Wednesday, December 21, 2011

sound in space...



above are images of the backside of a page of original art by vicente alcazar from the 1976 comic mag "space 1999" published by charlton in 1976. the art is from a story called "the infinity mechanism", where the crew manages to kill a robot-alien infiltrator by sending hi-frequencies of sound through the speaker system of the space station.

what is strange and wonderful about the art is that during the proofing of the text, someone cut out the word "sound" and flipped the tiny piece of paper over, so that the letterer could replace the word "sound" with the word "ultrasonic" - which is how the page appears in its published form.

of course i love is this back side, and how the forms of the art-inks bleeding through the paper merge with that solitary word: sound. it is as if the stains and the word were somehow intentionally brought together.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

the bubble has landed!










very excited about my friend jeffrey head's new book from princeton architectural press on the bubble houses of wallace neff - no nails, no wood! jeffrey has been working on this project for a long time, and has put a ton of energy into the book, and it is great to see it realized.

neff's experimental domes, built using his patented "airform construction" process, have been vastly ignored by the modern architecture community, so the book will most certainly be a revelation for those that know only neff's spanish styled mansions. while neff was more known during his lifetime for these traditional home designs - many built for movie stars - the architect believed that he would be remembered more for these experimental dome shaped shelters.

the book is filled with rare archival photographs and a ton of information - both historical and technical; charting the various bubble projects in the usa, as well as worldwide. (and yes, our house pictured, and i wrote a tiny preface.)

it should be in bookstores this weekend.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

the sound of IKB...

VIII. the blue cries of clarles estienne:

in 1957, i made a short 16mm film about my exhibitions of the blue period. i needed a commentary, preferably spoken by an art critic. so i asked charles estienne if he would willingly shout blue cries for the twenty minute duration of the film. the longest and most voluminous blue cries possible, drawing inspiration from the paintings in my studio at rue campagne premiere. this proved to be very successful and i must say that the film will retain the prestigious commentary that charles courageously pronounced with such profound conviction at the time. these are restrained cries, long enough and vigorously sustained (he requested two weeks for practice before the recording). to give an approximate idea of the cries alone: they are somewhat reminiscent of the cries that sailors shout out at regular intervals in order to avoid collisions in dense fog"

yves klein from: overcoming the problematics of art, the writings of yves klein

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Monday, December 05, 2011

this sunday... book signing and performances...

very excited about this event at LACMA's Art Catalgues bookstore with artist stephen prina!

Stephen Prina and Steve Roden at Art Catalogues
Sunday, December 11 | 4 pm

Artists Stephen Prina and Steve Roden join independent curator and writer Laura Fried to discuss the artists' recently published books as well as music, painting, and the potential, process, and principles of translation. Stephen Prina’s multifaceted practice encompasses painting, installation, photography, sound, and film. He has also had an acclaimed career as composer and pop musician. Steve Roden draws on various forms of specific notation—from language to musical scores to maps—and renders them through self-invented systems into new scores, which then take form in his painting, drawing, sculpture, and sound compositions.

The program will begin with a special piano performance by Stephen Prina and a short improvised sound work by Steve Roden.

Free, no reservations; seating is limited

To pre-order books and CDs, please call (323) 857-6587 or email

new web piece

the kind folks at parallelograms invited me to make a work for their site. if you don't know them, they send an artist 5 or 6 images found on the web and the artist then picks one and makes a work responding to the image... the work is then hosted on their site...

i used an image of the disneyland monorail (see above), and here's a bit of text i sent to the parallelogram-ers:

"weirdly, i got in the mail the day after i decided to go with the monorail image, a box of sheet music from a friend who was going to toss it. the first sheet music i saw as i opened the box was "bridge over troubled water" ... so the film is sort of a mash up of the sheet music and some info on the monorail's history from the disneyland site. some of the images are related to the monorail's path based on the photo you sent, and the rest is all cut ups from the sheet music... nice to make something that one cannot make sense of... but i hope it manages to offer a little poetry along the way."

click here

then click on the monorail picture to see/hear the piece

i would highly recommend snooping out the past projects on the site, particularly my friend stephen vitiello's sound piece which is stellar! but there is lots of goodness...


Thursday, December 01, 2011

when trees say goodbye...

in the crazy wild wind of last night, many of the trees here lost large limbs, and some trees were uprooted entirely.

two of the largest branches that fell from the sky landed on the flagstone path, near the front door, and two of the largest that hit the flagstone left marks.

as you can see, these are quite beautiful drawings, certainly not too distant from the japanese calligraphic marks that might've been part of a jisei - japanese death poem, written down or recited in the last minutes before death.

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