Chicken: The Book of the Un, Iceland... and beyond!!!

From: "Chicken:" <>
Subject: Chicken: The Book of the Un, Iceland... and beyond!!!
Date: April 4th 2016


Do you know anybody in Iceland?  I need somebody to hook me up.

It's fascinating, really. It's been almost 5 years since the Book of the Is came out, and now as I write the Book of the Un, I find myself in need of speaking (in person, on May 2nd and 3rd) to someone from the Icelandic Parliament. And I'm finding it tricky. I mean, I got Dave Eggers to write my forward for the first book you think I could interview someone with a parliament seat in friggin' Iceland for chrissakes...

I'm writing about systems, and the patterns that create systems and how we get tricked and fooled into thinking there are systems in place where there is nothing and how we can't see the systems that are there. The topics that are the engines of the Books of the Is/Un are complex and kinda amazing. But not easy. If anyone has any direct connection to someone in Iceland, please let me know.

The Book of the Un is long overdue. I tried to write them both at the same time, but getting one done almost killed me. It worked out pretty well, though. We grossed over $100,000 from the sale of The Book of the Is, total cost like maybe $22,000 (including the book release party at 111 Minna, the best party ever). That $80,000 went into the Chez Poulet and basically prevented me from losing it after the financial bullshit in 2008 (vote for Bernie!). The Book of the Un will have a much lower price point (it's just black words on white paper, no photos): $25 (including delivery). The release date is Oct 22nd, 2016.

You can pre-purchase a copy through a Kickstarter that is going to go live April 18th. Details coming.

There is a chapter on Iceland in the book, yes. But also a chapter on the Fallen Cosmos. I am compelled to visit the Noordbrabants Museum in the Netherlands for the one in a lifetime opportunity to ALL the works of Jheronimus Bosch in one show, read more here:

The chapter in my book about the Fallen Cosmos has little to do with Bosch, but I've spent So. Much. Time. In. That. Painting... I think I will benefit much from attending. So April 26th it's off to Amsterdam then May 1st to Iceland to do research on the book. It's pretty exciting for me...

Finishing this book is going to like cleaning out an old storage space I haven't been to in years that I've been paying too much per month on. Many of you have heard me struggle to define what it is I do, or we do or whatever. How we have all come this far with no definitive thesis is pretty miraculous. We all built this machine that makes magic moments with no blueprints and when it breaks there is no manual to help fix it. This is my chance to finally articulate the impetus and feelings that turned thoughts into actions as experiments that brought us to some pretty amazing places. But at some point, I saw a longer view. I touch on it in the Book of the Is, but you were distracted by the 267 photographs of me and my dog:

    "In the opinion of this humble monk, throwing a stupid Cacophony event is the best chance any of us will ever have to encourage truth, embrace respect, and support tolerance for all the people we share this planet with. The Dadas were right: we can’t get there just by doing the same things that brought us two world wars, five (six? seven?) genocides, and a meaningless corporate work culture. We have to break out of that Control mind. "Art For All Purposes" is our only chance as a species. Politics is a red herring: political affiliations are devices to divide people, while Art brings people together. I can see no other avenue to affect global change open to me except making my city one of Art and Innovation and encouraging the replication of my ideas and the ideas of my ilk by simply living my lifestyle."

The Book of the Un goes into this stuff in a more scholarly way, for better and worse, with no distractions and no cheap jokes about drugs and idiots on fire. I'm pretty stoked to have it all come together. Having a kid is amazing, but forever after you are working on a 10% to 15% efficiency. So it's no small feat that we found the time to pull this together.

2016 is going to be a great year. Thanks for being here...

Oh, and introduce me to somebody in Iceland.


chicken john


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