“Courtnee Fallon Rex is an intensely expressive artist. It seems that she creates as she lives.” – The Nonsense Society
I am a fan supported, backer sustained artist, writer, director, musician, and performer in the US, having moved into a run of the mill passenger van in 2015. I currently split my time between Seattle, WA and Fort Walton Beach, FL, with bits of presence established in Los Angeles, Western Europe, and New Orleans.
Though my styles, interests, and mediums shift, it is consistent that in communication through the lens of the artistic practices I showcase here, I enable fractions of my own self to acknowledge and validate one another. By doing so, I often affect a kind of intimate undercurrent in my audience.
Are you my audience?
I was born on the day of the dead of 1979, a month early, to a first-time mama at an air force base in California. To hear it said by those who raised me, I was the perfect baby; affectionate, bright, obedient, and slept through the nights.
I grew up as an only child in the suburbs of Sacramento during the 80’s. I was into bowling, roller skating, mud, dinosaurs, drawing, piano, and cats.
As a ‘mature’ child who grew up very quickly, from a young age I did not relate well with most of my peers, and I really creeped out adults who weren’t creeps themselves. By second grade I was a weird nerdy kid with a lisp who masturbated in public and pee’d their pants laughing every day at lunch.
We moved and changed school districts often before settling semi-temporarily in rural country, compounding my tendency not to keep the fast-friend acquaintances I made for very long. I did well in school until I no longer cared about it, my disillusionment with the status quo already in full swing by the time I was 9 or so; also about the time I started abusing substances.
At the dawn of the 90’s, after various separations (and multiple runaway attempts of mine), my mother left her tumultuous relationship with my father figure, and in doing so, left me as well. From then on I was raised by a single parent who preceded me by two generations. To gain independence and get the fuck out of High School, I tested out in May of freshman year to enter the fast food workforce at age 15.
In 1995, I began writing my deep ugly thoughts online in a hand-coded, publicly accessible web journal. This practice of writing personal diaries online eventually became popularized and coined “blogging”, but I grew up documenting myself publicly in a time when it was uncommon, and in a way that had not been done before.
Over time I garnered a small fringe cult following as the author of phuqed.org, where I mostly complained and cussed and talked about dying. An angry hydrant narcissist with a knack for descriptive writing and a pretty face, through a perfect storm of privilege, isolation, and compounded trauma, by the time I’d rounded two decades I’d developed into a real fucking piece of work indeed.
I was a fixture of the hacking community in the mid 90’s, directing operations of a retail computer store at age 17. I first began selling my artwork as a freelance web designer beginning in 1995, explored self photography as I ran one of the first webcams on the internet, and spent most of my adolescent social time clutching at the dark through what used to be the fringes of society; USEnet, IRC, and eventually, DEFCON (4-20, for those who keep track of that shit).
In 1998, I broke free of Sacramento by shunning my anti-establishment ideals in exchange for $30k a year and a bunch of corporate smoke up my skinny white ass. Having moved to Seattle to work in software development at Microsoft, it appeared to be as perfect a job for me as anything; until the company decided to lock down the servers I was working on to only allow traffic through their proprietary web-based client.
This was what what would become the dawn of the bloated pyramid scheme that social media is today, and it went against the values of the digital future I joined the borg to influence. Frustrated by the industries direction and recognizing that I couldn’t stomach playing the corporate game to save my fucking life, by 2003 I’d left technology in utter disgust, turning to Starbucks, bar tending and sex work to get by. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had already begun to piece together the scaffolding of what has become my strange little patchwork existence.
I was active in the digital music revolution at the turn of the century, recording, mixing, and releasing independent electronic music online under the moniker “Not Applicable”, contributing to news articles, collaborating with signed as well as indy artists, and developing an international cult fanbase.
I was formerly noted as “One of MP3. com’s fastest rising electronic allstars”, and it’s been said of me that I “possess the unique ability to virtually freeze time with my moving, highly emotional ambient landscapes, combining dreamy tones with an unforgettably beautiful voice.”.
Since 1999 I have self-released 9 albums, 3 of which were produced since I hit the road and began touring in 2015.
I discovered circus while working for Microsoft in 2000, and I have often credited this discovery with saving my life. Suddenly I had a connection with my body, a community outside of hackers, and reason for moderation and sobriety. I began my aerial training with Lara Paxton of Circus Contraption and continued with SANCA, where I began teaching, eventually ending up as part of the staff at Versatile Arts.
I’ve performed internationally as a freelance aerialist, including Seattle venues ACT theater, The Pink Door, and Seattle Center. I served as an ensemble troupe member for six years with The Little Red Studio, and four years as the board president, co-founder and creative director of Vita Arts, a 501(c)(3) arts non-profit, producing “The Obsidian Show” and “How Art Saved My Life”, respectively.
The feel of my theatrical work is based in darkness and deep reflection, yet is ultimately humorous and hopeful. It is by far the most subversive and encompassing form of art I’ve practiced. In the future, I would like to explore the intensity and collaboration of theater again.
In 2005, after the sudden death of one of my few childhood friends, I endured a term of suicidal ideation that was finally overwhelming enough that I challenged my notion that I was too smart for therapy and began seeking earnest mental help for lifelong psychiatric struggles. I rebranded phuqed.org into a members-only journal which evolved over the years from a dumping ground for my hopeless angst into a kind of personal development resource.
I wrote predominantly about my intensive therapy sessions, level ups, and shared depression and suicidal ideation survival tips, usually as I discovered them myself. My rants and anger gave way to more of a motivational monologue where I described how I was triumphing over myself, journeying into the shards of my psyche, utilizing every tool and skill I could get my hands on to address the multiple instances of fracturing that had occurred in my development.
By the time I’d established legitimate sentience I had become entrenched in a constant loop of incredible stress and self neglect, actively going out of my way to drown out how deeply I and those around me were abusing ourselves and one another. As part of what became an impressively multifaceted recovery from that life, I sought out massage.
The experience stayed with me, profoundly altering my course. My own relationship with Complex PTSD, unresolved grief and severe suicidal depression informed the development of my practice to include emotional and neurological awareness in conjunction with movement and manual massage therapies.
I closed my 8-year private Pioneer Square practice in 2014, succumbing finally to the inflation and gentrification that has plagued Seattle since.. about the time my arrogant yuppie ass showed up. Before that, I received consistent feedback regarding the remarkable impact I had in my clients lives.
“I would like to be remembered as somebody who made the path a little easier for somebody behind me” – Heather Flemming
If there is one thing I miss most about that short time in the hayday of my life, it’s having the stability, resources, space, and community that I needed to have made a profound difference for the people who trusted me to leverage what I’d been through to help them learn something new.
Most of what I seek to find again now revolves around figuring out how to do all that again, only better this time.