Work was relatively uneventful. T and I worked on consolidating a new photo database and brainstorming the best way to index the photos in the cloud. I also listened to students talk about their experience visiting the Pneuhaus studio. Seemed like a generally positive response. The morning felt very productive, but the afternoon was a wash. I oscillated between working on routine, tedious projects to being distracted by the internet. I started writing this thing. I thought a lot about #hypervaguery, #storage, an #asocialnetwork, and Levinas' reading of Celan strangely.
After work I had an awesome meeting with J about the graphic design for the NUA event invitation. We settled on a loose color pallet, paper hue, and general layout. We liked a previous year's design's use of dot patterns. I am very excited to screen print halftone gradients!
While mentor we had a pretty involved gossip/talking about dating session. I felt kind of envious that others could talk on the subject; I don't have any recent experience with those strange interactions one has when seeing new people... and Tinder and stuff.
After mentoring, I went to Z's opening at the drawing room. It was a group show in which all of the artists were paired up based on there myers briggs test results. Z and S's piece was an installation that comprised of a canopy made of diaphanous white fabric and mesh, stenciled with succulent designs in shiny violet and sea foam spray pain. Under the canopy was a white shag/faux fur cousin were you could sit amongst small potted plants and two hand sown and printed pillows adorned with Z's signature monsters. I really liked the white fur coupled with the potted plans and I always like Z's drawings. D and A came as well. I ended up spending more time there than I intended and just hung out with Z most of the time. It is great to enjoy one persons company so much :) Then I went home, met some people staying with us for the Seizing the Means of Reproduction Conference at Brown, made a stir fry, and vegged the fuck out.
What a day! I have been trying to make my practice more regular, with more regimens of production. The first of these ventures was this space, whatever it is. The second was the decision to make a print a week. This week I made the FRIENDSHIP risograph print. Making a website every day was the third part. This last demand of myself seems a little intense and unrealistic but whatever. Here is todays: HALLWAY 3
EDIT 02/01/19: CPU killing website :(
I slept ok. No dreams to report. It was hard because D slept over and was snoring really loudly. She seemed exhausted. This morning, she was a machine and cranked out a comic in a few hours. We had talked about student loans in the bar the night before, so she felt compelled to finish this idea that I presume had been floating around her head for a while. As I remember it--I don't have my comic yet and only got to read it just before she took it to the public library to xerox--an eggplant warrior goes to all this trouble to acquire an onion sword that apparently has the power of the midas touch. In the end, we learn this is all in the hopes of vanquishing the terrifying forces of STUDENT LOANS. It was dark. D has a particular way of saying, "noooooooooooo" that seems appropriate here. The intonation roughly translates to, "that is terrible and terrifying, but very true and so real." Eventually, L went to yoga, I made copies of the key and got bagels for D and myself, then D and I walked over to Paper Jam together.
Sidenote: there was a beautiful moment when we leaving the public library when the two children were hiding behind an american flag in the libraries entrance way, peeking around the flag, looking to the flat screen tv mounted to the sealing, cycling through views from security cameras, expectantly waiting to be seen through the electric eye of surveillance. It seemed like a horrifying metaphor for america or contemporary sousveillance culture or something. (I learned this term form a Red Bull interview with Holly Herndon. Her 2014/05/30/holly-herndon-discusses-the-modern-day-struggle-between-privacy-and-publicity/" target="_blank">article on the subject is good.) It got me thinking: can surveillance be cute and playful? Maybe if we are complicit or participating it? Soviet society seems to suggest otherwise. Maybe it has to be children? I remember playing gleefully in front of security cameras in department stores with my brother. I even fantasize whenever I see those huge flat screens in bodegas that show every security camera angle in one monolithic grid about running a relay through the store from camera to camera, zigzagging across the screen. I guess security cameras in stores only became scary once I started shoplifting in high school.
February 23rd I have fallen behind by a few days. Journaling is fucking hard. And it was suck a great day. I need to get this all down before I forget.
The Short Version of the Day
20px;">D and I walked over to Paper Jam. We thought we were super late but people were still setting up. She set up her table. She even sold L's Bat Tub zine and tried to sell my FRIENDSHIP print (but none sold). The curation of Paper Jam this time was awesome. C and O did a great job! I saw tons of friends: L, N, I, J, A, C, H, K, and others. I resisted buying much because I am low on cash. I of course had to get the coveted frog fin from K's comic, Fütchi Perf. I got a Ship themed riso zine from KJ Martinet called I'd Ship It: A Compendium of Imaginary Relationships. I had to get it as soon as I say that Ruby and Sapphire from Steven Universe were the center fold. The zine includes illustrations of Scully and Mulder, Kurotowa and Kushana from Nausicaä, and others. Tis v cute. I liked it so much that I gave KJ a Friendship print. Ships for everyone. They gave me a Buffy patch in return. I was most entranced by the No Shame Distro Table. I was really glad C invited them. From them, I bought the Bros Fall Back zine from negatecit(y), What to Keep / What to Give Away #2, and Alex Smith of Metropolarity's Ark Dust.
MoMA PS1 Greater New York
After Paper Jam, L, H, H's Friend J, and I went to MoMA PS1 to see the big Greater New York show. Over all the show was really boring. L seamed to have a more generous take on the work/curation. I probably should have been more patient with the work, but it all felt so old, cold, and conceptual. I find huge group exhibitions like that really disorienting in general because it is so hard to put the works into their broader context and the context of the artists life work. Thus the exhibition was really dependent on wall text. I hate wall text. It encumbers my experience with work at every turn. It is a futile supplement. It only further highlights how lacking the physical presence of the work. I have been thinking a lot lately about what the fuck an artwork should actually do. I have come to the conclusion that context is everything. I probably shouldn't be so hard on the work because 99% of the things I like would probably look boring alone in an empty white gallery too. For example, I would see a glittery button on a table at a zine fest and love it in the context of the table, nestled with a vibrant menagerie of other buttons, comics, and zines or I would really like it once it had found a home on one of my jackets, but I would likely find it unfulfilling sitting on a podium in a white gallery. 20px;"> But even this example seems to lead me to believe that the work in the show was just objectively boring, because on second thought I would at least find something, no matter how small, beautiful about the lone button in the big white room. We as gorilla curators should do away with white rooms all together. Put art outside, put it in bathrooms, cover the walls with obnoxious prints and patterns, put it in an abandoned retail space, dripping in history and mystery.To date, the recent Istanbul Biennial used unconventional exhibition spaces to their greatest effect. Rather than being left naked to fend for themselves, the works were given a whole new backstory, layered in that magical aura that artifacts gain in their play with space and storage. I watched Ed Atkin's "Hisser," a hyperreal CGI film about a Florida Man's surreal journey into the nothingness of the earth, floating on an enormous illuminated screen, in an abandoned, decomposing, house of usher-esque Ottoman mansion, while a stray black cat walked all over me. What more could you ask of an art work.
20px;">Art works seem to be first and for most about experience, sensuous experience. My relation to the art object is one of tantric desire. I always want the art object to fill space, to fill my eyeballs with more than they can hold. I want the artwork to touch as many of my senses as possible: my sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste, and most importantly empathy. I want to be touched by the artwork. Even art in its most reduced form, art deprived of all sensation, abstract and minute is overwhelming in its smallness, its cleanness, its devastating vacuity. It is never minimalist. Minimalism is bullshit. Minimalist artists just cant deal with the politics of their time and thus retreat into aesthetics. The art I like speaks the defining silent language of object. Like Malevich or Tauba Auerbach or the Wiener Werkstätte or James Turrell. It is often mistaken for minimalism but it is so much more. The euphoric joy of materiality, of touching, crafting, machining, growing baked into the object. Sometimes we need context to access these forces trapped within matter but all art has it there, sleeping under and on and through its surface. In performance the body takes on this same quality. The work is never just a thought. Thought always seems grossly insufficient. We also must be careful to avoid the pitfalls of art and aesthetics, where it smooths over the struggle, the mess, the history of oppression. The institutions that give the artworks their value are constantly attempting to erase their relation to labor and identity and race in order to replace it with market value. Anyway that was a huge digression. The work was mediocre at best. The room of objects from KIOSK's now closed downtown store front seemed the most interesting gallery to me. The objects were placed in an on these cool plastic corrugated cubes, lit by repurposed neon signs. It felt like a aliens exhibition of artifacts from earth or a worlds fair pavilion from a parallel reality. The object were all so beautifully design designed but also so everyday. They had the material nostalgia of soviet children toys. The collection was playful. Maybe that is all I wanted from the show. In addition to the KIOSK room I took pictures of a few bits of wall text to remember artists' names: Greg Parma Smith, Lebbeus Woods, Robert Kushner (I am not sure why), Ajay Kurian, Nancy Shaver, and Sara Cwynar.
Justice Talks were canceled so I slept in a little bit. It has been an odd morning. Once again my focus is all over the place. So much of me just wants to flee the office and make stuff in my "studio" (a dream place that doesn't yet exist). M is feeling sick so we are having trouble finding a ride down to New York for Paper Jam. Hopefully we'll figure it out soon.
Made a tone of edits to this site: added more convenient links on the upload and editor portals to make it more convenient to do more than one edit.upload, added a search bar, added a search highlight feature, etc. Now I just need to be disciplined and write stuff to fill up this cesspool...
02/01/2019 EDIT: I had to remove this experiment from the Ice Floe site because it was slowing down the site. I suspect the something is wrong with the JS library I am using.
I ended up taking the bus to New York. GoBus was so much faster than MegaBus!!! Sat ext to D on the bus and worked on more web experiments. Once in New York, I grabbed a drink with D at Ore Bar near L's apartment. We talked about what makes a good bar and made plans to make garbage bag wine among other things. Then I grabbed a late night bagel; I love that New York is one of the only places where you can stand in line for a bagel the size of your head at 11pm. L was tired (/cranky) and D had to finish her new comic, so we stayed in.
I want to make a series of tiny glittery pins with microorganisms that make up your gut biome on them. I got the idea looking in the mirror at the Lovesick button I made with J. I though, " why can't the the micro organisms that both make us sick and keep us healthy be cute, even glamorous?"
Make a reverse Katamari inventory based game. It is a game about loss and dispersion rather than accumulation and conglomeration. Instead of roaming the world amazing these massive assemblages, compressing spheres of objects into star, you, as the player, roam an infinite wasteland, a vast empty world discarding the mass of objects weighing your body down, limiting your movement across the landscape. Perhaps the game has something to do with homelessness and the burden of having to lug all of your earthly possessions around. It definitely has something to do with capitalism--both games do, just different aspects of capitalism. This game could be about excessive waste or it could be about asceticism, minimalism, like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Maybe it could go from on to the other. Much of the game play would be navigating and organizing the massive chaotic inventory you have been cursed with.
I made this valentines day inspired risograph print/game at CR the other night. I wanted to test the riso's ability to print halftone gradients.
2>What is Whatever Space?2>
Towards an Asocial Network
What am I doing here? Idk... whatever.
That probably should be the end of it, but for some reason I feel compelled to talk through and attempt to frame whatever it is I am trying to do here. This has nothing to do with the "whatever" that has been a sexy category among theory-heads for a while now. If anything, the venture is closest to what F has termed "hypervagurey." (I hope to delve into this topic in the future.)
What kind of storage technology is whatever space? I am always thinking about storage and its metaphors: how things are packaged and stored and pulled from beautifully indexed archives or dredged up from the depths of hoarder utopias or forgotten. I like that storage is always material, technical, and tactile (even if it is in "the cloud") unlike memory or other abstract attributes of the archive. Most often, I think about how I, the writer, am stored in the world. This is one of my favorite questions raised by Levinas writing on the precarious storage of the poet. More specifically, how Paul Celan, compared to Hölderlin and Trakl, was [physically] distant from the "brilliant exegesis majestically descending from the Mysterious Schwarzwald" (PN 41-42) I am always pushing away from the fetishization of theory so prevalent in contemporary hip discourse and my indulgent dip into Levina's reading Celan has already derailed my thinking, perhaps destroying all possibility of thinking towards an asocial network. whatever.
Levinas pulls on a thread in Celan's work that says that the poem--really any act of creation that could be considered poetic in nature--is already, even in its most premature states of nonexistence, is reaching out and even touch supreme alterity, an altogether other that is right next to you. It is a really weird idea but I like it. It is kinda the central idea of the X-Files As much as the show tries to spiral out, locating the other in racist stereotypes and the specters of neoliberal profiling and paranoia, it constantly returns to the confusing realization that aliens live in the most familiar places--our bodies and our "soul." Even typing this word makes me gag. It humors a spirituality that I just don't give a shit about. And yet i instinctively feel inclined to retain prayer. Prayer seems important to the idea of the asocial network. Inherently asocial in that it isn't bound for any kind of pear or associate or friend, anything remotely like you as a fleshy, stupid human animal. Prayer tries to reach some greater more abstract thing. A thing that as an atheist, presents itself as a nothing. To quote Celan for the first and last time, quoting his closest thing to a prayer poem, "Psalm":
waren wir, sind wir, werden
wir bleiben, blühend:
die Nichts-, die
we were, are now, and ever
shall be, blooming:
the Nothing-, the
What is the difference between asocial and antisocial?