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Jim Hamlyn, original .GIF, printed out for the "Infinite Fill Show." This image has been resized, the full image is here.
More about the show: Walter Robinson mistakenly describes the content in his Weekend Update column as "psychedelia and goth." Maybe he pasted in a paragraph from an old Whitney Biennial 2004 review by mistake? You have to stretch to find anything goth in the show, and psychedelia kind of implies color to most people these days, doesn't it? The keywords here are "Op Art" and "geek." Also, it's hard for me to imagine the phrase "eternal youth culture" coming out of the Foxy Production gallerists' mouth: who talks about shows that way? Besides, it's redundant, as I've argued on this page repeatedly: all of American culture is "eternal youth culture."
"Infinite Fill Show" installation view of collaboration: jimpunk (www.jimpunk.com) vs. tom moody, 2004, running on Netscape (slower than here, but it's fine that way, too). The gallery listed my and jimpunk's animated .GIFs as "URLs, not for sale" because I was too big a dork to burn them on a CD and demand several hundred thousand bucks for them. The small circles taped on the powerbook are checklist numbers.
Looks like there's going to be some national press for the show; I plan to keep posting about it, with more pictures coming, etc. This will be diary-style reportage, not criticism per se, since I'm obviously not detached.
The press has been ignoring Iraq since the fake transfer of power in June, but it's a slaughterhouse. According to an AP report cited on Juan Cole's site, four US soldiers died on Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total number of Americans killed since George Bush ordered the invasion to a total of 919. Robert Fisk, one of the few reporters telling the truth of what's happening there, describes a country on the verge of "implosion," with car bombings, kidnappings, murders of pro-US officials all on the rise (doctors and scientists also continue to be assassinated). The US has lost control of many cities and roads, but this is not being reported. Fisk also describes the manipulation of Saddam at his arraignment so he would appear disoriented on American TV--apparently he was lied to and told he was being taken to his execution.
Meanwhile, in the US, we keep getting bogus terror alerts such as this past weekend's, based on intelligence the government is now admitting dates back to before 9/11/01. I walked down Broadway south of Wall Monday afternoon and found it choked with media trucks with huge microwave antennas and helmet haired announcers doing their standup--they'd all converged to "report" on Homeland Security's non-terror-event, timed to spoil post-convention Democratic good will.
I went back to look at the "Infinite Fill Show" today and took some more pictures; I'll be putting them up gradually. This one came out blurry and I feel in all good conscience I should reshoot it, but I'm posting it anyway. It's an installation by Leif Ritchey, very easy to overlook down at your feet, in a corner. Yes, it's a zen rock garden with a black and white pine cone, beans, and raked sand, an elegant (but still somewhat lowbrow) counterpoint to all the digital brut up at eye-level. Ritchey's an analog guy, and I've been playing his video "Flatbush Windows" over and over and showing it to friends. I found it on the Nautical Almanac-related compilation Eyes of the Mind (which I've been meaning to write about--it's awesome). The video is as understated as this piece--grainy bits of one-step-removed footage shot off an awkwardly framed TV screen, depicting trees blowing in the wind, people walking up and down the sidewalk, clunky jump cuts of a pair of women's shoes (decorated with beads? I have to watch it again), with a soundtrack of jazz and quiet techno that's somewhat tinny, like it's wafting in from another room. The best kind of Cagean work, strangely gripping for being so ephemeral.
Amazon.com is weird, like a cult where the rules change daily. In an earlier post I described how their editors removed the word "sexual" from a review of mine and replaced it with "inapropriate [sic]." And according to the New York Times, they recently outed all their anonymous reviewers (in Canada) and started a companywide program that validates whether your reviews are written under your "Real Name" or a "Pen Name."
In the early days of the site they had a category called "I am the author of this book and I want to comment on it." I wrote an explanatory blurb about the post-hypnotic catalog, listing some artists depicted in the book, etc. and captioned it "notes from an artist and essayist in the exhibition." A couple of years ago, the "i am the author..." category was eliminated, and they moved the blurb to my list of reviews of other people's books, CDs, and movies. I thought that was strange, but let it go (it's not like they post an email for complaints). A month or two ago, the "review" disappeared from my list. It felt like they thought I was scamming, reviewing my own book. At any rate, I've always used my own name, but my "favorite reviewer" was dogmatico, who I see has also been removed from my page.
All this may ultimately mean less joke fodder such as this post celebrating the lowest ranked reviews of great works. dogmatico's favorite reviewer, "doo doo brown," to cite another example, made a career of writing dismissive reviews of canonical works of Western philosophy. (hat tips to Jim and Bill)
From the New Yorker, a review of a show mentioned on this weblog a few weeks ago:
DIANA KINGSLEYWell, "cute" is in the eye of the beholder, especially when a show is viewed selectively. Factual corrections: when a moth hits window glass, it's smashing (to the moth), and the tennis player falls three times if you watch the entire (two and 1/2 minute) loop.
“Isle of August” is a collection of videos and photographs of a well-heeled summer world. A tennis player, seen only from behind and the waist down, is oblivious to her flapping, untied shoelaces in “Court Disaster.” A stack of gilt-edged china plates teeters precariously in “Fair field full of dainty,” and a moth lured by a yellow flower bumps endlessly against a window in “buster.” But nothing smashes, no one falls, and the over-all effect is cute rather than menacing. Through Aug. 5. (Castelli, 18 E. 77th St. 212-249-4470.)
Painter Dennis Hollingsworth has a blog, which combines personal journal-style writing with documentation of his painting process, images and details of work, etc. Scott Speh's critical commentary on Hollingsworth was previously excerpted here.
artisforthepeople.com isn't a blog but rather art, meant to be consumed via the medium of the web. The site is anonymous as to authorship, but the man in the cooking show videos looks suspiciously like Ludwig Schwarz, who I mentioned here. Dallas never looks more abject than in his videos and photos.