pFARM Fetish sTils
pFARM Biotech sTils
pFARM Flower for Power
The basic structure of the pFARM performance is tri-subcultural:
A: Organic Farming Subculture
B: Sado-Masochistic Subculture
C: Biotech Company Subculture
Place: Woodstock, New York, USA
As with any small town, rumours are spreading. Something
is not right about that little farm down the way. Some have seen older
men dressed as animals pulling a plow. They call themselves the pFARM
Klan. They are young utopian farmers working on a planned community right
here in the hippy heartland, Woodstock, New York. It makes your heart
So how can they be so politically un-hipsterish? They have taken to wearing
rubber shorts and mink stoles and nothing else while parading around town
handing out flowers. It is legal to be topless in Woodstock but this is
a little much. Some of them have riding crops hanging from their belts
and others have been known to walk around our town shopping… while
handcuffed together. How can they try to sell herbal tinctures at the
Flea Market dressed like that? Is this bad for business?
The most irksome rumour is all that talk about the pFARM high security
laboratory. What kind of cryptic, kabbalistic research is being applied
within? Someone heard something about mutation? And, we do sometimes hear
of screams in the middle of the night. What kind of freaks are these backwoods
folk? What is really going on here?
They have advertised visiting hours in the local paper, so we decide to
go visit pFARM.
As we enter the small farm, we are subjected to having our picture taken
by video intercom and we must sign some kind of non-disclosure forms.
I’m not even sure if this story I’m telling is legal for me
to publish. Now the tour begins. We are led around by a young retro-hippie
who seems to be wearing a diaper under his torn blue jeans. We are told
that we have the full run of the place, except for the red barn, which
is emphatically declared Off Limits to Visitors and referred to as ‘The
Lab’. According to our guide, there are initiation rites and safety
training sessions that must be passed before gaining access to that area.
Entrance is allowed only after passing one of a variety of VivoArts Intensive
Courses given twice a month. It seems that Chicken Embryology Mutagenesis/Sculpting,
Experimental Organic Plant Tissue Culture and Cryogenic Storage of Cell
Lines for Pleasure are all courses which are available to the general
public as short attention span, weekend-hippy crash courses. This is how
one might gain access to ‘The Lab.’
Other than that, we are shown to a lively chicken coop, we meet two pigmy
goats, Hecate and Dionysius, and we walk around a few acres of cultivated
flowers and medicinal plants. The soil, it is explained, is amended with
vermiculite and chicken shit, peat moss and bone meal, blue rock and blood.
“There is no culture without agriculture,” we are told. Biodynamic,
Organic, Permaculture and Heirloom Seed Saving methods of farming are
explained. There is a small greenhouse with all sorts of baby medicinal
plants, St. Johns Wort, Toothache Plant, Mullein, Echinacea, Comfrey and
North American Ginseng. Some communal idealists are busy watering, transplanting
and turning over the compost pile. They speak to us of alternative medicine,
capitalism and schizophrenia. They also give a small lecture on the history
of hybridization. Apparently hand pollination goes back to Egyptian times.
There appears to be consensus communality between the various actors but
they are a bit strange. The bad taste hippy-garb/punk-PVC-fetish mixed
wardrobe is bad enough. But here on the farm the playacting sometimes
gets a bit out of hand. Some of the pFARMers are hooded or have rings
through their noses attached to little golden chains. Two black leather
clad Dominas patrol the perimeter, giving orders to the lay workers, “Loosen
the Soil with your Hands!” and “Be Gentle with the Transplants!”
One of the pFARMers speaks out of turn and is led off by his nose. He
is subject to animal-related insults and forcibly buried in the fermenting
humectress of the compost pile. We are a bit enthralled and a bit put
off by all the psychodrama. This really is a strange place.
We retire to the bookstore and kitchen for snacks and literature. One
of the devotees gives us a pitch. Courses are taught. Internships are
possible. Complete submission programs are expensive but offered at a
discount, if we are willing to become human subjects in their new reproductive
research laboratory. Improved or just merely altered life forms are being
organically mutated through pFARM research. “It is all organic,”
we are told. We are given flowers and an info packet. We are invited to
a ritual Celebration of the Earth party. We are assured numerous times
that, “This is not a cult.”
A: Organic Farming Subculture
A French Intensive, Biodynamic-influenced tract of farmland has been cultivated
in the woods near Woodstock, New York (exact location kept secret). We
have joined the Farmers’ Market Federation of New York. We seek
the aid of skilled Permaculture Advisors and Interpretive Land Use Experts
on what plants are native and medicinal, how to cultivate following the
lay of the land, how to ensure organic (or at least non-conventional)
claims are honest and how to best inform/deform the present day conceptions
of ‘getting back to nature’.
B: Sado-Masochistic Subculture
Our hired hands, also codified as ‘domestic animals’, are
often faux-kidnapped from the reservoir of New York City’s excess
of submissive professionals. We have joined The Society of Janus. We invite
the potent forces of of any and all professional or lifestyle Dominas
to help rule our pFARM. We sponsor fetish monomania themed weekends and
advertise in some of New York City’s skuzziest smut rags (e.g.,
Screw Magazine). The submissives are forced to till the earth, aid in
mulching compost and care for the plants and animals. They are kept in
pens or sleep with the chickens. They are philosophically retrained to
access their inner ‘becoming animal’ abilities.
C: Biotech Company Subculture
Behind the scenes various Biotechnological games are played —
- Submissives must sign away their rights as human subjects. They
then donate hair follicles and other body fluids to pFARM in a sex-magik
genomic librarian fetish manoeuver that must be documented to be believed.
The biological samples are stored in the barn. The rights to these
cell lines are legally owned by pFARM. The pFARM Cryogenic Storage
Library will be offered to the highest bidder online as a submissive
genomic databank. Perhaps the samples should be donated to US Homeland
Security Research so they can isolate the gene for submissive behavior?
I’m sure that would help aid world domination! And pFARMers
deserve to be known as the trustworthy and selfless patriots that
- The meaning of these actions is summed up in the spontaneous rituals
that unfold. When we surround the actuality of modern molecular biolab
processes with an overly romantic agricultural space, which encourages
fetishistic and erotic performativity, then and only then does labwork,
as a cult behavioral plane, have a chance to reveal its inner workings.
The masturbatory zeitgeist of alterity and fatherhood that is implied
by both agriculture and sci-culture is made translucent in the near
honesty of pFARM.
- We have also joined the New York Metropolitan Embryology Society
and plan to be offering a Ph.D. in the Practice of Artistic Human
Engineering within the year.
Eleven Reasons why this is important:
1- The tension between Green Movement Grassroots Agriculture and High
Tech GMO Pharming is one of the major schisms in our everyday lives.
Industry rhetorical tropes vie for continued dominance over sustainable
and appropriate technology mindsets in an eco-catastrophic world of
overpopulation and mass extinction. We have destroyed the multiuse
function of the Earth in the name of human-centric, obsessive-compulsive
hygiene psychosis. We also rely on new agribusiness technologies to
prevent famine by upping production, sometimes at any cost. On the
other hand, most organic products are affordable only to middle and
upper class citizens. Both venues lay claims to a higher standard
of health, cleanliness and superior realisms. Both point fingers at
the baseness of the other. And generally, both camps have doubleplusgood
gods or goddesses to back them up in the clinch.
2- Though quite different in their propagandistic goals, neither Organic
nor Biotech avenues of expression can appreciate any Sado-Masochistic
metaphors applied to their preferred process. Both are willing to
concede the essential dominance over nature that farming and livestock
represent. But, neither will cop to the inherent fetishism and overt
control issues that are expressed by these ways of being. Both find
open, excessive eroticism to be decadent and wasteful. Communists
and Capitalists agree, decadence is caused by their enemy’s
moral lack. This sexual economy needs debunking.
3- Though the psychodrama of Victorian Boudoir play is part of popular
culture, so is its secretiveness. In my experience, both Organic Farmers
and BioTech executives are demographically participating in eroticized
power relations on a professional level. I do have two years experience
as a co-worker in a house of domination. All professions are quietly
represented. Professionals who partake in commercially available fetish
sessions may be using secrecy as part of the titillating thrill. Transgression
is therefore sometimes a preferential ritual to liberate a personal
monomania and it is also sometimes a cued revelry semi-allowed in
a socially constructed, silently legal ‘forbidden zone’.
But, there is another subset of the sex-activist community who are
interested in outing the taboo, making ecstatic and experimental sexological
practice an acceptable part of the everyday. We refuse the pay-per-view
commercial version of adult playtime. It is the orgasmic way of life,
the uncovering of our hedonistic juvenilia that implicates the puritanical
binary opposites of green (money) and grey (utility) in the world
of red (blood), white (milk and sperm) and black (shit/soil.)
4- Therefore, pFARM creates a tripartite tension
between various concepts of power and social propriety. It is hoped
that this will create a space of conflicting worldviews that are culturally
difficult to blend. We thereby hope to open up thought processes beyond
the tunnel vision of any of these specialty practitioners. The complexity
of this performance will certainly bother anybody willing to live
in a democracy that can’t handle the complexity of hosting more
than two political parties, is permissive of Third World-styled coups
and submits to policies that result in irrational world war .
5- The placement of the power Farm in Woodstock, New York (which is
my home town) is especially important. As a central iconic vestige
of Hippy/Yippie/Yuppie culture, Woodstock is in need of a grassroots
public performance pimple to remind its denizens of the other side
of the peace and love sixties mediated pabulum. Predominantly a quaint
tourist town, very expensive and elitist, this tie-dyed scenic vacation
arena has lost its agitation propaganda edge. Some people refer to
its townspeople as trustafarians. Few of us remember fondly the tactics
of Abbie Hoffman and the Chicago 8. Few of us base our practice on
the really annoying Yippie culture-fuckers. Most of my parent’s
generation all just lost themselves on Cocaine, Mortgage Payments
and Amnesia after Kent State, after they realized that the government
might just shoot them too. That’s why the Black Panthers, the
SLA and The Weathermen are all just lumpable under the single word
— ‘evil’ — in pop-politics these days. As
a symbolic bastion of leftist free thought, Woodstock needs a wheatgrassroots
enema. It is my hope that by being forced to house or confront the
power FARM, something other than complacent-activist rhetoric might
rear its head. Even if it is reactionary, it is another kind of outing
of implicit mores.
6- Actual Paganism, philosophically, implicates many of the roots
of both traditional farming (Dionysian) and high-tech farming (Alchemical).
By emphasizing the Goddess/Dominatrix ruling over the original Beasts
of Burden — Men — we may signal a return to the erotic
origins of domesticity. With the first furrow, the Rites of Spring
will untarnish the underground fetish scene in the name of complexity
and honest admission of power relations, where and how they are actually
applied. Anti-Apollo Styled Psychodrama will infect determinism as
we call on chaos to be the self-organizing impetus for our performance.
Highly spontaneous and improvised rituals will emanate, morphogenetically,
to spurn the status quo and open avenues of escape. Closeted angel-faced
ascetic romanticism will be spurned in cultish blebbing of rigorous
and ritualistic a-truism. We will be forced to live! Viva Vivo!
7- All three of these crisscrossing avenues will be run as ‘businesses’.
Not commercial businesses but faux businesses. Businesses incorporated
on paper only. The FARM will produce tinctures of organic herbal drugs
like Spilanthus (Toothache Plant, an edible nervine), Echinacea, Comfrey,
St. John’s Wort and Mullein as well as some edibles to be sold
at the farmer’s market in leather gear and pink overalls (strap-ons
optional.) The Submissive farm animal people will pay for their humiliating
participation. The blood and body fluid bank may be sold or mapped.
There are potentially valued genes — for FET (fetishism), MMA
(monomania) and SUBm (submission) — to be sequenced and injected
into embryos of erotomaniacal baby designers. The embryological work
in the lab area may actually produce some novel plants and animals,
worth more as art objects, controversial living beings or strange
gastronomical delicacies, than any of the aforementioned schemes.
This mishmash of Pharming and Phantasy as cash-intensive minuet should
invite the wrath of any repressive social reaction to confront the
seedy side of our ‘free’ market, capital-obtrusive, and
thoroughly heisted lives. By the way, I know commercial ventures are
not supported by the KLF… we can talk about non-profit status,
performing incorporation and the possibility of burning all cash tendered
as ways out of this clash between funding protocol and corporate posturing.
If the stigma of commercial venture are not supported by the pFARM
Klan… we can talk about non-profit status, performing incorporation
and/or the possibility of burning all cash tendered. These are ways
out of this clash between the actuality of Promethean funding protocol
and critical corporate posturing.
8- The animal experimentation is really the crux of this project.
Although a small and hidden garage enterprise, it may be difficult
legally and ethically to accomplish the mutagenisations. If I form
a business model, the legality may conform to that structure, even
if it is art related. It may also be the only way to be protected
from lawsuits. For some reason, profit motive seems to bend the law
in this nation? Finally, if litigation does come to pass, the optional
business model may implicate other startup biopharm companies in a
web of legal obscurities.
a. The Animal Controller of Woodstock might find grave cause for
inspection and we would have to find the maximum allowable animal
experimentation in Woodstock. This could also be more than the local
Animal Activists could bear.
b. The question of organic mutagenesis is contentious. Knowing the
protocols for both, I would love to make it difficult to define
where unnatural acts begin in an agricultural process.
c. The mutations I plan are not targeted. Neither are they tagged.
We would just shoot from the hip and see what grows up and how.
This is not science but anarchic one-of-a-kind VivoArt production
schema. This is also biohazardous.
9- The collection of human tissues is also a biohazard. AIDS tests
may be required. A skilled phlebotomist might help. Luckily, many
nurses are fetish oriented. Librarians too! The use of human subjects
and the patenting of cell lines are realms of contention worth exploring…
which brings us to…
10- Forms. I love forms! Forms to me are Performative Space. There
are several Legal documents I should like to have written up, for
instance: Combination Model Release/Human Subjects Informed Consent
Forms, Release of Individual Cell Lines for Bio-Artistic Research
or Resale, Aesthetic Embryological Breeding Tactics Business Plan
including A Request for the Right to Conduct Mutagenic Chicken and
Plant Embryology and Human Tissue Research in the Town of Woodstock.
Other important forms would result in a small but tactical arrangement
of Artistic Support Rejection Forms from a variety of insultable sources,
i.e. NEA, NIH, The Woodstock Guild of Craftsmen, and Biogen. A general
business plan could set up pFARM as a non-profit incorporation, tax
free, possibly religious (I am a minister) and openly erotic on the
11- On certain days and nights, professional Dominatrixes will direct
the farm and all farm work will be fetishised to the maximum degree.
At other times, biotechnological and ecological seasoned professionals
could run free seminars and practical labs. The use of real and imaginary
worlds folded in on each other is one of my greatest goals. That is
why I like making these fantasies publicly accessible, matter of fact
and fantastic. So this would be a teach-in and an act-out arena.
And yes, it is true, this is not a cult. But, from one strange, temporary
and autonomous culture to another, the inherently bogus and potentially
joyous alt-culture movement continues to rear its head. pFARM, a Power
Farm, a Biotech Fetish Organic Farm Incorporated is an implausible
trinity. Formed under the joint title of pFARM, the powerFARM is actually
a site specific, multiperson, liminal consciousness accessing, boundary-pushing
micro-society. Crossing the wires of multiple contentious debates
in an actuated, rural and grassroots public space, The pFARM Project
is another of this world’s botched planned communities waiting
The powerFARM is open to the public and yet intentionally secretive
about some of its activities. You are invited to donate your life
and all of your assets to the performance force and site-specific
travails that it will take to get this thing off the ground. The summers
in NY are muggy and humid, escape to the Catskills is a timeworn tradition.
I think a core group could convince new followers to join and we might
reach true love-in capacity by summer’s end. The youth of the
town need the impetus. The spirit of the town needs the post-60s/post-punk
spectacle for the revival to stop retro-kultural looping in neutral.
I will try my best to include locals and local wisdom into my repertoire.
I will also try to include as wide a variety of fetishists, ecologists
and mutation specialists in the formation and practice of pFARM.
pEOPLE or pARTNERS welcome to be involved in pFARM:
pERFORMANCE Artists, Musicians, Dominatrixes, Fetishists, Organic
Farmers, Conservation Ecologists, Embryologists, Molecular Biologists,
Video Documenters, Volunteers, Submissive Investors,
the generally devout and The pUBLIC.
The space is open to high weirdness, spontaneous access to a variety
of mindsets and self-initiated interlopers.
If you are interested, Contact: