Tuesday, February 15, 2005


for the trees

hope everyone had a marvelous valentine's day! let me stop out by saying, yesterday i found the best burrito yet in chicago! it was at this costa rican place really close to my apartment. have any of you ever had or-cha-ta (please note: that is phonetic spelling). it's the rice water that all the mexican places serve here that's really sweet and spicy...it's the most amazing thing ever!!
i got chocolate from my mom in the mail yesterday, and of course, between scott and i, it's almost gone...

yesterday, scott and went to a lecture at the school. artist zhan wang, who is the director of the beijing art institute, spoke about his work and its relation to the continuing modernization of china and beijing. his work was pretty spectacular for site-specific sculpture. it was kind of difficult to get all the underlining philosophies behind his work because someone was translating for him...but you could tell that he is a very deep man. he is fascinated by this idea of the 5th space. 1st space in the artist's studio; 2nd space is the gallery or musuem; 3rd space is private collections; 4th space is regular public scupltures in courtyards, parks, etc. the 5th space is outside--he describes it as some place that's real--just really hard to get to. for example, he works with stainless steel a lot. in china, apparently, there are these really old rocks everywhere that are considered sacred and worshipped by people. he would make hollow casts of these rocks using stainless steel--to create this dialog on old and new--the ancient and technological. he took one on the sea, 12 miles outside of beijing where the water is considered international. he wrote that this is a piece of art, please leave it here or the rock is a few languages and dropped it off in the ocean. he hopes that it will float out there forever. again, he took this sacred meteorite, made a cast, and wanted to send it to outer space. in this case, he hasn't been able to realize the idea but it's on display at some space museum in beijing. he also made a cast of another rock and took it to the highest peak in the world--in the himalayas. he did another piece where he hired workers and they carried golden-tinted steel breaks up the great wall and they mended a small area that was in disaray. he said it was like a gold tooth filling..just on the great wall. he's got an exhibit up here now at the mca called imaginary landscapes..something like that..he creates landscapes out of ordinary stainless steel cooking utensils.
here's a pic of the rock on the ocean

a couple days ago i snagged an old wire with matmos on the cover. it's an amazing find: there's article on mike kelley discussing his little known experimental music ventures, starting in the early 70s. the two groups he was involved with are called destory all monsters..and later on the poetics with tony oursler. it talks about how one time--during the poetics stage--he performing with baudrillaud in some nowhere casino out in reno, nv! i guess baudrillaud just recited poetry during the music... the article on matmos was written by david toop. it was kinda heavy, but definitely explained lots of the theoretical ideas behind the civil war. there's also an article on ron geesin--what a find!!

as for films. i have been on a roll with sergio leone--i'm up to the good, the bad, and the ugly. i also watched el topo--i enjoyed it but it left me a little neutral. martin arnold's cinemnesis is absolutely amazing--ethan you would love this! he deconstructs 50s melodramas--superb! got the phantom toll booth in hopes that i could be really stoned and watch it--no luck there. still enjoyed the 70s bubblegum, free design-esque music. tout va bien was fucking right-on..what a great time for godard. mmmm, jane. the dvd is worth renting because of "letter to jane." a 50 minute documentary with the two director discussing "hanoi jane" after a photograph that was published in a french newspaper--they have very mixed views on her involvement in vietnam. super philosophical--in that special godard way. i also just watched michael snow's presents. i can't decide what i think about that one also. the beginning was intriguing--not so sure about the other hour. i not going to make a decision about him unitl i see wavelength--hopefully brian at odd obsession will have a copy for me tonight.

i have recently read terry atkinson's response to lucy lippard's original essay "the dematerialization of art." atkinson's is called "concerning the article 'the dematerialzation of art'"..atkinson was involed with the british collective art and language, so this essay is immense fun to read. it gets into the physiological components of what actually constitutes an object. also, in the audio culture book, mcluhan's "visual and acoustic space" from his "global village" book was very tasty. a great discussion about how western society's fixation on visual stimuli has caused everything to be interpreted as linear..he calls for greater attention to the acoustic, sound-driven environment for a richer living and perception. i've also been reading stuff off henry flynt's website go down to the aesthetic's section and read concept art. he was the guy who started that phrase.

quick note: did anyone know that john baldessari and chris burden are both on the art faculty at ucla????

if you go to the wire's website, you can listen to the current office ambience playlist. oddly enough, it's under the advertising section. the jim o'rourke/my cat is an alien stuff is damn good. i also found myself surprisingly enjoying the hall of fame track. ethan, i don't know if you're still considering coming here at the end of your break, but there just happens to be a lampo event that weekend. you can read about it here
also, here the info for the raster-notion show in la on the 4th of march.

well...that's it for now.
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