I was speaking with an artist who recently had a solo show here in Los Angeles. He told me that I needed a response (I assume to other artists) when commenting on my work, say the whole image/text thing has already been done.
"You mean like painting?" I replied.
Speaking of text and art, I received two e-mails the other day with images of books (above and below). Above is the postcard announcemnt for the Martha Rosler Library, a 6,000 book selection from her personal collection. While it is easy to see the public face she wishes to present, one wonders what tomes were edited out.
The image below comes from the announcement for Contemporary Arab Representations, a project produced by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona. The image on the announcement--taken in 2002--is of a bookshop in Bagdhad.
April 26, 2006
Sent into cyberspace by mbuitron at 8:06 AM
April 10, 2006
Went to the open studios at Otis and CalArts Sunday. I have to say I thought the work was much stronger than the work I saw at Otis (and earlier in the year at UCLA). The school had a great vibe too. Enrique Castrejon had a great piece in one of the galleries, a set of simple coathangers that took flight and transformed into birds. Alyssa Gorelick had a great piece that hung in one of the galleries a series of flowers that were cut out and bent backwards so that the image and the context were viewed from opposite sides. I'll look forward to see this and more at the upcoming Supersonic show.
Sent into cyberspace by mbuitron at 6:56 PM
April 8, 2006
National Geographic recently held a press conference where they announced the discovery and translation of the Gnostic gospel of Judas.
Now if one believes the Jesus-meme (son of an all-knowing god) and Jesus told Judas that by selling him out he would "exceed" all the other apostles, Jesus would be pulling a fast one. If he is all knowing, he would obviously know that Judas would become the most despised, and eventully commit suicide.
What a dirty trick.
Sent into cyberspace by mbuitron at 11:51 AM
The video takes awhile to download, but it's worth it.
From their web page:
Since refining the FTIR (frustrated total internal reflection) sensing technique, we've been experimenting with a wide variety of application scenarios and interaction modalities that utilize multi-touch input information. These go far beyond the "poking" actions you get with a typical touchscreen, or the gross gesturing found in video-based interactive interfaces. It is a rich area for research, and we are extremely excited by its potential for advances in efficiency, usability, and intuitiveness. It's also just so much fun!
Our technique is force-sensitive, and provides unprecedented resolution and scalability, allowing us to create sophisticated multi-point widgets for applications large enough to accommodate both hands and multiple users.
The drafting table style implementation shown here measures 36"x27", is rear-projected, and has a sensing resolution of better than 0.1" at 50Hz. Stroke event information is sent to applications using the lightweight OSC protocol over UDP.
Sent into cyberspace by mbuitron at 11:25 AM
April 3, 2006
Let’s assume there’s a fear of the unknown or not understood. “Primitive” cultures create mythologies about the reasons for things, like the sun rising and setting, and why people from other cultures are so weird. These mythologies fill the void of the unknown (e.g. creation myths are a universal components of all societies) and create the illusion of understanding—or at least fill the void.
When science comes along with explanations that can be tested and proven, the body of scientific knowledge grows, displacing mythologies. To use the metaphor of the earth covered with water, the rocky surface of the earth represents everything that is knowable and verifiable, with those things that are known being above the surface of the water, and those things that have yet to be discovered are currently obscured below the surface of the water. In this model, as scientific knowledge increases, the water level drops. In this model the possibility exists that certain subjects will remain permanently under water, say for example, what happens after you die. Because what lies beneath the surface of the water is unknown, the submerged space can potentially contain an infinite surface area (since it is unknown, it cannot be disproved), therefore, even though the body of scientific knowledge is increasing, the space below the water can contain always contain an infinitely growing body of mythologies. We can always make new stuff up about things we do not know!
As we strive to reduce our fear and create understanding, others are doing the same in different fields and in different places. This creates a conundrum. As we work to increase our body of knowledge, that which we know individually decreases in proportion to all that is known, thus increasing our awareness of stuff out there that is unknown (to us personally).
Time for another metaphor:
If we as individuals are bodies moving through air (like racecars or airplanes) the wind resistance represents the current knowledge we are gaining. For individuals who become resistant to new technologies or ideas, forward motion stops. In this model, the air around us represents our personal body of knowledge. We can grow (increase our knowledge) but that growth is finite: we cannot know everything. Carrying this metaphor further than it needs to be, the air in our wake is knowledge that is lost. At one point I replaced the push rods and rocker arm assembly on my Volkswagen. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do this on my new Ford Ranger. As new electric devices come into common use, fewer user serviceable inside parts exist. Knowledge of the provision of basic human needs like growing food, weaving cloth, and providing a shelter with heat and light have been delegated. There’s the old question, “If you were thrown naked into the wilderness, would you be able to fend for yourself?” Now there’s a scary thought, fraught with many potential unknowns!
One possible solution to dealing with the vast amount of information in the world is to order and classify it: group similar things together, use metaphor to extrapolate the known into the unknown. Thus we can make sense of the world to the finest point and detail. It almost seems comforting.
On a daily basis, folks spend their time becoming experts in the minutia and sub-specialists: Entomologists become Lepidopterologists, Mechanics become Automatic Transmission Rebuilders, and Historians become Etruscan Art Historians. The only thing lost is the big picture.
And of course we have a solution for that: some yet-to-be-discovered Grand Unifying Theory of Everything, an equation where we can plug in everything from unfair labor practices, ocean current dynamics, to gay men’s sexuality and get the right answer. Because GUTE has yet to be discovered, we can create mythologies around it ad nauseam.
Sent into cyberspace by mbuitron at 8:46 PM
April 1, 2006
Tonight is the opening at OCCCA's Confessions show. They accepted one of my pieces from the MMPI series, the children's blocks. Here's the curators' blurb:
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art presents "Confessions" opening Saturday, April 1 running through Sunday, April 30, 2006. The gallery is open to the public and the reception is free.
Opening Reception, Saturday, April 1, 7PM to 10 PM
Confession is often a reference to wrongdoing or "the concept of sin", but it the broader context, confessions can be any revelation. The "act" of confessing allows one to examine something that has been hidden because of shame or inadequacy and this causes psychological blockage. By introducing them later in our lives, we can reexamine experiences with maturity - hopefully releasing them and the stress they cause.
Over 750 images were sent in from around the world. Many disturbing, many unique, many revealing dark and haunting images of sexual misconduct, infidelity, rage, tortue, mutiliation and violet victimization of women and children, even scenes of murder. When everything can be considered "art" these days, we looked for work that had levels of satisfaction, work that represented depth and honesty. We applaud all the artists for their unique expressions of Confession.
Pamela Grau Twena, Nancy Harlan
It sounds like some of the rejected work might be interesting too, in an "accident on the side of the freeway" kind of way.
Robert & I will head down for dinner and check out the "O sCene;" I'll write more about what we see tomorrow.
Sent into cyberspace by mbuitron at 12:02 PM