Like Falling Asleep in Mid-Sentence

November 2, 2007

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show2.jpg

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Yeah, okay, so.  Kind of abandoned the installation in mid-install.

Why? Well, two reasons.  1) I got frustrated with the whole deal (not just the art but the whole deal) and realized that it looked finished, so fuck it.  2) I got what I needed to get out of it without having to cross/dot Ts and Is or trumpet it to the hills.  Though it was in a public space and people saw it and talked to me about it etc. etc. and the general reaction was thumbs cautiously up, I realized mid-install that the stuff that I was working on figuring out for myself with this way of installing and presenting photographs and mixing various projects together, I had figured out without having to talk my head off about it with other people.  I’m not knocking that approach; I am in art school after all, and my last show last year was the opposite: I needed the back-and-forth badly.  But here, with this, I learned my lessons quickly:

1) Scale matters.  The prints weren’t big enough to convey the weird sweep of what I wanted to show, and there weren’t enough authority-related images to construct a dialogue between social and mechanical control.  Also, small text surrounded by big photos is kind of annoying.

2) Changing horses in midstream is not only okay, but sometimes productive.  Somewhere along the line of doing this, the show stopped being “about” the idea of control and started being about the idea of the mistake.  I even changed the show title from Everything Everywhere All of the Time to I Do Not Understand What It Is I’ve Done Wrong.  (I like long titles.)  This actually snapped the show into focus for me, and is giving me a lot to think about w/r/t control’s relationship to the mistake/glitch/error/flaw.  Instead of ripping Radiohead off for the title, I easily could’ve ripped off Coil and called the show Worship the Glitch.

 3) Pay a little more attention to intuition.  My favorite work in the show ended up being intentional misprints of some photos I took of a cop in Milwaukee in 2005.  The photos were left saturated red, one was pushed out of sync with the negative carrier,  and both were hung upside down.  Something about that fucking-around with an iconic image became representative to me of the show as a whole, and opened up a wide territory for me to wander through.

Then, the next day, a cop uniform I ordered and forgot about ordering arrived in the mail.  I haven’t tried it on yet, but it seems like kismet.  I’m going to keep it even if it doesn’t fit, and take pictures of willing victims in it whether it fits them or not, too.  Worship the glitch.

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