Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
I've been agitating for this Sunset gutter find as a contender for the CCCP-SCC's backyard cinema research seminar, but I'm afraid to actually check it out. I'm guessing its some kind of low end virtual reality simulation; mildly S/m interactive porn for middle-aged female fans of Garfield. And not that pretentious hi-falutin Bill Murray version of Garfield either. I initially read G's airline pilot getup as a Gestapo uniform, but that would certainly be in poor taste. Science compels me to retire to my laboratory with some Jergens and Kleenex to make a thorough assessment before proceeding...
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
"Everyone else gets a preview of their work, so I thought I should get a preview of my work. I'm so sick and tired of everyone else getting everything they want and me being ignored and hated by people who don't even know me, just like in high school. But maybe this blog will change everything, and I can get on the A-Team again, like I was when I wrote for LA Weekly! Then I'll know that people really really LIKE me!"
Here's a sample of my latest soundwork... I've been feverishly abridging the audiobook version of Wil Weaton's autobiography for the one-night-only HOLODECK show curated by Brad Eberhard as one of PØST's Kamikaze shows this Thursday, July... well, maybe we should just let the press release explain it...
Thursday, July 26th
The Holodeck is a simulated reality facility on the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, the primary setting of the American science-fiction television series Star Trek the Next Generation. The characters on the show use the Holodeck for a variety of applications, including recreation, training, and problem solving. Although crew members can program in the environment or scenario they wish to inhabit, they cannot necessarily control their experience once inside. Things go wrong with it pretty regularly. People get stuck inside and can’t get out. Like art, the Holodeck is an ideal world in which refreshment and conflict go hand in hand.
The HOLODECK is a group show whose participants were each given a card from a deck of Star Trek the Next Generation playing cards as a prompt for an artwork. Each person was presented with the option to select a card with a specific character/theme or to receive a card randomly from the deck. The breakdown was about 50/50, specific vs. random. They could use the their card as a source, an object, or the starting point for any manner of conceptual strategy that suited them. The show will include a variety of 2, 3, and 4 dimensional media.
Some participants identified themselves as fans of the show, while others have barely seen it. Regardless, in producing a work for the exhibit, all have approached and interacted with the substantial, multiple–faced icon that is Star Trek the Next Generation. When the work is considered all together, the sly cross-fades with the sincere, creating a curious harmonic dissonance, humming with possibility.
Enter the HOLODECK.
Explore new worlds.
100xbtr, Jonathan Apgar, Joshua Aster, Theodora Allen, Lara Bank, Leon Benn, Nora Berman, Elonda Billera, Lucy Blagg, Brian Bress, Kristin Calabrese, Joshua Callaghan, Scott Marvel Cassidy, Jimmy Chertkow, Brian Cooper, Sean Duffy, Brad Eberhard, Josh Erkman, Tyler Finnie, galería perdida, Wendell Gladstone, Zach Harris, Asher Hartman, Doug Harvey, Roger Herman, Katie Herzog, Carmine Iannaccone, Matt Johnson, Raffi Kalenderian, Michael John Kelly, Becky Kolsrund, Cyril Kuhn, Julie Lequin, Susan Logoreci, Alan Ludwig, Ashley Macomber, Dana Maiden, Susanna Maing, Amy Maloof, Antonio Puleo, Kelly Sears, Tif Sigfrids, Brad Spence, Rob Thom, Justin Veach, Matt Wardell, Christine Wertheim, Jonas Wood, Rosha Yamghai, Bari Zipperstein
organized by Brad Eberhard
1904 East Seventh Place
Los Angeles, California 90021
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Going through a box of potential Less Art content, I came across this 8-track signed to me by Mr. Rogers while he was getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I couldn't get close enough, but my late paparazzi friend Terry Lilly managed to break through.
Here's a piece I wrote about Mr. Rogers for Art issues. back in the late 90s...
"The very same people who are wet sometimes
are the very same people who are dry sometimes"
from ‘Sometimes People Are Good’
When I told my 11 year old nephew Andrew on the phone that I was writing an article about Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, he responded with a fairly devastating parody of Mister’s trademark low-key microscopic view of the mundane “..and look! There’s bubbles of air coming out of the fishes’ mouths! Let’s look closer, boys and girls...Isn’t it wonderful?” Andrew then suddenly shed the affectation of adult cynicism, conceding with a hint of nostalgic enthusiasm that the neighborhood of Make-Believe segments had been at least worth viewing, then finished by sharing the inside scoop that Mr. Rogers ‘is gay’ and ‘owned the Pittsburgh Penguins for a year’,
Such complex responses to Mr. Rogers’ deceptively simple oeuvre are not atypical. I first became aware of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood through a number of memorable parodies, particularly Eddie Murphy’s on Saturday Night Live. Subsequently, I began noticing a strange quality to the occasional soft news items about Mr. Rogers, such as the one in which he advocated the expression of unconditional love in settling labor disputes at his family’s tool and die company in Pittsburgh, cast regular Betty Aberlin’s laughing response to a tabloid’s attempt to dig up some behind the scenes dirt: “In real life Fred Rogers is exactly the person you see on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”. Soon I began watching the show regularly, and, after an initial period of harsh skeptical scrutiny, became addicted to the slyly insinuative anarchistic surrealism of, yes, the Neighborhood of Make Believe segments.
These portions, the central, conspicuously Fredless focus of each program, take place in a simultaneous parallel reality accessed by a shamanic trolley-ride through a tunnel to a neighborhood populated by a polymorphous array of animal puppets and live humans, of human puppets and live humans in animal costumes, of animal puppets in human costume, living in castles, trees, clocks, factories, jungles, and museum-go-rounds; in short, a shifting and centerless array of intermimetic archetypal identities and loci put in the service of whatever that week’s ostensible topic of discussion (When Parents Go Away, Monsters and Dinosaurs, etc.) might be, but always seeming to wind up reiterating that any thought or feeling is permitted expression in the realm of the imagination.
Right from the start, we have to observe that the two-to-five-year-olds at whom the program is directed are attempting to consolidate somewhat less baroque material than might spring to the mind of your fully acculturated adult. Thus, some of Mister Rogers’ injunctions and definitions trigger a battery of exceptions and reservations- I, for instance, have never felt that the policemen are there to help me- that might suggest the presence of an exclusionary, judgmental hierarchy. The Neighborhood of Make Believe is, after all, a monarchy. But this impression is wrong. As King Friday XIII himself has stated, “In this neighborhood everyone can decide for themselves what is best.” and Mr. Rogers’ aim is clearly to arm his viewers with a full and intimate knowledge of the status quo, and the powers with which to -oh so peacefully- overthrow it.
For while he never has the denizens of Make Believe act out any of the most transgressive impulses that wrack the pre-genital psyche, he allows all manner of equally disordinate slippages to occur, from the gleeful and elaborate cruelties of Lady Elaine Fairchild to improbable alliances such as the marriage of an aging human ‘drinking straw salesman’ to a talking starfish in order to provide grandparents (the straw salesman being the biologically related but previously absentee party) to a sad tiger. Such convoluted shapeshifting reaches its textual apex repeatedly in the recurring ‘opera’ events staged by the Make Believists, generally to some cathartic and laudably therapeutic end, but invariably a self justifying phansasmagoria of consensual permission in itself...
Read the rest of Zen and the Art of Make-Believe: A Date with Mister Rogers here.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Between his sobs, I found out from Lee Lynch that the totally awesome Chumbawumba had announced they were disbanding a couple of weeks ago. If you only know of the band from their hit "Tubthumping" (whisky drink, fall down, get up, etc.), read Aaron Lake Smith's brief history, though I have to take exception to his assessment of their later work as " acoustic lite-techno" - I would characterize it as a valiant attempt to revitalize the British folk-rock tradition. Here's a couple of samples - their (re)recording of the 17th-century "Diggers' Song" (late period) and their scathing rarity "Passenger List For Doomed Flight 1721" (middle post-punk electronic disco period) which is also available as a free legal download from the band's website. Poor Bono!
Google translate says:
"At any Honour to whom honor: The Murder of Hi Good by the Ameri-cain Lee Lynch. Inspired by a Real occurred in California in 1870, The film shows the murder brutal the last hunter-In dians, Hiram Good by a blood- mixed. The two men are described as similar in "El Etnografo" by Argentinian Ulises Rosell. DR film, one living in humiliation tion and fear, the other in the glo- laughing his conviction Superiori- ty. Until one day, Ned, the half- Indian alarmed, took a rifle to see what that does to empty its cartridges in the body of a White assumed invulnerable. Inspired by reading the ethno- logue Robert F. Heizer, shot with non-professional actors the ranch that belonged to Hi Good in the town of Vina, co-authored with young Indian activists of the region, the film is a kind of Western chimeric a grotesque cruelty, evoking simultaneously Land Without Bread (1933) One of Luis Buñuel and adventure Billy the Kid (1971) by Luc Moullet. The evolution of the genus is com- crushed me (classic Western, westerncritique, documentethno- graph) and all formats Registration exhausted (from 35 the super-8 via the tele- phoneportable). Lee Lynch explain that this heterogeneity on a little monster: "The principle collage I cared. I wanted use all possible forms gender and technology for finally say that none of they were apt to redeem the atrocity of this story. It fau- drait to reconfigure any this mythology. "It does this in its modest scale. Born here thirty-two years to near the scene of his film, in northern California, from from a modest background, Lee Lynch prospects of political history plastic in its region and Cineas- you: "Between the conquest of the West and the hippie movement, the California is mired in the myth. The iniqui- ty and social racism prevailing in that State are systematically mentsous évalués.Mêmela-against- Culture continues in its own way, the Indian genocide. "But his films, dontcertains cosignésavecla Reali- satrice Lee Anne Schmitt, no hole- Wind not the way the rooms. The Murder of Hi Good has been my- strated in a gallery, in the form installation. For him, the question ing Indian remains taboo: "What do you think of a State which osebaptiser named "Geroni- mo "the operation to elimi- NER bin Laden, without the presi- dent Obama can prove himself in satisfactorily with the Indian community? "
Hot off the presses, Jessica Rath's review of ARATALAND!
"To say that Michael Arata is prolific is almost laughable. “Arataland!,” a retrospective of this Los Angeles-based artist, recently filled more than 20 rooms in the three-story Beacon Arts Building. Walking through hundreds of works, one could imagine that Arata has spent every night of his life furiously cranking work out, most often using sculpture as a way to insert himself into an existing political, religious, and art historical dialogue and interrupt our assumptions about it. Curated by artist and critic Doug Harvey, “Arataland!” was deftly organized into three floors: “It’s Complicatedland,” “Innocenceland,” and “Negativespaceland,” thus providing convenient theme parks in which our minds could play..."
See the entire review in the print version of July/August's (2012) Sculpture magazine.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Between writing about the Quetzalcoatl show and finalizing the 'patacritical Interrogation Techniques Anthology Vol 3 I've also been deeply immersed in abridging the audiobook of Wil Wheaton's autobiography for Brad Eberhard's Holodeck curatorial project - a one-night-only Kamikaze show at PØST on Thursday July 26th based on a deck of Star Trek- The Next Generation playing cards (I drew the Wesley Crusher 6 of clubs). I nevertheless managed to get up to Ventura for 2 out of 3 days of the Summerfest All Breed Dog Show, where I was able to document some remarkable folk art pertaining to Brad's breed of choice (if I recall correctly he has one Pembroke and one Cardigan), which I now post here for his, and your edification. Thank you.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I've just started uploading some of the documentation from last year's Chain Letter shows to my website - I'll post a link when its more fleshed out. But in the meantime, Sofia Leiby just published this thoughtful piece about CL and several other "Horizontally-Structured Megaexhibition" at the WOW HUH blog.
"Three recent exhibitions that included more than 400 artists and embraced an “open invitation” model — Chain Letter at Shoshana Wayne gallery in LA in 2011, the fourth annual Brucennial in March of this year, and Hennessy Youngman’s Itsa small, small world at Family Business in April — represent a shift in curatorial posturing for both artists and institutions, a first step towards initiating a destabilizing of both value systems and hierarchy in the art world. Each organizer used utopic, idealistic diction, populist rhetoric, paid lip service to Occupy Wall Street and social media, and most often denied their roles as “curator”, preferring “instigator” or “organizer.”
In his article “Club Kids: The Social Life of Artists on Facebook,” for DIS magazine, Brad Troemel remarks on the consumerist value relationships attributed to artists’ work that is exhibited in group shows with intangibly numerous artists: the exhibitions irreparably suture the artists’ identity to his or her name, work, and community, both AFK and on the internet — further objectifying the artist into a brand. “Group exhibitions are the punctuation to an ongoing social media conversation […] promotions materialize into their names being shown side by side one another, categorized by a curator and legitimated by a gallery.”1 Troemel’s verbiage – “materialize” – nods to physical exhibitions, but also to language. “Both are ways of making literal otherwise loose social ties exemplified through text’s silent populism. The image –both of gallery installations and social life– operates in a liminal space between projected conception and firmly believed reality. While artists have always consorted in packs, the process of distinguishing and joining such groupings has never been so formalized as it is today through Facebook.” These massive, “open-invitation” exhibitions can be seen as a literalization of this “liminal space” created via social networks."