Roy Ascott, “Is There Love in the Telematic Embrace?”

Posted in art, ideology on February 16, 2013 by silk282a

is there love?

“This question, which seems to be at the heart of many critiques of art involving computers and telecommunications, suggests deep-seated fears of the machine coming to dominate the human will and of a technological formalism erasing human content and values. Apart from all the particulars of personal histories, of dreams, desires, and anxieties that inform the content of art’s rich repertoire, the question, in essence, is asking: Is there love in the telematic embrace?”


Judith Halberstam, “The Queer Art of Failure”

Posted in art, criticism, gender, identity, ideology on January 18, 2013 by silk282a

“Failure, of course, goes hand in hand with capitalism. A market economy must have winners and losers, gamblers and risk takers, con men and dupes; capitalism, as Scott Sandage argues in his book Born Losers: A History of Failure in America (2005), requires that everyone live in a system that equates success with profit and links failure to the inability to accumulate wealth even as profit for some means certain losses for others. As Sandage narrates in his compelling study, losers leave no records, while winners cannot stop talking about it, and so the record of failure is ‘a hidden history of pessimism in a culture of optimism.’ This hidden history of pessimism, a history moreover that lies quietly behind every story of success, can be told in a number of different ways; while Sandage tells it as a shadow history of U.S. capitalism, I tell it here as a tale of anticapitalist, queer struggle. I tell it also as a narrative about anticolonial struggle, the refusal of legibility, and an art of unbecoming. This is a story without markets, drama without a script, narrative without progress. The queer art of failure turns on the impossible, the improbable, the unlikely, and the unremarkable. It quietly loses, and in losing it imagines other goals for life, for love, for art, and for being.”

Went to Jack Halberstam's  reading for her new book, "Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal," and she signed my copy of "Queer Art of Failure"!

Went to Jack Halberstam’s reading for her new book, Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal, and she signed my copy of Queer Art of Failure!

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, “From art-Mageddon to Gringostroika”

Posted in art, identity, postmodern on January 9, 2013 by silk282a
Guillermo Gómez-Peña with extremely caucasian children from "Village of the Damned"

Guillermo Gómez-Peña with extremely horrific, caucasian children from “Village of the Damned”

Martin Jay, “Scopic Regimes of Modernity”

Posted in art, criticism, ideology on January 7, 2013 by silk282a

scopic regimes

“The modern era, it is often alleged, has been dominated by the sense of sight in a way that set it apart from its premodern predecessors and possibly its postmodern successor. Beginning with the Renaissance and the scientific revolution, modernity has been normally considered resolutely ocularcentric…Although the implied characterization of different eras in this generalization as more favorably inclined to other other senses should not be taken at face value, it is difficult to deny that the visual has been dominant in Western culture in a wide variety of ways. Whether we focus on ‘the mirror of nature’ metaphor in philosophy with Richard Rorty or emphasize the prevalence of surveillance with Michel Foucault or bemoan the society of the spectacle with Guy Debord, we confront again and again the ubiquity of vision as the master sense of the modern era.”

Robert Fleck, “New French Aesthetics: A Geography of the Gallic Thought Virus”

Posted in art, postmodern on December 30, 2012 by silk282a

A Baroque Failure


Baroque is derived from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning a deformed pearl. The term was used pejoratively by 18th-century theorists to describe certain aspects of Western works of art from about 1600-1750. Age of Enlightenment art critics judged Baroque art as impure and irrational because of its excessive ornamentation and obscure language. In the grand narrative of Western art history, the Baroque period has always been slightly embarrassing, an aesthetic “high maintenance” cancer growth that devolves into the Rococo: a true modernist nightmare filled with pearlescent shells, glittering gold, polished silver, shiny mirrors, pastel clouds, and chubby cupids. Postmodernism’s critique of dominant culture rehabilitated the Baroque, and writers like Gilles Deleuze developed ideas that in the 1980s-90s were christened “neo-baroque.” In The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, Deleuze claims that Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is the philosopher who helps us understand the Baroque, and that the Baroque helps us understand Leibniz. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy states, “…Instead of claiming that in fact there is an a priori link between Leibniz and the Baroque, Deleuze creates a new concept, and reads both of them through it: this is the concept of the fold. In keeping with Leibniz’s theory of the monad, that the whole universe is contained within each being, like the Baroque church, Deleuze argues that the process of folding constitutes the basic unit of existence…Deleuze uses the concept of the fold to describe the nature of the human subject as the outside folded in: an immanently political, social, embedded subject.”

No elaboration on or interpretation of these ideas will be made here, but I’ve always been interested in what Deleuze’s “the fold,” and the postmodern “neo-baroque” mean. Yet, I have not pursued any in-depth research, but, instead, have let the terms fester like kitschy pop songs in the back of my mind. The tunes have driven me to create such things as deformed, clay laurel wreaths, glitterized animal bones, and strings of lumpy, handmade beads. From the bowels of my studio, I’ve unearthed all these ingredients, in all their glory, for my culinary masterpiece A Baroque Dish.
baroque dish1

Baroque Dish Recipe

A meal of ghosts and sun wraiths is laid bare before you; touching the sparkling leaves, you encounter bliss.

Place the pearl underneath your tongue and savor its nectarous ambrosia.

Pitch the viridian leaves into the cerulean sea and sip the sugary dregs therein. 

The wishbone sings a torpid love crime. You hear it once and never forget. 

What dream is this? What frayed light leaks longingly through long lashes?

Whispering moonshine, the starflint glitter circumscribes a sleeping orb.

The white, opulent fauna and pink, luminescent flora slither down your throat.

Drink deeply the draught of mystic dew and sup well the carcass of sacrificial fowl.

Fragile bird bones piled high: a skeletal, shell-like ladder to Arcadia.

Words wind seductively around sweet red wine and prenuptial puddings—the silence hangs undisturbed near your lips.

What banquet is this? No gastronomic glory here!  All is tethered to decay and fakery.

A clay laureled wreath falls at your feet. Realizing the danger, you trample it to dust.

Devour the coiled crown of praise, a winner’s cake, and hear the cheering tongues unfurl.

You chew on feelings—fertile, furtive, ecstastic, encased in glass and buried for eternity.

The dawn breaks, and the memory of culinary pleasure fades.

Gold and silver, bones and plastic: all an artifice of pomp and circumstance; all signifiers of royalty dethroned.

Black, scarlet, brittle bones transform into starships: you escape forever.



Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto”

Posted in gender, identity, ideology, postmodern on November 16, 2012 by silk282a

“Contemporary science fiction is full of cyborgs — creatures simultaneously animal and machine, who populate worlds ambiguously natural and crafted. Modern medicine is also full of cyborgs, of couplings between organism and machine, each conceived as coded devices, in an intimacy and with a power that was not generated in the history of sexuality. Cyborg ‘sex’ restores some of the lovely replicative baroque of ferns and invertebrates…”

Douglas Crimp, “On the Museum’s Ruins”

Posted in art, criticism, postmodern on November 11, 2012 by silk282a

Crimp quotes Flaubert, “…there is nothing left of the Museum but’bric-a-brac,’ a heap of meaningless and valueless fragments of objects which are incapable of substituting themselves either metonymically for the original objects or metaphorically for their representations…”