Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I have decided to create.

A creation not of intellect but of experience.

Jouissance. this is the title of this blog we have been following. But what does it mean? For me, right now in this moment it means nothing to me but of pleasure. Pleasure is something I haven't felt in quite some time because I've been too busy freaking out about my newly realized adulthood. Goddamn it.

My epic move from the Northwest back to Oahu has been the up and down variety. It's been a major development into my new found sobriety. A type of sobriety that has made me realize I am much more psychologically out of my fucking mind than realized prior. A sobriety that has taught me more strength than I have ever known. A type of sobriety that makes people return to the life of substance.

From week to week it's been a difference of emotions. One week I am exploring the joys of paddle boarding, surfing, beach combing all the while acting like I've gone completely native. The next week I am freaking out wondering what the hell am I doing back here?! Waking up screaming 'holy shit, why did I come back here?' 'What the FUCK!?'

I feel unwelcome to experience this pleasure. I feel like I'm cheating on what I have worked so hard to obtain. But crap, what was that? I am so frustrated that I don't even know why. I'm too drunk to even care.

Please me but please yourselves.

This is jouissance.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dutch Renaissance paintings and Bodily Functions

I love this debate over the ever-important question, why do dogs pee in 17th-century Dutch churches?
One person's quest to find the truth

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

taring padi is awesome

The Indonesian art collective (Taring Padi means fang of the rice paddy) founded in 1998 after Suharto stepped down says, Love your neighbor!

Two taring padi members/associates presented their awesome and inspiring work at Open Engagement this weekend.

An early cultural manifesto they had consisted of five antis: anti-capitalism/anti-imperialism/anti-feudalism/anti-militarism/anti-elitism. They also built a library for local children with money they made from the proceeds of their artwork. The library was also supported by donations from a kindergarten in Seattle!

When the collective was assisting in the raising of farmers' and villagers' spirits after the 2006 earthquake via scarecrow-making, Taring Padi drew on traditional Indonesian shadow puppets (Wayang Kulit), making scarecrows with the farmers out of cardboard instead of leather...Nearby artist Eko Nugroho also updated Wayang Kulit:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

love it.

Rosson Crow, I Just Can't Stop Loving You
2009, Oil, acrylic, and enamel on canvas, 84 x 114 inches

The central Jeff Koons/Michael homage becomes much less gaudy, more reverent when placed next to the coffin with roses spilling over.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mo Ichi Do (One more time)

Again. Hip-hop and Takashi Murakami (Previously: Kanye West's Graduation album cover & Pharrell's The Simple Things) @1:54 in Jay-Z's video for "Blue Magic."

I wonder, what's the mutual attraction between Murakami and hip-hop artists?

additional Notes...

  • Like Pharrell, Jay-Z owns some original Murakamis.
  • Comparing Damien Hirst on money and death to Jay-Z on money and death=AWESOME: "As in Jay-Z’s music, [Damien] Hirst’s meditations on wealth frequently accompany meditations on mortality. The Hirst pieces Jay-Z gravitates toward are those in which this theme is especially prominent: the diamond skull, which references memento mori, and which Hirst has described as a laugh 'in the face of' death; the spin-art skull paintings...dominate Jay-Z’s 'Blue Magic' video."
  • Speaking in a sweeping generalization, does this mean that hip-hop(read:black) artists enjoy contemporary and/or pop art, and folksy/rock(read:white) artists like Fleet Foxes or Deep Purple dig early Netherlandish art?
  • This brings us ALMOST back full circle (kinda): Jay-Z references Hirst references memento mori, a motif in Vanitas paintings (oft-associated with Flanders/Netherlands, countries which churned these out about a century or two after Bruegel and Bosch), which "are meant as a reminder of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Benjamin, Bruegel, & (Judi and Ron) Barrett

Reading The Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin's massive thousand-plus-pages work describing the significance of the 19th-c. Parisian precursor to outdoor shopping malls, his quotation from a French parody of Louis XI brings to mind one of my favorite books:
as well an awesome Bruegel (The Land of Cockaigne, 1567):(pg. 7)

Exposé of 1935, III. Grandville, or the World Exhibitions

Yes, when all the world from Paris to China
Pays heed to your doctrine, O divine Saint-Simon,
The glorious Golden Age will be reborn.
Rivers will flow with chocolate and tea,
Sheep roasted whole will frisk on the plain,
And sautéed pike will swim in the Seine.
Fricasseed spinach will grow on the ground,
Garnished with crushed fried croutons;
The trees will bring forth apple compotes,
And farmers will harvest boots and coats.
It will snow wine, it will rain chickens,
And ducks cooked with turnips will fall from the sky.

-Langlé and Vanderburch, Louis-Bronze et le Saint-Simonien (Théâtre du Palais-Royal, February 27, 1832)

Each of these three nature-bearing-ready-to-eat-food works presents a different moral: in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, food turns deadly; in Bruegel people become lazy and fat; in the Benjamin quote, having your basic (albeit fancy) nutritional needs met paves the way for commodity fetishism. That is, the next line Benjamin writes after the quote reads: "World exhibitions are places of pilgrimage to the commodity fetish."

Perhaps partly because we today are awash with plentiful fast food options from golden arches to extensive prepackaged frozen foods, all much less delicious-sounding than the gourmet food of Langlé&Vanderburch, we are propelled into the world of fashion, advertisements, and sex sells: "World exhibitions propagate the universe of commodities...Fashion stands in opposition to the organic. It couples the living body to the inorganic world. To the living, it defends the rights of the corpse. The fetishism that succumbs to the sex appeal of the inorganic is its vital nerve. The cult of the commodity presses such fetishism into its service (8)." See also Walter Benjamin, "Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century," in Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, trans. Edmund Jephcott (New York: Schocken Books, 1986), 151, 152.

However, food-as-commodity can be sexualized itself ---- and the food industry and fashion industry vie for our attention and negate each other (the more you indulge in those juicily unhealthful burgers, the less you look like the models presented by the fashion world). You can't be a hot burger model and eat it too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shimomura to speak at Wing Luke Thursday

Thursday, March 18 at 7pm

Wing Luke Asian Museum

719 South King Street

An American Diary, A Lecture by Roger Shimomura

Roger Shimomura will present An American Diary, a 60-minute lecture on his work spanning over 40 years. Shimomura's paintings, prints and theatre pieces address sociopolitical issues of Asian America. Learn how his work has been propelled by various historical and political events, as well as his own physical environment which has been constantly filled with his collections ranging from Walt Disney memorabilia to World War II stereotypes of Asian people.

Shimomura website
Regina Hackett review of the current exhibit showcasing Shimomura--Yellow Terror--on view through April 18th.
Jen Graves's review

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Memes & Memetics by Susan Blackmore

Jean-François Lyotard: ‘If we accept the rules of engagement, now we can begin to play the game.’

Modern society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that now more than ever the human experiences are of simulations of reality rather than reality itself. It is mode, a system of control. But who is exactly is in control? Are we not breaking the rules here by believing in that which we cannot see? The key concept here is to never stop questioning.

How do we know we exist in the form that we inherently believe we do? We only exist in this human layout because that’s what we have sought to trust in. The possibility of defying that notion is only an implausible truth since we are only human after all. The post modern condition is a result of advance changes. Out with the old, in with the new. Origins can no longer simply take root in history, it must fight for validity.

“Symbolic language, being self-referential, had moreover the capacity to take itself as its own object, hence to provide its own memory and critique. Supported by these properties of language, material technique in turn underwent a mutation: it could refer to itself, build on itself, and improve its performance” (Lyotard).

We are only a condition of ourselves. For every action there is a reaction; that is the post modern attitude in regards to how it all came to be. The symbolism of language allows interpretation, improvisation, and altering perspectives. But at the same time in all its freedom, the openness of language formation, myth creation, and historicity leaves too much exposed for errors or the usual Freudian slip. What makes humankind able to evolve is our ability to input information and our ability to output information. It is the human instinctual need to survive even if only thru preservation of existence. How can we be so sure the manner in which receive information is correct? Perhaps the inaccuracy is that although message projection is successful, the methods in which we recognize truth from fallacy can be highly experimental, depending on thought process and personal systematic beliefs of faith, a false sense of assurance.

Lyotard's work is a representation towards constant opposition to universals. The bulk of his research is persistent and epitomizes the ‘collapse of the grand narrative’ or metanarratives that imbues generality. He is sternly critical of many of the ‘universalist’ assertion of the Enlightenment. Lyotard wanted to break barriers and conceptualized a type of reasoning that did not center a focus on discipline as a means to get answers. His works undermines the essentialisms of the Enlightenment’s principles that generated their expansive assertions.

In The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), he argued that our age in context to the postmodern condition is discernible by a ‘incredulity towards meta-narratives.’ These meta-narratives (or ‘grand narratives’) are ostentatious, large-scale theories and philosophies of the world, such as the progression of history, the knowledge of everything by science, and the possibility of unconditional freedom (Lyotard).

Lyotard argues that we have stopped believing in narratives of this kind and are sufficient enough to represent and contain us all. We have become aware to difference, miscellany, the incongruity of our aspirations, beliefs and desires, and for that reason post-modernity is typified by a plentitude of micro-narratives (reminiscent of Richard Dawkins and ideas of memes). For this perception Lyotard borrows on and re-construes the idea of ‘language games,’ based on the works of Ludwig Wiggenstein.

With Lyotard, the term ‘language games,’ also referred to as ‘phrase regimens,’ he signifies the variety of knowledge of meaning. The incalculable and impossible to measure are the disconnected systems where meaning is produced and the convention for their transmission is created.

This ideology of Lyotard’s develops into something more vital and central in his 1979 work Just Gaming and The Differend (1983) where he develops a post-modernist theory ‘justice.’ The speculation here is the annihilation of human being is indirectly implemented by the idea of the micro-narrative, and the role the language game plays- the part where it is symptomatic for the collapse of ethics.

“You often say: “Let us be pagan,” and “Let us be just.” Commonly, these two requirements seem to exclude each other. Indeed, justice, insofar as it is generally thought within a Platonic problematic, calls for the fixing of a criterion of judgment, which is something that paganism seems to proscribe. When you bring the two prescriptions together, are you thinking of a justice of a different type? Then, what is it? Or is justice the necessary exception to paganism? Then, what is the meaning of this exception? Is it the return of a nonpagan externality within paganism? And if so, why?” (Lyotard).

In order for the engagement to work properly, universals are not permissible in world that has lost faith in meta-narratives. And the same for ethics, it is unworkable. Lyotard disputes the notion that justice and injustice, in truth still has a place in post-modernism. For ethics to work in an equivalent structure, the language game needs installation. When people stop believing, the system collapses, unable to move forward, unable to reproduce or replicate- the end of the transmission.