Post by oddbill

This happened on twitter, I found it brilliant, so I’m putting it here because my site my rules ok?

For no reason other than that I came across an old dream journal last night Thursday is now: Disturbday!

dream journal may 28 1990 monday

dream journal may 28 1990 monday

I was 20 and insufferable with Lovecraft and weird sexual hangups.

I will not be making very many pages of this genuinely creepy document public. So, “enjoy”.

ugh

Pomplamoose. Being visually inventive.

I share respected international journalist, correspondent for The Atlantic and former Jimmy Carter speechwriter James Fallows’ love of this duo.

So it’s lovely to see them back in the game.

Jack Conte here describes how things went sideways for a bit, in a circuitous presentation about his new and worthwhile venture, a way for regular people to collectively patronize creativity that is more day-to-day than Kickstarter.

Mostly when I watch them, I notice the, to me at least, heartbreaking details of the house they clearly live and work in. Heartbreaking in the sense that it’s a thing I would have loved to have done, if it were possible when I was young with the capacity to absorb financial shocks, and had I had the imagination to conceive it.

What they are doing, or the guys responsible for Rocket Jump, or Corridor Digital, is a version of the box ramen fueled internet startup, but with entertainment rather than software as the outcome.

They aren’t the first artist collectives to bootstrap members, but these have a newer quality colored by tech startup culture. That’s not the best culture to emulate, though it seems like these creative takes on it are following a bit more humane path. The tech startup is like house flipping: inflate the value of as simple an idea as possible and sell it high as soon as you can. These creative starups seem to be using the same general template but the end result is creator owned small businesses instead.

This idea deserves a more thoughtful treatment than I can spare the glucose for right now.

So here, have a little improbable combination of Pomplamoose, Ben Folds and Nick Hornby.

Fair enough I suppose.

ink

Where am I?

November. Still sketching, but more to purpose this month. The goal is to accomplish a large piece this month. A thing with some weight.

cold

I’ll tag the posts that include work towards this project as ubi sum.

Where am I?

That’s the question this effort is meant to advance.

ubi sum

Zak Smith once drew an illustration for each page of Gravity’s Rainbow.

Today he has been tweeting a series of commandments for art criticism that are so good I’m going to collect them here for my own future reference.

The whole thing started with this lament:

To which someone asked:

and was answered:

then the floodgates fell:

For lots, lots more click continue…

society 6 page

I’ve got six pieces of artwork available to purchase as prints on Society 6.

These are pieces I had in a show here in Los Angeles back in the winter of 2011. They are some of the first figure work that I felt were complete enough to let out into the world in a form other than blog photos.

Available in multiple sizes in three formats:

  • Unframed: Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Custom trimmed with 1″ border for framing.
  • Framed: The Scoop frame is made from solid wood with a contemporary, scooped profile measuring 1.06″ wide x 1.06″ deep. A gesso coating gives the moulding rich color and a smooth finish. Premium shatterproof acrylic protects the art print, while an acid free dust cover on the back provides a custom finish. Includes wall hanging hardware.
  • Stretched Canvas: Fine art print on bright white, fine poly-cotton blend, matte canvas using latest generation Epson archival inks. Individually trimmed and hand stretched museum wrap over 1-1/2″ deep wood stretcher bars. Includes wall hanging hardware.

Click through and check them out!

Selling this stuff is a new frontier for me. It’s been a hobby and meditative practice for so long I’ve kind of gotten out of the habit of aiming this work at the outside world. There’ll be some more activity like this very soon, and I hope you’ll follow along.

Heh.

Calling it a meditative practice just set off spasms in my own skeptiglands. I know that sounds a bit woo woo. I was about to edit that back but instead I’ll leave it. That’s essentially what it has been. Three to eight hours per piece I’d have a model posing, and drawing from life really shuts down all the chattering meat in your head. It allows this wave of shape-seeing and translating that into physical motion in your body, the evidence of which is, in these cases, dust deposited on paper. Your whole mind is engaged in that. I leave these sessions feeling quiet and open.

Then for something like ten hours more per piece I’m working on it alone with no reference but memory, feeling out what the colors and values want to become. The desire there isn’t part of the paper or the chalk, that’s also the mind doing translation. It’s surfing perceptual static set in motion by what has already been recorded, catching surges of something, intent maybe, or memory. Things that happen to the left of consciousness.

Just stay in that zone until it feels unwise to keep manhandling it.

I’ve never been able to do meditation any other way, but this feels like what it’s supposed to feel like, I think.

So, woo-effing-woo. Buy a print! I meditated them up for you.

i am not resigned

Sometimes a bunch of pop culture fragments fall together like an essay. It’s entertaining in my head but it’s hard to convey the experience. Like this:

Whenever I hear that some unreplaceable piece of archaeology or art has been defaced or destroyed, I think “good”. This attitude would have been unimaginable to the 20 year old me. But I think now the past is for burning.

Ding Jihao wasn’t the first. You could argue he was maintaining a centuries old tradition:

Graffiti on the Temple of Dendur, Metropolitan Museum of Art

There is nothing in history, no fragment of substance, that isn’t constantly reinterpreted for each new era. Every artifact or piece of art is just something used as a stage to debate things we care about now. Standing on those planks you can pretend to give facile arguments weight. Burn those stages. Argue in the street, where you have to work for respect.

All of our past is poisoned by excuses for atrocities standing on the art and architecture of earlier times.

There’s no end to what you can do when you don’t give a fuck about particular people.
Louis CK

I’m sick of respecting relics. Intellectualized commodities we use to one-up each other in sanctimony. Made by apes no better than us. All of it ash that hasn’t burned yet.

All our physical history should be ground under a tectonic subduction zone and we forced to make everything over again.

It took time to ruin a real world. But, time was all it took.
Bruce Sterling, Love is Strange

I both do and don’t mean all that.

In my own life, if I keep too much artwork or things I’ve made around, the psychological weight of all that effort just sitting in a pile, staring at the inside of a drawer or box, or worse – grinning vacuously at me from a wall or shelf, just shuts me down. The urge to make new things is smothered. I have to get rid of it. Sell it, give it away, tear it to pieces. I’d love to burn it, most times, but living in the city doesn’t afford much opportunity for that.

I really can’t figure out if the past matters. Once it has left living memory, all we have are documents and objects. We tell each other stories about them and they might as well be science fiction for all the direct experience any of us have of the reasons those things came to be. Every single thing we know about the past is an act of imagination and ridiculous hope. Reconstructed lost languages, using the sounds people make today.

Finding Shakespeare

It’s bleak and liberating at the same time, like atheism. The past is only fiction. It was there, it happened, but we can’t know anything about it after one hundred years or so. A wave of ignorance rolls through the dimension of time and never recedes. The only things we can really know are the creatures with us trying to outrun it. We throw our children ahead of us and drown. When our children after us go under we’re not even memory. Just story.

It’s about time for a check in on some new pieces and some old ones that have been worked on since they were seen last.

drawing

wake

venomous

tendrils

maybe the world should burn

These are four different models who I’ve been working with on and off for a couple of years now. This started for me as a way to meditate creatively. Having someone sit and drawing them from life shut down the work obsessive parts of my brain and allowed me to free associate with shapes and colors. I deliberately started doing this with no goals in mind.

Now I’m several years into this practice and I feel like it is owed some greater effort.

More on that soon.