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"Synthetic Synthetic Cubism"? Yeah, it's a misnomer--Synthetic Cubism was essentially late, illustrational Cubism but this current work I'm doing has more in common with the early, incomprehensible Analytical phase. The director of a nonprofit gallery that only shows overtly political work visited the studio a couple of years ago and dismissed pieces of this ilk as "just Kandinsky" (also not a Synthetic Cubist, but close enough). I take that as a compliment, since last I heard Mr. K. worked with paint (with all its history and baggage) and these are entirely done with a computer, printer, scissors, and tape. Masquerading as somewhat stylish drawings and paintings, they are simulacra--"robot Kandinsky." Unlike Mike Bidlo and the appropriators, though, I'm not making facsimiles of known early Modernist works. I'm actually still interested in the puzzles of representing a "vortex" or "field." How much does that "pure" field reflect the stamp of the imaging program? Can that programming be circumvented or thwarted? What is inherently "cyber" and what belongs to the pre-technological past? Those are some of the issues here.
Very funny/creepy montage here (Quicktime movie), consisting of fast clips of the fear buzzwords used over and over by Republican National Convention speakers. See McCain, Bush, Cheney, Pataki, et al saying "September 11," "Global Terror," "Saddam Hussein," "Weapons of Mass Destruction," etc. without the intermediate filler of their speeches, until you're ready to scream. The rhythms of the editing of the clips are very cleverly done. I missed the convention on TV, so it was good to get it in capsule form like this. Biggest ass of the lot: Rudolph Giuliani. (I expect this'll be all over the Net soon, if it isn't already.)
Debate 1 Recap: Kerry beat Bush on facts. But Bush, being a religious fanatic, stays on message, even though he f-ed up in Iraq. Kerry has no good answer to Bush's oft repeated criticism: How can you say "wrong place, wrong time, wrong war" (that is, make a devastating and accurate critique of prewar machinations) and expect to win the war? How does that inspire the troops? Kerry says he'll "win" by (1) going to the UN, (2) getting more allies involved, (3) strengthening Iraq's borders, (4) giving our troops body armor, (5) "chang[ing] the dynamics of the ground" (i.e., flattening Fallujah), while all the while criticizing the Administration's plan to build 14 military bases in Iraq. That is indeed a contradictory mix of signals. And would France or Germany really commit troops at this point? No. Will Arab nations? Get real. Bush plans to pour it on and kill more people without help; Kerry plans to bring in allies to help us do it, which will never happen. Kerry wants us to stay in Iraq for the usual bleeding heart "humanitarian" reasons (killing rebels for peace); Bush wants to do it to show Americans are tough (and for the oil). Yet I think Democrat and Republican voters alike are secretly banking that both are lying and will do a quick pull-out after the election. Both positions are phony, but Bush is at least internally consistently phony.
UPDATE: From the lead paragraph in the NY Times coverage today: "And it was body language as much as rhetoric and one-liners that distinguished the two candidates in last night's debate. " There they go again, focusing on the cosmetic stuff, avoiding discussion of the issues. "We'll get allies involved." Rii--i-ight.
Inflected Form(s): plural -chies
Etymology: Late Latin entelechia, from Greek entelecheia
1 : the actualization of form-giving cause as contrasted with potential existence
2 : a hypothetical agency not demonstrable by scientific methods that in some vitalist doctrines is considered an inherent regulating and directing force in the development and functioning of an organism
Debate questions from today's New York Times op-ed page, annotated.
WHAT TO ASK JOHN KERRY (note the Times puts the conservative questions first)Better questions, please?
WILLIAM KRISTOL: If you now consider the war in Iraq to have been a mistake, how could you, as president, "ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake"? (Translation: Kristol wants men to die.)
RUTH WEDGWOOD: How could we have guarded against Saddam Hussein's reckless nuclear intentions? (Assumes Saddam was a threat, recently disproven.)
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: What precise plans do you have to induce positive changes in attitude in Iran, Lebanon and Syria? (Assumes we're the "world's cop.")
WHAT TO ASK GEORGE BUSH
MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT: Since our direction in Iraq is obviously wrong, don't we at least need to change drivers? (Editorial masquerading as a question.)
RICHARD A. CLARKE: Under what circumstances would you authorize military action, including an invasion, to achieve regime change in Iran? (Assumes we're the world's cop.)
ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER Jr.: What is the relation between your Christianity and that preached by the pope and by mainstream Protestants who oppose preventive war? (Philosophical question no one in the public expects a politician to answer.)
I came across Wooster Collective: A Celebration of Street Art during my reBlogging stint, and continue to be amazed by the work on the site. A visual feast, inherently post-studio, and an insult to God-given property rights. Here's Isaac "A-Number One" Hayes on a fence in Germany:
And a couple of architecture-on-architecture renderings from Paris that are merveilleux:
More on the train wreck that is Moog, the film. Wendy Carlos must be interview-shy. Switched-on Bach is mentioned in the movie but not her, by name. She deserves more credit (A Clockwork Orange? "Country Lane"? Tron soundtrack? C'mon!). Too much footage makes Moog's instrument look ridiculous. There's an admittedly over the top and laugh out loud funny Schaefer Beer commercial with some knucklehead doing a real ice-arena show stopper on a giant, early, multi-module Moog, climaxing with him quaffing a brew and the tag line "Schaefer: the beer to have when you're having more than one." Keith Emerson still has his two-ton Moog, and you get to see him playing it during a recent "Moog tribute night" at the BB King Theater. But it just sounds like the "Aquatarkus Variations"--nothing particularly new there. Vintage footage of Gershon Kingsley's First Moog Quartet looks as silly as that group was. Rick Wakeman makes the point, during his long-winded, bloke-down-the-pub spiel, that before the Moog, rock keyboardists weren't sexy, but were seen as behind the scenes accompanists for guitar players. But because the Moog was so loud and flashy, suddenly they could hold their own on the stage. Some of the background transition sequence music is nice. It's interesting to watch Moogs being assembled and to hear the inventor talk about them--he's quite the spiritualist, and says he intuitively knows what sounds the circuits will make. He emphasizes the importance of playing live before an audience, and seems to distrust "music made alone to be listened to by people alone," which may be why Spooky's analytical discourse on the sampler leaves him cold. A couple of other notable points: the electronic composer Vladimir Ussachevsky gave much input on the design of the mini-Moog, we learn: specifically, putting the sound generating dials (oscillators) in one rectangular group and the sound-shaping dials (envelope, filter) in another. Herb Deutsch recalls that Ussachevsky recommended not adding a keyboard, because he felt that would encourage playing the instrument in a traditional way, as opposed to discovering new sounds it was capable of, an observation that turned out to be prescient, since most people just used the Moog as a spacy organ.
John Zoller, A Happy Farm Boy in Ohio, 2001, 60 x 72 inches, acrylic and oil enamel on canvas. From the series United States: Color and Learn.