I missed Art Of Restraint, too

Photo by sigkate.

For the recent installment of Art Of Restraint I was asked to come as press and share the experience — with the usual boundaries and respect for those who don’t want to be outed, of course. A gift and a privilege, right? Except this time I didn’t make it due to a friend’s crisis. Well, until the very end.

I missed Midori‘s controversial performance, a surveillance based bondage showing. According to witnesses, Midori was working on a bondage art demonstration with CCTV-style surveillance cameras rolling, and mid-demo, the SFPD burst in with a SWAT team and literally wrenched the gallery door open and hauled out a “dissident”. It was really the SFPD. People in the gallery were so shocked, one woman reeled, stumbled and fell stunned (she was okay). It all happened in just under 30 seconds. Strangely, I was driving by the gallery when this happened; I remember seeing a police car out front and thinking I should tweet what I witnessed, from the street it looked like a gallery raid. When I got home I started checking the Twitter streams of friends I knew were at the event, and texting them to see if everything was okay — before going public with what I saw. Nothing. So I went to the gallery and kept quiet until I had facts.

I arrived at the end and came in when everyone was wrapping up. Turns out, all was well and the “SWAT” team had in fact worked in tandem with an SFPD escort, and when they pulled the dissident from the performance they dropped special Amnesty International flyers on the way out — and the surveillance cams were just for Midori’s performance. It was an action. Here’s her complete post about the elaborate episode.

When I got there and while I got the download, Madison (the doll of all dolls) hugged me and held me rapt hanging out with her, while FiveStar smiled and made me feel like a dirty girl, and Jiz Lee looked hot as hell but hung out all cool and talked tech because Jiz is a geek bar none. (::crush) Meanwhile, creator of the infamous steam-powered vibrator Ani Niow told me she’d just finished the awesome Five Minutes of Fame website for Noisebridge. It’s a real, fun and functional concept for geek talks and they have live-filmed archives aplenty. Highly recommended.

O wait! This post was about Art Of Restraint. After I showed up late, a sweetie who’d shot photos connected with me and contacted me (via my Twitter, apologies if you’re over it) with all the pics they’d shot. So I missed it — but like you, I saw it online… My choice selections after the jump, and if you’re a Flickr participant, the whole set is here.

And yes — the insanely hot Margaret Cho made a surprise appearance and did a stunning fan dance. Let’s just say I arrived in time for the afterparty. :)

Photo by sigkate.

Photo by sigkate.

Photo by sigkate.

Photo by sigkate.

Photo by sigkate.

Photo by sigkate.

Photo by sigkate.

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  1. Sounds like a powerful performance. Personally I feel it’s important to look at the context of the things we do and enjoy – and sometimes that means facing the negative aspects, even as we delight in the positive aspects of our own context. Good on the SFPD for coming to the party in a positive role.

    I’ve got a great deal of respect for Midori as an educator, performer and human being. And educating, performing and being human is about more than simply entertaining others. Your other friends seem both interesting and delightful, too :-)

  2. ChicksonSpeedSpotter · Edit

    Incredible show. i wish i was there to feel it and feel it. im sure betty will write some dumb rant saying they are allowing themselves to feel guilty, like she did in response to vagina monologues donating money to stop the abuse of women in third world countries.

    “only to bring us down with statistics about rape and the sexual abuse of women especially in other countries”

    “Goddess forbid people would be sent home happy with new information about women’s sexual pleasure. Instead, this powerful venue sends us home feeling guilty about all the women in Africa, Bosnia and Afghanistan who are being raped, tortured and genitally mutilated”

    “It’s much easier to look at other countries and gasp at their cruel and inhuman sexual practices. It keeps us from having to face our own sexual problems.”


    that has to the dumbest response i have ever read.im just waiting for some dumbo to rewrite the rant, saying that midori is “brining us down with amnesty international flyers” that “sends us home feeling guilty about all the people in Africa, Bosnia and Afghanistan who are being raped, tortured and genitally mutilated” and that midori using her show to address prisoner abuse “keeps us from having to face our own sexual problems”.

    I love this comment from midori:
    “person hooded, on the floor, naked and cuffed.
    If the only context or response that one has to this image is a fun Saturday night of role playing at the local kink party, are we starving our own humanity? I’m not saying that we should not play with our dark fantasies and archetypes, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the real world human events that necessitate these narratives.
    So many of us don’t know what it feels like to have our assumed liberties taken away at any moment. We believe that reason prevails and the system will protect the just. We may assume that those detained must have a reason to be detained.
    But what if the door burst open when you least expected it, and in a sudden flash of shock and violence someone standing next to you is taken away… You don’t know why they were taken. It could have been you.”

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