DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Kill

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Alias Kill All Artists, 2019
‘Every piece will be delivered with one pair of protective gloves made out of cotton and a certificate of authenticity singed by the artist and gallery owner. The certificate ensures originality and limitation of the series. Artworks will be unframed.’

 

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Sturtevant Kill (wallpaper), 2003
‘Sturtevant’s repetitions of Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’ against her ‘Kill’ wallpaper (based on the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill, 2003).’

 

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Chenchenchen The Mercy of Not Killing 2.0, 2018
‘In The Mercy of Not Killing 2.0, an unsettling performance piece by 30-year-old Chinese conceptual artist Chenchenchen (CCC), 10 construction workers hang by their hands from a 111-foot-tall tower in the Chinese city of Wuxi. The workers wriggle and shift desperately as they try to maintain their grip and keep from plummeting—presumably—to their death. In a video of this performance, captured by drone, as a camera hovers above the dangling men, we see that they are actually connected by rope. Thus, if one person falls, they all fall.’

 

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Tim Silver Untitled (Oneirophrenia), 2015-2016
‘silver’s ‘oneirophrenia’ series is made from atypical sculptural materials that resist immutability and instead strive towards mutation and modification. for this body of work, the artist has filled busts with raw bread dough which, as it rises, breaks through the figures’ plaster skin.’

 

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Uwe Lausen Kill the colour, 1967
‘In only nine years of art production, autodidact Uwe Lausen created a provocative and stylistically hybrid body of paintings that translate the tensions and contradictions inherent in postwar Germany. From 1960, in reaction to the middle-class milieu where he grew up and the socio-political context of West Germany, Lausen developed a personal vocabulary. His exploration of the human figure is haunted by the cohabitation of younger and older generations, the latter held responsible for Third Reich politics. His paintings conflate many influences, from Francis Bacon to British pop artists Peter Blake and Allen Jones. Close to the SPUR group of artists based in Munich, Lausen lived in Hans-Peter Zimmer’s studio and met the revolutionary Situationist International group in Paris in 1961, taking part in their activities until his eviction in 1965. In an effort to reflect on and extract from the socio-cultural and political establishment of his time, Lausen created a singular pictorial language marked by his resolutely rebellious character and experimentation with drugs.’

 

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Carsten Höller Killing Children III (Kinderfalle), 1993
‘Höller came to fame in 1990-93 with an exhibition of devices for catching and killing children; one, for instance, was a swing fixed to the roof edge of a high-rise building. Was he really such a paedophobe? ‘Well, now I have a daughter I’ve changed my mind! I never hated children, but I hated the idea of making children, the whole reproductive process. There’s no freedom if you cannot get rid of the biological machinery that makes us decide to do this thing and not that thing. I thought very much about how you could break that chain. I was determined and convinced that I would not have children.’

 

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Joseph Delappe Elegy: GTA USA Gun Homicides, 2018
‘Joseph Delappe’s new project – developed in collaboration with Albert Elwin (coding) and James Wood (consultant), Elegy: GTA USA Gun Homicides, is a self-playing version of Grand Theft Auto V that – starting each midnight CST (Central Standard Time) – reenacts/ recounts/ represents the entire body count to date from January 1st 2018 in-game. In other words, the project visualizes real life gun-related homicides in the United States of America though the filter of a video game. (As NRA fanatics love to say, “Guns don’t kill people, video games do.”) Each daily update represents – in a graphic, literal way – the body count reported by a gun violence website. The next day, the program scrapes the new data and starts again, in a perverse Groundhog Day-sort of way, while “God Bless America” – both the original version by Irving Berlin (1918) as well as Kate Smith’s iteration (1938) – plays in the background.’

 

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Hema Upadhyay Killing Site, 2008
‘Baroda born and Mumbai based Hema Upadhyay uses photography and sculptural installations to explore notions of personal identity, dislocation, nostalgia and gender. Upadhyay’s work Killing Site draws on the theme of migration and human displacement across Asia. The top of the work is based on Mumbai’s dilapidated shanty towns, here appearing upside down and protruding out like a canopy over Upadhyay’s decorated montage.’

 

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littlewhitehead It All Depends On One’s Fantasies As A Child, 2008
Sculpture, Plaster, wax, foam, hair, clothes, binbags, rubbish

 

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Nicholas Galanin Inert, 2009
‘By combining two pre-taxidermied wolves into one, artist Nicholas Galanin has created a startling piece. Called Inert, it was made for a traveling group exhibition that deals with humanity’s impact on the environment. “The inability to progress or move forward was the basic concept,” he tells us. “It was created so that we could focus on those that are “affected by societies’ sprawl. Inert deserves to be seen in person; it generates a strong emotional response, viewers have cried.“’

 

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Walter Richard Sickert L’Affaire de Camden Town, 1909
‘It is said that we are a great literary nation but we really don’t care about literature, we like films and we like a good murder. If there is not a murder about every day they put one in. They have put in every murder which has occurred during the past ten years again, even the Camden Town murder. Not that I am against that because I once painted a whole series about the Camden Town murder, and after all murder is as good a subject as any other.’ — Walter Sickert

 

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Mark Flood Various, 2012
‘Many significant events took place in the United States in 1992. Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison, Jay Leno took over as the host of The Tonight Show, Southern California bore the brunt of many major earthquakes, and hurricanes hit the tropics of Hawaii and Florida. Additionally, Bill Clinton defeated incumbent George Bush in the presidential election, breaking a 12-year Republican grip on the White House. Just a few months before the election, protesters flooded the Republican National Conven- tion, brandishing signs of protest. Among them was Mark Flood, supplying the crowd with signs of his own making.’

 

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Stine Marie Jacobsen Do you have time to kill me today?, 2007
‘An important aspect of Stine Marie Jacobsen’s artistic praxis is challenging the stereotypical behavior of female and male actors. In the video Do you have time to kill me today? shot in L.A., the artist acts the part of a blonde driver who is constantly attacked by an elderly man (in reality her neighbor) from the backseat. However she is oblivious to his – clearly staged – attempts to cut her throat. She keeps driving and the fake blood just drips down her throat.’

 

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Jon Sasaki Improvised Travel Adapters, 2018 ->
Improvised Travel Adapters documents an ongoing series of temporary sculptures comprised of repurposed objects, jury-rigged to serve as adapters for international electric sockets. Well-intentioned warnings placed in hotel rooms urging travellers to avoid using multiple devices at once are scorned as Sasaki engineers travel adapters by jamming safety pins, paper clips, or nail files between a plug and a socket. Through this flirtation with failure – and possible fatal electric shock – Sasaki evokes the disorientation of arriving somewhere new and being confronted with the need to improvise and make do, heightened by our intense dependence on electronic devices.’

 

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Eugenio Merino For the Love of Gold, 2009
‘A statue of British artist Damien Hirst pointing a gun at his head has caused a stir at the 28th Madrid International Contemporary Art Fair, known as ARCO. Sculptor Eugenio Merino’s piece puts Hirst in a suicidal pose with blood pouring from a bullet wound to his head. It was unveiled at ARCO’s launch over the weekend. “If he killed himself, then the value of his art would increase a lot.” Called For the Love of Gold, the work of parody was produced over a two-month period and refers to Hirst’s For the Love of God — a diamond-encrusted platinum skull that was reportedly sold in the summer of 2007 for more than $100 million to a group of investors. The life-size silicone sculpture uses real human hair and glass eyes. Hirst is posed on his knees with a Colt 45 in his right hand pressed against his temple wearing a skull T-shirt.’

 

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Forensic Architecture The Killing of Mark Duggan, 2020
‘On 4 August 2011, Mark Duggan was shot to death by police in Tottenham, north London, after undercover officers forced the minicab in which he was travelling to pull over.

‘As the vehicle came to a stop, Duggan opened the rear door, and leapt out. Within seconds, an advancing officer known only by his codename, V53, had fired twice. The first shot passed through Duggan’s arm, and struck a second officer, known as W42, in his underarm radio. The second, fatal shot hit Duggan in his chest.

‘V53 would later tell investigators that he saw a gun in Duggan’s hand, and felt his life to be in danger. Duggan was being monitored by Operation Trident, a controversial unit of the Metropolitan Police focused on gun crime in London’s Black communities; firearms officers had followed him from a nearby meeting, at which he had reportedly collected a gun. But following the shooting, the gun in question was found around seven metres away from where Duggan had been shot, on a nearby patch of grass. But no officers reported that they saw Duggan throw the gun, or make any kind of throwing motion.’

 

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Alexander Mir Various, 1988 – 1997
‘In research for the show at the Mary Boone gallery in September-October 2007, three assistants and myself spent months in the NYC Public Library copying 10,000 covers of two tabloids – the outcome of their combined cover stories of 15 years. From these, I selected around 200 that were particularly poignant, or which formed an ongoing narrative, but most importantly, that made me smile with recognition.’ — AM

 

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Jake Francis Chum, 2019
‘Yes he’s real, and no I didn’t kill him…stop asking.’

 

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John Wayne Gacy Sex Skull, 1980
‘John Wayne Gacy used to dress up as pogo the clown and work at fund-raising events, hospitals and kids birthdays. Ted Bundy would seduce women with his charisma and charm or Dennis Rader, also known as BTK, who was the president of the congregation council of his church and a cub scout leader. Many forms of art are inspired by the infamous serial killers of history, depicting an extreme way of life only understandable by the actual killers themselves. After exploring these sociopaths and trying to understand the way they think, makes the art they make themselves- art that comes from a mind of a certain thinking pattern, or a lack of emotion- much more intriguing and fascinating. Gacy after being arrested and charged with 33 murders and was sentenced to death. While he was in prison he started painting as a hobby and later for a way of income. Many people bought the paintings who are interested in his life or horrified by what he had done, also many people bought the paintings only to destroy them.’

 

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Biquini Wax Orca, 2019
‘Using the 1993 ‘Free Willy’ film which starred an orca whale, known in Mexico as Keiko, the name of the real whale, they look back to try to grasp what underlies issues that Mexico and the US face today. Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba, a member of the Biquini Wax Collective says that in Willy-Keiko’s fate they saw a mirror of the Mexican economy. “After it was liberalised, it couldn’t survive”.’

 

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Unknown Slave Killer Club, mid-19th century
‘Also referred to as a war club, the head is a large elongated rectangular stone that is inserted into a carved wooden handle. The handle has three faces, one on the top and the second and third on either side of the ax head. These faces have three rows of hair in small “ponytails” protruding from the ridge above the eyebrows. One of the hair “ponytails” has been cut off, leaving a stump of frayed hair sticking up on the proper left top side of the face. The underside of the handle has a carved seal and midway along the handle is a filled break. The club is painted black with white and red accents. There are inlayed areas of abalone shell around the base of the handle, the sides of the head, and in the eyes and teeth of the faces.’

 

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Cady Noland Oozewald, 1989
‘Take Lee Harvey Oswald. In Oozewald, Noland transforms his image—that photo in which Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby’s fatal gunshots find their target—into a larger-than-life silkscreen printed on an aluminum sheet held upright by a metal stand; the portrait bears eight large holes, an American flag stuffed in Oswald’s grimace, the expression by which we best know him.’

 

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Krzysztof Wodiczko Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection, 2012
‘For thirty two days, voices of veterans of the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars animated a bronze commemorative statue of Abraham Lincoln that has stood silently in Union Square Park since 1870. The memories and feelings of ordinary Americans spoke through Lincoln as part of an outdoor public art installation by Krzysztof Wodiczko, an artist renowned for his large-scale light projections on architectural facades and monuments.’

 

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Luis Jiménez Mustang, 2006

 

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Bai Yiluo Civilization, 2007
‘Made from terracotta, classical busts pose as emperors and slaves, pierced through and defined by agricultural tools, a life force and bane.’

 

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Bjarne Melgaard Kill Me Before I Do It Myself, 2001
Installation with 5 sculptures in cold cast bronze. Height 122, 113, 100, 92 and 45 cm. 4 watercolours on paper 76 x 56 cm each, signed Melgaard and dated 2001. Boxes, plastic needles, string with glass bottle, jewellry etc. Live performance by Frost.

 

 

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p.s. Hey. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. Yeah, well, until the vaccine makes the rounds it’s all just a big experiment to try to trounce this thing, and there are only so many things one can do, and quarantine/lockdown is the only really big weapon that seems to be available, and just going for it and not pussy-footing around has logic on its side. We’ll find out tomorrow. I kind of look forward to the IDGAF part or rather  I’m wondering if a GAF guy like me will get there, and I’m thinking … not. I hope Friday works out on the appointment, or I hope she has a delicious dick. ** David Ehrenstein, Yes, I had thought you might know them. But I understand that, even back then, the experimental film and video worlds were strangely separate. ** Damien Ark, Thank you, bud. ** _Black_Acrylic, I’m very happy their work intrigued you. Yes, assembling that post from what there is re: them turned out to be a lot of work. ** Brendan, That prejudice you speak of is quite bizarre. But, yes, I have hardcore film buff types who look down their noses at video art. Dumb. Well, I would absolutely love to have a ‘Safer at Home’ post, man. Killer. You can go ahead and curate it on your own, if you want, but I’m happy to weigh in if you need me to. Thanks a lot! That’ll be beautiful. So sorry about the nutsiness. Deeply understandable. My mind is still slightly above water for some weird reason. Love, me. ** wolf, Roar! I do always think of you when I do the Buche post. You and it are like soup and sandwich. I increasingly think the Gazette pot one is the one, if it’s not already sold out. But yes, the Herme is not only vegan but not at all bad looking. I still don’t get the general love for the Cyclops one. I still think it looks too much like one of those party cakes you see shrink-wrapped and on sale in supermarkets. The fox one winning your mental pageant is not even the slightest surprise, ha ha. They are less imaginative this year, you are correct. I think, yeah, the pandemic thing crunched the chefs’ ambitions even though it seems like it would have had the opposite effect given that most of them have had little else to do for most of this year than design their Buches. I’m good, yeah, not bad. Zac and I and our friend Sabrina got to go inside the soon-to-open Pinault Foundation, the new art museum inside the old Bourse de Commerce. Here. Man, it’s gonna be pretty great. We’re going to do a big presentation/talk about haunted house attractions there in March, so we got a tour. That was nice. I don’t know that Gregory Bateson book, but I will now educate myself, thanks! Totally: that nothing better you describe. Totally the best. Love from here to there, majority for you. ** Steve Erickson, We don’t even have outdoor dining, just take away, and even the might get taken away from us very soon. Bleah. Happy the images attracted you, and agreed. And, yes, RIP Harold Budd. He did some very beautiful work. Thanks for the Wilson link. I’ll check it out. And of course for the Julien Temple one. Everyone, Mr. Erickson has interviewed Julien Temple, director of such r&r classic docs as ‘The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle’, ‘The Filth and the Fury’, and ‘The Future Is Unwritten’ about his new one ‘Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan’ right here. ** Bill, My pleasure, Bill. I think that whatever tightening we get, acquiring Buches will remain on the agenda by, yes, pick up or delivery. Enjoy your acquisition! ** Bzzt, Hi. Ever since I figured out that confusion is truth years ago, I’ve felt much more at peace with everything, so I hope it has a similar effect on you. It just makes sense. And it’s a nice antidote to the often poisoning effects of one’s ego. Or I think so. Just remember grad school applying and acceptances/rejections are subject to political forces that do not in fact take your worthiness into account unless you’re really lucky. I feel pretty sure you’ll get an excellent bite. My week isn’t too shabby under the circumstances so far. I’ll cheerlead yours if you cheerlead mine. Curious what you think of ‘Castle Faggot’, natch. ** Right. I feel pretty certain that today’s post is self-explanatory, so I’ll leave you to it, and I will see you tomorrow.

10 Comments

  1. Hey d, neat post today. Kill me before I do it myself, the fifth picture down looks like the actor from The Loved One (screenplay by Terry Southern).
    This post reminds me of the woodland critter Christmas special episode of South Park. It’s a classic that involves summoning the antichrist and blood orgies! It’s my kind of Christmas content and I look forward to watching it with my wife. I know yr not a big tv guy but if yr looking for some Christmas lols it’s a good one.
    Love love love from Canada – Ian

  2. lol should follow this post with nothing but depressive suicidal black metal

  3. Dennis,

    Are the autoerotic asphyxiation photographs real?

    Regarding your question from the previous day, yes Damien and I share an imprint, Expat Press. Here is a recent profile of the publisher, Manuel Marrero (who happens to be a massive Dennis Cooper fan, btw)

    https://litreactor.com/interviews/manuel-marerro-on-expat-press-and-pushing-the-indie-envelope

    I hope you are doing extremely well today, Dennis

    Love,
    James

  4. Great show today, especially loving the Sturtevant here.

    John Wayne Gacy maybe not so much, though. I did once think John Waters was a collector but no, says he’s not a fan.

    Was happy to receive this 7″ in the post today with a nice cover. Group Space Maker – Septentrio will be broadcast on next week’s episodee of Play Therapy at Tak Tent Radio!

  5. Another lovely gallery today, Dennis, obviously a near and dear theme to me. The Galanin wolves are particularly attractive, and those travel adapters give me the heebee jeebies.

    And after decades, my favorite Al Columbia comics are finally reprinted in a nice edition from Hollow Press, in case you’re a fan:
    https://hollow-press.net/collections/al-columbia/products/the-biologic-show

    Bill

  6. Good to be back. I have a lot of posts to catch up on. In this post liked the skull-breaking bread, the throat-slitting neighbor, and the improvised electric adapters the best. I’m totally out of the loop with video games, was astonished by the level of detail in GTA.

    I was a very violent little kid. I once infamously chased littler kids around the playground shouting “Kill the babies! churn them into baby butter!” Once I learned to read I started to calm down a bit.

    Still with my folks. Sister and her boyfriend went home. It’s very difficult here. Dad’s deteriorating and in pain, definitely terminally ill but the doctors can’t give any specific prognosis or do much for his quality of life.

    I’ve been getting some results from my job search. Got an offer from an OK company, a notch better than my old company, and am doing a second-round interview with an outstanding company tomorrow. Echoing what you said to Bzzt, the application process can be so disorienting, not just because there’s lots of rejection involved but also because it’s so unpredictable.

    Since I last commented here I’ve become a graphomaniac. I’ve written 92,000 words in the past few weeks. I write just whatever comes to mind and care mostly about speed. I have a super supportive friend I send to every time I finish another 10,000 words. The graphomania is starting to coalesce around some science and sci-fi topics that I’d like to weave together into a guest post.

    I hope you and your friends enjoy that new art gallery. Paris is very high on my post-pandemic travel list. Peace out.

  7. ‘Sup Sunny D!

    This post has got to be one of my all time favorites I’ve seen on this blog, for reals. Some pretty political stuff here–the pitchfork busts were great and “Biquini Wax”—wow, so sad and so true, whales & Mexico can’t/didn’t survive Liberalism (who does?). And ‘Willy’ is surely a slave name given to that poor animal by the Liberal human oppressors– it’s not Willy, it’s ‘Whale X’ motherfuckers!

    I was just talking about art and revolution this morning in my anarchism class and whether or not art itself “kills” the possibility of revolution, as Zerzan pretty powerfully argues. Is the kind of art civilization produces always inherently conservative no matter what it’s trying to say/represent? Is it merely a steam valve that makes us feel a bunch of things but ultimately prevents us from doing the real work of revolution?
    Art has definitely changed my life in profound ways and it has helped me think more clearly about all sorts of things, and I know art can save individual lives even, but I’m not sure if art has ever directly caused me to act in a revolutionary way—and the art I create myself isn’t revolutionary. When I think about what has made me actually *do* social justice it’s always been non-fiction or contact with inspirational people, not art.
    This has led me to be curious about other people’s experiences regarding revolutionary action and art–how about everyone else here? What specific works of art led any of you out there to commit direct acts of social justice? I’m genuinely interested to know! I honestly don’t aesthetically enjoy purely social justice-y stuff such as the Theatre of the Oppressed (even though Julian Beck’s book “The Life of the Theatre” is one of my favorite non-fiction works of all time and he was 100% all about slamming any art that wasn’t done “in the streets”), and even if I did does it actually “work”?

    At any rate, I don’t know if I’m convinced 100% by Zerzan’s anti-art argument but I’m grateful for his cynicism because it pushes me beyond my comfort zone. I don’t want him to be right, but right now I’m not coming up with very good counterarguments other than “uh, da fuh u talking shit about art, Zerzan? Come at me bro!”

    Ok so this comment is long but fuck it—I got two more things:

    1: I teach at Stateville prison for the folks in protective custody, which means I don’t teach in the regular schoolhouse but rather a building known as “X house.” Several years ago one of my students told me that our classroom was actually the former viewing room for executions. I didn’t believe him until he asked a guard to unlock the other door in the room —I walk in and there is a tiny room with a black rectangle on the floor where the electric chair used to be. Yadda yadda yadda– why do I bring this up? Because Gacy was executed at Stateville (not by electric chair of course, but in that room). That same student was cell mates with Gacy when he got moved from Menard and of course I asked him what Gacy was like. The verdict? “Mostly chill but kind of creepy” and then he gives me that side eye like, he knows that I know that white guys be crazy.

    2. I read castle faggot a week ago and the only name in the book, other than Derek’s, that is not turned into a pun/joke (if I remember correctly!) is John Dee (who Derek sort of becomes which probably means something). Derek, if you’re lurking, is there any reason why this is the case? I tried to think of why Dee’s name is in the book at all—Dee was asked to help produce magic effects for the theatre I know…that’s all I could come up with. Or he’s a magician and so is Derek/Dee in the book?? Hey Derek, here’s some tea– spill it.

    Later Gator,
    Danielle: Meijer twin numero dos

    • ahhhhh i take it back–koja’s “strange angels” made me get into psychology to help create state better, free programs for people with schizophrenia when I was 12 yrs old and while that’s not what I do now, it motivated me pretty strongly for ten whole years and I did get those degrees…so yeah, art made me want to help people got ok cool nevermind. 😉

  8. I bet there is less of an anti-video art bias in art schools now. I was kind of at the end of reign of film in 2000. I love film and I loved working with it, but it hated that video was seen as less than rather than just a different medium. Lots of talk of sprockets and inky blacks and what-have-you.

    I love it! I’ll put together a post for you. I have a ton of images.

    B

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