Domme in Daily Life: 30 Days of Dominance

Day 2 – Describe what you are looking for in a submissive and the techniques you might use to instill those characteristics in your submissive. Are you exclusively Dominant in marriage or just in the bedroom? Are you Dominant only in the context of a scene or in a role or throughout your daily life? Are you Dominant to play partners or only in the context of a relationship?

The reality artist using makeup to fight the patriarchy

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Signe PiercePhotography Marina Fini

A regular on the art scenes of New York and LA, Signe Pierce is calling bullshit on ‘empowering feminist’ advertising and the way products are sold to fuel our sense of self-worth. Through a combination of performance art, installation and photo prints, Pierce is creating accessible, intersectional feminist art in a world where companies cashing in on female empowerment is a pervasive and problematic normality. Fascinated by the American landscape of abandoned shopping malls and the cultural shift of more and more of us living life largely online, Pierce’s work deals with ideas of capitalism and identity through a dreamy, flashing-neon lens.

Despite her expressing a distaste for “pretentious” and sterile art fairs, Art Basel has played a significant role in Pierce’s career. It was at the festival two years ago that her now-viral short American Reflexxx premiered. A collaboration between Pierce and Alli Coates, the short saw her descend on South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach in a blue mini-dress, stripper heels and a reflective mirror mask. Without ruining the hard-to-watch video for those yet to see it, the 14-minute short sees Pierce subjected to misogyny, transphobia and physical aggression. Since its internet debut earlier this year, the video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times on YouTube, picked up by international news outlets,  and used by teachers to educate students on LGBTQ rights. And while it may have been the internet, not the Art Basel premiere, that catapulted the short film to popularity, Pierce still decided to debut two new works at the fair this year. Following on from her recent performances, we speak to the cyberfeminist about life after American Reflexxx, art-industry snobbery and the importance of keeping it sleazy.

During Art Basel this year you performed a ‘make-up tutorial’, ‘U R Wut U Eat’, at an abandoned pharmacy. How did this performance come about?

The Pharmacy was an hour-long performance curated by Otionfront Studios, which is a collective of performance artists who run a studio out of Bushwick, Brooklyn. In my opinion, they are staging some of the most interesting experimental performance pieces in New York right now, with performance art duo FlucT (Monica Mirabile and Sigrid Lauren) serving as the founders and lead curators. The event featured a fusion of works by performance group BUOY (Bailey Nolan, Viva Soudan and Ellen Robin Rosenberg), Richard Kennedy, a collaboration between India Menuez, Alexandra Marzella and Claire Christerson, Otionfront (Mirabile, Lauren, Kathleen Dycaico, Gina Chiappetta and Sarah Kinlaw), and myself.

What made you want to experiment with make-up in your work?

I’ve been toying with make-up tutorials-as-art performances for a year or so, and for ‘U R Wut U Eat’ I used materials that you would typically ingest in order to bring ‘the beauty that’s on the inside, out.’  

The overarching theme of this particular performance was using typical pharmacy remedies to help you get through the nauseating expectations of the patriarchy. ‘Rub Muscle Milk on your face to help tighten your face muscles for when men inevitably tell you to ‘Smile!’’, ‘Use Adderall for a pop of colour on your eyelids to give you energy while working twice as hard to earn less than your male co-workers,’ ‘Drink your own blood for those classic Taylor Swift red lips that never go out of style.’ There’s a comedic slant to the monologues, I want them to be funny and irreverent as I’m slathering toothpaste and Adderall all over my face, but the overarching message is political. It’s a deconstruction of the pressures and outside forces that consume women within their own identities. I’m also going to be filming a series of these make-up tutorials to be released as an interactive show in 2016. 

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U R Wut U Eat- Signe PierceU R Wut U Eat Photography Walter Wlodarczyk

During the art fair you also took part in a group immersive installation called ‘Motelscape’, which seemed much more of a polished experience than ,U R Wut U Eat’ yet still nowhere near the traditional gallery context by any means. How did you get involved with ‘Motelscape’ and what was involved in the installation?

‘Motelscape’ is the lovechild of me and my two friends/collaborators Marina Fini and Sierra Grace. We’ve been working on the concept of doing an immersive installation inside of a motel for months. Marina lives in LA and is a plexiglass furniture and jewellery designer, as well as a being a dope photographer and stylist, and Sierra lives in Miami and is one of my favorite photographers and artists. We’re all very inspired by one another, and the worlds that we capture in our individual works, so a love motel seemed like the perfect setting to exhibit collectively.

Sierra scouted around some various motels and the Miami Princess Hotel ended up being this perfect, 80s sleaze haven. We chose the love suite, which featured a heart-shaped bed, jacuzzi and a stripper pole, and infused it with our love of lush, colourful lighting and interior decoration. We chose to exhibit our photos by printing them on towels, pillowcases, and lenticulars, and collaborated with light artist Sydney Krause to create custom neon and LED pieces. We also worked with LA by way of Kansas City fashion designer, Peggy Noland, to make a shower curtain collage from our Tumblr feeds. Marina debuted a custom line of plexiglass furniture and installed a holographic floor, and we worked together to curate the lighting design to exude a specific glow that’s reflective of our photo and video work. We wanted it to be an escape from the pretentious art fairs that consume South Beach, and to inject some colour, vibrance and guerilla technique into the Art Basel experience.  

We also produced an accompanying zine, which we thought would be a cool, accessible way of compiling our photo work and giving people an idea of our individual styles, as well as exposing our work to new audiences.

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MotelscapeMotelscape Photography Marina Fini

“The word ‘feminism’ can often feel binary, but I think that the cyberfeminist movement is interested in eliminating these binaries by advocating a concept of expanding identities beyond the limits of our bodies and/or assigned genitalia to be something more than human”– Signe Pierce

American Reflexxx, a film created by you and Alli Coates, received an amazing response earlier this year. How did it feel to move forward as an artist after the media attention the short attracted?

It was thrilling to get that piece out there into the world after sitting on it for quite some time. We had been screening it at art fairs and festivals for most of 2014 so we halted on immediately uploading it to YouTube. The feedback has been so incredibly positive and overwhelming. It’s exciting as an artist to watch your work touch people on such a human level. I loved that millions of people were exposed to an art film and that we didn’t need some kiss of approval from the art world to make it happen. Art should be accessible to everyone, not just multi-millionaire collectors and dealers.  

Your work seem to be focussed around themes of digital living, feminism and queer identity. Do you feel like these are themes that are taken seriously at big art fairs such as Art Basel?

I don’t know that they’re necessarily taken seriously at the art fairs, because it seems to me that those fairs thrive on a more facile, money-driven agenda. That’s not to say there isn’t great work at the art fairs, there absolutely is. But I personally don’t attend art fairs in search of an authentic artistic revelation. I think the money side of the art world is pretty antithetical to the reasons that a lot of artists create work in the first place, which is such a bizarre paradox. But even though the bloated, excessive spectacle of Art Basel can often be eye-roll-inducing, I think it’s important to stage these gallery pop-ups and performances to remind people that not all art has to be attached to a five figure price tag or staged in a big white tent to make it good or worth seeing. The best and most provocative art usually isn’t.

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MotelscapeMotelscape Photography Marina Fini

The concept of cyberfeminism is one that has recently seen a surge in popularity. As someone who identifies with the movement, what does cyberfeminism mean to you?

It’s interesting the way that word/concept has been experiencing such a strong resurgence in the past year or two, because it’s been around since the 80s and has experienced many thought waves. For me it is a continuation of ideas from the women who pioneered these concepts before the internet became what it is today. Women like Donna Haraway (author of A Cyborg Manifesto) and VNS Matrix (who penned A Cyberfeminist Manifesto), who were writing about the burgeoning digital evolution as being instrumental for women to reclaim their bodies, minds and identities through technology, which is happening very actively in 2015.

I will stress that it’s important to me, that I want our political ideals and agendas to not be limited to the notions of just those who identify as ‘female’ – the spectrum is too limitless for that. The word ‘feminism’ can often feel somewhat binary, but I think that the cyberfeminist movement is interested in eliminating these binaries by advocating a concept of expanding identities beyond the limits of our bodies and/or assigned genitalia to be something more than human. I think that women who live their lives presentationally on the internet are doing a lot for the movement, whether or not they identify as ‘cyberfeminist’ is up to them. Off the top of my head, I personally am inspired by the works of Molly Soda, Juliana Huxtable, May Waver, Alexandra Marzella, and Vasilisa Forbes in terms of reclaiming a space online to be open advocates for the ways that our bodies and identities are consumed and perceived.

What else did you check out during the week at Art Basel?

I was so busy working on the installation and performance that I didn’t have a chance to see as much as I wanted to. I saw Sophie DJ on Thursday night which was cool, I love what they’re doing by fusing music with conceptual/visual art. I saw Vector Gallery’s installation at the Satellite Art Fair, which I loved. And I checked out the Scope Art Fair, which had some good stuff and also some awful stuff.  

I know this may sound cliche, but I find the things we see in day-to-day life to be just as artful as something that was explicitly created with artistic intention. Art imitates life. I saw a Barbie Jeep floating in a parking lot in Little Havana when I was walking with Marina on Friday, and it made me feel more than anything else that I saw walking through the hotels and art fairs. I took a photo of it and dubbed it ‘Drowning Barbie Jeep’, dedicated to Marcel Duchamp. Driving around the Florida suburbs and seeing the reality of life outside of the bougie art fairs was also a highlight of the trip, both in terms of leisure and in terms of seeing interesting art. I plan on returning there in the next year or two to do some extended documentation about that world.

Keep up with Signe Pierce here

Another Social Media Thing

I’ve been using Scoop.it for awhile. This is my second account. I used to have more topics, but when I started my second account (again, not keeping two accounts), there were even more limits on free accounts. Now it isn’t even working that well. At this point I’m probably doing more for their traffic than they do for mine. Not that I’m getting huge traffic and not that they particularly gear the site for sexual or adult topics either. Is it worth keeping?

I do like having a place to post links, beyond this site where I can’t just post the link and leave it. I like posting links for people to find and read more if they have an interest. But, if it’s on my site I have to add some kind of commentary, grab an image (usually) and add the link to the source. One of the things I like about using Scoop.it is the software which does that for me.

Also, I like using the search to see what else is suggested for my topic. I can’t find something like that which I can run myself, self-hosted especially. I would prefer not to use a web service, they can disappear or change without notice or approval.

So, staying with Scoop.it in particular is becoming less ideal for me. I could get a business (premium) account but… that makes so little practical sense considering my budget of zilch.

One other feature of Scoop.it is auto posting to social media. I’ve never been a complete fan of that. But, I don’t mind it so much since it only posts once and I forget to do it myself.

I will watch for an alternative but, I wonder if life would be simpler without it. Do I use it mainly for myself and the idea of generating traffic or do I really like sharing links this way? Would it be just as simple to create a feed of links in my own sidebar here and auto share posts with a plugin? I would miss the suggested content but, the reason I started writing this was the break down in that feature. It used to be much better. Possibly, they (Scoop.it) has limited that more than before as well. Tonight, it was especially not useful, and hasn’t been for several weeks.

So… more choices and more changes.

The Writer from 2001

Thank you Wayback Machine. I found one saved link from an old site I had at Tripod. Worked a couple of hours to find old Blogger sites but, no luck so far. Well, I found one but not the one I was hoping for. Likely written soon after this site, 2001 some time. Blogger makes it pretty easy to find an old account but, you still need to have the email you were using at the time. They send a verification code to you there. But, my old email addresses are as old/ older than the site I hope to find. I tried to recover them but two of them are ISPs not in business for about 10 years. The other was at Excite.com, now Lycos and I could not find anything about recovering old accounts. Likely they are not kept that long. Google/ Blogger seems to be the only social network which does care about history. I won’t forget that Google took up the old newsgroups and still has them saved from the very early days of the Internet.

I may repost these old posts in order by date. Nice to see them pop up in the right place and remember how long I’ve been doing this.

The Writer
Writing and publishing online and still putting in time on my regularly scheduled life.
The current mood of Laura at www.imood.comI was born in the Year of the Dragon, more than a few years ago. 2000 was another year of the Dragon, in December I married Todd, moved to the US and became an expatriate. Spirit of the NightI work as a freelance writer online and in print. My favourite colour is deep, dark red. When I’m having a bad day going outdoors always makes me feel better. I’m reading the same book I started 6 months ago: Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. I’m not especially musically inclined, I can turn on the radio and be happy leaving it in the background. Spirit of the Night

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Wednesday, October 03, 2001

“One who says it can not be done, should not interrupt one doing it.” Chinese proverb.

Found some ornament making projects on a felt makers site. I really like to make Christmas ornaments.
Saturday, September 08, 2001
I’m still here in Ontario, Canada. Or back here. I went to Montreal for the MosaicCulture plant sculpture show. We also saw the botannical gardens. My favourites were the Canadian exhibits, although the Chinese dragons were great to see. I took pictures, as many as I could with the disposable camera. Its such a shame I forgot mine back in Illinois.
Friday, August 24, 2001
The Ex was good. Not as great as when I was a kid going down there with my brother and sisters. So much is commercial now and very little free stuff for kids or adults. I bought some things for the husband back in Illinois. Its his money so he should get something from it. 🙂 I bought a couple of small things for myself and a lovely angel/ fairy for the Christmas tree.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Its been awhile since I last wrote. I’m typing from my parent’s home in Toronto, Canada now. I’m here to get the dead zone computer fixed. IBM is still finding ways to do nothing.
Anyway, tonight I read a quote I liked from Evhead’s blog”To be an artist is a personality/ attitude/ spirit – not an occupation.” Evhead.I’m writing for BackWash now, 2 or 3 journal entries a week so far. I’m going to start a second one for BackWash Kids. The ASCII Art column for WZ.com isn’t going anywhere soon. They seem to be too busy to approve new entries. Todd has been waiting a long time for his to get off the ground. I write to the editor and get things done but its a very slow proces. Makes the prospects slim for promoting it. How can you go wild promoting something that isn’t there yet. Just the opposite of HerPlanet where its only because of me that the site isn’t already up and active. I’m looking forward to having that one (HerCorner) going. There is so much I can do with it and so many web writers I can help get the confidence to start.

Anyway, I think this will be it for now. I want to get to sleep for all that walking at The Ex tomorrow.

Thursday, August 02, 2001
Found a weblog I like today, Poundy. She even lives somewhere in the midwest. I’m sticking the URL here so I won’t forget where I found the site. Doesn’t look like anyone is actually reading this blog. It doesn’t matter a lot. But it would be nice to have my moment of fame. lol
Talked to my Mom this morning. Graham, my brother, is on his way down here from Toronto. He is going to stay awhile, be here for Todd’s birthday this weekend and then I will go back with him and get my money back for the dead computer. I think that is the best way to do things, still not sure entirely. But if I get the money back there will hopefully be enough to buy another new computer here on the US side of the border this time. I went to look at a couple of sites. Gateway seems the best way to go, too bad the closest store is about a hundred miles away in St Louis. Maybe Todd would consider making a trip of it. Though it might mean waiting as long as my birthday, Christmas and wedding anniversary in December. Still, if I can access the net and my HerPlanet site using Todd’s computer that won’t be too bad. Of course its a pain not having my own computer. I fee like an online transient.Suite 101 is having a really great event now. I think they could have done better in picking links but that they did it at all is pretty impressive. Oddly enough, its the same idea I had for a column. Full-Figured Women: Healthy Mind & Body
The Coffee Ring is a blog from a Canadian woman planning her wedding. Nice to read about someone else going through all that, especially when its not me!!
Another site I’ve ben keeping an eye on is BackWash, the internet organized by personality. I’d enjoy doing a column there but I just don’t think I can handle the time commitment. You have to write a fairly good sized article and then add links (not related to your column or each other). Thats quite a chunk of time for something you don’t get paid for. I don’t begrudge them not paying I just think I should put that kind of time into something that pays or has prospects of paying.
SheBazzle: Julie’s Motherhood Journal. This is a good blog, anyone with a scanner or digital camera does have an edge in blogging. Todd hinted that he is getting me a scanner for my birthday/ Christmas. I’ll have to get all those pictures developed finally! I’d love to have a scanner.
I like the name Darla for a girl. Maybe its too girly but I still like it. I hope Todd and I have at least one kid. Two or three would be a lot better, at least two anyway. I don’t think Todd wants to, he certainly isn’t co-operating sperm wise. I don’t know what my life will be like if I never have a kid. It just seems to be the meaning of life, something I can contribute to my ancestors and life, the future and everything. Its important to me personally, I want to raise a child, a person. I want to pass on my thoughts, genes and good and bad times. I want to be part of the world and show another new person all that the world is. There is so much amazing stuff in the world. Not everyone can see it, sometimes they forget to look or forget how to look.
Friday, July 27, 2001
I’m having a creative day. I made two new ascii pictures and wrote book reviews for HerCorner. Still waiting for the ezine to be approved for the WZard site. The URL has my byline up already. The editor is just busy with a lot of other new WZards/ writers. Looking forward to seeing my site up and functioning.
The Zeal directory is a mess. I can’t see myself putting in any more time there. Its not listed by topics but by country. Which just makes no sense and is bordering on annoying since everything is listed under United States really. Just a little too US centric for this Canadian.
My computer died on June 27th. I just realized its been a month to the day. We finally found out that its the motherboard that needs to be replaced. I will have to take the computer back home with me when I go to Toronto for Sarah’s wedding. It will be great to have my computer back and working again. I miss all my files! Its been terrific of Todd to let me use his computer for checking email and the odd bit of stuff I can still do without my harddrive and its contents. Sarah came up with the idea of transplanting my hard drive into Todd’s computer but I can see that Todd is reluctant to allow this brain surgery. So it looks like I will have to hope my hard drive survives another trip back and forth to Toronto. Its about 17 hours on the bus, with a 4-5 hour wait in Chicago. Not a lot of fun. Also, for going there I will need to go to the INS building and get the advanced parole. I will be so glad when I’m finally free, or at least a bit free. The only time anyone is really free is when they are a baby. At the time don’t really know it and would likely laugh at anyone who said it. They likely wouldn’t consider themselves free, can’t do anything they see everyone doing. Must be boring being a baby. Time to get ready to go out tonight. I’m really hungry, skipped lunch. We planned to go to the Chinese buffet tonight so I won’t be hungry for long. 🙂
Friday, July 20, 2001
Still no computer for me. Todd doesn’t want to put my hard drive into his computer. He hasn’t said that but he hasn’t done anything about doing it. I would do it but its his computer and if he doesn’t want to do it, thats up to him.
Sarah put up pictures from her birthday bbq, online. Great to see everyone, wish I was there.
Here is something I wrote last night. Todd and I had a bad night. Not that he knows about it.
I feel like I’m in too deep and the little light at the end of the tunnel is just my imagination. If I try to get to it, it just won’t be there.I can’t feel motivated. I used to think it was because I was afraid of putting a foot wrong. But now I think its more than that. I think I’d rather do nothing than try anything. Its easier to put nothing, to invest as small a part of myself, my knowledge, talents, personality, etc into whatever the end result will be. Knowing its far more likely that I will hear I’ve done something the wrong way, not enough, etc.
I wish I could find my old backscratcher. My shoulderblades are almost always itchy. I’ve read that itchy skin is caused by dead skin cells needing to be scraped off. I’m not sure thats right. Why am I always itchy in the same spots then and not in others. Just another of those little things. I’m about to go make coffee and get dressed. Hopefully I will hear from someone with good news about my computer. The only thing we’ve made progress with is to find out that its the motherboard that needs to be replaced.
Today is the big day at Zeal. They launch the new site, merged with LookSmart. Once I have my coffee on the go I’m going to have a look and see if my login still works.

Quotes from Famous Women

Throughout the years, the world has seen many inspiring people who have influenced the way people look at life. In particular, there have been powerful female figures who have educated many, whether it be via their work, their art, their politics, or their words. This is a collection of quotes from some of the most famous women in history, the words of which provide absolutely priceless life advice for us all.
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
IQuotes by Inspirational Women
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 
Quotes by Inspirational Women
 

Emily Carr Set of Mugs

Emily Carr (1871-1945)

Prior to 1927, Emily Carr boldly pursued her unique artistic path in isolation from the major art movements taking shape in the Eastern part of Canada. Carr passionately explored the remote native communities of coastal British Columbia, delving into the merger of landscape and cultural objects. From 1927 through the end of her career, Carr enjoyed association with the Group of 7 and subsequent art movements, creating some of her most famous works in the final decade of her life.

Source: Set of 4 Mugs Carr Set of 4 Mugs from McIntosh in South Lancaster, ON from Rob McIntosh

Barrie in the Ontario Highway 11 Blog

The following is my comment on the post about Barrie, on the site about places along Highway 11 in Ontario.

I think your review of Barrie was good. I’ve been here about 10 years now. I grew up in Port Union, Ontario, before it became Scarborough, and after. Barrie is pretty suburban still. Downtown Barrie still has a lot of bars and drinking night life. The box malls and shopping in general didn’t get into downtown Barrie, just the outskirts. It helps keep traffic from being completely locked up during weekends when there are people out shopping and even more people navigating the cottage highway. There is a new mall going up not far from where I am. It will be right at the highway turn off for Duckworth, where the hospital and Georgian College are. The two lane bridge which ran under the highway is being done over. A big project but it has been needed for a long time. Living in Barrie I especially like being on the lake and actually seeing it. I grew up on Lake Ontario and I have missed having a big lake nearby – it was one of the reasons I picked Barrie. Last note, for anyone traveling to Barrie in the winter, it does get colder here as we are at least a couple of snow belts up from the weather in the GTA.

Source: Barrie | Ontario Highway 11 Blog

Nice idea for a blog/ site. If you are along the highway have a look at your town.

Bio-Cremation

I’d prefer this method if I had to be cremated. But, at this point in my life I’d actually like to have a living wake (a funeral type of get together while I’m still alive) and have my body tossed into a hole in the ground, as is. Or just throw it into the deep ocean. Having a gravestone is a huge expense and not usually welcome in cemeteries these days. So, I’d rather have no stone at all if I can’t have some grandly romantic and mysterious sculptured gravemarker.

Likely, bio-cremation is the closest I will get to what I’d plan for myself. But, once I’m dead it really is up to whoever has to dispose of my body at that time. We (or I at least) don’t know how or where we are going to end up (literally end).

Bio-cremation is the funeral industry–approved term for alkaline hydrolysis, a method of corpse disposal in which lye and water are heated under pressure, dissolving flesh and leaving only bone fragments and whatever surgical oddments the body contained. The process is often faster than traditional cremation and costs about the same, and the end product takes up less space than a standard burial. Bio-­cremation’s unique selling point, however, is its environmental friendliness. It consumes one-eighth the energy of cremation, requires no casket, and leaches no toxic embalming fluids into the earth. Yet it is still a niche practice, even in a country as green-savvy as ours: Hilton’s facility is one of just three in Canada.

Source: Dissolving the Dead · thewalrus.ca

Lawyers Behind a Mask

The kingdom’s first generation of female lawyers is providing women with access to the law.

Source: Saudi Women Realize Their Rights – The New Yorker

I honestly would not trust or hire a lawyer I could not see. I really doubt anyone else would feel differently. How much are you really willing to risk of your own life, business or safety just to be politically correct?