Gary Heidt

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Gary Heidt (born Houston, Texas 1970) is a conceptual artist, experimental poet, musician, librettist, literary agent, and co-founder of Lovesphere, a 67-year performance project initiated in 1996, and more recently, the Perceiver of Sound League.

Gary Heidt at the Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, January 9, 2013. Photo by Jordan Hollander.

Biography and Career[edit]

Heidt was born in Houston, Texas. From 1986 to 1988 he was lead singer for Devil Donkey, which also included Susie Ibarra (drums), Erik Amlee (guitar) and Enrique Gualberto Ramirez (bass). In 1991 he cofounded the Mammals of Zod with Raymond Seraphim Porter, Scott Wilcox and Chris Grace.[citation needed]

At Columbia College he was Station Manager of WKCR-FM from 1992 to 1993. In 1992 his experimental poem cycle "Moo Goo Gai Pain" was published in D. R. Heiniger's Private Arts.[1] In 1994 he moved to Austin, where produced the Mammals of Zod CD Kill The Humans which Village Voice critic Richard Gehr dubbed a "masterpiece."[2] He returned to NYC and started an improvising collective using the name Mammals of Zod; core members included beatboxer Kid Lucky, Mem Nahadr, Sabir Mateen,[3] Daniel Carter, Lipbone Redding (then known as CitiZen One), Emmallyea Swon-Young, Matthew Heyner (of the No Neck Blues Band), Gary Miles and Ira Atkins. This group played frequently at clubs in NYC in the late 1990s, including CBGB's, The Cooler, The Continental, ABC No Rio and The Pyramid. Heidt posed shirtless for Paper Magazine's 1998 "Beautiful People" issue.[4] During this period Heidt also wrote the columns "From the Priest Factory" and "The Gnostic Eye" which ran in the Religious Observer[5] and its successor, Deolog.

With CitiZen One and Metal Tiger Technologies, Heidt started the 67-year performance project Lovesphere in 1996 with a 36-hour improvised musical at the Museum of Sound Recording.[6] Metal Tiger Technologies streamed the entire piece on the Web in a very early implementation of this technology. Four tracks from this event formed the core of the second Mammals of Zod CD, L'of. "With multi-instrumentalist Gary Heidt as unofficial ringleader, it's an enclave that draws upon improvisation and performance art as a means to promote its socio-musical vision."[7]

Heidt wrote three librettos for composer Evan Hause's Defenstration Trilogy. Heidt's "engrossing[8] " script for the second opera, Nightingale: The Last Days of James Forrestal "reflects, in accurate historical detail, on the political backstage manoeuvres that led to Forrestal's fall and on the dark side of his death....and can be considered a new chapter of its reception."[9] Poems appeared in Intervalsss: The poems and Words of Musicians (ed. Steve Dalachinsky) and his first published crossword poem in John M. Bennett's Lost and Found Times.[10] He worked as a theater administrator for Crystal Field's Theater for the New City and Barbara Vann's Medicine Show.

In 2003 he joined Imprint Agency, a literary agency in New York City. After a stint at Peter Rubie's FinePrint Literary Agency he started Signature Literary Agency with Ellen Pepus. He represents the Church of the SubGenius, Charles Yu, Benjamin Whitmer, Jeremy Bushnell, William Gillespie, Rob Klara, Jason Henderson and Chris Carter among others.

From 2003 to 2005 Lovesphere presented musical theater, which Heidt cowrote with Gary Miles, Nathan Metz et al., including "Feng Shui Assassin."[11]

In 2006 Heidt was canonized by the Church of the SubGenius.[12]

In 2010 Fence published[13] four more of his crossword poems, poems that can be read both across and down. Heidt gave a talk on alternate poetic forms in Spring of 2011 at the New York Public Library. In 2013 Infinity's Kitchen published "The Wordsquare," a historical analysis of his predecessors in this art form, including the Formists and their successors the recreational linguists.

Heidt is a member of NYC band Fist of Kindness, and performs and wrote many of the songs on their three albums, The Dead and the Powerless (2010), Ponderin' with the Fist of Kindness (2011), and The Thirteen Repentances of the Pistis Sophia (2012). Composer Noah Creshevsky used samples from The Dead and the Powerless to create his composition "The Kindness of Strangers."[14]

With Cassandra Victoria Chopourian, Heidt has been involved in creating performances from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons. They have performed parts of this opus in London and the sister cities of Leipzig, Germany[15] and Houston, Texas;[16] as well as New York City and Jersey City.[17] Heidt also composed music for the Van Reipen Collective's Shelly's Spherical Journey,[18] which was first presented as part of Lovesphere 15. TENDER BUTTONS: OBJECTS FOOD ROOMS is scheduled to debut at Theater for the New City in September 2014 on the centennial of the publication of its source text.


  1. ^ Heidt, Gary (1992). "Moo Goo Gai Pain". Private Arts (7). 
  2. ^ Gehr, Richard (1997-12-23). Village Voice.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Hreha, Scott (Winter 2001). "Sax in the City". Signal to Noise (20): 33. 
  4. ^ Hastreiter, Kim (April 1998). "A New York Minute". Paper Magazine. 
  5. ^ Heidt, Gary (1995–1996). "From the Priest Factory". The Religious Observer II (3-10). 
  6. ^ One, CitiZen (July 1998). XLR8 Magazine.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Hreha, Scott (Summer 2001). "Mammals of Zod". Signal to Noise (22). 
  8. ^ Kerner, Leighton (September 2002). Opera News.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Dorati, Marco (2011). "Ajax in Bethesda: James Forrestal's American Tragedy". Studi Italiana di Filologia Classica. II IX: 162–165. 
  10. ^ Heidt, Gary (December 2003). Lost and Found Times (51).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Anna Jane, Grossman (2003-3-3). "The Feng's the Thing". New York Observer.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ J R Dobbs (2006). Ivan Stang, ed. The SubGenius Psychlopedia of Slack: The Bobliographon. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 240. ISBN 1-56025-939-6. 
  13. ^ Heidt, Gary (Winter 2009–2010). "Four Crossword Poems". Fence 12 (2). 
  14. ^ Ricci, Massimo. "Rounded with a Sleep". 
  15. ^ Georgi, Steffen (8/1/2011). "Der Wahn Der Welt". Leipzig Volkszeitung.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ Stevenson, Bob. "The Front Row". KUHA-FM. 
  17. ^ Hortillosa, Summer Dawn. "Come Together: Van Reipen Collective Takes Collaborative Approach to Theater". The Jersey City Independent. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  18. ^ Reich, Ronnie (8/5/2012). "One Strange Trip". New Jersey Star-Ledger.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]