Category Archives: ART

from the book 'is is', paper collage, 2012

is is

Is Is is a codex of collage that intends to semiotically explains our current human paradigm through employing symbols of various traditions to challenge the dominant capitalist narrative of freedom through object oriented mechanized progress, instead reinforcing that we are all emancipators of ourselves. Is Is questions the nature of reality and consciousness, reminding us that to be human is to be aware of being alive—of being a being—within time and space.

Is Is is composed of 108 pages (54 front / back panels) of paper collage on illustration board. Its images were sourced from secondhand gifts or found materials, most of which was trash. It was conceived and completed over a period of 3 years, between 2012 and 2015, between la crosa (italia), san francisco and berlin.

gate/gate, 120 x 120cm, oil on canvas, 2011

gate/gate

gate/gate, 120 x 120cm, oil on canvas, 2011

on december 9, 2009 this spiral appeared over the western coast of norway. it was captured on multiple different video feeds and cameras. at first it was explained as a failed russian missile launch, which was virulently denied by the russian military. a week later they acquiesced and took responsibility. however, i don’t believe that the spiral is the result of a failed russian missile launch. since 2009 it has even appeared in different nations and different contexts. as a form, the spiral has been illustrated since prehistoric times, and appears in multiple petroglyphs from various geographical areas. what is this? is it a star gate? is it a russian missile launch? does it matter? in gate/gate two gates are depicted: one allows cars to pass into a parking lot seemingly for a factory, and the other is a mammoth swirling light form. i deliberately chose an image of this phenomenon that featured contemporary human technology markers like telephone wires, minivans and dumpsters to posit it within our historical time, though the spiral remains timeless.
morning dew, from the series 'rite of passage',  200 x 140cm, oil on canvas, 2011

rite of passage

sunrise, 125 x 140cm, oil on canvas, 2011 morning dew, 200 x 140cm, oil on canvas, 2011 estimated prophet, 200 x 140cm, oil on canvas, 2011

perhaps the essence of an image’s timelessness relates to the infinity of its nostalgia. nostalgia knows no bounds. rite of passage is a series developed from a 1989 grateful dead documentary entitled ‘love on $14’ that was shot and edited on vhs tape, then transferred to the internet, then saved as a screen capture, projected, and painted. in this way, the incidental moments, those especially laden with infinity, become monuments to timelessness, monuments to the infinity of their nostalgia.

i never attended a grateful dead concert. when i was 14 i was gifted a box of live grateful dead tapes, which hooked me. i would listen to these tapes in secret, as i knew no others with a penchant for the grateful dead. the concert documentary was filmed in east troy, wisconsin at alpine valley. i have attended concerts at alpine valley, but not this one, during which i would have been 7 years old. yet i know the figures and the zen of their pre-internet horizons quite intimately.

each painting is named after a similarly evocative and period sensitive grateful dead song. the documentary may be found here.

the concert series may be heard here: July 17, 1989 July 18, 1989 July 19, 1989

white hole

white hole, 160cm x 90cm, collage on mirror, 2009

white hole, 160cm x 90cm, collage on mirror, 2009

white hole / it is not far, installation view

white hole / it is not far, installation view

white hole / cosmos, installation view

white hole / cosmos, installation view

white hole explores the relationship between image and creation. the title white hole references the concept of the opposite of a black hole, a cosmic entity that hypothetically cannot be entered from the outside and continuously emits matter and light.

cosmos

cosmos (it is not far), 122cm x 122cm, oil on canvas, 2009

cosmos (it is not far), 122cm x 122cm, oil on canvas, 2009

cosmos, or an orderly and harmonious system, is the title of the third painting in it is not far. it attempts to depict the paradox of attempting to depict something that can’t and doesn’t yet exist. therefore i painted color field and interwoven energetic filaments. cosmos was painted over one and a half years in 3 different cities.

logos

logos (it is not far), 122cm x 122cm oil on canvas, 2007

logos (it is not far), 122cm x 122cm oil on canvas, 2007

the second painting in the triptych it is not far, logos, is a photo of a paused second generation ipod. unknown artist, unknown album were byproducts of cd-r’s and the beginning of free and wide distribution and memes. they also represent me as the painter of the painting. the duration of the song is 11:11 (there are 7 1’s in the painting) which symbolizes awareness. logos represents the intersection of the divine and language, or ‘the word’, and inherent truth. in this case it is depicted as an antiquated (even in 2006) technological artifact, as the present tense, though real, is necessarily ephemeral. the battery is half full, half empty, and the song is track 1 of 1, one life in one moment. ipods represent personal empowerment and the potential for divine self reflection as an igod.

noos

noos (it is not far), 122cm x 122cm oil on canvas, 2006

noos (it is not far), 122cm x 122cm oil on canvas, 2006

the series it is not far depicts temporal time in its different incarnations. historic symbolic time is depicted in the first painting in the series, noos.

during a visit to the metropolitan museum of art in new york in the fall of 2005 i felt my first fundamental energetic connection to the fetish and devotional objects on display. this was due to the realization of their language. they spoke in symbols, often favoring animals and simple yet striking designs. around this time i found an $8 copy of shamanism by mircea eliade at a street sale, and synchronistically i happened to possess only $8. i belabored the decision, but purchased eliade’s masterwork. between toronto and montreal i read an account of a shaman, in which they endured an ecstatic trance ritual of fasting and imbibing some type of substance. the shaman awoke in a different world and was made to lie down by a smith. the smith gouged out the shamans eyes, placed them in the furnace, and returned them. he did this with his arms, legs, and various other appendages. when the shaman returned to the tribe he/she was fundamentally different. her/his body had been altered, forged on god’s anvil, and had returned now as a conduit between the spirit world and the tribe.

the flowers depicted are symbolic in both type and number. there are 4 poppies, positioned as the cardinal directions as explained to me by a towa man on an amtrak train whom i met by changing my point of disembarking. after painting i checked his information against the colors popularly accredited to the medicine wheel, and he was slightly off. however, i appreciated this accident as it relates to the happy entropy of oral history. there are 5 pansies, as 5 is the man number (we have 2 arms, 2 legs, and a head). there are 3 lotuses, which symbolize birth and rebirth, and 3 is echoed throughout the painting as the number of divine trinities. there are 3 anemones, which mean ‘of the wind’, and are also the dying god symbol as the painting represents different forms of knowing and the past. there is a single daisy, which symbolizes the innocence of totality, and a single calla lily, which represents me, the artist. calla lilies are now common to me in california, but when i delivered flowers to weddings in wisconsin they were very rare and expensive, and also bruised when touched. they possess a phallic grace, yet render very little scent. 4 horses are depicted, symbolizing the journey and the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. there is a snake which ferries souls to and from the underworld, and 3 eagles, symbolizing the creator and divine trinities.

the tree in the middle is the world tree, a birch tree, and is upside down with its roots in the air. the river in the background is the delta of the ganges, one of india’s sacred rivers, and also symbolizes delta, or change.

m3tr0p0lis occupy

m3tr0p0lis occupy

m3tr0p0lis occupy began with the album bot hits, which Leslie Kneisel asked me to do to accompany a screening of Fritz Lang’s metropolis at an exhibition of her newer and amazing lithographs in atlanta. spacey, sci-fi and house-y were all adjectives she asked for, as she intended to bring out the aesthetic futurism of metropolis. the resulting bot hits is testament to her intention. i lived in berlin when she suggested working together, and thus was inundated by house music. bot hits grooves steadfastly at 107 bpm, which later made editing it much easier, as coincidentally lang’s editor cuts at about this rate also. i intentionally only watched the trailer of metropolis before composing the music, and after completing bot hits, leslie and i began to cull images and compose the adaptation of lang’s opus. we found the original overlong and sometimes tedious, and the soundtrack cheesy. therefore, we created m3tr0p0lis occupy, which takes its name from a triad of factors. metropolis, 300, who is a homeless man i conversed with at length on the street in berkeley, in which he alleged to have been attacked with a hammer at occupy berkeley, and referred to homelessness as ‘the worst punishment you can imagine’. he is also generous and loves to bestow gifts. occupy, the social movement, zeitgeist of 2012, felt closely aligned to much of the sentiment contained within metropolis (and vice versa). at the heart of occupy was an insistence on heart and the recognition of human energy, which is the dominant theme of metropolis (to use the heart to unite the head and hands, thought/love/action).
white hole / cosmos, installation view

spectral alphabet

spectral alphabet was installed at golden parachutes in berlin between july 4 and august 8, 2009. it represents roughly 5 years of my work, and touches on themes of time, space, spirit and the artist.
time is a circle detail

time is a circle detail

another brick on the wall

another brick on the wall

spectral alphabet, installation view

spectral alphabet, installation view

cosmos
cultivated incompetence, installation view

cultivated incompetence, installation view

extra-nomenclature, installation view

extra-nomenclature, installation view

haiku, atomic clock water walk, grace installation view

haiku, atomic clock water walk, grace installation view

it is not far, installation view

it is not far, installation view

mara-and-color
time is a circle detail

time is a circle detail

no no no no no no doubt, installation view

no no no no no no doubt, installation view

particle-collider-housing-r
time is a circle detail

time is a circle detail

time is a circle detail

time is a circle detail

time is a circle, installation view

time is a circle, installation view

white hole / und allah schuf.., installation view

white hole / und allah schuf.., installation view

white hole / it is not far, installation view

white hole / it is not far, installation view

white hole / cosmos, installation view

white hole / cosmos, installation view

time is a circle, installation view

time is a circle, installation view

particle-collider-housing-r2
logos

logos

in 2005 i left new york city and over the course of a month made my way to the san francisco bay area where i subsequently resettled. i carried with me a gifted super 8 camera and shot stop motion film of my trip. during this transition i made a point of not taking any photos, relying instead on the cartridges of super 8 film stock that i had to trust were actually working, though there was no way to prove this until they were developed. i would click away in a rhythmic manner, click.. click…….click.. click…….. click.. click.. click.. i later had the footage digitized and subsequently synchronized it to the second side of lucky dragon’s fantastic album widows. i intended to show liminal paradoxical american spaces and symbols in a non-linear fashion through the inherent emotive nostalgia of bygone physical media, though this project began more as an experiment that congealed into this film than an intentional work of art. i show my life and my friend’s lives in the last moments of youth and the first moments of true adulthood. the title ‘logos’ references the intersection of the known and the unknown as essence.