Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Unica Zürn: Dark Spring

Unica Zürn: Dark Spring
April 17 – July 23, 2009
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 16, 6-8 pm

Unica Zürn: Dark Spring will present approximately 50 ink and watercolor works on paper by the late German artist and writer Unica Zürn, spanning from the early 1950s until her tragic suicide in 1970. A noted poet and novelist, Zürn produced numerous expressionistic short stories that were published in German newspapers throughout the 1950s before moving to Paris with German Surrealist artist, Hans Bellmer, who would be her partner and collaborator until her death. Zürn began producing paintings and drawings related to her Surrealist-influenced literary work while living in Paris, becoming acquainted with many artists in the Surrealist circle, including André Breton, Max Ernst, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp. Part whimsical cartoons, part intricate portraits, Zürn’s chimerical fantasies make for drawings that are deeply revelatory yet playfully imaginative. Curated by João Ribas.


Friday, March 27, 2009

A Poem, part IV

Dusk follows us all.
Do we fight because we know we must fall?

A Poem, part III

Now I stand
where gods have stood,
as dew evaporates into the noon.

Ashes sprout green
a carpet rolled out beneath my feet.

they base the evolved.

From deep within this vacuity
the wage gambles incessently.

Wondrous lustrous things to be preened.
The sun crowns me, newborn queen.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

April 4: Jason Brown on Paranoid Machines

Talk: Jason Brown on "Paranoid Machines"

Date: Saturday, 4 April, 7 pm - 9 pm
Place: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn, NY
FREE. No RSVP necessary.
Organized by our friends who run Machine Projects in Los Angeles

Jason Brown's talk will examine contemporary gnostic mythologies of technology and paranoia, focusing on Vannevar Bush as a self-embodied allegorical emblem of information perversity. Bush's famed "memex" and the modern UFOs are both hypothetical machines—devices which use association and performativity to spin information out of noise. In modern techno-myths, this process is often represented as an alchemical self-destruction resulting in god-like power. Not coincidentally, all these issues are illustrated with disturbing density and prescience in the 1982 Disney film "Tron."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Poem, part II

I stood in the dew of a morning not yet burst into noon.

The dawn blighted sight
then cooled into mourning.

my feet galled.

They crossed
the plains
the mountains
the seas
of bodies
who move
who motion
who make.

They walked this capacity
to the edge of those barren quarters
where the ashes of gods
are sanctified
and scattered.

Faded things.
Once they were kings.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Poem

The gods of my youth have become middle-aged men.

Their war calls
a drolling march
meandering and feeble.

They stand statuesque
dust soaked trophies
staring into dusk.

A sun that blistered their shoulders and blinded our faces burns cold
as it folds
into horizon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

History of the Heavy Metal Logo


Tonight at Sculpture Center: It's All Yours Now

Press Release is included below, and includes information for all the performances taking place. Starts at 4, don't be late!


It's All Yours Now



SculptureCenter is pleased to present It's All Yours Now, an afternoon of performances taking place March 15, from 4-6pm. The participating artists will take over a temporary stage at SculptureCenter, using the format of a song or a love letter to examine identity politics, the credit system, political personae, and the inversion of institutional relations.

Selected by the In Practice panel last summer, Carey Ascenzo's piece Care, 2009, requires that SculptureCenter's Executive Director and staff perform a song of the same name by Kaada in front of an audience. In exchange, Ascenzo has allocated her production budget to the purchase of two gifts chosen by staff members: a digital camera and a new sump pump. Care seeks to invert the way artist commissions usually take place, and stretches the comfort zones of the staff and Director, something that Ascenzo considers required of artists on a regular basis. The other particularity of this piece is that the original version of Kaada's Care is in fact a sampling of existing songs, and this will be the first time the song is performed live.

Special thanks to Paul J. Ascenzo and Ten Minute Turns: ww.tenminuteturns.com

Ennui is History, by Marthe Ramm Fortun is described as a "celebration of failure," combining video, narrative content, and dancing. Fortun bases her piece on a quote by Ashley Dupré, who said when asked about her relationship with Eliot Spitzer, "I was whoever they wanted me to be, and he was whoever he wanted to be..." With this transformational model in mind, Fortun describes her piece as introducing Ashley Dupré to a young Norwegian soldier from the Second World War. In the artist's words, "together, they are un-identifiable. Separate, they are arguably historical. In this live work they are drifters, taking on new forms as desired. He, she, it, dances. Sincerity is taken to the point of mysticism in a collapsing cycle of gestures, image, and object. The escape route is a pirate taxi to reality."

Linda Weiss' privacy/policy-heidegger/arendt, 2007, is a DVD transcript of excerpts from love letters between philosophers Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger starting in 1925, covering the period when Arendt was Heidegger's student in Germany, through her exile in France and the United States, until her death in 1975. The love letters between Arendt, a survivor of the Holocaust and a violent critic of totalitarianism, and Heidegger, once complicit with the Nazi regime, capture a crucial part of twentieth century history, its contradictions, its problematics, and its mea culpa. As Weiss puts it, "these letters are an example of where the personal and the political meet."

Rachel Mason inhabits the minds of real and fictional characters in her evolving cast of musical collaborators for an unpredictable operatic experience. Impersonating figures like Saddam Hussein and Carlos II, the last of the Habsburg dynasty, Mason's lyrics are based on semi-fictional and found material to form a musical performance based on our collective consciousness and tragic-comic interpretation. Her co-performers for the evening include John Allan (guitar) and Sahba Sizdahkhani (drums), grouped under the provisional name, Trixy Santiago.

Petit Mal, which signifies tiny seizures in French, is an electro-pop duo composed of Ben Seymour (synths) and Melanie Gilligan (vocals). One of their songs, Crisis In the Credit System, composed over three years ago, prophesied the current economic debacle. Incorporating elaborate lyrics referring to social-economic processes, mystical and real, the musicians captivatingly croon melodies studded with literary and political references, and a nostalgic take on '80s synth-duos.

Kalup Linzy engages with different personas and recurring characters, using formats and dialogues from soap-operas and music videos, where the type-casts of the figures are in fact complex formations that riff-off gender and cultural expectations, while never entirely being reducible to them. His characters are approached with nuance, with the seductive qualities of the artist shining through the costumes, mises-en-scenes, and video projections. SweetBerry Sonnets are R&B-inspired songs from an album of the same name that combine humor and heartfelt energy.

Nader Sadek's new performance piece, B'doun Wag'h ("Faceless"), provocatively incorporates Middle Eastern design, Death Metal music, and Darfur activism. Current and former musicians from well-known metal bands include Steve Tucker (Vocals)- formerly of Morbid Angel, Flo Mounier (Drums)- Cryptopsy, Nick McMaster (Bass)-Krallice, Mike Lerner (Guitar)-Behold.. the Arctupos. The artists and musicians will play a specially commissioned composition on a stage featuring Middle Eastern elements that resonate with the occult iconography of this underground music scene. Woodwork screens, blistering guitars, and frenetic drumming blur configurations of private and public, holy and profane, ritual restraint and impulsive aggression. In a further twist of cultural signifiers and conventions, proceeds from the event, including sales from the "merchandise table," will go to victims of the Darfur crisis.

Black Metal Night @ Tommy's Tavern

This was an awesome show! CM called me about 9, telling me to get my (already drunk) ass over to this. I sure was glad I did!

I'd spent the afternoon in Soho at the Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe on Crosby street hanging out while B and B played DJ Sets for the store. S and I left to grab a quick drink at a divy Irish pub down the street. Later in the afternoon, MB played a stellar solo performance on the South stairwell of the bookstore and I caught MB up on the Scion Rock Fest. This day was nothing short of amazing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Colin Marston and Kevin Hufnagel join Gorguts!

It's official:

"Colin and I (Kevin), along with John Longstreth (drummer - Origin) have officially joined the reactivated, much-hailed avant death metal band Gorguts. It is extremely exciting for us to be a part of this as past albums such as "Obscura" and "From Wisdom to Hate" have been large influences on our playing styles and the way we approach music in Dysrhythmia. For those already familiar with the band, you can rest assured the new material will crush and we will respect the band's past while forging ahead with some new ideas.. Gorguts mainman Luc Lemay has been writting some incredible material for us to work on."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Precious Metal Tonight at Lit

I'll be there about 9.

Backstage Pass: Scion Rock Fest 2009

This weekend I ventured South to Georgia to see the boys play Scion Rock Fest. Travelling was a nightmare. This train ride was the best part of the whole trip.

We got in late. There was a crazy party happening in the hotel. We were worn out. So we smoked, drank a few beers and got some burgers at the Varsity. Tomorrow was going to be a big day.

Started early, the first bands went on about 1 pm. The lineups for all four stages were insane, and the venue kept to their timetables.

We got some food at Soul Veg up the street (and I mean UP the street. It was at the top of a giant hill from the venue). We got some beer at the gas station. We went to the fest and got wasted.

This was the second time I had seen Salome. They were excellent as ever. The first was at Public Assembly a few weeks ago. Now here. They opened up Hell with torrents of pounding stony riffs and a wall of vocal debris that flew past you like shrapnel.

Toxic Holocaust

Boris was dreamy, somber and serene. I am a huge fan of Flood and ___, but I have to admit, what I'd really like to see is Absolutego. Ok, I would settle for material off Amplifier Worship.

Krallice played a great set, including a new song. Jarboe stopped by to say hi to Colin and catch some of the set.

Pig Destroyer really blew me away. I hadn't really heard them before and I was expecting a little more rock. Instead, I got a lot more grind. Excellent.

Cryptopsy was probably the biggest surprise of the whole evening. They played all old material, more or less compitently, and I honestly couldn't have been happier. I ended up staying for pretty much the whole set. I can't say that about another band I saw that day.

Zoroaster was a doom supreme. Yes please.

Neurosis = awesome as always.

1349 made me a little sad, just 'cause it was the end. My friend Vanessa managed to pass out without spilling a single drop of beer.

Then to the hotel again to go at it some more.

There are some more things I'd like to say about people I met and the quality of what was heard that day, but alas, we will all see each other again and now just isn't the time for my particular brand of honesty. Let me just say that I am and will always be eternally grateful for the people that I hold truly close to me and my life. Let me also say that all things end, are made to end, sooner or later, good or bad, they should end. Nothing is made to last forever, and continuing to revive a corpse past its time only results in, well, bad choices, poor decisions, and a supreme lack of sensitivity.

The next morning we found ourselves still in Atlanta, engulfed by a blizzard. Most flights out of the airport had been canceled. The snow was piling up by the inches by noon. For whatever reason, our flight had not been canceled. We got food at a diner and went on our way. Convinced we would be trapped at the airport, we waited...and waited...and waited. Until finally, they boarded the aircraft. Then we waited...and waited...and waited for our plane to be deiced. Finally we got off the ground, made good time to New York, landed then we waited...and waited...and waited...for another plane to leave our gate area. 8 hours of airport and planes and baggage claims later, we were home, and the blizzard outside subsided leaving us wrapped in a heavy blanket of white, fluffy snow.


Links to Video and Pictures: I'll keep adding as I find more things. Please leave your images and videos in the comment box below!

What I learned from Oron

A few days ago, I went to a talk by Oron Catts. Here is what I learned about cloning.