Wednesday, December 16, 2009

United States of Art

Because I think the last sentence in what I wrote is hilarious, and I get the feeling no one saw it, I'm copying a comment I made in the discussion/thread on Jerry Saltz's Facebook Wall today and pasting it here. I think my comment is the 95th one in the thread.


Jerry Saltz: "My esteemd friend Howard Halle says “It’s a widely held belief ... that painting is dead.” Come on! No one has actually believed this since at least the Nixon administration! The 'P. is D.' canard is dead rhetoric, a way to keep art boxed in. Mediums don’t die until all of the problems they were invented to solve are s...olved. If anyone can prove that P. is D. I will give them a $10,000 ‘Jerry Saltz Tautology Prize.’"


Kevin Regan: "I think the p is d camp just wanted to undermine the privileged status of painting. Just look at the controversy caused by the Richard Tuttle show at the Whitney back in the mid 70s (not really all that long ago). And even if those aforementioned POMO critics blew the door open for other forms, other media, more often than not, if I tell someone I'm an artist they assume I'm a painter. And, not only that, painting sells better (and for more money) than any other medium. In other words, painting is the United States of art."

Friday, December 11, 2009


Drippy, Genesis and I


Drippy flyer

Drippy is the second show at Famous Accountants. I should have posted images of the first one. We got a great response for the first one but, I think because the content was so personal, so close to me, I spent less time trying to get the word out on it. Whateva. I came up with the idea for Drippy. Ellen Letcher, my partner at Famous Accountants, and I painted the blood dripping down the walls. Ben Godward made the amazing, colorful sculpture on the floor. Ellen took the two photos of the show here. They were taken the night before the opening. One of the photos features Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and my self. I designed the flyer for the show but Ellen made the illustration. Word.

It's weird how the blog theme is clipping off the edges of the photos. Click on them to see the whole image. I don't feel like figuring it out.

"Living in a State of Permanent Recession"

Hrag Vartanian wrote this cool article, "Living in a State of Permanent Recession", for NYFA Currents. I was one of the artists he talked to. It's an interesting read.


I don't trust the government any more than I trust corporations. In my opinion, neither has my best interest at heart. And I'd prefer that both leave me alone and have as little as possible to say about how I live my life or spend my money. Not to mention, the government -- especially the federal government -- is really just some sort of ├╝ber corporation anyway. And, despite what the fools say, no law will change this fact. It's just the way it is. That's why, as my high school English teacher liked to say, less is more (of course, she was talking about writing and not government). But, all that said, in my honest and very pessimistic opinion, some sort of techno-feudalism is what the future holds. Our only hope is that society is wealthy enough that it just doesn't matter. Wars tend to be fought over scarcity not surplus.

I hope this clears a few things up for ya! Thanks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The zombie rides a unicorn into the mirage...

"The promise of the public plan is a mirage. Its political brilliance is to use free-market rhetoric (more "choice" and "competition") to expand government power."

from "Public Plan Mirage", The Washington Post, October 26, 2009

"A public plan is likely to damage competition. A government insurer has some big advantages over a private one; its financing costs would be lower because the government can borrow cheaply; it would not have to worry too much about future liabilities since it could never go bust; and its economies of scale would be larger than those of the competition. Those using the public plan would benefit in the short term, but the scheme might very well squeeze private insurers out of business, which would be bad news for the other half of Americans that have them—and, according to opinion polls, are generally happy about that."

from "Back from the Dead", The Economist, October 29, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


"A few years ago, however, the health-care economists Robert Ohsfeldt and John Schneider recalculated the numbers after controlling for deaths from homicides and traffic accidents. Because these things tend to strike very young people, they can have an outsize impact on mortality statistics. Those deaths reflect America’s crime policy and its driving habits more than the effectiveness of its health-care system. And if you remove them from the picture, say Ohsfeldt and Schneider, America jumps to the top of the life-expectancy tables."

from "Misleading Indicator" by Megan McArdle

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mostly Motion Graphics Classics

Kyle Cooper, 2004

Saul Bass, 1963

James Whitney, Permutations, 1966

Len Lye, Free Radicals, 1958

Maurice Binder, 1973

Nando Costa

Norman McLaren, A Phantasy, 1952

Pablo Ferro, 1964

Ed Tannenbaum and Paul Pfeiffer

I dig the music in the Tannenbaum video. It's credited to Might Dog. Who's that? It makes me think of ESG. It kicks a a similar early 80s, New Wave funk vibe. The primitive computer graphic effects (the video dates from 1982) jive well with it. Compare this video with Paul Pfeiffer's "Live Evil" (2003).

Ed Tannenbaum, "Digital Dance", 1982

Paul Pfeiffer, "Live Evil", 2003

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nature versus Nurture

120 generations — from now back to Plato and Socrates

500 generations — from now back to the invention of writing, agriculture and the first cities

80,000 generations — from now back to the Plestocene (the dawn of Homo Sapiens).

I found this in Denis Dutton's The Art Instinct (pg 23-24). He uses it to explain why evolutionary psychologists (and Komar & Melamid) have discovered that every human culture, everywhere in the whole world, finds the same type of painting most pleasing: landscape.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The systemite view regarding the Contraction of 2008-2009

1. The world governments must spend 2% of GDP on stimulus packages (the IMF recommendation).

2. "...the global contraction will last several years...if governments don't complement fiscal stimulus with equally ambitious plans to clear banks' books of bad assets..."

[Source: "Global Search for Growth Will Turn to U.S.", WSJ, January 28, 2009]

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There’s always room for more government

Total government spending — federal, state and local — as a share of the economy throughout the 1930s was just under 20 percent.

Current total government spending is more than 35 percent of the total economy.

[Source: "F.D.R’s Example Offers Obama Cautionary Lessons",NYT, January 27, 2009]

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Extremely Short History of Copyright Law

”As the authors of the [United States] Constitution knew, copyright was created in Great Britain by the Statute of Anne in 1710 for the purpose of curbing the monopolistic practices of the London Stationers' Company and also, as its title proclaimed, "for the encouragement of learning." At that time, Parliament set the length of copyright at fourteen years, renewable only once. The Stationers attempted to defend their monopoly of publishing and the book trade by arguing for perpetual copyright in a long series of court cases. But they lost in the definitive ruling of Donaldson v. Becket in 1774.

”When the Americans gathered to draft a constitution thirteen years later, they generally favored the view that had predominated in Britain. Twenty-eight years seemed long enough to protect the interests of authors and publishers. Beyond that limit, the interest of the public should prevail. In 1790, the first copyright act—also dedicated to "the encouragement of learning"—followed British practice by adopting a limit of fourteen years renewable for another fourteen.

”How long does copyright extend today? According to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (also known as "the Mickey Mouse Protection Act," because Mickey was about to fall into the public domain), it lasts as long as the life of the author plus seventy years. In practice, that normally would mean more than a century. Most books published in the twentieth century have not yet entered the public domain. When it comes to digitization, access to our cultural heritage generally ends on January 1, 1923, the date from which great numbers of books are subject to copyright laws. It will remain there—unless private interests take over the digitizing, package it for consumers, tie the packages up by means of legal deals, and sell them for the profit of the shareholders. As things stand now, for example, Sinclair Lewis's Babbitt, published in 1922, is in the public domain, whereas Lewis's Elmer Gantry, published in 1927, will not enter the public domain until 2022.“

[The above three paragraphs are from the article "Google & the Future of Books", Robert Darnton, The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 2, February 12, 2009]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

On Giving Up Your Soul

"There's no such thing as life without bloodshed," McCarthy says philosophically. "I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous."

[From the NYT interview/article about Cormac McCarthy]