Mad Clot on a Holy Bone: Memories of a Psychic Theater is the first published collection of the work of playwright and artist Asher Hartman and his Gawdafful National Theater company. The book includes three plays by Hartman: Purple Electric Play (PEP!), Mr. Akita, and Sorry, Atlantis: Eden’s Achin’ Organ Seeks Revenge; as well as a full-color insert, contributions by Janet Sarbanes and Lucas Wrench, and a conversation between Asher Hartman and Mark Allen (who produced the three featured plays in collaboration with Machine Project) and Tim Reid (a playwright and performer who joined the Gawdafful company in 2018, as the assistant director of Sorry, Atlantis). Mad Clot on a Holy Bone is co-edited by Mark Allen and Deirdre O’ Dwyer and designed by Becca Lofchie.
Asher Hartman is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, director, and intuitive practitioner whose work at the junction of visual art and theater centers on the exploration of the self in relation to Western histories and ideologies. His theatrical performances are particularly concerned with psychological violence in American culture. Much of his practice developed at Machine Project, Los Angeles, between 2010 and 2017. He is the founder and chief beneficiary of Gawdafful National Theater, a group of artist-actors for whom he has written since 2010. As a member of the performative duo Krystal Krunch (with Haruko Tanaka), he has taught intuition-building to artists, activists, and interested others. Asher Hartman received his BA in Theater at UCLA and his MFA in Studio Arts at CalArts.
"One thing that is much clearer on the page, far from the virulent charisma of the Gawdafful National Theater’s actors, is that there is no individual in Hartman’s work. The characters express concerns and emotions that feel individualistic: self-pity, shame, fear of failure, performative progressive politics. But they share them, passing their embarrassing complicity (with art institutions, the patriarchy, capitalism) around like a virus, or a hot potato they can’t drop. Something in the swells and dips of sensation coursing through Hartman’s intuitive, deftly-honed writing conveys the futility of fixating on individual failures when all the characters are stuck in the same toxic muck. Amidst the nihilistic, non-linear narratives that populate these three plays runs an elated, alluring celebration of collaboration." -- Catherine G. Wagley, MOMUS