Here are 2 10″x12″ pen drawings that I did back in February but didn’t get around to photographing until now. I made them using a blue ball point pen and a compass. Luckily I had a compass with a long extension for it so that I could get at least 12 inches out from the center. These remind me a little of the I was a Landscape in your Dream series that I did that also used a blue ball point pen. I decided to only make 2 and the idea seems like a throw away idea; sometimes I get an idea and I just have to do it to get past it and that’s what this feels like.
The title comes from the Tunguska event which was a large explosion that happened in Russia in 1908. It flattened 770 square miles of trees.
Here are 2 more gouache and acrylic paint on paper pieces. The last one that I’m going to do is a gouache reproduction of The Pleasure of Deceit.
Here is what I wrote for the show at Way Out Gallery.
- 1. of or designating a verb tense or form indicating that the action or state expressed by the verb will be completed by or extended up to a time in the future.
- the future perfect tense
- a form in this sense
These works were gleaned from two separate but related projects that I’ve been working on for the past 8 years: Minimalism Elite, which re-imagines the past, and Future Living Projects, which imagines the future. They are similar aesthetically but differ in context. Minimalism Elite began as a collection of work that looked for inspiration from the past, at a short period of time after the prevailing trends of Modernism but before the post-capitalist strategies of conceptualist art, driven by collectors eager to consume and invest in a new growing corporate art market. Future Living Projects started as an exploration of art that existed somewhere between design and architecture, a theoretical construct to organize potential possibilities for both a utopian and dystopian future.
The sculpture series A Theory of Forms and Ideas takes its name from Plato’s concept of idealized form which postulates the existence of a “reality” inhabited by the ideal or archetypal form of all things and concepts. The sculptures posit themselves as anti-monuments, an articulated set of organized possibilities that inherently create an awareness of scale that shifts the viewer’s relationship away from traditional, monumentalized work, toward a position of enhanced intimacy. Their form is perceived in one instantaneous and inseparable way as mere simple objects concealing the planning and craft needed to complete the final product.
The painting The Pleasure of Deceit offers a mental construction of an insidious fantasy, a projected form that intuits the cynicism of human nature while Journey Into the Realm of Reason, Burning From the Inside and From Safety To Where…? expose the ambiguity of space–between knowledge and fiction and disorder and the Cartesian grid–distorted by unending vanishing landscapes. Perspective is used as a marker of spatial infinity, a visual reminder of the simultaneous existence of both a theoretical probability and physical impossibility, the antinomic dialectic between an optical glitch and mathematical certainty.
The Architect’s Tomb functions somewhere between sculpture and furniture and hints at the possibility of an intrinsically temporal dimension, a space that is internal and external in which nothingness eternally asserts itself as a permanent unknown. Light becomes a hypothesis of suspended physical transformation where mass and energy collapse, imposing a new, more solid and immanent objectuality, an entombed immobility of a future that is both present and past.
Yesterday I installed at a gallery up in Rensselaerville called Way Out Gallery that will be showing from September 27th to October 12th. The curators came to see my studio about 8 months ago and they liked the A Theory of Forms and Ideas Small Scale Sculptures and the gouache paintings and some of the other minimal work that I had been working on so I decided to center the show exclusively on a minimalist aesthetic, combining work from both Future Living Projects and Minimalism Elite. I knew right away that I wanted to show The Architect’s Tomb, Journey Into the Realm of Reason and From Safety To Where…? since I had never shown them before and was excited for the opportunity to exhibit them together. I decided that I wanted to remake Burning From the Inside but make it the same size as From Safety To Where…? and using the same gouache and acrylic latex technique. I destroyed the first Burning From the Inside when I moved from my studio in Brooklyn because of dark spots that showed up after I varnished it which for me ruined the flatness of the surface. I also wasn’t happy with the hard edges or the plastic feeling that you get from acrylics.
I decided also to make another new painting for the back wall that is approximately 3’x4′ called The Pleasure of Deceit. The image comes from a section of one of the isometric perspective pen drawings from A Theory of Forms and Ideas series. I was originally interested in making a painting that used the same distortion of optical perspective as the Opposition and Sister Squares Are Reconciled Pen and Ink Drawings but settled on an image that, although I thought only partly created the illusion I was looking for, was nonetheless more interesting. I was originally going to make it black and white so that the only color in the show would be Journey Into the Realm of Reason but I decided that wanted it to have a specific color combination and to sacrifice the original concept for the show in favor of making a better and more interesting painting. I actually haven’t finished the painting yet and I plan on finishing it and installing it right before the opening.
I’ve been working on some statements for each piece and I’m calling the show Future Perfect which means “of or designating a verb tense or form indicating that the action or state expressed by the verb will be completed by or extended up to a time in the future.” I’ve been having a difficult time creating a context for putting Minimalism Elite and Future Living Project’s together so I think that it will be easier to just say that they’re from 2 separate but aesthetically related projects. Burning from the Inside and From Safety To Where…? actually exist in both projects.
Below are some photos of the show at the end of the installation. I framed all of the A Theory of Forms and Ideas Gouache Paintings individually and installed them so that 16 were on one wall and 8 were on the other. Ten of the A Theory of Forms and Ideas Small Scale Sculptures were installed in the middle of the gallery on 3 pedestals. I also decided early on to not install anything above The Architect’s Tomb to give it space and the curators snuck in one panel from the ICB series which I brought as an alternate for one of the walls. It turns out that it yellowed and the blue pen has started to fade but we hung it up anyway. At the bottom is a computer simulation of what The Pleasure of Deceit will look like.
Here’s a product registration card that I made; It’s based on a card that I found in a Concord Tape Recorder box. I tried to match the fonts as best as I could to mimic the original and used a rolling tool to create a perforation where the stub is. I used an old rubber stamper used to stamp dates to print numbers on it using blue ink as a test. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it but I thought that it would be fun to include with any AAPR products that I ended up giving away or selling.
Here are 2 mock-ups from January that I created for a zine that I wanted to make called A Strategy is for Street Fighting for the Associated Artists for Propaganda Research. I came up with this idea sometime in the early 2000’s but never made them. In 2012 I designed the covers for a resume that I created for the AAPR and faked the dates so that it made it seem like I made the zines in 2001 and 2003. I never made a volume 2. The covers were based on 2 old manuals, one for a CB and the other for an instruction booklet on Yo Yoing. I wanted the zines to be a scramble of information that included artwork, anarchist rhetoric, criticism, formalist writing and illustrations that all alluded to rebellion and dissent. I thought that maybe I would make a whole series but create them all together as a collectors companion so that it created the illusion that they were all made between 2001 and 2008. We’ll see I guess.
The cover for volume 1 has 4 “fighters” on it which is an image that I used for a sticker; it is actually an illustration showing different kinds of suits used against chemical weapons. Volume 3 uses an illustration of one of the first portable atomic bomb launchers;I used a similar image for a large drawing from Epicenter City called Davy Crockett (Alternate).
Here are 2 pamphlets that I made sometime at the end of January. They are based on Mechanical Engineering pamphlets from the 1920’s that I found while working in a corporate office. I’ve been thinking a lot about archival material for an AAPR retrospective and really liked the look of these. I also like the idea of putting them under glass so that nobody knows that there are only blank pages inside. I probably spent the most time re-making one of the stamps from one of the original pamphlets so that it said The American Society of Propaganda Research. The other logo is an image that I’ve been using for a long time on other AAPR propaganda material; It’s supposed to be a corporate building but it’s actually a hospital from the side of a puzzle box for the TV show General Hospital. I also carried these around in my backpack for about a month trying to get them to look worn and used. The last thing I need to do is put on some plastic corners.
Here are some linoleum cuts that I made. I was originally going to cut them so that the lines were black but figured that this way would be a lot easier. I’m not sure about the results yet; they’re a little cartoony. I had to make the straight lines by hand because the metal ruler wouldn’t work with the cutting tool. I made a third one but I’m not happy with the way it looks so I might cut it again.