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Without title, without end

  PAN mix, by Berlin based dj & producer Mo Probs (aka Monia L), for Nov 29th’s event at West Germany/Berlin with Tomutonttu, Helm, EL-G and Heatsick. Track list to follow. http://www.pan-act.com/ william burroughs and christiane f giampiero boneschi – new situation – 1973 african head charge – elastic dance – 1981 jon hassell – pygmy dance – 1988 dave ball and genesis p orridge – muzak for frogs – 1985 lena platonos – aιμάτινες Σκιές από aπόσταση – 1985 chris carter – moonlight – 1985 new musik – 24 hours from culture – part ii – 1981 fripp and eno – wind on water – 1975 cabaret voltaire – invocation – 1987 human league – the dignity of labour part 1 – 1979 carl craig – a wonderful life – 2002 aksak maboul – scratch holiday – 1984 eric peters – electronic rhythm – 1966 James Hoff/Miriam Katzeff Primary Information 41 Grand St NY, NY 10013 info(at)primaryinformation.org 718-757-6358 Primary Information is a non-profit organization devoted to printing artists books, artist writings, out of print publications and editions. Primary Information was formed in 2006 by Miriam Katzeff and James Hoff to foster intergenerational dialogue through the publication of artists’ books and writings by artists—emerging, mid-career, and established. Our period of focus is from the early Sixties to the present, with an emphasis on the conceptual practice begun in the mid Sixties and the strategy of using publications as an extension of this practice. Our program involves three distinct components: (1) the publication of lost or unpublished material still vital to contemporary discussions, (2) the publication of books by contemporary...

Reverence and quiet grandeur: Ariane Vielmetter writes of the floor

The floor is fertile ground for a painting. I don’t necessarily mean the floor as a site of production, I mean the floor as subject. It sits like a skin between the buried and the walking. It carries the scuffs, filth, and dust of attrition and of abandonment. It is a surface that records movement, contact, erosion, and repair, and provides a stage for the small and large dramas of everyday life. The floor is a reference point in our perception of perspective, and its presence in painting is a rather bold acknowledgement that painting, too, extends into the realm of the everyday. An ancient Roman trompe l’oeil floor mosaic by Herakleitos depicts the unswept remnants of a decadent feast scattered tastefully among the tiles. A light gray shadow falls from each crab claw, fowl bone, artichoke leaf, and fruit pit. A small mouse feasts on a nutshell. Maybe this mosaic was a reminder that all beautiful things are eventually consumed, whether by mouth or by decay. Maybe it was a signifier of wealth, waste, and excess, a precursor to the vanitas still life. Or maybe it was a nod to the burial ceremony of presenting the dead with a feast for their transition into the afterlife. These leftovers are immortalized – they are deliciously vivid stand-ins for their mortal counterparts, forever embedded in the grid of the image. The mosaic is aware of itself as both a floor (to be walked over, used, dirtied) and as a painting (to be looked at, interpreted, and preserved). Julia Fish focuses on the floor between thresholds, and paints the tiled surfaces...

Calvin Lee, talking once or twice with him

Words are great at a studio visit, in fact language is sort of mandatory. Tricky and open to misinterpretation as words can be, I find that looking and being present with an artist can have subtle and long lasting effects on my thoughts. Understanding requires a base experience of being in the moment, layered with a discourse that develops ideas together. For the best results this sequence must be repeated, and regularly. Calvin Lee and I worked together on a project called, “Last night I was kidnapped by a midget…” which resulted in a post on Notes on Looking with the same name. The work that he showed me at the time was from a series he refers to as “the Rodeo Drive work,” and for that on location studio visit he took me walking along the famous street in Beverly Hills. For this work Lee inhabits the edges of paparazzi-dom, over the course of the project he has photographed celebrities, retail workers, storefronts and other signifiers of wealth and ultra chic consumables. Some of this Rodeo Drive work is currently on view in an exhibition at Cirrus Gallery. “Livin’ L.A.” is Part 2 of the “Once Emerging, Now Emerging” Pacific Standard Time related series, and has been curated by Aaron Wrinkle and Jean Milant, Director and founder of the 40 year old exhibition space and print edition publisher. When I spent time with Lee this week, I thought that his work is evolving, and it feels like he is expanding his ouvre and questioning his practice. I hasten to remind you that only smug fools do not question...

West wind

“The ideal engineer is composite … He is not a scientist, he is not a mathematician, he is not a sociologist or a writer; but he may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems.” (N. W. Dougherty, 1955) “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” “The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.” “I bring you a bitter and living poetry to lash your eyes open.” By the East River and the Bronx boys were singing, exposing their waists with the wheel, with oil, leather, and the hammer. Ninety thousand miners taking silver from the rocks and children drawing stairs and perspectives. But none of them could sleep, none of them wanted to be the river, none of them loved the huge leaves or the shoreline's blue tongue. By the East River and the Queensboro boys were battling with industry and the Jews sold to the river faun the rose of circumcision, and over bridges and rooftops, the mouth of the sky emptied herds of bison driven by the wind. But none of them paused, none of them wanted to be a cloud, none of them looked for ferns or the yellow wheel of a tambourine. As soon as the moon rises the pulleys will spin to alter the sky; a border of needles will besiege memory and the coffins will bear away those...

Investigate, Curate, Present: State of the Art Experience at UC Irvine

(Irvine’s got grad students like cherried out camaros… they fly.) Under the general heading of “Support Your Friends,” and more specifically “Things Nice People Send Me,” I offer you a word of advice, based on an appeal for support from Andrew Brown, MFA candidate at the University of California, Irvine: “Please help us raise funding for the show we are curating at UC Irvine. Donations get you raffle tickets and a chance to win some art. Please go to the site listed below for more information, to preview the work available, and to help us out by donating. Thank you and happy holidays!” The task/opportunity for this group of students is to curate and present a group exhibition in one of the museum spaces at the University. They wear the hats of idea people, development team, installation crew, public relations agency, hydra-headed curatorial Legion of Superheroes, and oh – right! Development team again. While the team did receive generous financial support from Tinnie and Shiv Grewal, as they reach their goals they understand that with money – more is always better. An outline of the exhibition as well as a list of participating artists is below, and just under that you will find some words and images pertaining to the raffle. Tickets are only $5, there are many works available, and the images show the work to be quite compelling and more than worth the expense. Which brings us to that other lesson these young artists are learning – probably not for the first time and certainly not for the last – you struggle to make good work, you...

Young Chung is At Home

At my most recent visit to Young Chung’s Commonwealth and Council space David and I met outside at 7 and joined Chung talking with Ali Prosch across a dining table that is set up in the rooms beyond the exhibition space of this re-purposed classroom/apartment/office. We sat and joined the two artists in eating potato chips and drinking tea – discussing the latest iteration of Chung’s G.L.O.W. series of exhibitions, this one titled Gathering Lots of Wood and featuring the work of recent CalArts grad Kelly Cline and Brenna Youngblood – a painter and photographer who has been showing for some years. Prosch did us the favor of introducing us to her D3 project, “Object Divestment Services – Deliver, Document, Destroy” an artist group that helps clients… rid themselves of emotionally charged and yet impossible to throw away personal memorabilia. As our chatter extended in nature and in time, Chung brought out a bottle of brandy and then ordered in Korean delicacies. Three or four hours later David and I rolled out – buzzed, well fed and stimulated by our challenging and wide-ranging conversation with Young Chung and Ali Prosch. This is not an unusual scenario with Young Chung. Our friend who conceived and operates the generative exhibition space(s) called Commonwealth and Council is the natural master of hospitality in the LA art world. Chung’s generosity is balanced by the rigor of his artistic practice – in this instance, as evidenced in the program of Commonwealth and Council, which presents solo exhibitions with young as well as established artists and group exhibitions that bring into the conversation a variety...

Joan Brown and the rise of silence

Aah, my friends, I doubt the ability to pictures to represent reality. This is nothing new. But just now, I also doubt the efficacy of words to convey an experience. My own response to my skepticism has been a slightly mind-bended version of that old dictum – show don’t tell. Often I attempt to write around a thing and try by describing the edges to suggest the whole. Sometimes I just see myself, staring back. So now I am flummoxed. I have been reading all morning and what I know now better than when I woke is… the natures of the people writing. My reading has added nothing to my store of knowledge on the subjects that they covered. Occasionally I just give up. Silenced then (if only momentarily), I offer you the remainder of my images from This Kind of Bird Flies Backward: Paintings by Joan Brown at the San Jose Museum of Art. I also tell you that on February 3, 2012, the San Jose Museum of Art presents Renegade Humor, a large group exhibition featuring the likes of Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, David Gilhooly, Peter VandenBerge, William T. Wiley, among other artists who, in the 1960’s studied at and taught at UC Davis. That old black magic, my friends, it has me in its spin. Down and down, round and round. Go. San Jose Museum of Art website: http://www.sanjosemuseumofart.org/exhibitions...