Society & Culture

Join Oakland-based countercultural darling, Rachel Lark, as she interviews artists, activists and scholars about the connection between art and activism and tries to get to the bottom of the question, “What’s The Point?”

Episodes

LOUISE ANTONY: The Artist As One Of The Points

 

In this final episode Rachel is interviewed by none other than her mother (and all around badass philosopher, professor, and author) Louise Antony. They work together to explore building community around activism, bringing activism into your art, and trying to finally settle the question, What’s The Point?

 

For more from Louise Antony, check out her page at the UMass Amherst website.

 

Today’s music came from Rachel Lark. The featured song was “Things Oughta Make Sense,” the intro was “This Year- Instrumental” and the outro was “The Unicorn Song- Instrumental.” Check out more where on her website, RachelLark.com, where you can also listen back to the rest of our episodes!

 

Here's the response letter from Tom Robbins mentioned in this episode.

IMG_8869_1_7o4j3.jpg

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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Riley Davidson: The Artist As A Destroyer Of Binaries

 

What’s the point of expressing your true, unfiltered self? How can art help us break out of the boxes we are put into? Performance artist Riley Davidson, aka Gutter Gucci, chats with us about moving past guilt, getting over the good/bad binary, and creating artistic spaces in which people can have full agency to set themselves free.

 

For more from Riley Davidson, check out @guttergucci on Instagram.

 

Today’s featured musician is Animal Prince. Find more from them at their bandcamp. Songs in order played as follows: 

 

(0:23 - 1:06) - Animal Prince - Back and Forth

(11:00 - 11:43) - Animal Prince - Closer to the Stars

(14:28 - 15:18) - Animal Prince - Like a Dream

(23:38 - 27:35) - Animal Prince - Liquid Sights and Sounds

Five Minute Action!

Write an e-mail to your mayor asking them what they’re doing to support artists during this time.

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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What’s the point of going outside of your comfort zone? And how can making others uncomfortable be a form of love? 

 

Today we speak with rapper Dame Drummer about the importance of art’s messaging, the independent artist's duty to reflect the times, and making art as a Black man in the United States.

 

Find everything Dame Drummer on his website, including his newest release “Aye Yai Yai.”

 

Today’s music is all from Dame! Songs listed in order played:

 

(0:07 - 0:50) - Dame Drummer, GWYGlude

(1:46 - 5:28) - Dame Drummer, Get What You Gave

(9:27 - 11:43) - Dame Drummer, Black and Beautiful

(15:44 - 17:26) - Dame Drummer, Rescue Me

(22:40 - 26:20) - Dame Drummer, Aye Yai Yai

 

Five Minute Action!

Initiate a conversation with a family member about race. Pick the person you think will be the most uncomfortable to talk to.

 

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866. Tell us your thoughts about this episode! How have you gotten uncomfortable with your art and activism? 

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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What’s the point of laughter? And how can we use it to manipulate...I mean move...our audiences? Professor of Political Performance and cofounder of the clandestine insurgent rebel clown army, Larry Bogad, drops in for a chat about using laughter to move ideas, both within an individual’s mind and as larger cultural shifts. Plus we get to hear about selling ice cream made from melting polar ice caps.

 

For more from Larry Bogad, visit his website here. You can also learn more about (and buy!) his books and plays by clicking on the following links:

 

Tactical Performance: The Theory and Practice of Serious Play

Electoral Guerrilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements

Cointelshow: A Patriot Act (a darkly satirical, $5 play about COINTELPRO)

 

Today’s featured musician is Latin Circus Fusion group Bicicletas Por La Paz. Find more from them at bicicletasporlapaz.com or at their bandcamp. Songs in order played as follows: 

 

(0:07 - 1:12) Bicicletas Por La Paz - Adónde

(12:37 - 13:49) Bicicletas Por La Paz - Colibrí

(16:07 - 16:59) Bicicletas Por La Paz - Chicha En Sol Menor

(17:48 - 19:34) Bicicletas Por La Paz - Chicha En Sol Menor

(21:00 - 24:30) Bicicletas Por La Paz - Googleamos

 

Five Minute Action!

Call three friends and invite them to form an affinity group. Create a text thread for updating each other on protests and other forms of political engagement.

 

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866. Tell us your thoughts about this episode! How do you tap into ritual and grief? How has that influenced your art and activism?

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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What’s the point of moving through grief? Like, literally moving? What can we learn from indigenous practices...and raves...in order to create our own rituals and forms of release?

You can find more about Embodied Social Change, ritual bass DJ mixes, their drug policy work, and much more from Camille Barton at their website, and be sure to check them out in the documentary “The Post-Racist Planet.”

Today’s featured musician is The Seshen, a San Francisco Bay Area six-piece band. Songs in order played as follows:

(:07 - :57) The Seshen - Unravel

(02:35 - 03:23) The Seshen - Dive

(10:17 - 10:53) The Seshen - Shapes

(16:32 - 17:32) The Seshen - Dive

(23:10 - 23:30) VPRO Documentary - Post-Racist Future

(24:40 - end) The Seshen - Oblivion

 

Art mentioned in this episode…

Joyful Militancy (Carla Bergman and Nick Montgomery), 

the body keeps the score (Bessel van der Kolk), 

Pleasure Activism (adrienne marie brown), 

The Wild Edge of Sorrow (Francis Weller), 

Resmaa (white body supremacy)

 

Organizations mentioned in this episode…

Global Environments Network

White Awake

Collective Liberation Project

 

Five Minute Action!

Give money to a racial justice organization.

 

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866. Tell us your thoughts about this episode! How do you tap into ritual and grief? How has that influenced your art and activism?

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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Zoe Bender: the artist as the emotional heart

What’s the point of bringing your most vulnerable parts outward? And how do we do so in a way that doesn’t just….suck? Educator, activist, and artist Zoe Bender chats with us about the relationship between authentic expression and aesthetic craft, especially when it comes to strategic protest and emotion-filled art.

You can follow Zoe on Soundcloud and check out where Zoe teaches in San Francisco, The Bay School, a unique high school with challenging academics, innovative thinking, and a mindful approach to learning and life.

Today’s featured musician is Gabby La La from Oakland, you can find more from her on her bandcamp. Songs listed in order as follows:

(0:12 - 1:09): Gabby La La - Light and Power

(6:40 - 7:12): Gabby La La- We Are Stars

(8:30 - 9:18): Gabby La La - The Way We Feel

(12:26 - 13:52): Gabby La La - This is where we go

(21:51 - 22:54): Gabby La La - Light and Power

(22:47 - end): Gabby La La - So Sick So Cool

 

Art mentioned in this episode…

  1. Authentic Movement Practice
  2. Butoh Dance

Organizations mentioned in this episode…

  1. Skywatchers

Five Minute Action!

Find a local organization that works with the unhoused population in your area, go to their website and see what kinds of support they're asking for, and pick one thing you can do this week to support them.

 

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866. Tell us your thoughts about this episode! How do you feel about authenticity in art? How about in activism?

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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What’s the point of censuring women’s pleasure? Hint: there is none, and not eating pussy is mean. Jessamyn Fitzpatrick is an artist, educator and pleasure seeker, and today she talks to us about using art to explore the nuances of sex and blending the sacred and profane.

Check out Jessamyn on instagram @sexpositivitytarot where you can find (and buy) her tarot deck and tell her how much you love her.

Today’s featured musical guest is Sass N Harmony from Oakland, California. You can find more from them on their Bandcamp and Patreon. Songs listed in order as follows:

(3:33 - 4:49): Wisteria - Sass N’ Harmony

(9:04 - 10:33): You Only Live Once (The Asshole Song) - Rachel Lark

(15:54 - 17:35): Like Butter - Sass N’ Harmony

(20:58 - 22:48): Twisted Nautilus - Sass N’ Harmony

(24:15 - end): Drop The Seed - Sass N’ Harmony

 

Art mentioned in this episode…

  1. Sex Positivity Tarot
  2. Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein
  3. The Cooler
  4. This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Organizations mentioned in this episode…

  1. Catharsis Productions

Five Minute Action!

Join a welcome call for a national progressive organization like Democratic Socialists of America or Sunrise Movement or a webinar from the movement for Black Lives, and for the love of all that is beautiful in this world, fucking VOTE. Like, yesterday. But also now if you still haven't.

 

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866. Tell us your thoughts about this episode! How is sexual liberation connected to other types of liberation? How do you wrestle with the distinction of sacred vs. profane? Give us a call and spill it.

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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What’s the point of connection in an individualist society? And how can we take care of ourselves to show up best for our communities? Singer, speaker, educator, and activist Aisha Fukushima helps us ground ourselves, tap into our imagination, and re-envision our art as part of a larger, breathing whole.

Check out more from Aisha on her website, where you can tap into her music, vlogs, digital care packages, mediations, and more.

Today’s music is from Aisha Fukushima. Songs listed in order played:

-(3:52) Just Breathe

-(12:27) Flint

-(19:20) Believe In Reality

-(22:43): Rachel Lark: This Year (instrumental)

Art mentioned in this episode…

  1. “Ella’s Song: We Who Believe In Freedom Cannot Rest” by Sweet Honey In The Rock
  2. Jeff Chang (writer, historian) You can check out his book “We Gon’ Be Alright”

Organizations mentioned in this episode…

  1. Zoo Labs

Five Minute Action!

Form an affinity group! Figure out who you might want to go to protests with and start a group message thread with those people. Make sure you know each others’ emergency contact numbers, any special needs, care for children and/or animals that might be needed. Figure out if there are protests happening around the election that you might want to go to, and make a plan to meet up and take care of each other.

 

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866. What’s your activist garden like? How do you lean on/ trust in others? How do you find sustainability with your artistic or activist life? We want to know! 

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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Vinitha Watson: The Artist As An Entrepreneur 

What’s the point of art as a business? And how can creatives thrive in a system that does not value their labor? Artist, design strategist, and entrepreneur Vinitha Watson chats with us about the ever-shifting music industry, our connections under Capitalism, and why entrepreneurship is a necessary vehicle for cultural change.

Follow @VinithaWatson on social media and learn more about the life changing not-for-profit Zoo Labs and their music residency here

Today’s featured musician is Dillbilly, a genre-queer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the rural Midwest. You can find more from them at Dillbillymusic.com. Songs listed in order played:

(0:57 - 1:40) Dillbilly, Heavyweight

(3:45 - 4:15) Dillbilly, Marionette

(11:25 - 11:45) Dillbilly, Mouth Sounds

(22:16 - 25:20) Dillbilly, Bees Busy

Art mentioned in this episode…

  1. A Tribe Called Quest - I recommend listening to Midnight Marauders
  2. Fiona Apple - I recommend checking out Tidal and Fetch The Bolt Cutters

Organizations mentioned in this episode…

  1. Zoo Labs

Five Minute Action!

Call your senator and urge them not to confirm a new supreme court judge until after the election. You can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866. Are you an artist? Are you an entrepreneur? How do you square making a living with making art? What have you had to overcome to ask for money or launch your own project?

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless. 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

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Today we orient our journey with three quandaries. 

  1. Is it important for artists to be politically engaged people?
  2. Is making art self-indulgent or important to the greater community?
  3. WHAT IS THE ACTUAL POINT?

Our guest is burlesque babe of buffoonery Snatch Adams.  

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Support her Patreon at patreon.com/snatchadams

Find more from her at www.snatchadamsburlesque.com 

and follow her at @snatch.adams on instagram. 

This episode’s featured musician is Emily Afton, an Oakland-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. You can hear more from her at EmilyAftonMusic.com.

 

The track list for today’s episode is as follows:

(00:12 - 01:00) Rachel Lark, The World’s Really Fucked But This Show Will Be Pretty Good (Instrumental)

(01:13 - 04:20) Rachel Lark, This Year (Instrumental)

(04:20 - 05:51) Emily Afton, Just The Two Of Us

(11:40 - 12:20) Emily Afton, Thinking Bout You

(24:40 - 25:46) Emily Afton, Fractions

(28:13 - 30:53) Emily Afton, Back In San Francisco

 

Art mentioned in this episode…

  1. Nina Simone - Listen to Pastel Blues
  2. Toni Cade Bambara - I recommend her book, “The Salt Eaters”
  3. Tom Robbins - I recommend the essay “What is art and if we know what art is what is politics?”

 

Organizations mentioned in this episode…

  1. Clowns Without Borders

Five Minute Action!
Make a sign to put in your window. It could be for a candidate you support, a slogan you believe in like "Black Lives Matter" or "Abolish ICE" or a message you've come up with yourself.

 

Call us and leave us a message at 415-610-4866

 

This episode was produced and engineered by booch McCandless.

 

Support this show at patreon.com/rachellark

Play Now

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