Thursday, September 18, 2008

State Your Purpose

The art world's professional protocol - CVs, statements of purpose, proposals, ETCETERA - are languages, codes, to which one must submit in order to be visible.  If they cannot be avoided, they should be adapted or perverted. 

This is intended as an artist's statement, uncooked cut-up, cycle of aphoristic paragraphs, and possession-conducive litany.

It is to remember that all art is magical in origin – music sculpture writing painting – and by magical I mean intended to produce very definite results.
-William S. Burroughs

Moon-mad wolf-men; beserker in a trance of fury; unholy alliance on the Holy Mountain; Orpheus in pieces; Balder pierced by harmless mistletoe; all of nature weeps; Actaeon transformed into a stag and devoured by his own hunting dogs; a heart dangling from under a hood of ribs and blooming luridly; a secret alphabet written in tangling branches; strayed Wandervogels imagining themselves as Templars and Apaches; ghosts breathing my dreams; hexes against the Living Death Culture Pact …

I am sick of Art Since 1900. I am sick sick sick of the sixties. Think about Comanche, Moche, and Viking warriors. Think about Mictlantecuhtli, Hermes, Loki, Isaiah. Think about divination mirrors and tomb portraits. No more 60s 70s 80s 90s. Think about 200 500 1000 2000 years ago. Think about right now. Think about friends who have died, others who are yet alive but live like zombies. Think about the near impossibility of feeding yourself, buying art supplies and paying off your student loans. Think about the violence and evil we daily perpetrate on each other and ourselves.

The term “fractal” means self-similar at any scale. When you look into a fractal form, you see variations on the overall shape of the set, no matter how much you increase the scale. It seems that the deeper into the image you go, the more there is to see. Everything is connected to everything else in the set. This similarity can also be seen in natural phenomena such as mountains, clouds, and coastlines. It can be seen to occur in the shape of molecules and galaxies. The fractal is fast becoming one of the most powerful metaphors for explaining and understanding the world. Consciousness can be modeled as having a fractal nature. Certainly much of our learning arises in our minds in the same way that a fractal is modeled on a computer screen. The processes of creative thinking constitute one example. We have isolated ideas, and gradually the relationships between ideas and concepts grow, until we suddenly perceive the “shape” of a new idea.
- Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos: An Introduction to Chaos Magic

Tangling branches draw a shattered grid, like graph paper reflected in broken glass. Concentric circles rotate, contours clashing on unmoored orbits. No emotional scale. No control. I learn here the crucial value of defenselessness. The animals assemble. Do they grieve? Is their empathy murderous? Does sorrow whet their appetites? Nine months of risky behavior and self-loathing. No career and no practice.

Author the image, enflesh it, make it present, and then vanish it, eviscerate and pulverize it, rend its visibility. The artist’s work is similar to the low magician’s: appearing, disappearing, and reappearing.

I know dying’s no big deal. I realize it’s tantamount to a nap. But where I live, death’s the end. It’s erasure. It’s so heavy we decide the dead are just invisible and mute. Death’s so bad we’d rather go insane than know that one of us is nonexistent. That’s me. The world I come from is huge and disorganized and no fun, and nothing there makes any of us happy. You’d melt like an ice cube. It’s just constant pain and confusion like you couldn’t imagine.
- Dennis Cooper, God Jr.

… there are reasons stronger than the provisions of any law, inherent in tears, grief, death, blood, in gestures, objects, matter itself …
-Jean Genet, Querelle

A Gathering. A meeting place. The ebb and flow, warp and woof, of the social. The wait and the danger. Something is bound to happen. They are hot on the heels of love. Patience excruciates.

We will rewrite all the wrongs of history. We will kill all the shits before they can be born.
-William S. Burroughs, Port of Saints

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