Elizabeth Stephens http://elizabethstephens.org Home Sun, 11 Jan 2015 22:15:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Appalachian Queer Film Festival http://elizabethstephens.org/appalachian-queer-film-festival/ http://elizabethstephens.org/appalachian-queer-film-festival/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:54:37 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2618 Our film Goodbye Gauley Mountain will be featured in this wonderful film festival.
Oct 23 9:00 am – Oct 26
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Charleston, West Virginia http://elizabethstephens.org/charleston-west-virginia/ http://elizabethstephens.org/charleston-west-virginia/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:52:52 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2617 We’ll be learning new activist strategies and visiting family.
Mar 25 9:00 am – Mar 30
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University of Kentucky http://elizabethstephens.org/university-of-kentucky/ http://elizabethstephens.org/university-of-kentucky/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:50:39 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2616 We’re invited to present our work at this illustrious university, more details to be announced.
Mar 23 9:00 am – Mar 24

Location: Lexington, KY
Map: Show in Google map

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Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers http://elizabethstephens.org/day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers-2/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:43:19 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2615 Annie and I will be doing a vigil in a sacred redwood circle. Please read more about this holiday at wikipedia. Everyone is invited to participate in their own unique ways.
Dec 17 9:00 am
Location: International
Map: Show in Google map
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Pink Screens http://elizabethstephens.org/pink-screens/ http://elizabethstephens.org/pink-screens/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:40:23 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2614 We’ll show our film Goodbye Gauley Mountain–an Ecosexual Love Story–and have Q&A afterwards. Sponsored by Aeroplastics Gallery and Jerome Jacobs.

Our film will be shown at the BOZAR Museum, the largest cultural institution in the country, as part of a special evening of featured films.

Nov 9 9:00 am – Nov 11

Location: Brussels, Belgian
Map: Show in Google map

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Research for our new film http://elizabethstephens.org/research-for-our-new-film/ http://elizabethstephens.org/research-for-our-new-film/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:36:47 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2613 Doing preliminary research for our next film project and, meeting with friends fighting mountain top coal mining, and visiting family.
Oct 27 9:00 am – Oct 28
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San Francisco Art Institute–Linda Montano Performance http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-art-institute-linda-montano-performance/ http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-art-institute-linda-montano-performance/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:35:04 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2612 A bunch of us will be going to see Linda Montano perform “You Look Marvelous! The Performance of Aging and Death.”

Linda Mary Montano is a performance artist whose raffish practices include endurance; blurring the edge between art and life; witnessing the inherent humor of the human situation; death; recognizing the autobiographical need to fix life through art; the aging body; changing the mind; and using Catholic imagery to speak to the mystery of the everyday.

Be sure to reserve your (FREE) ticket from this web page.

Oct 31 9:00 am
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Environmental Art and Ecosexuality–a guided walk http://elizabethstephens.org/environmental-art-and-ecosexuality-a-guided-walk/ http://elizabethstephens.org/environmental-art-and-ecosexuality-a-guided-walk/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:31:06 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2611 Annie and I will be teaching about environmental art and ecosexuality. For registered students only.
Oct 14 9:00 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Environmental Art and Ecosexuality http://elizabethstephens.org/environmental-art-and-ecosexuality/ http://elizabethstephens.org/environmental-art-and-ecosexuality/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 01:26:36 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2610 Annie and I will be teaching about environmental art and ecosexuality. For registered students only.
Oct 2 9:00 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Donau Festival http://elizabethstephens.org/donau/ http://elizabethstephens.org/donau/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 01:22:08 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2597 Beth and Annie will be marrying the soil and pollinating Ecosex in Krems just outside of Vienna. We ask for no material gifts, but invite people to collaborate on the creation of the wedding. Everyone is invited to attend and collaborate. Wear brown and dress as a bride or groom. Or, come as you are. Email http://sexecology.org/contact/ for more info. More information on the call for collaborators and invatations will be released soon.

The 2014 donaufestival sets off on a quest in search of artistic statements that navigate within the thematic complex of humans, nature, exploitation, and exclusion between everyday realities and utopian concepts. In non-hierarchical group experiences, interventions in public space, and performative and discursive rituals, vehement visual, sonic, and vocal indictments against a world of exclusion, eradication, and destruction converge with utopian counter models for society beyond all obsolete dualistic thought and action schemes.

http://www.donaufestival.at/startseite-en?set_language=en

May 1Event time: all day
Location: Krems, Austria
Map: Show in Google map
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Athens International Film Festival, Athens Ohio http://elizabethstephens.org/athens-film-festival/ http://elizabethstephens.org/athens-film-festival/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 00:51:43 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2570 On April 15th the Athens International Film Festival will screen Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story (with Annie Sprinkle).

Are you out as an ecosexual yet? In West Virginia, big corporations are busy blowing the tops off mountains using a devastating technique known as mountain top removal, (MTR). Two San Francisco ecosexual, lesbian lovers Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle, journey to Beth’s hometown in the backwoods of Gauley Mountain, where they join a determined group of hillbillies, tree-huggers, and ecosexuals to fight MTR’s destruction. This film documents the ways rural communities fight annihilation in the face of short-term corporate greed, it follows our ecosexual activists, who put thier bodies on the line to try to stop it. Featuring extreme treehugging, rock kissing, skinny-dipping, and a wedding (held at OU in 2010) to the Appalachian Mountains, it shows how the fight against environmental injustice can be sexy, fun and diverse.

http://www.athensfest.org

Apr 15Event time: all day
Location: University of Ohio, Athens
Map: Show in Google map
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Anthropocene Feminism 2014 http://elizabethstephens.org/anthropocene-feminism-2014-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/anthropocene-feminism-2014-2/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 00:40:29 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2569 I’ll screen Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story (with Annie Sprinkle). The film’s story is told from my perspective as a native West Virginian. Using humor, situated knowledges, dialogical art, and sexuality Annie and I propose romantic/sensual/ecosexual love to create alternative relationships with the Earth, as well as to help alleviate the despair caused by the mass destruction of vast regions of our planet. This film addresses the Appalachian Mountains, which are being wiped out under the patriotic rubric of “national energy security.” Creative strategies deployed in Goodbye Gauley Mountain are offered to help queer environmental activism in order to reach different audiences, as well as to counter corporate propaganda that labels anti-mountain top removal (MTR) coal mining activists as “outsiders.” “Outsiders” implies that activists are not qualified to protest MTR and do not belong in the coalfields, reinforcing xenophobic stereotypes of hillbillies represented in films such as Deliverance. As both an insider and an outsider living in California my film attempts to counter stereotypes that justify the destruction of the land by building unlikely alliances between queers, hillbillies, and activists. We celebrate love for the Earth and marry the Appalachian Mountains. The film’s heretical use of heterosexuality’s most sacred institution strikes at core of the kinds of controlling normative beliefs, assumptions, practices, and borders that manifest destiny establishes and enforces to maintain the current economic colonialism practiced in the coalfields of Appalachia.  http://c21uwm.com/anthropocene/
Apr 11Event time: all day
Location: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Map: Show in Google map
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Wedding Compilation http://elizabethstephens.org/wedding-compilation/ http://elizabethstephens.org/wedding-compilation/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 20:54:45 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2534 ]]> http://elizabethstephens.org/wedding-compilation/feed/ 0 University of Nevada Las Vegas Earth Day Celebration http://elizabethstephens.org/earth-day-celebration-at-unlv/ http://elizabethstephens.org/earth-day-celebration-at-unlv/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 21:37:45 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2531 Join us, along with plenty of other ecosexy-friendly folks, for the Earth Day Celebration at University of Nevada, Las Vegas! We are planning to show our film, do a visiting artist talk, and provide other offerings.  On April 22nd we will give our lecture, Assuming the Ecosexual Position.  http://www.unlv.edu/event/university-forum-assuming-ecosexual-position  The next day we’ll show our film at The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada on Wed, April 23rd @ 7pm followed by Q&A.  I hope we see you there!!
Apr 22 – Apr 23
Event time: all day
Location: UNLV campus, Las Vegas, NV
Map: Show in Google map
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37th Annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference http://elizabethstephens.org/2529/ http://elizabethstephens.org/2529/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 21:09:20 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2529 This year’s annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference is titled “New Appalachia: Known Realities and Imagined Possibilities.” Beth is attending the conference as well as screening her and Annie’s film “Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story.” on Saturday, March 29th at 2:30 pm.  All you WV folks come on down!!  http://mds.marshall.edu/asa_conference/2014/Full/185/

The full conference is the last week of March at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. http://appalachianstudies.org/annualconference/

Mar 29Event time: all day
Location: Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Map: Show in Google map
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Screening of Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story at Center for Documentary Arts and Research, UCSC http://elizabethstephens.org/screening-of-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-at-center-for-documentary-arts-and-research-ucsc/ http://elizabethstephens.org/screening-of-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-at-center-for-documentary-arts-and-research-ucsc/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 20:57:37 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2527 The Center for Documentary Arts and Research is hosting a screening of our film Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014.

http://artsresearch.ucsc.edu/cdar/

Feb 4 5:00 pm
Location: UCSC, Santa Cruz
Map: Show in Google map
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Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship Reception http://elizabethstephens.org/rydell-visual-arts-fellowship-reception/ http://elizabethstephens.org/rydell-visual-arts-fellowship-reception/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 20:50:21 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2525 Members reception with support from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

http://www.santacruzmah.org/event/members-reception-for-rydell-visual-arts-fellows/

Jan 12 3:00 pm
Location: Museum of Art & History, 705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Map: Show in Google map
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Dimensions of Political Ecology http://elizabethstephens.org/dimensions-of-political-ecology-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dimensions-of-political-ecology-2/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 20:26:53 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2524 Clips from Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story will be shown and discussed in the panel “Latent Destiny, Manifest Reversal” organized by July Oskar and Cleo Woelfle-Erskin.

http://www.politicalecology.org/#!2014-conference/cdaa

http://media.wix.com/ugd/819ace_03f51e967bac47f284e65f33ed793ece.pdf

My proposal (on pg 106) for this panel was as follows:

This proposal will combine a 3-5 minute video/introductory text with a 10-15 minute excerpt of my new film Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story (with Annie Sprinkle). The film’s story is told from my perspective as a native West Virginian. Using humor, situated knowledges, dialogical art, and sexuality Annie and I propose romantic/sensual/ecosexual love to create alternative relationships with the Earth, as well as to help alleviate the despair caused by the mass destruction of vast regions of our planet. This film addresses the Appalachian Mountains, which are being wiped out under the patriotic rubric of “national energy security.” Creative strategies deployed in Goodbye Gauley Mountain are offered to help queer environmental activism in order to reach different audiences, as well as to counter corporate propaganda that labels anti-mountain top removal (MTR) coal mining activists as “outsiders.” “Outsiders” implies that activists are not qualified to protest MTR and do not belong in the coalfields, reinforcing xenophobic stereotypes of hillbillies represented in films such as Deliverance. As both an insider and an outsider living in California my film attempts to counter stereotypes that justify the destruction of the land by building unlikely alliances between queers, hillbillies, and activists. We celebrate love for the Earth and marry the Appalachian Mountains. The film’s heretical use of heterosexuality’s most sacred institution strikes at core of the kinds of controlling normative beliefs, assumptions, practices, and borders that manifest destiny establishes and enforces to maintain the current economic colonialism practiced in the coalfields of Appalachia.

Mar 1Event time: all day
Location: University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Map: Show in Google map
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Santa Cruz Film Festival http://elizabethstephens.org/santa-cruz-film-festival/ http://elizabethstephens.org/santa-cruz-film-festival/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 04:43:11 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2512 We will be screening Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story at the Santa Cruz Film Festival in Santa Cruz, CA  More details coming soon.

For more information about the film go to: http://goodbyegauleymountain.org

Nov 7Event time: all day
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American Conservation Film Festival http://elizabethstephens.org/american-conservation-film-festival/ http://elizabethstephens.org/american-conservation-film-festival/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 04:32:06 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2511 We will be screening Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story at the American Conservation Film Festival in Shepherdstown, WV  October 31st  http://conservationfilm.org  It will screen at 9:30 in the Shepherdstown Opera House.

For more information about the film go to: http://goodbyegauleymountain.org

Oct 31 9:30 pm
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Montreal International Film Festival of New Cinema http://elizabethstephens.org/montreal-international-film-festival-of-new-cinema/ http://elizabethstephens.org/montreal-international-film-festival-of-new-cinema/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 04:08:36 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2507 We will be screening Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story at the Montreal International Film Festival of New Cinema in Montreal, Ontario, Canada  October 18th and 19th http://www.nouveaucinema.ca/en/

For more information about the film go to: http://goodbyegauleymountain.org

Oct 18Event time: all day
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Goodbye Gauley Mountain: A Potluck CampOut, Lecture, and Screening http://elizabethstephens.org/goodbye-gauley-mountain-a-potluck-campout-lecture-and-screening/ http://elizabethstephens.org/goodbye-gauley-mountain-a-potluck-campout-lecture-and-screening/#comments Thu, 25 Apr 2013 15:14:12 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2359 Come join us at the Redwood Resort for an Appalachian potluck, and to get a sneak preview of our new movie “Goodbye Gauley Mountain: an Ecosexual Love Story.”  All proceeds go to help us complete this film that we have worked on now for three years. We’ll be sharing food, making pop corn, and camping in the redwoods  We’ll also be accompanied by great people, and supply fun entertainment too. Don’t miss this one! Here is the facebook invite for all you facebookers out there.

https://www.facebook.com/events/418671348228893/?fref=ts

Suggested donation $10-$25

If you can’t make this event please feel free to contribute to the film through our kickstarter link. It’s a great way to prebuy a DVD or get your name in the credits.  We’ve got lots of cool rewards!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1663986781/goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-a

 

Apr 5 7:00 pm – May 5

Location: Redwood Resort 150 Grove St. Boulder Creek, CA
Map: Show in Google map

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Naked in the Dirt, Vortex Theater, Austin, TX http://elizabethstephens.org/naked-in-the-dirt-vortex-theater-austin-tx/ http://elizabethstephens.org/naked-in-the-dirt-vortex-theater-austin-tx/#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 07:01:03 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2356 Assuming the Ecosexual Position will take place in the 17 tons of organic soil that Bonnie Cullum brought into the theater for her piece Earth.  We love the Earth too!  For more info see Vortex Theater Special Events. Come join us.
Apr 6 10:00 pm
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Doing edit lock with Keith Wilson for goodbyegauleymountain.orgfor march 30 bene… http://elizabethstephens.org/doing-edit-lock-with-keith-wilson-for-goodbyegauleymountain-orgfor-march-30-bene/ http://elizabethstephens.org/doing-edit-lock-with-keith-wilson-for-goodbyegauleymountain-orgfor-march-30-bene/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 18:52:01 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?guid=e16ac16d53bc0699f1d6c18546ba4f49 http://t.co/hvmuZqkavf


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Doing edit lock with Keith Wilson for goodbyegauleymountain.orgfor march 30 benefit at CSC. Come join… http://t.co/hvmuZqkavf


http://t.co/hvmuZqkavf
instagram.com
sexecology’s photo on Instagram

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EcoSex Lab http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-lab/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-lab/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 14:20:18 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2354 Site created for the 1st International EcoSex Symposium produced by Luke Dixon, Annie Sprinkle, and Beth Stephens.

ecosexlab.org

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VISITING ARTIST FOR ESLP/UCSC http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-for-eslpucsc-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-for-eslpucsc-2/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 05:42:09 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=2016 Beth Stephens will discuss her newest collaborative projects with Annie Sprinkle in the  EcoSexLab and their soon to be finished film Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story with the students in the Education for Sustainable Living Program during this visiting artist presentation.
Apr 22 7:00 pm
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VISITING ARTIST FOR ESLP/UCSC http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-for-eslpucsc/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-for-eslpucsc/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 05:38:50 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=2014 Beth Stephens will talk to the students in the Education for Sustainable Living Program about her collaborative projects with Annie Sprinkle in the  EcoSexLab and their new film Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story during this visiting artist presentation.

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Visiting Artist Lecture and Workshop, Spain http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-lecture-and-workshop-spain/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-lecture-and-workshop-spain/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 04:48:36 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2347 Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle will kick off their new EcoSexLab with a visiting artist presentation and a workshop about their ecosex art, theory, practice and activism, at this very elegant and important museum in Madrid.

Museum Reina Sofia

 

May 22 – May 25
Event time: all day
Location: Madrid, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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End Violence Against Sex Workers http://elizabethstephens.org/end-violence-against-sex-workers/ http://elizabethstephens.org/end-violence-against-sex-workers/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:59:41 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1983 International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Dec 17Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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University of Wisconsin Visiting Artist Lecture http://elizabethstephens.org/university-of-wisconsin-visiting-artists-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/university-of-wisconsin-visiting-artists-2/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:58:00 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1982 We will be visiting artists at the University of Wisconsin Art Department.  Wed. September 24th we will do critiques in the morning and then present an artists lecture at the Chazen Museum at 4:30pm.
Sep 25 4:30 pm
Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Map: Show in Google map
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University of Wisconsin, Visiting Artists http://elizabethstephens.org/university-of-wisconsin-visiting-artists/ http://elizabethstephens.org/university-of-wisconsin-visiting-artists/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:57:33 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2338 We are screening Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story on September 26 at 4:30 in Memorial Hall Library. For more information on the movie go to: http://goodbyegauleymountain.org

For more information on our lecture see:  http://art.wisc.edu/art/people/visiting-artists/lecture-schedule

Sep 26 4:30 pm
Location: University of Wisconsin
Map: Show in Google map
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Earthy; An Ecosexual Adventure “Return Engagement” http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure-return-engagement/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure-return-engagement/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:47:03 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2334  

Center for Sex & Culture

 

Earthy; An Ecosexual Adventure. We’ll do a ‘return engagement’ of our show for a week. More details to be announced.

Sep 19 – Sep 22
Event time: all day
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Earthy; An Ecosex Bootcamp “Return Engagement” http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure-return-engagement-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure-return-engagement-2/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:44:57 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1980 Earthy; An Ecosex Bootcamp. We’ll do a ‘return engagement’ of our show at the Center for Sex & Culture  for one more week. More details to be announced.
Sep 19 – Sep 22
Event time: all day
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Stanford University, Performance Art International Conference http://elizabethstephens.org/stanford-university-performance-art-international-conference/ http://elizabethstephens.org/stanford-university-performance-art-international-conference/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:42:47 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2333 Performance Studies International conference at Stanford University. We will attend this 4 day conference, and present our ecosex art, theory, practice and activism on a panel and in a performance.

 

 

Jun 27 – Jun 30
Event time: all day
Location: Stanford University, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Stanford University, 19th annual Performance Studies International Conference http://elizabethstephens.org/stanford-university-performance-art-international-conference-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/stanford-university-performance-art-international-conference-2/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:42:32 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1979 PSi #19 Now Then: Performance & Temporality

26-30 June 2013, Stanford.

We will attend this 4 day conference, and present our ecosex art, theory, practice and activism on a panel and in a performance.

https://psi19.stanford.edu/

 

Jun 27 – Jun 30
Event time: all day
Location: Stanford University, California
Map: Show in Google map
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WORLD PREMIERE — EARTHY — AN ECOSEX BOOTCAMP http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:35:13 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1977 June 13-23, 2013

EARTHY—AN ECOSEX BOOT CAMP

WORLD PREMIERE OF A NEW PERFORMANCE PIECE

Directed by Patty Gallagher, Design by Kern Toy, Soundscape Tony’s Circus.

When Beth and Annie learn more about the environmental crisis, they see red and go green! They come out as “ecosexuals,” act up, get dirty, do a bondage inspired protest, marry the Earth, and make eco-activism a little more sexy, fun, and diverse. You might realize you are ecosexual too. Cameras welcome. Wear boots!

This show is part of the Queer Arts Festival. We will present 8 performances over two weeks: June 13, 14, 15, 16th and June 20, 21, 22, 23, at the Center for Sex and Culture.

Get Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets!

Jun 13 – Jun 23
Event time: all day
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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World Premiere — Earthy; An Ecosexual Adventure http://elizabethstephens.org/earthy-an-ecosexual-adventure/ http://elizabethstephens.org/earthy-an-ecosexual-adventure/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:35:11 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2331 June 13-23, 2013

We will be staging the world premiere of our new theater piece, Earthy; An Ecosexual Love Story during the Queer Arts Festival, in San Francisco.  Earthy is directed by Patty Gallagher. This coming June, we will present 8 performances over two weekends: June 13, 14, 15, 16th and June 20, 21, 22, 23, at the Center for Sex and Culture.  We will then perform Earthy at Conway Hall in London on July 24th. In September we return to San Francisco for four more performances. More details coming soon.

Description: When two fun loving San Francisco women take a hike in the woods and discover that energy corporations are destroying the mountains, polluting the water and killing all living things in their path at an alarming rate, these two queer girls see red and go green. Beth Stephens, a sassy butch professor and Annie Sprinkle a high femme ex porn star join the environmental movement only to discover they don’t quite fit in, so they decide to make the movement more sexy, fun and diverse. They shift the metaphor from “Earth as mother” to “Earth as lover” and realize that they are “ecosexual”. To fight corporate greed they take their clothes off, get really dirty, and get arrested for shutting down mining operations. Drama and humor ensue. By the end of this show, you may just realize you are ecosexual too.

Jun 13 – Jun 23
Event time: all day
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Opening Night of Earthy; An Ecosexual Adventure http://elizabethstephens.org/opening-night-of-dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure/ http://elizabethstephens.org/opening-night-of-dirty-an-ecosexual-adventure/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:31:01 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2329 June 13th is the opening night of Earthy; An Ecosexual Adventure, at the Center for Sex & Culture.

Our new theater piece is directed by Patty Gallagher.

Shows will run for two weeks in San Francisco, then we take it to London.  We’ll be back for our concluding run in September.

Jun 13 8:00 pm
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Visiting Artist in UCSC’s Education for Sustainable Living http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:22:52 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2326 Beth Stephens will discuss her newest collaborative projects with Annie Sprinkle in the  EcoSexLab and their soon to be finished film Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story with the students in the Education for Sustainable Living Program during this visiting artist presentation.

 

Apr 22 7:00 pm
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Visiting Artist Presentation, Museo Sophia Reina http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation-2/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:22:45 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1973 Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle will kick off their new EcoSexLab with a visiting artist presentation and a workshop about their ecosex art, theory, practice and activism, at the Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid.

 

 

May 22 – May 25
Event time: all day
Location: Madrid, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Benefit for Goodbye Gauley Mountain: A Dinner Party, Lecture and Screening http://elizabethstephens.org/benefit-for-goodbye-gauley-mountain-a-dinner-and-screening/ http://elizabethstephens.org/benefit-for-goodbye-gauley-mountain-a-dinner-and-screening/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:13:47 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2324 Come join us at the Center for Sex & Culture for an Appalachian dinner, and to get a sneak preview of our new movie “Goodbye Gauley Mountain: an Ecosexual Love Story.”  All proceeds go to help us complete this film that we have worked on now for three years. We’ll be serving up an Appalachian food feast, pop corn, and deserts  We’ll also be accompanied by great people, and supply fun entertainment too. Don’t miss this one! More info coming soon!!

Click HERE to purchase tickets for the dinner, lecture and screening. Dinner tickets must be purchased by March 25th.

 

Mar 30 6:30 am
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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BENEFIT FOR GOODBYE GAULEY MOUNTAIN: A DINNER PARTY, LECTURE AND SCREENING http://elizabethstephens.org/benefit-for-goodbye-gauley-mountain-a-dinner-and-screening-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/benefit-for-goodbye-gauley-mountain-a-dinner-and-screening-2/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:13:35 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1971  

We are going to show you some southern hospitality! Come join us for a queer Appalachian dinner and to get a sneak preview of our new movie “Goodbye Gauley Mountain: an Ecosexual Love Story.”  All proceeds go to help us complete this film that we have worked on now for three years. We’ll be serving up an Appalachian food feast, pop corn, and deserts  We’ll also be accompanied by great people, and supply fun entertainment too at the Center for Sex & Culture. Don’t miss this one! More info coming soon!!

Click HERE to purchase tickets for the dinner, lecture and screening. Dinner tickets must be purchased by March 25th.

 

Mar 30 6:30 pm
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Bling My Vibe http://elizabethstephens.org/bling-my-vibe/ http://elizabethstephens.org/bling-my-vibe/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:09:54 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1970

Good Vibrations Website

“Bling My Vibe” is a vibrator art contest. Annie Sprinkle will be a judge, along with Carol Queen and others. The winners will receive a Good Vibrations gift basket and gift card valued at $300, $200, and $100 respectively. Proceeds for the vibes will go to Our Bodies Ourselves, one of our GiVe non-profit partners during our Birthday month.

Mar 29Event time: all day
Location: Good Vibrations, Polk Street, San Francisco
Map: Show in Google map
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Panel Discussion http://elizabethstephens.org/panel-discussion/ http://elizabethstephens.org/panel-discussion/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:00:52 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1969 Annie Sprinkle will be part of a panel discussion “sex addiction” after the play “The Voice: One Man’s Journey Into Sex Addiction and Recovery” by David Kleinberg. Stage Werx Theater
Mar 16Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Online Teleconference http://elizabethstephens.org/online-teleconference/ http://elizabethstephens.org/online-teleconference/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 01:57:14 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1967 The New School and The Orgasmic Yoga Institute.

Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D. will be doing a free online teleconference about “orgasm” from an ecosexual perspective with the venerable sex educator, Joseph Kramer, Ph.D. All are invited.

Mar 4Event time: all day
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Lecture: Sexecology: The New Field http://elizabethstephens.org/lecture-the-earth-as-metaphor-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/lecture-the-earth-as-metaphor-2/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 01:48:12 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1966 Sprinkle & Stephens will talk about Sexecology at Porter College’s Faculty Gallery on the campus of UCSC. This presentation about their work explores ecosex art, theory, practice and activism.

Check out the Events Page

4:30-6:00.  All are invited to attend.

Feb 20 4:30 pm
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Our Engagement Party http://elizabethstephens.org/our-engagement-party-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/our-engagement-party-2/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 01:16:58 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2319 Our Engagement Party

We will host a public “engagement party.” Who–or what– we will marry is a secret, but will be announced at the event. In the past eight years we have married the Earth, sky, sea, rocks, a lake, the moon, as well as other people, places and things, in fifteen large scale weddings in eight different countries. These weddings have been attended by thousands of people, many who made vows along with us. The festivities will climax with guests waving goodbye as we drive off in a decorated 16-foot U-haul truck. Everyone is invited to attend.  7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Jancar Gallery

Our Engagement Party on Facebook

Feb 16 7:00 pm
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A Glittery Valentine’s Day Love Fest at Our Home http://elizabethstephens.org/a-glittery-valentines-day-love-fest-at-our-home/ http://elizabethstephens.org/a-glittery-valentines-day-love-fest-at-our-home/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 01:12:44 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1960 You’re invited to our house. We will host a joint benefit for completion funds for our film “Goodbye Gauley Mountain,” and for Visual Aid, a fab non-profit that helps artists with life threatening illnesses. Meet and mingle with the best and brightest of San Francisco creatives and friends while sipping wine, cocktails, and savoring an array of delicious nibbles and chocolates.  Extra goodies come with tickets, including a screen credit, and an original tit print by Annie Sprinkle!

Buy Tickets Now

You’ll watch Bella Molotov and her circus performers enact a mesmerizing fire dance ritual in the garden and get an exclusive, preview our film. Watch the Trailer!

Feb 10Event time: all day
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A Glittery Valentine’s Day Love Fest at Our Home. http://elizabethstephens.org/our-engagement-party/ http://elizabethstephens.org/our-engagement-party/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 01:03:45 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2317 You’re invited to our house. We will host a joint benefit for completion funds for our film “Goodbye Gauley Mountain,” and for Visual Aid, a fab non-profit that helps artists with life threatening illnesses. Meet and mingle with the best and brightest of San Francisco creatives and friends while sipping wine, cocktails, and savoring an array of delicious nibbles and chocolates.  Extra goodies come with tickets, including a screen credit, and an original tit print by Annie Sprinkle!

Buy Tickets Now

You’ll watch Bella Molotov and her circus performers enact a mesmerizing fire dance ritual in the garden and get an exclusive, preview our film. Watch the Trailer!

Feb 10Event time: all day
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Our Engagement Party http://elizabethstephens.org/our-engagement-party-3/ http://elizabethstephens.org/our-engagement-party-3/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 01:02:57 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1956 Our Engagement Party

We will host a public “engagement party.” Who–or what– we will marry is a secret, but will be announced at the event. In the past eight years we have married the Earth, sky, sea, rocks, a lake, the moon, as well as other people, places and things, in fifteen large scale weddings in eight different countries. These weddings have been attended by thousands of people, many who made vows along with us. The festivities will climax with guests waving goodbye as we drive off in a decorated 16-foot U-haul truck. Everyone is invited to attend.  7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Jancar Gallery

Our Engagement Party on Facebook

 

Feb 16 7:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, Jancar Gallery
Map: Show in Google map
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Earthy; An Ecosexual Love Story http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-love-story/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-an-ecosexual-love-story/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 07:38:18 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2315 We will present our theater piece Earthy; An Ecosexual Love Story at Conway Hall in London, on July 24, 2013.

Ticket information will be coming soon.

Produced by Luke Dixon, Directed by Patty Gallagher

Jul 24 6:00 pm
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International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers http://elizabethstephens.org/international-day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers-3/ http://elizabethstephens.org/international-day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers-3/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:58:15 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1952 INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST SEX WORKERS

On this reverential day that I observe every year, I will do a performance at Center for Sex & Culture, where San Francisco Sex Worker Outreach project will have a gathering. I conceived of this now international event happening in 30+ countries.

Read more

Dec 17Event time: all day
Location: Center for Sex and Culture, San Francisco, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Intersection for the Arts http://elizabethstephens.org/intersection-for-the-arts/ http://elizabethstephens.org/intersection-for-the-arts/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:55:56 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1950  

Intersection for the Arts

BOOTLEG—I’ll be on a really cool panel discussion about the bootlegging of porn and post porn in the world today. With the coolest GLBTQIIE pioneers of today: Jiz Lee, Alix Austin, Shine, and hosted by Cheryle Dunye.

Dec 5Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Book Signing at Larry Edmond’s Books http://elizabethstephens.org/book-signing-at-larry-edmonds-books/ http://elizabethstephens.org/book-signing-at-larry-edmonds-books/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:53:56 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1949 Larry Edmond’s Books

We’ll do a second book signing event and discussion at this wonderful, legendary book store on Hollywood Blvd. Can’t wait to see Serena, Ginger Lynn, Veronica Hart, Kelly Nichols and many others.  Hosted by Bill Margold.  And come meet the Author. Jill Nelson.

Nov 30Event time: all day
Location: Hollywood, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Hustler Hollywood – Golden Goddessed, 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Films, 1968-1985 http://elizabethstephens.org/hustler-hollywood-golden-goddessed-25-legendary-women-of-classic-erotic-films-1968-1985/ http://elizabethstephens.org/hustler-hollywood-golden-goddessed-25-legendary-women-of-classic-erotic-films-1968-1985/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:51:05 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1947 The official release of Golden Goddesses, 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Films, 1968-1985! Mark Kernes at AVN posted this about the event.

Many golden era porn stars will be there! It’s a grand reunion!

Nov 29Event time: all day
Location: Hollywood, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Massachusetts Trip, Smith College and Hampshire College – STUDENTS ONLY http://elizabethstephens.org/massachusetts-trip-smith-college-and-hampshire-college-students-only/ http://elizabethstephens.org/massachusetts-trip-smith-college-and-hampshire-college-students-only/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:41:24 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1943 STUDENTS ONLY

Smith College and Hampshire College

From Oct 29 through November 3 I’ll be doing eight events for students only. Looking forward to this hotbed of talented and brilliant students.

Oct 29 – Nov 3
Event time: all day
Location: Hampshire, MA
Map: Show in Google map
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Performance http://elizabethstephens.org/performance-art-in-california/ http://elizabethstephens.org/performance-art-in-california/#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:37:17 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1941 Beth and I will do a performance piece and a panel. For information click here.

Held at the Sesnon Gallery at Porter College, University of California Santa Cruz.

 

Apr 24Event time: all day
Location: Sesnon Gallery, UCSC, Santa Cruz, California
Map: Show in Google map
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Earthy: An Ecosex Boot Camp http://elizabethstephens.org/tentative-dirty-an-ecosexual-love-story/ http://elizabethstephens.org/tentative-dirty-an-ecosexual-love-story/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2013 23:28:53 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1936 We will present our theater piece Earthy; An Ecosex Bootcamp at Conway Hall in London, on July 24, 2013.

Ticket information will be coming soon.

Produced by Luke Dixon, Directed by Patty Gallagher

Jul 24Event time: all day
Location: Conway Hall, London, England
Map: Show in Google map
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1st International Ecosex Symposium; Workshops, Performances, Film Festival, Walking Tours, & A Grande Eco-Bouffe! http://elizabethstephens.org/1st-international-ecosex-symposium-workshops-performances-film-festival-walking-tours-a-grande-eco-bouffe/ http://elizabethstephens.org/1st-international-ecosex-symposium-workshops-performances-film-festival-walking-tours-a-grande-eco-bouffe/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2013 22:51:05 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1933 Building Community to Make Change Through Art, Theory, Practice & Activism

July 4-24, 2013

The EcoSex Lab is an evolving series of events which include performances, workshops, lectures, film, walking tours and political activism. In May we will speak at Museo Reina Sophia in Madrid, In July return to Europe for a multi city multi engagement series of events.  Check out our website for more information HERE. We will spend 4 days in Bourges, France and then go to Colchester, Essex, England.  This will be a week-long international gathering in the countryside of England with panels, workshops, presentations, performances and more at a beautiful country hotel with a pool. Our full schedule of events may be found HERE.

Produced in collaboration with Beth and Annie’s Fecund Arts Organization, Luke Dixon and Emmetrop Center for the Arts.

Jul 4 – Jul 7
Event time: all day
Location: Bourges, France
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosexual Movie Night http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexual-movie-night/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexual-movie-night/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 01:15:03 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2303 We had a wonderful fundraiser at my high school friend Xandra Coe’s house.  For this event Annie and I gave a talk about our work, about mountaintop removal, and having found out that Larry Gibson had died that night-we dedicated the evening to him.   As a friend of mine said, this issue is simply a heartbreak a minute.  In the midst of all of this one of the guests that attended this evening was Jon Spayde, a former editor of the Utne Review. He wrote a surprise review of the film and here is the link to his piece:  http://www.thelinemedia.com/features/lineortwo091212.aspx?utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=A+Line+or+Two:+Ecosexual+Movie+Night&utm_content={Email_Address}&utm_campaign=The+Central+Corridor+as+Art+Gallery,+Ecosexual+Movie+Night

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Voice-over Writing/Recording II http://elizabethstephens.org/voice-over-writingrecording-ii/ http://elizabethstephens.org/voice-over-writingrecording-ii/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:58:31 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2299 December 4, 2012  This week we are rewriting the voiceovers from our previous V.O. session in combination with feedback from Cheryl Dunye and others.  Essentially Cheryl said that the voiceovers didn’t go far enough-they were kind of half explanatory and stopped in the middle of the film.  Even after this pass I think I need to go back and up the ante with the voiceovers in order to tell the story I’m tying to tell.

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Voice-over Writing/Recording I http://elizabethstephens.org/voice-over-writingrecording-i/ http://elizabethstephens.org/voice-over-writingrecording-i/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:51:26 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2296 In early July 2012 we drove to LA to do the voiceovers with David B. Steinberg, Annie’s brother.  David is a consummate professional, a musician who composes music and arranges scores for movies and commercials.  He is so good that he’s really fun to work with.  Below is the text that we recorded during this session in his living room.  This text shows the sequence of scenes that composed the structure of the film at this time.  The order of these scenes would change a little later in response to the critical screening we did at my old friend Andrea Cohen’s house on July 8th and then subsequent screenings we did in Charleston, West Virginia and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

V.O Opening

 

COAL WAS KING When I was born in Montgomery, West Virginia, in 1960. Just about everybody worked in one way, or another, for the mining industry. Mining is still the region’s main moneymaker but centuries of extracting coal from the Earth are taking a huge toll on the people and the land.  I used to think that the Appalachian Mountains would be there forever, that one-day I’d retire into their mystical embrace. Although much remains exactly as it was when I was a child, a radical form of coal mining, mountain top removal, is forever altering the landscape I call home.

 

Currently, I live in San Francisco where I’m an artist and a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Growing up queer in the heart of coal country I knew that I would likely never be able to get a job there, or want to marry a man who could.  Instead of King Coal, I wanted a Queen. Twelve years ago I married former sex worker, now sex educator and artist Annie Sprinkle.

When I look out over the city, I think about how much electricity we consume. Then my heart goes to West Virginia where I’m from.

 

Anne in Charlton Heights

 

V.O Super 8 Family Films

My sisters helped my father raise me after my mother died.  In spite of the trauma of her death, I had a fairly idyllic childhood. There was no lack of love.

 

Shoals Elementary, Corporal Punishment, Swimming Pool

 

V.O Family Pictures

My family has been involved in mining beginning in England in the 1600s.  My father’s father and all four of his brothers moved to West Virginia from Cornwall via the upper peninsula of Michigan at the end of the depression.  They started Marathon Coal Bit Company at the end of the depression. This was where I learned how things were made, coal was mined and business worked.

When you grow up in a place that is poor you learn to make do. Knowing how to “make do” was extremely empowering and helped me move forward in my life, especially as a young queer woman growing up in a man’s world.

 

Marathon

Pinups

Annie’s Ecosexual Interview

 

V.O. Dupont/Bell WV

WV is a beautiful, haunting, mysterious place during the day. At night the chemical plants light up the valleys with twinkling lights, and smokestacks belch gorgeous billowous smoke and fire. I used to think that these plants were magical fairy tale kingdoms. It is interesting the kinds of fantasies that children make up to explain what a place is and what it means.  Then later as adults we learn, there was some really some dangerous shit coming out of those smokestacks.  We have become dependent upon industry to fuel our contemporary lifestyles.

 

V.O Hawk’s Nest

Profits extracted from the land have historically been privileged over the people in West Virginia. One of the most tragic examples of this exploitation happened in the 1930’s, is the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel, still considered one of the worst industrial disasters in US history.  Gauley Bridge, at the foot of the mountain, used to be called “the town of the walking dead” because so many men died while digging the tunnel.

 

V.O. Big Globe and Animation  

The Appalachian Mountains are the second richest biodiverse area in the Western Hemisphere after the Amazon. MTR begins by clearing the trees, then drilling the blast holes and filling them with a mixture of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel.  Then the tops are blasted off and what the companies call overburden is pushed into the valleys below killing any animals, vegetation and streams caught in its path.

 

Big Globe

High Wall Text

Google Map

Explosion

 

V.O Vivian Stockman

The first photos I ever saw showing mountain top removal were by Vivian Stockman.  Her work also captures the spectacular beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Vivian’s photographs inspired me to turn my own art making towards the fight against Mountain Top Removal. So I gave her a call, and she invited us up to her farm for a visit.

Stephanie Tyree

         Health Effects Use an image of lungs—

In addition to deaths caused by direct involvement in mining, surrounding communities experience increased rates of cancer, birth defects and lung disease.

 Ted Nugent

Don Blankenship

 DEP Protest, Joe Hamshire and Sarah Seeds

WV Hills Medley

Exhibition Coal Mine w/Leroy White

EcoSex Medley

Jack Spadaro

Gay Gathering

Invitation Making Party

Kitty/Kimberly, WV

Cindy and Roger in Pinch

 V.O Lindytown

 Lindytown, WV was a small mining community in Boone Country.  A couple of years ago, when a mountain top removal site was launched on the ridge above the town, Massey Energy bought up the community and essentially forced the residents to leave.  I saw the town just before the church and most of the houses were then bulldozed down to insure that the mountain top removal operation could proceed without community interference.

Grumble-tree climb

 Activist Montage

Activism is essential to social change. Anti-MTR activist tactics include protests, long marches and tree sitting for weeks at a time. A tree sit can effectively halt clear cutting and blasting on MTR sites. Locking down bodies to stationary objects, like a barrel full of cement, blocks access to strategic locations, gets press attention and garners public sympathy. Recently a group of Appalachian women shaved their heads on the steps of the Capital to show their solidarity with the mountains, and draw attention to what MTR has stripped away from their land and communities. Annie and I employ Ecosexuality, Sexecology and weddings to nature. We shift the metaphor from Earth as mother, to Earth as lover to entice others to love the planet.

 Tree Climb

 Stephanie II/Kinkaid, WV

 Larry Gibson

“We look at the earth as the lungs of the Earth”

Catherine Venable Moore, Poem

Paul Corbit Brown

Protests Daryl Hannah

Beth Vows at Kanawha Gardens

Wedding to the Appalachian Mountains

Jack Spadero–saying his favorite song is Hazel Dickens’ version of “West Virginia My Home”

 

 

 

 

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Frameline Completion 2012 http://elizabethstephens.org/frameline-completion-2012/ http://elizabethstephens.org/frameline-completion-2012/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:22:51 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2291 2. SYNOPSIS/TREATMENT OF FILM

Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story tells the story of ecosexual artist-activists Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle as they join forces with rural West Virginians in a quest for environmental social justice.  While it’s a fight for survival, this documentary goes where others haven’t, injecting the struggle with sexy fun and surprising new ecojustice strategies.  Goodbye Gauley Mountain raises awareness about the devastation of mountain top removal (MTR) mining while celebrating the Earth in all her queer ecosexual glory, introducing queer art-making strategies for social change to broader queer communities.

This film is the documentary story of what happens after Beth Stephens first witnesses the shocking destruction of the Appalachian Mountains via MTR while flying into West Virginia from California to visit her family.  She learns that even her beloved Gauley Mountain is on the nation’s Endangered Mountain List.  It is being mined for coal using a deadly combination of explosives and heavy earthmoving equipment in the process of a relatively new mining technique called mountain top removal (MTR).  MTR is so rapid that peaks formed hundreds of millions of years ago are obliterated in months.  More than 500 mountains have now been flattened and 2300 miles of freshwater streams buried. Stephens’ view: this permanent destruction is madness and must be stopped before it is too late.  As there is little time to waste, Beth vows to return to West Virginia with her collaborator-wife Annie Sprinkle to expose the wanton destruction of the oldest, queerest mountains in the world.

Although growing up a queer woman in the heart of Appalachia was tough in many ways, Beth would never trade the thrills, delights and embodied joy of a childhood spent fishing Gauley River, skinny-dipping in the swimming hole dubbed, “Daniel Boone’s Bathtub,” and peeking through the windows at the snake handling services in the Pentecostal Church up Scrabble Creek.  Beth wants to save the mountains because they are so strange and bio-diversely beautiful that it almost hurts.  Growing up in this neck of the woods is the primary reason that Stephens became the ecosexual she is today.  She wants to save this place for the ecosexuals currently living there, and to maintain spaces of resistance to corporate globalism that Appalachia holds in its anarchistic heart, even as global corporatism eats it alive.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story begins when Beth returns to West Virginia with Annie. The film situates Beth as a West Virginian with a long family history in mining.  It defines for viewers the Clean Water Act during a protest at the Department of Environmental Protection where Beth even invites the WV state troopers to sing the WV state song with her during a protest.  But the cops don’t even know their own state song, The West Virginia Hills.  As ecosexuals, Beth and Annie travel from mines to tree-sit lessons, from protests to interviews, where they explore mountain peoples’ deep love for and connections to the land.  Intelligent and heartfelt interviews with coalfield social justice activists as well as Beth and Annie’s own observations and responses to MTR amplify this love.  They also explore Beth’s growing up years while participating in an outdoor Freedom to Marry, Summer Marriage rally sponsored by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).  Coal mined here is used in all our cities, and the film juxtaposes rural and urban, beauty and ugliness, humor and sorrow to depict small communities and their highly marginalized people who sacrifice everything they have as they face massive environmental destruction for short-term corporate gain.

In some of the film’s most arresting images, Beth and Annie introduce ecosexuality as a concrete practice of love and as an unconventional activist strategy to save this region. They enact their own tree hugging tendencies, traipsing through mud, smelling the flowers and performing their pollen-amorous love for the Earth by whatever means necessary. Beth proposes to Annie to marry the Appalachian Mountains themselves in a cemetery filled with miners who died in the service of coal, and the documentary concludes with their magical, charged and controversial Appalachian Wedding in a little chapel where hillbillies, activists, family members, students and circus animals vow, ‘til death do they part, to love, honor, and cherish the Appalachian Mountains.  Through humor, performance, auto-ethnography and documentary storytelling, the filmmakers and those they encounter shift the metaphor from Earth as Mother to Earth as Lover, depicting the possibilities of a more mutual relationship between people and planet.

3. BUDGET FOR: GOODBYE GAULEY MOUNTAIN: AN ECOSEXUAL LOVE STORY

Total Budget: $60,925

Funding Raised to Date: $24,970 plus $19,200 of in-kind goods and services

Completion Funds Needed: $16,755

Amount Requested: $ 5,000

Prior funds were raised with the generous support of the University of California:

Academic Senate COR Faculty Research Grant, $8000 in 2011

Academic Senate COR Faculty Research Grant, $1500 in 2010

Arts Research Institute, $2000 in 2011

Arts Research Institute, $2900 in 2010

These monies were used to purchase equipment: a digital video camera, hard drives, microphones and tape stock; for travel to and from West Virginia; and to hire a videographer, a sound person, and an assistant to assist in editing the initial rough cut. Given the budget cuts at UC, these funds are no longer as available as before.

Filmmaker Diane Bonder’s estate: $3,000

These funds were used to pay a professional editor.

Private Fundraising Events: $2620

These funds were used to make the trailer, finish paying the editor and to     design and begin building a website.

Many individuals have generously contributed places to stay, still images and their own video footage to this project in order to make the film happen.  Others have contributed time, food, and transportation.

Additional Post Production Elements

Voice over recording – David B. Steinberg                         $  500

Sound Mix – Erik Valenzuela                                               $1200

Animation – Hannah Metzner                                             $  350

Music Rights for Hazel Dickens (film festivals 2 years)    $  500

Google Maps Usage                                                               $  500

Design and Creation of Titles                                              $1200

Up-converting to hi resolution footage for final output   $3000

Color Correction – Robert Arnold                                        $5000

Post production assistance – Julia Reardin                                    $2500

Master QuickTime and DVDs for Screenings                     $ 300

HD CAM for Screenings                                                        $ 400

DVD Cover Printing Costs for Labels and Covers              $ 950

DVD Duplication Costs                                                          $ 300

Copyright registration                                                          $   55

$16,755 needed

Director and Associate Director Fees                                  $5000

This could be paid later using lecture or screening fees.

4 FUNDING REQUEST

I am requesting $5,000 from the Frameline completion fund.  I would use this funding to prepare the footage for color correction and then complete the color correction process, as well as to master the DVD authoring for the output of the film.

I will raise additional funds, or contribute my own money if possible, to pay for the sound mix, music and Google map usage rights, up-converting from lower resolution footage to the full resolution HDV and the few other post production tasks needed to complete.

Over the last year, I have submitted funding/grant applications to the Roy Dean Fund, the Chicken and Egg fund, the Sundance Film Festival Documentary Fund, and to Cinereach.  I am still waiting to hear from the Chicken and Egg Fund, Sundance and Cinereach grants.  I have also held two private fundraising events, one in West Virginia, which attracted many of the activists (and my family) in the film as well as others who generously donated most of the funds I needed to complete the trailer.  I then held another fundraiser in Minneapolis, Minnesota that attracted a large queer contingent who responded very positively.  I was lucky enough to receive a surprise review from a former editor of the Utne Review at this fundraiser: http://www.thelinemedia.com/features/lineortwo091212.aspx.

I will apply for additional grants whose deadlines and award timelines will allow me to finish the film before the summer.  I am also planning to hold private fundraisers in the Bay Area: one at the Visual Aid theater in San Francisco, one at the Sunrise Center in Marin County, and one more in Santa Cruz to tap the friends and connections I have in the arts, activist, and academic worlds around the Bay.  If these fundraising efforts do not yield sufficient money to finish this film, I will do a Kickstarter project; I conducted a successful Kickstarter campaign for our Purple Wedding to the Moon project in Los Angeles several years ago.  Now that the trailer and the rough cut of the film are virtually finished it will be feasible as part of our funding mix.

Annie Sprinkle and I intend to make our directors’ fees when the film finally begins showing and/or gets fees though a distributor.  We also make our fees through speaking and lecture engagements (although we also do some lectures for GLBTQI and environmental groups for free).  The assistance of Frameline would help speed this film to completion and would be very much appreciated.

5. DISTRIBUTION AND EXHIBITION:  I plan to complete this film by May 2013 so that, if it were accepted, it would be ready to premiere in the 2013 Frameline Festival.  It would be a great honor to premiere it here in San Francisco where Annie and I are active in the queer, feminist and sex positive communities.  We are also becoming more and more involved in the environmental activist communities as well and are combining our dedication to these communities to make work that serves both.  Throughout our decades-long careers as artists, activists, and educators, we have built devoted audiences.  This documentary adds something to the landscape that doesn’t yet exist.  First, few environmental documentaries include a queer perspective and do not reach the enormous GLBTQI communities. We aim to fill that void.  (And we hope ‘E’ for ecosexual will soon be added to this list.)

Second, our lectures and art works are already introducing our ecosexual approach to artists, activists, and a range of other people as a possible strategy that they can use too.  Having completed other shorts, we decided to make a full-length film because the sensuousness and reach of film is a very powerful way to engage a wide range of imaginations.  If we can represent environmentalism as sexy, fun and satisfying, we can inspire both young and old (queers) to become more conscious of the plight of the Earth.  They can begin to consider ways to and hopefully act more consciously around their own use of resources, corporate support and generally how to love the Earth in order to enhance his/her/its abilities of continuing to sustain humans as well as other life.  This film will introduce queer art-making strategies for social change to broader queer communities.

Our third audience would be the general public.  We interview many seemingly non-queer people that Stephens knows from having grown up in West Virginia, and most of these people are marginalized by stereotypes of West Virginians or because they live in a sacrifice zone, in one of the most impoverished regions of the country.  Yet because most people everywhere today face economic and environmental problems, and have the power to effect solutions, the film has strong cross-over appeal.

For distribution, we have connections to many organizations: Queer Cultural Center, Center for Sex & Culture, Femina Potens Gallery, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, Mountain Justice, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Beehive Collective and Rainforest Action Network, the University of California, as well as an international network of arts organizations and feminist theaters/galleries, queer and more mainstream venues.

We feel strongly that this film will show in GLBTQI film and arts festivals internationally, as four of Annie Sprinkle’s films have done.  We expect to be included in big, well respected as well as smaller (documentary) film festivals.  As we travel extensively to lecture, perform, and teach, we will be able to show the film at universities and art centers.  We would like it to play on HBO, PBS, Independent Film Channel, Netflix, and other mainstream channels.  We would offer it free to screen at GLBTI centers and environmental gatherings, and we will post it to our web sites.

We expect lots of press: for the past 12 years of collaboration, we have garnered positive reviews from the NY Times, the SF Chronicle, Germany’s STERN, other major newspapers and magazines, and we have appeared on radio and TV.  We maintain several web sites and do daily social networking, appear on blogs and talk on Internet and broadcast radio.  At the end of the film, we will offer information as to how viewers can get involved.  Our ultimate goal is to inspire, even to seduce queers in all their forms and glory into caring about environmental issues – helping fight disasters like MTR and save the Earth’s communities – by making this very challenging effort more appealing to join by representing it as sexy, fun, and diverse.

 

6. SAMPLE DVD DESCRIPTION:  The sample DVD is a 66-minute long fine rough cut.  I am adding one more little animation this week to explain the history of coal. Sound mix, hi resolution digitizing and color correction are yet to be completed.  The text and titles are yet to be designed and the credits at the end need to be expanded and designed as well. When the animation and titles are added the film will be 70 minutes long.

Currently we have a trailer available for viewing at: https://vimeo.com/49723643

 

7. CAST AND CREW

DIRECTOR

Filmmaker Beth Stephens lives and works in San Francisco, CA, and sometimes escapes to the Santa Cruz Mountains for writing retreats in the redwoods.  With an MFA from Rutgers, her filmmaking grew out of multimedia art, video installations, photography, and performance.  Her short films: Do You Mind? and Lüba: The Mother Teresa of Art, have screened in such festivals as Frameline and the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema.  For the past ten years, she has collaborated with her partner, Annie Sprinkle.  Their series of short films chronicle their environmentally focused weddings to various entities in nature, as well as to each other.  Their films and documentation works have screened in museums and festivals nationally and internationally.  Stephens is a professor of Art/Digital Art and New Media at UC Santa Cruz.  For more information about her most recent work, see elizabethstephens.org and sexecology.org.  The website for Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story is in the process of becoming the online information home for the film.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Annie M. Sprinkle is an internationally acclaimed artist, whose film, The Sluts & Goddesses Video Workshop Or How to Be A Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps, played over 300 international film festivals and museums, including the Guggenheim NYC and several Frameline festivals. Starting out in x-rated features in the 70’s and 80’s, she has since appeared in B movies and TV shows.  With a BFA in photography, and Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, her multimedia projects – favorably reviewed in the New York Times – are currently dedicated to exploring ecology, helping to make the world a more sustainable and love-filled place.  See http://anniesprinkle.org and  sexecology.org.

 

CREW AND CAST

Editor
 Keith Wilson

Editing Assistance Jordan Freeman, Julia Reardin, Sheila Malone and Andrea Anderson

Cinematographer
 Jordan Freeman

Sound Design
 David B. Steinberg

Original Music  Joan Jeanrenaud, Tony’s Circus, David Steinberg

Additional Music
 Hazel Dickens and the Dead Peasant Society

Post Production Manager
 Julia Reardon

Trailer Editor
 Keith Wilson

Sound Mix  Erik Valenzuela

Animation  Hannah Matzner

Interviewees / Participants:

Larry Gibson, Grandfather of the Anti-MTR Movement, Activist, and Educator, http://mountainkeeper.org

Carol Gibson, Community Resident, Larry Gibson’s partner

Paul Corbit Brown, Photographer and Activist, www.paulcorbitbrown.com

T. Paige Dalporto, Community Resident, Guitar and Vocals, http://www.tpaige.com

Jack Spadaro, Mine Safety and Environmental Health Expert, http://jackspadaro.com

Patricia Spangler, Author of The Hawk’s Nest Tunnel and Beth’s cousin

Vivian Stockman, Photographer and Environmental Activist, http://www.ohvec.org/

Joe Hamshire, Environmental Activist

Anne Harless and Kitty Baughan Cole, Community Residents, Beth’s sisters

Cindy Lilly and her husband Roger, Community Residents; Cindy is Beth’s childhood friend

Catherine Venerable Moore, Poet and Sound Artist

Stephanie Tyree, Community Advocate

Sarah Vekasi, M.Div., Director of the Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative, http://www.ecochaplaincy.net/

Leroy White, Retired Coal Miner and Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Tour Guide

 

 

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Editing CA III http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca-iii/ http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca-iii/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 23:47:26 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2288 The final stage of editing with Keith Wilson

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Official Film Website http://elizabethstephens.org/official-film-website/ http://elizabethstephens.org/official-film-website/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 23:27:16 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2284 Visit the official website for Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story

Goodbye Gauley Mountainn

http://goodbyegauleymountain.org

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Goodbye Gauley Mountain http://elizabethstephens.org/goodbye-gauley-mountain/ http://elizabethstephens.org/goodbye-gauley-mountain/#comments Mon, 03 Dec 2012 00:05:39 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2279 Ecosexuals Stephens and Sprinkle go to Appalachia to help stop mountaintop removal. This is the story of how they fall in love with and marry the mountains while fighting for environmental justice.

goodbyegauleymountain.org

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Material Metaphor, Environmental Art, Winter Quarter UCSC http://elizabethstephens.org/material-metaphor-environmental-art-winter-quarter-ucsc/ http://elizabethstephens.org/material-metaphor-environmental-art-winter-quarter-ucsc/#comments Sun, 02 Dec 2012 05:23:40 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2274 I will be teaching an environmental art course this coming quarter. It will combine studio work, work in the field and a mini visiting artist lecture series in the faculty gallery at Porter College.
Jan 7 3:30 pm
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Ecosex Stroll http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-stroll-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-stroll-2/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:40:53 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2262 Beth and Annie will lead an ecosex walking tour where the Hollywood whores hang out. Details to be announced.
Dec 14Event time: all day
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Beth’s Ph.D. Exams http://elizabethstephens.org/beths-ph-d-exams/ http://elizabethstephens.org/beths-ph-d-exams/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:36:30 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2260 My partner/collaborator Beth Stephens will be doing her comprehensive exams for her Ph.D. I will be supporting her through this intense time as best I can. Back rubs, food, cheer leading, etc.
Jan 2 – Jan 7
Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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AIDS Memorial Quilt http://elizabethstephens.org/aids-memorial-quilt-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/aids-memorial-quilt-2/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:33:57 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2259 I am honored to be invited to read the names from the beautiful AIDS Memorial Quilt during the unfolding ceremony. Please join me in a day of remembrance. http://www.aidsquilt.org/view-the-quilt/display-schedule 2278 Market Street in San Francisco, between Noe and Sanchez (closer to Noe) in the old Tower Records storefront. I’ll be reading at 3:00 PM.
Feb 12Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Whistle Blower’s Conference http://elizabethstephens.org/whistle-blowers-conference-3/ http://elizabethstephens.org/whistle-blowers-conference-3/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:32:03 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2258 Our friend Naomi Pitcairn, of the Fresh Juice Party, is organizing this conference which promises to be a very important gathering of great folks.  Beth and I are invited to moderate a panel. Details will eventually be here–    http://freshjuiceparty.com/news
Feb 17 – Feb 19
Event time: all day
Location: University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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College Art Association http://elizabethstephens.org/college-art-association-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/college-art-association-2/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:28:21 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2256 We’ll be on a panel “Multiplicities in Dialogue: From Political Caucus to Engaged Community.”

Session sponsored by Women’s Caucus for the Arts. Moderated by Tanya Augsburg.  This session is organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Five paired dialogues will offer a sampling of contemporary models for innovative artistic engagement.

Feb 22 – Feb 24
Event time: all day
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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CAA/WCA Panel: Multiplicities in Dialogue: From Political Caucus to Engaged Community http://elizabethstephens.org/caawca-panel-multiplicities-in-dialogue-from-political-caucus-to-engaged-community-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/caawca-panel-multiplicities-in-dialogue-from-political-caucus-to-engaged-community-2/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:25:56 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2254 We’ll be on a panel “Multiplicities in Dialogue: From Political Caucus to Engaged Community.”
Feb. 24, Friday at 9:30 a.m., Concourse Room #403 B. Level two of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Session sponsored by Women’s Caucus for the Arts. Moderated by Tanya Augsburg.  This session is organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Five paired dialogues will offer a sampling of contemporary models for innovative artistic engagement.collegeart.org

Feb 24Event time: all day
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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SexEcological Walking Tour With Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-with-elizabeth-stephens-annie-sprinkle-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-with-elizabeth-stephens-annie-sprinkle-2/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:21:04 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2252 Join Beth & Annie as they point out the ecosexy sites around Jancar Gallery and Chinatown. Experience the fun when you shift the metaphor from “Earth as mother,” to “Earth as lover!” You’ll learn 25 ways to make love to the Earth, find your e-spot, and explore the eroticism of nature through your senses. In this unique tour, art meets theory meets practice meets activism. Adults only. Rain or shine. Free! 1:00-3pm
Feb 26Event time: all day
Location:  Jancar Gallery Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Writing Retreat http://elizabethstephens.org/writing-retreat-3/ http://elizabethstephens.org/writing-retreat-3/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 20:06:07 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2250 October, November, December.

Beth is on her sabbatical. Annie is working on a book project (“Assuming the Ecosexual Position” with Beth. We’ll also be preparing for the Jancar Exhibit. Annie is accepting college gigs during this time.

Oct 1Event time: all day
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Dive In Theater at Damon Cater’s, Benefit for Goodbye Gauley Mountain http://elizabethstephens.org/dive-in-theater-at-damons-benefit-for-goodbye-gauley-mountain/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dive-in-theater-at-damons-benefit-for-goodbye-gauley-mountain/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 19:51:45 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2245 Come and preview a screening of a mountaintop removal documentary created by Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle. The eco-sexual perspective on mountaintop removal will be debuting nationwide later this year. It is in final edits and I am helping raise funds to complete the one of a kind film. Meet the artists who created the film, Take a dip in the pool and enjoy some yummy food. Screening will take place at 8:00 p.m. pool side. Donations will go directly toward final edits and post production costs.
Aug 4Event time: all day
Location: West Virginia
Map: Show in Google map
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The 1st International Ecosex Symposium: Workshops, Performances, Film Festival, Walking Tours & A Grande Eco-Bouffe! http://elizabethstephens.org/the-1st-international-ecosex-symposium-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/the-1st-international-ecosex-symposium-2/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:29:44 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1858 Building Community to Make Change Through Art, Theory, Practice & Activism

Produced by Emmetrop Art and Culture,  Fecund Arts, Luke Dixon, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens,

ecosexlab.org

This website will evolve as we concretize our events.

Register soon for the workshop as it may fill quickly. http://ecosexlab.org/?page_id=40

Sunday 14th July Arrive, swimming, gathering at Prested Hall.

Monday 15th – Thursday 18th July Ecosex Project Making Workshop at Prested Hall.

Friday 19th July Ecosex Symposium day 1 Colchester Arts Centre

Saturday 20th July Ecosex Symposium day 2 Colchester Arts Centre

19.30 – 21.30 An evening of Ecosexual Performance. Colchester Arts Centre Theater

21.30 tearful farewells

Jul 14 – Jul 20
Event time: all day
Location: Colchester, England
Map: Show in Google map
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The 1st International Ecosex Symposium http://elizabethstephens.org/the-1st-international-ecosex-symposium/ http://elizabethstephens.org/the-1st-international-ecosex-symposium/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:29:44 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1858 Building Community to Make Change Through Art, Theory, Practice & Activism

July 4-24, 2013

The EcoSex Lab is an evolving series of events which include performances, workshops, lectures, film, walking tours and political activism. In May we will speak at Museo Reina Sophia in Madrid, In July return to Europe for a multi city multi engagement series of events.  Check out our website for more information HERE. We will spend 4 days in Bourges, France and then go to Colchester, Essex, England.  This will be a week-long international gathering in the countryside of England with panels, workshops, presentations, performances and more at a beautiful country hotel with a pool. Our full schedule of events may be found HERE.

Produced in collaboration with Fecund Arts, (Beth and Annie), Luke Dixon and Emmetrop Center for the Arts.

May 24 – Jul 24
Event time: all day
Location: Colchester, England
Map: Show in Google map
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Annie Sprinkle at University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana http://elizabethstephens.org/annie-sprinkle-at-university-of-illinois-in-champaign-urbana/ http://elizabethstephens.org/annie-sprinkle-at-university-of-illinois-in-champaign-urbana/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:25:55 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1851 I’ll be “guest resident” for a week at this “creative community” and student center doing a series of events at the University of Illinois’s Allen Hall.

Sunday, February, 3
rd 1pm-2:30 presentation, 2:30-3pm – discussion – Annie Sprinkle: MY LIFE & WORK AS A PLEASURE ACTIVIST, PERFORMANCE ARTIST, RADICAL SEX EDUCATOR and ECOSEX PIONEER (in the Main Lounge)

Annie Sprinkle has made SEX her life’s work for four decades. She was a prostitute and porn star who recreated herself as a pivotal player in the 1980’s sex–positive feminist movement, became a tantric sex guru, an internationally acclaimed performance artist, and a sexologist with a PhD. Now the grrrlll has gone green and has come out of the closet as “ecosexual,” taking the Earth as her lover. Annie will share her life’s work, do mini-performances, and stimulate discussion.  anniesprinkle.org

Monday, February 4

5:30PM-8PM – Free Sidewalk Sex Clinic (in the commons)

A Public Service and Interventionist Art Event. Come by and ask various kinds of sex and relationship experts any and all questions. Annie will also offer ‘sex and love tarot readings.’

Tuesday, February 5


7pm – 8:30pm – Eco-Sexology: Exploring the landscape of a new sexual identity- “Ecosexual” – and a new environmental activist strategy (in the Main Lounge)

Annie shifts the metaphor from “Earth as Mother” to “Earth as Lover,” for the sheer pleasure of it and in order to help create a more sustainable world. Explore the places where sexology and ecology intersect in our culture, in art, theory, practice and activism. By the end of the presentation you will likely discover that you are an ecosexual too!

Wednesday, February 6

7pm – 8:30pm – LETS TALK ABOUT SEX; FOR STUDENTS ONLY. Everything you wanted to know about sex but didn’t have a sexpert to ask. (in the Main Lounge)

It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s educational. Questions can be asked anonymously or not.

Thursday, February 7

11:00 AM Lena Hann’s Human Sexuality Class—I’ll be a guest in the class.

7pm – ANNIE SPRINKLE’S AMAZING WORLD OF ORGASM (in the Main Lounge)

Watch a 53-minute film directed/produced by Annie—It’s a poetic homage to the big O featuring interviews with 26 orgasm experts. Discussion and ecstasy breathing demonstration will follow.

8:30pm – 10:30pm – THIS PART IS FOR STUDENTS ONLY

SUPER SEX TECHNOLOGIES & FUN WITH BREATH & ENERGY ORGASM WORKSHOP (in the Main Lounge)

Feb 3 – Feb 7
Event time: all day
Location: University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, Il
Map: Show in Google map
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End of Writing Retreat http://elizabethstephens.org/end-of-writing-retreat-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/end-of-writing-retreat-2/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:23:13 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1850 October, November, December.

Writing retreat. Beth is on her sabbatical. Annie is working on a book project (“Assuming the Ecosexual Position” with Beth. We’ll also be preparing for the Jancar Exhibit. Annie is accepting college gigs during this time.

Dec 1Event time: all day
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Writing Retreat http://elizabethstephens.org/end-of-writing-retreat/ http://elizabethstephens.org/end-of-writing-retreat/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:23:13 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1850 October, November, December.

Writing retreat. Beth is working on her dissertation on Environmental and Ecosexual Aesthetics. Annie is working on a book project,  “Assuming the Ecosexual Position,” with Beth. We’ll also be preparing for the Jancar Exhibit. Annie is accepting college gigs during this time.

Jan 1Event time: all day
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Writing Retreat http://elizabethstephens.org/writing-retreat/ http://elizabethstephens.org/writing-retreat/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 02:06:18 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1849 October, November, December. 

Beth is on her sabbatical. Annie is working on a book project (“Assuming the Ecosexual Position” with Beth. We’ll also be preparing for the Jancar Exhibit. Annie is accepting college gigs during this time.

Oct 1Event time: all day
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Fundraiser: “Goodbye Gauley Mountain; An Ecosexual Love Story” http://elizabethstephens.org/fundraiser-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story/ http://elizabethstephens.org/fundraiser-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:58:59 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1847 We’re throwing a fundraiser for post-production expenses for “Goodbye Gauley Mountain; An Ecosexual Love Story.” Our ecosexy film about mountain top removal mining in West Virginia still needs a sound mix, trailer and post production work.  This evening event will be held in an old friend’s private home. For more information contact Beth.  bethstephens@me.com
Sep 9Event time: all day
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Map: Show in Google map
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Road Trip http://elizabethstephens.org/road-trip-3/ http://elizabethstephens.org/road-trip-3/#comments Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:55:39 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1845 Annie goes from West Virginia to Manhattan for two weeks.  

Aug 20Event time: all day
Location: New York State
Map: Show in Google map
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Private Wedding http://elizabethstephens.org/private-wedding/ http://elizabethstephens.org/private-wedding/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:27:59 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1832 Beth will officiate one of her former student’s weddings. Annie will attend as minister’s wife.

Oct 13Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Trip to Finland http://elizabethstephens.org/trip-to-finland/ http://elizabethstephens.org/trip-to-finland/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:24:31 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1831 Yes, we’re going to Kuopio, Finland! For a week of teaching, walking tours, and a Blue Wedding to the Lake on a boat!

Sept 25. Finland’s AntiFest Opening Night Party. We’ll be there!

Sept. 26th-27th. Student workshop and Ecosex Walking Tour

Sept. 28th. Making Love into Art and Art into Love. Workshop open to the public.

Sept. 29th. Bachelorette party and champagne brunch.

Sept. 30th. Blue Wedding to the Lake. This takes place on a boat on the lake. All festival events are free. Join us in ecosexy matrimony. More details will be announced. We welcome collaboration in the creation of this wedding. Only 100 seats available! Free.

http://www.antifestival.com/index.php/2011/eng/news/?id=477/call-for-proposals-2012/

Sep 25Event time: all day
Location: Kuopio, Finland
Map: Show in Google map
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Back home in San Francisco http://elizabethstephens.org/back-home-in-san-francisco/ http://elizabethstephens.org/back-home-in-san-francisco/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:22:08 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1830 San Francisco here we come, right back where we stared from. Estimated day we arrive back in San Francisco.

Sep 15Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Road Trip http://elizabethstephens.org/road-trip-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/road-trip-2/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:20:35 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1829 Beth leaves West Virginia for NYC to meet up with Annie.
Aug 30Event time: all day
Location: New York, NY
Map: Show in Google map
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West Virginia Writing Retreat http://elizabethstephens.org/west-virginia-writing-retreat/ http://elizabethstephens.org/west-virginia-writing-retreat/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:18:24 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1828 July 23rd is Annie’s birthday and our estimated arrival date in West Virginia, where Beth’s family resides. We’ll be participating in some environmental activist activities to help fight the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains due to mountain top removal mining practices. We’ll also be doing a lot of writing for a book and Beth’s PhD dissertation.

Jul 23Event time: all day
Location: Charleston, West Virginia
Map: Show in Google map
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Road Trip! http://elizabethstephens.org/road-trip/ http://elizabethstephens.org/road-trip/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:15:59 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1826 We will begin our two-month road trip, which will begin in Los Angeles with Annie’s family for 4th of July. We’ll drive cross-country to West Virginia. Then head up to NY, and then back to San Francisco.

Jul 1Event time: all day
Location: USA
Map: Show in Google map
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San Francisco Gay Pride March http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-gay-pride-march/ http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-gay-pride-march/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:13:36 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1825 We hope that one day they will add an “E” for ecosexual to GLBTQ. (GLBTQE) We will probably march with Occupy, unless we find an ecosexual contingent. Anything is possible. We are staying fluid.

Jun 24Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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San Francisco Dyke March http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-dyke-march/ http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-dyke-march/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:12:32 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1824 Look for us and our signs which read “Ecosexual.” Join our mini-contingent!

Jun 23Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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LET’S GET DIRTY. An evening of performance art. http://elizabethstephens.org/lets-get-dirty-an-evening-of-performance-art/ http://elizabethstephens.org/lets-get-dirty-an-evening-of-performance-art/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:10:36 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1822 We will get very dirty in a bed of dirt. Also performing are guest artists Faurot & Paulson, Sindy Butz, Sandrine Schaefer, Any Liftig. The earth is our lover, and we are madly, passionately, fiercely in love with our planet. 9:00-11:00 PM

Jun 15Event time: all day
Location: Grace Exhibition Space Brooklyn, New York
Map: Show in Google map
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ASSUMING THE ECOSEXUAL POSITION; A performative visiting artist slideshow & tell. http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position-a-performative-visiting-artist-slideshow-tell/ http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position-a-performative-visiting-artist-slideshow-tell/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:07:18 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1821 What happens when two city girls embrace the Earth as their lover? They get real dirty! Then they marry the Earth, Sky, Sea, Rocks, Sun, and more, in a series of performance art weddings. Stephens & Sprinkle have developed “SexEcology,” a new field of research which explores the places where sexology and ecology intersect. Learn 25 ways to make love with the Earth, how to find your e-spot, and why mysophilia, arboreal frottage and pollen-amory are so deeply satisfying. Once you know more about the budding ecosex movement, you just might discover you are an ecosexual too. 7:00-9:00 PM

http://www.grace-exhibition-space.com/

Jun 14Event time: all day
Location: Grace Exhibition Space Brooklyn, New York
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex Bed Piece http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-bed-piece/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-bed-piece/#comments Sun, 20 May 2012 06:07:15 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2173 We’re doing a 14 hour performance piece!  ECOSEXUAL BED PEACE.  Its part of a big juicy collaborative happening called Listening to the Earth II: Temorality. Poetry/sound/performance/dance. The Thingamajigs are playing and the are absolutely the most awesome experimental ‘music’ group in the world.  Annie and I also have our installation in the museum, Do It Yourself Wedding Chapel–which is 7 TVs showing videos of our many weddings in a wedding chapel we made.  http://www.santacruzmah.org/event/listening-to-the-earth-ii/              http://www.facebook.com/events/435513503144130/
May 26Event time: all day
Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Santa Cruz CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Picnic Honoring Reverand Billy at UCSC http://elizabethstephens.org/picnic-honoring-reverand-billy-at-ucsc/ http://elizabethstephens.org/picnic-honoring-reverand-billy-at-ucsc/#comments Sun, 20 May 2012 06:00:52 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2172 Reverend Billy and Savitri will be at a picnic I am hosting in their honor at UCSC. Its on the Art Dept. Quad at noon-1:30 pm. Bring something to add to the giant community salad. Annie and I will be there.
May 24Event time: all day
Location: UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Reverand Billy Performance at UCSC http://elizabethstephens.org/reverand-billy-performance-at-ucsc/ http://elizabethstephens.org/reverand-billy-performance-at-ucsc/#comments Sun, 20 May 2012 05:57:15 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2171 Performance artist and environmental activist Reverend Billy and his director/wife Savitri are performing at UCSC. I am hosting this. Annie and I will be there! (Not performing).  http://www.revbilly.com/   http://arts.ucsc.edu/news_events/reverend-billy      http://www.facebook.com/events/284912018264860/
May 23Event time: all day
Location: UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex Hike http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-hike/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-hike/#comments Sun, 20 May 2012 05:49:43 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2168 We are doing an “ECOSEX HIKE” of a magnificent redwood forest in Oakland. This is going to be special. Beth and I will collaborate with Kim Marks of the new ecosexy pleasure boutique AS YOU LIKE IT. http://asyoulikeitpdx.com/   She is an awesome hardcore environmental activist and a biologist! And she is bringing some of her amazing colleagues. And incredible folks are signed up for it.  By the end, you’ll probably be hot to come out as an ecosexual and marry the Earth. Its 1:00-4:00. ($25. No one turned away for lack of funds.)  Facebook event link with info.  http://www.facebook.com/events/363137617066198/
May 20Event time: all day
Location: Redwood Regional Park Oakland CA
Map: Show in Google map
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test http://elizabethstephens.org/test-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/test-2/#comments Wed, 16 May 2012 02:33:48 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2153 test

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Sexecology http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecology-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecology-2/#comments Sun, 29 Apr 2012 03:44:27 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2140 Elzabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle are creating a new field of research, SexEcology, where sexology and ecology intersect. They seek to shift the metaphor “Earth as Mother” to “Earth as Lover” in order to encourage a more mutual and sustainable relationship with the Earth. They also intend to make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse as they continue practicing how to treat the earth with kindness, respect and affection.

 http://www.sexecology.org

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Foreclosure Fighters Fiesta! http://elizabethstephens.org/foreclosure-fighters-fiesta/ http://elizabethstephens.org/foreclosure-fighters-fiesta/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 05:37:32 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2134 We will be organizing a block party in our neighborhood, in collaboration with the group we helped start, Occupy Bernal. We’ll learn about the foreclosure issues, offer help to our neighbors, have some fun, and build community so we can fight the 85+ forclosures in our neighborhood. Most of these foreclosures were due to predatory bank loans. This is going to be fun!

Free  1:00 PM to 4:00 PM |more info:  occupybernal.org

May 19Event time: all day
Location: Bernal Heights San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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For the Sake of the Earth Workshop http://elizabethstephens.org/for-the-sake-of-the-earth-workshop/ http://elizabethstephens.org/for-the-sake-of-the-earth-workshop/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 05:34:41 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2133 We will be taking a weekend workshop with Joanna Macy called For the Sake of the Earth. A perfect thing to do for Earth Day.
Apr 20 – Apr 22
Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Taste (Visual Art Group Exhibition) http://elizabethstephens.org/taste-visual-art-group-exhibition/ http://elizabethstephens.org/taste-visual-art-group-exhibition/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 05:30:46 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2131 Root Division Gallery. We’ll show four large ecosex collages that propose various ways to restore mountains destroyed by mountain top removal mining. Opening from 7-10pm.
Apr 14Event time: all day
Location: Root Division Gallery San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Saints & Sinners Sneak Preview Reception http://elizabethstephens.org/saints-sinners-sneak-preview-reception/ http://elizabethstephens.org/saints-sinners-sneak-preview-reception/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 05:15:54 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2126 A two couple photography exhibit, with photos from our ecosex wedding performances, and wedding ephemera. Curated by Julie Blankenship. Show Dates: March 24 – May 31.  visualaid.org
Mar 24Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Assuming the Ecosexual Position http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position-2/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 04:52:29 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2124 We will present a performative visiting artist lecture at this notorious hot bed of arts education. Everyone is welcome, free! 7:30 in the lecture hall. Reception following. Brought to you by student affairs.
Feb 16Event time: all day
Location: The San Francisco Art Institute San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Visiting Artist Lecture http://elizabethstephens.org/test/ http://elizabethstephens.org/test/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 03:42:54 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=2119 Beth Stehpens will present a visiting artist lecture in Jude Todd’s “Ways of Knowing Class” at Porter College, 10-11:30 amTooltip Text
Feb 26Event time: all day
Location: UC Santa Cruz Porter College
Map: Show in Google map
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Narratives of the Perverse II http://elizabethstephens.org/narratives-of-the-perverse-ii-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/narratives-of-the-perverse-ii-2/#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 01:35:59 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1842 March 24th-April 14th.  This is a provocative group exhibition at our wonderful gallery, Jancar, in the heart of Chinatown. We will show our Duchamp inspired piece Etant Données. We hope you will go see the show.   jancargallery.com
Apr 14Event time: all day
Location: Jancar Gallery Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Narratives of the Perverse II http://elizabethstephens.org/narratives-of-the-perverse-ii-2-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/narratives-of-the-perverse-ii-2-2/#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 01:31:03 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1808 Last day for this show.  This is a provocative group exhibition at our wonderful gallery, Jancar, in the heart of Chinatown. We will show our piece Etant Donnees.    jancargallery.com

Apr 14Event time: all day
Location: Jancar Gallery Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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ASSUMING THE ECOSEXUAL POSITION; A performative visiting artist slideshow & tell http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position-2-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position-2-2/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 11:12:49 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1805 What happens when two city girls embrace the Earth as their lover? They get real dirty! Then they marry the Earth, Sky, Sea, Rocks, Sun, and more, in a series of performance art weddings. Stephens & Sprinkle have developed “SexEcology,” a new field of research which explores the places where sexology and ecology intersect. Learn 25 ways to make love with the Earth, how to find your e-spot, and why mysophilia, arboreal frottage and pollen-amory are so deeply satisfying. Once you know more about the budding ecosex movement, you just might discover you are an ecosexual too.

http://museum.museumofsex.com/ai1ec_event/assuming-the-ecosexual-position-with-annie-sprinkle-elizabeth-stephens/?instance_id=5403

Jun 13Event time: all day
Location: MOSEX Manhattan, NY
Map: Show in Google map
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NYC’S GOLDEN GIRLS OF PORN: A REUNION OF THE WORLD’S FIRST PORN STAR SUPPORT GROUP http://elizabethstephens.org/club-90-our-legacy-our-love/ http://elizabethstephens.org/club-90-our-legacy-our-love/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 11:09:43 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1804  Five adult film stars from the “Golden Age of Porn”: Veronica Hart, Gloria Leonard, Candida Royalle, Veronica Vera and Annie Sprinkle were the original “Sex and the City” girls. Turning to one another for the support they needed to navigate their way through life in blue movies, these dynamic women created “Club 90” in 1983, forming a bond that would continue for thirty years. They went on to pursue their personal goals, and in the process, blazed new trails in the fields of human sexuality, women’s empowerment, erotic expression, and free speech. Come get a taste of the good old days when NYC was America’s sex film capital, movies were shot on 35mm film, and Times Square was x-rated! Most of all come share the laughs, the drama and the intimate stories of this controversial support group. This rare reunion promises to be candid, informative and electric! Sponsored with Distribpix Inc./Video-X-Pix, Feminists For Free Expression, and Lisa Vandever’s CineKink.

http://museum.museumofsex.com/ai1ec_event/club-90-golden-girls-of-porn/?instance_id=5477

Jun 12Event time: all day
Location: MOSEX Manhattan, NY
Map: Show in Google map
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Veronica Vera’s Wedding http://elizabethstephens.org/veronica-veras-wedding/ http://elizabethstephens.org/veronica-veras-wedding/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 11:05:55 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1802 I’ll be attending the wedding of my dear friend Veronica Vera and her fiancé Stu. Very excited!

Jun 9Event time: all day
Location: Manhattan, NY
Map: Show in Google map
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A Special Evening to Celebrate the Dyke March http://elizabethstephens.org/a-special-evening-to-celebrate-the-dyke-march/ http://elizabethstephens.org/a-special-evening-to-celebrate-the-dyke-march/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 11:03:27 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1801 Organized by Val Coral. Details to be announced.

Jun 2Event time: all day
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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An Ecosex Walking Tour of the Redwood Forest http://elizabethstephens.org/an-ecosex-walking-tour-of-the-redwood-forest/ http://elizabethstephens.org/an-ecosex-walking-tour-of-the-redwood-forest/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:59:54 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1799 An Ecosexy Walking Tour of the Redwood Forest with environmental activist and expert, Kim Marks of As You Like It, the new ecosexuality boutique. 1:00 til 4:00. This is going to be so much fun! 

 http://www.facebook.com/events/363137617066198/

May 20Event time: all day
Location: Oakland, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Foreclosure Fighters Fiesta! http://elizabethstephens.org/foreclosure-fighters-fiesta-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/foreclosure-fighters-fiesta-2/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:57:55 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1798 Beth and I will be organizing a block party where we live, in collaboration with the group we started, Occupy Bernal. We’ll learn about the foreclosure issues, offer help to our neighbors, have some fun, and build community so we can fight the 85+ forclosures in our neighborhood, most due to predatory bank loans. This is going to be fun!

Free | 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM |more info:  occupybernal.org

 

May 19Event time: all day
Location: Bernal Heights San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Los Angeles Trip http://elizabethstephens.org/los-angeles-trip/ http://elizabethstephens.org/los-angeles-trip/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:52:55 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1795 March 12-17  Possible trip to visit family and do some business with Jancar Gallery, our wonderful gallery in LA.

 

May 12Event time: all day
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Visiting Artist http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-2/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:42:10 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1794 CCA–California College of Art. I’ll be the visiting artist at the class of fabulous film maker Cheryl Dunye.

 

Apr 27Event time: all day
Location: CCA–California College of Art San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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For the Sake of the Earth Workshop http://elizabethstephens.org/for-the-sake-of-the-earth-workshop-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/for-the-sake-of-the-earth-workshop-2/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:39:47 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1793 We will be taking a weekend workshop with Joanna Macy called For the Sake of the Earth. A perfect thing to do for Earth Day.

Apr 20 – Apr 22
Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosexy!–Erotic Environmentalists, Green Porn, and Being Lovers With the Earth http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexy-erotic-environmentalists-green-porn-and-being-lovers-with-the-earth/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexy-erotic-environmentalists-green-porn-and-being-lovers-with-the-earth/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:34:19 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1791 Exploring the Landscape of a Satisfying New Sexual Identity. This is an all new, fresh, innovative, one-of-a-kind presentation which explores Sexecology- the places where sexology and ecology intersect in our culture, in art, theory, practice and activism. It’s about imagining the Earth as a lover instead of mother, in order to create a more mutually sustainable relationship with our beloved planet.

12:00 – 2:00pm  Ecosexy!–Erotic Environmentalists, Green Porn, and Being Lovers With the Earth
3:00-5:00pm   Annie Sprinkle’s Amazing World of Orgasm. A screening of my movie and a mini workshop about orgasm.

 

Apr 17 4:00 pm
Location: Evergreen College Olympia, WA
Map: Show in Google map
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Visiting artist presentation: My Life and Work as a Feminist Porn Activist, Radical Sex Educator, and Ecosexual http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation-my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation-my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual-2/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:25:41 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1789 Event from 6:00-8:00pm

Apr 16Event time: all day
Location: Evergreen College Olympia, WA
Map: Show in Google map
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Visiting artist presentation: My Life and Work as a Feminist Porn Activist, Radical Sex Educator, and Ecosexual http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation-my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist-presentation-my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:22:18 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1788 2:00-4:00pm  | For more info, write David Hyde at dhyde@spscc.ctc.edu

 

Apr 16Event time: all day
Location: Puget Sound Community College Olympia, WA
Map: Show in Google map
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Dinner Party http://elizabethstephens.org/dinner-party/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dinner-party/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:07:17 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1787 8:00 PM. A private dinner party (I’m guest of honor) with 2 dozen sex educators and pioneers. Hosted by the fabulous Darklady and Larry Iverson. By private invitation only.

Apr 14 4:00 pm
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Eco-Sexy Walking Tour http://elizabethstephens.org/eco-sexy-walking-tour/ http://elizabethstephens.org/eco-sexy-walking-tour/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:51:39 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1783 Explore your ecosexuality! Join Annie as she points out sex–ecological sites. Find your e–spot, learn twenty–five ways to make love to the Earth and stimulate your senses.  Tour sponsored by the School of Architecture and Allied Arts Student Advisory Committee (AAASAC), Cultural Forum, Department of Art History, Department of Art, Art History Association (AHA), Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT), Center for the Study of Women in Society, LGBTQ Alliance, and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. 

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EMU—outside by the Fishbowl 1222 E. 13th Avenue.
For more information: ahaoregon@gmail.com.

Apr 12Event time: all day
Location: University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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Taste Exhibition – Special Fund Raiser Evening http://elizabethstephens.org/taste-exhibition-special-fund-raiser-evening/ http://elizabethstephens.org/taste-exhibition-special-fund-raiser-evening/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:35:34 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1782  Root Division Gallery . A special fund raiser evening for this visual art Exhibition. Come see our beautiful collages. Opening from 7-10pm.

Apr 19Event time: all day
Location: Root Division Gallery San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Taste (Visual Art Group Exhibition) http://elizabethstephens.org/taste-visual-art-group-exhibition-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/taste-visual-art-group-exhibition-2/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:28:04 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1781 Root Division Gallery. We’ll show four large collages about our ecosexual approach to counter mountain top removal mining devastation. Opening from 7-10pm. I’ll be in Portland, so I’ll miss this opening.

Apr 14Event time: all day
Location: Root Division Gallery San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Saints & Sinners Sneak Preview Reception http://elizabethstephens.org/saints-sinners-sneak-preview-reception-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/saints-sinners-sneak-preview-reception-2/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:12:28 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1779 A two couple photography exhibit, with photos from our ecosex wedding performances, and wedding ephemera. Curated by Julie Blankenship. Show Dates: March 24 – May 31.  visualaid.org

Mar 24Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Editing CA II http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca-ii/ http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca-ii/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 05:25:45 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca-ii/ January 20, 2012
We have a new editor Keith Wilson who is going to take this film where it needs to go. I had asked Julie Wyman, who teaches film at UC Davis if she could recommend a professional film editer to help me polish the piece.  I had held three film screenings at my house and everyone liked the film, but it became very clear to me that this film stil needed more polish. Film maker Amy Harrison suggested I get a professonal editor to simply work their magic.  After screening the piece at UC Davis at the Performance as Social Practice Symposium and getting some very honest feedback from my colleagues there, I decided that I needed to go a step further in the editing.  So I started searching.  Julie had given me the name of Robert Arnold but when I contacted him he didn’t think that he was the right person for the job.  So on December 19th he suggested his colleague Keith Wilson. I contacted Keith and finally met him on January 20th, 2012.  Annie and I had watched some of his film work and we really liked it.  Plus when we met Keith, we really liked him too.  So we struck a deal at out kitchen table to work together and make this film “sing and dance.”  Turns out Keith was going to move right up the street in March.

February 10, 2012
We finalized our contract and Keith worked with Julia all day today.  It think he got a feel of the film and learned Julia’s organizational structures.  They really hit it off although they are both so nice that I couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t. I’ve been very lucky to have had many great people help me in the making of this film.  Now I need to pull it together and finish.  I’ve got a good team. Keith left with a drive of all of the film footage on it.  

February 12, 2012
Realized that we didn’t have the two drives named the same thing so Final Cut wanted us to do a ton of unnecessary work.  Will have to get the drive back from Keith.  

March 8, 2012

Today we blocked out some times in our schedule to work over the break. I am going to be so glad to get a rough cut of this film. I’m ready to get this finished and into the world. I’m still a believer. This is going to work out nicely as I have to get my knee tuned up.  Keith is sweet enough to agree to bring the film over while I recupperating.  Hopefully I’ll be lucid enough to make good decisions.  But maybe it would be fine if I’m in a little altered state as well.  Wishful thinking.  Anyhow we have three time segments for meeting and viewing the film.  I’m hosting Appalachain Voices at UCSC April 10th and we thought that that might be a good time to screen the film as a “sneak preview.”  I can’t wait.  So we start working on the 21st.  Meet again on the 27th and a final on Monday April 2.  Right before school starts.

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Occupy Bernal, Petaluma Zero in on Foreclosures http://elizabethstephens.org/occupy-bernal-petaluma-zero-in-on-foreclosures/ http://elizabethstephens.org/occupy-bernal-petaluma-zero-in-on-foreclosures/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2012 04:01:24 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1766 http://sexecology.org/wp-content/uploads/OccupyBernal-sfgate-02-06-2012.pdf

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Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens: The Collaboration http://elizabethstephens.org/retrospective-at-jancar-gallery-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/retrospective-at-jancar-gallery-2/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:58:05 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1751 We will have a full on retrospective exhibit at this wonderful Jancar Gallery in the heart of L.A.’s Chinatown. Opening January 12th, Closing February 16th.
Jan 15Event time: all day
Location: Jancar Gallery Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens: The Collaboration http://elizabethstephens.org/retrospective-at-jancar-gallery/ http://elizabethstephens.org/retrospective-at-jancar-gallery/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:58:05 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1751 Annie and I are having an exhibit of our earlier works at the wonderful Jancar  Gallery in the heart of L.A.’s Chinatown. The show will open on January 12, 2013 and run until February 16, 2013.

On February 14th, Valentine’s day we will have an engagement party at the Jancar Gallery.

Jan 12 – Feb 16
Event time: all day
Location: Jancar Gallery Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Grace Exhibition Space Artist Residency http://elizabethstephens.org/grace-exhibition-space-artist-residency/ http://elizabethstephens.org/grace-exhibition-space-artist-residency/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:16:06 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1736 We are planning to do a residency at this performance art hot bed. Details to be announced. grace-exhibition-space.com
Jun 11 – Jun 17
Event time: all day
Location: Grace Exhibition Space Manhattan, New York
Map: Show in Google map
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Presentation: Anne Murphy’s Class Critical Acts http://elizabethstephens.org/presentation-anne-murphys-class-on-transgression-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/presentation-anne-murphys-class-on-transgression-2/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:10:05 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1733 Beth and Annie will present their life, art and work in Ann Murphy’s Class on Transgression at Mills College. 4-5:30pm.
Apr 24Event time: all day
Location: Mills College Oakland, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Presentation: Anne Murphy’s Class on Transgression http://elizabethstephens.org/presentation-anne-murphys-class-on-transgression/ http://elizabethstephens.org/presentation-anne-murphys-class-on-transgression/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:10:05 +0000 http://wpdemo.anniesprinkle.org/?p=1733 We will present our life, art and work in Anne Murphy’s Class on Transgression at Mills College. 4-5:30pm.
Apr 24Event time: all day
Location: Mills College Oakland, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Guest Artists in Professor Kim Tall Bear’s class: Society, Environment & Culture http://elizabethstephens.org/guest-artists-in-professor-kim-tall-bears-class-society-environment-culture/ http://elizabethstephens.org/guest-artists-in-professor-kim-tall-bears-class-society-environment-culture/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:06:01 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1731 Guest Artists in Professor Kim Tall Bear’s class: Society, Environment & Culture. We will be the guest artists for the class and present our work. 11:00am-12:30pm.
Apr 24Event time: all day
Location: UC Berkeley Berkeley, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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All You Need is Love http://elizabethstephens.org/all-you-need-is-love/ http://elizabethstephens.org/all-you-need-is-love/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 07:00:36 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1729 A group exhibition, in which we will install a one of a kind wedding chapel within which you can get married to whomever or whatever you like! The member’s opening reception is on March 30th, 6-8. santacruzmah.org
Mar 30Event time: all day
Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH) Santa Cruz, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Narratives of the Perverse II http://elizabethstephens.org/narratives-of-the-perverse-ii/ http://elizabethstephens.org/narratives-of-the-perverse-ii/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 06:49:15 +0000 http://wpdemo.anniesprinkle.org/?p=1725 This is a provocative group exhibition at our wonderful gallery, Jancar, in the heart of Chinatown. We will show our piece Etant Donnees. Don’t think we can make it to LA for the opening but we hope you will go.   jancargallery.com

Mar 24Event time: all day
Location: Jancar Gallery Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA
Map: Show in Google map
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SexEcological Walking Tour With Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-with-elizabeth-stephens-annie-sprinkle/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-with-elizabeth-stephens-annie-sprinkle/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 06:41:34 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1722 Join Beth & Annie as they point out the ecosexy sites around Jancar Gallery and Chinatown. Experience the fun when you shift the metaphor from “Earth as mother,” to “Earth as lover!” You’ll learn 25 ways to make love to the Earth, find your e-spot, and explore the eroticism of nature through your senses. In this unique tour, art meets theory meets practice meets activism. Adults only. Rain or shine. Free! 1:00-3pm
Feb 26 1:00 pm
Location: Jancar Gallery Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Assuming the Ecosexual Position http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position/ http://elizabethstephens.org/assuming-the-ecosexual-position/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 04:22:27 +0000 http://wpdemo.anniesprinkle.org/?p=1718 We will present a performative visiting artist lecture at this notorious hot bed of arts education. Everyone is welcome, free! 7:30 in the lecture hall. Reception following. Brought to you by student affairs.

Feb 16Event time: all day
Location: The San Francisco Art Institute San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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ISTA Conference http://elizabethstephens.org/ista-conference/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ista-conference/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:55:30 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1766 I am invited to be a keynote speaker at the International School of Temple Arts conference on Sexuality & Consciousness. Beth will join me and we will do an ecosex walking tour. This promises to be a very exciting, juicy, inspiring weekend. As well as politically charged, as its in Arizona! This conference will be held on native american land, at a big casino hotel in the desert. Come join us! BUY TICKETS

May 4 – May 6
Event time: all day
Location: Cottonwood, AZ
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosexy Walking Tour & Workshop http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexy-walking-tour-workshop/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexy-walking-tour-workshop/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:51:21 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1764 Produced by Kim Marks and As You Like It. (Walking tour concepts developed with artist Elizabeth Stephens)

Join Annie Sprinkle and As You Like It Owner, Kim Marks, for an ecosexy exploration of the Clackamas River! Along the trail, experience the natural beauty of the world in a completely new way. Find your “e-spot” by exploring the sensual side of nature, including the secret sexy life of plants. And, learn new ways to enjoy the Earth in your sex life. This hike will be funny, kinky, educational and full of ecosexy goodness. Rain or shine. Please bring lunch, water, and sturdy boots. Rides will be leaving from the Grocery Outlet parking lot on NE Hancock, at 11am (so plan to meet us at 10:30am!). We have reserved the Cool Bus, which is all biodiesel, but there’s only 30 seats.

11 am to 4 pm. |  Tickets are $35 in advance on the website, $45 “at the door”. BUY TICKETS

More info: ph:503.539.747 | asyoulikeitpdx.com | kim@asyoulikeitpdx.com |

Apr 15Event time: all day
Location: Portland, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecstasy Breathing and Fun with energy orgasm 4 hours in the afternoon. http://elizabethstephens.org/ecstasy-breathing-and-fun-with-energy-orgasm-4-hours-in-the-afternoon/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecstasy-breathing-and-fun-with-energy-orgasm-4-hours-in-the-afternoon/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:47:25 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1763 At Gabriella’s Lotus Heart Center www.lotusheartcenter.org

Blurbage: Annie Sprinkle traveled the world to learn new and ancient lovemaking techniques. Now she wants to share with you her favorite of all the techniques she learned—“ecstasy breathing” (based on the Fire Breath Orgasm). It’s a sexual healing session, a chakra enema, and a mind expanding shamanic journey all rolled into one yummy pleasurable experience. This sexual healing technique can enhance your sex life.  We will also discuss “energy orgasms”, and explore ways to have them. Annie will also show her film, Amazing World of Orgasm.

Dress in loose comfortable clothing (which stays on). Bring a soft mat or a blanket to lay on as you’ll be doing some breathing. This workshop is for anyone interested in the art of making love—alone or with a partner(s). Great for pre-orgasmic women/transsexuals and celibates too! Annie creates a safe, supportive, gentle atmosphere.  For beginners to advanced, everyone welcome.

This is a 4 ½ hour class, with a one hour film screening of my movie Amazing World of Orgasm. 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM. ENROLL IN THIS CLASS

Apr 14Event time: all day
Location: Portland, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosexy! Erotic Environmentalists, Green Porn, and Being Lovers with the Earth. Exploring the Landscape of a Satisfying New Sexual Identity http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexy-erotic-environmentalists-green-porn-and-being-lovers-with-the-earth-exploring-the-landscape-of-a-satisfying-new-sexual-identity/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexy-erotic-environmentalists-green-porn-and-being-lovers-with-the-earth-exploring-the-landscape-of-a-satisfying-new-sexual-identity/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:44:49 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1762 A show and tell performative lecture presentation. I’m super excited to share this new exciting information I’ve been gathering. A lot of folks really resonate with these concepts of earth as lover once exposed to them. Great food for thought. This is going to be a great evening!

At Lotus Heart Center, 6:30 PM, $20.  BUY TICKETS
More info:  www.lotusheartcenter.org

Apr 13Event time: all day
Location: Portland, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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Free Sidewalk Sex Clinic http://elizabethstephens.org/free-sidewalk-sex-clinic/ http://elizabethstephens.org/free-sidewalk-sex-clinic/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:42:50 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1761 Come get free sex advice from a half dozen fabulous sex educators of various sorts.

Hosted by the Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team.
11:30-1:30. EMU—outside by the Fishbowl 1222 E. 13th Avenue

 For more information: cdenning@uoregon.edu

Apr 12Event time: all day
Location: University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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My Life and Work as a Feminist Porn activist, Radical Sex Educator, and Ecosexual http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual-2/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:40:43 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1759 An intimate, informal show and tell evening. Presented by the Art History department.  177 Lawrence Hall 1190 Franklin Blvd.

6:00-7:30pm. Discussion 7:30-8pm. Everyone welcome, free. For more information: cdenning@uoregon.edu

Apr 11Event time: all day
Location: University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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My Life and Work as a Feminist Porn activist, Radical Sex Educator, and Ecosexual http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual/ http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:37:16 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1757 An intimate, informal show and tell evening. This is going to be a fun night in a beautiful, 400 seat art house movie theater. There will be some great sponsors: As You Like it (Hot new ecosex Sex toy shop asyoulikeitpdx.com, Bike Smut www.bikesmut.com , Lotus Heart www.lotusheartcenter.org, and others. Cool raffle prizes from As You Like it. $12. BUY TICKETS

Apr 10Event time: all day
Location:  Hollywood Theater Portland, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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Visiting Artist http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist/ http://elizabethstephens.org/visiting-artist/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:32:32 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1756 I’ll be a visiting artist in Harrell Fletcher’s Art and Social Practice workshop class.

Apr 10Event time: all day
Location: Portland State University Portland, Oregon
Map: Show in Google map
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AIDS Memorial Quilt http://elizabethstephens.org/aids-memorial-quilt/ http://elizabethstephens.org/aids-memorial-quilt/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 09:29:58 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=1755 I am honored to be invited to read the names from the beautiful AIDS Memorial Quilt during the unfolding ceremony. Please join me in a day of remembrance. http://www.aidsquilt.org/view-the-quilt/display-schedule 2278 Market Street in San Francisco, between Noe and Sanchez (closer to Noe) in the old Tower Records storefront. I’ll be reading at 3:00 PM.

Feb 12Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Velvetpark’s Official Top 25 Significant Queer Women of 2011 http://elizabethstephens.org/velvetparks-official-top-25-significant-queer-women-of-2011/ http://elizabethstephens.org/velvetparks-official-top-25-significant-queer-women-of-2011/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2012 01:54:31 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1591 http://sexecology.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/velvetpark.pdf

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Boulder Creek Ecosex Workshop http://elizabethstephens.org/boulder-creek-ecosex-workshop/ http://elizabethstephens.org/boulder-creek-ecosex-workshop/#comments Sun, 29 Jan 2012 03:27:02 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1541 We held a one-day ecosex workshop in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains at Penny Slinger’s goddess temple. This was a magical experience, the weather was perfect and we could certainly feel the love of the trees, the dirt, the grass and each other. We asked the trees’ permission before hugging them, we discussed “what in nature turned us on,” and we found our e(cology) spots. Then we played with our newfound knowledge. It was a deeply fun and enlightening experience that opened up new horizons for many who participated.

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Beth’s Ecosex Herstory http://elizabethstephens.org/beths-ecosex-herstory/ http://elizabethstephens.org/beths-ecosex-herstory/#comments Sun, 29 Jan 2012 00:56:15 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1531 I have loved the Earth since I arrived on this planet although I could never find the words to articulate my unnatural closeness to nature. That is until my mid-forties. Growing up in Appalachia it was easy to spend time exploring my love without seeming unnatural. But as I grew older, I carried secret shame concerning the true object of my desire. I didn’t fit into the mandatory heterosexual scene that conscripted the destinies of my childhood companions. As soon as I could, I made a beeline to the urban gay artist ghettos in the big cities up North where I hid behind my punk lesbian identity mainly coming off as a healthy androgyne queer. But after suffering a steady stream of stereotypical jokes about Appalachian boys and their sheep, how an Appalachian virgin is a 12 year old girl who can outrun her daddy, speculations about tree huggers and criticisms concerning how unscientific ignorant old wives tales were, I became fed up with Northern homo-liberalism that bolstered its intellectual worth through tearing down others. I never felt truly comfortable defining myself as exclusively lesbian or even as predominantly queer. I had other desires that I couldn’t afford to let see the light of day. If I did I feared that I’d be kicked out of the sisterhood or my queer tribe would consider me too peculiar to even be queer. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore and with the help and support of my beloved ecosexual partner Annie, I mustered up the courage to claim my true sexuality. Now I define myself as a proud tree-hugging, herb loving, animal cuddling ecosexual and I will never return to any closet again.

Childhood

I was born in Montgomery, West Virginia on the banks of the Kanawha River. Montgomery is mysteriously bifurcated by the border between Kanawha and Fayette counties. Charleston, the state capital is in Kanawha County and is the financial and cultural center of West Virginia. It is the biggest city in the state. Right next door, Fayette County is coal-county and as such it wildly adheres to its own laws and culture. Poverty exists alongside conspicuous wealth, a legacy from the days when the coal barons built their houses in plain view of the tiny little miners’ shacks that made up the main body of the coal towns. These mansions expressed coal’s power as well as its desire to survey and control the miners’ whose living was inexticalbly tied up with this ancient fossel fuel. These days the wealthy coal barons don’t like to mingle with the poor so they live in gated communities, gated estates or in exclusive parts of far away cities. But there used to be a time, not so long ago when both sides could see eye other across tangible physical space as opposed to through the contemporary one-way mirrors of television or the internet to be read as statistics on the unemployment lists or stock results in the financial times pages of the major metropolitan newspapers. In 1960 I may have been physically birthed in Kanawha County, but my birth certificate lists my birthplace as Fayette and that is where I officially let go my first eco-newborn screams.

Growing up in the mountains alongside the Kanawha River, the winter, spring, summer and fall nurtured this young ecosexual from the start. The fragrance of the mountains’ forests and waters permeated my every waking and sleeping moment. My body was tuned to the cycle of budding leaves turning to dark green fully unfurled then slowly dying in oranges, reds and yellows and finally cold winter browns dropping off to rot in the emptiness that reveals the naked mountains. Even in their nakedness the mountains were laced with rhododendron, mountain laurel, dogwood, redbuds, magnolias, wild azaleas, hickory, oak, sycamore and sassafras. There were also cherry, maple, walnut and beech trees and together they all created a protective canopy over the Queen Anne’s lace, Jack in the Pulpit, may apples, ramps, ferns, mushrooms and moss. Hunting salamanders for fish bait in the fresh water creek running down off the mountain and into Daniel Boone’s Bathtub, forming swirls underneath Suicide Rock, then passing below route 60, to empty into the slow, caramel green of the Kanawha, made for some of the dreamiest moments of my childhood.

Of course as a young ecosexual I enjoyed the Earth’s bounty which entered my body through the domestic scent and taste of homemade hot white rolls with fresh butter, sweet potato pie, green beans, pinto beans cooked with fatback, cornbread, baked apples, venison, roast beef and fried chicken. These ecosensual delights were interlaced by the scent of smoke wafting from my grandmother’s woodstove and the perfume that my aunts wore to the Methodist church that my Grandfather Stephens built. My eco-olfactory memory bank simultaneously maintains deposits of the slightly acidic smells of cutting oil, coal burning furnaces, hot welding rods, cigarette smoke and diesel that gathered in the corners of my family’s machine shop in Smithers. In my child’s mind these scents were as much a part of the earth as the smells of the forest and food as they too originated in the mountains and were tied up with coal, as was everything in my early ecosexual life. The coal trucks still thunder along Route 60 on their way to pick up or deliver their heaping loads of black gold and I can still feel them before I hear or see them coming around the bend.

The shop, Marathon Coal Bit Company, was one of those places like the woods where I was allowed to roam unsupervised, playing on conveyor belts and chain hoists, watching the machinists at work on their lathes, milling machines and welding stations. Today child protective services would have had that shop shut down and my father dragged to jail for allowing a young kid to wander around in a fully operational machine shop but back then it seemed normal because that is what my family did. I loved the thick grease caked on the ancient cement floor. I loved yellow-blue red-hot welding arcs that seamlessly stitched slightly dull dark grey plates of steel together. I knew not to look directly at that bright light or I could and would go blind. The shop’s dark corners were littered with prehistoric cast off metal tailings that curled like toy pigs’ tails. These beautiful and sharp twisted bits of metal could slice your finger off or put out your eye if you weren’t careful. I loved this place filled with danger and creativity. I knew that nature, even as it was translated into industry, could be extremely dangerous. I learned to be careful.

I learned this from the machinists who worked in that shop with their dark green and navy blue work clothes from Sears and Roebuck. Their shirts all had bright white patches embroidered with Spence, or Bob or Billy in red stitching right over their hearts. They had old black boots with steel toes that paid homage to the “Safety First” signs that were nailed up arbitrarily alongside the Snap On tool-girl calendars that decorated machine shop walls. A lot of these men were missing fingers and teeth. They had gotten their education in the military or other hardscrabble schools of life and this knowledge was cellular. They could tell a story all the while machining a perfect cutting bit to within one one-thousandth of an inch. Their machining kept the mines going every bit as much as the coal miners did, they knew this and they were proud of their beautiful precision. I wanted to be able to make things like them when I grew up so I watched carefully as they told me their stories about growing up in the woods.

Mattie Mathews didn’t work at Marathon, instead he worked further down the river at the coal fired electric plant in Glasgow. Mattie was an ecosexual. He loved the woods more than anyone I’ve ever run across in my life and he passed this love along to me through his love of animals, his stories about hunting and by taking me camping. I loved nothing better than to go camping on Summersville Lake with Mattie and his wife Aileen. I began to have eco-sexual feelings on these early camping trips. First we’d hook up their little pull-behind camper in the early morning hours. Then we’d drive the 30 crooked miles from Charlton Heights, turning left at Gauley Bridge where the Gauley River meets the New River to form the Kanawha. We’d follow the Gauley up to Summersville Lake. Even though it was only a short distance from home it felt as though we had driven all the way to Europe. My best friend Smokey, who also happened to be Mattie’s German Shepard, would always accompany us. In the middle of the hottest afternoons Aileen and Mattie would let me go skinny-dipping. Skinny dipping was not only a great way to cool down but just knowing that it was kind of naughty made it even more exciting. The water churning between my legs as I dogpaddled in place and the wind on my back made me feel exquisitely alive. My feelings of oneness with nature were boundless as the minnows nibbled at my toes and I peed in the water. Smokey swam around with me and if I got tired I could grab his tail and he’s swim me into shore. I loved nature and I knew that nature loved me because the water did not let me down.

We’d fish for hours from Mattie’s little motorboat on the calm blue lake. Everyone kept at least one fish and sometimes two as the fresh water nurtured the bass, the bluegills and catfish to full maturity. Whenever we caught a fish that was too small we would throw it back into the waters. Those were the lucky ones as I’ve always heard that a fish will not bite a baited hook twice. After the sun went down and the heat dissipated Mattie would fry up our fish with a mess of hush puppies, fresh corn on the cob and ripe Big Girl tomatoes. Mattie was an excellent chef. He was the first man I ever knew of that loved to prepare food and he would often insist on cooking. Mattie had a gay brother, Eli, who lived in Charleston and Mattie loved him dearly. This was the first straight man in my father’s generation that I knew who loved a gay man without it being weird. As with all things sexual, I was curious about Eli, whom I met a time or two and with whom I felt a strange connection. Maybe he was an ecosexual too. At night, under the stars of the West Virginia sky I embodied the knowledge that on the scale of ecosexual satisfaction there are few things more fulfilling than sitting by a hot fire, eating fresh bass and catfish that you’ve caught with your very own worm in the company of those you love and trust. The fish tasted wild and yummy and after this perfect meal I would sleep and sleep and sleep.

I also went on the farm in Virginia. My grandparents lived on the farm about three hours south of Montgomery. It was near the little town of Hillsville, Virginia, near the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking North Carolina. My father purchased this farm for my mother’s parents because my grandfather Marshall could not hold down a job due to his drinking. This was before I was born. In retrospect I think my Grandfather was an ecosexual too. Some ecosexuals tend to be high strung and nervous and sometimes their ecosensitivity leads them to alcoholism. I say this because alcoholics are very, very sensitive and deeply feeling creatures who drink to excess to try to stave off some of the dark pain and sorrow that permeates the world around them. Ecosexuals are tuned into nature at a level that is much more connected than the internet and more meaningful than all of the other modern conveniences in our contemporary consumptive society. Some Ecosexuals drink to cover their shame around loving the earth too much. Ecosexuals have also been known to drink to excess or take too many drugs in order to have ecstatic experiences in their quest to become even closer to nature. This is fine for ecosexuals who do not have alcoholic proclivities but for those ecosexuals who might be genetically or emotionally inclined to addiction, enhancement of their innate love of nature through the use of drugs or alcohol can be a daily game of Russian roulette. Luckily, becoming a farmer and working with nature on a daily basis helped my Grandfather Marshall stop drinking and ruining the lives of those around him. By the time I was born he was as sober as any alcoholic can ever be, which is to say that he quit drinking though his own love of nature and through daily connection to the earth. He became a loving a productive ecosexual farmer and I worshipped the ground he that he planted corn, beans and alpha-alpha on.

My Grandfather helped me discover my own ecosexuality although I was too young to share that experience with him at that time. I knew that I was an eco-sexual was when I found myself delighting in the dirt under my fingernails gotten from digging around in my grandfather’s earthworm farm at the age of four. I loved the rich, black loamy dirt that the earthworms made with their shit. I loved their slimy purple pink ribbed bodies when I picked them up. I loved them more, especially after I learned that each individual earthworm contained both male and female reproductive organs. This seemed like a perfect way to be in the world, self contained, hermaphroditic, slimy and great fish bait.

Somehow my father and his brothers were able to keep their business going throughout their own drinking careers. This probably had to do with the nature of the Stephens clan, they backed each other up so that Marathon Coal Bit Co. would stay afloat no matter which individual Stephens was sinking at any given moment. The Stephens family was rhizomic and they took turns sinking and then bobbing back up to the surface like a well-choreographed aqua ballet or that Laurie Anderson song about walking and falling. Witnessing adult lives in various cycles of success and failure throughout my childhood taught me the importance of collaboration and support. It taught me that some issues such as ecosexual liberation are just too large to take on alone.

I loved everything about the farm. I even loved the chores that I was expected to do as my part of my familial responsibilities. This was where I learned to face my fears while enjoying the sexual thrills these same fears sometimes provided. This game seemed to mostly play out around my own fears of nature. My grandmother had two huge Chinese geese who loved to chase me. They would flap their enormous white wings while honking their snapping black, red and gold beaks as loud as the warning blasts of a coal train approaching a railroad crossing. These geese lived down at the pond and I knew that they savored the chance to poke out my eyes and eat them like two little mealy grubs. Whenever I visited my grandparents I had to feed those evil monsters as part of my daily chores. As a kid, there was nothing more thrillingly terrifying than bringing them a bucket full of goose feed, knowing that they were going to charge me as they always did. They’d charge, I’d spill their food on the ground, and then I’d run for dear life back to the farmhouse where I’d collapse on the porch gasping for breath and giggling like an idiot at the triumph of making it back alive. Even though at the time I thought my grandmother was trying to get rid of me, I know now that she was simply giving me guerilla ecosexual training. Ecosexuals must learn to deal with their fears of nature in order to protect their lover the earth, especially in the face of true adversity.

Sometimes I would sneak down to my Grandmother’s tomato patch in the afternoon while she was napping. It was forbidden to pick any of her tomatoes unless she had specifically requested a tomato for a salad or cheese sandwiches. I knew that if I ever got caught sporting unauthorized tomato stains on my shirt, or sticky tomato fingers, I’d get a spanking. I had to be careful sneaking through the tomato patch in the hot Virginia sun in order to carefully select the one, almost too ripe, tomato that was ready to burst out of its own skin and spill its life blood on the red clay below. I would take my time sneaking over to the reddest, plumpest tomato, careful not to disturb any of the other plants much less leave any trace of having been there at all. I’d pick my tomato and reverse my steps to make a careful exit imagining that I was a Native American scout, leaving no trace. Upon exiting the garden, I’d run to the hay barn where I had stashed a special cardboard shaker of salt and I’d have my way with the sweetest, most succulent big red tomato around.

I knew that I was ecosexual when I realized that I preferred to be lying on my back in a field surrounded by the tall alfalfa grass right before haying. Lying there with the sun on my face just gazing at the sky. Protected from the sight of others by the tall waving grasses created a completely electric charge that could not be turned off by anyone. Lying in a ripe hayfield with a stalk of alfalfa between my two front teeth studying the clouds, watching them turn into unicorns, lover’s faces, breasts, continents, letting them carry me away was a beautiful waste of time. In those moments I melted into the earth. I was nature. I was eco-static.

I wasn’t interested in having sex with other people until I was almost eighteen. I thought boys were gross and stupid in their pimply adolescent fake adult bodies. I’d much rather have a high spirited pony between my legs. I knew that I ecosexual when I had an out of body experience galloping through the mountains on a fast, sweaty, sure-footed pony. Not caring about anything as I flew, I was one with the animal beneath me. I just egged that pony on and she went faster than the wind. Wrapping myself around animal body, hanging on for dear life-hands in mane, reins let loose, legs gripping for all I was worth. My heart was in my throat in rhythm with the drumming of hooves on the ground and the world was a watery blur. The slow down, the cool down was a bit of a dream and when I came back to my body I was surprised to get off and walk away as a separate creature.

I preferred the company of animals to that of most people. I often still do. I grew up surrounded by dogs, cats, birds, snakes, gerbils, hamsters, cattle, goats and horses not to mention the deer, bear, possum, raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, squirrels, fox, coyotes, bobcats, rabbits, field mice, hawks, bob-whites, whippoorwills, blue jays, robins, barn sparrows, pheasants, turkeys and crows who inhabited the woods the fields and the riverbanks around me. Animals have a live and let live or kill for survival attitude that seemed more honest and much less emotionally complicated than the world of my parents and grandparents whose pain I didn’t understand and yet seemed destined to inherit. After my mother died when I was seven I began to realize just how complicated human relationships could really become. This knowledge was not accompanied by any useful self-help or psychological tools.

My ecosexual reverie was further sullied by my family’s expectations that I should increasingly learn to embrace societal norms as laid out in Readers Digest, Life Magazine or on the Ed Sullivan show. This all added up to my being expected to turn away from my beloved Earth in order to begin the process of becoming a well-behaved young lady who’d be eligible for marriage someday. The notion that I was supposed to abandon my ecosexuality and embrace straight culture only added fuel to my anger toward my family that had first flared when my mother died. I became increasingly volatile after my father remarried and after a couple of serious altercations with his wife, my anger raged out of control. My father sent me away for two years to the prestigious all girls southern boarding school in Virginia, Chatham Hall.

Unbeknownst to almost everyone else, and especially to the school administrators and my family, Chatham Hall was a hotbed of eco-activity. It was an ecosexual nunnery of spirited young women and we econuns loved nothing better than to go out into the hay fields, strip naked and commune with the earth, the sky and the water. These explorations of nature were accompanied by parallel explorations of the spaces between the physical and spiritual worlds. With the aid of marijuana, MD 20/20, a few Quaaludes, and a little acid we created visions of an ecosexual revolution where we would one day be free of the rules that bound us to our parent’s expectations. We spent hours naked together under the sun. We considered ourselves the more artistic students although others viewed us as the bad girl clique. I don’t really know what the other, better-behaved girls did together. I suppose they went to a lot of student council meetings where they prayed for our souls while planning to kick us out for breaking the rules. It was an Episcopalian school after all. But we, the closeted yet obviously ecosexual nuns, worshipped nature, drugs and art. Somehow this brought me great solace. Chatham Hall is where I learned to party like the rich girls who surrounded me. There were girls there with ecosexual names like Weasel, who heralded from families who owned the last of the great southern textile mills and sported mottos like, “Our blankets cover a multitude of sins.” It was our sin of imbibing sacred and illegal substances that resulted in the expulsion of many of the econuns from the halls of Chatham Hall. I for one, never got caught.

This both did and did not serve me well. I was able to continue to insulate my emotions around the issues that I was too young or fragile to handle while fortifying my anger in preparation for my eventual departure from the south. I ended up in Boston (after a quick detour to Alfred, NY) where I joined ranks with a bunch of lesbian punk rocker addicts and fellow alcoholics. It did not serve me well in that it was during this eco-nun period that I stopped being able to imagine a day without doing some mind-altering substance. I was taking communion all of the time and alcohol was by far my preferred drug. I sometimes regret that I didn’t know that I was an ecosexual lesbian when I attended the all girls boarding school. If I had known, I might have come out of the closet sooner than I did. I sometimes think that if I had only known then what I know now that I might have even gotten a rich eco-patroness as well. Although as I’m reading Derrick Jenson’s book Endgame I’m realizing that even this ecofantasy of how my teen years could have gone is a delusion. In order for the rich to stay rich they have to invest in the destruction of the environment in order to keep a steady supply of natural resources feeding their wealth. Getting hooked up with a rich girl from Chatham might have been the end of my own ecoconsciousness. Luckily, I managed to escape that particular fate.

After this bizarre stint at Chatham, I decided that I never wanted to go to school again so I moved back to the family farm. Some of my friends from Chatham would come visit me there and we would party like the exosexual animals that we had become. I had the pleasure of turning them on to moonshine, that fine homemade brew made from corn mash and that is nothing short of liquid LSD. We’d drink until we were crazy and run around in Dionysian ecstasy. It was extremely liberating until we woke up the next day not remembering exactly what the gods had led us into the night before. The best cure for any remorse was to simply get drunk again.

I fucked my first boyfriend under the full moon in the apple orchard on the farm in Virginia when I was eighteen. We were just playing around like the two randy young animals that we were. He Pan the horny goat and I was a wild Appaloosa. Once we started we loved to fuck in the barn, out in the fields, in the middle of the day, middle of the night, anywhere and every time we could. We fancied that we were in love and we were undoubted in deep lust. The only thing that could stop us from our wild animal escapades, especially when we first hooked up, was my father. He would come to Virginia on the weekends to get away from his work and to check up on me. My father accidentally encouraged my ecosexual proclivities. He hated Jimmy so much that I knew he would kill him if he ever discovered that we were screwing like two big rabbits in heat. So when Dad was around, I warned Jimmy off. As I look back many, many years later, I’m sure my father knew exactly what was going on. Maybe he didn’t mind as much as I thought because, as a fellow ecosexual, my Dad enjoyed sex as much as I did and maybe more. It’s just that we couldn’t talk about things like that. Although after I did come out to him as a lesbian, (I couldn’t bear to tell him that I was an ecosexual) we’d sometimes compare notes on the women we’d watch on the beach while sitting together outside after he had retired to live in Port Charlotte, Florida.

Upstate New York/Boston/Rutgers

I stumbled onto my first lesbian lover because of her sculpture. It was made of mud and hay and I smelled it before I even saw it. I’ll never forget, a little mud lean-to structure sitting in the middle of a dark brute caste cement modernist building in Alfred, New York. Mud mixed with hay, and it smelled delicious and reminded me of the mountains for which I was terribly homesick. My attraction to the piece was magnetic and I knew that I had to meet the person who made it. It was almost as though I knew that I would fall in love with that person but I never dreamed that it would be a she and that she would be one of the loves of my life. Mary was an ecosexual too, although at the time we both thought we might be lesbians. Well, we didn’t really know that for sure either. We both had southern boyfriends and both of the boyfriends would come up and visit us and bring the dogs. Separately of course because they didn’t know each other.

My boyfriend Jimmy would drive up from Virginia to visit me. He’d bring my dog Georgia and he had one of her puppies who he had named Roxanne. Whenever Jimmy came up I would exit my dorm we’d go camping up in the woods about a from campus. We camped like this from September through November, and even though it was cold as hell in upstate New York. We loved being outside with the dogs and wanted to be able to sleep together, fuck, talk and play music without any interruptions. The dogs provided great company as well as heat and protection. I don’t remember whose land we were camping on, as I think of it we were probably trespassing on someone else’s property but at that point in our lives the world was ours and could camp anywhere we wished. Jimmy really wanted me to marry him and he would ask me every time he came up but I was beginning to have an affair with the woman who had made the mud sculpture. I told Jimmy about Mary just as December rolled around. It had gotten too cold to camp and Jimmy gave up on me marrying him. He gave my dog to a mutual friend to take care of until I got out of school for the summer. That was the last time we ever spoke.

That first semester of school, Mary and I would make out and hang out in between going to classes during the week. We’d compare notes on our weekend dates with our boyfriends. Eventually she asked me to spend the night with her. Learning to fuck and be fucked by another woman was one of my favorite ecosexual educational projects. After awhile she also broke up with her boyfriend David and I moved into her apartment. We partied a lot and drank like fish. We used to also drop quite a bit of acid. Dropping acid out in the country was one of my favorite eco-trippy things to do in the entire world. We would drop a hit and then go wandering around outside. The acid made everything glow Technicolor, it was as if I was wearing special 3D sunglasses that added a magical glow to every single thing as the world’s true aura in all of its multicolored glory had just been revealed to me for the very first time. It was spectacular and it was a turn on which led to more lessons in lesbian sexual techniques.

Mary got kicked out of graduate school at the end of the year. She decided to move to Boston and I decided to follow her. I think that it was in leaving the countryside and moving to the city that my drinking really took off. Although I found Boston to be very exciting, I also thought that it was mean spirited and repressed as hell. Things weren’t going so well with Mary and by the time she decided to go back to graduate school in St. Louis, I wasn’t going to follow her there. She left and I stayed in Boston. It was during this period of time that my separation from Nature was getting the best of me. I reached the depths of my alcoholism fueled now by cocaine. It was the eighties after all and being an ecosexual in the city was considered to be passé. I drank to drown my sorrow at being surrounded by tons of concrete and friends who cared more about lesbian separatism than they did about art or environmentalism. I was miserable. Luckily two drag queens decided to drag me to AA. They took bets on whether or not I’d be able to get sober. I’m not sure which one bet on me and which one against but somehow, against all odds, I was able to stop drinking. This probably had to do with the fact that I was so terrified of each one of them that I figured if I just did what they said then they wouldn’t talk to me more than was absolutely necessary.

My next significant relationship was sealed when this hot woman who I had last seen at the skuzzy lesbian bar called the Marquee caught my eye at the AA meeting Crossroads on Tuesday nights. After the meeting Fredericka invited me to go apple picking with her. It was when we were both up the same apple tree that she revealed her gift of being able to pick apples with her toes. Being the latent ecosexual that I was, I was hooked. She picked apple after apple, as I got more and more turned on. After neither one of us could take it any more we climbed down the tree and took a roll in the hay that turned into a three-year relationship. Fredericka was fun when we weren’t in some fucked up power struggle. She too had ecosexual tendencies and must have sensed that we could explore them together.

After our apple picking sex date the next amazing ecosexual adventure took place in Mexico. I had never been out of the country so this was my first trip to another country. I loved it. We didn’t have any money so we hitchhiked or took buses all of the way around the Mexican periphery beginning in the Yucatan. We did the usual tourist trek from Merida through Chichenitza and then to Tulum. At Tulum we rented a cabaña with a thatched roof for six bucks a night right on the beach. This was the most ecosexual hotel I’ve ever stayed in before of since. There were no bathroom facilities, we shit in the jungle like a couple of bears and we bathed in the ocean. We slept in hammocks, which made it hard to have regular human sex so we practiced having mobile monkey sex. At least that’s what we imagined we were doing on the swinging hammocks in our cabaña by the sea.

We stayed in Tulum for a couple of weeks because it was so cheap and the ocean was extraordinarily beautiful blue green field with white caps dividing it from the sky. We ate very cheaply at the little restaurant, situated under a thatched roof a few hundred feet down the coast from our cabaña. They served perfect ecosexual fare like fresh fish, scrambled eggs and fried papas. It was simple but perfect. We’d often chase our food down with the not so ecosexual coca-cola or aqua mineral. Sometimes we would even brush our teeth in coca-cola. The amazing warm blue ocean held us like the two babies that we were, soft and buoyant in its liquid arms, its eco-oceanic arms.

We met Carlitos Nin at the restaurant in Tulum. He said that he was the nephew of Anias Nin, that in fact he claimed that she was the first woman that he had had sex with. This was the first person who I’d ever heard talk about having sex with a family member and it seemed as normal as sex with a stranger. Carlitos said that Aunt Anais had taught him everything he needed to know in order to be a good lover and he had no shame. He was an older distinguished looking man who turned out to be filthy stinking rich from the exotic timber plantation he owned and maybe some family money thrown in as well. I’m not sure about that last fact. I’m also not sure why he stopped by the little restaurant in Tulum as it was in the middle of nowhere, but he was taken with Fredericka and me. He immediately set about picking us up. Then, like now I was an ecosexual who was interested in adventurous monogamy. I mean we are all part of the same system are we not? Plus Fredericka and I hadn’t had a shower in a couple of weeks and we were in dire need of one. When Carlitos invited us to come with him to the town (which he owned) we agreed to go with him. Everything seemed ok as both he and Fredericka had gone to Yale. Now as I think of it, I realize that we were crazy. He had also worked for the CIA under George Bush Senior with whom he had been classmates at Yale. Basically Carlitos had been a cold-blooded hit man for the CIA who resigned when he realized that George Bush was a far more ruthless murderer than he could bring himself to be. But he sure was sweet to us. Carlitos bathed us in his shower, then Fredericka and I played around in bed for a while Carlitos watched. It turned out that all he wanted was to watch two young eco sexual lesbians make love and that was fine with us. We had great sex with each other while he watched, amazing what an audience can do for one’s performance. This was the first time I ever realized this and it was fun. Afterwards, Carlitos fed us a beautiful traditional dinner before sending us back through the jungle to Tulum in a cab.

We left Tulum shortly after our adventure with Carlos Nin and we proceeded to travel in a southwestern direction to some of the other Mexican ruins, Pelanque, through Chiapas and on to Oaxaca. Oaxaca City was beautiful but it was the Pacific coast of Oaxaca that seduced us both. We stayed in a little town south of Puerto Escondido called Puerto Angel. Here we daily walked through the jungle to swim in the powerful, clear blue Pacific. At night we would eat at either the crazy Italian’s fish restaurant perched high on a cliff overlooking the sea or at the Zen Buddhist vegetarian guesthouse in the jungle. I always wondered how they got their tofu shipped in because it seemed so far from any supplier,.

California-teaching at UC Santa Cruz, living by the ocean

The Seven Year Project

2005 First Year-Survival, Security-Cancer perhaps caused by pollution-

2006 Second Year-Sexuality, Creativity-would later lead to the idea of Ecosexuality-Moved to Boulder Creek.

2007 Third Year-Power, Courage-began to initiate a Systems based Environmental Art PhD

2008 Fourth Year-Heart, we married the Earth and formally became Ecosexuals

2009 Fifth Year-Throat, communication, married the Sky and Sea, Entered PhD program at Davis

2010 Sixth Year-Third Eye, intuition, married the Moon and Mountains

Seventh Year-Crown, enlightenment-start an institute, finish classes at UCD

West Virginia

Akumal

We are on a writers’ retreat in Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico right down the coast from Tulum. This area is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Our current lodgings are quite comfortable and serve our writing well. Not to mention that Beth Pickens is cooking us the most delicious evening meals in all the land. My previous stay in Tulum felt more ecosexual as I was much closer to the elements but I didn’t know that I was an ecosexual then and so in some ways it was wasted on me. Now I understand more clearly who I am as I write four stories above the ocean in apartment ocho, listening to the ocean and the laughter below. When I desire I can come down from my perch to enter the sea for a delicious warm green blue swim under the enticing cloud laced blue-grey blue sky. From up here the horizon makes a perfect line across the space where the ocean meet the sky, where the Earth curves toward the Caribbean, in the direction of Europe. Europe that place that centuries ago sent its conquistadores to destroy this culture and steal its resources and enslave its people. That occupation continues even as Esther cleans this apartment and Ramon sweeps the stairs while others whose names I don’t even know rake the beach in front of Luna Azul on a daily basis. Esther even carries out our used toilet paper. As Jensen says civilization depends upon being an occupying force. But the earth resists in its beauty and although the economic privilege that our lodging represents is a far cry from the lowly cabaña Fredericka and I stayed in on the Tulum beach twenty years ago, I now feel even closer to the Earth than I did then. I realize how high the stakes are around keeping our planet healthy, happy and alive or being able to at least salvage what we still have. This morning walking on the beach, I turned to Annie, my ecosexual lover and partner extraordinaire and I noted that it felt as if the ocean was licking me over and over, again and again with her big frothy tongue. It was a gentle turn-on that I could experience forever. I felt inspired to write a watery equivalent to our vows to the Earth.

We promise to love you until death brings us closer together forever.

We are consecrated to you, Earth, through this dirt that we will become.

 

As I listen to the ocean going in an out later I feel more than a little sad at all we have done to destroy those magnificent and brave waters and how we have not only dominated the oceans but the people who have made lives beside the seas for centuries, like the Mayans who sweep and clean this apartment daily. In spite of this, they greet us every day with a warm and friendly “Buenos Dias.”

We did make vows to the Sea but now feels like a kind of shotgun wedding, less well planned-or not so much less planned but more chaotic as we our well-laid plans couldn’t have anticipated the crazy scene we encountered in Venice. In spite of the multiple breakdowns in communication that we suffered, our Blue Wedding to the Sea turned out beautifully, just not exactly as we had planned. In retrospect it was hilarious and Michelle Tea caught the gist of it beautifully as she sat in a café in xxxx writing her Believer article about our crazy Venice Wedding. But this morning walking along the edge of the Akumal beach, the ocean gently licking my feet, ankles and further up my legs I was thinking about what Justin Chin had mentioned as we were swimming together. He said that he had flown home just after the Tsunami hit Indonesia a few years ago and how the ocean had swept so many human bodies out to sea. The following year the seafood catch was more bountiful than it had been in a long time and the fish, shrimps and lobsters were huge. For some reason (for obvious reasons) nobody ever talks about this. I wouldn’t mind becoming fish food when I die. This would seem like a very ecosexual thing to do with ones dead body. By fish or by worm, entering either part of the life-cycle through death is ok by me. I’ll have to remember to change my will and get buried instead of getting cremated. I’ve heard that there are eco funerals, which are really old fashioned burials where ones body simply returns to the earth to decompose naturally. Returning to the earth would be a much slower more productive way of decomposing. Decomposition is a much more useful and less polluting process than going through a commercial incineration. I don’t want to be embalmed either because then whoever eats me will be poisoned by the formaldehyde, not to mention the earth itself. I am tired of continuing to participate in the cycles of poisoning that are killing us all. But it is difficult to decide where and how to get off and change the systems that control us all. Is simply declaring myself to be an eco sexual enough? Obviously not but it is a move, a move in the direction that feels right to me.

Eco Sweat Lodge

 

Seven of the nine of us Radar Lab writers, plus our guide Antonio went to do a Mayan sweat lodge the other night. For some reason there seemed to be a lot of fear among the group before hand. I’m not sure what this was about, but I selfishly didn’t care because it was my honeymoon with Annie. We were celebrating our first kiss nine years ago. I’d never done a sweat lodge before and maybe I should have been scared too. But this is one of the things that Annie has wanted to do together since we met so my anticipation was inspired by her desire. It seemed like a very spiritual thing for two ecosexuals to do with each other and a potentially bonding thing for all of us who went together to experience and hopefully enjoy.

Two young Mexican men drove us there in a huge green van that looked almost military. I’ve noticed that the vans here in Mexico are bigger and more business like than passenger vans in the US. On other trips I’ve taken to Mexico there has been a more obvious military presence in public spaces. But here in Akumal there is little of that. Akumal seems like a fairly well off resort where the mechanisms of control can afford to stay hidden. We all piled into the huge green van and drove down the highway, took a U-turn, headed the other direction listing to Cindy Lauper and Madonna on the radio until we finally turned off on a dirt road and headed straight through the jungle. Then some guy from the ancient band Boston stared singing and everyone except me knew the words. They engaged in a discussion about what this song had meant to them at the point in their lives when it was first released.

I looked out at the jungle and marveled at how impenetrable it looked but in reality how penetrated it had become. The sandy dirt road was in pretty good shape, as good in fact as the paved road that runs from the village of Akumal to Luna Azul where we are staying. Our driver knew how to dodge the pot-holes. After awhile we arrived at an amazing compound where discarded toilets, ancient looking stone-walls and equally ancient looking stone structures co-mingled with thatched cabañas of differing sizes and seemingly different purposes. It was a magical place were numerous dogs wandered around lazily. Their leader was a growly dachshund with enormous balls. A skinny monkey was swinging wildly in a tree. He looked quite happy swinging around until I noticed that he was chained to a thin wire run that gave him some leeway but would not allow him to escape into the jungle or go anywhere else feely. That made me sad and when this monkey charged Elyssa, I had an inkling of the kind of rage that might have propelled him towards her. If I were a monkey chained to a tiny tree in full view of the jungle that used to be my jungle but hadn’t been for centuries now, and someone approached me, someone who might have been in part responsible for taking my jungle away. I would charge them too.

This is part of the challenge of anthropomorphizing nature through my own ecosexuality. Can I assume to be able to enter into a sexualized relationship with the earth and the earth’s creatures, plants lands, waters and sky? How do I know what a monkey really feels, or whether it feels feelings like I feel feelings? How do I know what or if the earth feels either? Humans can take measurements of the phenomenon that we think are worthy of measurement such as the ability of fish to feel pain, the ability of life to survive in the sea, the amount of chemicals that we have ingested via water, air, fish or fowl we ingest but at the end of the day is this just scientific data? What about the spiritual, the emotional and the communal meaning of life on the earth and what does the earth itself experience?

Our leader, the macho wiener dog shaman, led us to the general location of the sweat lodge while watching every move we made. As we got closer we began receiving spoken instruction. Luckily Maggie Nelson was able to translate the human shaman’s salutations, instructions and invocations for us. But before the real ceremony began we each went to the bathroom and did what we needed to do. I must have been a little nervous as I took a big poop like I always do before a performance. This is my body’s way of cleaning itself out in order to be free to accomplish the more important work at hand. My body always knows when to do this. It feels good, although I will have to admit that I am still getting used to wiping my butt and then engaging with the toilet paper until I can get it into the wastepaper basket. In fact, I try to perfectly fold the toilet paper so that my shit is hidden. It’s similar to the way that I deal with my emotional shit. Our super effective toilets in America encourage us to wipe and throw away our used shitty toilet paper without ever having to think about what it means, where it goes or how much we waste. We just unconsciously flush and flush and flush, until all traces of our shit disappear out of sight. This is one of the so-called benefits of modern civilization; we don’t have to see or think about our shit. Sometimes I can’t help thinking about shit through, especially because I live in a city. All of the shit (not to even mention the piss) produced with its accompanying toilet paper plus the water that people waste is enough to provoke some real shock and awe if only we’d take a moment to calculate its volume. Ecosexuals like to ponder such things.

In the city of San Francisco where the population is about 750,000 within the city limits, if each individual shits once a day and wipes using two or three (we’ll say two) wads of toilet paper per dump, that equals 1,500,000 wads of shit stained toilet paper that travels into the San Francisco sewage system daily. 10,500,000 wads are flushed away each week and 546,000,000 wads of soiled toilet paper are flushed away per year. This is begins to resemble another version of our national deficit in the form of a whole lot of shitty paper. The Mexican system of throwing ones toilet paper in the wastebasket rather than flushing it into who knows where seems more sane than our own. It gives whoever is in charge of waste disposal more options concerning environmentally friendly methods of disposal. At the very least it provides options that might be less destructive than just mixing the toilet paper up with all the other wastes and clean water only to have to either separate everything out later or treat the sewerage with chemicals or both before releasing some of it back into the water supply. I’m just presuming that I have any idea what the SF sewer system does in order to handle the city’s shit as I don’t really know but I am curious. They could compost it like the young activists who taught us about composting toilets did at Mountain Justice Summer Camp earlier this summer but I’m certain that with the budget crises this is not a financially viable option.

I like the sign that is situated right over the toilet paper holder in the bathroom adjacent to our double room in Ocho. It reads:

PLEASE TO NOT

PUT PAPER IN

TOILET

W STA BA KED

IS PROVIDE

When I first sat down to use the toilet and saw this small sign on the wall in front of me, I didn’t realize that some of its letters had simply fallen off. I thought that I was being given ancient Mayan instructions about how to go to the bathroom. When I finally realized that I was simply being instructed to put my toilet paper into the wastepaper basket, which was provided, I felt a little sheepish that I hadn’t gotten the message on first read. I had enjoyed the feeling of receiving ancient instructions so much that I decided that I wanted to continue pondering this little blue and white message as if it were in fact an ancient and perhaps sacred epistle from the past. I like the fact that taking a piss or a shit is an act that joins us all together across race, gender and time.

This spring, on a man-made valley fill near Whitesburg, Kentucky I learned that it is harder to compost shit if there is wet material like pee or water mixed into it. Shit has to be as dry as possible with no toilet paper mixed in either for effective composing. Sawdust should be mixed into the shit as well as lime to help it decompose into rich loamy dirt. Then the whole thing gets covered with hay. That both the Mountain Justice folks and the Akumal Mayans request that we not mix our toilet paper with our shit forces me to actually think about my shit for a split second before hiding its traces delicately in the folds of the toilet paper that I then gingerly place in the waste paper basket. This gives me hope, hope for what I’m not exactly sure because it seems like such a small gesture in the face of the huge wave of corporate devastation that continues to take place on an ongoing basis against my lover the Earth. Maybe I will request that we start separating the toilet paper from the toilet at home. Then, I wonder if we are supposed to put our used toilet paper into the blue recycling bin or the green compost bin. I’ll have to call our garbage company, which recently changed its name from Sunset Scavenger to Recology. Does this name change make our garbage men ecosexuals too? I make a note to myself as I fold up my soiled toilet paper, put it in the waste paper basket and go outside the bano to wait for either the dachshund shaman or the human shaman’s assistant to lead us to the sweat lodge. As soon as Tamara joins us we go.

We moved to the sweat lodge as a group. The man who first greeted us when our van arrived led us to the shaman. Although I had originally thought that he was our shaman he wasn’t. Everyone appeared to be feeling more calm although later when we replayed our sweat lodge experiences this wasn’t the case at all. Some of us had applied mosquito repellant to stave off the blood thirsty mosquitoes while others decide to enter the lodge in a more natural state. Annie and I decided not to wear our bathing suites at all. This felt right and when we finally got to the real shaman who gave his permission for us to be naked. He was clad in a white outfit, white pants and guyubero shirt. His skin was dark and his hair jet black. The shaman was waiting for us in the middle of the circle. There was a young boy with him who was also assisting and who may have been the shaman’s son. Perhaps he was in shaman training, at least I would like to believe that this tradition is handed down from generation to generation but I have no idea as I would also have liked to have remained ignorant of the large group of German tourists who were in line close behind us for their own sacred sweat lodge experience. Well I guess even shaman’s have to make a buck. this shaman was beautiful as he stood by the impressive bonfire that he had created. At first I thought that the fire was made entirely out of huge tree limbs that I saw laying scattered about off to the side. But as time went by, I realized that the purpose of this fire was to heat the lava rocks, which would then fuel our sweat lodge. This heat in turn would remove our fears and other negative impurities. This fire, our fire was an ancient fire and it along with the glowing rocks embodied our ancestors who would shortly guide us and keep us safe as we performed the sacred sweating together.

But we before could enter the lodge itself, we naturally had to learn a thing or two. We had to thank our ancestors and purify ourselves. We had to learn how to blow the conch shell. The first male assistant led us into the first stone circle. He instructed us each to pick a conch shell from the ones that were sitting on the low circular mason wall. When we had all located ourselves around the inside perimeter of the circle, with our chosen shells, he demonstrated how to properly blow into them making a low mournful sound. We all tried to mimic him but our amateur attempts sounded really funny. Everyone was laughing nervously. I was reminded of the Dinwiddie Presbyterian Church on Snake Creek Road near our farm in Hillsville, Virginia. Sometimes, my father would take me and my little brother to church there. The farmer’s wives served a delicious harvest lunch after church and I always knew that that was the real reason we attended. The Dinwiddie congregation shared the same type of musical talent that we displayed on our first attempts to make a beautiful sound come out of the conch shells. We sounded hilariously terrible. I was surprised that I was eventually able to get my shell to sound half way decent. I even had to admit to Michelle Tea that I had been a clarinet player in another lifetime. I had some prior experience with trembling my lips together, just the right way in order to coax a solid sound out of the organically shaped instrument. We practiced our conch shells in preparation for calling in the spirits when the time was right. I was feeling excited about going deep within.

But we still had to thank the spirits. The Shaman gathered us in front of his alter, where there were many objects, burning incense, statues of various Mayan gods, pieces of black lava and other objects that I didn’t recognize. As our shaman spoke in Spanish, Maggie translated. He even threw in the Mayan phrase for thank you, which we all repeated as best we could while he conjured his gods and objects to guide us and to protect us as we shed our masks of negativity and fear. Then our shaman announced that we were all going to drink a very special honey flavored wine from a sacred tree. A heavy pregnant pause filled the air as four of the seven of us standing in this sacred circle are sober alcoholics. As Maggie translated we looked at each other in terror. This magic mead was intended to protect us from any demons that might be lurking about the sweat lodge, but alcohol itself was our number one demon, more baffling and cunning than any other haints we could imagine. Maggie started to explain that we had a problem when the Shaman, who seemed to be able to read our now activated masques of fear, assured us that there was no alcohol in our drinks. We all believed him and proceeded with the ritual. His assistant handed us all hollowed up smooth green shells which he filled the shells with the demon resistant liquid. We refrained from drinking until the Shaman fed the first drink to the fire. He did this in a beautifully ceremonial manner. Then we drank our honey mead and it tasted sweet and delightful, a true ecosexual nectar.

Next we were asked to take up positions around the circle and blow conch salutations to the four directions. We did so, our conch horns sounding much better than they did during our practice session. Our shaman had a huge conch shell. It was extremely beautiful and sexy in a ritualistic kind of way. The power of the sound that his conch emitted almost felt as if we were going to make a human sacrifice. Maybe the stories of the ancient Mayan human sacrifices at places like Palenque or Chichenitza were what everyone’s’ initial fears around the sweat lodge had been about. Blowing these conch shells felt as mysterious and primal as a any low deep sounds made during orgasm or animal sex. What could be better than summoning the spirits on the way to experience the unknown? The conch music felt as if an ecosexual vibrator was caressing my entire body. I was excited.

Afterwards the shaman’s adult assistant instructed us to put down the shells. Then we were invited to enter the next stone circle. The huge, hot fire was burning brightly in the middle of this space and we could see the sweat lodge just beyond. Again, we had to be cleansed. This time the shaman traced our bodies with incense as we held our arms out in the shape of a cross. We were purified by the incense in order to enter the sweat lodge. One by one we were cleansed by the shaman’s smoke. He used a feather to spread the smoke over and around out bodies. A sensual smoke massage that gently suffocated any doubt and fear. This is an old sophisticated ecosexual technique that I have practiced before but it had never quite been like this before. I think because this time it was outside in nature. Our shaman became all shamans across eternity and his incense was preparing me to meet my fears. It was a complete turn on. One by one he cleansed us all as we entered the circle. We took our places

We were given instructions to breath through our noses. Explicit instructions (which we never would have understood without Maggie Nelson’s ace interpretation job) were given not to stand up or try to get out by oneself, as the coals were dangerous and we might bump our head on the low ceiling as we would be in a different state of being. We entered the dark sweat lodge and took our places on folded Mexican blankets that were arranged in a circle, following the perimeter of the low round building. The assistants began to hand large glowing chunks of rock through the small low door on a pitch fork. Our shaman took them with a cry and the placed them in the center of the sweat lodge. Finally, then the small low door was tightly hammered into place, sealing us off from the physical world outdoors. I felt a little claustrophobic fear slide down the back of my throat as I hoped that I wouldn’t pass out in the heat, which was beginning to get intense. All I could think was thank god we didn’t do this in the middle of the day. I was already sweating profusely. It was pitch black inside except for the glowing embers-and a strange little light in the ceiling. If anyone freaked out and needed to leave they were to clap their hands twice and wait for the shaman’s assistant to come get them. I was determined to sit through the entire ritual, even if it meant passing out and having to be carried back up to the physical world of the living.

I closed my eyes as our shaman eco-lover led us through what seemed like four levels of the ritual.

The first level was intended to transport us to get through our initial fear of the heat and the darkness. Upon completion of this phase of the ritual we received congratulations for being brave warriors. I felt good as I was still sitting upright and ready for more.

In second level we sang, The Earth is my body, the Water my blood, Air my food and fire my sprit.” Of course we sang it in Spanish and we all heartily joined in together. We sounded strong.

Again, our shaman assured us that we were brave female warriors as we continued to journey.

In the third and fourth levels we were rebirthed by water and enjoined to find our spiritual path. I saw my spiritual path as being involved in environmentalism and I knew that we were on the right path with our explorations of ecosexuality.

Our shaman threw water on us to cool us down, to wash away the last of our fear and negativity demons and to prepare us for reentry. Upon initial contact the water was surprising even though I could hear it splash on the sides of the lodge and on the bodies of my companions before I felt it touch my own skin. After the first powerful splash I wanted it more and more and when the water mingled with the copious sweat from my body it felt as if the Earth had just ejaculated all over me and I was ready.

Our shaman took good care of us and would check in with an Esta Bien through out the ritual. Each time he would call out Estan Bien? We would answer in refrain, Si estan bien.

Then he asked if we were ready to go. After what seemed like a too short time, we all replied yes, we were ready.

We crawled out slowly animal like on our hands and knees counter clockwise around the edge of the interior wall. I was next to last and Annie was last as we exited careful not to get near the glowing hot embers of the rocks in the middle. When we came out we stood up slowly. Our shaman bathed us in water sweetened with special herbs. Then we were invited to swim in the cenote. Water and fire were the stars of this ritual which took me far, far outside myself and into the spirit world. The spirits gave me strength and vision to fight on behalf of the water in the world. As we swam in the cenote I realized that it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, the deep water perfect, cold and calm. The deep water holding us, water babies as we laughed and cooed. We regressed to a child state, some swinging from the roots of trees that grew overhead. We were glad to have made it through the sweat lodge without passing out or throwing up from the heat, we were glad to be received into the arms of the cenote. We were glad to be taken care of by these beautiful people who then welcomed us into their wildly florescent pink green and yellow cabana for a gourmet Mayan meal of chicken, rice, beans, chilies and handmade tortillas. The chicken tasted as if it had just been sacrificed for us. It as delicate and tender and restored any strength lost in the process of the deep sweat.

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Annie’s Ecosex Herstory http://elizabethstephens.org/annies-ecosex-herstory/ http://elizabethstephens.org/annies-ecosex-herstory/#comments Sun, 29 Jan 2012 00:45:13 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1529 MY NAME IS ANNIE SPRINKLE AND I AM A SYBARITIC COUGAR WITH ECOSEXUAL TENDENCIES. I am new bride, recently married to the Earth, the Sky and the Sea, and engaged to marry the Moon. Never had I imagined that I’d be so lucky in love, or become so consumed with seemingly crazy, taboo, sexual desires. Nothing prepared me for this kind of relationship, and for this strange, new sexual identity. There is so much to learn that I feel like a total eco-virgin, sun kissed for the very first time.

Last night I arrived here in Akumal, Mexico by plane, from my home base in San Francisco, California. It is the perfect setting for a honeymoon adventure; a comfy condo apartment with floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows, which open right onto a white sand beach, a baby blue sky and a florescent turquoise-green Sea. Tropical birds sing me joyous songs as my Sky lover blows ocean-scented breaths all over my face, arms, and under my soft, slinky, leopard-print floor length nighty, which I bought special to wear on this honeymoon. It drapes nicely over my curves, and frames my abundant cleavage to perfection. You’d never know I got it at Target, unless you had one just like it.

My gut is filled with anticipation, as though I’m about to eat the ripe, juicy apple from the Garden of Eden’s tree of knowledge. I wonder will the apple send me into rapture, or be poisoned? Or both at the same time? I can almost taste it, because in truth I’m no eco-virgin at all. I’ve been ‘round the planet more than once, and its no secret that I’ve had far more ecosexual experience than most other gals my age.

It wasn’t just the great ecosex that brought me to this pregnant honeymoon moment. For years, the Earth, Sky, Sea and Moon and I were, you could say, just friends. We liked each other a lot, and had what I’d describe as an ‘erotic platonic’ relationship. We didn’t see much of each other, as I was a city girl; born in Philadelphia, raised in L.A., and spent most of my adult life Manhattan. There weren’t a whole lot of opportunities in my life for meaningful connections with the Earth, Sky, and Sea, with the exception of four wonder-years I spent in Central America, in Panama, from the age of thirteen to seventeen when Dad worked for the US Agency for International Development. Panama was a lush, jungle paradise filled with ecosensual delights. My teenage experiments with psychedelics on “Tits Beach” made for some transcendental connections with nature and its elements. It’s possible that’s where my relationship with the Earth, Sky, Sea and Moon really took hold. Or perhaps this relationship actually goes back to the womb, or further.

Since I took my wedding vows, ‘to love, honor and cherish the Earth, Sky and Sea until death brings us closer together forever,’ my love grows bigger, deeper and more Universal every day, and penetrates every aspect of my life. I’m quite certain that we will be together for the rest of my life. I would be nothing without them. On this honeymoon I expect to get to know more about my lovers and what makes them happy and satisfied. But all is not sunshine and daffodils.

Last night when I first arrived here at the condo with my luggage in tow, what was the first thing I saw in front of me? Nothing less than a huge, dreaded, killer Palmetto bug—aka the water bug—that indestructible, dinosaur cockroach. Was this a warning sign from the Universe that danger lies ahead? I’m scared. Will my new relationships work? Will I be worthy? There are issues; my fears of intimacy, old coping mechanisms, negative thought patterns, baggage from past relationships, societal taboos, not to mention the earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis. There were also things that happened in my childhood. Between the ages of about seven and ten my younger sister chased me with giant water bugs whenever she found them. I’d run screaming into the safety of the bathroom and slam the door. She would then put them under the door and they would crawl towards me while she laughed, taunted and terrorized me. This created some deep wounds–for which she has since sincerely apologized. A shaman-therapist suggested that in a past life I had lived in the jungle, been tortured, and when left to die my body became covered with crawling water bugs. There were maggots involved too. Will I ever be able to overcome my childhood (and past life) nature abuse?

In any case, I can no longer deny my romantic, and erotic, attraction to nature. Society does not support this kind of relationship. Look at the eco-sex negative names like “tree hugger,” “hedonist,” “beach bum.” “Pagan,” “dirty girl,” “tom boy,” “flower child”… The list goes on. We must reclaim these! Say it loud, say it proud, “I am a nature lover!” Those of us that can, must come out of the closet. Perhaps when people get to know us and realize we are part of their communities and in their families things will get better. Of course lots and lots of people don’t even realize they are ecosexual. They need to be educated. We need an Ecosex Community Center, an Ecosex Film Festival, a march on Washington to demand more environmental protections. Oh dear, here I am, working again–and on my honeymoon.

OK, so I realize that I am anthropomorphizing the Earth, Sky, Sea, and Moon—attributing them human-like qualities, the way people anthropomorphize “God.” The Earth, Sky and Sea are not human beings, and human beings are not the Earth, Sky and Sea. –Or are we? This experience is so new that anthropomorphizing is the only way I can manage to even begin to explain it. Hopefully I will find better ways to speak of these things in the future.

Here in Akumal, I’m grateful that I can share this honeymoon with my beloved, human life-partner, Elizabeth Stephens, aka Beth. She and I are walking hand-in-hand on this amazing bio-sexual adventure. We came to these life-changing self-discoveries at the same time. We fell madly in love nine years ago. For the first couple years of our relationship we desired to be totally monogamous. A couple years later we decided to practice what we call “adventurous monogamy.” We’d have erotic adventures together; like going to a neo-burlesque show and getting a lap dance, or doing a sensual massage evening with our sacred intimate, Joseph Kramer, or we’d find ourselves being voyeurs at a friend’s sex party. Things really changed five years into the relationship when we bought a little cabin in the woods of Boulder Creek, California. It was there that we found ourselves turning green– what with all the talk of solar power, global warming, recycling, … green was in the zeitgeist. We discussed it and decided to open up our relationship to become what we call ‘pollen-amorous.’– to take the Earth as our lover.

Looking back, Beth and I can see how the experiences in our lives shaped us and brought us to this–our destiny. Perhaps she and I were drawn to each other by greendar, sensing each other’s latent ecosexuality. In any case, we are glad we found each other. There aren’t too many other partners that would let their wives marry, and make love with, the Earth, Sky, Sea and Moon.
Now Beth and I want to share our enthusiasm for this kind of love, and the things we’ve learned and are thinking. We hope our story will help and inspire others like us, or help others who aren’t like us understand us, and ultimately we hope to help to protect our beloveds the Earth Sky, Sea and Moon.

WHEN I KNEW — CHILDHOOD

When I first knew that I was an ecosexual I was five. My family moved from to sunny California from dark Pennsylvania. My parents bought us a house with a sparkling blue swimming pool. I remember, the first time I jumped into our. The rush of the cold water; my heart pumping, lips tingling, toes curling, the pure body pleasure. I floated, buoyant, the light twinkling on the top of the water like fairy glitter. The sound of the splasssshhhh, then the silence of the deep end. I became one with the water. I was a water ballerina, beautiful, graceful, at peace. I loved the taste and scent of the chlorinated water. I became renewed, refreshed. Even though I knew it was naughty, I peed in the pool. They don’t call me Sprinkle for nothing.

When I knew that I was an ecosexual I was nine. My dad discovered Yosemite and he fell in love. In retrospect, my dad must have been an ecosexual too. Our family visited Yosemite several times a year. That’s when it started, between me, and the redwood trees. I liked them BIG. And they were HUGE! Big, round, hard, but soft, redwood trees. Gentle giants. I loved the scent of the trunk, like vanilla mixed with soil. I have a strong memory of coming across a redwood that had fallen over from a storm. I walked around and peeked at its freshly exposed roots. So soft, so sensuous, so sexy! I had to touch them. When I knew that I was an ecosexual I was ten. It was at night, when we were camping. My family would gather wood and make a fire. I was a Camp Fire Girl! We crumpled newspaper, topped it with kindling and lit it with a match. When the flames got going we added logs. It would start slowly, then build. Eventually the fire became raging, hot, I could feel the heat on my skin. I loved the smell of the burning wood and smoke. I could stare into the dancing flames for hours, and find so many colors; reds, oranges, yellows, even blues, greens and purples. Flames licking wood with intensity. The logs florescent with burning embers, like a painting on black velvet. I would watch until the fire went completely out. That’s when I knew.

MY GREEN TEEN YEARS

My first oral sex experience was in communion with nature, on a secluded beach two hours north of Panama City. Mathew Van Guilder Howell was a sweet older man at twenty-four years old. He owned The Golden Frog, a hippie coffee shop. I was a shy, sweet sixteen, high school student and budding hippie. We did what young people did in 1969 on their first date; a hit of mescaline. That night there was but a sliver of a moon, and the stars were only how stars can be on a jungle beach on the equator—more bright and abundant than anywhere else on the planet. There were so many shooting stars it was like a fireworks display, but way, way better. The gentle, rhythmic waves massaging the sand were filled with plankton, which made them glow in the dark with magical phosphorescent sparkle. Nature was at her most glamorous and seductive, dripping in diamonds. Van and I got naked. My heart was open and pumping, my senses aroused, and I was in love for the first time. I laid on my back, dug my feet into the sand, and let my knees open like butterfly wings to welcome the Universe in between my thighs. The splash of a wave spit on my belly and vulva. For a few timeless moments the Universe and I made an exquisite, erotic, cosmic connection. Then Van kissed his way down my body and gave me, what we called at the time, “head.” To this day Van and I remain friends, but it is the Earth, Sky, and Sea that I ultimately married.

As I think about it, my most memorable teen ecosex experiences were when I was in an entheogen induced altered state. Like when I took a hit of orange sunshine (LSD) and sat by the stove and watched, transfixed, the miracle that is water boiling in a metal pot for a long, long, long time. The sounds the bubbles made against the steel pot were hypnotic and beautiful. Like when I ate psilocybin mushrooms, buried myself up to my neck in cool sand and lay cuddling with the Earth for an eternity. Like the time I smoked opium and watched a giant sea turtle lay her eggs on the beach. Like when I ate some peyote buttons in the Arizona desert and made love with a big, erect, suaro cactus. There was no touching of the cactus for obvious reasons, but I swear, that cactus and I exchanged our sexual energies. These experiences, and a few others like them, I treasure highly and wouldn’t have missed them for the world.

MY ECOSLUTTY NEW YORK CITY YEARS

At eighteen I moved to Manhattan. Like leaving a high school sweetheart behind when one goes away to college, I just didn’t have much use for nature anymore and was just fine without it. For years and years the city satisfied all my needs. I had an exciting and happy life in the sex industry, working in massage parlors, making porn movies, doing burlesque, and posing for sex magazines. Eventually I successfully transitioned into the art world, touring internationally with my one-woman performance-art-theater shows about my life. I also became a sex educator, and the first porn star to get a Ph.D..

On the rare occasions when I did venture out of the city into the country, it was mostly to the Wise Woman Center near Woodstock. In summers women would gather there to learn “wise woman traditions” at the famous, eccentric herbalist, Susun Weed’s rustic old house and barn-like studio located in an old, abandoned rock quarry. The WWC was surrounded by numerous acres of woods, rivers, and waterfalls. There was a lake, which had a thick blanket of green algae across the top but you could still swim in it, sky clad. Gardens, goats, geese, pet spiders, insects and fairies were all part of the curriculum. It was at the WWC that for the first time I heard someone mention, in passing, the concept of the “Earth as a lover” as an alternative to “Earth as a Mother.” This grabbed my attention! My motto had always been “eroticize everything.” Sex was my thing, my path, my language. Maybe I, a big city slut, could reconnect with nature by thinking of the Earth as my lover.
The first time I went to the WWC was for Blood of the Ancients, a week-long gathering with rituals and workshops honoring menstruation. My curiosity about what such a gathering would entail led me to sign up. Women spun stories of walking into the woods, sitting on moist moss and letting their menstrual blood drip down on it as a way to nourish and connect with the Earth. Women spoke of bleeding into cotton cloth pads, then soaking the pads in water and using the bloody water to nourish their plants, and to feel earthy. While I definitely thought these practices were pretty out there, I also liked the idea of these intimate, symbolic gestures and later tried the bloody-rag-water idea out for myself for a few months on my two motley houseplants. The women all sang songs together about blood and the Earth around the campfire and in sweat lodge ceremonies. “Blood of the Ancients, flows through my veins. Forms die, but the river of life remains.” “The Earth is our Mother. We will take care of her. Hey yunga, ho yunga hey yung yung.” “Earth my body, water my blood, air my food and fire my spirit!” “The river is flowing, flowing and flowing. The river is flowing, back to the Sea. Mother carry me, a child I will always be. Mother carry me, back to the sea.” Even though it felt a bit silly, it was nice to sing about, and to, the Earth. In any case, there was no denying that shit grew like crazy all around the place.

The next summer I returned to the Wise Woman Center for Green Witch Week. Just after my green witch initiation, Susun Weed invited me to teach there. So for ten years, every summer I went and taught a four-day Sacred Sex workshop with my friends Jwala, Barbara Carrellas, and Linda Montano. I had come to fancy myself a red witch and a sacred prostitute. We taught the usual stuff about g-spots, erotic massage, sex magic, tantra, and had Sluts and Goddesses dress up and performance nights.

But on the fourth afternoon of our workshop, when the workshopees were ripe and ready, I’d give them a most unusual assignment; “go out into the woods alone and have sex with something in nature, like a tree, a rock, a cloud, or a waterfall.” I’d coach them. “Use all of your senses, smell, touch, taste, lick, kiss, rub, hump…” Sometimes I would do a little demo—like I’d lay across a hot granite boulder, kiss it, lick and taste it, sniff it, hug it, hump it, breathe it in… We’d all have a good laugh then off to the woods they’d go. Two hours later, we’d gather again in a circle for kiss and tell. “I made love with a waterfall, and it was the best sex I ever had.” “It was amazing. I got totally into this lavender bush.” “I never thought of doing this before but I had a great experience with some lichen and can’t wait do it again.” “I fell asleep by the river and when I woke up there were butterflies all over my body. It was so beautiful.” The women were overwhelmingly excited, amazed and satisfied. Of course there were always the Goddesses of Distention who held back. They just couldn’t, and wouldn’t go there. “Way too kinky.” But those that gave themselves over to the assignment agreed; nature was one hell of a hot lover. We teach what we want to learn.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s I wrote a series articles for Penthouse magazine. One was about a Native American shaman, sex magician and teacher named Harley Swiftdeer and his five-day Quodoshka workshop. He was the real deal. Harley taught me the best sex technique in the world–the Fire Breath orgasm– also known as the FBO. It’s a circular breathing technique to breathe ecstasy energy into and up one’s body and then out into an electric energy orgasm release. With the FBO one can learn to harness, build, and move sexual energy, which can then be utilized for all kinds of things; hotter partner sex, physical healing, emotional cleansing, spiritual nourishment, shamanic journeying, and more. When I saw his more advanced students all demonstrate it, I knew I just had to learn it. It took me a couple years of practicing to get the total hang of the FBO. I’d practice it at home alone or with other people who knew how to do it. But it was the day that I practiced the FBO in Central Park by the lake near the Alice in Wonderland statue, that I really GOT it and had my first big, electric, full body, blissful energy orgasm. The technique can be done with clothes on, standing or laying, and could be interpreted as someone doing yogic breathing or some sort of tai chi moves, so I don’t think anyone in the park knew what I was up to. Watching the light dancing on the water, breathing in the scent of the dirt, and the sounds of the pigeons around me were just the inspiration I needed to get me over the energy orgasm hump.

Learning the FBO was pivotal for me in my ecosexual evolution. Through my breath, some kegals, undulation, and intention, I could make love with the Earth, Sky and Sea energetically. Over the years that followed I taught hundreds of others; men, women and trans people, to do it too in workshops I called “Ecstasy Breathing” or “Fun With Breath and Energy Orgasm,” and often gave the technique a bit of an ecosexual twist.

Certainly a person does not have to be outside of a city to have good ecosex. For example, there was the time I was laying on my living room couch masturbating with my Hitachi magic wand when I looked out my eleventh story window, over the skyscrapers and into the sky when a big, white puffy cloud cruised me. Earlier I’d been reading the book Sexual Secrets and there was a quote I resonated with. “I am the sun, the moon and all the stars. There is no temple as sacred, no temple as blissful, as my own body.” I medibated on that thought and found myself fantasizing that the cloud was watching me, coming closer to me, then enveloping me in its pillowy puffs. This was very pleasurable, and triggered a series of deep clitoral orgasms, accompanied by a burst of emotion, which I call a crygasm. My favorites. As I came out of a divine afterglow, a wave of shame washed over me. Was I some sort of cloud pervert? Was there a difference between what Shere Hite told me was a totally normal recurring rape fantasy doing a live sex show with a horse, vs. a fantasy of making love with a cloud? I decided to ask the cloud, is this for real? Is this consensual? Am I totally nuts? In that moment a red helium balloon floated up into the sky and pierced the cloud, like with Cupid’s arrow. I took this to be a sign that indeed our love was real. Then before my eyes the sky darkened and it started to sprinkle. A cloud ejaculation! That was one of the best sexual experiences I had ever had, and I’d had many. For a long time I never spoke to anyone about this experience. It was a love that dared not speak its name.

Occasionally I would find people with whom I could talk about ecosex. My friend Michael L. confided that once when he was camping he had an affair with a bright yellow flower that grew outside his tent. He masturbated with, and ejaculated on the flower a couple times. When it the flower started to die from old age, it made him so sad that he ate the flower and they became forever one. My friend Andrew R. shared with me about his tree in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which had a big hole in its trunk. He would sneak inside that tree, masturbate, and come inside the tree. He developed a very strong bond with the tree, a deep love. Jasmine D. a yoga teacher friend, told me about the day her boyfriend broke up with her. She was crying face down on the grass. Suddenly she felt the life force of the Earth shoot into her, which triggered a full body Kundalini orgasm, the biggest she had ever had, which was for her a profound, beautiful and healing experience. She never cried over that boyfriend again.

Although I didn’t have a name for them yet, my ecosexual proclivities continued. Vegetables were a favorite dildo; namely the classic cucumber and the occasional carrot—I admit this was before we knew about washing off the pesticides. Water has always my favorite of the elements. On some special horny occasions, I’d lay on my back in the bathtub, straddle the faucet, turn on the water, and have beautiful watergasms. Or straddle a hot tub jet when I could find one. I loved doing clay masks, and to exfoliate in the shower with scrubs made of oatmeal, honey, lavender and rose. Steam baths, spa treatments with natural products, and aromatherapy scents made life extra pleasurable. As a sex worker I relished the occasional mud-wrestling photo shoot, the outdoor sex scenes, and the nice John with the yacht in the 79th street boat basin. In my personal life, having sex in the great outdoors was always a very special, all too rare, treat. Such was ecosex in the city.

MY MERMAID YEARS

Around my fortieth birthday the Sea began to beckon. “Come to me. You can’t resist me. Come to me. I want you.” Like the time I was in Scotland with my lover Mary. We were standing at the edge of Loch Ness looking for the monster when I heard, “Come to me, come to me…” My tears could not be withheld and Mary hugged me tight. “I feel so disconnected from nature,” I cried. “No wonder,” she said, “it’s the middle of winter for Christ’s sake.” But I knew it was more than that– I was out of touch, and I knew in my heart that I had to get back to the Garden.

So I inched myself away from Manhattan to live by the Sea. First I moved to East Hampton for a year. Then made my way to live in Provincetown where I fell in love with the humpback whales. After a couple years I was called to the Pacific Ocean, got a houseboat in Sausalito and lived right on top of the water, happily in rhythm with the tides. When my houseboat burnt down while I was out of town I learned about the power of fire. Free of material belongings, I took off with a male-to-female transsexual, named Captain Barb. We floated north on her fifty-five foot boat three years in a marina on Orcas in the San Juan Islands. I recreated myself as a mermaid.

A WORK IN PROGRESS TO BE CONTINUED.

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Ecosex Symposium II http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-symposium-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-symposium-2/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2012 23:29:14 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1457 We produced the EcoSex Symposium II with Femina Potens Gallery and the Center for Sex and Culture. It took place from June 17-19 at the new Center for Sex and Culture (CSC) on Mission Street in San Francisco, CA. The opening night of our EcoSex Manifesto art exhibit kicked off the Symposium II. This visual art exhibition remained in the gallery from May through June. This symposium brought together artists, activists, academics, sex workers and ecosexuals of all sorts.

 

Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle’s Ecosex Projects, Manifesto, Exhibit, & Symposium II

 

The ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM II IS OVER but remains documented here. We are now considering locations for Ecosex Symposium III and are open to all possibilities.

The EcoSex Symposium II was produced by Femina Potens Gallery in collaboration with the Center for Sex and Culture. It took place between June 18-19 at the new Center for Sex and Culture (CSC) at 1349 Mission Street (9th and 10th), San Francisco, CA.

 

EcoSex Symposium II explored these questions:

 

What’s an ecosexual?

Why are skinny-dipping, mysophilia and arboreal frottage so pleasurable?

Where is the e-spot?

Can the budding ecosexual movement help save the world?

These are some of the questions that will be discussed at our Ecosex Symposium II– a public forum where art meets theory meets practice meets activism. We are Elizabeth Stephens, a UCSC art professor and environmental activist and Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., a former feminist porn-star, and pioneering ecosexologist.

We will kick off this weekend with the unveiling of our “Ecosex Manifesto,” visual art exhibit with new collages, our ecosex wedding videos and ephemera, new photographs, and a wall text of our ecosex manifesto. Our art projects aim to inspire more love and appreciation for our Earth and environment.

We will be presenting five panels each with a stellar moderator and four diverse presenters. Eocsexual theorist and author of seminal text, Gaia and the New Politics of Love, Serena Anderlini, Ph.D. is flying in from University of Puerto Rico to present the keynote, What is Ecosexual Love? A Guide to the Arts and Joys of Amorous Inclusiveness. Good Vibration’s resident sexologist, Carol Queen, Ph.D., will be discussing The Sexology of Ecosexuality. Dr. Robert Lawrence, Ph.D. will explore The Ecosex Body. Also presenting is Madison Young, the award winning queer porn movie producer, an artist, and head of the Femina Potens Gallery. She will cover the Greening of the Sex Industry. Tania Hammidi will do a dance about conflict in the Middle East, genocide and olive trees. There will be a special “ecosexi-love-a-licious vegan raw lunch” created by Becka Shertzer’s Brazennectar & Mister Cream. Other presenters are Dylan Bolles & Sasha Hom, Amy Champ, and the legendary porn actress Dr. Sharon Mitchell who will share about the Sensuality of Gardening. The author of the book Ecosex, Stephanie Iris Weiss will be skyping in from New York for a panel on ecosex practices.There will also be an open forum for participants to share their work and thoughts. And more.

Who is invited? YOU, your communities, artists, academics, students, activists, theorists, curators, ecologists, environmentalists, sex workers, art patrons, witches, nature nymphs, country folk, city folk, herbalists, historians, pagans, scientists, media people, and others. The opening night is free. The entire symposium weekend is just $35. No one turned away for lack of funds.

A San Francisco Arts Commission cultural equity grant plus support from the Queer Cultural Center helps make all this possible.

Becka Shertzer, Vegan Chef Brazen Nectar, and Gregory Manitsas, Vegan Raw Pastry Chef, Mister Cream prepared an Ecosexi-Love-A-Licious vegan organic Lunch for the symposium. It was beyond delicious. Sexecology is committed to making the environmental movement more sexy, fun and diverse. We are very serious about ecosex being an environmental activist strategy. Join us!

 

The EcoSex Manifesto Exhibit and EcoSex Symposium II is presented by:

Femina Potens Gallery in collaboration with the Center for Sex and Culture.

All events are at the Center for Sex and Culture located at 1349 Mission Street (btw 9th and 10th Streets), San Francisco, CA 94103

For more information call 415-902-2071

For more information on Stephens and Sprinkle see:loveartlab.org or anniesprinkle.org and elizabethstephens.org

 

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THE ECOSEX MANIFESTO

Draft 1.0 of a work in progress.

(i) WE ARE THE ECOSEXUALS. The Earth is our lover. We are madly, passionately, and fiercely in love, and we are grateful for this relationship each and every day. In order to create a more mutual and sustainable relationship with the Earth, we collaborate with nature. We treat the Earth with kindness, respect and affection.

(ii) WE MAKE LOVE WITH THE EARTH. We are aquaphiles, teraphiles, pyrophiles and aerophiles. We shamelessly hug trees, massage the earth with our feet, and talk erotically to plants. We are skinny dippers, sun worshipers, and stargazers. We caress rocks, are pleasured by waterfalls, and admire the Earth’s curves often. We make love with the Earth through our senses. We celebrate our E-spots. We are very dirty.

(iii) WE ARE A RAPIDLY GROWING, GLOBAL, ECOSEX COMMUNITY. This community includes artists, academics, sex workers, sexologists, healers, environmental activists, nature fetishists, gardeners, business people, therapists, lawyers, peace activists, eco-feminists, scientists, educators, (r)evolutionaries, critters and other entities from diverse walks of life. Some of us are SexEcologists, researching and exploring the places where sexology and ecology intersect in our culture. As consumers we aim to buy green, organic, and local. Whether on farms, at sea, in the woods, or in cities small and large, we connect and empathize with nature.

(iv) WE ARE ECOSEX ACTIVISTS. We will save the mountains, waters and skies by any means necessary, especially through love, joy and our powers of seduction. We will stop the rape, abuse and the poisoning of the Earth. We do not condone the use of violence, although we recognize that some ecosexuals may choose to fight those most guilty for destroying the Earth with public disobedience, anarchist and radical environmental activist strategies. We embrace the revolutionary tactics of art, music, poetry, humor, and sex. We work and play tirelessly for Earth justice and global peace.

(v) ECOSEXUAL IS AN IDENTITY. For some of us, being ecosexual is our primary (sexual) identity, whereas for others it is not. Ecosexuals can be GLBTQI, heterosexual, asexual, and/or Other. We invite and encourage ecosexuals to come out. We are everywhere. We are polymorphous and pollen-amorous, We educate people about ecosex culture, community and practices. We hold these truths to be self evident; that we are all part of, not separate from, nature. Thus all sex is ecosex.

(vi) THE ECOSEX PLEDGE. I promise to love, honor and cherish you Earth, until death brings us closer together forever.

The ecosex revolution wants YOU. Join us.

Elizabeth M. Stephens & Annie M. Sprinkle

Ecosex Symposium Program

 

ECOSEX MANIFESTO ART EXHIBIT OPENING NIGHT & the ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM RECEPTION

Friday, June 17, 2011

7:00-9:30 PM (Free)

Come for the unveiling of new works by Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle: Ecosex wedding videos and ephemera, new collages, a manifesto wall text, and more. A gallery tour performance by Stephens & Sprinkle at 8:30 PM. Ecosexi-lovelicious edibles by Brazennectar & Mister Cream, EcoSexy fashion show by the fabulous Marine Debris plus Rock Pillows by Dalia Anani.

Plus come register for the Ecosex Symposium and get your badge and meet the other participants.

 

ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM II

Note: Panelists may be subject to change.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

10:30-11:00 am

GATHER

Registration, coffee/tea. Get your badge. Coffee, tea and refreshments will be available free throughout the conference. Plus, there will be eco-yummy snacks for purchase.

 

11:00-12:30

WELCOME to ECOSEXUALITY!

The Love Art Lab: Assuming the Ecosexual Position

Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D.: WTF is Ecosex? Exploring the Places Where Ecology and Sexology Intersect; An Overview

Elizabeth Stephens: SexEcology-EcoActivism as Art

Carol Queen, Ph.D. : The Sexology of Ecosexuality

Robert Lawrence, Ph.D.: The Senses

Madison Young—Greening the Sex Industry

 

12:30-1:00 pm

KEYNOTE

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Ph.D.: What is Ecosexual Love? A Guide to the Arts and Joys of Amorous Inclusiveness.

 

1:00-2:30 pm

ECOSEXI-LOVE-A-LICIOUS LUNCH

Please join us for a special meal together at CSC $15. Brazennectar & Mister Cream make organic vegan raw ecosexi-lovelicious edibles and sweets.

If you would like to order lunch for Saturday’s Ecosexi-Love-A-Licious Lunch, please order here:

BUY LUNCH

 

 

 

2:30-4:00

ECOSEX and ART

Moderated by Jiz Lee

Tessa Wills: Anal Ecology; A Dedication to the Earth

Penny Slinger: The Dakinis as EcoSexual Ambassadors

Tania Hammidi Ph.D.: Olive Tree Hug

Dylan Bolles & Sasha Hom: The Myth of Ten Thousand Things

 

4:00-4:30 pm BREAK

 

4:30-6:00

THEORIES of ECOSEX

Moderated by Sean Feit

Michael Morris: Ecosexuality: Intersections and Interventions in the Construction of Environmental/Sexual Subjectivity

Praba Pilar: The Cyborg Soap Opera

Jennifer Reed: Can the Ecosexual Movement Help to Reintegrate the Human-Environment Rift?

Sha LaBare: The Ecosexuality of Everyday Life

 

6:00-7:30 pm DINNER (In the restaurant of your choice.)

 

7:30-9:00

ECOSEX ACTIVISM, ENVIRONMENTALISM, and POLITICS

Moderated by Naomi Pitcairn

Amy Marsh, DHS, ACS, CHT: Toxins Ate My Sex Life

Scott Catamas: NonViolent Communication for the EcoSexual Movement

Travis Williams: Environmental Justice in Silicon Valley

Amy Champ: Absolutely Free and Radically Wild—Living Radical Ecology at the Berkeley Tree Sit

 

9:00-9:15 pm BREAK

 

9:15-10:45 pm

ECOSEX PRACTICES

Moderator:Reid Mihalko

Stephanie Iris Weiss: ECO-SEX: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable *(Via Skype)

Dr. Sharon Mitchell: The Ecstasy of Gardening

Dragonfly: Lovealujah is the Garden of Eden

Kirk Read: EcoSexual Adventures in the Woods

 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

10:00-10:30 am

GATHER Coffee/tea, schmooze.

 

10:30 am-12:00 pm

ECOSEX COMMUNITY SPEAK OUT: WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE’RE UP TO

Open microphone for any symposium participants that want to share their work and thoughts. From 1 to 10 minutes max. This session will close with La Tigressa’s BioSexual Goddess Striptease Poems.

Moderator: Dragonfly

 

12:00- 12:15 pm BREAK

 

12:15-1:00 pm

DISCUSSION and WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Moderated by: Lori Grace, M.A. Psych., LMT

 

1:00-1:30 pm

CLOSING STATEMENTS from the SYMPOSIUM HOSTS

Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle, Robert Lawrence & Carol Queen, and Madison Young The symposium be adjourned by an EcoSexual Tassel Twirling by Lady Monster.

 

 

$35. No One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds. (For NOTAFLOF details and info, contact bethandannie@sexecology.org)

BUY TICKETS

 

 

If you would like to order lunch for Saturday’s Ecosexi-Love-A-Licious Lunch (A vegan organic lunch prepared by Becka Shertzer, Vegan Chef Brazen Nectar, and Gregory Manitsas, Vegan Raw Pastry Chef, Mister Cream) please order here:

BUY LUNCH

 

 

ECOSEX MANIFESTO ART EXHIBIT

The Ecosex Manifesto Art Exhibit by Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle will be open for public viewing through July 24th.

Gallery Days and Hours: Thursdays and Fridays 6/23 + 6/24 2:00-5:00 PM 6/30+ 7/1 2:00-5:00 PM 7/21 + 7/22 2:00-5:00 PM

Or by appointment with the Center for Sex & Culture

 

RELATED EVENTS

Femina Poten’s ECOSEXUAL QUEER PORN NIGHT—At TallTreeTambo.org 776 Haight st & Scott St. in the Lower Haight behind PKOK.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 8:00 pm

[more info]

 

DIRT STAR at the Tenderloin National Forest, The Luggage Store

Sunday, June 19, 2011 5:00-7:00 pm Closing Night for Take Root with performances, food, free farm stand, and installations. Dirt Star Take Root is a queer sustainable art and food explosion. For more details.

[more info]

 

Ecosex Manifesto Art Exhibit

 

This exhibit will shift the metaphor from “Mother” Earth (someone who takes care of you) to “Lover” Earth (someone you desire to care for). If people regarded the earth as a lush Garden of Eden full of sensual pleasures, as a sweet lover, perhaps they would take better care of our planet. We’ll creatively explore environmental issues such as the pollution of the oceans, mountaintop removal strip-mining and the mindless consumption of resources. The Eco-Sexual Manifesto exhibit will ‘queer’, eroticize and glamorize the environmental movement and be both serious and satirical, a call to arms, and a political campaign. We will make, sell and give away items to promote ecosex community identification in the form of posters, bumper stickers, buttons, t-shirts, underwear, and other items. We will also create an artfully designed pamphlet with our Ecosexual Manifesto text, a rhetorical statement of political principles, which will also be exhibited as a wall-text in our Femina Potens installation.

The Ecosex Manifesto Art Exhibit by Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle will be open for public viewing through July 24th.

Gallery Days and Hours: Thursdays and Fridays 6/23 + 6/24 2:00-5:00 PM 6/30+ 7/1 2:00-5:00 PM 7/21 + 7/22 2:00-5:00 PM

Or by appointment with the Center for Sex & Culture 415-902-2071

Ecosex Weekend Schedule

 

Friday, June 17, 2011

ECOSEX MANIFESTO ART EXHIBIT OPENING & ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM RECEPTION

7:00-9:30 pm Opening and Reception are open to the public.

 

Satuday, June 18, 2011

ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM II

10:30-11:00 am Gather: Registration, Coffee/Tea.

11:00 am-12:30 pm Welcome To Ecosexuality

12:30-1:00 pm Keynote

1:00-2:30 pm Ecosexi-Love-A-Licious Lunch

2:30-4:00 pm Ecosex And Art

4:00-4:30 pm Break

4:30-6:00 pm Theories Of Ecosex

6:00-7:30 pm Dinner (Anywhere)

7:30-9:00 pm Ecosex Activism/Environmentalism/Politics

9:00-9:15 pm Break

9:15-10:45 pm Ecosex Practices

 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM II

10:00-10:30 am Gather: Coffee/Tea, Schmooze.

10:30 am-12:00 pm The Ecosex Community Speaks Out: Who We Are And What We’re Up To.

12:00-12:15 pm Break

12:15-1:00 pm Discussion And Where Do We Go From Here?

1:00-1:30 pm Closing Statements From The Symposium Hosts

 

 

$35. No One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds.

BUY TICKETS

 

If you would like to order lunch for Saturday’s Ecosexi-Love-A-Licious Lunch (A vegan organic lunch prepared by Becka Shertzer, Vegan Chef Brazen Nectar, and Gregory Manitsas, Vegan Raw Pastry Chef, Mister Cream) please order here:

BUY LUNCH

 

 

 

 

 

RELATED EVENTS

Femina Poten’s ECOSEXUAL QUEER PORN NIGHT—At TallTreeTambo.org 776 Haight st & Scott St. in the Lower Haight behind PKOK.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 8:00 pm

[more info]

 

DIRTSTAR PERFORMANCES at the Tenderloin National Forest/Luggage Store

Sunday, June 19, 2011 5:00-7:00 pm

[more info]

 

ECOSEX MANIFESTO ART EXHIBIT

The Ecosex Manifesto Art Exhibit by Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle will be open for public viewing through July 24th.

Gallery Days and Hours: Thursdays and Fridays 6/23 + 6/24 2:00-5:00 PM 6/30+ 7/1 2:00-5:00 PM 7/21 + 7/22 2:00-5:00 PM

Or by appointment with the Center for Sex & Culture

Queer Cultural Center
Queer Cultural Center
Femina Potens Gallery
Femina Potens Gallery
San Francisco Arts Commission
SF Arts Commission
Love Art Lab
Love Art Lab
Center for Sex & Culture
Center for Sex & Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Special Thanks For Food, Drink and Decor

Bondage Club Baltimore
Bondage Club Baltimore
Lochaistine
Artisana Premier Organics
Bison Organic Beer

One Coconut Water

Food For Life

Whole Foods Market/Haight

Cafe Gratitude

Mountain People Organic Beer and Wine

Lev’s Kombucha

Natasha Underwood, Indigo Solutions for Flower Design

Paul Mahder Gallery for Framing

 

Press Articles/Press Release

 

ARTICLES

San Francisco Chronicle, Date Book, Beyond Tree Hugging, by David Wagner read article

New York Times, Art Beat, Annie Sprinkle on Sex, Art and Activism, by Jennifer McDonald read article

El Pais, Tendencias, El EcoSexo Como Obra de Arte, by Roberta Bosco read article

AOL Weird News, ‘Ecosexuals’ Make Love With Nature by David Boye read article

SF Weekly, Green is the New Hot by Keith Bowers read article

The SF Examiner, EcoSexual’s Unite for EcoSex Symposium by Kelly Patterson read article

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Center for Sex and Culture (415) 902-2071

Femina Potens Press: Malia Schaefer feminapotenspress@gmail.com

Annie Sprinkle annie@anniesprinkle.org

Elizabeth Stephens: bethstephens@me.com

 

San Francisco, Ca.

ECOSEXUALS UNITE FOR AN ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM & ART EXHIBIT

What’s an ecosexual? Why are skinny-dipping, tree-hugging and mysophila so pleasurable? Where is the e-spot? Can the budding ecosexual movement help save the world? Who are the ecosexuals? These are some of the questions that will be discussed at the Ecosex Symposium II– a public forum where art meets theory meets practice meets activistism.

The organizers of these events are Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., a feminist-porn-star and artist, turned “sexecologist,” and Elizabeth Stephens, a UCSC art professor and environmental activist. The two women explain, “As a strategy to create a more mutual and sustainable relationship with our abused and exploited planet, we are changing the metaphor from the Earth as mother, to Earth as lover.”

Artists and sybaritic cougars, Sprinkle and Stephens kick off the weekend with their “Ecosex Manifesto” an art exhibit with new collages, their ecosex wedding videos and ephemera, ecosexual photographs, and a wall text with their manifesto. Stephens and Sprinkle create art that aims to inspire more love and appreciation for the Earth and environment. The art exhibit and symposium are sponsored by Femina Potens Gallery and all events will happen at the new Center For Sex & Culture at 1349 Mission Street. The artists got a cultural equity grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission to help make it all possible.

Eocsexual theorist and author of seminal text, Gaia and the New Politics of Love, Serena Anderlini, Ph.D. is travelling from University of Puerto Rico to present the keynote, What is Ecosexual Love? A Guide to the Arts and Joys of Amorous Inclusiveness. Good Vibration’s resident sexologist, Carol Queen, Ph.D., will be discussing ecorotic issues in the sex toy industry and The Sexology of Ecosexuality. Dr. Robert Lawrence, Ph.D. will cover ecosex fetishes. Also presenting are Madison Young, an award winning queer porn movie director and artist who will cover the Greening of the Sex Industry. Artist Tania Hammidi will do a dance piece about conflict, genocide and olive trees. There will be a special ecosexi-love-a-licious vegan raw lunch by Becka Shertzer’s Brazennectar and Mister Cream. Other presenters are artist musicians Dylan Bolles & Sasha Hom, yogi and academic Amy Champ, and the legendary porn actress Dr. Sharon Mitchell who will talk about the sensuality of gardening. Author of the book Ecosex, Stephanie Iris Weiss will be skyping in from New York for a panel. Other speakers will present on many more aspects of this budding new sexual movement. There will also be an open forum for symposium participants to share their work and thoughts.

Although Stephens and Sprinkle use humor in their work, they are very serious about engaging ecosex as an environmental activist strategy. They aim to, “make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse.” Additionally, they’d like to see an “E” added to GLBTQI.

 

PRESS PHOTOS: Available at http://loveartlab.org/press-gallery.php

 

Friday, June 17

7:00-9:30 ECOSEX MANIFESTO ART EXHIBIT OPENING &

ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM RECEPTION (Free)

 

 

Saturday, June 18

Sunday, June 19 10:00-1:30

ECOSEX SYMPOSIUM 11 ($35. No one turned away for lack of funds.)

10:30 AM to 10:45 PM

 

ECOSEX MANIFESTO ART EXHIBIT

The Ecosex Manifesto Art Exhibit by Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle will be open for public viewing through July 24th.

Gallery Days and Hours: Thursdays and Fridays: 6/23 + 6/24 2:00-5:00 PM, 6/30+ 7/1 2:00-5:00 PM, 7/21 + 7/22 2:00-5:00 PM Or by appointment with the Center for Sex & Culture.

 

RELATED EVENTS

June 16, 8:00 Femina Poten’s ECOSEXUAL QUEER PORN NIGHT—At ATA

June 19 5:00-7:00 DIRTSTAR PERFORMANCES at the Tenderloin National Forest/Luggage Store

Buy Tickets to the Ecosex Symposium II

$35. No One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds.

BUY TICKETS

 

 

If you would like to order lunch for Saturday’s Ecosexi-Love-A-Licious Lunch (A vegan organic lunch prepared by Becka Shertzer, Vegan Chef Brazen Nectar, and Gregory Manitsas, Vegan Raw Pastry Chef, Mister Cream) please order here:

BUY LUNCH

Call For Collaborators and Additional Sponsorship

 

We invite companies, organizations and individuals to collaborate with us on the Ecosex Manifesto opening night festivities, and the Ecosex Symposium ll weekend.

Design and/or print our symposium program. Donate food, beverages, flowers. Help with press and networking, production assist, be part of our documentation team, be part of our installation team. Design and create ecosex oriented products (buttons, tshirts, undies, water bottles) for us to manufacture and resell to participants and for future events. Bring petitions, environmental actions, your creative spirit. Other?

In exchange, we can offer promotion, tabling, press, credits, our love and gratitude, free symposium pass, and other perks. Let’s talk!

Request More Information

Contact Us

To contact Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens and to find out more about our work, please visit our websites:

The Love Art Laboratory loveartlab.org

Annie Sprinkle anniesprinkle.org

Elizabeth Stephens elizabethstephens.org

 

 

The EcoSex Manifesto Exhibit and EcoSex Symposium II were presented by:

Femina Potens Gallery in collaboration with the Center for Sex and Culture.

For more information call the Center for Sex and Culture for more information. 415-902-2071

All events will take place at the Center for Sex and Culture located at 1349 Mission Street (btw 9th and 10th), San Francisco, CA 94103

For additional information, please email us.

Request More Information

PARTICIPANT BIOS

 

Speakers

Please refer to the Program section for individual session times and dates for the speakers listed below.

 

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio

Believes that “a world where it is safe to love is a world where it is safe to live.” She is a scholar, writer, activist, professor, and cultural theorist. Her book of ecosexual theory, Gaia and the New Politics of Love is a 2010 Nautilus Winner in Cosmology and New Science. She is editor of BiTopia (2011), Bisexuality and Queer Theory (2010), Plural Loves: Designs for Bi and Poly Living (2005), and Women and Bisexuality: A Global Perspective (2003). Her memoir, Eros: A Journey of Multiple Loves, was a 2007 Lambda finalist. These are Routledge, New York, books. She is a full professor of humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. In July, 2011 she will teach the first multilingual course in Ecosexuality in Italy. In 2010 she keynoted at the World Polyamory Association Conference in California and BiReCon in England. She speaks English, French, Italian, and Spanish. Fan Page: facebook.com/GaiaBlessings Blog : polyplanet.blogspot.com/ Webpage: www.serenagaia.com Email:serena.anderlini@gmail.com

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio is the keynote speaker.

 

Dylan Bolles and Sasha Hom

Myth of Ten Thousand Things is a family project. In poetic song-like
structures Sasha Hom speaks of all the impossible places we make our
homes, while Dylan Bolles plays various instruments, sometimes
singing.We work in the mess and see what happens. Dylan Bolles makes performances with people and environments, many of
which involve the design and construction of new musical instruments
and the cultivation of co-creative relationships through listening
practice. Sasha Hom writes all kinds of things, but most of her time is spent chasing after her daughters. Sometimes she writes about this too. To check out more of her work and see her publications: http://SashaHom.com/

Bolles and Hom will present on the EcoSex Art Panel. Their presentation is entitled ” The Myth of Ten Thousand Things.”

 

Scott Catamas

Scott Catamas has won multiple EMMY awards as a writer, producer and director of educational television. He has created hundreds of original productions that have been performed live and/or broadcast nationally over NBC, HBO, SHOWTIME, FOX, UPN, etc. Scott started teaching in 2002, and has led hundreds of classes and workshops throughout the U.S. During this time, he has become a popular teacher and his events continue to expand. He has a popular weekly radio show and has been invited to teach throughout Europe. To learn more see http://lovecoachscott.com/

Scott Catamas will present on the EcoSex Activism Panel. His presentation is entitled ” NonViolent Communication for the EcoSexual Movement.”

 

Amy Champ

Amy Champ is a fourth-year doctoral student in Performance Studies at University of California, Davis. She explores connections between ecology and spirituality in performance and politics. She researches yoga’s impact on female bodies, transnational feminist collaboration, and women’s ritual arts. Her theoretical interests focus on energy and consciousness, democratic practice, lived aesthetics and ecological models of political change. Her dissertation covers the transformation of Western female bodies and identities through the global spread of yoga. Amy has an M.A. in Government and International Relations from California State University, Sacramento and a B.A. in Anthropology and Literary Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, California and was a Fulbright scholar in Zimbabwe in 1995. She has been a member of the Green Party of California since 1991. To keep up with Amy follow her tweets. http://Twitter.com/AMYCHAMP/

Amy Champ will present on the EcoSex Activist Panel. Her talk is entitled ” Absolutely Free and Radically Wild—Living Radical Ecology at the Berkeley Tree Sit.”

 

Dragonfly

Dragonfly is a lifelong artist-activist, challenging the politics of art, media, race, gender and sex. Her more provocative performances include Arena Studios’ legendary Black and Blue Ball, Epstein and Hassan’s Shock-and-Awe-a-Go-Go, Sarah Small’s critically-acclaimed Tableau Vivant of the Delirium Constructions, and a residency at TriBeCa Performing Arts Center as co-founder of writing/performance group, Matriotism. She has refined her many crafts with notable mentors: Linda Montano, Sandra Cisneros, Sharon Bridgforth, Leda Resureccion, and Edin Velez. She is a magna cum laude Rutgers University Honors College Scholar. She has also worked as an exotic dancer, phone sex actress, and dominatrix. Dragonfly is currently a deaconess/tenor in Reverend Billy’s Church of Earthalujah Gospel Choir, and developing her first one-woman show. Amen and Awomen!

Dragonfly will present on the EcoSex Practices Panel. The title of her talk is “Lovealujah is the Garden of Eden.”

 

Tania Hammidi

Tania Hammidi is a conceptual artist, educator, and freelance writer. She teaches design and queer theory at California College of Art and the University of California, Davis. She holds a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies, curates LGBTQ fashion events, and likes trees … a lot. More info: www.taniahammidi.com

Hammidi will present on the EcoSex and Art Panel. Hammidi’s talk is entitled “Olive Tree Hug” Photo by Blanca Muñoz.

 

Sha LaBare

Fur, milk, live birth!

Widgeteer, nexistentialist, and univore, LaBare recently finished a PhD in UC-Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness Department. He writes and theorizes science fiction and science fantasy, and is particularly interested in speculative philosophy, ecological ethics and science fiction as a way of thinking about the world. Sha is the resident nexistentialist for the ecosexual movement. He is currently exploring the Ecology of Everyday Life. He will present “The Ecosexuality of Everyday Life,” on the EcoSex Theory panel via Skpye live from Canada.

 

Dr. Robert Morgan Lawrence

Dr. Robert Morgan Lawrence has a Doctorate of Education degree in Human Sexuality and holds an additional doctorate degree in health care. He has served as a sex industry consultant, educator and academic author and lectures both nationally and internationally about human sexuality and health. Lawrence has produced and designed safer-sex education events of many kinds, and has been active as a safer-sex educator since 1980. His professional work has been published in journals, magazines and books, and he has interviewed on radio and television programs worldwide, including Donahue, Penn and Teller, Montel Williams, Playboy TV and Channel 4 of London. He serves on the Center for Sex & Culture’s board of directors.

For more information see: http://www.sexandculture.org/about-us/founders.html

Robert Lawrence will present on the Welcome to EcoSexuality Panel. His talk is entitled “Our Bodies Our Ecosexual Selves.”

 

Amy Marsh

Amy Marsh, DHS, ACS, CHt, is a clinical sexologist, hypnotherapist, sex writer, and associate professor of sexology at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. She wrote a weekly column, “Love’s Outer Limits,” for Carnal Nation (Oct. 2009-Oct. 2010) and is twice published in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. She hosts a program on BlogTalk Radio. Dr. Marsh has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “Tyra Banks,” and National Geographic Taboo “Forbidden Love” (airs June 6, 2011). She has dealt with environmental illness for over twenty-one years. As an activist, she is a former president of the Environmental Health Network (of CA). She stands with her current partner, Kukauakahi, in advocating Hawaiian sovereignty and preservation of sacred sites, including Mauna Kea. She has two sons: Asher, also a writer (http://tranarchism.com); and Paul, an aspiring tattoo artist. www.dramymarshsexologist.com

Amy Marsh will present “Toxins Ate My Sex Life.” on EcoSex Activism, Environmentalism and Politics panel.

 

Dr. Sharon Mitchell

Dr. Sharon Mitchell spent 25 years in the Adult Entertainment Industry as an actress, appearing in over 2000 movies, as a dancer performing in venues all over the world, and she has produced and directed over 42 movies. Mitchell received her PH.D. in Human Sexuality from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. California. She then went on to complete her residency in Los Angeles, California at the AIM Healthcare Foundation which she founded and directed for many years. Dr. Mitchell is currently taking time off to enjoy the pleasures and sensuality of gardening at home.

Dr. Sharon Mitchell will be presenting “The Ecstasy of Gardening” on the EcoSex Practices panel.

 

Michael Morris

Michael J. Morris is currently pursuing his PhD in Dance Studies at the Ohio State University. His research is in the area of theories of the body and performance, and his current work is towards the development of a theory of ecosexuality, building from theories of ecofeminist philosophy, queer ecology, sexuality studies, and phenomenology. In addition to his scholarly work, Michael is a choreographer and performer, influenced primarily by his training in Japanese Butoh. He is certified in Labanotation through the Dance Notation Bureau in New York, and holds a BFA in Dance from Belhaven University. Michael writes here: http://morrismichaelj.wordpress.com/

Morris will present on the Theories of EcoSex Panel. His talk is entitled ” Ecosexuality: Intersections and Interventions in the Construction of Environmental/Sexual Subjectivity”

 

Praba Pilar

Bay Area/Colombian Praba Pilar is a performance artist, technologist and cultural theorist exploring aspects of emerging technologies which generate new forms of economic, environmental and sexual exploitation and erasure. Her wildly diverse work has been presented at museums, galleries, universities and all kinds of arterventionist/performalogic spaces nationally and internationally, and honored with multiple awards, from the Creative Capital award to the Hawaii Fluxus Award. She is currently a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at the University of California at Davis and can be visited online at: http://www.prabapilar.com.

Pilar will present “The Cyborg Soap Opera.” on the Theories of EcoSex Panel.

 

Dr. Carol Queen

Dr. Carol Queen is a writer and cultural sexologist with a Ph.D. in human sexuality. She is a noted essayist whose own collection of essays, Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, was published in 1997 and reissued in 2002. She has appeared in several explicit educational videos, notably “Carol Queen’s Great Vibrations: An Explicit Consumer Tour of Vibrators” and “Bend Over Boyfriend: An Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Male Anal Pleasure.” Queen works as staff sexologist and is the Chief Cultural Officer at Good Vibrations. Queen is active on behalf of progressive sex education and sexual minority issues. Her perspective in addressing sexual diversity incorporates personal experience, accurate sex information, and informed cultural commentary. See www.carolqueen.com for her blogs and more.

Carol Queen will present on the Welcome to EcoSexuality Panel. Her talk is entitled “The Sexology of Ecosexuality.”

 

Kirk Read

Kirk Read is the author of “How I Learned to Snap” and director of Army of Lovers. He has toured nationally with the Sex Workers Art Show, the Queen’s English and Sister Spit. He cohosts the longrunning queer open mics K’vetsh and Smack Dab. He created the shows “This is the Thing” and “Computer Face” and is a regular at performance series like Porchlight, Perverts Put Out, Radar and Litquake. He created “Formerly Known As,” a festival of male and trans sex worker performance because he loves cultural activism but hates meetings. He loves backpacking, mud and weeds and stinging nettles. To find out more about Kirk’s work see his website. www.kirkread.com

Kirk Read will present “EcoSexual Adventures in the Woods,” on the EcoSex Practices panel.

 

Jennifer J. Reed MA

Jennifer J. Reed is a doctoral student and instructor in sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She specializes in environment and health as well as sexuality and gender issues. Jennifer is the mother of three beautiful adult children – two born of her womb and one later of her heart – and recently witnessed the amazing birth of her first grandbaby. She worked as an erotic dancer for fifteen years while raising her children. Jennifer is certified in various energy healing techniques after facing her own personal health challenges. She helped found a successful alternative healing arts center for youth and families in Ohio which just expanded to Florida. Jennifer identifies as an ecosexual and is an avid social justice activist. She feels fascinated by how social issues that many take for granted today are actually “socially constructed” rather than “natural” in origin, meaning that they can indeed be changed!

Reed will present “Can the Ecosexual Movement Help to Reintegrate the Human-Environment Rift?” on the Theories of EcoSex Panel.

 

Penny Slinger

Penny Slinger is an artist, writer and filmmaker who has not only championed the liberation of sexuality and the feminine, but actively forged new paths. Her art and techniques have been on the cutting edge of new realities since she emerged onto the London art scene at the end of the 1960s. Using herself as her own muse, she stripped away the layers of the feminine psyche as ‘the ultimate expose’ in photocollages and sculptures featuring life casts. Her artwork has been widely exhibited and a number of books and videos of her work have been published. She co-authored and illustrated ‘Sexual Secrets, The Alchemy of Ecstasy’ (1979), a seminal work bringing Tantra to a wider audience. Her current work, the 64 Dakini Oracle, has been many years in the making. The images are highly detailed digital collages, which Penny recognizes as a new medium for fine art. The oracle comprises 64 Divine Feminine archetypes in the form of a Goddess Temple for our time. www.pennyslinger.com and www.64dakinioracle.org

Penny Slinger will present “The Dakinis as EcoSexual Ambassadors”on the EcoSex Art Panel.

 

Annie Sprinkle

Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D. has 38 years of experience in sexually oriented art, entertainment, and media. She was a prostitute and porn star for twenty years, then bridged into the art world and became an internationally acclaimed performance artist doing theater about her life. Sprinkle was a mover and shaker in the 80’s “sex positive feminist” movement, taught sexuality workshops in 14 countries and helped pioneer new sex film genres. Sprinkle became the first porn star to earn a Ph.D. Today she is a committed environmental activist and helping grow the ecosex movement. She lives and works with her beloved life partner, artist/professor Elizabeth Stephens, and their doggie Bob, in San Francisco. They are “pollen-amourous,” married to the Earth, Sky and Sea. To check out more of her work and see her publications. http://anniesprinkle.org/ and http://loveartlab.org/

Sprinkle will present “WTF is Ecosex? Exploring the Places Where Ecology and Sexology Intersect; An Overview.” on the Welcome to EcoSexuality Panel.

 

Elizabeth Stephens

Elizabeth Stephens is a performance artist, activist and educator whose art, performances and writing have explored themes of queerness, feminism and environmentalism which all meld in her current focus on ecosexuality. Together with Annie Sprinkle she is creating the new field of SexEcology. They hope to make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse by exploring the space(s) where ecology and sexology intersect. SexEcology embodies the art of exploring the Earth as a lover instead of as our overworked mother. As a long-term lover of the Appalachian Mountains she is working to end mountain top removal strip mining. Stephens is a Professor of Art at University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently pursing a PhD in Performance Studies at UC Davis. Her thesis concerns creating new forms of environmental performance art to help activate environmental justice. See http://elizabethstephens.org/ and http://loveartlab.org/ for more.

Stephens will present “SexEcology- EcoActivism as Art: Stopping Mountain Top Removal.”on the Welcome to EcoSexuality Panel.

 

La Tigresa (Dona Nieto)

La Tigresa made international headlines in the fall of 2000 when she blockaded logging trucks with bare-breasted recitals of her poem, “I am the Goddess,” putting her body on the line in the struggle to save California’s ancient redwoods. She is the author of Naked Sacred Earth Poems, just released from Regent Press, and she will have copies of her book to sell- if you buy one she will sign it for you. Or you can order it from any bookstore, or Amazon, or at her website, www.LaTigresa.net.

La Tigressa will perform her BioSexual Goddess Striptease Poems at the end of the speak out session.

 

Stefanie Iris Weiss, MA

Stefanie Iris Weiss, MA, is the author of nine books, including her most recent: Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable (Crown Publishing/Ten Speed Press, 2010). The first book about ecosexuality, Eco-Sex explores the day-to-day realities of going green between the sheets, covering everything from green courtship to green sex toys. Stefanie has also written about the quarter-life crisis, women’s issues, dating and relationships, health and wellness, the divinatory arts, and more. Find her on the web: ecosex.net, facebook.com/Ecosex, and twitter.com/EcoSexuality.

Stefanie Weiss will present her work at the symposium via Skype just before the EcoSex Practices panel.

 

Travis L. Williams

Travis L. Williams focuses on the history and practice of environmental justice advocacy. He is a steering committee member of the UCSC Science and Justice Working Group as well as co-founder of Energy Worlds, a subdivision of UCSC’s Science and Justice Working Group which examines the nexus between science, culture, and energy production and consumption in the 21st century, with a key emphasis on social, economic, and environmental justice. His current research project focuses on the history of environmental justice advocacy in Silicon Valley and other high tech industrial corridors.

Travis Williams will present his work on Environmental Justice in Silicon Valley during the EcoSex Activism, Environmentalism and Politics panel.

 

Tessa Wills

Tessa Wills is a choreographer and a Live Artist. Her current concerns in practice are wounds, punctures, liminality and the movement organizing principles of birds. She is honoured to continue her working relationship with Stephens and Sprinkle by restaging this collaboration with Harold Burns as a dedication to the Earth. Burns is a Bay Area performer, activist and educator, and member of the offcentre (theoffcenter.org). This duet is was origionally inspired by Chaignord and Bengolea’s performance “Paqurette”. Costumes by Honey McMoney (www.honeymcmoney.com). Equipment and education from Eve Minax (www.eveminax.com) Madame Pele (www.madamegoddess.com) and Kirk Read (www.kirkread.com). Burns and Wills next perform for the festival ‘This is What I Want” in June, and premier a new full length piece at Counterpulse on August 12th and 13th. www.tessawills.com Tessa is supporting the feild of the providers ally; a resource for professionals. www.lillyally.com

Wills and Burns will present “Anal Ecology; A Dedication to the Earth” on the EcoSex Art Panel.

 

Paul Wirhun

Paul Wirhun has worn many hats in his life, each carrying it’s own type of work for this mutli-faceted artist, writer, sex shaman, performer and eco-activist. Many on the East Coast know him as the Eggman, for his mastery of egg/Art beginning with his Ukrainian ancestry. He lived for many years in Provincetown honing his artistry on eggshells, and spent many days trolling the beaches of his beloved seaside enclave, collecting trash for a drag character Marine Debris, who sought to raise consciousness while looking chic. This experience spawned the Couture de la Marine Debris, which has shown it’s collections in Provincetown and NYC in the past to years. Paul’s fashion artistry with beach trash was cited recently on www.agreenbeauty.com. This show initiates San Francisco to the cool looks spun out of Marine Debris on a hot summer’s day by the sea.

Marine Debris will model his fashions of Friday night at the opening of the Ecosexual Manifesto

 

Madison Young

Madison Young is an international award-winning feminist porn star, director, gallerist, artist, and new mom. She has been directing and performing in erotic films for nearly a decade and has won great acclaim for her video line, Madison Young Productions, and her network of erotic web sites, the Feminist Porn Network. Her films have screened at film festivals through out the States, Europe, and Australia. Young, who has been called a “sex positive Tasmanian devil” values sexual education in her work and has taught workshops, lectures, and acted as a panelist on the topics of sexuality, feminism and pornography, and kink across the country including at Yale University and UC Berkeley. When she isn’t documenting hot sex on film she is running her own non profit community art gallery in San Francisco, Femina Potens Art Gallery, which focuses on the expression of Art, Sex and Gender. madisonbound.com www.feminapotens.org

 

Moderators

Please refer to the Program section for individual session times and dates for the speakers listed below.

 

Sean Feit

Sean Feit is a musician, writer, and dancer who makes and studies contemplative performance, working with improvisation, video, lyric scholarship, and the Buddhist and Hindu yoga practices of meditation, asana, and kirtan. He is a PhD student in Performance Studies at UC Davis, teaches yoga at Yoga Mandala in Berkeley, and meditation at SF Insight. Sean was a monk in Burma in 2002, and regularly lives in the silence of long meditation retreat. Sean has danced or made music with The Bodycartography Project, Seth Eisen, AVY K Productions, Leslie Seiters Little Known Dance Theater, for whom he created the score for The Way to Disappear (2005), and Keith Hennessy/Circo Zero. His music for Circo Zero’s Sol Niger (2008) won an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Sound/Text 2007-8. Sean Feit will moderate the EcoSex Theories Panel.

 

Lori Grace

Lori Grace Star, M.A. Psych., LMT, has been studying and teaching approaches to communication and conflict resolution for nine years and (NVC) Compassionate Communication for five. She helps people expand their ability to communicate with their partners, feel compassion and understanding for each other, and experience profound levels of connection. Lori Grace is committed to environmental activism and has been trained by Al Gore. She is also the director of the Sunrise Center in Marin. For more on Grace’s work see: http://www.sunrise-center.org/ She will moderate the “Where Do We Go From Here?” discussion.

 

Jiz Lee

Jiz Lee is genderqueer pornstar known for an androgynous gender-bending appearance, copious female ejaculation, champion fisting, cock slinging, and light-hearted attitude about sex. The Feminist Porn Award-winning performer works with celebrated female filmmakers and advocates ethical porn as an author and speaker. With one foot in the Bay Area arts scene, Jiz holds a BA in Dance and has a background in arts management and performance as one-half of the art duo Twincest (RIP). At last year’s Ecosex Symposium, Jiz presented “Dangerous Curves” by Carlos Batts and April Flores, where the road to beautiful, hard to reach places was metaphorically portrayed through hardcore sex in luscious natural environments. This year Jiz is honored to moderate the Ecosex & Art Panel.

 

Reid Mihalko

Sex and relationship expert Reid Mihalko of ReidAboutSex.com helps adults create more self-esteem, self-confidence and greater health in relationships and sex lives.

Reid has appeared on the Emmy award-winning talk show Montel, Fox News, in Newsweek, Seventeen, GQ, The Washington Post, and in thirteen countries and at least seven languages. His workshops have been attended by close to 30,000 men and women.

Reid Mihalko will moderate the EcoSex Practices panel.

 

Naomi Pitcairn

Naomi Pitcairn is an artist who might welcome the adjectives morbid and cynical. For more see: naomipitcairn.com Naomi also helped start the Fresh Juice Party: freshjuiceparty.com

Naomi Pitcairn will moderate the EcoSex Activism, Environmentalism and Politics panel.

 

 

Additional Collaborators

The symposium is made possible by the generous collaboration and support of our friends and community.

 

Liz Burke

Liz Burke is a professor of writing and research at JFK University. She is also a writing advisor, guide, and professional editor. In addition to guiding others, she is also a published poet and academic renegade who believes that writing is a fierce act of love, a way of life, and a gesture toward true freedom. Liz is in the beginning stages of creating an independent university based on the values of love, justice, and freedom for all and our planet.

 

Deli Pub

The Deli Pub has nourished Annie and I as we have brainstormed and organized the EcoSexual Manifesto and EcoSex Symposium II. Imed Yaish is the best pub master in Bernal Heights. His sandwiches are beautiful ecosexual sculptures. You should come and partake of them. Plus he makes a mean latte which goes really well with the fresh baklava that beckons from the counter. The Deli Pub is located at 301 Cortland St. It is on the corner of Bocana St. in Bernal Heights, San Francisco. You will be so happy that you dropped by for lunch or an afternoon delight.

 

C. Finley

Rome based artist C. Finley is known for her elaborate geometric paintings and her activism through urban interventions. Her Wallpapered Dumpsters project transforms environmental activism into unexpected beauty. Wallpapered Dumpsters is featured in Urban Interventions (Gestalten) and Stuck-Up Piece Of Crap – A Selected History of Stickers, From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art (Rizzoli). The recipient of the Eszter Cohen grant, C. Finley continues to wallpaper dumpsters and rubbish receptacles in cities throughout Europe. C.Finley has shown internationally with exhibitions at Hot Art Fair Basel, Aequalis Contemporary, High Energy Constructs, Salon Oblique, Dumba Collective and in 2007 was the artist-in-residence at the Treehouse Gallery, Los Angeles. Currently, C. Finley is artist-in-residence at Gai Mattiolo fashion house in Rome, Italy. C.Finley received her BFA from the Pratt Institute, New York and her MFA from California State University Long Beach. Finley lives in Rome and New York.

 

Sakura Kelley

Sakura Kelley is currently a UC Santa Cruz student. Her fields of focus are photography and community studies. She has a special interest in social justice issues such as environmentalism, queerism, violence and trauma. She has worked for various social organizations such as Frack Action, as well as various student groups like the Pride Alliance and the Antiwar Coalition. She has also photographed for the Indypendent, a New York-based free newspaper. Sakura Kelley is the winner of the prestigious UCSC Art Department Irwin Award for excellence in the Arts. Currently she is the photographer for the Arts Division. Sakura Kelley is interested in collaborating with artists, activist, ecosexuals and all inventors. She printed the large photos that are the background for the Ecosexual Manifesto collages.

 

Natalie Loveless

Natalie Loveless is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist. She received a PhD in the History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz, has an MFA in performance, video and installation from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and an MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism from Tufts University. She is currently a visiting assistant professor in the Visual Arts department of the University of Western Ontario. Natalie is our Canadian Ecosexual Intellectual Conspirator (CEIC) and manifesto consultant. For more about Natalie see: www.loveless.ca

 

 

Lady Monster

Lady Monster – The Spawn of Satans Angel and San Francisco’s Force of Nature. Voted as one of the Top 100 Burlesque Performers in the World for 2010 in 21st Century Burlesque Magazine. Collaborating in Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens’ Green, Blue and Purple Wedding ceremonies and Ecosexual Honeymoon Symposium I, Lady Monster has realized her deep roots as an Ecosexual. Being married to the Earth, Sea, Sky and Moon she has committed herself to the four corners as a tantalizing and inspired force. Crowned as a Queen of the Fire Tassels, she also twirls Water Tassels, shaking the Earth with each shimmy. For more excitement see ladymonster.com

 

Julia Reardin

Julia Reardin is currently a film student at UCSC. She also works as a research assistant for Professor Elizabeth Stephens in the Art Department. Julia’s main focus is narrative film and film production. For three years she worked as the director’s assistant for the Ann Arbor Film Festival in Michigan. She was also a production assistant for three years at WTIU/PBS in Bloomington Indiana. Additionally Julia has worked as a camp assistant at Voglesang High Sierra Camp as well as in the bar at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. Currently Julia is creating a digital art project entitled I’ll Be Your Avatar. You can view this project and more at: http://www.juliareardin.com

Rich Reardin

Rich Reardin is a radio producer, audio engineer, Flash animator, graphic artist, cartoonist, and web designer living in Bloomington, Indiana. Rich’s father was lifelong friends with Allen Ginsberg. Allen’s subsequent life and work helped to inspire Rich’s longtime interest in Buddhism, the arts, poetry, literature, and music. Rich is now creator and executive producer of a nationally syndicated radio series, “In Search of a Song” with Jason Wilber (John Prine’s longtime lead guitarist) about the lives and music of world class songwriters, and is available on the Public Radio Exchage. Rich is the creator of a comix strip called “What N’ Where? The Adventures of Cosmic Tom”. Growing up in the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania, Rich was inspired to help in creating a website for “Coal Country” for Mari-Lynn Evans and Phylis Geller, a movie about the issue of Mountain Top Removal in Appalachia that can be seen on the Discovery Network Planet Green.

 

Becka Shertzer, Brazen Nectar

My ties to the arts, healing and organic food movements are deep, going back to the Queer, Punk, Art, and the early AIDS movements and the macrobiotic community in Boston, MA in the early 80’s. It was there that I first was introduced to radical art and politics as well as the Kushi Institute, Macrobiotics, acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The impact of the healing I experienced through the combination of foods, herbs, ancient spiritual energetic medicine, art and community was profound. I have been exhilarated and inspired by my adventures in fusing all of these beautiful and energetic elements; elements implicit in cooking and creating and pushing the bounds of what is possible in food, flavor, community, art and health. I am currently living my most fully expressed “organic” life! Art, community and food are inextricably connected.

Becka Shertzer, 
artist/muralist
 for the Growing Connections Mural, chef, inspired mixtress
Brazen Nectar
fruit of the gods
’bringin good food to the people’
brazennectar@gmail.com, brazennectar.com 510 318-1405 Homobiles: Queer Car Service
Development 
415 574-5023

 

Veronica Van Gogh

Veronica Van Gogh is an artist, graphic designer, and ecstatic gardener who uses public space as her canvas. She studied Cultural Theory and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. She is currently focused on fusing technology and organic materials and images in her creative experiments.(veronicavangogh.com). Committed to art as service (thesockproject.com) and art as viral gift (magariproject.com), Veronica has created installations that have been documented in Italy, Switzerland, NYC & San Francisco over the past 10 years. Her artwork has shown at aMuse Gallery, Workspace Inc., Project Artaud and Root Division. She is a member of ALTARISTAS!, a collective of stealth creators of public altars, the inventor of the slut kit (slutkitshop.com) + designer of fucker soaps and towels. Veronica co-created & designed many of the pieces of ecosexual objects and propaganda that are part of the Ecosex Manifesto Art Exhibit.

 

Daniel Wasko

For Daniel Wasko, designer of the Ecosex Symposium site, there’s nothing like that magical moment when you’re creating and it all starts clicking. Your vision becomes crystallized and it feels like divine intervention. He says, “I hope I can feed that energy into my designs. Art excites me most when it’s transformative, revolutionary and envisions possibilities never imagined. Websites offer a unique way of announcing yourself to the world and I get a big charge from being able to show off the work of other artists through my designs.”

Wasko works with creative artists to create affordable solutions which help them promote their work. He’s worked with Annie Sprinkle for years and is currently working on her site redesign. Facebook: Daniel Wasko Design. Portfolio: danielwasko.com.

 

Additional Thanks To:

 

Michael Grohall

Suzanne Geneste de Besme

Dalia Anani

Sandra Chan

Creatrix Tiara

Amanda Hopkins

Marina Liu

Anna Seiley

Tommy Toxic

Azurdee Miller

Ruby Pearl

Augustus Thompson

Judy Meath

 

 

 

 

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Ecosex Symposium I http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-symposium-i/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-symposium-i/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2012 23:01:26 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1456 Our first EcoSex Symposium was the Purple Wedding to the Moon honeymoon in Los Angeles. This symposium was held at Highways performance space in Santa Monica. It was an exciting experiment in bringing together academics, sex-workers, artists and performers. Overall it was a happy experiment and set the precedent for our ecosex symposiums to embrace art, theory, practice and research.

 

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Ecosex Walking Tours http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-walking-tours/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-walking-tours/#comments Sun, 15 Jan 2012 19:20:48 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1374


We do walking tours of various sorts, from on hour long to a full day. Each tour is site specific. It can be from just a few people, up to about 60 people. When possible we offer the tours free, if producer can pay our artist fee. However sometimes we charge a fee to the tour-ists to make up our fee. For larger groups we need a couple of bullhorns. Sometimes we use a sign to lead the group. A walking tour can also be combined with a workshop, or bus ride, or other ideas. Here is an example of short tour:

SexEcological Walking Tour  
Alternate title: Ecosensual Walking Tour
With Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle

Join Beth & Annie as they point out the ecosexy sites around _________. Experience the fun when you shift the metaphor from “Earth as mother,” to “Earth as lover!” You’ll learn 25 ways to make love to the Earth, find your e-spot, and explore the eroticism of nature through your senses. In this unique tour, art meets theory meets practice meets activism. Adults only. Rain or shine.

To book a tour, contact us.

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PAR: Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story http://elizabethstephens.org/par-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/par-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-2/#comments Sun, 01 Jan 2012 22:19:11 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/par-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-2/  

Introduction

Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story is an experimental documentary film that explores the need for creative approaches to our current environmental crises, focusing on Mountain Top Removal (MTR). These approaches need not only to inform audiences, but they also need to open up new creative spaces from which we can imagine alternative realities or outcomes than those we currently inhabit. This film braids together three main motifs – my upbringing in the heart of a West Virginia coal mining family, the environmental and social devastation of mountaintop removal mining, and the joys of ecosexuality – to expose injustices in one of the most poverty-stricken regions of the U.S. the southern coalfields of West Virginia.

Haraway’s notions of situated knowledges will help situate the knowledge produced by this film. Joseph Beuys’ theory of social sculpture (an expanded notion of art) will be used to examine how art can shape ideologies. Dipesh Charkabarty’s concept of enchanted time will explore possible ways to create badly needed new spaces of possibility for both humans and nonhumans living in the West Virginia coalfields. Finally Lynette Hunter’s concept of situated textuality enables me to understand this film as situated textuality, which allows process-based knowing, central to situated knowledges, to be conveyed to the film’s audiences.

Situated knowledges are the knowledges produced from experience gained on the ground instead of knowledge produced from the privileged heights of the ideologically authorized realms. In originating at ground level, and having not been duly authorized by hegemonic institutions, situated knowledges are marginalized by hegemonic ideology. Situated knowledge is always partial and always incomplete. Furthermore, it is always on the move. Thinking in terms of situated knowledges erodes what Haraway calls the “God’s Eye View,” and this erosion helps begin to level the playing field while making it possible to animate a range of subject positions. It also makes more room for diversity of thought and action. My overall goal in Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story is to create a deeply situated textuality that tells the story of the place that I love.

These thinkers allow me to articulate Goodbye Gauley Mountain as a critical mode of art making. This is a story that conveys the consequences of neoliberalism in terms of the social and environmental costs that are associated with resource extraction such as coal (in the case of our film) as well as gas and oil. The coal industry is the leading industry operating in central Appalachia now as it has been for the past one hundred and fifty years.

The thinkers mentioned above help make sense of the common ground that I try to create with this film as a way to raise consciousness about MTR. This common ground is important to create sustained conversations between the multiple parties involved in mining – families, communities, workers, government officials and the mining corporations – that will inspire reflection on the part of Appalachians about the kind of lives they desire for themselves. These conversations are necessary in order to understand what the social and environmental stakes are for the residents that could lead to political action, which might eventually help bring an end to MTR. Most of the film’s participants stand on the common ground of being against MTR. They speak out about their own marginalization as well as that of the mountain ecosystems and all of the life that they contain. The film also includes two men who have worked in mining, Leroy and Roger, who take different sides of this debate. Roger articulates the need for coal as well as for employment that this industry provides. Roger and (his wife) Cindy’s discussion of their disagreements is a typical example of the complex pressures that the political and economic demands of living in a hegemonic mono-economy place on families and relationships.  My sister Kitty also also supports MTR for the sake of “progress.”

This critique will examine the West Virginia coalfields as a sacrifice zone. It will also argue that art has the potential to inspire change in collaboration with other activist and intellectual practices throughout the network of social justice movements. This change is necessary in order to modify how Appalachia is perceived as well as how Appalachians perceive themselves. This may lead to the film being screened widely enough to inspire the necessary public debate that then could influence the governmental support and legislative action to stop this destructive form of mining.

Most importantly this film conveys that it is through the way that ecosexuality  has a rhetoric (as well as a set of tactics) that informs the film that turns it into a medium that instigates a process of engaged knowing. This film portrays its information as a way of life, that initiates an aesthetic response in the audience that has to do with learning about collaborations that are based on shared (although not identical) processes and desires.  Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story does not let the audience get off the hook at the end of the film. Rather, it invites them to get more involved.  I will explore this complex process further in the dissertation.[1]

 

Synopsis

I directed and produced Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story in to fulfill the Practice as Research portion of the PhD in performance studies at UC Davis. My partner Annie Sprinkle was my assistant director and on camera sidekick. The film is currently a fine rough cut that will be finished by late spring/early summer 2012. Structurally, the film is framed as my coming-home story – to a place I consider the most beautiful place on earth, a place that indelibly marked me as a hillbilly, a dyke, and a rabble-rouser long before I realized  that I was an ecosexual. During our visit, Annie and I learn more about the practice of mountain top removal (MTR) strip mining, which is in full swing, as are its devastating effects on the mountains and their surrounding communities. Realizing that we need to do whatever we can to stop the destruction, we pick up a camera and employ our favorite weapons of mass disruption: humor, love, performance art, and activism – which turn into the central constituents/strategies/tactics in the situated textuality that we create. This is a documentary about “pollen-amorous” love and our quest to save the Appalachians and surrounding communities.

Stylistically, this film is narrated in first-person with interviews and ecosexual actions to connect to the earth: tree hugging, rock kissing and skinny-dipping, to name a few. This narration in the first person as myself, a West Virginian, maintains the process of situated knowing. I chose to narrate my story of growing up and then coming back home to lend the film a sense of authority and authenticity that can only come from first hand experience.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story also contains interviews with friends, family members, mining experts and anti-MTR activists who are currently living in the southern part of the state where MTR is unleashed against the mountains on a daily (and nightly) basis. Everyone has taken risks just by appearing in this film, which is bound to be controversial if and when it is shown in West Virginia. The film is unabashedly queer in its own situated (eco)sexuality, which may be used to discredit those who appear in it. West Virginians like to think of themselves as friendly all American heteronormative people. But many stereotypes of Appalachia portray it as a strange, queer place populated by incestuous primitive people. My ecosexuality could be thought of as being partially situated in this queerness of the Appalachian Mountains and partially situated in the queerness of American urban centers such as San Francisco.

In addition to the interviews I conducted, my videographer Jordan Freeman and film producer Mari-Lynn Evans generously loaned me footage of MTR explosions, MTR mine sites, a public speech by the former CEO of Massey Energy Corporation, of protests and beautiful nature shots. This footage clearly shows the violence of the destruction, the ongoing social struggles and the arrogance of the coal corporations, which are often cloaked like Don Blankenship in the red, white, and blue of patriarchal patriotism. Few of the audience members for whom I pre-screened the film in California had seen coal mining in action before. Seeing this footage often created an emotional response that engendered empathy for the mountains. Many viewers had no idea of the magnitude of devastation that MTR is responsible for in Appalachia. Roger is correct when he says that most people think electricity comes out of a switch on the wall. Although this is a simplistic assessment of people’s knowledge, most of us rarely if ever consider where our electricity comes from or of the consequences of our ever-increasing reliance on and expectation of cheap accessible electric power.

The subjects I interviewed, their lives and their relationships with the mountains are uniquely situated in the coalfields. Each interview began with the question, “What do you love about the mountains?” Obviously the conversations went beyond the question, but everyone began their interview from a place of love. This movie is as much about love for the mountains as it is against mountain top removal. This love helps maintain the film’s situatedness throughout.

The film opens with me sky gazing, and cuddling with Annie by the river, and this shot, in its humorous fairy tale essence, sets the ecosexual tone for the rest of the film. Ecosexuality inserts an ‘erotic’ humor that plays against the horrific subject matter. So far the feedback that I’ve received at film previews makes me realize that these are effective strategies for creating space to briefly cut the feeling of despair that MTR evokes. This somewhat absurd notion of an ecosexual fairy tale creates a different kind of time that runs alongside the expected documentary time of the film’s interviews. My dissertation research will be reflecting on further exploring and opening out the possibilities that ecosexuality enables. It will also trace a genealogy of ecosexuality itself.

Annie, Bob (our black Lab), and I visit my early haunts. We tour my childhood mountain community of Charlton Heights, near Gauley Mountain where my sister, Anne, playfully directs me to re-enact my conception in front of the house where I was conceived. This playfulness counters the sadness I experience in seeing this community’s demise when I go home. My family used to be well established on this mountain, but Charlton Heights has deteriorated from the once proud, vibrant, tightly knit community I remember. Now meth labs and unemployment abound. The Methodist Church, former nerve center of the community, is abandoned and for sale. Anne, who has lived there longer than anyone else, and who quietly opposes MTR, barely knows her neighbors’ names anymore. In this declining community, neighbors who support MTR surround her.

The emotion of the tragedy of the death of these coal communities is transmitted and supported by Joan Jeanrenaud’s music (from the Kronos Quartet). Her cello captures the deepness of the loss that most people feel when they see such destruction. Music is another conscious way that situatedness is maintained throughout the film. Although Jeanrenaud’s work is avant-garde, I intersperse this with classic mountain music such as the work of Haze Dickens who was from MacDowell County to acknowledge the cultural fabric. Dickens’ piece, West Virginia, My Home creates a old time transition between mining inspector Jack Spadero and my longtime friends Cindy and Roger who live in a mobile home on Pinch Ridge. David Grisman’s Newgrass (variation on bluegrass) music energizes the anti-MTR protests where even the actress Daryl Hannah is arrested for the mountains.

We attend my first gay gathering in my home state, a picnic hosted by Fairness WV as part of the Freedom to Marry Summer for Marriage tour. Lesbians and gays gather in a Charleston park for a family picnic to hear speeches, share food and talk to news reporters. Annie and I arrive and try to convert gays and lesbians to become ecosexuals. This is, of course, a play on conversion therapy that tries to convert gays and lesbians into normative heterosexuals, usually at great psychological harm. This scene is one of the most spontaneous in the film. The film was very loosely scripted and when the opportunity to shoot unexpected scenes, like the gay gathering (and the protest at the Department of Environmental Protection) arose, we mobilized quickly to shoot. I tell Tara (whom I had never met before) that “I knew that she was an ecosexual. She laughs and says that she was “born and raised in West Virginia.” I respond, “I was born and raised in West Virginia too.” Again, this positions ecosexuality as a situated sexuality, in part, in West Virginia. Following is the ecosexual collage of Annie and me kissing lichen covered cliffs, flowers in the cemetery, water in Laurel Creek and finally sunbathing naked on the rocks with my voiceover describing, “being loved by and loving nature.”

I propose to Annie in the family cemetery, with the decrepit American Power coal burning power plant directly behind, surrounded by flowers and little flags of those dead from coal-related illnesses. I ask Annie, “Will you marry a mountain with me and hopefully our love will help stop MTR?” Annie says, “YES!” We kiss the ground and come back up with dirt all over our faces.

This action kicks off a medley of people singing versions of the state song, The West Virginia Hills. We see T. Paige Dalporto with Annie, strumming his guitar as they stroll up Capitol Street in Charleston, WV, then cut to Beth with state troopers, who are about to bust up a protest at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Kanawha City. Mountain keeper Larry Gibson and his wife, Carol, join in as we sit on their porch on Kayford Mountain, and their schnauzer helps by yodeling along. Annie and Cindy, my best friend from Mink Shoals Elementary School, add an energetic yee hawww!! on Pinch Ridge and finally, we cut back to the protest at the DEP where I ask the police if they know this song. One of the underlying tensions is that the pro-MTR folks accuse anti-MTR folks of being outsiders; the fact that the cops don’t know the song doesn’t help their case. But even if they didn’t learn the West Virginia state song in third grade (as I did) at least they were able to pursue a career other than in coal.

The film takes us to people’s homes, mountain top removal sites, to activist protests, and finally to our magnificent Purple Wedding atop a lush green mountain, where queers from California, environmental activists and family members from West Virginia, Tony’s Circus animals from Brooklyn, NY and Ohio University students and professors all come together, vowing to love, honor, and cherish the Appalachian Mountains until death brings us closer together forever. Documentary footage of our wedding to the Appalachian Mountains includes interviewees Paul Corbit Brown, Sarah Vekasi, my sister Anne. Larry Gibson delivered the homily.

The film’s creative approach is to make the fight for environmental justice a little more sexy, fun, hopeful, and diverse while giving the audience a visceral experience of MTR and of what it is destroying. It invents tactics that engage the audience in an aesthetic response that is an ongoing process.  Hopefully this visceral process will inspire people to think about the earth in different ways. This may generate questions such as, how can we change our relationship from Earth as mother, to Earth as lover? Can the Earth feel our love? Can romantic love for nature mobilize others – before it’s too late?

AUTOETHNOGRAPHY

This film employs autoethnographic methodology that uses my personal experience as a lens through which to study the culture of West Virginia. More generally this method can also be applied to my Love Art Laboratory collaborative art project with Annie Sprinkle to study our relationship with the Earth. The Purple wedding performance to the Appalachian Mountains is one aspect of this relationship as is ecosexuality. There were many reasons I chose to tell this story in the first person. I wanted to counter any criticism by the coal industry and its supporters that this was another environmental propaganda film made by an outsider who didn’t know West Virginia and didn’t know about coal. The pros of this approach are that people in West Virginia are going to trust that I know where they are coming from regardless of which side of this issue they are on.

In telling my own story, it becomes clear that coal dust has always runs through my veins. My family has been involved with mining since the 1600s when they were miners in Cornwall, England. They were still miners when they arrived to work in the copper mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Then they moved south to work as machinists, metallurgists, inventors, and eventually started the family business, Marathon Coal Bit Company, in Smithers, West Virginia. The women in my male dominated heteronormative family supported their husbands’ endeavors while raising the children. The men were extremely patriarchal. This was typical of all the families I knew although most of the families I knew were my relatives. I was expected to grow up and marry a man who would work for the family business like my three sisters did before me. Instead, I grew up learning the names of mining machinery and machine parts that were used in multiple aspects of mining, alongside learning that rhododendrons were the state flower, the cardinal was the state bird, and the West Virginia Hills was the state song. I knew from birth that Coal was King.

Autoethnographical working methods are central to my work. I grew up in a story-telling culture. Most often these stories had larger meanings than the storyteller acknowledged during their performance, but they were always based in personal experience. Often these tales were vaguely moral or about some small act of kindness or heroism or tales about personal frugality.  Absolute truth was not really the point, but the affect of the storyteller and the effect that the story had on the listener was very important. Growing up around this oral tradition served me well as an art maker. As a queer feminist beginning my career during the blossoming of identity politics in the early nineties, I believed in the feminist slogan that the “personal is political” and produced a lot of autobiographical art as part of my career as an artist.

When I first realized the damage that MTR had done in West Virginia, I was shocked, furious and deeply grief-stricken. These were the feelings that I wanted to convey when I first decided to make art about where I was born and raised. Then I realized that what is going on there is more than just a good versus evil situation. This was the (dis)embodiment of neoliberalism, the rise of the security state, built on sexism, racism, classism, and colonialism, as well as the elimination of cultural difference in the U.S.A.. This was also about privileging the welfare of corporate personhood over and above the welfare of the nations’ citizens. I started talking to my friends and family about their relationship to MTR only to find that they had wildly divergent opinions on the matter. I realized the hold that coal still has over the state. When my friend Cindy told me that this issue was ripping families apart, I knew that I wanted to make a movie, because film has a way of capturing the imagination and the hearts of an audience.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick partially describes the relationship that I have with the mountains when she talks about the image on the cover of her book Touching Feeling. I recognize this image of the artist Judith Scott embracing and almost standing within her sculptural work. As an art maker myself, I can see that this is a moment of calm completion. A moment just before letting go of this lovingly textured art work in that Scott has invested a great deal of time in making. I can see by the way that she touches, by the way she rests her head on the piece, as well as by the way the piece touches her that it brings her great solace and quiet joy.

I have felt this way about my own more process-based sculpture. Now I feel this way when I take the time to consciously hug a tree. I can feel the incredible texture of the bark, the strength and the curves of the trunk. I sense the process and time that it has taken for that being to grow. It brings me great solace and even a feeling of love to spend time engaging in a full-body tree hug. The tree itself might not like it as much as I do, but surely the empathy that I feel and the respect I accord to these entities feels better to the tree than the lumber industry’s clear cutting practices. I know that tree hugging is considered silly by many and probably self indulgent by others. I also know that it is one of the most derogatory labels that people in the coal industry can call someone (usually environmentalist) because it implies that nature is equally worthy as a human being of a hug. Tree hugging specifically, and environmentalism in general, is viewed as a threat to the human/nature binary that delegate nature as less valuable than human. This then enables human exploitation of nature as well as humans that are deemed closer to nature as in the case of women or people of color.

As Colette Guillaumin says, “All humans are natural but some are more natural than others.” (Guillaumin 219). Binary logic is the basis of how modernism has constructed and deployed its notion of progress and this notion has been fueled by racism, sexism, and classism in the process of capital accumulation that has created wealth for a few and misery for many more. This is a complex series of relationships with multiple genealogies that I will explore more thoroughly in my dissertation. For the purposes of this critique, all of these elements are at play in the coalfields of West Virginia.

Sedgwick states that there is not single way to understand the “besideness” of Scott and her sculpture. (Sedgwick 23). When I look at this picture, I see that they are in an embrace that makes two into one for an instant. Sedgwick also speaks of affect and effect of  “beside”. This description captures how the people I interviewed feel about their relationships to the mountains and to the coal and other resources that they contain. It is pro-coal Roger who expresses the right to use the mountains and my sister Kitty who says that she “will support progress, as long as it is done correctly.” This begs the question, who gets to define how progress is done correctly? One person’s progress may be the death of another person or of an entire culture.  Progress built upon death is the story of modernism.

Relationships are spatial, as well as emotional, economic and cultural. Sedgwick’s description of “beside” in the introduction of Touching Feeling is a powerful effort to undo the kinds of dualistic thinking that Haraway critiques in her work on situated knowledges for justifying exclusions that lead to acts of destruction based on hegemonic hierarchical systems of value.

Beside permits a spacious agnosticism about several of the linear logics that enforce dualistic thinking: noncontradiction or the law of the excluded middle, cause versus effect, subject versus object. Its interest does not, however, depend on a fantasy of metonymically egalitarian or even pacific relations, and any child knows who has shared a bed with siblings. Beside comprises a wide range of desiring, identifying, representing, repelling, paralleling, differentiating, rivaling, leaning, twisting, mimicking, withdrawing, attracting, aggressing, warping, and other relations. (Sedgwick 8)

This “beside” describes how I feel about my own relationship to the place where I grew up. These are feelings within the complex relationships between people and place, humans and nonhumans, community and individuals squeezed between corporate capitalism and some other kind of economic possibilities that I want this film to point towards, with open but not known affective possibilities.

Appalachian Stereotypes

Few people outside of Appalachia know about mountain top removal coal mining. I created this film to help undermine the ideologies that allow coal mining corporations to literally get away with murder (human and nonhuman), while simultaneously permitting the devastation of the second richest bio diverse region in the western hemisphere, without a national public outcry. This film attempts to undo some of the deeply entrenched disdain for the Appalachian Mountains, the communities and the people who live within them. Allowing MTR to continue as it is currently operating exposes the hegemonic disrespect for difference that permeates the history and ideologies of the United States. I also include the beauty and integrity of the mountains in order to garner more sympathy and love for them.

Coalfield residents, also known as “hillbillies,” do not fit the narrow confines of American middle-class conformity or American notions of progress. For these reasons and more, they are viewed as undesirables on the liberal national stage, “like other poor southern whites, Appalachians are demonized through the usual stereotypes of stupidity, backwardness, racism, sexism, and uncontrolled violence.” (Scott 37). In other words, Appalachian people are very, very bad whites.  Movies such as Deliverance have immortalized these stereotypes in living color. Goodbye Gauley Mountain intends to trouble some of these stereotypes through presenting my own story of growing up there, as well as by interviewing a range of very articulate West Virginians.

 

SACRIFICE: The Appalachian Coalfields and Communities

Paul Corbit Brown, a friend and an award-winning photographer has documented human rights and environmental issues throughout Russia, Kenya, Laos, Rwanda and Indonesia. He is now doing the same in West Virginia. Paul eloquently explains during his interview in the film how the coal industry has created and maintains a mono-economy in West Virginia. Working in the coal industry is traditionally the most economically viable horizon that most West Virginians aspire towards as they attempt to pursue the American Dream. On conversation that could result from this film is how to keep the mountains intact while providing families with other ways to make a living. Paul goes on to openly discuss the censorship of the press that he experienced when he was arrested for covering the protest on the MTR site near Twilight, WV. This points to the complex relationships between the coal industry and the legal system that protects. Often this protection comes at the expense of citizens’ rights even as the industry itself systematically operates outside of health and safety laws that affect the lives (and deaths) of miners – as the legal and financial settlement for the Upper Big Branch mine disaster proved.[2]

The coalfields of southern West Virginia have been understood as an internal resource colony (Lewis 15, Scott 176). Others would categorize the economic system that governs the state as a particularly brutal form of neoliberalism that seems to be practiced in regions dependent upon extraction. Coal produces close to fifty percent of the electricity in the United States. Coal from central Appalachia makes up thirty percent[3] of the total coal produced in this country. In 2007, West Virginia mountain top removal provided thirty percent of the coal[4] produced there. There are other coalfields across the United States[5] however  Goodbye Gauley Mountain focuses on southern West Virginia.

The environmental sacrifice of this region (as well as the destruction of communities and of the health of its residents) is embodied in mountain top removal strip mining. Most of the coal that is mined in West Virginia leaves the state. Coal mining resources is, even under the best of circumstances, a physically dangerous and environmentally destructive process. Mining regions often become environmental sacrifice zones, and Appalachia is no exception. “A sacrifice zone is a place that is written off for environmental destruction in the name of a higher purpose, such as the national interest,”(Scott 31). I could understand sacrificing a region if there were absolutely no other alternative. But in this case there are many alternatives. Mining continues because coal is relatively cheap to extract (especially with MTR) and yields huge profits for coal companies. That the coal corporations are willing to destroy this region for quick profits is the height of an imperialist attitude that has earned this industry the nickname of King Coal.  Yet this is also the continuation of capitalistic business as usual.  Even in the face of global warming the coal industry is constantly trying to improve its reputation, while also working to make itself indispensable.

The U.S. government has declared that coal is key to our national energy security. The coal industry sponsored, Faces of Coal website, clearly states this on its facts page: “Coal is vital to our national security. Coal is the lifeblood of our domestic energy supply. Our modern economy depends on reliable energy. Coal allows us to avoid further dependence on other nations for the energy we need to go about our daily lives.” [6] With increasing concerns about our energy security, the coal industry promotes the belief that coal is critical to our safety.  I hope to disturb the patriotic myth that the coal is essential to maintaining homeland security. In the face of MTR, there is no such thing as homeland security for the residents of the mountains in coal mining regions.

Organizations such as Faces of Coal depict this wholesale destruction as a necessary act of patriotism for the welfare of the nation. Situating coal as patriotic enables the coal industry to accuse environmentalists of being unpatriotic or worse, terrorists who are interfering with the nation’s (energy) security. Meanwhile, these corporations are making historically high profits at the expense of the environment where MTR is causing unprecedented amounts of environmental damage. And yet, because this is a sacrifice zone, this destruction is considered merely the cost of doing business in a marginalized place that has no other value than to produce coal.

The coal industry’s ability to effectively manipulate public relations is one of the reasons that MTR remains such a well-kept secret in spite of having blown up 500 mountains; in spite have having buried 2000 miles of streams and headwaters; and in spite of having caused many cases of cancer, black lung, asthma and birth defects. Additionally, the coal industry can afford to counter any bad press by simply hiring the best advertising agencies in the world to come up with brilliant ideas like “clean coal.” Then they can flood U.S. media with images of the heroic coal miner testifying that “clean coal” is the born again fossil fuel. Vast power and wealth enables the coal industry to influence what does and does not capture the short attention span of mass culture.

One of the most important parts of this PAR critique has been to expose the issue of ‘sacrifice’ in today’s US culture and society. My dissertation will be following this topic in detail to explore work that has to be done and to try to get at some of the central assumptions behind the choice of Appalachia and MTR for US sacrifice. What is this sacrifice for?

 

Social Sculpture

Social sculpture is based on an analogy between the material production of invisible structures – ideology and social relations – and the material production of visible structures – sculpture. Both processes produce meaning and suggest that since meaning can be made, materially produced, it can be changed.

Additionally, the production of visible art may effect the production of invisible ideological and class relations. For Joseph Beuys, sculpture and artistic creativity hold the potential to reshape the educational and governmental institutions that produce ideological subjects, as well as social, political, and economic systems. Art, Beuys argues, is the necessary condition for the production of a revolutionary society because it can both unravel the old order and engage everyone in the production of a new social order.

Only on condition of a radical widening of definition will it be possible for art and activities related to art to provide evidence that art is now the only evolutionary-revolutionary power. Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system to build a SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART. This most modern art discipline – Social Sculpture/ Social Architecture – will only reach fruition when every living person becomes a creator, a sculptor, or architect of the social organism. (Tisdall 48).

Beuys’ desire to create social sculpture as a vehicle for change developed from his viewpoint of both western capitalism and eastern socialism failed to bring about a society where everyone has access to what they need to prosper and live well. Social sculpture provides a means of remaking these political systems to create a social form that could engage direct democracy without capitalism or dictatorship. Human creativity is the engine that could drive the process through which these new social forms would come into shape and being, therefore the importance of art.

Some version of social sculpture would be useful in a place like southern West Virginia where class is as stratified as rigidly as the different layers of rocks on the high wall of an MTR site. The high wall is the exposed face of the overburden, coal or other ore type in an open pit mine, or the uphill side of an embankment of a contour strip mine that has been excavated. [7] There is a scene of a working MTR strip mine with a high wall in Goodbye Gauley Mountain that bears a striking resemblance to the opening shot of James Cameron’s Avatar. I chose this rock face to display statistics about the damage MTR has caused because this unnatural surface presented itself as the perfect cultural surface for the statistics about destruction.

 

Social Sculpture and Situated Knowledges

Joseph Beuys’ concept of social sculpture in the 1960s, in combination with his public sculpture, created an active, open playing field, in which sculpture functioned as a force for social change. Beuys’ theories and practice of sculpture provided a new perspective on art’s relation to society, one that not only produced a shift in the point of view of the artist, the work, and the viewer, but also introduced a different mode of knowledge production.

Donna Haraway’s notion of “situated knowledge” identifies how a change in perspective affects the production of knowledges. This change in perspective is important in Goodbye Gauley Mountain. This film unfolds in a range of places all within fifty miles or less of where I was born and my family still lives.

Haraway’s analysis of the relation between point of view and mode of knowledge is distinct from, but also parallels, Beuys’ interventions in the world of art. By placing Beuys’ theory and practice of sculpture alongside Haraway’s theory of situated knowledges, this paper investigates how contemporary changes in the function and orientation of art within an radically different notion of “social” – one that includes not simply human actors, but all animals, all plants, and all material substances, such as water, soil, and air – has the potential to help transform society from one of resource depletion to one of flourishing. In this film, the mountains, the rivers, the dogs, the frolicking deer, the turtle, and Paul’s cat are all part of the definition of the social. This is part of the reason that the death and destruction of wildlife and the living ecosystems caused by MTR has such a chilling effect on the culture there – people know that they are living beings.

Beuys’ theory of social sculpture and Haraway’s ideas about situated knowledges further inform this critical analysis of Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story. The conceptualization and production of this film supplement traditional notions of “the social,” while inheriting aspects of Beuys’ sculptural theory and practice as well as Haraway’s critical theory. As social sculpture in the tradition of Beuys, this film is an attempt to re-sculpt stereotypical notions of Appalachia in order to counter the images, forms and biases that popular culture has created and used to destroy this place for decades. This film, in exploring some of the influences that shaped my own situated knowledges and the ways that I transmit this knowledge to the world, also situates me as firmly from Appalachia. Through these inheritances, particularly a radically broad notion of the “social,” the film introduces “ecosexuality,” our newest social sculpture art project.

 

SITUATED SEXUALITY AS TEXTUALITY Ecosexuality

Ecosexuals anthropomorphize the earth in order to suture the human/nature divide where western epistemology has severed us apart in order to prove that there is no connection. Ecosexuals believe that we are closely connected to the Earth and that we must engage in a mutual relationship with the Earth in order to survive. Sexecology (a term Annie and I coined) is the name of the field that ecosexuals inhabit. This field is where art meets theory meets practice meets activism. Sexecology is concerned with the interconnectedness of natural systems and their interdependence upon each other. What happens to one part of the system affects all of the others.

Ecosexuality employs absurdist humor and play. It may produce new forms of knowledge that hold potential to alter the future by privileging our desire for the Earth to function with as many diverse, intact and flourishing ecological systems as possible. Ecosexuals anthropomorphize the Earth. In his Compositionist Manifesto Latour states, “to enforce the gap between human subjects and nonhuman objects is the most anthropocentric of all modes of relation invented” (Latour 483). In a more pointed criticism Colette Guillaumin says, “As soon as people want to legitimize the power that they exercise, they call on nature – on the nature of this difference.” (Guillaumin 224). Both Latour and Guillaumin point out how humans use the idea of nature to justify their domination over nature.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain is likely the first environmentally focused documentary film that combines sexuality and environmental activism. This opens several possibilities for those who wish to interrogate a variety of connections and relationships between humans and nonhumans without being deterred by the accusation that anthropomorphizing and even eroticizing the earth is a destructive and misguided way of knowing/seeing nature. There are potential pitfalls with this notion of ecosexuality that are in line with Lorraine Code’s concerns with “the practice in some ecofeminist writing of identifying an essential woman” with an equally essential “Nature” [that] reconfirms the biological determinism that has long kept women “in their place.” (Code 18) There is also the danger of falling into the New Age practices that adopt a hodgepodge of theories and belief systems appropriated from nonwestern or indigenous cultures in order to create a spiritual elixir whose magical qualities somehow make these new age practitioners forget that they have appropriated something that wasn’t theirs in order to improve their own already privileged lifestyles. As Donna Haraway said in the cyborg manifesto, “I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess.” (Haraway, 1991 181) Ecosexuals are not goddesses; instead we are lusty, dirty creatures who are not afraid to get grass on our faces while making love to the Earth. Ecosexuals are related to cyborgs and we are not afraid of engaging in intercourse with nature and or with technology for that matter. We make love with the Earth through our senses.

Haraway’s work has guided my understanding of the material consequences and the theoretical underpinnings embedded in human/nonhuman relationships that matrix our world. This has helped me understand how human exceptionalism has been constructed and privileged throughout the history of religion and science as well as in other secular practices in western culture. Human exceptionalism, in collaboration with global capitalism, has created the isolated space necessary for the ongoing practices that have produced the dangerously degraded environmental conditions in which we now live. The belief systems and ideologies that allow some people to think that they have the Darwinian survival skill and the rights that accompany those skills to use or destroy other human and non humans is now causing the kind of environmental degradation that affects the whole system sooner or later.  A stunning example of this is the Hawks Nest Tunnel catastrophe about which I interview my cousin Patricia Stephens Spangler in Goodbye Gauley Mountain.

Haraway’s insistence in “Situated Knowledges,” (Haraway, 1988) that we are all positioned in the middle of knowledge-making, provides a different way of thinking about art-making where the artist-scholar is in the process of making art but has no way of determining exactly where this making will go. Art-making becomes the way that knowledge-making can be communicated as a process. Although this paper analyzes Goodbye Gauley Mountain, and I have gotten (mostly) positive feedback and some less than positive feedback, I am not really going to know what this film is until it is finished and then sent out to screenings. As Lynette Hunter says, “it will either find its fit or not.”

While discussing her relationship to her dog Cayenne, Haraway says,

Once “we” have met, we can never be “the same” again. Propelled by the tasty but risky obligation of curiosity among companion species, once we know, we cannot not know. If we know well, searching with fingery eyes, we care. This is how responsibility grows (Haraway, 2008 18).

Once I had met mountain top removal, I knew that I would never be the same again. I was curious and sickened, and I knew then that I had to make work about this because this was something that really mattered. Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, is my creative effort at being responsible to the physical place where I grew up, where my parents are buried, where my siblings and my very oldest friends continue to live and create their lives.

Even as Haraway deconstructs human exceptionalism, she opens up new possibilities for human beings to act with ethical responsibility — in other words, to act well. She does this in part by critiquing the destructive uses that binaries such as nature/culture or human/animal have set up in order to set apart. Language and the ideas that it generates can be a deadly conceptual technology for segregating the world into what/who is, and is not, killable. Ecosexuality is a new way to create new language in order to critically engage the conversation and tell the stories regarding who gets to live and why. As Haraway reminds us, we are all messmates at the table and we are mutually engaged in an ongoing meal of life and death.

 

Dipesh Charkabarty’s Enchanted Time

Goodbye Gauley Mountain flirts with enchantment and humor from the beginning. I shot the first scene in an almost fairytale fashion, to play with viewers’ expectations of the film as an environmental documentary while inserting a different kind of time into the film. This different kind of time is not real time; it is “enchanted time.” As such it provides a connection to the slower pace that these communities and the mountains once enjoyed. This slower pace is necessary in order to rethink the way that this country and the world at large is using its ecological systems to for large-scale industrial gain which is depleting these systems at a stunning speed.  Postcolonialist theorists such as Dipesh Chakrabarty explain how enchantment creates a time outside historical time. This time provides space for alternative and even impossible worlds to be imagined. This tactic hopefully allows the viewers to absorb the consequences of the loss caused by the devastation of MTR while also inspiring the viewers to join the fight against MTR in a multitude of ways. Additionally, it is my hope that this film has the power to help create new horizons of possibility for the people and the mountains of West Virginia.

 

Other MTR Documentaries

There have been a series of excellent documentaries about mountain top removal. These beautifully produced, highly compelling films all had much larger budgets than mine. They have also had wide distribution. The three most important films, in relation to my own, are Coal Country, The Last Mountain, and On Coal River. Coal Country (2009) was written and directed by Phyllis Geller, and produced by Mari-Lynn Evans. Mari-Lynn Evans is also a native West Virginian. Coal Country has been shown on the Discovery Channel’s Planet Green and in theaters and museums around the country. Robert Kennedy Jr. backed and starred in The Last Mountain, and On Coal River (2010), has won several awards from Silverdocs to Best Documentary of the Appalachian Film Festival. All three of these movies have beautiful professional production values; they show the majestic beauty of the mountains and the horror of their destruction.

These movies however, do not represent the mountains as the joyful place of ecosexuality or love. This is one of the striking differences between this film and the other films I have seen about mountain top removal mining. Depicting just a little of this joy in Goodbye Gauley Mountain serves as a strong contrast to the deep despair of the mountains’ destruction. Furthermore, Goodbye Gauley Mountain is the only film with a first person narrator and one who is from the area. Including my relationship with Annie and ecosexuality also makes this film the only queer film on the topic, which means it will reach an entirely new audience through the GLBTQ film festival circuit.

As powerful and beautifully made as all of these films are, they have only been partially successful in capturing people’s imagination about this ecological disaster much less at raising national awareness about MTR in Appalachia. I attribute this in part to the regional and national position of power and importance that the coal industry occupies in the US national imagination. The story of coal is a heroic and creative story of the labor and power that led to much of the industrial and technological progress attributed to the “greatness” of this country. Coal miners are honored as proud national heroes. Although “economic necessity convinces a man to spend eight hours or more in a wet, dark hole in a mountain, day after day. (Scott 12).  This hints at the highly contradictory meanings of their lives.

A different kind of documentary was needed to redirect attention to this cause. This is the documentary space that Goodbye Gauley Mountain attempts to occupy.  This film approaches MTR from unexpected directions in order to undo peoples’ stereotypical notions as well as lessen their feelings of powerlessness in the face of an environmental disaster. This film tells its story using the element of surprise in order to penetrate the viewers’ consciousness before they can return to comfortable assumptions that they already know how the film’s ending before they get there.

This film attempts to counter some of the deeply entrenched disdain for the Appalachian Mountains, and the communities and people who live within them. By extension, the destruction of this region exposes the distrust and disrespect for difference that compose the history and ideologies of the United States. In showing the beauty and integrity of the mountains, and the people who are fighting for them I hope to engage the empathy of my viewers.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain attempts to convey a different point of view to a different group of viewers than the audiences which straight environmental documentaries target. We are reaching out to queers, punks, artists, ecosexuals and anyone else outside of the largely heteronormative, mainly white environmental movement. However, we certainly hope mainstream environmentalists will see and appreciate the film as well. Additionally, I want to expand the boundaries of gay, lesbian, bi, and transsexual communities and politics to incorporate creative ways to stand up against environmental injustice. As I say in the film, “Gays and lesbians can live (literally) without getting married, but we won’t survive unless we have drinking water and clean air to breathe.” I hope to make my viewers to more aware of the costs of our high standard of living, which capitalist ideologies constantly encourage us to extend even more in the name of progress, especially economic progress.

Conclusion

Goodbye Gauley Mountain  incorporates idiosyncratic, artistic, and slightly controversial ecosexual gestures into about MTR to intervene in the despair of this situation. Otherwise the scale of this destruction is too overwhelming to bear and the viewers  shut down. The humor in my film is also my way of competing with society’s addiction to fast paced entertainment. Humor can hold the viewers’ attention when they do not have either the emotional space or a vested interest in hearing the stories that Appalachians have to tell about the destruction of their homes and their land.

In January 2011, I will begin raising money to hire a professional editor to finish the editing. I also will hire a graphic designer to come up with a logo and to do the film titles. A little more work has to be done on the sound and then this piece is ready to have its world premiere.

 

REFERENCES

Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (notes towards an investigation),” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, trans. B. Brewster, London: New Left Books, 1971.

Beuys, Joseph. Joseph Beuys in America : Energy Plan for the Western Man : Writings by and Interviews with the Artist. 1st ed. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1990.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe; Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. 2000. Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History. Ed. Sherry B. Ortner, Nicholas B Dirks, GEoff Eley. Princeton, Oxford Princeton University Press, 2000. 

Code, Lorraine, and Oxford University Press. Ecological Thinking the Politics of Epistemic Location. 2006. 

Guillaumin, Colette. Racism, Sexism, Power, and Ideology. Critical Studies in Racism and Migration. London ; New York: Routledge, 1995.

Hansen, James E. Storms of My Grandchildren : The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. 1st U.S. ed. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2009.

Haraway, Donna J. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14.3 (1988): 575-99.

Haraway, Donna J. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reivention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991. 

Haraway, Donna Jeanne. When Species Meet. Posthumanities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford, England ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Hunter, Lynette. Critiques of Knowing: Situated Textualities in Science, Computing, and the Arts. London ; New York: Routledge, 1999.

Latour, Bruno. “An Attempt at Writing a “Compositionist Manifesto”.” New Literary History 41.3, Summer 2010 (2010): 471-90.

Lewis, Helen Matthews Lewis, Linda Johnson, and Donald Askins. Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case. Boone, NC: The Appalachian Consortium Press, 1978.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky, and Adam Frank. Touching Feeling : Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Series Q. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

Tisdall, Caroline, Art into Society/Society into Art, London: ICA, 1974.



[1] Thanks to Lynette Hunter for encouraging me to consider the situated textuatily of this film and for bringing my attention to the importance of rhetoric in terms of ecosexuality.

[5] Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona

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PAR: Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story http://elizabethstephens.org/par-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story/ http://elizabethstephens.org/par-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story/#comments Sun, 01 Jan 2012 22:19:11 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/par-goodbye-gauley-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story/ Introduction

Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story is an experimental documentary film that explores the need for creative approaches to our current environmental crises, focusing on Mountain Top Removal (MTR). These approaches need not only to inform audiences, but they also need to open up new creative spaces from which we can imagine alternative realities or outcomes than those we currently inhabit. This film braids together three main motifs – my upbringing in the heart of a West Virginia coal mining family, the environmental and social devastation of mountaintop removal mining, and the joys of ecosexuality – to expose injustices in one of the most poverty-stricken regions of the U.S. the southern coalfields of West Virginia.

Haraway’s notions of situated knowledges will help situate the knowledge produced by this film. Joseph Beuys’ theory of social sculpture (an expanded notion of art) will be used to examine how art can shape ideologies. Dipesh Charkabarty’s concept of enchanted time will explore possible ways to create badly needed new spaces of possibility for both humans and nonhumans living in the West Virginia coalfields. Finally Lynette Hunter’s concept of situated textuality enables me to understand this film as situated textuality, which allows process-based knowing, central to situated knowledges, to be conveyed to the film’s audiences.

Situated knowledges are the knowledges produced from experience gained on the ground instead of knowledge produced from the privileged heights of the ideologically authorized realms. In originating at ground level, and having not been duly authorized by hegemonic institutions, situated knowledges are marginalized by hegemonic ideology. Situated knowledge is always partial and always incomplete. Furthermore, it is always on the move. Thinking in terms of situated knowledges erodes what Haraway calls the “God’s Eye View,” and this erosion helps begin to level the playing field while making it possible to animate a range of subject positions. It also makes more room for diversity of thought and action. My overall goal in Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story is to create a deeply situated textuality that tells the story of the place that I love.

These thinkers allow me to articulate Goodbye Gauley Mountain as a critical mode of art making. This is a story that conveys the consequences of neoliberalism in terms of the social and environmental costs that are associated with resource extraction such as coal (in the case of our film) as well as gas and oil. The coal industry is the leading industry operating in central Appalachia now as it has been for the past one hundred and fifty years.

The thinkers mentioned above help make sense of the common ground that I try to create with this film as a way to raise consciousness about MTR. This common ground is important to create sustained conversations between the multiple parties involved in mining – families, communities, workers, government officials and the mining corporations – that will inspire reflection on the part of Appalachians about the kind of lives they desire for themselves. These conversations are necessary in order to understand what the social and environmental stakes are for the residents that could lead to political action, which might eventually help bring an end to MTR. Most of the film’s participants stand on the common ground of being against MTR. They speak out about their own marginalization as well as that of the mountain ecosystems and all of the life that they contain. The film also includes two men who have worked in mining, Leroy and Roger, who take different sides of this debate. Roger articulates the need for coal as well as for employment that this industry provides. Roger and (his wife) Cindy’s discussion of their disagreements is a typical example of the complex pressures that the political and economic demands of living in a hegemonic mono-economy place on families and relationships.  My sister Kitty also also supports MTR for the sake of “progress.”

This critique will examine the West Virginia coalfields as a sacrifice zone. It will also argue that art has the potential to inspire change in collaboration with other activist and intellectual practices throughout the network of social justice movements. This change is necessary in order to modify how Appalachia is perceived as well as how Appalachians perceive themselves. This may lead to the film being screened widely enough to inspire the necessary public debate that then could influence the governmental support and legislative action to stop this destructive form of mining.

Most importantly this film conveys that it is through the way that ecosexuality  has a rhetoric (as well as a set of tactics) that informs the film that turns it into a medium that instigates a process of engaged knowing. This film portrays its information as a way of life, that initiates an aesthetic response in the audience that has to do with learning about collaborations that are based on shared (although not identical) processes and desires.  Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story does not let the audience get off the hook at the end of the film. Rather, it invites them to get more involved.  I will explore this complex process further in the dissertation.[1]

 

Synopsis

I directed and produced Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story in to fulfill the Practice as Research portion of the PhD in performance studies at UC Davis. My partner Annie Sprinkle was my assistant director and on camera sidekick. The film is currently a fine rough cut that will be finished by late spring/early summer 2012. Structurally, the film is framed as my coming-home story – to a place I consider the most beautiful place on earth, a place that indelibly marked me as a hillbilly, a dyke, and a rabble-rouser long before I realized  that I was an ecosexual. During our visit, Annie and I learn more about the practice of mountain top removal (MTR) strip mining, which is in full swing, as are its devastating effects on the mountains and their surrounding communities. Realizing that we need to do whatever we can to stop the destruction, we pick up a camera and employ our favorite weapons of mass disruption: humor, love, performance art, and activism – which turn into the central constituents/strategies/tactics in the situated textuality that we create. This is a documentary about “pollen-amorous” love and our quest to save the Appalachians and surrounding communities.

Stylistically, this film is narrated in first-person with interviews and ecosexual actions to connect to the earth: tree hugging, rock kissing and skinny-dipping, to name a few. This narration in the first person as myself, a West Virginian, maintains the process of situated knowing. I chose to narrate my story of growing up and then coming back home to lend the film a sense of authority and authenticity that can only come from first hand experience.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story also contains interviews with friends, family members, mining experts and anti-MTR activists who are currently living in the southern part of the state where MTR is unleashed against the mountains on a daily (and nightly) basis. Everyone has taken risks just by appearing in this film, which is bound to be controversial if and when it is shown in West Virginia. The film is unabashedly queer in its own situated (eco)sexuality, which may be used to discredit those who appear in it. West Virginians like to think of themselves as friendly all American heteronormative people. But many stereotypes of Appalachia portray it as a strange, queer place populated by incestuous primitive people. My ecosexuality could be thought of as being partially situated in this queerness of the Appalachian Mountains and partially situated in the queerness of American urban centers such as San Francisco.

In addition to the interviews I conducted, my videographer Jordan Freeman and film producer Mari-Lynn Evans generously loaned me footage of MTR explosions, MTR mine sites, a public speech by the former CEO of Massey Energy Corporation, of protests and beautiful nature shots. This footage clearly shows the violence of the destruction, the ongoing social struggles and the arrogance of the coal corporations, which are often cloaked like Don Blankenship in the red, white, and blue of patriarchal patriotism. Few of the audience members for whom I pre-screened the film in California had seen coal mining in action before. Seeing this footage often created an emotional response that engendered empathy for the mountains. Many viewers had no idea of the magnitude of devastation that MTR is responsible for in Appalachia. Roger is correct when he says that most people think electricity comes out of a switch on the wall. Although this is a simplistic assessment of people’s knowledge, most of us rarely if ever consider where our electricity comes from or of the consequences of our ever-increasing reliance on and expectation of cheap accessible electric power.

The subjects I interviewed, their lives and their relationships with the mountains are uniquely situated in the coalfields. Each interview began with the question, “What do you love about the mountains?” Obviously the conversations went beyond the question, but everyone began their interview from a place of love. This movie is as much about love for the mountains as it is against mountain top removal. This love helps maintain the film’s situatedness throughout.

The film opens with me sky gazing, and cuddling with Annie by the river, and this shot, in its humorous fairy tale essence, sets the ecosexual tone for the rest of the film. Ecosexuality inserts an ‘erotic’ humor that plays against the horrific subject matter. So far the feedback that I’ve received at film previews makes me realize that these are effective strategies for creating space to briefly cut the feeling of despair that MTR evokes. This somewhat absurd notion of an ecosexual fairy tale creates a different kind of time that runs alongside the expected documentary time of the film’s interviews. My dissertation research will be reflecting on further exploring and opening out the possibilities that ecosexuality enables. It will also trace a genealogy of ecosexuality itself.

Annie, Bob (our black Lab), and I visit my early haunts. We tour my childhood mountain community of Charlton Heights, near Gauley Mountain where my sister, Anne, playfully directs me to re-enact my conception in front of the house where I was conceived. This playfulness counters the sadness I experience in seeing this community’s demise when I go home. My family used to be well established on this mountain, but Charlton Heights has deteriorated from the once proud, vibrant, tightly knit community I remember. Now meth labs and unemployment abound. The Methodist Church, former nerve center of the community, is abandoned and for sale. Anne, who has lived there longer than anyone else, and who quietly opposes MTR, barely knows her neighbors’ names anymore. In this declining community, neighbors who support MTR surround her.

The emotion of the tragedy of the death of these coal communities is transmitted and supported by Joan Jeanrenaud’s music (from the Kronos Quartet). Her cello captures the deepness of the loss that most people feel when they see such destruction. Music is another conscious way that situatedness is maintained throughout the film. Although Jeanrenaud’s work is avant-garde, I intersperse this with classic mountain music such as the work of Haze Dickens who was from MacDowell County to acknowledge the cultural fabric. Dickens’ piece, West Virginia, My Home creates a old time transition between a mining inspector and my longtime friends Cindy and Roger who live in a mobile home on Pinch Ridge. David Grisman’s Newgrass (variation on bluegrass) music energizes the anti-MTR protests where even the actress Daryl Hannah is arrested for the mountains.

We attend my first gay gathering in my home state, a picnic hosted by Fairness WV as part of the Freedom to Marry Summer for Marriage tour. Lesbians and gays gather in a Charleston park for a family picnic to hear speeches, share food and talk to news reporters. Annie and I arrive and try to convert gays and lesbians to become ecosexuals. This is, of course, a play on conversion therapy that tries to convert gays and lesbians into normative heterosexuals, usually at great psychological harm. This scene is one of the most spontaneous in the film. The film was very loosely scripted and when the opportunity to shoot unexpected scenes, like the gay gathering (and the protest at the Department of Environmental Protection) arose, we mobilized quickly to shoot. I tell Tara (whom I had never met before) that “I knew that she was an ecosexual. She laughs and says that she was “born and raised in West Virginia.” I respond, “I was born and raised in West Virginia too.” Again, this positions ecosexuality as a situated sexuality, in part, in West Virginia. Following is the ecosexual collage of Annie and me kissing lichen covered cliffs, flowers in the cemetery, water in Laurel Creek and finally sunbathing naked on the rocks with my voiceover describing, “being loved by and loving nature.”

I propose to Annie in the family cemetery, with the decrepit American Power coal burning power plant directly behind, surrounded by flowers and little flags of those dead from coal-related illnesses. I ask Annie, “Will you marry a mountain with me and hopefully our love will help stop MTR?” Annie says, “YES!” We kiss the ground and come back up with dirt all over our faces.

This action kicks off a medley of people singing versions of the state song, The West Virginia Hills. We see T. Paige Dalporto with Annie, strumming his guitar as they stroll up Capitol Street in Charleston, WV, then cut to Beth with state troopers, who are about to bust up a protest at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in Kanawha City. Mountain keeper Larry Gibson and his wife, Carol, join in as we sit on their porch on Kayford Mountain, and their schnauzer helps by yodeling along. Annie and Cindy, my best friend from Mink Shoals Elementary School, add an energetic yee hawww!! on Pinch Ridge and finally, we cut back to the protest at the DEP where I ask the police if they know this song. One of the underlying tensions is that the pro-MTR folks accuse anti-MTR folks of being outsiders; the fact that the cops don’t know the song doesn’t help their case. But even if they didn’t learn the West Virginia state song in third grade (as I did) at least they were able to pursue a career other than in coal.

The film takes us to people’s homes, mountain top removal sites, to activist protests, and finally to our magnificent Purple Wedding atop a lush green mountain, where queers from California, environmental activists and family members from West Virginia, Tony’s Circus animals from Brooklyn, NY and Ohio University students and professors all come together, vowing to love, honor, and cherish the Appalachian Mountains until death brings us closer together forever. Documentary footage of our wedding to the Appalachian Mountains includes interviewees Paul Corbit Brown, Sarah Vekasi, my sister Anne. Larry Gibson delivered the homily.

The film’s creative approach is to make the fight for environmental justice a little more sexy, fun, hopeful, and diverse while giving the audience a visceral experience of MTR and of what it is destroying. It invents tactics that engage the audience in an aesthetic response that is an ongoing process.  Hopefully this visceral process will inspire people to think about the earth in different ways. This may generate questions such as, how can we change our relationship from Earth as mother, to Earth as lover? Can the Earth feel our love? Can romantic love for nature mobilize others – before it’s too late?

 

AUTOETHNOGRAPHY

This film employs autoethnographic methodology that uses my personal experience as a lens through which to study the culture of West Virginia. More generally this method can also be applied to my Love Art Laboratory collaborative art project with Annie Sprinkle to study our relationship with the Earth. The Purple wedding performance to the Appalachian Mountains is one aspect of this relationship as is ecosexuality. There were many reasons I chose to tell this story in the first person. I wanted to counter any criticism by the coal industry and its supporters that this was another environmental propaganda film made by an outsider who didn’t know West Virginia and didn’t know about coal. The pros of this approach are that people in West Virginia are going to trust that I know where they are coming from regardless of which side of this issue they are on.

In telling my own story, it becomes clear that coal dust has always runs through my veins. My family has been involved with mining since the 1600s when they were miners in Cornwall, England. They were still miners when they arrived to work in the copper mines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Then they moved south to work as machinists, metallurgists, inventors, and eventually started the family business, Marathon Coal Bit Company, in Smithers, West Virginia. The women in my male dominated heteronormative family supported their husbands’ endeavors while raising the children. The men were extremely patriarchal. This was typical of all the families I knew although most of the families I knew were my relatives. I was expected to grow up and marry a man who would work for the family business like my three sisters did before me. Instead, I grew up learning the names of mining machinery and machine parts that were used in multiple aspects of mining, alongside learning that rhododendrons were the state flower, the cardinal was the state bird, and the West Virginia Hills was the state song. I knew from birth that Coal was King.

Autoethnographical working methods are central to my work. I grew up in a story-telling culture. Most often these stories had larger meanings than the storyteller acknowledged during their performance, but they were always based in personal experience. Often these tales were vaguely moral or about some small act of kindness or heroism or tales about personal frugality.  Absolute truth was not really the point, but the affect of the storyteller and the effect that the story had on the listener was very important. Growing up around this oral tradition served me well as an art maker. As a queer feminist beginning my career during the blossoming of identity politics in the early nineties, I believed in the feminist slogan that the “personal is political” and produced a lot of autobiographical art as part of my career as an artist.

When I first realized the damage that MTR had done in West Virginia, I was shocked, furious and deeply grief-stricken. These were the feelings that I wanted to convey when I first decided to make art about where I was born and raised. Then I realized that what is going on there is more than just a good versus evil situation. This was the (dis)embodiment of neoliberalism, the rise of the security state, built on sexism, racism, classism, and colonialism, as well as the elimination of cultural difference in the U.S.A.. This was also about privileging the welfare of corporate personhood over and above the welfare of the nations’ citizens. I started talking to my friends and family about their relationship to MTR only to find that they had wildly divergent opinions on the matter. I realized the hold that coal still has over the state. When my friend Cindy told me that this issue was ripping families apart, I knew that I wanted to make a movie, because film has a way of capturing the imagination and the hearts of an audience.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick partially describes the relationship that I have with the mountains when she talks about the image on the cover of her book Touching Feeling. I recognize this image of the artist Judith Scott embracing and almost standing within her sculptural work. As an art maker myself, I can see that this is a moment of calm completion. A moment just before letting go of this lovingly textured art work in that Scott has invested a great deal of time in making. I can see by the way that she touches, by the way she rests her head on the piece, as well as by the way the piece touches her that it brings her great solace and quiet joy.

I have felt this way about my own more process-based sculpture. Now I feel this way when I take the time to consciously hug a tree. I can feel the incredible texture of the bark, the strength and the curves of the trunk. I sense the process and time that it has taken for that being to grow. It brings me great solace and even a feeling of love to spend time engaging in a full-body tree hug. The tree itself might not like it as much as I do, but surely the empathy that I feel and the respect I accord to these entities feels better to the tree than the lumber industry’s clear cutting practices. I know that tree hugging is considered silly by many and probably self indulgent by others. I also know that it is one of the most derogatory labels that people in the coal industry can call someone (usually environmentalist) because it implies that nature is equally worthy as a human being of a hug. Tree hugging specifically, and environmentalism in general, is viewed as a threat to the human/nature binary that delegate nature as less valuable than human. This then enables human exploitation of nature as well as humans that are deemed closer to nature as in the case of women or people of color.

As Colette Guillaumin says, “All humans are natural but some are more natural than others.” (Guillaumin 219). Binary logic is the basis of how modernism has constructed and deployed its notion of progress and this notion has been fueled by racism, sexism, and classism in the process of capital accumulation that has created wealth for a few and misery for many more. This is a complex series of relationships with multiple genealogies that I will explore more thoroughly in my dissertation. For the purposes of this critique, all of these elements are at play in the coalfields of West Virginia.

Sedgwick states that there is not single way to understand the “besideness” of Scott and her sculpture. (Sedgwick 23). When I look at this picture, I see that they are in an embrace that makes two into one for an instant. Sedgwick also speaks of affect and effect of  “beside”. This description captures how the people I interviewed feel about their relationships to the mountains and to the coal and other resources that they contain. It is pro-coal Roger who expresses the right to use the mountains and my sister Kitty who says that she “will support progress, as long as it is done correctly.” This begs the question, who gets to define how progress is done correctly? One person’s progress may be the death of another person or of an entire culture.  Progress built upon death is the story of modernism.

Relationships are spatial, as well as emotional, economic and cultural. Sedgwick’s description of “beside” in the introduction of Touching Feeling is a powerful effort to undo the kinds of dualistic thinking that Haraway critiques in her work on situated knowledges for justifying exclusions that lead to acts of destruction based on hegemonic hierarchical systems of value.

Beside permits a spacious agnosticism about several of the linear logics that enforce dualistic thinking: noncontradiction or the law of the excluded middle, cause versus effect, subject versus object. Its interest does not, however, depend on a fantasy of metonymically egalitarian or even pacific relations, and any child knows who has shared a bed with siblings. Beside comprises a wide range of desiring, identifying, representing, repelling, paralleling, differentiating, rivaling, leaning, twisting, mimicking, withdrawing, attracting, aggressing, warping, and other relations. (Sedgwick 8)

This “beside” describes how I feel about my own relationship to the place where I grew up. These are feelings within the complex relationships between people and place, humans and nonhumans, community and individuals squeezed between corporate capitalism and some other kind of economic possibilities that I want this film to point towards, with open but not known affective possibilities.

 

Appalachian Stereotypes

Few people outside of Appalachia know about mountain top removal coal mining. I created this film to help undermine the ideologies that allow coal mining corporations to literally get away with murder (human and nonhuman), while simultaneously permitting the devastation of the second richest bio diverse region in the western hemisphere, without a national public outcry. This film attempts to undo some of the deeply entrenched disdain for the Appalachian Mountains, the communities and the people who live within them. Allowing MTR to continue as it is currently operating exposes the hegemonic disrespect for difference that permeates the history and ideologies of the United States. I also include the beauty and integrity of the mountains in order to garner more sympathy and love for them.

Coalfield residents, also known as “hillbillies,” do not fit the narrow confines of American middle-class conformity or American notions of progress. For these reasons and more, they are viewed as undesirables on the liberal national stage, “like other poor southern whites, Appalachians are demonized through the usual stereotypes of stupidity, backwardness, racism, sexism, and uncontrolled violence.” (Scott 37). In other words, Appalachian people are very, very bad whites.  Movies such as Deliverance have immortalized these stereotypes in living color. Goodbye Gauley Mountain intends to trouble some of these stereotypes through presenting my own story of growing up there, as well as by interviewing a range of very articulate West Virginians.

 

SACRIFICE: The Appalachian Coalfields and Communities

Paul Corbit Brown, a friend and an award-winning photographer has documented human rights and environmental issues throughout Russia, Kenya, Laos, Rwanda and Indonesia. He is now doing the same in West Virginia. Paul eloquently explains during his interview in the film how the coal industry has created and maintains a mono-economy in West Virginia. Working in the coal industry is traditionally the most economically viable horizon that most West Virginians aspire towards as they attempt to pursue the American Dream. On conversation that could result from this film is how to keep the mountains intact while providing families with other ways to make a living. Paul goes on to openly discuss the censorship of the press that he experienced when he was arrested for covering the protest on the MTR site near Twilight, WV. This points to the complex relationships between the coal industry and the legal system that protects. Often this protection comes at the expense of citizens’ rights even as the industry itself systematically operates outside of health and safety laws that affect the lives (and deaths) of miners – as the legal and financial settlement for the Upper Big Branch mine disaster proved.[2]

The coalfields of southern West Virginia have been understood as an internal resource colony (Lewis 15, Scott 176). Others would categorize the economic system that governs the state as a particularly brutal form of neoliberalism that seems to be practiced in regions dependent upon extraction. Coal produces close to fifty percent of the electricity in the United States. Coal from central Appalachia makes up thirty percent[3] of the total coal produced in this country. In 2007, West Virginia mountain top removal provided thirty percent of the coal[4] produced there. There are other coalfields across the United States[5] however  Goodbye Gauley Mountain focuses on southern West Virginia.

The environmental sacrifice of this region (as well as the destruction of communities and of the health of its residents) is embodied in mountain top removal strip mining. Most of the coal that is mined in West Virginia leaves the state. Coal mining resources is, even under the best of circumstances, a physically dangerous and environmentally destructive process. Mining regions often become environmental sacrifice zones, and Appalachia is no exception. “A sacrifice zone is a place that is written off for environmental destruction in the name of a higher purpose, such as the national interest,”(Scott 31). I could understand sacrificing a region if there were absolutely no other alternative. But in this case there are many alternatives. Mining continues because coal is relatively cheap to extract (especially with MTR) and yields huge profits for coal companies. That the coal corporations are willing to destroy this region for quick profits is the height of an imperialist attitude that has earned this industry the nickname of King Coal.  Yet this is also the continuation of capitalistic business as usual.  Even in the face of global warming the coal industry is constantly trying to improve its reputation, while also working to make itself indispensable.

The U.S. government has declared that coal is key to our national energy security. The coal industry sponsored, Faces of Coal website, clearly states this on its facts page: “Coal is vital to our national security. Coal is the lifeblood of our domestic energy supply. Our modern economy depends on reliable energy. Coal allows us to avoid further dependence on other nations for the energy we need to go about our daily lives.” [6] With increasing concerns about our energy security, the coal industry promotes the belief that coal is critical to our safety.  I hope to disturb the patriotic myth that the coal is essential to maintaining homeland security. In the face of MTR, there is no such thing as homeland security for the residents of the mountains in coal mining regions.

Organizations such as Faces of Coal depict this wholesale destruction as a necessary act of patriotism for the welfare of the nation. Situating coal as patriotic enables the coal industry to accuse environmentalists of being unpatriotic or worse, terrorists who are interfering with the nation’s (energy) security. Meanwhile, these corporations are making historically high profits at the expense of the environment where MTR is causing unprecedented amounts of environmental damage. And yet, because this is a sacrifice zone, this destruction is considered merely the cost of doing business in a marginalized place that has no other value than to produce coal.

The coal industry’s ability to effectively manipulate public relations is one of the reasons that MTR remains such a well-kept secret in spite of having blown up 500 mountains; in spite have having buried 2000 miles of streams and headwaters; and in spite of having caused many cases of cancer, black lung, asthma and birth defects. Additionally, the coal industry can afford to counter any bad press by simply hiring the best advertising agencies in the world to come up with brilliant ideas like “clean coal.” Then they can flood U.S. media with images of the heroic coal miner testifying that “clean coal” is the born again fossil fuel. Vast power and wealth enables the coal industry to influence what does and does not capture the short attention span of mass culture.

One of the most important parts of this PAR critique has been to expose the issue of ‘sacrifice’ in today’s US culture and society. My dissertation will be following this topic in detail to explore work that has to be done and to try to get at some of the central assumptions behind the choice of Appalachia and MTR for US sacrifice. What is this sacrifice for?

 

Social Sculpture

Social sculpture is based on an analogy between the material production of invisible structures – ideology and social relations – and the material production of visible structures – sculpture. Both processes produce meaning and suggest that since meaning can be made, materially produced, it can be changed.

Additionally, the production of visible art may effect the production of invisible ideological and class relations. For Joseph Beuys, sculpture and artistic creativity hold the potential to reshape the educational and governmental institutions that produce ideological subjects, as well as social, political, and economic systems. Art, Beuys argues, is the necessary condition for the production of a revolutionary society because it can both unravel the old order and engage everyone in the production of a new social order.

Only on condition of a radical widening of definition will it be possible for art and activities related to art to provide evidence that art is now the only evolutionary-revolutionary power. Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system to build a SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART. This most modern art discipline – Social Sculpture/ Social Architecture – will only reach fruition when every living person becomes a creator, a sculptor, or architect of the social organism. (Tisdall 48).

Beuys’ desire to create social sculpture as a vehicle for change developed from his viewpoint of both western capitalism and eastern socialism failed to bring about a society where everyone has access to what they need to prosper and live well. Social sculpture provides a means of remaking these political systems to create a social form that could engage direct democracy without capitalism or dictatorship. Human creativity is the engine that could drive the process through which these new social forms would come into shape and being, therefore the importance of art.

Some version of social sculpture would be useful in a place like southern West Virginia where class is as stratified as rigidly as the different layers of rocks on the high wall of an MTR site. The high wall is the exposed face of the overburden, coal or other ore type in an open pit mine, or the uphill side of an embankment of a contour strip mine that has been excavated. [7] There is a scene of a working MTR strip mine with a high wall in Goodbye Gauley Mountain that bears a striking resemblance to the opening shot of James Cameron’s Avatar. I chose this rock face to display statistics about the damage MTR has caused because this unnatural surface presented itself as the perfect cultural surface for the statistics about destruction.

 

Social Sculpture and Situated Knowledges

Joseph Beuys’ concept of social sculpture in the 1960s, in combination with his public sculpture, created an active, open playing field, in which sculpture functioned as a force for social change. Beuys’ theories and practice of sculpture provided a new perspective on art’s relation to society, one that not only produced a shift in the point of view of the artist, the work, and the viewer, but also introduced a different mode of knowledge production.

Donna Haraway’s notion of “situated knowledge” identifies how a change in perspective affects the production of knowledges. This change in perspective is important in Goodbye Gauley Mountain. This film unfolds in a range of places all within fifty miles or less of where I was born and my family still lives.

Haraway’s analysis of the relation between point of view and mode of knowledge is distinct from, but also parallels, Beuys’ interventions in the world of art. By placing Beuys’ theory and practice of sculpture alongside Haraway’s theory of situated knowledges, this paper investigates how contemporary changes in the function and orientation of art within an radically different notion of “social” – one that includes not simply human actors, but all animals, all plants, and all material substances, such as water, soil, and air – has the potential to help transform society from one of resource depletion to one of flourishing. In this film, the mountains, the rivers, the dogs, the frolicking deer, the turtle, and Paul’s cat are all part of the definition of the social. This is part of the reason that the death and destruction of wildlife and the living ecosystems caused by MTR has such a chilling effect on the culture there – people know that they are living beings.

Beuys’ theory of social sculpture and Haraway’s ideas about situated knowledges further inform this critical analysis of Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story. The conceptualization and production of this film supplement traditional notions of “the social,” while inheriting aspects of Beuys’ sculptural theory and practice as well as Haraway’s critical theory. As social sculpture in the tradition of Beuys, this film is an attempt to re-sculpt stereotypical notions of Appalachia in order to counter the images, forms and biases that popular culture has created and used to destroy this place for decades. This film, in exploring some of the influences that shaped my own situated knowledges and the ways that I transmit this knowledge to the world, also situates me as firmly from Appalachia. Through these inheritances, particularly a radically broad notion of the “social,” the film introduces “ecosexuality,” our newest social sculpture art project.

 

SITUATED SEXUALITY AS TEXTUALITY Ecosexuality

Ecosexuals anthropomorphize the earth in order to suture the human/nature divide where western epistemology has severed us apart in order to prove that there is no connection. Ecosexuals believe that we are closely connected to the Earth and that we must engage in a mutual relationship with the Earth in order to survive. Sexecology (a term Annie and I coined) is the name of the field that ecosexuals inhabit. This field is where art meets theory meets practice meets activism. Sexecology is concerned with the interconnectedness of natural systems and their interdependence upon each other. What happens to one part of the system affects all of the others.

Ecosexuality employs absurdist humor and play. It may produce new forms of knowledge that hold potential to alter the future by privileging our desire for the Earth to function with as many diverse, intact and flourishing ecological systems as possible. Ecosexuals anthropomorphize the Earth. In his Compositionist Manifesto Latour states, “to enforce the gap between human subjects and nonhuman objects is the most anthropocentric of all modes of relation invented” (Latour 483). In a more pointed criticism Colette Guillaumin says, “As soon as people want to legitimize the power that they exercise, they call on nature – on the nature of this difference.” (Guillaumin 224). Both Latour and Guillaumin point out how humans use the idea of nature to justify their domination over nature.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain is likely the first environmentally focused documentary film that combines sexuality and environmental activism. This opens several possibilities for those who wish to interrogate a variety of connections and relationships between humans and nonhumans without being deterred by the accusation that anthropomorphizing and even eroticizing the earth is a destructive and misguided way of knowing/seeing nature. There are potential pitfalls with this notion of ecosexuality that are in line with Lorraine Code’s concerns with “the practice in some ecofeminist writing of identifying an essential woman” with an equally essential “Nature” [that] reconfirms the biological determinism that has long kept women “in their place.” (Code 18) There is also the danger of falling into the New Age practices that adopt a hodgepodge of theories and belief systems appropriated from nonwestern or indigenous cultures in order to create a spiritual elixir whose magical qualities somehow make these new age practitioners forget that they have appropriated something that wasn’t theirs in order to improve their own already privileged lifestyles. As Donna Haraway said in the cyborg manifesto, “I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess.” (Haraway, 1991 181) Ecosexuals are not goddesses; instead we are lusty, dirty creatures who are not afraid to get grass on our faces while making love to the Earth. Ecosexuals are related to cyborgs and we are not afraid of engaging in intercourse with nature and or with technology for that matter. We make love with the Earth through our senses.

Haraway’s work has guided my understanding of the material consequences and the theoretical underpinnings embedded in human/nonhuman relationships that matrix our world. This has helped me understand how human exceptionalism has been constructed and privileged throughout the history of religion and science as well as in other secular practices in western culture. Human exceptionalism, in collaboration with global capitalism, has created the isolated space necessary for the ongoing practices that have produced the dangerously degraded environmental conditions in which we now live. The belief systems and ideologies that allow some people to think that they have the Darwinian survival skill and the rights that accompany those skills to use or destroy other human and non humans is now causing the kind of environmental degradation that affects the whole system sooner or later.  A stunning example of this is the Hawks Nest Tunnel catastrophe about which I interview my cousin Patricia Stephens Spangler in Goodbye Gauley Mountain.

Haraway’s insistence in “Situated Knowledges,” (Haraway, 1988) that we are all positioned in the middle of knowledge-making, provides a different way of thinking about art-making where the artist-scholar is in the process of making art but has no way of determining exactly where this making will go. Art-making becomes the way that knowledge-making can be communicated as a process. Although this paper analyzes Goodbye Gauley Mountain, and I have gotten (mostly) positive feedback and some less than positive feedback, I am not really going to know what this film is until it is finished and then sent out to screenings. As Lynette Hunter says, “it will either find its fit or not.”

While discussing her relationship to her dog Cayenne, Haraway says,

Once “we” have met, we can never be “the same” again. Propelled by the tasty but risky obligation of curiosity among companion species, once we know, we cannot not know. If we know well, searching with fingery eyes, we care. This is how responsibility grows (Haraway, 2008 18).

Once I had met mountain top removal, I knew that I would never be the same again. I was curious and sickened, and I knew then that I had to make work about this because this was something that really mattered. Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, is my creative effort at being responsible to the physical place where I grew up, where my parents are buried, where my siblings and my very oldest friends continue to live and create their lives.

Even as Haraway deconstructs human exceptionalism, she opens up new possibilities for human beings to act with ethical responsibility — in other words, to act well. She does this in part by critiquing the destructive uses that binaries such as nature/culture or human/animal have set up in order to set apart. Language and the ideas that it generates can be a deadly conceptual technology for segregating the world into what/who is, and is not, killable. Ecosexuality is a new way to create new language in order to critically engage the conversation and tell the stories regarding who gets to live and why. As Haraway reminds us, we are all messmates at the table and we are mutually engaged in an ongoing meal of life and death.

 

Dipesh Charkabarty’s Enchanted Time

Goodbye Gauley Mountain flirts with enchantment and humor from the beginning. I shot the first scene in an almost fairytale fashion, to play with viewers’ expectations of the film as an environmental documentary while inserting a different kind of time into the film. This different kind of time is not real time; it is “enchanted time.” As such it provides a connection to the slower pace that these communities and the mountains once enjoyed. This slower pace is necessary in order to rethink the way that this country and the world at large is using its ecological systems to for large-scale industrial gain which is depleting these systems at a stunning speed.  Postcolonialist theorists such as Dipesh Chakrabarty explain how enchantment creates a time outside historical time. This time provides space for alternative and even impossible worlds to be imagined. This tactic hopefully allows the viewers to absorb the consequences of the loss caused by the devastation of MTR while also inspiring the viewers to join the fight against MTR in a multitude of ways. Additionally, it is my hope that this film has the power to help create new horizons of possibility for the people and the mountains of West Virginia.

 

Other MTR Documentaries

There have been a series of excellent documentaries about mountain top removal. These beautifully produced, highly compelling films all had much larger budgets than mine. They have also had wide distribution. The three most important films, in relation to my own, are Coal Country, The Last Mountain, and On Coal River. Coal Country (2009) was written and directed by Phyllis Geller, and produced by Mari-Lynn Evans. Mari-Lynn Evans is also a native West Virginian. Coal Country has been shown on the Discovery Channel’s Planet Green and in theaters and museums around the country. Robert Kennedy Jr. backed and starred in The Last Mountain, and On Coal River (2010), has won several awards from Silverdocs to Best Documentary of the Appalachian Film Festival. All three of these movies have beautiful professional production values; they show the majestic beauty of the mountains and the horror of their destruction.

These movies however, do not represent the mountains as the joyful place of ecosexuality or love. This is one of the striking differences between this film and the other films I have seen about mountain top removal mining. Depicting just a little of this joy in Goodbye Gauley Mountain serves as a strong contrast to the deep despair of the mountains’ destruction. Furthermore, Goodbye Gauley Mountain is the only film with a first person narrator and one who is from the area. Including my relationship with Annie and ecosexuality also makes this film the only queer film on the topic, which means it will reach an entirely new audience through the GLBTQ film festival circuit.

As powerful and beautifully made as all of these films are, they have only been partially successful in capturing people’s imagination about this ecological disaster much less at raising national awareness about MTR in Appalachia. I attribute this in part to the regional and national position of power and importance that the coal industry occupies in the US national imagination. The story of coal is a heroic and creative story of the labor and power that led to much of the industrial and technological progress attributed to the “greatness” of this country. Coal miners are honored as proud national heroes. Although “economic necessity convinces a man to spend eight hours or more in a wet, dark hole in a mountain, day after day. (Scott 12).  This hints at the highly contradictory meanings of their lives.

A different kind of documentary was needed to redirect attention to this cause. This is the documentary space that Goodbye Gauley Mountain attempts to occupy.  This film approaches MTR from unexpected directions in order to undo peoples’ stereotypical notions as well as lessen their feelings of powerlessness in the face of an environmental disaster. This film tells its story using the element of surprise in order to penetrate the viewers’ consciousness before they can return to comfortable assumptions that they already know how the film’s ending before they get there.

This film attempts to counter some of the deeply entrenched disdain for the Appalachian Mountains, and the communities and people who live within them. By extension, the destruction of this region exposes the distrust and disrespect for difference that compose the history and ideologies of the United States. In showing the beauty and integrity of the mountains, and the people who are fighting for them I hope to engage the empathy of my viewers.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain attempts to convey a different point of view to a different group of viewers than the audiences which straight environmental documentaries target. We are reaching out to queers, punks, artists, ecosexuals and anyone else outside of the largely heteronormative, mainly white environmental movement. However, we certainly hope mainstream environmentalists will see and appreciate the film as well. Additionally, I want to expand the boundaries of gay, lesbian, bi, and transsexual communities and politics to incorporate creative ways to stand up against environmental injustice. As I say in the film, “Gays and lesbians can live (literally) without getting married, but we won’t survive unless we have drinking water and clean air to breathe.” I hope to make my viewers to more aware of the costs of our high standard of living, which capitalist ideologies constantly encourage us to extend even more in the name of progress, especially economic progress.

 

Conclusion

Goodbye Gauley Mountain  incorporates idiosyncratic, artistic, and slightly controversial ecosexual gestures into about MTR to intervene in the despair of this situation. Otherwise the scale of this destruction is too overwhelming to bear and the viewers  shut down. The humor in my film is also my way of competing with society’s addiction to fast paced entertainment. Humor can hold the viewers’ attention when they do not have either the emotional space or a vested interest in hearing the stories that Appalachians have to tell about the destruction of their homes and their land.

In January 2011, I will begin raising money to hire a professional editor to finish the editing. I also will hire a graphic designer to come up with a logo and to do the film titles. A little more work has to be done on the sound and then this piece is ready to have its world premiere.

 

REFERENCES

Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (notes towards an investigation),” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, trans. B. Brewster, London: New Left Books, 1971.

Beuys, Joseph. Joseph Beuys in America : Energy Plan for the Western Man : Writings by and Interviews with the Artist. 1st ed. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1990.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe; Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. 2000. Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History. Ed. Sherry B. Ortner, Nicholas B Dirks, GEoff Eley. Princeton, Oxford Princeton University Press, 2000.

Code, Lorraine, and Oxford University Press. Ecological Thinking the Politics of Epistemic Location. 2006.

Guillaumin, Colette. Racism, Sexism, Power, and Ideology. Critical Studies in Racism and Migration. London ; New York: Routledge, 1995.

Hansen, James E. Storms of My Grandchildren : The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. 1st U.S. ed. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2009.

Haraway, Donna J. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14.3 (1988): 575-99.

Haraway, Donna J. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reivention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991.

Haraway, Donna Jeanne. When Species Meet. Posthumanities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford, England ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Hunter, Lynette. Critiques of Knowing: Situated Textualities in Science, Computing, and the Arts. London ; New York: Routledge, 1999.

Latour, Bruno. “An Attempt at Writing a “Compositionist Manifesto”.” New Literary History 41.3, Summer 2010 (2010): 471-90.

Lewis, Helen Matthews Lewis, Linda Johnson, and Donald Askins. Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case. Boone, NC: The Appalachian Consortium Press, 1978.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky, and Adam Frank. Touching Feeling : Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Series Q. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003.

Tisdall, Caroline, Art into Society/Society into Art, London: ICA, 1974.


[1] Thanks to Lynette Hunter for encouraging me to consider the situated textuatily of this film and for bringing my attention to the importance of rhetoric in terms of ecosexuality.

[5] Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona

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Reflections on the Rough Cut http://elizabethstephens.org/reflections-on-the-rough-cut/ http://elizabethstephens.org/reflections-on-the-rough-cut/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2011 21:07:08 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/reflections-on-the-rough-cut/
Mari-Lynn Evans- 

The story of Mountain Top Removal (MTR) coal mining in Appalachia needs many voices. If Josh Fox (Gaslands) and I had a child parented by John Waters, it would be this film. These are two wild women working to save our environment. This is the missing voice!

Katherine McComas-

the powerless-ness that we experience here is very insidious. If you don’t know that things can be different, you go along with shit for the most part. Making a living is so hard here and there are so few choices. Of course, it has been kept that way by the coal industry…..the level of control here is amazing.

Liz Constable-

Yes, your film is one to be proud of: in many ways because of your own personal connections to the area, your buoyancy and directness, of course the people in the film, and in drawing attention to MTR by giving spectators an intensely situated context and cluster of associations with you and Annie that anchor it deep in our psyches . . . you remind me a little bit of the work of Agnes Varda in the sort of subjective-documentary style.
Yes, that’s it: Agnes Varda!! 

Janet Papale-

We celebrated New Year’s night by watching your video, which we both loved!   There’s something so wise and radical in the way you use joy to infuse activism; to me that seems to inspire action rather than click into powerless mode in the face of all that’s outrageous.  And I love your presence in the movie–in the yoga sutra it’s said that if you cultivate non-violence, there’s an aura of friendliness that develops around you–and that aura was so tangibly felt in the way you related to all you interviewed.  This innate sense of communality seems part of your West Virginia heritage.  I’d love to encourage you to keep writing about West Virginia, as well as to keep filming and collecting interviews.  Your film felt like an absolute counter to the community-fracturing history-obliterating actions of the coal companies……

Patricia Spangler-

Whoa momma.  Just finished previewing your movie and am totally–TOTALLY–blown away.   It’s poignant, touching, funny, relevant, spoofy–and so viscerally honest.  Have to admit out of all the wonderful segments that I loved–the dog howling during the singing of WV Hills was right up there.  This is a masterpiece in my humble opinion–so proud of both of you!

Nita Little-

The joy you convey in everything you do is so very important to the immensity of your purpose in regard to fighting against what can only be described as shear evil. I bless you for your joy and for your purpose. You express your values in your joy so that when the light that shines through it is aimed upon the corporations their vapid values and degradation of all that is alive becomes more starkly evident. You were made for film. You glow in the easy manner of one who is at home.
Fabulous. Blessing upon you and all who are working toward this endeavor to save the beauty, diversity, and wonder of the earth. I am an eco-sexual! What a lovely couple you and Annie are – and so courageous to be outrageous!

Rich Reardin–

“There are a lot of levels to this movie, which is incredibly unusual and refreshing in the current climate of documentary filmmaking.  For one, you have the awful issue of mountain top removal strip mining in Appalachia, (blasting the tops off mountains to get to layers of coal) to learn about and ponder. But subsequently, the unfolding of this movie also exposes hidden layers of the human condition. In the film, a solution is not advanced here as it concerns profits, politics, greed, or the energy policies of the United States, but as an inner revolution of spirit concerning the way we can all experience the world. 

The foundational perspective here is exemplified as a core change of the inner mind defined as “Ecosexuality”. I can imagine viewers murmuring and giggling over hearing something said out loud concerning the extraordinary reality of  having sexual intercourse with nature. Or about how sensuality and sex with nature (as an authentic outward expression of interfacing with the universe) is a profoundly lost art in this age of dark rooms and silicon driven fantasy lands that dwell in our televisions, smart phones, and flickering computer monitors.  

In addition to the good natured childlike fun of innocently exploring the issue of what it means to actually love the world in which we live in, we also find the darker side of human nature.  It becomes obvious that some people, either through ignorance or greed,  love the Earth by exploiting it,  just as some exploit their relationships – all the way from controlling behavior to outright rape.  This film is brutally honest in it’s generous exploration of the yin and yang of the human condition.

The makers of this film also bring their own sexuality to the table by freely expressing their love for each other as same sex partners, culminating with their “marriage to the Appalachians”.  This film brings all kinds of pundit driven taboos, toxic behavior, and unkind labels like “Tree Huggers” to a new level of understanding, and acceptance.  Annie Sprinkle asks the question in the film, “Why is it a bad thing to be a tree hugger? I love trees!” 

This is a film that does more than entertain new ideas. Afterwards, you can’t help but pay attention to a new-found delight in the actual experience of sunshine caressing your bare skin, or conversely, the intense physical pain of beholding a previously forested mountain destroyed forever. The naive delusion of your existence as being separate and substantially independent from the world is dashed, and you are offered a new way actually embrace and share the universe as your lover. 

When is the last time a film made you feel like that?” 

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Theater and Performance Art http://elizabethstephens.org/theater-and-performance-art/ http://elizabethstephens.org/theater-and-performance-art/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2011 18:52:04 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1368
We have done a range of performance art events and actions. Each is site specific. Our first theater piece, Exposed; Experiments in Love, Sex, Death and Art toured for two years internationally and garnered good reviews, including a big and favorable review in the New York Times. Our show Dirty Sexecology; 25 Ways to Make Love With the Earth is our current show. We are happy to discuss possibilities with you.
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Newspaper Articles http://elizabethstephens.org/newspaper-articles/ http://elizabethstephens.org/newspaper-articles/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2011 03:58:34 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/newspaper-articles/

Duhigg, Charles, New York Times, September 12, 2009, “Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering.” 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html?pagewanted=all 

Barry, Dan,  New York Times, April 12, 2011, This Land, “As the Mountaintops Fall, a Coal Town Vanishes
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/13/us/13lindytown.html?_r=1&ref=westvirginia
 
Cope, Jerry, Huffington Post, August 8, 2011, Winds of Change Blow in Coal River Valley, Alpha Energy Takes the Higher Road
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-cope/winds-of-change-blow-in-c_b_923392.html
 
Uhlmann, David, New York Times, December 9, 2011,For 29 Dead Miners, No Justice, 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/10/opinion/for-29-dead-miners-no-justice.html?scp=1&sq=massey&st=cse 
 

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Desert Tour for Lovers http://elizabethstephens.org/desert-tour-for-lovers-the-earth-as-valentine/ http://elizabethstephens.org/desert-tour-for-lovers-the-earth-as-valentine/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2011 13:21:33 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1132 The Earth as Valentine

Finding Our V-Spots on February 14, 2009 On Valentine’s Day we led a group of artists, academics, ecologists and activists on a special lover’s tour/walk in the Southern California desert. Absolutely everyone can have a beautiful Valentine, and delicious day of ecosexual lovemaking with the Earth as lover.

deserttour_001_wb]The Love Art Lab participated in the Luminous Green Desert, a conference at a University of California desert research retreat facility near Palm Desert. About thirty-five people were in attendance, mostly artists involved in environmental art.

At 2:30 P.M. a dozen of us gathered and walked into the desert. First we read our “25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth”  then had everyone introduce themselves and tell us anything that came to mind regarding Earth as lover. We were delighted to hear some very erotic stories from our colleagues, and to know that everyone had had an erotic experience with the earth at some point in their lives.

Artist couple Paula Poole and Brett Stalbaum collaborated on the tour with us. Paula invited us to each locate and share our V-spot; a View, or a plant, or a place that we found particularly erotic. One by one we did, and Paula gifted us each a beautiful hand beaded necklace that she made. Brett, her husband, photographed our spots, which Paula translated into beautiful pencil drawings later that night.

deserttour_019_wbFor some people a cactus was their V-spot. For others it was a particular view. For Annie it was a few grains of sand because she said, “In every grain of sand is an entire erotic universe waiting to be explored.” She then ate and swallowed the grains of sand with great pleasure. Beth was a total eco-slut, as she had no less than five V-spots.

As tour guides, we pointed out other points of interest; a multitude of phallic and vulvular shapes, a gray granite rock with a white heart, sensuous textures, eyegasmic colorful delights, the scents of lavender, creosote and more more more. Annie demonstrated the joys of licking and hugging rocks. Beth and artist Larry Bogad picked up a watermelon-sized rock and licked it simultaneously. It licked them back! Further down the path was a rock with a big wet spot.

We moseyed and meandered for a couple of miles. At the end of the trail we stood in a circle for some ‘ecstasy breathing’ circulating energy with the north, south, east and west, which brought us to an energetic climax with the Earth. Then we made our way back to base camp as the sun sank behind a breast shaped mountain. We basked in the afterglow while sucking on the dried mangos and figs we had brought for everyone (healthier than bon bons). We communicated with each other about our various environmental art projects. Pillow talk as it were. The desert was a fine lover this fine day.

We hope you will join us on our next lover’s tour.

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Performance and Social Change Conference http://elizabethstephens.org/performance-and-social-change-conference/ http://elizabethstephens.org/performance-and-social-change-conference/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2011 01:32:20 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1433 Annie and I will be presenting a sneak preview of our film, By Gauley I Married a Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story and I will be presenting my paper: Social Sculpture Situated.
Dec 1Event time: all day
Location: UC Davis, Davis, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Whistle Blowers Conference/Occupy the Truth http://elizabethstephens.org/whistle-blowers-conference/ http://elizabethstephens.org/whistle-blowers-conference/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2011 01:08:23 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1430 A three-day open source conference featuring Daniel Ellsberg, Reverend Billy Talen, Ray McGovern and other truth telling heros. We’ll be featured guests and participate with bells on. The conference is for anyone who really cares about truth and transparency, ie: practitioners and academics in the information, communication, media, computer, and library domains, members of NGOs working on civil society and good governance issues, and all who are interested in ethical, legal and regulatory aspects of information and communication. freshjuiceparty.com
Feb 17 – Feb 19
Event time: all day
Location: UC Berkeley’s International House Berkeley, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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CAA/WCA Panel: Multiplicities in Dialogue: From Political Caucus to Engaged Community http://elizabethstephens.org/caawca-panel-multiplicities-in-dialogue-from-political-caucus-to-engaged-community/ http://elizabethstephens.org/caawca-panel-multiplicities-in-dialogue-from-political-caucus-to-engaged-community/#comments Thu, 17 Nov 2011 23:48:39 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1426 We’ll be on a panel “Multiplicities in Dialogue: From Political Caucus to Engaged Community.”
Feb. 24, Friday at 9:30 a.m., Concourse Room #403 B. Level two of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Session sponsored by Women’s Caucus for the Arts. Moderated by Tanya Augsburg.  This session is organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Five paired dialogues will offer a sampling of contemporary models for innovative artistic engagement. collegeart.org

Session Abstract

This session is organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Caucus for Art to explore the trajectory of engaged activism within the women’s art movement from its origins in the sixties and seventies to twenty-first century initiatives. Postmodern, heterogeneous, and extremely diverse: the women’s art movement consists of a multiplicity of art professionals who form partnerships, collaborations, collectives, networks, and alternative learning spaces—often with the aid of new technologies.

Following an Open Forum format, five paired dialogues following session co-chair Tanya Augsburg’s introduction will offer a sampling of contemporary models for innovative artistic engagement that have been inspired and informed by feminist perspectives. Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens will discuss their ongoing artist couple partnership in making ecosexual art while raising awareness for marriage equality. The second dialogue will examine global/transnational collaborations with artists Karen Frostig of Lesley University and Yueh-mei Cheng of Finlandia University. During the third dialogue Judy Baca, Founder and Artistic Director of Social and Public Art Resources Center (SPARC), and Cathy Salser, Founder and Executive Director of A Window Between Worlds (AWBW), will reflect upon their experiences leading arts organizations in which engagement with specific communities is an integral part of their personal artistic process. The fourth dialogue will spotlight emergent forms of institutional critique and alternative educational spaces with Jenny Yoo from DIY Graduate School and Dena Muller, Executive Director of ArtTable. Issues of image and identity in both popular media and interactive digital media will be probed during the fifth dialogue with Carol Wells, art historian and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), and Lisa Brenneis, independent artist. Co-Chair Deborah Thomas will provide concluding remarks as discussant. The session will include a participatory dimension that will offer numerous ways to engage the audience including a Q/A period and an online forum where the dialogues can continue after the session.

Feb 24Event time: all day
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze Closing Reception, Screening & Discussion Panel http://elizabethstephens.org/man-as-object-reversing-the-gaze-closing-reception-screening-discussion-panel/ http://elizabethstephens.org/man-as-object-reversing-the-gaze-closing-reception-screening-discussion-panel/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 22:41:11 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1422 Closing Reception, Screening & Discussion Pane. 6–9PM. Free admission.

Screening of historic feminist film Fuses by Carolee Schneemann followed by “Looking at Men: Then & Now,” a panel discussion with Tanya Augsburg, Ph.D., Carolee Schneemann, and Annie Sprinkle.

http://manasobject.weebly.com/

Nov 30 6:00 pm
Location: SOMARTS San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers http://elizabethstephens.org/international-day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers/ http://elizabethstephens.org/international-day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 21:45:14 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1418 In San Francisco and other cities throughout the world. We will be holding a vigil in San Francisco. Save the date. Details TBA
Dec 17Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Reversing the Gaze: Man as Object Opening Reception http://elizabethstephens.org/reversing-the-gaze-man-as-object-opening-reception/ http://elizabethstephens.org/reversing-the-gaze-man-as-object-opening-reception/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 20:57:56 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/?p=1410 Opening Reception with Artwork Dedication & Performance – Free Admission 6-9pm.

Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze is a traveling survey  of 117 artworks debuting at SOMArts before traveling to the Kinsey Institute which place the male form in a position of objecthood and reverse conventional hierarchies in the culture of display. The exhibition includes an extensive collection of male adoration, male impersonation and male appendages, as well as works which probe contemporary expressions of feminism.

Nov 4 6:00 pm
Location: SOMARTS San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Lectures/Panels http://elizabethstephens.org/lectures/ http://elizabethstephens.org/lectures/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2011 19:03:56 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1373

We have done a range of lectures and panels for over a decade. Our style is to improvise, to banter back and forth, complete each other’s sentences, and engage our audience with humor, visuals, and discussion. We love to collaborate with others. Panel or lecture topics can be a range of from topics, such as radical sex education, art making, environmental issues, love, GLBTQI, feminism, gender, performance and others.  Our visiting artist presentation is usually an hour and a half with discussion.


Here is an example:

ASSUMING THE ECOSEXUAL POSITION
Annie Sprinkle & Elizabeth Stephens
A performative artist lecture, slideshow & tell

What happens when two city girls embrace the Earth as their lover? They get real dirty! Then they marry the Earth, Sky, Sea, Rocks, Sun, and more, in a series collaborative performance art weddings.

Stephens & Sprinkle have developed “sexecology,” a new field of research where art meets theory, meets practice, meets activism. Learn 25 ways to make love with the Earth, how to find your e-spot, and why mysophilia, arboreal frottage and pollen-amory are so deeply satisfying. These ‘grrrrls gone green’ make experimental theater, visual art, video, and lead ecosex walking tours & workshops. Once you know more about the budding ecosex movement, you might discover you are an ecosexual too.

Elizabeth Stephens is an artist, a professor at UCSC, and is working on a documentary film that aims to stop mountain top removal coal mining devastation in Appalachia. Annie Sprinkle was a pivotal player in the sex positive feminist movement, has a Ph.D. in human sexuality, and has lived and worked with Elizabeth for the past 11 years.  For more about Beth & Annie’s work, loveartlab.org

 

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Besos Negros http://elizabethstephens.org/besos-negros/ http://elizabethstephens.org/besos-negros/#comments Sat, 05 Nov 2011 10:43:52 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1221 http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/Besosnegros2.pdf

Web Article

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Gijon Workshop http://elizabethstephens.org/gijon-workshop/ http://elizabethstephens.org/gijon-workshop/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2011 11:42:08 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1172 We held a five-day workshop in Gijon, Asturias, Spain to teach ecosexual techniques, share our love of nature, visit the local coal country and make art together, all in preparation for our Boda Negra con el Carbón (Black Wedding to the Coal). We lived in the servants’ quarters of a delinquent Count and the participants lived in the students’ quarters of Laboral: The Center for Art and Industrial Creation. Originally this complex was intended to be an orphanage for children whose father’s had been killed in the mines but Franco’s expanded the plans to create the largest building of its era in Spain. Our workshop consisted of about 25 participants from various backgrounds including ecologists, healers, artists, performers, sex workers and others. This workshop ensured that our wedding would be a crazy, profound and original ecosexual experience.

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Barcelona Ecosex Workshop 1 & 2 http://elizabethstephens.org/barcelona-ecosex-workshop-1-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/barcelona-ecosex-workshop-1-2/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2011 11:11:25 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1170

In Barcelona, mid July, we facilitated our first two ecosex workshops, Ecosex 1 & Ecosex 2. Our friend and colleague Diana Pornoterrorista produced the workshops in collaboration with Hangar Visual Arts Center.  We had eighteen people attend each workshop who came from six different countries.

For Ecosex 1, after introductions, we went to Parck De Centre Poblenou, which was a strangely designed park inspired by the French architect’s dream. We discussed asking Nature permission before connecting physically. (It’s only right!) We then looked for and shared our e-spots, got massaged and tickled by weeping willow trees, walked barefoot in the fountain, licked and kissed the grass, and other ecosensual delights. Homework was to masturbate and think of an ecosex fantasy, then make a video/photo/drawing/project and bring it to share with the group. We were all delighted and inspired by the offerings the next day.

Then, we went to a public beach and all got naked (legal in Barcelona), put clay all over our bodies, and the ocean waves had their way with us on the shoreline. We connected with the sky and exfoliated with the sand. We laughed a lot! By the end of the day everyone was fully identifying as “ecosexual” and we did a mini group wedding, where everyone took vows to love, honor and cherish the Earth. We gave each person a ring and an official ecosexual diploma. The bliss was palpable.

For Ecosex 2 we went to Cultadelia Park. We started off sharing the history of the ecosex movement. We went over some of the theory, ecosex fetishes, paraphileias and proclivities. We shared our ecosex scale. We read our hilarious ecosex lexicon, and people added some new words in Spanish throughout the day.  Ecosexercises consisted of some blindfolded Earth cuddling, extreme tree hugging, and making love to the Earth energetically through breath, undulation, intention, and imagination. Sprinkle demonstrated eco-ecstatic breathing to energy orgasm. We smelled, tasted, touched, looked at and listened to flowers, lavender, honeysuckle, dirt, clouds, and more.

The climax of the workshops took place at San Pau de Mar, an hour north of the city by train.  Our participants were amazingly open minded, enthusiastic, willing and darling. We asked them to each come prepared to offer an ecosex experience, performance, story, etc. to the group. The whole day was spent taking turns experiencing the offerings. One person showed us how to make love to fruits and vegetables; another offered sandalwood scented clay body painting. One person brought honey, which we put all over our bodies then exfoliated with the sand. A spontaneous watermelon fight broke out and we giggled with delight. Two participants offered some delightful eco-bdsm scenes with tall grass flagellation, aloe vera cactus spanking, sand bondage, and more. A woman from South America recreated the ancient Pachamama ritual. A woman sang and cried for the earth and asked us all to spray seawater on her from our mouths. We gave ourselves to the sea in a circle. We thought it might get cold and rain, but it never did. The whole experience was magical and according to the feedback, a life changing, paradigm shift for all. Including us. The waxing moon lit our way home. The workshops surpassed all our wildest expectations. We feel that this will be the first of many future ecosex workshops around the world.

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Everything you wanted to know about the Ecosexual Movement http://elizabethstephens.org/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-ecosexual-movement/ http://elizabethstephens.org/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-ecosexual-movement/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 11:31:25 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1226 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/ecoARTINFO.com.pdf

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Novias vestidas de negro http://elizabethstephens.org/novias-vestidas-de-negro/ http://elizabethstephens.org/novias-vestidas-de-negro/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 01:18:30 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1231 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/Besosnegros2.pdf

 

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Vuelve La Negra http://elizabethstephens.org/vuelve-la-negra/ http://elizabethstephens.org/vuelve-la-negra/#comments Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:24:01 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1233 http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/2011.07.17.elcomercio%20black%20wedding2.pdf

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San Francisco Chronicle http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-chronicle/ http://elizabethstephens.org/san-francisco-chronicle/#comments Sun, 30 Oct 2011 14:32:00 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1236 http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/san_francisco_chronicle_20110716_E01_E04.pdf

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Ecosessuali contro la decapitazione delle montagne http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosessuali-contro-la-decapitazione-delle-montagne/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosessuali-contro-la-decapitazione-delle-montagne/#comments Sat, 29 Oct 2011 14:35:41 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1239 http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/xxd_8_giugno.pdf

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Sexecological Walking Tour of the Castro http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-of-the-castro/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-of-the-castro/#comments Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:46:41 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1135 On a warm, sunny January day, we guided 27 people on a SEXECOLOGICAL WALKING TOUR of San Francisco’s famous Castro neighborhood. We began at our art exhibit at Femina Potens Gallery on Market Street (FP produced the tour). We slowly wound our way around several blocks to Dubose Park. On route we shared our past eco-erotic experiences/stories with each other, everyone found their e-spots, sniffed, tasted, and licked nature’s delicious trees, rocks, plants and sensuous abundance. We stopped into a wood furniture shop for a sniff and a poem about the erotic love of nature. There was a cactus vagina dentate, a mistletoe moment, and a tree with a marble clitoris. The tour climaxed on top of a breast like grassy knoll when we all formed a circle and facilitated people’s sacred vows to be lovers with the Earth. A good ecosexually satisfying time was had by all. Photos by Malia Schlaefer and the Love Art Lab.

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El ecosexo como obra de arte http://elizabethstephens.org/el-ecosexo-como-obra-de-arte/ http://elizabethstephens.org/el-ecosexo-como-obra-de-arte/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:40:34 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1241 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/republica.pdf

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El ecosexo como obra de arte http://elizabethstephens.org/el-ecosexo-como-obra-de-arte-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/el-ecosexo-como-obra-de-arte-2/#comments Thu, 27 Oct 2011 14:46:45 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1243 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/elpais.pdf

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Ecosex Manifesto Exhibit at the Center for Sex & Culture http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-manifesto-exhibit-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-manifesto-exhibit-2/#comments Thu, 27 Oct 2011 12:01:39 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1112 This exhibit will shift the metaphor from “Mother” Earth (someone who takes care of you) to “Lover” Earth (someone you desire to care for). If people regarded the earth as a lush Garden of Eden full of sensual pleasures, as a sweet lover, perhaps they would take better care of our planet. We’ll creatively explore environmental issues such as the pollution of the oceans, mountaintop removal strip-mining and the mindless consumption of resources. The Eco-Sexual Manifesto exhibit will ‘queer’, eroticize and glamorize the environmental movement and be both serious and satirical, a call to arms, and a political campaign. We will make, sell and give away items to promote ecosex community identification in the form of posters, bumper stickers, buttons, t-shirts, underwear, and other items. We will also create an artfully designed pamphlet with our Ecosexual Manifesto text, a rhetorical statement of political principles, which will also be exhibited as a wall-text in our Femina Potens installation.

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SEXECOLOGY: Making Love with the Earth, Sky and Sea http://elizabethstephens.org/green-year-gallery-installation/ http://elizabethstephens.org/green-year-gallery-installation/#comments Thu, 27 Oct 2011 11:41:03 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1109 We installed our green and blue year projects together, in an exhibit at Femina Potens Gallery in San Francisco. We called the show SEXECOLOGY: Making Love with the Earth, Sky and Sea. Exhibited were collages, drawings, photographs, texts, our wedding costumes and ephemera. The opening reception was packed when we performed some of our research about Sexecology and ecosexuality.

It takes a village to install an art exhibit, and we couldn’t have done it without the wonderful Femina Potens volunteers, and our generous and talented friends, Lady Monster, Tessa Willis, Ruby Pearl (who designed the glass case display and made the green wedding rings), Adam Harms, Hallie McConlogue, and others. Katharine Gates designed some.

This exhibit was supported in part by grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Cultural Equity Grants Program, UCSC Arts Research Institute, and generous support from the Queer Cultural Center. We especially want to thank Madison Young, who is the woman behind Femina Potens, for her continued support of the Love Art Laboratory project.

Click Here for the Exhibition Credits

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Trisolini Exhibit – Athens, OH http://elizabethstephens.org/trisolini-exhibit-athens-oh/ http://elizabethstephens.org/trisolini-exhibit-athens-oh/#comments Wed, 26 Oct 2011 03:46:58 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1104 At the Trisolini Gallery, at Ohio University, we had an exhibit called Ecosexuals In Love. We displayed costumes and ephemera from our Wedding to the Earth, and Wedding to the Sky, as well as Beth’s Porn Star and Academic Bronzed Panty Collection, some breast cancer projects, and collages on maps. The opening night was packed and the show was enjoyed by many for several months, and provoked thought and conversation about ecosexuality. First two photos are by Elizabeth Dobson, the rest of the photos are by Michael Morris.

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Mountain Wedding Exhibit at the Kennedy Museum http://elizabethstephens.org/mountain-wedding-exhibit-at-the-kennedy-museum/ http://elizabethstephens.org/mountain-wedding-exhibit-at-the-kennedy-museum/#comments Wed, 26 Oct 2011 03:40:29 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1102 At the Kennedy Museum in Athens, Ohio, we exhibited costumes and wedding ephemera from our Purple Wedding to the Moon, and our Purple Wedding to the Appalachian Mountains. The exhibit included our ecosex pride flags by Cindy Baker and Megan Morman, a video of an ecosex walking tour, and items made by students at Ohio University for our wedding performance.

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Art Beat – Reviewer Spotlight http://elizabethstephens.org/art-beat-reviewer-spotlight/ http://elizabethstephens.org/art-beat-reviewer-spotlight/#comments Tue, 25 Oct 2011 14:55:14 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1245 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/NYtimes_artspot.pdf

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Art Business – Velvet Da Vinci http://elizabethstephens.org/art-business-velvet-da-vinci/ http://elizabethstephens.org/art-business-velvet-da-vinci/#comments Mon, 24 Oct 2011 14:56:52 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1247 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/velvetdavinci.pdf

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Green Is the New Hot http://elizabethstephens.org/green-is-the-new-hot/ http://elizabethstephens.org/green-is-the-new-hot/#comments Sun, 23 Oct 2011 15:16:41 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1250 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/sfweekgreenhot.pdf

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Ecosexuals’ Make Love With Nature http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexuals-make-love-with-nature/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexuals-make-love-with-nature/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2011 15:22:51 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1254 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/aolweird.pdf

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Ecosexuals unite for Ecosex Symposium http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexuals-unite-for-ecosex-symposium/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosexuals-unite-for-ecosex-symposium/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2011 15:19:59 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1252 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/exameco.pdf

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Sexecological Walking Tour – Boston http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-boston/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour-boston/#comments Fri, 21 Oct 2011 12:30:25 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1134 Boston Public Garden, November 15, 2009

We spent a rainy November day in the heart of the Boston Gardens, exploring the Earth’s sensual delights.  On this tour we encountered roses blooming, sexy burls, carpets of yellow leaves, old friends and new.  We also heard the enchanting story of the lesbian swans who used to swim in the garden lake.  A lovely erotic day.

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SF Weekly Best of Award http://elizabethstephens.org/sf-weekly-best-of-award/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sf-weekly-best-of-award/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 15:25:30 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1256 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/bestofSFWeekly.pdf

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Daily Show Segment on Obama Fundraiser Protest http://elizabethstephens.org/daily-show-segment-on-obama-fundraiser-protest/ http://elizabethstephens.org/daily-show-segment-on-obama-fundraiser-protest/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2011 15:28:12 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1258 Web Video

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/dailyshow.pdf

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Whistle Blower’s Conference http://elizabethstephens.org/whistle-blowers-conference-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/whistle-blowers-conference-2/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:47:28 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=971 Our friend Naomi Pitcairn, of the Fresh Juice Party, is organizing this conference which promises to be a very important gathering of great folks.  Beth and I are invited to moderate a panel. Details will eventually be here–    http://freshjuiceparty.com/news

Feb 17 – Feb 19
Event time: all day
Location: University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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By Gauley, I Married a Mountain–An Ecosexual Love Story. Sneak preview. http://elizabethstephens.org/by-gauley-i-married-a-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-sneak-preview/ http://elizabethstephens.org/by-gauley-i-married-a-mountain-an-ecosexual-love-story-sneak-preview/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:35:48 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=967 Beth and I will have a sneak preview of the movie we’ve been working on for almost a year.  It won’t be totally finished, but close.  We will screen it as part of an academic conference at University of California in Davis, in the Performance Studies department. We’re pretty jazzed. 

Dec 1 5:00 pm – Dec 3

Location: University of California, Davis
Map: Show in Google map

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Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers http://elizabethstephens.org/day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers/ http://elizabethstephens.org/day-to-end-violence-against-sex-workers/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:27:38 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=965 EAch December 17, people around the world do various kinds of vigils for sex workers who have suffered from bad laws, serial killers, rape, robbery, and more.  Read about this day on Wikipedia.  It was started by me and other sex worker activists in San Francisco.  Everyone is invited to do something on this high whore-holy-day.  I’ll be going to the Center for Sex and Culture and gathering with the SF Bay Area Sex Worker Outreach Project for the event(s).  details to be announced. Everyone is welcome to come.  So please do. Its always a moving and powerful experience. 

Dec 17 8:00 am
Location: Center for Sex & Culture, San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Spice Radio http://elizabethstephens.org/spice-radio/ http://elizabethstephens.org/spice-radio/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 22:56:19 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=961 I’ll be live on the air on Spice Radio talking about being in porn in the 1970s, with other porn dinosours such as Bill Margold, Georgina Spelvin and others. 

Nov 12 8:30 pm
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Palenque Benefit at Mission Control http://elizabethstephens.org/palenque-benefit-at-mission-control/ http://elizabethstephens.org/palenque-benefit-at-mission-control/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 22:32:27 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=956 I’ll be doing a performance at this promisingly fabulous gathering of very delightful people.  Its a benefit to send a bunch of folks to Palenque, Mexico for a collaborative arts and culture festival in the jungle for the Spring Equinox, 2012. 

Oct 16 4:00 am
Location: Mission Control, San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Beth Stephens Interview on Alyona Show http://elizabethstephens.org/beth-stephens-interview-on-alyona-show/ http://elizabethstephens.org/beth-stephens-interview-on-alyona-show/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 15:30:46 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1260 Web Video

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/alyonashowe.pdf

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Spirit & Flesh– Sister’s Of Perpetual Indulgence Mixer and Sainting http://elizabethstephens.org/spirit-flesh-sisters-of-perpetual-indulgence-mixer-and-sainting/ http://elizabethstephens.org/spirit-flesh-sisters-of-perpetual-indulgence-mixer-and-sainting/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2011 21:30:38 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=954 Join me and Beth, at the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgance’s “mixer” for a celebration of the sacred and profane, the silly and the sublime, and of course the flesh and the spirit. There’s a stage show, a confessional, and plenty of Sister glamour.  We’re getting sainted along with the honorable Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani of Glide church.  This event will benefit not only our reputations (!) but proceeds from the afternoon will go to Glide’s HIV services and the Center for Sex & Culture.  (Saintings will occur in the later part of the event around 6.) Marlena’s at 488 Hayes Street.  3:00 PM -7:00 PM.  Hosted by Novice Sister Hera Tique. 

Oct 23 10:00 pm
Location: Marlena’s, San Francisco, CA.
Map: Show in Google map
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Arts Education http://elizabethstephens.org/arts-education/ http://elizabethstephens.org/arts-education/#comments Sat, 15 Oct 2011 19:26:28 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1383 We have both taught for over twenty years each, and we compliment each other in our teaching styles, skills and knowledge. We love to teach! Learning and teaching are absolutely core to our lives and work. Beth is a full professor of art at University of California in Santa Cruz. Annie has been both a sex and arts educator, and has taught at many retreat centers, top universities/colleges, and even churches!

 

We are open to invitations to come to you, and to co-create something special and meaningful for your community. We have taught week-long art making workshops, which culminate in performances, such as our Making Art Into Love and Love Into Art workshop that culminated in our Blue Wedding to the Sky, in Oxford, England. Our four day Exploring Ecosex-Art Workshop at Laboral Museum in Gijon, Spain culminated in our Boda Negra con El Carbon performance piece.

We can visit classes, do critiques with students, and work with interns for course credits. We are interested in how art can help create a more generous, more open society while pushing against the boundaries of what is considered art and what is considered life.

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Breakfast With Obama, With a Side of Protest? http://elizabethstephens.org/breakfast-with-obama-with-a-side-of-protest/ http://elizabethstephens.org/breakfast-with-obama-with-a-side-of-protest/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2011 15:42:21 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1270 Web Article

http://www.loveartlab.org/PDF/huff_breakfast.pdf

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Editing CA http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca/ http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca/#comments Sun, 02 Oct 2011 07:06:51 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-ca/ August 6, 2011

Annie and I spent a wonderful day facilitating a really fun, sexy and very productive ecosex workshop. We produced this workshop after we were contacted by the French-TV station, CANAL TV-who filmed the whole thing.  The workshop was held at Penny Slinger’s beautiful, spiritual retreat, aka the goddess temple, in Boulder Creek.  Everyone was fully present as we explored both conceptual and physical ways to make love to and with the Earth.  Some people probably think that we are crazy in our ecosexual pursuits  but others resonate strongly with this urge to reassess our relationship to nature and to each other.  We are also reassessing the separation of mind and body as well as alternative sexualities. Part of the goals of this workshop was to have the participants slow down and engage touch to experience the Earth as our Lover.  We also used fingery eyes to (Eva Hayward’s term as explained to me by Donna Haraway) to see and haptically experience the Earth’s beauty all around us. The workshop was fun and reaffirmed our desire to do more, knowing that there is a strong interest among many people-in other words these workshops are viable as well as informative in our development and experimentations with what constitutes ecosexuality and can it change the way humans view the earth.  Annie and I were so moved that we went over to our little house and hugged each of the Redwood trees in the yard.  There are twenty-one redwoods.  We are privileged to get to hug these trees and standing there with our arms around them felt incredible.  It had been a long day but we had plans to meet Martina and Maureen at the Bernal Heights Library to see Joan Jeanrenaud give a cello concert.  The performance was called Cello Meets Tech.  I didn’t really know what to expect but I love the cello, my mother used to play the instrument.  So we left Boulder Creek for San Francisco.

 We got to the library a little later than we had meant to and the only seats that were left were seats towards the back.  This is a sweet little library, with books all around, comfortable seating for reading and tables with computers in the middle of the space.  We were behind the computers so we couldn’t really see Joan as she played-but the music was awesome-we were in the presence of a true master of her craft, a virtuoso who not only made every page of every book in that room reverberate with deep emotion, but she touched the hearts of the listeners too.  As a certain point Annie and I both stood up to watch her play over the computer monitors.  Jeanrenaud was rapt with her instrument-she was also flipping on some little electronic gizmos, the one I remember in particular was box called a looper. This machine created rhythms from sounds/music that she played/recorded into it and then set up to loop over and over-as she continued on with her cello.

 For some miraculous reason, two people in the audience decided to leave.  Lo and behold, they vacated two seats in the second row-very close to the musician. Having gone to many baseball games with my father who was an astute master of moving into superior seats during the seventh inning stretch-I know when to make my move. Annie and I stealthy took the vacated seats and sat down less than 5 feet from Jeanrenaud-and it was a perfect place from which to watch, listen and feel the vibration.  Her music moved me a great deal.  In combination with having hugged the trees earlier in the day-plus having thought and acted out how to make love to the Earth, I was very emotionally open.  What I didn’t expect was to be so deeply moved by her music and her energy as she played.  I am so glad that I didn’t miss this chance to see/feel/experience this concert.  And what was amazing is that she played while she played.  Sitting in front of me was a many named Hank-it might have been Hank Dutt of the Kronos Quartet-I don’t know.  But occasionally, Joan Jenrenaud would smile at him with deep affection and love. It was as if she were sending sunbeams his way and it was deeply beautiful.  She also spoke eloquently of her friend Hamza Alaa El Din, an Egyptian composer who died in 2006.  The looper allowed her to play music that she had played with him when he was alive.  Amazing how technology can bring back the dead. I was incredibly moved by this, the music and her passion while playing. At some moment I realized that what she was engaged in was an incredibly advanced form of tree hugging.  She was making love to the cello and the cello was responding with orgasmic, beautiful notes, tones and sighs.  I started to cry and as I looked around the library, I realized all of the things that the trees have given us.  The wood to build the building, the molding to make the interior look beautiful, the boards to hold the books, the chairs that we sat on, the tables that held the computers and last but not least the books themselves. Trees have blessed our lives on so many levels – and what do we give the trees?  This question of reciprocity is an important one.   What do we give back? Well it was certainly an honor to have gotten to experience that concert.  Wow, our neighbor.  It is a great gift to discover who people really are.  And furthermore, I had heard her play on recordings before.  Fido and I used to listen to the Kronos Quarter all of the time when we lived together. As I was leaving the concert I wondered if she would ever let us use her music in my film.  

August 11, 2011

As usual, Annie and I were waking Bob on Bernal Hill.  Rounding the curve, up ahead of us came Joan Jenrenaud.  Now I usually cringe when I see one of Annie’s fans getting ready to approach Annie for her attention.  I’ve sworn a million times that I would never do that to anyone.  But when I saw the cellist approaching, I could hardly contain my excitement.  Luckily Annie was at my side to help anchor me to the ground.  We met and I told her how very much I have loved the concert from a few nights before.  Then I sprung my question, Could I use some of your pieces- Axis and Waiting- from your album Strange Toys-in my film about Mountain Top Removal.  I explained the movie to her a little bit, but before long she very generously agreed.  We talked a little more and she told me that she understood the damage that the Tennessee Valley Authority had caused with their dams and their energy policies.  She also said that her friend Hamza El Din has suffered when his childhood village of Toska had been flooded out by the Answar High Dam in Egypt.  She understood the pain of having ones place destroyed.  What a generous soul.  I was going to be able to arrive in West Virginia to begin editing with Jordan equipped with some fantastic music.  It was an excellent start to the editing process.

September 24th-Oct 1

Rebecca Reider, the author of Dreaming the Biosphere II has been staying here.  We had a little screening of the film the night before she left.  Also Paul Corbit Brown and Tandy Stephens were here as well.  The film contiunes to improve but it has a long way to go.  Jordan and I just got it going in West Virginia.  Annie keeps saying that she had told me how much work it was going to be.  I don’t mind the work, in fact I love it.  The only problem is that I have several kinds of work that I am swirling around in.  But this film is a labor of love and it needs to get out in the world.  More people need to know what is going on with mountain top removal for many, many reasons-As the big guy in the protest at Twilight says, This is a crime, it is a crime agains Appalaichia

Sept. 30, 2011

 We have spent the last three days writing a grant to try to secure funding for Goodbye Gauley Mtn. which is starting to be called Saving Gauley Mtn or Hello Gauley Mtn.  As always this was a tenuous process that painfully dragged on right up to the deadline.  I think we got it in a few hours before.  At least this time I’ve got a great assistant.  Julia, She is working with me doing grant writing as an independent study class.

We did have a little rough spot around communication and who had what version of the grant.  This cost me a day of work, which I couldn’t really afford.  But we got the grant in and it feels good.

Also brought home the new computer which will be the mega editing machine.  That is exciting too.  Much is happening in the process of making this film.

October 1, 2011

Julia is finally at the helm of the computer.  We spoke to Jordan today who is going to come in from October 12h through the 15th.  It will be great to see him and work together some.  I miss hanging out as we were intensely connected when we were editing together at Anne’s.  We had to get two files that somehow got lost in the transfer process.  Amazing that Jordan was able to  just email them over. Technology is a trip.  Now we need to use technology to create a technology that is powered by green power. I have to get solar panels on my house.  Paul and Tandy made it home safely.  All is well on the everybody being home front.  I’ve turned into an old hen.

Today Julia is working on the Grumble section of the edit.  We’ll shorten that part a little as Grumble commands the most time in the whole film at this point.  He is an amazing human being.

October 13 2011

Jordan got in last night.  We’re going to go do a shoot for the film today.  We need a through line, a story that will situalte the film.  Yes the film is about West Virginia, but we are living in California.  We are both inside and outside of that place.  A place that doesn’t really want the likes of me and Annie coming in and causing trouble.  Trouble being pointing out what is wrong, what is destroyed that might not ever be able to be fixed again.  I watched a movie about the collapse of the bee colonies tonight with Jordan.  It is the insect’s response to the devastation of the earth’s ecosystems. I am amazed at Lynette’s questioning whether or not the earth can feel what we do.  Of course they can of course when we rip and tear and burn and steal and litter-the earth feels it.  How do I say this in the film.  A rant, a rant for the earth-the earth is my lover—I will take care of her—the earth is my lover.  But I still drive a car, use microwaves, use gas, use food that has been grown via gmo’s-who knows what the earth things but the earth does send us messages and we have to listen before it is too late.  It is time to deploy our contemporary versions of social sculpture to address the situation of the declining ecological systems of the earth.  If we don’t there are not going to be any systems around to support animal or plant life.  This is not going to get better.  It may already be too late.  And what is the purpose of being optimistic?  Is optimism the thing that might maintain a positive attitude?  I’m not certain why there is any reason or need to have a positive attitude about what is going on.  Occupy Wall Street has the right idea-be realistic-positively is not realistic. And so for our script:

We need to introduce Annie and say why she is going to West Virginia-and a little bit about who she is.

We need to establish that we live in San Francisco-the gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, –vortex of the world.  I think that we should do that shot on Bernal Hill-maybe early Sat. morning.  Why would we go to West Virginia?

Establish that we are two ecosexuals in love-

Maybe Jon is right, maybe the queers and the feminists have the wrong timeline going-maybe the timeline has to be a lot longer.  So long in fact that it is beyond identity, individual, group or otherwise.  I don’t think that identity is going to save the world, in spite of my very strong feelings for equality-navigation, how does one navigate all of this?? I’m not sure-but I do know that if we don’t have drinking water we will all die of thirst and dehydration.  And so how does one break it down from here because I know damn well that the powerful are going to have the drinking water-they already do-and they are going to maintain control of the water-until that control is taken away from them-and there are so many fucking people now.  I shudder to think of the weight of all of these people treading on the earth, dropping their waste upon the earth, eating everything that they can take from the Earth, burning everything in their path-we are living in interesting times.

 I remember when my grand parents had a dump on their property.  As I think back on it, they hardly threw anything away.  It was amazing really in retrospect-they didn’t waste things. And society as a whole didn’t produce stuff that got thrown away.  I went shopping at Trader Joe’s today and I bought so much plastic it was nauseating. I don’t think I ever want to go shopping there again-too much fucking plastic-how is it that the food can really be that much cheaper when so much plastic is used.  I was really disgusted.  And what does all of that plastic do to us when our food is covered in it?  What are we reall eating these days and what does it do to us? 

 

October 14, 2011—

 We shot several scenes in Boulder Creek today-it was great fun.  Annie Jordan and I went down to Boulder Creek, CA yesterday to do a shoot for the film.  We got a lot of great material.  It is so stunningly beautiful in Boulder Creek, and so much like West Virginia that it is uncanny.  Of course this is why I am attracted to this place-so similar in look and feel.  We got to the house, and it looks a little neglected, but not too bad.  The redwoods are sprouting their pubic hair.  Green crowns around the base of each tree.  Time for a little trim-but first we had some yummy sandwiches from New Leaf.  These might be the best sandwiches around, hands down.  I had a turkey breast sandwich with cheddar cheese, lettuce tomatoes and mayonnaise on a French roll.  Annie had a turkey with cranberry sauce on whole wheat bread, and Jordan had a fakin bacon something or other.  So we sat down with our sandwiches at our little redwood picnic table that is trying hard not to fall apart-and we had a feast.  This was the first time in a month that Annie and I had eaten bread.  We savored every fattening bite. Then we proceeded to dress up in our Barcelona Stone/Gijon Coal wedding dresses by Aviv and Vahida.

 On the drive down we had planned to shoot some eco sexual scenes in the woods. So after getting dressed and Annie getting all of her makeup on we ventured out in to the neighborhood.  We left Bob in the yard, and even though Amanda, one of my old students, was now diligently trimming the redwood’s pubic hair, Bob began barking hysterically.  It was as if he were being beaten.  Of course Annie wanted to run right back and get him, but I knew that if we did, then the whole focus of the shoot would be derailed in order to keep an eye on Bob.  So I put my foot down and insisted that Bob stay with Amanda.  He calmed down.  First we took our usual path to find Albert, the white peacock, who lives in the neighbor hood.  First, we discovered some dusty pink roses growing over the fence that surrounds the Redwood Resort. We proceeded to talk dirty to these beautiful creatures and smother with some very serious kisses.  I felt bad afterwards because we didn’t ask for permission and we broke one of their stems.  In the process of this, we heard Albert.  KawKawKawwwww-the gravely sound of his crying directly contradicts his unearthly beauty.  Or rather, it contradicts his beauty when he is in full feather.  We discovered Albert sitting on the roof of a storage container surrounded by trailers and RV’s looking a little worse for wear.  He was molting and all of his long tail feathers were gone.  He looked a little sad and even a little mad.  Especially at Annie with whom he’d had a two year affair while we lived there.  His feathers were droopy now and he seemed disinterested even though we were dancing in the street and trying to get him to come to us.  He didn’t budge.  Even after we picked the last of the ripe blackberries and gently threw them over the fence in a love offering, he didn’t come down to see us.  But we are still going to put him in our movie.  We are very much attached, even if he isn’t.  So we moved on to our next location.

We doubled back past the house, past the Redwood Resort and down Lorenzo Avenue for a couple of blocks.  Just past the Section 8 housing complex and across the street from the gigantic house that was built by a very wealthy Santa Cruz matriarch whose name I can’t remember. But what is wild about this house is that it is exquisitely built using only the best materials, copper gutters, hand wrought fences, the finest stonework and yet no one lives in it, I’ve only seen people there twice the entire time I’ve spent in Boulder Creek.  It is very strange, both sad and infuriating-the house is virtually deserted. I wonder what the wealthy think about when they build mansions that they just don’t need to build.  Did she think that her kids would move in.  Rumor has it that they don’t get along.

 Anyhow, we take a left towards the San Lorenzo River down the dirt road to the empty lot between the road and the water.  The lot has been cleared of debris since the last time we were there, and there is a for sale sign.  Donner Realty has it listed for $195,000.  What a shame as this is the only way I know to get down to the River.  What a beautiful place the river is.  I’m really glad that we did this shoot-first we went to the old abandoned swimming pool where we had done a shoot with Greg Archer for the cover of the Good Times Magazine a few years ago.  The footage that came out of this was amazing—the greens and moss greens and turquoise of the peeling paint from the pool were ecogasmic.  The Santa Cruz Mountains are strong contenders to the Appalachians for the amount of magic that they hold and the spirit that hey exude.  These mountains hold you-in greens and yellows and golden lights coming down through the redwoods.  And the smells of wood and needles and eucalyptus is intoxicating, as are the songs of the birds, whose names I don’t really know from never having really learned the west coast birdsongs.  I do recognize the crows and the blue jays.  And then of course there is Albert-our bird lover prince-even when he is molting.  We shot ourselves in the pool, we shot ourselves running toward each other in that classic Ryan’s Song way-gooey with over the top, slo mo emotion.  Really ridiculous and probably totally inappropriate for a film about mountain top removal, but hell-if you can’t laugh you can’t cry either.

This film is about love after all.  It’s about my love for Annie, my love for the mountains and my love for the people living there-or at least most of the people—I’d have to say I don’t love them all.  And as I think more and more about this film, as I get deeper into making it, I’m beginning to realize that I probably couldn’t live fulltime in West Virginia even if someone paid me.  I’m sure it will never come to that-but I just needed to write that one out.  I’m too weird and I like my weirdness.  It’s what I’ve taken with me.  I’ll be buried there and that’s enough.  Although I should probably find out how one accomplishes that after death.  I’ll have to put that on my list.  I guess I just leave instructions for the living.

 We slipped and stumbled down the path that leads to the river.  It was such a beautiful day, the sun was just perfect.  It picked up the greens and the little rapids in the river as the water flowed quickly over them.  We shot down there for a couple of hours.  We played with trees, sucking on their nipples and stroking their big hard trunks.  We made love to the earth and got it all on film.  Jordan is a mensch.

November 12, 2011

We did a screening for several people tonight including filmmaker Amy Harrison, film fest director Jane Sullivan and her partner John. Tony’s Circus, Craig and Pratibha, Becka Shertzer, as well as Julia.  I’m glad that she is getting to meet all of the people that she is meeting.  Hopefully it will benefit her career at some future point.  It certainly can’t hurt her to get to work on this film in the intense kind of way that she has.  Reminds me of the times when I worked for Mags Harries.  I was probably the same age as Julia around 27.  Mags certainly made a lasting impression on me.  I should send her this film. 

November 13, 2011

Jane Sullivan sent a note suggesting that I get in touch with Karen Everett who has a film school.  Maybe but I think that I’m too far into the process for that.  Plus I’m liking the film as it is developing.  Maybe I should go to film school next time.  I actually think that my school days are going to be over soon.  Well as soon as I write this dissertation-have to pass the QE’s first.  But I love it that people are so willing to help and share advice about this process.

November 19, 2011

Carol Leigh watched the film today and really loved it.  She is helping get it together with Juila-especially technically. I’m happy that it can cross genres as Carol Leigh is one of the leading sex worker’s rights activists in the nation if not the world. That she liked the film makes me hopeful that it will play well to a wider audience as well as to the queers, for whom I originally made this piece. Carol Leigh was super sweet when she said that she loved the the way we saved the naked parts until the end.  There are hardly any naked parts of speak of really.  

November 24, 2011

We had a hell of a time getting the sound mix transferred to me today.  Maybe we were supposed to take the day off-but really it had more to do with my having a crappy internet connection and Julia having sent Rich sound files that were too big for the amount of space that we were allotted on drop box-the file transfer program that we use to swap sound files back and forth.  This has certainly been a learning process.  It has also been very hard for me to tear myself away from the editing or fully controlling the process of putting this film together.  It’s not just that I’m a control freak, which I am, but it is also that the process is so fascinating and really magical.  Film is like writing with images instead of words.  Except that there are words, there are metaphors, visual metaphors and then there is the music.  That has been one of the most fun and challenging aspects of all of this.  I’m liking this film making experiment.  I can’t wait to make the next one.  The boys next door saved the day by letting me log onto their computer wi-fi.  We finally got the files and were able to lay them down on the sound track of the project file.  This project is a  Behemoth.

December 5, 2011

Rich has somehow gotten David Grisman gratis.  What a sweetheart. We only now need to get the right song on the fight footage. I think that instead of using “Late Last Night,” we’ll use Op 57 over the activist section of the film.  This will give it more energy and really make the acivists active.  Mari Lynn Evans continues to support the film which is really great. She still wants to show to HBO.  What the hell.  It’s almost ready.  After Thursday when we get this newst sound track on it I’m ready to show it as a rough cut anywhere. Illyse M. will come over and we are going to make the DVD’s to send in to Frameline Festival.  I’m very curious about where it will go in a queer festival.  

December 6, 2011

Julia can’t come up tomorrow so I’m going to go with the cut I have, knowing that I will pick up the editing after my QE’s in January. That is when we’ll take out the section where Annie is talking about doing a sex worker action.  We both feel that we are already doing a sex worker action, or at least an ecosex worker action-so it doesn’t have to be that explicit.  Plus we need to shorten and tighten more. This was the criticism that I picked up both from Keith and Jess at the symposium on Performance and Social Practice.  Annie and I agree-it needs to be a little shorter. 

December 9, 2011

Rich got the newest sound mix to me on Wed. night.  It is getting better and better all of the time.  Still a few quirks to work out but he has done miracles with what was a difficult and very uneven set of original sound recordings.  There is still a lot of work to do on my end.  I’ve got voiceovers to rewrite and re-record, and there are some timing issues….but overall we are headed in the right direction.  Luckily Illyse Magy was able to come help me burn DVD’s this morning.  I love working with her. And now I have the discs to give to my committee members-which I’ll mail out tomorrow. Plus I was able to take one copy into Frameline and drop it off as a submission for the festival. God, I haven’t dropped off a film submission since the nineties.  I kind of felt like a kid again. I hope the film gets in-that would be sweet and I think the queers need to start thinking about the environment. I also ran into Amy Harrison as I was coming back from my walk this afternoon.  She recommended that I get a professional editor-which I am all for-not only to iron out a few technical glitches but to-as Amy said-wave their magic wand over the piece- and make it look as good as it possibly can.  Oh we’ve got our work cut out for us.  I just sent Joan Jeanrenaud a note letting her know that her DVD is ready.  I hope she likes what we’ve done with her music.  I would like to use more of it but first want her to hear how I’ve used it so far.  I hope she approves.  The sound track of this piece could be very interesting as a stand-alone project.

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Editing WV http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-wv/ http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-wv/#comments Sat, 24 Sep 2011 19:48:53 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/editing-wv/ The editing process for Goodbye Gauley Mountain began when I returned from shooting the film in West Virginia in September 2010.  I hired Julia Reardin part time to start making selects of the 50 plus hours of footage that Jordan Freeman and I had taken.  The process of making selects took the entire school year.

When I returned to West Virginia again on August 15th, 2011. Jordan Freeman and I began editing a rough cut of the piece.  We worked for 8-10 hours a day for fourteen days. During this period we only took one or two days off.  Luckily my sister Anne took great care of both of us.  She made us incredible food and lots of coffee.

August 15th, 2011

Facebook message-
Hey J Just got in. Let’s start at 10. I’ll call or maybe walk by.
whoo hoo
He wrote back-
woohoo! glad you made it! sounds good

We started that afternoon-Jordan and sat down with the film logs that Juila Reardin had made.  Anne dedicated her basement to us to for editing.  What a sweetheart.  We started by playing a game-sort of like hanged man.  First Jordan picked a section of footage-then I picked one.  We edited out picks together all day long.  A wonderful way to start the editing process, especially if there is no scripT.

August 16-19, 2011

We’re editing everyday. I usually have some coffee with Anne and then walk over to get Jordan at the old Dalporto house. We start in the late morning and work until evening.  Jordan also has a few other irons in the fire but that’s ok, we’re getting a lot done.  Anne is being a doll, either fixing us food or making sure that there is food in the fridge.  She’s also taking care of Kelly who is about to have a baby at any minute. Exciting times.  In the evening I take a walk with Anne when it works out that way.  I like the slowness here. 

August 20, 2011

Facebook message–Hey Jordan,
Harley and I walked over this morning-but no one was up to answer the door. I peeked in a window and saw some feet sticking out from under the sheets-but wasn’t sure whose feet those were. So decided to come back to Anne’s. Come on over when your feet wake up. B  

August 21st, 2011

Cindy came up tonight to see what we had done with the video.  We weren’t very far along with the editing but we were making progress.  This is a time consuming and detailed process.  I wish I knew more about how to edit myself.  But Jordan is really working hard and we are sorting footage out.  

August 24th, 2011

Jordan and I went down to Kitty’s today to reshoot an interview with her.  She was elequent and made us a wonderful meal.  I apprecaite the ways that West Virginians always welcome and feed visitors-she made homemade bread and a wonderful chili. 
Really nice.  We filmed her in her garden, which was a little past peak but still very beautiful  She really expressed her love for her gardent and linked that to our grandmother who was also a great lover of gardening.  We got really good footage and then had an excellent meal.

August 30, 2011

Jordan and I set out to get some more footage for the film today.  We drove from Charlton Heights to Montgomery.  After crossing the Kanawha River over the Montgomery Bridge we turned right and doubled back on the other side of the river on Route 61.  A few miles east on 61 turned we turned right and headed up Armstrong Creek Road to go to Kimberly. I have probably not been up that hollow in at least 25 years.  Everything looked the same and everything looked different. The company houses that Dad and Uncle Usher lived in  looked bigger and more well kept than I remembered. But the distances between things seemed much shorter. The Kimberly warehouse was abandoned.  Strange how I could remember the smells of the machine parts, coveyor belts and desiel fuel inside of that building. As we pulled into the parking lot to turn around-the memories came flooding back- Roger Baughan’s office, James Ford, hanging out there as a as a kid, my first job being chipping morter off bricks down by the creek in the hot humid West Virginia summer.  Now the Kudzu was taking everything over.  That invasive plant hadn’t been there when I was  a kid. Jordan I filmed the little houses as we drove slowly out of the hollow and then headed up to Kinkaid via Mount Carbon, Deep Water, Robson, Page and finally our destination.  While we were there I wanted to see if I could find Annie and Ed Martin’s graves.  We drove up to the Kincaid cemetary and I looked all over the place.  Eventually it dawned on me that they probably weren’t buried up here on this hill because they were black.  The only people we talked to there didn’t know of any other cememtaries. That was probably becuase they were white.  But then I didn’t know where it was either. From the cemetary we could see a naked knob sticking up into the sky. This was part of the Frasure Creek Mountain Top Removal site. It wasn’t until we went back down to 61 again and drove through the little half dead town of Kindaid that I realized what a large mining site it was.  Again, I drove the car back and forth through the town a couple of times while Jordan shot footage.  It was incredible how close the mine is to this town.  Kincaid seems to be another LIndaytown just waiting for eviction.  After we shot this depressing footage we drove into Oak Hill got on 19N and then drove into Fayetteville, where we got a lttle gas. We jumped back in the car got on the 16 towards Gauley Bridge and drove to the beautiful little Beckwith house to screen the film for Stephanie Tyree, Catherine Venerable-Moore.  We received a lot of excellent feedback. Namely we needed t o provide more information for people who don’t know anything about MTR. I’ll take care of that when as as I can. Otherwise it seemed like our audience liked what we had done so far. ….said that we should do a reality t.v. show.  Catherine was impressed that Jack Spadero hung out with the poet James Still. Surprises were revealed-like you think you know who a person is and they really have a whole other side that you knew nothing about.  What a beautiful little spot at Beckwith with Laural Creek running so close by.  I miss Patricia and Jennifer liviing up there-but I also know that they needed to move as it was too isolated to grow old on that mountain where there are so many ghosts. 

September 2, 2011

Tonight I sent this email to show C and R the editing so far:

Here is the section of the video where R appears. I had a lot of good feedback last night that I’m going to take into consideration so this might change. We’re a ways off from the finished product. I think you both sound articulate, reasonable, funny as well as serious. R seemed to enjoy participating.
This download is password protected. Please don’t share, only because it is so early in the editing process and I don’t like to show my work to many people before it is a little further down the line.
much love,
Beth

September 3, 2011

I got an email from C-telling me that R was very upset with the video.  I was pretty much blindsided by that as  I thought that he had really enjoyed himself. That is exactly what he said on camera.  But that is not what this email indicated.  Then later I got a call from R.  

I had a feeling that RL might meet me at the airport demanding that I sign whatever agreement he had drafted up to cancel the release form he signed the summer before.  I was nervous as I had had such a great, productive visit and I wanted to leave on a fairly good note. I don’t really understand why he had to wait until the very last moment to want to be taken out of the film.  Especially since when I initially asked him if he wanted to be in the film and he declined and I was fine with that.  Then he came back and requested to be in.  This also was fine, because I needed someone to voice a pro MTR postiion and RL was the right man for that job. So here I was at the airport just hoping that he wouldn’t show up.

During this editing process we showed the film to various people from time to time.  We had one screening at the Beckwith home of Stephanie Tyree and Catherine Moore. We got great feedback from them ranging from, “you should have a reality TV show to this film needs to have a lot more informational material.”  

I also showed the film to David and Mona, Annie’s brother and sister-in-law who work in film.  After all of this feedback we made a series of notes which are below. These are the notes that I’ve now given to Julia Reardin who will be doing this next phase of editing.

 

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Film Notes http://elizabethstephens.org/film-notes/ http://elizabethstephens.org/film-notes/#comments Sat, 24 Sep 2011 19:26:10 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/film-notes/

FILM NOTES: 9_24_11

This is a list of notes compiled after showing the rough cut to a series of people, (some who are in the film and others who are not) and listening to their feedback. 

 

Opening shots

Open on the mountains? Or wedding? Or dogs? Or beth’s shirt?

If we put wedding at front, explain the back story.

 

INCLUDE IN OPENING

Beth is from a family that worked in the coal mining industry making parts for mining equipment. Father was a salesman. Show coal bit prototype?

Coal sent me to school and supported my whole family.

Tell that you are a professor, and living in California. Why did you leave? Or show plane coming in to West Va. Landing. Beth landing.

Introduce Annie and explain how she got involved.

MTR INFO

*** Explanation of MTR

“Every year they use as many explosives as Nagasaki…”

What has happened because of MTR?

What about coal companies? Are they evil? Why?

Explain deep mining vs. MTR

Add gnarly machine sounds with the heavy equipment.

Juxtapose or intercut some beautiful nature and mountains with the MTR footage.

Add coal trucks/trains. Taking coal out.

Aerial shots, put “Three months later.” Text or v.o.

How is coal company killing people, animals, trees.

Beth is against all mining at this point-put this in in the voice over.

 

PICNIC–GAY PRIDE

Take out cell phone with clouds

Explain that “when I grew up here, people who were gay got killed.”

Add something about changing metaphor form Earth as Mother to Lover.

Definition of ecosexual.

Definition of Sexecology.
What is the gay pride event? Identify the picnic.

Get rid of the “Tide is high” music.

 

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Before showing the police, explain place, and the show sleeping dragon protesters.

 

ACTIVISM

Other protests/arrests.

Give more context to the sleeping dragon event.

What about showing the other DEP Protest we attended-and maybe other one at the capital. (see if Jordan has some protest footage.)

 

ANNE

Tell that your mother died at 6, and Anne was like a mother.

Cut out the first “splay” shot.

Have her say something about MTR?

 

MOUNTAINS

Do a minute or minute and a half of beautiful nature of Appalachians. So that the mountains are really appreciated by audience early on, as a character.

More scenery/flowers/spiders/butterflies/nature.

 

PHOTOS to ADD

Pin ups of Annie

Ginsing

Patricia’s book?

Hawk’s nest photographs

 

EDIT OUT

Take out “why you are making this film.” (Let the film tell the story)—or move it.

Shot when Vivian Stockman is talking about “people in cities moving around/community” Car in traffic.

Close up of phone with clouds.

 

JACK

Explain more about who he is and what he did.

Put tears in a bit later—Find the footage where he talks about shutting down a mine.

Annie: take out the story.

Beth: leave in the story.

 

PATRICIA

Add cover of her book.

Hawk’s Nest photo.

Explain why she is in an MTR movie.
VO-“ They turned this grave yard into a golf course.”

LARRY GIBSON

Make his part stronger. Who is he? Explain about Kayford and his land in relationship to coal company.

 

VIVIENNE

Who is she? Why is she in the film?

 

KITTY

Add a comment about mining-

There is footage where she does say that she wouldn’t want anyone taking her mountain away from her.

 

PAUL

Show Paul’s house and tell how he lives totally off the grid.

On the jar photo, put “drinking water.”

“Who cares  if a few people have …” Add the statistics.

Lighten copyright text

 

CINDY

Show childhood photos with Cindy.

 

MARATHON

Photo of dad and brothers. Old family photos.

Introduce Marathon.

Explain Friends of Coal. What is it? Show stickers/bumperstickers/billboards.

Take out music.

 

STEPHANIE

Who is she? Is she from Wva? Or living there? More about her.

 

LINDY TOWN—maybe Paul has some photos he’s lend

Show photos of it.

Identify the town and explain what happened to it.

Find NY Times article.

Lengthen fence shot.
Really make this more painful and dramatic. (Put ‘knife’ in deeper.)

End the music before we see Patricia.

Newspaper headlines.

Explain how they stopped a creak and didn’t have to follow laws for water.

Graveyard.

 

ROCK CREEK

Where are we? 
Identify what the place is.

Mention the many arrests and protests. Or in the activist section.

 

GRUMBLE

Shorten this scene.

Say why you are learning tree climbing earlier on. (Show photos of tree sitters?)

Change “activist/cook” to activist trainer, (Beth keep activist cook too).

Show grumble 200 feet up, high.  Take out him saying “not that high.”

There’s a bad cut from Beth in three to wedding costume/penis.

At gunshots add Dueling Banjos.

Add photo of Beth with gun at “gun shooting days.”

Plug Grumbles organization.  Seeds of Peace

Annie has one too many grimaces. Take out the first one but leave the rest.

Cut in some tree sitting photos from various protests. Julie Butterfly?

 

WEDDING

Identify Joe Kramer

Superimpose Michael’s butoh with MTR blasts.

Take out “This is dedicated to Larry Gibson.”

Cut down the purple couple dance. Too long!   Make it one third the length.

Different music for purple couple.

Put that it was at University of Ohio?

CLOSING

Have some closing words voice over.

What we can all do?

 

CREDITS

Add resources.

 

EDITING NOTES

Explain Jack and Vivienne’s voice. Put their faces before or during the MTR footage.

Put West VA map footage earlier. 
Intro Rick before we hear his voice come in. Or identify his voice.

Add pro MTR by RL.

PAIGE

Add some photos of younger Beth.

PAUL

Put music over him at the end of his part. Make dramatic.

Add more of his photos.

Explain the empty chair.

ADD

Montage of death and dying. Big branch memorial services. Memorial to miners photo (annie).

MUSIC

Add more mountain music.

SARAH

Ecochaplain.

She moved away to have her baby elsewhere.

Find out about getting permissions for Hazel Dicken’s song, Dueling Banjos, Fair use for songs in background.

 

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Web Media http://elizabethstephens.org/web-media/ http://elizabethstephens.org/web-media/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2011 06:52:16 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/web-media/
Organizations Fighting Mountain Top Removal

Keeper of the Mountains Foundation http://mountainkeeper.blogspot.com/ 

Coal River Moutain Watch http://www.crmw.net/crmw/index.php

RAMPS  http://rampscampaign.org/

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition http://www.ohvec.org/

The Beehive Collective http://www.beehivecollective.org/

Mountain Justice http://mountainjustice.org/

Journey Up Coal River http://auroralights.org/map_project/

The Mountaintop Removal Road Show http://www.mountainroadshow.com/

Rainforest Action Network http://ran.org/

Scientific Reports on the Adverse Effects of MTR

The association between mountaintop mining and birth defects
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935111001484
 

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COR 2009-10 http://elizabethstephens.org/cor-2009-10/ http://elizabethstephens.org/cor-2009-10/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:53:53 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/cor-2009-10/ Committee on Research
Special Research Grant Application 2008-2009

Title: Goodbye Gauley Mountain

Amount Requested: $15,023.51
Amount Received: $ 8,000

Project Description:
I am requesting funding to create a film titled “Goodbye Gauley Mountain,” to explore the environmental and cultural devastation caused by the coal mining technique known as mountain top removal (MTR). The narrative will weave autobiographical information with environmental consequences through the ongoing story of the destruction of Gauley Mountain. My grandfather invented a coal bit to increase coal production in the 1930’s. He opened a machine shop, created a successful business, and raised his family at the foot of Gauley. I spent my childhood there. Being informed that Gauley Mountain was being mined using MTR suddenly made this issue very personal for me and spurred me to action. In the West Virginia coalfields the climate between mining, environmentalists, and communities that are affected by and economically dependent on coal is highly contentious. Strong feelings abound on both sides of the MTR debate. This radical mining technique has decapitated 470 mountains so far and is tearing the social and environmental fabric of Appalachia apart. In this film footage of MTR sites juxtaposed with shots of unspoiled Appalachia, interviews with people associated with the coal industry, as well as environmental activists and community leaders will show the story of an epic fight for survival.

Proposed Research: I will accomplish the following goals in the Mountain Top Removal (MTR) documentary entitled, Goodbye Gauley Mountain:

1. Bring national and international attention to the environmental and cultural degradation caused by MTR.

2. Create a film that aesthetically explores the beauty of Appalachia and tells the story of MTR in a dramatic, unique manner that utilizes an artist’s sensibility instead of the typical documentary style.

3. Meet with individuals and organizations involved in this struggle between industry and local communities to learn more about MTR and related ecological issues. My research on MTR mining in West Virginia (WV) began in the winter of 2007 while flying over the coalfields of southern WV. Although I had grown up around coal mining I was shocked and dismayed at the enormous scale and number of MTR mining sites below me. In the summer of 2008 I visited several mining sites in WV with an award-winning land reclamation expert. Close examination of these reclaimed sites made me realize that once explosives and large-scale mining equipment have lowered the elevation of a mountain, it cannot be returned to its original approximate contours (or previous levels of biodiversity) as prescribed in federal mining regulations. When I heard that MTR had started on Gauley Mountain in 2008, this issue became personal as well as political. I have been researching this issue and learning as much as I can about MTR since then. Over the past year and a half I have photographed southern WV MTR sites. I have also begun conducting interviews with persons involved in opposing MTR. These people include the former West Virginia Secretary of State, Ken Heckler as well as Paul Corbit Brown, a native West Virginia photographer who views MTR as a social justice issue. I met Jack Spadero, a federal mining inspector, whom the Bush administration fired for insisting that mining violations be cited, fined, and corrected. I’ve also met with members of activists’ groups including Larry Gibson of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation and also Judy Bonds and Rory Mcllmoil of Coal River Mountain Watch. I am planning to interview employees in the coal industry as well as their families who depend on mining for their living. Creating a one-hour film about Gauley Mountain would be the most powerful way for me to make a meaningful statement about MTR. As a native West Virginian I have access to a world that is often closed to and/or misrepresented by well-meaning outsiders. Through exploring how the commons, the watersheds, and the communities of the Appalachian Mountains (the world’s second richest bio-diverse environment) are being destroyed in the name of cheap coal; I intend to awaken the American public to the true cost and long term consequences of this form of mining. Ultimately I hope this film will help bring about the abolition of MTR.

Rough Production Schedule:

2009 Spring: develop filming plans Summer: film with film crew Fall: review and log footage

2010 Winter: edit with editor Spring: shoot additional footage Summer: finish editing and post-production Fall: Release film

Budget

Budget Item 1. Video Equipment: HDV Camera + Manfrotto Tripod $3998.95

Budget Item 2. Sound Equipment: 2 wireless lavalieres and 1 shotgun microphone
$1098

Budget Item 3. Portable Lighting Kit $1350

Budget Item 4. Video Tape Stock $725

Budget Item 5. Research Trips (2) $1751.56

Budget Item 6. Filming/Sound $3200

Budget Item 7. Logging/Editing $2500

Budget Item 8. Taxes and/or shipping $400

Budget Justification:

Budget Total $15,023.51 I am requesting funds to update my current equipment and obtain other necessary equipment needed to produce this film. I am also requesting funding to film and to accomplish a large portion of the editing that will be necessary to finish this piece. I need to update my video equipment from an older standard video format camera to one using the current standard of high definition video in order to make a state of the art production. Sound will also form a critical component of the work as a large portion of this film will involve numerous interviews with activists, government officials, citizens of towns affected by MTR, and members of the mining industry.

Requested Equipment: Canon XH-A1 3CCD HDV Camcorder Kit, 1080i, 16:9, 20x Lens, 24f Mode, includes Anton Bauer ElipZ Battery Package and Camcorder Bag $3399.95 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/473465- REG/Canon__XH_A1_3CCD_HDV_Camcorder.html

2 Sennheiser Wireless Omni Pack System @ 549ea. $1098 (B&H Photo)

Manfrotto Tripod $599.95 (B&H Photo) Lowel Portable Lighting Kit $1350.00 http://www.lowel.com/kits_totaOmni.html

Video Tape Stock, Sony VG 63 Min. High Definition Mini DV/HDV Tape Videographer Grade HD @7.25 ea, 100 =$725 videotapestock.com

Research Trips 2 round trip tickets from San Francisco to Charleston, WV@ 435 each (Continental Air) total+$870 1 car for 2- 10 day trips @ 340.78×2 total =$681.56 (Travelocity) Gas @ $100 per 10 day trip x 2= $200 (based on previous trips)

Filming, Logging and Editing Assistance Filming: I plan to hire a camera person and sound person in West Virginia to assist me in filming and acquiring sound. They each charge $20 per hour. We will shoot for 10 days for 8 hours per day. = $3200 This is the best price I could secure. We will use my equipment. Having a small professional crew will enable me to obtain better footage/sound in a much shorter period of time than I would be able to obtain by myself. It will also allow me to focus on directing each scene and taking care of other details involved in each shoot (signing releases, scene checks etc.) If necessary I will shoot and record any additional footage and audio myself. I plan to use audio that I have already obtained over the course of this past year.

Logging All of the footage and sound that we record has to be logged in preparation for editing. I estimate that this will take about 100 hours. I would like to hire a UCSC student to do this for $10 an hour. =$1000

Editing I expect that is will take at least 100 hours to edit this film. My editing assistant is a UCSC alum and one of my former students. He edits for $15 per hour. $1500

Taxes and shipping I will cover any overrun in this area as I am not certain what the total will be. I will secure outside funding to pay for additional post production work which includes additional editing sound mixing and creating the sound track, adding titles, making copies etc.

External Funding Needs: I have received support for a related project already in collaboration with my partner.
We recently received an artists grant from the San Francisco Arts Foundation to create collages that deal with environmental issues. These collages will be exhibited in San Francisco in November 2009. This film will take place over the next 3 years. Mountain Top Removal will be prominently featured in this work and the collages will act as sketches or story boards for the film. I am in the process of researching appropriate funding sources to complete this film. The grants I am currently researching are: Horizons/Frameline Film and Video Completion Fund New Voices Media Fund Women Make Movies Ace Feature Documentary Grant Pacific Pioneer Fund Awards I am also willing to use my own funds when necessary.

Faculty Research Grants:

This request is both an extension of and a different approach to the request made in my last proposal. My over arching goal is to to secure a mountain top (MTR) removal site and to restore it as an environmental art work. In the process of attempting to do so I hope to contribute to the abolition of MTR. Making this film will not only bring national and international attention to this situation but it will also give me greater access to the communities and players in the MTR saga. As my project is an extended one, I need to know the people in the communities that I am working with in order to attain my goals of true restoration together with them. Making a film will help me get to know the local communities and visa versa.

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UCSC COR-11 http://elizabethstephens.org/ucsc-cor-11/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ucsc-cor-11/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:53:53 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/ucsc-cor-11/ Committee on Research

Faculty Research Grant Application 2010-2011


Title: Goodbye Gauley Mountain
Amount Requested: $2,000
Received: $1500

Project Description:

I am continuing to work on Goodbye Gauley Mountain, the documentary video project for which I received SRG funding last year. This compelling story portrays one of the most economically depressed areas in the United States and the strife that global corporations inflict on small communities by destroying their commons and rending their social fabric in order to gain short-term, large-scale financial profit. The documentary explores the devastating environmental and cultural effects of mountain top removal (MTR) strip mining in West Virginia. It focuses on Gauley Mountain, which is currently being mined by MTR. Gauley Mountain was also the site of the 1920’s Hawk’s Nest Tunnel disaster, one of America’s worst industrial catastrophes. Hundreds of African Americans and immigrants died blasting and breathing the mountain’s pure silica,

This project is midway through its production. I have interviewed people about the connections between the current environmental destruction and community damage caused by MTR and Hawk’s Nest. I’ve also continued to gather footage and still images throughout the year. The juxtaposition of the region’s rugged beauty, home to possibly the oldest river (New River) and the second richest bio-diverse area after the Amazon in the western hemisphere, will situate this story.

Proposed Research. Please describe your proposed research in 500 words or less.

My mountain top removal (MTR) research began while flying over the coalfields of southern WV in 2007. Although I had grown up around coal mining, I was shocked at the enormous scale and number of MTR mining sites stretching out below me. Over the past thirty years the changes in the scale of mining technologies are almost unimaginable. I have since visited several MTR sites, accompanied by reclamation experts, environmental activists and local community members. Close examination of reclaimed sites makes it clear that once explosives and large-scale mining equipment have dropped the elevation of a mountain several hundred feet, it can never be returned to its “approximate original contours” (or previous levels of biodiversity) as dictated by federal mining regulations. Unreclaimed sites are wastelands. When blasting for MTR began on Gauley Mountain in 2008, this issue became personal as well as political. My family has lived in the shadow of this mountain since the 1930’s.

Goals:

1. Bringing national and international attention to the environmental and cultural degradation caused by MTR. I currently address MTR in my international performance/theater work as well as through lectures, interviews and writing. 2. Create a digital video that explores the beauty of Appalachia and tells the story of MTR by combining my recognized artistic expertise with an experimental documentary film style to visually convey this tragedy to a broad audience including (but not limited to), activists, community organizations, academics and hopefully government officials. 3. Meet with individuals and organizations involved in this struggle between the coal industry and local communities to learn more about MTR and related issues.

Over the past year I have conducted numerous interviews with persons involved in opposing MTR ranging from former West Virginia Secretary of State, Ken Heckler to former federal mining inspector Jack Spadero, (who was illegally fired in the nineties for insisting that mining violations be cited, fined, and corrected). I’ve deepened my connections with members of activist groups including Larry Gibson of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation and with the Goldman Environmental awardees, Judy Bonds, (of Coal River Mountain Watch) and Maria Gunnoe (of the Ohio River Valley Environmental Coalition). I’ve begun working with Rainforest Action Network in San Francisco. I am also interviewing miners, community members and family on both sides of this issue. As a native West Virginian I have access to a world that is often closed to and/or misrepresented by outsiders. Through exploring how the commons, the watersheds, and the communities of the Appalachian Mountains are being destroyed in the name of so-called cheap coal; I intend to help awaken the American public to the true cost and long-term consequences of MTR and how as a nation we must begin to consider non-greenhouse alternative fuel sources. There is no such thing as clean coal and the illusion that there is, is deadly.

Schedule:
2009: Spring: began developing filming plans. Summer: exploratory filming Fall: reviewed footage. 2010: Winter: continue researching environmental ramifications of MTR. Spring: Attend Mountain Justice Summer Conference. Summer: finish shooting. Fall: Log and Edit. 2011: Winter: fundraising. Spring: Final editing. Summer/Fall: Projected completion and release.

Previous SRG Award.. Provide a report on the status of any research project funded by a previous SRG award during the last five years.
The project Goodbye Gauley Mountain is still in process but well underway.
1. Shooting had begun
2. I’ve formed a film crew I can work with in WV
3. I continue to make contacts that will both make this documentary possible in terms of my being able to film certain sites and people but also these contacts will allow me to interview them for the piece itself
4. I will be living in WV this summer to finish up the shooting
After this the editing will begin. I will fund raise the additional money I need for post production.
5. Finish and distribute Goodbye Gauley Mountain.

2008-09-Rebuilding a Mountain- This was the beginning of my research into MTR. This research has included visiting, photographing sites
I have also read a great deal about the subject over the last two years. This is a huge field.

2007-08-Exposed,
Experiments in Love, Sex, Death and Art-this particular performance is retired now. We did tour it in many major cities in both Europe and the United States. We also got a great deal of critical acclaim including a substantial positive New York Times review by Christopher Isherwood.

Budget Justification

Video Editor: As in almost all film production, a professional video editor will be necessary during the later phases of editing this project. Initially, I will edit together and decide the order and rhythm of scenes and shots but the next phase of editing will require a professional. Working with an editor will guarantee that this piece has the high quality appearance that broadcast digital video demands. I have located an editor who believes in this project and will work for $20 per hour. This is an extremely economical rate. I estimate that it will take 45-50 hours or editing work to shape the work into a rough cut edit that I can then use to raise post production funds in order to complete the piece. Luckily I have also located a sound engineer, David Benjamin Steinberg, who has agreed to donate his labor to create the soundtrack of this piece. This will save a tremendous amount of money. I am requesting funding from COR to cover most of the hours necessary to produce a rough cut version of Goodbye Gauley Mountain. I have received some additional funding this year from the Arts Research Institute, ($2000) to continue working on this project. A small portion of this budget ($300) is loosely allocated and could be used to cover any shortfalls in my editing budget if necessary.

Final Cut Pro Academic Version: I need to update my Final Cut Pro (Academic Version) in order to accommodate the footage that I will be shooting with a high definition (HD) camera. The newest version of Final Cut is designed to better handle high definition footage than the older version I have. While in the field I will need to have the software loaded on my computer so that I can experiment with ideas that might affect my video shooting. Additionally, I am better able to accomplish my research in my own studio/lab as opposed to using student labs that may already have this software. I will be living in West Virginia for two months this summer and will begin the editing process while there.

Additional Budget Justification

If COR funding was secured for work related to that requested in the current
application, you must explain how the current request (and associated research) differs from earlier requests.

$8000 – 2009-10 Goodbye Gauley Mountain
$2000 – 2008-9 Rebuilding a Mountain
$1995 – 2007-8 Exposed: Experiments in Love, Sex, Death and Art

I am requesting this funding from COR in order to edit Goodbye Gauley Mountain into a rough cut high definition digital video. I will then use that to secure the additional funding necessary to bring this project to its highest level of production and completion. It typically takes three to four years to finish a documentary work of this length and complexity. This project in particular has involved quite a lot of travel, networking and meeting with potential collaborators in order to help me gain access to the mining sites, people who are involved on both sides of the MTR debate.

The producers of the highly acclaimed film, Coal Country, have invited my collaborator and I to submit materials in order to create a film treatment about our environmental art works and performances to be featured on ether HBO or Showtime. These producers believe that the creative manner in which we engage the environmental debate deserves widespread attention. When this project comes to fruition, Goodbye Gauley Mountain, will be prominently featured thus bringing the project national and international mass media exposure.

In addition to the labor I am dedicating to this film, I continue to tour my current collaborative performance, “Dirty Sexecology: 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth.” So far we have performed this piece in Berne, (Switzerland), Madrid, (Spain), Vienna, (Austria), and Boston, (USA). This performance is, in large part, dedicated to engaging the environmental effort to slow the accelerating degradation that is negatively affecting the entire planet. This degradation is evidenced through various global health crises, in increased world-wide poverty, and through global warming. A large segment of this particular performance is devoted to representing and critiquing MTR through action, music, projected images and spoken word. Additionally, this past fall I began pursing a PhD at UC Davis. There I plan to pursue a designated major in Environmental Studies while gaining my main degree in Performance Studies. At Davis I am actively collaborating with professors in the Ecology Department on art/science projects and brainstorming around future collaborations. This work is enabling me to learn the scientific side of the systematic damage that MTR causes and the global consequences it represents as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the theoretical constructs of power.

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Books http://elizabethstephens.org/books/ http://elizabethstephens.org/books/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:41:24 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/books/

Hooks, Bell. Belonging : A Culture of Place. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Lewis, Helen Matthews, Linda Johnson, and Donald Askins.  Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case. Boone, NC: The Appalachian Consortium Press 1978.

Omi Michael and Howard Winant, Racial Formations in the United States: From the 1960’-1980’s

Scott, Rebecca, Removing Mountains : Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Shnayerson, Michael. Coal River. 1st ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.

Stewart, Kathleen. A Space on the Side of the Road. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.

 

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Film Credits http://elizabethstephens.org/film-credits/ http://elizabethstephens.org/film-credits/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:17:28 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/film-credits/ Director: Elizabeth Stephens with Annie Sprinkle

Produced By: Elizabeth Stephens

Associate Producers: Annie Sprinkle and Jordan Freeman

Editor: Keith Wilson

Assistant Editor: Julia Reardin

Additional Editing: Jordan Freeman, Sheila Malone

Cinematography: Jordan Freeman

Photo Stills: Paul Corbit Brown

Photo Stills: Vivan Stockman

Photo Stills: Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle

Production Stills: Danyel Ferrari

Animation: Hannah Matzner

Original music: David B. Steinberg, and Tony’s Circus

Additional music: Joan Jeanrenaud, and Hazel Dickens

Aerial Footage provided by Paul Corbit Brown, and Evening Star Productions

Additional Audio Production: Rich Reardin

Hospitality: Anne Harless,  Damon Cater and Susie Cater

Catering: Anne Harless

Participants:
Elizabeth Stephens
Annie Sprinkle
Catherine Moore
Stephanie Tyree
Wedding Participants
WV PFAG Gathering
Anne Harless
T. Paige Dalporto
Larry and Carol Gibson
Cindy Lilly
Joe Hampshire
Vivian Stockman
Patricia Spangler
Paul Corbit Brown
Grumble
Damon Cater

Thank you: Stray Dog Antiques

PFLAG

This film has been generously supported by the UCSC Arts Research Committee and the Academic Senate’s Committee on Research as well as by the Diane Bonder Estate

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Participant Bios http://elizabethstephens.org/participant-bios/ http://elizabethstephens.org/participant-bios/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:16:32 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/participant-bios/ Bios are being collected and will be posted as they are received.

DIRECTOR BIO

Elizabeth M. Stephens is an artist and professor who lives and works in San Francisco, CA.  She attended the Boston Museum School as an undergraduate and received her MFA from Rutgers University.  She teaches in the Art Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she has also served as chair.  Additionally, Stephens is an affiliate of both the Digital Art and New Media Program, and the Women’s Studies Program.  In her artistic practice, she is an intermedia artist who makes films, sculpture, video installations, photography, and performance art.  Stephens has produced several short experimental films such as Do You Mind?, which first screened at the Frameline Festival in 1993, and Lubba; The Mother Teresa of Art, which has screened in museums and art galleries around the United States.  For the past seven years her work has been made in collaboration with her partner, Annie Sprinkle, as the Love Art Laboratory.  This collaboration is an artistic response to the anti-gay marriage movement, the ongoing war(s) on terror, and a culture in ecological crises.  It has evolved to embrace activism as art and especially environmental activism in the form of large-scale weddings.  Stephens and Sprinkle have produced a series of film documentations of these environmental weddings, where they have married various entities (the sky, the sea, the mountains, the moon, rocks, and coal) of their lover, the Earth.  Stephens performs, lectures, and creates visual art about love nationally and internationally.  For more information about her most recent work, see http://elizabethstephens.org

Annie M. Sprinkle is an internationally acclaimed multi media artist, who has toured her own theater pieces since 1989, performing at prestigious theater festivals, museums and galleries in 19 countries. One of the pivotal players in the 80’s “sex positive feminist movement,” her film, The Sluts & Goddesses Video Workshop Or How to Be A Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps, played over 300 international film festivals and art galleries, including the Guggenheim Museum and is considered a women’s sex film classic. Over the last 38 years she’s been involved in many documentary features (Gendernauts, Inside Deep Throat,  The Naked Feminist, NY77, Monica Truet’s My Father is Coming), TV shows (four HBO Real Sex segments,  Joan Rivers Show,  The Sexual Revolution on the History Channel). Sprinkle has appeared in half a dozen B movies. She started out in 90+ x-rated feature films in the 70’s and 80’s. Her film Annie Sprinkle’s Herstory of Porn, is a self-produced feature about her experiences in the porn industry. It played at Montreal Film Festival, Santa Barbara Film Festival, Frameline, and dozens of others.  Her multi-media art projects, favorably reviewed in the New York Times, are currently dedicated to exploring ecology, helping to make the world a more sustainable, love-filled, and compassionate place.  She has a Ph.D. in human sexuality, and got a bachelors of Fine Art at School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.  She also does video installations in museums and galleries about love, breast cancer, and eco-themed weddings, in collaboration with her life partner Elizabeth Stephens. For more information about her most recent work, see http://anniesprinkle.org

Keith Wilson-Editor is a filmmaker, cinematographer and visual-artist based in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. His documentaries The ShrimpWhen the Light’s RedSouthern Family and Lesbian Grandmothers From Mars have broadcast on PBS stations, cable television and in numerous festivals including the Berlin, London, South by Southwest and New York Underground Film Festivals and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. He has an MFA in film production from the University of Texas-Austin where he was an Instructor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film.

Jordan Freeman,Cinematographer has been documenting stories throughout Appalachia for the last five years.  He was the primary videographer for Coal Country, and followed that up with Low Coal, for which he received the Michael Moore award from the Cinema Verde Film Festival.  Freeman’s work often gives the viewer a sense not just of what is happening, but what it is like for the people experiencing the events in the film.  His goal is to “give a voice to the oppressed,” and this goal has taken him to mine sites and the communities in which they are situated throughout Appalachia, and as far away as La Guajira, Colombia, the site of the Western Hemisphere’s largest surface mine.  Freeman’s work has also been featured in a variety of documentaries, including The Last Mountain and The Greenhorns. In addition to feature films and television specials, Freeman has created more than 60 YouTube videos for a variety of groups and organizations.  Most recently, he coordinated the volunteer video team covering the march on Blair Mountain, which produced seven short videos in seven days.  He is currently working to develop an online media strategy for Coal River Mountain Watch, one of the primary groups working to end MTR mining in West Virginia.  Freeman grew up in Los Angeles, CA, and graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2005, with a degree in Community Studies.  For more information, see http://www.lowcoal.com/

Julia Reardin, Assistant Editor and Line Producer has recently graduated from the film department at UCSC.  She works as a research assistant for Artist and Professor Elizabeth Stephens. Julia’s main focus is narrative film and film production.  For three years, she worked as the director’s assistant for the Ann Arbor Film Festival in Michigan.  She was also a production assistant for three years at WTIU/PBS in Bloomington, IN.  Additionally, Julia has worked as a camp assistant at Voglesang High Sierra Camp as well as in the bar at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.  Currently, Julia is creating a digital art project entitled, I’ll Be Your Avatar.  You can view this project and more at: http://www.juliareardin.com

Hannah Matzner, Animation- was born in April in a town occupied more by cows than by people. When she was merely a few months old, Hannah’s parents moved her and the family five hours south to Los Angeles. For the next 18 years, Hannah traipsed around the city, drawing on sidewalks in chalk, having adventures in the city’s hidden little corners, getting caught in traffic jams, spending a surprising amount of time working with power tools, and enjoying the sunshine. At 18, Hannah picked up and headed back to the cows. However, after two years of studying English Literature at UC Davis, Hannah decided she had a different dream to follow. She packed her things, moved to Santa Cruz and began painting. Constantly. She recently graduated from UCSC with a BA in Fine Arts.

MUSIC

David B. Steinberg, Original Music and Sound Design, is an accomplished musician and composer. Born in Philadelphia, he fashioned his early career in music as a studio session drummer in Los Angeles. Educated at Cal State Northridge, The Dick Grove Music School, and USC, David started his composition career writing music for advertising. Since then, he has composed music for networks including ABC, HBO, MTV, A&E, CNN and BRAVO. Steinberg has also composed for large scale, site-specific venues including Las Vegas’ award winning FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE and Beijing’s, THE PLACE. David currently lives, works and hangs in Hollywood, CA. http://www.davidbsteinberg.com

Tony’s Circus http://www.tonykingscircus.com  Tony’s Circus composed the amazing, “Let’s All Be Keepers of the Mountain” for Larry Gibson and performed it at the Purple Wedding, to the Appalachian Mountains, in Athens, Ohio November 201o.
Additional Music

Joan Jeanrenaud is a world-renowned cellist, surely the best known in the avant-garde classical field. She spent 20 years playing with the groundbreaking string quartet, the Kronos Quartet, recording with it over 30 albums and performing more than 2,000 concerts. In 1999, she left the group for a solo career that has encompassed performance art, composition, and free improvisation.

Jeanrenaud grew up on a small farm outside Memphis, TN. The third child of a family not particularly inclined to music, she began playing cello at age 11. A year later she was studying with Peter Spurbeck. Quickly she developed a special interest in contemporary music. She went to Indiana University, where she worked with Fritz Magg and co-founded the IU Contemporary Music Ensemble. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree and spent 1977 in Geneva, Switzerland, to take private lessons from famous cellist Pierre Fournier.

Upon her return home in 1978, her friend and Indiana University alumnus Hank Dutt encouraged her to audition for the cello spot in Kronos Quartet. David Harrington’s group, founded in 1973, had just moved its headquarters from Seattle to San Francisco, and violist Dutt had become their newest member. Jeanrenaud was asked to join and stayed with the quartet for two decades. During this period, the group changed its demeanor from that of a classical string quartet to an avant-garde outfit performing in casual settings with something of a maverick attitude on the side.

In 1998, Jeanrenaud took a one-year leave of absence from the group. She announced her official departure the next summer (her replacement was Jennifer Culp). Remaining in the field of avant-garde and experimental music, she has explored about every possible field her busy schedule with Kronos had kept her from. Her first solo concerts included works by Fluxus composers (Christian Wolff, Charlotte Moorman), and collaborations with dancers (Molissa Fenley, Anna Halprin). Her first non-Kronos recording was Lou Harrison’s Rhymes With Silver (New Albion, 2000).

A residency at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts during the 2000/2001 season allowed her to try new things, like duetting with a computer (Mark Grey’s “Blood Red”), multimedia performance (a cello arrangement of Philip Glass’ “Metamorphosis” with video projections), and even composition. In 2001, she entered the free improvisation scene under the wing of guitarist Fred Frith. She performed and recorded with his trio Maybe Monday, as well as with many more. Jeanrenaud says about her work, “I am interested in not only the sound world my instrument can inhabit but also the visual and conceptual presentation of the music.” http://www.jjcello.org

Hazel Dickens

Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1935 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. Cultural blogger John Pietaro noted that “Dickens didn’t just sing the anthems of labor, she lived them and her place on many a picket line, staring down gunfire and goon squads, embedded her into the cause.” The New York Times extolled her as “a clarion-voiced advocate for coal miners and working people and a pioneer among women in bluegrass music.” With Alice Gerrard, Dickens was one of the first women to record a bluegrass album. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazel_Dickens
Interviewees

Larry Gibson (1946-20012) was a founding leader of the movement to stop MTR.  Mountaintop removal is the process by which a mountaintop is blown up and dumped into the surrounding valleys to mine seams of coal.  MTR is an incredibly destructive form of strip coal mining that has already destroyed more than a million acres and buried over 1,200 miles of streams across Central Appalachia.  It is killing people in surrounding communities as residents report much higher rates of birth defects and cancer.  Gibson saw this threat long before it became nationally known and began his work to protect his mountains more than two decades ago.

In 2004, he founded the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation to educate and inspire people to work for healthier, more sustainable communities and bring an end to MTR.  The Foundation has successfully protected fifty acres from mining activity through the Stanley Heirs Park, an incredible accomplishment in the face of a coal industry that runs roughshod over West Virginia communities and politics.

He is also committed to building new leaders to expand community power in the coalfield region, as well as developing leadership within his family to ensure the continued protection of Kayford Mountain, where he lives.  Kayford Park, atop its peak, is the primary location for people, organizations, political leaders, and funders to see mountaintop removal first hand.  Since this land was successfully saved, visitors have included WV Senator Joe Manchin, UMWA President Cecil Roberts, NRDC spokesman Robert Kennedy, current Young Democrats of America President Rod Snyder, country singers Kathy Matthea and Big Kenny, and tens of thousands of others.  The continuing protection of this land is critical to ensure the growth of the success of the anti-MTR movement.  As he says, “Our mothers give us birth, but the mountains give us life.”  Larry passed away on Kayford Mountain on September 2012.   http://mountainkeeper.org

Carol Gibson is a native West Virginian, currently Larry Gibson’s partner and member of the board of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation.  Carol loves the mountains; she says, “I always played in the hills when I was a little girl.  I have a brother and sister and we used to climb the hills behind our house in Carbon, West Virginia.  We would sometimes take a jar of ice-cold water or Kool-aid and stay out all day.  Sometimes we would hunt beachnuts and take a tin pie pan and put them in it and sit and eat nuts and drink our Kool-aid.  My dad worked for Carbon Fuel Company, and they would blast sometimes and rocks would fly down the hillside and onto our porch.  Sometimes it would go into our home, living room and bedrooms.  We would have to shovel the mud out of our house and off the porch.  It would leave our house smelling like sulphur.  They would dump big piles of slate in big heaps really high. Sometimes we would take old cardboard boxes and climb to the top of these slate dumps and slide down.  When it would rain it would add oxygen to the dump and it would start smoking and the air would smell like sulphur and sometimes catch back up on fire and we would watch it flame up and burn.  We were not aware of any danger at that time but I am sure we inhaled enough sulphur to kill us.  I sure would not let my grandson play on such a pile of smoke and sulpher.  I would love to see the mountains come back pretty and green and high the way God intended them to be.  I used to like to go to the mountains to pray too.  It seemed like God was surely in my midst when I would kneel beside an old rock and pray.  I could really feel his presence all around me.  I will never forget those days, and I am sure because sometimes I do go out on Kayford Mountain and seek God’s presence and He is always there to meet me.”

Paul Corbit Brown is a photographer and educator, passionately committed to producing images that further the goals of human rights, social justice, and environmental responsibility.  A native West Virginian – born, raised, and currently living in the coalfields of southern West Virginia – he discovered photography at the age of 12 and through this discovery, became the first male in his family to escape working as a coal miner.  Because of his concern for the environment, he has lived in a house “off-the-grid” for nearly seven years.  For nearly 15 years, he has been fighting to raise awareness about, and ultimately stop the devastation of mountain top removal (MTR) coal mining in Appalachia.  He has photographed other humanitarian and environmental issues throughout the United States, Mexico, Kenya, Jamaica, Russia, Israel, Laos, Thailand, Rwanda, Indonesia, Haiti and Northern Iraq with significant gallery exhibitions in Washington D.C.; Baltimore, MD; Columbus, OH; Minneapolis, MN; and West Virginia.  His projects serve as a remembrance – so that time and history don’t diminish the true depth of the horrific injustices – and as a call to action for positive transformation.  The work inspires people to ask, “What can I do to change this?”  See http://paulcorbitbrown.com

T. Paige Dalporto is an award-winning poet, photographer, songwriter and anti-MTR activist.  He has been writing songs since 1973 and his work focuses on the issues that face Appalachia.  He lives in West Virginia, where he was born.  He says, “Here in West Virginia, our mountains and our land, and thus our people are being destroyed at an alarming rate by the worst man-made environmental disaster in human history.  I have joined with other West Virginians to call for an end to Mountain Top Removal, a deadly form of mining: deadly to the environment, deadly to the planet.  I use my music to call attention to the devastation, even as more and more people realize that what affects the health of Appalachia on such a massive scale will eventually affect every individual’s health and the health of the planet.”  Judy Bonds, the late, great environmental activist and fearless critic of MTR has been a big influence on T. Paige’s work.  To learn more, go to www.tpaige.com

Benny Key (1948-2011)  former pianist and music director of the Chruch of Stop Shopping Choir, with Revernd Billy. Benny Key improvised a beautiful version of the West Virginia Hills for our wedding to the Appalachian Mountains in Athens, Ohio. Benny was an incredibly talented musician who worked in innumerable shows in our community, with Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir as well as on Broadway. Benny passed away at his home in Huntington, WV on March 25, 2011.

Bryan Martens Bryan Martens is a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher from Madison County, nearby Winterset, Iowa. He is an accomplished musician, and is currently the choir Director and Organist at Zion Lutheran Church also in Des Moines. Bryan maintains a computer based recording studio of his own, and is also an accomplished recording engineer. He has released two CD’s, one of classical piano recordings, and is currently releasing a “piano with ensemble” CD. Among many honored animal guests on his farm is his basement skunk “Skunky”. http://www.bryanmartens.com

Catherine Moore aka Rainbow Jeremy is writer in residence at the Beckwith Halfway House & Creek Enjoyment Center. She is busy collecting chestnuts and small wood for the stove. Catherine also works as a journalist.

Rich Reardin is a radio producer, audio engineer, Flash animator, graphic artist, cartoonist, and web designer living in Bloomington, IN.  Rich’s father was lifelong friends with Allen Ginsberg.  Ginsberg’s subsequent life and work helped to inspire Rich’s longtime interest in Buddhism, the arts, poetry, literature, and music.  Rich is now creator and executive producer of a nationally syndicated radio series, “In Search of a Song,” with Jason Wilber (John Prine’s longtime lead guitarist), about the lives and music of world-class songwriters, which is available on the Public Radio Exchange.  He is also the creator of a comic strip called “What N’ Where? The Adventures of Cosmic Tom.” Growing up in the Appalachian mountains of Pennsylvania, Rich was inspired to help in creating a website for Coal Country, which can be seen on the Discovery Network Planet Green. See www.insearchofasong.com

Jack Spadaro Spadaro is an environmental expert on mine safety and health.  He has dedicated his life to preventing environmental damage from coal mining activities and is among the nation’s leading experts on coal waste disposal.  Jack was a young engineer and instructor at West Virginia University’s School of Mines, one of the world’s top institutions for training mining engineers, when the 1972 Buffalo Creek, WV, disaster occurred.  “Right then,” he says, “I made a pledge to dedicate my life to doing whatever I could to prevent this type of thing from happening again.”  He has since spent nearly 38 years in public service, safeguarding coal miners and their communities from life-threatening environmental and health and safety hazards caused by mining operations.  For more information, see http://jackspadaro.com/

Vivian Stockman Stockman is project coordinator for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC).  With a degree in Environmental Communications, she is one of the premiere photographers of the apocalyptic landscapes created by mountain top removal.  A volunteer for OVEC since 1995, she was hired full-time in 2000.  Since then, her essays about MTR and coal sludge impoundments have been published in Plundering Appalachia (which features dozens of Vivian’s shots, including the cover) and in The Appalachians, a companion book to the PBS TV series.  Her op-eds have appeared in numerous newspapers and websites, and she has assisted with, consulted for and been filmed for documentaries including Burning the Future and Sludge. Her photographs have been extensively published in publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Monthly, Orion magazine, World Watch magazine.  They have also been exhibited in colleges and have appeared on the NASA Earth Observatory site:: http://earthobservatory,nasa.gov/Study/MountaintopRemoval.

Occasionally Vivian will foray into street theatre events as the dreaded “King Coal.”

Stephanie Tyree is a native of Charleston, WV.  She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Philosophy and Fiction Writing, and received a J.D. from New York University School of Law, with a concentration in environmental justice, critical race theory and environmental poverty lawyering.  She worked for two years as the Environmental Policy Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice in New York City, focusing on climate justice and energy.  She then moved back to her home state to work on MTR and coal slurry issues with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC).  While with OVEC, Stephanie realized the great need for lawyers working for community health and empowerment in the Appalachian coalfields.  She plans to take the State Bar and begin practicing as an environmental torts attorney advocating for community health and safety in West Virginia.

Sarah Vekasi, M.Div. is the director of the Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative, where she provides support to communities fighting MTR coal mining.  She developed the idea of eco-chaplaincy after engaging in direct action and community organizing for many years in the Northwest, living in a Zen monastery in Japan, and completing a Master of Divinity degree from Naropa University in 2008.  She grew up in Montana and Maine and currently lives in Swannanoa, NC.  Sarah loves wild and rural places, is a potter and a quilter.See www.ecochaplaincy.org

 

 

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Shooting http://elizabethstephens.org/shooting/ http://elizabethstephens.org/shooting/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:14:58 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/shooting/
The majority of this film was shot in West Virginia during the July and August of 2010.  Jordan Freeman was the main camera person. Danyel Ferrari was our sound person.  Danyel and Annie Sprinkle also shot photographic stills. Annie Sprinkle directed several of the scenes in the movie.

We began with this shooting plan:

SHOOTING PLAN

(Work in progress—all is subject to change.)

Beth’s Story

Beth interviewed in places where she grew up.

In woods

By river.

On mountaintop

Beth at Marathon  x

Marathon Coal Bit Machine Shop  x

 

Gauley Mountain Area

Morning and Evening

Walk to mining area (ask father Crist how to get there)

View from Hawks Nest Park  x

Hawks Nest Country Club  x

Mystery Hole

Father Crist

Sarah and Sage  x

MTR Mining in Action

Explosions

 

Mining Culture:

Billboards (Meglofolioma)

Coal Trains (One at 8:30 at Glen Ferris)

Exhibition Mine (Visual History of mining) x

Bumper Stickers x

Ghost Towns—Lindy Town,  Longacre x

Sickers on Doors x

T-shirts x

Tour a coal production plant/ factory

 

Controversy/Drama

Reverend Billy  x

Protest x

Activists in action x

 

Nature

Sky

Water

Dirt

Fire

Sludge piles

Smoke Stacks

Forests

 

Ecosex

25 Ways

Vows

Sexecological walking tour in Ohio.

Weddings

Gay rights gathering in Charleston. x

 

Interviews (Email them to set up)

Larry Gibson x

Rev Billy x

Maria Gunnoe

Mike Roselle

Jordan

Tree Climbing teacher x

Stray Dog x

Paul Corbit Brown x

Joda’s father in law on Soil

Anne  x

Cindy x and Rick x

Paige Dalporto (Singing at Cemetery)x

Annie Sprinkle

Keith Spangler  x
Interview Questions

Who are you?

What is your relationship to the mountains?

What is your relationship to coal and coal culture/history?

Has it changed as you’ve grown older?

 

 

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Film Structure http://elizabethstephens.org/film-structure/ http://elizabethstephens.org/film-structure/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 07:14:19 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/film-structure/ Structure as of 9_24_11

Rough cut – broken down into scenes and highlights.

1. Beth – I love the earth

2. Married to the earth – environmental confessions

  •    Lovers vs mothers

   Take care of earth
   Image sunset

3. Poem with Sunset
   Poet
   Destruction/nature shots montage
   Tree hug fast motion

4. Purple Wedding

5. What made you want to make this film?
   MTR
   Photo Montage
   Wedding intercut

6. Promise to love, honor…blooper but fun and laughs-

7. WV-GLBT/PFLAG gathering and picnic
   Are you and ecosexual?
   What is an ecosexual?

8. Anne-Conception
   Sister and mother
   Challenge
   Tree hug
   Park, home from Dayton

9. Beth in Car-Charleston, WV
   Baptism
   Kicked out of kindergarden

10 Beth at Mink Shoals Elementary School
   Fat
   Car – feminism saved life
   Ecosexuality

11. Annie and Beth propose to the mountains
Kiss the earth

12. Paige WV hills song>good bridge
   Beth and cops
   Larry and dog
   Cindy and Annie
   Cops again

13. Joe Hampshire
   Clean water act

14. Nature Montage
  Poison river
  Smoke stacks + night shot of factory
  Learn to make due
  Montage factory w/machinery

15. Same machines (Marathon machine shop)
   Pin up
   S M fetish
   Classic tool girls

16. Uncle Henry’s office (do we need to see more office?)
   Montage w/ tractors
   Voice montage

17 Map – I was born….
Coal mining (underground)

18. Coal Mining
   RL voiceover (ok?)
   Lights off
   Powder in the hole
   Montage w/MTR blasts

19. Leroy 
   Ginseng – fined to hunt… MTR??
   Little-man can’t do it, big man can

20. Vivian Stockman’s dog-MTR orphan
   Vivian stockman
   Levels of life effect > Roots vs. Transient
   Community – cultural continuum
   Forests as medicine cabinet
   Planet gift – Beauty – Respect life

21. Keith, broke the web
   I love the mountains, water

22. Beth and Annie in Laurel Creek
   Earth Lubrication

23. Tomatoes > wedding invitations
Cindy, moon goddess transition

24. Cindy 
Hawks + montage w/hawk perfect circle

25. Kissing Ground
  ecosex montage w/I love nature

26. Jack Spadero
   Love for mtns.
   Montage (don’t like this shot here)
   Just how precious it all is (Poem first, better)
   1 ½ million things – Biomass

27. Rick and Cindy (1st shot?)
   This is home
   Pro MTR who gives you shit? (this is hard to grasp at first watch)
   Disagreements (too long)
   Cindy and van (cut more)
   Friends of coal
   Sister @ war with neighbor (shaky camera)
  Invitation to wedding
   We all love the mountains
   Do the mountains feel + montage

28. Water dropped by a deep mine
   No longer a town
   No longer running water (houses empty, no one here)
   Seems criminal to me (reverse peaches and walking)

29. Stephanie, not one problem (more context)
   What would I do to fight it (com. Group)
   Montage of houses w/MTR in BG. (sooner)
   Lawyer know who to go through
   Years and money may not win
   Killing communities, people

30. Patricia, Hawks Nest 
   Country club
   Shanties hundreds and hundreds of black men
   Died under bushes
   Sign (slo mo good)
   TOWN OF THE WALKING DEAD
   Lungs crystallized – painfully unaware of what was happening

31. Larry Gibson–coal, lungs of the earth
   Wedding “political theater”
   Purple – MTR wedding.
   Connection between people and land
   Montage nature shots – food and timing

32. Kitty Baughan Cole
   Moon, planting at certain times
   600 qts of food – husband out of work
   grow her food and beauty (flowers) no one interested (take out, that’s ok)

33. Paul Corbit Brown
   Hillbilly
   Photo artist cinematographer
   MTR aerials well kept secret
   Abstract – ironically beautiful
   Don’t realize human cost
   Appalachians looked down upon – hillbillies
   I don’t think people care about Appalachia
   Wealthy people don’t have to sacrifice
   We walk our talk

34.Protest intercut with PCB
   not simple matter nonviolent civil disobedience

35. Grumble
   Tree hugger?
   90% of direct action is hurry up and wait
   hiking – Annies Purse
   shooting guns. Gunshotting days (personal, ok)
   continue the rest of my life. Hope to be part of successful mission
   6,000 fed at once
   what do you teach? Sitting in a tree.
   Porn stars? Extreme – reach a different set of folks
   Beth + rope kiss
   Rope system up the tree…
   Annie between harnesses
   Watching grumble in tree .
   Hot harnesses – machine shop, high lesbian culture.
   Looking up at him
   Bodies on the line (good line, could be put elsewhere)
   Lockdowns Violation – issues
   Stopping industries
   So high in the tree, no firetruck
   Tree feels really strong

36. Purple Wedding
   Mostly like video w/ add ins and Montage

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COR 2008-09 http://elizabethstephens.org/cor-2008-09/ http://elizabethstephens.org/cor-2008-09/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 06:53:53 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/cor-2008-09/ I have received two COR grants to help in the production of Goodbye Gauley Mountain.  Below are the proposals.

Committee on Research

Faculty Research Grant Application 2008-2009

Application Summary

Title: Rebuilding a Mountain
Amount Requested: $2041
Amount Received: $2000

The desire to engage in a project about mountaintop removal was inspired by a combination of influential events from this past year. The first was a lecture that Bell Hooks gave at UCSC where she clearly articulated the connection between feminism, race and the environment in a way that I had never heard so eloquently portrayed before. I was moved by how she spoke about the horrible practice of mountaintop removal and its devastating effects, not only on the landscape but also upon the people who live there. Secondly, I hired Newton Harrison to advise the art department on a graduate school proposal that will utilize whole system methods of studying and approaching environmental problems as art. He and his life partner Helen Mayer Harrison were early pioneers of environmental art and their work is extremely relevant to this era. Finally, the last time that I flew over my home state of West Virginia, I noticed that the damage from mountaintop removal to the landscape was much more severe than it had been just a year earlier. The need to bring attention to this situation is urgent. The long term goal of this project is to produce a community-based environmental artwork to raise awareness of the social and environmental abuses and irreversible damage caused by mountaintop removal coal mining. This grant would serve as seed money for the larger and ongoing project of reclaiming a mountain whose top has been blown off. The steps required to lay the groundwork for this goal are: 1. Two 10 day trips to Appalachia where mountaintop removal is used to mine coal, in order to fully assess the situation and to talk to the people who are involved. My initial trip would take place in August 2008. I would return in the spring or early summer of 2009 to produce photographs and to interview community members. 2. Meet with individuals in mining industry as well as lawyers and activists who are engaged in environmental activism. These meetings will serve as an opportunity to be further educated about both sides of the political, cultural and economic debates surrounding mountaintop removal. 3. I will meet with as many of the members of the communities affected by this practice. Mountaintop removal happens in the poorest regions of Appalachia. There is a great deal of conflict between those who desperately need the few jobs provided by big mining (and its supporting industries) and those community members who oppose mountain top removal. A good friend of mine who lives in West Virginia described it as the new “civil war.” All over this region family members are on opposite sides of this debate, as are friends and neighbors. These differences are causing a great deal of strife in Appalachian communities that are already crippled by poverty. 4. Consult with experts in the fields of land reclamation, environmental sciences and biology as well as social workers and other cultural institutions to help empower the communities in the area to be able to advocate for the kind of environment they want their children to inherit. 5. Finally, we must find a suitable project site and owners who would be willing to let us use it for this project. The artists will design the final project with the local communities and in consultation with the owners of the land. A reclamation company in conjunction with government or nonprofit agencies, in an effort to make some of these leveled mountains usable land again, would execute the physical work. If we succeed, it will be a miracle. The final work will take the form of a large-scale site- specific work that will attempt to reintroduce bio diversity to a mountain that has had its top removed. This would serve both as a model of how art and artists can work with communities and possibly with big coal to affect large systems that have been devastated. As with more conventional art exhibitions, photographs, writings and other documentation will be exhibited in galleries and museums. This is the kind of large- scale, culturally engaged work that will leverage external funding. The Harrisons will be advising me throughout this process.

Budget

Budget Item: $ 1342. . . . . . 2 round trip tickets to Charleston, West Virginia @ $671
Budget Item: $ 199.95. . . . . . MP3-playing ICD-SX57DR9 Sony Digital Recorder

Justification of Budget Items (if not covered in project description)
Two 10 day trips to the area in Appalachia would allow me to start gathering the information and documentation necessary to attract further funding for this reclamation project This time would also enable me to begin talking to all of the parties involved in both sides of this debate. A digital recorder would allow me to easily interview my subjects.
Additional Budget Items (above the standard grant amount)
Budget Item: $ 500. . . . . . Research Assistant $10 per hour, 5 hours per wk, 10 weeks Budget Item: $ . . . . . . Budget Item: $ . . . . . . Budget Item: $ . . . . . .
Budget Item: $ . . . . . . Budget Item: $ . . . . . .
Justification for Additional Budget Items
A research assistant is necessary for me to archive and print photographs as well as to archive the interviews I would make. This person would also aid me in gathering information about mountaintop removal and various methods of reclamation.
Human Subjects Information
Review is not required

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ARI 2009 http://elizabethstephens.org/ari-2009/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ari-2009/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 05:53:15 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/ari-2009/ Major Project Grant

Application Form, 2009

Deadline: February 8, 2008, 5 p.m.

Projects must take place between September 2007 and August 2008

Applicant: Elizabeth Stephens

Department: Art Rank: Professor

E-mail:estephe@ucsc.edu

Descriptive title of project: The Hills are Alive!

StudioWork/Photography and Drawing

Category: (X) Individual ($2000-$10,000) or( ) Collaborative ($2000-$20,000)

Amount requested from ARI: $9568.88
Amount received: $2,900 

Date:7/7/08

Project description: Maximum of 350 words – use12-point type.

Proposals whose descriptions exceed 350 words will not be sent to the committee.

Individualprojects will be evaluated on potential national/international impact,originality, contribution to the field, feasibility, and likelihood ofcompletion (which includes evidence of the applicant’s record of productivity).

This past year I exhibited drawings,photographs, sculpture and video installations in two very successful artexhibits in France and San Francisco in addition to performing in theaters inthe US and Europe. In the processof developing and focusing on performance these past few years I have not hadthe time to produce as much visual art as I would like. Now I’d like to returnto making more solo visual art works.

I propose to make a series oflarge-scale digital photographs that will incorporate drawing, text andcollage. The content of this work will explore eco feminism, class andmemory. I intend to focus onimages of mountain top removal in Appalachia, where I grew up. This project is inspired by acombination of events from this past year that influenced me deeply. The first event was a lecture that thepublic intellectual Bell Hooks gave at UCSC. In this lecture she clearly articulated the connection offeminism, race, the environment and spirituality in a way that I had neverheard woven quite so eloquently together before. I was moved by the way that she talked about the horriblepractice of mountain top removal and its devastating effects, not only on thelandscape but upon the people who live in and are cradled by thatlandscape. The second thing thathappened was that I began working with Newton Harrison on a graduate schoolproposal that will utilize whole system methods of studying and approachingglobal problems. He and his partner Helen were early pioneers of environmental art and their work isextremely relevant to this era. Finally, the last time that I flew over West Virginia, I noticed thatthe wreckage of the landscape was much more severe than it had been just a fewyears before. It made regular strip mining look environmentally conscious andit was heart breaking. The need tobring attention to this situation is urgent. Creating powerful images that critique mountain top removalwould provide me with a point of entry to begin engaging in conversations aboutthis issue through art.

 

Budget and Justification

Apply onlyfor funds needed; awards will normally be less than the allowable maximum. Inthe space beneath each category, provide details for each expense.

Expense Category DollarAmount

Salariesand wages (honoraria, researchassistance, etc.) $1,200

(Listpersonnel and pay rates as applicable.)

Photography assistant to aid in preparing thephotographs for printing, and archiving.

8 hours per week for 10 weeks @$15 dollars per hour

Equipment (specify equipment type with prices) quotes fromB&H Photo

Nikon D300 with18-135mm Lens +memory card $2179.95

Nikon MB-D10multi power battery grip $ 259.95

Nikon EN-EL4aRechargeable Lithium Battery $ 109.95

1 Sandisk 16Gig Extreme CompactFlash Card $ 199.95

Lowepro LensCase $ 34.95

Nikon semi softcamera case $ 79.95

$2864.70 +35 shipping

$2899.70 total

Domestictravel (specify destinations andmeans of travel)

(2)Round trips San Francisco to Charleston, West Virginia

DeltaAirlines (21 advance day purchase) $671 per ticket $1342

CarRental for 2 weeks, 179 per week $358

Fuel $200

$1900 + 8% tax

$2052total

Other(provide details for each expense)

Meal andincidental expenses, two weeks @ $64 per day $896

Lodging 8nights Comfort Inn, Beckley, WV @ $65 per night $520

$1416+8%tax

$1529.28total

Digital Printing at Rayko Photo in San Francisco

(6) 50″x60″ color print on Hahnemuhle Photo RagPaper@$290 ea. $ 1740+8.5%

$1887.90 total

TOTAL EXPENSES $9568.88

Income anticipated from other sources $2000 COR to be submitted in March for additional photographic anddrawing supplies

(Specify any anticipated income, whether secure or pending;include COR funds, external funding applications, etc.

TOTALANTICIPATED INCOME $2000

Requested from ARI $9568.88

 

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UCSC ARI 2010 http://elizabethstephens.org/ucsc-ari-2010/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ucsc-ari-2010/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 05:53:15 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/ucsc-ari-2010/ Major Project Grant

Application Form, 2010-11

Deadline: February 12, 2010, 5 p.m.

Requested $10,000
Received $2,000 

Projects must take place between July 1, 2010 and Sept. 1, 2011

Applicant:Elizabeth Stephens

Department: Art Rank: Professor

E-mail:estephe@ucsc.edu

Descriptive title of project: Goodbye Gauley Mountain

Category: (X) Individual ($2000-$10,000) or( ) Collaborative ($2000-$20,000)

Amount requested from ARI (not to exceed limitsabove):

Date:2/10/10

Project description: Maximum of 350 words – use12-point type.

Proposalswhose descriptions exceed 350 words will not be sent to the committee.

Individualprojects will be evaluated on potential national/international impact,originality, contribution to the field, feasibility, and likelihood ofcompletion (which includes evidence of the applicant’s record of productivity).

Iam requesting funding to edit my film, “Goodbye Gauley Mountain.” Last year I received an ARI mini granttowards purchasing a video camera. I have begun shooting and am planning toreturn to West Virginia in July and August to finish this portion of theproject.

Specifically,I am requesting funding for travel, to purchase editing equipment, software,and to hire an editing assistant. I plan to complete the editing process overthe next year.

“Goodbye Gauley Mountain” explores theenvironmental and cultural devastation caused by the coal mining techniqueknown as mountain top removal (MTR). The film’s narrative weaves autobiographical information withenvironmental consequence through the ongoing story of the destruction ofGauley Mountain near Gauley Bridge, West Virginia.

Igrew up in the shadow of Gauley. My family, and most everyone else’s, worked in the coal industry. These facts have made this issuepersonal, but more importantly MTR has global environmental implications. My commitment to creating art thatexplores environmentalism, community and alternative visions for the futureonly increases as my awareness of the disastrous future we are creating throughreckless use and abuse of the earth increases.

The climate in the West Virginia coalfields between mining, environmentalists,and local coal dependent communities is deteriorating. Strong feelings abound on both sides ofthe MTR debate. This last year sawa fierce battle to save the last untouched mountain in Coal River Valley. The residents and environmentalistslost and mining permits were issued. Blasting began this summer. The activists try to slow things down but itis going to take the EPA to put an end to this practice.

Creating a film is the most powerful way I am able to engagea larger audience. As a nativeWest Virginian I have access to a world that is often closed to and/orstereotyped by outsiders. Through exploring how the commons, the watersheds,and the communities of the Appalachian Mountains are being destroyed, I intendto express the tragedy of this mining practice, situate it in a global context,while informing and inspiring others to become aware through art.

 

Budget and Justification

Applyonly for funds needed; awards willnormally be less than the allowable maximum. In the space beneath eachcategory, provide details for each expense.

ExpenseCategory DollarAmount

Salaries andwages (honoraria, research assistance, etc.) $1800

Editing Assistant100 hours @ 18 dollars per hour

Supplies (specifybelow)

Equipment (specify equipment type with prices)

MacPro computer-customized for video production ($6148) $ 8242

Apple Cinema HD Display (30″ Flat Panel)($1599)

Guardian Maximus Raid Hardrive. 2TB/2TB ($495.00)

Domestic travel (specify destinations and means of travel) $2558

(I will be living in WV for 2 months whilefilming and require my car to transport equipment and to get to filmsites. I am requesting miliagereimbursment for a round trip from San Francisco to Charleston WV.

2558 miles x2=5116 miles @.50 per mile =$2558

Other (provide details for each expense) $1258.95

Software: Final Cut Pro (Academic) ($899)

AdobeCreative Suite 4 (Academic) (359.95)

EXPENSES $13,858.95

Tax $ 1108.7

TOTALEXPENSES (for film) $14,967.66

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Trailer http://elizabethstephens.org/film-sample/ http://elizabethstephens.org/film-sample/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 12:45:29 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/film-sample/ ]]> http://elizabethstephens.org/film-sample/feed/ 0 Director’s Statement http://elizabethstephens.org/directors-statement/ http://elizabethstephens.org/directors-statement/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 07:00:25 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/directors-statement/ After viewing the cancerous blight that mountain top removal (MTR) strip mining was creating throughout my beloved Appalachian Mountains, I was compelled to make a documentary film, Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story. For many years I was not aware of the full scale of destruction that MTR strip mining had caused because mining companies intentionally keep it well hidden from public view. People can only see it from an airplane, which I eventually did on a trip home to West Virginia 5 years ago in 2007. The destruction I witnessed made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I was compelled to start doing research about how much, and what kind of destruction was taking place in the state where I was born and to the mountains that I deeply love.

The more I found out about MTR and the mining industry, the angrier I became. My outrage compounded when I discovered that Gauley Mountain, whose shadow I had grown up in, was in the process being forever altered using MTR techniques. This, in addition to the other 500+ mountains that have been decapitated, and the over 2300 miles of streams which have been covered by this method of mining, made it all too personal. Then I learned about the social damage MTR wreaks; huge cancer rates, birth defects, kids getting asthma and their teeth falling out, undrinkable water, families being torn apart by the politics of MTR, the threat of living down the hill from dangerous sludge pond impoundments, so many animals killed, and more. West Virginia is the richest state in the union when it comes to natural resources, and is also one of the states with lowest income per capita. Most of the profits from coal are taken out of the state by the wealthy coal corporations whose CEOs live elsewhere.

While I was researching MTR, simultaneously, my partner, artist Annie Sprinkle and I were doing a series of performance art weddings to protest our lack of equal rights as a queer couple. After becoming legally married in Canada during our third wedding, we decided that we wanted to move beyond the issue of same sex marriage. That is when we decided to marry the earth. Our fourth wedding to the Earth took place in the California redwoods, with four hundred guest witnesses and one hundred and fifty collaborators who helped create the wedding. After we made our vows, we found ourselves falling more deeply in love with our planet each day, and actually felt a romantic connection. We explored the idea of changing the metaphor from Earth as Mother, to Earth as Lover. Then we came to realize that we were ‘ecosexuals.’ The sensuality and eroticism of nature delighted us. We started to explore ecosexuality as an environmental activist strategy to inspire others to have more empathy with nature. Over the next few years we had ten more environmentally focused weddings, one of which we married the Appalachian Mountains at Ohio University. This moving, fecund and fun wedding is featured in Goodbye Gauley Mountain.

My hope for this film, in addition for it being a compelling story, is that it will inspire and raise awareness in groups of people not normally associated with the environmental movement, especially as GLBTQ communities. (We’d like to see an E added for ecosexual!) There are relatively few films about environmental issues that feature out queer people. Gays, lesbians, transgendered people can live without gay marriage, but they cannot live without clean air and water, or fertile soil to grow our food. Films have been a powerful source of inspiration for changing the way I view the world, and I hope this film will help others to see that the Appalachian Mountains and the people who live among them are worth fighting to preserve for the good of the whole planet. MTR is part of overarching global environmental crises that we all need to pay attention to in order to try to slow down the damage that is being done and help shift the rate of environmental decline earth is currently undergoing.

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Documentary Films http://elizabethstephens.org/documentary-films/ http://elizabethstephens.org/documentary-films/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2011 22:14:43 +0000 http://elizabethstephens.org/documentary-films/ Coal Country directed by Phylis Geller, executive producer  Mari Lynn Evans   http://www.coalcountrythemovie.com/

Low Coal  directed by Jordan Freeman, executive producer Mari Lynn Evans http://www.lowcoal.com/

On Coal River directed by Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood http://oncoalriver.com/

The Last Mountain directed by Bill Haney  http://thelastmountainmovie.com/

Deep Down directed by Jen Gilomen and Sally Rubin  http://deepdownfilm.org/  (I have not watched this film yet)

Harlan County USA, directed by Barbara Kopple, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074605/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_County,_USA

Matewan, written and directed by John Sayles  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093509/
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Matewan&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

The Wild and Wonderful, Whites of West Virginia, directed by Julien Nitzberg, produced by Storm Taylor, Johnnie Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine
wildandwonderfulwhites.com

 

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Sexecological Walking Tour http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sexecological-walking-tour/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:30:18 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=931 Learn about ecosexuality! Join Annie as she points out the sexecological sites. Find your e-spot, learn 25 ways to make love to the Earth, stimulate your senses. Outside Doherty Hall. 5:30pm – 6:30pm
(view poster)

Sep 23 12:30 am
Location: Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburg, PA
Map: Show in Google map
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Sidewalk Sex Clinic http://elizabethstephens.org/sidewalk-sex-clinic/ http://elizabethstephens.org/sidewalk-sex-clinic/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:27:32 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=930 Free sex advice from sex experts. Come one, come all. Outside of the UC. 12pm – 1pm
(view poster)

Sep 22 7:00 pm
Location: Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburg, PA
Map: Show in Google map
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My Life & Work As A Feminist Porn Activist, Ecosexual & Radical Sex Educator http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-ecosexual-and-radical-sex-educator-3/ http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-and-work-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-ecosexual-and-radical-sex-educator-3/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:24:43 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=929 Annie will share her life’s work, do mini-performances, and stimulate discussion. McConomy Auditorium. 5pm – 6:30pm
(view poster)

Sep 22 12:00 am
Location: Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburg, PA
Map: Show in Google map
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Love Picnic http://elizabethstephens.org/love-picnic/ http://elizabethstephens.org/love-picnic/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:12:37 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=926 Bring your lunch, your work to show, or just stop by and hang out with Annie Sprinkle. Ask questions, discuss, relax, network. Schmooze. 12:00pm – 1:30pm

(view poster)

Sep 21 7:00 pm
Location: Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburg, PA
Map: Show in Google map
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Workshops http://elizabethstephens.org/workshops/ http://elizabethstephens.org/workshops/#comments Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:29:00 +0000 http://sexecology.org/?p=1385 We have taught together as a team in many places, countries, and venues over the past twelve years. Every workshop is site specific, and varies in length, material, and activities. Each year we think up new ideas and possibilities. Currently our most popular workshops are our Ecosex Workshops.

Here is a general description:

EXPLORE ECOSEXUALITY!
25 WAYS TO MAKE LOVE WITH THE EARTH

Do you find being in nature sensual and even a bit erotic? Do you love skinny-dipping, lying in the sun, and the smell of cut grass? Do you long to have a deeper connection with nature? We will go on a stimulating journey as we shift the metaphor from “Earth as mother” to “Earth as lover.” Learn all about this satisfying new sexual identity “ecosexual.” Find your E-spot, discover where you are on the ecosexual scale, become more aware of the erotic possibilities with nature. Try some eco-sexercises such as hugging trees, licking rocks, making love to the roses.  We’ll explore nature through our senses and imaginations, through circulating energy and doing “ecstasy breathing.” We’ll share our stories, explore a variety of experiences, and inspire each other.

We will create safe and supportive space to explore the possibilities for more pleasure and deep satisfaction. We’ll will listen, taste, smell, see, and touch nature. Learn how loving the Earth romantically, and erotically can make your love grow to enormous proportions. We’ll mine our creativity, dig deep into our individual and collective desires. We will experiment, explore, make meaning, have fun, spread the love, be ecosexy, make new friends, make art, share food, and create performances. By the end of this workshop you will know that you always have a lover– your lover Earth. The workshops are site specific and vary according to the participant’s needs, desires, and the surroundings. No previous ecosex or sexuality workshop experience is necessary. Everyone is welcome to attend, all levels, all sexual persuasions and all genders.

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Beth’s Ph.D. Exams http://elizabethstephens.org/beths-exams/ http://elizabethstephens.org/beths-exams/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:37:45 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=918 My partner/collaborator Beth Stephens will be doing her comprehensive exams for her Ph.D. I will be supporting her through this intense time as best I can. Back rubs, food, cheer leading, etc. 

Jan 2 – Jan 7
Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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College Art Association http://elizabethstephens.org/college-art-association/ http://elizabethstephens.org/college-art-association/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:34:22 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=916 We’ll be on a panel “Multiplicities in Dialogue: From Political Caucus to Engaged Community.”

Session sponsored by Women’s Caucus for the Arts. Moderated by Tanya Augsburg.  This session is organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Five paired dialogues will offer a sampling of contemporary models for innovative artistic engagement.

Feb 22 – Feb 24
Event time: all day
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Pleasuring the Planetary Clitoris, A Petite Morte and White Wedding to the Sun! http://elizabethstephens.org/annie-and-beths-love-art-lab-finale-white-wedding-to-san-francisco-the-clitoris-of-the-usa/ http://elizabethstephens.org/annie-and-beths-love-art-lab-finale-white-wedding-to-san-francisco-the-clitoris-of-the-usa/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:29:07 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=915 We are planning to do a gathering on Bernal Hill in San Francisco on this auspicious day. It will be the end of our 7 Year Love Art Laboratory project, and the beginning of the new work, our Sexecology project.  We will pleasure the “planetary clitorus” (bernal hill), have a petite morte, then marry the sun in a simple ceremony on the hill. Wear white. Times to be announced. It will be at sunrise or in the morning sometime. Details to be announced.  Save the date! 

Dec 18Event time: all day
Location: Bernal Hill, San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Annie and Beth’s Love Art Lab Closing Ceremony: Pleasuring the Planetary Clitoris in San Francisco http://elizabethstephens.org/annie-and-beth%e2%80%99s-love-art-lab-finale-white-wedding-to-san-francisco-the-clitoris-of-the-usa/ http://elizabethstephens.org/annie-and-beth%e2%80%99s-love-art-lab-finale-white-wedding-to-san-francisco-the-clitoris-of-the-usa/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:29:07 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=915 We are planning to do a closing ceremony in San Francisco to celebrate the end of our 7 year Love Art Laboratory Project. Details to be announced. Save the date! It will probably be outdoors. As our Love Art Lab project will have finally ended, our calender will be continued on here.
Dec 18Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Panel Discussion: Man as Object – Reversing the Gaze http://elizabethstephens.org/panel-discussion-man-as-object-reversing-the-gaze/ http://elizabethstephens.org/panel-discussion-man-as-object-reversing-the-gaze/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:27:33 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=914 SOMARTS Man as Object–Reversing the Gaze. I’ll be on a panel with Carolee Schneeman about reversing the gaze, man as object. http://manasobject.weebly.com/

Nov 30Event time: all day
Location: SOMARTS San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Exhibition Opening: Man as Object – Reversing the Gaze http://elizabethstephens.org/exhibition-opening-man-as-object-reversing-the-gaze/ http://elizabethstephens.org/exhibition-opening-man-as-object-reversing-the-gaze/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:25:14 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=913 SOMARTS—Opening night of the exhibit, Man as Object–Reversing the Gaze—about women photographing naked men. I will have work in the show. http://manasobject.weebly.com/

Nov 4Event time: all day
Location: SOMARTS San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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The 64 Dakini Birthday Party http://elizabethstephens.org/the-64-dakini-birthday-party/ http://elizabethstephens.org/the-64-dakini-birthday-party/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:21:42 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=912 The 64 Dakini Birthday Party for Penny Sliinger.

Oct 21Event time: all day
Location: Boulder Crek, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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MASQUEROTICA http://elizabethstephens.org/masquerotica/ http://elizabethstephens.org/masquerotica/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:08:28 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=907 San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center.  I’ll be part of this humongous “sinfully sensual soiree, with nine exotic playgrounds of X-qisite indulgence, including a Hooker’s Ball redux with Margo St. James. Wear your masks!

http://www.masquerotica.com/

Oct 22Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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My Life as a Feminist Porn Activist, Radical Sex Educator and Ecosexual http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual/ http://elizabethstephens.org/my-life-as-a-feminist-porn-activist-radical-sex-educator-and-ecosexual/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:06:01 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=906 I’ll be doing my visiting artist presentation

Oct 19Event time: all day
Location: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI
Map: Show in Google map
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Bioneers—Revolution from the Heart of Nature http://elizabethstephens.org/bioneers%e2%80%94revolution-from-the-heart-of-nature/ http://elizabethstephens.org/bioneers%e2%80%94revolution-from-the-heart-of-nature/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 11:03:56 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=905 A leading edge forum and environmental conference with social and scientific innovators. I won’t be presenting at this conference, just attending some of it. http://www.bioneers.org/

Oct 14 – Oct 17
Event time: all day
Location: Marin County, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Residency at Laboral Arts Center/Black Wedding to Coal http://elizabethstephens.org/residency-at-laboral-arts-centerblack-wedding-to-coal/ http://elizabethstephens.org/residency-at-laboral-arts-centerblack-wedding-to-coal/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:50:55 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=903 We will have a one week residency at Laboral Arts Center. We will do an Ecosex Workshop, which will culminate in a Black Wedding to Coal. Everyone is invited. Join us.

Jul 18 – Jul 23
Event time: all day
Location: Laboral Arts Center Gijon, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Tribute to Annie Sprinkle http://elizabethstephens.org/tribute-to-annie-sprinkle/ http://elizabethstephens.org/tribute-to-annie-sprinkle/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:48:39 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=902 Tribute to Annie Sprinkle and her lecture about postporn. Muestra Marrana 4. Polivalente room, Hangar, from 6p.m. Free entrance. www.ecosex-barcelona.org

Jul 16Event time: all day
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex Workshop Level 2 http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-workshop-level-2/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-workshop-level-2/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:47:02 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=901 Ecosex Workshop level 2. Polivalente room, Hangar, from 4p.m. to 9p.m. Registration open NOW. Price: 20 euros. www.ecosex-barcelona.org

- July 16th: Tribute to Annie Sprinkle and her lecture about postporn. Muestra Marrana 4. Polivalente room, Hangar, from 6p.m. Free entrance.

Jul 12 – Jul 13
Event time: all day
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Adventures of the Love Art Lab http://elizabethstephens.org/adventures-of-the-love-art-lab/ http://elizabethstephens.org/adventures-of-the-love-art-lab/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:45:34 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=900 Adventures of the Love Art Lab. Antic Teatre, 9p.m. (Saturday) 8p.m. (Sunday). Entrance: 10 euros. www.ecosex-barcelona.org

Jul 9 – Jul 10
Event time: all day
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex Party http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-party/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-party/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:43:41 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=899 Ecosex Party with Annie, Beth and the postporn collective of Barcelona. Cabaret Berlín. From 11p.m. to 5a.m. Entrance: 10 euros. ecosex-barcelona.org

Jul 7Event time: all day
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex Workshop Level 1 http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-workshop-level-1/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-workshop-level-1/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:41:42 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=898 Polivalente room, Hangar, from 11a.m. to 4p.m. Registration open NOW. Price: 20 euros. www.ecosex-barcelona.org

Jul 5 – Jul 6
Event time: all day
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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New York Times Book Review http://elizabethstephens.org/new-york-times-book-review/ http://elizabethstephens.org/new-york-times-book-review/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:39:49 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=897 I was invited to write a book review for the Sunday New York Times. They also are going to profile me as a reviewer. I’m so excited, as I’m a big fan of the NYT.

Jul 3Event time: all day
Location: New York Times New York, NY
Map: Show in Google map
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Dirty Sexecology—25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-sexecology%e2%80%9425-ways-to-make-love-to-the-earth/ http://elizabethstephens.org/dirty-sexecology%e2%80%9425-ways-to-make-love-to-the-earth/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:36:35 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=895 We’ll be doing our theater piece, one night only. Joining us will be Diana Pornoterrorista! She is so cool. Pina Bausch room, Mercat de les Flors, 9p.m. Tickets on sale soon! www.ecosex-barcelona.org

Jul 1Event time: all day
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Silver Wedding to the Rocks http://elizabethstephens.org/silver-wedding-to-the-rocks/ http://elizabethstephens.org/silver-wedding-to-the-rocks/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:35:20 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=894 Pati de les Dones, CCCB, from 7p.m. to 9p.m. Free entrance. Full Details: www.ecosex-barcelona.org

Jun 29Event time: all day
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Residency at the Hangar http://elizabethstephens.org/residency-at-the-hangar/ http://elizabethstephens.org/residency-at-the-hangar/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:34:00 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=893 Beth and I will work on various art projects and learn better Spanish.

Jun 29 – Jul 17
Event time: all day
Location: The Hangar Barcelona Spain
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex Symposium http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-symposium/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-symposium/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:31:36 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=892 Join us for this really exciting, historical event. Art, meets theory, meets practice, meets activism. Produced by Beth and I. We are changing the metaphore from Earth as Mother to Earth as Lover to make the environmental movement a little more sexy, fun and diverse. We’ll have 25 presenters. http://www.elizabethstephens.org/

Jun 18 – Jun 20
Event time: all day
Location: The Center for Sex and Culture San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex Manifesto Exhibit http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-manifesto-exhibit/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-manifesto-exhibit/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:29:35 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=891 Center for Sex & Culture
Beth and I will have a whole bunch of new art works, videos, installations, and a new manifesto. Produced with Femina Potens Gallery. http://www.elizabethstephens.org/

Jun 17Event time: all day
Location: San Francisco, CA
Map: Show in Google map
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March on Blair Mountain http://elizabethstephens.org/march-on-blair-mountain/ http://elizabethstephens.org/march-on-blair-mountain/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:27:42 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=890 Beth and I will go to West Virginia to march 12 miles to protest mountain top removal coal mining distruction in the Appalachian mountains. We married these mountains and vowed to help to protect them. So here we go! http://marchonblairmountain.org/

Jun 8 – Jun 12
Event time: all day
Location: Blair Mountain West Virginia
Map: Show in Google map
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Ecosex for Whores http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-for-whores/ http://elizabethstephens.org/ecosex-for-whores/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 10:25:33 +0000 http://anniesprinkle.org/?p=889