Archive for the ‘art’ Category

800 Warhols

July 1, 2009

Modern Art. Ungrockable. What’s that square? what are those medicine bottles in a closet? and that pipe?

But then, what’s poetry? what are aphorisms? what are Zen stories all about?

if you want to shoot – shoot, don’t hide behind concise riddles and sparse words. DESCRIBE AT LENGTH! SHOW IT! SHOOT IT!

That’s it – Modern Art doesn’t shoot at anything. It makes you re-think, because you have been habituated to automatically respond to imposed categories. Even the fact that Art – that noble form of human expression – has  manifestly become a simple object of commerce, auctions, and, god forbid, markets, is manifestly part of the essence of what modern art is, part of this re-thinking.

What is it all, a joke? an art nobody understands, being bought for millions of dollars by cracked, eccentric billionaires that got too much money to spend… those damn black squares, you paint one and… better than buying a lottery ticket.

Nevertheless, the following 4 minutes vid of  anti damien-modern-art criticism is a real pl/tr/easure.

Robert Hughes: The Business of Art. Damien Hirst is all hype

The Illuminatus Trilogy: Notes For a Potential Reader

June 26, 2009

It’s been some days now, that I took the farewell from Stella Maris, Mavis, Lady “are you a turtle?” Velkor,  the midget, Hagbard Celine, Malaclypse and, the best of them all, Chips, and went on with my hempless routine. Departure wasn’t easy, for these people have made me really happy.

Never mind, their presence is everywhere:  the books I read, the movies I see, the Game, the media, mediums and the coincidences I’m part of – they are everywhere.

Destroy All Rational Thought

So what is The Illuminatus Trilogy?

Don’t believe a word from that book’s cover – it’s one big rubbish aimed to be “attractive” to some people, as this book is, in its essence, resistible to any categorization. It’s not a sci-fi book, and it’s not a “conspiracy” book, it’s simply an irrational book, which you will find clear and shiny as Lucily diamonds.

R.A.W and Shea rationally destroy all rational thought. Here are some notes on that remarkable process:

Space

“It’s like a split-screen movie, but split a thousand ways, and with a thousand soundtracks.”

This is how the Book describes itself, and indeed, that’s what you are about to experience.

Think of it this way: a film viewed through a thousand-squares’ monitor, like an eye of a fly, each square presenting part of the film. As this is a book, not a film, the way to achieve this sub-framing of narratives is via the Cut-Up Technique – that which Brion Gysin invented and Burroughs adopted.

So there’s a story, but it was cut into endless pieces, and the book is the pasting of them all, not in a rational-linear order, but rather in chaotic one. It takes time to get used to it, to tame our attention to those jumps in Space.

Time

“This tomorrowtodayyesterday time is beginning to get under my skin. It’s happening more and more often”

The Book’s Time’s a liquid, pouring in any direction. There’s no past, present, future in the sequencing of events; it’s the tomorrow-today-yesterday world.  So hold tight, for you are just about to begin a trip.

Personalities

The world of a Book: space, time, people.

Forget what you know about Personalities & Characters. Here, anyone is anyone. There are always more personalities in what is supposed to be a single character, and often characters are seeing the world through the heads of other characters. You will find no salvation in trying to nail your cognition to a single personality – they are all constantly shifting around.

The I

Oh, the I, the Narrator, the one in charge. Who’s, indeed, the one in charge here?! I wish I knew that answer. The I is nothing but an Illusion. Most of the time, if there’s a multiple-parties’ conversation, the I is allocated to the one who speaks currently. So you tap into that conversation where everybody’s  I. Fuck it, get loose, you got nothing to lose.

Fog

There is a thick fog of hemp’ smoke to the ceiling of the Book. This book is meant to be INHALED!

Surprise, Surprise!

And yet, it all makes sense and the reading streams smoothly, and it is funny and intriguing!

I seriously think it’s a mystery. Those guys, Shea & Wilson, have deciphered something about the human brain, i.e. that it can see clearly through Chaos! The Book itself is constantly smoking good, quality dope, so its Characters can clear their mind and open their eyes;  same effect is achieved for the Reader (800 pages of top quality hemp) – you’re tripping all the way to the end, and the trip is lucid and crystal-clear.

The Story

Like any great work of art, the medium & the message, the structure & the narrative,  are synchronized. So, similarly to the free structure, space, time,  the I and the Characters of the book, so is the story telling us about people breaking space, time, the I, and anything else of an ordinary order.

What a wonderful world is this Book.

Robert Shea & Robert Anton WilsonRobert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson

Einstürzende Neubauten – Stella Maris

Daggers

June 24, 2009

House of Flying Daggers is the closest film to an abstract painting, the narrative being no more than a shadowy frame, holding divine colors, sounds and movements. A Painting Masterpiece, a miraculous medium glitch.

Daggers

Piet Inspired Crowd-Activation Mechanism

June 20, 2009

We’re all conditioned to react to symbols. The reaction can be emotional or rational, conscious or unconscious, triggering an implicit  response baby or an explicit one. stop

And that is not new.

But somehow, although we’re living in a world of symbols, representations, masks and words, where nothing is the real self of anything, but only a symbol of – somehow the pragmatic (i.e. instrumental, operational) essence of even the most innocent-looking symbols have eluded us. Take, for instance, the following painting by Piet Mondrian, an abstract painter, symbolizing something to someone. Is our conditioning to paintings as non-utiliterian carriers of meaning, i.e. as symbols remote from the practical, tool-type instrumentation, is misleading? (I exclude, of course, overtly socio-political imagery).

Mondrian_CompRYB

Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue. 1921, Piet Mondrian.

David Morgan-Mar, invented Piet, a programming language represented by cubes and lines of different size and colors, each combination symbolizing one statement or more, “Hello, World”, the program any newbie to a given language starts with, looking like this:

Piet_hello_big

Piet’s “Hello, World”

Piet is more than a gimmick; it’s an eye-opener, in the sense of “Now I can see the Fnord” (“Fnords” are like tags, appearing before & after certain messages. Children in grade school are taught to be unable to consciously see the word “fnord”, but to react to it physiologically, so that the appearance of the word subconsciously generates a feeling of uneasiness and confusion, and prevents rational consideration of the subject. This results in a perpetual low-grade state of fear in the populace. This in turn perpetuates the need for Government, because without fear, people don’t need Government. Newspapers, naturally, have Fnords all over them. My adaptation to Fnord, Wikipedia). It shows us, simply, that any symbol can be a carrier of a program, activated through an interaction.

Inspired by Piet, and taking it to another dimension, one can see the possibility for a musical convention to represent a programming language, having a “Hello, World” concerto, each note or combination of, representing one or more statements. This musical convention is another eye-opener, issued from the broadcasting, one-to-many nature of music, unlike the one-to-one interaction model of a painting. One can broadcast a tune (or an image) over Twitter that will be deciphered by programs all across the backbone, and consequently whatever thing(s) will happen (I called this kind of tweet, a Twigger).

But are these programs, embedded in work of arts and tunes are only aimed for other programs? What about us? Especially now that millions of us are plugged into that global broadcasting network called Twitter. Can a tune trigger some unconscious mechanical orange in the global audience?

The wise and skeptical will certainly udnerstand that no matter what s/he knows about her conditioning to symbols, there are or there might be some conditionings that elude our consciousness.  Keep your eyes, therefore, open, especially when visiting the museum…

Each Bottle is a Unique Individual

July 13, 2008

 

Medicine Bottles Waiting in Line For an iPhone 3G, 2008

 

Damien Hirst, 1989

Medicine Bottles in a Closet.

and see Each Fish is a Unique Individual

Hirst’ Shark and Perec’s Room

June 8, 2008

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

Damien Hirst, 1991

Some banal questions before some even more banal ones:

Is it a shark or a work-of-art? It’s both, no? it’s “a shark placed inside a work”, and it’s “a work placed inside a museum” that makes this shark in a work in a museum a work-of-art. Like Duchamp’s fountain.

Major changes to the object’s native territory provoke shifts in meaning; it’s the re-territorialization into a different topology that reincarnates the object as a different semantic object.

But what about minor changes within the same territory – so minor we can hardly notice?

When, in a given bedroom, you change the position of the bed, can you say you are changing rooms, or else what? (cf. topological analysis)

Georges Perec, Species of Spaces

Barton Fink’s room perpetual metamorphosis

Or in the case of Hirst’ Shark – The Shark began to disintegrate (poor preservation) and so Hirst was hired to replace it with a brand new shark, making sure this time the materials used in the preservation process will beat Time for a little longer.

A philosophical question was acknowledged by Hirst, as to whether the replacement shark meant that the result could still be considered the same artwork. He observed:

“It’s a big dilemma. Artists and conservators have different opinions about what’s important: the original artwork or the original intention. I come from a conceptual art background, so I think it should be the intention. It’s the same piece. But the jury will be out for a long time to come.”

Let alone, our language.

Each Fish Is a Unique Individual

May 14, 2008

 
 

I s o l a t e d   E l e m e n t s

Swimming in the Same Direction

for  the  Purpose  of  Understanding

Damien Hirst, 1991

[Twit Twit Robots, 2008]

 

Suffocation

July 7, 2007

It was then [at the age of eight, standing on the platform and being all surrounded by an oil painting – The Battle of Waterllo ] I first realised the difference between a painting and out of doors. I realised that a painting is always a flat surface and out of doors never is, and that out of doors is made up of air and a painting has no air, the air is replaced by a flat surface, and anything in painting that imitates air is illustration and not art.

Jean-François Millet - Man with a hoe

Jean-François Millet – Man with a hoe

Gertrude Stein’s Paris France becomes more and more important for me as I go on reading it. Surrounded by a delightful literary style that renders many moments of pleasure are Stein’s observations about France as an alternative universe, a world apart, created to host the (different?) space, time and people needed for Art. These observations, I feel, are paths to the French philosophers I spend some time with.

[and see Condition for a postmodern Time travel for a similar experience of an air-less dimension]

The Cyberpunk Paradox

May 31, 2007

It was not until Ecko has made his tribute to language that I finally understood what I used to call the Cyberpunk Paradox – that self-mutilation by cyberpunks incorporating electronically networked devices into their bodies. As cyberpunks revolt against Control in its digitally networked form, staying off the grid would appear to be a much more reasonable tactic than becoming part of it, let alone if this act requires any sort of self-mutilation.

(An excellent short explanation/definition of cyberpunk can be found here. The first characteristic is titled “Negative Impact of technology on humanity”).

I can think of two possible solutions to this paradox, the first being related to the Jujitsu of culture jammers:

cyberwars05.jpg

“Jujitsu is the art of using the weight of the enemy against itself,” explains Filmmaker Craig Baldwin. “With corporations, sometimes the only way to beat them is not by brute force, but by symbolic agility” (citation taken from Culture Jamming 2.0). Personally, I’m not thrilled by this answer.

The second possible answer is what stands behind Ecko’s tribute to language: “I give myself up to language, anon, in a gift economy”. This total and unconditional [gift] surrender echoes Abraham’s binding of Isaac, echoes, I suppose, the symbolic sacrifice of Jesus. Ecko goes even further by cutting out his I and becoming anon, his sacrifice being a total gift through this erasure.

cyberpunk-shootout-23.jpg

Cyberpunk Shootout 23, mitx maraude

Whoever witnesses those sacrifices, those surrenders and give ups, feels that by this act a great defying essence is created, the System becoming seriously threatened. I cannot put this process into words as it’s illogical. My admiration for the courage and determination of those intuitively illogically logicals who give themselves up to the System.

Cut out the I, Man

May 7, 2007

Cut out the I, Man.

Click to see full size image

Man Ray’ story of the eye had two incarnations and three names: Object intended to be destroyed (1923); Object of destruction (1932); and Indestructible object (1957). The current story is different [as the unplanned typo in the full size  image suggests]; actually, I’m not even sure that it’s the same object.

I give myself up to language

May 2, 2007

“I give myself up to language, anon, in a gift economy”, ecko4inc

I give myself up to language

Erasure Heads, part#2

(Click to enlarge)

Language, a reversed panopticon. In the heart of the desert one stands circled with guardian Words. Their gaze. All it needs to see them is to take one step outside yourself; the whole path lasts no longer than one step.

The Ontology of DJ Spooky

December 4, 2006

“Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delaney, all these science fiction writers were engaging with trying to figure out how to think outside the box. The tragedy is that there is no outside the box. You’re just in another box, in another box…”, DJ Spooky’s Remixing the Matrix

You’re just in another box, in another box.
You’re just in another box, in another box.
You’re just in another box, in another box.
You’re just in another box, in another box.

dj-spooky.jpg
Click the image to get to DJ Spooky’s collected Essays

Also, I find the following DJ Spooky’s observation a sort of an answer to those worries raised in earlier posts:

“Once you get into the flow of things, you’re always haunted by the way that things could have turned out. This outcome, that conclusion. You get my drift. The uncertainty is what holds the story together”

DJ Spooky, Rhythm Science

Even Agent Smith Gets The Blues

November 22, 2006

A wonderful artwork by Eugene Donohoe that continues the “Soul of the Internet” post in that it provides, at least imho, some hope for us, humans.

Even Agent Smith Gets The Blues

Black Square

November 16, 2006

Black Square

Malevich, 1913

“To the Suprematist the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling.” Malevich, The Non-Objective World

Malevich’s feelings are not to be confused with sensual perception, which he defines as meaningless. Meaning comes from the soul, from feelings.

This is a Platonic concept, of course. The unpermutable soul holding the truth. And as we (now) know, the truth is the pure form.

Hence, Black Square.

At least this gives some philosophical depth to the incomprehensible paintings of modern art.