Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Contiguous: A panoramic survey of power in Appleton, WI







How do we create or access images? How are tools of image making changing? Are they becoming more democratic?


Film photographs






Digital photographs

A searchable database of digital images.


































How do we visualize power?


How do we visualize political space?


How do we represent political systems?


I think I'm a bit off base here.
         these photographs show nothing..

If I had placed them in a single panorama what would that be? It's not a critique.

Of course thats ok.
I felt compelled to show this. To say look at these institutions. They are the part of the same thing. They exist in the same space. But they literally do exist in the same space. And that doesn't mean anything politically.


I want to consider the meaning behind the way an image is produced.

  • Film, a physical index of the referent. –Unique access, private.
  • Digital photographs, the physical imprint is temporary, immediately translated into code. –Private, but surveilled.
  • Google Maps/Streetview. An algorithm's synthesis of  thousands of digital images, sutured into a unreal simulacra. –Institutional. Public. A product of surveillance.
 These tools for image making each have their own specific democratic advantages and histories. How and when does the ability to create and access images translate into democratic power? How does constant documentation hamper dissent?

I need to do more thinking.



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Something is Happening show



 The show was a big hit. My book was the biggest which was a little embarrassing. And the gallery presented my prints at half the asking price I had requested. (No one bought them obviously, because people hate cheap art.) But everyone loved my work so I don't have to worry about my financial future at least. Thats a start! I brought feta cheese, baby dill pickles, pastries, and wine to the show. I left with oreos and hint of lime tostitos. What a haul!

With regards to my photos, I made some changes since the flickr album. I brought the title down a notch. And I did some cool things with zooming in on parts of the photos I liked and putting that on the opposite page. I'm pretty happy with it. Some of it printed a little dark. And it feels a little boring but I still like it. Overall I think it was a good exercise in self editing and self curation. I have trouble being concise or specific with my photographs.










John Cage

McLuhan was an inspiration and mentor to John Cage even though McLuhan was only a year older than the experimental composer.  Later in life they became friends. Among Cage's other inspirations/mentors/friends was Marcel Duchamp.
Image result for john cageBoth McLuhan and Cage agree that the eye has dominated the western mind. That we should take sounds more seriously. Both are interested in the fact that you cannot shut your ears. Both are frustrated with the rigidness of understanding space within western culture 


“When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating." 
This is an excerpt from an essay Cage wrote in ___. He explains his reasons for using chance operations in his compositions and expands on his ideas behind sound. After this essay the critical and academic worlds spent much less time on the content of Cage's art and mainly focused on his ideas about art and sound. This contradicts one of his main ideas that the intention of the artist is not important to the finished work.
For example, 4’33’’, probably his most famous piece, is usually talked about with regards to the ideas behind it; There is no silence. Listen to the sounds around you. The audience is part of the song... But they don't talk about the song.




"I have nothing to say and I am saying it." - John Cage
Maybe the critics prove him wrong. Is his work only valuable for the theoretical point it makes? 
 By using computer systems that run chance operations to determine what Cage does in his art, he is very literally using circuitry as an extension of the nervous system, like McLuhan says.

 

“Using chance operations assumes that each thing that happens is the best.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The past few years

I was sad yesterday and I didn't think I was gonna be... But i started looking through sounds I recorded on my voice memos app over tha past few years and it made it a lot worse. I made a short peice out of these sounds .. I found the process very therapeutic but I feel a deep sadness when I listen to this piece. Much of that is due to my connection to the individual sounds. When I listen to it I feel I have died. I hope some of this feeling can be picked up on by the audience.

"The highest purpose is to have no purpose at all. This puts one in accord with nature, in her manner of operation."  - John Cage

I cant think this way.. I feel so idle .. I love to do nothing and observe but it also makes me feel purposeless, useless... bad. Here in many of these recordings I am idle, observing.. and still compulsively recording. appropriating. *Insert Sontag quote here*

I like the sounds of me holding the phone while recording too. the clicks and scratches and static. It creates a strange feeling of point of view and a feeling that reminds me of listening to an old tape recorder. It's amature nature. It makes it feel more autobiographical. I thought it was an interesting interplay of forms where I record a tape recorder playing old tapes of my grandpa taking voice memos, on my digital voice memo app.




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rashaad Newsome: Rad Awesome!

Once again the guest speaker's talk made this passage come to mind immediately: "Primitive and pre-alphabet people integrate time and space as one and live in an acoustic, horizonless, boundless, olfactory space, rather than in visual space. Their graphic presentation is like an x-ray. They put in everything they know, rather than only what they see. ... the primitive artist twists and tilts the various possible visual aspects until they fully explain what he wishes to represent." McLuhan 56/7
He continues to talk about the how the new media artist now works in this way again. I saw this in the video and visual collages of Rashaad Newsome.
I found it very interesting when he said he wanted to represent the body through architecture although I'm not sure how he meant that or whether or not I thought he was completely successful.
I like what he said about everything being collage. Its funny he got knighted and I like that in the video he went back and got knighted by people he respected instead. After the third video of the trilogy I was kind of wondering why he was using himself in the videos. It seems so.... something lol.
As much as I liked the collages, I found the video art more affecting. "Icon" gave me chills. The interplay of sound and dance as well as digital collage was really effective.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Club Penguin and the Town Square



The digital world wide Net has not created a global village. What it has created is closer to a masquerade themed orgy. And at the expense of the destruction of the public square. No longer can the Lenin's of this world stand on a soap box in the town square and call the masses to action. No longer can the workers of the shop floor and the owners walk by the same man preaching the word of Marx. The Digital Net has ensnared us yet atomized us. Pushed us further into niche of niche.

What to do?

Start with the children of course.

Children are less susceptible to the atomizing effects of the Net. His vastness is not yet understood nor accessed by the little comrades. They access several websites, but the one traversed by every single one of them is Club Penguin. This is certainly true for todays little ones, as it was for my generation. If only there had been a subversive organization calling the little youths to action when we were young... if...... if only.... no. We act now. The past and Future are simultaneous and we will work for the people here and now.




Club Penguin is the new Town Square

And so CP (club penguin) is where we must do our work if we truly want to build a CP (communist party) capable of taking power in this country, and eventually all over the world. This is where we can meet and discuss and persuade and fight back. Down with technocrats! Down with capital! We will seize the means of production once and for all. No more compromises. Full control by the people! this will be no easy task, but with the children on our side, we can do it.

Workers Unite!








Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ann Harris

"Entangled Ecologies: Community, Identity, and the Modern Future of the Medieval Past"
This is what Ann Harris of DePauw University named her sermon. Here is a medieval painting she showed:

Ann Harris described this medieval zodiac painting like this: she says it has a layered sense of time, place, and space. See for yourself. The people in the painting have a permeable sense of self. The two people are parts of the same person, or rather, a more universal representation of humanity. their identity is entangled in the environment and the stars. "Body is contingent, entangled, permeable."

Mchluhan has something to say about art that has abandoned, or rather not yet taken up, perspective:

"Primitive and pre-alphabet people integrate time and space as one and live in an acoustic, horizonless, boundless, olfactory space, rather than in visual space. Their graphic presentation is like an x-ray. They put in everything they know, rather than only what they see. ... the primitive artist twists and tilts the various possible visual aspects until they fully explain what he wishes to represent." 56/7

it obviously is not a primitive or prealphabet painting... but I think that it was obvious this part of the statement was an exaggeration anyways...



she then sagwayed (no idea how ur supposed to spell that)((I really could use some flinks))  into talking about rock raising and tipping and reraising. specifically in the case of some rocks in france (or scotland (I think it was scotland but Johnnie doesn't think so)) ...  So these stones had been moved and then raised as some sort of religious thing by some pagan rock folks.. and then the Christians got mad and tore them down. What I thought was the most interesting thing she said was just that the debate around reraising the stones is just as significant as the other two. It simple but I never thought about it like that. history in the making. It actually probably isn't as significant tho.. because the first one is necessary for the other tow events / community decisions. and because we alter our environment much more radically and often in present times..

I don't believe in conclusions.








Sunday, January 8, 2017

Convictions, Clarity, and Purpose: A Guide to Powerful art


I’m pretty aimless as an artist. I have specific interests that I’ve been pursuing laetly in my art (poorly I believe).. I don’t think I have a clear goal in my art but if I got to choose it would be to help wage class war… And I do get to choose so what does that say about me. (I’m a lazy apathetic coward?)

I'm asking myself why I make art

I'm drawn to the representations of reality. Concrete manifestations of perception
I make art to vent... quiet my mind and fill my head when i'm in pain and to help me feel something when I can't... 

 





or do I just like attention


I've always been obsessed with photographing things. Earlier because of my fear of forgetting. later for reasons i've recently attributed to an interest in modes of replicating/representing realiy. And wondering how that affects perceptions of reality. .. but who knows.. Both impulses direct how i photograph and record my life now... Theres dread and coveting in the photos I take.... I remember one night I was on vacation in colorado.  Earlier that summer my Grandma had let me pick any book out of barnes and noble and I picked one that was a diary of a zombie apocalypse survivor and on the last page he was eaten and the page was covered in blood.. I developed a profound fear of the coming apocolypse and I was very afraid that my mother, left at home, would be eaten before I could get back.. Me and my older sister were walking in the dark back to our cabin at the YMCA camp in the Rocky Mountains and I lamented the fact that we would never remember any of this in ten years, at least not faithfully.



I save locations on google maps after passing it in a car
 when I want to return to a place to photograph or film
 or just revisit or remember why it intrigued me. I almost never do.

I have developed an interest in the aesthetics and ethics of mass media, surveillance, documentary... and the intersections. and the affects on our perceptions.. I have a doc in progress.




I've very recently become intrigued by the act of talking to the internet and how that affects me and the way it changes my perceptions of the ppl around me. I’ve been posting a lot on my first draft of this blog and pretty quickly decided not to show it to anyone and have it as a kind of diary or place that I vent. There was something interesting where I could send my anxieties into a void that is completely public and yet inaccessible because of the amount of information on the web. I type words on a machine and send it out to something that I don’t understand at all..          

I had this idea about google maps as an analogy to documentary film.. both using a kind of photographic surveillance–atomized propositions of reality–sutured together creating a new reality that is consumed as realer than the world we move through... we'll work on it...
Scars in the simulacrum - screen grab from google streetview




I guess I make art because I don't know what else to do... 
I don't even think that I see what I've been doing as art... 
Art seems like a weird way to categorize it at the moment right now and I can't even begin to know why...




I like my secret blog better....