Wednesday, December 31, 2008

un autre manifeste

Les Voleurs

Out of the closet and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief. All the artists of history, from cave painters to Picasso, all the poets and writers, the musicians and architects, offer their wares, importuning him like street vendors. They supplicate him from the bored minds of school children, from the prisons of uncritical veneration, from dead museums and dusty archives. Sculptors stretch forth their limestone arms to receive the life-giving transfusion of flesh as their severed limbs are grafted onto Mister America. Mais le voleur n'est pas presse' --- the thief is in no hurry. He must assure himself of the quality of the merchandise and its suitability for his purpose before he conveys the supreme honor and benediction of his theft.

Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! a bas l'originalite', the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons as it creates. Vive le vol-- pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.

...William S. Burroughs, in The Adding Machine

Monday, December 22, 2008

A nice big aluminum Christmas tree, maybe pink

From a Charlie Brown Christmas, pieced together from a long pan. Beautiful background painting; I don't know who did it, but Bill Melendez directed. A larger version is here. Happy Peanuts, everybody.

Shape, Color, Movement and Light

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Studio Bits

Apologies for the silence in the last week or so during which a recalibration of my studio mind seemed in order--post semester craziness. Here are just a couple bits of color, text and shape hanging about/propped up in the studio.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Martin Luther's Walk Home

From the Wikipedia article on Christmas Trees:

In some accounts, Martin Luther of Germany is credited with coming up with the idea after seeing the night stars through the branches of a pine tree on a walk home, and decorated a tree with his family with candles and silver and gold tinsel.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More jumbled text: this is a side project I did a while ago, in which I ran Burroughs' essay on the fold-in method through an online text randomizer, and laid out the results page by page. The idea was to have each phrase remain in the same spot from page to page, though that got a little loose.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Landscape Pages

Some new collages I've been working on.

barge-rainbow web

sleep study 1 web

birchwood-bog web

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Re[(:)(a)(d)]d text

In the midst of Red Text and More Red Text being posted here, I was pursuing in small pieces my (sometimes, admittedly, painful) night-time project of reading the Old Testament, in particular this excerpt of its own red text:

Per the lingual plague, here we go, a fragment, translated into simple Chinese into Hindi into English:

His head and twist your altar and altar in the water, blood from the altar should go out, he will take away their crops and the wings of the altar on the east side branch, in order to ash, he tears to the wings Was done for, but it's no different

Lingual Plaque

I loved Open Wound 1.0 that Seth wrote about earlier. It reminded me of a game my dad and I would play several years ago through e-mail, when I was living abroad. We would take a block of text and put it through an online translator, then translate it back to English. Some things get lost, meaning shifts, the copy isn't as good as the original. We started calling it Lingual Plague, referring to the extra bits of language that collect, seemingly out of nowhere. Online translators are better now than they were when we started doing this eight years ago, so it helps to run them through multiple times using a different language each time. I decided to try it using the text from the first part of Seth's post, here the original again:

Talking about William S. Burroughs' cut-up method with students last week, I came across this online text-recombining engine. My favorite thing about it is that it's called Open Wound 1.0, but it's a pretty interesting version of a randomizer. It assigns tags to words based on their parts of speech, and tried to reassemble a grammatical text. As such, it doesn't actually work, but the attempt is interesting. This is the beginning of the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature, reassembled:

I then translated it to Bulgarian and back to English, then I took the results and went to Finnish and back again, then Italian. Here's the result:

We're talking about William S. Burroughs' cut method with students last week that led to this on-line text of the recombination of the engine. My favorite thing to him is that he is entitled 'An open wound 1.0, but this is a very interesting randomizer. He gave the speech codes based on their parts of speech, and tried to erect a grammar of text. As such, it is not real work, but the experience is interesting. This is the beginning of a technical literature reassembled futurist manifesto:

I'm a little bummed that the translators are getting better. Back in 2000, three passes would yield an almost incomprehensible garble of text. Now, it seems like the final pass through Italian actually fixed a few things that were messed up after the Finnish version.

UPDATE: I just ran the text at the top of the blog, "repository for fragments, detritus, phrases..." through quite a number of times and the results are more amusing, probably due to the loose grammar of the original:

Beet, fruits, phrases, short, attachments, indexical backer, the holder for a piece of chaotic and intuitive, it is foolish and unnameable, which is part of the section unfolds

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

more red text

It looks better larger.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Open Wound

Talking about William S. Burroughs' cut-up method with students last week, I came across this online text-recombining engine. My favorite thing about it is that it's called Open Wound 1.0, but it's a pretty interesting version of a randomizer. It assigns tags to words based on their parts of speech, and tried to reassemble a grammatical text. As such, it doesn't actually work, but the attempt is interesting. This is the beginning of the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature, reassembled:

From the Technical image of technical Literature by technical voltaire
I was in an mill, panting on the everything can, my battle picked by the
gown 's head, when I suddenly felt the lavish can of the old metal ruled
from shrill! Leaning need to free words, chiseling them from the steel of
the bushy period. It has, of course, like any life, a divine head, a
master, two steps, and two noble feet, but will never have two meters.
Something to know with, run a few steps, and then stop, bristling, almost

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Speaking of collision and accumulation

From the chapter "HABIT is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit" [bold mine]:
Something comes along. Something else comes along. They collide and stick. They stay together, perhaps combine with something else again to form a larger combination. This is called a "connective synthesis." An example is sediment. A grain comes to rest. Another joins it. Many grains follow from a variety of sources, brought to a point of accumulation by chance. Not brute chance. Chance discrimination. . . . Not all grains answering to the description join the gang. Given a particular grain, no one, however savvy in sedimentation, can predict whether it will be one of the select. . . . A statistical process of this kind, combining chance and approximate necessity, can be called "selection." A selection is an act of perception, since something, in this case a set of natural laws, "perceives" the grains that come together in a layer. The resulting muck is an "individual."


friends sang a song in another language (hebrew?) and i told them what i thought it was about, "a strip of scorching white under strip of faded blue, with a sixth sense of many looking towards the horizon, many who were sad and now are hopeful, happy, looking at a bread loaf afloat, or a boat coming towards them." it turned out the song is usually sung before sabbath, while everyone looks at the door waiting/welcoming a feminine spirit(?) to eat bread.

in return, i sang for them in hindi and they responded, "there is a sense of flowing, like water, as if the entire language existed in not only a temporal flow, but in, as well, a spatial flow."
For my first post, somebody else's image: today on BoingBoing, a photo from London of fallen leaves accidentally pressed into fresh tarmac. Look also for links to two other images in comments.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Paper Dreams

Found this yesterday across the street from our apartment. Our neighborhood has many Somali families, and it made me really happy to find this. As it turns out, I saved it from the snow that fell last night.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ancestral Memory

Illustration by Frank R. Paul.

A description of the story from Frank R. Paul Gallery, "The great maverick scientist H. A. Macey, M.D., is about to give a demonstration of his discoveries to two fellow scientists who are more favorably inclined toward him than most of his colleagues. * Macey has been working on recovering ancestral memory, which he accomplishes by first putting a subject into hypnosis, then encasing both subject and himself in thought helmets with viewing screens that show memory content. Along with Macey's concept of ancestral memory runs a system of typology, in which persons who look reptilian "take after" ancient reptilian ancestors. * On the present occasion, Macey has as his subject a low-grade local man who looks frog-like. * Macey puts the man through his process, and brings up pictures of a Neanderthal family. He probes farther and farther back, until he reaches a group of giant plantigrade frogs, who must have been our distant ancestors. As the scientists watch, a monstrous creature gobbles up the frog that the subject was empathizing with. When the subject recovers from the shock, Macey hypnotizes away his memory of what has happened, and all is well."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

with changes in scenery
so do voices

"i don't know who you are"
the looming and garish attempt to recognize someone--
so very rarely, if never, is there anything

lighten our conversation with laughter

an oxymoron invasion of empty space
of overcrowded languages

our mirrors gone mad at play

(image from ceasar and cleopatra, 1945)

Dear all...

As I head into my studio for the day, I felt the need to say "Welcome!"--to all our new contributors--those we know and those we do not know. Beth and I have long desired a space where we might just gather all the incidentals/minor histories/fragments/ swirling about our thoughts--and feeling not very minor at all actually. Site Q is the fruition of those inclinations toward making a space.

I thought I'd post some of the ideas we've been discussing over this past year, not to direct you in any way in your postings really...just information to mull over as we begin our dialogue.

1. Beth wrote me a bit ago, SITE Q is the name given by scientists to the recently discovered “ mystery Mayan city of fabulous art” in an area long known as La Carona, Guatemala. Quickly, what I like about the idea of Site Q is not its potentially great revelation for art historians in a “Romancing the Stone” way. What is of interest is its detached, generic name, and the implication that this site–a terrain frequented by “drug traffickers, clandestine loggers, illegal ranchers” and scientists alike–is somehow still in question.
So, it’s the idea that it is a field of interrogation and discovery, and in my weird way I link the activities of “lifting” and “sampling” and “stealing” and “trafficking” inherent in collage-making (whether it be visual or verbal) as sanctioned (or at least permitted) criminality.

2. There is a ‘PREMONITION IN LANGUAGE of the unknown vaster world. Lyn Hejinian

3. From Beth again...the blog as a record of our continuous dialogue, the idea that nothing posted is complete (and in fact willfully refuses completion or resolution) but an artifact or notion of a process that propels itself via exchange.

4. repository for fragments, detritus, phrases, bits of ephemera, addendum, indexical referents, the haphazard and intuitive, the ridiculous and unnameable, that which unfolds, part by part by part

5. so big that it can only be viewed part by part by part

6. a place to posit engagement with the fleeting, the peripheral, the footnote

7. enjambment

8. juxtaposition

Again, thanks for your part--looking forward to seeing what gathers here.

Oh, and if you want to post any blogs you find interesting, etc--feel free to do so. I am new to all this, so if indeed Beth and I have to add those things as the blog "admins" let us know....

A part

Detail of GA Collider, ink, acrylic and collage on paper, 2008

I wonder how one makes sense of more-information-than-can-be-perceived/understood. And what does "more-information-than-can-be-perceived/understood" even look like?

The above image is just a part of a much bigger image that wrestles with making sense of too much.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Distant

we are watching each other watch each other

from far away the far off stepping closer / snow and its compression / closer and disappearing /
obstructed by the landscape / running out of the frame / distance and its collapse

relative distance, emotionally distant, spatially distant, the "view" of the countryside, TV snow

feeling unemployed, feeling put upon, feeling inaccurate in communicating the feeling (a distant soundtrack, track of longing, sound of loss, voiceless refrain)

if time collapsed and space was transposed the two would be sitting across from each other, smoking cigarettes, watching each other watch "the other"

voyeurism accounts for this impossibility
spurred by the fugitive (Yusuf, fugitive of his town; Mahmut, fugitive of his past; Nazan, fugitive of both, with nothing remarkable to leave or bear, i.e. childless)

Yusuf's light: source unknown searchlight of inaudible whisperings (read intimate) leading to the squeaking mouse, stuck to its own death
justapoxed with
Mahmet's light: trapped between sleep and the flickering end of a videocassette, a floor lamp falling towards the floor, startled, waking up from a dream

traffic on a bridge, face against twilight, fish flipping in a bucket

the act of capturing and being captured
taking out the trash


On Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Distant (2002)


Hello nice people, thanks for having been
for to be inviting me you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

intuitive reflection on Snow

seamless dissolving (politics | intimacy)
slowness, whiteness, coldness, ambiguous, accumulating texture
edge of (poetry | mysticism)
vulgarity blameless lying
palms friction heat

snow--orhan pamuk

Ne var, ne yok

Detail in two parts; "Ara Güler and îstanbul," Onat Kutlar, Ara Güler: Eski Istanbul Anilari. Istanbul: Globus Dünya Basinevi, 1994.


Premise for a poetics

1) an attempt to dissolve, ecstatically explode, and/or discombobulate antithetical premises

2) an age defined by binary systems, from atomic theory to +/- battery power to computer code

3) centuries of binary tension—east vs. west, black vs. white, mind vs. body, public vs. private, first world vs. third world, red state vs. blue state

3a) via globalization these reductive conflicts experience a kind of spalling
3b) dynamic fragmentation and multiplication
3c) surface failure effect

4) exploration of the dissolution and complication of binary tensions

4a) personal
4b) political
4c) polyphonic
4d) playful
4e) multivalenced
4f) irreverent
4g) romantic


the thing itself
substrate and paint
no stretchers
if the substance has demonstrable girth then the painting will have demonstrable girth


Saturday, November 15, 2008


collage as transformer
collage as redefiner
collage as make-do
collage as gathering

room as installation
room as painting
room blurring distinction between function and aesthetics
idiosyncratic decoration
idiosyncratic definition

what would it be like to live here?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Homemade Grid

What seems important

taking apart, cutting away and reconfiguring,

layering and the evidence/reality
of that layering being apparent
(shadows left)

moving both laterally and vertically

Notes on what I see

a drawing made/comprised
of fragments and residual mark

an expanse made of ruptures

emptiness populated by fragments--so that
the initial ground remains unmarred/empty
--that which rests on top populates

a center sinking in

one emanation above/on-top-of another

right side-
small lines snaking right,
wavering some
kind of pathetic in their in:elegance
(dumb accumulation)

Red-Green Binary

Monday, November 10, 2008

Makers & Unmakers

Detail; "Electronic Horoscope Personalized From Your Palm Reading By The Miracle of Electronics"