Wednesday, March 28, 2012

when one dreams of the maker of napkin holders

last year, i woke up on january 1st in the midst of a dream, and this was what i remembered:

"i was standing in a small museum, reading a label on a concrete wall next to a window. the label looked temporary and said "this situation held a score by marriane brandt that has blown away". i then looked out the window to see a piece of paper floating in the wind. the entirety of the dream was silent."

i'm not certain of how or why marianne brandt's name entered my dream world, but i have been an enormous fan of her designs for years. she was a student of moholy-nagy, and her objects tend to straddle the divide between organic and machine influenced design - or perhaps it would be better to say that her machine influenced designs were never quite industrial enough to erase the human elements in the work.

my favorite of her designs were the napkin holders, which suggest she was minimalist who was still willing to pull out all the permutational stops. the images above, a few things found on the web.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

when failure is an important option...

great advice from one of my childhood heroes, maury wills, in today's la times in the midst of an article about the dodgers' speedy shortstop dee gordon, whom wills is mentoring. what made me exceedingly happy is that wills' words are very much aligned with what i consistently preach to students in relation to trying to move beyond what you know - regardless of whether you are stealing bases or making a painting, you have to be willing to fail:

"when i teach baserunning, i encourage players to make mistakes. you have to make mistakes to learn. a man who doesn't make any mistakes is a man who isn't doing anything."

Labels: ,

Friday, March 23, 2012

when the world is sound...



“to me the world is sound. sound penetrates me, linking me to the world. i give sounds active meaning. by doing this i am assured of being in the sounds, becoming one with them. to me this is the greatest reality. it is not that i shape anything, but rather that i desire to merge with the world.” (and especially to merge with the cats on the wall)

toru takemitsu, confronting silence.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

what goes around and returns...

updating my website and re-entering content, i'm trying to include documentation and track notes on every release of my soundwork - solo projects, collaborations, and compilations (it should all be up in a month or so).

in the re-discovery of my very first release - a cassette from 1990 with a small xeroxed booklet, i found this quote by rilke that, at the time, felt very relevant to my own concerns:

"the nearer one approaches pure art, the more purpose falls away from the thing, until it stands there alone, to fulfill itself."

even though this was 22 years ago, i can't imagine a quote resonating any stronger in relation to my current concerns. now the question becomes how much longer until i am bale to get through the front door...


Thursday, March 15, 2012

modern art notes... podcast...

last week i did a phone interview with tyler green for modern art notes - i also created a piece of sound for his modern art podcasts... it is hardly a theme song, but a quite nice bit of rodensound! you can hear it, as well as tyler's interview with mark bradford, and the interview with me, available at the modern art notes website, as well as free through itunes...


Monday, March 12, 2012

serious deja' vu...

yesterday's LA times had an article about mike kelley, specifically his influence as a teacher, interviewing a few former students. what was strange and amazing, was to open the paper and to discover that the photograph was taken during my first graduate review in 1989.

yes, the paintings on the walls are some of my earliest grad student works; yes, that piece of paper on the empty stool was one of my first statements on my work; and yes, i remember the moment and getting my butt kicked!

from left to right: lawrence dreiband, richard hertz, sabina ott, stephen prina, mike kelley and jeremy gilbert rolfe. i remember the photographer being there for the review and how distracting it was. (i remember the photos were taken for an art center recruiting catalog, and the one they used in the catalog had me in it, so i am grateful to the times for not reprinting that one!)

if you didn't see it before, here's a link to a piece i wrote about being one of mike's students.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

one more new cd...

happy to announce the release of another CD (i'm trying to make up for the 3 year gap between solo recordings...). berlin fields is available on the 3 leaves label. it is entirely made up of field recordings, unaltered in terms of post production, but several of the recordings include subtle "performances", responses to the landscape using small objects, instruments, etc. it is the first thing i've ever released without layering sound or working with pedals and/or processing. all of the recordings were made in october while i was researching walter benjamin's archives in berlin (as well as during short trips to helsinki and paris). it is one of the most intimate recordings i've released, as it follows much of the places i visited, and attempts to explore a less encumbered approach. you can hear a sample here, and please go to the 3 leaves site to read helen frosi of sound fjord's wonderful text about the piece. (and yes... more in the pipeline...)