Friday, January 23, 2009

foi response from Jesse Hewit (CA)

this is...easily one of the most readable and fucking FASCINATING discourses i have ever experienced. seriously...this shit is phenomenal.

I am OBSESSED with hearing each of your voices on these threads. It's is so incredibly dynamic to feel each of you processing your experiences with foi, making sweeping assessments and teeny suggestions of your abilities as art-makers, as change-seekers, and and as doers, finishers, strong people.

first of all, i am unworldy in my pride for each of your accomplishments. and it feels ABSOLUTELY wierd, becasue the only folks of you i've even et are miguel and jesse z. but the strange and gorgeous psycho-social phenomenon of this thing is that it created a hard and fast experiential bond that...may seem replicable in workshops, work situations, etc...but i dont think it actually is. i think that having many folks do this action in places that are just far enough away from eachother to where they cant quite hear or see one another, induces a kind of trans-geographical empathy and love that is beyond RADICAL and extraordinarily timely and approrpiate for the dire issues that we are thinking about in undertaking this in the first place. not that this was a total happy accident, but really...if there is one thing that i hoped to resolutely sharpen in doing this, it was my sensoral care and awareness of people in far away places, and i must say: MY HEART IS FULL of you all. quite full. i think thats so terribly exciting. and in that state, i feel a radical collision of personal art and personal-but-macro-politics, acting together to create a palpable and strong anti-war sentiment. it was SO SAD for me at times to do this action. and it was SO SO hard, and people looked at that and it fucking KILLED them. and bam..there it is. and now me and a handful of others are walking around with sharper periphery vision, with unclogged hearts and bodies, ready for action, and with new ideas about our limits as americans. FUCK YES.

interpersonally, i want to say that you/we are all dynamically and colorfully nuts. at least i think so. or at least, let me say that our individual pathologies and circumstances and LIVES have, in my opinion, EVERYTHING to do with how we completed this action. For some it was euphoric all the way through -- they loved the time to be solo and roll in their frames. for others, the test of limits came quickly, and they learned MASSIVE and staggaring lessons in 6 hours, OR in simply sitting with their thoughts and never putting the blidfold on. either way: unprecedented contemplation on bodily limits: complete. success. check.

bottom line: people do what they can. this idea brings me to my knees. the fact that this was easy for one person and that another hallucinated gunshots and took off the blidfold and had to work through psychoses of weakness and bad artistry...this is what we can do. and im so deeply in love with each person who stayed present with those limits, however torturously or joyously they presented themselves.

like lily, i ended the action much sooner than i thought i would. i made the mistake of not checking to see if my space had heat, and on a northern california winter night, that was unworkable. it wasnt just that i was very cold and could never get warm, it was that i didnt know what to do to get okay with it. i tried everything. i over-moved, trying to get my body heat up, but had panic attacks about how this was taxing me too early on in the morning. i under-moved and bundled up, but had panic attacks about this NOT BEING THE ACTION and feeling like this was not what i had set out to do. i thought about all of you, i thought about my own shame and not being able to come up with a solution, i thought about my own mental health struggles in my seeing hearing life, i thought about what this says about me. it was easlily one the most prolonged and painful interrogations of myself i had ever induced. and yet, there was finally a moment when i accounted for the practical hurdles in my situation, i cried a little more, and i said out loud, " i am stopping now." i was heart-broken and self-hating for some time afterward. i couldnt face miguel, i couldnt face you all. i couldnt face the folks who i had lined up to volunteer to take care of me and my space that night. but slowly, i realized that THIS WAS THE WORK. duh. i had interacted with limits and pain and mental disaster for as long as i could and i stopped when i couldnt anymore. and nothing could be richer. i will always wonder what could have been different given a warmer space for me. would i have finished? am i built for this? does my scattered and piecemeal identity as a sort-of-dancer mean that i dont have the chops for this? dont know. iwent out that night, with so much love and curiosity and calm and SPACE. for me, i had gone form point A to point Z, with foi. this was enough. i was full.

and then there's what i gave, which as many of you surely experienced, was a plethora of experiences to those looking/watching/etc. even in my brief (well...not so brief really) 8 hours, the people who watched wrote things to me that told of unprecendented (a word i will overuse in this email) feelings and thoughts. the buzz of my 8 hours is still floating around SF in my little communities, and ive received countless emails from people both reporting on what they saw, and also discussing my process of ending early and what that meant to them. it is SO ALIVE. and it gently retroact lily's statement, i feel that i made one of the most meaningful pieces of art to date. it sure didnt go how i thought it would. but it's not really MINE. i gave it to others, in whatever form i could muster, and accordingly, the most common comment i got was, "thank you."

so...dare i end with, "thank YOU." to all of you. this was and continues to be a tsunami of strength and provocation for me and what i do. i feel rooted in my purpose to keep giving this type of work, giving this type of experience to those who care to look and think.

how centering and yet far-reaching, eh? what a gift. and so so much still to be done.

in peace,

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