Tuesday, September 28, 2010

if you go to one opening in nyc this year, be it this one.

Announcing Radical Spirit, a pirate television broadcast, monumental sculpture, and video installation by James Case-Leal built inside the sanctuary of Lutheran Church of the Messiah in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The exhibition will be open to the public September 28 - October 2. The broadcast signal will be receivable by the local public on their television sets on analog channel 17 during these times. Please join us for a performance and opening reception on Tuesday, September 28 from 6 to 9pm.

Lutheran Church of the Messiah - 129 Russell St. Brooklyn, NY 11222

i spent the day volunteering for james case-leal yesterday, helping to install his incredible, 'Radical Spirit' show at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah. this is the church i look out of my kitchen window to see every morning, the church the full moon rises over every month. and because i take a purely heathen and aesthetic pleasure in (most) churches, what better place to see art?

james case-leal is a sweet and talented artist i met in cuba when i was doing this (staging the first st. pat's parade in havana) and that (falling in love). he and his wife maggie also happen to be raising twins in new york city! i take my hat off to them!

so when i heard about james' amazing-sounding show and that he needed help, i came out to volunteer despite being on the upswing of an ass-kicking cold because, do you know how many volunteers i've requested, enticed, begged and bribed with mulberry cocktails during my tenure as CEO of DRI? (that's the boss's new title for me--use your imagination). hundreds. people have ridden in the back of box trucks, threshed reeds, carried ships, bundled chigger-infested plants, painted stripes on zebras, made batches of fake blood, torn down wood paneling to make oars, BAGGED SAND for chrissakes! in short, i owe the world, specifically the art world, some volunteer hours. big time.

and though i will tell you, pews are damn heavy, i had so much fun helping out yesterday because i believe in art and community...and karma. and i would also be telling the truth if i said that tonight's opening and performance, will be the best in new york city, of all of 2010. it's really cool. worth even a trek from the L train in a thunderstorm. and the show is only up for five days, cause, you know, people gotta go to church.

so come on, art-believers, come out to church!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

three high mice

okay, so we may be out of the woods with mercury out of retrograde (hopefully the boss isn't reading this now, because he would grumble, "enough with the mercury in retrograde bullshit, already!!"), but my technological life, nonetheless, remains in shambles. this data missing, that data hiding, this computer running photoshop slowly but not the internet and sometimes no mouse, that borrowed computer having internet but no photoshop etc.

that is a lot of words just to say that all you get right now are more words. so sit back and get ready for storytime! this one is a mystery involving rodents, drugs and well, just that. a normal night in brooklyn? perhaps.

we were sleeping peacefully with the knowledge that we live in a brooklyn apartment unusually free of mice. this is because of prussia the cat. she may be a fourteen year old scardey fluffball who gags when she catches sight of an ant or a fly (no joke--though it is a hilarious sight), but despite her lack of ferocity, her primal cat smell usually does the trick, and not since the week before i dragged her in from the shelter in 1999, when i found the dehydrated and flattened mouse under the stove, has a trace of rodentia been witnessed in the three brooklyn apartments i have called home.

until this strange night.

now, history reveals that i am no light sleeper. i routinely sleep through the drunken polish teenagers brawling then hugging just outside my window, armies of clanking mondo garbage trucks and pounding 80's techno on the other side of my bedroom wall. as a teenager i often slept through my own nocturnal wanderings, once waking up downstairs in front of the washing machine, curled up in a dog bed, jackets pulled over me for warmth, only because my hello kitty alarm clock started beeping. convenient of me to bring it along.

but this night, something very unusual, and very quiet brought me fitfully out of my sleep. it was a strange rustling. that kind of rustling that you've never really heard, yet instinctively absolutely know to be derived from vermin. and then, silence. and back to my heavy sleep i went. in the morning i remembered the incident but dismissed it. we've never even seen evidence of mice even in the kitchen. why in the world would they be in my bedroom?

next night, repeat. but louder. weirder. in fact, way too loud to be mice scurrying as discreetly as they are supposed to scurry. it sounded like a mouse disco was going on behind my desk. by this time, jade was sitting up in bed alongside me, both of us straining our eyes in the never-quite-darkness of the city night. prussia approached the desk chair, on edge, ancient urges calling her to almost action. and there they went--not quick flashes of maybe-mice along the floorboards, but jumping, dancing, weaving mice, playing tightrope on the top edge of my narrow computer monitor, diving down from the framed photographs to my desk.

"it's like they're drunk or high!" jade exclaimed.
and sure enough, a morning investigation revealed a huge pile of catnip that had haphazardly fallen behind the desk, spread here and there, no doubt on the feet of delighted mice.

i cleaned up the drugs, and they never came back.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the stuff boys say #194

your new underware are SO cool! they have all the best stuff: stripes AND doilies!

it's called lace, baby.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Duke Riley: An Invitation To Lubberland

a press release from the boss:

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
On View September 10th, 2010 through January 9th, 2011

8501 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-2919
(216) 421-8671

Opening: Friday, September 10, 2010 7pm-10pm


Buried beneath the city of Cleveland is a prehistoric river known as Kingsbury Run. Before it was rerouted underground, itinerant workers made their home along its banks. During the depression of the 1890s, a “tramp census” conducted by John McCook indicated 6% of the population of the United States were itinerant. At that time Cleveland was regarded as a “hobos’ paradise” because of the gracious handouts itinerants would receive, and lenient treatment by the city’s police.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s the itinerant population swelled to 30%, and the Kingsbury Run grew into a sprawling shantytown. However, a series of gruesome murders occurred along the Run, targeting the hobos. As a band-aid solution to stop the serial killings, the police department arrested and displaced the population, burning the neighborhood to the ground.


Today, itinerant cultures both nationally and globally are being marginalized to the brink of extinction. The hobo census, a once a respected barometer for the American economy, is now obsolete.

Motivated by our current economic climate, I traveled the country by freight train, attempting to re-conduct McCook’s census, ultimately returning to Cleveland. By infiltrating the sewer system, I regained access to the forgotten Kingsbury Run. In search of the lost “hobos paradise” I followed the Run, beneath the streets of Cleveland, to its headwater.

so i've been in cleveland for two weeks installing this show, doing things like laying bricks, sanding down rusty railroad spikes and fillings projector screen wells with whiskey.

oh, and requisitioning materials.
that's why you haven't heard from me.

the show opens tomorrow and not only is it brilliant in all the ways you'd expect from the boss, but there are also a few photographs of mine in the process room. like the one below:

to see an endless barage of snapshots from a trainhop trip we took in the process of producing this project, click on the sets below. did i mention that i love my job?

cleveland hop: getting there
cleveland hop: there
cleveland hop: getting home