Thursday, 15 July 2010

I talk about Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction too much. By too much, I mean every cou­ple of years. I re­al­ly should read some oth­er stuff that he’s writ­ten, so I don’t get too pseu­do-in­tel­lec­tu­al­ly schol­ar­ship-boy­ish. Like I’m about to.

I col­lect stuff, not a lot, but stuff nonethe­less. It used to be base­ball cards, then Tolkien books, then good sci­ence fic­tion in gen­er­al and now beach glass, good movies, and lo­cal mu­sic para­pher­na­lia. I used to col­lect things as if the things them­selves were pre­cious. Benjamin would call this the au­ra of the art ob­ject. He posits that orig­i­nal works of art have greater val­ue than re­pro­duc­tions. That’s the kind of rea­son that peo­ple go for mint first edi­tions, signed copies, &c. There’s noth­ing wrong with that. I would still love to get my mitts on a first edi­tion Starship Troopers with the awe­some dust-jack­et, but my collector’s cri­te­ri­on has changed over the years.

I no longer col­lect things as if the things them­selves were pre­cious, I col­lect them be­cause of what they con­tain. So now when I’m at Half-price Books, and I see a hard cov­er of LeGuin’s Lathe of Heaven with the orig­i­nal dust-jack­et cov­er art, I don’t care that its just the book club edi­tion, I care that it is hard-bound and there­fore more durable than my pa­per­back ver­sion. The dura­bil­i­ty mat­ters be­cause it pro­tects what is re­al­ly im­por­tant about the book, the sto­ry it­self. So I’ll pick up an Asimov om­nibus and get rid of my an­cient pa­per­backs (which are worth more than the om­nibus) be­cause the om­nibus will last longer.

I don’t mind that my Egon Schiele came from All Posters or that the Death of Marat in my bath­room (which nev­er fails to make me act dis­gust­ing­ly smug) came from the same. If my art se­lec­tions are con­sid­ered a col­lec­tion, I have what I have be­cause I like it, not nec­es­sar­i­ly for its ex­trin­sic val­ue. I try to col­lect ex­pe­ri­ences, emo­tions and mo­ments of com­mu­ni­ca­tion now, not every last edi­tion of the Lord of the Rings. (Although if you want to hook me up, I won’t com­plain).

Caveman Diaries 7, Megachurch, Clan of the Cave Bear, Swindlella

Saturday, 22 May 2010

On 13 May 2010, I went to the Front Room Gallery for John G’s Caveman Diaries 7 ‘zine re­lease; Megachurch’s al­bum re­lease & show with Clan of the Cave Bear and Swindlella. Great crowd, great ex­hi­bi­tion by John G, and great mu­sic. Unfortunately I for­got my earplugs. Fortunately, I got my mitts on CMD7, the Megachurch al­bum (which I forced Mikey, Dan & Brian to au­to­graph) and mu­sic from Cave Bear & Swindlella (whose Christmas CD is bonkers).

This post on­ly took a lit­tle over a week to come to­geth­er. I wish there was a faster way to get HD video up to YouTube, but there isn’t. Rock on, guys. Seven video playlist is be­low.

Cirque Imaginaire

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Yesterday I went to the Sachsenheim for Cirque Imaginaire, a trav­el­ing art gallery. There were a lot of arts & crafts packed in­to the hall, and I squeezed through the throngs with a gi­ant mug of beer.

Two booths re­al­ly caught my eye, the t-shirts from Psycho Reindeer, and Erin Carek’s sci­ence-fic­tion col­lage work. I picked up the set of rock­et­man coast­ers from her. Erin is al­so re­spon­si­ble for or­ga­niz­ing the art show. The ad­di­tion of a few good bands helped make the night a great time.

Here are the bands:

And here are a few of the folks there who had stuff I liked:

Metal Sculpture Memory

Wednesday, 4 December 2002

about a year ago i was fin­ish­ing up my last project for my met­al sculp­ture class. my pro­gres­sion in the world of art that se­mes­ter was a strug­gle. i was al­so tak­ing an an­thro class about cul­tur­al iden­ti­ties of art. my life was cir­cum­scribed by form v. con­tent. in the class on form (met­al sculp­ture) the teacher had some is­sues with my ideas of con­tent. i didn’t go for aes­thet­ic plea­sure. i want­ed to make peo­ple feel un­com­fort­able. i didn’t do this by mak­ing a ‘Piss Christ’ or any­thing of the sort. One project was a ma­que­tte of a mon­u­ment. mine was rather typ­i­cal, a long ver­ti­cal col­umn that had five feet ex­tend­ing from the bot­tom in a cir­cle. it looked sta­ble and ba­nal. that wasn’t the point. but that was the way the class liked it. i, on the oth­er hand, liked it bet­ter my way. flipped over. the five pro­tru­sions reach­ing up to the sky and every­thing pre­car­i­ous­ly bal­anced on the col­umn. (it was ac­tu­al­ly more sta­ble that way any­way). it was slight­ly un­com­fort­able to look at any­way.

an­oth­er project’s theme was ‘trans­port.’ i had to make some­thing that would trans­port peo­ple. i thought about mak­ing a cat­a­pult but that was too com­pli­cat­ed. hell this class was on­ly an elec­tive. I de­cid­ed to make a chair. kin­da the op­po­site of trans­port, eh? it was all made fround ground steel and the chair back ex­tend­ed up and had two lit­tle disc things com­ing out at the head which when some­one sat in the chair looked like big steel ear­muffs. still not get­ting the trans­port idea? well this chair trans­port­ed through the idea of pain. i cov­ered the chair with nails. es­pe­cial­ly the ‘earmuffs/​headphones.’ when peo­ple looked at my chair, think­ing about sit­ting in it was sup­posed to trans­port them to a world about think­ing about sit­ting in a chair. the class didn’t get it. but ap­par­ent­ly oth­er peo­ple did. the pro­fes­sor told me that he kept catch­ing peo­ple try­ing to sit in it.

out of all the trans­port projects, an arc made from cubes, a gun with a twist­ed bar­rel, a cat­a­pult, oth­ers, mine was the on­ly one that peo­ple ac­tu­al­ly used to trans­port them­selves.

if it sounds like i’m brag­ging per­haps it’s be­cause i am, a lit­tle.