AOTFIVFLYER.pngAOTF IV: Decelerator: Decadence in the Desert

Gourmands! Lend me your tongues! We are proud to announce our next event, AOTF IV DECELERATOR: DÉGUSTATION & DECADENCE IN THE DESERT will take place this May 24-31st, 2019 in and around Marfa, TX.

Tickets are $500. This covers your food, car transportation (if you’re flying in) and shelter and education. You can paypal us using this link:

We have been certified as an educational non-profit corporation by the State of Texas and are working towards federal non-profit status. At the moment we can’t make your contribution a tax-free donation, but at future events we should be able to.

Most people fly into El Paso on the 24th and fly out of El Paso on the 31st. We pick you up and drive out. Others in the past have driven from Austin, Dallas, and the West Coast. Try not to get your flight super early on the 31st, but if you have to we can probably still make it. Some people get hotels before and after in El Paso.


We’ll be interrogating, weaponizing and imitating the ideas, stylizations and recipes of Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière, the father of modern food criticism and a world renowned chef, host, performance artist and character assassin, with a series of grand French funeral suppers in his tradition. We’ll also be making some recipes from Alexandre Dumas’ (of Three Musketeers fame) Le Grand Dictionnaire Cuisine.

There will be many small plates every night with cocktails/wines/drinks paired to each one.

We’ll be decelerating. Slowing down. Appreciating 7 days in the desert. Hiking, swimming, cooking, and appreciating incroyable food, good company, great literature, music, and rarely screened cinematic masterpieces. It’s time to ignore the constant data smog of the contemporary West. Disconnecting in the Great Decelerator.

The only media we’re going to consume are masterpieces. This week, there is no room for the constant digital spam of contemporary life. Come spend a week with us in West Texas. We will commune with nature, cook bountiful meals together, and dive deep into The HARD TO WATCH Film Festival. There will be lectures, performances, swims, hikes, art gallery tours in Marfa, and explorations into the vast night sky.

Inspired by several characters preceding, within, and around the French Revolution, this time we’ll be investigating decadence, as a philosophical ideal, a funeral oration, and as a way of expanding our waistline. We’ll explore the performativity of dégustation: high culinary art and good company. The stages of decadence, the staging of dinners, first hand courses on the dark arts of fermentation, hard-wood smoking of meats, cheeses, and vegetables, and a nightly 8 course meal of the chefs signature dishes accompanied by a matching wine/cocktail degustation which complements each dish.

Dance choreographer (and co-curator) Andrea Spaziani will be showing her new work about the West, THE RIGHT EYE OF CLINT. Music by Matt Smith and Outside Eye by Canadian dance legend Danny Grossman.

We’ll be dosing ourselves with equal parts light-hearted and heavy-handed affirmations towards suicide, bad art, boredom, religiosity, atheism and immortality (with a whiff of blood) at THE CHURCH OF CIORAN every other morning with coffee and brunch.

Our star party/avant-garde listening party NOCH SCHON will be under one of the darkest skies in North America in Ft. Davis, TX.

Brace yourself for a journey through another heart of darkness, a simultaneous knitting and unraveling of identities with avante-garde classical music compositions from Nono, Zimmermann, Gubaidulina, Scriabin, Ligeti, Gorecki, Shostakovich, Scelsi, Maconchy, Schoenberg, Boulanger, Schumann, and more, played through a hi-fi sound system as we read appropriately selected short novels and literary works in their entirety, including Edouard Levé’s short 128 page novel SUICIDE written shortly before his own suicide.

This year there will be a supplementary reading list emailed to all participants so you can go as deep as you want to.

Forgotten Wave Feminism: Uncomfortable Philosophy in the Bedroom and Beyond

This is a lecture and exploration of the works of Camille Paglia. We’ll watch clips of Paglia’s outrageous nuclear launch into the public eye and her television appearances (“I am the answer to Anorexia and Bulimia in America!”) and contrast them with her far more nuanced writings on sexuality throughout art history. We’ll ask ourselves why she is ignored (she’s equal parts bombastic and obnoxious) and why she should not be: at her best she’s saying nuanced, deeply critical things in her work that no one else had the guts to say. Trying to separate the public bombast from the ideas and approach the work critically, does her work ring out with uncomfortable ideas? Is she, as Burgess said, a “dangerously intelligent writer”?

We’ll be swimming at Balmorhea state park, self-billed as “the largest spring fed swimming pool in the world” for our last day.


Every evening for the first four nights we’ll be diving deep after dinner with several films.

Friday: Everyone flies into El Paso and we pick you up (some are driving in from Dallas too). We’ll drive to Ft. Davis, get settled in and start with a large meal and a film.

Saturday All Day Film Festival and Funeral Feast: The Films of Andrzej Żuławski

One of the most nightmarish and inimitable auteurs in cinematic history. Long before Nic Cage’s “noveux-shamanic” style, European film critics were labelling anything unspeakably over the top “Zulawskian”.

We’ll be feasting, cooking, and watching Zulawski films all day on Saturday.


Sunday Night: Cannibals in Regalia: Human Umami & The Art of Fermentation

We’ll be giving workshops on how to ferment several foods, and how to smoke several foods. We’ll be trying to recreate the flavors of human flesh, and watching films about cannibalism. This will be a meat heavy meal, with duck, pork, beef, and many sides. We’ve got some literature describing the flavors in great depth from an intrepid journalist for The New York Times, and some other first and second hand accounts from survivors’ delicate palates.

Films: RAW, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, Cannibal Holocaust, Silence of the Lambs

Andrea Spaziani will be performing her new dance work, THE RIGHT EYE OF CLINT.

She will also be giving a performative lecture/dance class. More details to come.

We’re going to hike in the Chihuahuan Desert Research Center and do a day hike at Guadalupe Mountains State Park, followed by an anti-inflammatory swim in Balmorhea Springs. More programming details will be added as we build up to the residency.

We’ll be screening more films from the likes of Jacques Rivette, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Agnes Varda, Takashi Miike, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and others. More info coming soon™!