The Sent(A)Mental Project is a memorial to queer and trans* suicides. It hopes to bring visibility to mental health issues and much-needed attention to the thousands of people lost within our communities, as well as share survivor stories through a variety of artistic expressions. Members of the Laser Life queer SF collective were invited to perform at a S(A)M benefit show on 24 May 2012, along with an small array of other artists. Rather than read individual stories, the Laser Life crew decided to collaborate on a three-piece tale, woven together with a common universe but written in each person’s respective style. Below are the live recordings from the event:
The Weeping Cabin: A Benefit Compilation is a collection of live, exclusive tracks from performers featured at the Sent(A)Mental Benefit Show at Geppetta’s Studio, May 24th 2012. The compilation features downloadable tracks from Emily Bate, Shomi Noise, and Liz & the Lost Boys plus sci-fi spoken word from Laser Life and an excerpt from a performance by a stick and a stone* with full album download. The compilation is an eclectic mixture of voices and styles ranging from indie rock to haunting folk, riot grrl to dystopian science fiction. So very swoon worthy.
Initial proceeds will go to production costs for ‘There Was a Cabin Who Once Wept‘, a short film in-the-works, with additional proceeds benefiting the Sent(A)Mental Project: an artistic memorial to LGBTQ suicides. The film project will be a submission to S(A)M.
“There Was A Cabin That Once Wept” is made possible by a Lee Foundation Art and Change Grant.
To learn more about Sent(A)Mental Project, view or submit art, visit: http://sentamentalstudios.weebly.com/
The Laser Life, founded and curated by Alex Smith, is held every other month at the A-Space in West Philadelphia. It’s more special than you know, unless of course, you have been before. It offers a platform for queer speculative fiction writers, poets, performers, and shamans, drawing a packed house every time without fail. Often, Facebook event-goers have shown up fashionably late only to discover they have made folly—the Laser Life starts on time and ends early. The Laser Life leaves you with the feeling of having watched a deeply compelling film in the theater. The Laser Life makes you feel aimless, celebratory, wild, and you empty out on to Baltimore Avenue amidst strangers and friends with no real plans but to enjoy the evening. You feel elevated.
To date, we have only filmed, sparingly, what goes on with with our cell phones . . .
The next Laser Life is this October 19th. [Facebook event]
More on the enigmatic Alex Smith can be found here.
1. OUR SCI-FI IS OUR REALITY!
Not all of us here are born with a silver spoon, tie-dyed space ship. We want the gristle, the grime, the earth, and steel to bend beneath our feet as we navigate towards the moon and the stars. Because we’re not divorced from the reality of our nightmares, we give voice to the passion of our dreams.
2. OUR GENERATION IS ETERNAL!
These are androids dreaming of electric sheep, going 20,000 leagues below the surface, scraping up lost scrolls and parables of forgotten sowers. We commune with the griots, the orishas, the wizards and the soothsayers. We are always imp, always sage, always forever.
3. OUR PERCEPTIONS ARE NOT OUR OWN!
What looks like a spoon isn’t (is) a spoon. We can burst like 1,000 rainbows in dreary forest, or pour onto your subway cars in psychedelic sprawl, turn bullets into fireflies and asphalt into cloud.
4. OUR SCI-FI IS OUR NEW MYTH!
Those ancient scrolls and scriptures are tattered and torn, rewritten by ogres to fit their own needs throughout time, forward and back again. We graft tales of exploding confetti in alleyways, of dust strewn castles in tenement hallways and of new, unfolding rituals in parking lot bonfires. We believe in their power, their power it guides us.
5. OUR CRITIQUE IS THE TRIP FANTASTIC!
Like a glass moth, in the air on wings of gossamer, the questions rise: what of our future, what of our skin? We believe in unplugging from the machine, in taking the microchips and tracking devices lodged in our lobes and, before smashing them, acknowledging them, making them known. We are the reporters in a rainbowtopia.
6. OUR VOICE IS THE SONG FOR THE VOICELESS!
No more will we slink into the back of the bazaar, huddled over embers in the cold spaces of your library, forgotten and lost playing back up to Captain Kirk. We slipped the bad pills behind our gums and ignored the placebos, to spit them out later as diamonds, to clear our tongues, to sing.
7. OUR DREAM SPACE IS OUR COMMUNION!
A faerie commune in deep space; street corner kid as astronaut; man in bodega as a disembodied spirit. We present this as offering space for new visions and imaginings of identity among the disenfranchised, entwined in the arena of new beginnings.
8. OUR SCI-FI IS OUR LIBERATION!
To simultaneously go beyond and embody gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, with the city backlit on a cosmic green screen, where the shackles of every “-ism” falls as fresh morning dew subtly on a still wet page. We want freedom to determine our destiny, in our time, in our space, in our dreams, in our metro polarity.