I am interested, fascinated, in love with the détournement as a form, with the situationists as people and with acts of ventriloquism designed to overthrow capitalism. I am also, as evinced above and perhaps you’re t/here with me, a firm believer that within the major streams of media, comedy is the space in which that greatest formal innovations/play are (or have been) possible. Buster Keaton in Sherlock, Jr. Half of Annie Hall. Tim and Eric (now). In their own small ways, these are the big budget avant-garde films you’ve been waiting for.
Tuli, Tuli, Tuli! How many people places are named after him? How many types of flowers? This is the guy Allen Ginsberg meant about that jumping from the Manhattan Bridge line. According to wikipedia, according to MOJO he said “Nobody who lived through the ’50s thought the ’60s could’ve existed. So there’s always hope.” I think that’s pretty good. Fugrying allowed–amiright? (The second video is more, like, like the one. But Morning, Morning makes for a good morning to the meal, an appetizer of occasion and a bumper crisper.)
On the walk home I think of things you can trip on (in “both” senses): a tree stump is a good place to start. The stump contains universes, it stands for ceased life, for duration manifest in rings, for progress, for history. It is also a large object you might not see as you catch your toe on it and fall into a puddle. A puddle that is reflecting a tree stump might just be a single-trip catalyst. Your brain is going nuts for it, but feet find their way through reflections and refractions and illusions with relative ease. The big one, ultimately, is the self. Trip, trip, trip. I get FUGS LIFE tattooed on my tum. I write a psalm book of uses for fuck, of Presidents with slaves, of land, water, blood, postage stamps and lots of sheep. We have everything we need except a national anthem.
:-$ The money where the mouth is, the mouth moves currently and currentially. Brakhage was high school besties with Tenney was married to Carolee and Dick and Alison, well, you know, sometimes we forget when we’re thinking about history and art history maybe in particular (using small a and small h) that the x-ists and the y-ists (and 4-ists and even the *est-ists), well, a lot more of them knew each other than we think. Histories are not just discrete ideologies bumping up and rubble-bubbing against each other and then one wins and the other fades away. All those thousand terraces overlapping and understanding. I don’t need a reason.
Dick Higgins – Invocation of Canyons and Boulders for Stan Brakhage
A favorite from an old friend and mentor, Peggy Ahwesh. Peggy’s work is always shifting, always a step ahead and a step to the side. Like so: small gauge punk films, yes feminist, yes Artaud, yes gesture; fidgeted found films; long-form PXL fictions; before-they-called-it-that Machinima; O, the body; O, the anthropologies of watching.
I love text films. Maybe someday I’ll make one about all the others. This is a great little piece that explains itself.
Legendary landscape filmmaker James Benning‘s recently built replicas of two historical American cabins (replete with libraries): Ted Kaczynski’s
and Henry David Thoreau’s.
A recent show at the Museum of Contemporary Photography called Crime Unseen, featured Richard Barnes‘ photographs of the Kaczynski’s cabin in custody and of the land it once inhabited. They’re simultaneously haunting and clinical.
How many of those 73 words–the gaps between Kaczynski’s (eventually violent) articulation of his ideas of a technological society gone awry and the allowed lexicon of said society–could be used as tags for these images, these replicas? How many of Thoreau’s words would earn squiggly red feet?
Jodie Mack has some great initials. Jon Myers, James/Jahmal Mitchell, even Maggie Jones too. She’s also a wonderful filmmaker. She came through Portland and did a show at Grand Detour a few months back. Now that I live in Chicago, her ghost is all over town (she’s since moved to New Hampshire to teach at Dartmouth). She’s an experimental animator, which is to say she engages the single frame (I think that’s most reductive and open way to define animation) and she does so using a variety of unconventional techniques and toward unconventional ends (I think that’s a pretty reductive and open way to define experimental). What makes her work striking, in part, is her use of paper and film as her materials. Even watching them on vimeo, you’ll be able to get some sense of the materiality and physicality of the work. It’s also enormously clever without losing its emotional core. I very barely know Jodie, but her films seem heavily imbued by her personality, a certain intelligence and rigor that isn’t afraid of levity. More or less my favorite combination.
Here are the four films that comprise her Unsubscribe series. The whole thing is wonderful (and maybe there’ll be more coming soon? [JM- how are your google alerts? -JM]), but if you feel like pretending you have a time crunch beyond the universe expanding, my personal favorites are 1 for the mesmer and 4 for the ear/eye/buzz. Junk Mail has never looked so good, right, Jared Moran?