Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

better remember this for later

i wrote a poem about paint tools the other week

here it is

i had my thesis panel and they were all so nice about the project that i didn't believe them

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

cut and paste

Thinking about collages, collaged bodies, hardware hacking, and body's that are hacked (!).
Thinking about cut and paste culture and customization.


Enlarged Brush Pattern from Photoshop, filled with three colours. Filling and edges become interesting as the brush patterns become complicated. The pixels around a brush stroke that are part of it but don't seem like it at first. Edges become complicated, boundaries become strange to delineate.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pencil drawing coloured in on Gimp software using tablet. Not sure about colours

Tablet drawing from Caravaggio in Art Institute. It was a big painting so I was able to sit on a bench with my tablet and see it to draw from. Next time I have found out there are stools meaning I can look at smaller pictures for a longer time. Time taken in looking at pictures in a gallery, relating to their position and size is interesting to think about. Apparently people in general spend roughly 3 seconds on a painting in a gallery or something. When I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in April this year there was a guy walking around taking digital pics of paintings, looking at them only long enough to make sure they were in the frame of his lens, and then looking at the photo he took before moving to the next one. He didn't spend any time just stood looking in front of the actual painting at all. I'm sure this is very common and I am not actually putting a value judgment on this - it is just a strange way of registering stuff, and saving it for later. Its like over ordering books on amazon that you are never going to have time to read, or maybe like ordering downloading in bulk large amounts of media you may eventually get to watch or listen to but perhaps not, or perhaps only a fraction of it. Or like watching a whole series of True Blood or 30 rock in one weekend. The pressure of a holiday to fit everything in and see all the sights. Or not bothering at all because it seems like too much effort.

Or finding a happy medium and feeling satisfied that one feels satisfied that one has not done everything but done something, in the face of the abyss - when it is only in the face of this terror that one insists to oneself that one feels satisfied. Well I don't.

I recently was lent a piece of art work by Meredith Kooi by Conrad Bakker. I am now lending it to my friend Jessica when I have posted her package. It is a wooden book. I'll explain more later.

I have not felt able to write to friends back home to say how I am because honestly I don't know, but I love them all and have been thinking about them such a lot.

there are lots of things that I have to work through. today I have been reading a little of the language of new media by lev manovich, and a little from software studies/a lexicon by matthew fuller.
listen to this from the intro to fuller:
"software as a field is largely seen as a question of realized instrumentality"
he goes on to quote Foucault but not sure about this. I think what he is opposing is software as a commodity and its discreteness as a tool against the possibility of hackability.
what is the discontent that the "hack" signifies?

on a separate note (I am having a scatty day, but just processing what I can) I've been reading Freud (On The Problem of Anxiety) for fun. Chapter 1 he differentiates between Inhibition and Symptom, that an inhibition may be a symptom, but it might not be pathological.
but in regards to neurotic affections, he looks at 4 different "functions" that may be affected by an inhibition: sexual function; eating; locomotion; vocation.

I'm interested in the last two for now. But they may point to the first two. But I think it is interesting to focus on these two as they are not so widely talked about.
"(c) Locomotion is inhibited in many neurotic states by antipathy to walking and weakness in walking; the hysterical disability makes use of paralysis of the motor apparatus or creates a specific suspension of this one function of the latter (abasia). Particularly characteristicare the dificulties of locomotion brought about by the interpolation of definite conditions as prerequisites, the non-fulfillment of which evokes anxiety (phobia).
(d) Inhibition in the field of occupation, which so often becomes a matter of treatement as an isolated symptome, is evidenced in diminished pleasure in work, or in its poor execution, or in such realtice manifestations as fatigue if the subject forces himself to go on working. Hysteria compels the suspension of work by producing paralysis of organs and functions, the existence of which it incompatible with the carrying on of work. The compulsion neurosis interferes with work by a continuous distraction of the attention and by loss of time in the form of procrastination and repetition."

Sounds vaguely familiar, however I wouldn't want to say that my organs are exclusively controlled by my neuroses either. Sometimes they just play up all on their own. I think. That is what reminds us that we are part animal.

But the question of time takes me back to the book which isn't a book that meredith lent me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First attempt


Recent sketching

Changing the contrast on a sketch.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


"[An Artwork's] ridiculousness is, however, also a part of a condemnation of empirical rationality: it accuses the rationality of social praxis of having become an end in itself and as such the irrational and mad reversal of means into ends. The ridiculousness in art, which philistines recognize better than do those who are naively at home in art, and the folly of a rationality made absolute indict one onther reciprocally; incidentally, when viewed from this perspective of the praxis of self-preservation, happiness-sex-is equally ridiculous, as can be spitefully pointed out by anyone who is not driven by it. Ridiculousness is the residue of the mimetic in art, the price of its self-enclosure. In his condemnation of this element, the philistine always has an ignominious measure of justification. The ridiculous, as a barbaric residuum of something alien to form, misfires in art if art fails to reflect and shape it. If it remains on the level of the culture industry. By its very concept, art implies kitsch, just as by the obligation it imposes of sublimating the ridiculous it presupposes educational priviledge and class structure; fun is art's punishment for this. All the same, the ridiculous elements in artworks are most akin to their intentionless levels and therefore, in great works, also closest to their secret. Foolish subjects like those of The Magic Flute and Der Freischutz have more truth content through the medium of the music than does the Ring, which gravely aims at the ultimate. In its clownishness, art consolingly recollects prehistory in the primordial world of animals. Apes in the zoo together perform what resembles clown routines. The collusion of children with clowns is a collusion with art, which adults drive out of them just as they drive out their collusion with animals. Human beings have not succeeded in so thoroughly repressing their likeness to animals that they are unable in an instant to recapture it and be flooded with joy; the language of little children and animals seems to be the same. In the similarity of clowns to animals the likeness of humans to apes flashes up; the constellation animal/fool/clown is a fundamental layer of art"...

-Theodor Adorno, 'Enigmaticalness, Truth Content, Metaphysics', in Aesthetic Theory, Continuum, 1997

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

works from phoenix show

At the Merchandise Mart, 2010
9 x 12" Oil on Canvas

Girls, 2009
9 x 14", Oil on Board.

Two men at a table, 2010
6 x 4", Oil on Canvas

Girl in Cafe
14 x 18", Oil on Board

Cafe with WIFI
12 x 9", Oil on Canvas

Siobhan's Slippers
9 x 12", Oil on canvas

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Between Drawing and Painting

Vivienne, 2009

Oil on Board, 30 x 30"

Sam in Chris's Kitchen, 2010
9 x 12", Oil on canvas

Even in the most "representational" pictures I feel like I am dealing with strategies of abstraction. The arrangement of a coat or a slipper is a device for moving the viewer's eye around the canvas.

Line making within painting: from the overlay of blocks, to the use of gestural strokes...It is a kind of negotiation on the ground. The eye plays around that negotiation. But the eye is bound within the image.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Review of artist Sam Branton

scroll down, my review is at the bottom...

sort of a mini essay...!

After the Raft of the Medusa - Varieties of Kitsch?

This is the last in the series. The raft became obscured by the skull but then I brought it back in shapes. This painting is satisfying in its composition but I am somewhat mistrustful of it. It is too obvious with the skull. But really it isn't about skulls at all as much as perhaps why they got so popular in fashion over the last few years but then it is also about my own adolescent art practice when I painted lots of skulls (and this is a skull from another painting of a skull I did when I was 16 or so...) so maybe it is about the dredging of adolescent emotions or how they refuse being laid to rest. Or the prolongation of adolescence into adulthood which I seem to witness everywhere. This is indescribably cheesy. Paradoxically, I quite like it for this reason. But this is why I can't really trust it.

Album cover for a great band lost at sea.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

From Peep3000