This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : feminist

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Women’s History Month 2012: ’31 ladies who rock’ countdown! and why artist Aissata Pinto da Costa is amazing

With dangerous bills out there and oppressive sentiment from right wing radicals saturating the media, I am happy to take the next 30 days to spotlight women in my life who are living their dreams and helping others in the process (here’s the first in the series). Check out amazing lady #2:

Aissata Pinto da Costa with one of her first paintings

Who Is She?
Aissata Pinto da Costa: Renaissance Woman. Artist. Activist.

A true citizen of the world, Aissata has lived in six countries and speaks five languages fluently. She is a native of São Tomé and Principe, West Africa, and presently resides in Brooklyn.

Known for
– Her incredible (and large) paintings that have been exhibited at venues including Marymount Manhattan College and The Steuben Glass Gallery (New York). She has garnered the attention of art-lovers world-wide, and has an international collector base.

Male Runners (60in x 72in / 1m52 x 1m83)

– Modeling for many years in Paris, where she developed an interest in fabrics, textiles, patterns and the form of the human body, all of which are expressed in her art.

– Being an autodidact: Aissata has taught herself many skills and continually experiments with new techniques and materials. When she was unable to locate African-style dishes, she opted to paint a line of her own by hand. Her collections were discovered and produced by the Portuguese tableware house, Vista Alegre, to great success.

– Exercising daily: She brings the concepts of discipline, physical activity, strength and joy to inform her artistic practice. Running, cycling and practicing yoga and pilates are ways Aissata stays connected to her own body and the physicality of the figures she paints on her canvases.

I met Aissata last year through a friend. The first time I saw her art was in her apartment, where she had many of her earlier works and works in progress on display. I was shocked and impressed when she told me that she taught herself how to paint and actually saw her first painting. I couldn’t afford to buy it so I bought a tshirt that had the image on it ;).

Why Aissata rocks
Subscribe to Aissata on Facebook and find out for yourself! But I’ll share some of the reasons she rocks my world: I love her work ethic and creative output, her inspirational quotes and thoughts that she shares on Facebook on a daily basis (love the motivation!), her confidence and her insight into politics/social issues.

If you want a working artist’s influence in your life, do yourself a favor and follow Aissata. Even better — check out some of her work and if it moves you (it will), purchase a piece of Aissata’s art for your home, workplace or for a loved one.

"Husbands" by Aissata - Acrylic On Canvas ( 36in x 24 in/ 0.92m x 0.61m ) From the series “12 Love Stories”- 2010

#InMyEar: Teams, Bo Grumpus, Le Butcherettes, Lucinda Williams, Light Asylum

The one thing that always brings me emotional relief is music, so I’m starting this #InMyEar semi-weekly category on The Lair to ease my angst-riddled/vlog jitters mind. Here we go, guys. Hold on to your eardrums and sanity. It might get a little weird. These days I’m all about anything that is reminiscent of three sensations:

1) driving down a highway on a sunny day
2) being in Roger Corman’s 1967’s film “The Trip
3) gettin’ real riot grrrl on some fools
4) feeling glorious about my angst


I miss Bay Area rode trips with my “seester” Wayane Rose. I love riding shotgun with my lil’ sis, on our way to Current HQ in San Francisco, while I skip through the same old CD she’s had in her car for like 5 years. I am going to make her a mixed CD for my next trip out there and will definitely include some tracks by Teams, who is really a creative dude named Sean Bowie who is from Knoxville, Tennessee, but is now in LA where he probably belongs.

Here is one of my favorite older singles by him: “Anml Life” from last years “CATCH POOL” EP. It sounds like a happy hangover drive to In-N-Out. I love the usage of Instagram pics in this video too. I just love everything about his chillwave-on-speed sound.

Teams – Anml Life from Caseytography on Vimeo.

Teams’ new album Dxys Xff is out now. If you like audio Christmas to explode in your ear with musical gifts made of synthesizers and moon dust, cop that. They make me happy to have iTunes purchasing power on my iPhone. Brooklyn Vegan has barely mentioned Teams’ existence, proving to me yet again how irrelevant they are to my “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” music escapades.

Bo Grumpus

“Yeah, man. Tune out. Turn on. Winter solstice. Let’s hold hands, walking in the sand and smoking a j. Far out.” This is what the 1968 gem “The Sparrow” makes me think about.

Thank you, The Rising Storm blog, for bringing me this exquisite New York-based folk-rock outfit in the style of the Byrds. I want to drop acid with you and paint splatter paintings with our toes.

Le Butcherettes

Uhhh. They are a Mexican garage punk band formed in 2007 in Guadalajara. They make me want to drop kick stupid dudes who demand I smile at them when they pass me on the street. What’s not to love about Le Butcherettes, GRRRL??? <3

In an interview with Tunecore, Teri Gender Bender (band founder/vocals/guitar/keyboard) explains the importance of feminism and art:

“I don’t want to yell my whole life. I want to express myself in a darker way now. I don’t want to use feminism anymore because I was let down by the non- existent movement. I want feminism to use ME as an example instead. I won’t let the movement down because I am not a movement, I am an individual. I just have to be myself and work on art with the purest of intentions. Sin Sin Sin was made to free me of my “so-called sins” laid on my mind in a machismo country which has so many strong and unfearing women and men. I am not afraid. This album is for the men and women that are fed guilt mixed with hatred for not marrying young, for thinking of themselves before others, for trying to see life differently.”

Lucinda Williams

This is going to make me sound like a moron who doesn’t know how to Google, but I honestly thought Lucinda Williams was black before I listened to her music. I think I saw an album cover somewhere with a striking black woman playing a guitar and thought it was her. I really can’t stand most country songs by white folks (sorry, guys), so a reference in BITCH magazine and my mistake is what led me to purchase Lucinda Williams’ latest album “Blessed” on iTunes. I’m so glad I did. It’s beautiful, and made me rethink hatin’ on country whitey. I am now an official fan of Lucinda Williams.

I respect her strength and honest lyrics.

I’m not just a doormat. I’m not just being stepped on all over the place. If you look at the bulk of my material, it’s about trying to find some strength through that. – Lucinda Williams

Rock on, sista.

Light Asylum

My friend Catgirl turned me on to this rabbit hole of amazing sounds. I say rabbit hole because once I start listening to Light Asylum, I start trying to imagine her different influences and begin a Google quest to unearth related tunes. Light Asylum’s Shannon reminds me of Skin from Skunk Anansie — a black woman, with a unique style, who was initially embraced more by goth/rock/electro white music fans than by brown folks.

I love her surreal videos and plan on going to one of her shows in the near future.

Light Asylum is Shannon Funchess-Vox as vocals/percussion and Bruno Coviello on keys/drum machine. Shannon shared this back story with TOKION MAGAZINE:

“I came here from Seattle,” Funchess explains, “where there were a lot of punk bands and D.I.Y., indie two-pieces and stuff. We would play shows with our friends, like Seven Year Bitch and Sky Cries Mary. I was here for CMJ in 1996 with another band, and I decided that I had to move here. Five years later, I made the move.”

It took her five years, but she eventually made the move in 2001 and started working with then up-and-coming groups like TV on the Radio, !!! and Telepathe. Coviello, on the other hand, grew up in Newark, New Jersey, making club tracks and house music. “I used to go see Danny Tenaglia, sneaking into all the downtown NYC clubs when I was a teenager.” It wasn’t until a few years ago, when they were both in bands on tour with the rap group Bunny Rabbit, that they met and bonded over their arcane musical tastes.

According to Coviello, “I remember Shannon mentioned this obscure dark-wave band, Clan of Xymox, that only, like, a handful of people talked about—and I just knew.” Funchess adds, “I had done Light Asylum previous to Bruno, but I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to perform it.” When the tour was over, they reconvened in Shannon’s practice space with Coviello’s Casiotone and a fifty-dollar drum machine from 1988.

“With Bruno I wanted to start from scratch,” says Funchess. “We did that and there was just no question.” In coming together, they have produced some of the most powerful, dark and emotional music that has come out of Brooklyn in a long, long time. To figure out how that’s possible, you just need to hear Funchess explain it: “To me Light Asylum is a metaphor for the lack of genuine self-expression in the world, where people suppress their sexuality, their creativity, their entire lives. This music is for them and for people to realize that they’re not alone. The music is dark, but it’s at a place where you can see there is light at the end of the tunnel. The darkness isn’t all around us; it’s inside us.”

I think Shannon is amazing for remaining true to herself and putting out this incredible music. She’s definitely inspiring and Light Asylum tracks are both brooding and inspiring enough to make me lurk around my apartment making art.

Vloggin’ it up!

I realized the only way I am going to be able to commit to blogging everyday is if I can mix it up with some video. I am excited about unleashing my weirdness and sharing it with my family and friends.

My new channel, therealdcap, is going to be an experiment in self-expression and community-building. And as I noted in my bio, it’s also just an excuse for me to bug out. For the last seven years I’ve been creating media as my profession, which has been very rewarding. But I’ve always enjoyed the online/video folk art of others, and I am ready to start doing my own experimenting again. I’m inspiring by video artists like Laurel Nakadate, vloggers like my IRL friend FilmFuturist, and crazy awesome parents like the SHAYTARDS.

The video below from 2009 is probably proof of why my videos should remain private. But you’re here! I’ve got you now! Bwahahaha.

I love to dance in my bedroom and pretend my spoon is a microphone. Why I keep a spoon in my room is fodder for a future blog post, perhaps.

I’ve been creating personal videos and putting them online since 1999, but rarely shared anything I made. The fact that no one was really watching video online at the time might have had something to do with it. Back then, I didn’t know about these guys, which is probably a good thing. I am pretty sure I would have joined their collective and turned into some sort of “Lawnmower Man“-esque crazy robot lady.

I’m kicking off this daily creative experiment with a look back at what used to make me smile, and will be posting new videos next week. Instead of tossing videos randomly all over the Internet, like the one below on Flickr, I’m going to start being organized with my weirdness and keeping it all in one place on therealdcap. We’ll see how that goes.

Enjoy your weekend! I’m not posting again until Monday — weekends shouldn’t count in this daily posting pact, I mean, come on.