, , , , ,

“What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself.”

                                           — Mark Twain


I’m artist and author M.T. Karthik, known as Karthik or MTK

and though I agree with Twain, I’ve put together this mid-career archive of many of my acts, thoughts and ideas. Here you’ll find writing and documentation of many things I made and performances I gave until the age of 50.

“Existence is beyond our capacity to define,” is something Lao-Tzu is said to have taught,

and though I agree with the great Chinese teacher, my active, human, mortal mind generates absurdities, abstractions and concrete expressions and I travel, attempting to organize it all, to put it all together, to label and name parts of it for myself and to understand how others name and label parts of it. I study the taxonomy of species around me.

In the four decades covered here, I circled the world four times, living for years mostly in California – the San Francisco Bay AreaLos Angeles – but also in New York City, New Orleans, Austin, San Antonio, Japan, India and Taiwan.

I have not landed. I don’t own property. I am mostly of nowhere and homeless. I’m like ash on the wind or a stone skipping across a lake.

I live gregariously and perform with abandon in search of living in the moment and yet I photograph, video and write about it in an attempt to grasp it. I struggle against my desire to comprehend the material world and yet I engage deeply in it.

But really all I’ve done is weave a feeble lifelong expression of some things I saw and understood, for unknown readers.

To that end, I wrote everything on this site – the poetry, essays, fiction and reviews – and produced all the video and photographs (all the images in the headers above) and, in 2017, occupied mtkarthik dot org and removed advertising so you can peruse free of distractions.

You can follow me currently on my Youtube site where I post videos.

Thanks to all visitors. You are always welcome.

I’m happy The MTK Independent is visited by people all over the world. Feel free to translate and post elsewhere, and if you use anything I’d appreciate a credit as M.T. Karthik or MTK.

If you want to say hello or comment otherwise here’s a contact form:



M.T. Karthik

Oakland, 2012 and San Antonio, 2017