My fellow Americans, Asians, Africans, Europeans & Australians,
August 6th is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, one of the cruelest war crimes in human history. The United States of America not only bombed innocent civilians of a foreign country but also destroyed the dignity and lives of their communities for generations to come. For years the Empowering Clerks Network has been contemplating on what is the proper bureaucratic response that will make it harder for countries and terrorist organizations to bomb one another. Patch Adams, MD says that he has seven billion friends. What if we upgrade his statement and each one of us will have seven billion aunts, nephews and cousins? Research clearly shows that claiming humanity as one big family has 17.4% chances of stopping acts of violence and 521 Compassion Efficiency Points according to the AGLDRU (see resource below). Please used the attached Chosen Family Affidavit and use it to adopt a new family member.
We encourage you to think or look for a new family member who might live in a country that is hostile to your country, or someone who thinks differently than you but that you respect nevertheless. Look for someone you know for years or maybe surprise yourself and extend your family with a stranger. Maybe find someone you're in conflict with but you are willing to take the step in making a commitment towards them due to the shared humanity and responsibility you both have to the future of humanity. Please make sure you add your initials to the statement and that you make clear that the Adoption document does not necessarily imply any financial obligations between you and your new family. If you wish to share about your extended family kindly reply to this email, use eye contact or social media #ECNChosenFamily.
Simply download this image here or as PDF at www.bit.ly/ECNhorizontal (page 16), add your information using any photo editor program and officially add a new family member to your life! For improved efficiency it's recommended to print and mail this document but please note that a document that is signed and delivered electronically is also valid according to ECN Regulations, you can also just forward them this email with a kind note.
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.
— Fred Rogers
Next Sunday I'll be joining the Grannies Respond Team week long caravan to the southern border in McAllen Texas on Aug. 6th, with stops and rallies along the way in NYC, Reading PA, Pittsburgh PA, Louiseville KY, Montgomery AL, New Orleans LA and Huston TX (see website for details). It was an idea of my friend and adopted cousin Dan Aymar-Blair (Founder of Article 20 Network human rights organization for freedom of assembly and recipient of the Beacon Peace Award) and very quickly it became a national movement which I think taps into the collective memory of the Freedom Riders and more recently the protest at Standing Rock. We expect thousands of elderly people, veterans and other protesters to gather at the border and demand an end to family separation.
In case of an ICE officer or an undocumented immigrant may need it I'll offer some Joy Permits, Forgiver's License, Racism Release Forms and ECN traveling documents such as Clown Visa and Compassion Card and I'll install some Alternative Street Signs and Hidden Fortune Wheels too. Please follow our journey!! (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Yes Magazine, AJ+, NPR and many other networks are covering it) share, join a local rally and support this important cause!
More coming events -
I'm honored, excited and humbled to present my work at the coming Anne Frank Project Social Justice Festival in Buffalo NY, Oct. 2nd & 3rd
On Oct 6th I'll participate in a panel discussion at the LGBT Center of Kingston, NY on Oct. 6th about Art as social activism & community building.
On September 16th I'll participate in a panel discussion about voting rights & civic duty with Peekskill NY Mayor Andre Rainey, NYAACP representative, artist Carla Rae Johnson and others.
On Sept. 15th - October 15th I'll be part of a High Contrast: Culture Meets Chaos group show in Westchester Gallery in Peekskill NY
On Sept. 15th I'll present at the The Fourth International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC4) in NYC
If you're interested in having me as a guest artist in your community event please LMK! Yes, CSB accept ECN Compassion Cards.
My new book Brave New World, a Manifesto is coming up soon! LMK if you want a copy.
Click to read ebooks:
TO UNSUBSCRIBE KINDLY REPLY "F&*K YOU ORI I'M TIRED OF YOUR B#&(#&$T THE WORLD HAS ENOUGH BAD ART AS IS"
With unconditional love
Director, Center for Supportive Bureaucracy
I'd like to address the various rumors regarding me running for Mayor of Beacon. My initial response when a friend made this offer to me was anxiety and high stress related to the existential questions that inevitably accompany such decision. But just the possibility of me entering politics already helped so many people to laugh out loud, healthy laughs that according to research might be beneficial for their blood pressure and kidney function. How can a devoted blood donor like myself refuse the opportunity of helping people with their blood pressure? I hate bringing religion to politics but since our country is so tolerant for such activity I must - according to Orthodox Clowning, which I converted to back in 2016 it is considered blasphemy not to tell a joke that works. Therefore I am religiously obligated to enter the local mayoral race, and of course I vow to only say positive things about my opponents. In fact I think current Mayor Randy Casale is competent, compassionate and awesome, and I'm convinced that he'd do a great job in another term, better than what I would do for sure (I'd probably vote for him).
My main campaign promises include free ice cream for elders on Mondays, 17% tax exempt for men who express vulnerability, full merge of the Empowering Clerks Network and City Clerk office, forming an official city children's council and lowering the voting age to six as kids are more rational and compassionate than most adults. These ideas are ridiculous and silly. I made a career making satire of the government, and it'll be dangerous to let me run it.
There are some great examples of comedians who served as Mayors: Bogota's Trickster in Chief Antanas Mockus appeared regularly as Superhero Civic, replaced the traffic police with hundreds of mime artists, initiated the transformative and powerful Vaccine Against Violence participatory performance with 45,000 residents, distributed 1.5 million physical 'thumb up' and 'thumb down' signs for residents to show their feelings about their fellow citizens' actions (7 years before Facebook was a thing), among other creative programs in his two terms as Mayor which cut homicides, crime rates and traffic fatalities by half (!!!). Successful Icelandic comedian Jón Gnarr didn't expect his Best Party to be taken seriously with campaign promises that included having fun, free towels in public pools, making the parliament a drug free zone and making all five seasons of 'The Wire' required watch for government officials. He did surprised everyone and won. Gnarr was actually a good mayor of Reykjavík and managed to efficiently run the city during a harsh financial crisis while publicly and courageously making fun of NATO and the way Icelandic politicians fawn over them. Gnarr chose to go back to comedy after one term as Mayor.
After much thought, I decided that I'm willing to consider getting an endorsement from the local Beacon Democrats if they officially condemn Obama's drone warfare program and the bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. In case they won't issue a certified apology about these injustices (and Lyndon B. Johnson terrorist attacks in Vietnam) I'd run on the Immigrant Vegetarian ticket with the Pan-American Pacifist Party, assuming I'd win the primaries. My campaign will be an example of what separating money from politics may look like - it will cost $0 (zero dollars) as I will only use only free online services and face to face conversations. No wasteful lawn signs, no expansive flyers and social media promotions and no money will be accepted from anyone. Wish me luck (or not!) and share this post if you want to help! #resist
May 18th, 2018
|Letter to Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg_from_the Empowering Clerks Nework|
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Last year I came back home after a long weekend to find an envelope from a NC Correctional Institution in my mailbox. It was from Mr Marcus D. Hunter, a life without parole inmate who murdered taxi driver Abdoelhafiz Hassan Hamed Dowlieb in 2004. Marcus, who had an extremely hard life attached his application for ECN Forgiver's License (pg 14) and asked to become an Empowering Clerk and issue Playful Paperwork documents to his friends. We became pen pals and I helped Mr Hunter develop and have a small income from his portrait drawing (you can send him your photos and he'll mail you back a portrait for a donation). Marcus have shared with me his traumatic life story, the abusive conditions in which he and millions of others are kept behind bars and I have shared with him about my life. I find Marcus to be a sharp, talented and self aware writer and I hope he'll reach many readers in the future. I've sent him a lot of paperwork which he's been issuing to his fellow inmates with great efficiency. Considering my own family story, this new friendship is extremely bizarre, and I'm excited to see where it'll lead.
A few weeks ago I got another letter from another inmate in the same prison who requested to learn more about the Empowering Clerks Network (ECN). When I looked his information up I found that he is serving a 206 years sentence for 'crimes against nature' which included raping a 13 year old. It seems like it was a lot of effort for him to write the few sentences in his letter. I feel a disgust thinking about it and I didn't want to take a photo of it and share it online, as if his actions or the unmet needs behind them don't deserve the light of day. In contrast, when I first found an original Hitler stamp I was somewhat excited to lick it in order to create various comics with him and Stalin - it's much easier for me to find compassion in my heart towards a murderer or even a mass murderer than towards a pedophile sex offender. Placing Hitler on Freud's couch was somewhat natural and easy for me to do, but thinking about helping Joseph deal with his childhood and the feelings he must have seems unreasonable and maybe even impossible. Joseph didn't ask for any specific document yet but just wanted a general information about the ECN. I've sent him a copy of Regulations are Flexible, but what should I do if he decides to apply for a Forgiver's License, Compassion Card, Apology Declaration or other documents? Shall the ECN deny services from sex offenders, or revoke documents of recipients who were found guilty of such crimes? What do you think? Please share your thoughts and I will keep you updated about this bureaucratic process!
The #lorax #book posted on a construction site for a new #development in #beaconny that cut down many #trees this past week. #streetart #streetartNY #streetartNYC #hudsonvalleyart #green #greed #sustainable #hudsonriver #drseuss #thelorax #bookart #graffiti #guerillaart #alternativeart #AlternativeFacts #alternativestreetsigns
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I asked @publicinvestigator to take the #CompassionMAGA challenge, wear the hat for a few moments and #share how it feels. Chloe refused to touch it but seemed interested by the idea of reclaiming its message to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain back to #Obama days (or perhaps back to #1491?) #yesterday I presented my #work to the #peekskill #art #community and many #liberal #activist artists were surprised, shocked and grossed out by the #opportunity to try the hat. Why? We often explain #minorities actions and conditions in context of the injustices their ancestors and them were victims of, but aren't poor white voters victims of the (de)education system, #media and unhealthcare system in a similar way that African Americans are victims of the War on Drugs? Why don't they deserve compassion for the systematic injustices they have experienced in life such as education system that don't teach #criticalthinking, media that feeds them empty calories and a militant society that runs on fear? What do you think? . . . . . . . . #socialpractice #participatoryart #diversity #politics #politicalart #HASHTAGSARESILLY
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#CompassionMAGA #compassion #MAGA #makeamericagreatagain #liberal #otherside #someoneelsesshoesinterview #HiddenFortuneWheel #politics #politicalart #l #openengagement @openengagement #oe2018 #centerforsupportivebureaucracy interview with @deanzajen
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“Ori was an excellent guest speaker in the Art and Social Practice Program at Portland State University. He helped us re-evaluate our notions of compassion and gave us new tools to interact with communities that have different values then us”
Adam Carlin, Director, Greensboro Project Space
See my artist talk and gallery tour from my recent show, the White Men Registry at the Matteawan Gallery at the home page.
"Alon's White Men Registry helped me to develop more compassion and empathy towards white men, which doesn't come naturally to me"
52 years old Latino male, NY
"Yes, we need the White Men Registry because if I'm not going to laugh at sh*t like that I'm going to die"
Voter, White Men Registry referendum
Contact to have a Playful Paperwork / Hidden Fortune Wheel / College Rejection Letter Writing event for high school seniors at your community.
Coming soon! A letter to Trader Joe's requesting them to increase their prices in order to help me with my complicated relationship with money.
Hidden Fortune Wheel, ECN&InfoWars, Sanctuary City DIY documentation and more Supportive Bureaucracy news (newsletter update 04/18/20170
Last summer I offered Playful Paperwork services at the RNC and DNC. As part of my role as the Executive Empowering Clerk of the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy I issued Joy Permits, Forgiver’s Licenses, Racism Release Forms, Open Carry Permits for musical instruments, OK Parent Awards, Village Fool Diplomas, Pain Deeds, Apology Declarations, DIY Certificates of Recognition, Adults Special Achievement Stickers, Refurbished Report Cards and other official documents. During the Democratic National Convention I was interviewed by the popular conspiracy theory website InfoWars, and although I presented my work as a non partisan project my liberal agenda was exposed and I was bombarded with hateful comments calling to deport me (to wherever it is I came from). Even my beautiful unibrow was made fun of and the concerns I’ve raised were ignored. I managed to be in denial of these comments until I woke up on Nov. 9th and decided to rethink my artistic path.
This summer I am working with the artist Ana Gallira on a new compassionate art project, the Hidden Fortune Wheel - spin the wheel and win the unique existential opportunity to be in someone else's shoes! Explore how it is to be an immigrant, Muslim, Black, transgender, other gender, wheelchair bound, bankrupt, child, elder and more. Participants will be invited to imagine themselves in another person's shoes according to their results and share about their experience. I'll be traveling with the fortune wheel a lot, so stay tuned on social media and newsletter for locations and schedule (and LMK if you are interested in bringing the HFW to your institution!) The #HiddenFortuneWheel will be at the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY MFA Graduates opening exhibit on May 19th - 23rd.
May 6th - ECN Office Hours Spring Celebration at the Stony Kill Farm
May 13th,14th - Office Hours at Beacon Pop-Up Park,160 Main St., Beacon NY
May 26th - ECN Holiday (Love Yourself More Day)
June 17-18 ECN will offer Playful Paperwork at the Clearwater Festival
July 4th - Clown Visa, Global Citizen documentation and Honorary PhB (Professional Human Being Diploma graduation ceremony) in NYC (location TBD)
May is Stevie Wonder Early Career Month. Make sure you're following ECN Regulations!
Many people think we are entering dark times. But dark times can also bring the best in us. In the past few weeks I've seen so many people awaken, take action, care, show compassion and use creativity to generate love and happiness. I too vow to take theelection result as a call to action, and promise to serve and protect our nation as a Certified Village Fool (self-issued). You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one - more and more people have discover and use Supportive Bureaucracy services in their workplace, community and public spaces (the ECN also has a DC now! Just like the Neo-Nazis!). Since the election, we found a 318% increase in illegal issuing of Playful Paperwork forms (which we support) as people download forms, certificates and embosser templates at www.supportivebureaucracy.org and print documents themselves. 219% more people registered as Empowering Clerks and started Empowerment Processing Facilities (EPF) around the country (!) For example the ECN of Bend, Oregon conducted a Joy Permit issuing marathon during which hundreds of documents were issued. If you'd like to provide your fellow Muslim and Latino friends with proper documentation, we also have Certificates of Recognition available in Spanish and Arabic (and many other languages as well). Soon we'll have an official branch in Taiwan and our Racism Release Form is helping people around the country to reflect on their experiences regarding color and color blindness and is popular especially in colleges.
Good news!! CSB Research Department recently found that with only 17 points increase in Love Production worldwide, we may be able to defeat Evil by March 1st, 2021 (not too bad isn't it?) Numbers don't lie - do your share in protecting our world and produce love more effectively and efficiently. To help you with that we made the Love Receipt, which allows you to provide instant recognition for people who give love.
As usual, the Empowering Clerks Network is spending 62% of its resources providing proper recognition for those who deserve it (95.3% of the population according to research). No election results will change that, and we are determined to keep providing you with the best possible service. We always have your back when it comes to paperwork, but recently we added a new service to our official documents - the ECN Awards. We offer special trophies for Caregiver of the Year, Compassion Master, Relationship Expert, Creativity Generator and more. If you'd like to provide trophies to members of your community please contact me for details or simply visit www.crownawards.com (they can instantly increase recipient's self esteem by 19%! Almost as efficient as the ECN Certificate of Recognition).
That's it for now. I have to admit that I wanted to drop the project all together as a reaction to the election, but I decided to keep doing my work thanks to the response I got from recipients and providers of services across the country, who used Joy Permits, Official Posted signs and other documents to answer some of their needs after the elections. I'm grateful for the opportunity to help others with my artwork, and hope to increase my efficiency rates in the future.
Speaking of that... Last week I started Compassionate America, LLC. Not only that it might be the first corporation in US history that was named by a mistake (I misspelled Bureaucracy and had to amend it so I looked for another name) but it also has no business plan whatsoever (!!!) I was simply anxious to get sued by Trump after I threatened to sue him and thought that it's a good idea to protect my family that way. But regardless, I'm thinking that maybe we should treat love and compassion like a business, invest our resources wisely and always seek growth. I hope to use Compassionate America as an umbrella organization to the Empowering Clerks Network and the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy to increase compassion stats using humor and Playful Paperwork. Wish me luck! And feel free invite me to offer services and present the project at your conference, event, corporate party or as a guest artist.
What inspired you to create Public Trust?
I tend to work iteratively and slowly. I make similar pieces, or pieces that build on each other even if that is not superficially obvious. I have been using speech acts as the basis for participatory pieces that are based on some sort of exchange. I often think that if I want to make situations that require an exchange with the public I am limited by what the public has on them at all times: spare change, keys, phone, IDs, credit cards, money, their name, their voice, etc. Thus I have used the participants voice quite a bit. Two years ago I made a modest piece also called Public Trust that asked for people to give me lies that I would then notarize and turn into truths. The piece was very successful but I began to think that there was no consequence to it. It was a little too playful, you could get away with anything. Thus I began to think of promises and promissory statements as having more inner tension since they could become lies or facts depending on the future actions of the participant. I also liked the religious, ethical, and societal implications of promises. Finally, in that serendipitous way in which making art happens, I was also reading Agamben’s tremendous book, the sacrament of language, an archeology of the oath, and that sort of sealed the deal.
Your project provides a service, offering community and participants a reflection of their promises together with other public promises. What were the most inspiring or interesting promises (or combinations of the private and public ones) so far?
I know it sounds trite, but I really do like them all. I think my standouts are the ones where how it happened was significant. I had two instances of two very different but very hostile participants who yelled at me, questioned the work, were openly belligerent who walked away without participating. Only to, in both cases, come back two days later and make a promise.)
(As seen in the video, one of the ways to make a promise was with an official pinkie promise O.A.)
I am rarely asked that question. I strive to create a meaningful experience based on fairly familiar modes of operation. In other words, when I show outside of museums and galleries, I base my work on modes of operation that are pertinent to those public spaces and experiences. I want to make situations where people participate because they find them meaningful, engaging and accessible – not because they are art. It is important to me that it be art, but it is not important to me that it be perceived as art by the participant –unless it helps the interaction. I think that because of this when I am asked if my work is art, it is more often than not a question that comes out of curiosity, not out of doubt. "By the way, is this art?”, versus, suspicious looks “is this art?"
What is your promise?
It is based on a quote by Michael Barenbaum who said: "Try not to be a perpetrator. Try not to be a bystander. Try not to be a victim.” My promise is to try not to be a bystander.
What is your favorite artwork (or a few if you can't name only one)
Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International
Pablo Helguera’s The he School of Panamerican Unrest
Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski’s Conflict Kitchen
Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July’s Learning to Love You More
Merle Laderman Ukeles’ Touch Sanitation
Mel Chin’s Revival Field andThe Name of the Place
Suzanne Lacy’sThe Oakland Projects
Pedestal of the World by Piero Manzoni
Joseph Beuys 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration
On Kawara’s date paintings
Both Public Trust and the ECN use objects and methods of the authority and legal system, which many people feel disempowered or even threatened by. Was it part of your choice of using these tools?
Yes, because for better or for worse these are systems that we know how to interact with. A form is easier to interact with than a blank piece of paper. And if you use it well it is more generous than the illusion of freedom that a blank page gives.
Do you have any hopes or fantasies about Public Trust in many other locations around the country and the world, or of such projects being a service that actual government offer to citizens?
I have collaborated with city governments in at least two projects and it was extremely rewarding. I have a high degree of respect for civil servants… 99% of the time they really get that they are in charge of our commons.
Until the CSB starts its extensive collaboration with the Military Industry Complex, here is another beautiful bureaucratic art that inspired me a lot, the short movie Validation and the winner of the ECN Awards of 2016, the Yes Men NYT Hoax (both I think are masterpieces in their beauty, inspiration, humor and intrinsic truths they make us see)
Today I'm heading to Cleveland Ohio for the Republican National Convention. I plan to issue and distribute some 7,000 thousands of 6 months Joy Permits (can be renewed online or using white out),Open Carry Permits for Musical Instruments, Adults Special Achievement Stickers, Racism Release Forms, Refurbished Report Cards, DIY Certificates of Recognition, Forgiver's Licenses (Class A & B) applications and other Playful Paperwork documents. I believe that humor and compassion can help us reconnect to our humanity and to one another, and that one good guy with a musical instrument or an art project can prevent one bad guy from conducting an event of mass hatred. Racists are people, needing love and compassion like the rest of us, perhaps even more. Therefore I visited the Trump rally in April and didn't confront anyone with politics, but with paperwork. Lots of paperwork.
Attached is a press release about the trip, feel free to pass it along.
Please download and print the ECN new Racing Release Form (RRL - 789) and leave it in key locations at your community (see photo below of the RRL-789 at a DMV counter).
Download ALL documents, Stickers, Permits and Diplomas at www.supportivebureaucracy.org and issue them to your community.
Please read and share Checkpoint Charlie, a postage stamps comics collection of mine about fascism in the US (attached PDF)
If you want to help me fund the trip travelling and printing cost, please send a PayPal donation to email@example.com or use this link. Thank you!
Last thing - I'm making an artwork about the experience of being fired from a workplace. If you'd like to share with me your story (anonymously) please reply to that email with your story.
For freedom! Stay tuned for updates on social media about my trip.
Executive Empowering Clerk
Center for Supportive Bureaucracy
This is an official communication from the Center for Supportive Bureaucracy
Issuing official documents since 2006:
Forgiver’s License (Class A&B) • Joy Permits (JP-33) • Refurbished Report Cards (RRC-202) • DIY Certificates of Recognition (COR107) • Adults Special Achievement Stickers (ASAS-46) • Pain Deeds (PD336) • Certified Apology Declarations (447-D) • True Friend Diploma • OK Parent Award • Loving & Liable Entity (LLE) certification • Life Celebrating Obituaries • Validation Ticket • Typewriter Matchmaking Service • Letter Writing Service
See more warning notes by the ECN at www.supportivebureaucracy.org
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Snail Mail Comics
Ori Alon's blog
A photo posted by Miranda July (@mirandajuly) on