“Our” Ray Ray makes the big time

“Our” Ray Ray makes the big time
rAY rAY CROPPED

CITY Newspaper 12/27/17

This week, social practice artist Ray Ray Mitrano, M.F.A, was one of the Rochester 10, the CITY Newspapers’ feature on ten happening Rochestarians. BELOW  Congratulations, Ray Ray!

Talker likes to think we “discovered” Ray Ray before he achieved his quasi-celebrity status.

Way back in June 2016, Ray Ray took us through his participatory gallery installation, Primary Caucus, whose absurdist aesthetic simulated the byzantine — if not rigged — American electoral system.    SEE Vote early and often at a political art experience: Primary Caucus”

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Me voting with snotty tissues. From Vote early and often at a political art experience: Primary Caucus” [Photo: Ray Ray Mitrano] 5/29/16

Then in November 2016, I attended Ray Ray’s massive fake election at the Visual Studies Workshop.  Ray Ray caught me skulking around like a fake Russian election hacker.  SEE A Fake Election at the Visual Studies Workshop

Fake

Skulking around like a fake Russian election hacker. From A Fake Election at the Visual Studies Workshop [Photo: Ray Ray Mitrano] 11/4/16

After the “real” election, Ray Ray contributed a poem to our Prospering Poets Page. SEE Ray Ray rejoins our conversation: “the privilege of mind with US as your safety-net”

Ray Ray was at the Activism Fair in January 2017.  SEE Activism Fair draws largest crowd of its kind in recent memory

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Ray Ray at right. Nilson Carrol at left. Alex White at the Green Party table in rear. From Activism Fair draws largest crowd of its kind in recent memory [Photo: David Kramer] 1/14/16

In March 2017, Ray Ray biked to Twelve Corners for a rally against anti-Semitism. SEE Many voices against hate at the Twelve Corners 

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Ray Ray to the left from Many voices against hate at the Twelve Corners [Photo: Mara Ahmed] 3/12/17

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Donald Trump did not invent “Fake News.” Yar Yar was using the term well before The Donald. (see Rochester 7-Eleven coffee drinkers narrowly favor Clinton 101 – 97; most are independent)

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Ray Ray’s sketch. See rayraymitrano.com

We went to several of Ray Ray’s happenings at Parcel 5, including in May when the mimes filled the space and offered lessons.  Ray Ray (under his pseudonym Yar Yar) was there interviewing people for his Fake News project. For a couple of years, Yar Yar has pioneered the concept of Fake News in which he critically interrogates media practices.

In October 2016, candidate Donald Trump claimed he invented the term “Fake News.”  Trump did not as Yar Yar — who never claims to have coined the term — was using the phrase well before fake Trump.

The “Fake News” Donald Trump Boxing and Talking Pen Speaks

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Yar Yar interviewing mimes and spectators at Fake Visionary Square: Miming at Parcel 5 [Photo: David Kramer] 5/7/17

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Yar Yar interviewing mimes and spectators at Fake Visionary Square: Miming at Parcel 5 [Photo: David Kramer] 5/7/17

Ray RaY ARTICLE

CITY Newspaper 12/27/17

POSTSCRIPT  In his always vivid prose, Ray Ray kindly posted this on his facebook page:

David Kramer is an overwhelmingly endearing, crazy, multi-tasking local media powerhouse. Talker of the Town manically integrates meta-timelines of his own personal news explorations. They often end collaboratively written.

This is him adding onto the pile, reacting to CITY Newspaper, and pressing on in bold curiosity that goes deep and hard.

Thanks for engaging my work, David. It’s special to look back on through your lens.

My pleasure, Yar Yar.

SEE

Vote early and often at a political art experience: the “Primary Caucus”

A Fake Election at the Visual Studies Workshop

Ray Ray rejoins our conversation: “the privilege of mind with US as your safety-net”


About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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