Sunday, August 05, 2007

Vita: Goals, Strategies, Tactics

Dennis Williams
1323 W. Hualapai Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85745-2051

Born: 2/28/40
Education: M/A English/Philosophy UNM, Albuquerque, N.M. 1963
Poems In Publications:
Best Poem, UNM, Thunderbird Magazine 62; Best Poems of The Southwest 85; City Week, 85
Articles Featuring My performances In Publications:
City Week, 1990; Tucson Weekly 1991; Tucson Citizen 91; High Performance Magazine International 1990; WIFL 1989; FLASH, 1990
Books Published:
"At The Wall Of Darkness", poems, Divergent Freeway Enterprises, 1992, DR CLOWN’S BOOK OF HYPU and 4 MASKS OF REASON self published in 84.
Created PERFORMANCE PROJECTS a 501 C-3 organization giving small grants to local performance artists including Robert Bray, Imo Baird et al. Various performances done under those grants.
MOMENTS OF THE TRAIN, a guerilla mural about time painted across THE QB VIA BRIGHTON, NYC, 1982, goal: make New Yorkers see themselves getting into and out of a series of "MOMENTS" (train cars). Problem: New Yorkers don't notice anything. "You got a problem with that?!"
COLOSSAL MAN BLUES: at Crash Gallery, Phoenix 1985. Standing ovation. Goal: show how society moves with a will that comes from all of us and none of us. Problem: society doesn't want to know this.
WORLDNEWS LANDFILL: a performance/drama written & directed & performed with four other actors at my studio for three nights to local crowds. 1985. Goal: show how insane we are. Problem: we're insane.
STOREFRONT DAYS, a west coast performance festival on a grant from Tucson Community Cable 1984, featuring myself, local & west coast artists including Carol Leigh author UNREPENTANT WHORE, The Dark Bob, & Giudetta Tornetta. I performed HOUSE, a dance with a partner. As we danced we exchanged dummies, i.e. emotional baggage, made the dummies into a house which fell of its own weight. We led the audience down to the bus depot at midnight. All the directions diverge from there and all is renewal. Problem: "to have the audience walk through wet paint and then go to the bus depot is a very silly ending to a serious work of art." Sorry Bob. Sorry you got your shoes wet.
SECRET IDENTITY an outdoor gallery where people could experience themselves as part of nature. Goal: a quiet little ritual for me and a few friends. Problem: I was arrested, handcuffed & tried & found guilty of littering. Something about the dead dog and the flowers and the sign: "C'est bon, ne ce pas, le fin du monde." I suppose.
THE FACTS OF OUR LIVES three month performance and community mural using objects from the audience, on grants from Tucson Partnership, 1991. Goal: things given me from the audience, having a story attached, put up on the paper mural, cut up, made into books & given back. Create a mural looking at all the experience of the whole audience. Problem: too big to see.
THE LADYBUG MAN’S WALK ACROSS TUCSON. I dressed as The Ladybug Man and while walking 114 miles in ten days carrying two dummies and camping gear, gave away wildflower seed, native tree seed, and live ladybugs. Goal: measure sprawl with my body. Problem: pissed off a critic & got blackballed from all media exposure.
SETTING MYSELF ON FIRE: guerilla protest at the Federal Building, Tucson, AZ against the first gulf war, 1990 & in particular our use of fossil fuels which fueled both gulf wars. Problem: was arrested for "Unlicensed Bar B Que Pit, burning with dense smoke and odor." The firemen asked why I did it. I said, "The hotter it gets, the faster it gets hotter." I had them rolling in the aisles, but I forgot to charge admission.
TUCSON ARTS DISTRICT PERFORMANCES: series of performances for the planners of Tucson’s arts district in 84. Includes a 40 ft X 160 ft guerilla mural and performance in an alley. Goal: Four tracks of monologue. Problem: one track mind.
SELF APPOINTED ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE-TO-THE-“A MOUNTAIN HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT”: made a Quonset hut out of pallets, made it a free store stocked with donations and books dumpster dived from behind the city library. Did drawings with and of the campers, played & sang original songs with homemade instruments for them, wrote their stories, appeared as a clown & created a shrine which was destroyed when the city decided to bulldoze their camp down. Goal: show the campers were just like us only less fortunate. Problem: nobody cares.
THE URBAN SHAMAN: a year long interactive work in which the objects produced were burned in performance as I skated around them. A man on a motorcycle took the ashes & disappeared with them in the sunset on I-10. 1990. Goal: transcend love. Problem: my romantic victim lover out manipulated me.
BIG TIME BIG SELF: I play five characters in an interactive drama/mural performance, done at MUSE 2000. Goal: return to the big time and big self of childhood. Problem: adult management of the arts center kicked me out before I could repeat the performance.
Generally the problem has been that my manager & promotor has been vacationing in outer space while I've been working my ass off back down on earth.
FRAG MEANTS, scrapbook/book award, published by Chax Press, Tucson, AZ 2006. FRAG/MEANTS is a subscription notebook for an ongoing performance. The them is the fragmentation that occurs in our emotional lives as a side effect of improvements to them by technology. In keeping with the theme, the notebook covers were shot full of holes with a shotgun and other weapons out at the Missile Silos. This notebook will contain segments from:
BIG TIME BIG SELF scrapbook/notebook for selected readers & Center For Creative Photography, U of A, ongoing. It will also contain information and be the coordinating center for:
SHRINES TO GO: shrines on wheels for a fast moving world. Backdrop collages & toys hanging in blocks of ice with a shrine beneath which gets drowned if you light the candles, or doesn't drown as fast if you just curse the darkness. Give these to institutions favorable to art, at least in name. Make them choose to discard the work or participate in it. Final performance done as show & tell object lesson about the intelligence of nature (that which brought us here can take us hence)I will be working in front of a melting ice sculpture made from two 55 gallon drums & will be performning as my Native American Pesona, "LEADS HORSE TO WATER":

Goal: give people choices by which they can grow (or not). Problem: not expecting one. Never had any problems before.
Life goal: Revenge the murder & torture of innocents by the Banality Gang.
Strategy: Go out in a blaze of absurdity.


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