Last night I went to a, well, artist talk I suppose, featuring my good friend D-L Alvarez, and an artist I wasn’t formerly familiar with, Colter Jacobsen. The event, as a whole, was terrific. But this is perhaps because I like when I encounter new things to think about.
Darrell’s talk was fantastic, of course, a personal narrative lauding his relationship with books, with art, how these things are working, with people. The distance between D-L’s performative aura and his mode-of-everyday-being always catches me off guard, but it’s good, it’s professional. Darrell’s story was lovely, of course. Stories I had heard part of before, stories that featured the artist Jennifer Locke who I was sitting next to, who hugs me every time she sees me, stories about Raymond Carver, stories about Stockton, CA. Well, one story, really, with all of these.
Colter was second, and there was a sort of beautiful disorientation to it. There was no performative aspect here, there was basically only stuttering and a power-point presentation of some of his own work. However there was a winding sense of thought that, due perhaps to how much more space was left open, found me thinking more about ideas that are, perhaps, tangential to the work. The space also left my wanting the talk to be a discussion, but I kept my mouth shut.
At one point a work was presented that was a drawing of a cell-phone photo that Colter’s boyfriend had sent him of a snapshot from Bas Jan Ader’s “I’m Searchin’,” part of Ader’s In Search of the Miraculous. At the specific revelatory moment of sentimentality, I fell completely in love and fugued into the daydream of a conceptual artist boyfriend who couldn’t watch I’m Too Sad To Tell You without crying himself. How it would be a perfect combination of his praxis to my theory. A fit. My day dream ended, of course, and I remembered how mostly I actually think relationships are terrible and how nothing in the world can ever fit into my headland. But, then, just as I was returning to earth, Felix Gonzales-Torres’s words arrived:
Our Atrocity Exhibition: A Theory of the Spectacle of the Banal: Within the Spectacle, A System Within A System Within A System Within A System Within A System
I lived in the desert and in the desert I had cable TV and an internet connection and the local CSA gave me basically all the food I need because I won a lifetime supply of it from some contest, I don’t know, and my great great grandfather or whatever owned the land I lived on so I didn’t have to pay rent and uh I had electricity and water by stealing it from my neighbor. My neighbor lived far away but I was creative. I didn’t pay for the internet or cable TV but I had them and I didn’t ask questions. Maybe somebody loved me and paid for them. The point is: I didn’t have anything to spend money on.
Miles away from my home in the desert there was a tent in the desert and in the tent there was a preacher, and the preacher encouraged all to stay within all that which was holy, because everything outside was sin. Sometimes I went to the tent and watch the men and women climb in the glass tank that held rattle snakes. The snakes would bite people sometimes but nobody screamed and no one collapsed in pain and I reckon they were de-poisoned, I’m not sure how snakes work, the adders in the desert leave slithers at at night my baby rattle shakes like death breeze.
Inside of my disconnection from the world at large I was exposed only to one thing: I saw the banalization of culture, I let it float over my head and wash my body, I refused to know of the existence of anything that was special, because here in this world everything to me was free and the machine of capitalism were the only gears still turning.
REBBECCA BLACK HAS BECOME A STAR
FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN