February 20th 2016
New Regimens of Production
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 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
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. 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.
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.#Journal #PaperJam #Unfinished #MoMAPS1 #Art