The Revolution School

Money Danger Room with (clockwise from top left) Gradient / Kristen Mitchell, Diffractor / Jennifer Moon, Fantasma / Dev/in Alejandro-Wilder, Weaver / Rino Kodama, Reframer / Dan/i Bustillo, Nerve / Jessie Closson, 975 / Clara Philbrick. Digital collage by Dev/in Alejandro-Wilder.

The Revolution School
Operation Scrooge 

Tuesday, April 19, 6–8pm PT: Making/Updating Player Cards (Zoom)
Tuesday, May 3, 6–8pm PT: Danger Room (Zoom)

These sessions are highly participatory and open to all whether “participating” or not. Please RSVP to receive a Zoom link. The purpose of the RSVP is intended to promote intentionality, not exclusivity.

The Revolution School describes itself as an “open collective of artists, magicians, activists, hackers, academics, psychokinetics, witches, scientists, healers, empaths, thieves, chemists, archivists, gamers, freaks, friends, allies, and enemies (aka Superheroes and Scroogers).” Founded and facilitated by Jennifer Moon, the Rev School started as a Commonwealth and Council Summer School program during the pandemic, which led to the formation of two initial “action teams”—League of Superheroes and Operation Scrooge. Meeting weekly, these teams are devoted to both personal and systemic transformation, beginning with the evolving collective itself. “Not only are our projects revolutionary; the group itself is emerging as its own revolutionary project.”

We believe the primary reason someone holds onto power and resources is because of unacknowledged, unprocessed, and unloved trauma. A Scrooger is someone who actively befriends their traumas and, therefore, can have expansive relationships with another person’s traumas. A Superhero is someone who actively offers alternatives to carceral-based institutional apparatuses that have become naturalized.

For how we are in time and space: Annotations, The Revolution School will collaborate with Armory Center for the Arts and its audience with two Zoom sessions dedicated, respectively, to making/updating a Player Card as a Scrooger, Superhero, or combo of both, which involves workshopping your Superpowers and Vulnerabilities (all active members of Rev School are invited to make a Player Card) and a Danger Room (inspired by the X-Men’s training facility with the same name) to test out your Superpowers and Vulnerabilities with “dangerous” subjects, such as money, individual vs. collective, and creeps and crushes. 

These projects are conceived in transhistorical dialogue with the exhibition how we are in time and space: Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hafif, Barbara T. Smith, and particularly in relation to documentation and relics from Smith’s performance A Week in the Life Of... (1975). Initially conceived as a fundraiser for the Pasadena Artist’s Concern, a local arts co-op, A Week in the Life Of... was initiated by a live auction in which discrete units of Smith’s time were sold to the highest bidder. Smith and guests wore formal attire, and the artists Allan Kaprow and Peter Lodato served as “runners,” with a hired auctioneer selling off all but one of 36 units of Smith’s time. These included a series of letter exchanges with artist Rachel Rosenthal, a spending spree with artist Paul McCarthy, and an entire week purchased by writer Larry Grobel, who used his time with Smith as research for a book on performance art. Despite its title, the work continued on and off for over a year, with Smith documenting her various encounters in log books that include photographs, drawings, collage, correspondence and other writing.

Beyond its attempt to financially support a local, artist-run space, A Week in the Life Of… was also a radical experiment in relationality, one in which the artist put herself at potential risk, psychically if not physically. Smith has described her performances as “works that have engaged me on a deeply felt level, often excruciating, sometimes ecstatic.” They are focused on her “own inner growth rather than works intended to entertain an audience. Indeed, the role of the so-called audience is often that of witness, participant, or indirect observer. What I have wanted for the audience was a shared sense of immediate effect.”  

This sense of exchange, in which growth or transformation can be simultaneously inward and outward, likewise share the aims of The Revolution School and its Two Principles of The Revolution:

1. Always* operate from a place of abundance**

2. Always choose the most expansive*** route

* Always means pertaining to any manner of actions that can be deemed revolutionary.

** Abundance is knowing you are enough for the mere fact that you exist.

*** Expansive is reaching beyond binaries, hierarchies, and capital.

Members of The Revolution School participating in this project include: Dan/i Bustillo, Dev/in Alejandro-Wilder, Cedric Tai, Clara Philbrick, Jennifer Moon, Jessie Closson, Kristen Mitchell, Lauren Klotzman, Nico Luna Paz, Pilar Gallego, Rino Kodama, and Sara Barnett.

The Revolution Deck: Scroogers and Superheroes (clockwise from top left): 975 / Clara Philbrick, Fantasma / Dev/in Alejandro-Wilder, Nerve / Jessie Closson, Ego Death / Pilar Gallego, Dr. Brujaja / Nico Luna Paz, Diffractor / Jennifer Moon, Weaver / Rino Kodama, Ricochet / Cedric Tai, Gradient / Kristen Mitchell, Klotzyyyy / Lauren Klotzman, Reframer / Dan/i Bustillo, Saffron / Sara Barnett. The Revolution Deck: Scroogers and Superheroes player cards are designed by Dev/in Alejandro-Wilder, inspired by Jessie Closson’s Superheroes/Scroogers Trello cards.