Tag Archives: APP Conference

How we learn, How we teach

Apprentice: Lynn Loheide, 2013.

A History of Apprenticeships.


“I want to be a piercer! How do I get an apprenticeship? Where do I learn to pierce?”

 This desire has been expressed by thousands of people over the recent past. What was once something barely thought of as a viable career blossomed into a huge, multifaceted industry in the last few decades. As if out of nowhere, piercing became a legitimate job one could make a comfortable living at. But the path to get there has been as ever-changing as the industry itself. You don’t go to school to become a piercer, there’s no classes or degree you can hold in body piercing. Traditionally, like many other crafts, piercing has been trained by masters, to apprentices. Someone already skilled at the craft takes a beginner under their wing and shows them the craft one on one. But how did we get there? Where did the first piercers come from? How did the apprenticeship evolve to what it is today?

Continue reading

BSTA: Michael Mulcahy

Ari – I’m super excited for us to do this Michael. Thanks so much for speaking with me today.

Michael – This is tough because I feel like in general I’m a pretty private person, especially with this history and timeline. I don’t think, besides my spouse, there’s a single person I’ve ever talked my timeline over with because it just never seems relevant to my interaction with another person. You know what I mean? The whole, “hey, listen to me!” To me it’s a difficult process but we’ll get through this and hopefully it doesn’t feel like I’m talking too much.

Ari – I don’t really plan out these so we’ll just start with an introduction and let the conversation go organically. First I like to do a brief synopsis though – maybe some information about Marigold, where you started out, and anything else you’d like to include.

Michael – I’ve been piercing for twenty-six years- that has been a long pathway. I currently own Marigold with my wife Jessica, who pierces and tattoos. We have additional tattooers who are there as well as a nurse who does microblading. I’m there sometimes for certain piercings. I do all the genital piercings, the septum piercings, surface work, and anything in relation to difficult anatomy. Other than those few times throughout the week, I’m not there like on a scheduled basis – it’s really appointment only. I’m in school full-time and work other jobs besides Marigold, so I’m busy. I’m in school for biochemistry at Norwich University – which is actually the oldest military college in the United States – It’s the birthplace of ROTC. It’s an interesting environment to be in as a civilian. But as we talk about this timeline, I did sort of leave piercing for a while and do other stuff (while still piercing) including the military and a deployment to Afghanistan. It’s been a convoluted path! I work as a critical care paramedic for a level one trauma center teaching hospital. We live in Montpelier, Vermont – a tiny little town in beautiful Vermont, and it’s great to be in a little town with this shop we’ve created. We love it, it feels perfect, and it’s been twenty-six years between starting and now – it’s like a lifetime.

Ari – Seriously. That’s like twice the average career for a piercer. Continue reading

Annie Sprinkle’s HERSTORY of Body Piercing, May 2019

Annie Sprinkle’s photo documentation of communities that weren’t paid attention to by the mainstream media – most notably the 42nd Street scene of the 1970s, the world of adult cinema, and the early western body piercing revival – falls very much in line with my view that subcultures should be documented internally; that participants are best suited to chronicle their own movements w/o the academic gaze.

At the 2019 Association of Professional Piercers Conference and Expo, Annie, joined by her long time friend and collaborator Veronica Vera, presented a class on her Herstory of Body Piercing and it’s intersection with early luminaries Fakir Musafar, Charles Gatewood, and Spider Webb.Annie and Veronica were as charming as could be despite the blissfully raw content they were presenting; in a class given by Jim Ward earlier that day it was pointed out that the piercing world has evolved into something that Jim (piercing as a sexual exploration) and Fakir (piercing as a spiritual conduit) could have never imagined, so Annie’s Herstory and it’s sex positive bent was a welcome return to the roots of piercing to the longer tenured piercers in attendance.Unfortunately I was only able to film for a few minutes, but I hope it’s enough to give you folks an insight into when piercing was a much different (and I’m biased in saying so) and more fun pursuit of fringe players.

Fakir Musafar Exhibit: Paul King Walkthrough

I’m still sitting on a few dozen photographs from the awe inspiring IN PURSUIT OF THE SPIRIT exhibit celebrating the life and work of Fakir Musafar that the good folks at the Body Piercing Archive set up at this year’s APP Conference and Expo; when we finally get the new issue of NODAL POINTS sent to print I’m going to try and commit some time to writing a piece about it.

Until then- I bought a brand new go-pro for this year’s APP Conference, and for some reason left it in my hotel room every time I’d go down to the Fakir exhibit; so everything I shot was on my iPhone8+ and as such is lacking in quality. And because of the size of the files… I ran out of space on the first day.

I think the PRESS ribbon I was wearing was a bit of a stretch. Continue reading

In Pursuit of the Spirit

(from the Body Piercing Archive)

In honor and celebration of Fakir Musafar’s life, the Body Piercing Archive will present the most comprehensive exhibit that’s ever been seen on Fakir’s art and legacy.

Over 2000 square feet staged with his original iconic images and fabricated sculptures made famous over eight decades of accumulated artwork and Body Play.

As well on view will be many items that have never been on public display.

This will be the largest and most ambitious BPA exhibit to date, so come learn, remember, and celebrate!

Exhibit Hours:
Monday 10 am-6 pm
Tuesday 10 am-6 pm
Wednesday 10 am-6 pm
Thursday 10 am-6 pm

DOCENT TOURS:
Monday
Paul King, 11:30-12:30pm
Ian Bishop, 1:00-2:00pm
Allen Falkner, 2:30-3:30pm
Dustin Allor, 4:00-5:00pm

Tuesday
Cody Vaughn, 10:00-11:00am
Paul King, 11:30-12:30pm
Ian Bishop, 1:00-2:00pm
Betty Ann Peed, 2:30-3:30pm
Jef Saunders, 4:00-5:00pm

Wednesday
Cynthia Wright, 10:00-11:00am
Ken Coyote, 11:30-12:30pm
Yossi Silverman, 1:00-2:00pm
Grin, 2:30-3:30pm
Annie Sprinkle, 4:00-5:00pm

Thursday
Grin, 10:00-11:00am
Paul King, 11:30-12:30pm
Allen Falkner, 1:00-2:00pm
Cynthia Wright, 2:30-3:30pm
Ken Coyote, 4:00-5:00pm

https://www.safepiercing.org/conference.php

BSTA: Darryl Carlton (Divinity P. Fudge)

Ari – Where did you first meet Ron (Athey)?

Divinity – I met Ron at Cuffs – it was the premier leather spot, a dark little place but not very big.  It was very macho and leather, and I was drawn to that masculinity. I was just hanging out and Terry, my drag mother, it’s where he went out, so one night I went with him, and then after a while I went on my own. One night Ron came in and we met each other and started talking. We were both reading Dennis Cooper at the time. 

Ari – Can you tell us about Dennis Cooper?

Divinity – Dennis Cooper was a gay writer- he did a lot of writing about being gay and how to maneuver in society and being true to yourself. He did a lot of really cool exposé on gay life. He was from California and that was interesting to me because for some strange reason I’d always found the idea of going to California really attractive. Something was always telling me to go there but I didn’t know what it was. Once I got there I realized what it was; it was a place I needed to be. All the places I’d been before like New Orleans and Michigan were conservative and moving out to California was really freeing for me. It was like, “oh, possibilities are endless out here!” It was a lot of good reading for me. I read a lot of Brion Gysin as well. A lot of people were like, “you’re black, why are you reading that?” I was like “I don’t know!” It was just really interesting to me. Continue reading

#fakirforever

I was chatting with Blake Perlingieri about Fakir and his impact on the body modification community; Blake is someone who very much embodies the spirit of Fakir’s Modern Primitives and we’re excited that he’s going to be spending some time with Ari for a BSTA interview soon. With that in mind, to celebrate what would have been Fakir’s 88th birthday, I thought this photo of the two of them, borrowed from Nomad’s Instagram account, would be a nice way to remember him.

We tried to do a lot of cleaning up on this video that a friend of Blake’s shot at the APP Conference in Las Vegas a few years back, but the sound just didn’t want to cooperate. Still, it’s worth checking out for those of us who want to soak up as much of our history as possible.

Enjoy, and happy birthday, Fakir.

 

Piercing in Performance Walkthrough (pt2)

GoPro cameras are not designed to use them like I tried to use them at this year’s APP Conference. Too shaky, audio is terrible but at least Ron Athey is ever-charming. Ron discusses the work of artist Jon John in this second clip from his walkthrough of the Body Piercing Archive’s 2018 exhibit on the intersection of Body Piercing and Performance Art.

 

Piercing in Performance Walkthrough (pt1)

Over the last several years, one of the biggest highlights of the annual Association of Professional Piercers Conference and Exposition has been the exhibits curated by the Body Piercing Archive; while we’re blessed to have a seemingly limitless amount of virtual space for the preservation of material documenting body modification there is something to be said for the tangible experience of seeing these reliquaries in person.

For the 2018 Conference, the BPA 1 curated an exhibit on the intersection of body piercing and performance art featuring familiar names like Ron Athey, TSD, CoRE, Genesis P-Orridge, Bob Flanagan, Stelarc, Jon John and a host of others. Ron and collaborator Divinity P. Fudge were on hand as guest docents, joining BPA’s Paul King, TSD’s Allen Falkner, CoRE’s Steve Joyner, Dr. Dominic Johnson and Dr. Julian Carter on guided tours of the Perforated Body.

This clip features Ron Athey and Darryl Carlton (Divinity P. Fudge) on their first exhibit walkthrough.

2018 APP Conference exclusive BSTAV2

We’re working overtime to get the second print volume of Better Safe than Ari interviews ready for this year’s APP Conference and Expo in Las Vegas with a convention exclusive PURPLE AS ALL HELL edition that will be released a few weeks ahead of the standard version. The cover design isn’t finalized and is subject to change. But it will still be PURPLE AS ALL HELL.

The second volume features interviews with:

  • Mark Seitchik.
  • Mic Rawls.
  • Tom Brazda.
  • Scott Shatsky.
  • Sean McManus.
  • Ken Dean.
  • David Vidra.
  • Bethrah Szumski.
  • Curt Warren.

.. and if we get it ready in time a bonus interview.

The regular edition pre-order will be available in late July 2018. If you’re going to be attending this year’s APP Conference and would like a copy of the Vegas exclusive: click here.