Formally speaking, collage is a term that denotes cutting or tearing pre-printed images from multiple sources and rearranging them into a new field of composition with some sort of adhesion to fix the various pieces of newly assembled image together in a new image. This type of collage is often a marked reveal of the inherent issues with formal images and representation. It is a way to simultaneously address the often overlooked fact that printed images/photographs are not what they represent and how not so obviously flawed image representation is. But in order to get down to the real issues of representation we would be calling this a preface to a much larger and (hopefully) less interesting dissertation on representation with footnotes choking each page half, if not two thirds the way up in a threat to break down the fortress of information by its own references.
What to me is uniquely #collage in the #contemporarycollage of today’s #contemporary is a seriousness in the absurd content that redirected forms conveys when placed by the eye/hand of the one reauthoring the images. Most things that are considered #art in my vernacular have a peculiar way of making me laugh. Not from direct intention of humor, but in a sudden presentation of something that is weighted with #truthiness, which could be argued is the definition of humor. Successful comedians often say that the funniest moments are moments that approach the truth about something that is normally too taboo to approach or something that no one is willing to say that everyone is somehow thinking in such a way that makes them acceptable and comfortable, if at least in that moment. Essentially we get to the facts of things however uncomfortable or obfuscated they are more easily through humor because it is the opposite of threatening. Again I would have a rather large text if I went on about #truth and #facts, so I will just say that there is a definite difference between the truth and what is a fact. Truth is dependent on so many factors and each person has their own unique truth, but facts are universal and can be in direct opposition to truths, which is a societal dilemma that we have not approached to my knowledge and has been thrown for a complete loop in the current American governmental political administration head. I would not like to say that there is a war on facts, though there may be, because I seriously hope that this was all a nightmare that happened only by illegal collusive means which will be soon discovered by the current investigations into just that.
My collages are an attempt to gain a closer look at the facts beyond the truths and I hope they do exactly that or at least piss off a few brainless #trumptards.
As i step into a wriggling pile of misfortune, I am guided by the power of the incidental juxtaposition of objects made linguistically viable as it’s own vernacular creates itself as I facilitate it to do so by not interfering with what it wants or needs to say. The digitization of images and the development of portable network graphics files that can sit on a background of transparent nothing all around the internet, just waiting for something to search for them and to begin combining them into situations which might just be possible enough to believe. Even if the representation is completely absurd it is completely dependent upon theoretical politics, which are not understood by most American people, even though they are pushed, pulled, and dragged around by it while saying they “don’t like politics”. I often correct their use of the term hoping a light would go off as it did for me at the point when I realized that all things that require other people in order to function as what they are are political by their nature. Many people or a few people, it doesn’t matter. I’m not specifically siting governmental politics, which may appear in these collages, but only served to prove that the most accessible culture in this country is that of its governing bodies. everyday politics and the politics of the digital image are much more relevant with these pieces, but in an effort to point out the layers of politics at play, I will include that for the vast majority of the individual images I use that incorporate within the format, other people took the photographs and prepared them as transparent png files, thus forming a vital political relationship between each other, myself, and the audience. Perhaps the main reason I am comforted by this is that authorship is highly overrated.
Somewhat creepy are a few of the collages I had just finished in the week before Hurricane Harvey in their quasi-precognitive depictions of surreal waterlogged narratives.
Not to suggest that any of them are anything more than a continuation of the content and form on my primary Instagram that just happened to incorporate unsplashed backgrounds depicting large to medium sized bodies of water, and considering that the earth’s surface is nearly 80% water there should be nothing worth noticing as driving a paradigmatic relationship beyond that.
However, when the particular image that bears a similar title to that found in the heading text is placed as a focus in relation to the hurricane and it is understood that it was completed without any knowledge of a tropic storm or storm of any kind anywhere nearly a week prior to Harvey’s landfall, its content lends itself to a dynamic which suggested that pre-cognition of TheDonald’s first (and hopefully last) natural disaster response as POTUS. There was no clear message or intent involved with the collage as it was constructed like all of the others, relying heavily on the forms themselves to complete the composition. There is often very little to go by in terms of drawing meaning with pure syntagmatic relationships fighting to construct significant meaning out of very thin structural relationships created by simple repetitive motifs (if the Japanese artist Korin had copy/paste or duplicate capabilities, those Irises would have been on rice paper partitions across the world).
PRE-COGNITIVE FLOOD COLLAGE (incl. Karl Marx as the United States Congress)
MOTHER PFIZER INVERTEBRATE FATHER (Catch and Release)
OUT WITH THE OLD AND NEW, IN WITH MORE OF THE SAME
EVERYBODY’S DOING IT
So at best a coincidence that we will say is a coincidence until I reveal all of the other pre-cognitive visual and didactic events that have been happening in my crusty world over the past few years. It could be that the autoimmune condition that struck without warning was so traumatic that it knocked an extra sensory location of the human brain loose – freeing up axons and neurons to connect to events in the future as other neurons and the mylan that protects those peripheral neural pathways were destroyed by my own macrophages. It would be nice to think so considering that the experience of feeling your white blood cells consume your nerve endings like millions upon millions of electro-microscopic hammerhead sharks gnawing into white-hot electric fire that is your feet and toes as they twitch and arch in slow agony by themselves, but probably not. It’s all probably something more related to the Pfizer brand squid that is thrown back to the ocean and reclaims its deep trench single squid family home from the in laws that forced him out when they got frustrated because he got sick with an auto-cephalopodic tentacle twitch.
These digital collages are pieces from an ongoing and permanent series that had gone by a few names which will continue to be dynamic with contemporaneous events of our lifetimes. Intentional Misrepresentation and Collusion Collages are the two current titles being used.
to keep up with regular collage content, including extra video posts and generally absurd content that rides the edge of the truth, follow my Instagram:
I’ve been painting my whole life. I never doubted I would go to college and there was never a doubt about what I would study. That’s more than many people get. Clarity can be essentially to moving forward with big decisions, but nothing can be that clear. My education was strange and a bit longer than most. In order to make my schedule work and to keep my GPA up I ended up withdrawling out of a few required classes that were flat out unfocused or just too basic. There were also the extra courses I took in biological sciences that I took just to learn from. All of this was what made it take 7 years for me to get my BA, though in reality I probably have taken more away from my major than most who have a basic master’s degree. I suppose I’ve planned on getting my MFA at some point, but until recently I had no obvious sense of what I would want to propose for a MFA project.
I attended 5 different colleges. Three of them were junior colleges and the last two were California State Universities. When I transferred into the State system I was reluctant to take it very seriously. I was attending Fresno State University and the Art department had some fatal flaws in comparison to its football program. With so many students in a life drawing class that the few minutes I had to get from one class to that class always left me with a broken easle and nowhere to get my perspective on. The other studio class weirdness was that the materials list was less advanced than what the city college had where I had been painting for a couple years. Nevertheless, it was the theory and contemporary art history classes taught by Charles Gaines that made me leave FSU for the newset State University at that time. I learned so much from Mr Gains that I still go back through his readers and find myself recounting things from his classes. The odd part was finding out that he had been given the prestigious position of Dean of Fine Arts at Cal Arts and he stayed on to teach at Fresno State probably for tenure or retirement issues. I also later found out that I had gone to school with his son – I didn’t really know him, but it made things make sense. What was sad was that at Cal Arts the courses he taught were full in the first ten minutes of registration. He taught these same courses at Fresno State, but the students were by and large opposed to them. Too much thought and emphasis on philosophy and psychology. To me, Charles Gains was giving us the answers to the big secrets in some strange codex of artists and their works. He also extended references to some very intense conceptual framework which for most students probably threatened the nice little bubbles that they had operated in. So in the end it was more of the fact that his two courses in my list of required classes were over with and I felt like there was nothing left but a downhill putter to graduation. One thing I learned was that whatever is new in art is probably where you want to be, so upon hearing that the closest shot to the ocean from where I was had converted the former fort ord into a University that offered 4 majors, art being one of them, I took a chance and went there with my wife who at the time was just transferring to the state system.
My whole life has been spent putting pencils and paint to surfaces to see what type of representation might manifest. I can’t say why I started doing this, other than I remember my mother oil painting at the repurposed kitchen table, which eventually evolved into folk art painting which was safe enough for me to dabble in. I remember the small plastic bottles of liquid plastic colors – none of them were very hi-chroma, which is a toll art thing and also probably the reason I ended up choosing very highly saturated colors when I started painting on canvas. I painted and painted on canvas, paper, and eventually on all of our table tops and other furniture as the prospect of storing more canvases (painted or not) became daunting. By the time I switched from one California State University to the newest (at the time) Cal State campus at Monterey Bay, I had almost altogether given painting up to the occasional utilitarian activity of painting objects that would be part of assemblage art or combine painting. The one thing that had suggested itself to me very loudly was the emerging capabilities of the Macintosh computer. Nearly everything that is possible on today’s systems was possible in 1997, it just took so much longer and was less forgiving. But that less forgiving part was what made things work very well. With one undo and a twenty minute wait to process any major pixel transformation, you just had to commit to decisions and keep going. It feels strange to use several undo’s on any system for any reason. It’s this experience that taught me how to get the most out of the time allotted. I was kind of pushed into the label of graphic designer by the Institute for Visual & Public Art, which would be both a very good experience as well as an awful one. I am not a designer. Never have been. Designers are highly organized and somewhat detached from what they make. They have to be by the nature of what they are doing…. and fonts? Forget it. I can’t stand to look at endless fonts in indecision.