Self-Titled: Collaborative Projects by Henry Crissman and Hamilton Poe
July 18-August 18, 2013
Event on Thursday, July 18 from 9-11 pm
RM: This is the "opening" of the upcoming exhibition by Hamilton Poe and Henry Crissman.
HC: I'm interested to see what this additional space (being this page) will be able to contribute to the project. Whether or not it will serve as a form of advertisement or more of a critical form regarding the processes of making, sharing and considering the project and its results. Basically, this is awesome and I'm super stoked about it.
HP: Im getting excited about wearing a dolphin costume as I pull one ton of mud out of the Belle Isle inlet.
HP: Dolphin costumes
HP: henry and bob
HP: ducktaped cup to ladder; called 'cup-ladder'
-phone hidden inside of newspaper vending machine. Vending machine then called 'phone'
HP: Ive been thinking about an event that occurred last week at a wedding I went to. Everyone sat at the reception while the wedding band was playing. It was early on, no one was drunk enough yet, everyone still felt too aware of themselves. But an older couple hopped up on the dance floor and started hammering it out, and they looked rough but they didn't care and out it came, something new which caused others to respond, to get up and start looking stupid as well.
project 1:go to every trinosophes music show and dance when no one dances.
I wonder about the best way to feel good in 40 years over stuff Im doing right now.
would the performance of dancing at every trinosophes music event be enhanced somehow by trying to mimic that original experience at the wedding? could I come up with a new interpretation of what took place and then find some new expression. If I wore fried-chicken skin on my face to make me look 80 years old, and a cheap grey suit with orthopedic shoes, would this somehow make the piece any better?
something interesting also happened when henry said, lets take pictures of us pulling mud out of the Belle Isle inlet, 'we could be smiling'. and I think back to the original work photos from Access Arts for the newspaper vending machines, of showing us photoshopped into belle isle, and now I realize that I don't want to be complicit, that somehow it isn't matching up for me. that the perfect solution is to put my own agency into this mud performance somehow. and that agency is dolphin costumes.
Actually, it doesn't even need to be dolphin costumes, rather, any article of clothing that could somehow be sidestepping whatever original intention the work might have. I like the idea of wrapping myself in duct tape and pillows from head to toe. I also like the idea of having some sort of formal costumes, or maybe making them from drawings made in the past. Im interested in making this without logic or intention. And maybe thats dada. And maybe thats bad.
(But to state, the beauty of the project being in the abstract quality of following it rigidly. Though it doesn't follow logic, a fisherman might watch as henry and I load several tons of mud from the inlet into the back of his car while wearing dolphin costumes and holding no clear answers as to why we are doing this which seems beautiful enough to me)
The question is 'how long before these things somehow become meaningless, or are they already meaningless? Donald Judd talked about his disdain for dada because it is without substance, that the very idea of dada is self-destructing: after a while the senseless leads to a dead end and we are left with garbage and shifty eyes. I think dada or camp, or present-day irony can also be a way of deflecting any interest in actually talking about what is going on (although, without making fun of yourself, the work doesn't seem to breathe). In the past I've felt marked by a need for productivity, to see something pushed forward more and more, or the trick of thinking I am doing this. But perhaps current-day Detroit is beyond productivity, beyond a market, and without a steady arts criticism, beyond reflection. So this thought of taking photographs of dogs looking into mirrors, of grabbing pieces of clay up out of the river while wearing dolphin suits (off of a potential missile silo no-less), or dancing in a crowd of people while wearing orthopedic shoes and a dangling mask of chicken skin; its all okay to a certain extent but eventually it might top out. and trying to reach a point where these things become subtle but effective, that they don't give way to the crutches of craft, time, money, shock, academia, etc., instead finding an essential essence. or maybe I shouldn't even ask this, just simply do it.
I feel drawn to this:
Kate Levant and Michael E. Smith’s work had no fixed location, because the 30-year-old man who was their “work,” Pat Chisholm —a friend of theirs from Detroit, whom they asked to go live, eat and sleep on the island during the project —rarely stayed in one place for long. Mr. Chisholm, an armored-car driver who met Mr. Smith many years ago in a substance-abuse program, said that Ms. Levant and Mr. Smith simply wanted him to experience the place, while they camped in the Everglades, and that they would come pick him up after it was all over.
“They said, ‘Just be yourself,’ and I had to think about that for a while,” said Mr. Chisholm, an
animated, talkative man wearing a cap with the word “infidel” written in English and Arabic.
He came equipped with freeze-dried provisions and a Mylar camping blanket but was denied
permission to bring along one of his many firearms. The only problem he encountered while
sleeping alone on the island on Thursday night was a platoon of rats enticed by the sme
ll of his
“I was worried that maybe the police would send over a helicopter with thermal vision and be able to spot me down there, you know?” he said. “But nope, didn’t see a soul. It was actually kind of nice.”
I don't wash my hair with shampoo or use deodorant ever. Shampoo makes my hair feel puffy, frow-ish even. As my gender identity comes to terms with its outlined masculinity, I realize that it makes me feel uncomfortable to say the word 'cranapple'.
Im also drawn to this:
Dylan Spasky 'Fountains' Wake
For this show I am introducing into the art market severarl fountains that I have assembled by hand from items Ive purchased. My mom has told me in the past that using feng shui fountains can bring wealth and prosperity into your home. Owning things can be a way of extending yoruself. Owning a more ostentatious object makes you a more ostentatious person. Owning a fountain can become an extension of your excretory system constantly letting out a blood for urine to mark your teritory with pungent liquid. These fountains may very well bring wealth. They certainly will cost you some wealth and they may some day cost someone else even more wealth at a gain to you. The value of these objects may not seem immediately apparent to you right now but that is because Im building a new sense of value. I liken these fountains to a small dog with missing legs. The legs are replaced with a wheeled harness that allows it to get around. The enjoyment I would like the viewer to get from these works is similar to the feeling of watching this creature and its struggle through life. Rolling its way around to reach food, water, play sleep . . . Trying its best to live the life of a fully healthy dog. Whatever a fully healthy dog is. A healthy dog is always a modification of a wolf. its body augmented over the years for the maximization of human enjoyment the way oil is modified into plastics and shaped into a lawn chair that allows you to better enjoy the outdoors. Think of the missing legs as an extension of these modifications. A way to maximize our fondness and empathy for this creature. T o create these works Ive essentially taken on a role of removing the dog legs and I invite you to come and consider taking on this modification in order to become more likeable in your own struggle through life.
Sent from my Iphone.
Personally I'm not concerned with issues and barriers of abstraction or non objective practices because the context in which our upcoming works are going to occur are bound to be tailored and documented in such a way to make them cohesive. What I love about that is it seems as if defining to ourselves what it means and is to be cohesive is really the entire project and simultaneously an answer that is constantly in flux by the very definition of relationships. I think that's why we're realizing the documentation of our collaboration is all that we'll have to work with in terms of developing finished works. Almost certainly for the same reasons that we have friendships and fall in love with each other; because it's fun and interesting. The reasons for this project to me at least are for those exact same reasons. Hamilton is an interesting and passionate individual who's past works have existed for reasons typically different from my own. This collaboration is allowing and forcing us to consider and grow our individual practices from each others perspectives and to develop common denominators which might allow us to make cohesively in a collaborative manor. One of those common denominators might be that we agree there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but that in entertaining the idea that it could be there a quest might be started on which we could find something of even more value.
Ham, some people may be offended by chicken skins and I think it would be much more exciting for us to just dance as if no one gave a shit.
Also, If we find a warhead in the mud (likely) we should document detonating it with a BB gun. However, I am still interested in collecting a fair bit of mud in our respective uniforms and thought I might mention that we should do that prior to the detonation.
However, I would like to kill and eat a pheasant. Your thoughts?
If you are a def man in the woods and a tree falls over and you are the only one there to hear it...
HP: my grandpa told me pheasants good eating. And possum too. Lets try to get one. but where? also getting a newspaper vending machine that people use as a bench and replacing it with a bench we make.
-agreed on the chicken skins.
Another piece is this shirt Im wearing: long before I met henry, I was given this tshirt which was stolen from him by a girl when he was a freshman at CCS. When I was riding my bicycle here from vermont three years ago, I ran into the girl in the Adirondacks as she pedaled to Maine. Arriving in Detroit, she gave me all of her clothes as she departed another time for mud-hut livin' in canadian tundra. I'd always assumed that one day I'd run into her jealous boyfriend one day, but instead found myself over at Henry's house a month ago, working on an art project, and having him tell me about how he once had the same shirt. : )
HC: I would like to stress that the shirt was STOLEN. Also I would like to stress that despite our best efforts Hamilton and I will both never be as good at anything as this man is with a sling shot.
I find it comforting.
Also, , the same shirt I am wearing today as yesterday (as I do not take showers often, or change my clothes) is the shirt I first met Henry in when working at Brooks Lumber last year. Its no coincidence; Further proof that I am the center of the Universe.
also, I just made up that whole shirt story with Henry's girlfriend, Virginia.
HC: "If you find yourself lost in the woods, fuck it, build a house. "Well, I was lost but now I live here! I have severely improved my predicament!" -Mitch Hedburg
RM: This show is the first time I think that it will really seem like someone else owns Trinosophes. Are you all comfortable with that? Actually I think I will love it, until we're at a quiet jazz show with those who pay close attention to music and you start dancing like the old couple and I have to deal with the fall-out! Then who owns the space? It's funny how ownership passes from one person or group to another, each night at Trinosophes, and each night the space is owned by a different crowd and they either pass ownership to the artist or deny it, but then this performance or intervention or whatever you want to call it -- when you are dancing during another artist's performance -- is you not giving up ownership. I wonder if Joel is ready for it? What do you think?
Your dancing during another performance by a musician would bring to the foreground where the balance of power lies, and whether it can be shared. This whole line of thought doesn't really relate to much else discussed above, but I guess it's about you staking your claim as artists at every moment, even if you don't know exactly why you are doing it and you don't have any clue what it will produce or whether that changes as it becomes.
H.C. I feel like your discomforts with ownership may be stemming from your hopes to facilitate others. That might be discomforting because who are you to say how others should be facilitated? But maybe others are more able to develop their own senses of ownership and self when the space is defined and limited. Is that not essentially the point of making anything? To make arrangements so that they may be utilized in some way. Weather or not it is for personal reasons, the toasting of bread or the exploration of the abstract, it might also be for everyone else or even the perpetuation of hate. Functions can be forgotten under the labels of others. The value of physical experiences is due to labels', documents' and objects' inability to adequately recreate them. But we must try because they are that good.
When I'm imagining dancing with the musicians I can only see it being respectful and promotional of the musicians performance because my perception of our dancing is that it would indeed be essentially as you put it, to build bridges within the space.
Maybe we should build a bridge in the space.
HP: I feel there is something completely artful about jackasses urban kayaking:
you can see this in roman signer:
or henry's mullet, or 'malone' as he called it and a bottle rocket:
and I see this in other artists as well, my closest teacher and friend from college, John umphlett:
(check out meatball or conversations)
And I wish I could find a video of the 1970 gutai expo, if anyone knows of it, send it my way.
I think this has something to do with the urge to throw rocks into a still lake because you can so easily make a chaotic action occur, and its the same thing with a guitar string, that everyone around you might be repulsed by it but you soooooo want to do it again and again and again.
We met two of three brothers named Aaron, (Aaron Jr. Aaron Jr. and Aaron Jr.)
gonna go buy us adventure suits.
HC: Today was too awesome to discuss at the moment, but it would have been even better if we had done this...
HP: One of the most surreal jobs Ive ever had involved working for my friend John Blum (http://www.johnblum.com/about.cfm), an avant garde jazz pianist who spends the majority of his time playing as a house musician in Tijuana. He started up a calendar company several years ago to subsidize his art practice. The calendar is called '365 puppies a year'(https://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0761167099) and then turned into 'good dog bad dog' and leaped over into '365 Kittys a year'. But the who scene was really trippy in that the calendar was bought out by a major publisher and can now be found at almost any bookstore in the country. Working for him at the publishing firm, he'd employed an assembly line of strung-out jazz musicians to open up letters sent in to the calendar, and then we would all be forced into selecting the cutest puppies or kittens based on John's strict jazz pianist parameters.
Perhaps this is where the thought came from for my ideal job in life: taking photographs of dogs in christmas costumes. Theres something so appetizing about it, the thought of playing with dogs all day and then dressing them up in various attire, and then photographing for optimum cuteness. Something tells me that my dream could very well come true if I were to try it out. Perhaps what I need to do is hijack Louie, the stray my roommate took in yesterday, though he has some sort of odd goiter on his back side that might conflict with the costume. He'll need to have a lizard tail.
But in thinking about the link between what henry just posted and Roman Signer, I thought of William Wegman. I talked with Stephen Garret Dewyer two nights ago at Trinosophes and thought it might be interesting to include another dialog taking place:
Im really glad to have run into you the other night, Ive been working with Henry now for a few days in preparation for this show, and its definitely a completely new way of working which Im excited to try out. Henry's got an odd sense of genius to him that is leading things along. But talking with you last night, I found your point of entertainment extremely helpful. I wonder if there is a part of art that is always somehow negative, or, if art is inherently double-sided. Perhaps that is how it mimics life. Either it brings you closer to enlightenment or it negatively disconnects you from the world. I think of Dan Graham's dissatisfaction with Land Art for its reliance upon photographs in the gallery to give a secondary experience of the work, or Land Arts reaction to minimalism by employing specific locations outside of the gallery ( and Im wondering of a rebuttle to Grahams work). Point being that digging hard enough always seems to reveal pros and cons. And perhaps for now, this works for me, or I am looking to emote a sense of freedom in reaction to being in a city with seemingly no art market or criticism. Even more, that we are living really trashed out lives, working for 10 an hour after expensive schooling and renting from crummy slumlords who bump up rent at the last minute. So perhaps in saying 'screw it' something more genuine is bound to evolve. We'll see.
For now, Im comparing this to Jackass's urban Kayaking:
thanks for the notes. I have a copy of Artaud’s The Theater and its Double. I will plan to take a look at Theater of Cruelty. No worries about running. If you are interested, we could run to Jefferson and Woodward Avenue from New Center and back, which is 7 miles. Alternatively, we could run on Thursday if that works better as well.
The $10/hour jobs and slumlords do get tiring. Although undergrad and grad studies are expensive and don’t necessarily lead directly to lucrative employment, I am glad to have done the two studies. I suppose even without the prospects of the M.F.A. I got becoming a qualification for a teaching position, I would still want to do it because of the conversations that I participated in during my studies. However, the program and student are worth considering when planning to go to grad school. With your work and inquiry into its relations with the rest of the world I would recommend doing grad school. Some developments in institutional critique pose some questions regarding critique. I recommend Jacques Rancìere’s talk about “The Importance of Critical Theory for Social Movements Today” (https://youtu.be/oUTHDo_hhe0) and Andrea Fraser’s “There’s no place like home” (https://whitney.org/file_columns/0002/9847/andreafraser_theresnoplacelikehome_2012whitneybiennial.pdf) regarding critique. It seems the postmodernist notion of an absence of historical contingency lending useless a critique of capitalism, in part, made the notion of critique almost a good-in-itself among some writers who did not buy into postmodernism. However, Fraser writes of how aggression (towards colleagues, professional rivalries) fueled negation of certain participatory forms of art. Unfortunately, rather than finding support in a mutual ambition to change art and its institutions in a way that would support social justice, the notion of critique for Fraser is individualistic. In other words, I don’t read in Fraser anything that would tell of how our support might also critique our exploitation by capitalism. Instead, Fraser has taken critique as a way for her to support our exploitation by capitalism by not offering alternatives. I am interested to see if Detroit can have critical art writing and discussions about art in a way that supports politics in art in order not to have it become personal posturing. At the moment, I am not sure what to think of Detroit as the Emergency Manager has embraced the corporate agenda and large private interests are buying much of the city. Best,
Every idea for the show that I can think of in a 3 minute time period
-Three bubbling subwoofers filled with non-newtonian fluid using as their source, our audio discussions and various bands playing at trinosophes
-sliding down a hill in adventure suits, covered by either paper or cloth. Grass stains as composition to go underneath mirror and and mud sculptures. Being splashed with a bucket of water mid-stream
-photographs of henry's two kitties in shark costumes along with stray louis and home-dog zazzee
-giving 'John the Baptist' the local knowledgable homeless guy a space during the opening for talking about various interests
-also making sculptures based around our understanding of what he is talking about ('the settlers original lived off of water and rocks by boiling rocks and water in a giant pot', 'there are four types of minds in the world: copper, wheat, pasta, and sugar', 'god appears regularly on the television screen between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.')
-perhaps the television screen would need to play between 1 and 5 a.m. out of the trinosophes window
HP:Yesterday, Christine commented that when she calls me, and Im with Henry, she envisions us holding hands and running through a field of flowers together. But the more I think about it, the more this seems like a good idea. Then Im reminded of this:
And even more, this thought of an idea, how we prize the ideas origins. So often, when working in the studio I will negate a project that seems sparked too closely from the inspiration of another artists work. And maybe this is a good position to follow. It will take so much to make a work that inspires others through its originality if it so closely mimics a more inspirational project. I will never make drawings out of explosive powder without being subsumed by Cai Guo Cuang.
I also dream of locking myself into a room for a whole year, or burying myself under ground for eight days. : (
HC: Today were going to begin using the space as our primary studio/bat cave. Ham's on his way over at the moment and we're going to figure out our moves between here and there.
We had this really amazing moment two nights ago that I'm still fascinated by which was this build up within our conversation that resulted in us singing/screaming "welcome to our art exhibition" over and over again, which then transitioned into us doing a commercial for Trinosophes' delicious sandwiches and then us thanking Rebecca profusely for this opportunity... We had discussed at different points how we might promote in some way Trinosophes and also issues that we felt about our audio not being "made for radio" and this seemed to momentarily resolve those two things and yet also bring up a whole new set of things to consider. Like hamilton suggested in his letter to Stephen, "Point being that digging hard enough always seems to reveal pros and cons" its becoming more and more obvious that what ever point we decide to call the end will only be the beginning.
In talking with Rebecca yesterday about what to call the opening of the exhibition, a performance? an event? we had to consider what shift is going to occur as the title of the space shifts from studio to gallery. Or perhaps it's always a stage or even just a space. Does it go from something we're doing to something we did? I feel like it's just going to shift into a new mode of doing, perhaps one of more pure analysis and reflection but almost certainly still one of new happenings. If it becomes only a show of videos, images, and sounds do the sounds, images and videos of the exhibition then become incorporated as well.
Last weekend we held an opening of sorts within Eastern Market with our News Paper Vending Machine Galleries through which our original intention was to push the artists involved to consider the challenges and opportunities of these alternative spaces and to in the process hopefully engage a more broad audience by placing them in such a diverse public scenario... Sense the installation last friday night three of them have been detained by the Eastern Market Corporation because they felt that they were inappropriately placed. In contacting them yesterday about this they said that they actually very much enjoyed the project and would like for us to do it again but in a more sanctioned manor. I can't guaranty that we will do it again but I can say that's leaps and bounds better audience participation than I could have asked for. I know it's not really a fair comparison but I makes me think of Pussy Riot, and not just because I love Pussy Riot, but because sure they got totally fucked by being thrown in jail but in the end their project was umteentimes more successful because of it...
HP:So, apparently Henry is writing a post as I write a post now, and Im told to watch out for erasing all of his information, but I wanted to say, without talking to him, that it seems there is a certain lack of talking, or something about talking, that I really don't like, or that I wish I could get past. I think about a few different things. One thing, a shout out to a friend in town, Ashley Cook, this website is so cool:
Collected apparently through an ongoing visual dialog with a friend living in another city, the drawings function as responses to responses, and in that way, they create their own language: when I say green, you say blue, when I draw high, you draw low. And its something that can easily be written off as nothing at all, that these are just a series of squiggly lines, but looking closer, it seems that there is some evolution to them, something happening underneath. It also makes me think of B. Wurtz. (work that looks like trash, and is made from trash, but has a complexity that is hard to touch upon but completely evident).
Apparently the works all have to do with three things, food, communication, and one more topic slipping my mind. But the artist has been making this body of work for over the past twenty years.
I wonder if our work could function in this way. At this point we've been using voice recordings as material for the show, or as a material like a sculptor would work with plaster in the studio. And I think things are going to be interesting, but I also partially wonder what would happen if we were to erase oral language and switched it with something else. Perhaps this is too soon in the game. Corrie Baldauf told me a great quote once, that words exist only when something is lost. And Stephen Garret Dewyer talks about how writing is a way of leaving a trace behind, remnants of thought. Perhaps for the next few days we might try, also in an attempt to allow others in, to make writing a primary form of communication.
This is only partially coming from my embarrassment of feeling overly didactic, when nothing appears to be produced.
Today the plan is to install in the gallery, and while there is no exact plan for the show, there are a great deal of objects and materials that seem to hold weight for us. The goal is to keep from writing any exact plan down, something that we would have to follow at a future date, and instead to see what happens.
other plans today: install a kiln downtown
buy a stamp with date and times on it
attend a pop-up food cart event
have a massive water balloon fight
make a table
run through a field of flowers
HC: The intent and purposes of this project is fading in and out as doubts and worries are setting in. In loading objects and materials into the space and files onto each others computers and backup drives I know there is potent material and that it's going to come together, but Hamilton and I both have stressed to some degree our concerns regarding how that material will fill and inform the space. Hamilton thinks we need to be in the space/studio as much a possible between now and then and I agree to some degree, but I also think we need to go swimming. My biggest concerns actually arn't about how the show is going to be perceived but actually about how am spending and investing my last few days here in this city that has done so much for me and with all of my other friends who I think I'm not spending enough time with. In considering how we might bring others into the project and space prior to the opening I've found that the addition of others has brought on two things consistently, a forced rewinding where the basics are refounded and reconsidered, and almost a sort of doubt or almost embarrassment that I'm working to make sense of at the moment. I'm not sure if that sense is going to be amplified at the opening event or resolved, but particularly among my more heavily rooted craft friends I've found myself struggling at points to describe the value of the project as an art piece or practice. As we're recording hours and hours of sounds and continually pushing to develop the substance and intent of our collaboration I know that I could confidently argue that this practice has indeed been heavily crafted. I know that Hamilton and I both have had practices built arounds objects and images that were in the end called the finished works of art but that we both also have felt that our practices as a whole have been as important if not more important than those works. The events and ideas that are occurring are difficult because that are changes in our selfs, and change is difficult but also necessary. I'm going to end this blurb right now because they always end incomplete regardless...
Come by Trinosophes sometime between now and Thursday evening (we might be there) if you'd like to...
RM: I think you should go swimming. Or take an object for a walk.
HP:Joel and Rebecca just left us in the gallery by ourselves and we are now able to do anything here. We have complete ownership of this place now, which means that we are eating all of the ice cream in the fridge.
-The thought of doing everything that comes our way (which is denied through avoiding the city drift show) - Of a show or piece as being diluted by being made too quickly - Recognizing that sometimes its not cool to make quick works ; in going back to view the works, they seem to be without content - Objects created, either quickly or over many months - The inability of artists/viewers/critics to figure out what is good art and bad art - The trust that takes place between the viewer and the artist, that the artists work though initially unappealing, can carry some weight if one spends the time attempting to understand - Something that marks artists, as opposed to other professions, is a supposedly uncompromisable voice
1. of a show that celebrates our friendship occurring over the past few weeks
2. a show that makes the venue more cohesive
3. a show in the middle of everything: though quickly assembled, it contains an unpinned energy
My favorite Kresge Artist Video, or maybe the greatest/worst artist interview I've come across:
from Kresge Arts in Detroit on Vimeo.
Sometimes artists evasiveness can act as a way of covering their asses when works aren't actually good at all. And theres something interesting to be said for tricking people into buying complete crap, but after a while, nobody cares and the work falls on its face. Or maybe, instead, the artist is so screwed up that they can't pull it together to communicate outside of the works they produce. Or maybe one talk out of every ten is a complete failure and the viewer just happens upon the interview that fails.
Yesterday brought up a good discussion about the ideas put in place for the show, mainly of playing our hours and hours of audio recording in the space, giving the viewers the ability to listen to any and all thoughts shared verbally between Henry and I throughout the show, throughout the duration of our 'studio' time. In my opinion, the hours and hours of audio files is just as obscure as Smith's evasive talk with Steve McGee. That in some ways it holds a possibility of communication, but can in no way communicate everything that took place between us.
Henry's response is that editing is somehow less genuine, and I can agree. But I think there are moments that are worth highlighting, and how this comes about I am not sure. Perhaps the most effective way is to edit through this website, or through some other source outside of the audio files. This site is really just an edited version of the experiences and reflections that occur while we spend time together. Being spontaneous means making crap, and even more, showing that crap in a public setting. But there are also moments within it of extreme honesty. And perhaps what the audience is required to do in this situation is to determine for themselves where these moments are within the body of work, as our honesty gives way to innumerable unexpected perspectives. I take interest in the thought of obscurity, the thought of the viewers need to trust the artist, and the artists' inability to let that viewer take part in the work. Even more, of a letting down of ones guard, in realizing the possibility of spend time trying to make 'good' work that others will enjoy, or simply to make whatever one feels like making and then saying 'there it is'.
This all occurs in the midst of thinking of Henry's inability to voice what he felt to be essential to someone he deeply respects. I get anxious when I think about presenting something to a group of people as well. Its like having your dick out in the wind on a sailboat, where seagulls fly past, and its covered in breadcrumbs.
As a side note, its interesting to consider animosity between the craft crowd vs. the conceptual crowd. Its no doubt that these are different parties, or they work in different ways, but as Henry brought up, theres really no need for them to hate on one another, its simply two ways of existing( or as Rebecca put it with Heidelberg and Hilberry). In this sense, Henry is taking what I feel to be the more admirable route, by denying a 'tangible', visible craft after developing one for such a long period of time and instead putting that amount of time into the material of audio files, of just talking or conceptualizing.
Latest plan: go play in the mud at Belle Isle, documented with friends.
Cranbrooks Brittany Campbell 'Double Dutcher' with Lynn Avadenca on the handle.
RM: Hamilton, you were in and out today so fast that I had no idea if you were still in the next room or not! You should have eaten the ice cream yesterday. I wish you had, in fact, because our freezer broke last night and when we got to the space this morning it was oozing from the bottom of the door out into a huge puddle on the floor. At the time I just watched poor Joel clean it up but I should have taken photos because it reminded me of that handful of green goo that appears previously in this thread. You would have liked the sight of it. Perhaps some of your works on site can be "found" pieces, like that one.
When thinking about your worry of showing 'crap made quickly' vs art that has tremedous time and thought put into it, I think experimental jazz has taught me that a nice balance exists in the zone of improvisation that is within a composed structure. (Incidentally, I wonder if Mike Smith follows this structure because he named his kid Ayler, after improvising great, Albert Ayler. He plays songs that always sound like they are ending.) Essentially it boils down to this: If you give yourself a solid structure and some time to generate ideas, you can feel free to improvise within that zone and chances are you are skilled enough that it will give rise at least to one moment of greatness. The difference is that in music its easier to improvise because its durational and each moment gives rise to something new, whereas visual artists are so hemmed in by the static nature of the object. As an audience member, I used to be so incredibly embarassed for improvising musicians whenever I was at a concert, because I found 35 of the 40 minutes were spent watching two people struggle awkwardly to connect. But then I learned to appreciate those 35 minutes almost even more -- or I guess at least equal to -- the other five minutes of pure unadulterated spiritual, creative contact. I appreciate the musicians' bravery, for one thing, but also I appreciate that they are affording me the opportunity to undo my own assumption that "good" art always must be a complete thought, a finished work, or somehow resolved.
HP:As we left the gallery last night, we said we were gonna have a new piece, which was to eat as much ice cream as possible between 4 and 6 the next day, while you guys were breaking and then wait for you to come back and take pictures of you happening upon us. It would have been broadcast live across the webs but no dice. What we did get today is this sweet mud:
I also discovered henrys secret to smooth livin: killem with kindness and makem do what you want.
I keep hashing back on old stuff, the interest in being in-between, being in what I think of as heterotopic, but maybe its not the same as what some would call a heterotopia. talkin bout a third space, and not the kind of trapped city planning stuff (Soja, Bhabha and the phoe-calt), Im thinking of a point occurring while drinking a milkshake and talking to some interesting person, and all the sudden I think of my high school math teacher, and then my dad calls me on the phone, and I kind of rest back and see myself from afar, maybe I see my 'self', as the show takes its title. And I think about jumping into a cold lake and how afterwards my mind feels slowed, one eye feels pushed a foot in front of the other, and being caught up in all this chaos and not being able to make sense but the realization that my anxiety is exhausted, and before I become completely exhausted I feel this, the third space, being obscure, or abstract or fountain-esk, and then, usually it goes away and I put my head to my pillow.
And I think this might be where the infinity pedestal comes in.
It sounds as if this is the gallery state, an admitted honesty in putting all the information out there for the viewer, and a point 'in-between', thinkin once again about this point of being dislocated (and the viewers decision about whether it is a transcendental dislocation/good or disconnection/bad). And I ramble. And its 2 a.m.
And I love trinosophes sandwiches.
HC: This is difficult because the opening event is this evening and I'm planning to print off this whole page for it. I am a last word kind of guy, but this time it feels high stakes. (Hopefully Ham will post after me...)
With regard to Rebecca's insights about the project's commonalties to improvisational jazz, I think that's spot on. We've been embracing our struggle and working to curate it in an effort to make those great moments happen as often as possible. It seems as if we can embrace that process and share that process, but those 35 minutes of struggle only work because they're searching for something. If the lights don't start flashing to some degree then we wont build connections between our selfs, our audience and the space, and really that's been the only goal of this, that and to enjoy it.
I'm under the impression that the "good art" is the process and the product that is meaningful and worthwhile to whoever or what ever it was meant to be for as long as it can be rationalized to an appropriate extent. In this case perhaps to some degree our project has been was a self centered endeavor (however we have discussed that maybe that is one of the defining characteristics of art) but it is also work that I would not have done to be in a vacuum. We are the primary subjects within the works to some degree but I'm not sure that it would matter at all if you know who we were. If it were labeled instead Self Titled: Collaborative Projects by Two Dudes and it were assembled in a place entirely the same but entirly without us, I'm not sure how that would shift the reception of the "work". It's hard to put my finger on what we've been getting at, and maybe thats because those things aren't tangible things, or it's because I'm not close enough to touch it and maybe it's been about the distance that's just far enough away from a specific destination that you're not there but maybe you are. Really it's been embracing that we can't actually "get at it" and instead embracing "getting at it". As we recorded everything that occurred when we were together it was important that we were in two places at once, because it somehow allowed us to disregard keeping our feet on the ground as we were only half there, or maybe we were dually there...
The point being, I think it's good because we thought and are thinking and are going to continue thinking about "why" and "who" and "where" and "when" and "what" (hopefully to appropriate degrees) and we worked, and are working and are going to continue working (hopefully to appropriate degrees).
Looking forward to this evening...