This Week at the Madagascar Institute

So- it has been months (has it been months? It seems like it, as least
to me, who cares, and maybe to the others that do as well.) since you
ungrateful bastards have been blessed with another missive of sweetness
and light from me, and oh what those months have contained- amazing
events, radical leaps in technology, the dawn of tank-top season and oh
so much more (some of it detailed below, most not) but you will all be
pleased to know that I am still more or less crippled by rage, no matter

how pleasant the weather is. My valuable work time has been spent
actually slaving away doing what I am paid for (as long as I am being
paid to think of ways to get fired that will include severance pay and
qualifying for unemployment payments) and not sending e-mail to the
likes of you, but so much is happening and about to happen at the
Madagascar Institute that it must be shared.

So, without further delay and with only a few (minor) tangents and
bile-choked rants:

This week at the Madagascar Institute

What you missed:

First and foremost I want to underscore that e-mail announce or not, the

Madagascar Institute is open every Thursday and Saturday, (which you
should have known) and Tuesday as well (which you might not have known).

A select few artstars have been showing up regularly and doing, and oh
what they have created. There are 8 kinds of art bikes rolling around,
bikes so bad ass that people have actually been crippled on them (sadly
enough, I am not joking), machines of “amusement” whose only purpose
seems to be to maim, and spectacular events both past and future that
will be or were (tense depending on the event, of course) the best thing

We are not fucking around, and if you come down you will not be either.
For example:

Remember how I used to recommend that after an evening of welding at the

Institute you could strut into Rubulad or wherever the kids go these
days to pose and drip with irony and flirt and drink and brutally shove
whoever was in your way? Well, no need to get your artstar mitts filthy
with hipster sweat or blood- after several weeks of intense work at the

Institute, artstar Jeff S. discovered he could COMPLETELY VAPORIZE
anything/anyone he wanted to, just with a focused thought. Soon, other
Madagascar Institute regulars reported the same, or similar powers.
It is so cool.

Enough of the past. Well, except for this:

If you have footage or photos or vaguely expressionist drawings of the
latest Madagascar Institute event (The Feast of Saint Madagascar) send
it to me. We need it, and you will never never use it except to clumsily
project at some suck ass party where people will really not enjoy it
because they will too busy drinking or cruising or waiting to pee.
Unless, of course, it is one of our parties, where they will be
quivering in amazement and awe. (or is that fear?), and along those
lines we need the services of a crack video editor, quick like a bunny
now, so if you are one of those let me know.

Also, there was a touch of , uh, unpleasantness as a result of that
event, that led to some of our comrades in the beloved Hungry Marching
Band getting led off in chains. They can use your letters of support for
their court date. To quote HMB spokessiren Ms. Tara Ball:


Hello Citizens and Comrades,

We, the Hungry March Band, need your kind and urgent assistance.

I know this is late notice but we are in need of your support! Five of
us we arrested after an event on Friday April the 13th. Our court date
Friday morning, so please hurry! See Story Below.

Please quickly write an email and send it out extolling and exclaiming
the good we do for the world, the community, the individual, the human
spirit, you and even the furry little creatures. Any thing at all so we
can show we are community minded, virtuous, helpful, professional,
wonderful, caring, kind, good citizens that just want to do the right
thing. If you have witnessed one of our shows, if we have played at an
event for you, anything at all, please send an email. If you are a
w/a fancy title or just some person who knows love when he/she hears it,

send out your words now.

We want to show the Judge we are not a bunch of lowlifes just trying to
make trouble or something like that.


This way I can print them out at work as my printer in broken and it
be good if they are going to bands email addy instead of mine.

The Story in Brief…
We were doing what we always do, making music for the people. This time
it was for the Good Friday Poets Parade after one of our bandmates shows

in the same LES neighborhood, around 9/9:30pmish. It was a simple parade

but a lot of people came and that made the police nervous we think.
kids made a religious icon statue/float that was quite nice and carried
it around for the parade. It had attached to it a somewhat spectacular
sparkler/light/smoke show. We were just playing music, never were we
asked to stop or move on or anything. They just nabbed a few of us, well

after the event was over. I think mostly because they were confused and
just wanted somebody to use as an example. Nothing was broken, no one
hurt, everyone seemed to be having a good time and enjoying the
festivities until the police arrived. They just blocked traffic and
scared everyone away. I think they were upset over the icon float, but
did not make that, only music and it wasn’t even late. We all ended up
in cuffs and jail. We got out relatively quickly. We were charged with
Disorderly Conduct.

We just want to prove that we do this sort of public event all the time
with no ill intent. We do our part in the community. So please help us.

A simple letter will do.

thanks and love,
xxxT the jailbird

Let us move forward.

Several big Madagascar Institute events are coming up, in what looks to
be the busiest and best spring ever. There are a number of opportunities

for you to take a part in the creation of these events, and if you can’t

do that then you can show up and still out cool everyone else in this
fair city. In addition, there are a number of events in the near and not

so near future that are not Madagascar Institute events per se, but are
endorsed by the Institute or involve a number of Institute people and
efforts, or both.
All of these things are listed below with varying levels of detail, in
something approaching chronological order.
For those of you that are not strong readers this is the skinny:

May 19th – Madagascar Institute toys on display at Blackkatt party in
– Also, special advanced welding class at the Institute
May 20th- Million Chenguin march, 3pm, Astor Place
May 26th- Madagascar Institute Fundraiser, at the Institute, so we can
buy a truck
June 9th Running of the Bulls, Brooklyn
August, sometime: Madagascar Institute Luau

Lastly, we need obtanium, as usual. Please note that
“obtanium” is not the same as “trash” . Specifically, we need scrap
metal, working (at least partially working) electronics, motors, power
tools, shop and lab equipment, art supplies, fabric, engines, and shiny

On to the events:
Blackkatt: THE CIRCUS B4
Saturday MAY 19
D Space in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)
27 Bridge St, F train to York, walk 3 blocks towards the water.
Brooklyn, NYC

multimedia madness and midway
in a 7,000 sq foot warehouse complex with a huge, 3,000 sq ft. outdoor
courtyard, DUMBO, Brooklyn NYC

This will be a big crazy party featuring DJs, booths, and performances
that I am betting you will dig and that I don’t feel like listing here,
and, as the invite promises:
“Apocalyptic circus toys from the MADAGASCAR INSTITUTE”
It will be good. We will be demoing some of our new creations. You will
like them.

We need all the lively monkey hands (not literally, but if you have
actual monkeys or monkey hands please do bring them by- that would be so
punk rock) possible to help us finish some of the creations. No
experience needed. Also, Ms Tara Ball has the following specific request
for help:


Can you post to see if there is enough interest to help me man the peep
show, to set up and break down for Saturday night. I need people to…
_ “perform” some “art act”, rude is okay, sexy is okay. They will be on
the other side of a Plexiglas partition. There will be a slot for tips
that they can keep but must give me a part for bringing the fucking

_ people to help be set up and break down, not to hard but I can not do
by myself

-People to barker outside…draw them to booth and then drag them out
when turn if over.

All easy and fun. But I need help.

In addition, Saturday at the Institute master welder Garth Heck will be
teaching an advanced welding session and telling stories of smacking
Gavin around when he was little (yeah- I find it hard to believe that he
was ever little too) and life as a welder in the Coast Guard.

Sunday, May 20th- Million Chenguin March
Chenguin fucking rocks. While this is not a Madagascar Institute event,
it has our full support and we lent our expertise to some of their
special effects. Go.
Be at Astor Place at 3pm on Sunday and follow the 9 foot tall
Chicken/penguin hybrid. All will become clear shortly. For those of you
who like internet, they have some sort of “page” at

Madagascar Institute Fundraiser:
Saturday, May 26th, at the Institute
You will be bombarded with clever invite text shortly. Stay in NYC
Memorial Day weekend and enjoy the uncrowded streets and bring all your
friends to the Institute so we can make money so we can buy a truck.
There will be DJs, art, and maybe a performance or two in the style you
have come to expect from the Institute. It will be glorious, and
reasonably priced.
If you would like to volunteer to help set up, clean up, decorate, or do
other things contact

Running of the bulls- June 9th
This is the next big Madagascar Institute event. In the professional
quality words of Jeff Stark:


1. the running of the bulls is a madagascar institute street event on
june 9. the event will start at the corner of carroll and nevins, in
gowanus, brooklyn, near a lovely little retractable bridge. we should
expect 200-300 guests, most of whom should be wearing white-and-red
outfits. we will line up 40 bulls — puppet bulls, costume bulls, art
bike bulls, car bulls, skating bulls, chinese dragon bulls,
sound-sculpture bulls, etc. — and chase everyone down the street for
several blocks. afterward, there will be a party at madagascar, with
sangria, bad flamenco dancing, good music (dj and otherwise), a bull
fight, and a boxing match between an old hemmingway and a young
hemmingway, and anything theme-appropriate you might be able to dream
up. it’ll be ridiculous fun.

2. we need bulls! youre on this list because we’re pretty sure that
youre going to make a bull, but please let us know, just so we can be
positive. (yes, right now is fine.) there’s already some activity and
much planning. i’ve got four different bulls in progress right now,
and i’ve seen some other stuff coming together around the institute.
basically, your bull can be as elaborate or as half-assed as your ego
will allow. i will not mock anyone’s involvement. (note: i speak for
myself, and not your peers.)

we could actually use more bulls from strangers or people who might
not be on this list. please feel free to recruit your friends to make
bulls. there are only two rules: one, the thing has to invoke or at
least hint at bullness; two, it must move. please do any recruiting
on an individual basis; dont just broadcast this message to an
external list. this event does allow for a lot of participation from
others outside of our core group, and those people should be
encouraged. at the same time, we don’t plan on counting on most of
them just in case they slack off and dont come through.

3. again, the bulls are really individual projects. there is a lot of
junk for you to use around the madagascar institute. you can also
find some pictures and examples of bulls hanging out on the walls and
such. plus, there’s often free labor if you want someone to help you
and attractive people to flirt with. youre of course welcome to work
at home or in your studio if you want, but know that if you need
something, hackett probably has it. come on by. the institute will be
open tuesdays, thursdays, and saturdays, and then every day the week
prior to the event. email me if you need directions.

in addition to the personal project commitments, we need some help
with the party afterward. some people have expressed interest in
certain parts of the planning, but feel free to send us an email and
say that you want to join that group or work on that section of the
party. there’s plenty of work to go around, and as always, roles and
fiefdoms are pretty fluid: the best thing you can do is to show up on
a tuesday, thursday, or saturday and prepare to work.

special question: does anyone know how to play flamenco guitar? do
your friends?

Contact me or Jeff ( if you want to help, or just show
up at the Institute.

Ok- that is it for now. Is that enough for you? If you are looking for
direction to nurture that budding artstar deep inside you that has been
stifled by television and bad cocaine (is there any other kind) then
show up and you will be put to work on making something that you can be
proud of, and what feeling is better than that?

To be removed from this list eat glass.

The Madagascar Institute is located at 217 Butler Street, between Nevins

and Bond, ground floor.

Take the F or G train to the Bergen Street stop (3rd stop in Brooklyn on
the F) Exit at Bergen and Smith Street. Walk up Bergen, against the flow
of traffic, 2 blocks to Bond. Take a right on Bond, walk 4 or so blocks
to Butler. Take a left on Butler, walk 1/2 block to 217. Ring buzzer
#1.You can get there from the N/R train at Union (about 8 blocks) and
the Atlantic/Pacific street stop for everything, but I don’t know how to
do that.

Car/cab from Manhattan:
Go over the Manhattan Bridge. Once on the Brooklyn side, you will be on
Flatbush. Follow Flatbush a few (like 6) blocks and take a right on
Nevins (right after Fulton, with its bright lights and disturbing amount
of wig shops). Go down Nevins like 6 blocks, watching the neighborhood
get progressively more industrial, until you get to Butler. Take a right
on Butler. 217 is halfway down the block.

Car/cab from Williamsburg (Thanks to Tara Ball)
easy driving directions to Madagascar Inst by Tara

get off BQE Manhattan bridge exit, drive down very big street of
Flushing Ave. Make right on Nevins which is just after Juniors (stop buy
me cheese cake for doing you this favor) 2 or 3 blocks. Drive a little
ways keep eyes open and brain working look for BUTLER. then find 217
Butler (btwn Nevins & Bond.) If you see 3rd Ave you are going wrong way,
turn around. Across street from brick structure.
Easy and remember cheese cake.

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