Arrived @Townhouse Room122 –NadaDada2013 Post #1


They’ve painted the place tropical. You should see it. It looks very nice here especially in the sun. I’m on the side shaded during the afternoon sun facing the El Cortez above.

I found that these banners that Killbuck distributed actually glow with a strong light behind it. We had to play with that. I had my first visitor last night, ill fated John Molezzo. I say ill fated completely in absurdum as this man is not ill fated. Good comrade. My girlfriend helped me move into the room so I shouldn’t be calling John my first visitor, though I doubt anyone cares about this but me.


I’m about to write the next blog post. At this moment, I’m remembering how much I like to type it directly onto the post instead of a separate document, thought usually I write on paper in pen before typing. And here’s my series of blog posts, NadaDada 2013 at the Townhouse Motorlodge. My room is called something like “The Never Ending Fishbowler Excursion” though possibly  “The Unending Fishbowler Excursion” since Never Ending is kinda’ played out but I also was thinking maybe ” “The Open Ended Fishbowler Excursion”, so who knows.


I was thinking of painting a big portrait of Andy Kaufman now. Blog Post #2 while I do that I suppose. I’m gonna’ get up and say a couple words tonight, introduce Mr. DadaMayor as well. I should have it done for that, my Kaufman portrait. Yeah.


Otherwise, the one place to go for all information regarding locations and times for this year’s art show: or click the following spaceman for hyperspace online di-rect connection to the map and schedule page.



Related articles:

Andy Kaufman as Latka Gravas



And So We Embarked Upon This Project..

Image to stage an art show in motel rooms with everyone/anyone in charge. No one would curate. No one would procure an event permit–no one would need to. Individual artists and creatives would rent rooms–the public would be invited.

“Get a room, Make a Show”. This is the motto and literally the only rule observed. The third weekend of June would always be our event’s weekend. OK, so 2 rules.

That first year it was actually called Dada Motel and the event took place over the fourth weekend of June, 2007. In Reno, we have the month of July reserved for an event called Artown. That city wide establishment festival is run by a non-profit organization with a large budget.

For years Reno’s visual artists have felt shafted by that event’s planners so El Jefe’s new event was to steal some thunder from them. We did it the very weekend before July starts. Ours became the alternative arts event of Reno.

It’s always the issue of insurance. Artown, being a non-profit corporation, has many hoops to jump through and the full gamut of restrictions. This dullness is passed along to the artists. Visual artists do not sell tickets to their events and quite often not one penny is made. Trust me, I know. These points all make for very restrictive parameters in putting together an art exhibition unless the show is held in existing spaces open (and insured) for the public–motels-HellOOooo.

Controversy is always good for publicity. Those first few years you’d hear much harsh talk about Artown. People seemed to eat that shit up… our friends anyway.

Myself, I never wanted to give Artown the satisfaction of thinking their event led to the creation of our event. A city council guy, their leader, actually tried to do just that. In a meeting with state officials, I’m told he actually tried to take credit for NadaDada as an explanation of why Artown needed more tax money. Our event has hosted the creative contributions of 350 artistic souls at no cost to tax payers. Alot of people are very proud of this fact.

The big non-profit corporation that claims so much in the way of tax breaks and public funding now also wants to accept credit for what we’ve done, categorically, WITHOUT the assistance from the trickle down. No sir! Artists created this event not a board room.

We’re not against public funding, I just don’t want to see artists sucking from that teet anymore. (I’d like to credit Jefe with this analogy). Artists are leaders. Creators make the world. We are not paupers and we are not handicapped and we’re not in need of aid. We create culture. Culture is not enslaved by subsidies.

Sure it’s a pride thing. NadaDada is proud to be a positive contributor to the economy since 2007. We pay for motel rooms and event locations are rented, drinks are bought… presented are musical and theatrical shows to an accepting and contributing public. We do not present “starving artists” or something akin to battered wife shelters in need of donations.

There is only so much public money out there and there’s no reason an event like NadaDada should compete with organizations for that funding. No, we can’t accept tax deductible contributions–we’re not a church! We cannot claim grants for the organization itself because there is no organization. There is no trickle down within NadaDada. It’s a self run band of gypsies who know how to party. We have only our selves to thank.

It’s nice to be mobile and it’s effective to be nimble. People have come and gone and many have brought new energetic contributions. If everybody owns it, every one of them is free to assist.

I think when people fear calling it anarchy, they can’t get “chaos” out of their head. Destruction is not part of our game and our movement is not really against anything; we’re simply offering a different model of self-government. We all want the same thing and that is simply to be able to create freely and to exhibit at will. There is such a thing as self policing and friction usually takes care of itself.

Some ancient philosopher once observed the ironic center of man’s desires: to fit in–acceptance, and also to be recognized as exceptional–individualism. There’s collective good but we also want to be able to stand out. As long as we’re all allowed to pursue both aims, we should remain healthy as a culture.

Porn Mattresses & Peter Paul Rubens

The artists have to work for it here and the audience gets nothing it ever wished for. I’ve never been to an art event as unexpected as this. Motels are the antidote to austere white germ-free galleries. Instead of aged wine, we’re talkin’ the tequila that got your mom’s sister pregnant behind the frat house. No one owns this. No one controls this and the taste police? No jurisdiction at NadaDada.

The participants wear T shirts that say “You say disorganized like it’s a bad thing!” The nature of the motel industry does not allow for predictable. We think this match is appropriate because predictable art sucks. Wanna’ shot?

Reno’s the place for something like this. It’s really in keeping with the mood of culture these days. There permeates a dismantling of highbrow and exclusivity. Reno can be an environment of broken dreams. People gasp when discovering there’s a thriving art community here behind the broken neon tubes. I almost feel sorry for the towns trying to follow our lead.

Crackheads? Drunks? We got ’em. I never thought “crack for sale” sung to a gospel chord could move me so much till I heard it echoing, 2am between brick buildings on 4th street.

Frank Sinatra? LBJ? We got stories linking them to the places where we room. Today you might find porn under the mattress, a bible in the drawer and cigarette burns divetting your carpet. Check out time is 11:00 but you guys are OK.

We’re not trying to clean up with Gambler’s Anonymous. No one thinks sex offenders will change at the sight of chiaroscuro. Peter Paul Rubens? Not usually a popular subject around these coke machines. If a marble bust clashes with your macramé lamp shades, your room will be talked about.

I wasn’t joking about the porn mattresses and cigarette burns.

Otherwise, the one place to go for all information regarding locations and times for this year’s art show: or click the following spaceman for hyperspace online di-rect connection to the map and schedule page.


Related articles:

Andy Kaufman as Latka Gravas


An Artist’s Bodhisattva

Image created by Trelaine
Sorghisattva image created by Trelaine

Point taken: If I like NadaDada as a leaderless entity, I should step back and make it clear that I’m just another among the ranks–it’s a Tao thang. Well, that is what I am, just another artist. It’s just that I have trouble not being a connector. I suppose I think of myself as an artist’s bodhisattva. Note to self: write that one down–in fact, it’s not a bad title for this essay…

I’m told that I should just get a room and promote what I’m doing. It’s the same for all of us. My secret weapon? I have a blog–yeah, it’s the one you’re reading right now.

So maybe I’ve already told you but I’m writing a book. It’s well underway and each month it gets better. I’m becoming a better writer. I’ve even put painting on hold to a certain extent. All my concentration has gone to the writing of this book. At this point, though, I need some help. It’s great when I can read from it to someone. My girlfriend is getting sick of the job.

For NadaDada this year, I’m going to be doing some readings. I’ll ask if I can read to them and then I will read a passage and then thank them profusely. Hopefully they’ll have some kind of reaction I’ll be able to gauge from.

I’ve always tried to apply the wisdom that each job should be regarded as an education. Each art show should be treated in this way as well. Like Saturday Night Live, NadaDada is not yet ready for prime time. If the art I show is unfinished, what’s wrong with that? The rule book never said we can’t use NadaDada for our own selfish needs.

I need an audience to help me edit this book. I think it’s going to be titled “The Never Ending Fishbowler Excursion”. Maybe someone will talk me out of that title. I dunno. Maybe it will have a chapter called “An Artist’s Bodhisattva“. I dunno.

NadaDada is June 13th thru 16th, 2013 in various motels around Reno.

NadaDada–We’re So Un-Punk!

Years ago, our gallery Blue Lyon hosted a show called “We’re So Punk” which, open for interpretation, was–in my mind–mostly a sarcastic title, making fun of all the posers tryin’ so hard to defy.

NadaDada has had its share of that ilk–so eager to be left of left bank and outside of outsiders, “art for art’s sake” & all of that. We’ve gotten ourselves un-invited to a few venues. A bit of a rowdy reputation has chained itself to our collective neck in years past. But that brings up a strong point: we’ve never been a collective. We quit taking votes on anything back in ’09 when we decided 3rd weekend of June henceforth. So besides a bunch of independent artists, what are we?

Our Noble Instigator, El Jefe, instilled in us the lasting mindset of a group presenting workable anarchy. This is sexy and this is note worthy but is this the truth? They ask. C’mon, no hierarchy? No leadership? I hear their tone. Well that’s the thing: leadership can belong to the many and that’s what we had always encouraged. Let’s all lead.

As you may know I, myself, have logged more man hours than anyone else to keep this party goin’ year after year and I’ve had to fight off the punks goin’ “Sorg, you’re not the boss, maaaan! This is ‘sposta’ be Anarchy!”

Way back when, I had curated a Dada Motel show in a Vegas museum and I was strict. One observer said “That’s not Dada–more like Nada!” The name(s) stuck. Dada Motel became Nada Motel which became NadaDada Motel.

Keeping myself in this central position has garnered me more press than anyone because the media wants to talk to the guy in the middle of it all. So for my time, I’ve been paid in publicity. Last year I didn’t really help organize or publicize and for once I had the money and energy to actually get a room of my own. Not sure about this year. I’m not really complaining… much.

Folks, I gotta’ tell ya’, I just want a good party. I care deeply about art and I care extensively about community. Truly non-hierarchical efforts must proliferate at the hands of many and to the benefit of many. NadaDada is about art-in-motel rooms, but alas, Wildflower is full and Midtown doesn’t seem to have any more willing weeklies at our disposal. 8 rooms at the Best Bet just might be our only bet in Midtown, but those rooms are already filled too. I might end up getting a room in an “un-sanctioned” motel.. not even mention NadaDada to the management.

But friends, here’s the great news: All the merchants want NadaDada in Midtown. Here’s my proposal to you…. you wanna’ show your art for NadaDada this June, you march your ass down to Midtown Reno and you talk to some locations yourself. Work it out with a shop owner and see if they’ll let you hang art or present your performance on their premises during our event June 13 thru 16, 2013.

We’re bringing them attention. We’re bringing them potential business; why would they say no? Go get yourself some attention! We’re not punks, this is a different kind of anarchy.

The one place to go for all information regarding locations and times for this year’s art show: or click the following spaceman for hyperspace online di-rect connection to the map and schedule page.



Related articles

“NadaDada, how the HELL did you guys get New York Times coverage!??!”

I’d like to tell that story right here, right now. But in case you don’t have time to read all of this the two word thesis of this essay:



This was early spring of 2009. I got an email or three and then a phone call from the reporter, Patty Leigh Brown, saying “I want to come to Reno to be a fly on the wall during NadaDada.” I was silently jumping up and down. She had explained to me that she saw the announcement for “Greetings From NadaDada” in Via magazine (the magazine for travel club AAA). Ann Tracy was the artist/publicist that got us listed there. It was the first year I curated this show in Vegas’ Marjorie Barrick Museum on the UNLV campus. I had been curator/preparator for the Nevada Arts Council’s traveling shows and built a relationship with the museum’s director Aurora Giget in that way. She had invited NadaDada to show there.

Through these turns of event, Patty learned that we’d be showing art in rundown hotel rooms of the historic El Cortez in Reno, which she was familiar with and anxious to write about (the hotel). It was all turned over to freelance publicist, Rachel Kingham at that point, whom I’d met on Twitter and whose drive had impressed me. She is 100% professional and presented Patty and her photographer Jim Wilson with a perfect tour of every room of our hotel (El Cortez) and motel (Townhouse) show that year. Rachel upped our ante by really making NadaDada look organized. (We fooled ’em didn’t we Rach!?!) Rachel went to get hired doing publicity for the Nevada Museum of Art, so her gamble to help our cause worked out well.

As NadaDadans, we ALL got what we wanted, you see. The reporter was interested in writing about a hotel that was once special where Frank Sinatra and Marilynn Monroe had stayed, but was now roach infested with cigarette burns but with artists creating. We brought them to it. It was the talk value that got us that attention. Patty and Jim were able to tell a good national interest little story. It was just the kind of artists-bring-attention-to-Reno’s-unique-history anecdotal display that was needed.

This is about objectively looking at what we have to work with. This is why we’re not interested in being just another craft fair or arts festival. Soon the stories will be talking about how we built a national network of artists showing in motels WITHOUT any board of directors needed.

Here’s the article, please share:

Otherwise, the one place to go for all information regarding locations and times for this year’s art show: or click the following spaceman for hyperspace online di-rect connection to the map and schedule page.


Instance of Ecstasy, St. Mary’s Art Center


Sorg Chills, Front PorchMy comfortable chilled glass of beer sits with me at this North window of St. Mary’s Art Center. Our art retreat started a couple hours ago. Adrianne & I have settled in to room 15. We weren’t the first to get here; Others have a photo shoot going 3 floors down. The director and caretaker are both around doing their thing, seeing to our needs.


This is my favorite spot. I’m on a church pew by the window at the end of the 3rd floor hallway. No blinds needed here because the sun never hits these windows directly. I sit surrounded by art books, feeling good, being an artist.


If I had a brush I couldn’t paint the shadows that massage the graveyard’s contours on the next ridge over. White headstones and crosses tick in and out of notice. There must be a forest fire somewhere in the region because a slight blue grey lightens more distant hills. Leonardo rendered this natural phenomenon painters call sfumato. The atmosphere helps our eyes to recognize a field of depth.

shots by Adrianne, my honey
shots by Adrianne, my honey

The town above us jingles with sounds and this old building eats them up. A former hospital, St. Mary’s is 4 stories of brick construction. Carpeted throughout inside and with fabrics hanging as curtains and upholstery lining furniture. It makes for a dense and sturdy stay for the weekend.

Artists have been showing up at various times. It’s now our second day and activity has been relaxed and fairly productive. Artists talk of plans, ideas and the future. I think we’re all in love with this place. Connections and inspirations blow through open minds like the winds that seed these junipers and pinyon pines across the Comstock.

I hadn’t planned on poetry. You should be here.

We could host a square dance on this porch, it’s so big. The sun is setting over the peak and I’m listening to the last of the dirt bikes, packing it in for the night. There was a big race today and most of them are staying in nice campers parked all over.

We’ll be reminiscing about the continual chainsaw hamster buzz tonight over our pasta feast together. If it goes like last night there will be rowdy conversation amongst creative accomplices.

If NadaDada were a business, this weekend would be a tax write off. The event will be a great one this June. Good relaxed energy abounds throughout our clan.

Good night Unite Retreat, bonne nuit!

Day 3. It’s Sunday. Check out time is at some point this afternoon or so. Breakfast was our final chance to see each other and it’s a blessing getting to know your friends more deeply. Each of us is on his own path toward some kind of enlightenment and as artists, we don’t have more answers but more practice to get us there. But granted, there is no there. Trying to nail down any kind of destination or relay your roadmap to “there” would be an exercise in futility. And at the end of the day exercise in futility exactly describes what art is.

As these thoughts circle my head, winds swish in my window and dirt bikes race the hills and Virginia City streets around this building. Why do they do it?

I’m told yesterday’s race was 5 hours long. I can not imagine the headspace the riders were in at the day’s end. Did they ever lose sight of their reason for being there? A broken arm or collar bone, a collapsed lung or ruptured spleen, I’m sure, shot those riders into a different kind of understanding in this world. No mind needed when there’s love. They’re doing it for the love.

My mind goes to the image of the whirling Dervishes, the mystical Islamic sect who pray on their feet, spinning gracefully in place. It is said that to let one’s body be moved in space to the rhythms carrying it releases one from the worldly forces holding us back. Letting go, truly journeying with your bliss will, it seems, set you free.

The whirling dervish chainsaw hamsters shift gears to climb a grade and just once maybe they engage the perfect harmony and I would think, I can relate with them to that instance of ecstasy.

The Traveling Miracle Show Part 4 -Damn Kiwis & a Shaman

Photos courtesy of The Traveling Miracle Show
Photos courtesy of The Traveling Miracle Show

Monkey HealerThere’s an idea that you put a million monkeys on pianos in a room for a thousand years and you will get a Beethov-ian masterpiece. My assumption is that this is the idea behind Matthew Couper’s “performance”. A painting monkey! It’s a miracle! What are you Matt, an Atheist!? Couper wore a monkey suit and worked on a painting in his signature style. Since Matthew Couper is pretty much my favorite Vegas artist I recognized this monkey’s style immediately.

After looking at Promethian Jock Strap’s ass twice, consciously I shifted gaze to monkey man painting Coupier-ian style (framed and on metal with cut-out looped video of bile and Matt’s face behind.) He was sitting at the front entrance, at the easel, and I can’t imagine the amount of annoyance this performing monkey had to endure between curious art audience members and the shovel-dragging Jock.

Couper paints in a style recognizable if you’re familiar with Mexican folk art-or so. Meaning and anecdote are heavily laden, high on imagination, and representational accuracy is forgiving. Sins, taboos and black bile–such as in this particular painting–are rendered in moral-story fashion. You’ve heard of leeching to release Mediaeval suffering: An excess of black bile was once thought to cause evilness. DRAIN THAT SHIT genius monkey shaman from the 15th century!

Dave Hickey is a wonderful art & culture critic that sometimes writes for Art in America and other international art publications. The author used to live in Vegas  and he became the subject of my quick conversation in a doorway at RAW with Couper. I love that writer’s perspective as it cuts to the chase and doesn’t pander to “The Theatre of The Fine Art World.” The guy’s a big gambler and boozer, I guess. His daddy was a blues man. Matt & I talked about Vegas’ loss of this critic, which Matt didn’t think seems to make any difference for the city’s art scene. Hickey didn’t advance Vegas artists, except for a few, none of which are painting monkeys.

See I really wanna’ connect Reno artists and Vegas artists so when I saw that J.K. Russ saw this Traveling Miracle Show at Reno Art Works as a “bridge building” endeavor, I was hooked. Some of these folks are involved in Momas & Dadas, which is a new performance and art space in Vegas. I’ve been curious about them.. wondering if they might like to make NadaDada happen in motels down there. If it’s gonna’ belong to their city some locals are gonna’ have to bring the noise–I’ll keep plugging it.

Jo Russ and Matthew Couper are real Kiwis–meaning unlike Jenessa Kenway, they are from New Zealand. They are the couple that got her talking like that and she’s a fine girl the way she is–The two should not be forgiven for that.

*Ya’ know, I should know better. I just read the Dalai Lama saying we should not pay attention to the things that make us different but to the things that make us the same. We are artists and we are a certain kind of weird. No matter how we talk, we should stick together. Fine. I’m sorry for teasing you so much, Jenessa.

Now I’ve gathered some things from Facebook pages and I see that J.K. Russ is “an artist” that claims the identity of a fifth person I saw acting at the Miracle Show. A petite female in black lycra (even over the face) and sporting flowers up the arms wore a saffron top and guided us to sit at a circle of wood-pulp mulch lined with pieces of golden ginger roots. Is this all she does?

We sat tightly around this brown black bed, four feet in diameter, with lemons, more garlic (NOT gold) and a fifth of Jaegermeister in the middle around a camping stove–ready to get lit (haha). I didn’t have to look hard, I love all these items and instantly recognized the bottle of Jaeger, as this used to be my drink of choice; It was a long time ago, don’t ask. I was even able to put it together that we were about to ingest a concoction of the elixir.

Gandhi subsisted for months on a similar brew (minus the alcohol). And I forgot to mention the honey. After the quiet cooking ritual (aside from the clanking of the dragged shovel punctuating silence for 1 minute every 2 minutes) we drank from tripled tiny plastic cups. The bare foot Asian-ish (Philippino?) cook/shaman, shrouded in a silver blanket served us all generously. After receiving this mellowing brew, we understood it was time to get up and mingle onward.

Jevijoe Vitug was the artist. I was interested enough to pull him aside after the ritual and ask him about Gandhi’s influence as well as Joseph Beuys’, who in the 60’s acted out art performances, reminiscent, but under shrouds of felt and animal fat. Also, if I remember correctly, there were elements of gold-leaf in Beuy’s performances which had to do with that artists’ legendary story of survival during a war.

Of the night, I’d say I liked Jevi’s performance the most. Maybe it was the Jaeger, but I’d choose to think that it was more about his eyes lighting up when I mentioned Beuys & Gandhi. They were both shamanistic in their own ways. It’s all about the miracle show!

The Vegas artists got a grant to make this show happen because otherwise it WOULD have been a miracle to see them here. People don’t always realize it’s an 8 hour drive between Vegas and Reno. I’m thankful that the Nevada Arts Council and Reno Art Works were able to bring these folks up north in lieu of a high speed shuttle train.

The Rise of the Creative Class: NadaDada Motel Does it Again

NadaDada came from a similar place that Burning Man did so I don’t mind giving them credit for inspiring our movement. has a huge following and I’m very thankful to them for posting this interview. World wide publicity is always welcome. I’m proud of our conversation.

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

by Whatsblem the Pro

There are a lot of ways to burn, and when you start talking about what makes someone a burner or not a burner, chances are good that you’re about to say something foolish. One thing that does tend to hold true, though, is that part of being a burner is being comfortable with ad-hocracy, and being motivated to make things.

As our culture penetrates the mainstream, outbursts of grassroots art that bring our values from the Man to Main Street are inevitable.

This weekend in Reno, the loose and unled affiliation of artists known as NadaDada Motel got together for their seventh year, to unleash a weird and wonderful fireball of creativity on midtown. They usually do their thing in June, but NadaDada is growing! This year the group mustered a second February event, dubbed “Nada Gras.”

The premise is simple: “Get a room, make a…

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