6 Jun

The EMP Blog has been added to our website and will no longer be hosted here.




6 Mar

It was around 3 o’ clock on Thursday when she asked the question:

“Do you type two spaces after a period?”

I was shocked by the accusation.  Of course I did.  It seems so wrong not to.  “Can we still be friends?” I asked.

Danai assured me that I was not alone, that she too had been putting two spaces after her periods for as long as she could remember.

“Okay… I just came across an article that explained how wrong it was to do it, because it’s an archaic thing that got started because of typewriters AND I googled the issue and people are very serious about this.”

I was at a loss;  Danai was an excellent googler.  I found myself questioning everything,  saying things like “WHAT IS WRONG WITH TYPEWRITERS?” and  “30 years ago isn’t archaic!”  Outdated, yes, but typewriters are found in Goodwills not Mayan ruins.

“Well the way these people are talking, it is.”

These people.  Who were they?  Babies?  Babies Talking?

She sent me the link to Slate’s Space Invaders: Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.

The article was an attack, referring to the use of two spaces after a period as the “ugly error”.  It called us, the folks who listened during high school business class, “two-spacers”.  According to the article, Danai and I were unknowing members of a marginalized sect.  Retards, in other words.

“I don’t like Slate anymore,” she said.

I tried to comfort her, “We just need to check MLA.”

Except, Slate cited MLA.  “Because it is increasingly common for papers and manuscripts to be prepared with a single space after all punctuation marks, this spacing is shown in the examples in the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual.”

MLA even went so far as to try and soften the blow by adding, “as a practical matter, however, there is nothing wrong with using two spaces after concluding punctuation marks unless an instructor or editor requests that you do otherwise.”  Do whatever you want, just don’t publish anything.  Mentally challenged, then.

“We’re doomed, Maggie.  Doomed.  We’re on par with AOL email addresses.”

So here’s what happened: we all started using typewriters, typewriters used monospaced types, it’s hard to tell where sentences end when your type is loose so… two-spaces.  Now we’ve got these fancy computer machines and monospaced types are no longer used–except for Courier, that is.  The shift toward single-spacing was not a matter of correctness, but a matter of sheer aesthetics.

But who’s to say space isn’t beautiful?  Why not honor the end of each sentence with a moment of silence?  Take a moment to chew it and savor each syllable in the beat before the next?  Have these single-spacers ever sat down and watched the stars come out after a sunset?  Just look at the way a T hangs aggressively over a period when you’ve got only one space.  If I were a period, I’d tell that T to back the fuck off.  This is MY sentence.

So to you, Slate, I say… well okay, then.   Enjoy your Adderall-induced attempt at forcing people closer and closer to run-on-sentences.   I guess I’ll go back to Courier.

A Note From The Editor:

Two spaces go after every period, Pluto is a planet, and the sun revolves around the earth. If you believe one of those then you likely believe all three.

This means that for every Joe Two-Spacer spamming the blogosphere and twitter-frontier there are dozens to millions of readers quietly being dumbed down. The harshest offense by two-spacers is submitting work for publication and insulting editors by making them painstakingly go through their work, removing each extra space, manually. This is such a common problem that space-removing software is now on the market and available for download.

A space is a form of punctuation. Like all punctuation it only serves to signal breaks in words, speech, thoughts. And in this case, two-spacers are haphazardly adding this extra breath after periods. If they want to use two spaces, why not three, four or ten? Maybe a poetic line break? Where does their madness end?

Do you know someone who suffers from awkward conversational moments in real life? They just might be a two-spacer. Imagine ending each face to face sentence with a long, awkward pause just before starting a new sentence. “It looks like it will rain. – Awkward Pause (Do I respond?) – I think I left the windows down.” Awkward Pause (Are they done with their thought?).

Two-spacing is like mom-jeans. It never looked good and will only exist in the future for irony and fetish. Two-spacers open hospitals specializing in leach technology. Two-spacers practice lobotomies… unfortunately on the innocent and not each other. Two-spacers litter while riding two-person bicycles alone. They’re an odd bunch. Not bad people. Just comfortable dragging their feet in the typographic dirt. Some of them are my friends. Mostly for irony and fetish.

Dehisce (v)

25 Feb

Here’s a little something I stumbled upon while not surfing for porn! Making up words

Dehisce by Mark A Webber. A stop-frame animation derived from 296 linocuts and prints.  That’s right, hand carved animation, friends.  No big black dicks, but I’m a little nippy nonetheless.

Webber’s animation was exhibited as part of text/gallery’s 2009 THE ART OF LOST WORDS.  49 illustrators, animators and typographers generated works inspired by a forgotten word of their choice. The rest of the collection’s got some great stuff and it’s available online at text/gallery’s website:  Even if you don’t like the artwork, your scrabble game will thank you.

Dehisce (v) to burst or gape open; as in a wound or plant

AND the linocut version!

My Little Buttercup, Sweet Little Buttercup

18 Feb

Hey baby,

Look, we know we missed Valentine’s Day and, like, it wasn’t that we forgot per say… It was just, you know, we’ve had a lot going on what with coming into the space at The Fridge last week,  organizing our artists locally and those coming in from out of town, teching, opening our brand new show (…and you’re just not good enough), and selling out two of its three nights, going to “standing room only” on closing night, striking the show, and turning around and interviewing for a space grant to produce again in D.C.

We’re not making excuses but we just wanna say, Happy Valentine’s Day. You make’a our dreams come true.


Photos by Devon Rowland and Carly J Bales


Seriously though, we know we joke around a lot about making out with you oh-so-supportive EMP followers but we’re crazy hot ‘n heavy for you fools.

All we’re sayin’ is… wanna go steady? We have some big stuff in the works for you and us and, well, we should just come out and say it ’cause we’re just so goddamn excited!

So. . . we did a little flirting and A LOT of winking with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (That’s how interviews are supposed to go, right? Man, if not, we probably made quite a few DC arts administrators uncomfortable today at our other meeting. . .) and they decided that EMP Collective was, in fact, quite good enough.

As part of a revitalization initiative for downtown Baltimore, the lovely folks at the Downtown Partnership offered grants of up to $10,000 and arrangements for storefront space to operate out of (with little to no rent) for prospective organizations and small businesses in the area. This initiative was dubbed Operation Storefront and the application process began last fall.

After proposal reviews, narrowing down the group of over 100 applicants from varying organizations, finalist interviews, and a final selection process, EMP Collective was chosen among about a dozen other organizations for the start-up grant and a storefront space to run a gallery and performance venue out of in downtown Baltimore!

We’re currently in the works to secure the location of our space and working on our detailed production schedule so stick around. . . We’ll make it worth your while.

Oh, and get on our list to get production updates on our new space in Baltimore, what we’re up to in Washington, DC and abroad in other cities, or if you’re interested in having some of your own work produced with us! We’re movin’ and shakin’ so move and shake with us, why dontcha?!

And now, we’re gonna get back to work. However, because telling you we love you is better late than never, we’ll leave you with a timely and appropriate treat penned by EMP member and writer, Rachel Inez Lane:

It’s Valentine’s Day and My Russian Phone Sex Operator Roommate is Crying

I close the door to my room and hear her
half-heartedly moan into the phone
I am sniff so  sniff wet   sniff right now.

Tonight, everyone
is thinking about someone—
even in Koreatown.

Through the whole building, someone
plays Moon River.
Down the hall, the drug dealer plays
spin the gun, alone with his bottle.

The old Korean woman sings dreamaker
you heartbreaker

Takes a long drag
from her Black & Mild, and assembles the right herbs
to make tea
or the lonesome heart.

The transvestite wails
to the music and puts on lipstick for one,
while her plump cat, Snowball,
pisses in her pumps.

The lady, who I am pretty sure, is a hooker,
shuts her leopard skin drapes, turns off
the red light, and rocks gently
like a melancholy bird,
on her sex swing, sighing
to purple toe nails.

And I’m thinking about how he would draw
our lips on his fingertips,
me then him.
He’d make us kiss till the ink smeared.

The Ones to Blame

10 Feb

(…and you’re just not good enough)

Carly J Bales
Tom Bonner
Brad Leroy Cartwright
Katy Dubina
Ken Jordan
Maggie Villegas

Carly J Bales
Stephen Brady
Steven Krigel
Michele Gray
Maria Rizkalla
Christian Sullivan
Hayley Waringer
Susannah Wells
Aztec Economy: Casey Wimpee, Adam Belvo, Ryan Dorin, Adam Laten Willson, Cole Wimpee, Kari Giron, and Michael Mason

Jesse Barksdale
Thomas Bonner
Brad Leroy Cartwright
Ken Jordan
Maura Krause
Steven Krigel

Matt Carvin
Dave Dedionisio
Katy Dubina
Leilani Ma
Michele Gray
Alexis Tantau

Ann Barngrover
Ilan Ben-Yehuda
Dan Caffrey
Brad Cartwright
Steven Krigel
Ken Jordan
Rachel Lane
Hearty White
Danai Verde
Maggie Villegas

Carly J Bales
Sara Barnes
Joshua Mikel
Sara Moore
Maggie Villegas
Nolan Cartwright

Ally Cribbs
Daniel Mori
Chris Van Alstyne
Eric Bowers
Laura Koontz

Buy your tickets now!

EMP and Washington Hospital Center accept you…and your blood.

8 Feb

Hear, hear! We the people at EMP have just partnered the MedStar Health blood bank at Washington Hospital Center for this week’s run of (…and you’re just not good enough).

But what does this mean for MEEEE?” you may be asking.

Well! Let me tell you!

This Thursday and Friday, the 10th and 11th, make an appointment and donate your precious life juice (some people call it ‘blood’) at Washington Hospital Center (110 Irving St., NW Washington, DC 20010).

In return, not only do you get the satisfaction of being a useful member of society (a great feeling I’ve been told), BUT ALSO a free movie ticket for AMC/Loews Theatres and FIVE BUCKS OFF your ticket to (..and you’re just not good enough) for any of our shows dates this week.

Make an appointment TODAY, dearest followers.

On-line Appointment Instructions:

Visit here.

Select the donate blood tab & enter zip code 20010, select Search

Select the Washington Hospital Center 2/10/11 or 2/11/2011 link

Scroll down to see appointment times – Find appointment time and select SCHEDULE

Box appears, select OK to be directed to the login/registration page

Scroll to bottom of page and select, “I am a New MedStar Health donor-make appointment now“.

It is THAT easy.

Here’s an even easer equation for those of you math-inclined: Your blood + Washington Hospital Center + EMP = Discounts and Eternal Bliss.


I’m going to go on Friday and you can see me sportin’ a sweet band-aid this weekend.

-Carly J. Bales

EMP goes to The Fridge!

7 Feb

Today is our first day in the performance space!

We’re going to be all-hands-on-deck busy little bees working and preparing the environment for showtime (this Thursday through Saturday at 8PM…just to drill it into your skull a little more); devising the playing space, hanging artwork, setting up projectors and A/V equipment, eating snack cakes, and so forth.


Perhaps you’ve never been to The Fridge, the year-and-a-half-old art gallery, performance space, music venue and classroom in Eastern Market? WELL, WELL, WELL, here’s a primer for your trip this week:

It’s right near the Eastern Market Metro (Orange/Blue Line)! How convenient!

Walking out from the exit of the Metro, you walk straight toward 8th Street/Barracks Row!

Follow that man!

You may see incredible sights such as a Starbucks! A Dunkin’ Donuts! A Piano Bar! A Lesbian bar! A Blockbuster? (Yes, we didn’t realize they still existed either…LONG LIVE THE NETFLIX).


You will see an alleyway, you will forget what your mom told you about meandering down random alleyways AND about the 1974 movie Death Wish. You WILL proceed to walk down said alley.

Just the right amount of sketch.

…and here you are! The Fridge DC in the Rear Alley of 516 8th Street SE in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington, DC! Just in time for (…and you’re just not good enough), part of the Fresh Produce Festival. Check out the schedule of other events at the Fridge this month as well, here!

Home Sweet Home.