Justine and Jardine and Pierre met in Austin, coming from various coasts, in 2007. They had mischievous plans from the very beginning, and these plans were executed soon enough and they continue to emerge, unfurling into the unknown. Justine brought her camera, Jardine brought her notebook, and they most often convened at 4710 East 5th Street where Justine and Pierre had turned a crack house into a wonderland. Pierre is the gatekeeper and the fire-minder, the bass player with an extra cigarette for the stranger. He opens the door, even when everything is over, and suddenly everything begins again.
They had divine times and disasters, late nights and long days, in the Texas heat, in the Texas rain, in a Marfa motel, in a Brooklyn backyard, in the New York snow. The art turned into some kind of party, or the party turned into art, or it all got lost somewhere in between and became something that no one could put their finger on. From Richard Hell banquets to pop-up tattoo parlors to Acid Betty to cotton candy to live wolves to Bushwick Bill rapping under the cherry blossoms, they’re pretty sure most or some of it was real.
What came of all this playing around was a hardworking crew of imaginations and souls: the Fleurs du Mal Syndicat. A loose collective, so loose they don’t know they’re collected, of artists and filmmakers and singers and chefs and set designers and neon-sign creators and sequin specialists and makeup geniuses and photographers, from all over the world. The events bloom like a very undisciplined garden, seeded by long talks between lots of dear friends, and fed by the sunshine and water of Austin, Texas.
Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what?
Maybe just growing up.
— Patti Smith (Just Kids)
It wasn’t until I started reading and found books they wouldn’t let us read in school that I discovered you could be insane and happy and have a good life without being like everybody else.
— John Waters
A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.
― Diane Arbus
‘David Lynch could easily set a scene at this late-night brasserie, with its bordello-red walls, dreamscape lighting, and picturesque courtyard strewn with disco balls. The crowd is young and primed to party—perhaps in the hopes of making it onto the restaurant’s notoriously risqué website. No wonder chefs like to come here for after-hours moules frites,escargots with parsley—and a thumping DJ set. It’s like being in another world. Perhaps their motto says it all: “When you think you’ve gone too far, keep going.”’
~ Dick Rauh
in The Botanical Artist, Volume 13, Issue 3
Orchids are one of the largest and most diverse families in flowering plants. Many genera have adapted to very specific pollinators and so have evolved very different forms. So the important question arises as to which of their characteristics can be called up to give them an identity as a group. What can we look to, to be able to spot a plant as modest as a rattlesnake plantain, and find a cousin in a huge, showy Cattleya and know that they are closely related?
First of all, orchids are monocots. This means they are kin to lilies, tulips and grasses, and some of their strongest identifying features are ones they have in common with this large group of plants. I speak of parts in threes, stalkless leaves with parallel venation, a herbaceous habit, and adventitious roots. The flowers of orchids, like many monocots have sepals and petals that are alike in appearance, primarily in the fact that both are petal-like with a wide range of color and pattern. The three sepals and two of the petals are also often very similar in form. However the median of the three petals in orchids, really takes off. It is known as the labellum or lip, and its intricate and diverse forms are one of the reasons orchids provide such constant excitement. If the flower were to grow normally this lip would be at the top of the bloom, but orchids are what is known as resupinate. That means as the flower grows it undergoes a twist in the pedicel or inferior ovary of 180° and the lip ends up at the bottom.
Orchids have two primary habits. By far the largest number are tropical and epiphytic, plants that grow on other plants for support. They are not parasites, but grow in the crotch of limbs or along the branches with ferns and bromeliads and provide their own water and nutrients. This is done in a number of ways. Some have vertical stems that swell to become storage organs, and these are called pseudo-bulbs. Others have aerial roots enclosed in a whitish tissue called velamen that is designed to absorb and hold water. Often the aerial roots of the epiphytes will grow upward to form nestlike structures, to catch nitrogen rich matter. Other orchids, especially our temperate natives are terrestrial. They grow like most flowering plants with their roots anchored in the ground, although their roots may still have velamen, and sometimes tubers. There are some orchids that combine features of both of these growth styles, and there are even some genera that are saphrophitic, growing on dead organic matter, without chlorophyll.
Vegetative growth also takes two primary forms. Monopodial growth implies a single vertical axis for the life of the plant. Seasonal growth continues upward, and the pattern of leaves is often as great a graphic element as the flowers. The entire, alternate leaves of monopodial orchids fold into each other, right and left, leaf by leaf. Aerial roots and flower stalks originate from the nodes, and hence from between successive leaves. Vanda and Phalaenopsis are two genera typical of monopodial growth. Vertical growth that starts anew each growing season along a lateral stem is called sympodial, and this is by far the most common form. Sometimes the inflorescences are lateral as in Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Oncidium. Other sympodial plants have terminal flowers, such as Cattleya, Laelia and most Epidendrons. It is with the sympodial orchids that you will find pseudobulbs.
One of the major unifying features of this incredibly diverse family is the fused male and female elements of the flower. The stamen, usually single (but with two in the slipper orchids) is fused to the style and stigma of the pistil. The anther takes the form of a cap at the apex of this combined unit, called a column, or a gymnostegium (if you want to impress your friends). Under this comes the stigma whose three lobes have evolved into two hollow receptive areas separated by a center sterile beak. This is called a rostellum, and it functions in various ways to abet the distribution and reception of the pollen. The pollen in this family is also distinctive, clustered together in soft or bony masses called pollinia, that take on as many individual forms as there are genera. Part of the reason for the presentation of the pollen in this manner is the fact that the inferior ovary contains thousands of ovules, and the packages of lots of pollen are delivered by the pollinators (mostly bees) to serve this purpose.
The perianth is clearly in sets of three, The middle sepal reaches upright with two lateral sepals at either side, the two lateral petals alternate with these and often are quite similar in appearance. Opposite and below the upper sepal and differing wildly in most cases comes the median petal. This lip or labellum takes on many forms, some spurred, some extreme and highly decorated. In Cattleya and Laelia the lip becomes tubular, in the slipper orchids a pouch. In some cases the lip even reverses direction as in the spider orchids where it lets the other five tepals steal the show. In the subfamily Cypripedioideae, the slipper orchids, the upper sepal becomes a bit showy and is called a fan, and the two lower sepals often fuse together and lay directly behind the sacklike labellum. This is also the group that retains two stamens. You can find them under the anther cap on either side of the style. In most cases the lip conceals or at least distracts the eye from the column, which remains a rather modest element in all this spectacle.
What can I say about that miracle of diversity, the orchid flower? It ranges in size from downright tiny (where it is usually assembled in spikes or racemes) to spectacularly large single blooms. The color and patterns look as if designed on drugs, although each species has been adapted to lure some particular and often unsuspecting pollinator. The texture of orchid flowers is another challenge, and here again they range from the most delicate tissue to very hard and waxy surfaces
There are numerous texts on these plants and the internet can always be counted on to supply help on specifics of identification and morphology. I haven’t touched on the problems of naming orchids. Since so many are hybrids there is an entire nomenclature apart from our Latin binomials that is kept in something known as Sandler’s Complete List of Orchid Hybrids. Suffice it to say here that you can tell a hybrid by the fact that what would normally be regarded as the specific epithet is capitalized. In some cases they create an ‘artificial’ name made from parts of the parental genera like Brassolaeliocattleya.
White Fur Playlist for Largehearted Boy
White Fur is tucked right into the time period of 1986 and 1987—the ultimate pawn shop for music, full of illicit, used, glittering, irresistible stuff.
The story unfolds in New Haven, CT and then mostly in New York City, bouncing from SoHo to the Upper East Side to Alphabet City. The stars are Elise—who grew up in Bridgeport public housing without a dad, didn’t finish high school, and who has the drive and power of a seeker, and Jamey—the “child king” of a New York banking family, a virgin in a sense, with ideas of revolt “fermenting” in him. They meet as neighbors—she’s practically squatting in one building and he’s a Yale junior living next door.
White Fur is a subversion of Romeo and Juliet, a dark and hopeful tale about two lovers transcending their assigned roles in society, and battling family expectations; it’s a story about who we’re allowed to love, and what it looks like to break those rules. But it’s not a roses-and-rainbows romance, as has been noted in many a review (sometimes bitterly, if the reader was looking for roses and rainbows), but rather a raw, psychedelic, ecstatic, quasi-pornographic fable—not unlike Siddhartha redone by Bret Easton Ellis, or a punk version of Pretty Woman where he ends up going home with her, not the other way around.
I’m afraid the soundtrack works best like a junk store, treasures jammed in with trash, no distinction between high and low, pretty stuff on the shelf next to ugly stuff—perhaps like the book itself.
“Girls and Boys” by Prince. Prince is Elise’s guardian angel. We learn on page 2 of the book what’s above her bed: “Taped to her wall, where someone else might hang a crucifix, is a page torn from Rolling Stone: Prince in a misty lavender paradise.” “Girls and Boys” is quintessential Prince, goofy and raunchy and groovy and wickedly perfect—with the gold sparkly chimes as punctuation and the French proposal for exotica. But the main reason the song is important to the book is this line: “Meet me in another world.”
“I Against I” by Bad Brains. Jamey is a mess. He just is. In his psychology class, the students try the exercise of not thinking about a white bear for five minutes, and he of course is haunted by the white bear, unable to avoid thinking about the yellow-toothed killer for a second, and even bringing him home in his mind where the bear will stay for weeks. Jamey is living an “I Against I” life, he’s a portrait of “I Against I”.
“Fascinated” by Company B. It’s masochistic to listen to this one, like sticking a golden pin into your eye over and over. Those high synths, good god—like holy acupuncture. And it goes on and on. Never ending. Like the line to the ladies room at a nightclub circa 1986, everyone emerging with white rings around their nostrils. The book is about obsession, and this relentless, measured, ghostly voice wanting to play with you tonight definitely doesn’t sound like she’s gonna give up anytime soon.
“We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now” by Dead Kennedys. The book is largely about class in America, and it seemed like a good way to look at that topic was by writing about Reagan-era Manhattan and its diamonds at Tiffany’s and burning buildings in Bed-Stuy and martinis at Odeon and welfare cuts and families living in their cars. This song is a cathartic and angry diatribe against the hypocritical denial of disparity during these years. The deranged bartender drawls along to lounge-guitar music, calmly saying: “last call for freedom of speech”, and it’s halfway into the song that all hell breaks loose.
“I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz. This song equals a white mesh shirt. It’s like a TV jingle for sex itself. It stands for the parts of the book that are terribly beautiful, dirty, sticky.
“Sex and Dying in High Society” by X. Oh, escalating and jubilant disaster!…this could be the subtitle to White Fur. I love hearing equal power between John Doe and Exene when they play, and hopefully that balance is true of the lovers in White Fur. But I always imagine this as Jamey’s theme song, and it plays while he walks out of his family’s life, coming down some staircase. Not even sure what staircase, but it’s a coming-down-a-staircase-for-the-last-time song
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by Elton John (1974 cover). This cut is so dopey and clang-y, so shirt-on-backwards! I don’t want to give everything away, but there might be an acid trip that might take place in Trump Tower, and this song—with its kaleidoscope eyes and cellophane flowers—is a good track for that scene.
“Starfish and Coffee” by Prince. If you set your mind free, baby, maybe you’ll understand. I was thirteen, obsessing over “Starfish and Coffee”, in the year this book takes place, and Prince’s lifelong effect on me makes him the patron saint of the entire book, not just of Elise. A song like this one, innocent and fantastical, was a continuation of my favorite storybooks and poems, and the fact that it was wedged into an album that hit a bunch of other notes—from dark to sexual to mystical—pushed forward this notion that maybe just maybe I’m allowed to do whatever I want as a writer. From the book: “Elise was raised on the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, the Isley Brothers—[her mom] Denise played records, night and day. Prince is the son of Motown, born early and underweight, an over-incubated child raised in a bedroom with a white grand piano. / Anemic genius. / He summons Haitian spirits, Pentecostal virgins, drowned witches. If James Brown and Baudelaire had a hermaphroditic bastard, babysat by Mister Rogers, who grew up to wear lilac matador pants—it would be Prince.”
“Spooky” by Lydia Lunch. The original by Classic IV is about a spooky little girl, of course, and the gender switch in this version matches the shifting power dynamic between Elise and Jamey—and between men and women in the 80s. I also think this song is a celebration of relishing the freak, the shy one, the weirdo. In the Broadway musical version of White Fur, Elise would sing this to Jamey, starting with this one’s for you, and channeling all of Lydia’s exquisite downtown energy.
“Modern Dance” by Pere Ubu. There’s a subliminal Peter-Pan spirit to this song; I feel like I’m being called into a new world—coaxed—following even as the floor tilts under my feet. Jamey and Elise are headed to an unknown place, and this song represents that stage of their journey. It’s the sound of punk being turned into something finer, with a razor’s edge that cuts open a beautiful measure of disobedience.
“Love is the Drug” by Grace Jones. This song represents the vein of desperation that runs through the whole story. Diabolical plinks start fifteen seconds into the track and then run rampant. Her voice is mellifluous, and so definite, leaving no room for doubt. To say she has authority is to downplay things, but she also sounds far away, like the drug of love can be.
“All This and More” by the Dead Boys. I’m just a dead boy… I can’t resist including this song because it belongs to the book in an almost ridiculous way. The grind-and-clap setup is so perfect for the proposition: I’ll die for you if you want me to. It’s the ultimate pickup line.
“The Good Life” by Frank Sinatra. This is the country-club war chant of Bats and Binkie, Jamey’s grandparents, who use power like other people use food and liquor and sex. They were born to rule. Binkie is an Astor, a debutante, a gravelly-voiced Palm Beach hostess who remembers you like your Manhattan stirred. Even now, in his mid-60s, hands covered with sunspots, Bats is the object of longing looks from Sacred Heart girls on the subway. As a couple, they represent the establishment, in all its charm, glamour, and corruption. Who better than Frank to speak for them, to claim, in mellow bitterness: You won’t really fall in love / Because you can’t take the chance?
Love theme from “Romeo and Juliet” by Henry Mancini. This is the pastel-silk version of Romeo and Juliet’s affair, the marzipan version, the chandelier hanging in the story, the sad lullaby, the elegant and polite version. That original structure is in White Fur, like antique gold chairs set up in neat rows in a ballroom, and it does come to use.
“Romeo” by The Wipers. But this song is more the heart of the book. It’s a stealthy narrative, hormonal to be sure, and truer to what really happens between two kids in crazy love. Roam, Romeo…Romeo, roam! This song is an incitement to and endorsement of infatuation, and it’s conducted so methodically, it always makes me smile. With its puppy yelps of lust and all.
“Boom I Got your Boyfriend” by MC Luscious. The early hip-hop women—like MC Luscious and MC Lyte and Roxanne Shanté—were deadpan, brave, rude, and funny as hell when they wanted to be—like Elise, whose sexuality doesn’t rely on pleasing men as much as on being real. These ladies didn’t get naked onstage, but looked badass in tight tomboy jeans and sneakers and bucket hats. I imagine Elise addressing this song to all the madras-skirt gin-and-tonic Camel-Lights girls at Dorrian’s uptown.
“Dirty Mind” by Prince. I’ll end with Prince, since two-thirds into White Fur, Jamey buys Elise tickets to his Madison Square Garden show. An excerpt from that scene: “Madison Square Garden is ready too. The city (and Jersey and Long Island) launches an army of pilgrims to meet their lord, him with the rolled curls and beauty mark and white dance shoes. / Everyone surges to the stage, pushing. Dark hearts, kids ready to sing their brains out. / Girls with shirts smaller than bras, pouts, and violent stars in their eyes; guys with combs in pocket and little street spats and minty gum. All eyes are tilted up, waiting for the moon to rise into the black sky. / Like a unicorn on a rampage, he emerges. He slumps into every cherry-red note and electric piano chord and lightning streak of guitar. / ‘I’m in heaven!’ she yells at Jamey. / She dances like a demon took hold. / She signs with her fingers: You…I would die for you…” Music here opens things up between them, at the concert, in a way that will seriously impact the story. But when they leave, pushing through Penn Station with the crowd, getting onto the train, everyone closes back up, because we can’t stay as open as music makes us. “She’s blind and happy as they make their way with other dazed boys and girls out the doors, and they’re part of the mob of vulnerable freaks. On the subway, kids—whose silk shirts are drying—light one more joint. That was a dope show. Slowly, their snakeskins grow back, and everyone is strangers again.”
The Changing Room: Be Whoever You Want To Be
I like this because there’s a whole genre of photographs that is about dressing rooms….
Pyramid Club dressing room: http://www.thedragexplosion.com/about/
and it’s like a modern fetish: http://changingroomgirls.tumblr.com/
OPEN BAR NYE by Justine’s 2017 AT………
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1813890918857617/
Tickets available at Justine’s bar OR Online through Frontgate:
Hashtag: #exquisiteunderground #justinesbrasserie
9pm doors open. Performances + DJS through the night. Ending at 2am.
Tickets: $200 per person, includes entry, OPEN BAR ALL NIGHT, performances, live show by Omar Souleyman, screening of Marilyn Minter videos, passed delicacies + candy, DJs + dancing, elaborate photobooth, and a surreal and immersive massive-art-installation experience!
Sometimes pushing people and ideas underground makes them stronger—and exquisite. Here’s to the ones who don’t give in but dance all night instead. For this NYE throwdown, inspired by underground dance scenes all over the world, Justine’s is taking over a secret and massive location very close to home, (address TBA on our FB event page very soon!), and turning it into a multiplex of art and hedonism and dancefloors, a crazy all-night don’t-stop dance party with neon lights + radiant clouds + projections, inspired by Paradise Garage, Manchester warehouses, NYC’s Disco 2000, London’s drag world, Jamaican dancehalls, South African getdowns, and Brooklyn’s block parties. Designer Emily Andelin and a team of artists are making a place for a cathartic dance revolution.
The night’s jewel is a live show by Syrian cult icon Omar Souleyman. The Guardian describes his dance-a-thon music as: “dizzying use of ululating keyboards, pounding synthesised beats and throaty vocals [that] pay homage to dabke”. Omar has played Justine’s before, and we adore his electrifying live set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVlgMEFu1PI
A clandestine photo booth inspired by the dressing rooms of underground nightclubs called “The Changing Room: Be Whoever You Want To Be” will be available for everyone’s portrait all night, with photographer Crawford Morgan: http://www.crawfordmorgan.com/.
With love from the artist, we will screening Marilyn Minter’s newest video piece concurrently opening at the Brooklyn Museum.
Performers will be hanging like stars in the sky; we have breakdancers, tap dancers, aerialists and others presenting shows all through the night.
AND we offer an OPEN BAR all night!!! Starring a Gem + Bolt mescal bar, champagne bar and two beautiful bars featuring Justine’s cocktails like the Enfant Terrible… There will be bites + candy for the hungry revelers. At midnight: hundreds of balloons will drop.
We will be compiling a MULTIMEDIA ZINE called LOST + FOUND in the UNDERGROUND from guests’ photographs, videos and writings on the night of the party about what they lost this year, or want to find, or what they lost or found on the night of the party, from love to a rhinestone on the ground. Guests should post entries using the hashtag: #lostfoundunderground or email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more ZINE details see the FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1813890918857617/
Let’s get dressed! A LookBook, showcasing Ukrainian ravers, Paradise Garage hip hop dancers, dancehall stars, Disco 2000 party monsters + more glammed up sparkling revolutionaries will be posted tout suite on our FB event page: LOOK out…..xoxoxoo
LOST + FOUND in the UNDERGROUND
AN Exquisite Underground NYE 2017 Zine
…. BY YOU
Dear imaginative guests;
You are invited to take photos, record video, record audio, and write poems/thoughts
before/DURING/after the party, on the theme of LOSING and FINDING, then submit it to:
post on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag:
to be included in our multimedia zine of this NYE with you.
Name or shoot or record what you have lost or found—today, tonight, this year.
Or what you want to lose, or fear losing, or dream of finding, or will never ever find.
You can be literal, or hallucinatory and experimental, or abstract.
This can be a photograph of a rhinestone barrette that fell out of someone’s braid tonight,
or a poem about your lover, or the world,
or audio you record in the parked car outside the party,
or a video clip you make when you get home at dawn and look in the bathroom mirror.
We love poems, songs, scribbles, nonsense, statements, impressions. We love you.
Describe anything lost & found in your underground.
Deadline: January 5.
We will publish Lost + Found in the Underground online this winter.
PLEASE let us know if you do NOT want your name included. Submitting/tagging the entry is consent to publish.
We cannot wait to see your ideas. LOVE + imagination to you! Jardine + Justine + Jim
How did you come to be lost? (Dr. Zhivago)
The volk (‘wolf’ in Russian) is the core of this New Year’s Eve night at Justine’s. Everyone should come dressed formal and Russian and opulent, while inside is your animal self, the rabid, wild wolf that comes out on New Years Eve and takes over. How did you come to be lost?
The space itself will nod to Dr. Zhivago, and to the cinematic grandeur of snow palaces and winter trees and fur hats and black horse carriages. Justine’s, with the help of artists like Douglas Little and Emily Hughes, will be transformed into an ice-glazed world under big movie lights, our mirrors broken, our chandeliers hung with haunting paperwhites and black branches, a black forest ready for you to hide in, to get chased, to chase someone.
And above it all, making snow for our broke-down folk tale of a Russian dreamscape: two snow machines turning the night white.
We’ll be shooting two experimental films that night, with the amazing filmmakers at Mishnoon, and you’ll be the stars.
We will ALSO be conducting a formal and exquisite portrait session of you kissing the one you love, or lust for, in your Russian finest against our red velvet backdrop.
Expect cigarette girls with imported smokes, a Russian angel on the swing who will pour champagne down your throat, two sets by Leila Bazzani behind a wolf mask and draped in fur, hot peasant food like borscht and steaming potatoes with bacon and cream to keep you going in the starry night, records spinning for hours to get you dancing, and many more jewels of surprises.
VOLK. Everyone needs to get lost on New Years Eve. Find your wild self at Justine’s.
These tickets include entry and midnight champagne and cake. On New Year’s Eve, we won’t be serving our French menu, but you can buy hot Russian peasant food at stalls outside.
chekhov film booth * wolves * white fur peep show * snow machine * red velvet portraits * black forest * champagne tower * exquisite Leila Bazzani performance * russian cigarette girl * music & dancing * movie lights * borscht, oysters, caviar & hot potatoes * horse carriage * love * broken mirrors
What should you write on your
DEAR TEXAS, LOVE TEXAS postcard?
Whatever you decide!
These cards were designed by Marilyn Minter (for the Pop-up Activists’ Living Room) as a vehicle for our voices, our concerns, our gratitude, or our requests—with the objective to flood our representatives’ mailboxes with something beautiful and sincere.
The idea is to build bridges with our communication rather than burning them. As MLK states in the Principles of Nonviolence: The Beloved Community is the framework for the future.
As we worked on this installation and wondered what WE would write on our own postcards, we read that a combination of verified statistics, personal stories, and specific requests works best when reaching out to reps. So we looked online at organizations we trusted for reporting facts and for explaining solutions and strategies. And for personal stories, we of course looked into our own lives.
Here’s a sampling of the kinds of things we’re thinking about writing on our postcards. Again, please write what you like! And thank you for being involved in this mass postcard mailing! Just put your card in the mailbox when you’re done, and we’ll stamp and mail them asap.
In 2013, 83 percent of people deported from the United States were not given a hearing before a judge.
Hispanic motorists in Texas are 33 percent more likely to be searched than white drivers.
The federal government spends more on immigration enforcement than on all its major law enforcement agencies combined.
The federal prison population has increased by almost 790 percent since 1980.
A black person in Texas is between 4 and 34 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person is, despite approximately equal rates of use.
At least 3,278 people were serving life sentences without parole for drug, property, and other nonviolent crimes in 2012.
With an incarcerated population of well over two million, the United States is the world’s largest jailer, ahead of China and Russia.
We have 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.
More than one in 100 adults in this country were behind bars in 2008, and one in 35 adults is under correctional supervision (prison, jail, probation, or parole).
A shocking one-in-nine young black men (ages 20-34) is behind bars, and racial bias infects the system at every turn.
In most of the state of Texas, it is legal to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
90% of transgender Texans have been mistreated in the workplace.
2/3 of Texans would support a law protecting gay, lesbian and transgender Texans from discrimination.
LGBT Texans lack the most basic protections against discrimination because of their sexual orientation. Neither federal nor state law bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and as a result, an LGBT Texan has no recourse if an employer, landlord, or shopkeeper discriminates. Without protection, countless Texans are forced to live in the closet for fear of the consequences of living openly.
1 in 3 women have an unintended pregnancy before the age of 35.
About half of American women will have an unintended pregnancy, and nearly 3 in 10 will have an abortion by age 45.
Since 2010, between 100,000 and 240,000 Texas women have attempted to induce their own abortions due to the state’s onerous abortion laws.
Privacy and technology
The federal law protecting your electronic information passed in 1986, making it older than the World Wide Web.
Law-enforcement requests for locational tracking of Texans are confidential so nothing is or can be known about the scope of surveillance.
Texas police can read your old email and stored communications without a warrant or ever notifying a judge.
From American Conscience, Jennifer Hofmann.com:
Please oppose the lifetime appointment of biased federal judges.
I am deeply concerned about the president’s ban that adds a form with religion-specific questions to the already in-depth screening process.
I support our constitutional rights and oppose attempts to discriminate against immigrants, legal residents, and citizens based on country of origin or religion.
Regarding the Republican tax plan. I want to advocate for poor Americans who make less than $18,600 per year. Increasing their tax rate by 2% and taking away the state and local tax deduction is mean and wrong. I support an ethical, fiscally-responsible tax plan that helps America’s poorest.
We need a clean Dream Act. We need to ensure that immigrant youth can continue to go to school, work, and serve in the military but not in exchange for a border wall or increased deportation of other immigrants.
Please oppose constitutional violations and inhumane treatment of immigrants by ICE, and provide caring outreach to detainees.
I believe we can do better as a country to protect all people. Data shows that better gun laws prevent unnecessary deaths.
From Progress TX:
Please fight for fair and equal wages for hardworking Texans this session.
A list of hot-button issues in Texas:
Building a border wall
Minimum wage being raised to living wage
Funding women’s reproductive health services
Plastic products ban
Gun control / gun rights
Native American land rights
Athletes taking a knee
LGBT adoption rights
National park protection
Campaign finance reform
Accepting Syrian refugees
Dakota Access pipeline
Solitary confinement for juveniles
Public education funding
WE STAMPED AND MAILED THOUSANDS OF POSTCARDS OUT WHEN THE PROJECT WAS DONE!!!
Flash Back Yard
I wanted to create a somewhat comfortable place reminiscent of another somewhat comfortable place where somewhat comfortable things could occur, or already have, given the right conditions (light, liquid, luck).
Flash: glitz, glam, bright light, super hero.
Back: what’s behind you; also, “get back to where you once belonged.”
Flashback: “get back to where you once belonged”; also, re-experience sometimes triggered by trauma, drugs, or relaxation (perhaps in the backyard).
Backyard—where things grow, things grill, and stars spark memories…
…as far as I can remember
By Adam Sultan
From Adam’s installation story about FlashBack Yard in the Austin Chronicle
…I gave up on buying a prefab fence that was two feet tall and four feet long because they didn’t exist. I bit the bullet and bought 20 pickets at Home Depot, having learned by this time to just do it, if not do it “right.” I put the fence together in no time. For once, I felt like King of the Hill!
The last idea I had was of a barbecue grill, painted to resemble a fishbowl, with a glass top on which people could place their drinks and an ashtray. Brilliant! I just needed to find a grill, paint, a plastic koi fish, and a piece of round glass. I suffered more trips to more stores, including a nearby aquarium for a tiny, ornamental plastic sea plant to keep the koi company. Details: the kind no one notices unless you point them out….
The whole piece at:
I first visited Paris with my mother in the spring of 1963, when I was not quite nine. We had spent several bleak late-winter months in Belgium dealing with my grandfather, who was in the terminal throes of dementia, and trying to once again decide whether we should just move back there. Paris was our reward for endurance. It was just a few days. We took a three-day Wagons-Lits Cook bus tour, my mother made a few religious pilgrimages, and that was it. But it was an exciting place! I of course had no idea it was the time of the nouvelle vague and Serge Gainsbourg and the situationists, but there were Citroën DSes in great swarms all over the streets and the place just felt hopped-up. And understand that this clearly discernable vibration of the new was taking place in a very old city that was entirely black with soot and dim with fog. And the Louvre truly flattened me—the first art museum I’d ever visited, and the room with the enormous Delacroix and Géricaults and Davids scared the living shit out of me, in the very best way.
~Luc Sante in the Paris Review
“On the evenings when my parents held parties, the drawing-room mirrors multiplied to infinity the scintillations of a crystal chandelier. Mama would take her seat at the grand piano to accompany a lady dressed in a cloud of tulle who played the violin and a cousin who performed on a cello. I would crack between my teeth the candied shell of an artificial fruit, and a burst of light would illuminate my palate with a taste of blackcurrant or pineapple: all the colours, all the lights were mine, the gauzy scarves, the diamonds, the laces; I held the whole party in my mouth.”
― Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
CALLING ALL ARTISTS!
Justine’s is inviting proposals to make an installation in our “Infinity Room”—our mirrored photo booth behind the restaurant. We’ll also kick in $200 to the chosen artist for supplies. Proposals due September 1, 2013!
The first version of this booth was done for our psychedelic 2013 SXSW Too Much to Dream party, and inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama; we love her dots! The second was devoted to late 60s Paris pop & mod, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, stripes & chandeliers.
It’s a tiny chamber, but a photograph taken in there makes an endless world. We’ve staged shoots at parties, and guests conduct their own DIY photo sessions too. They take cocktails into the booth and shoot cool pictures, which they then Instagaram and Facebook. The booth has a life of its own.
We’re looking for a proposal to create a third version of the booth, incorporating the mirrors. This installation will be up for at least three months, and we’d love to do a dedicated professional photo shoot at the launch and post all the pictures, giving you proper credit and spreading the word about your art installation at Justine’s.
We’d love to hear from anyone who wants to take on the design of the booth! There is no formal application process. Just submit ideas / details / sketches that get the concept across, along with any visual reference points that help, to BelleDeJour@justines1937.com. Please inquire there too if you have questions. We look forward to seeing Austin’s notoriously subversive & rich imagination at work…
I would like to propose building a small sculptural piece along with hand painted words directly on the floor. The words inspired by the title “Infinity Room” will read Life, Light, Love in white letters on a black background.The sculpture itself would be reflective and shaped like a 3 sided pyramid. Along with this proposal I have attached a drawing and some photos of my 2011 exhibition at Co-lab Project Space.
As for a photo shoot I would love to create silver flowers to sprinkle in the space or in models hair and possibly some small geometric sculptures for the models to hold, glitter & light could do magical things as well!
Thank you for taking the time to read my visions!
BY SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
“Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay
New Year’s Eve 2014, at Justine’s.
You’ll fall deep into our darkness, the den, an exquisite void, a dream, an unconsciousness——and then emerge into the dawn of a new year, a new mind, a clear light.
This will be the most extravagant party we’ve ever thrown, with 4710 East Fifth Street transformed so completely, you won’t know where you are. We’re rebuilding the streets of Shanghai, creating a warren of dens, building a smoky dream of past and future Asia, with Bladerunner geishas projected on the sky and fallen British aristocrats hiding out in dark rooms and Japanese angels sipping neon champagne. The phenomenal installation artists Douglas Little and Emily Hughes are already at work (http://douglaslittle.com/events).
20,000 firecrackers are set to be lit, confetti cannons fired, Jean Cocteau fortune cookies passed out, incense burned, poppies and peonies and cherry blossoms will bloom, and the gong will definitely ring and echo through the East Side.
Performances will happen through the night, culminating in a very special countdown. There will be Butoh Dancers, a Chinese Dragon Dance Troupe, and a drag phenomenon in full 19th Century Chinese matron costume with traditional Chinese music on the saw……..
DJ Joro-Boro from NYC/Burning Man will make the night extra surreal and wild. https://soundcloud.com/joro-boro
Justine’s head chef Casey Wilcox will be concocting passed treats and street food to make you feel you’re walking in Hong Kong or Paris, from a Duck & Pork Belly & Scallion pancake station, a Wok station, Escargot Dim sum, Wings confit with spice & dried Thai chili, to Ceviche tiger milk with Fines Herbes (and many other succulent passed dishes).
There will be, in addition, bars selling special cocktails based on cherry blossom, ginger, milk and honey. And Veuve Clicquot and Jean Pernet bottles, of course, as well.
And you can get a tattoo on the house! Artist Katja Ramirez is ready to ink a scarlet flower or Chinese secret or line from Kubla Khan anywhere you want it. http://katjaramirez.com/section/128521_Tattoos.html
This party will celebrate the cross-pollination of cultures through dreaming and art and madness, braiding together the backroom cultures of early 1900s San Francisco and New York and Paris, and the port-to-port worlds of tattooed sailors, and Chinese concubines, and crazy doctors, dilettantes, and Coleridge, Cocteau, Rachilde, de Quincey, Basho.
Dresses in poppy red, or ginger gold, milk white or violet……
Think 2046, Bladerunner…… Time travel……
The Fallen Aristocrat, underground dandy, with a flower in your lapel, a pocketwatch, a cane, gloves…the works, darling.
Bohemian nomads, with cultures twisted & braided together……
The Artists…Coleridge, Cocteau, Rachilde, Elizabeth Barrett, Baudelaire…
Sailors and tattoo artists, sending culture from port to port……
The classic Chinese dress, the Qipao and Cheongsam……
“Into the darkness they go, the wise & the lovely.”
–Edna St. Vincent Millay
“How reluctantly the bee emerges from the deep within the peony”
“When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.”
–Ursula K. Le Guin
“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires…”
“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”
“We become aware of the void as we fill it.”
“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”
“I am burning myself up and will always do so.”
“What you seek is seeking you.”
“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”
“Real poetry is to lead a beautiful life. To live poetry is better than to write it.”
“When the hunter sets traps only for rabbits, tigers & dragons are left uncaught.”
“What the caterpillar calls the end the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”
“Someone I loved once gave me a box of darkness. It took years to realize this too was a gift.”
“You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light.”