Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ruminations of a young artist continued...

A young artist sits in front of the computer. The framerate flickers before his eyes. The first cup of coffee, one youtube video leads to another. Wikipedia. Learning many new things. This is a complex world. Information, Wikileaks. What is free? This is a fucked-up place.

Among the ruins, a small boy emerges. The villagers are in awe. A fantastical creature, half-cat half-dog, mister Sauerkraut. He whispers in the boy's ear: "use art the way you would use anything else." A sage's advice in a world that has already met its end.

The complications of having a post-studio practice in an object-selling world are many. What a sport to materialize ideas into appealing, transitive objects. Art schools are a site where this athletic imperative is in full gear. Given a studio by the same institution that produces legitimized value through academic credentials, how is one to imagine an adequate transition from this pedagogical conundrum to a professionalized adult life?

From the melancholic vacuousness of information's manic accessibility to the quirky hodge-podge of performative wikiselves, the labor of extracting historicity from the shallow tidepool of contemporary art's recent historical awareness becomes a key tool for constructing a career from other careers. Many emergent young players on art's Occidental map build these legitimizing techniques into careers marked by a fluidly object-based practice that relies wholly on the avoidance of redundancy. The need for an aesthetic that never repeats itself too much, concealing the repetitive pattern of labor through randomly assembled artistic novelties wrought material—art production to the tune of iShuffle. The economy's constant need for excitement and can-do imperatives re-territorialize the post-studio studio, transforming the site into a concept-engineering workshop that explores the art object's communicative appeal across the gamut of publicized taste. Within an open-source market, options abound.

Yet how many ideas can one fit in one show? Is more than one too much, falling as it could into tasteless excess? Should the multitude be crafted into a focus group, fanboys whose enthused will-to-consumption determines the very object-derived experiences that they seek? True, that the canalization of information's animistic spirit into discreet objects is a sorrowful affair. What constitutes the post-"studio" if not the begotten mind of the creative producer: a novel site where many moods and inspirations come and go at their own leisure. The stranglehold of the marketer's sardonic sentiments onto the art object is an inheritance best suited for nonentities; dupe artists keen on amassing slush funds for a political life possible outside of art.

Sitting with an artist. Punk rock pizza. Wearing bless pants. "The show will be remarkably clear: One idea, 13 oil paintings, 13 numbers. 1 to 13." Roman numerals? "Not this time. We could use them to number the slides though, what do you think?" The pizza is hot. It burns my tongue. "Are you okay?" I clench my sphincter.

Monday, December 13, 2010

ruminations of a young artist

A young artist sits in front the computer. The framerate flickers before his eyes. The first cup of coffee, one youtube video leads to another. Wikipedia. Learning many new things. This is a complex world. Wikileaks. What a fucked-up place…

Among the ruins, a small boy emerges. The villagers are in awe. A fantastical creature, half-cat half-dog, mister Sauerkraut. He whispers in the boy's ear: "use art the way you would use anything else." Sage advice in a world that has already met its end.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

for those long commutes…at war with the preps: magoo mix #1

That contemporary art and fashion lacks rock'n'roll is without debate. However, the notion that it ever could ever make up for such a lack is just as—if not more so—naive and ludicrous, mapping as it would a global market with the ageist and hubristic spirit of imperial commerce. That the chauvinist-eschewing microgenres of deep house and coldwave have recently emerged as the martial score to metropolitan creativity and its libidinal After-Dark is a completely practical expression of the two faces, ecstasy and anxiety, of networked productivity and its progressive sexual identities. Rather than rock's aggressive communion between its fecund author and wanton audience—a heteronormative schtick whose pursuit leads only to the author's abject objectification (see this), these two genres disperse the authority of such a communion across the android sexual relations particular to immaterial captial—be it deep house's ecstasy of the non-reproductive city-as-factory or seen in coldwave's subject herking & jerking to an anxiously revised historical object.

It is within these contextual tensions that AOWJM is pleased to present "At War With The Preps," a mix of music that blindly instrumentalizes seraphic argot with an impolite brun canard.


Friday, December 3, 2010

magoo venues: apotheke

wasn't there a certain brand of parsons-bred installation art use to look like this before being a crypto national-socialist was acceptable?
a warm feeling of nostalgia in time for the holidays!

where are you and who are these people? it is nice to not "get" the product you are consuming. is it magic?

dressed in silkscreened polyester guido shirts mocking the aryan beliefs via skulls and eagles they had originally integrated to their personal fashion style non-ironically, they made apotheke this groovy place to sip chartreuse and eat marinated pork tongues to the sound of relentless gabba.

many reasons to be excited by this bar—how many Chinese gangsters have shed their blood on the wooden surface your artiste biedemeyer cocktail rests on? the throbbing techno makes it impossible to have this conversation inside the bar, but it creates a binding atmosphere where all are forced to retreat into getting trashed on sophisticated cocktails as their skulls are raped by audio.

an provence launch? a multiplayer level for COD Black Ops? everything seems possible.

this place is a thrill...
2 get trashed
at apotheke
tonite, is cool

; -)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Antek Walczak @ Real Fine Arts

Who constitutes the constituency of Jay-Z's recent hit, Empire State of Mind? Simple, Jay-Z himself. In this chintzy jingle advertising a city of one, Jay-Z offers a retrospective look at the able adaptation of his self to the mythic social technique of swapping destitute criminality for the assimilable constitution of respectable elites. Jay-Z's cashes in on the social machine that collapses illegality into legitimate being, the entrepreneurial spirituality that refines the streets on which anyone can walk into the limelight that shines only on, and for, you.

One could also view Antek Walczak's current show, "Empire State of Machine Mind," as a cash-in as well, albeit one mobilized for very different ends. Known previously for his involvement in Bernadette Corporation as well as a writer and filmmaker in his own right, compared to these diffuse, object-resistant projects Walczak's (one could say in the spirit of enterprise) latest artistic venture is a legitimately conventional one: painting—an object so conventionalized that even its ironic iterations are admitted to its assimilable pantheon.

"Empire State of Machine Mind" includes four large canvases whose sole formal element is a schematic illustration of the chorus of Jay-Z's obnoxious anthem compressed by the Lempel Ziv Welch algorithm hand-painted onto primed canvas. Visually and conceptually updating Picabia's machine paintings, OULIPO's textual laboratories and Warhol's dance diagrams for a virtual present, Walczak's paintings also seem fabricated for a contemporary moment that prefers painting "beside itself;" paintings as historically-privileged discursive objects whose commodity status is ostensibly unmoored by dispersive relationships to socially-networked productivity. Yet unlike many of Walczak's New York-based peers whose work operates within this broad rubric–a rubric that largely serves to legitimize epistemologically ineffectual object-based practices–"Empire State of Machine Mind" goes one step further by not taking it–the reprocessing of cultural artifacts into networkable datum, that is–all so sincerely.

Like Broodthaer's famous realization of poetry's impossible object as an insincere work of art, Walczak's use of the contemporary canvas mobilizes a similar critical resolve. By instrumentalizing the code of networked painting to this programmatic chorale of Gothamite success, Walczak's objects achieve a critical posture not through the sincere reterritorialization of medium-specificity across the spectrum of post-Fordist productivity (or perhaps is it just the indexical by-product, the gentrifying ordure of financialized conviviality?) but rather through the insincere re-presentation of such an art's epistemological use as the ideal object of governable subjects, as assimilable codes of being situated around the metropolitan canvas. "Empire State of Machine Mind" reminds viewers of the criminal artifact that informs contemporary art's legible objects. That it is within the coded translation, or compression, of illegitimate life–with its impossible poetry and criminality–into the enforced world of ledgered value rests the critical potential that is to be found within, or beside, the contemporary painted object.
Is it by working through the machinations of contemporary (maybe advanced?) artistic production—which in Walczak's case is the supplementation of the ontological priorities of "transitive" commodity production with the material by-product of information capital, that art might conceivably defect from its servile conscription in finance capital's endless war? Picture if you will, "I prefer not to…" forged from the soul of an IT technician. Or more likely, an IT technician whose illusions of artistic grandeur presents a momentary crisis of value.