Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dearest members,

Not sure if any of you noticed my unauthorized use of AmalgaMat's name in putting up a quick exhibit in honor of Vasili Arkhipov. If not, read here. That being said, I would love, love, love for the members of AmalgaMat, yes I still think of AmalgaMat as existing, limping along perhaps, but existing nonetheless, to contribute a piece to the show. Why? Because I plan on putting out a nice glossy catalog of the show to bring to the next residency.

I would like this virtual show to be the first of many 'virtual' exhibits I plan on putting up. By 'virtual' I mean in a space other than a brick and mortar space. It could be web, book or even word of mouth, for in the end, most of us only 'really' come into contact with an exhibition through the residual material left behind after the fact. So who needs the 'actual' show when the surrounding material is the usual manner we experience an art exhibit? And who knows, perhaps one of these 'virtual' shows could morph and become a 'real' exhibit some day. The important thing now though, is getting participation from artists who's work I admire, and you guys are most certainly at the top of my list.

So please join me in celebrating Vasili Arkhipov by sending me an image, video or audio file you deem fitting within the context of the show. The piece does not have to be made specifically for the show. It can be something you already have, which relates in some manner to the theme.

Thanks in advance.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Sonnet # 28


by: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

      OW can I then return in happy plight
      That am debarred the benefit of rest,
      When day's oppression is not eased by night,
      And each, though enemies to either's reign,
      Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
      The one by toil, the other to complain
      How far I toil, still farther off from thee?
      I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright
      And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven;
      So flatter I the swart-complexioned night,
      When sparkling stars twire not, thou gild'st the even.
      But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
      And night doth nightly make grief's strength seem stronger.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Artists Stalking Artists - take 2

Mel C mentioned she didn't exactly get what I meant by my previous post, so allow me to explain.

I would like to propose, as a potential AmalgaMat piece, that any one of us, when out and about, take at least one voyeuristic photo of a well known artist at close range. When the images are posted, do not directly name names, but please give 3 possible names of the artist in question, with one of the names being the correct one.

Eventually, hopefully, we'll have a full cache of well known artists, and still not know exactly who they are, like most people.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Artists Stalking Artists: Series

I just need a few more to complete the 'Place', 'Identity' and 'Play' segements of Art 21. Can anyone help out? Here's who I still need;

Identity = Bruce Nauman & Maya Lin
Place = Richard Serra, Sally Mann, Maraget Kilgallen, Barry McGee
Play = Hubbard and Birchler, Ellen Gallaghar, Oliver Herring, Jessica Stockholder

Friday, February 25, 2011

Monster drawing rally

An annual drawing event in SF. One hour time limit. Afterward, everyone's piece goes on sale for $60.
Great site about dynamic mapping.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


amalgamation mosaic

Just figured I throw something of my own.  Been working with layers and had a few suggest the whole mosaic technique, for a lack of a better word. Not sure if I will continue with this, more experimental than anything else.

Frankfurt Kitchen

Great talk about how the first modern kitchen, the kitchen we all know, use and take for granted, came about.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

haiku #2

Painting you're still stuck
deep in my fucking psyche
informing my moves

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The isolate body in contemporary culture

The isolate body in contemporary culture has led to an influx of people who share physical space but are disengaged, or, on the other hand, who do not share physical space but are virtually linked. The flash mob is the quintessential example of isolation with a communal space. In Frozen Grand Central, participants of the mob simultaneously freeze in this highly public, busy space which points to the state of the isolate individual, the one who is physically present but so enraptured in ones own mind that it takes a radical performative experience to get the viewers attention. As society has ever increased their use of gadgetry and consumptive need for information, being private in public has become a hybrid mode of existence. The purpose of ones intention in any given space is less clear, personal privacy has become embedded within public spaces. Through obsessive use of excessive personal gadgetry, has ones ability to be social been altered? At what point does one stop engaging with others, as the space they occupy becomes foreign to themselves?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What is the purpose of the object?

Dorothea von Hantelmann’s comment in How to Do things with Art “ sculpture has always been marked by its aspiration to transcend its own material objecthood, an aspiration that is continued in modernity with the attempt to negate the commodity status of the artwork, which was seen to relate to its physical materiality.” As the viewer becomes the object/user, does this activation of space transcend the material objecthood? Does the body become just another object itself? Does this use of space through architectural props result in 1) isolation, or 2) interactivity? Does the viewer become too imbedded in the discovery process resulting in disengagement? Or does one find the space it creates a social space where inhibited interaction unveils? Is the focus of the interactivity on the object or the user? Is engagement the result for the user, for a work of art? And is it the job of the viewer or the artist to be more creative, to react?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sonnet CXXIX: "Th'expense of spirit in a waste of shame"


Th' expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and till action, lust
Is perjured, murd'rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,
Enjoyed no sooner but despisèd straight,
Past reason hunted; and, no sooner had
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;
Mad in pursuit and in possession so,
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof and proved, a very woe;
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Erotic Double by John Ashbery

He says he doesn’t feel like working today.
It’s just as well. Here in the shade
Behind the house, protected from street noises,
One can go over all kinds of old feeling,
Throw some away, keep others.
The wordplay

Between us gets very intense when there are
Fewer feelings around to confuse things.
Another go-round? No, but the last things
You always find to say are charming, and rescue me
Before the night does. We are afloat
On our dreams as on a barge made of ice,
Shot through with questions and fissures of starlight
That keep us awake, thinking about the dreams
As they are happening. Some occurrence. You said it.

I said it but I can hide it. But I choose not to.
Thank you. You are a very pleasant person.
Thank you. You are too.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Notes on spectatorship

Spectatorship and voyeurism.
In the history of art there is spectatorship.
To watch is human.
To provoke watching is spectatorship.
To gain pleasure from watching is voyeurism.
Nothing new.
What does it is mean when the spectator is the spectacle?
How does that alter ones reality?
Is there an element of surprise?
Who is then being watched? watching?
Who is on display or exhibit?
I am interesting in provoking the viewer to be the viewed while viewing.
Another difference between spectatorship and voyeurism.

Party Pants

haiku # 1

Having a hard time
coming up with something to
go with Mr Bean

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Doctor's visit

Originally published in my mind, many years ago in an old journal (this one is dedicated to Mel C).

So I finally went to the doctor yesterday. I was attended by a very pleasant middle-aged Asian man, with large bulbous sacks underneath his solemn knowing eyes. He asked me all the right questions, touched me in all the right places, made me stretch and show him how uncoordinated I’ve become, and even took a urine sample to check for kidney problems (which there were none), to which he concluded that there was no conclusion.

“Most likely not a bad appendix”, he said in a slight Korean accent, “because you have had no nausea, fever, constipation, or real colicky pain, but,” he added, “appendixes have been known to be tricky little devils - especially the deadlier ones. These evil appendixes”, he continued, “are quite docile and can rupture with very little pain, causing almost certain death to the unsuspecting”. He chuckled and I half-heartedly joined in the merriment.

I imagined my ancient ‘evil’ friend waking out of its 30-year primordial slumber and clandestinely oozing itself out into my bowels. There it would sit patiently and wait till the final stages of peritonitis set in over my ‘unsuspecting’ body. And as I faded out of existence, its primitive dominance would once again be complete and absolute, if not for a short fleeting dying moment for the both of us; that greedy bastard.

My fantasy was short lived as the Dr. reassured me that it was highly unlikely that mine was of the ‘evil’ kind. Content with his oath, we resumed with our thorough conversation. He said he wasn’t going to rule anything out and went on to methodically explain what real colicky pain meant, what a hernia would feel and look like, and what a mild muscle strain would entail. To which he seemed to think that the later was the cause of my minor, but constant discomfort.

His final diagnosis was that I should keep monitoring the pain, and if it got worse, to either come back and see him, or to seek some sort of emergency medical attention. That I should drink more water, since the stale pungent urine sample I had given him, when looked at under the microscope, had affectionately reminded him of the yellow river - complete with junk boats floating along to market. Also, that I should try not to exert myself too much. And that I should really try to get some exercise. His trained eye could easily tell that mine was an extraordinarily unfit body.

I thanked him, shook his hand amiably, and departed already feeling much improved. Now that I was a bit more at ease, I could concentrate on my other more real problems, such as getting a job and getting on with my career (or lack there of). But most importantly, I now had the time to come up with a nastier, more treacherous medical ailment, which would help impede me from doing or accomplishing anything at all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

in honor of groundhog day

I hate Pollack. That fucking asshole is always on my case. Constantly telling me that I rely way too much on figuration and objectivism. He'll say shit like, "that last painting I saw you working on, good, but it would be so much better if I couldn't read into all those figures or that it wasn't set in an interior space. Why do you anchor yourself to the perceived world?" Fuck him, and his fucking "perceived world." I'm not unsure enough of my own fucking work? And I need a drunk hack to question every move I make? FUCK HIM! And if I hear him say "I am nature," one more time, I'm going to show him 'nature' all right. But then again, that's probably what the fucking psychopath wants. Someone to end it all for him, for him - fucking coward.

So I woke up this morning only to find myself walking towards the Cedar Tavern in Grenwich Village NYC, in 1955! Don't ask me how I knew or how I also realized I was embodying Arshile Gorky (I took a look at the wallet in my back pocket). All I knew, after I shook my head from the initial shock and decided to allow myself to be taken in by the experience, was that I was to meet up with some friends at the bar around 5 o'clock. The occasion was purportedly to discuss a painting I've been struggling with. Or rather, we were going to attempt to discuss this particular painting that I've come close, several times, to ripping off its stretcher and give up painting once and for all, but inevitably, the conversation would turn to DeKooning's work, women, the latest sporting event, and eventually, Pollack.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's a start - trats asti

First post = the hardest? Blank canvas? Fuck, I hated blank canvasas (canvi?) when I used to paint. Especially if I stretched/applied gesso/sanded it down myself. Just couldn’t find the will to violate the surface. And when I did finally build enough courage, I would treat her/it with way too much veneration, applying one well rehearsed, transparent mark after another. Had a much easier time with large gessoed pieces of drawing paper laid on the ground. But, that was then and this is now. But still, the problem persists. So, how does one approach a blank page? By jumping in, I guess. And where better to start, than at the beginning – right? And why not start with a whimper instead of a bang, that way there aren’t too many expectations (or any for that matter). So here it goes nothing; literally;

The first time I ever stepped foot into a NYC public library was with my best friend Jason Marino, when we were 7 years old. I didn’t quite link the relationship between the monstrous collection of books before me and the quaint little library back at our grade school. All I knew was that I wanted to read/touch/feel every single book I could get my hands on in this place. So astonished was I by the endless rows of shelves stacked with what seemed to me to be an infinite amount of books, that after taking a good look around and noticing a couple of open windows on the third floor by the children’s section, I motioned to Jason to come close and I whispered, "ok, you go outside and stand over there by that tree, and I'll throw the books we want out the windows so that we can take them home to read." To which he replied, "ok. But you do know that this is a library. We can 'check' out the books with a library card. See”, he showed me the library card his father had recently helped him acquire, “it's free." Blew my fucking little mind.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Home Improvement centers across the country are host to dozens of sheds. They are all lined up just so, waiting to find a home. These sheds are for sale. They stand in the parking lots all year as mere displays, empty and unused.

I propose using the sheds by inviting artists to occupy them for performative pieces that have to do with 'improvement.' This could take many forms from makeshift medical sheds, sleeping sheds, advice sheds, cooking sheds, free stuff sheds, "how to" sheds leading classes or workshops on a plethora of topics from how to build a sandbox, planting heirloom tomatoes, twisting balloons or any contribution in which the community benefits.

This shed haven becomes a way in which to exchange knowledge through the collective practice of artists working with the community, one parking lot at a time. Interactivity and social practices can impact a community through strengthened relationships - reaching a much broader, more diverse group of individuals as the environment for learning and sharing shifts into the parking lot of a big box store.