Erotic Artist


There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

—William Stafford


I specialize in following the thread where not many dare to tread. I want to know life biblically, the way a man knows a woman (or other configuration of such). I want to know the water by getting wet. Theory, commandments, concepts leave me empty, and not the good kind of emptiness.

My driving question is, “Is that true?” Is it true wholly? Where and how is it true? For whom is it true and why? Can it withstand the test of time? Is it true for me as a woman? The last one has taken me into some very off-beaten paths. Givens are often no longer givens when I ask this question. The world turns upside down.

My two guiding principles are the ideas that “I’ve come only for this,” whatever is presented before me. It is mine to puzzle, to play, to explore and finally, to love. Which leads me to the how I explore which is to ask, Can I love this? Can I love even this? Who is the I who is loving in this moment? What does love look like here? Does it require a peaceful approach, approval, power, some good old fashioned wrath?

And then, what is this? I must leave who I believe myself to be to answer that question. What is this on “its” terms and not on mine. As a free woman I want all things to be free, liberated from any ideas I would impose on them.

I create genres from existing worlds by extracting the essence and growing philosophies from there.

I ask what is the highest form of this? What does this need to become that? What does it need cut away in order to become its own unique beauty? How will we know when it is realized?

My absolute specialty is doing this with shadow material, with what we discard or disregard, what we see as trash, people we see as monsters, groups we have seen as outsiders. The mark of my work is that something that has been denigrated is now exalted and not by assimilation but by becoming wholly and uniquely itself and then fitting into the culture in such a way that it is viewed as invaluable.

I do this by turning every process into a spiritual journey. Or, as one reporter described it, I do everything I do “religiously.” I do it agnostically as well, meaning: I am not constrained by the edicts of my known world. I will enter any domain, apprehend it, taste, touch, smell, feel, and most of all listen to it until it reveals its secrets and then I will offer my gifts to it on its terms. 

That part is vital, that it is not me imposing my will, my idea of what it wants to be but that I am using my powers to access the resources for it to become itself.

I believe

that everything, and I mean everything, when properly tended to reveals an untold beauty.

We are constructed of the divine. But my work is not as activist, reformer, saint, teacher, guru or shaman—it is as artist: Erotic artist. The art I do might be considered akin to found-object art, what has been thrown away.

But its an art that turns something back into itself. I vision how to turn prisons into monasteries, the unconscious realm of sex into the spiritual plane of Eros, the degradation of addiction into the art of addiction that isolates the addiction drive for purposes of realization, the life sentence of trauma into human flourishing, the feminism of subjugated women into the feminine collective of inestimable power, those who have been canceled, exiled, and banished into the leaders of the next era, desertified soil into not only carbon-absorbing but nutrient-producing, hunger and food deserts into farm to table free pop-up restaurants, black culture into the black box for society that holds the secrets.

I know though that these domains that have been historically viewed as inferior and/or invisible need first to recognize their unique value. Then, to draw that forward and learn to wield it well. Then to see the unique place in the order of things, but finally to have some good old fashioned PR. Meaning they need “cultural authorities” to speak for them—science being a non-partisan authority in this culture. So I get the science to back the truth so that people who doubt will have proof, and as a result have access to medicine.

My work remains what it once and always was, to turn poison into medicine and make it available to those who would want it.

Harriet Tubman said, “I would have freed more slaves if they had known they were slaves.” I think we’d have more people healing if the real medicine were not feared and misunderstood.

Nicole Daedone