Saturday, February 23, 2008

Raise the Rent, eh? We'll Raise the Roof.

Man, I had hoped to go to Dallas yesterday. Me and Maria Elena were going to stop by the CAA conference at the Adam's Mark and sweet talk our way in with fake press passes then hop down the street to the Dallas Public Library and upload videos and blog shit about their "Can Anyone Be a Critic? The Collision between Traditional Criticism and Blogging" panel. I don't know what the appropriate response would have been- singing Imagine or I Wanna Be Sedated.

The Imagine response would go something like "Wouldn't it be great if there weren't any art critics so we could all talk and what we said would be critically relevant?" Sadly there are art critics, and we are all second string to the men who wield the swords and pull the strings.

Without possessions- art's objecthood question- then what are we calling art? The only reference would be tribal societies, where there is no separate concept of art, it is part of the rest of our lives. What is a critic then? A bullshitter or a peer who has the right to say something about your method and materials. You've got to stick up for yourself then- it's a confidence game. A con man and a mark. Who gets one over first?

The I Wanna Be Sedated response would be "Fuck it, artists are artists and you critics can't tell us who is one or isn't anymore." All the air spent on the artworld scam of exploiting artists' work for rich patrons' gain is fake-ass shit 'cause it's just Warhol's "business art". He wasn't saying that this was a new concept, just that he wanted to lift the veil on the others who are making art in their own lives, hustlin' and dealin', making a living. We couldn't have our current concept of art without the business, so lets just let hustlin' be part of art. All the writers and bloggers are doing is the same thing as the drawers and the painters- not to mention the curators and patrons- making a living. And that is art.

Please let me know how it went if you were there- I hope someone made a loud disturbance during such a production of Much Ado About Nothing. Who was a Hero? Maybe it was more like Dorian Gray. Be careful what you wish for.

Anyway it would have been nice to have met Tyler "Sticky-Icky" Green, the boss hog on the panel, and wandered the Deep Ellum gallery walk last night.

Instead of heading for the balmy shores of DFW I stayed home and did some work on a big paper project and devoted the rainy afternoon to spending god-awful amounts of money at

In the down time I stopped by McClain Gallery and saw Ann-Marie and Kelli Vance. I totally insulted Ann-Marie, I'm such a douche. Aaron Parazette's latest 'surfinary' work was a little amped up on high-contrast pin striping that lent a little more Op Art to the proceedings. It was cool to see Aaron in this respectable context, but I wasn't stoned enough to really get stoked on his shit. There was some sweet candy in the back left over from the last show- especially Mel Chin's barbed wire saddle.

Insect Warfare, World Extermination, Sawblade

After another trip to the copy shop I ran over to Sound Exchange for the grindcore scene art exhibit of Ms. Rosa and Sawblade. It was metal. Cooler full of Lone Star on the floor and photos and ink drawings tacked up wherever there was room. Sawblade has been doing the gore and guts fliers for Houston bands for the last fifteen years, and his Iron Maiden/Slayer style drawings were fucking refreshing. Ms. Rosa's photos from Super Happy Fun Land and Southmore House were so vital 'cause Gulf Coast grindcore is it's own seething mass of bloodied and vicious kids without a public face.

Then I stopped for pizza and wings at Texas Pizza. It's cheap, but Texas Pizza kinda sucks.

After they raised the rent on Lucas he threw up a call for an Epic Haus Party- 12 hours notice- and he fucking got it. With fake band names and the simple tagline 'all welcome' the place was packed in an hour. Indian Jewelry spit out a healthy set of electro-fuck dance music in a tiny ass bedroom where we stood on top of the band in the disturbing glow of a point blank strobe light. Steven's Unnamed Band started up without missing a beat, launching into a three-chord riff that made several spliffs spontaneously combust. With a whiskey bottle or three getting passed around like accusations of plagiarism they channeled Black Sabbath and sent Paula into a ball-busting dance swinging her fists and her camera. Grindcore kids riped through a 15-minute set, and then PersephOne proceeded to own the living room with a flow over hip London dubstep, Kanye West beats and Roni Size house. It was sick to see her owning the crowd and a good group of girls owning the pit on the rug.

Perseph One, 2crooked2sleep

There must have been sixty people in the yard when I walked outside. I saw Lawndale resident Danny Kerschen and his filmmaker brother Travis. All the graff kids and Numbers party-goers and DJs and bike messengers and bands and artists and underage girls and photogs and hipsters dressed like Blake Civil-Fielder. One cop stopped in the middle of the road, shoved through the crowd to tell them to politely "turn down the music" and then he left. Guess he had bigger fish to fry. A crew of gutter punk bikers on stripped down matte-black Kawasakis parked in front of the townhouses across the street. Another cop came and left. The keg ran dry. All the furniture was in the front yard covered in bottles and trash and debris. We went to Tapatia for tortas. That shit was sweet.