Tao House--photo by Eric Fraisher Hayes

I am thrilled to announce the imminent publication of my book on how, when, why Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night came to be written in California at a place called Tao House. Anthem Press will publish the book in August. 

Here is some information about the book:

  • This book takes a fresh journey to Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, locating in the house, the marriage, and the historical circumstances in which it was written new keys to understanding this masterpiece of drama
cover images of Finding the Way

A profound new way to approach Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night comes from reading this intensely autobiographical masterpiece in terms of the Taoism-inspired California house where it was written on the verge of World War II and the fractious marriage to Carlotta Monterey O’Neill to whom the play is dedicated.

  • Eugene O’Neill wrote his most enduring and important plays after he won international acclaim as the first and only American playwright to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1936. In the midst of the Great Depression, with his health failing and spirits sunk, he and his third wife, former actress Carlotta Monterey, moved to California to escape the materialism and commercialism of a declining “West,” and they built a new home called Tao House. A reasonably good translation of tao is “the way,” and in this house, which was largely the creation of Carlotta, he found the way to his most famous play, Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
  • As an unusually explicit autobiographical drama, this play returns to 1912, the outset of O’Neill’s writing career, when he confronted tragedy in his family story and found a way to dramatize his mother, father, brother, and himself in a way that has resonated with audiences since its publication and production in 1956. But this book argues that the play originates as much in the moment of its creation, 1939–1941—in the family relationships, the historical circumstances, and the fact that this work would represent a moment of closure of his great career.
  • Key to this heroic story of creation is the intervention of his wife, Carlotta, whose diaries enable a day-to-day observation of how the play was written. She was the driving force behind the design of Tao House, and she managed the rhythms and patterns of life within its architecture. It was her masterpiece, just as Long Day’s Journey was his. This book develops a close reading of their house and marriage and also uses many of O’Neill’s previous plays to illuminate the breakthrough of Long Day’s Journey.
  • This book is the most granular and at the same time the most far-reaching inquiry into how this quintessential play was written (and almost not written) and how it came into the world.

Publication Date: 16 July 2024

Price: £80.00/$110.00

Publisher: Anthem Press

Distribution: Ingram Publisher Services                            

ISBN: 9781839992490

museum of nothing sign
Museum of Nothing (The Soup Annex)

Exciting follow-up of The Museum of Nothing. The Soup Annex at the NewGrit art space (811 State Street) was included in Santa Barbara's 1st Thursday art walk, September 7, 5:00-8:00. This show had a soft opening on August 2, at 3:30-6:00, and then has been open most afternoons 12:30-4:00. The show closed on September 15, 2023. The Soup Annex featured what I call The Campbellarium, a wall of Campbell's soup can labels, as well as a study center to peruse binders of Progresso, generic, and "boutique soups." More than a hundred Wheaties boxes adorned many walls and ledges. And there was a sampling of a collection of mini-collages on 3x5 cards--what I call Shuffle Art because the cards can be viewed in any order at any rate. 

Perhaps it goes without saying that there was also a display of candy tins. 

Here is an audiovisual tour of this version of the museum:   https://youtu.be/amQmUPYkMag

This show followed the recently closed Beta Test version of The Museum of Nothing, which opened at the Red Barn Gallery at UC Santa Barbara on June 22, 2023, with the recto--A side--then Re-opened with the verso--B side--on July 7. That version of The M.o.N. closed on July 14. See below.

Here is the coverage from Keith Hamm for UCSB.

KEYT-TV gave us some nice coverage.

Bethany Thornton did a terrific interview piece for KCBX

See images below.

I created an audiovisual tour of that show for those who missed it:


Museum of Nothing catalogue image

Can't have a museum without a glossy gift shop catalog/guide, so I created one, which is only in prototype version now. The motifs are Smithsonian + outhouse. If you might be interested in purchasing a copy (once I publish it), at a cost of approximately 30 to 40 dollars, email me. And here is some text for the Introduction to that book:

The Museum of Nothing was founded in 2022 for the study, cherishment, and frivolous display of nothing in beautiful glass cases, also on shelves and pedestals. The museum aims to be jam-packed with more or less galore than you can fathom for your exclusive viewing pleasure. Nothing—our unfathomable nothing—aches to be hung with such flagrant insignificance, such inconsequential buzztalk, and such whimpering self-hatred, that the all-seeing eye of time immemorial shall weep with joy. In practice, both eyes will most likely do so. . . .

Founded in 1776, the museum responded to the founders’s insomniac fretting over all the possessions that Americans would eventually hold and then discharge as worthless—the tawny turkey feathers, musket ball cartons, and busted quilting needles. The fundamental mind simply halts at the halter of it all around the neck of nothingness. Were we to think these no-things could claim no repository, no card catalogue, no seat in the public lavatory of entitlement? Might there not be some edifice of brick and mortar to gather the accumulated vacancy of sense in the district of study? Thereto would arise a bastion, just beyond the reach of rationality or reason to exist. This very book would vanish from your hands, if The (stately) Museum of Nothing were not. Call me verbose, but then you’re just adding words to the flux.

Down each hall go corridors, lined on every expanse with walls. Lovely arches over the void seem especially redundant. Soaring ceilings run with pus. Grab a rag! After a simple handshake transaction at the outlandish turnstile, you will be granted affordances to behold whatever you might care to guess, if you care at all or have even given it a second thought. The vastness never seems to end, which leaves it up to you to end, or not to end, as you choose. . . . A box in the lobby stands waiting for your comments, which deserve to be stored for posterity and then some. As usual, there will never be a time like now to introduce the obvious.

Hyper-Illuminated Books Click on a year to see the annual gallery

man contemplating
Alone Together--anthology of Zoom plays

My one-act play: "Les Mots Justes, or Hold Your Tongue" in Alone,Together anthology

This 6+ hour festival of Zoom plague-inspired theater took place on June 6, 2020, sponsored by UCSB's play development program LAUNCHPAD--39 plays, 24 playwrights.

And I was among them with this 10-minute play "Les Mots Justes, or Hold Your Tongue"

Now an anthology of all these plays has been published by Dramatic Publishing Company, and I was happy to be the editor of this book since it gave me the opportunity to work with a great group of professional playwrights.

Here is UCSB's press release on the publication:


The wonderful performance of my play can no longer be seen on the internet because all these plays are now licensed for others to produce, but contact me if you'd like to read my script. Here is a link to the festival website:


Here is the Dramatic Publishing Company's page on the book, which is not available except electronically now but will soon be in print:


two characters with cut strips of colorful paper between them
sick kitsch collage altered book
The Creative Edge of Collecting--an exhibit in the UCSB library

This exhibit finally was dismantled in December 2021 after being on display for nearly two years (most of that time with the library closed to the public due to COVID). 

But IF you did get in, you would have seen a display of my collections of nothing, co-curated by me and a UCSB undergrad Museum Studies student, Rhiannon Gonzales.

Here is a link to a video "walkthrough" tour I quickly made before the library closed:


And here is a link to UCSB Library's page about the exhibit:


This is a feature story about the exhibit, written by a UCSB undergrad, Eddie Lo:


And this is a wonderful interview of the curator, Rhiannon Gonzales:


tree of life catalogue collage
Tree of Life(TM) catalog

o accompany my June 2019 performance event, Tree of Life (TM), my old friend Bill Crawford suggested we create a catalogue. He co-wrote a book of breakfast cereal history, and I am a collector of cereal boxes. Seems to work.

I wrote part, and he wrote part, and we created some cereal box collages with a book designer in Mexico.

It came out pretty well, and I have copies for purchase, if you write to me.

My aspiration is to repeat the Tree of Life (TM) event in some other exhibition space, and the catalogue would apply just as well to such an exhibit.


Here is my exhibition proposal---in pdf.       

Cultural Deconstructions
KOLAJ International Festival, New Orleans, 2019--Disaster!

KOLAJ is an excellent quarterly journal of collage from around the world, and they have an annual festival in New Orleans, to which I was invited in 2019:


I brought many bibliolages to show there in the LeMieux Galleries, and I was going to do a presentation on bibliolagerie--hyper-illuminated books.

BUT along came Hurricane Barry, and so after one half of a day, the festival was cancelled, and most people fled for home. Wendy and I stayed around, and the hurricane turned out to be a non-event for New Orleans. It hardly even rained.

No one saw the work.

But Ric Kasini Kadour, who runs the organization, put together a book that includes a section on my work. The book is called Cultural Deconstructions, and it is available for sale through the  KOLAJ site at this link