Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hot Tub Wake

Pictures of Dave Scardino and Linda Day's backyard lighting effects, with emphasis on the hot jacuzzi device, taken at Linda's wake.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Afternoon Delights

This weekend I will be participating in what looks to be an awesome panel discussion with my fellow artist/curators in Carl Berg's Role Reversal exhibition at the Jose Brudis-Biada Art Gallery, Mount Saint Mary’s College Challon Campus, 12001 Chalon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049. Other panelists include Robert Gunderman, Roger Herman, Micol Hebron, David McDonald, Christopher Miles, Paul Paiement, Christopher Pate, Max Presneill, Tyler Stallings, Laurie Steelink, Inmo Yuon, & HK Zamani! Saturday, September 24, 3:00 - 4:30PM

Then on Sunday afternoon sometime between 1 and 4 PM (probably towards the end) I'll be at the Beacon Arts Building for the closing of the Adelman/Walsh extravaganza The Optimist's Parking Lot, which was going to be a panel discussion, but has recently been reimagined as a pancake-fueled "informal Q&A."

"More bacon?" "Yes Please." Now that's my kind of dialectic!

Saxondale Streaming

I finally got around to watching Saxondale, a two-season British TV series from 2006-07 about a former rock roadie (now indie pest controller) by comic genius Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, Tristam Shandy, The Trip), because it leaves Netflix streaming tomorrow. It is, of course awesome - each episode begins with a men's anger management group therapy meeting in a children's library and ends with a section from the most-played vinyl in my DJ sets - Hocus Pocus by Focus. Impeccable.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Dreams May Come Again?

"Sometimes when I’m looking at Sean Duffy’s work, I get the weird feeling that I’m eavesdropping on somebody’s near-death hallucination – or even their trip through the Bardos to whatever’s beyond that great white light. It isn’t that the sculptures, paintings, installations, etc. Duffy has created over the last two decades are morbid – or particularly spiritual.

But imagine you’re walking through the Mall, and you start to notice that all the items on display are a little strange – a music store displays only a couple of old-school vinyl obscurities, in huge quantities. The furniture emporium contains weirdly mutated iconic Modernist design at one end, and generic office decor repurposed into some kind of post-apocalyptic zen garden at the other, with a bunch of weird-ass lamps made from castoff electric fans and plastic gascans in between.

The home entertainment big box is chockfull of perversely customized equipment from that parallel universe where John Cage’s multiple- turntable audio collage chance compositions topped the charts. And don’t get me started on the Auto Zone! The point is, everything is a little off, sometimes way way off. But it isn’t random – each distortion has the distinctive stamp of being related to a specific person, like in a Philip K. Dick story where supposedly benign fragments of objective reality start turning into explicit personal messages. Only the messages aren’t for you. They’re for Sean Duffy.

And they’re from Sean Duffy. But are they the same guy? One of the most compelling aspects of Duffy’s oeuvre is the fact that it straddles the two personae that every artist has to reconcile – the inward-looking, self-reflexive, isolated human consciousness that comes up with the goods, and the outward-facing, collectively mediated social animal that puts them on display. And although this whole Personalized-Shopping-Mall-of-the-Damned scenario sounds a little solipsistic, anyone who’s seen Duffy’s work can attest to its genuine popular appeal..."

Read the rest of What Dreams May Come Again? Sean Duffy’s Consumer Paradise by coming to the Book Release Party and Recerd Player Tordimint TONIGHT and buying a copy of the copiously illustrated volume. Free Tee-shirt with first 20 signings!

Saturday, September 17, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
6006 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California 90232

Image: Sean Duffy Beam Down 1998 Fun fur and clear upholstery vinyl on panel
Click here to read my review of "teach me to love" Sean Duffy's 1998 debut at Deep River gallery.

Book Release Party & Recerd Tordimint!

Oops! Wrong Picture!

Saturday, September 17, 6:30 - 8:00 pm at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
6006 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California 90232 phone 310.837-2117

Please join us for a book release of a profile on Sean Duffy, published by Front Forty Press, Chicago, with an essay by Doug Harvey and an interview by Veronica Fernandez.

PLUS: Sean Duffy, Doug Harvey and guests in a DJ Recerd Tordtimint!

FREE T-SHIRT with first 20 books signed

Images stolen from Christine Siemens and Sean Duffy

Friday, September 16, 2011

Faüxmish Debut Coverage

Been a crazy couple of weeks, which may be why I just found these two reports on the Faüxmish debut and record release party: Anna Siqueiros includes a bit of Faüxmish performance video, plus live sketches and snapshots on her blog

and Carol Cheh delivers a typically elegant precis of the lineage, concept and execution of the band on her LA Performance blog Another Righteous Transfer. Thanks, ladies!

Recent Work of a Revelatory Nature, and Otherwise

I was intending to do a separate post on the Role Reversal exhibit at Mount St Mary's, but most of the photos I took didn't work out -- some even seem to have vanished entirely from the camera's memory card. Maybe I will anyway, but I also realized I hadn't posted images of the new sculpture I made for the Optimist's Parking Lot show, and then I came across a forgotten very early LA piece in a strange location, so I thought I'd wrap them all up in one blog post and be done with it.

So this is Potato Tree, which I put together for the OPL show curated at Beacon Arts by Keith Walsh and Suzanne Adelman. The pre-rotted umbrella skeleton was going to be my contribution to Chain Letter, for other people to pin or hang their smaller works on, but since 1. I had to park 3 blocks from Bergamot 2. There were already 3 patio umbrella sculptures in the main space by 10 AM, and 3. Lynne Berman had already created a freestanding wooden edifice for others to adhere to, I decided to leave well enough alone. And, as I was to discover during the OPL install, the term "free-standing" wouldn't really have applied in this case.

The potatoes themselves will be familiar to anyone who has closely followed my career since the mid-90s - but for the other 6.9999... billion of you, I'll try and back it up (although I appear to not have put any documentation of them on my website yet). The first Pomme de Terre Froid appeared under the bench in a jail cell with a straitjacketed Houdini dummy as part of the Jeffrey Vallance-curated Magic Show at the Magic and Movie Hall of Fame, O'Shea's Casino, Las Vegas. There's an image somewhere, I'm pretty sure.

They originally had those eyeball toys - clear plastic balls containing a plastic eyeball suspended in fluid? embedded at every point where the spray foam exoskeleton criss-crossed. Inside the chickenwire structure was another toy called a bumble ball -- which looked like an old-timey sea mine -- containing an off-center battery-operated motor that kept it jumping in random directions. Wedged into the potato, the motion transferred to the larger structure, causing the entire object to shiver, shudder, and creep across the floor (unless it was jammed under a jail cell bench), and the eyeballs to spin wildly.

They multiplied, and appeared in a number of shows -- they had an empty Venice cottage to themselves in Detours, huddled on a stained off-white indoor/outdoor carpet, then one was crammed in the bathroom of Malibu Sex Party at Purple, then a free-range threesome comprised a central component of my installation St. Sebastian Frothy Elvis Carmen Miranda Moby Dick at DADA 96. They popped up several more times over the years, in gradually deteriorated states, but from 2003's Glass Beets and Blind Potatoes exhibit at the downtown YMCA until OPL they had been sitting in our front yard, biding their time. Clearly these tuberous champions are just getting their second wind!

Potato Tree was revelatory in the sense that I had no idea what it would look like (or how it would stand up) until I assembled it. My wall piece for Role Reversal, R.O.G. (Rectilinear Occlusion Gear) 01 (including Chain Letter leftovers and unauthorized contributions from Christine Siemens, Hector Romero, Daniel Hawkins, and others)was engineered so as to collapse to a size that would fit into Carl Berg's car. I assembled it in its collapsed state, and wrapped it up without actually seeing it, so it wasn't until the reception last Sunday that I actually got to see how it turned out. Revelation the second.

Finally, at Linda Day's wake AKA (One More) David & Linda Party, I was confronted in the bathroom by a piece I had forgotten about entirely -- a little glow-in-the-dark "Cathy' painting I had put in some $100 Xmas fundraiser show or something - was it at POST? Anyway, Linda bought it which was crazy because I would have given it to her. But that's Linda. She also bought 5 copies of the Gordon Haines issue of Less Art, so you know Dave's sitting on a comfy little nest egg right there.

The Gordon Haines issue of Less Art, 1st and 2nd ("Now with google eyes!") edition.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pop Daddy Gone

Solway-Jones just sent me a copy of this piece I did for the WEEKLY (but which doesn't seem to be in the online archive) when Richard Hamilton (who just died) showed at their weird first space over by the St. Vincent de Paul almost exactly 10 years ago.

Pop Goes the Easel
August 10, 2001

"A short drive up Alameda Avenue from the still-burgeoning Chinatown enclave of young galleries, a new venue for contemporary and 20th-century avant-garde art has appeared in the unlikely neighborhood of Lincoln Heights. After a couple of group shows and a FLUXUS show featuring American expatriate Ben Patterson. Gallery 2211 is currently presenting a modest but compelling survey of British artist Richard Hamilton’s explorations of computer-assisted printmaking technologies dating back to the early ‘70s. Hamilton is best known, somewhat inaccurately, as the father of Pop Art. While it’s true the movement took its name from the Tootsie Pop held by the muscleman in Hamilton’s seminal 1956 collage Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? (above), the artist’s vision has more to do with his reputation as a Duchamp scholar than with the po-faced “critique” of consumerism attributed to Warhol, Lichtenstein et al. Nevertheless, Hamilton was borne to international prominence through his 1962 exhibition of Pop paintings in a group show alongside Peter Blake, R.B. Kitaj and David Hockey, and his subsequent place in popular culture (designing the Minimalist cover and photo-collage poster ⎯ “Edition 5,000,000 Approximately” ⎯ for the Beatles’ White Album) has pigeonholed the artist’s work in spite of its obvious grounding in art history, engagement in classical art technique, and subtle and ambiguous content.

Richard Hamilton, The Heaven Free of Stars (1998)

Hamilton has also been dedicated to the somewhat ghettoized art of printmaking, particularly its ever- evolving relationship to technology, and has been, since the‘70s, perhaps the most high-profile artist exploring the impact of digital media on this ancient technology. The oldest digital piece in the exhibit ⎯ a suite of perspectival diagrams on semitransparent Mylar leading up to a gorgeous high-relief white-silicone cast depicting a sequence of automobile-tire treads ⎯ was suggested to the artist in 1971 by Carl Solway, Cincinnati art dealer and father of Gallery 2211’s Michael. Solway recognized that the complexity of the original schematics, abandoned by Hamilton in the early ‘60s as ridiculously labor-intensive, could be easily calculated and rendered by then-emerging computer-graphics technology. The result is a wry, gorgeous spin on Duchamp’s chocolate-grinder imagery from his masterpiece Large Glass.

Most of the other works in the show are Iris pints of images created using the Quantel Paintbox program over the last decade, exploring the no man’s land between originals and reproductions. Hamilton’s two self-portraits appear at first glance, to be blown-up Polaroid images altered by hand application of paint ⎯ a strategy in keeping with much of Hamilton’s earlier work. The paint instead turns out to be part of the original photo, applied to a sheet of glass held parallel to the camera’s picture plane. In another work, Hamilton completes a print begun in 1949 as part of an unpublished suite of illustrations for James Joyce’s Ulysses, creating a slightly disturbing but surprisingly coherent hybrid of image-making technologies and artistic decisions generated half a century apart. A set of digital images of empty rooms ⎯ previously made into paintings for 1997’s “Dokumenta X” ⎯ is altered to include slightly off-kilter photographs of a model posing, on a later occasion, in the same rooms. It is this sort of unclassifiable, experimental, idiosyncratic conceptual and visual play that has kept Hamilton an important and challenging artist in to his 80th year, and the only drawback to his exhibit is its lack of sprawl."

PS: The Washington Post said that "The Gagosian Gallery said that until a few days ago, Mr. Hamilton had been working on a major retrospective that will travel to Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London and Madrid in 2013-14."

Faüxmish LIVE at Human Resources 110902

A brief segment of the secret second set/LiTTLEROCK afterparty showing Marnie Weber and Doug Harvey playing the theremin with farm implements, as Dani Tull prepares to shred. Video by Fernanda Tellez Gonzalez.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

R.O.G. (Rectilinear Occlusion Gear) 01

I made a new piece for this show and I haven't seen it myself, though both Carl Berg (who curated) and Chris Miles (who's also in it) said it looks good. I made it to collapse and fit into Carl's car, and the process was such that I never saw it unfolded. It includes some bits left over from Chain Letter, some unauthorized appropriations of other artists work, and some found and thrift store art. And the stretcher bars were previously used by both Pamela Fraser and M.A. Peers.

I'll post an image when I get one. But check out that line-up. Boy howdy, group shows don't come much better than this: Bob Gunderman, your humble blogger, Micol Hebron, Roger Herman, David McDonald, Christopher Miles, Paul Paiement, Christopher Pate, Max Presneill, Tyler Stallings, Laurie Steelink, Inmo Yuon and HK Zamani. The basic idea is that we all curate, but what a powerhouse team of just plain artistes!

Role Reversal
Opening Sunday, Sept 11, 3-5pm


SHOW DATES: September 6 – October 18, 2011

GALLERY HOURS: Tues - Sat 12 - 5 PM
Closed Oct 13 - 14

Panel Discussion with artists - Saturday 24th, 3-4pm

The Lincoln Enigma

Just found this awesome bit of documentary footage by Jimmy Chertkow of the Mannlichercarcanoplex 01 from July 2010 -- what is particularly mysterious is the fact that Michael Q. Schmidt is singing the "I could be another Lincoln" bit from The Wizard of Oz's "If I Only Had a Brain" to Lee Lynch as Tin Man, while the former sculpture prof of USC sculpts a bust of Lincoln from clay in a vintage 16mm projection behind them. Some one here is a genius!

Hi Good Opening Tonight!

Here's a handful of my production photos from the first Hi Good shoot, details to follow.

Lee Lynch
The Murder of Hi Good

Steve Turner Contemporary
6026 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 (across from BCAM at LACMA)

September 10 - October 8, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10, 6 - 9PM
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11-6

Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present The Murder of Hi Good, a single channel video installation by Lee Lynch. The centerpiece of the installation is Lynch's sixty-minute dramatic, revisionist western that relates to the murder of California's most infamous Indian hunter who lived in Tehama County in the 1870s. Lynch has been working on this project since 2007 and it will be making its world premiere.

Born in Redding, California in 1980, Lee Lynch earned a BFA in film from California Institute of the Arts (2005) and an MFA in Fine Art from the University of Southern California (2009). This is his first exhibition with the gallery.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Painting as Time Machine

"I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of paintings as mechanisms. I recently met the eccentric visionary artist Paul Laffoley, who insists that many of his two-dimensional mixed media works are, in fact, interactive devices capable of distorting local space-time – with a variety of effects including time travel, group telepathy, and contact with alien consciousness. Form follows function.

Of course, this way on thinking isn’t entirely alien to contemporary discourse about more mainstream art – albeit couched in somewhat less specific and more academically respectable terms. Mark Rothko’s signature abstractions are said to “function” properly only under certain lighting conditions, viewed from a particular distance. Ad Reinhardt, Bridget Riley, Robert Irwin, and many others have been identified as technicians exploring and manipulating the relationship between an artifact and the viewer’s consciousness. In fact, any artist statement or review referencing phenomenology is basically pointing at the same territory.

But why stop there? It isn’t really a stretch to imagine the cave paintings of Lascaux as DIY virtual reality simulation rides, to see medieval icons as self-hypnosis eye-fixation objects, or to consider the Renaissance obsession with perfecting perspectival trompe l’oeil as the quest for a better retinal mousetrap? Tibetan, Australian Aboriginal, Navajo, and other non-Western traditions are open about the sequential, psychologically operative processes encoded in and triggered by their visual art traditions.

What really got me thinking along these lines are the recent paintings of Linda Day, whose elaborately composed 2003 digital glitchscape Pulse series I characterized at the time as “intricate stripe paintings saturated with the spectrum and perceptual idiosyncrasies of the Southern California landscape.” While these works still bear up to that reading as analogous representations of a localized sensorium, in retrospect they seem less illustrative, and more like – well, mechanisms. .."

Read the rest of Kicking Away the Crutches in Bullet Time: Day’s Long Journey into Now in the catalog for Linda Day's 2008 HORIZONS show at Jancar, which is still available at BLURB:

Linda's final exhibit OU-BOUM has been reinstalled at ANOTHER YEAR IN LA through Sept 9th, when there will be a small memorial happening.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anna Siqueiros: Chicken Artist

After much delay, I have uploaded this remarkable performance to youtube in honor of Anna Siqueiros' birthday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Top Ten Faüxmish Collage Covers

My favorite 10% of the 100 collage jackets Marnie Weber, Dani Tull and I created for the limited edition red vinyl debut LP by Faüxmish.