The photo at the top is a detail from Dearraindrop's installation at John Connelly Presents, 526 W. 26th Street, NYC. The full-color psychedelia never lets up--the walls are covered floor to ceiling with crude, slightly brain damaged painting, collaging, knickknacks, and inflatables--but I prefer the dense sticker/product collage such as the area depicted here to the painting, which is mostly sub-high school in execution. Ironically, the most sophisticated work is the video by the youngest member, Billy Grant, who did just graduate from high school. Maybe video is a better medium than painting for this kind of A.D.D., media-overloaded consciousness? I recognized some of the footage from Psych-Out 2K3: scenes of Ronald McDonald leading a pair of ecstatic youngsters through a solarized psilocybin world. Two floors down in the same building, at Greene Naftali, Jim Drain & Ara Peterson present a more minimal, scientific version of the psych experience: the video kaleidoscope shown in a cropped view below. The viewer looks through a triangular window into a mirrored tunnel, the cross reflections of which create an astounding illusion of a large, hovering geodesic sphere, covered with ever-changing patterns. This is completely cool.

- tom moody 6-20-2003 5:32 am

Billy Grant has also probably made the most insane music video ever, for Lightning Bolt's "13 Monsters", found on the band's recent DVD "The Power of Salad". This is a completely epilepsy-inducing color freakout of Slim Whitman Heads drifting across the TV screen, while Tony the Tiger plays guitar and a million other reminders of hyperactive sugar-cereal-dominated childhood rip into your cornea to the bombed-out sounds of Lightning Bolt. It's SO amazing, worth the purchase price of the DVD alone even if you're not a fan of the band (I am).
- Brian Turner ( (guest) 6-23-2003 6:05 am

Thanks--I'll order it (it's available from Load Records). The tape from the John Connelly show is also being offered for sale by the gallery for pretty cheap ($10); they said they'll email me when copies become available.
- tom moody 6-25-2003 12:11 am

Roberta Smith's description in the NY Times today nails the economy of the Drain/Peterson piece: "Prismatic color reigns in [...] an amazing kaleidoscopic DVD [...] by Jim Drain and Ara Peterson [...], who, with a small triangular screen and three mirrors, have concocted an endless geodesic structure that pulses through a veritable history of abstract pattern." She calls it "digital stained glass," which sounds a bit craftsy, and an "environment," which it's not because you can't walk into it--it's only an illusion of open space. Also, "small triangular screen" is shorthand: it's a regular, rectangular TV screen. The open end of the mirrored prism/tunnel masks the screen down to a triangle shape, which is then extrapolated into a sphere by all the reflections.
- tom moody 7-18-2003 9:57 am