Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blocked by Blogger's Spam Protection Robots No More!

Whew! Merely quoting the spam below triggered the overzealous spambots of my host organism, preventing me from posting. Apparently they have some kind of prejudice against "irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text." Also, my digital camera stopped working just as I was about to photograph an amazing spray-painted ottoman on Sunset Blvd. In lieu of that (I'll try and get an image of it over the weekend) here is my entry in the National Portrait Gallery's Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition: It is entitled Erik Knutzen: Thought Stylist.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I had to see how this looked...

And share this urgent message from the FBI Foreign Remittance Telegraphic Dept regarding a large bank transfer in my name from C.B.N Bank Nigeria District:

Secret Diplomatic Payments Are Not Made Unless The Funds Are Related To Terrorist Activities Why Must Your Payment Be Made In Secret
Transfer, If Your Transaction Is Legitimate, If You Are Not A Terrorist, Then Why Did You Not Receive The Money Directly Into Your Account, This Is A Pure
Coded ,Means Of Payment?

If this thing works out, I may not be writing any more art criticism for a while!

Addendum: Well, that large bank transfer should be coming through at any moment, but in the meantime the recent discovery of orientation irregularities in the Roden portion of this visual complex (see addendum to previous blog entry below) compels me to reconfigure it - here is a new version, edited to show the overlapping areas only (can anyone say "LP cover!"?):

displaced lowercase solar invocation

From a GLOW press release: Late Saturday afternoon, the Glow team got a first indication that attendance might be greater than anticipated when response time on the City of Santa Monica's website slowed down to about 15 minutes - undoubtedly due to the huge internet response. The unanticipated, tremendous draw resulted in a few mid-course adjustments early Sunday morning. When a new wave of Glow seekers arrived after 2:00 am, the Santa Monica Pier finally reached capacity. Public safety officials then limited access to the Pier for a period of time, the music stage was closed, and the popular work by Usman Haque north of the Pier was briefly shut down.

The "music stage" was curated by dublab and SASSAS and steve roden was the pre-empted headliner, scheduled to play the sun up with his loopy steel guitar. He went home and did it in his garage, and posted an mp3 of the sweet, haunting recording (along with his account of the melee) on his blog.

Above: Pulp paperback (under plastic) from the collection of Jim Shaw

PS: steve's typically spectacular show of paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures, and film/video/audio/plastercaster installations is up at Suzanne Vielmetter in Culver City through August 2. Along with the quantum leap in scale, the most remarkable new development is a series of humumental works on paper including "quartet 1":

Addendum: I should have noticed this, but the Vielmetter webmeister got the orientation of this piece wrong, so here is the correct rotation:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eelin' with the Feelin'

Can it really be more than a decade since my humble self-published comic book inflicted the questionably heroic Captain Eel-Begone upon an unsuspecting world? For those who missed the very limited run of the above-pictured rarity, the main story has just been reprinted in 'Blurred Vision 4,' a yearly anthology out of NYC that showcases comics by people from the fine art and literary worlds. Just in time to cleanse the Dark Knight-saturated palates of the Comicon set. Available wherever quirky comics are sold or at the Blurred Books website.

PS: Please note the trademarked character of Quagmire appearing a full 7 years before that of Seth "spared by 9/11 to continue his important work for mankind" MacFarlane.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

China Syndrome II: The Unravelling

I probably should have posted this while the show was still up, but you can get an idea at the Steve Turner Contemporary website and get a fuller picture of China's oeuvre over at ACE.

“It started with this idea that I had when I was in debt from all this health stuff [a bout with anemia], and just always scrounging for money, and never getting out of this small space. And then this thought I’ve always had about advertising: how so much of what people buy is an idea about what is going to happen when, like, ‘If I get the right gown and if I ever go to Cancun, this’ll look fabulous!’ And I wondered, could I create this whole thing all from right here? I do the pictures here, do the whole composites here, I print it here, the clothes are all made here. So it’s like this complete imagined exotic journey that all takes place in my apartment.”

This ad absurdum DIY philosophy will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Adams’ oeuvre. At 30-something, she boasts an unusually long string of solo exhibits — due to the fact that her first was at age 23, while she was still attending UCLA as an undergraduate. Her pivotal work was a classic in what might be called stripped-down performative design — the kind of event that derives a wealth of conceptual significance and emotional impact from a slight shift of the spatial relationship between 2- or 3-D objects. (Think Chris Burden’s arm and a copper-jacket .22 long-rifle bullet or Jeffrey Vallance’s relocation of Blinky the Friendly Hen from supermarket display to pet cemetery.)

In Adams’ Official Cannibal Status (1993), the object in question was a tiny chunk of human flesh donated by a fellow student, which Adams — a vegetarian since childhood — displaced into her digestive tract in front of witnesses, then documented with a framed, notarized affidavit, triggering one of our species’ deepest taboos with a clinical and bureaucratic dispassion bridling with Kafkaesque irony. The elegant formal economy of Adams’ gesture notwithstanding, it was the work’s unrepentant theatricality, outrageous humor and narrative conceit that made it remarkable in the dry context of conceptualist-art practice. It doesn’t get much juicier than raw meat...

Read the rest here.

Flights of Fancy, 2008, Installation Shot (Steve Turner Contemporary)
Ms. American Woman: The Winners Circle, 1998, Photograph, Pumps, Vitrine & Notarized Certificate (ACE Gallery)
Official Cannibal Status, 1993 (Detail), Ink on Paper (ACE Gallery)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Moe Diddley

Sorry for the no posts, the last thing I want to do in my spare time is sit at the computer. I've been sorting out my art archives, scraping off the rat shit and putting everything in strict chronological order. Pictures to follow. In the meantime, Bo Diddley died. Velvets drummer Moe Tucker recorded his signature tune several times, including this version from her OOP solo debut DIY masterpiece Playin Possum. "I saw him live for the first time in '63 when he was with Jerome and all those guys," recalled Moe in a PSF interview "In person, it was just stunning. One of my things was that I vowed to record "Bo Diddley" every time I went to the studio. Then Kostek reared his ugly head and said 'when you record for a label, part of the contract is that you won't record those songs for X years.' So, I couldn't really record that again for the next one and that really pissed me off. I really wanted to do that one on EVERY record. And if I ever got it right, I'd stop. (laughs)"

Another great interview I found, while sniffing around the web as regards Eduardo Paolozzi is this three-way - on the occasion of his disastrous 1971 Tate retrospective - between Eduardo, J.G. Ballard and Frank Whitford (author of The Ultimate 3-D Pop-up Art Book and a swell LAT rant about Derrida as well as Paolozzi's Guardian obit, the catalog for his disastrous 1971 Tate retrospective, and an extensive if raggedly transcribed online interview.) Ballard, in high CRASH mode, observes "Although our central nervous systems have been handed to us on a plate by millions of years of evolution, have been trained to respond to violence at the level of finger-tip and nerve-ending, in fact now our only experience of violence is in the head, in terms of our imagination, the last place where we were designed to deal with violence. We have absolutely no biological training to deal with violence in imaginative terms. And our whole inherited expertise for dealing with violence, our central nervous systems, our musculature, our senses, our ability to run fast or to react quickly, our reflexes, all that inherited expertise is never used." Ballard goes on to describe his legendary April 1970 exhibit of crashed cars at the New Arts Lab in London. The above photo shows Paolozzi (on the occasion of his disastrous 1971 Tate retrospective) and Ballard immediately above the arm of Euphoria Bliss.

All of which is my roundabout way of suggesting you check out Brian Bress' new video for Wounded Lion's Pony People on youtube, then, if you're in the neighborhood, go to their FREE live performance at the Echo on Monday (July 7). They go on around 10:30 is what I heard.