holy fool

  1. about
  2. film ::: map to cloud mountain
  3. film ::: the iowa series
  4. film ::: graffiti angel experiments


holy fool was a live performance & multimedia installation. It was the culmination of a year-long project by cellist, composer & media artist, Kathy McTavish.

On November 9th, 2012 Kathy joined forces with Sheila Packa (poet), Cathy Podeszwa (illumination), Cecilia Ramón (the infinite line), Molly Tillotson (iron bells), and Carla Stetson (the map / the sky) to create a multi-sensory, immersive reflection on our times

The holy fool project was funded by the Jerome Foundation. This activity was also funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Thank you Minnesota!

map to cloud mountain

collaboration between kathy mctavish cecilia ramón &sheila packa

the text (from cecilia & sheila)

cecilia (translations):

how could i have known that i was packing my whole life at that moment ...
how could i have known that when i said good bye in the back room and you and i sat in the bed and you gave that big big hug ... i would not see you again ...
cómo podía saber que estaba empacando realmente toda mi en ese moment ...
cómo podía saber que cuando me despedí, y nos sentamos juntas en la cam, y me diste ese abrazo abrazo grande, ya no te vería ...

it was midday, the phone rang, she told me that you had passed the night before ...
y era el mediodía, sonó el teléfono, ella me dijo que habías fallecido la noche anterior ... me quedé callada ...

snow keeps falling ... sigue nevando ... snow keeps falling and it's january ... i keep confusing the beach in san bernardo with this frozen lake ...
sigue nevando y es enero ... me sigo confundiendo con la playa en san bernardo o este enero con el lago congelado ...


no other morning like this ...

I waited a long time for day break
listening to the faint sound of a battery
in the clock and each minute
measured, mechanical, slowly pushing
away from my father's last breath


rupture ... it happened / or it didn't happen / it was a shadow ...

map to cloud mountain

the iowa series

I felt that the holy fool work had something to find in Iowa. My father's people come from a farming community in Iowa. I am the eldest son / not son of the eldest son of the eldest daughter in this family line. I was very close to these people. As a gender queer person I gravitated early to the city. Much of my work has worked with that urban queer self. I felt that the holy fool material came from somewhere more vulnerable ... something in this Iowan landscape. The goodness of my farming / small town / industrious / simple roots ... that led to such incredible devastation in so few generations. There were birds in the fields of small farms when my father was a boy & now these fields are barren. There is a parable in this that cuts close to the heart of the matter. We have a goodness as a species that has gone so very wrong. This is also the space that for lack of any clarity I call “son not son.” I felt I was their son but when I returned as a young adult I narrowly escaped a physical assault by a group of "good community folks" when I stopped in small town. I was never really welcome in Iowa outside of my family. The Iowa self in many ways is the heart of Icarus. There is a difficulty in owning a role in the great destruction that in fact we are all (especially in this american empire) perpetrating. I call this the 'i said "i" ' space - a mirror held up. The holy fool perhaps tries to go back in time to change such a crushing fate / a hero not hero / a foolish gesture. But what else is there? All of this is laced throughout the graffiti angel / infinity part 1 film.

iowa #1
iowa #2

graffiti angel

early experiments in code-generated film

graffiti angel / infinity part 1
graffiti angel / birdland
graffiti angel / night train blue window
graffiti angel / blue