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Some recent paintings by John Pomara:
Titles are, top to bottom, Luv Connection, Corporate File, Digital Dating, Double Dating, Jailhouse Rock, and Jetsons (all oil enamel on aluminum). Earlier posts on Pomara's work, expaining a bit about the process are here and here. The current, stylish group handles digital content in a thoughtful, oblique way. These appear to have architectural subjects, but it's wholly invented or aleatoric architecture--emerging out of the process of deforming imagery at the pixel level. What look like "wrecked scans" a la Karl Klomp's "glitch video" work are just a starting point--the logic of messy revision and chance is continued into the painting realm, which is already very much about significant accidents, since the AbEx days. Pomara also makes photos and ink jet works in this vein, and there is much back and forth among media in his studio process.
Update: Some links to writing on Pomara in Houston's GlassTire online magazine weren't working in my April 2001 post but those pieces have now been located: Bill Davenport's review and my reply. The reply is unfortunately captioned "Responses to Tire Iron #6 by Jeff Dalton" but my name is in there somewhere.
Update: The text of Davenport's review and my reply are here.
Update, May 5, 2009: Those links were broken again. I'm linking to the barely formatted "print" pages as there is no way to permalink the articles. Get it together, Glasstire! Oh well, at least the writing hasn't disappeared completely. Rather amazing after 8 years on the web.
I've been making screenshots of my OptiDisc GIF when it appears as as a background image or avatar on MySpace, LiveJournal, or other blogs or message boards. Not because I care about the hotlinking (which is how I find it--any use of the bandwidth of the image shows up in stats--the hit is pretty minimal) but as kind of a sociological project. As in, how many different contexts is this artwork applicable in? Besides homepages, it seems to be very popular as an avatar on automobile forums (!). About a third of the time there is some caption like "Your eyes are getting heavy..." I have over 30 uses of the GIF preserved, from around the Net--unfortunately the screen grabs are only stills and don't show it in its full pulsating glory. Eventually I'll put them up on a separate blog page. The sameness-in-diversity aspect is pretty intriguing. (Or diversity-in-sameness?) Not all of them are as good as Da Kid's:
"Aruba '85 (Screwed)" [mp3 removed]
I suppose this could be called wormhole ambient electro lounge. I am adding percussion to this track and otherwise recuperating it from being a mere slowed-down song, so this is work in process. The Mutated snares sound like whipcracks at this speed--and there are other interesting sounds I hadn't considered.
I have been spending the past few days trying to "master" some recent songs. Basically just get'em up near CD volume. I am very leery of ruining songs with EQ that took a long time to mix, but I'm getting more confident. Yesterday I even learned how to create an "automated parameter" that gently rolled off the bass on a track that started out too "thin" but got louder at the bottom. It was kind of a thrill to watch that EQ curve moving as if by itself in real time. [/music diary]
Update: Added the percussion and chopped about a minute out of it. It's "dubbier" now.
Artist unknown, found here.
From Mideast scholar and blogger Juan Cole:
I see a lot of pundits and politicians saying that Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq have been fighting for a millennium. We need better history than that. The Shiite tribes of the south probably only converted to Shiism in the past 200 years. And, Sunni-Shiite riots per se were rare in 20th century Iraq. Sunnis and Shiites cooperated in the 1920 rebellion against the British. If you read the newspapers in the 1950s and 1960s, you don't see anything about Sunni-Shiite riots. There were peasant/landlord struggles or communists versus Baathists. The kind of sectarian fighting we're seeing now in Iraq is new in its scale and ferocity, and it was the Americans who unleashed it.Way to go, us! Saddam probably gets some credit for suppressing Shiites while his fellow Sunnis got fat government jobs. But there's no question who let the cork out of the bottle and then stood there clueless watching the explosion.
From the blog vault: "Show Us Your Gnomes."
"Blip Festival Cell Phone Call" [690 KB .mp3] (about 30 seconds)
Artist and artMovingProjects gallerist Aron Namenwirth called me on his cell phone while he was attending the recent Blip Festival of 8-bit music in NY; I was w*rking and missed the call, but I kept his phone message and made it into an .mp3. This is what the recorder picked up--it conveys a little of what you missed if you didn't catch the Festival.
Sitepal TM avatars (or rather "personal virtual characters"). The idea is that reading a blog is too tiring and we need a little cartoon character that looks sort of like the blogger to read the text to us in a synthetic voice. The reviews:
72 neutral-to-favorable del.icio.us links (with one or two hints of mild sarcasm)
1 solid "creepy" from Guthrie Lonergan
Elsewhere Lonergan weighs in on the fake 3-D version of the Sitepal avatar: "wait till she talks twice and then she watches your cursor...creepsville." It's a fact--her eyes look like frozen horror movie eyes swiveling around inside a fright mask.
DJ Spooky said of the Net, back when it had a mystique: "the Net mirrors the street; as above, so below." This is still true, if by street we mean "place of rampant herd-like conformity." Case in point: 72 people accepting these goofy-ass personal avatars at face value, no pun intended, vs one person willing to suggest that the gimmick is flat-out macabre. (And that therefore, by implication, the creators should go back to the drawing board because they FAILED.)