Trailer with lettering: BAH DAH

Tag: NC

08/24/09 Saturday’s Group Stitching Mantra / Greensboro, NC

Group Stitching Mantra

Twenty-five women contributed to the first Group Stitching Mantra at the Weatherspoon Art Museum on August 22, 2009. Each person voiced one word or sound of their mantra every time their needle pierced the cloth of their embroidery hoops. Everyone seemed to enjoy stitching and connecting to their voice in community. People were energized by the experience.

When I listen to this recording I hear the group’s desire to harmonize and become one.

At the beginning all voices are in the person role except for the leader’s refrain HELLO – FRIENDS – HELLO, which opens in a member role voice.

Halfway through the recording many more voices can be heard shifting into membership role. Their words become more distinct and take on more authority. These voices seem to lead the harmony as others join with them.

I also hear a few voices punctuating the harmony with difference, but the difference is never fully joined to the point where chaos takes hold.

Two-thirds through the recording you can hear a climax (literally!) as the harmonizers seek to respond to a single voice that stands outside their group. The harmonizing energy rises to meet the difference and in this way the difference becomes integrated into the harmony as call and response. Afterwards the harmonizing continues, but on a slightly different path.

There are many voices that remain in person role, spoken quietly and never clearly enough to be heard. These voices blend to create an indistinct but pervasive white noise in the background. These person role voices only shift to member role as other members become silent. Another way to say this is that the member role is thrust onto them as more and more voices fall silent.

This particular Group Stitching Mantra ends with one such voice, barely audible, repeating the refrain LOVE – LOVE – LOVE, joined only with the breath of another member, as the rest of the group listens.

Finally I wonder if the session had gone longer, would there have been an uprising? What would it take, for members bored or frustrated with the pleasant message and comforting wall of tone that prevailed, to express a difference?

08/22/09 STRESS / Durham, NC

08/11/09 FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS / Durham, NC

Trailer with lettering: FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS

Bulgarian folk saying.

08/10/09 DURHAM LOVE YOURSELF / Durham, NC

Trailer with lettering: DURHAM LOVE YOURSELF

07/12/09 HOME AWAY FROM HOME / Durham, NC


06/25/09 STRONG WOMEN ROW TO WIN / Davidson College, NC

Trailer with lettering: STRONG WOMEN ROW TO WIN

06/24/09 AWESOME / Davidson, NC

06/21/09 I AM A MONEY MANTRA / Davidson, NC


Trailer with lettering: THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW

05/10/08 LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE / Davidson, NC

04/15/08 YOU’RE OUT! / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

04/12/08 JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

04/09/08 YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

Trailer with lettering: YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH

03/31/08 EVERY THING IS OKAY / Durham, NC

03/29/08 Graciously Accepting Rejection / Davidson College, Davidson, NC

I was at Davidson College the day after their Friday night NCAA win. It was cold and rainy and a large percentage of the student body was in Detroit but I still managed to get 19 people into the trailer. Their mantras were awesome.

I felt a new sense of integration while interacting with people who were less interested in participating. Graciously accepting rejection eased the experience of discomfort for me and the rejecting audience. Letting go of a personal sense of rejection freed me to encounter the next exchange with fewer defenses.


03/28/08 THE DICTIONARY IS A LIE / Durham, NC


03/22/08 I AM THE MONKEY KING / Durham, NC

Trailer with lettering: I AM THE MONKEY KING

03/19/08 OM BHUR BHUVAS SUVAHA / Durham, NC

Trailer with lettering: OM BHUR BHUVAS SUVAHA

Gayatri Mantra

Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life,
Remover of pain and sorrow,
The Bestower of happiness,
Oh! Creator of the Universe,
May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light,
May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

03/17/08 Cross Country Tour Schedule

March 21, 6 – 9 pm, Scrap Exchange, Third Friday Culture Crawl, Durham, NC

March 28, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Fresh Docs: Work in Progress, Center for Documentary Studies, Durham, NC

March 29, 1 – 5 pm, Davidson College, Art Fest – Student Union, Davidson, NC

March 30, 6 – 7:30 pm, Downtown Charlottesville, VA

April 1, 10 – 2 pm, University of Virginia, Near South Lawn, Charlottesville, VA

April 4, 10 – 2 pm, Bethany College, Benedum Commons, Bethany, WV

April 7, 10 – 2 pm, University of Cincinnati, Student Union, OH

April 11 – 27, Three Walls Gallery, Chicago, IL, Here’s the current schedule of Mantra Trailer appearances in Chicago:

April 18, 11 am – 3 pm, the drive at 401 N Michigan Ave.

April 22, for students only, A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, Wicker Park

April 24, 10 am – Noon, Live radio broadcast – “God Talk” on 89.5 FM

April 26, 10 am – 2 pm, Hyde Park Art Center, Creative Move: Moving Mountains, 5020 S Cornell Ave.

April 28, 10 – 2 pm, Knox College, Student Union, Galesburg, IL

May 2, 5 – 8 pm, Art Students League & Platte Forum, Denver, CO

May 14 – 16, Interrupt! Intervene! Conference on Interventionist Art, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

May 24, Subversive Complicity, The LAB, San Francisco, CA – location & time to be announced

03/16/08 BREATHE / Durham, NC

01/15/08 Mantra Trailer Trailer – you belong here

This is the second in a series of Mantra Trailer Trailers that explore transitional states of being.

For the last few years I’ve set my sight on relocating to the Bay Area. I arrived today in the Berkeley Hills where I’m staying with a friend for a few weeks while getting acclimated to the area. Personally the Mantra Trailer journey is about finding home, uprooting and sending out new shoots. The mantras included in this trailer were recorded by three of my best friends in Durham, NC. I asked them to consider a mantra that addressed their sense of place, neighborhood, home and community.

01/11/08 Summit Coffee / Davidson, NC

me with trailer

My last stop on the winter tour finishes with another warm reception in the college town of Davidson, NC – plus a mention in the local news blog,

Thanks to another truly AWESOME host, my dear friend Buzz and his friends at Summit Coffee.

12/13/07 OH MY GOODNESS / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC

12/10/07 BIJIGABATCHICAJIKA… / Wilkerson Ave, Durham, NC

12/07/07 I’M WALKING IN MY SPIRIT / Wings Community Arts Ctr, Durham, NC

Trailer with lettering: I’M WALKING IN MY SPIRIT

12/04/07 VISA TAKES LIFE / United Church of Chapel Hill, NC