Saturday, June 27, 2009

The peaches are inedible but can be studied

Inept Atmospheres:
Duchamp’s Air de Paris
By Bryce Digdug © 2009

Duchamp purchased this "empty" ampoule from a pharmacist in Paris as a souvenir for his close friend and patron, Walter C. Arensberg. A vial with nothing in it may be the most insubstantial "work of art" imaginable. From a molecular point of view, air is not considered nothing, but when displayed so carefully in an art museum it seems to be less than one might expect. Its precise meaning was rendered even more unstable in 1949, when the ampoule was accidentally broken and repaired, thus begging the question: Is the air even from Paris anymore?” - Philadelphia Museum of Art Catalog

Phial philter love potion number 9 the perfume “Air de Paris” by Duchamp now air of Philadelphia. Replicas of the air were produced for the Valises but where? Vial breaks and 50cc of Paris air is released and mixed with the air of Philadelphia. Does it still float around inside the museum as Duchamp’s ghost? In The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even he tried to freeze the inevitable aging process, a moment in time and the chemical reactions. Paintings’ colors change on museum walls but not when vacuum-sealed under glass like peaches. Then the glass is transported and breaks and the cracks do not look good no matter the explanations about chance. The peaches are inedible but can be studied. It is an amazingly modern work partially because of its steel window frame, its jar lid. In the bottom pane bachelor lovers are trapped unable to reach the stinging wasp. They can fire off a few volleys the splashes reaching the neo-Platonic realm of the mirror above the bed—as is above, so below.

"Bryce Digdug's Four Tires Filled in Barstow and a Spare is an overt reference to Duchamp's Air de Paris. Here Digdug humorously contrasts the culture (and air) of Paris with that of Barstow, California. The attendants at Terrible Herbst were terribly upset that Bryce was using that much of their air, but he bought them Mr. Goodbars. The pressurized air is the work of art not the tires or the mag wheels. Bryce does not have a car so the work has an air of melancholy. A car without wheels is sad, but here are tires without a chassis or engine." This work has been displayed at the Mohave Museum of Conceptual Art as well as the NASCAR Hall of Fame." - Phial Magazine

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The General Idea

The dada art movement was aflame when I moved to San Francisco as a troubled Norwegian youth from Stange. Pseudonyms were common though I was too pusillanimous to invent one. Anna Banana marched in front of city hall dressed as a banana. Someone else was dressed as Mr. Peanut. A peanut with a top hat, spats, gloves and a monocle certainly is dada. This posse also produced a magazine called Vile. Little did I realize it at the time but that itself was a satire on the magazine File produced by a collective of 3 gay men from Toronto who called themselves General Idea.

Sunday I saw a documentary on General Idea at Frameline – San Francisco’s LGBT film festival. AA Bronson, the surviving member of Idea narrated much of the film. Before seeing the film I had not forgiven GI for a work which consisted of taking Robert Indiana’s piled letters spelling LOVE and changing it to AIDS. Bronson explained that Americans interpreted Indiana’s LOVE as free love thereby equated free love with AIDS. He said Europeans interpreted the LOVE sculpture as universal love. So universal love should be applied to AIDS. He also explained that they were “selling” AIDS as a product. I still don't necessarily agree with the work, but I get the general idea.

Bronson pointed out that American President at the time would not say the word AIDS. I remember at the time were mumblings among Republicans about people with AIDS that “it’s their fault” etc. Reagan recently replaced the heroic Thomas Starr King in the National Statuary Hall Collection representing California. Reagan was never anything but a hollow bronze statue as was our recent cowboy prez. Thomas Starr King’s oratory in the California legislature helped blocked the state from joining the Confederacy or remaining neutral during the Civil War. Reagan wiped out the tax base for schools with his “Prop 13”. Considering how he stood for “states rights” that hidden agenda, if he were alive in Starr King’s time I’m sure he would have sided with the Confederacy. This "star" of General Electric's Death Valley Days lived in exclusive Santa Barbara and was given a funeral worthy of JFK.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pseudo-Random Numbers

The digits after the decimal point in Pi are random, but computers can only generate pseud0-random numbers. This reminds me of Jeff Goldbloom jabbering about chaos theory in Jurassic Park (1993). Written by anti-environmentalist Michael Crichton who testified before congress that global warming is a hoax (he has an M.D.), that movie was, as I said at the time, the end of cinema and the end of civilization. Crispin Glover hates Spielberg more than I do and won a huge lawsuit against him for using an animatronic version of him in Back to the Future II. Jeff will be starring in Jurassic Park IV. By the way, Jurassic Park has a glaring technical error when one of the children walks up to a computer screen in the secret laboratory, sees C:\ on the screen and says "This is a Unix system. I know this!"