Life with Ray Bradbury.

by Dolores Alfieri
Illustration by Joanna Barnum 

He is travelling home from his uncle’s funeral, a 12 year-old sitting in the backseat of an automobile with his family and the heavy weight of loss. He looks out the window as the tires roll beneath him. Inside the car it is silent. His parents are decent people and they mourn with decency. Down the hill, along the rim of Lake Michigan, carnival tents appear, their edges billowing like little red and yellow hands that seem to beckon to him. Pull over, he tells his father, pull over pull over. And his father does. The boy is excited enough that it looks like he’ll leap out of the moving car if he doesn’t. His father is furious as he watches the boy run down the hill, toward the carnival. He expects him to be there, in the automobile and back at home, mourning, grave-faced, solemn. But Ray Bradbury was not made to steep in the sober shades of living. He thunders down the hill with the lake wind blowing back his hair, with the sounds of the carnival — the holler of the talker, the calliope of the turning merry-go-round — whirling closer to his ears. He is running toward life.

Bradbury told this story to Sam Weller in Listen to the Echoes, Weller’s collection of interviews with the famed author, who died this Tuesday, June 5 at the age of 91. The symbolism is evident. That’s why Bradbury told the story: He spent the rest of his days — another eight decades’ worth of them — running toward life. He ran like Prometheus. Waving the fire, wanting to bring it to you. The fire Bradbury brought was the fire of life — its horrendous beauty and its beautiful horror. The Illustrated Man, the Dwarf, Uncle Einar, Montag and Clarisse, the anything-you-want-it-to-be object in “The Jar,” this was Bradbury’s menagerie of the living.

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Adam Rudolph – Go Organic Orchestra

Unique in the realm of approaches to improvisational conducting, Go: Organic Orchestra utilizes a composed non-linear score consisting of sound and motion elements. These include tone rows, synthetic scales, melodies, linguistic shapes, intervallic patterns, textural gestures, modes, ragas, maqams, and plainchant. The score serves to provide material for both the improvisations and the orchestrations. Motion and forms and are generated through the application of the composer’s rhythm concept “Cyclic Verticalism” whereby polymeters are combined with additive rhythm cycles.


A semi-autobiographical “mockumentary” from a puppetry and performance art pioneer. Lunatic Cunning mixes experiences from Godwin’s own life—such as his work with Julie Taymor on Across the Universe and appearances on Saturday Night Live, Chappelle’s Show, PBS and with Jim Henson’s Muppets. It’s a humorous examination of the occult roots of puppetry and performance art.

I T I N E R A N T Performance Art Festival

QMAD, Queens Media Arts Development, presents ITINERANT, a citywide festival for Contemporary Performance Art to be hosted at various venues in the five boroughs of New York City. ITINERANT 2012 focuses on live performative works that treat notions of intimacy, self-reflection, and introspection. ITINERANT 2012 focuses on live performative works that treat notions of intimacy, self-reflection, and introspection. Artists working in Contemporary Performance Art were selected to participate from an open call that attracted more than 175 local, national and international submissions. Forty five artists will be featuring new and existing works that explore the program’s theme over a period of 5 weeks starting on March 30th through May 5th.

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“Coonskin 2: Flight to Canada”, a collection of art works by Terrance Hughes
Opening reception: Saturday, October 8th, 6 – 9pm

For Hughes, this upcoming show is a concoction of two inpirations: Flight to Canada, a novel by Ishmael Reed, and Coonskin, an animated film by Bakshi. Flight to Canada tells the story of Raven Quickskill, 40’s, and Leechfield slaves who run away from their master, Mr. Swille, in search of freedom. Coonskin tells the story of Brother Rabbit, Preacher Fox, and Brother Bear, who flee the American South during the 1970s in search of liberation. Using satire, sex, violence, identity, and history to tell the stories of their characters, both Reed and Bakshi make clear that transformation can only come from within—a theme that is the cornerstone of Hughes’ work and that resonates deeply in his life. Consequently, there is “Coonskin 2: Flight to Canada”, which is Hughes’ vision of a sequel that will never happen. The show serves as homage and “thank you” to the great works of Reed and Bakshi and is a representation of Hughes’ love of the lost art of animation. Terrance Hughes was born in 1975 in St. Louis, Missouri, and currently lives and works in New York City. He is a self-taught artist, whose work deals with different periods of Black American history and issues surrounding cultural and social identities. Hughes’ works consist of two elements: graphite and charcoal on paper to create rendered portraits and landscapes from photo references, which are meant to mimic the photo itself, complete with imperfections; and animation Cel Vinyl on acetate, providing stark contrast through its vivid color and three-dimensional effect. It is his belief that the lost art of animation deserves a place in the art world.

Hughes has had recent exhibitions at Modern Eden, San Francisco, The Cheaper Show, Vancouver, and Mad Art Gallery, St. Louis. In March, Hughes participated in a group show to benefit Japan relief at graphite., Williamsburg.

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THE WEEK: Sept 26-30.

LIVE from the NYPLROBERT WILSON with Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Lucinda Childs, and others in conversation with Paul Holdengräber 
Friday, September 30, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Robert Wilson will talk to Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Lucinda Childs and others about his artistic collaboration with them over the years.  The conversation will be instigated by Paul Holdengräber.

Robert Wilson is among the most distinguished theater directors of our time. Creator of such works as The King of Spain and The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud, Wilson also collaborated with Philip Glass on the hugely successful opera Einstein on the Beach. Today, Wilson’s accomplishments are recognized not only in the spheres of theatre and opera, but also in the visual arts. Retrospectives of his work have been held throughout the world, and his installations have appeared in several Guggenheim museums, among other venues worldwide.

This event marks the US publication date of The Watermill Center – A Laboratory for Performance – Robert Wilson’s Legacy, a new book about the first 20 years of The Watermill Center.  It will also feature the new book Robert Wilson From Within edited by Margery Arent Safir.

Organs in The Snow
Opening Reception: Sep 30, 8-11pm

A Group Show and Story by Rachel Mason

Dan Asher / John Baldessari / Michael G. Bauer / Michael Bilsborough / Nancy deHoll / Jen Denike / Tim Dowse / Ellie Ga / Laleh Khorramian / Jason Lazarus / Mamiko Otsubo / Samuel White

Opening Night Performances: Thank You Rosekind, Doom Trumpet, No Sky God, Mark Golamco

She was a lion sitting on her dad’s shoulders. They formed a totem of two heads, one large, one small as they walked down the street. Powerful with her lion-painted face, she stuck her tongue out at a man passing by. He tripped on the side of his foot and then fell to the ground.

The girl’s father didn’t realize that his daughter scared the man, causing him to fall. The man already had a fear of children. The girl’s father also didn’t realize that had he reached his hand out to help, the man wouldn’t now have two permanent rods conjoined in his hip bone, and wouldn’t have lapsed into a permanent hallucinatory state from which he’d never recover.

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KRONOS QUARTET: Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11

Part of the 2011 Next Wave Festival
Sep 21—24, 2011 at 7:30pm 

Pioneering contemporary music ensemble Kronos Quartet (More Than Four, 2007 Next Wave) returns to BAM with a heartfelt program comprising 12 compositions—including works by Michael Gordon, Terry Riley, Osvaldo Golijov and Gustavo Santaolalla, and John Oswald—plus gripping arrangements of traditional songs from around the globe. This stirring collection of works reflects upon those instances where traditional language fails us, and music steps in to restore what violinist David Harrington refers to as “equilibrium in the midst of imbalance.”

Read the full program here.

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Vol 1 Contributor of the Month (September): Michele and Pippna by Dolores Alfieri.

(              )He tried not to look at the leaves. He would do it like pulling off a band-aid, he thought. Then again, he thought, he would do it slowly, with graceful strokes.
(              )Michele placed a kitchen chair down in the backyard, four legs of wood set into the late-season grass. His fingers, crooked, bent with stiffness, the cool air suffering them to the bone, held the orange chord and plugged it into the outlet beneath the porch.
(              )The wind blew against him; he looked down at his shirt, the fabric snapping back against his chest, clinging to his faded muscles, and he touched his chest.

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