Shamanistic Androgyny, is a Spoken Word, Music and Video performance inspired by the writings of Black Mountain College graduate Michael Rumaker.


The title Shamanistic Androgyny is taken directly from writer and Black Mountain College graduate Michael Rumaker’s memoir Black Mountain Days.

The piece consists of video projection, spoken prose, viola and classical guitar.

Shamanistic Androgyny is a performance piece consisting of music, spoken word and video that uses the poetry, fiction and non-fiction of Michael Rumaker as reference points in both space and time as it journeys across the American cultural landscape.

The catalyst for the piece came in the form of Rumaker’s memoir Black Mountain Days. Though Black Mountain College was a haven for artists working in experimental and visionary ways, Rumaker points out that in spite of the progressive atmosphere there were occasionally students or faculty who would exhibit symptoms of what he describes as the “infection” of conservative attitudes and values of 1950’s American Culture especially negative attitudes towards women and homosexuality.

These passages from Black Mountain Days became influential in an examination of my own art and writing. I began to ask myself. To what extent as Rumaker puts it am I “infected” with American Cultural attitudes? Am I blind to this infection? Does it influence my work or limit the scope of my vision?

A ten minute excerpt from Shamanistic Androgyny was presented at Asheville Fringe Festival in January of 2013. The full performance will be featured at the Black Mountain College {Re}Happening on April 6, 2013.

The performers: Dylan Pope, Nick Pope, Laura Pope, Ted Pope.

Though we are family we are not a family act. We are collaberating artists who just happen to be family.

In the past 40 days I have driven 500 miles in the process of shooting, promoting and performing this piece inspired by the wonderful, Michael Rumaker who has been a constant source of inspiration since meeting him in 2008. Your Donations will allow us to to take Shamanistic Androgyny to new levels on the road by putting gas in the tank, strings on violins and guitars, batteries in cameras and by helping us work toward the purchase of materials for costumes and a projector for the show.

Warmest Regards-

Ted Pope