I'm Mark Whalberg, What's the Problem?
He says to me, Come in here and I'll scramble you an omelette.
Which means I'm in the duvet of a dude with VD. He's riddled with contagious Verby Dumbness, and so, if I'm not careful, pretty soon I will be too, and I won't even know which transitive verb to use to describe why I'm dying.
I go and stand beside him in the kitchen. I watch him crack a snow globe open, pour into a frying pan, and start to singe the tinsel.
Your omelette, he says, easing it into a cup and looking pleased with himself. If you eat it, it predicts your future.
You know that's not a crystal ball, though, right? For a start it's made of, I think, glass, and what are all these rancid grey chunks?
I think they used to be parts of an Alaska house.
You mean an igloo?
Of course I feel sorry for him. It's hard for men to let you know they're interesting. Especially since they're all doing beards now. There are men on TV telling other men about voting reform and there are men alone in Subways mayonaising wads of ham, and they've all got full-on homeless person face-fur—which I guess must mean that honest, tax-fearing people aren't afraid of hair any more, that they accept it like they would their doctor not wearing a tie. So sorry, boys, but you can't be cool when a man with nesting sparrows under his chin is performing keyhole surgery on the nation's cherished grandmothers. Also—as far as I'm concerned—the Pope. I saw him in a photo with a cool red beanie on, and I bet he has a crucifixed-gear bike.
But anyway, the upshot is: I've lost another limp noodle from my spaghetti bowl. Maybe one day, with someone, I'll Lady and the Tramp it to the end, but for right now, for snow globe guy, it's dirt parmesan for sure.
Mr. Thomas Hobbes (philosopher, bad bladder problems, musketeer moustache) said that life is poor, nasty, brutish and short—which is weird because how could he know that that's also the name of my neighbour's unsecured wi-fi network? Not that I agree with him. Hobbes I mean. My neighbour I've never met. Because life seems really long while you're living it, right? It only seems short when you're not in it, which is the opposite of every shirt I've ever bought, but then, there's no way I'm wasting days trying things on in warm charity shops—life's too short for that shit.
Hey!, people say to me. Why not try internet dating if you love human flesh so much! You know it's only warm because of blood and old food inside, though, right?
Hi, I am a person. My about me is the Wikipedia synopsis for the events that take place during Warren G's Regulate. I spend a lot of time thinking why and how the beanie baby bubble burst. My favourite colour is paint. Sometimes I think the outdoors smells like the inside of my ear—what is up with that? Could it be a stroke? I'm very careful with money e.g. I never get it wet or light it off birthday candles, and then you say something about sunlight or outdoor sports, because the Twlight fad is over now and the Hunger Games or something.
Honestly though, I only have one hobby, which is to go to spoken word nights and pretend I've broken my arm.
Here's why, I guess. When I was small, I would stand on top of the school's wooden log and make priest arms. The log plus me was just high enough so that no-one could touch my palms and therefore be blessed unless they jumped, so jump they did. And I'd say, Careful, child, you'll break a bone. Don't you know that bones is where soul lives? If you crack them open, the soul escapes! And this is why no one cares a damn about slugs, those rotten devil's tonsils. I, of course, was the holiest-highest of all the smalls, because I had gotten to be that small with my bones perfectly fused as if from birth. Even now, when I've outgrown the smallness, I'm still as smooth on the bone front as I ever was—but I don't think that this explains anything.
I kneel alone on towels on the floor. My arm is wrapped in sheets and sheets of newspaper, to which I am applying, with care, a layer of gluey toilet roll. I am slowly building up my fake cast. I think about the last time that I'd worked this hard with sellotape and glue—wrapping all the gifts to take to my boyfriend's parent's house at Christmas, a house so English that the roof was made from thatch, and the walls had been built by persecuted Catholics.
His brothers were arranged youngest to oldest around the staircase, eating fruit the way I'd always hoped that I might one day: without even wincing once.
And each of them ruffled my hair as I walked past.
In the room that I was sharing with my boyfriend, he hadn't bothered to push the beds together. He sat on one, with his head in his hands, and I unspooled an anecdote, about a man who'd sat beside me on the train as far as Preston.
So then he takes his phone out, right, and looks at it, lets it ring. For six or seven rings. And then he sighs and rubs his face, and gives me a sort of cagey look and answers. Of course I'm eavesdropping. And at first the chat's the usual, Hi, oh how are you? But then, after a minute or so, he starts to stammer and stops and says, Uh, no, I'm not, I'm at Danny's flat. Yeah, Danny. You know? And I guess whoever he's talking to twigs that something's wrong and I mean, by now, the guy is sweating hard, and he says, The noise? What noise? Oh, that noise! That's because I'm standing on a balcony. Outside--yeah, Danny's got this balcony. On the, uh, third floor? Yeah. So I guess I've never mentioned it to you, so what? We watched a film. No, off his laptop. I don't know. No, I don't know. Mark Whalberg. Mark Whalberg. MARK WHALBERG. Then a guy across the aisle stands up, and says, I'm Mark Whalberg, what's the problem?
Quietly, with a crack in the middle, my boyfriend said my name. This scared me, really scared me, because I knew that couples only said their names when they got separated, at a theme park, say, or by the Nazis, or else when one discovered that the other had broken something, or moved it out of sight.
He said it again and touched my knee, then cried and said he was sorry.
Relax, it's only my knee, I said.
You always had such a great sense of humour.
What do you mean had?, I said, in a Groucho Marx-y voice. If anybody's been had in this house, it's your parents for taking the mortgage.
No, that's not true.
What I really said was, Oh.
I'm sorry I made you come all this way. I really am—and at Christmas. Fuck. I'm such. . .but maybe if we ask my Dad, he'll pay you back for the tickets.
It's fine. It is. What else would I be doing?
His mother had stapled a rug on top of the living room carpet, because she knew we'd all be sitting on it, and she didn't want the corners curling up. As we lounged around refusing port and playing rounds of Who Am I, I removed as many staples as I could. His mother—Haile Selassie—took me aside and said, Oh darling, I know what's happened, but please don't punish the furniture.
When it's my turn to speak into the microphone, I make a big deal about my arm being broken. I struggle with getting my stories out of my pocket, and then with turning the pages when I do. Thirty, forty seconds or so of silence, then I say, Look, the last thing I want is for this to be awkward.
Laughter here and there around the room.
I explain that the me in the story is a man, but that everything that happens to him is true, which might be a lie. I pretend as though there's an itch inside my cast. Instead, turns out it's a handkerchief, which is knotted onto another, and then another, and then another, and another and another. I hand an end to a man with a beard and an end to a man with a beard. They pull it until it's taut and then I cut it with some scissors, like I'm opening this new supermarket chain, where I'm not just the beauty queen who's been wheeled out to give it a bit of sequinned cachet, but also I'm the supermarket itself, and every product they sell—I'm an air-bed pump and fondue tongs, a fish that sings Don't Worry, Be Happy when you provoke it , and a half a pound of lean turkey mince—though really if I'd had, somehow, more and less self-respect simultaneously, I probably would have compared myself to a Whole Foods or a local craft brewery.
Seven minutes later, when it's over, and I've read it all from the wrong verb to the worst Christmas, I pull out some laminated cards I've made, and ask the thirty people in the crowd to pick a souvenir, to help them remember this moment we've just shared.
They say, the cards, like:
I want to fake an alien abduction with you.
Whenever I am sweaty on a bus, it will make one of your wishes come true.
That sort of thing. I'm very cute.
The dream's that maybe a guy with a card will Google me, then write me a lower case email that says, God, you are far too good for me—that thing about the beards you said? And the way your boyfriend left you? It was so so funny I couldn't breathe. I mean, you're the greatest woman I've ever seen, and so, if it's okay with you, I'm going to send you witty, flirty, non-threatening Snapchats, with Simpsons quotes and 2 Chainz lyrics, and maybe some photos of goats being chill, but only while you're bored at work, and never when you're trying to have a nap.
But nothing happens. Nothing even remotely like that.
I open up my laptop and connect to Poor_Nasty_Brutish_and_Short. I log onto my OkCupid and say, On Friday nights I like sit in my kitchen, bidding on Sex and the City memorabilia. Or, Sometimes when I pee I pretend to be more into it than I really am. I wonder why, when I was nineteen, I decided that I'd never wear denim again, and how, almost ten years later, a daily devotion to corduroy is the closest I've ever come to having any sort of moral, political or spiritual belief system. I walk to work and stare at the ceiling. The city pays me to sit here, in an otherwise empty building, just in case the ceiling caves in. I guess this must cheaper for them than ever fixing the crack, but only if I don't outlive the roof, right?, which means I must getting crushed real soon, so there's that to look forward to, at least. And also an Alaska house. And glass.
Stephen O'Toole is Scottish writer, born in 1985. He has texts published in "For Every Year", "Up Literature", "The Beat" and "Metazen". Stephen O'Toole lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.
Aleksandr Skidan is a Russian poet, critic, and translator, was born in 1965 in Saint Petersburg, then Leningrad.
Miki Liukkonen is a Finnish poet and novelist, born in the city of Oulu in 1989. After winning the important J. H. Erkon prize in 2009, he published his first collection of poems, titled ”Valkoisia runoja” in 2011
Oravin (*1984) is an Austrian poet and audiovisual performer. He has lived in Graz, Reykjavik and Berlin. After several years of working as an assistant to video artists and filmmakers, he started recording and performing in 2012, switching between clubs, literary venues and film festivals. Since September 2013, he is part of Babelsprech, a network of young German language poets. Oravin currently resides in Finland and Austria.
Poet, translator and editor, Oana Avasilichioaei’s books include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, winner of the QWF’s A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and feria: a poempark (Wolsak & Wynn, 2008). Her most recent translation is Wigrum, a novel by Daniel Canty (Talonbooks, 2013) and she was the editor of the Quebec poetry feature in Aufgabe 12 (New York, 2013).
Teemu Manninen (b.1977) is a poet from Helsinki, Finland. Since 2004 he has published five collections of award-winning poetry, some of which has been translated into Swedish, German, English, Italian and Russian
Crispin Best is a British poet and author, born in 1983. He has texts published in "Robot Melon", "Ha Ha Clever", "Eye Shot", "Abjective", and "Clinic", among others, and also writers for "Dazed & Confused". Crispin Best lives and works in London.
Stephen O'Toole is British writer, born in 1985. He has texts published in "For Every Year", "Up Literature", "The Beat" and "Metazen". Stephen O'Toole lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.
Edimilson de Almeida Pereira is a Brazilian poet, born in Juiz de Fora, in 1963. He has published "Dormundo" (1985), "Livro de falas" (1987), "Árvore dos Arturos & outros poemas" (1988), "Corpo imprevisto & Margem dos nomes" (1989), "Ô lapassi & outros ritmos de ouvido" (1990), Corpo vivido: reunião poética (1991), O homem da orelha furada (1995), Rebojo (1995), and Águas de Contendas (1998), among others.
Maya Kuperman is a poet, born in Haifa, Israel, in 1982. Her first poems were published in the groundbreaking magazine MITA´AM, edited by Yitzhak Laor
“Young Finnish Poetry : an approach” - by Max Oravin
Wingston González is a poet, born in Livingston, Guatemala, in 1986.
Leif Holmstrand is a Swedish artist, musician and writer, born in 1972. A Malmö resident since 1997. Work is currently being done on physical topics such as body essentialism and household waste, distorted through pictorial and linguistic filters of paranoia and phantasm
Aggborough is taken from the name of ‘Kidderminster Harriers’ football stadium, a small town in the west midlands once famous for carpet production. It is also a new music project from now Londoner by the way of Kidderminster. His use of field recordings provides an organic source of material to complement standard dance floor production techniques.
V. S. Luoma-aho is a finnish poet and translator born in 1984 and living in Jyväskylä.
Louis McGuire is a drummer and producer from Leeds/UK born in 1988. McGuire seamlessly combines electronic and acoustic percussion in both his live performances with his band Ballet School, and in his techno productions more recently under the moniker Young Neck
Max Czollek is a German poet and critic, born in Berlin in 1987. He has studied Political Sciences and is the author of “Druckkammern” (Berlin: Verlagshaus J. Frank, 2012). He is the editor of “Babelsprech” and also a founding member of the collective G13.
RAMZI is the solo project of Phoebé Guillemot, a self-taught composer from Montreal. Her music is a mix of lysergic tropical music, psychedelic world beat, dub, jazz, glitch, and video games.
Gabrielė Labanauskaitė is a Lithuanin poet, prose writer, playwright and book critic, born in Vilnius in 1980. She has a master degree in theory and history of literature from Vilnius University
Matilde Campilho is a Portuguese poet, born in Lisbon in 1982.
Ondřej Buddeus is a Czech translator, poet and essayist, born in Prague in 1984. He translates from German and Norwegian (J. Winkler, J. E. Vold, A. Mortensen et al.) and is editor-in-chief of the contemporary Czech poetry magazine "Psí vino"
Jethro Louw aka Tanneman / Xam is poet storyteller, indigenous music improviser, instrument maker (crafter), activist,community worker and tour guide.
Ludwig Roehrscheid is a German producer, born in Frankfurt am Main in 1995.
Andriy Lyubka is a Ukrainian poet, translator and essayist, born in 1987. He is the author of "Eight months of schizophrenia" (poetry, 2007), "Terrorism" (poetry, 2009), "40 Dollars with a Tip" (poetry, 2012) and "Killer" (short stories, 2012).
Reuben da Cunha Rocha is a Brazilian poet, performer and visual artist, born in São Luís do Maranhão in 1984.
Annika Henderson is a political journalist, poet, singer, musician and radio host, born in Woking, England, in 1987
“Stoic as fuck, with a baby face and a set of blue-collar shoulders, Ellison Renee Glenn aka Black Cracker (formerly Celena Glenn) rocks a swag aesthetic that lies somewhere between Dipset and Blackbox
rROXYMORE’s music is a intriguing one-off blend of contrasting textures - organic and synthetic, icy and warm - a fresh future step in dance music. rRoxymore, aka Hermione Frank, released her epic 10 minute debut “Wheel of Fortune“ in the summer of 2012, which came via a split 12” alongside Planningtorock’s ‘Patriarchy Over & Out” (Human Level / DFA Records).
Rozalie Hirs has written five books of poetry, Locus (1998), Logos (2002), Speling (2005), Geluksbrenger (2008), and gestamelde werken (2012)
Joseph Ashworth is a London-based producer, who makes techno music which is hard-hitting and melodic. He spends his days producing and engineering house and techno, whilst creating sound art and making music for film.
Luke Troynar is a Berlin-based Australian songwriter/producer, born in Melbourne in 1986, who performs under the moniker Creatures.
"The House is Black" is an acclaimed short film directed by Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad (1935 - 1967). The film is a look at life and suffering in a leper colony and focuses on the human condition and the beauty of creation.
Robin Myers is a contemporary American poet and translator, born in New York City in 1987.
Alejandro Crotto is a contemporary Argentinian poet and translator, born in Buenos Aires in 1978. He has studied Law and Literature. The poems here published, and translated by Robin Myers, were taken from his collection of poems titled "Abejas" (Bees), published by Bajo La Luna in 2009. The poet lives and works in Buenos Aires.
Elizabeth Veldon is a musician based in Milngavie, Scotland. Her work encompasses harsh noise, dark ambient, drone, minimalism and improvisation.
Doireann O´Malley was born in Ireland in 1981. Her work navigates through a variety of mediums....
Daniel Saldaña París is a poet, novelist and essayist, born in Mexico City in 1984.
Linn Hansén is a Swedish poet, born in Göteborg in 1983. Her first
book, "Ta i trä" (Touch wood), was published in 2008, and her second
book, "Gå till historien", will be launched in April 2013
Luca Argel is a Brazilian poet, musician and visual artist, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1988.
Tim Hetherington was a photographer, moviemaker and war correspondent, born in Birkenhead, England, in 1970.
Vanessa Place is an American poet, born in 1968. She is the author of Dies: A Sentence (a fifty-thousand-word, single-sentence novella).
Regina de Miguel is a visual artist born in Malaga in 1977. Her work develops connections between situations of scientific analysis and perception as objective knowledge (scales of verisimilitude), non-experiential learning as derived from the technological imagination (estrangement and projection), and levels of development of the ideal and critical consciousness (new means of orientation).
Photographer Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert was born in 1991 in Prien am Chiemsee (Bavaria/Germany). After graduating from school, he did various internships working in the set design department of movie productions and theaters as well as an assistant director. Since 2012 he has attended the Ostkreuz Fotografieschule in Berlin. He works basically with analog photography, often with disposable cameras.
Marília Garcia is a poet, editor, translator and professor, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1979.
Berlin based photographer Heinz Peter Knes has established himself as one of Germany's leading photographers in the past few years, after a short residence in Cologne.
Hanne Lippard's work is conveyed through a variety of disciplines such as film, audio and performance.
Alejandro Albarrán was born in Mexico City in 1985. He is the author of Ruido (2012).
Shane Anderson is a writer/editor/translator living in Berlin.
Valentina Siniego is a Mexican photographer. The images shown here belong to the series "En Transito".
Uli Buder aka Akia is a musical producer, and also works with photography and digital art. He lives and works in Berlin.
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Cia Rinne works with visual, textual, sound and conceptual poetry
Nick Veasey is a British photographer, born in London in 1962, working primarily with images created from X-ray imaging.
Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist.
Normoyle is an artist and musician working with vocal techniques for both performance and installation
CAConrad is a recipient of the 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and the 2009 Gil Ott Book Award
oOoOO is the moniker of San Francisco-based producer and composer Chris Dexter Greenspan
Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampling technology, and video.
Wolfgang Müller is one of the founding members of the Berlin-based multimedia group of interventionists Die Tödliche Doris. Throughout the years 1980-1987, Die Tödliche Doris (The Deadly Doris) became legendary in the West Berlin underground music/art scene and abroad.
Berlin-based musician Steven Warwick aka Heatsick is also known as one half of the duo Birds of Delay.
Leila Peacock's approach in all her work is characterized by the term 'knight's-move thinking'.
Néle Azevedo is a Brazilian visual artist who works with video, installation and urban interventions.
Brian Kenny is an American visual artist who works across drawing, painting, sculpture, text, sound, video and blogging.
Jörg Brüggemann is a German photographer, born in Herne in 1979. He studied Media and Graphic Design in Art Universities of Bremen and Buenos Aires.
Florian Pühs is a German musician, singer and producer, born in 1986.
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James Blake is a British producer born in 1989 who has lately enraptured the music world with a couple of releases.
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Exclusive interview with Jules Gimbrone - Brooklyn based composer, performer and artist who leads the music ensemble, ARIA ORION.
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Ezequiel Zaidenwerg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1981. He has published one collection of poems, titled "Doxa" (Bahía Blanca: VOX, 2008).
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Elina Brotherus is a photographer and video artist, born in Helsinki, Finland, in 1972.
Interview with American novelist and poet Dennis Cooper.
Photographer Walter Pfeiffer has been producing work since the 1970s.
Terence Koh is a Canadian artist who creates handmade books and zines, prints, photographs, sculptures, performances, and installations.
Lesley Flanigan is a New York-based sound sculptor, composer, vocalist, and performer.
Belgian author Antoine Wauters reads his series "Debout sur la langue" (2008).
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Walmor Corrêa was born in Brazil in 1961. His visual work has been shown in museums around the world.
Read Ulf Stolterfoht's LINGOS I - IX translated from the German by American poet Rosmarie Waldrop.
Niklas Goldbach is a video artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Nils Linscheidt is a visual artist and filmmaker who founded the collective MAINULL3.
American photographer Wheat Würtzburger has had exhibitions in Florida, New Jersey, New York, and the Netherlands.
Ann Cotten is an Austrian poet, born in Iowa, United States in 1982.
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Barbara Panther is a composer and lyricist from Brussels, Belgium.
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Constantin Hartenstein's videos have been shown in Cologne, Prague, at the Herzliya Bienal Israel, Warsaw.
Bevin Kelley aka Blevin Blectum is an eletronic musician. She is one half of the recently resuscitated digital duo 'blectum from blechdom' (with Kevin Blechdom).
Nathalie Quintane is french a writer and poet working with video and sound in her performances.
Adelaide Ivánova has published photographs in a variety of magazines such as i-D and Colors.
Levi van Veluw is a visual artist born in the Netherlands.
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British artist Robert Storey studied Fine Art in Central Saint Martins. He lives and works in London.
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Heidi Mortenson is a musician, performer and producer, who makes electronic music and performs as a onewomanband.
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Sigurdur Gudjonsson is a visual artist from Iceland, working primarily with video and photography for his installations.
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Janaina Tschäpe is a visual artist working with video and photography for her installations.
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Damien Spleeters is a poet, writer and videomaker from Brussels, Belgium.
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Brenda Hillman is an American poet, born in Tucson, Arizona.
Nelly Larguier is a sound artist/poet from Paris, France.
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Daavid Mörtl's work has been included in several exhibitions, he has worked commercially on storyboards for short films and illustrated plans for art installations.
Mary Mattingly is an American visual artist living and working in New York.
Ricardo Domeneck is a writer, multimedia poet and video artist born in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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Anat Ben-David is a video and performance artist, working and living in London since 1999.
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Mikko Rantanen is a graphic artist born in Finland. His work has been featured in numerous publications including Creative Review, The Guardian and IdN.
Catriona Shaw is a visual artist born in Edinburgh, Scotland, also known as Miss le Bomb.
Brett Lloyd aka Bretty Boy Lloyd is a London-based photographer.
Léopold Rabus is a painter born in 1977 in Neuchåtel, Switzerland.
Dionís Escorsa is a spanish visual artist who concentrates on video.
Lenka Clayton works as an artist and documentary maker and more often in the area inbetween.
Susanne Buerner is concerned with the vocabulary of suspense, and, mostly, its emotional response for the spectator, in her videos and photographic work.
Pierre Debroux's photography and video work investigate the relationships between our personal remembrances and a sense of communal memory.
Amanda Stewart is a poet, visual artist, performing vocalist and author.
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Tetine are have created a multitude of music & performance works from spoken word to electronica, including ritualistic performances, films and video.
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Ben Van Wyke translates from the Spanish and Portuguese and is currently pursuing a PhD in translation studies at Binghamton University.
Joerg Piringer is a sound poet, born in Austria, currently living and working in Vienna
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Jill Magi is the author of Threads (Futurepoem Books), a hybrid book of collage, poetry, and prose.
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Bruna Kazinoti has published photos in various magazines such as Dazed & Confused, Slurp, Sleek, Kink, Neo2, Dong, Style and Pig.
Maja Ratkje is a composer of orchestral and electroacoustic works, an opera performer and experimental improvising artist.
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Sascha Ring aka Apparat, a trained drummer, regards moving to Berlin as one of his best decisions. Since 1999 he has been running the record label Shitkatapult with T.Raumschmiere.
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Digital artist Robert Hodgin works with Processing and Cinder (The Barbarian Group’s C++ framework).
Pablo León de la Barra is an artist and curator. Born in Mexico City,he has lived and worked in London for the past 9 years.
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Philip Guichard aka Phiiliip has released three albums: Pet Cancer, Divided by Lightning and Magically Bad, counting with collaborations from Avenue D and Soft Pink Truth, for example.
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Eduard Escoffet lives and works in Barcelona. His work encompasses various forms of poetry: sound, visual and textual poetry, and performance.
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Dimitri Rebello aka Dimitri BR is a singer and composer working solo and with the band 3a1, also formed by Achilles Chirol, Silvia Rebello, Fernando Puga.
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Gert-Jan Akerboom pieces together parts of pre-existing images and cultural fragments in order to create something completely new in his works.
Poet and writer Angélica Freitas lives and works in Pelotas.
Artist Pablo Gonçalo lives and works in Brasilia.
Silvana Franzetti lives and works in Buenos Aires.
Artist Eli Sudbrack aka assume vivid astro focus lives and works in New York.
Dean Sameshima lives and works in Los Angeles.