Wednesday, June 30, 2010

reports from Vienna, # 3

My friend Georgia gave an introduction to this exhibition: young artist, renowned gallery, bad website, no images of current works on display ... I like Christoph Weber's  "loose concrete". You get the announced–it is what it is as Frank Stella once said–and there is more: loose concrete, shaped into blocks and "painted"with water, solid blocks of concrete, broken into two halves–spare your poetic yin-yang-associations, they look more like unfinished, earthquake-shaken construction works–and then also: clay; blocks of clay with images scratched into it, large sculptures with patches of clay thrown on a solid form and into a frame. It looks like clay-flowers on strange steles, grouped together, and again scratched images hidden in white boxes that the visitors have to open. Material, techniques are paradigmatic for sculpture and its history. but also like a reminder of how children use sand and clay (and less concrete I guess) to build things: make it wet, so it sticks together. then let it dry, paint patterns with water on it, and finally throw it at each other. but only when still wet, so it sticks better to shirts and pants.

reports from Vienna, # 2

Natascha Unkart's and Tanya Traboulsi's photoblog here

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

reports from Vienna, # 1

At Heathrow airport, my first touch down in Europe (though the Brits would see this a bit different), it takes time until I hear the first German words–about the world soccer cup, football, Fußball as we call it–it is German German, not this slouchy Viennese or the Austrian Midwestern that is Upper Austrian. I can’t remember what this voice said about the game but it is significant for what is going to happen during the following weeks.

I am surprised by the narrow Austrian roads, the tiny cars, the lush, green landscape–it has been raining for weeks I am told, and now it is the first sunny day in a while, everyone emerges from a state of late hibernation and depression but the unfriendliness that is all around (and that I am going to encounter when dealing with by bank account the next day) is not due to this but obviously a state of mind, some state of mind.

The character of the traffic, pedestrians, bikes, cars, trans, buses–everywhere!!–the narrow roads is still surprising and scary. I remember how I got used to it within days after my return last year, but now it seems to stay on a disproportional level. I have adopted to a different kind of scale–even a little bit to a system that is not metric–a system, a scale that feels different, that allows for much more personal space than anywhere else which is understandable considered the amount of space actually available on a continent, in a country. Still it is surprising how a sensory system can adapt to something that is so decisive for the formation of identity.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


is a poem like Elfriede Gerstl's Nachtkastl, a Gulaschreindl and a Staubfetzn, home is the pink of Aida and the brown of a Punschkrapferl's innards, and is not everyone who knows about this joke. home is a loft now. oh.

2 years ago I wrote

What I Have To Do Before I Leave
tell people that I love them
ask important questions
tell people to come and visit
spend money
spend more money
learn to love cooking
learn to pack light
learn to embrace the moment
think about the future
learn not to think about the future
learn how to stick to deadlines
learn the concept of deadlines
learn about logistics
get good loudspeakers
stick to my ideas
stick to my plans
(even though they seem pretty nebulous now)
forget people whom I hate
remember not to forget all the others
learn how to plant a tree
improve my french
not to forget my pocket oxford dictionary
not to forget to take spanish lessons
not to stop writing
not to forget to take bollywood dancing classes
start building an archive for my ideas
remember not to neglect their order
not to forget to form a band and make a film.

random notes on music/space

the foremost question has to be: why should there be concerts anymore? why would we want to see somebody/something LIVE? and pay for it? these are random notes I took at two different concert venues in los angeles:
the conventional space for a traditional concert and how to subvert it ...
-why is the laptop on a music stand?
the reality of an outside gets into the loft (with white walls) through an open window. the sound of a helicopter. the first row of the audience (the listeners, the spectators) already lies on the floor. they fell like dominoes and I wait for the next to fall. I suspect this will be a men as there are far more than women among the audience.
-what category is sound volume? what if I think that this piece could easily be much louder?
a train signal! and some real-time projections/visuals.
-why does everyone when listening carefully/closely look up? (this has to be revised as in another space almost everyone looked down). the traditional configuration, the separation between stage and auditorium, performers and audience still remains. and precisely because of the slow development of the piece and its intended silence everyone moves only very cautiously.