THE KITCHEN TABLE is a reprise of the series of conversations organized by Eugenia P. Butler in 1993 at the ART/LA art fair.
Situated within the College Art Association Conference at the same LA Convention Center that was the site for the ’93 talks, we will bring together a group of articulate cultural thinkers of our time—primarily artists—seating them around a table, perhaps the oldest cultural institution.
To create the deepest discourse possible about the powerful impact of art on society. Their focus will be to better understand our present, and, by using the visionary tools of the artist, to begin to visualize our future.


Lita Albuquerque
Bob Bates
Miles Coolidge
Dana Duff
Charles Gaines
Ashley Hunt
Mark Lee
Marcos Lutyens
Chon Noriega
Ana Prvacki
Marie Shurkus
Barbara T. Smith
Cindy Smith
John Tain
Kerry Tribe
Faith Wilding
Karen Dunbar, Leila Hamidi, Shana Lutker, and Corazon del Sol
Most integral to this event will be the invited guests. The participants will be drawn from the local and the international community, having been carefully chosen for their qualities as human beings and artists. They are characterized as deep and catalytic thinkers who also have the ability to enter and move into a dialogue. They will be fed and housed within the community—in effect serving as bio-implants into Los Angeles. As the city itself sits poised for change, aware of its shadow while gazing at the horizon, THE KITCHEN TABLE examines the power of art to affect culture, using discourse as a social tool.
During the conference, inside a secret room—a metaphor for the soul of a society—there will be three ‘meals.’ The 40 x 11 foot space will reflect the essence of a kitchen, setting up with delicious food and drink, the ideal atmosphere to engage in such a dialogue. Because each meal involves different guests, with each guest reflecting a different background, experience, and ideology, THE KITCHEN TABLE, like life, will be collaborative and its outcome mysterious.
This ‘meeting of the minds’ will be enlightening and entertaining. A video documentary will be made of the event. Video monitors will be placed within the Convention Center to broadcast the dialogues and they will be live streamed on the internet.
More information on the original Kitchen Table talks: http://eugeniapbutler.com/
Read excerpts from the Talks in X-TRA

Become a part of the Kitchen Table and email us your questions to editors@x-traonline.org with “Kitchen Table Question” in the subject line.
Your questions will be credited and included in the documentation of the Kitchen Table.



dark night draft 2 (not from previous draft)

dark night

it is like coming out of prison
imagination and faculties are no longer bound by meditation and anxiety

 We about to travel onward into this night -- it is like emerging from prison -- we move with greater freedom and satisfaction no longer bound by meditation and anxiety

although, as the purgation of the soul is not complete (for the principal part thereof, which is that of the spirit, is wanting, without which, owing to the communication that exists between the one part and the other,100 since the subject is one only, the purgation of sense, however violent it may have been, is not yet complete and perfect), into which, of set purpose, we go into free union 

‘The corruptible body presseth down the soul.’102 Hence comes it that the communications that are granted to these souls cannot be very strong or very intense or very spiritual, as is required for Divine union with God, by reason of the weakness and corruption of the sensual nature which has a part in them. Hence arise the raptures and trances and dislocations of the bones which always happen when the communications are not purely spiritual—

imperfection: the one kind is habitual; the other actual.
deadening of the mind and the natural roughness which every man contracts through sin, and the distraction and outward clinging of the spirit, which must be enlightened, refined and recollected by the afflictions and perils of that night. These habitual imperfections belong to all those who have not passed beyond this state of the proficient; they cannot coexist, as we say, with the perfect state of union through love.
the night of the spirit, which is purgation,  is necessary if a soul is to pass to Divine union.
the soul must needs enter into the second night of the spirit, wherein it must strip sense and spirit perfectly from all these apprehensions and from all sweetness, and be made to walk in dark and pure faith, which is the proper and adequate means whereby the soul is united with God, according as Osee says, in these words: ‘I will betroth thee—that is, I will unite thee—with Me through faith.’
THESE souls become proficients, because of the time which they have spent in feeding the senses with sweet communications, so that their sensual part, being thus attracted and delighted by spiritual pleasure, may be united with the spirit and made one with it; each part eating of one and the same spiritual food and from one and the same dish, as one person and with one sole intent, united and brought into agreement, and, thus united, prepared to endure  severe purgation which awaits them.
the spiritual and the sensual, must be completely purged,
spiritual and sensual, both outward and inward, leaving the understanding dark, the will dry, the memory empty and the affections in the deepest affliction, bitterness and constraint, taking from the soul the pleasure it had aforetime, in order to make the union of love. 
 pure and dark contemplation
Divine wisdom is not only night and darkness for the soul, but is likewise affliction and torment.
this dark contemplation is painful likewise to the soul; 
as this Divine infused contemplation has many excellences that are extremely good, and the soul that receives them,  as many miseries

the human is the subject

 the bars of the earth have shut me up for ever.’120 By these bars are here understood, in this sense, imperfections of the soul, which have impeded it from enjoying this delectable contemplation.

it feels within itself a profound emptiness and impoverishment of three kinds of good, which are ordained for the pleasure of the soul which are the temporal, the natural and the spiritual; and finds itself set in the midst of the evils contrary to these, namely, miseries of imperfection, aridity and emptiness of the apprehensions of the faculties and abandonment of the spirit in darkness. Inasmuch as God here purges the soul according to the substance of its sense and spirit, and according to the interior and exterior faculties, the soul must needs be in all its parts reduced to a state of emptiness, poverty and abandonment and must be left dry and empty and in darkness. For the sensual part is purified in aridity, the faculties are purified in the emptiness of their perceptions and the spirit is purified in thick darkness.


consuming in it (even as fire consumes




List of Doctors of the Catholic Church

St. Athanasius*298May 2, 3731568Egyptian(Ethnic Greek)Patriarch of Alexandria
St. Hilary of Poitiers*3003671851FrenchBishop of Poitiers
St. Ephrem*3063731920SyrianDeacon
St. Cyril of Jerusalem*3153861883JerusalemiteBishop of Jerusalem
St. Gregory Nazianzus*329January 25, 3891568Cappadocian(Ethnic Greek)Archbishop of Constantinople
St. Basil the Great*330January 1, 3791568Cappadocian(Ethnic Greek)Bishop of Caesarea
St. Ambrose*340 (ca.)April 4, 3971298ItalianBishop of Milan
St. John Chrysostom*3474071568Syrian (EthnicGreek)Archbishop of Constantinople
St. Jerome*347 (ca.)September 30, 4201298DalmatianPriest, monk
St. AugustineDoctor Gratiae (Doctor of Grace)*354August 28, 4301298North African(Ethnic Latin)Bishop of Hippo
St. Cyril of AlexandriaDoctor Incarnationis (Doctor of theIncarnation)*376July 27, 4441883EgyptianPatriarch of Alexandria
St. Leo the Great*400November 10, 4611754ItalianPope
St. Peter Chrysologus*4064501729ItalianBishop of Ravenna
St. Gregory the Great*540 (ca.)March 12, 6041298ItalianPope
St. Isidore of Seville*560April 4, 6361722SpanishBishop of Seville
St. Bede the Venerable*672May 27, 7351899EnglishPriest, monk
St. John Damascene*676December 5, 7491883SyrianPriest, monk
St. Peter Damian1007February 21, 10721828ItalianCardinal Bishop of Ostia, monk,O.S.B.
St. AnselmDoctor Magnificus (Magnificent Doctor)1033 or 1034April 21, 11091720ItalianArchbishop of CanterburyO.S.B.
St. Bernard of ClairvauxDoctor Mellifluus (Mellifluous Doctor)1090August 21, 11531830FrenchPriest, O.Cist.
St. Albertus MagnusDoctor Universalis (Universal Doctor)1193November 15, 12801931GermanBishop of Regensburg, Theologian,O.P.
St. Anthony of Padua and LisbonDoctor Evangelicus(Evangelizing Doctor)1195June 13, 12311946PortuguesePriest, O.F.M.
St. BonaventureDoctor Seraphicus (Seraphic Doctor)1221July 15, 12741588ItalianCardinal Bishop of Albano, Theologian, Minister General, O.F.M.
St. Thomas AquinasDoctor Angelicus (Angelic Doctor), Doctor Communis (Common Doctor)1225March 7, 12741568ItalianPriest, Theologian, O.P.
St. Catherine of Siena1347April 29, 13801970ItalianMysticO.P. (Consecrated virgin)
St. Teresa of Ávila1515October 4, 15821970SpanishMysticO.C.D. (Founder)
St. Peter Canisius1521December 21, 15971925DutchPriest, S.J.
St. John of the CrossDoctor Mysticus (Mystic Doctor)1542December 14, 15911926SpanishPriest, mysticO.C.D. (Founder)
St. Robert Bellarmine1542September 17, 16211931ItalianArchbishop of Capua, Theologian,S.J.
St. Lawrence of BrindisiDoctor Apostolicus (Apostolic Doctor)1559July 22, 16191959ItalianPriest, Diplomat, O.F.M. Cap.
St. Francis de SalesDoctor Caritatis (Doctor of Charity)1567December 28, 16221877FrenchBishop of Geneva
St. Alphonsus LiguoriDoctor Zelantissimus (Doctor Most Zealous)1696August 1, 17871871ItalianBishop of Sant'Agata de' Goti,C.Ss.R. (Founder)
St. Thérèse de LisieuxDoctor Amoris (Doctor of Love)