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"There are no drum-machines, only rhythm synthesizers programming new intensities from white noise, frequencies, waveforms, altering sampled drum sounds into unrecognizable pitches. The drum-machine has never
sounded like drums because it isn't
percussion: it's electronic current, synthetic percussion, syncussion. The sampler is at first termed an 'emulator,' as if it does nothing but imitate existing sounds. Calling the rhythm synthesizer a drum-machine is yet one more example of [r]earview hearing. Every time decelerated media writes about snares, hihats, kickdrums, it faithfully hears backwards. Electro [e.g., Mantronix, Cybotron, Kraftwerk, Drexciya] ignores this vain hope of emulating drums, and instead programs rhythms from electricity, rhythmatic intensities which are unrecognizable as drums. There are no snares--just waveforms being altered. There are no bass drums---just attack velocities."
Excerpt from More Brilliant than the Sun, 1998, by Kodwo Eshun.
Once again I felt compelled to question Slate's coverage of Pollock.
There were some interesting entries in "the Fray" in response to Michael Brus's recent essay on the film. (And some not so interesting--I managed to get myself involved in a mini-flame war with a really abusive older guy who's still fighting the art battles of the '50s.)
My friend and former college roommate Mark Mellon has been getting quite a few stories published lately. He took fiction writing courses at the University of Virginia with John Casey (An American Romance, Spartina
), although he's never been particularly interested in writing Casey's brand of mainstream "literary" fiction. Mark writes stories that could be characterized as "intellectual pulp fiction," torquing up the raw material of war stories or science fiction with his own unique mix of anger, violence, and erudition. I'm posting his bio, to give an idea what he's up to, but also to give the "lay of the land" for an emerging writer at the turn of the millennium.
"Mark Mellon is a novelist who supports his family by working as an attorney for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. His life has been checkered, with past experience as a mover, lifeguard/swimming instructor, door-to-door salesman, carpenter's helper, Russian translator, soldier, phone solicitor, collections counselor, and teacher. He has had the following short stories published: 'Harry's Car,' in issue no. 1 of Retard
magazine; 'Trophy of the Hunt' in issue no. 32 of Aberrations
science fiction magazine; 'Conversations With an Old Man' in issue 2, vol. 2 of Chasm
magazine; 'The List of Caliban Cade' in the Jan. 1999 issue of Gothic.Net, an Internet e-zine; 'Where Will We Bury Them All?,'
in the July 1999 issue of the e-zine Of Ages Past
(this last story will appear in 2001 in an anthology, Twilight Antiquity,
put out by Dark Star Publications); and 'The Old Man and the Sea Ate Me' and 'Partisans,' in issues 3 and 6, respectively, of Gauntlet! The Magazine of Heroic Tales.
Three other stories have been accepted for magazine publication: 'That Summer on the Moon" (by Albedo One,
an Irish science fiction magazine), 'Viva La BigAss' (by Terra Incognita
), and 'The Brave Little Cockroach' (by Anthrolations, the Magazine of Anthropomorphic Dramatic Fiction
). Mark has also written two novels, The Empire of the Green,
and Hammer and Skull
(respectively a science fiction novel and a novel about World War II) and a fantasy novella: Escape From Byzantium.
The image below is an 18 x 18 inch piece of mine called Aggregating,
2001. The spherical elements are drawn with MSPaint and Paintbrush and printed on an EPSON 2000P on archival matte paper; the flat areas of color are also printed on the EPSON. The paper is cut into fragments, rearranged and patched together with strips of linen tape (on the back). The whole thing, slightly rumpled and bowed, hangs with pushpins on the wall. This piece will be on view in the Momenta Art
benefit exhibition, 72 Berry St, Brooklyn, from April 1 - 22, and will be reinstalled at White Columns and raffled off on April 24. (And assuming your computer will stretch it to fill an entire screen--as opposed to just tiling it--the jpeg makes dandy desktop wallpaper!)
Please note that I have expanded the criticism
section of my web site. The "Thread" exhibition essay now includes installation shots; I have included a link to my recent Sculpture
magazine article "Secondary Structures"; and I've reproduced the text of my essay on Carsten Nicolai's video-jamming piece Telefunken.
I've also included my "critic c.v."
There is an excellent piece in The Nation
this week by Win McCormack titled "Deconstructing the Election."
His argument, in a nutshell, is: (1) French philosophers Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida say there are no fixed meanings, only spin, and those with the power control the spin. (2) Conservative writers such as Lynne Cheney and Dinesh D'Souza say these ideas are a threat to the Republic and our way of life. (3) By asserting, during the recent election standoff, that machine counts were superior to hand counts and that judges could not be trusted not to vote their party affiliation, James Baker essentially argued that there is no meaning, only spin. (4) Therefore, by the Republicans' own logic, Baker (and his boss) are a threat to the Republic and our way of life. Working within this framework, McCormack gives a good recap of the GOP's ruthless power-grab during the standoff.
I have recently launched a website
documenting my artwork and writing. What I hope to do is put the work in context, through installation shots, critical texts, and discussions of the work of artists I've been showing with. Soon there will be more images and reviews. I welcome all comments and feedback.
In last week's Slate, David Edelstein reviews the movie Pollock,
poking fun at what he considers its pretentious artspeak
. He makes an annoying, perhaps willfully obtuse error about critic Clement Greenberg, referring to him as an "Artforum
poo-bah" when in fact, back in Pollock's heyday of the '40s and 50s, Greenberg wrote for Partisan Review
and The Nation
didn't appear until the '60s). I posted
on The Fray to comment on this, and got an "editor's pick." I'm pleased about that, but they really should revise the review.