Shawn Decker.

I’m p-paralyzed with happiness….
She laughed again, as if she had said something very witty, or as if there was an ECHO, and held my hand for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one in the world she so much wanted to see.

“…but across the US, millions of people are struggling to keep their heads above water, fighting against the effects of the economic crisis caused by the 1% – the ALPHA-bankers of Wall Street and their political parties they elect in NOVEMBER.”

There was a way she had, like drinking WHISKEY from the bottle in a HOTEL. She hinted in a murmur that the surname of the balancing girl from QUEBEC was SIERRA (I’ve heard it said that JULIETTE’s murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.) At any rate, Miss ROMEO’s lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost imperceptibly, and then quickly tipped her head back again – the object she was balancing had obviously tottered a little, with its several KILOs suddenly FOXTROTTING across her knee, and given her something of a fright.

“Our communities are fighting to stay in their homes, keep their schools open, keep their X-RAYs affordable, and to defend their jobs from cutbacks. At the same time, tens of millions across the world, in over 130 countries, are facing U.S. forces in their countries that they don’t want.”

Again, a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any exhibition of complete self-sufficiency draws a stunning BRAVO from me. I looked back at my YANKEE cousin, who began to ask me questions in her low thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again, like in classical music from INDIA.
I told her how I had stopped off on my DELTA flight through Chicago for a day on my way East to play some GOLF, and how PAPA, OSCAR, CHARLIE and MIKE had sent their love through me. But almost as if I hadn’t spoken she continued:

“Why does the U.S. spend billions on NATO with its UNIFORMs and its wars that are not only attacks on peoples abroad, but also on the lives and living standards of the 99% at home?”

Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright ZULU eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget; a singing compulsion, a promised TANGO, a whispered “Listen,” a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.

* This text is based on a combination of a section of Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” with text from a flyer I was handed at the recent “Occupy” protest at the 2012 NATO summit meeting in Chicago.

Bio ~ Shawn Decker.
Shawn Decker is a composer, artist, and teacher who creates sound and electronic media installations and writes music for live performance, film, and video. His is positioned at the intersection of music composition, the visual arts, and performance, using physical and electronic media to investigate, simulate and praise the natural (and unnatural) worlds. He frequently collaborates with other artists, including most recently Jan Erik Andersson and Anne Wilson. As an artist whose work spans multiple disciplines, for making use of technology and technological processes on the one hand and incorporating traditional elements such as Irish and American folk fiddle-traditions on the other – merging physical elements and techniques from sculpture with environmental sound and music performance, Decker sees art and art-making within a very broad context. As a senior faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, education is another element within his broad-based practice, with teaching supporting artistic production, and vice-versa. His work has been frequently performed, seen, and heard in the US and Europe at a wide variety of venues. Recent exhibitions of both solo and collaborative work have shown at venues such as: the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the 2003 Biennial of Electronic Art in Australia, Art Basel Miami, the Klosterruine in Berlin, ISEA2002 in Nagoya, the 21st Century Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, CAM Houston , ISEA2000 Paris, the Waino Aalto museum in Turku, Finland and numerous others. Decker is a Professor in the Art and Technology and Sound departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.