Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SMOKE STACKS IN PARADISE

though undoubtedly toxic, the view of the billowing industrial stacks from the back of our beach house was quite a beautiful site. we quickly acknowledged the dominant looming landmark. fernandina beach, the first ocean destination over the florida line from georgia is indeed a paradise that lives under the hazy backdrop of an active paper mill.

. . we obsessed over it as it made misty rainbows in the night. a deck table set out front to catch a mere sliver of oceanfront view. . . but, we immediately rolled it to the back porch for romantic dinners under the soft moving volcano of pollution. it puffed over an impressive thicket of wildlife preserve and we toasted to our vacation.

it's funny when people live in paradise. . .I was like many people who hated florida. we were nature lovers, heartbroken to see palm trees, dunes and clear waters compete and lose to commercialism. but I'm happy to report that I had a sort of breakthrough. . .I started to see the paradise again -- through (or despite) the human developments; it's still there--the wonderment of florida--smiling, tolerant and surviving. . . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

CARTERSVILLE PALACES

"palace" is a relative term. . .

just the other day, I discovered a personal note (from myself) in a book. following some kind of new age whim, I had listed my heart's desires in red marker on a small slip of paper. maybe I did that over a year ago: my long term relationship having recently disappeared, I was marooned in feelings of abandonment and loss. . . it was a good exercise: to wish upon new things and then let it go.

so, the note reappeared by accident. (actually, someone else found it. . .he said he didn't read it. . .)

the re-read was not too embarrassing--not as bad as re-reading journals from junior high. . .I list the usual desire for love and travel and artmaking. . .but at the bottom of the list, I add something rather curious :
"to live in a palace : )"

so, this new friend (the one who found the note) invited me to Cartersville on a real estate adventure this past weekend, where I got to walk through just such an empty suburban palace on a very sunny day.

(I thought it was an interesting synchronicity)

here are the pictures:



the bones of the old farmland shined through the suburban complex, now aging comfortably without the pressure of imminent development.

pools, grandiose sheds, comfortable lounging porches, generous windows over master bedroom tubs, Palladian grand entrances that lead through the house and out to unused fields. here, was a picture of how the crash intervened to create a modified country setting. no doubt, the neighbors live in their own private palaces, in a sort of quiet paradise, . . . which I found oddly appealing.

on the way home, large lots cleared for subdivisions now blossom with new pines and fluffy native aster. someone flew a remote-control toy plane over another field just as we drove out in the late afternoon sun. it flipped and turned with incredible precision. it dashed straight up into the sky until gravity got the best of it and pulled it back down to earth.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

REAL ESTATE SIGN / REDONE!

I like to play with the property around my house. some of it is mine, and some of it is not. I live in a very public place. I try to make it entertaining and also call into question the meaning of public and private space. my friend stan woodard is running for president. . .well, not really. he has made an art opera where he acts as if he is running for president. he left me a campaign sign, which I was happy to put up at my corner of the world. one day, a real estate agent placed an open house sign with a lovely blue balloon attached to it. I couldn't resist and spray painted it into an artwork. . . of course, this kind of opens up a whole new body of work. . .we'll see where it goes. perhaps in the future, instead of playing with text, I can just use the signs, vinyl starbursts and balloons and make them into colorful displays. it would be interesting how they would feel without the words to sell the product. . .

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TRACKING XMASS TREES 2011





I arrived at _______ (a big box store which will remain anonymous) in time to see a large portion of their garden department empty. blank isles were lined with curious cement block pyramids ready for the 2011 shipment of Xmass trees. . .my timing was perfect to document one season of our most conspicuous consumer symbols -- the Xmass trees. They arrive in mass to the market and then disappear. we create whole temporary forests growing in parking lots, which we ritualistically tear down, only to have crop up again next year.





for a few januaries in a row, I noticed a mountain of dried up Xmass trees piling up behind _____ (a different big box store which will remain anonymous). I made a note of this--wanting to document it some day. we live through this incredible annual public process of cutting, marketing, selling, bringing into our homes, and then throwing away "evergreen" trees. given a new context of greater Earth awareness (weather change, earthquakes, volcanoes, deforestation, ozone depletion, etc, etc. . . ) this major american tradition reveals some important aspects of how our relationship with nature is f-cked up. perhaps this is a tradition that needs to be secularized and twisted into an act which upholds society's new respect for trees, plants & forests . . . instead of repeating a blind ritual which unconsciously instills the disappearance of our beloved natural environment. ( yes, it's an outrageously idealistic proposal. . .but not entirely impossible )





Saturday, November 26, 2011

END OF "THE MEADOW"









for two years I have tended a meadow in the empty lot next to my house. I do not own this property, but have been making art there for three years. In reaction to some intolerance towards public art in my neighborhood, I built a custom billboard which which was a nice companion piece to the wild garden. I live on a very public corner of Atlanta. It's a long saga click here if you want to investigate more about the artworks I created here.

alas, a few weeks ago, the property owner showed up with a bobcat and tore down the meadow and the billboard. then sprinkled cement dust on the surface to make a parking lot.

I knew that I was playing with space temporarily and was almost relieved not to have to go through the trouble of a total deinstall. but I wanted to find a way to keep people from actually parking in this space. After some consideration of a series of potential low-impact responses, my friend Crytal and I created a walking labyrinth in the space.

not sure how to maintain it or it I do, is that being too agressive with private property? but the idea of creating surface graphics over unused blocks of property is an idea with a lot of potential. Imagine finding a way to use parking lots as places to walk and contemplate when not filled up with cars. . .

Monday, March 14, 2011

Online curation:
THE NATURE OF NEON, the neon of nature

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Is there nothing less corruptible--or more delicious-- than a flower, a rainbow or a butterfly? Our sense of beauty is rooted in nature.

But our innate attraction to the brief ecstatic colors that only momentarily exist in the real world is reproduced and sustained artificially in order to sell things. As we thirst for color and hope, the advertising industry confuses us. Like lost hummingbirds, we vulnerably respond to ads and signage that glow all night like flowers.

1. Jennifer Steincamp, "Cornering" 2. Daniel Gordon, " July 27" 3. Daniel Gordon, " July 21" 4. Christos Dikeako, "Rhodeodendrons" 5. Mark Borthwick 6. Greg Rose (two images: "Arcadia" & "Promenade") 7. screen pic from the movie "Liquid Sky" (1983) 8. Kevin Schmidt, "Johnson Lake" 9 & 10. Project Eden (a tourist destination in England)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DEATH & OCTOBER
online curation

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1. Sanne Sannes, 60s vintage photograph 2. David Hominal 3. ?? 4. ?? 5. Sanithna Phansavanh "cross water to lose a ghost," graphite on paper 6. Dacula, GA (1915) 7. Public Ad Campaign, "video tape" 8. indian mound/railroad (1876), Macon-GA 9. ??

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

THE URBAN OUTSIDE

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1.Maplewood Mudflat, a notorious Vancouver squat photographed by Tom Burroughs * note--an artist movement emerged here, responding to the suburbanization of the city in the 70s . 2. pothole planting in Mexico (an act of guerilla gardening) 3. Stephen Shore, U.S. 97, South of Klamath Falls, Oregon, July 21, 1973, 2002 4. Thomas Glassford 5. Agnes Denes, Wheatfield, A Confrontation 1982. 6. Momo (street art) 7. ?? 8. Cristina Lucas 9. Agnes Denes, Forest 10. Arte Sella sculpture park, in an Alpine valley high above Borgo Valsugana, Italy.