Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

colin meloy & carson ellis

colin meloy (singer of the decemberists) is putting out a bunch of books for little kids.  they are being illustrated by carson ellis.

Amelia Beamish

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

bo streeter

bo's website

takun williams

adam ciresi

adams blog

photos by robert pizzolato

10 most overrated artists

ten artists with too much hype

jordan silver

Art as Signifier to the Values of Society:
The Aesthetic Theory of Walter Benjamin
By: Jordan Silver

The significance of an art in the age of mechanical reproduction is many fold. This art necessarily comes to divest itself from both its historical ritualistic function and its aura of individuality, the consequence of which is that the value of art as such is no longer intrinsic to its authenticity. The spectator no longer needs to behold art in external transcendental awe in order to comprehend it. Rather, now divested from its conventional functionality as subject of reverie, art can be objectively distanced from the spectator, and thus be criticized more readily. Now beheld by the removed critical gaze of the spectator en masse, the function of art as conditioned by judgment transforms analogously to the modes of its production. The heretofore contingent qualifications of what constitutes as art have been disseminated into that of mass media, and henceforth this egalitarian art can be commandeered as signifier of the self-motivated political will of they who appropriate it most effectively. Therein lies the problematic eventuality of art as oppressor vis-à-vis art as a hegemonic aesthetic determinism of the existing totality.
However, insofar as mechanized art must always reconcile itself with the critical gaze of the spectator in order to remain relevant, how then can the Marxist perceive a capitalist or fascist art as estranged from the will of the people and still acknowledge self-motivation as an inherent contingency? The answer lies in the methodology of how mechanized art is misappropriated by the dominant ideology. In order to maintain its dominance over the shifting significance of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, the existing totality has had to implement its own set of external forces in order to mystify the jarring break from blind exaltation that is intrinsic to the aesthetic manifestation of political will. Apropos to all facets of achieving class-consciousness, the masses must be made aware of the power they possess before it can be wielded effectively, though the preemptive obstruction of this overcoming is already deeply ingratiated within the existing epoch of bourgeois capitalism. People will necessarily express what they experience and if what they experience is capitalism so too will it be what they express. Further abstracting the aesthetic expression of the political will is the materialist conception of history as progress, or rather a perpetual state of looking back, which simultaneously legitimizes the contemporary conditions of oppression and also nullifies the desire look forward.
Parallel to that inability of man to fully contemplate the mechanized film still before it has disappeared and become something else, so too behaves the true movement of history, which has also been divested of the significance of authenticity as a necessary consequence. “The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again.” (Illuminations p.255) What must then follow is a break from the optimism of historical materialism. The course of history can no longer be perceived as the eventual end game of a total process as Marx saw it, but rather an ongoing perpetual state of exploitation and oppression, which must be broken from in order to be stopped. Thus the zero sum of mechanized art as an expression of the existing totality should be viewed as a symptom of the diseases rather than the cure to opposition, and as such inherently oppressive as a reflection of the ideology therein. To break from the progress of history as “one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage…” (Illuminations p.257) the revolutionary classes must themselves exploit the illusory aspect of art that has heretofore served the self-perpetuating nature of oppression.