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Two Performance Artists book by Scotch Wichmann
Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss And Do Things With Him
Inspired by my crazy adventures as a performer on the road, this is the story of two performance artists who cook up the ultimate performance: to kidnap their billionaire boss...and turn him into the wildest performance artist the world's ever seen.

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Archive for the ‘Weird’ Category

Parapsychology Ph.D. Complete!

Saturday, February 10th, 2024

Yesssss….. My parapsychology schooling (scientific study of the paranormal) is finally done — I’m a Ghostbuster at last! Lolol.

Building upon declassified U.S. government psychic research, my Ph.D. project tried to prove whether people can steal information from computers clairvoyantly.

I launched a double-blind study where 146 people from around the world tried to psychically sense information about randomly chosen picture, video, ATM PIN, & passphrase targets stored in computers located at a secret location in L.A., with submissions scored by 6 judges. Computers were not networked, had audio disabled, & screens were dimmed to black & shielded.

Many results were statistically significant. From thousands of miles away, some psychics described as many as 7 unique details about picture targets (a=0.05, p=0.000597) and video targets (p=0.000911). Likelihood was calculated to be on par with flipping a coin & getting heads 11 times in a row.

Some people sensed details tangentially related to psychic targets, even when the details weren’t physically present. One target was a short video clip from The Shining. Some psychics sensed blood, loud heartbeats, “a mother on vacation in the mountains,” and other film specifics, even though these details weren’t contained in the actual clip I used — wild!!

I’ll publish full results (600+ pgs!) after presenting in journals & conferences later this year. For fun, here’s one submission:

Parapsychology experiment by Scotch Wichmann showing a glass cathedral dome

Participant's submission successful described the dome features and colors

THANK YOU to my amazing participants, Dr. C. Bishop of Wesleyan U. for his math genius, the U of Sedona for guidance, my 6 tireless judges who judged 1,752 rounds of data, and to KayDee Kersten for being my adventure buddy on this wild ride!

P.S.: Wanna be more psychic? Participants answered survey questions about past psychic experiences, which I then compared to their actual psychic performance. Based on the data, you’ll have more success in your psychic endeavors if you set your intention to be psychic. Participants who BELIEVED they might be psychic were 21.8 times more accurate than doubters. xoxo

RIP Jerry Springer

Thursday, April 27th, 2023

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RIP Jerry Springer. Full disclosure: I loved watching him continue what Donahue, Geraldo, Howard Stern, & Les Crane (1960′s) turned into a live-action tabloid art form. It was impossible to look away. Gimme that lurid sleaze, those profanity-laden fistfights, hurled chairs, all of it — our own American style of rough-and-ready sideshow performance, like watching grainy Kenneth Anger films live mixed with Harmony Korine…. Yeah, it was trashy (and probably partly scripted) and childishly ridiculous and definitely exploitative, but it was also reflective of people I knew and saw growing up….the 1970s-1980s were especially sleazy & gritty & violent in my formative experience. I especially loved the episodes where people in the margins were given a voice, even if it was sensationalized by the form — maybe seeing Springer episodes like “I’m a witch” or “I like to cross-dress” that were considered so shocking back then helped set the stage for some level of normalization and equity that will eventually come. History will judge. But for sure, those episodes connected with the creative, emotive, sensitive, scared, and wilder parts of me that were rejected (often violently) by my peers — somehow I was not alone. And watching all the¬†cro-magnon haters who Springer would bring on stage to create drama? Maybe seeing them helped steel us collectively to battle the ignorant haters still burning books and banning drag shows today.

Watch this clip of tabloid talker Les Crane in 1964 ask a male guest questions about a thing called “homosexuality.” This was ground-breaking for TV. And as archaic and weirdly quaint as this footage looks, one day people will look back on Jerry Springer episodes and probably feel the same about them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev387WTquB8

The Psychic Experiment is Live!

Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

My PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT is live! As part of my final school project in Parapsychology, and inspired by the CIA’s STARGATE remote viewing program in the 1970s, I’m trying to prove that some people have clairvoyant powers allowing them to “see” data in computers far away — and YOU can be part of it!

Plus, everyone who participates will be entered into a random drawing to win one of three $200 Amazon gift cards!

The experiment only takes a few minutes, so check out the video, and head on over to www.psychicexperiment.org.

P.S. — Once I have enough data, the experiment will close, so don’t wait too long to join the fun!

*** OCTOBER 31st UPDATE! *** It’s Halloween, and the Psychic Experiment has been ROCKETING forward with more participants than we ever thought possible — if you participated, THANK YOU! And if you’re still planning to try it, good news, there’s still time — the experiment closes Sunday, November 6, 2022.

Here’s a quick thank you:

Psychic Experiment Starts October 23!

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Psychic Experiment by Scotch Wichmann

My psychic extravaganza is finally almost here! As part of my Ph.D. program in Parapsychology (the study of the paranormal), I’m conducting a public psychic experiment to see if people can use psychic powers to see data inside computers.

If you think psychic powers are probably real (and ESPECIALLY if you think you might be psychic), I hope you’ll participate! Starting October 23, point your browser at www.psychicexperiment.org and have at it! 3 participants will also be randomly selected to win a $200 Amazon gift card!

Andddd if you’ll be near Ventura, California on November 4th, swing by the Art City Gallery and Studios, where I’ll be unleashing a new performance art piece with an array of awesome performers! 8PM and FREE!

Hello, Summer

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

2021 has been a wild ride, and it’s not even halfway done.

Due to Covid, this year hasn’t exactly been rife with in-person performance art opportunities, but Ventura’s 5x5x5 series curated by John M. White marched bravely onward via video, thank God.

So, after workshopping pieces in my backyard with mannequin parts, dirt, ladders, invisible skateboards, and bananas, I finally came up with something crazy from my childhood called 1979 Norwegian Choreography for Skateboard & Banana — check out the pics & video! The piece is simple, but it took 3 bone-jarring days to choreograph and shoot, so by the end, my legs were DESTROYED from all of that faux-skateboard jumping.
 
Scotch Wichmann leaping
Scotch Wichmann with banana
Scotch Wichmann with bonus arm

I just finished writing THE OCCULTIST, a new streaming/TV series pilot about a failed archeologist who becomes an occult detective — I’m so so so excited about this one, because it combines my eternal love of Indiana Jones and my obsession with the occult that dates back to my childhood — and the script just became a finalist at the 2021 Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival — yesssss!

Plus, DARK SILO, the script I co-wrote with KayDee Kersten, was a finalist in ScreenCraft’s 2021 Action & Adventure contest after winning Best Original Screenplay at the Burbank International Film Festival. Agents & producers: I am so ready for youuu!

The Occultist, a pilot screenplay by Scotch Wichmann

My preliminary schoolwork toward my Ph.D. in Parapsychology is finally done. It concluded with a thesis paper called The Liberating Power of Image in the New Thought Movement, which is a feminist take on how the concepts of image and seeing in the metaphysical “mental sciences” (Religious Science, Christian Science, etc.) can liberate one from the raging patriarchy in Western modes of being & seeing.

My doctoral dissertation is up next. I’m still plotting what to research — my list is crazy long and growing: metaphysical healing, shamanic & witchy practices, chaos, E.S.P., ghosts, even aliens…. There are too many topics I’m excited about to choose. Maybe I can incorporate them all? Hm….

I hope you found something fun and fulfilling over the past 6 months to keep you sustained & inspired through this pandemic horror show. For me, it was my wife, dog, friends, and a lot of margaritas, followed by tons of running. I’ve racked up the miles from Los Angeles to Sedona, dropped 10 pounds, ran a half-marathon virtual race, and just started training for my 5th full marathon, with hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon this year (assuming my legs ever recover from all that make-believe skateboarding…lolol).

Scotch Wichmann running in the desert
Scotch Wichmann running
Scotch Wichmann resting with dirty toes after trail run

So, if you drive past a pale, bony, dehydrated blonde dude who is tripping through the asphalt streets of Burbank like a loon, please don’t run him over! Wishing you a healthy & beautiful summer!

 

Goodbye, 2020

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

What a year. Coronavirus. Insane politics. Death of Justice Ruth Ginsburg. And still, in the hardest year in recent memory, so many dreamers continued making art. I’ve never been so exhausted, yet so inspired at the same time. I hope you found moments of inspiration too. Here are a few highlights for me:

Since coronavirus canceled most of my performance art shows, I decided to film all of the crazy ideas that I wanted to perform on stage in 2020. The surreal result is called It’s Almost Over, which one viewer called “David Lynch-esque” — the highest compliment for me, everrr.

Experimental, surreal short film IT'S ALMOST OVER directed by Scotch Wichmann

 
Rattle Rattle, the short film I made with KayDee Kersten, made it into 9 film festivals in 2020, and our feature screenplay Dark Silo — which won Best Original Screenplay at the Burbank International Film Festival — moved us one step closer to landing an agent.

My award-winning, clown-comedian friend Natalie Palamides crushed 2020 with her new Amy Poehler-produced Netflix special, NATE. If you didn’t see the live show in Edinburgh, New York, or L.A. (or if you didn’t catch Nat back in her salad days), you’re in luck, because Netflix did an incredible job of capturing NATE’s insane and fearless magic. Don’t miss it!

 
2020 saw me finish a third of my Ph.D. work in parapsychology and metaphysics, with an emphasis on healing and occult practices. My studies inspired me to write a TV/streaming series pilot about a becoming-magician, with more historical realism than most other occult films or shows I’ve seen. Stay tuned!

 
Lastly, with my performances canceled, my primary stress release in 2020 was running up into the Verdugo Mountains that ring Burbank. I covered 1,050+ miles, with 120,000+ feet of vertical gain, which is like climbing Mt. Everest 4 times — not bad. I also did some running in the open desert around 29 Palms, where I accidentally stumbled onto a bombing range, and got chased off by a Marine helicopter ‐ see pic below. What an adventure. (P.S., if you’re a runner on Strava, come be my friend!)

Scotch Wichmann running in Verdugo Mountains near Burbank

Scotch Wichmann in the Verdugo Mountains, with views of downtown L.A. and the backside of the Hollywood sign

Scotch Wichmann running in 29 Palms

Our New Film Is Hitting Festivals!

Saturday, April 11th, 2020

Our new film Rattle Rattle is an official selection at film festivals across the country! Storyline: one of my hands kills the other, and quickly regrets it. See the trailer here!

My creative partner KayDee Kersten did an incredible job with the cinematography, and I discovered that my hands are bitchy, impossible-to-control characters on camera — how did I never notice that before? Haha. We shot the film in our Burbank garage, where our soundstage was my grandma’s old card table surrounded by a circle of homemade felt blackout curtains, while I ran around in a fetching array of leotards. We’re in the running for a few more festivals — can’t wait! Special thanks to North Hollywood’s Wooden Nickel Lighting for the killer lighting setup!

Rattle Rattle, a Scotch Wichmann film
Scotch Wichmann in film Rattle Rattle
Scotch Wichmann film Rattle Rattle chase scene
Scotch Wichmann suiting up in film Rattle Rattle

Exercise While Social Distancing

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Feeling cooped up? These exercise tips won’t help at all. (Special thanks to my neighbors for putting up with this insanity…have a look and you’ll see what I mean…haha).

Comedian Scotch Wichmann

Another Crazy Year

Monday, December 30th, 2019

Hi Friends! Oh man, my 2019 was a wild ride. First, Dark Silo, the screenplay I co-wrote with my creative partner in crime KayDee Kersten, was a semi-finalist at the NYC International Screenplay Contest — hopefully we’ll see it in theaters soon! We also wrapped production on Rattle Rattle, a surreal short film we shot in our Burbank garage that was a semi-finalist at both L.A.’s IndieX and Indie Short Fest film festivals—not bad!

There was plenty of performance art too. KayDee and I co-produced Not An Exit, a sold-out evening of performance art in downtown Los Angeles in July with an amazing lineup of artists. And, I performed a couple of pieces at 5×5, the monthly performance series at Ventura’s amazing Art City Gallery.

My favorite solo piece this year was John’s Arrow, which was both a performance and a magic spell designed to help heal my hospitalized mentor, John White.

Performance art piece by Scotch Wichmann

Although I’ve been a practicing occultist since I was a kid (Norse magic, shamanism, chaos magic, you name it), this was my first public magical act that incorporated actual magical intention and charged tools, including crystals, sigils, magical movement, spirit water, and a felt blanket (the latter which was a nod to performance artist Joseph Beuys, who was obsessed with both felt and energy).

I’m indebted to film director and occultist Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose book Psychomagic really opened my eyes to the possibilities of overtly mixing public performance with magical practices. When I look back at my performances over the past decades, I see plenty of shamanic and witchy elements (both on stage and in my own internal approach to performance), but it was Jodorowsky’s book that convinced me to bring spooky+healing to the forefront. After the Arrow piece was over, several audience members approached to say that the space’s air had taken on a strange charge — and even better, my mentor’s recovery seemed to accelerate over the days that immediately followed. Really, who can ask for more than that? Thanks, Jodorowsky!

In 2020 I’m looking to finish 2 more scripts that are on deck, produce another performance art night in L.A., and explore psychomagic further with more public spells geared toward healing (which I hope will be useful in what is shaping up to be a truly insane election year). If you’d like to receive a note when these and other happenings are happening, join my mailing list — and above all, have an amazing New Year!

Sprinting Toward Film

Friday, March 9th, 2018

After a year at the typer with my creative partner (the genius writer-producer KayDee Kersten), a new feature-length screenplay has been born: 120 pages of FBI thriller wrapped around a conspiracy I think might be bigger than JFK, King Jr., Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Vince Foster, and the fake moon landing combined.

Even as a kid I wanted to be a writer, but a screenwriter especially, so my life has felt like one long sprint toward film in epic slow motion, a dichotomy paradox interrupted by performance art, standup comedy, beer, karate, hilarious occult practices, shitty jobs, strange ladies, and other adventures required for a screen scribe to possess any depth.

If I could change anything, it might be that my script arrived a decade sooner so my favorite film professor in college, the brilliant Anne Friedberg, might’ve had a chance to read it. A contemporary of Yvonne Rainer and wife of screenwriter Howard A. Rodman, Anne was a sparky postmodernist full of humor and encouragement who said to me once, I have no doubt you’ll get there, which was pretttttty much the best thing you can say to a boy who spends his days dreaming. Anne also confided that she’d always wanted to be a Vegas showgirl, so she’d be pleased to know our new script is driven by a smart female protagonist — and also that I’ve been known to dress up like a showgirl myself. Here’s my, er, most successful attempt right before a West Hollywood bar crawl a couple of months ago. So…would you do her? Hahaha:
Scotch Wichmann in drag, makeup by KayDee Kersten

In December, I had the honor of opening L.A.’s 18th annual Nihilist Film Festival with its traditional blessing of TVs and other electronic devices. With America’s funniest nihilist Elisha Shapiro presiding, I blessed a TV and every cellphone in the crowd using Luke Skywalker’s long lost arm from Empire Strikes Back:
Scotch Wichmann at the Nihilist Film Festival with Elisha Shapiro
Finally, in February I dusted off Rattle Rattle, a dark fairy tale piece I originally performed in 1992. Aesthetically, I’ve always been a purist who prefers not to repeat performances so each can stand alone in time and space. (Full disclosure: while I love this purity, it can be exhausting, since 2-3 bookings in a row means having to create multiple pieces from scratch in a very short time, and sometimes my muse is drunk and slow to show up). In Rattle Rattle‘s case, I allowed an exception to my rule because with the world the way it is right now (very fucked up), I thought maybe the audience could use some magick drawn from creative energies in my past (sort of a Back to the Future shamanic recipe of my own Marty McFly design), and it worked, I think, judging from the crowd’s happy reactions.
Scotch Wichmann doing Rattle Rattle performance art piece in 1992
Scotch Wichmann carrot performance art prop