Im sitting in a cafe in East Harlem just having listened to a cover medley of Taylor Swift songs. The weight hanging over my head is not lost on me. So far my performances have gone well. I’ve added 2 more shows to the line up while in ny. I was also tapped to be a part of Cara Mia’s storytellers project in Dallas. I can see my next move if I maintain. While I am stressed in a number of ways it is for an beginning. I don’t feel like I’m in a dream. I can’t seem to fix my face to smile but I am happy. Poised more so is the word I’m thinking of. I can pull off poised. I head back to Dallas on Monday and still have a few vital connections to make. This afternoon im having lunch with my favorite sound designer. Hopefully its fruitful.

There’s is very little to eat in Boston after Midnight. I wandered for about an hour after my performance at the Lizard Lounge because i was hungry. Every place I searched on yelp that said there was food in a within a mile of my hotel was a false positive. I could get a drink but I dont drink anymore. I stayed in Chinatown. My host, Kenny has a lung infection so he put me up downtown. In the morning we talked about a collaboration in Dallas. Before that I was at MIT and Harvard. I tried to visit some independent bookstores, one was closed and the other was more of a novelty. My allergies have cleared up in the cold. I’m still having headaches. The curator of the curremt series at the Lizard Lounge tapped me to perform at another venue later on the tour and if I have free time between dates in New York I’d like to make that happen. Im still debating if I should try and make this Nashville event. I think I would have a good time. I’m on a bus to the next city. There’s a snowstorm coming.

I’ve got just about 2 months until the hosting for this domain expires. I’ve been building a new website on the low so this is an announcement. I’ve got a number of deadlines approaching before I leave for the First bit of the In Praise of Shadows Tour on Friday. I’ve got to write bios. Here’s what I’ve put together so far.

 

Xxavier Edward Carter is an artist and writer, born in Dallas, Texas. His written work is heavily influenced by the poetry of Amiri Baraka, the artistic works of Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, and a love for the plays of Shakespeare. In middle school you could catch him reading Aristotle’s Metaphysics one day, Anna Deavere Smith the next, and Bret Easton Ellis the next all with the same intensity. An early exposure to an eclectic array of music imparted a dynamic lyricism into Xxavier’s poetry. With this also came a consciousness of the diversity of realities people experience across the world and an interest in how people express themselves. Xxavier has shown artwork in England, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and South Korea. Moving forward, Xxavier looks to find collaborators to translate his work into other languages while creating more audio, video, and performance works.

Driven by a need to connect to others through creative engagement, Xxavier Edward Carter has worked to align himself with public arts organizations and educational spaces. Driven a belief that artist involvement in society leads to a richer and stronger communities and that this belief supersedes a political platform, he seeks a philosophy that will reify the bonds between people. As a self described anarchist and militant, he believes that self determinacy brings with it the connective tissue which recognizes the commonality of the struggles against oppression and in combating that oppression the strongest weapon is mind prepared to change.

There are strong religious tones to Xxavier’s work. The bible belt states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas were significant in his early childhood along with an aunt and uncle heavily involved in administration and education aspects of a Christian Church and other relatives and close family friends involved in The 7th Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Whiteness Churches. Christianity, however, was not the only religious community he was exposed to. The Nation of Islam was extremely impactful as his stepfather solicited for the organization and stressed the importance of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad as a liberation theologian. Similarly, Xxavier was engaged with the teaching of the Buddha throughout much of his childhood, researching meditative practices and self awareness. In 4th Grade, Xxavier announced himself as an Atheist and maintained that position until his early 20’s where he now stands as, “somewhere between agnostic and whatever the opposite of what Glenn Beck believes,” sometimes practicing witchcraft and frequently reading astrology.

 The social awareness of Xxavier Edward Carter’s work comes from lived experience. Xxavier was lucky to meet Rosa Parks while in elementary school and is family friends with civil rights activist Juanita Abernathy. The incarceration of his father and the deportation of his stepfather were very impactful in developing a consciousness of what the law is and isn’t. Twice the police raided his home arresting his mother. This experience hasn’t instilled the kind of fear one would expect. Xxavier has remained active in engaging with his communities from a position that politicians and the police are not here to help and both are partisan arms of a capitalist machine meant to deprive the majority of people of their basic human rights. He has served as a California Election Official and been a vocal attendant of city council meetings seeing these acts as civic responsibility rather than a politically motivated because otherwise go unheard.

In 2014 while working in England, Xxavier befriended artist a group of artists and activists involved with the organization Climate Rush. Out of that meeting he became one of the founding members of The Future, a climate change organization with the purpose of raising awareness through global action. Xxavier approaches climate change from a cultural perspective. The devastation of the environment that is taking place due to the overfishing, strip mining, deforesting, industrialized farming, and oil drilling is most effecting those disenfranchised through colonization. The specter of this system warped the perception of the intrinsic value of cultures taken as colonies to be less than that of the colonizer. This system has allowed for the degradation of the planet as simply a commodity under the ownership of a powerful few rather than the land being under the stewardship of the people. It is his hope that through organizations like The Future a sea change in our understanding of value may change.

Xxavier is the founder of Goldfish Dreams LLC//G-D|100% FOR SURE, an arts organization dedicated to the production, promotion, and publication of contemporary art. He is currently working with the Dallas Theater Center and Ignite Dallas as a teaching artist and independent contractor. It is his goal to come to understand more the dynamics around the cultural planning while exploring the possibilities of performance in the arts. Xxavier is a first year MFA Candidate at Southern Methodist University and the Public Relations Chair of the Meadows Graduate Student Council.

 

I had 420 words and I didn’t like that. Now with 387 words. Like Neil Young said, number add up to nothing. Maybe best if listened to with this.

 

The focus of my work is cultural memory. In the spaces of memory, in contested territories, in collective spaces, in forgetting, in remembering, and all the objects around those acts, the images, and other senses that allow us to craft our reality. Black liberation, spirituality, nature, technology, performance, and architecture are key themes I use to explore interactions between people. I take an interdisciplinary approach to making work using mediums ranging from every day pen a paper to high grade marble tile, it is a mix of assemblage pulled through abstraction to a process oriented making. With poetry as a guiding element for my work, text acts as a platform for the finished products that never quite finish, granting the audience an access point into the difficultly making meaning. The visual style of my work blends nature and architecture with storytelling elements that reflect my personal experiences and a wider critical eye on the struggle of the working class. At a glance my work resembles trash. The build up of objects clashing with surfaces. The objects present an overwhelmingly opaque collection of ideas layered with apparent meaning that may just be time catching up as these cast off bits have accrued a form. The history of luxury goods, color, material, and movements of people have come with repercussions we are dealing with as a intricately connected global society. As a way of entering conversation with how society expresses value through the conflicts around globalization, my art becomes a vessel for navigating the web of truths considered transparent but ultimately obfuscated by hegemonic oppression. Building acts of juxtaposition, patterning, and camouflaging I try to expose our relationship to the things that create significance in our lives, revealing in the language around these objects their heritage. I don’t seek to dominate a form but rather imbue a self determinacy onto the object through process. Texas skies, California forests, hills, and urban sprawl, competitive sports fields, international cityscapes from Western Europe, to Northern Africa, to North East Asia, cyberspace all come with unique language and narrative that while at once range widely are also contained in a philosophy that connects everything in existence. The beauty of it all is that we are simply moving on a moving surface with no fixed points, so, la, ti, do, in joy, in sorrow.

 

I think I’m getting closer to what I’m getting at with all my art making. While at once I may have reworded things, I don’t think my overall scope has changed. Maybe I just got shook for a bit, you decide.

The focus of my work is cultural memory. In the spaces of memory, in contested territories, in collective spaces, in forgetting, in remembering, and all the objects around those acts, the images, and other senses that allow us to craft our reality, we create ourselves. Black liberation, spirituality, nature, technology, performance, and architecture are key themes I use to explore interactions between people. I take an interdisciplinary approach to making work using mediums ranging from every day pen a paper to high grade marble tile to process my vision. With poetry as a guiding element for my process, text acts as a platform for the finished products of my practice, granting the audience an easy access point into the more difficult parts of my work.

 

Pointing to an imagined worlds the visual style of my work blends nature and architecture with storytelling elements that reflect my personal experiences and a wider critical eye on the struggle of the working class. The history of luxury goods, color, material, and movements of people have come with repercussions we are dealing with as a intricately connected global society. As a way of entering conversation with how society expresses value the conflicts around globalization, art becomes a vessel for navigating the web of truths considered transparent but ultimately obfuscated by hegemonic oppression. Careful acts of juxtaposition, patterning, and camouflaging expose our relationship to the things that create significance in our lives, revealing in the language around these objects their heritage.

 

I feel a great distance between myself and the cultures I was raised in. The overlapping territories of these places, non places, people, and ideas, has created in me an interest in the spirit of all things and a manner of creating that doesn’t seek to dominate a form but rather imbue a self determinacy onto of the object through process. Texas skies, California forests, hills, and urban sprawl, competitive sports fields, international cityscapes from Western Europe, to Northern Africa, to North East Asia, cyberspace all come with unique language and narrative that while at once range widely are also contained in a philosophy that connects everything in existence. The absurd beauty of it all is that we are simply moving on a moving surface with no fixed points, so, la, ti, do, in joy, in sorrow.

I want to give a big shout out and welcome home to a person I’ve only ever talked to on the telephone, Saleem Holbrook, who was released from prison today. Saleem was a juvenile sentenced to life in prison in Pennsylvania. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 ruled against mandatory life-without-parole for juvenile offenders. The Pennsylvania Legislature responded by imposing new sentencing rules for juveniles in first- and second-degree cases, but did not make them retroactive. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently ruled its 2012 decision does apply retroactively. The court opinion said at least 17 states have outlawed life-without-parole for juvenile defendants. Pennsylvania has the most lifers who committed their crimes as juveniles.

I met Saleem through a close friend in Oakland where I learned about his story. After reading his articles I’ve gained a massive amount of respect and knowledge from the struggle he has faced in finding justice inside the US prison system. I won’t go on a diatribe against mass incarceration right now, this is a time for celebration. There are still people locked in the struggle and with Saleem’s release I know his work continues on breaking the bonds forged through the racist and capitalist policing practices of criminal justice system in the United States. You can find more about Saleem Holbrook here.

I was invited to the opening night performance of Frankenstein, the Dallas Theater Center production. I’ve been having a moment of self reflection. That saying of your chickens coming home to roost sums up how I feel. Frankenstein was a good play to reflect on this. In front of me before the play started the audience went back and forth about what kind of Frankenstein was going to be staged. The play remained faithful to Mary Shelly’s telling of the story of the doctor and his creation/s. I can’t remember the last time I read the book and I’ve never seen a staging, but it was brilliantly acted. The first act is difficult as you watch the Creature brought to life and find its legs in the face of a society that sees it as pure monster, the climax of the act coming in the Creature’s killing of the family of a blind man that taught him kindness.

I sat for most of the intermission, last week was exhausting and I feel like I’m just recovering. Part of me feels lazy even though my calendar is packed and I’ve yet to miss an appointment, its more of a feeling. I don’t feel prideful and I mostly want to stay inside. I watched a spider crawl into Gen Ligon’s America and wave goodbye, or move on, or nothing that I can hold in words or vision or spirit because I am not a spider. I think I’ve come to using poetry as a crutch. Maybe I should eat more spiders, ha.

The second act of the play is full of death, the death of a young boy, the death of another newly born creature, the death of a love ignored. The circling of Frankenstein and his Creature like binary stars burning all around them to the cold. There are no flickers of that bright spark that animated both the Creature and Frankenstein in that moment, just the wind howling as they together walk into the unknown, as knowing is an end and in his act of creation, Frankenstein is endless.

 

I’ve been updating my statement over the past few days. I noticed part 2 had a bunch of typos with my bad at phone typing. Anyways, more words. A neatly typed artist statement for you.

Enjoy

Xx

The focus of my work is cultural memory. In the spaces of memory, in contested territories, in collective spaces, in forgetting, in remembering, and all the objects around those acts, the images, and other senses that allow us to craft our reality, we create ourselves. My interest is in black liberation, spirituality, nature, technology, performance, and architecture. What I am drawn to is how people interact with one another through these mediums and the pressure that bring inequity on the working class worldwide. Poetry is a large component of my visual world, I see it as a guiding element in my work, using text as a spring board to give the audience an easy access point into the more difficult parts of my work.
Juxtaposition and patterns and our relationship to the things that we see as significant help me create. The act of camouflage and the way images recede and expose themselves in the visual plane characterize my work speak to a level of production in my work. I explore the history of luxury goods and movements of people and the economic repercussions of these movements as a way of entering conversation with how society expresses value. The conflicts around globalization, specifically the proliferations of oppression and how traumatic experiences are manifested and exercised are very important to me. I see the spirit as a way of engaging into this history in a way that goes beyond the cosmetic analysis of much of western philosophies take on the other in this regard.
The natural world is of special interest to me. The regenerative aspects of the planet and the cycles that are inherent in the seasons reflect themselves on our bodies and I try and embody this change in my process. I live and work in an urban environment that is heavily constructed with layers of meaning that stratify themselves through the social structure. To comment on this, I see the performance aspects of my practice as a way creating of ritual to the means of transferring the power that is built into our cultural narratives, altering the spaces we are bound to. As a way of mapping out territory and changes that happens in nature I explore the evolving urban landscape, finding ways to balance the development that is key to mankind now and a future of self determination for all people and an eventual decay of all things.
My current works center on the book as a means of conveyance for information and the epic poem as a tool for revolution. The forms that come out of this book are the visual representations interpreted through a loose definition of instructions gleaned from the book. A large ceramic vessel with a wooden body topped with a mirror, a painstakingly detailed drawing completed predominately in ballpoint pen, the detritus from two years of institutionalization, bottles of napalm, the reliquary of a tree, a vignette performance of the poem, all are representations made object from words on the page. The book itself exists in a digital format speaking to the proliferation and reproduction of ideas from the intimate to the communal. My objective is to bring to life another world where the book is equal record of time as creative product with the poem being the vessel for moving that work between spaces.
This work is not confined to the forms represented they are illustrations of an idea in progress. The words captured in the poem are sourced and limited to one experience and in that are imbued with a singular life, the kind of idea of blood, not a concrete existence, or even general form, a fluid understanding of humanity existing not just as bodies. This work does not seek to dominate the concepts it converses with, rather in its representations works more simply as holds for the audience on a moving surface. It would be easier to fix a meaning to this work as some kind of everlasting or totemic space of blackness by blackness, that would limit the experiences of the initiated in blackness, instead many voices speak through this work as a way to bring the chorus of life to song.
“So, la, ti, do, in joy and sorrow.”

 

This trip to the Bay Area was eventful. Along with a successful performance andengaging interviews, i was able to see some old friends, make new friends, and find a potential collaborator on a Goldfish Dreams project. My calendar looks like a rainbow. Generally speakimg this is anxiety producing, my second mind sees excitement, i know there is a lot of work to be done in the coming weeks. I’m also looking for a new roommate for March. I think things will work out, i have to make more money so more hustling. I didnt break my no drinking or caffine resolution this entire trip, even after staying up 24 plus hours in the lead up to my performance on Sunday. I did go over budget however with a trip to the dentist, I don’t have any cavities anymore. I didn’t know this but it was my dentist’s wedding anniversary today. I only know this because I went to the hairdresser with her on her wedding day. Interesting story. It would be nice to not have to spend money on the ride home from the airport. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

Just landed in San Francisco.

Here is the second partbof my artist statement. It focus on my current works and has a bit more poetic flare.

Bests,

Xxavier Edward Carter

My current works center on the book as a means of conveyance for information and the epic poem as a tool for revolution. The forms that come out of this book are the visual representations interpreted through a loose definition of instructions gleaned from the book form. A large ceramic vessle with a wooden body topped with a mirror, a painstakingly detailed drawing completed predominately in ballpoint pen, the detritus from two years of institutionalization, bottles of napalm, the relequary of a tree, a vinetted perdormance of the poem, all are representations made object from words on the page. The book itself exists in a digital format speaking to the proliferation and reproduction of ideas from the intimate to the communal. My objective if to bring to life another world where the book is equal record of time as creative product with the poem being the vessle for moving that work between spaces.

This work is not confined to the forms represented they are illustrations of an idea of progress. The words captured in the poem are sourced and limited to one experience and in that are imbued with a singular life, the kind of idea of blood, not a concrete existance, or even general form, a fluid understanding that at a time the humors of humans existed as a body alone created from what was like water in a color that bound us all together. This work does not seek to dominate the concepts it converses with, rather in its representations works more simply as holds for the audience on a moving surface. It would be easier to fix a meaning to this work as some kind of everlasting or totemic space of blackness by blackness, that would limit the experiences of the initiated in blackness, instead many voices speak through this work as a way to bring the chorus of life to song.

“So, la, ti, do, in joy and sorrow.”

In the lead up to this semester I submitted work to a number of conferences and festivals. With two announcements gone I’ve received one rejection and am expecting another. I’m taking it in stride. My personal life has been a good teacher. In the face of disappointment I generally get over things quickly, getting on with things. If I’ve learned anything I’m not one to be tied down so the idea of being bound to a bad feeling while at once seems absurd all too usual is the err of sentiment for being let down, a gentle reminder of our humanity.

I have a trip lined up for Friday. I spent my morning framing works I will be delivering on that trip plus one for a new collector in Dallas. I want to be more active this semester, not necessarily in the art scene, maybe just go out to some more shows. This past Friday was the first meeting of the DFW Grad Consortium. I’ve gathered that I am one of two black male identifying persons in an MFA program in the area. I want to meet this other. I also want to find out in the state what the numbers are. Whatever this time is I’d like to make a few friends. I’m thinking of my next stop already. Wanna go for a ride?