra hng green ,ne!
smells sckly sweet To me Confederate jasmnme smells of decay It evokes Stir
Fruit as srng by Cassardra Wson or Nina Simonne
E April 26, 2009 at ID 18pm Comment Like Share
I II iWowl Thank you. I needed that.
SApril 27, 2009 at 6:03am Delete Report
SBishop Bishop You're welcome, ma'am. At The Bishop
Family Compound, we aim to please, well, we also aim to
pester and annoy.
April 27, 2009 at 9:24arn Delete
Write a comment
Let Bishop Bishop save y'all some
worry. Every single one of you is
damned, at least in any black and white
- ideology where some are saved and
others not, some innocent, others guilty.
Even in my shifting shades of grey
world view, I must tell you, we all
remain guilty. The tainted perfume of
Confederate Jasmine clings to every
body in the United States, regardless of
the color of our skins, regardless of
when or how we or our ancestors got
Wired editor Chris Anderson popularized the idea that the internet and new digital
technologies allow the selling/distributing of niche content and this expanded field of possibility
was to be a boon to media creators and artists. "If the 20th- century entertainment industry was
about hits, the 21st will be equally about misses." This line of thought, which has its strengths
and weaknesses, along with the media hype around YouTube videos with massive hit counts,
leads many to think cultivating a following online is as easy as "leading a horse to water."92
In 1, 000 True Fans, Kevin Kelly briefly outlines the
disadvantages of the "long tail" and how by cultivating 1,000
true fans artists could hope to make a decent living from their
work. "The key challenge is that you have to maintain direct
contact with your 1,000 True Fans."93 The crux of this is that
the bulk of the work is not whatever art you might make but
how well you use social networks to make connections with
Click image to play. your "fans."
There is much academic chatter about what our willy-nilly reposting of
interesting on-dits means for art. An only slightly provocative position is taken by Hito Steyerl in
In Defense of the Poor Image. Without denying that the blurred-out repost "feeds into ...
capitalist media assembly lines," Steyerl suggests that "the poor image thus constructs
anonymous global networks just as it creates a shared history. It builds alliances as it travels,
provokes translation or mistranslation, and creates new publics and debates."94
TheBishopBishop ,9 months ago) Reply I Remove
I think we've gotten to the point where the dialogue is not well served by the
limits of the YouTube comments feature because we are getting into the nitty
gritty details of what makes something moral/immoral, murder/not murder. I also
find I need time to digest other people's ideas in order to give them their proper
due. I will think about what you have said. Thank you for taking the time to
engage with my work and the ideas behind that work.
Numbers (A flock finding mission)
As of today, Bishop Bishop's Facebook Fan Page has 49 fans. People occasionally comment,
"like" or repost one of the Vermons. Bishop Bishop's YouTube channel has 33 subscribers. Most
Vermons have been watched between 25 and 200 times (it appears
YouTube does not count me watching my own work in its hit tally). see Al
The three Vermons that have been watched thousands of times 90' A****
arlikwe"-Ir Post Quality
(Ugly Ritual, Part II: 9,474; Ugly Ritual, Part I: 6,521; Sex, .hiv ed 2n't"lr"io
Heads and .haine: 2,328) were reported on forums for hair cutting Most Actve counties
United States 2
and shaving fetishists. Those three Vermons plus the one on Dr.
Tiller, the abortionist who was shot at his Church one Sunday last
year, inspired the most comments.
At the peak of my blog posting on The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words, I
never got more than one or two readers.
I keep doing this project because every once in a while, people will tell me how much it
means and what it means to them. They may respond emotionally or intellectually or
somehow a mix of both-ly, but it did something for them that they appreciated.95
Ann Hirsch, who built a large following on YouTube, spent "a few hours a day" interacting
with her audience.96 She watched their videos, she posted comments on their channels and she
logged in lots of time chatting with her fans. This work enriched the character, but as she told
me, "it was a lot to keep up, which may be why I left it also."97
V Statistics & Data
More Insight Statistics Share statistics for this video: Public Private
Total Views: 26
1 1 20 1 152010 0 31 2010
Comments: 0 Favorites: 0 Ratings: 0 Average Rating: 0.00
If I have to choose between social networking to build an audience for the work and making
work, which both pull from the same limited pool of energy, I am going to choose to make work.
I enjoy doing some of the required social networking to cultivate an audience; it is similar to
what I must do to cultivate an audience for "in the flesh" performances. But I am not willing to
spend the time necessary to become the next big thing.
Some discussions my audience wanted to engage with me are not well served by the
character cap YouTube places on comments. Some discussions need a level of trust that is
difficult to cultivate in the back-and-forth dialogue of comment boxes. Some ideas are worth
taking the time to think about. The internet does not seem to reward thoughtful, slow-moving
response. Thoughtful, slow-moving responses take time. I often have taken hours with just one
response. That would be an inefficient use of my time, if my goal were to make it big.
Search my videos
Total views of all videos: 20,289 In the selected range and region: 634
Show prevs Id 7d 1m 3m Gm ly Max
How many views are my videos getting?
Show go All USA A.. Aft-
Eampe Middie East Soith A-ne
3/17110 -3/3010 Selected region: all
Ugly Ritual: Part II
Ugly Ritual: Part I
Sex, Shaved Heads and Sha.
Yet another test
Singing in the pain
A lecture on love (with cute kL
Back in the Saddle
In Honor of Dr. Tiller
A bit of blather about the aca..
Views (% of total) Attention
Mar 17 2010
Who is watching the videos in this channel?
How popular are my videos relative to those of other uploaders?
r. ~h~.~ ,,~~h
Q. How can understanding another be possible?
A. Misunderstanding is rooted in the our ability to understand.
Q. How can I know what you (a generalized you, "the other") mean by what you say?
A. You will never know with 100% certainty if you can understand what another's text or
image communicates and vice versa, but you have to pretend like you can. Fake it til you
make, even though you might never really make it.
Q. how can we know what others mean through the
images they make or participate in?
A. We (a giant, multi generational we) have come to
loose agreements about what things means, how
certain sequences of things add up to something-
visually, orally, textually, bodily, some of that is hard
Q. Are images different from text/words/speech?
A. Yes and no.
Q. Is communication/understanding always built upon a basic faith in the intentions of the
A. Whatever faith we have, whatever trust we put in our communications systems, is not a
one to one maneuver. We trust that the system works well enough, despite its many failures,
despite the room for misunderstandings/mistakes.
Subject: Re: Website Contact Us Form
Date: January 27, 2010 1:38:42 PM EST
Dear Bishop Bishop,
I have been wondering about communication recently, and intention in or through
communication specifically. I wonder: how can understanding another be possible? How can I
know what you (a generalized you, "the other") mean by what you say? Further, how can we
know what others mean through the images they make or participate in? Are images different
from text/words/speech? Is communication/understanding always built upon a basic faith in the
intentions of the other?
I'm glad you're open to doing this over email. I hope along with your responses to my questions
you will give me things to think about and respond to. Also feel free to respond to 'the spirit' of
my questions, there's no need to answer individually and specifically to my ramblings unless, of
course, you feel that will further the conversation. I certainly understand if you don't get back to
me immediately, and I hope you will understand if my responses are similarly delayed.
Thanks for getting back to me,
Bishop Bishop's blurry face in Slovenia.
Subject: Re: Website Contact Us Form
Date: January 28, 2010 2:07:01 PM EST
I'm going to just ramble a bit. I may hit the mark now and again, but I'm just as likely to waste all
my shots because I will not take the trouble (I don't have time at the moment) to aim precisely.
It isn't a consolation, but we misunderstand each other almost as often as we understand each
other. (And at the end of the day, we each are in many ways alone in our bag of skin holding
flesh and blood and bone). Human communication (text, speech, body language, images, etc) is
full of errors, gaps, glitches, misunderstandings- though we tend to understand body language
better than we think we do, which is why little white social lies sometimes are so glaring and
offensive to us. I don't mean to say that saying "fine" when someone asks you how you are, and
you respond fine even though things may not be fine is a lie; that is a ritualized social greeting; it
is less about truth than form. But in moments that are not ritualized in which we prevaricate, our
bodies betray us in some many small and large ways, and the body's betrayal is easily legible to
Bishop Bishop's Mission
to Save the Whole Wide World,
and Sweet Little Old You, from
Boredom, Anhedonia and the Damned
Deniers and Repudiators of Pleasure.
There is a whole tradition of theater (the absurdists) that deal with the inability of humans to
communicate. The work of Ionesco, Beckett, even Albee to some extent, are good examples of
how a form predicated on dialogue paradoxically uses that form to emphasize how difficult or
even impossible communication is. Yet, the paradox is even deeper because we understand what
they saying, the meaning of their work is fairly clear, something is communicated.
After say watching a young child who is in the process of learning how to speak- we might
suppose that we learn to communicate orally by trying out different combinations of sounds and
having people reinforce certain of those combinations in specific ways. The child says ba, often
just for the pure pleasure of forcing lips and vocal chords to move and make noise, and the
parent responds, "Bottle? Do you see your bottle?" So in some ways, misunderstanding is rooted
in the our ability to understand. It is bedrock to it. Without those initial misunderstandings,
misinterpretations of the child's vocalizations, the parent wouldn't make an emphasis that
channels that sound towards specific words. I find the idea that misunderstanding might be
required for eventual understanding to be glorious. But then, admittedly, I am perverse.
I'm have to come back to the image vs. text question; I need to think about it some more. On a
base level, I think language/text and image are both communication systems- communication can
be as simple as here is the color red on an unframed canvas hanging on a wall, or of a feeling,
one as simple as these lines are meant to be visually pleasing or disturbing.
I am willing to suggest that we learn to communicate through images in ways similar to how we
learn how to speak to one another. We somehow capture an image, scribble some lines on a page
with a crayon, for example. An older person- adult, sibling, aunt, teacher, babysitter- looks at our
image and decodes it. Tells us what they see, or they draw something in response. Like hearing
the vocalizations around us and trying to make our own vocalizations and then having certain
vocalizations rewarded, privileged, emphasized, I think a similar things happen with our image
making- we are surrounded by images made by others, and we want to make our own and certain
images are rewarded, privileged, emphasized as "true" or "beautiful" or "informative" or
"special" or "artistic." The question of error and misunderstanding might be more complicated
but then again, maybe it isn't.
I think the reason we are able to say that
we understand another, that we know
what another means when they say
something or present an image, is that
our communication systems are built up
over time through a back and forth
process of consensus and dissent- on
macro and micro levels. Basically, we
(and this is a giant, multi generational
we) have come to a loose agreement
about what things means, how certain
sequences of things add up to something-
visually, orally, textually, bodily (though
some of that is hard wired). I don't know Click image to play.
that it is faith in the intentions of specific others that makes this
system work often enough to be useful. People do lie (and not just
with words) and sometimes, they aren't intentionally spreading falsehoods but they
misunderstand themselves or their own meaning or have a slip of the tongue. And things do
change; various i's and small collective we's (social groups, text culture, specific generations)
and the tools we use do things with language and with images that change meaning. Times of
flux in our communication systems increase our uncertainties about what things mean and de-
stabilize our trust in communication.
I think whatever faith we have, whatever trust we put in our communications systems is not a
one to one maneuver. We trust that the system works well enough, despite its many failures,
despite the room for misunderstandings/mistakes. We use these systems because they are the best
we've got, but like our governments, that doesn't mean they work all of the time. Even when
when they do work, it often in a snafu sort of a way.
There are ways that any communication
regardless of particular medium is a
eJ. death dying tight rope act with no net-
yet we really aren't as far up off the
ground as it seems when we are walking
across it. The fall, the
miscommunication, is not as tragic as
the absurdists like to make it out to; it
might be a necessity, something good, a
vital part of what makes communication
Now that was a whole bunch more than
I thought I'd write; I'm not certain it is
of much use, but there you go. My
unsolicited advice is to not let the
theoretical questions bog you down,
though I think it is worth our time to
chew over these things a bit- a little grist
for the mill keeps the works running
smoothly in the long run. Or perhaps,
this is a better way to say it. You will
never know with 100% certainty if you
can understand what another's text or
image communicates and vice versa, but
you have to pretend like you can. Fake
it til you make, even though you might
never really make it.
Take care and keep on keeping on,
Bishop Bishop In this here Vermon, Bishop Bishop, in her
religious figure as self help guru, natters on about death, other
people's and her own, framing her life and helping her get some
sh*t done. She hopes it maybe, just maybe helps you, though she
wouldn't count on it.
Death Train pulling out of the station
L t 5:24
' October 12, IIC' at 4:5?ci- Comment Like Share
ui likes this.
I love you Bishop Bishop. keep on
Seeprn on, m grateful for your Vermons.
October 12, 20:'1- at 6 25urn Delete Report
Bi shop Bishop Thank you, Mr. That warms
the cockles of my heart.
October 12, j' 9 at 9.:-prr Delete
AMAnd with this reminder you are making the
world a better place. That train has been chugging
through my life lately, shore makes ya think, don't it?
October 12, 20'-9 at '0 I6pro Delete Report
Bishop Bishop It does Indeed make you think, Ms.,
It Is a mournful image, but also helpful, to Image the
train pulling out, and those of us left behind, standing
on the platform, waving our goodbyes, wondering when
our tickets, the ones shoved deep in our pocket as If we
were afraid to lose them. even though there is no way we
could lose these tickets, wondering when our tickets will
Ict,'!bc 13, _-200 at 10 '.-1 r i Delete
Write a comment.,
Click image to play.
8:01 jorgerojas: start
8:02 jorgerojas: no sound bishop
8:03 bishopbishop-1: Can you hear
8:03 wilbort83-1: its working in
8:03 jorgerojas: yes
8:03 wilbort83-1: with an eco an
8:03 carolineboileau-1: it's working
8:03 carolineboileau-1: yup, just keep
8:03 wilbort83-1: AMEN
8:04jorgerojas: gainesville florida
8:04 wilbort83-1: A WOMAN
8:04 positivelike: ayyyyy, women!!
8:04 positivelike: save me from
8:05 positivelike: save us from
8:05 positivelike: save from the butt
8:05 positivelike: save us from kisses
8:05 positivelike: deliver us
8:05 wilbort83-1: VANILLA KISSES
8:05 wilbort83-1: ?
8:05 positivelike: DELIVER
8:05 jorgerojas: we love u Bishop!
8:05 carolineboileau-1: kisses from
8:05 positivelike: to my door!!!
8:06 jorgerojas: kisses from brooklyn
8:06 SergioLamanna-1: kises from
8:06 wilbort83-1: KISSSESSSS
FROM MIAMI ALONG WITH A
8:06 carolineboileau-1: clap,
8:06 positivelike: Jorge, how's your
8:06 SergioLamanna-l: yeahhh
8:07 positivelike: altered boys
8:07 positivelike: GAME, JORGE,
HOW'S YOUR GAME?
8:07 GHIES: kisses from Mexico
Bishop send me back kisses and
8:07 GHIES: lovely
8:07 wilbort83-1: THANK YOU
8:07 jorgerojas: next
8:08 bishopbishop-1: Thanks.
3:32 bishopbishop-1: How to
comment on this?
3:33 bishopbishop-1: This was part
of an online festival called Low
Lives, three hours of performance art
from around the world streaming live
online and projected at three galleries
3:37 bishopbishop-1: What you see
on your left are the comments left by
viewers as I was watching.
3:39 bishopbishop-1: Actually, what I
wanted to say
was that this video and the text to the
right are traces left over from my
3:41 bishopbishop-1: from my
3:42 bishopbishop-1: from my
performance, though it is true that I
was watching myself perform and
watching people comment. I couldn't
see the audiences at the galleries.
3:43 bishopbishop-1: These
comments, the ones I'm typing right
now are not online, though they will
be when this pdfis posted.
3:45 bishopbishop-1: I'm not just
being perverse. Driven to show not
3:47 bishopbishop-1: capturing
imperfect performances- it is what I
love about doing it live. editing
becomes, is fleshed out. If I could
capture the way that we go back nd
forth to correct mistakes when we
chat I would, but don't, I don't have
3:49 bishopbishop-1: editing,
correcting, slip ups all are part of the
performance. I am not being
completely truthful now. I leave in
3:50 bishopbishop-1: the ones that
seem most productive, most poetic,
most entertaing, I edit out most ofthe
rest of them.
3:52 bishopbishop-1: this will be a
nightmare for Anne. I want to capture
how we perform ourselves online.
3:54 bishopbishop-1: this is not
online, but it will be. this is not
online as I type this but as you read
it, it will be.
From: Jorge Rojas
Subject: Re: Thanks to you and everyone who helped make Low Lives happen
Date: August 10, 2009 11:28:16 AM EDT
Thank you for your email and kind words. Your piece was amazing and your improvisational
skills were outstanding. You should know that the interactive component and audience
participation aspect of your piece was extremely well received and that it demonstrated whole
other level of possibilities to be explored. After the show, I had several lengthy discussions with
audience members specifically about your piece and about the unique and dynamic
dimensions that your work presents. I think you are amazing! I am honored to have had the
opportunity to work with you and sincerely look forward to staying in touch!
I also want to apologize for having sent you the wrong message about not being able to hear you.
At first I couldn't, and thought it may have been something on your end. I soon realized that the
trouble was on my end and it was quickly corrected. Rest assured that your performance was
transmitted in full throughout the three venues.
Wishing you all the best in your art and in everything else you do. Please give my sincere thanks
and congratulations to Bishop Bishop! ; )
bis~obibo: ATet f he letrni
Vermonizing Sysem: Only a Tes
Video frm Ustrea
The Bishop Bishop project, while using techniques also mined by works of relational
aesthetics, a movement defined by Nicolas Bourriaud in his book of the same name, does not
assume that "modes of conviviality" have a more emancipatory effect on the audience than
traditional techniques. 101 Critics of relational aesthetics like Hal Foster102 and Claire Bishop 103
tend to overemphasize the political naivety of the work; supporters like Bourriaud
overemphasize the positive political effects. Brechtian theater techniques like breaking character
with direct audience address (which supposedly prevent catharsis in the audience) can produce
powerful theater and film.104 Relational aesthetics can produce entertaining "visual" art. That
theater, that art, can have a political impact, but then so can a piece of conventional theater or a
traditional art object. The choice to use participatory art techniques should be based on the needs
of the work and the capacities and inclinations of the artist and anticipated audiences.
To be part of my revival tent you have to understand despair. You have to know
heartbreak. And I don't mean that romance shit. Fuck romance! I mean the ache of the
heart that is not blind to the pain and suffering of this god-damned world.
I can feel a few of you shifting in your seats in discomfort. You're thinking, "How the
hell did I get in this tent? Tonight, there are no accidents. You are not in the wrong tent.
Let me clarify a little further who this revival is for.105
In December 2009, I saw an untitled piece by Rirkrit Tiravanija, one of the golden boys of
relational aesthetics, at Art Basel Miami Beach. Young people,
mainly young women, in pseudo-parody of a fashion catwalk,
walked around the W South Beach Hotel. This is the sort of place
where a gin and tonic costs seventeen dollars. The models wore
multiple t-shirts so that as they pulled off one, another was found
underneath. On the t-shirts were "images of existing t-shirts (from
all around the world, from a wide historical period)."106 It was
difficult to see or hear the performers. The performance did little that Click image to play.
disrupted the pleasant night of seeing the right people and being seen by the
right people drinking the right overpriced drinks. I hated this piece.
My own experience as audience to art is down right frustrating. There is something about
not being able to see/hear/experience a piece of art because of the clump of people
schmoozing right in front of the damn thing that is the opposite of uplifting. I must
confess, that too often, I end up wanting to slap people upside their heads so they get out
their pain in the ass, not pane of glass, selves out of my way.107
While it is true that Bishop Bishop also makes use of alternative venues (she'd have to be
paid beaucoup bucks to work some place like the W so she could absolve her sins by making a
huge donation to some charity afterward) and loves working a crowd, if Bishop Bishop wants to
speak to all present, there is absolutely no problem hearing or seeing her. In character, I will
work one-on-one interactions that define a movable stage that may not be viewable by everyone
in a space, but those moments are framed by louder, staged-for-all bits. And generally, anyone
who wants to interact with me will get to do so. This is a stretch, but what I'd like to suggest is
that as an artist, I am a better "host" than many. I understand that it isn't enough to lay the table
with goodies; you have to make sure there is enough for everyone who wants some to get a small
taste and make sure the unhip also get a place at that table.
We are left behind. People who matter to us, for good and bad reasons, die. Each death is
a mini apocalypse. And if you live long enough, you go through many mini apocalypses.
Each death is a devastation. A world destroyed. And we have to figure out how to pick up
the pieces of the wreck, how to keep on keeping on now that we have been left behind "to
suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."
Someday, each one of us will shuffle off this mortal coil. We will leave others behind.
And they will have to remake their worlds without us.
We are left behind.
And for the left behind, I have some consolation. A small chocolate communion.108
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"If you play rough, expect to get hurt."
I come from a rough house. I come from a house that roughhouses.
We play rough.
On Sunday mornings, my sister and I would jump on our parents' bed and attack Daddy. We
would pounce and wrestle and wiggle. He would pounce and wrestle and tickle. Slaps, pokes,
kicks, hits, locks- arms, head, legs- all came into play. Inevitably, one of us would cry out in
pain. Crocodile tears or the rarer, real ones elicited the same response from Daddy. "If you play
rough, expect to get hurt."
I rather like the image of Jesus sucking me up, but that is the sort of comment that will
have me writhing in the hell of some dang uptight-no-sense-of-humor-Christian. Ooh, I
rather like that image as well. Jesus sucking me up followed by my writhing in some
Christian. If hell and Jesus exist, and if Jesus is made in the image of your average fire
and brimstone preacher, then I'm going there for sure. Betcha bottom dollar, I will have
hell to pay.109
Most of my content is rough. There is a sense that whenever I perform in front of an
audience, whatever type of audience, I am playing rough. I can and do get hurt. Most of those
hurts are small slights to my vanity.
she looks like she got drunk.
but I have a feeling that she has much more problems
that I can imagine happy peels.
SActually, she's a performance artist, so no, she didn't
"get drunk." Thank you for the completely inappropriate
response to a thoughtful and moving piece.
Sthe response might be inappropriate, but with a face
like that, who would listen to her?!
Detail of Facebook figure below
A wise vermon by Bishop Bishop
In honor of Dr. Tiller
n this Vermor, as
abortion provider snot and ki ed in his church or
morn ig, anr your own ever tual death.
] 9:40am Comment -ike Share
she looks like she got drunk.
but I have a feeling that she has
that I can imagine happy peels.
much more problems
Actually, she's a performance artist, so no, she didn't
"get drunk." Thank you for the completely inappropriate
response to a thoughtful and moving piece.
the response might be inappropriate, but with a face
like that, who would listen to her?!
* Sie'"Ia Bisho 3
You'll have to excuse while I go on a bit in
response. It is always entertaining to have folks make
snap judgements about my face and its ability to get a
message across. I'll grant you that the snap shots that
FB's video upload program choses often do not capture
my face at its most beautiful or flattering, and I have
one of those faces that moves from damn close to
gorgeous to pretty fugly quickly- it is why I am a good
performer- I have an expressive face and am not afraid
of making faces.
But Ms. M people listen to Rush Limbaugh all the
damn time, and he's about as ugly as they comes. Are
you saying no one will listen to me because I don't look
beautiful in that one video snap shot? It is true that
some will decide not to engage because of shallow
judgements about my lack of beauty. I happen to be
playing with the line between beauty and ugliness-
think Tammy Faye Baker and you'll get a bit of a handle
on one of the things I'm playing with as an artist.
Write another comment...
Some hurts are not so slight.
And I am not the only one who gets hurt when I play rough.
Despite what looks like a lack of any boundaries between the character Bishop Bishop and
the sack of skin holding bones and blood known to the world as Sheila Annette Bishop, there are
plenty of places where the membrane is not so permeable. I make choices about what I will
Vermonize or write about based on my understanding of possible real-world consequences.
Because my spousal unit is a shy, very private man, I seldom make work that touches directly
on our marriage or the interactions between our families. If I reference something from our life
together, I drain much of the specificity from the details.
"There are two schools of thought on the writer's [performer's] responsibility to a spouse and
children. Joan Didion spoke for one school when she said she was a writer first, wife and mother
second."110 Even with my attempts to shield some of our private life from the rapacious, hungry
ghost that is my art work, just the fact that I am doing this project creates unpleasant
My mother-in-law is a pearl-wearing, Junior League volunteering, church-going Southern
"lady" from a generation in which everyone who was anyone had a black maid. The fact that I
come from a rough-around-the-edges, loudly iconoclastic, spit-in-the-eye-of-organized religion,
working poor Southern family and make work that is, without a doubt, offensive to many has
caused intense conflicts: all I got for Christmas was a disownment from my mother-in-law
"I am a womann of constant sorrow
I've seen trouble all my day"
The image of the Suffering Servant, the Wo/
man of Sorrows is potent. The Wo/man of
Sorrows, to paraphrase Isaiah 50:6:
offers my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pull out my hairs;
I do not hide my face
from mocking and spitting"'
Click image to play.
In writing that, I am confirming my membership in the "everything is source material"
writing/art making/performing club. I am "always selling somebody out."112
Last week, excited about the latest Vermon, I excitedly babbled the details to my husband. "I
showed off my new hair-cut, talked about vanity, then slid into a discussion about porn with old
people and ." My husband interrupted with a muttered a groan, "I wish .. ."
I immediately knew he was thinking of his mother, who has been watching the Vermons,
reacting badly to any mention of pornography and the idea that Bishop Bishop finds old people
getting it on hot. Much of my work is about sex and sexuality. People who know my husband
may assume, by association, they know something about his sense of sexuality.
"Is it true that writers are pillagers of privacy? Yes. And it is
also true that others get hurt along the way. But what are a few
hurt feelings along the fiction trail?"113 Part of my husband (not
all of him, but part of him) wishes I didn't make work like this.
A little Haiti, a little Part of me wishes I didn't have to give a second thought to his
self indulgence, a mother. In that moment, for that moment, ice splinters, formed
lit.., from our differences, impaled in our chests, kept us apart. This
i 1 vews
T r eBIs r .V.B,-. r :.p might seem overwrought, but I think it truthfully captures one
flavor of disconnection found even in happy, long-term
partnerships. If I weren't an artist who (over) mined her life for source material, some other
freezing difference would stab us in the hearts. But our interactions with his mother, our
interactions with each other about his mother would be easier, if I didn't play rough.
My work trades in the rough. My work is rough trade.
Let's look back to the future. Even before I began posting most of my work online, the
content of my art has created difficulties for me. In the mid-2000s, I proposed a class, What a
Character, for the Community Education program of Santa Fe College (at the time known as
Santa Fe Community College). The mid-level administrator who ran the day to day details of the
program loved my proposal. A higher-level administrator, when she realized much of my
performance work had decidedly adult content, tried to put the kibosh on the class.
She was leery of hiring me, even though the class was designed for all ages and purposefully
focused attention away from my work, because if people in the community realized that a smutty
mouthed artist got some tiny fraction of tax payer dollars, they might raise a stink. She didn't
want to take that risk.
I think how someone responds to hearing the word "amputee" before the word "porn"
tells us a lot about where that person is at. Again, I won't go into all the possible
reactions, since looking at just one reaction is enough grist for the mill. If the reaction is
to snigger and try to make a (bad) joke out of it, then it is unlikely that s/he can imagine
someone with physical disabilities or "non-standard" bodies having beautiful, hot,
amazing sex with partners that- really and truly- find that particular someone attractive.114
That risk was, is, real. I turned 18 in 1990, the year the controversy exploded surrounding the
de-funding of performance artists Karen Finely, John Fleck, Holly Hughes and Tim Miller (the
NEA Four) by the National Endowment for the Arts.115 As a result, the NEA cut most funding
lines for individual artists. I came of age as an artist knowing two things. I wanted to work in the
spirit of Alive from Off Center, a show of experimental film and performance that ran on PBS
from 1984 to 1987; and that sort of work had little, if no chance of getting funded.
After much back and forth, which included letters of support from faculty at Santa Fe
College as well as a pointed reminder of the college's policy on intellectual (and artistic)
freedom, she decided to take the risk and let me teach the class. I won in the end, but it hurt. I
would not be surprised to contend with similar situations, similar limitations in my future. If
anything, my work is more controversial and plays on even more public and accessible stages
Posted online where anyone with a decent connection to the internet can see, the Vermons-
(irreverent, salacious, irreligious, perhaps sacrilegious) are rough around the edges. They rough
house. They play rough. And I expect to get hurt.
I have not taken advantage of all the ways I could interact with or reach potential audiences
(on or off line). This project could easily consume the whole of my practice and also all of my
life. I have other seas to sail, other nets to cast, other fish to fry. I have other missions and
callings. I know Bishop Bishop's (e)Missions are not all they could be; but perhaps, when
balanced against all my other work, when balanced against all I need and want to do that is not
art, they are all they should be.
I needed to re-evaluate what it is I am doing with this particular practice of musings and
scriptural interpretation. As I have mentioned before, I define scripture broadly and find
inspiration where and when I can. Admittedly, I got frustrated because it seemed that only
spambots read my writing, writing I spent a mighty long time on. Hours and hours and
People who were supposed to care or dare I say were obligated by the nature of their
relationship to me and this practice didn't read my writing. I know all the complicated
reasons why my words were not read, but it is wounding.
Being an adult means I get to suck it up. I hope to follow Badiou's adage to "keep
going"116 despite the difficulties, despite the various responses, including the lack of
response, despite my insecurity about the usefulness or skillfulness of my work.117
In the name of the mother,
Art Service: In Service of Art118
On Friday, March 26, 2010, Bishop Bishop turned the reception for the MFA I Thesis show
into a pulpit from which she delivered an hour-long improvisational Vermon, Art Service: In
Service ofArt. Art Service brought together live, in-the-flesh performance, streaming video of
that performance, and audience interaction; both in the gallery and in a chat window.
I gave two performances simultaneously. I was performing for the people in the gallery,
many of whom did not interact with me directly; and I was performing (and conning other people
to perform) for the online audience. Sometimes I emphasized one audience more than another.
But, keeping in mind my lessons from watching Heather Woodbury's online work, I tried to
work both "stages" and both audiences.
I performed all over the gallery, but I started in front of my own muted Vermons. It is next to
impossible to hear video or audio work at a gallery reception, even with headphones. I upstaged
my own work, in part, to comment on what works and what doesn't work in the gallery.
As Bishop Bishop is fond of saying, "scripture is where you find it." And one of the places I
find it, is in the culture and institutions of art making. Art Service was the most recent in a series
of works that include Saving you from the same old same old, Bust A(rt) Gut and Recognition
Wanted. This series of texts, videos and submissions to art shows in character explicitly address
the varied apparatus of art. On this night, Bishop Bishop asked people to service her art by
telling her how they most recently served art.
7:54 revelle: Sheila you are better
than a Surrealist manifesto or Arte
Povera or doppelgangers and your
talk on the frame- yeah, freaky. and
being all about people servicing
8:22 revelle: people are tolerating
you? looks like you are the only car
in the garage, the only fish in the
lake, and, as the french say, before
you sell the bearskin you have to
shoot the bear.
Bishop Bishop services art.
In Defense of Fools
Click link to see video: In Defense of Fools
Fools' Paradise: A Shym119
I'm the fool for you
I'm a tool for you
I touch you with this service
I soothe you with this service
I shake you with this service
I break you with my service
I'm the fool for you
I'm a tool for you
I service you
I give service
to you fools
I'm the fool for you
I'm a tool for you
(sing with me 3 times)
The Bishop Bishop project as a whole is an extended joke about the ways experimental
theater and performance (similarly to the concept of participation within more explicitly digital
media contexts) are required to "save" the audience. The Emancipated Spectator by Jacques
Ranciere pierces this problem: "To dismiss the fantasies of the word made flesh and the spectator
rendered active, to know that words are merely words, and spectacles merely spectacles, can help
us arrive at a better understanding of how words and images, stories and performances, can
change something of the world we live in."120
Which leads me to the next piece in this muddle of a mess of a Daily Dose, Star Trek. I'm
not going to go into it much except to say that I left the movie feeling hopeful about
humanity in general and my own life in specific. I left feeling that we might find a way to
reach for the stars, perhaps not the actual stars in space, but some of those star like
dreams of a better world for all; not a perfect world but a world that is a lot closer than
we are now. I believed for just a moment that we, that I, might live long and prosper.
Now, I am not mistaking that hope for reality, but I think we need moments of starry eyed
I will never know the full impact of this work. And despite the missionary pretense of the
project's title, I am most interested in the moments when (as the character of Bishop Bishop) I
offer a turn of phrase- spoken or written- that might delight, inform, soothe, shake, irritate,
console, amuse, sadden, anger, educate, stimulate, titillate at least other person.
Today, The (not quite) Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words is, oddly
enough, about words, specifically one word. Any student of scripture (scripture broadly
defined) worth her salt is going to examine closely how words are used (and abused). I
am as salty as the Dead Sea when exploring a word's buoyancy.122
I do this project, and this project will not end anytime soon, because I enjoy exploring what
language can do when put into the mouth of a loud, bawdy, irreverent character.
Today, I wear my heart on my sleeve as an offering. My love of words pushes me to the
edge of words, asks me to sacrifice no small amount of words as I attempt to find the
words for my love of words. And because I can find no other satisfying way to
summarize the ragtag bunch of words, I'll let these last words have the last word.123
Roll Call for the the Society of Mutual Admiration
So, God can't save me, a positive mental attitude might not work. What helps? When
push comes to shove, and I want to shove off, I am saved by the Society of Mutual
Admiration. Now there are only two official members, but it is not an exclusive club. All
my friends are card carrying members. "Membership has its privileges."
Now during most services, there's a point where you praise God, and all his glories.
Tonight, I'm going to praise some people.124
My committee chair, Katerie Gladdys, gets a standing ovation for patience, enthusiasm and
helpfulness. I also would like to thank Dr. Jack Stenner and Dr. Michelle Tillander for their
support and patience (it is a virtue, don't you know?).
I feel honored to have worked with a number of faculty members, formally and informally, in
and out of the classroom. Their insight into and care for my work (art or academic) has been
greatly appreciated. Thanks go to Victoria Bradbury, Katerie Gladdys, Dr. Melissa Hyde, Wes
Kline, Dr. Greg Ulmer, Barbara Jo Revelle, Dr. Shep Steiner, Dr. Jack Stenner, Bethany Taylor
and Dr. Michelle Tillander.
For great conversations about art, art making, culture and theory, I thank my fellows and sisters
in arms, I mean graduate school. I give extra special thanks to Patrick LeMieux and Daniel
Tankersley, who both entered the Digital Media Art program with me. I thank them both for
endless hours of chit-chat about art, digital media, theory and life.
Thank you to Heather Woodbury for mentoring and inspiration and to Ann Hirsch for great
conversations and letting me include some of Caroline in my work.
I thank the curators and organizers of shows and festivals who have let Bishop Bishop spread her
(e)Missions far and wide: Jorge Rojas, curator of Low Lives (USA); The Grossi Maglioni Magic
Duo (Francesca Grossi & Vera Maglioni) curators for Performance Season (Italy); Vesna
Bukovec organizer for Video in Progress 3 (Slovenia); Joanna Sandell, curator of Labrynt 09
(Sweden); Libby Lumpkin, curator for FloCAS 2009 (USA) and Helen Varley Jamieson,
organizer for the upcoming 101010 UpStage Festival (New Zealand).
Thank you to Amy Vigilante, Heather Barrett and the rest of the staff at the University Gallery
for help with video+sermon Vermon, Art Service and In Defense ofFools.
Finally, I thank my long suffering spousal unit, Bill Triplett, for practical help, emotional support
and Battlestar Gallactica marathons.
For the bibliography, I have adapted the basic Modern Language Association formatting. For
character driven artwork where the public thinks of the character as the author, I list the work
under the name of the character (first last) with the artist's name in parenthesis. Under Artworks,
I also list work by other artist which I directly experienced.
Anderson, Laurie. "Language is a Virus from Outer Space." United States Live. Rhino/Warner
Bros., 2008. MP3.
- "O Superman." United States Live. Rhino/Warner Bros., 2008. MP3.
Bataille, George. "Story of the Eye." Georges Bataille Electronic Library. n.d. Subvert. PDF. 1
Bishop Bishop (Sheila Bishop). "About Bishop Bishop." Bishop Bishop 's Mission to save the
whole wide world and little oldyou. Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide
world and little old you, n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- Art Service: In Service ofArt. 26 Mar. 2010. University Gallery, Gainesville, FL.
Simultaneous live broadcast (also recorded) on Ustream.tv. Performance/Video/Web. 1
- "A-Tract! (Like Awake! But Way More Fun)." Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole
wide world and little old you, 2010. PDF/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Bishop Bishop I Facebook." 23 Oct. 2008 to present. Fan Page/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- Bishop Bishop 's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you. Bishop Bishop's
Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you 2009 to present. Online
Headquarters/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and sweet little old you." 2006.
- "Breadcrumb trails and fairy ring fantasies. The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good)
Words. Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 12 Apr.
2009 (originally written in Feb. 2009). Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
-BustA(rt) Gut. Dir. Sheila Bishop. Perf. Bishop Bishop. crookedletter, 2009. Video.
- "Call me." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words. Bishop Bishop's Mission
to save the whole wide world and little old you, 13 Apr. 2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Cant of can't." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words. Bishop Bishop's
Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 20 Apr. 2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr.
"Classy working class trasy, that's me." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop
Bishop 's Channel. YouTube, 13 Jan. 2010. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words. Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the
whole wide world and little old you, 12 Apr. 2009 to present. Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Death train pulling out of the station." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop
Bishop 's Channel. YouTube, 12 Oct. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Facades: Faking it until you make it." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop
Bishop 's Channel. YouTube, 13 Jul. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Fools' Paradise: A Shym." In Defense ofFools 1 Apr 2010. Song.
"Go Fish! The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's Mission
to save the whole wide world and little old you, 12 Apr. 2009 (orig. Dec. 2008). Blog/
Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"The Good (and Not So Good) Words Ustream.tv." 08 Jul 2009 to Present. Show/Web. 1
"The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop's Channel I YouTube." 23 Oct.
2008 to present. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Hair say." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's Channel. YouTube, 25
Mar. 2010. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Happy Birthday. Ms. Cayenne!" The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's
Channel. YouTube, 1 Nov. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Here's to Needy, Greedy Love." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's
Channel. YouTube, 14 Feb. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
In Defense ofFools. 1 Apr 2010. University Gallery, Gainesville, FL. Simultaneous live
broadcast (also recorded) on Performance Season. Performance/Video/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"In Honor of Dr. Tiller." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's Channel.
YouTube, 2 Jun. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"In-a-scent." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's
Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 26 Apr. 2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr.
"Jumping the track of stale sweat to make a train of meaning. The Daily Dose of the Good
(andNot So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and
little old you, 2 Jan. 2010. Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Keep Going! The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's
Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 12 Apr. 2009 (orig. Nov. 2008).
Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Let me entertain (hector) you: Playing with form for fun." The Good (andNot So Good)
Words: The Bishop Bishop 's Channel. YouTube, 16 Dec. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Let Me Wade in the Water." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's
Channel. YouTube, 14 Apr. 2010 (orig posted on crookedletter channel 16 Sept. 2008).
Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"A little Haiti, a little self indulgence, a little something like life." The Good (andNot So
Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop Channel. YouTube, 25 Jan. 2010. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr.
"Live Smoke: An ode to gorgeous, fleshy, imperfect performance. The Daily Dose of the
Good (andNot So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world
and little old you, 12 Apr. 2009 (orig. Feb. 2009). Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Millions from Heaven." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop
Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 12 Apr. 2009 (orig.
Feb. 2009). Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Off the cuff: Amputee Porn." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop
Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 17 Apr. 2009. Blog/
Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Off the cuff: A little art about Wittgenstein to get you through the day." The Daily Dose of
the Good (andNot So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide
world and little old you, 4 Jul. 2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Off the cuff: Live long and prosper." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words).
Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 9 May 2009.
Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Off the cuff: Spambots love The Good (and Not So Good) Words The Daily Dose of
the Good (andNot So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide
world and little old you, 3 May 2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"On the heads of maidens or how to clear a mucous membrane in one easy step. The Daily
Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole
wide world and little old you, 12 Apr. 2009 (orig. Feb. 2009). Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
The Rapture. 20 Jun. 2008. Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion, Gainesville, FL.
Reaching out to some ones, some where, some hows. 8 Aug. 2998. Simultaneous live
broadcast (also recorded) on Ustream.tv to three galleries, FiveMyles, Brooklyn, Project
Row Houses, Houston, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Miami. Low Lives. Performance/Video/
Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Recognition Wanted. 21 Jan. 2010. Artists Wanted. Performance/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Saving you from the same oldsame old. Dir. Sheila Bishop. Per. Bishop Bishop.
crookedletter, 2009. Video.
"Sex. Shaved Heads and Shame." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's
Channel. YouTube, 28 Jul. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"S/he said it." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's Channel. YouTube,
12 Apr. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"A shed of shed" The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's
Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 30 Apr. 2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr.
"Sing the Songs of the Suffering Servant" The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good
Words). Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 12 Apr.
2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"The tick of eros." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words). Bishop Bishop's
Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 15 Apr. 2009. Blog/Web. 1 Apr.
"Ugly Ritual: Part I." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's Channel.
YouTube, 29 Jun. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Ugly Ritual: Part II." The Good (and Not So Good) Words: The Bishop Bishop 's Channel.
YouTube, 29 Jun. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- video+sermon Vermon. Dir. Sheila Bishop. Perf. Bishop Bishop. crookedletter, 2010. DVD.
- "Words overflowing the lexaducts." The Daily Dose of the Good (and Not So Good Words).
Bishop Bishop's Mission to save the whole wide world and little old you, 9 Jul. 2009.
Blog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Bishop, Sheila. Choose Life. 9 Dec. 2001. Full Circle, Gainesville, FL. Performance.
- "Internet Streams." Poem.
Blonde Redhead. "Top Ranking." 23. 4AD, Ltd., 2007.
Borges, Jorge Luis. "The Garden of Forking Paths." The New Media Reader. Eds. Noah Wardrip-
Fruin and Nick Montfort. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003. 30-34. Print.
Caddyshack. Dir. Harold Ramis. Perf. Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Ted
Knight and Michael O'Keefe. Warner Home Video, 2007. DVD.
Caroline (Ann Hirsch). "caroline poem." Scandalishious. Caroline 'sfun fun channel! YouTube, 5
Oct. 2008. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Caroline's Official Goodbye Video." Scandalishious: Caroline 'sfun fun channel! YouTube,
18 Dec. 2009. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "caRoline+outKast." Scandalishious: Caroline'sfun fun channel! YouTube, 19 Jan. 2009.
Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Re: Blond Redhead (Miranda July)- Top Ranking." Scandalishious. Caroline 'sfun fun
channel! YouTube, 9 Jun. 2008. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Re: Katy Perry- I Kissed A Girl." Scandalishious: Caroline 's Jfun channel! YouTube, 13
May. 2008. Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- Scandalishious. Ann Hirsch. 2008. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Scandalishious: Caroline's fun fun channel! I YouTube." 27 Jan. 2008 to 18 Dec. 2009.
Vlog/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- The Scandalishious Project. 27 Jan. 2008 to 18 Dec. 2009. Performance/Video/Web.
Channing, Stockard. "Look at Me. I'm Sandra Dee." Grease. Universal International Music B.V,
Stephen Colbert (Stephen Colbert). The Colbert Report. 17 Oct 2005 to present. TV Show/
Grant, Eddy. "Electric Avenue." The Very Best of Eddy Grant- Road to Reparation. Greenhart
Music Ltd., 2008. MP3
Annie Sprinkle (Ellen F. Steinberg). A Public Cervix Announcement. ongoing. Performance/
Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Reverend Billy (Billy Talen), "Shopper. Repent!" excerpted from What .lhml,J IDo If Reverend
Billy isMy Store? The Society of Mutual Autopsy. n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
-Reverend Billy & The Church of Life After .Nh/, ipmv. 1996 to present. Performance.
The Yes Men. The Yes Men. 1999 to present. Performance.
Article. Books and Websites
"Art Basel Miami Beach 2009 Art Projects: 13 public art works in Miami Beach." Art Basel
Miami Beach, Art Basel Miami Beach. Dec. 2009. PDF/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Anderson, Chris. "The Long Tail" WIRED Magazine. Oct. 2004. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Badiou, Alain. Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding ofEvil. New York: Verso, 2001. Print.
Benton, Charles. "Re: Website Contact Us Form." Message to Bishop Bishop. 27 Jan. 2010.
Bishop Bishop. "Re: Website Contact Us Form." Message to Charles Benton. 28 Jan. 2010
Bishop, Claire. "Introduction: Viewers as Producers" Participation. Ed. Claire Bishop. Boston:
The MIT Press, 2006. 10-17. Print.
Bright, Susie. Full Exposure: Opening Up to Your Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression. New
York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999. Print.
Bourriaud, Nicolas. "Relational Aesthetics." Participation. Ed. Claire Bishop. Boston:
The MIT Press, 2006. 160-171. Print.
Brezney, Rob. Rob Brezney 's Free WillAstrology, Rob Brezney. n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Carr, C. On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century. Middleton, CT: Wesleyan
University Press, 2008. Print.
- "Timeline of NEA 4 Events." Franklin Furnace. Franklin Furnace, n.d. Web.
1 Apr. 2010.
Castro, Jota and Christian Viveros-Faune. "Spasticus Artisticus/15 Jan-27 Feb: Ceri Hand
Gallery." Spasticus Artisticus. Ceri Hand Gallery. 14 Jan. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Chabon, Michael. Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands. San
Francisco: McSweeney's Books, 2008. Print.
Cronkite, Kipton. "Marina Abramovic. 'The Artist is Present.'" KiptonART. KiptonArt,
15 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Dean, Greg. Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000. Print.
Deleuze, Gilles. "Foldings, or the Inside of Thought (Subjectivation)." Foucault. Minneapolis
University of Minnesota Press,: 1988. Print.
Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. What is Philosophy? Columbia University Press: New York,
e-flux. "e-flux journal issue #8 out now." Message to subscribers. 31 Aug. 2009. E-mail.
Foster, Hal, "Chat Rooms." Participation. Ed. Claire Bishop. Boston: The MIT Press, 2006.
Franklin, Ruth. "God's Frozen People: Michael Chabon carves out a Jewish state in Alaska".
Slate. Washington Post Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC., 9 May 2007. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Goldberg, Rosalee. Laurie Anderson. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000. Print.
Grossman, Lev. "Books: Pop Goes the Literature". Time. Time, Inc., 17 Dec. 2004. Web.
1 Apr. 2010.
Hajratwala, Minal. "Against Taste." ARTicles. 7 (2002): 170. New York, N.Y: National Arts
Journalism Program at Columbia University. Print.
Hirsch, Ann. Personal interview. 17 Aug. 2009 and 21 Aug. 2009.
- "Release: Performing Reality: New performance by Ann Hirsch on the set of VH1
dating show. Premieres Jan 3rd." Message to author. 26 Dec. 2009. E-mail.
Juno, Andrea and V. Vale, eds. Angry Women. Re/Search Publications, San Francisco, 1991.
Kelly, Kevin. "1000 True Fans." The Technium. Kevin Kelly's Lifestream, 4 Mar. 2008. Blog/
Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Keyes, Ralph. The Courage to Write. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1995. Print.
Kinder, Marsha. "The Conceptual Power of On-Line Video: 5 Easy Pieces." Video Vortex
Reader: Responses to YouTube. Eds. Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer. Amsterdam:
Institute of Network Cultures, 2008. PDF/Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Klein, Jennie. "Paul McCarthy: Rites of Masculinity." PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art.
23.2 (2001): 10-17. PDF/Web. 1 Apr 2010.
Krauss, Rosalind. "Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism." Video Culture: A Critical
Investigation. Ed. John G. Hanhardt. New York: Visual Studies Workshop, 1986. Print.
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YouTube. Eds. Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer. Amsterdam: Institute of Network
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- "Re: Thanks to you and everyone who helped make Low Lives happen" Message
to author. 9 Aug. 2009. E-mail.
Steiner, Shep. Lectures for Late 20th Century Art, University of Florida. 2008. Class Lecture.
Steyerl, Hito. "In Defense of the Poor Image." e-flux journal, e-flux. 10 (2009): n. pag. Web. 1
Taylor, Bethany. Conversation. Gainesville, FL. 2007.
Toscan, Richard. "The Play Development Process." The Plavwriting Seminars: The Full-Length
Play. 1995. Virginia Commonwealth University. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Urban Dictionary: bastardization." Urban Dictionary. Urban Dictionary, n.d. Web 1 Apr. 2010.
Ulmer, Gregory L. Lectures for Digital English, University of Florida. Jan. and Feb. 2010. Class
Vesperi, Maria. Conversation. Sarasota, FL. 1995.
Virno, Paolo. Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e),
Weintraub, Linda. "Spoofing Biblical Miracles to Inspire Christian Faith: The Reverend Ethan
Acres." In the Making: Creative Optionsfor Contemporary Art. New York: Distributed
Art Publishers, Inc., 2003. 244-252. Print.
Wikipedia contributors. "Archie Bunker." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The
Free Encyclopedia, 13 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
-. "Awake!." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
30 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
-. "Caddyshack." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10
Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
-. "The Colbert Report." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free
Encyclopedia, 16 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
-. "Copyleft." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free
Encyclopedia, 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
-. "Edgar Allan Poe." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
16 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
- "Electracy." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
4 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Grace note." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
24 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Grace Notes." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
13 Jul. 2009. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Kinsey scale." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
5 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Michael Chabon." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
2 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Torah study: D'var Torah." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free
Encyclopedia, 9 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"Video blogging." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
13 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
"The Yes Men." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
14 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
White, Michele. The Body and the Screen: Theories of Internet Spectatorship. Boston: The MIT
Press, 2006. Print.
Wolf, Naomi, "The Porn Myth." New York Magazine. New York Media LLC., Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
Wolff, Rachel. "Carry a Big Schtick." ARTnews. 107.8 (2008): n. pag. Web. 1 Apr. 2010.
tje C-n6 is YNighf Notes
Because in text citation following MLA formatting would have obstructed the flow of my
language games, I am using a somewhat idiosyncratic style. I list author last name, title, source if
appropriate and where available, the page number. I list the first name only if there is a
possibility for confusion. Any work cited without a author name can be assumed to be by me
either as Bishop Bishop or Sheila Bishop.
1 Image from title page of A-Tract! (Like Awake! But Way More Fun).
2Awake! is a proselytizing publication put out by the Jehovah's Witnesses.
3 Adapted from saying by astrologer Rob Brezney which I came across so long ago that I cannot track down where I
first read it. Brezney's playful approach has been an influence on the development of Bishop Bishop. Interested
readers can check his website.
4 "Words overflowing the lexaducts."
5 Inspired by Borges, "The Garden of Forking Paths."
6 "Go Fish!"
7 See Wikipedia on grace notes.
8 For a close definition of how I am using the term "bastardization" see The Urban Dictionary online.
9 From online curatorial statement for SpasticusArtisticus.
10 For a quick summation of what a staged reading see Toscan, "The Play Development Process."
1 I found this lovely quote in the Wikipedia article on the novel Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty.
12 My understanding of these ideas are based on my notes from lectures by Gregory L. Ulmer for his Digital English
13 "To think is always to follow the witch's flight." Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy?, 41
14 See Wikipedia for a quick definition of dvar torah.
15 Choose Life! introduced Bishop Bishop in 2001, but this quote is from a different character.
16 Adapted from online biography of Bishop Bishop.
17 Choose Life!
18 "Jumping the track of stale sweat to make a train of meaning."
19 My understanding of the term eletracy is derived from lectures by Gregory L. Ulmer. For a quick summary see
20 That one scholar being me.
21 Bastardization of "Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant.
22 take my understanding of "void" from Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding ofEvil, 68-69.
23 "Keep Going!"
24 "Conceptual artists are mystics." Attributed to Sol LeWitt in email "e-flux journal issue #8 out now."
25 "Call me."
26 Reverend Billy, "Shopper, Repent!"
27 Weintraub, "Spoofing Biblical Miracles to Inspire Christian Faith: The Reverend Ethan Acres."
28 For a quick definition of Kinsey Scale see Wikipedia.
29 See website for Reverend Billy & The Church of Life After \1i. -,,- as well as Wikipedia article.
30 Weintraub, 247
31 The Rapture
32 They no longer have the pages specifically about the contest for which I cica.cd i,..... ar..,, Wanted.
33A-Tract! (Like Awake! But Way More Fun)
34 I first heard about this piece in conversation with WARPhaus Lecturer Bethany Taylor. I never knew the name of
the piece, just its effect on impressionable young art students. On the KiptonART website I tracked down a
description. See "Marina Abramovid. 'The Artist is Present."'
35 See "A Public Cervix Announcement" as well as an interview with Annie Sprinkle inAngry Women, 23-40.
36 See Rosalee Goldberg's book on Laurie Anderson, specifically pages 16-18.
37 Wolff, Rachel, "Carry a Bit Schtick." online, no page numbers
42 Dean, Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy, 2.
43 "The tick of eros."
44 Virno, Multitude: Between INnovation and ~.. g.<,,. ', p. 129
45 See Wikipedia on Chabon.
46 Grossman. "Pop Goes the Literature."
47 Franklin, "God's Frozen People."
48 "Breadcrumb trails and fairy ring fantasies."
49 As quoted in "Folding, or the Inside of Thought (Subjectivation)" by Deleuze, 120.
50 Chabon, "Trickster in a Suit of Lights: Thoughts on the Modern Short Story," 24.
51 From email press release by Ann Hirsch for her piece Performing Reality
52 From same email.
53 See Wikipedia for quick definition of video blogging (vlog).
54 Chabon, 25
55 For quick recap of the type of "pranks" pulled by The Yes Men, see either their website or Wikipedia.
56 My comments on The Yes Men are based on my own observations of their work in action.
57 See comments page for caRoline+outKAST and Re: Katy Perry- I Kissed A Girl.
58 David Amsden as quoted by Naomi Wolf, "The Porn Myth," no page numbers.
60 "On the heads of maidens or how to clear a mucous membrane in one easy step."
61 1 first heard about the political intent of Archie Bunker in a conversation with Maria Vesperi, Professor of
Anthropology at New College of Florida. See Wikipedia for direct quotes.
62 See Wikipedia for direct quotes.
63 Manovich, "The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life," 33
64 Krauss, "Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism.," 184.
65 Manovich, 40
66 Kinder, "The Conceptual Power of On-line Video: 5 Easy Pieces," 53
67 Kinder, 53.
68 See Wikipedia on Poe.
69 Kinder, 53.
70 Kinder, 54.
71 Kinder, 54.
72 Chabon, 25
73 Written by me for this paper.
74 "Words overflowing the lexaducts."
75 "Off the cuff: Spambots love the Good (and Not So Good) Words"
76 Description from my childhood memory of the movie. Wikipedia corroborates my memory of the movie.
77 "Jumping the track of stale sweat to make a train of meaning"
78 Creative Commons is often seen as part of the "copyleft" movement, see Wikipedia for quick summary.
79 Same reference for Badiou as in note 21.
80 1 first heard about McCarthy's "The Garden" during a lecture by Dr. Shep Steiner. See the first page of Klein's
"Paul McCarthy: Rites of Masculinity" for a detailed description. I do not know if Steiner mentioned the son. What I
remember from his lecture is the image of a man having sex with a tree. He said we could not laugh at it. I beg to
81 Mark 1:17
82 Bastardization of line from "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee" from musical Grease.
83 "Go Fish!"
84 White, The Body and the Screen, 84
85 To read what is now a foundational text of feminist analysis, see Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative
86 White, 84
87 Bright, Full Exposure, 35-42.
88 Hajratwala, "Against Taste," 170.
89 "Off the cuff: A little art about Wittgenstein to get you through the day"
92 Anderson, "The Long Tail."
93 Kelly, "1,000 True Fans."
94 Steyerl, "In Defense of the Poor Image."
95 "Jumping the track of stale sweat to make a train of meaning"
96 Interview with Ann Hirsch.
97 Interview with Ann Hirsch.
98 Email correspondence from Charles Benton to Bishop Bishop
99 Email correspondence to Chalres Benton from Bishop Bishop
100 Email correspondence from Jorge Rojas to Sheila Bishop
101 Bourriaud, "Relational Aesthetics," 161.
102 Foster, Hal. "Chat Rooms."
103 Bishop, Claire. \ ic cics as Producers."
104 I studied Brecht and Brechtian theater extensively as an undergraduate. I cannot easily source what has
essentially become baseline information.
105 Choose Life!
106 From one of many documents online produced for Art Basel Miami Beach 2009.
107 "Live smoke: An ode to gorgeous, fleshy, imperfect performance."
108 The Rapture
109 "Millions from Heaven"
110 Keyes, The Courage to Write, 57.
111 "Sing the Songs of the Suffering Servant."
112 Keyes, 55
113 Annie Roiphe quoted by Keyes, 53
114 "Off the cuff: Amputee porn"
115 Carr, "Timeline ofNEA 4 Events."
116 Badiou, Ethics, 79
117 "Jumping the track of stale sweat to make a train of meaning."
18 Art Service: In Service ofArt
119 Performed April 1, 2010 as part of In Defense of Fools at University Gallery, Gainesville, FL
120 Ranciere, The Emancipated Spectator 23
121 "Off the cuff: Live long and prosper"
122 "A shed of shed"
123 "Words overflowing the lexaducts"
124 Choose Life!
What do you get when you mix burlesque with Jane Austen? Miss Manners with Diamanda
Galas? Contrary individualism with strong sense of civic duty? Sheila Bishop is a performer,
writer, director, artist, producer, facilitator, presenter, teacher, wanna be video art maker, art
house pornographer, nonprofit maven, burnt out activist, Jill of all trades, intellectual, aspiring
wensch (mensch with a W) and sassy Southerner. She may be the long lost love child of Ethel
Merman, Laurie Anderson and Tallulah Bankhead.
Born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, she received her BA in Humanities from New
College of Florida in 1995. After a four-year stint in San Francisco, she returned to the land of
jumbo sweet iced tea and thunderstorms because she thought (rightly) that the South would best
feed her creative inclinations. Since moving back to Gainesville, she has created, produced and
publicized hundreds of experiences including cabarets, plays, fundraisers and educational events.
After finishing up her MFA in Digital Media Art at the University of Florida, she plans to keep
speaking and writing in forked tongues.