NEWS UPDATES FROM HEADQUARTERS
Monday, November 26, 2001
Here’s the plan: everything changes or it gets thrown out the window and changes when it hits the ground. Let’s change like a swan. Mitsu had a dream of tiny people kept in a box, they wanted to go out into the world, but he was terrified that they would get stepped on. But he couldn’t stop them, one day they escaped and ran thru the lawn towards the world. He chased after them, trying to protect them. Then he saw that as the little people ran, they grew. By the time they were halfway down the block they were the size of ordinary people. While Yuri Ono and I work on the new website you can think about the new way. The new way is this: The Joanie 4 Jackie Chainletter tapes still features every movie received. But. For the next six months I am only receiving movies that fall under one of three categories: 1)Movies made by women over 60. If you are not over 60 but still want to participate, then you should help a woman over sxity make a movie. Who do you know who is over sxity? Yourself? Then it is you I am courting. Your neighbor? Let’s court her together. Your mom? Tell her the good news. Are you wondering how to begin? Ask her this: “If you could make a movie, what would it be about?” 2)Movies made by women under the age of 16. If you are not under 16 but still want to participate, then you should help a woman under 16 make a movie. Are you wondering how to begin? Ask her this: “If you could make a movie, what would it be about?” 3) Movies of people jumping into big piles of cushions. Other categories may be added, depending what happens next in world affairs, so keep checking back. Six years of collecting data through Joanie 4 Jackie has made me the expert I had hoped to become. Today I am finally graduating with my degree in Missing Movies. I can tell you exactly what doesn’t exist and just how much I need it. Badly, quickly, now. The mailing address is the same, all the other rules are the same. The only thing that is changing is you and me. And as we run past the end of the block we become even larger than ordinary people, we become the size of extraordinary people, we become large people, and people with amazing listening powers, and we also are terrifyingly honest . We become the next generation of feminism, yes indeed this is feminism. Your tee shirt is pink, it shows off your belly button and in glittery letters it says: “If you can read this tee shirt then you are close enough to look me in the eyes and tell me something interesting about yourself” and on the back it says: “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl Power”. Here are some questions I’ve frequently asked myself over the last few days: FAQ: Are you serious? Totally. What if I already sent my movie in and I haven’t gotten a Chainletter tape yet? You will be featured on one of the last three old-style Chainletter tapes. I was about to send my my movie and I’m between the ages of 16 and 60 and it doesn’t feature people jumping onto piles of cushions. So I shouldn’t send it now? You can always send your tape to Joanie 4 Jackie, but we are only promising to include the movies that fit the guidelines. What if I, or my new collaborator is 17, or 59? Those ages are acceptable. I will not be asking to see your birth certificate or anything. But remember, I am between the ages of 16 and 60, and I know my own. So this “new way” is only going to last 6 months? The guidlines will change entirely in 6 months, but new categories may be added before then. What if I’m boy? This is your big opportunity to participate in J4J! Just help a woman under 16 or over 60 make a movie. However: she has to send it in and be able to claim co-creator status. J4J has always encouraged women to collaborate, with anyone. When does this new way start? Right now: at 6:01 pm November 25, 2001. All movies received after this date that do not follow the guidelines will not be guaranteed a spot on a Chainletter tape. Even if you innocently sent your movie before you read this! Does this effect the Co-Star series? No. Are the first 11 Chainletter tapes still for sale? Yes, and the new Chainletter tapes will be also. The new ones will still be Chainletter tapes, but I gotta tell you: they are going to have names that don’t include the word “chainletter”. I think i’ve thought up all the names I can with that theme. Who is this Yuri Ono person? Yuri is going to completely re-design and re-structure the J4J website, so that it not only includes the changes described in the last entry, but also the experience of using it will be like a dream of flying. Go to her website to see some of her other projects: http://www.myono.com/ Did you ever find a new apartment? I did, and it was through the help of a reader just like you, except her name was Margaret not whatever your name is. It is exactly what I described wanting, there is even a boy across the way with whooping cough. And rabbits. There is also a nail-salon across the way and Interstate 84! Ok, now I will let you have some time to yourself to think all this through. I am going into the kitchen to make a meal that is baked vegetables. I will call you when it’s done and we can eat it. Don’t sit so near the heater or you will feel even colder when you move away. If you’re cold you should put on a sweater and jump rope, that’ll heat you up. love, Miranda 11/26/2001 01:05:59 AM
Saturday, June 02, 2001
Do other people sit alone on their couches? A couch seems to support the idea of sitting together with others. Sitting alone on a couch is like sitting alone in a row boat or a car. You are moving around with empty seats beside you. You drive the seats all over town, emptied of children you might have, not taking them to daycare. But the couch is even emptier because it moves so slowly. In five years this couch has barely begun it’s journey across the room. It may be headed for the door, or the bathroom, it’s too early to tell. It seems i won’t be arrested for sitting alone on the couch in the middle of the day, a grown woman doing nothing at all. There is this: the sitting, and then there is the flurry of motion, when i am blur, un-catchable and legendary to myself. It is easier to be blurry, to complain, to be strong in the face of constant trials. We all know this, we have been over this lesson a million times. Otherwise we’d all be attending vipassana meditation retreats left and right. But each year the crack deepens, and what you knew before is four times more true today. I was sad, but today i am sadder, I was ready and today i have never been readier. But I am not horny, I am not compelled except by fear and curiosity. And the things that light me up are fleeting, i know i can never have them. I could sleep for years and then wake up to this same day, this same couch and list of 53 things to do. I want another choice, besides doing and not doing. If they can make a third gender why can’t I simply live without creating and without giving up. It is silly i know, to become stuck on this. I would tell myself to bake a cake for a friend, be charitable if you cannot be easily. If I keep writing in this vein I will veer off into something completely un-entertaining.
There are various plans underway, believe me. I have not completely forsaken Joanie and Jackie for Miranda miranda miranda. It is only that I made a pledge to myself that the project would become whatever I needed most. That is beauty of doing something out of goodwill, you have no reason to fake it. And by now I know that it always comes back to us. I always think of new ways for us to want each other. The summer has a calming effect, it is all the children being released from school. You don’t need to be a new-ager to guess that there is less collective suffering in the months when they can run around and fall down more.
NEW WET LEAVES ON AN OLD HOT TREE (what she thinks about on the couch):
Things in the works: Joanie 4 Jackie Grants for Chainletter Artists How to Know Who is Screening Your Movie (so that you can add them to your prayers) Letters Section The Ability to Search for a Movie/Artist/Genre The Nobody Tape The Links Page Joanie 4 Jackie-style Distribution in Europe: with your host Emma Hedditch
Can you help? If you can:
Several women are working on a large, complex links page for Joanie. But we do need your help because we don’t know everything. Tell us what sites are most useful and exciting to you; they can be in any area: movie-making how-to, festivals, personal web-diarys, stores, web-art, grant resources, good design, historical information, gets you off, etc.
An amazing nameless woman donated two computers to Joanie 4 Jackie. Before I had even gotten them out of their boxes they were stolen from my studio. The robbers left a flashlight but no note. I guess robbers generally do not leave notes, the message is all in the act. I had big plans for those computers, a whole lot of computing was going to happen. Now I just sit at empty desks and turn the flashlight on and off, trying to signal you. Flash me back, tell me that you have an old computer that you don’t need, i can be tax-deductible when i want to be — and i have new locks and renters insurance. Please tell me that it will all be ok.
Also, not to totally depress you further ( I am actually in fine spirits) but the mice, cockroaches, noise and pollution are driving me out of my apartment. I’ve lived here since 1996 and it is the best apartment in the world. I know it doesn’t sound like it — but I became a woman in here. Anyways, I need some place clean and quiet, solo, under $500 and in Portland. I imagine a small cottage, flower trellis, a bunny hops by, the neighbors wave and I say ‘does little Jeremiah still have the whooping cough?’ and they say ‘Yes!’ and I say ‘that’s too bad, at least i can’t hear it because I’m way over here’.
Amazingly, as I was writing this, the old guy in the apartment next door started yelling to the shop below us to ‘Stop spraying that metal under my window, the fumes come right into my home, you are killing us! Stop! Now!’ I opened my window and chimed in, ‘they are killing me too!’ and i said something unclear about the environmental protection agency. We begged him to move the sprayer down the street. I think he moved it because the old guy just yelled thank you. But I still need to move, so please give me advice and leads.
In closing I would like to tell you that Nest of Tens, a movie I made, is now available for you to have. I am selling it here and in the little store in my new website, www.mirandajuly.com. Much thanks to Mitsu, Sue and David for this baby my.
Let’s meet more regularly in the future, Miranda 6/2/2001 04:16:02 AM
Friday, March 16, 2001
I said the wrong thing to the woman at British customs (“I am a professional artist”) and we had to wait an eternity beside two men from Togo. The Togo men spoke no english and wore colorful hats and mirrored sunglasses. They were completely cool and each time she asked: Do you have any friends or family in London? Do you have any money? Why are you here? they just stared and reflected her face back with an enormous nose. Somehow this worked and they got a 24 hour visa. Half an hour later we were also released, and just as I stepped onto the down escalator I saw one of the Togo passports on the ground. I recognized it immediately. I should have grabbed it but it was too late. I found the men below, ripping apart their bags in a desperate search, finally very worried. I pulled one of them back to the escalator. I pointed wildly, but there was no up escalator. I yelled to each person coming down: pick it up please! But we were a suspect pair, surely part of a larger sting operation revolving around them: the european traveler. And they were so proud to be smarter than that. They would NOT pick up the “passport” and thereby save england from germ warfare. Suddenly the man from Togo bolted up the down escalator. At first, horribly, he was not fast enough. He ran in place, cartoon-style. Then gradually his slowness became fast enough, and he made his way to the top.
After all these years they decided that I have to go back to high school. All the same kids are still there, the cool kids are still cool, but they’re microscopic. I am clumsy and gigantic: I am out of touch.
I travel around the world and the oranges I left in the fridge are still there 7 weeks later. The weekly papers are still ironic and post-ironic and very anxious. I feel like I’m wearing earplugs, I’ve lost a sense, it is that of belonging. I walk downtown with my same old legs. I see a man who is missing an arm at the ATM. In the next block there is a man missing a leg. This is all common. Many get hit. I am waiting to cross the street and next to me there is a homeless woman mooning the traffic, she is screaming, Look at my ass.
I want to fuck the whole world underneath the AIDS quilt, hugs across America, saving the dolphins and swimming with them too.
My car is where I left it in January but the tires are flat. I live next door to a gas station/mechanic so it is allright. It’s called Jay’s and Jay is there every day. He’s talking to a man with one glass eye, and the man says talk to her, she’s much cuter than me. I tell Jay I went to europe to perform and he says he’s really proud of me. He says that if he ever made a movie he wouldn’t wait to be discovered, he would show it right there: and he points to the side of my apartment building. He says he would make a 25 minute movie every week and show it on the wall every Saturday. I comment that it sure is a busy intersection, and he says that it’s the center of the universe. The projector could sit right here next to the gas pumps. And how could my landlord complain, it’s only light. The sun doesn’t pay either.
There’s so many things to do and at the top of the list it says do nothing. Never unpack and never call anyone back. It is so much easier to feel strange than to grind again. But even if I do nothing, it will begin anyways. I will become interested, I will want to join arms, I will get lonely, I will have desire, I will light the candle in my window and then light five more to draw attention to the one. And some sunny day I will decide that that the green sweater I bought at the charity shop london is not the only thing that suits me. Until then I wear the sweater. I lie on the couch. I stare at the enormous amount of cockroach shit in the kitchen, but I do not clean it up. I wait to grow the new thing that will carry me forward. 3/16/2001 05:52:11 PM
Sunday, February 04, 2001
Between you and your Dutch bed there is the reverse pull of magnets, the 7-hour push that will not let you touch the sheets. You must hover above, waiting until it is bedtime in Portland Oregon. Then, at 9am, in the cultural capital of Europe, the bed inhales. You are sucked down in a single heavy motion and the pregnancy of the blankets begins. In the first 50 minutes you have formed a tiny spine, but no eyes, no limbic system, no name.
Then something calls Miranda, and skinless I am sent into the world by someone horrible named Miranda, some ambitious dentist who insists on cleaning my teeth, though I wasn’t given a chance to grow teeth; applying make-up to the places where my face should be. It remains attached to the pillow and as I move around Rotterdam I stretch the face into an ever-thinner ribbon. It is woven between the Schouwburg, Pathe, De Doelen and in order to sleep I must wind up my face; I must lay down and trace the ribbon all over the city square. And when it is piled in my arms again I wrap it around a tennis-ball, to make it round at least, something like the other faces I see.
I ask the knotted ball to tell me again about Ghandi and the starvation artists. Tell me how all the amazing things in history have been done by The Tired. Give me nobility, or else I am just a child who never gets tired of Legos. What else can I build from this kit of 100 colored pieces? Surely I have thought every combination of thoughts. Oh but no. Once all the real things have been built — the space station and the hut – grotesque new arenas of Awake are revealed. Hours spent only fearing. A wretched fear like a howl, sobbing at the sloppy shoes of America: Take me back, oh take me back. No you will not go back. You will eat cheese and stay. You are on the sleep-over that never ends and you may call your parents, but when they answer you will be mute: Please come get me now. Please drive to Rotterdam in the old yellow Maverick and please buckle me in with my pee-soaked Snoopy sleeping back that says Security is having friends spend the night. But too much Mission Impossible has prevented me from understanding this and I believe that Charlie Brown is a security guard and he is having friends sleep over. Perhaps he needs them to help guard the Ambassador until after the coup. It is hard to tell from the pictures, though Lucy is clearly mad about having been passed over when Jim chose the Impossible Mission Team. I was chosen though, and I will survive. There is a dot of blood red inside me, slept or not, and it is love. It cares not whether I am awake or asleep, or mentally impaired. It will come forth no matter the vessel. It will bloom before the other still beating loves. It will spell the secret name of every man, woman and child in Rotterdam. I give you myself, I give you my tiredness, my only arms, my only face, the one that I am, it is for you.
Miranda July 2/4/2001 03:44:09 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2001
My Friends, (a salutation and also the title of a great book by Emmanuel Bove) The age-old problem of being one woman instead of four women, or all women. If I was 2 or more women then surely my plans for Joanie 4 Jackie would be outside of my diary by now. But instead I am one woman about to go to on a six week European tour. So please excuse my little lapses, it is for love of many things. And I invite you to come see us (Zac Love and me) perform The Swan Tool in Rotterdam, Vienna, and London. I tried to soothe my parents by telling them what my boyfriend told me:that Europe is not the moon, and that if they could even visit me — in theory. But my dad said that he liked to think of Europe as the moon, that it felt more special that way. And now I lower the glass bubble over my head. And now I step into the rocket. The David Bowie song called “Major Tom” is playing. 3-2-1: women’s dresses pressed against their legs from the explosion. Away, Miranda July
She looks up and sees us. She waves and we wave. None of us has hair under our arms. We wave until we are close enough to say hi and then we say hi. Now we are close enough to hug, but we don’t. She says come in and inside is dark with no children. It is terrible to have to ask for anything ever. We wish were something that needs nothing, like paint. But even paint needs repainting. We are sitting on a couch and she is standing behind us, she rubs her hand through my hair and I can feel her fingernails. I say to myself that long nails equals wealth. The idea of wealth always calms me down. I pretend I smell perfume. What if we all used expensive shampoo.What if we were kidding all the time and cared about nothing. My head relaxes and I do the exercise where you imagine you are turning into honey. 1/21/2001 10:01:20 PM
Tuesday, December 05, 2000
We have brand-new swan faces, feathery white faces and fantastic beady eyes. That is how often we practice The Swan Tool. It is video, helium, Zac and me. It is is the effort of my year 2000 and it’s nearly done. In January we will spread wing and fall towards Holland, premiere The Swan Tool, and then off to London. In London we will edit a new video at the Lux Centre, something we laced together in our sleep called: Getting Stronger Every Day. (A new video comissioned by Lux for The Pandemonium Festival). If you are a Londoner then now is the time to outstreach your hand to your American cousin. She’s not as hip as you, but she wants to bring Joanie 4 Jackie directly into your large mind. Please email me and invite me to your university or high school in February. If all goes well I will fly home with armfuls of videos made by London ladies and the PAL/NTSC video war will be over. In the meantime, doors are slung over crates, desks are born and Joanie 4 Jackie emerges as an Organization. Oh yes, we have a copy machine! We have areas! I am learning how to delegate tasks and Aimee and Sarah are patient as I sort through my bucket of hats and gestures. Sarah suggests a Palm Pilot but I just want some new socks from Target. They have never met, but Aimee and Sarah together have made 2001:A Chainletter, and it will be released this month. Just between us, I think this may be the best Chainletter tape ever, and you know I never say things like that because I love everyone equally, but check it out man. We suggest a “2001” and “Some Kind of Loving”, wrapped in paper printed with your own lipstick-kiss repeated pattern. This is especially perfect for little sisters (like myself. Some little sisters, like my mom, are 53.)
Give a me the girl until she is seventeen and I’ll give you a woman,
Miranda July 12/5/2000 04:41:49 PM
Monday, October 30, 2000
Every 17 days I have to tip me over and let it all run into my head. I’m made out of sand and glass and sand is glass. So I am made out of one thing born at two temperatures. I measure time with my body and every 17 days I stay in bed all day long. I’m a living, breathing hourglass; I read The Oregonian and stare into space and call my mother. She sends her love. I tell her about Astria and Some Kind of Loving and The Swan Tool and she says you’re so good with metaphors honey.
It was a mad scramble to produce Some Kind of Loving in time for our tour. At the last moment Allied Vaughn refused to make the compilation because of naked bodies. They decided it wasn’t art and the sensitivity of their workers must be protected. The new duplicator was abusive to his wife and his wife was broken shards of insanity and somewhere in the background I heard children and thought oh no. But I stared at the 5 on the clock and thought: dear lord I am fucking unstoppable, you can’t fool me with hell on earth, I believe in the diorama I build with my own two hands.
And lo! It is lovely tape! We threw fifty into a bag and left for tour; streamers flying from our straw hats and the ocean curling behind us. Zac and I met up with Astria in Austin and then the three of swooped around the northwest, showing movies and performing. Astria wore her hair in a pony tail or sometimes down on her shoulders. Zac pretended he was shaving. I tried to fluff up my hair with my fingers, but staring out the window pulled everything down. At the Canadian border I did the talking: We are rehearsing a play in Vancouver for no money, we come with many gifts to give out for free! The officer asks why Canadians can’t be in the play instead of us; she pretends to examine The Swan Tool script and looks from the script to my driver’s license and back again. What she knows for sure is that I am a professional liar. But I will never amount to anything, so she let’s us go. We are ecstatic and plan to emigrate as soon as possible.
On the seventh of November we will leave go to California for the second half of the Some Kind of Loving Tour. We understand if you choose not to live in California, the traffic, the midriffs, the riffs. But please do your neighborhood a favor by projecting Some Kind of Loving on the side of your house. It is time for the whole block to come together and acknowledge that sex is invented in the amateur laboratories of every person’s bedroom. The tape is curated by Astria Suparak and features work by Peggy Ahwesh, Jennifer Reeder, Stephanie Barber, Jane Gang, and Karen Yasinsky. And even The New York Press says Astria screenings are, “…spun with a superlative curatorial taste that combined a savvy political consciousness and sexy indie-rock-style showmanship without ever losing crucial nerd cred.” The official release date for the tape is next month, but you can buy it here starting right now.
My plan for the rest of the evening involves grocery shopping, lying on the floor, sorting the laundry into lights and darks, taking a walk, and reading about Robert Gober.
vote swap, Miranda July 10/30/2000 05:38:58 PM
Wednesday, September 27, 2000
When everything destroyed, every secret fear has turned real, and the person you are has been damned by the people you love the most. When you realize that the happiness you thought would one day come, has already come and you missed it forever. When your mind is just a frenzied loop of exhaustion and you can not call your friends because you don’t know why but you can’t. When your feeling of pain and guilt is so tremendous that your body is making bruises from the inside.
When this is happening.
When this is the moment and it will not end.
When THERE IS NO WAY OUT.
You have nothing and so you put CD on the player and you turn it up and it is people singing from another time and place and you are in your room and you are dancing harder and harder and harder because this all there is. This body and this song. arms, legs, jeans, shirt, hair shaking to drums, guitar, microphone into the air, real like snow. I can’t fix anything, but if i dance hard enough I can remember that life can start again anywhere. You’ve lost everything? Fuck man I’m sorry to hear that. On wednesday afternoon while the people are at work, the girl dance to rock and roll and no shit saved but someday she’ll be ok.
Some Kind of Loving video tape coming your way! Will design video box tonite! Swan Tool performance lumbers forward! Just gotta ask grumpy man for speakers for practice space! And convince woman to composite video like she said she would! Losta great things in future! No empty promises here! Writing grants left and right! Heart hooked up to mechanical loom, building warm blankets for winter! m impressed by the perseverance and genius of others!incredible writers and singers! men sawing the concrete outside my window all day long! if you can I can too.
needing diaper applied by gentle hands, Miranda July 9/27/2000 04:56:10 PM
Monday, September 25, 2000
oh 9/25/2000 10:06:43 PM
WELCOME TO THE BIG MISS MOVIOLA WEBSITE:
Are you at your job? At school? At your family computer maybe. And you are looking for yourself on the Internet, for anything that reminds you of you. It’s like checking your email: has the web come up with any more evidence for life on earth yet? Has anyone written me? Do I exist today or am I just all memories and dreams for the future. YOU ARE REALLY HERE AND I CAN PROVE IT.
Big Miss Moviola is the girl’s place for evidence of everything she’s seen, and proof of more. You should look around this new website because it’s all for you. I am one girl in Portland Oregon who has compiled all of these documents, girl’s movies, so that I can wake up in the morning and feel like Earth is this place that has to do with me and you. The real you, the woman that is stranger and cooler and smarter and sexier and sadder and more caring than any woman on TV, and you are even a little better than you pretend to be because no one’s ever demanding your best. I mean com’on, you think anyone’s going to notice if you don’t live up to your own high standards?
BIG MISS MOVIOLA WILL NOTICE. HER JOB IS TO NOTICE WHAT IS MISSING. SHE ONLY SEES THE GHOSTS OF ALL THE GIRL’S MOVIES THAT WERE NEVER MADE BECAUSE NO ONE DEMANDED THEM. This is the place where you and I demand to see the missing movies. Life on Earth is funner when you’re not waiting around to win the lottery or fall in love or die, because you’re too busy telling the story that only you can tell.
A tremendous and heartfelt thank you goes to Mitsu and Sue for making this site for us.
Welcome to the Big Miss Moviola Website. See you soon,
Miranda July 1/30/2000 7:30pm
WINTER AND SPRING SHOWS 2001
THE SWAN TOOL a new multi-media performance by Miranda July, with music by Zac Love will be premiering in Rotterdam, Vienna, and London this winter/spring. The work was co-commissioned by Rotterdamse Schouwburg in collaboration with The International Film Festival Rotterdam and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. The details are described below, along with the U.S. premiere date and more information about The Swan Tool. We hope to see you soon!
Friday March 2 (London, United Kingdom) 8pm. Lux Centre’s Biennial Festival: Pandaemonium presents The Swan Tool in collaboration with The Institute of Contemporary Art at at the Institute of Contemporary Art.
*World Premiere* Sunday March 4 (London, United Kingdom) 8-10pm. Getting Stronger Every Day, a new video by Miranda July, commissioned by for Pandaemonium 2001. Followed by a talk with the artist. and: preview a selection of works from Joanie 4 Jackie’s Co-Star Tape #3: Some Kind of Loving, curated by Astria Suparak, also at Pandaemonium 2001.
Thursday March 8 (Utrecht, The Netherlands) 8pm. The Swan Tool at the Filmtheater ‘t Hoogt, Hoogt 4, Utrecht. 13 Dutch guilders.
*U.S. Premiere* Friday March 23 and Saturday March 24 (Portland, OR) 8pm both nights. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art presents The Swan Tool at the Scottish Rite Center, 709 SW 15th Avenue.