Clowns and Fetuses

Clowns and Fetuses

Clowns and Fetuses are three inveterate noisemakers tossed together from the rock and art world. They are based in Huntington Park, CA. Since 2004, they have staged a series of themed events at a multitude of California clubs, galleries, bookstores, festivals, streetcorners and other venues. Using such instruments as theremins, home-built synthesizers, de-tuned guitars, bent toys and Kabuki-like voices, Clowns and Fetuses sonically and visually explores such topics as crime scene cleanup crews and amusement park folklore. Now emerging from a pandemic hiatus, they look forward to entertaining, edifying, and transforming future audiences.

Artist Location: Huntington Park, CA

Social Media:


On-site Event June 4th

Our Lady of The Cat–a Sonic Mystery Play
Medieval mystery plays were perhaps the most popular form of drama throughout the Middle Ages. These colorful outdoor pageants included song cycles and feudal-era special effects. Many celebrated the lives of saints and other luminaries. 

After priests were banned from these “unseemly” productions, it fell to the guilds of the day
to present them. 

For this proposed work, the San Pedro Ratcatcher’s Guild, as embodied by the members of Clowns and Fetuses, will present “Our Lady of the Cat–a Sonic Mystery Play.” 

There is a story handed down through generations of San Pedrans, of a frail but determined cat tender who nurtures the feral population of Point Fermin. (See, e.g., Clune, Brian, “Haunted San Pedro”. (2016) p. 58, The History Press.) However, her single-minded devotion has doomed her to a life of poverty and homelessness as a reviled “cat lady.”

One day, while staring at the vortex that hovers over San Pedro’s Sunken City (see, ibid at p.67), she receives a toxoplasmotic vision. “Take heed,” a gigantic cougar intones, “The end of the world is near, and only the feral cats of Point Fermin can save us!” And she learns of the forces of destruction lined up against her, including an angry oarfish and the ghost of notorious Catalina bone collector William Glidden. Her victorious battle against these dark powers will be portrayed visually and sonically in a repeated 20 minutes sonic skit, interspersed with antiphonal odes to the glory of Our Lady of the Cat.

William Shakespeare wrote while waves of Bubonic plague left thousands dead in England. Given this, it’s not surprising that in some of his sonnets Shakespeare imagines his own death. This was more than poetic convention—death from the plague was a very real, immediate threat. 

This Clowns and Fetuses’ video project is based on one such sonnet: Shakespeare’s sonnet 71, “No longer mourn for me when I am dead.” It seems to be about a love affair outside of marriage, perhaps with his young man (W.H.?) or the “dark lady” who appears in Shakespeare’s poems.

In sonnet 71, the writer tells his lover not to grieve over his death, and not let people see the depth of their emotion so the townspeople won’t spread gossip. We’ve given this situation a contemporary, COVID-19 setting in which the lover/mourner must wear a mask for a beneficial reason–to protect others at the funeral, and for a more painful reason—to not betray her real feelings. 

After all, even during plagues, love goes on. People have affairs, stay closeted, or have other reasons for not revealing relationships. How do we navigate this landscape when so much unmourned death already seems hidden?


Proposed work as accepted for soundpedro 2020:
San Pedro’s Sunken City

At the tip of Point Fermin in San Pedro lies a mocking tribute to nature’s power over humanity–the legendary Sunken City. This formerly pristine community of luxury homes slid into the ocean in 1929. It is now a twisted mass of pipes, concrete, Red Car tracks and other detritus of an unfortunate adventure in urban planning. Closed to the public by an imposing iron gate, it stands as a happy hunting ground for lawless and foolish adventurers often known to fall into the ocean themselves. 

Sounds of this forbidden zone abound–the ever present wind, the inexorable movement of the earth, the strange eminations of the electro-magnetic fault line said to have caused the disaster and the muffled screams of the ghosts of the fallen, among other clamors.

Using videos, found objects, props, placards, costumes and of course SOUNDS of all varieties, Clowns and Fetuses will recreate this forbidden zone and its unfathomable sonic energies. Angels Gate patrons will bear witness to the thrill and horror of land’s inevitable collapse.

Mysteries of Catalina Island

A sonic explication of things strange and wonderful in that lump of land looming in front of Angel’s Gate, including: the story of the giant humanoids unearthed by bizarre archivist Ralph Glidden; the haunted Avalon grocery store that has terrorized clerks for decades; the curious disappearance of socialite Eileen Jeffers; the Tongva Indian legend of Juana Maria, the lone woman of San Nicolas island; the wild Catalina antics of Harry Houdini and the mysteries of the Avalon Casino Mezzanine. Clowns and Fetuses will use loops, theremin, percussive objects, an abundance of homemade instruments and artworks to tell their story.

Return to Artists Past & Present page

Posted in Artists.