30 November 2005

"American Ideology" on NYFA Current

The very nice and talented Nick Stillman recently flattered me by asking me to write an "In Their Own Words" piece about my American Idol project for the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) publication, "Current." It's online now, under the title American Ideology. Be forewarned, though... It contains some really unflattering pictures of me. :)

26 November 2005

On the horizon

First of all, let me break down & express my profound love for Google Image. I use it a dozen times daily and just now a search for 'horizon' brought up this awesome image and a link to Thomas F. Banchoff's page on mathematical horizons.

Anyhoo..... I'm really writing to give you a bit of an update. Things are going to be exciting and wild for me, in the next few weeks, as I'm involved in five shows opening in the next month(ish). I will make individual posts on them, soon, but in order of appearance, for those who like to plan ahead, they are:

Dec 9 - POD Art, organized by Heather Stephens of Brooklyn's 31 Grand, at Fine Art in Space. Artists include MTAA, Lee Walton, Gogol Bordello, Jason Clay Lewis, Nelson Loskamp, Eugenio Percossi, Jean Pigozzi, Adam Stennett, Jeff Wyckoff and others. (In other words, a great group!) I'll be showing a new series of moiMovies and my Easy Listening video. (Again, more to come)

Dec 10 - I'm performing in a Christmas Pageant at Galapagos Art Space, organized by the awesome Meg Duguid. I'm not sure how to describe what I'm doing. Sort of a tripped out homage to the Jackson 5 Christmas Album...

Dec 14 - Come to the 'band night' -slash- opening of We Are All Together: Media(ted) Performance, a show I've curated at Artists Space as part of Empty Space with Exciting Events, in conjunction with Performa 05. Yes, it's a mouthfull... The artists are Sabrina Gschwandtner + Cat Mazza, MTAA, Kate Pocrass, Chris Sollars, and Lee Walton, and they are each showing media-based work that involves some sort of mediation--with viewers, computers, etc... It'll make sense when you see their awesome work so come on down! Släang (aka Hector Ducci) performs 7-9ish

New Year's Eve - Abe Linkoln and I will be running a 24-hour happening on a blog called Universal Acid. We will be collaborating on the remixing of green screen music videos that tell a story (through their form & content) about evolution through transmission.... The blog will be part of a show organized by free103point9 and Rhizome, and the other artists are 31 Down, Angel Nevarez + Alex Rivera, NYSAE, jimpunk, and Leslie Sharpe. More details to come, here.

Jan 1 - For the month of January, another blog performance project I'm doing with Abe Linkoln will be exhibited "at" the Whitney Museum of American Art, in the form of a gatepage they commissioned for their Artport, where it will be archived for all of internet eternity.... The blog is called Abe & Mo Sing the Blogs. It is exactly what it sounds like, and though we decided to keep the design a surprise, I can tell you that it's magical in a sparkling way. Mmm Hmm....

22 November 2005

Out Shout: Jon Brumit!

There are some people one just feels lucky to know. High on my own awesomeness list is Jon Brumit, peddler of such opportunities as Drum On My Face, founder of the world-famous Lombard Street Bring Your Own Big Wheels (BYOBW!!) race, and owner/operator of the Vendetta Retreat walk-in Revenge Clinic. I first met Jon through his leading role in the performance/ entrepreneurial duo Sliv and Dulet. They had the coolest-ever summer show, a few years ago, at New Langton Arts when I worked at SF Camerawork, who shared a gallery with NLA. I ended up participating in the show via elaborate fax machine correspondence with the boys outside my office, and Jon's partner in crime, Marc Horowitz, soon became my bandmate in Whitestool. (!!!) Jon is an incredibly gifted musician (check out Piledriver, the sweet album he made while he was an artist in residence at the SF dump--p.s. only in SF....), a talented installation artist (I included him in the Defunct show I curated at SFMOMA in 2004), and the possessor of a truly positive can-do attitude not often seen in these parts. Oh, yes, in his 'spare time,' Jon cranks things to eleven (11!) as one of the agents behind Neighorhood Public Radio (NPR!), with whom I'm organizing a program at ISEA06. Last night I went to see his new improv band, Split Lip, perform. (Before the show they were trying to explain to someone that they were 'Mills College meets'... and then they kept debating the second term.) They threw an awesome gig. They are two drummers, two guitarists, and they had a guest on horns. Jon's one of the drummers and he rocks! I told him that, for some reason, his set kept making me think about Flash Gordon. Weird. Anyway, if you're reading this and thinking 'hmmm I wonder who did invent the meat hat,' I recommend you pay a visit to Senor Brumit's website. It's chock full of awesome 'content.'

20 November 2005

If I had the time...

I would love to make a music video out of footage of Bush's failed escape attempt, at a recent Beijing press conference. I'm thinking big band-style, like the Tonight Show theme song. A cross between verite and variety show... What a dork!

Images via Eschaton.

UPDATE: omg, talk about 'ask and ye shall receive'!! Someone just posted {this} in my comments. Just a note, for whatever it's worth... I'm posting this update at 6:51pm PST the day after my post and I was only the 2nd viewer counted on the page's counter. :) This video is pretty awesome, though. The giggle makes it, really. Some enterprising person should start a contest for the best music video made with these images...

2nd UPDATE: It moved HERE. But it's still funny! And the tune is surprisingly catchy...

15 November 2005

Phoning It In

Ok, I've been hinting at this for a while, but here are the official details... This Wednesday I will be presenting a photo-illustrated (and/or illustrated photo!) monologue called "What My Telephones Knew About Me," at a Pacific Film Archive event called Busy Signals: Telephonic Art in Motion. As I said in an earlier post, it will be about all the embarrassing stories my previous telephones could tell about me, if they could talk. It will also sort of compare the "public memories" of photos with the "private memories" associated with the telephone. I confirmed with curator Steve Seid, today, that I will be going on after Christian Marclay's "Telephones" and before Andy Warhol's "Phoney." So no pressure to be entertaining, right?! Below are excerpts from Steve's write-up:

Though classified as a communications device, the telephone really is an instrument of culture. The phone has always shaped the way people relate by collapsing distance, reinventing conversation, even questioning the notion of privacy. But in recent years, especially with the advent of the cell phone, this device has been at the hub of a lively and inventive commerce in data delivery, fashion, recreation, intercourse, and even art. Now we have miniaturized movies dropped into waiting receivers; camera phones uploading stills to Web storage; ringtones merchandised as personal branding; text messaging coming on like a poetry slam. As usual, artists have answered the call, wringing minimalist melody from polyphonics, disrupting the everyday with creative pranks, or simply investigating the meaning of messages from nowhere. Join us for two evenings of Busy Signals: toney performance, cellular trickery, and films about phones. We promise, not a single wrong number. [....]

WED NOV 16 2005 7:30 "Rotary": Live Performance by Marisa Olson. Andy Warhol's riotous quasi-TV show Phoney stars his Factory luminaries, while Christian Marclay's Telephones stars just about everyone famous as he pillages Hollywood films for a montage about the anxiety of human intercourse. [....]

Update: I posted some of my favorite images from the monologue above (click thumbnails to see larger versions) and I posted the whole show on Flickr. It seemed to go pretty well. I was a bit anxious because it was the first time I've ever broached personal tragedy in this way. (Humiliation and failure are old hat, but adding straight up tragedy to the comedy routine was a new challenge.) I received some really great feedback, though... I gave a guest lecture in Scott Snibbe's seminar at SFAI, in the three hours prior to the performance, and doing so really put my practice into perspective in a way that helped me prepare for the intensity of the monologue.

08 November 2005

You Tell 'Em Who's Boss!

For the show I'm organizing at Artists Space, "We Are All Together: Media(ted) Performance," MTAA needs you (you!) to do some mediating... They are doing a project called “10 Pre-Rejected, Pre-Approved Performances,” in which they will carry out a performance voted on by "the public." (You!) It's really an example of democracy at it's finest... They took ten performance ideas previously rejected by other curators and reified them by including them in the list of things you can elect to tell them to do. (Though they may never have explicitly set out to do this, MTAA have become masters at both instructional art and list-based art... I guess this is why I pre-approved their pre-rejected ideas!) Anyway, enough yacking... Please vote!

Update: Voting has ended and the winner was "Midnight in the Deli." I have to confess that I didn't picture this one winning, but then again I didn't picture Arnold Schwarzenegger getting elected, either, so I'm no good at predicting the outcome of elections. Needless to say, I'm much happier about the MTAA election... It should be fun!

06 November 2005

Coming Attractions

Part of the reason I've been so busy, lately (as expressed in my last post), is that I'm working on some big, exciting art projects. As they say in the biz, I don't like to "preannounce" too many projects, but I feel like sharing my excitement about upcoming stuff. The most immediate thing is that I'm finishing the prep work for a performance at the Pacific Film Archive called "What My Telephones Knew About Me." It's going to be an animated slide lecture (hopefully funny) about all the embarrassing stories my previous telephones could tell about me, if they could talk. I'll post more on this and these other projects later, of course. The other big thing on the horizon is the release of my Christmas album, "Have Yourself a Midi Little Christmas." I don't want to say too much just yet, but I'll tell you that the album is my homage to the Jackson 5 Christmas Album, which is the first cassette I ever owned and came with my first walkman, one xmas. (I don't think I have to tell you what a big Michael Jackson fan I was back then...) Anyway, the release is happening during this holiday pageant-type performance evening (12/10) at Galapagos, where I will also perform a little midi-medley, with video backup..

After those things are finished, January will be dominated by two online projects made in collaboration with Abe Linkoln. The Whitney Artport is commissioning a gatepage for our new blog project, "Abe & Mo Sing the Blogs" (which is exactly what it sounds like), and then we'll be doing a second blog-based project called "Universal Acid." I don't want to say too much more about either (expect surprises!) except that the latter will involve some fun green screen music videos, for which this video by Abe is a good style guide...

And after that... If I've not yet collapsed, I am going to spend most of 2006, art-wise, working on finishing my "Genre Studies" album & videos, putting out my "Back/Up" video album, and beginning an album (tentatively titled "Greatest Hits") that is so technically complicated and weird and exciting that I'm going to sit on the deets for a bit because I can't promise a completion date or anything else other than the fact that it will be my most ambitious work ever ever ever.....

I'm So Busy!!!

I just had to say that. In the last year or so, I've really been working on correcting my tendency to overcommit, but the truth is that it's hard for me to say no to fun projects and in a bizarre way I thrive on being knee-deep in many projects at once. But right now I'm more like hip-deep... I'm working on all the usual stuff (which is to say a lot) plus amping-up planning for Rhizome's 10th anniversary, some big writing projects, and various ISEA06 activities. This weekend I'm jurying some of the submissions to the Community Domain call. My lips are sealed as to which ones I'm looking at or how I'm ranking them, but there are lots of interesting submissions. Doing things like that reminds me what a luxury my job is. I can't believe I make a "living" looking at, thinking about, and talking to cool people about art!

03 November 2005

Mr. Tv Show

Oh boy. Do you ever meet someone and it's like they've known you your whole life? In my case, that someone is Mica Scalin, keeper of the funny HELLO? vlog. (Actually, she's one of those three-URL girls.) The first time I meet Mica, she starts speaking in secret codes only I understand--she's all "sticker book" this and "Madonna" that... Today she sends me the following announcement and it's like she just knows how much Mr. T touched me with his Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool. As I said in my wowed-out reply to her, he'll be perfect: He's totally Dr Phil material. So even though this doesn't really answer the "whatamidoingwithmylife" question, I'm going to post it here because it absolutely answers the "whatdoiWISHiwasdoingwithmylife" question... Thanks, Mica!

Update: Ok, here's how weird I am... I had this ad posted for a while, but felt like it was long & text-heavy and probably had a negative impact on the percentage of text on this site that was about ME so I copied the ad into the comments, instead. Check it out, if you care... There's a funny typo about "communications issues." Enjoy!