They come in peace. Anybody who knows diddly-squat about aliens knows this, as sure as haloperidol prevents demonic possession. What most people don’t know is that aliens, well, they’ll come in just about anything. When E.T. wanted so badly to call “home,” he was really using the galactic equivalent of a phone sex hotline. “To Serve Man” is no more a cookbook than the Kama Sutra. Let me put it to you simply: our extraterrestrial visitors are up for it, all the time. They put it round, you know. This is not just another conspiracy theory filed away in some dusty FBI folder; this is bone hard medical fact. And they can do things involving reversible anuses that you wouldn’t believe.
This is the supposition at the heart of Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities, the pan-media book published jointly by Encyclopedia Destructica and (appropriately) The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality. The contents of the book range from prose to video, humor to post-queer theory, with the goal of pushing “beyond male and female, beyond queer, beyond any notion of gender, beyond the anthropomorphic to erotic possibilities as vastly varied as the Milky Way itself.”
Why am I telling you all this? Only by way of invitation, my dearlings. On Saturday, May 18 (a mere three days from now), there will be a confluence of Strange Attractors content in the form of a reading/screening by some of the West Coast contributors to the project, myself included. The event will take place at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, and will run from 7pm to 9pm (and beyond). Be there, or be limited to mere 3-dimensional geometry. This will be my first time meeting many of the contributors to the book, so I’m not sure what to expect, exactly, but I’m sure it will be a first contact to remember.
After the cut: A new alien comes on Earth! Also, what the hell have I been up to lately?
I’ve applied my powers of cartomancy, bibliomancy, haruspicy, gastromancy, horary astrology, alectromancy, extispicy, and of course oneiromancy to yesterday’s ominous post. And I think I’ve just about got it figured out.
You see, there’s this book. Well, it’s not really a book; rather, it’s not just a book. It’s the sort of unfortunate aberrancy (no, spellcheck, I did not mean cranberry) that might result if a book and an art gallery and a television receiving strange signals carried by cosmic rays got it on. And by unfortunate, I mean unfortunately AWESOME.
This book is called Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexuality. It’s a strange book. Strangely TITILLATING. It features…oh, I’ll let them tell you about it for once.
Strange Attractors includes the work of 70 artists, writers and filmmakers who have created remarkable explorations of possible extraterrestrial life forms and their multifarious sexual desires. A joint publication of Encyclopedia Destructica and The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality, Strange Attractors straddles the line between speculative scientific exploration and artistic imagination.
Something that I wrote…okay, something that I channeled is included in this same book. The actual author is not from around here. It’s an unflinching review of Patricia Ginning’s historical/erotic novel Indecent Practices, and it’s by Krrrtchk Neusbaum (pseudonymic). How did I come in possession of such a textual artifact? I’m not entirely certain. They seem to find their way to me. You see, I seem to be a very special person. I’m in the middle of a strange adventure. Do you want to go with me? Do you?
If the answer is yes (and it should be), follow this electronic wormhole and purchase the book, immediately. I’m in it. Amy Gerstler’s in it too, if that means anything to you. There’s a prose piece titled “The Sexual Habits of Extra-Terrestrials as Observed by Jules Verne.” You can see a list of all 70 contributors here. And it’s worth its weight in panxenogenecidal condoms.
Also, if you live in the City That Never Sleeps, the Capital of the World, or the Big Apple, check out the upcoming reading/screening at Printed Matter, Inc. on July 12. Various people will be there, including the book’s curators Suzie Silver and Jasdeep Khaira. Or, if you’re not one of those EST goofies, you can hoof (or claw or fin or erogenous quillopod) it over to the very awesome-looking Do Anything event at the Space 4 Art in San Diego, curated by Christopher Kardamibikis. Honestly, at the time of this writing, I have no idea what this whole “Do Anything” thing is even about, but I’ve been looking at the pictures and it all seems sufficiently amazing. There’s a bloodbath of tyrannosauruses (I think that’s the proper term for a group of tyrannosauruses) and some very laid-back skeletons drinking frackin lemonade. So go do that. It’s in San Diego on July 13.
And buy the book! It would make a bunch of pervy extraterrestrials, and the homo sapiens who are sexually shackled to them, very happy indeed. We all know what happens when Krrrtchk Neusbaum (pseudonymic) is unhappy….
P.S: That last line was meant to sound ominous. Sandwich time!
Strange Attractors, the collaboration between Encyclopedia Destructica and the Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality previously mentioned here and here, has almost arrived. The art/text book/DVD superhybrid is set to touch down on our planet in June 2012. If you just can’t wait that long, they’re planning a preview event (as inThe Event with a backwards “e”) for Monday, May 14, if you’re in the Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh) area. Here are the deets (details):
Monday, May 14, 6:30 pm
CI13 Apartment Talks, 113 44th Street, Lawrenceville
Strange Attractors Book/DVD Preview!“My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”J. B. S. Haldane, Evolutionary BiologistA screening/reading featuring highlights from Strange Attractors: Investigations In Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities. Be the first to see this fabulous publication in person!Featuring art, writing and film by 70 contributors, Strange Attractors envisions the sexualities of beings that may some day be encountered – if not in outer space than at least in our dreams! Strange Attractors presents an extraordinary range of expressions that expand our conception of the possibilities of alien life forms and the nature of sexual desire. What kinds of sentient beings, what types of sexualities, how many erogenous zones and forms of erotic pleasure exist out there in the cosmos?Strange Attractors is a collaboration between Encyclopedia Destructica and The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality.Suzie Silver and Ed Steck will read their contributions and screen a short selection of videos from the Strange AttractorsDVD.—————————— —————————— ———————The CI13 apartment space is located at 113 44th Street in Lawrenceville (Please park along Hatfield Street or outside of Icehouse Studios and please be respectful to the neighbors!)P.S. You can check out information about past Apartment Talks events and other CI13-related fun on the CMOA blog: http://web.cmoa.org/ci13/
I posted a while back about Strange Attractors, the extraterrestrial hypersexual art book/dvd that needs your help to get off the ground (and into the stratosphere). Well, it still needs your help. We’re painfully close, and if you pull out now–well, we all know how disappointing that can be.
Specifically, the project has 6 more days to raise only $1500 dollars. That’s just 25 people per day donating $10 each. Or it’s 3000 people donating 50 cents apiece in a single hour. Or one person donating $1499.99 one day, and 5 people donating 1/5th of a cent each over the course of the next 5 days.
Anyway you cut it, this book could soon be a reality. Please do your part and donate today. In return, I promise this will be the last time I beg for money for at least the next 24 hours. I’ll even pinky-swear it.
It’s true what they say about the universe’s knack for balancing things out, even in realms as minute and cosmically massive as an author’s creation. Returning from a trip during which every attempt to write was ingeniously thwarted by odd hours, shared hotel rooms, and other demons generally seen nipping and humping at St. Christopher’s heels, I found that, in my absence, I had been published–twice. The publications (one new and one pending) are with Word Busker, a new literary e-zine with a twist I’ll touch on later, and an art book/DVD project called Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Sexualities. The titles of the stories in question: “Initiation” and “An Unflinching Review of Ginning’s Indecent Practices (by Krrrtchk Neusbaum ((Pseudonymic)).” See if you can match the story with the venue.
As excited as I was to share news of my publication (and semi-boastfully pass on the first line of the best acceptance letter I’ve ever received, beginning with the only four words any author need see: “Your story is awesome”), I was even more excited by nature of the projects themselves. Hence, the small delay in posting this news: I got so embroiled in what quickly became a treatise on patronage and the 21st-century book scene (to appear later on the Black Clock blog) that I nearly forgot the bit about youbeing able to read my stories. To avoid a repeat of that little oversight, here’s “Initiation,” weighing in just shy of 250 words.
Now for the promised twist: Word Busker, who published “Initiation,” added a small but crucial postscript: a little orange button enclosing the only six letters any reader needs to see: “Donate.” The button, via one of the elaborately threaded tubes that compose the internet, funnels any reader’s enthusiasm directly into the author’s PayPal account, so that he or she can live to write another day. It couldn’t be any simpler, nor more tearfully beautiful. The “About” section of the site tells you everything you need know: “Read the story and if you like it, make a contribution to the writer. The amount is left to your discretion.” If you comment on or donate to any story during the month of July, you’re automatically entered in a contest to win a year’s subscription to Poetry is Dead magazine. Since Word Busker’s still a virtual baby (the first story was published this May), and a fairly anonymous baby at that, I’d say your chances of winning are pretty high.
If you’ve got any change left over after your generous donation to yr. obt. svt., don’t forget Strange Attractors. They’re also in need of your assistance–about $7000 dollars of it. This ambitious project, which attempts–through the compound lens of 69 artists, writers, and filmmakers filling 300 full-color pages and spilling over onto a DVD–to go “beyond male and female, beyond queer, beyond any notion of gender, beyond the anthropomorphic to erotic possibilities as vastly varied as the universe itself,” won’t be published unless they can raise $10,000 before August 27 of this year. Luckily, they’ve started a Kickstarter page (linked above) to raise the funds. Kickstarter is about the safest way to invest in a creative venture you can find: if the project falls through or fails to raise the necessary funds, you aren’t charged a cent, and you get access to many tiers of gifts and goodies depending on the size of your donation. I’ve dealt with Kickstarter previously, in support of Andrew Plotkin’s interactive fiction venture, and it worked exactly as advertised.
Plus, I can assure you that at least one piece of writing in the book will be worth your money. No, I’m not talking about mine; last fall, I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at CalArts compatriot Denise Li’s contribution, which is how I became aware of the project in the first place. It’s probably evolved since then, but I can say without hesitation that it was, like sex itself, one of the most hyper-charged, profound, confusing, and hilarious things I have ever encountered. Even if you don’t feel like contributing, do yourself a favor and check out the websites of the book’s two organizers, the Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality and Encyclopedia Destructica. You’ll find many strange and sensuous worlds within–as well as way, way out there.
If you have even a Big Mac’s worth of bucks to spare this month, do consider donating. As Word Busker’s editor puts it, “sentimentality can only survive on ramen noodles for so long.”