Sarah Sze at Venice


Paddy Johnson on Sarah Sze's U.S. Pavilion entry in the Venice Biennale:

My theory is this: The show is both a production-site and graveyard for the relics of an unnamed religion. Members of this cult worship reproduction technology and mass-produced items of any form. I like this theory because it reflects our contemporary experience. It’s also a hell of a lot more interesting than the concept description which attaches an enormous number of stale Biennale themes to Sze’s work: It engages the history of a building and the colonization of peripheral space. It seeks equilibrium in a chaotic contemporary world.

Agreed that an imaginary religion trumps building history and colonization-anything as an interpretive hook.
Let's add "Hoarders: The Pavilion," and of course, obsessive-compulsive disorder to the mix. Religion brings form and ritual to chaos, but then there's sorting cacti by size and attaching strings to everything. Normally we think of such activities as something a recluse does, and not a collective enterprise such as organized worship. But then you think, well, Sze can't be doing this by herself at this point (can she?) and imagine a team of assistants lining up piles of consumer discards under the maestro's direction. And thousands traveling across the oceans to see it. Yep, religion.

"Cryptkicker (2013 Mix)"

"Cryptkicker (2013 Mix)" [mp3 removed]

A track done in 2006 that I "retconned." (That is, made it sound more like the stuff I'm doing now.)
The first 45 seconds are the same but in the '06 version all I did was repeat that material for four minutes with slight variations.
This version is shorter, with "dropouts" and piano and bass parts added.

Liking and its consequences

Have been having some back-channel email discussion about whether a Facebook "like" of an artist's pronouncement, also made on Facebook, by a curator or critic, counts as an endorsement of the artist. What if three curators all "liked" it at the same time?
It seems if we're going to talk about a "like economy" (shudder), we're going to have to accept that social media buttons have meaning and that meaning can be preserved via screenshots. So therefore, if you're going to high five an artist who is hard at work building what an Art Papers writer, years ago, called a "personal legitimation script," you waive your right to complain if someone catches you in the act.
The conversation took an unpleasant turn with the suggestion that opinion-mongers had two alternatives: (i) to yuck it up, favin' and likin' artists along with high school and college buddies on Facebook (called a "social media presence"), or (ii) to live a life of bleak despair with a commentless blog that has no "like" buttons or any social media share options other than a copy-able permalink.*
Bad as option (ii) sounds, it doesn't mean being cut off from tbe world (people still endorse, trash-talk, and screenshot you) but best of all, you don't get poked.

*Update: and RSS

recent computer drawings printed


All are drawn with MSPaint or Chibi Paint. Was pleased to see the new MSPaint "scales up" well for enlarged printing: the pixels that are supposed to be sharp stay sharp (provided you turn off "edge smoothing" in the printer) and the brushwork that is algorithmically fuzzed out doesn't look as bad as I thought it might.