Selected Visitor Comments (2003)

Here’s a “greatest hits” collection of e-mail from years past. Click on the “e-mail” heading above right to send mail to us!
Note: Our latest threads for the year 2005 and beyond are now in our Blog.

Linda Bell ( on Saturday, October 11, 2003 at 14:57:10

I was pleased to visit your website today and find out so much information about Mance Lipscomb. I recently bought a DVD about Texas Bluesmen and he was featured with 3 other artists. When I tried to play some of his tunes, I was floored. I felt as though I would need to grow a 2nd head to keep the rhythm on the bass strings. I would love to see some more footage of him playing. Please let me know of any good sources of which you are aware. I would greatly appreciate it.—Linda

Editor’s note: the “Mance Lipscomb: Captain Blues” page has been updated with a link to the DVD featuring Mance Lipscomb and Lightnin’ Hopkins (which happens to be a favorite singer of my Grandmother)!


Bahni Turpin

Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Editor’s Post: Bahni Turpin on Cover of Yoga Journal

Congratulations to Bahni Turpin! She appears on the cover of this month’s Yoga Journal. We remember her excellent performance in Julie Dash’s classic Daughters of the Dust—a film project involving Floyd Webb, our “teknocreative” interviewed back in the year 2000.


Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 01:46:40
From: Rolf Olmsted (

Great big cheers for “Mance Lipscomb: Captain Blues.” A great meditation/essay on the blues. Write more on the blues please. And the writings done on Grady and Roy Gaines are inadequate and it’s clear you can write about them. Write more.

Best Regards
Rolf Olmsted


Date: Thu 4/17/2003 3:21 PM


I wrote one of my best and most enjoyable term papers in school (many years ago) on his life and poetry. This particular poem usually surfaces during times of questionable war (as if all aren’t.)

Thanks from one of your Celtic (Scott-Irish-Welsh) admirers, for broadening the scope of kintespace!

with respect,
Karen (Owen)

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 18:33:48 EDT
Subject: Re: [kintespace] news from

thanks for continuing to send kintespace news to me!

Yeats is my favorite poet. “The Second Coming” one of my favorite poems.

The Lake Isle of Innesfree” is my favorite.


to Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfield, & Bush Jr.
the Fathers Who Art Round(Heads)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre will not hold;
The power-mongers are loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely The Reformation is at hand.
The Reformation! Hardly are those words out
When vast images of Oliver Cromwell and J. Edgar Hoover
Trouble my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
Four shapes with Round bodies Round heads
Gazes blank and pitiless as the sun
Are moving their slow thighs, while all about them
Reel shadows of indignant Republicans and The Christian Coalition.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by The Reformation,
And what rough beasts, their hour come Round at last,
Slouch towards Washington D.C. to be born?

Ron Whitehead
*with help from W.B. Yeats

All Blessings
Ron Whitehead


Date: 3/12/2003 9:58 PM
From: Ulysses Jenkins <>
Organization: Othervisions Studio

Whiteness, a Wayward Construction
Laguna Art Museum

(Laguna Beach, CA—March 12, 2003) Whiteness, A Wayward Construction, opening at Laguna Art Museum on March 23 and continuing through July 6, 2003, is a group exhibition of contemporary artists who explore the identity politics and cultural study of whiteness in the United States, the first exhibition of its kind in an American museum. The exhibition includes seventy-eight works of paintings, drawings, photography, and installations by twenty-eight artists.

The exhibition is more about the image of whiteness in the public imagination and in contemporary art, and less an analysis of particular historical developments. It approaches whiteness as being about an ideology of power. The term wayward in the exhibition title is meant to suggest a double-meaning: the wayward, or capricious, power that whiteness confers and also the actual ungovernableness and unpredictability that will deter any real attempt to pin a singular, overarching identity on an individual. The ultimate goal of this cultural study and of this exhibition is to simply recognize the United States as a multicultural nation, where whites, as cultural theorist Lucy Lippard writes, “will be encouraged to see themselves as simply another “Other.”

Almost all of the artworks selected for the exhibition were created between 1990 and the present. This period coincides with a particular development in the contemporary art world as artists and critics responded to the emergence of intellectual movements such as poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and multiculturalism, from which the cultural study of whiteness arose in the 1990s. Most fittingly, the majority of the artists in the exhibition are based in California, a state poised to cross the threshold into being a white-minority society.

The exhibition is subdivided into three overlapping categories that move from the general to the specific and are meant to suggest a movement from unawareness, to reflection, to problematizing the white person as a racial subject.


The first section, “White Out,” looks at some of the broader issues that underlie the representation of whiteness, particularly the idea of white people not seeing themselves as having a racial identity. Artworks in this section explore how whiteness develops into a seemingly unacknowledged yet overarching and dominant value system. This is exemplified by the association of the color white with purity, Manifest Destiny as justification for geographical expansion, and present-day consumerism as a continuation of this “destiny.”

In this section, many artists find that their cure for racism is to review and revise history by taking into account significant events or details that were marginalized earlier. In State Birds of the Slave States (After J. J. Audubon) (2001), Peter Edlund mimics nineteenth-century painting techniques to point out the inherent contradictions of American Romantic paintings such as the works of the Hudson River School when viewed in the context of the political realities of the time. There is an additional irony to Edlund’s display of state birds, since Audubon was of mixed race, passing as white during the time of slavery.


The second section-”Mirror, Mirror…”-explores the qualities of an outward appearance that identifies one as white and thus confers privileges. When the U.S. gave whiteness an actual legal status, determining whether one was a slave or free, “whiteness” became more a property value than a privileged identity. The artists represented in this section consider whiteness when deployed as a tangled relationship between identity, status, and property such as the white-collar work environment, hierarchies within the art world, the Ku Klux Klan, Christianity, the concept of “white trash,” and historical associations of racism with the American South.

In this section, working with the usually innocuous museum admission tags, Daniel Joseph Martinez created a special set for the 1993 Whitney Biennial, which were distributed at random to museum visitors. Each tag contains one or two words that together form the sentence “I can’t imagine ever wanting to be white.” For visitors moving around the museum, not only was there the potential for unsettling juxtapositions (a white person wearing a tag reading “white” standing next to a nonwhite person wearing the same tag), but also for careful observation and a certain amount of thought that required the visitor to reconstruct the statement.


The third, “Graying Whiteness,” delves into the complex relationship between private and public personas, such as the complicated issues that arise when discussing race relations in relationship to gender—white women and black women—and sexuality—lesbian versus being heterosexual. Other artists explore being designated as white, though they view themselves differently, and the subsequent realization that they have the choice to pass for white or for black, knowing that certain disadvantages and privileges will be dispensed once their decision is announced. Further, this circumstance then reveals implicitly this nation’s record of mixed ancestry, which then complicates and requires a redefinition of whiteness that may be attached to skin color.

Artists in this last section mischievously suggest the possibility of a complicit alliance between victim and victimizer as a way to shed light on a romanticization of protest. Several explore the fluctuating definition of white skin and its accompanying attributes, such as blue eyes, suggesting that once our identity is redefined one must reconsider what it means to be white. Lezley Saar’s installation Mulatto Nation (2003) is a gift shop that sells souvenirs to tourists visiting this fictional nation. Shoppers can purchase bumper stickers; flags; mugs; and porcelain plates with portraits of contemporary mulattos such as Mariah Cary, Sinbad, Colin Powell, the Rock, and others. If you were of mixed race, with a skin the color that allowed you to identity as either black or white, which would you choose?


Los Anthropolocos/Richard A. Lou and Robert J. Sanchez, Kavin Buck, James Casebere, Emilio Cueto, Kim Dingle, Peter Edlund, John Feodorov, Kelsey Fernkopf, Mark Steven Greenfield, Joseph Havel, Mike Kelley, Byron Kim, Clifford Lecuyer, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Myrella Moses and Eric Mondriaan, Tim Oberst, Adrian Piper, Ernesto Pujol, Erika Rothenberg, Kammy Roulner, Lezley Saar, Andres Serrano, Richard Shelton, Kyungmi Shin, Gary Simmons, Travis Somerville, Kara Walker, and Millie Wilson.


Founded in 1918, Laguna Art Museum is heir to the oldest cultural institution in Orange County. Permanent collections and exhibitions feature historical, contemporary and pop-culture-oriented American art, with emphasis on the art of California.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach. For this exhibition period, the Museum will be open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including Monday holidays. For more information on the Museum, please call between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 949.494.8971, extension 0 or visit the Museum’s website at


Date: 3/12/2003 9:58 PM
To: Douglas Trammell (
Subject: Mark Essex and whiteness

Thanks very much for looking closely at the article. I commend you in your academic efforts. I believe most people (especially North Americans) will have problems with abandoning the concept of race and reducing whiteness to a political affiliation.

When we look back on Russian history at the time of the rise of the Bolsheviks, we have no problems with seeing the White Russians and the Red Russians as political tags and this is because genetic phenotype is not attached to the politics.

I am quite aware that it will be a very strange day when people who now describe themselves as white may have descendants that will reject the label and its politics. It will be quite a different world when such a person is actually offended by being called “white.”

Since I am not a public figure and do not see very much of a life in politics, I can live with real science and the concept of race has nothing to do with real science. Race is a state of mind. It is the foundation of the matrix of illusions that makes up the post-Columbian, Occidental world.

And I am not writing these words in a ski lodge in Aspen with my independently wealthy, white girlfriend. I am not writing these words with “good friends” from the cast of television’s Friends sitting in my living room. I am sure you have or will read my articles and poems at and see where I am coming from and where I am going.

Please feel free to write back with more ways to look our problem. I will publish our findings in the kinte threads.

Bryan Wilhite


Date: Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 00:14:36
From: Douglas Trammell (

Hello, my name is Douglas Trammell. I am currently writing my masters thesis at the University of New Orleans on the Essex shooting. I have been studying it three years.

I agree with many of the points that you made. You obviously have a keen insight. Its funny you made the correlation between Essex and Robert Charles. I actually brought that up in my previous drafts. It’s curious that these similar events happened at the beginning and the end of the Jim Crow era in New Orleans. Don’t you think? I don't know if that means anything but I just find that odd.

I also agree with you that Essex was not insane. He showed a history of being a little bit unstable and having a chronic problem with authority, but mainly he was a friendly and sensitive guy.

However, I do have a problem with your “whiteness” assertions. IF your definition of whiteness is not race-specific then why do you refer to it as whiteness? IF we all continue to look at the world in terms such as Black and white or black and White, then we aren’t going anywhere as GOD’s CHILDREN are we? Hit me back.


Date: 6 Mar 2003 04:58:39 -0000
From: “Amarpal Khanna” <>


Amarpal here. I just received your latest edition of kintespace. Despite my attempts to consume as little media as possible (including radio and television, web surfing notwithstanding) I have not yet unsubscribed or blocked your art. I call kintespace your art, because it is crafted with intelligence, passion, wit, love, and integrity. I thoroughly enjoy the art, poetry and book reviews—as well as the commentary you throw down. Thanks.



Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2003 at 14:09:32
From: “gk darby” <>

I enjoyed your critique of the Hernon book, and I’m putting a link to the review on I hope you don’t mind.

best best,
gk darby

Last Reviewed: Monday, March 28, 2005 9:51:38 PM
Another stone tribal move by Songhay System

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