in memory

Today was the big day. Carrie and I, in the interview we had done about the fence, invited everyone in the community to join us and participate in writing and hanging the names. We really didn't think anyone would show up... as I would find throughout the morning, my silly assumptions were generally wrong.

The man who had started hanging the flowers and the flags years ago (who we just met last week) brought the table. And when 20 people showed up almost before we even got out of the car, he went to get another table and more chairs.

When we started this project years ago, we weren't sure the community would stand for it. But right away the flags and the flowers started showing up. We weren't happy about the flags at all. We feared instantly that our project was being hijacked by this mob mentality that was spawned by 9-11 that began to use flags as band aids for everything. We wanted to tear them down.

It was one of the first questions we had to face on this thing. And we made an agreement that no matter what happened we wouldn't interfere with whatever anyone else did. It was now a conversation.

Well, it turns out that the flag guy we dreaded for years is the sweetest guy there is. And not pro war. In fact, he was a conscientious objector during Vietnam. He was a different kind of vet... and he reminded me that it's my flag too.

Another woman, who we hadn't met until today, was putting up signs that read WE LOVE OUR HERO'S (yes, with the incorrect grammar). Those signs with their glaring mistakes drove us nuts for 3 years. These signs wouldn't go away. They are even out there now. If one fell or disappeared, a new one would follow it, this time laminated... she was evolving her technique, just not her grammar.

Anyway, we met her too finally. A nice older woman... four brothers who served in WWII. 2 Nephews in Iraq right now. She came up and kindly asked if it was okay that she put her four brothers' names on the fence... (and i'm bitching about grammar? sheesh)

So all these people show up. All different kinds. The guy in the photo with the crazy flag shirt. He was first with his wife. I saw him and in my head a little voice was saying, "oh shit, it's going to be that kind of crowd."

but it wasn't. Next came a lesbian couple. Then an asian woman, some bikers... all kinds. They came and they dove right in.

Besides the cars driving by, you could hear a pin drop. It was like study hall. I could see them having that same feeling Carrie and I did when we would sit and meditate on each name as we wrote it. I could see them wondering who this person was? what were they like? did they have kids? that realization point... shit. people are dying over there. (horribly, more than just the names on this fence...)

at one point i walked up to the table to get more names to hang, and a woman writing stopped suddenly and i heard her say to herself with a quiet shock, "i know this guy." I took a big breath. I remembered the day i wrote my friend's name down only to realize what i had just done.

And the day was like that. This action of writing and hanging the names one by one in the cover of night... suddenly all of these people were doing these actions, as if we had been cloned, in the middle of the day... we never really showed them how to do it, not that it's complicated, but it was if information had passed on its own, through something porous.

We had expected to be there all day. But these people... they wrote and hung 1000 names to bring the fence up to date in one hour.

A lot of my fellow art bloggers are discussing art and what and who it is for. I think I have my answer. Painting is what it is. And galleries. And the bubble. And Art Inc. And they have a place, don't get me wrong. But in the US especially, where most are living on some magnetic track that takes them to work and to the mall and home like a ride at disneyland that you can steer but not derail (perfectly titled "Autopia"), to be fascinated again is all that we are silently yearning for. To participate. To have, as Joseph Campbell says, an experience of living.

Magic is not magic. According to my computer, it's just "a quality that that makes something seemed removed from everyday life, especially in a way that gives delight." I'm not sure it needs to be delightful as much as a real experience of living. An interruption of "life" with life:


honk honk...

ever so proud to be an american



painting's not that hard

how bout a tv channel that just shows artists making stuff 24/7. I'd watch that. There is probably nothing more hypnotic.

(ashes... take note that he also makes use of magic art goo. hey, this painting kind of looks like your felt paintings... um, are you stealing from bob ross?)


what do you do with the mad that you feel?

This video goes with the Curtis White essay i posted below. This is the Christ I imagine he is describing. I don't know in my lifetime if i will have the courage to ever be this honest, sincere, or vulnerable... let alone the courage to even speak this slowly and clearly. but this is what it takes to bring on real, profound change... the liberation of the oppressed and the oppressor, through compassion.

Here is the video (important to watch all the way through)
Here is the essay again (important to read all the way through)

*** thanks to Bob Cesca at HuffPo***




just when i wanted to get all bitter and disgruntled and hopeless about the internet being swallowed whole by mega-corps. this happens...

Kudos to the "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006" and to those that fought so hard to make it happen. It was getting kind of scary there, the scariest part being that no one really knew this was going on.

now go back to reading the essay below.


the spirit of disobedience

This is the essay i have been waiting for. I didn't even know i was waiting for it, but then it found me on the side of the road, hungry, worn out and hitchhiking to anywhere other than the places i had been bouncing between... namely Anger Sadness and Discontent.

I'm so happy someone actually has the whole thing online. I was about ready to type it all out myself. But here it is.

(takes a second to load...)


blahg blahg blahg

well, i'm just real busy is all.
i have so much i want to get to on here and yet everyday i have some other crap to take care of. it's gonna be like this for maybe a couple weeks. I have three paintings to finish and the fence just continues to continue, plus Carrie is in town for a bit and the cat has pancreatitis, so blogging is taking a backseat. man, sucks when real life starts to infringe on virtual life... but not really.

so yeah, right now this is the blog that isn't talking about the "art blog revolution" or how Artbucks only buys gradschool crap which, actually, that part I'm okay with because really ... fuck'em already, who wants to be an art star anymore anyway? Good god, that ranks right up there with being cast as Annakin Skywalker. And i think we should all face it that we are bound to die poor, unknown, and looney (especially when They discover ten years from now that blogging leads to schizophrenia). Anyway, then we might get some real work done around here.

(if any of you that i have sent here at one point or another are still reading this blog at all... you should check out those in my links column whilst i deal with my thingies, they are all posting really good stuff right now...)



the primal forces of nature

(from the movie "Network"... made in 1976. And for the time being, yes, i am posting quotes. i'm busy...)

Arthur Jenson: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it!! Is that clear?! You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance!

You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, Reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!

Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.

We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.

Howard Beale: But why me?

Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

Beale: I have seen the face of God.

Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.



the revolutionary act

This excerpt comes from John Berger's The Shape of a Pocket...

"In 19994 Miquel Barcelo wrote the following in one of his notebooks:

To paint a flayed ox has rebecome important. Like in other times but always different. Not like the Romans painted food, not like Rembrandt, not like Soutine or Bacon, not like Beuys - suddenly the chance to paint this has become something urgent, necessary, essential: blood and sacrifice ... but it would work also with an apple, with a face ... one has to take things, one after another, from the stickiness of Berlusconi, and make them anew, fresh and clean, show them palpitating, or with their own sweeet rottenness.

The reference to Berlusconi is telling. Every day, all over the world, the media network replaces reality with lies. Not, in the first place, political or idealogical lies (they come later), but visual, substantial lies about what human and natural life is actually made of. All the lies converge into one colossal falsehood: the supposition that life itself is a commodity and that those who can afford to buy it are, by definition, those who deserve it! Most of us know this is false, but very little of what we are shown confirms our resistance...
Imagine, suddenly, the substantial material world (tomatoes, rain, birds, stones, melons, fish, eels, termites, mothers, dogs, mildew, salt water) in revolt against the endless streams of images which tell lies about them and in which they are imprisoned! Imagine them, as a reaction, claiming their freedom from all grammatical, digital and pictorial manipulation, imagine an uprising of the represented!"

--published in 2001



still truckin

been a little light on the blahg as of late. all is well though. There's just lots of things in the cooker right now. For someone who is "jobless" there's certainly lots to do... above are some elements i'm mixing together for new paintings for an upcoming group show. so good to have another deadline... we like deadlines. just not lines that are dead.

at top, another bit of innards i pulled out of suit surgery (whilst extracting the pockets). There are breastplates in a suit, fabrics sewn together to pad the chest area a bit and connect the outer skin to the inner satin lining. The stitchings are these incredible plans for war... most likely crafted by a woman resembling the one in the post below, for a man like the one seen in that same post... for cheap.



i got 99 problems, but a migrant worker ain't one

a pop quiz...

1. Which of these people is stealing your money?
2. Which of these people plots everyday on how to take even more of your money?
3. Which of these people follows more closely the original ideals of what it meant to be an american?
4. Which of these people gave more to the economy than they took for themselves?
5. Which of these people is responsible for americans losing their job? (i know that one will be tricky for a lot of you, but dig deep)
6. Which of these people made 1000$ while you took this quiz?
7. Which of these people actually work for a living?
8. Which of these people does dirty work?
9. Which of these people does YOUR dirty work?

BONUS QUESTION: Which of these people is most likely smuggling immigrants in their chin?