Happy Holidays!

24Dec12

Unwind by the fire.

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Smoke Break in the Post Apocalypse


finished in L.A.Come see my new work Daily Life in the Post Apocalypse at Finished in L.A. at Raid Projects, 602 Moulton Ave Los Angeles, California 90031. This show is not to be missed, there are so many great artists involved and a huge variety of work.

For more info:

Finsihed in L.A. Event Page

Notes on Looking


11Dec12
Andy with his Wife.

Andy with his Wife.

When collaging video I often think of Andy’s words on leftovers.

I always like to work on leftovers, doing the leftover things. Things that were discarded, that everybody knew were no good, I always thought had a great potential to be funny. It was like recycling work. I always thought there was a lot of humor in leftovers. When I see an old Esther Williams movie and a hundred girls are jumping off their swings, I think of what the auditions must have been like and about all the takes where maybe one girl didn’t have the nerve to jump when she was supposed to, and I think about her left over on the swing. So that take of the scene was a leftover on the editing-room floor—an out-take—and the girl was probably a leftover at that point—she was probably fired— so the whole scene is much funnier than the real scene where everything went right, and the girl who didn’t jump is the star of the out-take.

I’m not saying that popular taste is bad so that what’s left over from the bad taste is good: I’m saying that what’s left over is probably bad, but if you can take it and make it good or at least interesting, then you’re not wasting as much as you would otherwise. You’re recycling work and you’re recycling people, and you’re running your business as a byproduct of other businesses. Of other directly competitive businesses, as a matter of fact. So that’s a very economical operating procedure. It’s also the funniest operating procedure because, as I said, leftovers are inherently funny.

Living in New York City gives people real incentives to want things that nobody else wants—to want all the leftover things. There are so many people here to compete with that changing your tastes to what other people don’t want is your only hope of getting anything. For instance, on beautiful, sunny days in New York, it gets so crowded outside you can’t even see Central Park through all the bodies. But very early on Sunday mornings in horrible rainy weather, when no one wants to get up and no one wants to get out even if they are up, you can go out and walk all over and have the streets to yourself and it’s wonderful.

From the chapter Work in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol


The House at 3601 Siam Drive

The House at 3601 Siam Drive

This Saturday Martin Papcun unveils his new work House, Turned Inside Out.  The installation is literally a house turned inside out.  Walls and ceilings have been sawed out and then flipped.  In this way the interior of the home becomes a display of the building materials that are usually hidden.

Link to House, Turned Inside Out Facebook Event Page

Gordon Matta-Clark's "Splitting" 1974

Gordon Matta-Clark's "Splitting" 1974

Reading about Papcun’s work , one can’t help but think of Gordon Matta-Clark, the man who sliced up building ready to be demolished.  Matta’s artist’s too was the power saw, a key to understanding his work as well as his rebellious attitude.  It gives his work a visceral quality and really gives a person the destructive power needed to single handedly rip apart a building.  Also using a power saw for art is a great comment on technology.  So often the creative and constructive side of technology is focused on because that side is more marketable.   But turn the coin around and you can see that technology is just as enabling in destructive potential.

Despite the nature of the power saw, Matta does create new things.  Strangely these building have more value cut than the did before.  With holes these building become pieces of art that show the viewer something about all building.  Before being cut these building have already been deemed useless by the standards of economic value.

While Matta was working in the seventies, his work is equally topical today. Now more than ever we need to find new values for derelict land.  The first step of this process is to find a new way to perceive the land, which is exactly Martin Papcun and Pop-Up City Cleveland are doing.

Link to New York Times Article on Matta written for his 2007 Whitney Retrospective


Andrews's FollyAndrews’s Folly

Yesterday I attended the last session of Regionalism in Practice as part of Spaces Plum Academy.  The session was hosted by the wonderful Tom Orange who took on the dubious task of extracting something useful from late 20th century art theory.

For the meeting I put together some of my thoughts on what Cleveland’s regionalism might be.  In doing research I stumbled across “Andrew’s Folly”, a gigantic mansion built in 1882 by Samuel Andrews.  The house was located on 30th and Euclid as part of Millionaires Row.  The house boasted over 80 rooms and 5 apartments.

So what makes it classic Cleveland?  Well the manor was left vacant  in 1898 just 15 years after it was built.  The reason being that the floor plan of the building made it impossible for the servants to function efficiently.  Seems a shame that a house so grand couldn’t find some way of fitting in to the city.

This is another case of Clevelanders who value quirky individuality over practicality.  My impression is Andrews felt he needed to be unique in order to be recognized as great.  Unfortunately glamor is not enough.  The need for function was too powerful.  It makes sense that  the architect was Geo Smith who designed the Cleveland Arcade, another structure of grandeur that seems to be too beautiful to function.

One last thing: Spaces is having its wrap up party to Plum Academy this Friday October 21st. It should be a blast and I’ll be sure to be there.

Andrews’s Folly entry at the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History


pink eye issue 6

Pink Eye will be releasing their sixth issue on October 10th at the Beachland Tavern.  I’m always excited about a new issue of Pink Eye. They find the best artists and are genuinely funny.

Also is that a Jake Kelly cover? I can’t wait to see what they say about him. Kelly has defined the Cleveland concert flyer aesthetic for decades now. His flyer’s suggest individual comic book realities in a single frame, as well as cleverly cramming in all the needed concert info.

In addition, the Buried Wires are playing, which is pretty exciting.