Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Form

A form is given. Soon we impose ourselves upon it. Some insist the form is all imposition, all us. But there is almost certainly a give and take. Look at a human face. How do you remember a human face? Probably you think of its basal form, its resting state.  Or perhaps not. Perhaps you have a favorite version of that face, a certain expression which may or may not equate to an easily-described emotional state for which there is a convenient adjective.  Possibly you remember that face as a gamut of faces, a panoply of blurring faces set next to one another in that somewhat dark thinking space, that thing we use which seems to be modeled on the stage (or vice versa). Maybe we don't really remember faces at all. Maybe we are shocked into recognition by a completely new face each time, our old familiar a complete stranger to us, unbeknownst, but this new face overwriting the old false memory we had of a face, overwriting it so successfully that no former trace of the former illusory face/placeholder even remains to create cognitive dissonance. Maybe this is what continuity is. As conspiracy theories go, it's pretty paranoid. But it's one of those conundrums, those impossible subjectivism riddles (like color) that drove even Wittgenstein nuts, which cannot be proven or disproven by rational means, because they are the problem with proof itself. I think the quantum truth of the memory is that the "true face" hovers somewhere between the physicality of the actual face and the colorations and shadings our memory gives to that face, creating a new one. So: tertium quid. En bref, there are no faces.

Masao Yamamoto: Chillwave Minimalist Photographer

Expect some overlap with this video. I love hearing the artist speak in this one, and what he says. I particularly love his explanation of why he prefers small (and tiny) prints of his images. So moving.

One more (again, overlap).

Haven't Seen

No, I haven't seen any of the Paul Blart movies. I am waiting for Paul Blart: Art Cop or Paul Blart: Art Cop 2.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Imagining a five-day-old embryo that would obsessively tell everyone it "meets" (via some complex sound system which transmutes pre-fetal thoughts to language and then to sound projected outside the womb) that "I look half my age."

Oh Gosh

Oh Gosh, unseemly to brag about one's followers on any website, I know, but I was so honored to have fine art photographer and curator Cedric Dubus follow our Tumblr.

He's really of the caliber of Thomas Demand. He reminds me of Demand in places, but it's clear he has his own sensibility. You know the matte pastel thing that Demand does? Dubus will do that with softer things (like the ocean's shoreline, to name one) rather than adhering to the more geometrically "well-behaved" forms the German minimalist (is Demand really a minimalist?) seems to prefer.

Hey, look at this Cedric Dubus photograph. Isn't that just perfect? The eye rhyme of the cat with the pattern on the iron, and the iron's "rough" feline shape in general! And the quality of the filtering of the light is enough to have given Vermeer delirium tremens. There's a subtle sense of humor here, and a philosophical one. The cat's expression belies all this beauty, this idealized moment, and the secret conspiracies of objects to create a meaningful and knowledgeable composition. The cat has doubts. The cat has serious, world-shaking doubts. The cat is Sartre. Look at the way the cat mirrors the other object of utility (this is a pet, after all, and not a free cat). The cat is collared. The iron is in service too. We look back and forth between the cat and the old-school metal iron. We think back to Sartre talking about how existence precedes essence. But the case is flipped with the iron. So the cat is the human condition in this sublime tableau.  Everything is of a piece. I think it's a beautiful way to tell a tale about the world without ever opening one's mouth. Kudos.

What I was talking about last night with petography (cloying genre) versus the possibility of an artist portraying with sensitivity the existential plight of animals other than the human: that's it right there. That photo is one way to do that.

Memory is All About Corners


Think of culture as three-dimensional images. The funniest illusion about images is that they have boundaries. They don't.