Friday, September 29, 2006

On You Tube



Or you can go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4GD7rgletI
It's my homage to Vonnegut

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Leap Into The Void



With the first, and possibly only issue of Gestalt near completion, the artist practices leaping into the void.

Monday, September 18, 2006

America on the Brink. Pt. Four




Randall Packer and I before the excavation of the grave two weeks ago in Athens. Or, fun with Photoshop. It's amazing what 20-25 minutes will get you between five snapss and reducing the image to 72dpi. Call it a draft.

Now before people e-mail in protest that I am ripping off Inigo Navarro Davilla at Irvine Contemporary Art, I'd just like to preface I've seen his kind of work before from a guy in New York a few years back by the name of Anthony Goicolea.

It's not the medium; it's what you choose to say with it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

America on the Brink: pt. Three


This has been my summer project. The extension of America’s Grave, which was first exhibited Jan 20th, 2006, one year after “the inauguration of death,” as my colleague and the creative director of the piece, Randall Packer, puts it. This is the piece as it went on display Sept. 9th, 2006, in Athens, GA.

The piece is fairly text heavy, between Randall’s blog chronicles
and my transcription of the cosmology of hell. We debated how attentive an audience would be to work that is so didactic. But they came in droves, stood, and read.

The background on the piece, or how I don’t want the piece to be perceived as though we are raving lunatics: The Cosmology of Hell is based off of Dante’s Inferno. The original grave, as created by the US DAT, depicted six levels of hell: 1) The Violent Against Their Neighbor, 2) The Traffickers of Holiness, 3) The Falsifiers of Commodity, 4) The Profiteers of the People, 5) The Traitors Against Their Own, & 6) The Sowers of Discord. These levels of hell are represented through the media with television clips from 1) 9-11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine; 2) crooked televangelists; 3) Supernatural Commercials; 4) Katrina; 5) The Administration; 6) Bill O’Reilly.

My job, when I first started working with the Department was to scrub, capture, and edit video and concoct a way to bury the monitors and DVD players in the dirt so they could last a run of two months.

For Athens, the piece had already expanded and additional narratives were included. The Cosmology of Hell had to be included. Below is the text on the wall, pulled from the audio clips of America’s Grave. The audio of the grave is designed in such a matter to allow chance. All six monitors are edited to different lengths, and the audio levels are raised and lowered to emphasize specific sound clips. All six monitors could play at once or the grave can go silent. Relationships form between them. The text below is an attempt to create a discordant linear narrative of the piece, as interpreted by a character I adopted for the trip to Lynchburg, VA: John 3:16. The numbers, which were originally reflective of the order of specific quotes extracted from their various levels of hell, have become an arbitrary assignment, but a deliberate visual aesthetic that communicates how text, even those of wholly writ, when removed from their source, or taken out of context, can be completely polluted of their intention and meaning.


1.1Oh my God. The mighty World Trade Center tumbling down. People saying I love you and then the line going dead. The loss of life is utterly unbelievable. 1.2Today they brought that terrible hatred to the United States of America. 1.3Very seldom a military plan goes according to plan. We are going to have to hold everyone accountable. 1.4Enduring freedom is an inexpensive operation, estimated at less than $2.5 billion. 1.5Allah be praised, it’s a win-win situation -- I hope I live.

2.1I don’t understand why God let this happen to me. 2.2Aww you dummy. Shut up! He’s being God! We did not evolve. We were created by the genius of God. 2.3But, one misstep, one change in the direction of the wind, and I am into the abyss. 2.4There are good days ahead for each of you, I promise. You better get yourself ready. You profess Christ but you do not possess Christ. 2.5When you’ve lived your life and you’ve shared the good news of Jesus Christ... bombs away!

3.1Tell us what you don’t like about yourself. It’s time to start believing, start getting things back to normal the moment you call. 3.2The medicines. The plastic. The materials. Things that make modern life modern. Less of it is stored in the body as fat. 3.3 It’s not only brought us closer together but it has definitely deepened our faith. Order today. And see your world in high definition. 3.4I’m not putting it off a minute longer. This TV really sucks! You know what to do.

4.1I tell ya it’s gotten to the scary level here. I’m just looking to make sure we’re not going to get whacked in the head with anything. 4.2For those of you who are concerned about whether or not we’re prepared to help, don’t be - we are. The government has declared martial law. There are no more civil rights. 4.3We lost everything. Everything. It’s crazy. That’s gotta leave you feeling pretty helpless. 4.4This storm affects everyone. And Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job!

5.1But we need to be alert. We will not tire. We will not falter. And we will not fail. 5.2There’s an old poster out west that said, “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. 5.3And then there came a day of fire. A fire in the minds of men. We will smoke them out of their holes. 5.4So help me god. My job is to protect America and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

6.1This is World War Four: the war for the free world. It is an attack on American tradition. 6.2Be American. Celebrate Christmas. People spend more money. Jesus makes people want to spend money. 6.3This is what the culture war is all about. 6.4Generally we’re against rape. To an obsessive element, you know, It looks like it is harmless. It’s not. 6.5So, it’s down with Christmas & up with sexual offenders. Because they’re Liberals and they throw like girls. 6.6The American Media is working for the enemy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

America on the Brink: pt. Two

Monday and Tuesday have evaporated. 26 hours of installation and we still do not appear to be very far along. Transcribing the text of John 3:16 onto a 15'x13' wall takes time, however. Randall has busied himself with organizing and designing the wall devoted to the blog chronicles. More of that occurs today. Tomorrow we become, once again, grave diggers.

We were interviewed by the press on Monday. The author of the article asked, since there are so many Republicans in Georgia, how to go about writing this in such a manner so that it does not offend people. I suppose a grave with the death date of The USA coinciding with the second inauguration of W. can be a bit incendiary. We communicated to her that this is not an anti-Republican piece. The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower. Nor is this piece in opposition of religion. The piece opposes fundamentalism and the mixing of politics and religion, that the blind cowtowing to both is problematic.

When pursuing this piece it has been of great importance not to have it appear with the look of a political cartoon. Half of the gallery is filled with the work of other artists and some of them appear with the look of political cartoons. Text heavy and with a punchline. The one-liner. Take my president, please! Art and politics is a messy busy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

America on the Brink. pt. One

After a 12-hr. drive I am finally about to settle down in a hotel room in Athens, GA. Driving on a slight situational tour through parts of the South, en route to install the grave of America and the Dantean cosmology of hell that it has descended into, with the US Dept. of Art and Technology, has been a bit of an event.

So far we have seen two red crosses at mega churches with the words Jesus Christ written across the arm beam, a real estate sticker with some relationship to the Passion, and about 3 dozen topless dancing club billboards at such and such an exit with washing units for your big rig. (semi-truck, not the other big-rig, you sick monkey...)

South Carolina does not sell liquor on Sundays.
Georgia can only sell liquor on Sundays if the vendor is a restaurant.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My new roommates

I’ve never been a big fan of insects. There were batches of Christmas cookies and sweets consumed by fruit flies in my youth. The first place my wife and I rented in Derwood had armies of ants dining in the kitchen regularly. There was the summer when I could not seem to go far without being bitten by a wasp, and every mayfly I encountered thereafter I automatically assumed was going to stick me with poison. All of those bugs can be forgiven.


Except roaches. I really hate roaches. There is no logical explanation why I should automatically hate them, though I have been cultured to believe they bring disease and a horseman or two of the apocalypse. I could care less about centipedes and spiders. But roaches creep me out.

A couple of weeks ago I purchased eighty sheets of cardboard from Utrecht so that I could begin constructing a bus stop for an exhibition in November. Within the first 72 hours I knocked off three roaches. Mind you, I am not saying that Utrecht cardboard is teaming with roaches. I’ve only killed six so far.

And they have not been the big friendly palmetto bugs that smoke outside my apartment and carry on through all hours of the night shooting craps. These are smaller, but just as ugly. So far they are no match for my shoe, but I don’t think they’ve found the Grapenuts in the cupboard yet.