Frank Moore

During the interview, Wade made reference to Frank Moore, a performance artist, shaman and author who was born with cerebral palsy. Moore invented the term ‘eroplay’ to describe physical play between adults without the linear goals of sex or orgasm. “He explored this, and similar concepts in performance and ritual as a way for people to break through isolation, and connect on a deep human level beyond the social and cultural expectations and limitations.” (from the website eroplay.com)

His performances are available online. They are quite chaotic, with psychedelic light and sound, and centre on physicality, particularly his own. In 2008 Moore ran for president, which led to the laws being changed in some states for write-in candidates. He was apparently widely respected and influential right up until his death in 2013. This has to be an example for other people born with cerebral palsy. Moore communicated using a laser pointer and a board with letters and common words. He wrote many books, poems and essays. From one of his books of poetry, a shrewd look at Darwin’s theory:

mutation is evolution

you foolish idiot!

You want to make

everything,

everyone

normal!

You want to cure

prevent

all crips,

freaks,

crazies,

oddballs,

slow ones

misfits,

bums,

artists,

poets,

and all other impractical

different looking

strange mutations

you fool!

How to condemn the human species

to extinction!

Look…

the game of evolution is

change by experimentation.

We freaks are the experimenters

[…]

Wade on Moore: “I think he’s somebody who has pushed a lot of boundaries in terms of what disabled people are entitled to. I think he’s had a very clear focus from early on in his career. He’s had sort of a shamanistic idea of art and rousing people to erotic pleasure. That’s what he views as one of his goals, for them to be brought to joy, to bliss. That’s part of what he wants people to experience.” There is a sense of play and an unlimited definition of what that means in Moore’s work, a kind of joyful childish naïveté, where the main goal is play itself or the sense of having fun, of letting go. As such, his performances can seem obscene, disturbing or risqué for many.

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