BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Creativity was in the house as the 8th Annual New York Acker Awards were held at Theater for the New City on Sun., Dec. 11.
Organized by local documentarian Clayton Patterson, the annual event was created to recognize cutting-edge, avant-garde excellence in the New York metro area, though most of the recipients are usually from Downtown Manhattan or have links to it in some way.
At the same time, the awards also mourn the passing of “irreplaceable individuals” who have exerted a profound influence on the scene and the world.
Jordan King received the Candy Darling Award for helping keep alive the history of Candy Darling, the Andy Warhol transgender superstar. A Canadian multidisciplinary artist, performer, curator and writer, King’s creative practice is rooted in archival research and intergenerational connectivity.
Annie Sprinkle received the Lifetime Achievement Award. In the 1960s and ’90s Sprinkle developed new genres of sexually oriented media, including edu-porn, docu-porn and post-porn, plus feminist erotica. In 2008, she and Beth Stephens married the Earth and launched the Ecosex Movement.
Along with Patterson, Phoebe Legere, the multidisciplinary artist, was the co-host for this year’s NY Ackers event.
“We believe that the New York Ackers’ recognition of those around us works to reinforce our collective memory,” Patterson said, “which in turn becomes a bulwark against the mass commodification of life that market forces use to grind away at what makes us unique and gives us agency. The journey continues. The community grows, and the avant garde carries on.”
This year’s list of honorees included: Howie Abrams (nonfiction writing), Peggy Awesh (filmmaking), Eric Blitz (music), Jonathan Boyarin (history), Burning Buddha (music), Jose “Freaky Fridge” Cruz (art), Daniel Cortes (art), Al Diaz (art), Earl Einhorn (art), Ray Felix (comic art), Dennis Flores (video activism), Galinsky (poetry), J. Gonzalez (illustration), Ethan Hill (filmmaking), Sid Kaplan (photography), Power Malu (community activism), Steve Marcus (illustration), Marc Miller (curating), Roger Miret (music), JB Nicholas (journalism), Anthony Pedone (filmmaking), Edward Rivera (video), Elissa Sampson (history), Lucy Sante (writing), Raquel Shapira (graphic arts), Walter Steding (music), Sue Strande (art), Seth Tobocman (activist art), Johnny Velardi (art) and John Wyatt (photography).
If you missed the NY Acker Awards ceremony, Leonard Abrams has posted the entire 2021/22 Acker book online on the East Village Eye Web site.