“My Dear and Lovely Number 9”


   …  Number 9, We first met in my consciousness and cosmic ink in a blackish mead composition notebook in early 2013 while I was stationed at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington (PIW).

    

   I was inspired in “Celestial Subterranea” to create you as the companion of Doctor Lazarus. I modeled him after myself...or I modeled myself after him. On the descent of our ship that we used to escape from my prison and laboratory, we met betrayal at the hands of those who said they would protect and guide us to our destination. The duplicitous clergy proved no more than rogues and scoundrels of the worst sort. From what I last remembered, you had gone off to survive as you thought me dead perhaps. I understood you to be in the custody of a Mr. Gentile, a purveyor of women of negotiable affections and racketeer named Gentile. It was nice of him to take you in for safety while having you become an adept in the ways of life in the urban underworld of this planet. 

     

    I lost the notebook that we first met in in 2015 or so. I was about 150 pages into our story when this happened. I was no longer stationed at PIW at this time. I had been given an I-Pad by a strange fellow I met at PIW during this same period of time. I tried to transcribe the work into the digital world. A young woman who was living at me did the typing, until the iPad was “stolen” from her and she abruptly moved out and headed back to the streets of Downtown Washington, DC.

     ...I never forgot about you after that. My next effort to see you again started with me actually drawing you for a graphic novel called “Subterfuge”...The story on that is just absolutely the most direct proof of how special you are to me. I never imagined that we would be separated by such force on May 17th, 2017...I trusted the original draft of Subterfuge to the Sergeant. He, however needed his breakfast that day and I went down the hill of Sheridan street NW from Georgia Avenue and completely was caught by surprise while settling for a brief bowl of ramen before heading back down to the Block. Suddenly with a knock on my door, An Asian police woman and 4 others came into apartment 303 with a warrant for my arrest. I was hauled off that day and never again lived at 1435 Sheridan Street again. 

       While imprisoned for 6 months between the DC Jail and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, the book “Subterfuge” where you were tall, buxom, and muscular went with the Master Sergeant to the grave. A civilian on the streets reported to me upon my release. He said that the Sergeant kept that 11” X 8” graffiti black book even at the hour of his death. I was deeply moved by this, but there was no remedy. 

        The irony however is that we met again during this whole ordeal, and I’ll ask that you forgive me for being so obtuse and not realizing who you were the whole time. I’m not going to say your name on this platform...However I will say that you are very much welcome to run the Venus Fly Trap from here. 

   I did some deeply inspired artworks of you yesterday...I’m planning to get a Juniper Bonsai tree for my bedroom in the Dopamine Clinic...where I pray we will live happily together someday...I hope this is all cast “Crystal clear”...Jé Tiem...😘😘😘😘😘😘😘



            Akindele Ikhide AkErejah

               


                     DCDC 299-273

                     PDID.   556-005


By the way...Gentile and Dr. Lazarus are the same person...

Is UPS Reliable? Hmmm…Holler If You Hear Me!

   Good Day Corporate Officers And Management of UPS…

My name is Akindele Akerejah and I am a frequent recipient of packages shipped to me at my address, 1801 28th Place SE apartment unit number 5, Washington, DC 20020-6434.

      

  I have had the unusual experience in the past week with UPS that I believe may reflect a very vitriolic systemic error that may have roots in the professional incompetence of people working for UPS as employees, particularly at the UPS distribution center at 

8440 Ardwick-Ardmore Road, Landover, Maryland 20785. Their phone number is (301) 386-8124 just as a reference. In the following paragraphs I will describe this severely frustrating experience that has produced all sorts of irreparable harm in my business and personal life. I ordered an item from T-Mobile on Friday August 31st, 2019. (The tracking number for this package is 1ZW0Y5800201066553).

    I was expecting it to be delivered according to the terms no later than Wednesday September 4th, 2019. This did not happen. In fact there was not even a single attempt by the UPS carrier to deliver said item. I promptly called the UPS customer service telephone number listed as 1 (800)-742-5877 and inquired of the delay around 9:30PM (New York Time) on Wednesday September 4th, 2019.

  I spoke on the telephone with an initial UPS customer service agent who told me that the package was on a truck and well on its way to delivery at my address. I took his word for good, as I was certain UPS attempts to hire only the most forthright and honest people to handle the situations that affect the companies “bottom line”. After all, your company is in a business that has high elasticity in economic terms...Similarly capable competitors such as FedEx, DHL, and of course the United States Postal Service are all too happy to exploit customer dissatisfaction and seize market share positions from UPS. To be succinct, making customers frustrated is not a good way to earn a living. 

    However, back to the series of calls that Wednesday (09/04/2019). Around 10:00PM (New York Time) I grew increasingly tired of waiting for my package that I was told was en route via the UPS truck and driver. I then called customer service (1-800-742-5877) again. This time “Luis” was my customer service provider and he gave me information that directly contradicted the initial status update I was given. “Luis” told me that the package could not be delivered because there was an “apartment number needed”. I asked him to recite the address that the package was sent to by the shipper. He told me that it was “1801 28th Place SE apt unit 5, Washington, DC 20020-6434”. This instantly perplexed me and so naturally I followed the conversation up as well as I could with an inquiry...If the number is right there as you’ve read it then how can that be the basis of nondelivery. Furthermore the initial premise of the package being on the truck itself suggests that the address/labeling protocols met all of the criteria to even be sent out for delivery, otherwise someone wasted the most valuable of all of a company’s resources, time. “Luis” struggled to explain in broken English that the apartment number was there but it wasn’t in the right place. I settled on the fact that “Luis” did not possess the linguistic or logical faculties to negotiate the discussion to a resolution, and nor did “Diana” who had the same problem, although to her credit she stated that she would place notes in the system so that the package would be delivered by Friday to the attempted address and possibly by Thursday when I was told that I should expect a call by 10:00 AM (New York Time). I never received this call, and by 10:40AM (New York Time) I no longer had access to phone service of any kind. UPS was in possession of my working phone as it still is, rendering me completely unable to access adequate communication. I thus had a difficult time of following up on things. I had hoped that the package containing my phone from T-Mobile would have arrived on Friday September 6th, 2019 as told to me by “Diana” since she told me she could clearly see the correct address was there so nothing should hinder delivery. Of course as this letter indicates, no attempt to deliver was made on Friday. By this point UPS had cost Mr. Akindele Akerejah 48 hours worth of time, energy, and resources. 

    The following day of Saturday September 7th, 2019 I decided to take a more direct approach and go to the nearest UPS store. As a minor note, I want to say that I am fully aware that UPS is a multinational corporation and inclusion of people in its staff at all levels may be a cultural value as well as a logistical business necessity but I will frankly inform you that if you want to maintain your market share or expand it in the United States of America, it would behoove your leadership to make certain that the people hired to answer the calls of American English speaking customers possess a thorough enough mastery of the English language to communicate effectively, as well as possess the cognitive resources to be able to logically identify and solve customer problems. Otherwise you run the course to ruin by utilizing the most inexpensive, readily, available labour in the short term at the expense of long term numbers in the black. It’s only a matter of time before a smaller shipper that has the best customer service composed of smart, empathetic, English speaking people starts plucking the low hanging fruit of your increasingly dissatisfied base of customers due solely to this one factor. I’ve seen this in too many historical anecdotes. It would be quite embarrassing for UPS to lose its place amongst giants to a “Disney’s Talespin ‘Higher For Hire’ operation” that emphasizes the above points. UPS May very well have its hands in so many “cookie jars”that it may well lose ground to the  crumb snatchers within a decade. However, there are entire third world nations like the Philippines depending on these practices by your company so that dilemma is yours to consider. I went to try to sort the problem out with some competent Americans at the UPS retail location at 611 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast Washington, DC 20003

(Their telephone number, the one they allowed me to make my call to UPS customer service on is (202)543-0850

While at the UPS store on Saturday August 7th, 2019, Jay kindly took the time to look up my UPS package tracking number (1ZW0Y5800201066553) and he informed me that the system interface stated that package could not be delivered because “an apartment number was needed”. I then inquired of the process and he took the time to explain it to me. He stated that a label is typed up and printed, placed on the package, picked up by the driver, carried in a truck to the final destination or another distribution point depending on the geographical logistics. He stated that grid specific placement was irrelevant and inapplicable in such a system, unlike the telephone call center employees informed me in their “The apartment number is there but wasn’t put in the right place” argument. At this point I was utterly vexed and proceeded to call (1-800-742-5877) and after a 10-18 minute hold I was greeted by “Mark” who had every difficulty navigating the problem up to the point that he could neither give me a new expected date of arrival for the package, nor provide any conclusive resolution with regards to the reason for my package delay. He was able to inform me that the package was in fact at the central distribution center (8440 Ardwick-Ardmore Road, Landover, Maryland 20785) of which he recited the address for me to write down. I did so and then asked him for the phone number of the same location. He sheepishly told me that the distribution center did not have a telephone number that was available for customers to use and advised me against going there personally as the package could not be picked up by me personally. I then decided that Mark had performed as capably as he could and requested to speak to a supervisor. After a 5-8 minute hold I ended up speaking with “Mario” who basically gave me a remixed circular account just as “Mark” did but in his case he gave me the distribution facilities phone number and then told me that truly nothing could be done until Monday as the location was closed on weekends. It makes me wonder why “Mark” told me he was waiting for a reply to the message he had sent to the distribution facility. “Mark” in fact told me that it would take an hour for them to reply and indicated he could not remain on the telephone call as this was a time consuming affair. I expressed that I was using the Business telephone number of the UPS retail store that I was in and certainly could not reasonably expect a telephone call, since my telephone was at this point a hostage of UPS. “Mark” also said that there was not an email correspondence option. I think someone should have a talk with Mark about how he treats customers. 

    At any rate, I thanked Jay for his help as well as his colleague for their concern and empathy. I moved on with my Saturday as best as I could and finally arrived at my home and business address of 1801 28th Place SE, apartment unit number 5, Washington, DC 20020-6434 and opened up my mailbox. Amongst the contents of my mail were a postage paid notice from UPS. As the photograph will illustrate, it is a notice addressed to me and delivered successfully to me stating “We are unable to deliver this package(s) because: APARTMENT NUMBER NEEDED, NOT DELIVERED Your Shipment will be held at the above address until Sep 11, 2019

After that date, it will be returned to sender.” Before going into any of the other details I want to just state how patently obvious it is that there is a very deliberate and nonsensically corrupt logic to that statement as evinced in paper sent by UPS. It is so simple a person of any level of intellect or cognitive understanding could put it together that the falseness of the claim in the statement is represented by the statement. In other words the message is the medium. 

     Today is Sunday September 8th, 2019. At This point over 72 hours of pain, frustration, confusion, anger, and impotence in key areas have resulted from this experience with UPS at several letters. Jay at 611 Pennsylvania Avenue SE even told me very in a very matter of fact way that I am certainly due compensation for this misconduct and willful negligence on the part of UPS through its employees. At this point I am requesting a formal letter of apology to Mr. Akindele Ikhide Akerejah from the Chief Executive Officer of UPS with the signatures of every member of the company’s board of directors to be included as endorsements of this letter. Please address it to 1801 28th Place SE apartment unit number 5, Washington, DC 20020-6434

Best Regards,

Akindele Ikhide Akerejah

Digital Sobriety

Digital Sobriety

About a month ago the question that people would ask me…”What’s your Instagram/Facebook?” started receiving a new answer…”I don’t use such at all…the Dopamine Clinic has a website.”

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Welcome To The Real World (One)

Welcome To The Real World (One)

“Good Burger & Fries” by Akindele Akerejah of the Dopamine Clinic…This as many works receives lackluster responses on social media. The artist has vented his frustration and seeks contentment in creating truly expressive pieces of work while pursuing mastery to a further level.

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Thinkin' Of A "Master" Plan...

Happy New Year to all of the readers,patrons, and supporters of the Dopamine Clinic! I apologize for the lengthy hiatus… It has been quite an introspective time for me personally and vocationally. As usual my mission is to rightly guide the Dopamine Clinic as a captain does his starship...Given this, my mind has searched the cosmos for the appropriate source points of inspiration for the artwork of the future and the direction of the studio.

The primary inspiration point happens to of course be found in an event that took place within the hip-hop cultural and commercial land scape in October of 2015. The venerable Wu-Tang clan released its studio album titled “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” in a very unusual way. The collective produced a single master album and auctioned it off to the highest bidder. The album was purchased by disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli for a whopping $2,000,000.00! It was a radical move in an industry that prizes sales volume of copies above all else. I was amazed at the time because of the sheer innovative novelty of their move. It was like witnessing marketing as an art form that had the signature of true artistic creativity and brinkmanship . I had not felt that excited about a musical release since Radiohead’s Uber unique campaign to distribute their 2007 “In Rainbows” album (which was in my opinion the proletarian precursor to the Wu’s elite consumer focused method).

And so years later it hit me...like yesterday it hit me! The Wu-Tang Clan had skillfully shifted from a music distribution model to a blue chip fine art style for the distribution of their work!

Instead of selling millions of inexpensive copies (reproductions) they decided to auction off the master work (original) to the highest bidder just as Sotheby’s or Christie’s would do with a Lichtenstein, Basquiat or Picasso. It made me consider how I could channel that spirit into the Dopamine Clinic.

It was thus decided at once that as of the new year (2019) the original visual artworks of the Dopamine Clinic would be handled in a closely similar manner to how a musical artist’ record label handles what is referred to as the “masters” (short for master recording).The original catalog remains the tangible intellectual property of the record label . And that is exactly how the Dopamine Clinic will be operating from here on in.

Official reproductions can be purchased from the shoppe online in much the same manner that recording artists make their music available to their supporters through hard copy vinyls and CDs as well as digital streaming.

This really excites me quite a bit since the Dopamine Clinic is an outsider entity not beholden to the mechanics of the art world gallery system. The Clinic is perfectly free to experiment with distribution models in the same way that the Wu-Tang Clan and Radiohead were able to due to their “above the law” status within their realms due to their commercial and critical success and acclaim.

On the other hand...as far as the Dopamine Clinic stands, there is honestly little to lose at this point. The outsider status mitigates risk tremendously. I see freedom in that. My art is clearly an irreducible component of my life ...And the Clinic has been keeping the lights on and the creativity popping and evolving for nearly 8 years now without any industry support...So it’s all good even with the inertia and ennui that characterizes parts of the saga.

I definitely look to the history and narrative of Washington D.C.’s own Thievery Corporation for inspiration as well. These gents not only produce some sick lo-fi grooves in the trip-hop tradition, but they formed their own record label to do it as well! The duos independent spirit led to them cultivating,organizing, and owning their own musical recording catalog through the establishment of Eighteenth Street Lounge Music in 1996!

I can’t really explain it but I am totally channeling the energy of Rob Garza and Eric Hiltons origin story into the evolution that the Clinic is experiencing.

I now envisage the Dopamine Clinic as a sort of creativity lab and boutique visual art studio with the distribution and business model of an independent record label, which to me is a veritable psychographic orgy of kickass stuff to come in the future! I really like that this development not only definitively asserts the Dopamine Clinics’ default autonomy, but it totally paves a way for me to sequester the majority of its original works away for future use in causes I believe in (I.e. ending homelessness, art therapy based mental health treatment ) through the creation of a posthumous foundation that will be created in preparation for my final hour on earth. The work is now about the future more than ever as I approach middle age.

I think in some way the inevitability of death was the underlying thought that sparked this paradigm shift in the model of the Dopamine Clinic. From a point of deep stargazing contemplation, I was able to reverse engineer my life as I project it from a pro forma understanding of destiny. Ultimately I recognized that my work is priceless and I have been blessed with a renewed understanding of how to handle it not only for myself and the Dopamine Clinic...but for future generations…while still having a way to distribute it to the consumer with unusual cravings.




Luck of The Draw...

On this October Noon the season change becomes more and more evident. The gradual shift in the atmospheric hue...the subtle chilling of the summers’ air, it all reminds me of how change is simultaneously rapid and noticeably slow. I try in more mindful moments to draw parallels from this annual seasonal shift to my personal legend as my life is written according to Gods’ program of each day.

   In fact today I recall a critical point in my evolution as an Artist that occurred in the autumn of 2013. The situation at the Dopamine Clinic is very challenging now but they were certainly more precarious at that time. I was heavily depressed and chemically dependent on alcohol,tobacco, and D.C.s’ infamous “Bizarro bag (JWH-18)”. It finally resulted in my collapse on the evening of a failed art show the Dopamine Clinic had put on at the Electric Maid in Takoma Park...like it was BAD...Less than 30 people showed up and I just broke from all of the pressure and had a colleague of the time drive me to the Psychiatric Institute of Washington. I was going in to detox and subsequently be placed into a drug rehabilitation program for low income people in Safe Haven Ministries...

    I got to P.I.W and after 5 days of detoxing was transported to the drug rehabilitation program for the intake process. So began the 28 day countdown. To prepare for this situation I had brought along a cache of art supplies hoping the experience would at least be marked by some potentially ground breaking work on my own end. I began making collages at a furious pace. After all “I am the Dopamine Clinics’ collage master...This is what I do “ was the thinking. I made so many that I had enough to give away to program peers and staff members alike... I was satisfied, but something changed that smug satisfaction along the path to exit...Forever.

  That change came when  I fell into the company of a man named “Gooby” who was an ex convict from the “Lorton-era” and he was a program graduate who was taking up residency in the transitional housing provided to certain alumni. He took notice of my work and was one of the few people I met in that period who said he “wasn’t feelin’ it” (referencing my collage artistry). I was a bit floored...but his feedback struck me in a very core way when he said “ They said you were an artist. I thought you DRAW...like don’t you DRAW?” I was speechless. I was speechless because I didn’t draw...not anymore at the time. In fact I couldn’t! I had lost the ability in my teens and I had been hiding that insecurity behind the collages... Gooby had exposed me! Months before (another psychiatric hospital stint), an artist in the makeshift APS (Adult psychiatric Services) collective I put together under the Dopamine Clinic imprint had a guy I’ll call “Hope”. Hope was working constantly with markers on Graffiti Black Book type works...He was the first person to put the “bug in my ear” while all 6 or so of us were working at one of the tables in the unit...”Dude, you’ve gotta draw…Dude you’ve gotta start drawing”...He repeated it a few more times but I had found a way to eschew it...but this time it had come to full circle and I couldn’t escape it...

Gooby went to his room and pulled out an array of black and white pencil drawings on thick,hard, chip board that were full of virtually photographic detail of popular culture icons from Michael Jackson to Chuck Brown. I was amazed and to be honest thoroughly intimidated by the clear and apparent skill quality of his work. I mean, this guys work was evincing unquestionable skill and dedication as a true artist of the atelier traditions of lore, whereas mine were subject to the caprice of modernist sentiments...I mean let’s be real...there are ALOT of artists like me at the time who simply CAN’T draw! Like myself formerly, they hide behind the pervasiveness of abstraction to sustain their career momentum in an era that permits that. It is not dissimilar, but is in fact parallel to the trends in modern pop-rap as opposed to classic hip- hop.

Classic hip-hop required the “emcee” to have a clear skill set on the microphone and be “nice”. These days a man or woman with the most imbecilic range of creativity and skill (if we can call it that) earns a place among the greats based on the simplicity of the multitude... I digress...but yes I was once the art world equivalent of a “mumble rapper”…living on my own hype so to speak. Yet having at once ceded that I submitted to what I will dub the Pai Mei/Kill Bill” level of instruction under “Cifu” Gooby. I did not become a master draftsman in the weeks I studied and worked under him. However the seeds were planted that would make me a much more versatile and confident artist. After graduating from the drug program in early November of 2013 I didn’t return to the pencil and paper until early 2015. 

    Like a classic relapse, I slipped back into what was more native to my hands and eyes...After all, the Dopamine Clinic was virtually a synagogue of Scissors...a mosque of magazines! A guild of glue! However today I stand tall as an Artist who has full confidence in his skill set that has roots in abstract creative expression and technical sophistication...because once I picked up the pencil again...I never put it down. In fact I married my previous collage work to draftsmanship and painting, which is the foundation of my inimitable signature style at today’s Dopamine Clinic...

     I am grateful to have met “Gooby the master”. In a world where ones’ confidence can be shaken so easily by the sheer subjectivity of the forces within the realm I find my center of gravity in knowing…not believing…but KNOWING…that like a true emcee… I’m “nice”...even when the world doesn’t “recognize” ;-)


Delé  Akerejah


(The Closing words were written with a smirk on my face as Eric B & Rakims’ “Don’t Sweat The Technique played in my head.)