Real Estate…The Earlier Origins before the Origin…
The year? 1982, I think.
There I was spanking chickens in the back of India Joze Restaurant with my most constant cohort in art – Fast Edy. Spanking chickens was a process that involved stretching butterflied breasts of chicken out on a piece of crisp white baking paper, on top of a butcher block table and then proceeding to whack the crap out of them with flat side of an ominously large and heavy meat cleaver.
The object was…to flatten out the birds so that they could first be frozen, then defrosted, then soaked in marinade and finally thrown onto the grill whenever a chicken order came up that called for a butterflied breast Tandoori or Panggang style. If they were pummeled into submission, they would cook more evenly when thrown onto the grill.
And we served a ton of chicken at India Joze. So, we did a lot of spanking. Therapeutic in many ways of course. Not for the chickens though. It got out the aggressions but it also summoned up a kind of muse that enjoyed the foul, the whacked, became the forge that pounded the meat of things out of their normal shape and prepared them for something new and different – the next unknown step in their evolutionary process. You could say those chickens were great food for thought.
Anyway, it was during one of those long, marathon chicken spanking sessions that Fast and I (known alternately as Bathrobespierre, Pope Artaud, Chief Broom and the Head Sanitarian of the Janitorial Arts Collective at the Santa Cruz Art Center), plotted out the next Performance Art Project, that would actually become the centerpiece of the rest of my life up until this moment.
After the Calamari Festival and the Junk Art and the Last Fast Food Festivals and The Eater of Cruelty Poultry Reading and Poetry Eating events, what was next? What local Everests of Art where left to conquer? What was the most improbable, unexpectedly, surprising, shocking thing that I could possibly do using my own life as my canvas?
The answer was simple. Become a businessman.