26.4.17

Went to the hardware store with Angelo, then we shared an umbrella on the way to the bus. It’s pouring rain!

Kamille just went to a meeting about legally changing her name/gender and I told her she was strong and she said she felt weak and I told her to get an ice cream and now I’m like “dang, I want an ice cream.”

23.4.17

It was some Italian bank holiday.

Worked on my grant proposal.

Wrote several postcards.

Ate lentils and toast, watched Better Call Saul, sent the proposal draft to David Dirks.

Messaged Christian about daily stuff and tru love.

Messaged Noah about fighting Fabrica’s social media team, then chatted about VR raves.

Messaged Fabrica about their errors.

(they posted my interview, omitted the part in “what I miss of home” where I mentioned there only being two genders in Italy, and mis-gendered me when I had clearly specified the language they should use – pretty ironic really, backs up my original point).

Messaged Kamille about not coming to Berlin this month.

Went to sleep. Had a little insomnia.

19.4.17

Woke up to a facebook notification of dad tagging me, Noah, and Andrew (cousin) in a comment on mom’s post about how the patriarchy is the root of all problems:

“I was talking this morning about my children’s rejection of binary gender, my model of drag performance and how it had nothing to do with my sexuality and everything to do with my desire to smash the patriarchy.”

Spent some time thinking about how lucky I am to have a hip and understanding family.

I was hungover. Had a wonderful and productive day in spite of this. In a meeting with Marta and Angelo about logistics of Athens we planned a timeline with a photoshoot for press, time for testing the finished piece, etc. Marta is giving us the remainder of the budget for food and transport “let’s make it cushy” she said. “Bring your bathing suit” she said “is that in the budget?” I asked. Marta winked.

At mensa there were crostini with bell peppers, without cheese. #MensaMiracle

Excerpts from ensuing swimwear conversation:

“…I am designing a swimsuit and the question is: turtleneck/long sleeves or topless? Either way it will be some severe-agender-beach-realness.”

C: long footie pants w skinny suspender overall straps.
M: Settled!
C: and maybe like a jodhpuri pant. and i would love to see an adustable epaulet attached to that strap ;)
M: “We’re going to the pool, which color epaulet should I bring?”
C: is this getting too equestrian? aquarian equestrian? SEAHORSE
M: ^Actually the perfect name for this new swimwear line.^
C: AQUAstrian 💀
Kate Bot: Just a body pouch. No discernable form, just limbs poking out.

18.4.17

The skeleton of the Sabatager is in the garage. Both wheels had been stolen by the time I retrieved it, after it broke on the way to my gig at Django. I walked the half hour home, promenading with the felled beast on my shoulder. I didn’t want to deal with explaining the carnage to the bike shop guy this morning – I’m waiting till payday to discuss trading in the frame for a discount on a new used-steed. So I walked to Fabrica, like I do.

When it started hailing I held my shirt over my headphones. It trailed behind in the wind, I was singing along to “Top of the Hill” and feeling epic. A nice Italian woman picked me up. I told her she was a saint and gave her directions to Fabrica. We sang along to “You make me feel like dancing” confirming my ever-growing suspicion that Italians love disco.

My feet remained wet until it was time to walk home. It was a beautiful storm-sky golden-hour. I Wondered if I should get walking potion at Ins, felt I shouldn’t, then did. Nicolas laughed at me. Alexis and Nick came home. Gianni came by to borrow my ipad, give me a chocolate egg, and ask me out for a drink.

We shut Trevisi down, mostly talking about crushes and stuff. He told me an elaborate and illuminating story of how he cast a girl in a movie, the actor dropped out and Gianni stepped in (kiss scene), then the girl reversed the script, did the same moves he had written, to him, and then they dated for a year. Other than that I explained the word “cisgender” and the concept “nonbinary.” Was a good night!

Niente

As always, a trip to venice started with a group of Fabricanti running for the train. The ticket-checker said “you’re lucky!”

I added a paper mache Venetian mask to my DIY trash masterpiece and took the stage at some thumping party (Ainhoa told me to).

Carnival feels similar to mainstream American Halloween, except with a larger quantity of Venetian masks. I was unhappy to see a bunch of “Mexican” costumes. Other than that there were drunk people being impressed by cardboard costumes (they always are), and drunk people being impressed by my costume (they always are) and drunk people asking if I was a boy or a girl (they always do).

 

“Si una donna o uomo?”

“NIENTE!”

 

Ainhoa told a group of astronauts we were models from California, doing a campaign for Benetton. “Except me” I said “I’m modeling for Commes des Garcons” (making a joke  about my crow costume). The invited us to south Italy to smoke weed.

Everyone drank prosecco from a jug tied to a guy’s back. They invited us to the party at Arsenale. “Will it be actually cool?” I asked. It was around 23:30, the last train is at midnight. I announced my departure. Akanksha and Ainhoa begged me to stay, Alexis was ambivalent, Jenny was hungry.

I continued to walk toward Santa Lucia. Ainhoa climbed a gate. Jenny took pictures. We ran into Giorgia, dressed as a giraffe, wondering who would drive since her and all her friends were drunk.

I continued to walk toward Santa Lucia. Jenny and Alexis came with. We got falafel back in Treviso and the people there asked for our pictures (for their fashion blogs, I’m sure).

⌿⍀

I was alone in the flat, and the golden hour was filtering in across the kitchen table. I looked out the window and went into this transparent gray, felt somewhere in the center of my balcony. It came out in a steam of iphone notes:

That I am interested in making “art” or expressing “myself” is indicative of my cultural background. How did this background arise?

Why I disavow aspects of the biology that comprise “me” is also mysterious to “me.” Why would a body not like itself? Shouldn’t existence precede essence? 

It is a sticky process to parse what is a reaction to deeply entrenched, created cultures of human history, and what, if anything, is a reaction to biology itself.

I feel more “myself” when I’m very skinny. I feel more “myself” when in an immediate state of joy, laughter, even deep sorrow. Problematically, I feel more “myself” when drunk.

When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me, yeah.

Interactions with others are where individuals are defined. When I’m viewed as intrinsically part of this group that I don’t identify with, dysphoria comes in. What about this group is untrue of me?

Is it something basic? What is basic? Are my urges different from the mean of the group to which I am assigned?

Are the social and the biological as intertwined as society has made them? Am I reacting against the way things are bundled or am I fundamentally uncommon compared to my assigned group?

Is it really just that my intellectual processes supersede my biological ones (though how can anything coming from a human be outside of biology – it’s the same philosophical hole as the construction of “natural”). The brain is the body is the mind is the personality is the self. And there is no neurological basis for free will, and there is no self :) :) :)

But back to examples about biology vs. gender. I still wanna get laid. I’m not an anomaly in that regard. Any sex that I have will be queer, and against the main biological aim of sex drive in the first place.

Of course, many people want to get laid and not to have kids, and that doesn’t make them any less “men” or “women.” But how does my identity differ from those who are comfortable with what they were assigned at birth, or with binary trans people?

It seems like some aspect of gender is intrinsically linked with hormones even if gender just becomes this extension of personality/desire which is continuously and collectively defined by culture.

And that brings me again to whether my sense of not belonging to my assigned gender is simply a rejection of illogical cultural standards, or biological processes, or if it is itself part of my biology/neurology.

I don’t know.

Snack Bar Nino Bixio

I departed from Fabrica later than usual, Ángeles on the back of my bike till the bus stop, and when I got back I was feeling a way.

So I walked in a direction and stopped in a bar on instinct (and on flashing lights, and on “bar aberto”)

My phone had run out of Cloroform so as I sipped my Spritz Campari I admired the reindeer and spruce decorations hanging from a bamboo plant on the counter, and the small spinning plastic globe making multi-colored light patterns on the ceiling.

I thought about breaking the fourth wall in music videos, whether that is too trite or appropriately homey, and watched the tween kid take a blue water bottle from the fridge of overpriced corona and show it to the bartender.

“Mi piace la musica” I said to the bartender, motioning up, “Buena Vista Social Club.” “Ah si” he replied “di sur America.” One of the people crowded around the only table at the tiny bar sang along.

As I got up to pay the bartender asked if I was from Germany. I said no, sono Americano/a, di Nuevo Mexico, and he asked if I spoke English.

In perfect English he said “I don’t speak English, but I am Chinese.”

The guy at the bar, drinking red wine with the bar tender, asked where I work. “Lavoro a Fabrica.” He asked something else to which I responded “scusa, no capito molto Italiano.”

Jerry, sitting by the window, spoke English, and was called to translate. He asked if I might like to stay a while longer and bought me another Spritz Campari.

Jerry is from Nigeria and has a wife and kids here. He lost his last job and does whatever he can. “Nothing illegal though.” We talked about how good it is to have mechanical knowledge, and the need for voltage converters. He kept saying “you’re welcome to Italy.” I kept thanking him.

After asking  my name Jerry said “sorry, are you a girl or a boy now?” “Neither” I replied. “I’m confused” he said, “are you talking to me as a girl or a boy?” He kept saying he was confused, I kept replying “that’s okay.” Really, he was just being perceptive. He seemed  weirded out when I didn’t magnetize myself to either binary pole, but continued to be my bar friend.

At the end I smoked outside with Jerry and a Dominican man (who was providing the cigarettes) we all spoke Spanish.

“See you next time” they said as I departed. I found my bar.

Also, not sure where to insert this part of the ambiance/character: the bartender had a sweet t shirt with dragons on it.

23.11.16

I am pleasant-level sleepy because instead of asleep by 11 I was on facebook calmly defending trans-identities until 12, and then repeatedly woken up by one humming mosquito.

This French architect just gave a dreamy lecture to a big group of us – Fabricanti and the students from the Netherlands who are around for some reason.

I am learning about using javascript in max to make more detailed generative drawings of migraines. I am floating around on espresso having a feelings of magic love. It’s nice to be me.

Most people don’t believe my gender is real. I don’t believe anyone’s gender is real.

Sam’s Club Dress

At twilight, I did drug-related rituals by a shrine of candles. This was on a rocky 2nd story balcony, overlooking a choppy beach. When I came back into the Super Sam’s Club,  where birds flew through the unending darkness of no windows and high ceilings, I paced through aisles of overbearing cleaning supplies too see if I could make an outfit for the ceremony.

The people filing into the sectioned-off area, where hair and make up would take place, asked me which color dress I would like for the awards ceremony. I was tickled that they didn’t assume I would be wearing a tuxedo. Looking through the rack of dresses in the poorly-lit warehouse I said I wanted a black one, but didn’t like any of them so I chose to go naked.