Tag Archives: experimental art

the prostitution of art


i miss Mobius

this weekend i got to return and visit my friends at Mobius for a very sad occasion — Carol and i went out to Studio Soto to see Bob Raymond’s phenomenal photography on display and to celebrate his life and work and to show support for his amazing family

i still can’t believe he’s gone

in fact, i refuse to believe he’s gone — its really impossible to believe people simply disappear when they die, that they go away forever

i’m not sure i believe in heaven, my beliefs are more complex than imagining a ‘good place’ and ‘bad place’ for people to go when we all die — i do, however, believe that we live a self-created heaven or hell right here on earth, and that we, in fact, build these scenarios through our own actions, beliefs, participation and contributions in life

as we gathered to say goodbye to Bob Raymond and potentially make sense of this strange mystery, the idea that we all die one day — as we try to fathom how the show goes on after the death of such an extraordinary man — i couldn’t help but see the 80 or so photographs from his oeuvre on display around the room as the most inspiring and unbelievable peek into Bob’s personal heaven on earth through his life with Marilyn and with his family at Mobius — each moment captured on film in these amazing prints hung in little clusters of 6, 8 and 10 around Studio Soto seems to now represent a blink, a heartbeat, a pulse, a little glimpse into what Bob saw and how he actually saw it — and in many ways he lived always with his eyes glued to the world of the fantastic, moments painted into the retina by the always memborable and fascinatingly ecelectic body of work performed by members of the Mobius Artist Group over the course of the several decades since the organization’s official establishment in 1977

Bob somehow magically seemed to appear at every single Mobius event i have ever attended — we’d talk in the moments before and after an evening of performance art, somehow catching up on the latest personal small talk, minutae, details that usually led a happy bursts of laughter — he would be the person i’d return to for additional guidance when helping physically set up equipment out at an Artrageous Fundraiser — or maybe i’d have a question or 2 about the PA setup for a Radio Pu gig or some other Works in Progress event — when i think of Mobius, of going to Mobius and being there, Bob is just always there — and I refuse to believe that he now just goes away because of his passing

i mean, i truly want him to rest, i don’t mean to imply that even after his death he needs to somehow continue to serve Mobius and the MAGs from the other side, please don’t take my sentiment here as some sort of command to continue your hard work for Mobius and the international world of experimental performance art — please don’t misinterpret my words here

i guess what i mean is that from here on in, even after his passing, when i come to attend or participate in a Mobius event Bob will still be there — i am certain i will feel it — i will see those future moments, new glimpses into the fantastic, into the unreal and otherworldly, and i will see with Bob’s heart and spirit — his energy will continue to be with us, will continue on, and we will make our art for Bob to see some other unimaginable world that isn’t up in a castle made of clouds above the earth, but instead we will carry Bob in our hearts, in our minds, in our bodies and our souls — that heaven is a place deep inside that we open up to him, where we accept the pain of his passing and savor the joy that he left behind

noted progress from Laugh Foundation

not long ago Deb Mascara + i had the pleasure of presenting a score for laughter called ‘laughStream 2.0’ at Mobius Works in Progress … as Laugh Foundation, Deb + i walked on stage with music stands + followed the very loosely constructed score seen below:

some of our laughs followed a pre-recorded audio soundScape that included canned audience laughter from sitcoms, real laughter that i recorded as well as some surreal inclusion of animal noises { dogs barking, monkeys screeching, rooster cock a doodle dooing } … at other points Deb + i passed the laughter back + forth between us as a caricaturish demonstration of contagious laughter

our performance aimed to conduct the emotional feelings of the audience using nothing more than our onstage presence + laughter … through volume, direction, intensity, texture, and other parameters we targeted certain individuals as well as the entire group + overall the results interestingly proved to me just how complex human laughter can be

pre-recorded applause at the opening of the performance almost immediately triggered happy, willing applause from the audience, but laughter, no matter how hard we tried, in this particular artificial + strange set up, proved to be a very difficult response for us to elicit from our captive onlookers … there were smiles, eye contact + a certain need to look away when directly visually engaged midlaugh, but only a nervous laugh here + there … a giggle or titter at best

the social dynamics of misplaced energy … behavioral oddity + the reactions from the general public … these seem to be a key component of what i do naturally in life right now … there is a lot of confrontation … an angry outlet … i often wonder what will happen when our technology not only shapes our behavior but when the tools we create start to have a mind of their own, perhaps even when these technologies attack us + behave unexpectedly … how will we react? what will we do then? when the seemingly benificent devices we dream up + create suddenly turn on us, in an era where machines gain their own individual consciousness + like upset little teenagers they begin to argue, rebel + upset us? what if conscious machines don’t even like us? how will we handle our little monsters?

ha ha … who knows? … but maybe we can set up a few projects + test the waters, right? maybe we need to set up some user-centered prototypes + do some usability testing … or maybe, in the end, it would be the beginnings of a sort of technology survival training