Monday, September 15, 2008

EGAD! Martin Puryear!

exciting artist discovery (for me, at least)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I don't have much analysis to offer. I'm just writing to say this is probably the most amazing, most fucked up film, and play, ever.

Monday, February 18, 2008

local neighborhood blight

blight has a bad rap. poor blight.

this particular blight was home to a person for the first 6 weeks or so that i lived on christian street. the person was there, seated in that shallow doorway on the left, covered in a mountain of garbage and rags every day and every night, all day and all night. the smell was pretty overwhelming. you really had to be on the other side of the street to avoid it. then, one day, the person was gone and replaced with yellow tape, although the smell is still around. i think he or she died, but there's no way of telling if that is in fact the case, and if it is, when it was that the person died, and if it was a long time ago, why nobody thought of checking earlier, and if someone did think of checking, just how they'd go about it.

but i'm kinda glad the blight is still there. can't explain it.

the medium is (just) the medium

a lot of people think they know and understand the revolutionary changes of the 60s -- i hear so many assumptions and generalizations about "what was happening" back then, and i've been known to make a few of my own. those theories are probably all bullcrap b/c most of the people making them weren't actually around in the 60s. but regardless, i'm gonna make another one of my own right now.

see, i have this feeling that back when the kids became the leaders of the world -- when the music and art of the youth became it, became the avant garde -- the thing that was revolutionary was the substance of what the kids were championing. like, rock & roll or whatever were amazing because of what they actually were, not because of the transistor radios that were broadcasting the music to the kids.

today, the kids are still in charge, but there's no substance to what they're championing. it's all format. like, we're watching the youth not because they're going to lead us to amazing new art and music, but because we want to see what technological innovation they're going to adopt next.

the funny thing about all this is that many of the web 2.0 technological innovations have been created/advertised expressly as things that will help people be more enriched by the opinions and interests of others. social networks are great b/c they help you find more music that you're interested in, help you locate others who like the same fashion as you, blah blah BLAH. there was this mac ad that i saw last year that read:
-------"PCs are for the stuff we have to do, like pie charts and spreadsheets. Macs are for the stuff we want to do, like photos, music and movies.
------Macs are everything you need to get the job done. (And start having fun.)
------With Mac OS X, iLife ’06 and built-in iSight camera, the fun starts at just $1,299.
------Mac Mini is ready to connect to your existing monitor and keyboard – and you’re ready to start having fun with your photos, movies and more."

the ad really weirded me out when i saw it, so much so that i wrote it down. only now am i putting my finger on why. i think this over-inflated emphasis on the "fun" of the content makes for a weird fetishization of art that totally vaccu-sucks the stuff that's interesting right out of it. i don't want to be told how to interact with/given a framework for the artistic things in my life, and if someone's going to do it, i certainly don't want it to be a corporation like Apple. when it comes to the web 2.0 stuff, "mutual interests" are a totally artificial and weird way of meeting people. i mean, aren't there people in your life who have different interests from you, and that's exactly what you like about them?

or maybe this is all just me. i'm fully ready to acknowledge that the reason i'm so annoyed about this is that, as much as i'm interested in technology, i'm actually a curmudgeon who's behind the technology curve because the interactive computer screen simply hasn't captivated me the way it has others. but i won't fully yield that just yet. i have this itching sensation that things were better before. and even though i wasn't there, i just can't shake it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


it's not unusual these days to hear how irrelevant george bush is. now that he's really on his way out, voices are speaking up more than ever about what a true disaster this administration has been. after the state of the union last night, senators were happy to run their mouths off about how excited they are to have him out of the white house next year...


although i know that applause after every point is a bizarre little tradition (it should be done away with)*, it's particularly disgusting now that members of the government continue to willfully pad the president's sense of reality with this support. our federal political forum is an atmosphere where verbal dissent is totally stifled! it's probably the best symbol of how dysfunctional the american government is. if you don't believe me, check out some proceedings of the british parliament. a shocking contrast, truly.

* what i'd really like to know is when it started, b/c i'm pretty confident it hasn't always been this way. has Slate done a piece on this? dammit, last night would've been a fabulous peg...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Alyson Shotz

Have not been as excited about an artist since Tim Hawkinson, and that's saying a lot.

Friday, January 25, 2008

thought of the day

flakiness begets flakiness

(this thought of the day brought to you by craig's list)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

that whole work-of-art-in-the-age-of-mechanical-reproduction thing

i'm very pleased to be bringing you pictures not available on the Internet, as far as my cursory research suggests, and information about an important person NOT IN WIKIPEDIA. get it here, or don't get it at all (unless you want to get your ass to a library or to LACMA).

the person in question is an Ecuadorian artist who lived between 1723 and 1796 called Manuel Chili, or Caspicara, because of his pockmarked face. the pictures in question are of his works, which are on view at LACMA's "The Arts in Latin America: 1492-1820."

now, i don't know if you've ever had the experience of seeing a piece of art that you just...need. like, it's so overwhelmingly beautiful to you, you know that staring at it for as long as you're in the museum won't be enough. that's what caspicara's stuff felt like to me. i didn't have my camera the first time i went to the show, so i returned today with it, only to be told that photographs weren't allowed in the galleries. i took pictures anyway. what i got sucked, mainly because i was nervous about getting kicked out (but also because i have a new, shitty camera), so i resorted to the pathetic move of taking pictures of pictures in the exorbitantly priced exhibition catalog. those were horrible, too. but, by god, i got them.

ah, they kill me.

i did think to myself as i was going through this process that maybe i was just a little crazy, and why couldn't i be satisfied seeing the actual sculptures in the museum like a normal person? and maybe the thing is that, having read walter benjamin's piece with the same title as this blog post at an impressionable age, i've been instilled with this guilt thing about valuing images of things over actual things. but i think that's bullshit. i value the actual things above the images. WAY above the images. but i can't own them. the closest i'll get after that exhibit is looking at them on my computer, and that's better than nothing.

so suck it, walter. and you too, LACMA. you think you own the images of these things as well as the objects? think again.