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‘Spirit Cooking’ artist tells donors $2.2 million raised for project went to pot

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The performance artist, who became famous for her “Spirit Cooking” events exposed in the WikiLeaks release of John Podesta’s emails, is catching heat for her handling of millions of dollars she raised off Kickstarter.

“Performance artist Marina Abramovic has backed out of her grandiose plans for her upstate arts institute and questions loom over what happened to the $2.2 million she raised over four years for the project, including donations from the likes of Jay-Z and nearly 5,000 donors in a Kickstarter campaign,” reported The New York Post.

The goal of the project was to convert a 1936 building in Hudson, New York into the permanent home of the Marina Abramovic Institute, which would be devoted to the development and study of performance art, according to the project’s Kickstarter page.

The second phase of the project was the developing of blueprints and plans and the purpose of the Kickstarter campaign.

Artist’s conception of the future Marina Abramovic Institute building (Courtesy of MAI)

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In an Oct. 12 update to contributors and supporters, the MAI announced that the project was shuttered:

MAI initiated a Kickstarter campaign to fund the second phase of the studies, the schematic designs. After the completion of this phase, the project budget was estimated to exceed 31 million dollars.

In view of that, the Board of MAI has decided to cancel the building project. The project cost and the project risk far exceeds initial expectations and estimates.
MAI continues to be committed to serving its mission and to achieve the greatest possible global impact.

In her Kickstarter campaign explanation page to launch the project, Abramovic, as a community organizer, said she wanted to include the community in the funding, so they would feel invested in her vision.

“By inviting the broader public to contribute to our early development, Kickstarter helps to affirm and build the engaged community necessary for sustaining MAI into the future,” Abramovic said. The Marina Abramovic Institute is the vehicle the artist used for the project.

Contributors could also receive virtual bricks:

Thank you for laying a virtual brick in the foundation of MAI. Your founder status will be commemorated on our official website. Sponsor 10 bricks ($100) and receive a digital COLUMN FOUNDER certificate. Sponsor 100 bricks ($1,000) and receive a digital WALL FOUNDER certificate. Sponsor 1,000 bricks ($10,000) and receive a digital CHAMBER FOUNDER certificate. PLUS Digital MAI reward.

Part of the project involved having participants wear lab coats:

At MAI, labcoats are not intended to repress participants’ individuality, but rather to create a shared experience, bolstering empathic connection between participants. By acting as both a blank slate and common experience, MAI’s labcoats support an audience’s ability to absorb long durational works. Also, they’re kind of fun.

Another component was crystals:

Crystals are routinely used across art, science, technology and spirituality — the very fields MAI hopes to bring into conversation. Not only are they objects of metaphysical fascination, crystals are also pivotal in everyday technologies like watches, printers and computers. A crystal’s unique lattice-work structure reflects numerous touchstones of art and aesthetics, not least among them being long durationality. Along with crystals, a diverse array of items and ideas with technological, artistic, spiritual, and scientific overlaps will be present in programs at the institute, all in the spirit of fostering interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration.

The day MAI announced the shutdown, Howard Sanders, who supported 12 other Kickstarter projects posted:

While it is requested that comments be respectful and considerate, this campaign and the results of it should serve as a warning about what happens when crowd sourced funding is ill considered. That is as respectful as I can be. I have been a recipient of Kickstarter funding and remain eternally grateful. Many great projects found life on this platform. This one is an embarrassment. Feel free to remove it if you find it inappropriate.

Kickstarter “Super Backer” Brook Brown, who has backed 143 projects, posted:

I’m with Howard. I’ll be respectful but I am significantly disappointed in the outcome. The delta between assumed cost and actual is extraordinary, at possibly 100% off the mark.
I’ll continue to support the work MAI is doing, but this is a significant stain on the ability for art-based kickstarters to get funding, and I really hope the effect on others who come after isn’t felt too severely.

Abramovic is also known for her association to the DNC and celebrity supporters of Hillary R. Clinton, who was discovered on 2016 WikiLeaks reports in disturbing emails between John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman and other Clinton supporters.

An example is this email from WikiLeaks from Abramovic to the campaign chairman’s brother:

From: Marina Abramovic <[email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>>
Date: June 28, 2015 at 2:35:08 AM GMT+2
To: Tony Podesta <[email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>>
Subject: Dinner

Dear Tony,

I am so looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place. Do you think you will be able to let me know if your brother is joining?

All my love, Marina

Although there was wild speculation about Spirit Cooking on the Internet, in a Nov. 4, 2016 interview with ArtNews the artist said:

“I’m outraged, because this is taken completely out of my context,” Abramovic told me by phone this afternoon. She was at Sean Kelly Gallery, her rep in New York. The dinner, she explained, was a reward for donors to a Kickstarter campaign she had run. Tony Podesta has collected her work since the 1990s, and he attended, but John couldn’t make it. In fact, she has never met John Podesta.

“It was just a normal dinner,” Abramovic said, adding that about 10 people attended. “It was actually just a normal menu, which I call spirit cooking. There was no blood, no anything else. We just call things funny names, that’s all.” (The Kickstarter page advertised “traditional soups.”)

 

 

Kari Donovan is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Voter Engagement, Cultural Marxism and Campaigns. She has been a grassroots volunteer with the GOP, on and off for 18 years. She homeschools 3 great kids. Kari loves Photojournalism and Citizen Journalism. Twitter: happit1776

 

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2018 Midterms

Sen. Claire McCaskill Husband Invested in Hedge Fund In Caymans

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A Senator running for reelection in Missouri has been hit with allegations that her husband is storing investment money in an offshore bank account in order to evade taxes.

“Joseph Shepard’s investment in Matrix Capital Management has earned him between $230,000 and $2.1 million in income since he first invested in 2013, according to McCaskill’s financial disclosure forms. Such forms only show a range of income,” said a Kansas City Star article.

Shepard is the husband of Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

According to the report, Shepard has invested $1 million in a hedge in the Cayman Islands, a “notorious tax haven.” The capital gains tax in the Caymans is much lower than the income tax rate paid by the ordinary American citizen.

Campaign finance law mandates that candidates for office must declare the income of spouses.

McCaskill co-sponsored the 2009 Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, but has declined to release her tax returns until later this year. She will not release Shepard’s tax returns. The bill, which was not passed, targeted the Caymans among countries and would have subjected income earned there to be taxed at the same rate as U.S. Corporations.

“Secretive hedge funds seek outsized profits and are open only to the ultra-wealthy, who are considered sophisticated investors and can withstand big losses,” said the report. “These funds do not have to disclose their investors to regulators.”

So far, mum is the word from McCaskill’s office.

“Claire does not make decisions on public policy based on what’s best for her husband; she makes decisions based on what is best for the people of Missouri,” Meira Benstein, a McCaskill campaign spokesperson told the Kansas City Star.

Big League Politics reached out to McCaskill’s office, but they refused to comment.

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2018 Midterms

Ted Cruz Endorses Pro-Trump U.S. House Candidate Lee Bright

This is a solid pro-Trump endorsement.

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Tuesday morning, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) endorsed Lee Bright, a former State Senator in South Carolina who is seeking the Republican nomination for South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District seat. Bright is running against who has been described as the establishment pick, state Sen. William Timmons.

Sen. Cruz made his support for Bright loud-and-clear in a statement:

“A healthy republic requires active participation, and it’s encouraging when conservatives step forward to run for office. I’m asking voters in South Carolina’s 4th District to carefully consider the choices before them, and to stand with the candidate who best reflects their conservative convictions. In the 4th District Congressional runoff, I am proud to endorse Lee Bright, and I urge voters there to join me by supporting him.”

Bright and Timmons will face off in next week’s South Carolina run-off election. Bright already beat Timmons by over five points in the state’s primary election last week, but because South Carolina is a runoff election state, a candidate must gain 50% of the vote to win in a primary election.

A win for Lee Bright would be a major boost for President Donald Trump’s agenda. On every one of the President’s main tenants, Bright touts his 100% commitment to stand with the President, and excitement to join in his crusade to “drain the swamp.”

On the other side, Sen. Timmons is endorsed by notorious #NeverTrumper Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Along with Sen. Cruz, Bright has been endorsed by conservative heavyweights Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Steve King (R-IA), who are hoping to have Bright by their side in the U.S. House.

Congressman Thomas Massie Endorses Lee Bright

BREAKING: "I am pleased to endorse Lee and I look forward to having him help me drain the swamp.” – Thomas Massie for Congress 👍🇺🇸🇺🇸

Posted by Lee Bright on Thursday, May 10, 2018

This is truly a race between the pro-Trump insurgency of the Republican Party and the establishment wing. South Carolina’s runoff election will occur on June 26th.

Big League Politics will keep you updated on this important race.

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White House

VERY FAKE NEWS: ABC Brands Paul Manafort As A Killer

How does this even happen?

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In what ABC is describing as a mistake, the network aired a segment with a news banner stating that Trump’s former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort had plead guilty to five charges of manslaughter.  After seeing this, President Donald Trump blasted ABC in a Trump-like fashion on Twitter, calling the “Fake ABC.”

ABC was quickly forced to apologize for the egregious error.

While Manafort has been indicted on a number of charges, none of which stemming from his work on President Trump’s campaign, he has not plead guilty, and none of the charges are anything close to manslaughter.

The charges that Manafort is facing relate to alleged money laundering and tax fraud. Manafort was initially granted bail, but that bail was revoked just days ago for supposed “witness tampering.”

As previously reported at Big League Politics:

“The former campaign chairmen for President Donald J. Trump has been ordered to jail pending trial for alleged money laundering and failure to register as an agent of a foreign government.

“The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Paul Manafort in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Manafort is accused of calling and texting potential witnesses in upcoming trial. He was originally given a $10 million bail and sentenced to house arrest while his charges were pending. Manafort also entered a not guilty plea for witness tampering charges. His trial is set for September.”

This is just another example of the fake media blasting out entirely fake stories about President Donald Trump, and those close to him. While this may be the most egregious example, it will almost definitely not be the last example.

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