The Advice Tent

In preparation for the largest performance I've ever put together (yet) I got this haircut:

photo: Sara Risley

photo: Sara Risley

photo:Dominic Inouye

photo:Dominic Inouye

On August 27th and 28th over a period of two 10-hour long sessions 423 individual questions were posed to the 26 experts waiting inside “The Advice Tent."  Some questions posed to the experts included serious questions such as, “Am I on the right path?” or “How can we be more merciful to the environment?” to vague: “What’s next?” and the ridiculous: “Should I purchase an inflatable unicorn horn for the cats?” Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to see pictures of the advice given for that last question.

photo: Bill Sieger

photo: Bill Sieger

photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Bill Sieger

photo: Bill Sieger

Participants seeking advice had to observe the rules of The Advice Tent:

  • Because everything is anonymous to protect your privacy, you will be assigned a number.
  • Select one problem and write it in a clear manner on the cover of your issued passport.
  • Go around to whomever you want in the tent and show them your written problem, but verbal talking between advisor and seeker is incredibly forbidden. 
photo: Bill Sieger

photo: Bill Sieger

Volunteers at the entrance would help participants select one question to receive advice on.  The question would then be written down on the cover of each participants issued "advice passport" so they could show their question to each advisor without breaking the "no talking in the tent" rule.

Volunteers at the entrance would help participants select one question to receive advice on.  The question would then be written down on the cover of each participants issued "advice passport" so they could show their question to each advisor without breaking the "no talking in the tent" rule.

photo:Bill Sieger

photo:Bill Sieger

The Advice Tent offered:

Dictionary Advice by Anja (me)

photo: Anna F. Brown

photo: Anna F. Brown

Advice seekers would choose a random word in the dictionary that I would then have to describe and defend as the literal answer to their inquiry.

Advice seekers would choose a random word in the dictionary that I would then have to describe and defend as the literal answer to their inquiry.

Metaphorical Advice by Freesia McKee

While participants waited for their metaphorical advice they could mess with Freesia's Etch-a-Sketch.

While participants waited for their metaphorical advice they could mess with Freesia's Etch-a-Sketch.

photo: Bethany Price

photo: Bethany Price

Yoga Therapy Advice by Heidi Parkes

Certified Yoga Therapy Practitioner Heidi Parkes would tell you how to use ghee to fix your situation.  photo: Dominic Inouye

Certified Yoga Therapy Practitioner Heidi Parkes would tell you how to use ghee to fix your situation.  photo: Dominic Inouye

Fashion/Alien/Voyeuristic Advice by Blasted Ellipses

Blasted Ellipses would give you fashion advice from the perspective of a space alien with a penchant for being voyeuristic.  

Blasted Ellipses would give you fashion advice from the perspective of a space alien with a penchant for being voyeuristic.  

Slap of Reality Advice by Reality Slapstein 

All participants would receive a written slap of reality as well as a very real hand slap.

All participants would receive a written slap of reality as well as a very real hand slap.

Contradictory Advice by Contra/Diction

Contra and Diction would converse behind their curtain, but never actually agree as to what you should do.  Photo: Stephanie Weidenhoeft

Contra and Diction would converse behind their curtain, but never actually agree as to what you should do.  Photo: Stephanie Weidenhoeft

photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Martin Hallanger

Sporty Advice by Jock Strap 

In between sentences he would lift weights or do push-ups.  Photo: Martin Hallanger

In between sentences he would lift weights or do push-ups.  Photo: Martin Hallanger

Colored Advice by Dasha Kelly, "D'Comma Sense"

She burned incense and prescribed you a color.  photo: Tiffany Miller

She burned incense and prescribed you a color.  photo: Tiffany Miller

 

Sunny Side Up Healthy Ass Life Advice by Ms. Bloom

Healthy Ass Life Coach Tiffany Miller would write sunny side up advice on yellow paper.

Healthy Ass Life Coach Tiffany Miller would write sunny side up advice on yellow paper.

Nihilistic Advice by Nadia

She consistently made her point that there is no point.  photo: Stephanie Wiedenhoeft

She consistently made her point that there is no point.  photo: Stephanie Wiedenhoeft

Ethical Advice by the Honorable Fuega, Nature Witch: 

Culinary Advice by Monique Gastrique

Monique Gastrique wrote many recipes for success both days.  Photo: Jessica Zalewski

Monique Gastrique wrote many recipes for success both days.  Photo: Jessica Zalewski

Klutz to Klutz Advice by Marty Cabinet

Pictured on the far left is Reality Slapstein and on the far right, with coffee spilled all over her shirt, our klutz master, Marty Cabinet.

Pictured on the far left is Reality Slapstein and on the far right, with coffee spilled all over her shirt, our klutz master, Marty Cabinet.

 

Subliminal Advice by Notanja 

The subliminal advice would be written while blindfolded.  photo: Susan Wozny

The subliminal advice would be written while blindfolded.  photo: Susan Wozny

Twice/Thrice Advice by Freesia McKee

This advice would be reiterated two to three times. photo: Alan Thompson-Wallace

This advice would be reiterated two to three times. photo: Alan Thompson-Wallace

Mending Advice by Heidi Parkes

photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Martin Hallanger

Mending advice included an actual string stitched into the typewritten response.  Photo: Susan Wozny

Mending advice included an actual string stitched into the typewritten response.  Photo: Susan Wozny

photo: Susan Wozny

photo: Susan Wozny

Taoist Advice by ViVi

Each person would choose something from the book of I Ching that informed the response.

Each person would choose something from the book of I Ching that informed the response.

photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Martin Hallanger

English Teacher Advice by Red Pen

He brought a mug, a coffee maker and a red pen to make corrections. photo: Martin Hallanger

He brought a mug, a coffee maker and a red pen to make corrections. photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Dominic Inouye

photo: Dominic Inouye

Hard Boiled Advice by Marty Cabinet

There is no way to explain what she was doing other than to show you a sample of what she typed in response to the question "How can we be more merciful to the environment?"

There is no way to explain what she was doing other than to show you a sample of what she typed in response to the question "How can we be more merciful to the environment?"

Life: Welcome To Reality Advice by CC

There is no recording of what CC told people, you just had to be there. 

There is no recording of what CC told people, you just had to be there. 

photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Martin Hallanger

Unrealistic Advice by Madame Peacock

photos: Martin Hallanger

photos: Martin Hallanger

photo: Thea Kovac

photo: Thea Kovac

Musical Advice by Indigo Jade Kästel

Advice you could sing.

Advice you could sing.

Fiery Advice by Audrey Thompson-Wallace

Advice you could burn.

Advice you could burn.

Botanical Advice by Root the Plant Whisperer

Advice you could grow.  Photo: Bill Sieger

Advice you could grow.  Photo: Bill Sieger

photo: Martin Hallanger

photo: Martin Hallanger

Here are some answers to "Should I buy an inflatable unicorn horn for the cats?"

The Nihilistic response

The Nihilistic response

The Unrealistic response.

The Unrealistic response.

The Twice/Thrice response.

The Twice/Thrice response.

The Subliminal response. (Need a clue? Follow the capital letters.)

The Subliminal response. (Need a clue? Follow the capital letters.)

Fiery advice written of course by the wife of this particular advice seeker.

Fiery advice written of course by the wife of this particular advice seeker.

My personal favorite interpretation, the Mending advice response.

My personal favorite interpretation, the Mending advice response.

An exhibition and live reading talk back of the advice sought and offered at The Advice Tent will be coming soon.

Feel free to email us any pictures of the advice tent you have taken to notanja@gmail.com.  

Thank you to our volunteers and donors: Ariana Vaeth, JoAnn Chang, Amber Bush, Sachin Deshpande, Jessica Zalewski, Marika Holbus, Christina Ward, Barbara Aho, Howard Leu, Jeanne DeSimone, Bill Sieger, Adam McKee, WC Tank, Pat Walsh, Dominic Inouye, Freesia McKee, Paragon Printing, Milwaukee Fringe Festival

Your Dance Move Is A Poem I Can Write Right Now

Recently the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee asked me to come to their student union, set up my typewriter and type up poems for their students in honor of National Poetry Month.  Additionally they asked if I could type a poem in response to each participant's dance move.  When I asked what the music was going to be they said that there was no music to be played, just people dancing for me.  So I brought along a crank style music toy that plays one song, "Greensleeves," and each time a student came up to me I cranked for them the ancient, morose tune.  After they danced for me I'd write them their poem.

We Found The Essences!

Last Saturday, undrea becker, a fellow typewriter poet from Decorah, Iowa came into town and we met for the very first time.  As part of her visit we set up our typewriters at the Walker's Point Center For the Arts (WPCA) and composed spontaneous essences for anyone who came up to us and held a branch of bittersweet, a plant that undrea brought with her from Iowa. Over a period of 3 hours, 62 people (including a couple who wanted their essence as one person) got their essences read by us.  124 essences were transcribed on March, 12th, 2016!    The event included a poetry installation of the essences of inanimate objects in WPCA from the art, to the electrical outlets and vents, bathroom fixtures and hallway.  There was a table with cut up words and a spare typewriter so people could compose their own poems.  And the thing that really brought everything together was the six piece band of musicians who had never played together, but improvised for the entire duration of the evening.  The band, Spectron and the Nebulous Ones consisted of Anton "Spectron" Sieger, Erik Schoster/ He Can Jog, Micheal Bettine of Gongtopia, Jess Lemont of Be A Waterwolf, Jade Kästel and Dennis Tomashek.

undrea becker of Insta-poems and Anja Notanja of La Prosette.      Photo: Howard Leu

undrea becker of Insta-poems and Anja Notanja of La Prosette.      Photo: Howard Leu

Photo: Howard Leu

Photo: Howard Leu

Something undrea wrote for the hallway.

Something undrea wrote for the hallway.

Photo: Elmer Golon, Design 709

Photo: Elmer Golon, Design 709

A bathroom mirror essence.  Photo: Sara Risley

A bathroom mirror essence.  Photo: Sara Risley

Toilet paper dispenser essence.  Photo: Heidi Parkes

Toilet paper dispenser essence.  Photo: Heidi Parkes

Here are some of the essences...  The succinct ones are by undrea, the longer ones are mine.

A slideshow of my poster illustrations for the event.  I still have posters left so if you want one, email me notanja@gmail.com.    Thank you to everyone for sharing your essences with us!

Here is some of the sound from the event:

Two Typewriter Poets Describe Your Essence

Free public event, one night only!

When: Saturday, March 12th, 6-9pm

Where:  Walkers Point Center for the Arts, 839 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee

Stand before a duo of writers and receive two typewritten interpretations of your physical presence as well as a musical one by Spectron and his Nebulous Band: Spectron Sieger on bass, Jess Lemont on drums, Michael Bettine on gongs, He Can Jig on pippi, Jade Kastel on accordion, Dennis on saxophone and Casey on guitar!  Walk through a comedic literary installation that spreads out from the windows to the hallway to the bathroom. Create your own poem collages out of a pile of pre-typed words on colorful paper! Check out WPCA's current exhibition In//Out. 
 

Decorah Iowa's undrea becker of Insta-poems.

Decorah Iowa's undrea becker of Insta-poems.


Decorah Iowa's undrea becker, founder of Insta-Poems and Milwaukee's own Anja Notanja Sieger & La Prosette both happen to be typewriter poets who compose instant literature for strangers at art fairs and farmer's markets. The two women recently met each other on Twitter and decided they ought to meet in the real and see what happens if they type for people side by side.