The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Julie Aude presents … Op Quiz




Naoya Hatakeyama ‘Blast’ (series)

Hatakeyama began photographing “Blast” in 1995. The series was shown in the exhibition “Aspects of Contemporary Photography – another reality” held during the same year at the Kawasaki City Museum. Since then, Hatakeyama has continued to work on the series and it has been presented in numerous exhibitions in Japan and abroad. For Hatakeyama, who has created works that carefully and poetically examine nature, the cities that we have built, and the philosophies that give them form, the photographing of “Blast,” which is coordinated with an explosives expert who accurately predicts where the shrapnel from the blasted boulders will fly, has been an invaluable experience that has allowed him to reexamine photography’s appeal and the foundations of its technology.’ — Taka Ishii Gallery



Carstein Nikolai ‘Future Past Perfect’

‘Conceived as the fourth part of the series under the name future past perfect, the fourth short film of the row is the result of a long-term fascination with clouds, their movements, structure/texture, and their potentially infinite variety of forms. Shot from the plane on various trips, the sequences of cloud imagery are edited and collaged in different ways to match the diverse qualities of constitution and behaviour of clouds. The short movie especially focussed on so-called stratus clouds, a category of clouds that usually appears rather flat, hazy and featureless. Their visual quality as seen from above may imply micro and macro structures at the same time thus potentially deceives the viewer’s perception.’ — C.N.



Julia Ishtan ‘A Necessary change of heart’

‘A necessary change of heart’ contains what appears to be some kind of murder victim or human sacrifice, presented here in the form of a self portrait. Dissected beyond the point of recognition the sculpture of an incomplete body is based on the 17 century anatomical waxes of the Museo La Specola in Florence. Central to the work, the concept of anatomy and dissection forms a complex and purposefully sensationalised metaphor of the way in which not just science but institutions as a whole investigate and formulate their “world view” – which is effectively the same for all human thought and activity – at least all aspects of cognition.’ —



Takeshi Murata ‘Melter 3-D’

‘Takeshi Murata is known for distorting and manipulating videos into chaotic-yet-stunning pieces of colorful geometry, and while his new work, Melter 3-D, is short on color, it is undoubtedly a work of incredible form—especially as it never maintains a consistent one, despite being physical. Melter 3-D is by definition a zoetrope, a device that produce the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures, but it’s tangible. In other words, the installation is a sculptural animation. The 3D-object itself spins, creating a kinetic effect (with the help of some strobe lights) that makes it look as if it’s melting into itself. Murata spent months configuring the object on a computer before making a physical incarnation with a master fabricator and mechanical engineers who typically work on high-profile Hollywood CGI projects.’ — The Creators Project



Matt Kenyon ‘Supermajor’

‘The perceptual structures of the human brain enable individuals to see the world around them as stable, even though the sensory information may be incomplete and rapidly varying. Some of these perceptual structures are highly susceptible to manipulation. Seeing is not believing. Especially when the refresh rate of our reality hides the truth about our macabre fossil fuel faith. All around us people simultaneously hope and fear that our material abundance may never come to an end. In the gallery a wire rack of vintage oil cans sits. One has a visible fissure out of which oil slowly flows, cascading onto the pedestal and the gallery floor. The only thing is, upon close inspection the oil isn’t flowing out of the can. Instead, oil appears to slowly flow, drop-by-drop, back into the can. At times the drops of oil seem to hover unsupported in mid-air. At other times, the drops are in the process of a reverse slow motion splash onto the pedestal.’ — SWAMP



Markus Raetz ‘Yes — No’

The Markus Raetz ‘Yes — No’ piece is one of the moodiest structures to date. Ask it a simple yes or no question and it will provide you with both answers as you walk from one side of the piece to the other. This sculpture houses an extremely innovative design so that it changes its appearance depending on the angle it is being viewed from. By choosing the words “yes” and “no” as his main subjects, Markus Raetz has formed a piece of art that covers both ends of the deciding spectrum.’ — collaged



Massive underwater entrance discovered off the Malibu, CA coast

‘A massive underwater entrance has been discovered off the Malibu, CA coast at Point Dume which appears to be the Holy Grail of UFO/USO researchers that have been looking for it over the last 40 years. The plateau structure is 1.35 miles x 2.45 miles wide, 6.66 miles from land and the entrance between the support pillars is 2745 feet wide and 630 feet tall. It also has what looks like a total nuclear bomb proof ceiling that is 500 feet thick. The underwater base has been a mystery for many years with hundreds of UFO/USO sightings…many with photographs…but the entrance of the base has remained elusive…until now. The entrance can support nuclear sized submarines and massive UFO/USO activity and allow access to different military installations that are inside the US such as the China Lake Naval Base that is in the middle of the Mojave desert and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Hawthorne, NV between Las Vegas and Reno. The support pillars to the entrance are over 600 feet tall. Malibu, California, is known the world over for its scenic beauty and as the playground of the rich and famous. Few people know that it is also the land of UFOs.’ —



Biliana K Voden Aboutaam “Untitled (2014)’

‘Peinture digitale, ethnicité et contrôle numérique. Voici l’univers de l’artiste peintre bulgare Biliana K. Voden Aboutaam. Un vrai régal surtout quand il s’agit d’une artiste pour qui l’art a toujours été le moteur de ses actions. Dans son travail, elle allie pêle-mêle la fiction à la réalité, la fantaisie au sinistre. Ses peintures, présentant des costumes folkloriques berbères, sont réalisées de mémoire et révèlent à partir de tout et de rien une empreinte à la fois réaliste et digitale. «Pour Biliana K. Voden Aboutaam, une «structure numérique ethnique», c’est l’ethnicité (images de costumes folkloriques berbères) convertie en forme de processus de digitalisation au moyen d’un ordinateur. Les peintures digitales de cette série sont la visualisation de cette «structure numérique ethnique». Cette dernière traduit une histoire se situant exclusivement dans le monde du «réalisme digital», où la seule «véritable» histoire relève des nombres.’ — Liberation



Zack Doughterty ‘untitled’

‘Zach Doughterty is an unusual artist that many find difficult to define. Is he a photographer, a 3D artist, an animator? Instead of being any single style of artist Zach covers those three areas of art, and more, to produce his bizzare, strange, and interesting photographic creations. Zach’s works are not stagnant photographs, but vibrantly alive animated GIF’s that have us staring in astonishment. You are confused as you watch an astronaut spinning through the solid sidewalk. A statue in the park is captured slowly breathing, but no other movement is detected. A statue of the Mother Mary spins on her pedestal quietly rocking her baby. A short statue glances up to see what we are looking at.’ —



Makino Takashi ‘Space Noise’

Makino Takashi ‘2012, act 6’

‘Words feel woefully inadequate to describe Makino Takashi’s practice, where the abstract is drawn out of the real through the layering of images, flickers of light and the perpetual movement of dots and grains. Screen space is redefined with a flattened image surface that engulfs our peripheral vision and feels deeper the closer we focus our eyes. Pulsed drones by the foremost international talents of noise and soundscape music, including Jim O’Rourke, Machinefabriek and Makino’s own sound collages, not only accompany his visual cacophony but interweave to concoct a breathtaking audiovisual experience of transcendent measures.’ —



Cai Guo-Qiang ‘Inopportune: Stage One’

‘Inopportune: Stage One, from 2004, is a large-scale installation work consisting of a meticulous arrangement of life-size cars and multichannel tubes that seem to blow up in sequence, symbolizing a series of car explosions. Guo-Qiang’s works are often politically charged and entertaining at the same time. He creates seemingly violent explosions that are visually attractive and dazzling despite their harrowing subjects. He feels the artist is “like an alchemist” who “has the ability to transform certain energies, using poison against poison, using dirt and getting gold.”‘ —



Martin Sexton ‘The Head of John the Baptist – Acoustic Levitation’

‘Martin Sexton’s golden reliquary contains the levitating head of John the Baptist. Martin Sexton produces powerful and controversial art. He works at the interface of ancient history, metaphysics, the psychosocial aspects of ufology & the politics of aesthetics — all countered with an overpowering poetic vision that has echoes of the wilful extremism of rock n’ roll. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, including Tate Britain, Benaki Museum Athens & the Venice Biennale. He works with ice, fire, meteorites, sound, film and text.’ — collaged



David Fried ‘Self Organizing Still-Life’

‘David Fried’s Self Organizing Still-Life (SOS) is a series of interactive, sound-stimulated kinetic sculptures. Whatever the scale or materials used for the SOS, they all consist of solid hand-made spheres, which are stirred into motion by ambient sound on a predetermined level object. Audible sound is transformed live into waves that silently stimulate each of the spheres into motion. The resulting action of the individual spheres and their interactions with one another are undetermined. No two spheres are alike – each is composed of either solid stone, or synthetic polymers layered with organic materials such as marble dust and rare earth, with no moving parts. The artist infuses them with unique bipolar qualities, and an ability to interact with each other in inimitable and unexpected ways on an elemental level, rather than a mechanical one. Fried is therefore able to give each sphere an individual personality, allowing them to respond and behave differently to sound, and with each new artwork, create an entirely unique interdependent family of individuals that we can influence, but not control.’ — D.F.



Heather Dewey-Hagborg ‘Stranger Visions’

‘Heather Dewey-Hagborg spends time collecting hairs, cigarettes and chewing gum shed in public spaces … and then sequencing the DNA therein to print 3D sculptures of what those hairs’ owners might look like. She sequences the DNA at the Brooklyn open bio lab, Genspace. She then determines gender, ethnicity and other factors and then uses a 3D printer to create a portrait. She can code for eye color, eye and nose width, skin tone, hair color and more. While critical of technology and surveillance, some critics have found her work disturbing.’ — collaged



Regina Silveira The Saints Paradox (1994)

‘Even before I had come up with the idea for The Saint’s Paradox in 1994, my imagination had already been sparked by the equestrian monument to the Duke of Caxias, the official protector of the Brazilian Army. Pedestrians heading in the direction of the Luz subway station and passing by Princesa Isabel Square in downtown São Paulo are struck by the statue’s tall and impressive silhouette, a kind of huge shadow with very simplified interior volumes. Atop the high stone pedestal the military hero sits on a robust horse with a wavy tail, his right arm holding aloft a sword pointing skyward. What aroused my interest was not any aesthetic concern. This sculpture was a latter production of Victor Brecheret’s (1894–1955), who had emigrated from Italy to Brazil at the age of ten to become an artist celebrated by the younger group of Brazilian Modernist artists and the author of various monuments in the city of São Paulo. However, this monument to the Duke of Caxias, executed between 1941 and 1945 during the patriotic fervor of the Second World War, is a statue with a decidedly traditional stamp, out of keeping with the distinctive strong lines of Brecheret’s best production.’ — Regina Silveira



Lindsay Seers ‘Sailors Bill’

‘The increasingly acclaimed practice of UK artist Lindsay Seers centres on a bizarre ‘autobiographical’ narrative in which Seers documents the use of her own body as both a projector and a camera – the latter achieved by inserting light-sensitive paper into her mouth. Ventriloquist dummies are a key motif in this complex conflation of image and utterance, serving as a kind of avatar for the artist herself. The eerie mannequin known as ‘Sailors Bill’  is electronically programmed to turns its heads to follow gallery-goers, then open a mouth to snap photographs of them.’ — modern edition



John Isaacs Various

‘John Isaacs is well-known for his imagery of decay, abandonment and hopelessness. Working mainly on sculptures and installations, Isaacs is interested in the mentality and physicality of human beings. Their emotions, their scars, the way they keep going and the reason they stop.’ — Art Sheep



Leandro Erlich ‘Swimming Pool’ (2008)

‘Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich created an illusory swimming pool that seems to be filled with water. Installed as a permanent exhibit at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, the water in the pool is actually only 10cm shallow, supported by a thick layer of transparent glass. Underneath is an aqua room that viewers can enter, inviting a shared experience of wonder at the constructed space both from above and below.’ — ignant



Dike Blair Untitled

‘I think “impulse,” in terms of traditional photography perhaps in some romantic sense, would have something to do with “capturing a moment?” I don’t think I’m terribly sensitive to that since my subjects are almost never people; excepting for sometimes changing light, there’s not a moment to capture. Contemporary photography, thinking Instagram, etc., certainly feels impulsive in a different way, some internalization of the camera and the urge to communicate experience immediately. Since my painting of images requires a fair amount of rendering time, that kind of impulsive contemporary picture-taking doesn’t seem to be terribly applicable either. I guess I’m saying that impulsiveness doesn’t play large in my creative activity when it comes to making photo-based paintings. Certainly there’s more impulsiveness in the sculpture, although I might substitute “intuitive decision making” for “impulsiveness.”’ — Dike Blair




p.s. Hey. The Denmark-based curator and silent DC’s reader Julie Aude has taken my thing for thematic, art-based posts and run with it spectacularly for all of us today. Do poke around in her construction, please, and give her a little shout showing you paid attention and/or were interested to some degree and/or appreciated her work in the comments today, thank you, and many thanks to you, Julie. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I wondered if you knew his work, but of course you do! ** Alistair, Hi, Alistair! Very nice to see you! Thanks for making my blog one of your hibernation’s exits. Me too re: Roussel = hope. Interesting. Oh, mm, no, I wasn’t thinking about Roussel consciously when writing ‘TMS’. My conscious goal was to not think about fiction as a model but rather about pretty much any other medium. Not that I necessarily succeeded, but that was the goal. I read ‘Pale Fire’ a long time ago and remember being immensely into it. How did your re-read find it? xo, me. ** Grant Maierhofer, My total pleasure, Grant. ** Robert Siek, Hi, buddy! Yeah, his films are really scarcely known in the States for whatever bad reason. I’m definitely too busy right now, but, thus far, it’s all for the good. And you? I’m really glad you enjoyed LA. I saw some photos from your trip on FB, and it looked like a seriously fun time. Cool! Stuff good? Writing, life, love, etc? ** rewritedept, I hope my hood had open arms. ODing should be the polar opposite of a goal, yes. Condolences about your cat, I’m so sorry. I’m not a big fan of birthdays either. Well, of mine. Others’ are perfectly legit. Uh, definitely not going to make it to LA for those shows. I got too much work, not enough money, and some solid shows going on here. Have fun. Uh, I would have to ask Zac about a still, but, honestly, I would say it’s unlikely considering the work that takes and the over-amount of work we have at the moment. But thanks for wanting it. ** Steve Erickson, I enjoyed your recent-ist review and interview muchly. I think it would be true to say I haven’t listened to a peep of Prefab Sprout in decades. Well, that album sounds curious, it’s true. I’ll try to find my rock hat, which must be lying around here somewhere, and put it on, and try it. Thank you. ** Dominik, Hey!! Truer than true!! I started poring through the new SCAB yesterday, and everything is fantastic so far! I hope to have time to read the whole issue today or tomorrow. Big kudos! There is much coffee pouring through my lips these days, yes! It seems that we will get the script finished by Friday at the latest, which would still be okay. We’ll see, but we have to because I have force-delayed going back to the TV script work until it is finished, and the TV people are not happy about that, but they are reluctantly waiting, but I think their ‘patience’ will end if we don’t hit our deadline. So, long story short, yes. Thank you about the poster! There are two posters, that one and another ‘friendlier’ (ha ha) one that our press attache has insisted must exist as well. I’m really happy you dipped into your writing! That is definitely an ultra-good sign. Enjoy that. Enjoy it all! ** Corey Heiferman, Oh, thank you! Without you, yesterday’s post would have been about amusement parks or some shit probably. He seems way earnest, no? And why not, really? I did, very strangely or not, enjoy those Soviet and Yugoslav music things, yes. So I’m grateful and trying not to get addicted to that sound given my no-free-time state. That Peppy Hare’s Quotes vid is so massively up my alley that I can scarcely believe it myself. Bookmarked! Expect to see it some future post. Granted my brain is toast right now, but the name Edgar Oliver does not ring a bell. It might well later though. Thanks in any case. Oh, and Steve Erickson asked you a question in the comments yesterday in case you missed it. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Yeah, but some Brit doomsayer was on CNN last night saying May is probably looking for a technically legit way to get it into parliament anyway, so breath still being held over here. ** Okay. Delve or delve further into Julie Aude’s terrific post until further notice, thank you. See you tomorrow.


  1. JM

    hi d

    great day today but only a cursory glimmer as things are still too surreal and sad over here to do any meaningful reading tho i’ve been doing my best on assignments and stuff. sent you an email with a proposition for a day, i hope it isn’t too forward – just wanted to iterate here, too, that your blog is your space but the making of a thing was a deal for me also.


  2. Bill

    Really lovely gallery today, Dennis. Thanks to Julie Aude for the curation. Obviously I love the two meaty groups of pieces. And the Heather Dewey-Hagborg is just creepy. Years ago I wrote a little fragment about cloning found cells from sexual activity, haha.

    Having a pleasant time in Taipei so far. The Puppet Arts Center is nicely done, and the food is cheap and excellent.


  3. David Ehrenstein

    Weird stuff today, reminiscent of Paul Thek

    “Pale Fire” is my favorite Nabokov (don’t forget to read the index!)

  4. Jeff J

    Julie – Thanks so much for putting this together. Most of these artists are new to me and it’s a startling range of work. The blast series and Zac Doughterty work immediately grabbed me, but look forward to spending more time with all of these later this evening.

    Dennis – Are you working on finishing the screenplay for the next film now or are you on the tv series? Hope it’s going well, whatever the project.

    I’m doing an ‘author salon’ (sort of like book club discussion) about DAM in Asheville this evening and hopefully that will go well.

    I’ve wrenched some time to work on the new novel the past week. It’s growing ever more complex and I’m trying to map out some of that so it doesn’t overwhelm what I already have. Slow steps, but going well, I think.

  5. Nick Toti

    Julie – Nice work! The swimming pool one made me laugh. I’ll be poking around more throughout the day. Thank you for sharing this.

    Dennis – I wanted to give a quick thanks again for sharing the info on the screening this past weekend. It went really, really well. I got other good news recently that my movie of Megan Boyle reading her entire book is essentially finished (there had been some technical issues that I needed help working out). Now I just need to find a venue that will tolerate a 25+ hour movie! Hope you’re doing well.

  6. Steve Erickson

    There was one conceptual art project I read about and found interesting recently: an artist went through several hours of makeup and dyed and cut his hair to look like Richard Prince and put on a show of large photos of celebrities like Kanye West in LA, where he signed autographs. Despite Prince’s reliance on appropriation and the legal issues he’s sometimes faced as a result (and the artist’s suggestion that maybe he wasn’t pretending to be the famous Richard Prince, just using that pseudonym), his office learned about it and made the show go down after one day. I watched a video documenting it on Vimeo last month and just tried searching for the link, but probably for legal reasons none of the obvious keywords turned it up.

    I’m glad you liked that review and interview. I just finished writing a review of a book about THE SOPRANOS. I’m hoping to interview HAIL SATAN? director Penny Lane soon.

    Have you come across the YouTube channel Are Sounds Elektrik? They have posted lots of Eastern Bloc synth-pop.

  7. _Black_Acrylic

    @ Julie Aude, thank you for this mind-expanding feat of curation. I’m familiar with the work of John Isaacs but all else is an exciting new discovery for me. Good shout by David Ehrenstein about the influence of the great Paul Thek here.

  8. _Black_Acrylic

    I was listening to this new episode of Legowelt – Shadow Wolf Radio today and he played a cool thing. It’s Hot Rod to Hell which is 1982 poetry by the porn star Roy Garrett with a Man Parrish soundtrack. From the Dark Entries label blurb: “Roy Garrett tells his stories of sex, violence, truth, and illusion, a visceral and personal a record as any of that moment in gay history pre-AIDS.”

  9. Nik

    Hey Julie!

    Awesome post! All of these artists are new, to me, and I can’t wait to look more deeply into the work you shared. I loved that “NO/YES” sculpture, and something about the Dike Blair photo’s really grabbed me. I can’t wait to dig in a little deeper with this, thanks for sharing!

    Hey D.,

    Sorry for being so m.i.a., I just started break and have been mostly doing family stuff. Break is nice but also a little maddening, there’s a push and pull of “it’s nice to have some free time” and “free time makes me miserable”, if that makes any sense. It’s nothing crushing, but it’s a reminder that I really have to make sure I’m not in a situation like this over the summer haha.
    Speaking of which, thank you for getting back to me with that email! You’re response was super kind of you, I’ll make sure to ask what you’re up to again as the summer approaches, and what exactly I end up doing also. I’ve been applying to a lot of publishing gigs at big presses (Penguin, FSG, Grove, etc.) which… I mean, I do love a lot of current FSG authors, and some Grove authors. I love a lot of Penguin author’s, but, like, obviously, cuz they own everyone. It might be a good thing to do over the summer, but I do wanna get involved with more DIY stuff maybe (DIY feels like such an outdated term… do you know what I’m getting at?). Do you know any places I should check out?
    Otherwise, writing has been actually going much better since I stopped worrying about structuring stories and started focusing a lot more on language experiments I think I’ve said that a billion times here, but it’s much more substantial now that I’m in this description based class, so I’m expected to not worry about narrative and make pieces very long. Also, I don’t have to think too much about making things “poetry”, which always wigged me out and intimidated me for some reason. So, it’s been a chance to experiment with prose and not feel beholden to any conforming to / breaking any conventions.
    How are you doing? Have you had any time to write / work with gifs lately? I hope it’s not frying you up so much anymore. If you are still overloaded, is there anything I can help out with from over here that could make it more manageable? That might be an insane offer, I just have, again, a lot of free time since it’s break. Just let me know!

  10. Robert Siek

    Hi Dennis! Glad to hear all your busy is good busy. Everything is swell in my world. My book isn’t a finalist for any gay poetry awards but I got over that shit pretty quickly. I’m having fun with new stuff I’ve been writing the past year and that’s all that matters. Two of my poems will appear in a new online journal that this cool Canadian poet has started, so I’m thrilled about that. First issue goes live on Friday. I think who is included in the first issue is a surprise so I’m not mentioning the name. I’m going to Atlanta in early April to do a reading so that’s exciting. Looking forward to spring here. Love life is totally terrific. We’ve been together more than eight years. We still enjoy each other’s company so that’s a good sign. Well I’ll be checking in to see what’s up in your life. Oh, love the artwork with all the cars with lit up tubes hanging all over. That looks amazing. I’d love to see that in person. Take it easy Dennis.

  11. KeatonBearsDeadMk

    Not sure that was a limerick. It was surely a Lep. Heres wishing you a great weekend! I’ll be writing. What an awful thing art.

    Here’s some blog stuff, Keatons Blog

  12. Corey Heiferman

    Julie, thank you so much! Everything was new to me and almost everything blew my mind. Feels like a rabbit hole with a lot more to explore when I find time. Please do this again soon and let us know next time you curate a show in real life. I’ve never been to Denmark but it’s not a hard sell at all.

    Dennis, glad you enjoyed Peppy and the Slavic music. Steve, thanks for the rec.

    The Jewish carnival holiday of Purim is upon us. I’ve already celebrated at an extremely geeky office party (it’s a test prep company, what do you expect…) but the celebration I’m actually looking forward to is a drag show. My short to medium term life goal is to get my shit together enough to be in a position to make a strong movie pitch to these queens (to be clear I’ve never spoken with them and had nothing to do with making this video):

    My new YouTube obsession is NASA videos made for insiders who were actually involved in the projects. Here’s a series on Project Gemini, which is starting to interest me even more than Mercury and Apollo:

    In other news Caleb Gray’s band dropped an album. I don’t have much of an ear for metal but I think it’s good even disregarding the salacious angle Plus he’s half responsible for the lyrics which are not in terza rima or whatever the fuck he was going for in that god awful poem:

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