Over the weekend while I was working on various Matterhorn Project items, I saw a notification that informed me that Flickr was uploading photos from my iPhone. The mobile was not plugged in to the iMac, which is connected to the web. Flickr windows were opened. WTF. I don’t like being hacked. It turned out that the culprit was the Flickr Uploadr app I’d downloaded in a half-assed way a couple of weekends ago. I thought it hadn’t worked for some reason, and used the old tool to add some photos to the AFH Flickr portal. Anyway, it’s 2019 and the web is automated in ways that were inconceivable in, say, 1995. I’ve decided for the moment to take a laid back approach to the situation, partly because the images that Flickr made an album with (all by its automated “self”) are ones that I want to reconsider. Let’s call it a happy accident. I thought I was finished reviewing my time in NYC (and Oxford, etc.), but the catalog the Uploadr threw back in my face & forefronted the past several years (1/2016-19) in my mind, whether I wanted it to or not. Emotionally, my response is a mixed bag, containing low lows and good times, and a bunch of life moments that hardly feel real anymore.
You know, dear reader, that AFH Flickr archive has had over 660,000 views, since we went live in 2006. Those numbers are nuts! Some social media/consumer portable culture icons get those numbers for a single post nowadays, I know. But in the mid-Oughts that sort of massive interactivity with images put the world on notice that an individual, any individual, could effectively compete with media giants for the eyes and attention of users the world over. We designed an AFH platform that had multiple access points and lots of connectivity. The array featured a nice balance of original content, project documentation, theory, critical discourse, cultural/political/economic analysis and more. We reached a lot of folks, proved the 4D model (analog>virtual<>analog>virtual) and, best of all, a lot of the time it was fun as hell. We worked with a lot of very cool people. A bunch of them are doing great work right this minute. I’ll turn 55 next month, and am discovering that Rudy White Buffalo was steering me straight. “You spend the first 50 years experimenting and the second 50 assimilating,” he said, with a big grin. “After that first 100, if you get that far, you’ll be a real human being.” Those Tarahumaras used to lived hundreds of years, Rudy claimed.
Shane lent me The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker to read. I like it. I trained with poets at the University of Notre Dame, including John Matthias and Goran Printz-Pahlson. I’ve been to quite a few readings over the years, and done a few myself. Poetry seems an odd activity to revisit in these hard times. The same can be said of any artistic enterprise. Of course the opposite is true: poetry, dance, art, music, theater and so on - the humanities, the juicy creative stuff - these are best things to do, when it appears we all are on the verge of war, or awawr. The US government is shut down over a wall proposed for the Mexican border. The economy is teetering at the edge of recession. China and America are maneuvering through the first salvos of a trade war, which hotheads suggest could shift into the real kind. The “wars/rumors of war” churn is in ON mode. Russia, Iran, Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Taiwan. A little spark is all that is needed to start a YUGE conflagration. Cross fingers. The weather is mystifying and terrifying, with glaciers melting, forests blazing, droughts, etc. Meanwhile, the SuperRich gather at Davos to fret about Inequality, as they did last year, but if you crunch the numbers the message does not conform to the massage. The Yellow Vests are taking it to the next level. The lies are losing their luster.
An artist in the USA is a citizen, first. Whatever one’s occupation or non-occupation, in a democracy, this is the case. The subterfuge of democracy is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, programmatically applied over time to some degree, but also arising from a myriad of conditions, forces, dynamics and circumstance. More than ever before, humanity is equipped to address anti-democracy at most any level. So then, why is no adequate defense of representative, republican government visible? Which is not to question the consistent appearance of resistance ~ it is ever present, and a menace, a source of trepidation to those who demand the co-optation, or even extinction of free society. The ghost of rebellion haunts these individuals, their concourse, their decadence, their syndicates. It is the horrible logic driving their hiring of private armies, their expressions of dismay, public and private, their accidental slippages in which they demonstrate disdain, hatred and loathing for those they worry threaten or despise them and their false status and pride. These parasites and predators, these sociopaths, know deeply their existence itself is an abomination. I will not accept their patronage. This position has cost me tremendously over the decades. I refuse that form of slavery, because it extends directly to their ideas about "collecting.” To these oligarchs and their minions, the art object is an object of consumption, a wily theft from the public domain, a slave bought and sold at auction, something that - like everything - has a price, the means by which they dictate value, a court joke, a key to separating culture from the commonwealth, a sign of power, wealth and reproduction. Like them, their affliction unto art is an abomination. They would we be doomed, as they are, bereft of Spirit, shadow creatures with numbers and names attaching. Their days are numbered and their names will be forgotten, and thereby erased for all time.
The templates for community action are only inert, in themselves. Only when people apply them, utilize them, is their value realized. Time-based performance is a means by which such models become catalysts for collective behavior and organization. The presence of noise (music), food (sustenance), touch (dance) and so on, in formal context with overlays of both power and control plus release and freedom ~ the recipe for fiestas pretty much seems hard-wired into the human experience. The phenomenon of the block party for instance is practice for mobilization (for emergency, for war), as much as it is an outpouring of shared culture or belief or sensation. Decoupling the praxis from its awful iterations (e.g., lynching) and reassigning it to free, democratic purposes (secular, not to honor kings either), that is a task for the 4D generation.
One binary that necessarily must be disposed of promptly is “living within one’s means” versus “meaning in one’s life.” This superimposed pragmatism is a moralism inflicted by the rich on the poor. Now that being unimaginably wealthy is a joy a few people know, and impoverishment is the mundane reality of billions of people, the austerity for the serf class program deserves a toss in the rubbish bin, along with those monsters who peer down from their rooks at the masses and launch pithy missiles at the homeless hordes. Which these neo-robber barons committed to the wastelands, through the management and enforcement armies serving the whims of said robber barons, more or less operating at their beck, call and disposal. On the one side of the binary are for-profit prisons, the surveillance state, the destruction of public education, health care and welfare, for the young and elderly. On the other is the $300,000,000 yacht with an IMAX theater onboard. Such disparities cry out for redress. A Tomahawk will do, in a Tea Party scenario. Yes, a revolution is in order, and it is in the works, putting itself together, a phenomenon that can be understood as the real, speculative but non-objective version of a weak conceptual pipe dream AI.
I watched most of the trending documentaries and movies focusing on the art world, films like The Price of Everything. I was not impressed. All this is reminiscent of the media spillage that preceded the Great Recession, the spew that washed out of the artsy sewer trenches behind gates, on private jets and whore islands, in which the dumbluxe .00001% orgies happen. Artnet posted a 7 Best compendium for the Holiday, which I used for a short list. Of course the ubiquitous Jerry Saltz was front and center, and the usual suspects. Saltz is the equivalent of Tokyo Rose, urging artists to not be envious, and shit. The farce is strong in that one. His filthy Pulitzer, which he should timeshare with that wily punkass Walter Robinson, ought to be a poly-clay prop zombie figurine. These atrocious cunts deserve any sucker punch they get. The entire rotty lot of ‘em. If you happen to watch all the pictures artnet recommends, and you happen to be an artsy revo-lad or -lass, make another list, with the name of everyone who appears in this slipshod propaganda. Then create your masterpiece, which, if done properly, should also appear streaming on one of the services, and/or an elite cable channel. Aren’t these fancy tech terms becoming quainter by the nanosecond? & Remember: Nothing that J. Saltz writes, says or does is non-fictional.
The drain is making funny noises. Must be partially clogged. The infusion of creative class projects blurring the lines between actual art and design, or commercial art, is a function of basic exchange value. As one’s identity converts into profiling, and the enormity of the transaction and redistribution of all wealth/information is achieved, and your genetic code is projected through the next few generations, whose fate is thereby determined, and the management of outcomes and incomes is stripped of any risk to the most powerful and well-vested in our human fellowship, THEN an art will appear to pay homage to the winners. Once again, art will be properly sorted. Techne will no longer be distinguishable from episteme, and the border between one and zero will be extinguished, again. Made and unmade will occur at the whim of the non-king/king. The Court Artist will be the only kind who gets paid.
QuicktimeVR and some of the other early software tools for representing 360 degree spatial perspective in the ethereal virtual medium propose a really new optics. Hardly anyone I know of seems to have been interested in the strange artifacts generated by these programs. Like gamer glitches that happened in world-building for 1st person shooters Marathon and Doom. You could still find these bizarre schismatic features in later games like Duke Nukem, Call of Duty and Max Payne, but programmers and codes got better and worlds inside the box stabilized. Spinning around and looking up and down in virtuality is generally tedious and funky. I haven’t yet played with true next gen VR, or even the crap low-end gear and wares. At some point, while I was writing Matterhorn Project, post-Occupy, the thrill was gone. NY, and more specifically, Brooklyn, crushed VR for me - even though I was in proximity of many heavies in the field routinely.
As a result of intently studying economics, politics and management, over the past decade and a half I am skeptical of abstraction in analysis. When I hear an expert discuss “the Economy” as if that economy were a type of natural phenomenon, like weather used to be, I tend to discredit the projected narrative to follow. The academic relation to economy is fraught with conflict, and this is true of politics, management, and also society or culture, broadly speaking, the humanities. Art is located in all these sectors, and provides a neutral lens for rendering them outside the bracketing narrative. So far, the borders of art have not been determined with certainty. The definition of fine art is obviously a work of fiction in a continuum. However, the craft of art is specialized enough over centuries to require disruption on a massive scale to dislocate it (artist craft). No matter what happens, it appears, people will paint and sculpt. As long as the sun rises and sets and there are people.
…And your friends and family will want some, right artists? This is art outside economy. The price of everything artistic is not measurable in the same vernacular as Bitcoin. Which is true of almost everything, really. Only the endlessly unsatisfied hunger of the modern financial sector is averse to that reality. The Fin_Sec consciousness is a concentrated AI whose organism is Civilization itself, empire, the command and control complex, the extraction exploitation scheme. The 1 % art world as such is an extension of that program. Simply put, a rationalization and justification utility designed to uphold the principles of certainty that suspend accountability for Civilization’s current winners. One’s alignment, for or against (as W put it), will to a great degree determine one’s trajectory in relation to Civilization, if one has agency at all. Musicians really get this one, because the dynamic resembles rhythm.
Art is like the lid on the garbage can of Civilization. America is the moment when we can turn the can over and dump all that junk into the yard of the asshole who made it. We don’t have to walk past the dumpster, and sniff the putrid decay. We don’t have to drive behind the garbage truck for blocks and sink into the seat while garbage men dump oozing, fetid piles of heinous stuff into the back of the vehicle, and squash it with the machine, then cart it off to some facility or landfill to be made temporarily invisible and neutral, the worst kind of anti-truth. Meaning waste. Art despises waste. Art supposes everything and everyone is precious to begin with, because the artist wants to see everything, and see it for what it is. Life is so short. Wasting any of it is wrong.
The shadow of a thing is inseparable from that thing, except in bad dreams. Waste is imagining the shadow and thing separable, then forcing that nightmare into the visible spectrum, assigning abstract value to the process and outcome, so as to create profit and loss. A few winners get the goods. Everyone else gets the pollution and the bill. Waste is a close relative of the conception of the non-utile. It is also related to the dispensation of non-personhood, out of which arises the conception of the slave, which is useful, until such time as it (the slave) is determined to be waste. The linking of meaning to the process of creating wasteful scenarios is the task of the humanities for Civilization. Waste is inexplicable outside of Civilization. The beautiful is the weaving together of thing, shadow and a special kind of form, a shape of everything as it is at some point in its existence.
No matter how much information is collected and archived, man will only ever be capable of knowing that he is mysterious. The current massive campaign to horde all the details of each citizen should trip all a free society’s alarm systems. The danger that accompanies a pretense of certainty pertaining to the people collectively and individuals - starting with identity, extending to ideas, portending future action - is substantial. It should be obvious, why that is so. Free thought, then liberated/-ing action is and must be mutable, because it occurs in the medium of the infinite. Sorting and referencing data in an archive is not a bad idea. After the fact, an event can be remembered, made memorable, through techniques that facilitate carrying the past and present into the future. As any nomad knows, however, there is a tipping point, when the stuff that helps you recall where you came from is too burdensome for forward progress. At that junction, one has to choose whether to settle down and build a library, bury the stuff in the ground and leave a marker, or just toss it. I guess it’s a fine line between garbage and material history, if you’re a dedicated traveler. Artists generally get this conundrum, too.
The simple projection is what happens when you have a light source, and opacity interferes with the light reaching the substrate opposite the source of the directional projection (which is “thrown” or “shot,” like a javelin, arrow or discus). The mechanics of reflection and projection as they are currently practiced are usually associated with imaging or ambiance. The presenter tweaks settings usually to optimize image legibility, estimating a proper, harmonious balance between blur and focus, for example. The presenter must also be into perspectival geometry for the framing of the image thrown. The neat thing is, the science of projection is a lot the same science of stargazing, of navigating. the science of man finding his place in the universe, but also the science of man getting from point A to point B on the globe. The thinking involved is very complex, as it incorporates the spheres and both linear and 3D framing. The context is peculiar, because of multi-faceted simultaneity. The everything-happening-at-once 4D thinking occurs while we’re engaged in mechanical problem-solving. As it is linked with computing the universe and our place in it. The practical key is the diagram answering the question, How are we to physically move around in it? It being the Universe, the World, the sequence of thoughts, the exhibit/object array, our complicating relations, noting space, place and time. Or some combination of these things. On levels of layered discourse: A lot of subtext or second order thinking seems to be concerned with questions about being alone, or lonely; or here, now; and what it would be like over there; etc. Art seems to extend from thinking about the universe, trying to get someplace, and what we think of and feel in the meantime.
Participation in art events is important for artists who test reciprocity, which is a marker for free exchange in the commons. Community art is peculiarly attuned to the dynamics of the 3 A’s: affinity, appeal and attraction; these characteristics promote the binding values of the people in the community, and are tied to reproduction as a force for the group’s sustainability. Thinking of art as a gift to be shared works if the artists’ room and board are covered. Free speech is an immaterial, with actual effects. The objectification of free speech in art allows for the practice of co-liberation in formal logistical exchange. I make something: that something activates a subsequent transaction; highlights the participants’ consciousness of freedom; quality being one of the prime drivers underwriting the activity; shared existence the reason for our giving of some unique thing back - and forward, to subsequent generations.
What is local and what is global? Is there a clear divergence, post-Internet? The answers to these vital questions are complex, convoluted, dimensional. In order to effectively operate in the new prisms of awareness an artist must cultivate 4D perception. The easiest way to do that is to practice 4D art. How do you get started? First, you follow your heart, your instinct, your intuition. So what, if that sounds to the cynic trite or a cliche! To begin creating 4D art the last person you should be paying attention to is the critic whose craft is rooted in pre-4D methods and understanding. The only thing a 4D artist needs to discover to make a convincing inception to an excellent body of work is what moves her (the artist). In other words, what matters most to you right now. Collapse into that!
Surround yourself with people who will play along with you in your 4D artist enterprise. It is serious work, believe me, so choose wisely. “Curating” has been a buzz word for quite a while now, and is polysemic. When people assert themselves as curators, they may be picking out a tee shirt and a pair of sneakers to go with their old jeans. Curation is a generic, now. Finding and selecting those curious folks with whom you will collaborate on 4D art missions should be one of your top priorities, as a 4D lead artist. Review their previous work, if any. Talk to them about your concepts. Show them what you are doing. Ask them about their schedule. Are they adaptable? Have a meal with them. Will you be able to engage in production with this person, over periods of weeks, months or years, and still enjoy a supper with her or him? Mainly, wonder whether or not you share affinity, with respect to art, and what is meaningful in life. Can you grow and change together?
The artist faces challenges that other people in society do not (and vice versa). I usually tell people who ask me about art life, and are curious about pursuing a career in art, “If there is anything in your life you can do that is reasonably enjoyable, other than art, that will support you and your family, you should do that other thing. But if you have to make art to be a whole human being, don’t ever let anyone dissuade you from that path.” Why is the life of any artist difficult? Well, that simple question requires a complex, convoluted and dimensional answer. If you are wondering, please do not believe the fiction a failed artist/successful critic writes on the subject. His advice contains only enough truth to support the massive untruths he propagates routinely in his job. Instead, ask yourself first whether you can commit to ink on paper, applied with a brush. Are you willing to be as free as that to succeed, on a moment to moment basis in your own life, with no one’s permission or advice? Will you dedicate yourself to improving as an artist everyday, at least a little, for the rest of your life? If you can do these things, to begin, the challenge you propose for others will likely reveal itself in short order. Especially if your art practice inspires you to hone your tools of perception, which are instrumental in the artist’s craft. When the artist looks clearly and the world and renders it as it is, what will the world do, when it notices your undivided attention?
Living in Bushwick for eight or so years, from 2010-18. I saw a lot. If you practice for decades at seeing and rendering the world as it is, you would hope to master that facet of your dimensionist practice, the same way you would to master vital aspects of your studio craft. I have throughout my career produced text in tandem with art. It is my perspective that the two have nearly nothing to do with each other. Each is a beautiful and wondrous pursuit in its own right. Where the two forms converge is in the conversation that occurs between and among artists, ourselves. I firmly believe that, whenever possible, those discussions should occur in the commons. Further, I would suggest that artists make fine citizens. A proficient 4D artist, as a by-product of his research and analysis, is chock-full of good data about the condition and circumstances, the realities, percolating currently in the society that artist inhabits. That society is wasting a prime opportunity by not approaching artists and inquiring politely about what the artist is seeing. Artist perception is itself valuable in a democracy, in the commons.
Photography, particularly the kind I am calling “JUNK” photography, is really a key to 4D art technique and theory. Why? The 4D artist practice is progressive, sequential and keyed to emerging and evolving patterns. Self-monitoring one’s progress is a daily element for in the 4D artist life. Speaking for myself, it is also one of the most fun aspects of what we do. One does not have to be an artist to practice and improve seeing the world. In fact, everyone who tries it benefits, and that benefit can be shared. The masses have in this area witnessed and produced an astonishing perceptual upgrade, since networked “smart” mobile phones and their onboard cameras have become ubiquitous. At some unknowable point the deluge of media exchanged in wired communities changed previous notions of visionary competition in photography. The people unleashed a monumental DDoS hack on the argument of who is the best photographer. That became the story for a while. Simultaneously, artists and photographers did what they inevitably do and followed the available threads as far as humanly possible. We are extremists, generally speaking, but only in specific ways. Leave it to the madcap amateurs to fall off cliffs for that influential selfie.
In the contemporary or the current, the 4D artist finds a subtext that permits anything. The artist then engages in a relationship with permissiveness that is to some degree, in some measure, defining of art and artist. The relationship itself is inexplicable. The accepted terms (like contemporary) are meaningless, for most practical purposes. The celebration of critical discourse in order to position it oppressively in relation to the artistic is a defining feature of the era. At this point an artist can exist or not exist, and the machinery of art industry will not “care.” Because waste is invaluable to the industrialists who benefit the most in the scenario. The other side of the scarcity coin in art economy is massive waste. The literature of art has become fixated on the discourse of scarcity, which is the common language of art institutions, academies, primary and secondary markets. Only rare voices like Greg Sholette’s periodically emerge to radically challenge the status quo. The internet threatens to upend the whole rotten contraption, but has not done so yet. What remains to be seen is whether the monopolists of the Big 5 will do to art what they have done across the spectrum of human enterprise.
Of more immediate concern is the lossy effect generated by the waste industrial culture. The romantic fictional narrative orbiting around the identification of genius is in jeopardy, undermined by an all-directional assault on the canon. The contemporary conception for art and society demands that all players orient to late Civilization or be reduced to ashes, literally and figuratively. That dynamic in itself is nothing new at all. What is novel is the virtual element at play in the configuration of personhood to self and collective. The fake or artificial person is represented dimensionally across virtual and analog culture systems. An avatar and a corporation share many synthetic characteristics. Success in all facets of existence - being and impacts, causation or activity - must be measurable. The problem with this logic is that loss is impossible to measure with certainty.
A correlate is the mountaintop removal operation for minerals, like coal. All the root assumptions are mad. The natural logic that would refute the industrial objective - energetic, material plunder - is set aside. The dismissal of the contrary thought as a means to an end is one of the defining characteristics of Civilization. When citizens jack into the awareness of this fact, they do so often in a state of duress. The system is designed that way, in order to improve the likelihood that citizen action will fail to derail the industrial objective. When people complain about the rigging of governance systems, they are outraged by the pre-existing conditions within those systems that improve the chance of positive outcome for industry over citizens. However, an accurate representative explanation or description for the inequitable status quo is insufficient. Adequate, meaning fair, representation is what the situation calls for. Depending on one’s ethical framework, punishment for those who rigged the system is also warranted.
A 4D artist becomes eventually an evidence specialist. To borrow a titular phrase from Bob Dylan, the art is a derivative of blood on the tracks. The concept of evidence, which is colored by its crime and punishment associations, echoes humanity’s prominent concern with legacy. Art happens within the impulse to produce a mark in passing existence. The presence of Time in the rich, diverse immaterial resources for art we are scanning is as unavoidable as it is impenetrable. The universe for man is indicated by the hunger in his belly and the lust in his loins. Time deals with those issues for each of us, in our duration. This is not a particularly gendered subject. The linga and yoni are structural twins, in objective dimensional analysis, or a paired set. Binaries are insufficient to satisfy the burden of evidence. Either and or cannot suffice to provision our collective and individual futures. Yet, we live in a continuum for sensation, while we are alive. Therefore our minds and bodies, our feelings, our Spirit, need something to do in the meantime (meantime meaning the time spanning birth and death.
Post-Internet is an ineffectual term of displacement. It really is a stand-in for Post-Occupy. Recalling the art world experts summoning fun art, light art after the collapse of OWS, I associate the panic and urgency of the frightened cultured collaborators (the aesthetic minions of the art investing superclass, who essentially exhorted ambitious “emerging” artists to behave like scabs) with the behavior of the soulless hacks of the 19th and 20th centuries paid by robber barons to produce tracts in defense of philanthropy to hide the industrialist propensity for mass murder, larceny and political corruption. Technologists tend to embrace a neo-libertarian ideology, contiguous to extreme neo-conservative and neo-liberal management approaches. In short they operate dimensionally, in the liminal space between material super-wealth and virtual power, property and reproduction. The new age dawning is innovatively dystopian, feudalistic and brutal. The pros, the experts got what they asked for from the wannabees. Then Walter and Jerry turned on them and kicked off the ZF thing. Such art world volatility passes for entertainment among the top players, for whom the system is rigged, anyway.
We can catch a glimpse of America now and again. The fiction produced by corporate media syndicates is catastrophic. The fresh solution for our collective malaise is the straightforward type. For-profit press is to be outlawed, along with for-profit medicine, war, education, politics, prison, surveillance, reproduction and so on. Profits are to be relegated to actual industry and production. Profit and loss must be relocated into 4 dimensions, along with perception. What is this 4th dimension, you ask? Why, it is the space in which the material and immaterial get together to have a party, to dance, to philosophize, to exchange digits, to make experience, to get it on! If humankind don’t recalibrate awareness to the next phase of reality, we hardly have a chance of survival in a recognizable, much less meaningful form. Our customs will disappear altogether. Art is customary. So is courtship. Money is not customary. It is the superimposition of King and Church. Today it is re-fabricated, -outfitted in the accoutrements of mercantile neutrality. None of it is to be trusted. All of it is blatantly fictional.
The desire for safety and security is a folly. Like any secret hidden in fallacy, everyone knows. The obvious is suppressed by the oblivious. Anyone and anything can be gotten to. The sham rich will discover this oldest of truths, again, and be surprised. Shocked, I tell you! A smack in the face can be applied as intervention to save the world. Fire is a tool for purification of the senses. Smoke can be a bath one takes to cleanse the surface of one’s fragility. Mankind has found so many decent ways to harmonize with an originally scary universe. Holding hands with another person is still one of the best, in my mind. Centering society on the cultivation of the young and caring for the elderly and sick is always called for. Insisting that everyone be fed properly seems rudimentary, does it not? We have seen what running our nation more like a business means, and we can now reject that notion with prejudice, and forever. Our nation, and art.
By 2014, I will admit I was almost entirely disgusted with the NYC art scene. What I witnessed as a participant in OWS, and what I experienced afterward, drained me of a lifetime of cultivated affection for the city and its artistic wonders. To holler “COWARDICE” in the atrium of MoMA or the Met or Gugg or Whitney or New Museum is not satisfaction, although we did that. To show by example new and better ways forward is not enough, but we did that, too. Throwing our bodies to the cops is stupid, but it was done, repeatedly. I couldn’t stand for it for long, because I have a propensity for righteous anger and a deep loathing of bullies of every stripe. I learned that the us against them binary was as finished as every other binary, unless the either/or were reconfigured for and within the 4D application. Explaining that fact to anyone still invested in binary society proved a pointless exercise. Post-Occupy, NYC became a parody, a faithless Bloombergian simulation of the Gotham I had fallen in love with as a young and impressionable artist. In the end I was ecstatic to leave it behind. New York City will always hate and seek to crush art and artists that contradict the property rackets. Judd was correct in his assessment. He was right to move to Marfa (and keep the pad on Spring).
& Around it goes. Art is a metaelement that no owner can possess. Intellectual property is a fiction, and a very profitable one for a few people and their syndicates and conglomerates. No one need honor the oligarchs, nor respect their ideas or position. America is not a nation founded in the interests of the aristocracy, new or old, well-bred and poor-bred rags to riches-types. Inventors are not a special class of citizen, afforded extraordinary rights and privileges. International tribunals and alliances, representing the interests of foreign tyrants and sun-gods have no especial portents vested upon them in America. The refinement of kings and their courts is rejected on these shores. Yet throughout our history the cycle of betrayal and invasion is spinning. Ultimately, for the sake of all who have been ravaged by the will of human monsters whose black souls desire most to dominate and thereby diminish their fellows, we must put down these beasts once and forever.
Yet I find myself watching Schnabel’s movie about van Gogh, and I am moved. The animation of a couple of years ago was fantastic, but for me it was a meaningful technical exercise, first and foremost. Vincent is almost a cinematic genre. The thought of Europe and its historical, fraught position on artists, and the destiny of van Gogh, it is terribly troubling, is it not? The long trajectory reveals everything about the meaning of art to Civilization. It is in the auction house, where the masterpiece of the future is slated to be sold, like a slave on the block. That America should be assigned the guilt for Europe’s vast slave complex, its genocidal obsessions, it sack and pillage momentum is a farce. Of all the nations on the planet, and all the empires humanity has projected, America least of all is condemned to the brutal mechanics of empire. Yet, the cynics and anarchists in their histrionic menace agree: our country tis of thee, they cry for blood. Whether of ignorance or willful displacement their motivation is emitted, the vacuum of their integrity collectively is manifest. The condemnation of America within art circles is keenly wrong. If not for America, for men like Pollock, art itself would have been doomed by the atrocities visited upon the world by Europe and its allies.
Why pick on Europe? I also watched a documentary on Yayoi Kusama. What to make of a media package like Infinity’s? Is an artist bio-pic produced in 2018 meant to inspire a following, mass buzz, improved value for the artist’s work? All of the above? In part the documentary is framed as a human interest story. Another facet involves a reassessment of Kusama’s import to the evolution of contemporary art practice. Another questions the biases of the art world decades ago, but also those of Japanese society. The portrayal of madness in Kusama is poignant in juxtaposition with the depiction of van Gogh’s. Is there a typical blindness in Kusama’s desire to achieve artistic greatness? I found the postwar artist’s ambition confounding. Is the artist bug viral. Was Kusama one of the first cases in Japan? The aesthetic exchange between Europe and Asia, and Japan specifically is worth reporting. After trade developed between East and West, European artists, including Impressionists, became interested in the painting craft and cultural sensibility of the Orient, in mostly the superficial or decorative quality, although it could be argued that the approaches to sketching practiced in Europe were impacted by greater exposure to Oriental techniques. How about Egon? The contemporary permits the isolation of an event from the consumptive meaning in which the event forms. The contemporary is the age of tactical editing. The management of the sign is transmuted into force, now. 4D production gaslights the retarding energy of management and contains it in the designated area for explication. Transparency, revelation, intensity and the visceral self are flattened in a virtual version of rules of aesthetic engagement, which countermand the permissive consumption of the contemporary maxim. Reanimation in the dimensionist model suggests a natural cycle, a seasonal communion that yields a properly structured additive element in the phenomenon. One thing leads to another (not-)thing.
When an artist opposes the art industrial complex, the position can be complicated. Opposition can arise from the artist’s moral concerns. There is much in the 1%er art world that is gruesome. The system itself is rigged and intertwined with the broader rigged, global networked economy. An artist may reject the art market on personal grounds. Relationships govern outcomes to a significant extent in the art industry. A meritocracy in the top tier marketplace is a productive illusion today. Artists reject the art scene on a local to global basis and vice versa. The trends promulgated through tools in the art press and in informal circles, influential to weak, promote an art processing mechanism that is hardly based on anything but bias. The aphorism that ART IS SUBJECTIVE is a fallacy that essentially serves the inconsistent criteria for success in the art world. The status quo established by the unknowing expert class in art ultimately preserves those experts’ unaccountability. The art markets are unregulated, which makes its corruption a certainty. An artist opposed to corruption is repulsed by the pettiness, the grotesque, the exploitative, the greedy and cowardly common in the art business.
The heroic artist was reduced to a fairy tale in the art world as a hedge against critique arising from the artists themselves. Artists who craved democracy in the art world, especially after the promise exposed by the success of New Deal era public art programs, posed a powerful threat to the elites who governed the art world. The vestiges of Court and Religious dispensations for artists survived the Depression to the extent that the systematic recovery could be effected over the next century. Today we see a new iteration of the old Civilization for art. The formidable network of global aristocracy featuring an impressively reorganized mix of old and new blood, new methods of managing and hiding wealth, including art investment, powers a decades’ long reformation in the humanities. The powerful, rich and their heirs are firmly ensconced as puppet masters in the free speech arenas spanning the planet. The control of media, communications technology, the most valuable means of production, military and political states, the courts is located in the portfolios of the world’s richest families and individuals, and their corporate syndicates and their formal and informal associations. A half-century program to destroy any meaningful resistance has achieved its many of its objectives.
The power of seduction is pervasive in the art business. The view from the top is incredible. The collector class is currently in possession of portions of the economy as great as feudal times. These individuals can offer an artist in favor practically anything one might desire. These individuals and the management and distribution networks they belong to or own can also effectively erase the value of the artist in disfavor, and excommunicate the work an artist creates. Seth Price’s essay can be understood now for what it was: a vague aphorism that displaced the potential logic for hierarchical causation at that critical moment in contemporary art; the dispersion that actually happened was directional, and its benefits have accrued to superclass players, among whom Price himself is positioned. The notable franchises (e.g., Koons, Hirst, Richter, etc.) are carefully represented in every sector of the art world topology. Their value is cultivated. If an artist is offered a place at this rich and putrid table, what force can propel him to reject the maneuvers of his incubus?
The myth of the male gaze is fragmenting the art world into divisions that ultimately empower the most powerful. The marginalization of those most dangerous to the plundering class, the elites who thrive on inequality is the subtext for much movement in art discourse. A good example is the transformation of art and new media discursive vehicles like Hyperallergic. This influential portal has skewed dynamically to a narrow editorial definition of art, post-Occupy. While promoting itself as a voice for the disenfranchised in and by art industrial forces, Hyperallergic is still simpatico with the art industrial system, as such. The utility of an identity-based neo-avant garde, hedged by elision of serious analysis of art world currencies neuters the platform. The method is typical strategy among contingent actors in the art and culture sector. Variations are indicated in institutional and organizational addiction to elite or superclass philanthropy. The tax structure itself in America is a brazen co-conspirator in the influence rackets that dominate the humanities. Art as a means for tax evasion and currency manipulation is a known quantity. The art market has long served the superrich in their efforts to launder money and move it across national borders.
The inventory of art available for consumption is huge. What is lacking is a national distribution network for original art that would enable every person in America to own original art. The alternative economies for art, outside the stupid, banal, mediocre 1% contemporary markets, hold tremendous promise for sustainable art commerce. The vision of future generations is at stake, and imagination is key to survival. Creativity and free speech facilitate the mechanisms that fix broken parts of society. The effectiveness of sharing economies woven into social fabric from the bottom up is indisputable, provable fact. Abandoning leadership to a few industrial winners is the kind of suicidal, self-defeating gesture that put Donald Trump in the White House, and left Bernie Sanders in the cold. The 2016 election made so much of the old political system transparent, starting with the blatant corruption consuming the Democratic party. Now, it is only possible to pretend that democracy in America is operative with the aid of fake news. In the art world, the situation is no different, in the sense that fake art and artists dominate the medium.
The art fair model is rupturing the fabric of democratic and national art scenes. The supra-networks that drive the commerce the fairs produce for specific populations of artist and collector and connecting agent are by now fairly well documented. The effects of the radical reshaping of art exchange is best represented in the Frieze phenomenon. The resonance of the contemporary art fair system and the parallel networks operating as periodic unified field promotions (annual, bi-annual, triennial, etc. expositions.) have served to weaken the centralization of power in location (e.g., Paris, London, New York). Brick and Mortar establishments are being crushed. The big winners of course are eco-nomad or supranational power elites. In tandem with freeport warehousing for art, the deleterious influence of the top art-buying cohort is incalculable. The super wealthy can purchase a masterpiece to remove it from public view.
In this environment, what is appropriate subject matter? The opprobrium embodied in the Zombie Formalism critique had a chilling effect on the artist-driven, “subterranean medicine” swirling through cultural and academic discourse, post-Occupy. Some of the few remaining professional art writers, including a handful of influencers based in New York City, effectively reoriented art evaluation to the snarky banter of the ubiquitous beaters and survivors who manage to appear at every noteworthy event over decades. As one might expect. So what if their criticisms so routinely prove faulty! So what if they turn out to be venal, co-opted moochers and parasites, who cling to their vestigial seats near the power tables! So what if their exclamations and proclamations eventually dissolve upon close scrutiny! These players learned social media, developed followings, understand click-traffic, are attentive to management’s needs, and can project the proper setting of obsequious or free presser depending on context. Now the critic argues that he or she knows subject matter when he or she sees it, and that’s it. The largesse of the privileged, and the selection of winners and losers to please the powerful, is a bane on art for everyone. God bless Robert Cenedella! Whatever, the gesture! Efficient direct action is another thing. How desperate will the people become, to unseat their oppressors? Artists?
Is it possible for art to exist outside the star systems that dominate the markets? Of course, we might opine! Yet it is a kind of complicity to suggest to any economically, politically, socially oppressed artist that external validation in any of those key sectors is “so what!” Validation is invaluable to all but a few artists. Art is itself a reciprocal confirmation of humanity, by humans for humans. Validation is humane. To block the artistic progress of an individual or group is tantamount to inhibiting spiritual evolution. It is evil. Depriving a generation of artists the necessary validation (material and immaterial) involves decoupling people from the means of support for their own choices, their values and their meaning, all of which supply art with its urgency and currency. The elites understand this implicitly, and they explicitly subvert the power of democratic art at every level, simply by co-opting the process of establishing art hierarchy. Instead of a logical criteria for quality in art fashioned from the ground up, the elites insist they are best at championing the best in contemporary art through their purchase and promotional authority. Clearly this contention is false.
In fact, the art world for the 1% is outdated, is obsolete. It is not 4D. The availability of every element required to establish meaningful art collectives of every description is available via the internet, and has been now for almost three decades. What is most obvious now is the unprecedented threat posed by consolidation of culture power in the sphere of the technologist. The battles among the Big 5 are like the movie monster wars in the old serial Godzilla franchise. They would be hilarious, if they weren’t so horrifying to the impressionable imagination. The imposition of alien sensibility is one of the main ingredients in the rise of digital and virtual conglomerates and robber barons. The inversion of definitions of creativity to suit the narratives of tech industrialism (e.g., Jobs) approaches mythological in its hyperbole. The very real problems caused by overwriting the analog aspects of human interactivity are eroding any fundamental legitimacy for technological democracy. The very existence of Zuckerberg, Bezos, Gates, et al. represents a profound policy failure in America. The value lost is similar to that extracted from the Black Hills, or Cerro Rico. These men and their co-conspirators are not heroic. They should be tried for crimes against humanity. Instead the people get show trials, media hearings, with no consequences for the richest, and most harmful, among us.
The marketing of technology is now its own shadow. We see this with products like Google Glass, but the axiom applies across the sector. Workers in China burning themselves alive to protest conditions in factories producing products like iPhones are not just a spin and containment exercise in brand damage control. The industrial standards and practices at Amazon distribution centers are not anomalous instances of bad apple-ism. The destructive effects on cities, towns and households caused by corporate technological power is immeasurably high. We are witnessing a boom for a few key players that precipitates a bust for almost everyone else. The tech utopian vision of the future has panned out for almost no one. The savvy of Bill Gates and his ilk is the same type of anti-democratic intelligence that previous robber barons mustered throughout the massive crises their lives and interests engender. These people are sociopathic fools who believe the hype about themselves and their products, at all costs, no matter what. They should be redistributed out of existence.
We must not conflate the power of these desperate and despicable men and women with the power of nature, of beauty, of art. When an idiot suggests that Andy Warhol is the GOAT, he or she must be shouted down. When Eli Broad, or the Walton heirs, or Steve Cohen, etc., present their collections in vanity museums designed to compete with prominent private/public art foundations and institutions, or gain influence and opportunity through the pay-to-play boards of those very foundations and institutions, and expect our collective approval, respond appropriately with outrage. The most recent case is Glenstone, a billionaire’s museum, the unfortunate name of which evokes claptrap suburban condo communities. The collection is what one would expect, including the big Koons garden dog. When the will to power is rewarded, sometimes the powerful hedge the hatred their horded treasure manifests through the absolving caresses of the Muse, through art, and through the sensation that art giving can supply. We can reject the premise that the people will enjoy poverty with a sugar coating of art at the end. This formula is the embodiment of "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche." What is the appropriate French revolutionary response?
The artist is as fungible as money, in the eyes of the new oligarch collector. The main qualification for any artist is viability. This characteristic translates to complicity. A second string of artists consist of those who overtly refuse complicity, but crave the limelight and prosperity that accompany their selection into the global 1%er fold (e.g., Martha Rosler, Hans Haacke, Ai Wei Wei, Thomas Hirschhorn, and so on). One of the most egregious episodes in contemporary artist fungibility was Occupy Mana. This production, curated by notorious 1% art world ass-kisser Phong Bui of the Brooklyn Rail, which I once wrote for (for free, during Occupy, while Ted Hamm and Williams Cole were still co-editors at BR), was an absolute dumpster fire of complicity. The Mana Contemporary project is the brainchild of Moishe Mana, the mover mogul, whose agenda now incorporates dimensional principles for empire building simultaneously rooted in all sectors social, commercial and political. Establishing “campuses” across America, billionaire Mana is using art and culture to grease the wheels of property acquisition, global corporate integration, providing essential services to Israel and various Jewish interests here and abroad, and to enhance his personal wealth, prestige, power and reproductive capacity.
The commons is a mushy place for imagination, given that the zone for free speech is diminishing at a staggeringly accelerated pace. The peculiarly American exhortation for the inventor to create something, unique, novel, something that will catch on, has legs, take off, is not strangled in our throat by interleaved property engines and promotions. For artists the non-competition is fierce. The consumer portable culture industries exist within enormous corporate portfolios. The giant conglomerates operate as tandem network markets, supportive of pyramid or ponzi schemes. Their configurations help justify the financialization of global economies, a stupefying range of creative destructive business practices, political interventions that include extreme lobbying (see ALEC), social-shaping forwarded by strategic or tactical philanthropy, and more. Combined, these syndicates push along the destabilization of nations, including democracies like the US and UK, through privatization programs and horrifying policy follies. Conferences like WEF and Bilderberg are the operational tips of the iceberg for these globalists, whose “pioneers” include David Rockefeller, Henry Kissenger and other democracy-hating heirs and agents. MoMA is a nexus for this invisible power machine.
The diverse practices of sampling for image creation and a host of other virtual production have definitively retooled the visual topology. The measure of identity now is disheveled. Metadata is a digital standard for authenticity. Blockchain is disrupting this approach, while appearing to concretize it. The philosophical lens through which these phenomena uncover themselves is in a word infinity. The infinite is the corporate personhood dream, it is the novelty of Time itself, it is the evasion of measurement. Infinity spawns the finite within the confines of a history that is forever malleable. History is incrementally conquered by they infinite syndicates and their finite temporary workers. Gigs are the intercourse between historical corporate man and the proverbial modern common man. The average Joe and Jane the honey pot of human resourcing. The demographic target of the disposable income markets (of which art is only one) shift through the graphs of actuary tables, and other data accumulations. One’s profile is one’s destiny in the corporate hive mind. It is a stretch for most people to conceive how their circles of friends and relatives, interests and purchases, education and profession lineage betray us to the corporate networks, which we now know, thanks to Snowden and others, are part of a complex, global Surveillance State.
The unreliability of sense data is for the first time in centuries not the primary issue of thinking Western man. The uber-schism is the debilitating factor, the crisis of mind. The game of psychoanalysis has begotten industrial and military operations that threaten the chemical, physical, biological man and his environment with total obliteration. Science is pointing a gun, a great, HUGE gun at the head of thinking man, and asking him, “Well, do you feel lucky, Punk?” Although scientists deny it, because the field of professional science is once again subservient to the whims of the super rich, and no longer an action-wing of an able democracy. If Elon Musk has in short order fallen from a whiz kid perch like an entrepreneurial sci/tech handsome egghead Humpty Dumpty, then where does that leave NASA, Detroit, and so many other public goods. Like the kind that built the Internet and the analog Freeway system. The Branson billionaire class have lots of ideas for running everything like commercial fiefdoms as a feature of their individual liberation from all constraint, and the divine rightness of that certain recipe for cataclysm. Game of Thrones in essence is a Self narrative, which explains its unsurprising popularity. The 99% cannot comprehend that our characters are the white walkers, the mob, the cannibal masses, come finally to eat the rich. I prefer Mr Robot, myself, although I am no fan of schizoid television or its Freudian roots. Reality affirms that the predators and scavengers will wait for us to appear, because we are their food. We can make them die waiting.
I had the good fortune of growing up among strong Americans. They are dying, after long, industrious lives. I gathered over the past half century of monumental change a scrapbook of personal history that chronicles the significant relationships of my life. Art is a presence in my trajectory. The value of art is variable among friends, family, lovers, people with whom I’ve worked. The price tag is untethered to the object, its figures blurred by contiguous desire, all economy fading by the minute, a groan dubiously posted next to art itself. When juxtaposing death and art, the synthetic element should be love. This is not my opinion. In a way, I could care less about that, because I believe in an autonomous zone for art, where even love must succumb. This is the opinion of Man. This is the inevitable power of Woman. No one should have ever believed Benjamin, who understood nothing about liberation and reproduction. He proved this with his suicide, and admitted to it in his texts. All who have attempted to further Walter Benjamin’s legacy with respect to art are complicit in his grift, his graft, his long con. A patsy is a patsy because he won’t get off the hook, and that is because of his weakness (Boris Groys).
Victimization is a poor subject for art, but not for the reason one might think. The provision of thematic color to content creates a set of problems that have naught to do with aesthetics. Brutality is simple to represent for a colorist, because the brutal is easily understood, if one exists in a brutal age. We are rich in brutishness currently. The colors are primarily blue and red, set to black, with accents of ochre and shades of green, on a spectrum of natural to unnatural. The shading of a brute composition for the purpose of illustrating victimizing of creatures great and small is minimal in effect. Broad strokes are best. Splattering adds a dose of realism to the image. The best sketching mode for representing the victim is the caricature style of the day. Humor and horror couple properly in vernacular art, which is the purview of victimization content. Yet this is really weak material for art, because art is never for propaganda. Propaganda infers conversion and conquest, which are antithetical to art free of Civilized malevolence. Action and reaction do not occur in art in exactly the same process they do in other realms, like science, politics, war and society. Art itself has no true language of reason and justification outside itself. Thus it resists being for or against anything and anyone. The color is not simple. It is complex, magical and beautiful, and it is ageless, even as Time changes it.
How important is an overview, which is a kind of monotone recursion device? The value of high altitude representation or vision is contained in the purifying nature of distance in the imagination. The stench of failure is not noticeable high above the fray. The howls of casualties are lost in the winds. The noise of grinding machinery becomes a comfortable silence disturbed only by thunder or wind, periodically. Ultimately, even those disturbances give way to the inky black of yonder, if one can get high enough. Drone-view presents an interstitial territory between the satellite picture and grounded visual (and other sensual) experience. Not too long ago, mountaintops, planes and skyscrapers, etc., offered the attraction of heightened awareness for us. Oh, and I guess, drugs and alcohol, which get us HIGH. Now the drone is transitioning into civilian life, after proving its success as in war, as a spy and assassination robot. The drone is one of the latest inventions with military industrial applications that is being repurposed for peacetime, and its smiley face is being fabricated through a gaggle of non-art art channels. These include digital (online) media, new cinema production, video art, performances, projection- and monitor-based installations and vignettes, and so on. Drone technology and art actually have nothing to do with each other. AT ALL.
The structures of vision can no longer be reduced to geometry. The math is become infinity, literally. Dimensional numbers are not contained in 2D or 3D borders. The most important immigration of our Age is the crossing of boundaries artificially separating less-than 4D and 4D territories. On the other side of the new Great Divide is a topology that to old eyes is phenomenal, wondrous, stupendous. Its additive nature is inherent. Its quality is incessant and unavoidable. The material factory it proposes is hinted at by so-called 3D printing. The doping systems for altered awareness will make obsolete many presuppositions about personality and mental health. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen. In the context of this essay, by the way, the immediately previous statement is humorous in kind. 4D dissolves and resolves seamlessly all form connected by immaterial. Transubstantiation is a normal feature of 4D environments. The miraculous is a facet of the status quo, not an anomaly. The first definition that will require revision is the definition(s) of a 4th Dimension, which has multiple meanings across multiple disciplines, and has become a confusing term as a direct result. The language of convolution, which better resembles our brain structure, must be adopted over time to supplant the recursive narrative for a dimensionist actuality.
The conception of Self will be reassessed. It will necessitate a complex image of one’s personhood as a distributed entity. The components are combined virtual and actual. The scope of the Self consciousness spans inner, outer and secret arenas of existence. Performance itself constitutes a fourth spatial reserve, a convergent quadrant wherein the action of material on immaterial (and vice versa) occur. Who, who does what and why, and the logic of intent and motivation where it exists as a visible phenomenon is the grist of 4D performance. The action of Self is not reducible as such to any particular narrative, except with the precondition of fiction as a benevolent determinant. A kind destiny for each and all is the 4D mythos, but bathos and pathos are the content of 4D art. Reciprocity is an ameliorant for competition among actors, for hierarchical disembowelment, for taking and rentier behaviorism, and for many other corrosive expressions of self. This bracing filament for art, its cyclic stem, its root pattern, is as ancient as humanity itself and will remain unchanged through the transit into 4D perceptual arts. The gift Spirit is the modal preservation of human consciousness, our fundamental intelligence or Mind.
Art serving multidimensional people in the iside-outside-private-publically performing Selfie-ness is hard to visualize in advance. As a producer of such art, now for several decades, I marvel at the smoothness of the transition between less-than 4D art and vision and 4D+. The perceptual advances are inexorable, and their inevitability renders them invisible to primitive Civilization. Advanced tribal cultures celebrate the new perception, even if they have their own issues to contend with during the radical shift. For those emerging from ancient visionary society into the new thing, the PTSD is terrible, as is the tight-in-places crossover between the oldest ways of seeing and these unfolding forms. I can suggest a forgiving practice, balanced with cruelty for those who made crime against humanity, in many cases by criminalizing humanity itself. The pollutants injected throughout the world and its inhabitants at the behest of overlords will take millennia to undo or process. It will be another age before people can assess the damage. I don’t know if there is an art for healing such wounds, but I hope there is. My efforts as an artist, if I were ever to encode my own artistic aspirations, are to help platform that art, to seed it, and to propel it into the world, like spores on a strong warm summer wind.
We wish for freedom. Only the slave master prefers no one, not even himself, to be confident in one’s comprehension of freedoms. 4D perception can be, must be a vehicle for freedom. It cannot grow, progress, evolve, otherwise. In such circumstances, in the event of 4D’s demise - whatever that might look like - humanity itself perishes. Will the planet die? Who knows?! For people, in our Self-mode profile, how will the human-absent future matter, in any conception we can possibly frame? The absurdity of speculation beyond the existential, past our own cancellation, the ultimate negation defies all poetry. No conjecture can propose an image that survives our species’ survival. When people seek to prioritize earth over man, they underestimate the power of mind to subvert its own logic. Stupidity and intelligence are form and shadow of Mind over Spirit over Body. Sensation trumps the mechanics of knowing and easy logic of belief, at least temporarily. As long as people delude ourselves with metaphor, the language of causality will convince us to do immensely stupid acts. Art is never metaphorical. Descriptions of art always are metaphorical, and therefore fictional. People wish themselves to be art itself, or at least art-like. Such is the root of evil, as much as money, or the goofball pretense to divinity for earthy creatures.
My bones ache. My body is growing older by the day. Strangely enough, I do not think of aging as a linear process, but that is due to willfulness on my part, overthinking really, a refusal to surrender to the sensational as a matter of course. Survival is practical and speculative as woven form. I would suggest the Dream to be the proper and best reference for the experiential in human nature. You can walk in my shoe all you want, but if you can’t tune into my frequency, man, you’ll only get a fraction of what my “like” is like. An artist starts with the personal universal, which of course is an insoluble conception. The impossible is perfect for beginning any journey, and a necessity for anyone with epic aspirations. Art life is what it is, and it will not be exactly the same for any two artists, which is true of life in general. The American artist is an endangered species, a chimera, improperly diagnosed, just another citizen. God help us, art is the signal flag of sunset. We hoist it at our own risk. Still, it is good to recognize there are more of us than ever before, in the history of the world, as far as we know. Going back to dinosaurs.
I started writing my dissertation text by hand in autumn 2015, and finished more or less two years later. Most days I would pound out pages, sitting at OSLO coffee shop in Williamsburg. I had sold my camera gear to help fun my second intensive summer session at the European Graduate School. At the time, I had an idea that after decades of shooting photography, I needed to reboot my artistic/optical/vision apparatus anyway. I needed see the world again, minus the mechanics of framing and executing the shot. In short I tricked myself into believing I had temporarily paused my photo craft, when, actually, I was switching to a different, new mode. The pictures in CONTEXT reflect the new approach. The method integrates meta-elements, pulled from the 4D VyNIL "card" sets. The virtual patina on the images is specific to this series, but the processing techniques at this point are the product of many years' practice. The CONTEXT series narrative summary might read: These mobile phone camera pictures represent junk that happened while I was writing my thesis in Brooklyn. Plus things that may have been going on in the back channels of my brain, while the rest of that organ was occupied with 4D theory, systems analysis, aesthetics and so on, for the four PhD books I wrote between 2015-17, give or take a year for pre- and post-.