The Tentacle Sessions Tentacle Session #13
Sunday, February 20, 2000

Hal Robins
in "Future to the Back"

opening music was by DJ Toph1

Hal Robins
photos by alx

After a year of the Tentacle Sessions we greeted the upcoming annum by turning our back to the future. Each of the twelve sessions has been something special, and we encourage everyone to visit our website and reminisce at the great talents we've had the honor to feature in the past year. The Sessions stand on and by the assertion that live artists of our particular moment are more engaging than those encased in coffee table books. We're looking forward to presenting more artists in TS2K, but first, please, indulge us in a bit of artistic deja vous with the return of Hal Robins to the Tentacles Sessions.

Hal Robins starred in the very first Tentacle Session, sometime in the late 20th Century (last February to be exact). Hal's original artwork has been seen in innumerable publications in San Francisco and worldwide over the last 3 decades including most recently in the Dark Hotel series in the online magazine Salon. He is one of the premier apostles of the Church of the Subgenius and has co-hosted a SubGenius radio show on KPFA Berkeley for over 10 years, which is heard worldwide via the internet. Hal's writings under the auspices of the SubGenii have appeared in various publications including the official Church tome Three-fisted Tales of "Bob". In recent years Hal has gained yet another level of noteriety amongst San Francisco's liveliest of arts due to numerous collaborations with the "circus svengali" known as Chicken John. These have ranged from church bingo nights to game show parodies to mislead casinos to musical collaborations to star-crushed millennial voyages to epic outrageousness at the annual Burning Man arts and craft fair. Through it all Hal's signature off-beat narrations, erudite improvisations, and fantastic extrapolations of current hypocrises have caused audiences to swear with wonder and gag with laughter.

The February Sesssion highlighted two aspects of Hal that are not as widely known or witnessed: scientist and filmmaker. Hal is well and seriously studied in the sciences, and this Session he will favor us with pre-historical facts, covering Saurs of all sorts. Hal Robins provides the real dirt on dino's, to make Jurassic Park look like a big silly movie. Hal drew out visions of his own multimedia past. These films are little-known and rarely viewed. We'll recieved not only an intimate viewing of these works, but all the tales attached to their making.

Last February, Hal's recitation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" wowed the sold out Blue Bar audience. A two hundred year old poem was brought to life, and the Tentacle Sessions series was duly christened. Hal's modest but spell-binding theatricality and his detailed scholarly knowledge of the text he uttered and of Coleridge himself, made for a magical evening. That performance set the Sessions off on an incredible year of presenting diverse artistic talents and their work in the intimate confines of North Beach's Blue Bar.

The series has received its share of acclaim in its first year: we won a Best of the Bay award from the SFWeekly, Michael Peppe's session was reviewed in New Art Examiner, the first four sessions were covered by the webzine posthoc, and last months's session by Lera Boroditsky was covered by the Bay Guardian online.

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