Recommended 9/19/13

Hey Folks! 

I'm in bed listening to Alicia Keys' "Wake Up" thinking about all of the cool stuff I want to share with you this morning.

1. Yesterday I participated in the TBA festival here in Portland. TBA is the TIme-Based-Arts festival. It's mostly all performance art - dance, music etc. However, the project I worked on, is called Sometimes I Think I Can See You, and is about writing and surveillance. 

The concept was created by the artist Mariano Pensotti. Basically he sets up large screens in public spaces. (We were at the Urban Center Plaza at PSU.) The writer is connected to the screens through a laptop and everything they write is projected on the screen for passersby to see.  The point is to record and speculate on the people in the plaza. I wrote for three and half hours straight. It was a wonderful experience. I was writing as fast as I could.

Most of the people enjoyed being written about. However, one woman did approach me mid-sentence and tell me that she did NOT appreciate being written about!

"Am I the woman with the short blonde hair?" she asked. I nodded. "Well, what did you mean when you wrote that I had X-ray vision?!" She wanted to know. I felt my heart start to race a little bit. 

"Well, I am about to say what I mean," I said. I was mid-sentence, about to post the second half of my thought: "as if she can see the train approach before anyone else."

I don't know if this sentiment satisfied her.  You would think that if someone were attributing super-powers to you, you would be flattered. Oh well. 

Here is a video from the project in Buenos Aires: 


A.M. O'Malley writes behind me as I prepare for my shift at TBA, Sometimes I Think I can See You.

A.M. O'Malley writes behind me as I prepare for my shift at TBA, Sometimes I Think I can See You.

The best part of the whole experience, besides the thrill of having my words projected onto a huge screen, was when the streetcar would pull up. Everyone in the back of the streetcar was looking directly at my screen. I loved this interaction. I would write a couple sentences and people were getting a huge kick out of it.  For example:

"There is a man with spiked blonde hair, 

staring out the back end of the train. 

He is biting his nails

or maybe feeling the first bits

of his five o'clock shadow coming in. 

Something I don't know about, 

like having a sun dial on your face. 

He smiles." 

It was magical.  

Learn more about Mariano's projects below:

2. There is a Zine Fair happening in Corpus Christi on October 4th and 5th.  

3. My cousin Donald said these photos reminded him of my dad's photos. I agree.

4. This is really cool. I don't agree with the sentiment at the end, but how the writer got there is still fascinating.  

5. From my friend Sarah's blog - A concise and well written description of the difference between colorism and racism. 

6. A video explaining how Shakespeare's plays change when you perform them in the original accent. 

7. I have the worst handwriting ever. I want to do this anyway.  

8. Don't forget! On the 27th of September I am reading a new story at St. John's Booksellers.  And on the 30th of September Tad's Talks comes back! I hope to see you there!

9. Today is my dad's 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Mike Grover! I love you!