Fishbowler and Hugo, Oh The Places We Go

So my laptop, he broke today. (why are things usually deemed a she?) There’s been dirt under the screen since I got the computer back from the repair guys. That was back when I was in LA fishbowling in a furniture store display window and I’ve just let it go until today. A piece of dirt has miraculously grown bigger under the glass so I just couldn’t take it any more.

Today I took out the pocket knife that Rippie gave me down in Goldfield. He thought every man should have one and he was absolutely right and now I use it all the time. Anyway I whipped it out and started prying the glass away from the laptop–I call it a lappy. That’s the term a friend from the past had shared with me and I’ve called it that ever since. Anyway, CRACK! The glass broke.

This Macbook, though, its name is Hugo Ball. Hugo Ball was one of the founders of the Dada movement and my Hugo goes with me everywhere I go. Hugo and I have been together now since 2008. That was the year I became single for awhile.

Between then and now I’ve been a kind of wandering mendicant. We started NadaDada in ’07 and since then I’ve been fishbowling and reflecting on the nature of transience and minimizing–you know, getting rid of stuff. Paring it all down was a big process. We don’t realize how much crap we’re dependent upon until the rug is pulled out from under us. Without a studio I didn’t do any painting until I got to Goldfield. Between burying cars, I made some canvases and did alot of writing.

It’s actually the second Mac lappy I’ve had. The first one became the property of someone else–someone I don’t know, but someone I hate. It seems while drinking and wandering bars downtown Las Vegas, I wandered into the Beauty Bar (cute name right?) and it seems I wandered out whilst my lappy stayed behind for a bit. Upon getting my drink at the next bar down the street, The Griffin–and I remember this moment crystal clear–in a flash I realized my accomplice Tristan Tzara (Tristan Tzara was another of the founders of the Dada Movement) was not with me. I dashed down the sidewalk full stride back to the Beauty Bar and, guess what, nobody saw it. It was gone. Poof! Pretty much brand new silver Apple laptop.

Mind you I was drunk and the night that followed became QUITE adventurous in the ghetto of downtown Las Vegas; I won’t get into it. Some other time perhaps. Yes, I quit drinking eventually.

So Tristan wasn’t with me very long, though he was at the first NadaDada in 2007, right beside me, playing music while I drew in my room at the Cortez. With his descendent Hugo I made hundreds of videos, thousands of friends online and have streamed thousands of hours of footage. This is fishbowling. I don’t think it’s out of the question to expect that Apple might like to sponsor my endeavors.

This year for NadaDada I’m working on getting a sponsor to build me a glass box to fishbowl in. I’d love to get some solar power for it as well.

Anyway, today got me thinking about all these experiences I’ve been through with Hugo (and Tristan)..

and all the places that we that did go

All the people that we did know.

Fishbowler fishbowlin’

it ain’t easy ya’ know.

Go fishbowler


The article I wrote in the fishbowl for the Reno News & Review years ago..

Goldfield Days Is This


Friday, August 17th, Saturday the 18th, and Sunday the 19th, 2012 are the dates for the free event.

A town, midway between Reno and Las Vegas, formerly populated by twenty thousand people is now home to around 150. They say Mark Twain lived here once. Same with Wyatt Earp. Virgil Earp did live here. It was a major Western city back then. Boom & bust. At one time Las Vegas was the “Gateway to Goldfield”. No joke.

Some of our historic buildings are still here. People find our town quaint; we find it peaceful. Once a year, we invite the rest of the world in to party with us. The County of Esmeralda invites you to buy a plot of land here. 18 lots, VERY affordable. Here’s the list; take a look:

Everything’s very informal and we still need vendors, so get ahold of us. Drive your interesting vehicles here to parade around in. Drive your 4×4 or tow ATV’s. Dress up! Western? Funky? Doesn’t matter. Rusty steel & objects were left behind from the mining days ALL OVER THE PLACE, and also jackasses roam wild here. What I’m sayin’ is photo opportunities are unique here!

We’ll be featuring a Parade, Chili Cook-Off, Car Show, Poker Walk, Children’s Old West Arcade, Live Bands, Gunfighters, Historic Bus Tours around town, Paranormal Tours of the HauntedHigh School which was built in 1907, Bed Races and much more. And yes, there will be beer.

We have a brand new BMX track here too! Open to the public. Explore our back roads and take an ultra lite ride over town! Visit our authentic Wild West graveyard. In the vicinity, there is a waterfall, a hot spring, and you can shoot guns!

Goldfield’s 8 motel rooms at the Sante Fe are booked up. Dry camping is available at the InternationalCarForest of the LastChurch. $25 donation is being asked, per person. Kids under 18 are free, accompanied by parents. Porta-potties supplied. Bring water and food. Bring solar showers or buddy up with someone that has one (hubba hubba). Campfires in fire pits please, so bring shovels. It can get very windy and it’s possible we get a little rain (very little). No flip flops! Wear boots. Shade structures must be strongly constructed at your site.

To fill out vendor or parade forms:

For more details, email Or call Lisa at the Goldfield Gift Shop 775-485-3700

NadaDada? Belligerent?

NadaDadans on the Balcony
Image by Art Domagala via Flickr

The motel world is a transient world, it leaves room for a little belligerence, but SHOCK, not being our goal.. naturalism is, I think. Authenticity, truthful, obnoxious reality, misspellings and badly placed punctuation. I’m against the fantasy of the sterile gallery, as if art exists on its own plane. That don’t do it for me.. I wanna know who made what and how and USUALLY it’s a pretty fucking interesting story straight from the horse’s mouth.

NadaDada is to be the opposite of a governmental oligarchy or plutocracy or anything hierarchical using any kind of coercion. We don’t believe in dangling carrots or papers bequeathing you with officialdom, in fact.. there is no we. To jury shows and to ‘set standards’ I do believe will never be part of nadaDada.

We’re about getting ourselves the closest we can to ‘no restrictions’. We’re about giving this thing away, letting ANYBODY in that wants the work-and anyone who’d like to SEE the work. It’s artists at work.

I only say so much because I think so much about this subject. I want to build something with you.. then again, I want you to do your own thing, regardless of me. That’s what I want. I want us to be a group of individuals, not in text only or on name plates, bibliographies-no! I want to see each individual being an individual and doing it differently each year. I want to see conflict and peace, we’re presenting a world here.

It is of more interest, perhaps, in what NadaDada is NOT. We are not an imposing force, we are an inclusive force. Being in motels, as we are, we have almost unlimited growth potential in every city-this is our beauty. We are not asking for the best artists, but ALL artists to come out of the woodwork and make themselves heard, in any way they see fit. Even ‘jurying’ is allowed if that’s the way someone conducts their room.

The model is as simple as this: Each artist pays a motel or venue normal rates to open a temporary gallery, performance space, whatever, in a room. It is that direct. The date and times are the only other things you need to know to be a part.

You’ll need to promote your room because it is YOUR art show. We are all doing our own parts, and believe me, all the flyers of varying types and promotions of unique flavors do NOT hurt anyone here. Oh, you’ll have to have a sales tax permit to sell art; you don’t if you don’t. Talk to those people about that.

This year, as always, the 3rd weekend of June, Reno does NadaDada. Las Vegas’ first NadaDada will be this year, 2012, the weekend of May 4th.

Please subscribe to my posts to be updated further, or email me with a question. We have a fan page AND a group page on Facebook.

Involve yourself, belligerently, if the spirit moves you. NadaDada.

NadaDada VEGAS, 2012 (updated photos of The Tod)

Nothing gets someone’s attention like “What’s the process involved in renting the whole motel for a weekend?” It’s an art show.

The manager, who’s name just happens to be Todd, answered my questions and we talked about dates and numbers of people and the public invited in to his motel. We talked about the nuts and bolts of what it would take to make this production happen.

It’s always a helpful tool to be able to mention New York Times. We’ll have artists showing there from across the country, possibly world. It’s a hostel too.

The Tod Motel is in the arts district of Las Vegas. The district is called 18b after the 18 city blocks, originally designated for this regentrifying neighborhood. City ofLas Vegashas an interesting challenge with its unique layout.

Downtown, Freemont street and its surrounding blocks are the city of Las Vegas. The Strip is actually the county and the two have competing attention gaining tricks to employ. Art always attracts a certain crowd, and the city has done well to make this rundown neighborhood, with cars commuting quickly through it, into a destination for art lovers and get the art occupants have gotten some Vegas visitors to land there.

The Tod Motel is at the south end of this area, 18b, and there’s much interest, already being made vocal, to make NadaDada happen right there. Artists, galleries and motel owners are already telling me they’re in. It’s the only thing that’s not a gamble in Las Vegas.

I’ll keep you posted; subscribe to this blog. Please don’t hesitate to send me a line on Facebook or email me at

First Friday is May 4th, so it looks like NadaDada Vegas, 2012 will be that weekend, from Friday to Sunday.

Stay tuned!

thanks for the image of the Tod.

Tod Motor Motel, Las Vegas, NV

and more images, from Robby Virus, of the Tod here:

Some shots I took there the other day..

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