New Beauty?

March 31, 2009


I feel like I have seen something like this before, but this is done particularly well. I love the drummer. and the kid with the trumpet.  and when the kids say “yeah!”. The unintentionally collaborative opportunity of YouTube cannot be underestimated.  This types of shit will for-certain become more common place.  I’m not sure if I would be so in love with it if I couldn’t see it, but I just can’t take my eyes away to find out.


Frank Zappa was continually trying to break the molds of “Rock Star” and “Composer”.  Here, he adds one more: modern dance.  I have had the album this was on for years, but had no idea there was dance accompaniment. Aside from being an incredible composition (written for synclavier, arranged for orchestra), the dance is continually surprising (note: approximately 4 “lifts” done by the woman). Leave it to Frank to bring Sex, Ballet and “Classical Music” together.


As artists, critics, historians, writers and curators (etc.) it is important to take note of scientific discovery and the ways it propels our tools of analysis.  How have we never seen this thing before? I had to watch this several times before being able to look at it like a short alligator instead of a sad, mopey dolphin.


I don’t know anything about this really.  Only that it isn’t lightning bolt. and it’s awesome.


The composer of this piece is now 25 years old. The shear amount of control that one must exercise to perform this piece is shear beauty. Though the quality of other videos is inferior, his ideas are amazing, and I highly recommend checking his other work.


it is easy to forget that sports and art have a lot in common.  anyone oriented towards achieving goals through practice and discipline is alright in my book.


new beauty is

March 31, 2009

baroque tecno pop, duh.

really shitty messes made to look really good with bright colors and ornaments. it’s cheap and meaningful, like faith, or walking.

it’s being the optomist at verdun.


Sagging. New-Found Old Beauty

March 30, 2009

I supervise and teach 6-9th graders. Nearly all the boy students sag their pants. I recently made a new realization about sagging that made me see it as beautiful. Sagging is kind of a paradox because it really goes against certain high fashion principles and what is considered the right way to wear clothes and wearing clothes is more or less utilitarian because they are such personally customized items and are made to serve a specific function. I mean there is really only one way to wear a sweater (unless you’re Erwin Wurm). And same with pants, they make the person look good when they fit not too lose and not too tight by highlighting the form of whatever is underneath (ass, legs).

Sagging visually articulates, “I don’t give a fuck.”

You don’t give a fuck about how someone else thinks you look,

you don’t give a fuck about what the “high” fashion industry says about how you should look and wear clothes,

you don’t give a fuck about how your parents and other authoritative figures tell you to look and wear clothes,

and you don’t give a fuck about how people of influence wear clothes. You also want to wear it differently than all other people in the world. Because you can and nobody can make you not, but some wish too. It also connotes a sense of carelessness akin to not giving a fuck.

And another reason they sag is because it’s sort of forbidden and bad. They can actually get a ticket for sagging too low in school these days! So if someone breaks the rules, that is just so compelling and exciting because that’s just the nature of doing bad things.

The “I don’t give a fuck” attitude is found in hip hop and rap a lot because that is the prevalent, easily detectable spirit of those genres.  This attitude is not only found in hip hop culture, but in all great artists, because in order to make something great and novel at some point you really need to block out everyone except yourself. (Ex. Besquait, Warhol, Pollock.)

PS. After 30yrs old the coolness of sagging diminishes. (40 if you’re a rapper).

where is my mind.

March 28, 2009

“Emotionally arousing material calls your attention to a central object,” Dr. Schacter said, “but it can make it difficult to remember peripheral details.”

can i say one thing?

March 26, 2009


no but seriously I am editing this essay, and it is stuffed with words like “multiplicity” and “deconstruction” along with all the usual SAT vocabulary, but the sentences are empty! how can this be?
anyone care decoding this train of thought?
“Erasure is unspoken happenings, lost memories. “Desert of the Real” relates to… simulacra… symbiosis… protection methods… reductionism.”



virtually connected

March 24, 2009

I lost one day in the air and another through being off loaded because of overbooking, but I have just returned from a trip to New Zealand. What this trip has given me is the re-realisation of connectedness that travel affords. I have seen, hugged and felt warm in the company of cousins, friends and family, which is a thing of beauty. For sometime ahead, letters and emails will plug me in to that sensation, but in time it will dry up a bit and need another dose.


Surely beauty is not in things, by that I mean in the object, but in the mind. The longing or desire and the ultimate assuaging of that desire, takes place in the mind. Therefore beauty is a speculative and subjective association with an object or a gesture, it is not real, rather there is no reality in which beauty can be fixed. Perhaps it is ‘virtual’ like this blog. This blog could beget a sense of beauty a feeling of beauty, I don’t mean that my words or your words are the seat of where the beauty lies but that it, (beauty), may lie within a form of communication. The blog touches others, each other, if we choose to read it. We are connected through the blog. That is surely a thing of beauty,


            My real concern with the connection between art and beauty is with my exploration of nomadism as a pursuit or even as a lifestyle, moving on is a contemporary reality for many of us. Rosi Braidotti (Transitions, 2006) explores the theory of nomadism, it’s not an easy read but it is a refreshing reappraisal of the link between a contemporary lifestyle and a search for networks within a certain framework. Gypsies and Irish travellers, live out a similar search within an understood framework of networking and role play (traditions, if you like) while social migrants tread uncharted pathways. In this instance mapping is done blindly and a discovery of similar connections or networks is a thing of beauty. A discovery that we are somehow connected.

March 23, 2009


The idea of [New] Beauty as a subjective idea is prominent in art criticism today, whether explicitly so or not. One could assess that any art practice powerful enough to provoke strong emotional responses-whether nostalgia, sadness, anger… is in a sense “beautiful”. But it seems that the notion of Beauty simply means here that a work is successful/interesting/powerful. In fact, Beauty in its classical aesthetic connotation is rarely a criterion in judging contemporary art. Or rather it is an obstacle to the contemporary artistic endeavor, equated with craft, uni-dimensionality, cheesiness, affect…

Coming from an illustration/animation background, I feel like I always have to tame my drive for aesthetic satisfaction. The fear of being too literal perhaps, of being too easy, not challenging/subversive enough is omnipresent. So when I encountered the work of Hernan Bas at the Brooklyn Museum yesterday, I was at first taken aback: the pretty figures, the narrative vein, the romantic landscapes… They instantly reminded me of the Disney “The art of…” books I had stared at and emulated throughout my early teens… and which I later repudiated as best as I could.

Of course, the show also presents a couple “videos”/”installations” to give some serious weight/contemporary credence to the body of work… but they seemed like afterthoughts, based on the same romantic worlds and references but devoid of the apparent joy/instantaneity of the act of painting. His work has been compared to Elizabeth Peyton’s, and their way of handling the paint, as well as their preferred [small] format are most definitely similar. But while Peyton is concerned primarily with portraiture, narration pervades Bas’ canvases, referencing Oscar Wilde, Joris-Karl Huysmans, and a certain romantic/gay mythology. More than any contemporary painter I have seen lately, Bas’ work seems to embraces both narrative and aesthetic pleasure, in an almost illustrative vain. 

I was constantly torn between a critique of the dandy-esque, almost melodramatic/naive aspect of the show and the enjoyment (perhaps even jealousy) of the painter’s lack of self-restraint, his complete embrace of a form of beauty that, while certainly not “new” in the history of painting, is bold and rare in contemporary art.