Monday, April 30, 2012

8th Avenue Tree, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012

War Game Tree, 2012

Approx. 36" x 85".  Made with a consumer-grade digital camera, a modified Google Street View rig, and digital editing software.

This photograph, along with two or three others, will be exhibited in May 2012.  Details in due course.

Still Creek, Vancouver, Spring 2012, 2012


Saturday, April 28, 2012
Jack Spicer:

With fifteen cents and that I could get a
subway ride in New York. My heart
Is completely broken. Only an enemy
Could pick up the pieces.
“Fragments of what,” the man asked, “what?”
A disordered devotion towards the real
A death note. With fifteen cents and real
Estate I could ride a subway in New York. No
Poet starved. They died of it.
Friday, April 27, 2012


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Study for War Game Tree, 2012

Kaanapali, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Studies for War Game Tree, 2008-12.  Some familiar technology visible in #3.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
"Then I started seeing how the transcendent would almost always creep into the everyday." (Alison Bechdel)
Friday, April 13, 2012

In memoriam Mitch Hedberg, still dead. 

"...and they all want Sun Chips!"
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CJ (9), 2012

CJ (8), 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"James Bridle is a Walter Benjamin critic in an 'age of digital accumulation.' Bridle carries out a valiant cut-and-paste campaign that looks sorta like traditional criticism, but is actually blogging and tumblring. His New Aesthetic Tumblr bears the resemblance to thoughtful critique that mass production once did to handmade artifacts.

Now, this isn’t some personal James Bridle failing. Mr Bridle didn’t invent social media, any more than the industrial automation of atelier artwork was somehow the fault of Herr Walter Benjamin.

However, this is a pressing New Aesthetic problem, maybe the core problem at the root there. The bandwidth is available, the images are there, and the robots and digital devices get plenty of look-in. Where did the people go? Where is the aura, where is the credibility? Are robots with cameras supposed to have our credibility for us? They don’t."


"Modern creatives who want to work in good faith will have to fully disengage from the older generation’s mythos of phantoms, and masterfully grasp the genuine nature of their own creative tools and platforms. Otherwise, they will lack comprehension and command of what they are doing and creating, and they will remain reduced to the freak-show position of most twentieth century tech art. That’s what is at stake."


"Artists have used mechanical means of perception for a long time now. One doesn’t have to apologize for this nowadays, in the way Baudelaire used to wring his hands over daguerreotype cameras. That fight’s over. Everybody’s got hardware. People who can’t read have hardware. Every ivory tower we possess is saturated with hardware.

One doesn’t need to retreat into mystic obscurantism in order to understand that CERN is worthy of interest. CERN invented the World Wide Web. Contemporary artists don’t have to grasp at metaphors in order to log on to the CERN website. CERN built it, we live it now.

You can have all the machinic imagery out of CERN that you want, but the question is: what does it mean, how does it feel, what you do with it, how can you create? Is is beautiful, ugly, worthy, worthless, how is that good or bad, how does it change us?

It’s easy to sidle over to the subterranean cyclotron to take Instagrams of the many curios at CERN. I’ve seen them, they’re strange to me, but they’re not strange to the guys who built them. An aesthetics that’s overdependent on weirdness lacks ambition as an aesthetics. Weirdness is merely relative. Weirdness is never value-free."
Sunday, April 08, 2012
"The verb dub is defined as making a copy of one recording to another. The process of using previously recorded material, modifying the material, and subsequently recording it to a new master mix, in effect transferring or 'dubbing' the material, was utilized by Jamaican producers when making dubs. . . .Dub music is characterized by a 'version' or 'double' of an existing song, often instrumental, using B-sides of 45 RPM records and typically emphasizing the drums and bass for a sound popular in local sound systems. The instrumental tracks are typically drenched in sound effects such as echo,reverberation,with instruments and vocals dropping in and out of the mix. . . .The music sometimes features other noises, such as birds singing, thunder and lightning, water flowing, and producers shouting instructions at the musicians. It can be further augmented by live DJs. The many-layered sounds with varying echoes and volumes are often said to create soundscapes, or sound sculptures, drawing attention to the shape and depth of the space between sounds as well as to the sounds themselves. There is usually a distinctly organic feel to the music, even though the effects are electronically created."
Friday, April 06, 2012

CJ (7), 2012
Boris Groys has met that guy in the coffee shop, too:

"Socrates offers the image, already familiar to us, of an ill-favored and chronically discontented consumer, constantly in a bad mood and eager for dispute.  Every time Socrates hears the fine words of the sophists, he destroys the good mood by finding some kind of logical defect and unsatisfactoriness in their words, which would otherwise not interest anyone, let alone disturb them.  We often meet such people in everyday life -- in business, in hotels and restaurants.  They are always discontented, they love to quarrel with the staff, and they really get on the nerves of other consumers.  Faced with these quarrelsome and nerve-racking figures, it is not surprising that people yearn for the good old days when this kind of person could be quickly pacified with the help of a cup of hemlock."

(BG, "Prologue," Introduction to Antiphilosophy)

Stan Douglas, Coat Check, 1974, 2012

The new salon. Perspective-box symmetry; even, multiple-exposure lighting; pattern 'n decoration; "learned" quotation (The Destroyed Room; Olympia; Death of Sardanapalus); the Props Department's fussy hand, arranging things just so.  Appearance of disarray.  "For this exhibition, titled Disco Angola, Douglas has again assumed the fictional character of a photo-journalist, this time a regular in the burgeoning disco underground of the early 1970s New York." (Zwirner press release).  I seriously doubt that Douglas, who is not an uninformed or careless critic of his own work, wrote this text, whose conflation of the tableau with photojournalism is almost comical in its misapprehension of the two modes.  The ubiquitous Greek NYC coffee cup is a nice touch; so too the tableau's apparent stillness vis-a-vis the speakers' heavy bass, which escapes photographic representation and so can only be suggested obliquely, gestured at, alluded to.
Main Street, morning.  Lady with mobility issues blows her coffee up all over the floor.

COFFEE GUY (quietly to CJB, next in line): Is there a huge mess over there?

CJB:  Yup.

CG:  I'll totally take care of that, right after I grab her a new coffee.  Hang on.

INTERRUPTING OLD MAN [shouting]:  It's wet over here!  Coffee all over everything!

CG:  A gentleman always uses his coat and his hat.

IOM:  Didn't you hear what I said?

CG:  Yes.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Extinction of Vancouver's Crested Mynahs

"It's possible that, left alone for a few more years, Crested mynahs would have become better acclimatized to Vancouver's climate, might even have figured out a way to spread beyond the mountains and thus fulfill the USDA's worst fears. Sitting on a nest for a crucial extra hour or two a day is hardly a huge leap forward. A few years ago, two University of British Columbia (UBC) evolutionists, Craig Benkman and Anna Lindholm, conducted an experiment on crossbills, a type of seed-eating finch whose bills curve sharply at the tips and do not meet, like a pair of badly aligned nail scissors. The birds have adapted to opening a particular kind of hemlock cone; when Benkman and Lindholm clipped their beaks, the birds could forage open cones, but were unable to open tightly closed cones. As the beaks grew and became more crossed, the birds were able to open closed cones again. This suggested that beak alterations had occurred gradually in nature, and that the birds would have had to adapt in many subtle ways to take advantage of the changes. Citing the UBC experiments, Weiner posits that crossbills with slightly altered beaks would have needed to refine their instincts for cone hunting, learn to recognize new types of food, develop new muscles to operate their new beaks, and so on. These physical changes would eventually lead to social and reproductive changes (as females chose mates with well-adapted beaks), and before long the world would have a whole new species of crossbill. Given more time, something similar might have happened with Vancouver's Crested mynahs.

But it didn't. Starlings happened instead. As I watched, the two Crested mynahs left their perches on the light fixtures and flew to a nearby telephone cross-tree, obviously hoping to roost for the night. Within five minutes they were assailed by three starlings. One of the mynahs scooted along the beam, chasing two of the starlings off, but the starlings merely flew up onto a wire and then returned. Before long two more starlings arrived, and both mynahs moved grudgingly back to their light fixtures, perhaps to protect their nest, but it seemed more as though they had just given up, realized that there was nowhere else for them to go, that wherever they tried to roost they would be ousted by starlings. Not violently, not aggressively, just edged out by sheer force of numbers, made uncomfortable, unwanted, forced into retreat."

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