November 30, 2011

Monad Morgue


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November 25, 2011


Here's an interesting read, a snip of the end of the piece:

I asked Kare if she had any feeling at the time that the work she was doing at Apple 30 years ago would be so pervasively influential. ?You can set out to make a painting, but you can?t set out to make a great painting,? she told me. ?If you look at that blank canvas and say, ?Now I?m going to create a masterpiece? ? that?s just foolhardy. You just have to make the best painting you can, and if you?re lucky, people will get the message.?
It's true that reaching for greatness can gutter ball into working for an effect and not affect. But what if your personal best involves swinging for the bleachers? Luck is only satisfying when you have it.

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November 21, 2011

A Single Click


Here's an interesting article on Warhol by Bryan Appleyard for More Intelligent Life. The last three paragraphs:

Warhol now endorses a way of life. One simple technology?silk-screen printing?dominated his career. But it was enough to show today?s technology-laden, hyper-connected youth that they could do it too. With the instant publication of digital pictures and videos, anybody can become a cyber-Warhol, swimming in the great ocean that pop imagery has become. Apple?s Photo Booth software reduces the whole thing to a single click?just by selecting ?pop art? under ?effects? you can change your face into a very credible Warhol multiple self-portrait. Andy, in death, is a generation?s mentor.

The Andy Warhol Foundation and the market may want him to be Leonardo or Picasso, but the young want him to be what Arthur Danto says he is, the overthrower of all such pretensions. It is in this balance of aspirations that Warhol, the god of contemporary art, now exists. In time this phase will pass and the idea that Warhol is a greater artist than, say, Robert Rauschenberg or Jackson Pollock will be seen as the absurdity that it is. The bubble will burst, prices will fall and the drinker of all that Campbell?s soup will be restored to his rightful place?as a briefly brilliant and very poignant recorder of the dazzling surface of where we are now.

The intellectual excitement of his attempt to destroy meaning is also close to its sell-by date. Prompted by Warhol, conceptualism?art driven by ideas rather than sensuous and emotional engagement?has ruled the art world for more than 20 years. It is a machine aesthetic, a desire to make art that is beyond human, and Andy always wanted to be a machine. But, though all art is in constant, self-questioning flux, one thing never changes?the longing to define, synthesise and express the human condition. In the absence of religion, it is art?s job to do this. For six years, despite his claims to the contrary, Warhol was an artist, a generator of meanings. Valerie Solanas and his own social ambitions put an end to this. Now it is time for us, and the market, to adjust to the fact that it is over.
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LA Panorama

Stephanie and I met up with our friend Emily, who is traveling through SoCal while on a global tour from Australia. The challenge: what to see in LA on one (Sunday)night. The solution: Graumann's Chinese Theater and the Griffith Observatory.

My favorite inscription at Graumann's Chinese Theater plaza was from Bogart:


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November 19, 2011


The title alone is a draw for me.

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November 16, 2011

Revolution is not a Party


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Anxiety, Ecstasy.

Anxiety, Ecstasy.



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November 15, 2011

Incubator: Chinatown

Gustavo Herrera Hollenbeck.jpg
Chinatown has been through several high and low tides over the years. Great galleries have established themselves and as they do, they tend to move out to parts of the city that have the cache at the time. China Art Objects have moved to Culver City, taking their iconic sign with them. Perez Projects moved first to Culver City and now they are based in Berlin. Redling Gallery moved to Culver City. Happy Lion went out of business. Black Dragon Society morphed into Parker Jones, Parker subsequently moved to Culver City. He recently went out of business in order to work for Gagosian (wtfbbq?). Probably the biggest impact on Chinatown has been the move of Joel Mesler to New York City, an event which I can best describe as watching an engine fall away from your airplane. The other day, I noticed that Mara McCarthy's The Box has a for lease sign on the window, confirming rumors that they will move on to another location in LA soon.

I don't want to paint such a sad picture here (thus, the point of this blogpost). Chinatown still has the great Tom Solomon Gallery, Human Resources is kicking up a lot of ruckus on Cottage Home Street, Jancar Gallery is going strong on Chung King Road, Pepin Moore moved into China Art Object's old space. Even though Aaron Wrinkle's Dan Graham space has been retired, another gallery has taken it's postage stamp sized place, Jancar Jones Gallery (who is showing San Francisco artist Chris Lux at the moment). Recently, I found two other new galleries in the neighborhood, which validates my theory that Chinatown is best suited for startup galleries, the LA art worlds' exhibition space incubator.

Between Phillipe's Diner near Union Station and the big plaza on Gin Ling Way, Spencer Douglas and Gustavo Herrera (Gustavo is pictured above in character, a frame from his video in the show) collaborated in an installation at Actual Size Gallery that goes by the name Hollenbeck. The video is excellent, entrancing, it has an interesting sound track and the overall installation has a punch despite the pocket sized space that the gallery has to offer. Highly recommended. Here's the blurb from their website:
Actual Size Los Angeles is pleased to present Hollenbeck, by Spencer Douglass and Gustavo Herrera. Hollenbeck is a video installation that features a single-channel projection and a shrine of found artifacts. The video employs live action and stop-motion collage to explore the decomposition of urban, rural, and psychic environments. Loosely based on John Edward Hollenbeck, a wealthy industrialist who played a key role in the development of Los Angeles during the 1880's, Hollenbeck merges the stark reality of the barren landscape with fantastical interpretations of the past. The narrative follows the character as he navigates between life and death, using both symbolic and tangible currency

Located above the remains of what once was the Automat (cafe) on Ching King Road, is a new gallery on the second floor called Favorite Goods. Ryan Fabel and Audrey Moyer are the owners of their clean and well lighted space. They are young, smart, informed, and they already have a great audience. They describe their second exhibition thusly:

Favorite Goods is proud to announce 002, consisting of work by Jake Cruzen, Dashiell Manley, and Matthew Strauss.

Jake Cruzen will share works that challenge consumer participation, consumption, and the focus of current marketing trends. Cruzen will also be exhibiting a collaborative work made with Dan Solberg. Dashiell Manley?s video, made of 10,785 still photographs and 4 minutes of live action, explores the in between space of moving and static imagery through capturing and re-representing actions from his studio practice. Matthew Strauss?s work questions what it means to create in the now by the removal of what is thought to having meaning. This is Jake Cruzen and Matthew Strauss?s first exhibition in Los Angeles.
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November 14, 2011

Michael Minelli at WPA

Michael Minelli has a show next door at WPA, I tried to shoot a few pics to get it across to you. My camera lens is too long to avoid a flash shadow, so I went with it and let it happen. The piece above is tiny (the heads are like the tips of a matchstick, and exactly the same size), as you can see in this pic.

Here's a panorama of the show, showing all three categories of his practice: the rolled up poster, the tiny figurines and what I call Darth Vader's neurons, a representation of musical amps withe various handmade tubes cantilevering out into space, all dipped in sumi-e ink:


(I tucked a nice accident under the fold...)

The thing about Minelli, is that what I call his figurines (my nomination, I'm not sure what he calls them) are made of a material like sculpty, they are straightforward to the point of crudeness but full of telling detail, cues, that allow a strong sense of verisimilitude. The little guys look like little guys. There is a dark or sinister element to them, Goya's Disasters of War come easily to mind. In Goya's early paintings, he would paint a pastoral landscape where with closer inspection, you can witness with a squint, a scene of mayhem, theft and murder.

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At the risk of nostalgia, I'm posting this sugar sweet video from the U.S.Navy about Combat Information Center (C.I.C.). This is a way to render a little more vivid, for you dear reader, one of the early chapters in my life. It may considered to be a fine or trivial point of biographical detail, but the arrogance of art and artists is the bet that such things will become important in the interpretation of an ouvre. Pardon the chutzpa and allow me to annotate my own bibliography with a video or two.

One reason to join the Navy is to see the world. I saw a lot of it via radar and other segments of the electromagnetic spectrum. Isn't it kind of Kantian, moving through the world inside a kind of cranium wherein you constantly model and remodel a representation of it?

Here's a more time specific video from that era of mine:

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November 13, 2011

November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

This is a pic sent in from an old friend, Dale Olsen via a network of crew mates maintained by Steve "Strawdogs" Strassman on the USS Truxtun. This pic documents a picnic on the fantail on a WestPac deployment in '76.

In this shot, we were on liberty in Subic Bay (Dale is reclining on the left, Strassman is in the yellow shirt, I'm standing on the left), there was an island in the middle of the bay that was used for r&r. We rented scuba gear and swam in the effluvia of Olongapo's "Shit River" (well named), for lack of a proper place to dive at the time. Better dive spots were in places like the Seychelles. We worked in C.I.C. (Combat Information Center, the squawk boxes would ring: "COMBAT, BRIDGE... COMBAT AYE!"), the dark room behind the bridge, full of radars and edge lit plotter boards.

Good times.

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November 9, 2011



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November 7, 2011


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Malevich Compass


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November 5, 2011

November 3, 2011



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November 2, 2011

Figmented Pink?

So the result of a full spectrum of light deprived of green is a figment of imagination that completes a color circle? We must really need radius and circumference, don't we?

More equally illuminating and frustrating MinutePhysics here.

Posted by Dennis at 1:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2011

Primitive Eyes


When groups of neurons began to cluster together, information could be processed rather than merely relayed, enabling animals to move and respond to the environment in ever more sophisticated ways. The most specialised groups of neurons ? the first brain-like structure ? developed near the mouth and primitive eyes.
(Emphasis Mine. Source.)

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