Monday, February 4, 2019



with the art work of Dana Zurzolo at Glenn Dallas Gallery, Santa Barbara CA - photo: Laila Alamiri

Greetings and Happy New Year!

2018 has been a very full and eventful year for Cilla Vee Life Arts.
This newsletter covers reports of:

SPRING / SUMMER – Regional South East USA Events

-       {Re}Happening – Black Mountain College, NC
-       Lush Agave – Revolve, Asheville NC
-       Freedom From Sickness (Genesis P Orridge) – Revolve, Asheville NC
-       Guerilla public intervention 1 – Innsbruck Mall, Asheville NC
-       Dreamtime Salon – Pop-up, Asheville NC
-       Warp & Woof – Revolve, Asheville NC
-       Fresh Dirt Surrealism Sympatica – Art Town, Birmingham AL
-       Guerilla public intervention 2 – Pritchard Park, Asheville NC
-       AfterMAF – Art Rat Studios, Roanoke VA

AUTUMN – USA Cross Country and West Coast Tour

- Portland OR – Seattle WA – Bellingham WA – Bay Area CA – Santa Barbara CA – Los Angeles CA – San Diego CA – Tijuana MX – Flagstaff AZ – Albuquerque NM – Austin TX – Houston TX – New Orleans LA -

from Hasta Cero / Until Zero at Nett Nett gallery, Tijuana MX - photo: Lorenia Flovel

(make sure safety settings are on "Moderate" when viewing Flickr links)

from Site of Negotiation at {Re}Happening 2018, Black Mountain College NC - photo: Jesse Kitt

from Butoh Burlesque with Death Posture at the All Ways Lounge, New Orleans LA - photo: Cree McCree


{Re}Happening 2018
Now in its ninth year, the annual Re-Happening is a huge extravaganza of simultaneous art events situated around Lake Eden on the historic Black Mountain College campus in North Carolina. Cilla Vee Life Arts was one of the original participants and have continued our involvement over the years.
This past year I was invited to join a team of artists in a durational performance installation entitled "Site of Negotiation" inside the cabin known as the John Cage Room. The piece was devised and curated by members of Revolve Gallery, Make Noise and MAP. It consisted of a continuous series of sound and movement artists responding in-the-moment to visual cues provided on screens inside separate rooms in the cabin. The audience could view the performances and also interact with a live sound mix in the main room.
As I knew that the sound from each room would be a key element, I brought a long roll of crunchy-sounding white paper to enhance both visual and audio aspects of the performance.

Paper from Site of Negotiation at Re-Happening 2018 – photos by Jesse Kitt, Eric Baden, Matt Peiken

Report by Blue Ridge Parkway Radio’s Matt Peiken

from Site of Negotiation at {Re}Happening 2018, Black Mountain College NC - photo: Jesse Kitt

Revolve Gallery
Cilla Vee has been involved in several events at Revolve Gallery this past year.
Revolve has become THE to go venue in Asheville for contemporary experimental arts and performance. Colby Caldwell is the gallery owner and must be commended for his support of this vital work in the Western North Carolina region.

from Yellow with Daniel Levin at Warp & Woof, Revolve Gallery, Asheville NC - photo: Grace Engel

In the spring, Cilla Vee performed with Lush Agave (Alisha Earo) – a dear personal friend and valued collaborator. A classically trained singer, Lush Agave combines segments of operatic arias in whimsical compositions. She also utilizes movement and dance as a visual companion for her music. It’s always a joy to work with her.

Performance with Lush Agave – video clip by Matt Earo:

Also at Revolve was Freedom Beyond Sickness – a benefit event for Genesis P Orridge in her fight against leukemia. (Gen was present via Skype)
This was produced by Chandra Shukla (Xambuca, Erototox Decodings) who gathered an impressive line-up of regional noise, industrial and eclectic bands.
For this event I presented a durational, interactive performance “Cilla Vee, the Living Dress-up Barbie Doll” for which audience members were invited to dress me up and apply make-up, giving me a character with which I performed to the music for several songs, then returned to my make-up station to remove everything and await the next costume. Some of my designers were very inventive!

Cilla Vee the Living Dress-Up Barbie Doll at Freedom Beyond Sickness – photos by Chandra Shukla, Sara Baird, Melanie Foxfire, Amanda Ray Danko, Ivan Seng

from Living Dress-Up Barbie Doll (with Solemn Shapes) at Freedom Beyond Sickness, Revolve gallery, Asheville NC - photo: Melanie Foxfire
from Living Dress-Up Barbie Doll at Freedom Beyond Sickness, Revolve gallery, Asheville NC - photo: Sara Baird

Another event at Revolve is the Warp & Woof series.
Amy Hamilton is a dynamic, anarchic, subversive mover and shaker of the Asheville arts scene. She can often be found scaling the architecture around town! However, she has come inside to a slightly more conventional art space to curate and produce the Warp & Woof series. Warp & Woof pairs one musician with one dancer plus one concept and gives them twenty minutes for an improvised performance.
I was invited to participate in the very first one last May with cellist Daniel Levin and the subject “Yellow”.

Yellow with Daniel Levin at Warp & Woof #1
photos by Grace Engel
video by Kima Moore

the dancers from Warp & Woof - Cilla Vee, Sharon Cooper, Amy Hamilton

Dreamtime Salon
Recently Asheville has been fortunate to see a number of visionary young women pioneering in the art scene. Two of these ladies are Madalyn Wofford (aka Mad Dog) and Kaylee Dunn, who, with a small team of peers, have been forging their own path with their Dreamtime Salon events. Using temporary borrowed spaces, they will curate and assemble submitted work and transform a place full of junk into a magical world overnight!
I enjoyed being part of one of these adventures in May, when I was let loose on a big room all to myself! I created “It’s My Party!” – a multi-media rave party room installation and performance.

It’s My Party! At Dream Time Salon – video clip by Mad Dog:

The Dream Time Salon event promo video:

Fresh Dirt
Surrealism in Birmingham Alabama? – Yes – indeed!
Since the 1970s a dedicated group of surrealists have been making it happen in the iron city.  This little-known fact piqued the interest of Canadian art historian Steven Harris, whose research led him into specializing in the subject of surrealism, then onto the under-reported scene of surrealism in the southern United States and into this specialist sub-division – Birmingham AL. Harris is currently writing a book on this group and in May last year, made the pilgrimage down to investigate his chosen subject in person.
Key instigators of this surrealist phenomenon are: LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams, Johnny Williams, Neko Linda, Janice Hathaway and many others who joined them. Most of these original members also went on to pioneer other projects, many of which are still active – such as The Improvisor and Bearing Light Butoh.
With no awareness of the depth of history I was stumbling into, I began to get involved in the Birmingham scene via my improvisation collaborations with LaDonna Smith. These led to an invitation to be an artist-in-residence for the 2010 Improvisor Festival (celebrating thirty years of The Improvisor) and resulted in my continuing broadening and deepening investment in this fascinating group.
Fresh Dirt Surrealism Sympatica was timed to coincide with Harris’s visit.
Cilla Vee received the honor of being invited to participate in this surrealist extravaganza. I was asked to present “Fe” – the performance installation I had created for Bearing Light Butoh’s event at the Birmingham Museum of Art last January. For Fresh Dirt, I was commissioned to develop the work further – and, again working with sound artist ‘U’u, invited Birmingham sound and metal-working artist Hunter Bell to create a metal sound sculpture and perform with us, as well as using iron sculpture pieces by Johnny Williams. Our performance was durational throughout the opening reception event – both outside in the courtyard with a large bonfire, as well as inside – interweaving with the artwork on exhibit and other performances in the space. It was an incredibly satisfying event to be part of. I look forward to reading Mr. Harris’s report.

Fe at Fresh Dirt with ‘U’u and Hunter Bell – photos by Tony Bingham, David Murray
(begins halfway down flickr page and continues on page 2)

from Fe (with Hunter Bell) at Fresh Dirt Surrealism Sympatica, Art Town, Birmingham AL - photo: David Murray
from Fe (with 'U'u) at Fresh Dirt Surrealism Sympatica, Art Town, Birmingham AL - photo: David Murray

AfterMAF 2018
Cilla Vee has enjoyed a close connection with another southern USA avant-garde collective over the years – this one in Roanoke VA. They don’t have a name as a group per se – but run the annual Marginal Arts Festival. Their mode is DIY, dada, anarchic, intellectual and academic. The festival includes in-your-face performance art, zines and literature, interactive art projects and some pioneering research lectures on the history of the avant-garde by a certain Olchar Lindsann.
This past year the festival saw an Asheville invasion when an influx of Asheville artists all descended on AfterMAF, throwing down the gauntlet in a dada challenge to Roanoke! (Although I think Roanoke’s Wayne Llewellyn, who single-handedly garnered a cave-man cult in the parking lot over the course of the weekend, would be hard to beat!)

AVL crew group improvisation at AfterMAF 2018 – video by Ralph Eaton
(Cilla Vee, Julie Becton Gillum, Chloe Harnett-Hargrove, Elisa Faires, Chandra Shukla, Geo Lynx, Megan Mulhearn, David James Lynch)

Guerilla Activities
Innsbruck Mall, Asheville NC – the left over shell of a 1960s hot spot. Now houses a small local beauty school, a clothing alterations business and many vacant stores.
Ideal spot for some random acts of dada!

the gang (Cilla Vee, Julie Becton Gillum, Liz Lang, Amy Hamilton, Martha Skinner, Adam Koan) random act of dada at Innsbruck Mall, Asheville NC - photo: Kima Moore

In June I had a delightful encounter with my friend and colleague from the wilds of Maine – vocal and sound-object wizard Id M Theft Able. He stopped through Asheville and we had a moment of public intervention in downtown Pritchard Park.

Cilla Vee and Id M Theft Able at Pritchard Park AVL – video by Id M


Over the autumn season I embarked on what is probably my most epic tour to date.
Ten weeks on the road in Sally Saturn (1999 Saturn Station Wagon) across the USA from Asheville NC via the Rockies and the Nevada Desert into Northern California, then up the west coast as far as Vancouver, Canada – then down the Pacific Highway as far as Tijuana MX – then back across the deep south and a three week stay in New Orleans before returning to Asheville.
My mission was to travel as a solo performing artist in order to connect and collaborate with artists of various disciplines in each city. As my goal was one of connection and collaboration, I had no fixed agenda, no particular show or theme to present – instead, each production evolved as a process in dialogue with the artists and venues over the preceding months and weeks. There were some reoccurring themes and structures as it became apparent that what would work well in one place would also work well for another, but each still with a very different set of preparations. Although this was an extremely complex process, the result was incredibly rewarding because it meant each artist could be true to their work, as well as a production that was a good fit for each venue.
Sally Saturn was packed to the brim full of materials for a myriad of possibilities!

The following is a brief report of each event. It was a great honor to have the privilege of working with so many incredible artists. Each one a treasure. Although I don’t have the capacity for details on each artist in this newsletter, I have provided links and highly recommend following up for more information.

from Hasta Cero / Until Zero at Nett Nett gallery, Tijuana MX - photo: Lorenia Flovel

from Butoh Burlesque with Death Posture at the All Ways Lounge, New Orleans LA - photo: Cree McCree

First port of call after recovering from the cross-country trip was the Jefferson State FLIXX Film Festival in Northern California. Just in its third year, it is already garnering a lot of attention from the international film industry and locals alike.
Although not officially a “tour” event for me, as I was there to assist Megan Peterson – festival producer and close family friend, it is definitely a note-worthy happening.

Bricolage at Linda Austin’s Performance Works North West.
dancers, musicians, poets and visual artists of a variety of backgrounds and styles came together in this eclectic mix –resulting in some very unexpected collaborations.
With Linda Austin, Caspar Sonnet, Tim DuRoche, Tim Connell, Colin Manning, Shane McDonnel, Alex Dang, Jennifer Robin, Mizu Desierto

from Bricolage (with Tim DuRoche, Cilla Vee, Jennifer Robin) at Performance works NW, Portland OR

from Bricolage (with Colin Manning, Cilla Vee) at Performance Works NW, Portland OR

Psychic Bandwidth – Seattle at Wayward Music Series, Chapel Performance Space – Good Shepherd Center.
Psychic Bandwidth – music, dance / performance, spoken word.
Part One: names are drawn at random to create improvised duos and trios.
Part Two: group improvisation with a structure that builds from beginning to end.
With Bill Horist, Vanessa Skantze, Arrington de Dionyso, James Falzone, Alia Swersky, Alex Rider, Karen Nelson 

Psychic Bandwidth theme image

Noise Church at the Alternative Library.
Let me just say that I love Bellingham, Washington! It is a town where the people actually still run the town – resulting in a cool, funky, DIY assortment of projects, companies and businesses. The Alt-Lib is a great example of what can evolve out of and be sustained by a community like this. Kudos to Bellingham!
With Future T. Man and Dylan Awesome.

from Noise Church (with Future T Man and Dylan Awesome) at the Alternative Library, Bellingham WA - photo: Thade Deus Warrington

A quick visit with artist and Transart co-alumni Jaye Moscariello, who was getting ready to open a huge group show she curated with area artists affected by the horrendous California fires.

A ten-day stay in the Bay Area.

Listening Sounding Moving Being at Tom Bickley and Nancy Beckman’s Tiger Garage – Berkeley.
With Tom Bickley, Nancy Beckman and Karen Stackpole

the gang for LSMB (Cilla Vee, Karen Stackpole, Nancy Beckman, Tom Bickely) at Tiger Garage, Berkeley CA
Living Art workshop at CSU East Bay.
With Eric Kupers and the Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble (check them out!)

the incredible IIE from CSU East Bay - photo courtesy of Eric Kupers

Sound of Movement improvisation workshop at San Francisco Waldorf High School.
With Philip Greenleif and students.

Active Music Series at the Uptown – Oakland.
A beautifully focused and satisfying group improvisation.
With Phillip Greenlief, Kyle Bruckman, David Boyce, Sharkiface, Jacob, Felix Heule, Aurora Josephson, Crystal Pascucci

Active Music Series performance -edited video:

Psychic Bandwidth – San Francisco at Outsound Music Series, The Luggage Store.
Same structure as previous Psychic Bandwidth. This one was very varied in moods.
With Gino Robair, Cheryl Leonard, Amy Reed, Rent Romus, Alex Cruse, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Eric Kupers, CSU East Bay Inclusive Interdisciplinary Ensemble.

the gang from Psychic Bandwidth SF (pre-show meeting) at The Luggage Store, San Francisco CA - photo: Amy Reed

Submersion – Oakland at Pro Arts gallery.
Submersion – an immersive, durational installation of live sound, movement, imagery and environment.
With Thomas Dimuzio, Chandra Shukla, Kit Young, Lori Varga, Aurora Josephson.

This lovely little report on Submersion – Oakland by Cat Synth TV:

Vocal set on Thomas Dimuzio’s Frequency Modulation Radio 94.1 KPFA.
We were blissfully unaware at the time, but this turned out to be the final show of the long-running FMR series – sad, but glad to have been part of it.
With Tom Bickley.
Plus collaborative improvisation with Tom Bickley, Thomas Dimuzio, Aurora Josephson, Derek Gedalecia.

Cilla Vee, Tom Bickley duo set:

Cilla Vee, Tom Bickley, Thomas Dimuzio, Aurora Josephson, Derek Gedalecia group set:

Meeting with the delightful duo Jon Scoville (composer) and Tandy Beale (choreographer)

Pre-opening dance ritual and photo shoot at Laila Alamiri’s Glenn Dallas Gallery.
With the art work of Dana Zurzolo.

Photos by Laila Alamiri and Dana Zurzolo:

with the art work of Dana Zurzolo at Glenn Dallas Gallery, Santa Barbara CA - photo: Laila Alamiri

Bubble & Squeak at The Battery Books & Music – Pasadena.
“Some people ought to know how to behave in a book store!” – Rich West, store owner, commenting on our performance interactions with the environment.
With Lukas Ligeti, Robert Jacobson, Vinny Golia, Grayson Morris, Blair Boggin

the guys from Bubble & Squeak (Vinny Golia, Robert Jacobson, Lukas Ligeti) at The Battery Books & Music, Pasadena CA - photo: Rich West
the girls from Bubble & Squeak (Cilla Vee, Blair Boggin, Grayson Morris) at The Battery Books & Music, Pasadena CA - photo: Rich West

Submersion – LA at Coaxial Arts Foundation.
Same structure as previous Submersion. We went in deep!
With GE Stinson, Joseph Hammer, Miller Wrenn, Carole Kim, Kio Griffith, Grayson Morris, Blair Bogin

Submersion LA  - video by Michael Intriere

from Submersion LA at Coaxial Arts Foundation, Los Angeles CA - photo Dani Dodge

The Sound of Movement at Weird Hues Art & Music Collective – Chula Vista
Pairing dancers and musicians in improvised collaborations.
With Nathan Hubbard, MJ Stevens, Drona Ra, Mitchum Todd, Andromeda Breeze

“Hasta Cero / Until Zero” at Nett Nett gallery.
An intensive collaboration based on concepts of the Japanese “ma”, the in-between, opening up space. (Thanks to Haydeé Jiménez and all at Nett Nett)
With Roberto Romero Molina.

from Hasta Cero / Until Zero (with Roberto Romera Molina) at Nett Nett gallery, Tijuana MX - photo: Lorenia Flovel

Meeting with Tucson mover and shaker Kimi Eisele (choreographer)

Psychic Bandwidth – Flagstaff at Interference Series in Kickstand café.
Same structure as previous Psychic Bandwidths. This one got pretty wild!
With Owen Davis, Rob Wallace, Briana Grace Hammerstrom, Uncle Don – plus others.

from Psychic Bandwidth Flagstaff with Interference Series at Kickstand, Flagstaff AZ

Meeting with artist duo Susanna Carlisle and Bruce Hamilton (video, sculpture, installation art)

Visit with artist and co-Transart alumni Ana McArthur.

Our Familiar Dead at Tortuga Gallery.
A poetry, music and dance event for Day of the Dead.
With John Roche, Jules Nyquist, Nate Maxson, Pax Garcia, Kevin Kinane

from Our Familiar Dead (with Jules Nyquist) at Tortuga Gallery, Albuquerque NM

“Spirit House” at Haiku Flash Studios.
A collaboration with artist Stephanie Reid to create a community spirit house and performance ritual for Day of the Dead. An intimate experience with local community members.
With Stephanie Reid, Michael Lopez, Audra Tillman, Bob Collier, Robert Bingham

Stephanie’s project blog:

They, Who Sound series at Lawndale Art Center.
Nameless Sound’s David Dove curates this weekly experimental performance series.
With Jason Jackson, Ruth Langston, Gabriel Martinez, Rebecca Novak.

from They, Who Sound at Lawndale Art Center, Houston TX - photo: Lynn Lane

A three week stay in this exquisite city.

“Butoh Burlesque” at The All Ways Lounge.
Yes – as insane as it sounds!
With Death Posture – Emmalee Sutton, Donald Miller, Rob Cambre, Chris Robert
and costumes by Cree McCree.

Butoh Burlesque - costume session and performance at All Ways Lounge – photos by Cree McCree:

from Butoh Burlesque (with Death Posture's Emmalee Sutton) at the All Ways Lounge, New Orleans LA - photo: Cree McCree

Liquid Land trio at BJs Bywater.
I was invited in on an impromptu set with this unique sound and poetry group.
With Rob Cambre, Simon Berz, Moose Jackson.

Figure model for artist Adrian Deckbar. 

and finally … last, but by no means least …

“Gate Keeper” at the Vanishing performance art festival, curated by Cypress Atlas and hosted by The Mudlark Public Theatre.
This particular event was additional to the tour, as the piece I created was not for the purpose of connecting and collaborating with other artists – but tailor made for the concept of the festival, which was to consider ideas of space (and in particular – vanishing space) “Gate Keeper” is a nod to the Marina Abranovich / Ulay Living Door piece ‘Imponderabilia’.  It forces audience members to reconsider space as they pass through the liminal area of the doorway. The Gate Keeper occupies the negative doorway space, offering smaller fragments of constantly shifting negative space plus a living, breathing, colorfully painted human sculpture through which people must negotiate as they enter or exit.
It was a joy to return to The Mudlark. Throughout my stay in NOLA I enjoyed several events there and got to experience the community that Pandora and Andy create in this venue.

from Gatekeeper at the Vanishing festival, Mudlark Public Theatre, New Orleans LA - photo: Enya Shu

audience interaction from Gatekeeper at the Vanishing festival, Mudlark Public Theatre, New Orleans LA - photo:Cree McCree



Short teaching residency with the honor students Performance Art class at Northern Arizona State University – Flagstaff AZ


Producing a new annual dance with sculpture Summer Solstice event on Two Diamond Art Farm – Saco ME

Tour North East USA

Performing in the annual AfterMAF Marginal Arts Festival at Art Rat Studios – Roanoke VA

Performing in X-Fest Cyprus – experimental and improvised performance collaborations festival at Petreon Sculpture Park – Mazotos, Cyprus

Performer and Guide at FreeXit Butoh Cultural Exchange Camp – Novi Sad, Serbia

Plus more TBA …

from Fe at Fresh Dirt Surrealism Sympatica, Art Town, Birmingham AL - photo: David Murray

from Hasta Cero / Until Zero at Nett Nett gallery, Tijuana MX - photo: Lorenia Flovel