Sonar Echo Network, released June 2000.
23 Windows 2001-2003
Sonar is a literary journal/chapbook featuring 12 writers/artists/collaborators. It was initiated, edited and published by Chris Doorley, Molly Lewis, Josh Lifrak and Geoff Kuffner with Melissa Gorman at the design helm. Sonar was produced like a rock-n-roll record and steeped in Ransom Corp. aesthetics. It explores simultaneity, shifting perspectives, interpenetrating storylines, and has an itch for genre-bending, fusion and creating. It includes musical scores, comic book illustrations, cut-ups, cross-outs, poetry, illustrated installation concepts, sci-fi dystopia, hidden tracks, fake advertisements and flipbooks. Carried by Tower Records and City Lights Book Store, 2000 copies were printed, sold and freely given.
For a copy, contact awing at sonarecho at yahoo dot com.
In February of 2001, a few months after returning from the Sky Plots Tour, the Ransom Corp., anchored the founding of a collective art studio called 23 Windows on the the top floor of an old 19th Century beer factory in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
23 Windows has served first and foremost as a collective home, a nurturing headquarters, for individuals and groups to share studio space and equipment for the purpose of devising, rehearsing and creating innovative works of art.
As a performance venue, 23 Windows has been the site for an array of new works: video screenings, experimental electronic music concerts, fashion shows, parties and multimedia installations. 23 Windows has also served as a host to national and international artists, individuals we wished to collaborate with, learn from and support.
Noted Hosted Workshops, performances and events, Feb 2001 - Jan 2004
The Task Force for Inventive Philanthropy
Carlos Rene Mendez, from the renowned Colombian group teatro de los Sentidos, conducted two sensorial workshops.
Atsushi Takenouchi, two butoh workshops
Two Native American sand painting ceremonies.
Mood Kino, a monthly gathering featuring screenings of local artists work and special experimental films.
O.U.J. (open urban jam). Every Monday in the fall of 2001, we hosted an open platform night of improvisation and collaboration between dancers and musicians offering vegan soup, chai tea, spontaneous rituals and chants.
Benefit for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) in response to the bombing of Afghanistan.
Augenblick, directed by John Sullivan, an experimental theater work.
O.V.M. (Organic Video Movement), video installation festival.
Butoh Performances by Veda, Hiroko Ishimura, and Atsushi Takenouchi
Poetry readings by agent mT
Audio presentations by Sean Clute, a graduate of the Experimental Music department at Mills college, Eva Sjuve (Sw), K.kuts (Fr), GO@OS(N), Flowershop (SF), Mononom (N), S.P.A.Z. (Berkeley), Switchcraft Records (SF), Renegade Virus and Havoc Sound System.
We were also known to invite unsuspecting guest to mysterious sense deprived performance dinners, namely the Blindfolded, Deaf Mute and Quadraplegic dinner parties.
Noted Past Residents 2001 through 2003 included
Kathi von Koerber, Dancer and media artistically www.Kiahkeya.com
Zemi17, Sound and media artistically www.zemi17.net
Disney Nasa Borg, Mixed media web & digital and studio artistically www.sintelligence.net
Havoc Sound, Free Techno Sound System
Amoeba Technology, Electronic Sound and Video Pioneers www.amoebatechnology.net
Kirk Peterkin, Media Artist, Sound Designer and Programmer www.forbiddencolors.com
Waste 07 (formerly Waste Zero), Recycle Artist and Sculptor http://speedysfast.com/trashworship/
Jason Cohen, Abstract Painter
Lincoln Mayne, Fashion, Costume, and Studio Designer www.lincolnmayne.com
Monika Weiss, Sculptor and Performance artist
Martin Ocote, Saxophonist for Antibalaas and Super Adobe pioneer www.antibalas.com
Leili Gueranfar, Electronic media producer www.cyberosis.tv
Devin Burnum, Playwright, Director for Black Water Theater group
Fay Serifica, Fashion Designer, DJ and production source
Steven Coggle, Abstract Modern Primitive Painter
Spacecraft1, Hip Hop artist and painter
Veda, post-butoh dance group
Melissa Gorman, aka Atari 2000, Designer, hip hop DJ
Evelyna Dann, Modern Dancer
IMAGES GO HERE
T.F.I.P. (pron. tee-fip),The Task Force For Inventive Philanthropy, was an early subsidiary of the Ransom Corp. As the success of the Ransom Corporation increased, our need for a Philanthropic Department grew. Ours, however, was not for tax purposes. TFIP was devised to give, in culturally anonymous ways, free gifts of the wild subconscious to New York at large. These gifts included, among others less publishable, umbrella poetry trees and two incarnations of the Doll Project.
The UMBRELLA POETRY TREES were quite simple. The design: Discarded umbrellas attached to wood or steel poles sunk into a paint can filled with concrete. Poems on cards were attached by string to the limbs of the umbrellas to be plucked by passer-byes like ripe fruit. These trees were placed on streets, in subway stations and outside performance venues. One drawback: They tangled in the wind!
THE DOLL PROJECT was a twice realized love affair with a seldom seen side of the city. Dozens of dolls, the more human the better, collected from the thrift stores of New York. Grown men and women hauling bags stuffed with dolls to secret re-assembly headquarters. A gathering of artists with red wine and chocolate, miscellaneous arts supplies: glitter, toothpicks, wax, yarn, safety pins, etc. A doll mutilation and recreation extravaganza. Two teams, dressed in their best evening black, some in white face, some in cowboy hats, canvas the city streets with crew photographers in tow, hanging dolls to street lamp and street light poles and fire escapes as the wee hours graduate to dawn. All are hung with a list of demands: More Red Wine and Chocolate or another Doll Dies. This at a time of rapid gentrification, enforcement of no-dancing cabaret laws, corporatizing and humorless policing--just months but it seemed like light years before 9-11.
We will not stop mutilating dolls and hanging them in public effigy until the following 5 demands are met:
1. Jewish and Christian leaders RESTORE one verse to the Old Testament: Thou canst dance if though wantest wherever thou fuckest please. DANCING IS RELIGION.
2. OPERATION SAFIR-RUMI: All NYPD officers must write 3 20 line poems to be read after the Miranda and during all interviews. (Those with tongues may serve once a week as artist models at NYC universities: Operation NYPD Buff)
3. Mayor R.G. Announces a mandatory 2-hour siesta for New Yorkers with this statement: New Yorkers don't need more late night adult clubs. What they need is more sleep and daytime sex
4. Starting January 1, 1999 until January 1, 2000, a 17" replica of our logo must be printed on the 23rd page of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
5. Four Square Blocks in Downtown Manhattan must be relinquished to the government of TFIP. END THE REAL ESTATE HOSTAGE CRISIS. LIVE in the GROOVIST SUCCESSION ZONE.
6. BONUS DEMAND: The following must be on all menus in Manhattan: Unlimited Red Wine and Chocolate, compliments of the House
Does not exist
A Terse Symphony: The One Word Poems of Loud Josh
Loud Josh was a key performer and advisor in the early days of the Ransom Corp. He invented the one-word poem and performed them throughout New York. These included "OX", "GRAZE" and "RICOCHET", remarkable works of meditation, emotional clarity and transformation.
A Terse Symphony, edited by Awing Peece, is a compilation of his complete works, drawn from his four books, and the telling of his life story as a reflection of his work. As this historicizing project neared completion, Loud Josh fell in love and heard the call of mountain climbing in his heart. Some believe that "Loud's output and insight was just too prolific, precise and profound to bring to completion and so he had to depart" (Awing). In any case, years have passed and the near completed manuscript has disappeared. Only fragments remain.
The Hyperbolic International Ransom Corp. Destruction Dance Band, Fall 1999 to summer 2000
A tough to describe strange flower. The HIRCDDB was a six piece unit on an 8 month side project wanting to tell stories deep inside a belly of noise and underbelly of the promises of the technological material age. The group included Agent mT, Loki Kevorkian, Sean Clute, John Sully, David Jellyfish, Kelvin Daly and special guests including Dok of Amoeba, Zemi17, Tony Torn and Lips Johnson of Licky. Pick ups wired to typewriters, saws, drums, samplers, undulating bellies, Theremins, poets, rock-n-roll guitar, fire performance, sledgehammers, a capella techno, storytelling, dynamite, the audience brought to the edge of nowhere, an intimate and unpredictable theater of destruction. The Destruction Band first performed at the loading dock during the DUMBO ARTS FESTIVAL in the Fall of 1999 then performed several times at the Frying Pan, at Rubulad, The Cave and The Dumbo Theater.
Reclaim The Streets NYC
SYMBOL GOES HERE
RTS is a nonviolent direct action network found in cities throughout the world. RTS challenges the current hierarchical and authoritarian society and promotes a social-ecological revolution through actions that promote community ownership of public spaces. RTS was founded in London and had been active there for several years before a circle of New Yorkers decided to open a chapter amid the swift corporatizing of New York's core and aggressive "quality of life" policing of the Guiliani era.
RTS actions were basically temporary reclamations of city streets or squares for community building and awareness. They featured street performance, large puppets, live pirate radio, volunteers sitting in tripods to occupy the street, a sound system on bicycle trailers, and people gathering and dancing on asphalt reserved for cars.
The Ransom Corp. offered public relations, technical and organizational support as well as on the ground creative participation to the RTS circle. The RTS actions were bold and controversial. As theater, they were marvelous displays of warmth, ingenuity and community power.
October 4, 1998
WJMZ 89.3FM Jumpin the turnstiles of the Airwaves, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, July 1998 to June 1999.
Started at Astor Place and reclaimed lower Broadway for several hours.
April 11, 1999. Avenue A
This action was part of the successful movement to prevent the city government from auctioning off over 100 city gardens.
June 18, 1999. Liberty Plaza, Lower Manhattan
This action was in solidarity with RTS chapters around the world, protesting the agenda and exclusivity of the G8 Conference held in Cologne, Germany.
November 26, 1999.Time Square, Manhattan
This action was held on Black Friday also known as Buy Nothing Day It was held in solidarity with international November 30 actions and the protests surrounding the World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle
WJMZ, named after the rickety fingers of subway metal that cross the Williamsburg Bridge, was a micro-broadcasting collective radio station started by key Ransom Corp. members to serve as a political, social, and artistic medium of expression for the diverse community of South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. JMZ had an open platform, "no content control" policy. It broadcast four days a week over 25 shows ranging from herbal urban health care and world poetics to psychoacoustic test labs, community and activist news programs and a wide swatch of music and talk-based hours. There were shows in Spanish and a show hosted by high school students during the pre-class morning hours. The FCC eventually triangulated the signal and threatened legal action (fines, confiscation of equipment and possible jail time) if the radio station refused to cease and desist. Under pressure and without means for a legal defense, we shut it down after 11 months of existence, evolution and enjoyment. As well as being a meeting ground for collaborations and friendships, WJMZ served as another window into community and the political and economic environment artists and community-minded people find themselves in during this corporate era.