Saturday, January 30, 2016

"'Dear America, here’s a letter I received from Pioneer Collections Agency telling me they want some money because I refused to pay some criminal court fines for smoking marijuana on a river and not wearing a life jacket,' Fry said in a YouTube video, where he shows himself burning the collections letter. 'This is obviously tyranny. This is [expletive].'"

"When Collins accidentally played his reverbed drums through the microphone that producers use to talk back to musicians in a studio, the result was a startling ka-pow, which the producer Hugh Padgham heightened by suddenly 'gating' (cutting off) the sound to achieve a dizzying effect; it’s like being rocked by a jab that flicks out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly. There’s technological invention all over the track: Collins’s voice was run through a gizmo called a limiter, its parameters carefully set so his words seemed to slide in and out of focus. He also used a vocoder, at times, to sound even more like an unearthly soul. . . .Seemingly out of nowhere, the drums hit like a hail of plastic bullets, and the chorus is cut free to ascend to yet another stage of emotionally wrecked spectacle."
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
An Autobiography of Objects in the Work of Mark Ruwedel

"...[A] reliquary of contrasting aspirations and common failures, reflecting for us in metaphor the folly and limitations of rank individualism or militant separateness..."

Doesn't anybody see how scared you are?



Babbling brook a highlight at new Henderson preserve

"The brook is a natural feature that forms from water runoff from the mesa that combines with an underground stream, which emerges at one corner of the preserve and sprouts a dense thicket of foliage along its way to the other side, where it goes back underground."
Monday, January 25, 2016




Doesn't anybody see how scared you are?
There was a time when I was running you down
But the world kept spinning around
Doesn't anybody see how scared you are?

There was a time when you were running to me
But the lightning spared the tall tree

When your moon lights up the riverside
Slinging mud and bad blood
You can call me anytime
For all it's worth, Louisiana's still not enough

In your restless days
I got lost, I got saved
In your restless nights
I swung blind, somehow falling into the light

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Via L., who knows me
Friday, January 15, 2016

Harney County

As part of a multiyear process to make a photograph after Kelly Reichart's Meek's Cutoff, I've been fortunate enough to spend 2+ weeks and counting in and around Burns, Oregon and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, currently under "occupation" by batshit rightwing "patriots."

My thoughts today are with the shopkeepers, motel owners, Refuge and BLM staff and residents who have welcomed me & helped with my work.


At Thomas Keller's Per Se, Slips and Stumbles

"[T]his grand, hermetic, self-regarding, ungenerous restaurant..."

(aka a hard-driving autodidact taking his foot off the gas without inculcating a culture that can survive his departure)
Thursday, January 14, 2016
“The art I admire is where all my criteria to judge my own work comes from.”

Robert Linsley, one of our best critics, thinking out loud:

"The crux of the Moby Dick series, and of all the greater and lesser works that have come since, is that Stella is a montage artist. His works are assemblages of self-contained parts and his art is to dissolve them into a new whole. Like many other practices with the same principle it is a matter of taste and judgment to what extent the differences between the elements remain and to what extent their links to each other grow stronger and more apparent. So it was when he started to make relief paintings, but the evolution of the work has been not only toward greater unity and wholeness, but toward the recognition that the old masters were all montage artists as well. Preliminary sketches, Iife drawings, landscape sketches, photographs, quotations from other works and sources outside art—those have been the given elements melted down to make large scale unified works, whether in Renaissance Italy or Baroque Spain or 19th. Century France. The great tradition of European painting is a tradition of assemblage and montage, but the modern period proposed a narrower concept of unity and organic wholeness. The central modern tradition, rooted most strongly in Cézanne, imagines the parts of a picture as growing out of each other, not as brought from outside and assembled together. The great modern pictorial metaphor, figured in the arabesques of Matisse, is the plant. One may object that it hardly matters how one gets to such an appearance, and that it takes a lot of work, a lot of fussing and fiddling, cutting and stitching, to turn Frankenstein’s monster into a fair simulacrum of a living body, but the history of modern painting does present us with a distinction between works that are more or less constructed and works which are more or less organically grown. As I said, Cézanne is the ancestral figure, and the visible corrections, changes and rethinkings in his pictures are not to draw attention to the artwork as a conscious construction but to show how the forms grew over time. At least that’s how it feels, perhaps because he never let geometry take over. The temporal aspect is up front, and that’s what Matisse took for his guide and inspiration. Later abstractionists radicalized this move—Pollock, Frankenthaler and Louis being the canonical figures. This work is so strongly temporal that no corrections are possible, only addition. The result has been a new source of energy and many great initiatives, accompanied by necessary limitations. Stella’s drive is to overcome limitations, and his own limits were the early works in which the organic unity of modernism had become concept as much as felt reality. They didn’t grow into their form, they were invented whole, not an untypical thing post Abstract Expressionism."
Monday, January 11, 2016


Above: a wall today at Crawmers Critterz Preschool in Bend, Oregon, which precisely nails the Warholesque side of Mr. Jones' persona.

Below: Mr. Newton and his adopted planet.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
"After all, we're cranky and idiosyncratic."
"Why would young people enter a studio art program to become teachers and translators, novelists, archivists, and small business owners? Clearly, it's because these activities have become so degraded and negligible within the culture that the only chance for them to appear is within contemporary art's coded yet infinitely malleable discourse."
Saturday, January 09, 2016

Chocolate Factory Cactus Garden, 2016

Frank Stella in conversation: "There are some things that are not that fabulous in a certain way, but I like the variety and the way they move. I think it changed my idea about abstraction or about what I was doing. Abstraction didn't have to be limited to a kind of rectilinear geometry or even a simple curve geometry. It could have a geometry that had a narrative impact. In other words, you could tell a story with the shapes. It wouldn't be a literal story, but the shapes and the interaction of the shapes and colors would give you a narrative sense. You could have a sense of an abstract piece flowing along and being part of an action or activity."

Whitney Wash Tree, 2016

Brave fellow climbers, Nevada.

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