Friday, September 08, 2006

Electron Shell

We change shells often. Or rather, we change positions, rings, locations on those shells.
K___ cut me off. It looks like it, looked like it. After so many un-answered phone calls, emails and my certain to be fruitless attempts at connection, K___ emailed me one last note explaining her wish not to be beholden to me not only as a friend but as a person. She felt, it seemed, not exactly threatened but inhibited by the expectations and obligations that friendship entails. Morse so, presumably, she surely sensed that these social obligations would supersede, if they hadn’t already, her come-what-may attitude and the vicissitudes of circumstance that affected her personality and persona. Once overcome by social a-priori expectations, K___’s social interactions would function through the filter of social obligation and such a constricting way of starting, stopping and merely having a social relationship seemed (surely) far too constrictive and un-relenting.

But these musings are the backdrop to the inevitable electron change, the great switch up we knew would come. Over coffee and a half lunch one spring noon K___ and I (during our period of friendship) agreed, as if in a tacit and resigned agreement, to a theory of friendship predicated on chance and moreover which is structured much electron shells. Like electrons, our friends floated on co-centric rings. The rings signaled levels of personal intimacy and friendship, as opposed to electricity and energy. In the outer rings floated many electron – friends, an abundance of meaningless electrons. Conversely, the inner rings admitted only a few electron-friends and they were, accordingly, of heightened importance.

The issue is placement. One does not remain in the inner electron shell. One does not intrinsically have social value or significance. Rather, one’s meaning correlates with the arbitrary environments in which we swim haphazardly, randomly and sometimes amazingly fluidly in and out of. The context of the electron shells being formed by a haphazard situation, the substance and structure of those shells and correspondingly of the placement of those electron-friends too must correlate with circumstance and a circumstantial present.
At one point K___ resided on my inner ring and I on hers. But a change in environment disrupts an electron and shifts it to a, usually, more distant ring. Inevitable and by necessity electrons shift and are re-arranged. An inner electron slowly shifts and moves outward. It assumes a spot next to a now relatively innocuous but perhaps once significant electron.

So it goes.
If K___ hadn’t I would have.
K___ knew I would.
But K___ did it first, didn’t she?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Benjy and Murphy

A preliminary but in no way exhaustive comparison of the use of light as a means to express ontological existence for the characters Benjy and Murphy as presented, respectively, in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and in Beckett’s Murphy.

For benjy the bright shapes come. Then they go. they slip in front of him only to dissipate a moment later into shadow. He lies next to versh and the dark comes, it swoops across his face. He smells it.
The flicker of light and of shapes plays incessantly for benjy.

The issue here is less one of light and dark but of habitation. For benjy habitation and all types of living and life experiences happen as flickers. An experience is characterized as the culmination of simple actions, at times presented as if polar pairs while other times expressed as a compact, bounded and almost tangible event for benjy to hold, squeeze tight and breathe in. what is with the box of stars that caddy gives benjy … ‘when I was still, they were still. When I moved, they glinted and sparkled. I hushed.’

Benjy continues to find paralysis in still moments. He relates to what is immediately presented to him and then he, like the object, dissipates when it is taken away.

…bringing Faulkner to Beckett….

Then there is Murphy…for him there are three zones: light, half light and dark. If the half light represents, as it seems to, ideal platonic forms then light represents the first level of mimetic copies of those forms. The dark amounts to Murphy’s ‘flux of forms.’ It is a place where forms perpetually dissolve or dissipate rather than solidify into tangible shapes, bodies and lives. While dissolution and un-coagulation may be the norm in the dark those processes do not signify freedom, even if they do suggest one has been un-tethered from the confining bounds of shape and substance.

Rather, in the dark one awaits as a point or as a coordinate on a vector of decay. In contrast to the static and still reality that benjy inhabits, when in the dark Murphy equates to (at best) a feeling of swimming or of flux.

Benjy exists in tandem with whatever displaced personage comes before him while Murphy lives, increasingly so, as a sensation without direction or confinement.

Thursday, August 24, 2006



Momento Mori

three am, while dutifully covering my wood floors with plastic i was quickly flooded with images of Christo's wrapped magazines, wrapped islands, wrapped everything and anything that needed plastic to accentuate the subtle and barely perceptible contours of those un-named and irrelevant un-said objects. the plastic was slippery, slipped through my hands and smooth under my feet. then holding the plastic over what is best described as a small rectangular niche sitting squarely (rectangularly) in the middle of my kitchen wall, the wrapping plastic petrified the contents which normally would have seemed trite and almost campy in that said niche. under the veneer of the plastic, the silhouette of those contents (a baseball cap and a glass jar full of straws) blurred. in place of the crisp lines that defined the cap and jar were instead petrified soft outlines and mushy boundaries. the effect, ultimately, was a preserving of objects as if they were the shameful testaments of vitality and worse off sentimental interest betrayed for what it really is, namely the symptomatic need to collect objects. veiled with smudgy plastic, my niche in my kitchen had transformed into an urban momeno mori.
as i continue to live in this new apartment, i'm sure new objects will at various points and throughout several cycles be re-cycled through that niche and replace whatever previous trinkets were at one point accentuated as if they were the culled finds of a discriminating eye and not merely the residual effect of nostalgia and the culmination of a wistful humanitarian impulse to collect, preserve and halt. such transfers and exchanges won't ultimately matter, as the plastic will preserve the material irrelevance of each object and what's more, blur their form and ultimately significance.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

what's going on...i'm an art historian and oil painter. I've got a BA and an MA in art history and am halfway done with my PhD in the subject. I also have a small studio where I paint.Tonight is the inaugural attempt to venture out into sales and attempt to sell my art en masse.I will be selling Everyday Art, specifically paintings that are done everyday and for that day only. To contextual this approach, I am taking a cue from On Kawara's 'Date Paintings.'
On a less frequent basis I will also be selling works that span several months and are completed at only glacial speed, no faster.

The works formally resemble early Cubist paintings, similar to Georges Braques or early paintings by Duchamp. Some people have also suggested my style resembles the broken forms found in works by Paul Klee or Kandisky, although I have my doubts about that comparison. Conceptually I feel the works are bedfellows with Surrealism, as often I represent the human body in compromised situations and surrounded by a shifting, melting and often disintegrating environment.

so pony up and be brave...take a look at my work and imagine it in your hands.