Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It was at the gentle behest of the orientation booklet for my/our residency here in Mooste, Estonia (at the wonderful MoKs), that I have begun blogging in such a conventional way. I bristle a bit, but in a sense this is what I’m here to do, or at least what I proposed to do: synthesize experience.

Now, as someone who writes more or less for a living, in my own practice I consider art- and sound-making a liberation from the confines of language. I look to it as a retreat, a quiet vacation, because it’s something I don’t have to talk about. There are no topic sentences, necessarily, when I draw; abstract sound doesn’t need to be jammed into a narrative, or at least the rules are more lax. In any case I start to squirm when I read artist-composed texts on process, artists’ statements, gallery PR, Artspeak – down with artists talking about art!

But the thing is you’ve got to have some of that kind of talk stowed away in your satchel, else how do you get places like this? Proposals are made up of such things, minimalist sculptures are propped up by a thousand words. Would I even be here, with the opportunity to make art, if I weren’t able to talk about it?

ANYWAY, my idea while here is rather to figure out how to, erm, express what I’ve done and where I’ve been, not about what I’m going to do. I’ve thought about making a book, tape… basically a blogless blog. That I blog about, separately.
“?” your eyebrow says ?
As I’ve gotten older, or perhaps as the world has gotten faster and younger, I’ve gotten lazy about documentation. Beyond uploading photos to flickr and sometimes gathering field recordings together for radio pieces, I don’t report thoroughly where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. I certainly think about doing so, but then there’s this resistance to calling things what they are. Isn’t that what everyone’s doing? My many modes of expression—the written, the visual, the sonic—fight it out and then eventually just let it lie.

There’s also, in my mid-thirties, a dwindling interest in my own story. I quote Chris Kraus quoting Deleuze:
“Life, as Deleuze once observed, isn't personal”.
Now, this doesn’t mean I’m about to dump “I” and become an undercover, investigative reporter…
Though perhaps it does?

I guess working as an artist these days can permit being an investigative reporter dutifully researching things that have no reliable association with reality. Key word here, folks, is reliable, because we’re not going to engage in any discussion of reality at this juncture. The project for me, though, now, is to subtract as much of the personal – heck – anthropomorphic as possible.

Basically I’m going to start with form, shape, color, temperature, degree (see images, above). As I’m considering recent experiences in far far faraway places like Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Turkey I’m reviewing the photographs I took and investigating recurring shapes.

Though I’m reticent about working with writing in a figurative sense, it’s still a sort of home for me – so as I abstract all this stuff I begin to think in parts of speech.

I wrote on a scrap of paper a few days ago:

“My mother would proofread and she would say ‘I want to shake the adjectives right out of you’ == I imaging a sifter, when you squeeze it all the nouns fall out. THINGS == And then the colors are the adjectives, the nouns are allowed to be words, the adjectives must be illustrated

What if I could somehow form sentences, entire narratives, made of non-signifying (in a linguistic way), entirely visual and sonic parts of speech?


1 comment:

  1. As a grizzled old reporter -- back in the days when reporters were indeed grizzled -- told your mother, and which she apparently transmitted to you, "It's all in the nouns."