Archive for the ‘family’ Category

ONE HUNDRED SESSIONS of sitting and smiling for four hours each session were completed by Benjamin K. Bennett on the final day of May 2015! He began documenting these sessions live back on July 28, 2014 — so it’s taken him less than a year to achieve this goal.

Today he’s moving from our home town of Columbus OH to Philadelphia PA and will be spending time on fixing up a row house he bought – putting in a kitchen, etc. He will be closer to a couple of musicians he often has toured with – Jack Wright (saxophone) and Evan Lipson (bass), and he’s also played with Michael Foster, a wonderful performer from NY. Ben is a wonderful improvisational percussionist who often makes his own wind & percussive instruments. He recently replaced a couple drumheads with skin from roadkill animals.

Ben came over for dinner with us a couple days ago and we were visited after dinner by a couple of people who are making short movies about interesting local artists. They wanted to meet us and see where Ben grew up, and they shot some footage during our chat in the livingroom. Most of the footage will end up on the cutting room floor, but we enjoyed their interest in Ben in any case, and I showed off this interesting painting (see below) Ben had done in high school.

I’m hoping Ben won’t mind me posting a few family photos here. We’ll miss having him nearby, but hope to visit him soon!

HERE is a link to Ben’s bandcamp site – so you can listen to samples from various CD’s.

Ben-and-John-Also

Ben at left. John Also at right.

Ben-as-a-toddler

Ben as a toddler.

collage-by-Ben-on-cover-of-Liber-X

Ben’s collage featured on the cover of his father’s book.

Ben's-painting

R-E-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N

Posted: November 28, 2014 in family, video, YouTube
Tags: ,

oh me oh my
REPETITION is a video composed of four short videos made up of repetitive images, movements, and sounds; allowing time for reflection in a deeper, less hurried manner upon the subject matter; and also for rhythm to occur, with variations (or not). Kudos to Paul Baker for two cello soundtracks, and to my cousin Cindy and my dad for serving as my beloved video subjects.

Click arrow to view this video on YouTube.

DSC01964

veggies

Use your hard earned money to buy staples and take time for home economics 101: bake, garden, cook, preserve food by canning and freezing. Organize potlucks or other exchanges with friends, and maybe the occasional hunting or fishing trip. Budget for genuine needs and avoid impulse spending. ‘Settle’ for a ‘used’ house in an affordable neighborhood with local shops and destinations you can walk or bike to, and without a long commute to your work place.
Avoid cheap sugary and salty junk food. Don’t allow low prices to blind you to empty calories, saturated fats, preservatives, and the addictive nature of so-called ‘convenience’ food.
Big banks and fly-by-night payroll store fronts offer fast credit. Corporations advertise “necessities of life” like big screen TV, the latest communication devices or technical innovations, brand name trends in shoes and clothes, etc. Some newlyweds immediately focus on building a new house in the suburbs, and if they aren’t already far in debt for school loans, then they’ll soon be stressed to the limit to meet the monthly mortgage.
Don’t mix up commercially advertised lifestyle choices with what should be a natural transition into the wonderment of independence: being responsible for one’s own food, shelter, and companionship, and discovery of sources of exchange within newly formed communities. Home economics is life economics. Commercials and advertisements and the ultimate goals of banks are business economics. Choose life or be led by a nose-ring by big corporations and banks. In addition, healthy diet and life style choices mean fewer medical bills and more awareness of self, friends, and family. Does any of this make sense?

Staten Island Flux Walk

WHY HISTORY?

ART HERE NOW

WINDOW LOST

DADA FOUND

 

DO COLLAGE?

OIL SKY SALE

SKY HOLE LEFT

LOST SEA MIRTH

 

WHY A EYE?

REAL HISTORY

SALE LOST YET

DO DATE LEG

 

NOW WHY ICE?

SKY LOST SELF

EYE STOP WINDOW

HINDO MIRTH

 

WHY A EAR?

ART NOW HEARS

LOST FARTS

YET FOR SALE

 

STOP THE SEA?

FOUND LEG TODAY

COLLAGE LOST BUT

DON’T LOSE SELF

 

YIN A YEAR?

REAL SALE LOST

DO ART WINDOW

EYE YANG STOP

 

WHY WORDS NOW?

FOUR LEGS YET

SEA ICE FLOATS

A COLLAGE IS FOUND

 

WHY OIL MIRTH?

SEE REAL SKY

FOR SKY YET

FINDS A LIFE

 

DO LEGS MIRTH?

SEA LEFT WAVES

COLLAGE IS A STORY

OF LOST DADA LIVES

 

CMB 12/13/2015

 

Do Not Buy Fruit
rubber stamps
or a gun

Do Not Buy Olives
dentures
or a photograph

Do Not Buy Fish
shoes
or a hat

Do Not Buy Bread
books
or a cat

Do Not Buy Envelopes
bushes
or a suitcase

Do Not Buy Art
stamps
or a bus ticket

Buy a House instead.

C. Mehrl Bennett Jan. 3, 2013 (Revised Dec. 13, 2015)

Published by Luna Bisonte Prods 2013

Published by Luna Bisonte Prods 2013

Luna Bisonte Prods is proud to offer (alas, posthumously) a vast testament of humorous ramblings and scramblings by none other than one of the 14 Secret Masters of the World!, Blaster Al Ackerman, as well as works he wrote under eighteen different pseudonyms. Click on the title to preview a small selection from the beginning and end of the book.

THE COMPLETE WORKS from LOST&FOUND TIMES 1979-2005 Introduction by Jack A. Withers Smote – Compilation and Afterword by C. Mehrl Bennett

By Blaster Al Ackerman

“This anthology includes the complete works of Blaster Al from Lost & Found Times 6/7 through 54, 1979-2005.  It includes every appearance of his inimitable column, Ack’s Wacks, and all of the Ack’s Hacks published in the magazine, in which he created poems and other works using as source material poems by John M. Bennett and many others. His processes for doing these works were lunatic, wonderful, and constantly varying and unpredictable. Many of these accounts are included as they are often as interesting and hair-brained as the results.  The anthology also contains many drawings, paintings, poems, texts, and wide swaths of other material from an acknowledged master artist, mail artist, writer, and prankster; one of the great minds of our times,” …description by LBP editor, John M. Bennett.

My husband (JMB) and I had been part of Blaster’s mailart network since the late 70’s, but never met Blaster Al in person until he stopped by sometime in the 90’s while touring with Catherine Pancake. Below is a photo with The Blaster inside a Catherine sandwich.

C. Mehrl Bennett, Blaster Al Ackerman, and Catherine Pancake

C. Mehrl Bennett, Blaster Al Ackerman, and Catherine Pancake

Around and after 2000, we’d travel to Baltimore MD and visit Al when he worked at Normal’s Books & Records. Later in the evening, John and Al would perform with others at a “Shattered Wig Night”, a monthly venue organized by Rupert Wondolowski. After Al moved to Austin TX to live with his daughter Stephanie and her family (his health was becoming more frail), we visited him for a few days in 2011. Al returned the favor a year ago in May 2012, spending a week with us in Columbus. When not socializing or collaborating via art/words, we watched THE THREE STOOGES on video – as this was Al’s favorite pastime. (Note that “Ngg-Ngg-Ngg” and “Woo-Woo-Woo!” gags were used by Eel Leonard, one of Al’s pseudonyms, in a two of his poems.) We took him to a theatre to see The Three Stooges: The Movie (2012), which he enjoyed but he regretted all the walking he had to do. We never saw Al in person again after leaving him at the Columbus airport, though he’d hoped to visit us again to see  “The70Project” mailart exhibit and a performance event at a gallery when John turned seventy in October. He was moved into hospice care in an Austin nursing home in the autumn of 2012 with terminal brain cancer. Stephanie (“Stevie”) obtained his verbal permission for LBP to republish his L&FT contributions in this anthology. Today, the official wikipedia spiel begins, “Blaster Al Ackerman was the most commonly used name by an American mail artist and writer born as William Hogg Greathouse. Ackerman had been active in various subcultures since the early 1970s. He died on March 17, 2013, in Austin,Texas.”

Blaster, you were the king. We’ll miss you.

The following three paragraphs are from an online post by John Berndt of Baltimore, which precedes the schedule for the latter two weekends of the June 2013 BLASTERTHON memorial events in Baltimore, for which John Berndt and Rupert Wondowloski were hosts extraordinaire:
“Blaster” Al Ackerman (C.A.S.F.C.) was one of the greatest absurdist and black humor writers of the 20th century (not to mention being a great, inscrutable visual artist) and one of our very own here in Baltimore. His medium, MAIL ART was one of the least respectable art forms–which entirely suited him. After living in Baltimore (and working at Normals books and Records in Waverly with us) for about 15 years, he passed away from a brain tumor while convalescing with his family in Texas on March 17th, 2013.

To say that Blaster had a huge impact on the lives of creative people throughout the world, and especially in Baltimore’s avant-garde demi-mode doesn’t begin to cover it. He was a living, breathing fountain of ineffable inspiration. Despite his announced pessimistic philosophy that “we are all ghoulish fools,” his extraordinary imagination, literary ability, ability to love, and sense of humor were utterly transcendent of his situation and perhaps of any artform he engaged in.

Hardly a follower of anything (except perhaps Ray Palmers sci-fi pulps), Blaster was an utterly unique person, he was a huge influence on extreme characters as diverse as Genisis P. Orridge, Andre Stitt, Istvan Kantor, John M. Bennett, Rupert Wondowloski, and myself (John Berndt)–not to mention the founding of the NEOIST movement and mail art in general. Some of his writings have been compared to language centered writing, only, in his words, “to a bad end.” — John Berndt

GO TO: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmehrlbennett/sets/72157634311937782 AND to view as slideshow, go to tool bar to click a little box with arrow (left of little speech balloon) — These are my photos from our trip to Baltimore in June 2013 for the first weekend of THE BLASTERTHON; More specifically from June 21st through the day we drove back to Ohio, Sunday, June 23rd, at a rest stop. Regretfully, during the first half of the 14 KT Cabaret Blasterthon on Saturday, I could’t find my camera (it was in my pocket the entire time I frantically searched my purse!). But during that time Rupert Wondolowski (MC), Francis Poole, Megan McShea, John Eaton, and Courtney McCullough performed readings (Courtney sang a song about THE KING). Laure Drogoul did a participatory performance which I did not photograph, as we were blindfolded the majority of the time. It was an auditory and olfactory piece, with candles for lighting and it resulted in a wonderful feedback soundtrack slowly developing. I did short readings on Friday & Saturday from a little book I’d made (and passed out to audience) with Al’s BAWA hacks of my fluxus scores.

CLICK on THIS LINK to view films online at VIMEO

wedding photo 1980Mail Art Romance is a documentary about the avant garde poets and artists John M. Bennett and C. Mehrl (“Lady C”) Bennett’s courtship through mail-art in the late 1970’s and early 1980s. Shot on 16mm film by John McClintock, the film is both a document of the DADA / Fluxus related underground mail-art movement of the period and a unique testament to the power of “true love”.

The film features interviews with both artists as well as their Columbus, OH post-man, reenactments of collaborative poems by the couple, examples of their mail-art and footage from their July 4th, 1980 wedding in rural Mount Vernon, Ohio.

TIME’S T-BONE is a 1982 16mm film by John McClintock in collaboration with the poetry of John M. Bennett. The film is a excellent realization of the Columbus, OH based avant garde poet’s vision, filmed on a blistering hot day in a junkyard off highway 71 with surreal imagery inspired by Bennett’s poetry.

Created with the support of the Ohio Arts Council, the film also features John M. Bennett’s fiance and collaborator C. Mehrl wearing a plastic mask in the back seat of a junked car.

-John Also Bennett, December 2012

Mailart Exhibit October 2012

About The 70 Project : John M. Bennett, poet and head of Luna Bisonte Prods, turned 70 in October 2012. John likes skulls and October is the month for All Saints’ Day/Day of the Dead/Halloween. John performed his poetry with other sound artists & we displayed this mailart on his birthday in a gallery. 70 PROJECT mailart is all documented at http://the70project.blogspot.com . THANKS to all the artists listed in labels at the blog for contributing mailart to/for John’s 70th birthday bash. About 200 people from 22 countries contributed mailart!

I did a fluxus performance during The70Project intermission at It Looks Like Its Open gallery on JMB’s birthday.
HERE IS A VIMEO LINK to a video of my performance (camera held by Don Rice, a friend and local writer).
Aside from the disclaimer at the beginning of my performance, I also need to add a correction to address the mistake I made in the performance.
(Yes! I lost my marbles!) When speaking about the yellow marbles I refer to the U.S. Senate, but should’ve said U.S. Congress, because the House of Representatives (with it’s current Speaker John Boehner – unfortunately from Ohio, though note Ohio DID go blue this year for Obama and Sherrod Brown!) has been a BIG problem, though after the 2012 election the Democratics still do not have the 25 extra votes they need to overcome a filibuster in the Senate — so gridlock will continue to occur in the Senate as well.