Tue. Oct. 19
So Sick of Art art
Talk of the 'material world' today as I ponder just how serious I am about rejecting it. I think what I'd like is for the stuff i make to be secondary. I can draw very well and my painting style is good. But what I'm becoming know for is the verb: fishbowling.
YA KNOW.. I think maybe I feel I just don't have anything important to say in painting. I want to paint though. It's therapeutic, and besides, once in a while it does actually sell and money is good because I eat food that is prepared and brought to me.
I only like to do things if they're outstanding but I realize, nothing I make is outstanding in comparison to the sistine chapel or a Leonardo painting. I'll be honest, it's a matter of time investment and I don't see anything I make right now being bought for very much money. Nothing is being bought for very much money. So I might as well make something quick & easy. I can save the 'highly detailed pony tricks for later once I'm in demand.
I'm looking at this ArtistADay.com and they feature all these artists, all great, of course, top of the line–picture makers, object makers–and I can't help but feeling bored. Just fucking bored. More pictures? More objects? Is this all that art is? Showing off stuff that we make? What century is this?
And in talking on Facebook, BORED! You people are boring the fuck out of me. The talk of what art is and what artists do, it's the same old regurgitated crap and misinformation, simpleton ideas about peace and love and inspiration and I wonder if anyone really has any idea how fucking boring their ideas are about art. DO YOU?
ArtistFishbowl should get the narrowing down treatment, the streamlining programmatic downsizing that all art goes through. AFB needs to be homogenized as to become a recognizable commodity on the market. We need to make it into this easy to recognize art form so everyone can wrap their minds around its smallness because an artist needs to stand for something–ONE thing and that's all that the world wants from an artist: one thing. ArtistFishbowl means this:
Sat. Oct. 16
Goin Back To Reno
Back in the Midwest, what I was dealing with, everyone that's still there, my friends, are people who refused to redefine themselves. In a certain way, that's very admirable. To me, I can only see it as a lacking in some way. This is only my slanted perception because, really, they have been just as–or maybe more-true to themselves as I.
To write about what I've learned in the Fishbowl... you'd like me to offer a completed encapsulated review I'm sure.
An advantage I have, being a poor bastard, I'm free to do as I please. The idea of slavery is of being bound: have to do this, have to do that and by not earning a real income, I've avoided slavery; this life is not that.
I'm simply not bound to do any particular thing.
Thing, material. Art, action, service, thought, perception. Train of thought going through my brain, Beatles on the track, burger at a Mexican joint. Rain's made soft swish streets. LA I will miss you.
Elaine's encouragement. Support from witnesses. Friends of friends get to know.
Writing is harsh. Words are cold.
Beatles, that's a movement I'd like to bring about.
Maybe it's love I'm talking about. Music can bring about the emotion of love. Can writing?
How bout this moment? I'm sleeping in the garage of Elaine's house. I love this house. The garage? Well, it's a garage. It's not the better side of the house as the hill looking out and over is on the other side. The big deck is spacious and it's a special place. This place is enclosed.
It's rainy. That's ok, I'm loving this weather. It's foggier on this side of LA. We're in hills over here, it's sculpted and the roads wrap up and down and around these hills and it's all been here awhile so it's not that this neighborhood is new. It's not like I'm off at a strange part of LA, I'm in the thick of it. The valley is above me and tons of people live up there, and scoop through this area to get onward, toward the coast. What does everybody do around here? Silver Lake is not cheap. It's a beautiful area.
Right now it's late and sitting where I am, at this outdoor table at the Mexican late night joint, gays are coming by after the bar. They close here at 3 I think.
I was writing about art or wanted to. Actually I was reading about an artist, Damien Hirst. Then I started thinking about warmth and the Beatles in my earbuds and the warm love they create. They still inspire warm emotion in a cold world. They let their growth show. They grew up and others followed that growth. They were seen, they let themselves be seen.
I'm going back to Reno. This moment in my life, this weekend, this sleeping arrangement, this weather is inspiring my feelings. I have no money, hence can have no lover, aside from a slut that would just like to fuck here and there and I don't even get to have that. I don't want it badly enough.
Last night, today rather, I dreamed of my last girlfriend. This gave me a waking feeling of loneliness. The other day, while sleeping in Elaine's super comfy bed while she was gone, I had a lucid dream. In the dream I realized I was asleep. This was a huge experience for me as I understand how important that can be. We are to figure that out in real life as well and that's when we can master life when we see it for what it is, which is just a game, just a projection: reality is unreal.
This is not the place for this round speak, the wanna-be spiritual-paradox shit.
So many friends in Reno. I'm afraid of getting stuck there. I'm afraid of my heart. I don't want to be tied to Reno, once again, by what I feel for the place. Many people there I have love for and it could feel too easy to stay there and that is the fear I face.
I have no choice as I see it. I cannot let all these paintings that I've created just die. I can't let go of them. They have to leave the building now. I have to go save these paintings. Maybe I should go and kill these paintings. I have a feeling some will need to die.
At least one will be sold, this is a great thing. I'm selling a printer I think. I'll let the thing go for cheap just to get rid of it. What else? I'll smoke alot I'm sure. I'll drink. Maybe some sex will happen.
I'll see Amy and we'll have fun together and the parting will be hard. I want her to come to LA. I must admit, I want her to experience it with me. She's one of my oldest friends. To write this, to read this, sitting here this early morning, I wonder about my future and I don't feel as confident as I do sometimes. It's OK to feel this way of course and I think of coffee.
I'm loving the Beatles right now. Dave Hickey had a talk I just watched. I want to be a kind of Dave Hickey. I'd like to direct artists. This interviewing thing is going great. Maybe that's my ticket. I'm sick of wondering what my ticket is.
I'm good at so mayy things, when's it all gonna' be over? When can I stop searching? Will I ever just be there? Will I ever get to relax and know I'm where I need to be?
Nothing's gonna change my world.
I'm thinking now of my videos. They may be art, they may be the warmth I'm searching for. The videos are warm. They are alive, they're expressive, they're emotive, they are popular. Infotainment. They're in series.
My plan was to talk about my art I think; my own art. My art is connection, it's social engagement, it's the connecting. When I think of the objects I've made and I think of Hickey's words about elitism and materialism and I see his as the instigator of object worship, he's ok with it, he's in Vegas, he believes in the worship of the material, he seems to find it comforting enough to hug objects around him and say joyous things about the elite stuff he's got and can bring to the world.
I'm on a certain path and mine is more connected to time than to space. Humans inhabit both, we live time and space together and no one can reject both of these.
He mentions the internet's link to community. He's against democracy in terms of art education. He doesn't want coddling of artists and creatives just because they create. He's ready to go back to only holding up the really good ones. Art is only the best, the rest is just practice. Art is the highest achievement. He believes in the idea of a masterpiece. There are artists to be compared, one against the other, but they are only the best that deserve to be talked about. Art is not a charity.
I like all this. It's exactly how I feel, although I'm at odds with the materialistic outlook. As a visual artist, I make stuff. Maybe it's video I'm more suited to.
Holy shit, I think a whore just walked in. I'm in too peaceful a mood to scoop her up. She is drunk so this could be helpful. I don't feel like partying with her and her friends right now is the problem. I wish she'd just walk her stilettos over here and drop those ample titties on my face.
How's that for materialism? The sensual, sexual, apple bottom, nipples in my mouth. Oil painted hair and musculature, her smooth cheekbones are more soft than they look.
Tonight, Hickey bled while he talked. We came off a little pathetic, fat old bleeding man with a shaving wound. I noticed he was sipping Starbucks.
Wow, now that pisses me off. The manager of this shit hole sent his employee over to tell me not to use the power. I'm not. She speaks no English, it was hard to explain till I picked up my laptop and said I'm not. This pisses me off. He's going to lose my business now. I'm going back to Reno.
Maybe a poem's in order here. With a poem I could just look at the art in this situation. This moment, moments to come or whatever I'd like to talk about.
Wed. Oct. 13
Hi-Fi's and Guns
To me, it can sound like such a cop-out to hear people say "my life is my art" because it's a fucking lie. Your life is NOT your art. Your life is not on display, unless it is–unless your life actually IS on display. Have you ever noticed, cameras are more dangerous than guns?
The term 'High Fidelity'–ever think about it? Fidelity means honesty. True to form, purity, no change, just what there was and nothing more, nothing less.
I also like, how in court, they say "The truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth." It's poetic, but it's needed, to say it that way. They're asking you for the highest fidelity in your words. They want no artfulness. If you're cunning, they'll getcha.
I'm interested in honesty. I'm interested in the 'artless'. Allan Kaprow wrote and talked about this too and his Fluxus movement was questioned for its non-artiness.
the things they did were.............
There are many ways to be artless. The roots of the word art mean 'lie'. Isn't that shocking? Well, it shouldn't be. Lies are constructions. Being truthful, honest, it's nothing. Being honest involves no creativity. As Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
I got in this discussion with a guy that seemed to mistake honesty for altruism. I'd like to see the two as unrelated. I'd like to see honesty, simply as a certain technique one can choose to use.
Fictional writing is something. It's artful and it's something to be appreciated, yes. My interest is in finding something closer to documentary but even more artless than that. Reality TV is such a sham I hate to even mention it.
I'm a product of my environment, as these days journalism, in it's old state, is crumbling. Thank you Gonzo! Thank you blogosphere!
Tue. Oct. 12
Follow-up Letter to Yesterday's Unhappy Interviewee
I'm always looking for motivation... your letter yesterday made me lose it, your silence today, I understand, and tonight: I've found my motivation again.
I'm going to go ahead and make this video of you talking about your art.
You are absolutely gorgeous and your art filmed so damn well that I'd be shooting myself in the foot to not do everything I can to get that video released.
I felt insulted, yes, and today, I'm taking advantage of the fact that you're being silent because I see how you operate: in the red..
And please understand, I love text, it's not always the most clear, but you've gotta read everything I write is in a good nature, tongue in cheek, yes, playful and I like to test people's limits, yes. I like to prove to myself what I can get away with, but in the end, we usually end on higher ground–both of us.
I have a certain amount of patience and basically, I don't lose friends (mostly).
So I'm doing this video, you can just remain silent and wait for it's arrival.
I'll tag your name to it because I can promise you, you'll love it.
Mon. Oct. 11
Art Hero Talk At Del Taco
I just realized, I know people that love art like I do. That or they believe in me and my abilities. I know people that can afford to back me. I don't have to feel bad: here's why: I don't want anything but to be able to continue this artistic project. I don't want anything! At the end of the day, I have nothing, I just want to be able continuing on this project of engaging my audience–how could anyone feel taken advantage of when they know this?
The only thing anyone's looking for is the genuine and I'm hot on the trail of that one. Someone will back my explorations. Honesty is the highest power.
Editing Thoughts At Del Taco
I got outta Where today. The place is on Sunset Blvd. It's exciting around the Sunset Junction area. Atwater feels like an escape, it's more suburban here. Sunset feels less edited.
To edit is human. We clean up. To only include so much for public consumption is the normal way to go. Put your best foot forward, you're only as good as your worst painting–I don't like any of that. None of us do but we subscribe to it. I'm no singer so I sing. I like the idea of not being good at something and doing it anyway. Showing real mistakes is a certain kind of beauty.
I am not looking for a style. I am looking for honesty, real honesty, not an affectation–the 'look of honesty', I'm looking for instantaneous honesty. I don't think I'm horrible at singing; I'm getting better and I think it's cool to offer this progression to my viewers, the good with the bad.
It's funny, I'm reading the biography of Damien Hirst with Gordon Burn. Interestingly, it's one of those book reading experiences that keeps coinciding with my life at the moment.
He's talking about taking drugs in the last chapter I read and Burn is pressing him to see if all the partying is genuine or an affectation to make himself into a more romanticized image of the brat genius artist on a self-destruct mission. He goes on to say if the art's good, you can do whatever you want.
I've gotta' try and market this project to business owners as a serious thing and for me to talk about my drunken incidents is a questionable challenge of editing. How much do I give them. Who's my audience? Also who do I go ahead and talk shit about?
Well, I'll add this: a Hollywood girl came in to be interviewed about her art work. She works in the industry and talks with a toughness to counter her sweet looks. She's Hollywood, we get it. Well, there was one point in the interview where she asked me to not show her stuttering trying to think of this certain word. Repeatedly I said no I was leaving it in–it's funny.
The conversation sort of just melted away and there was no sticking point really made. Today I made the video and, in my typical way of dealing with something I don't agree with, I pushed it; I started the clip with her head bowed and shaking as she couldn't find the word. Looking up she says "what am I trying to say?" and quickly we went right into the point she was trying to make. I didn't feature the stuttering 'uhhhh, uhhhhh', but only she and I would know from this tiny inclusion in the clip.
I found it totally cute to see her a bit out of her perfect image and thought others would find her just a bit more endearing. It's called an outtake. She didn't see it this way and demanded I take it down.
Well here's where I'm at at this moment, I've got the full interview to put together and at this point, I hate the girl. I'm not getting paid to do this, aside from the meal from subway she brought me. I simply have no motivation to promote this girl. I don't want to be stubborn but I really wonder if she gets it? It's strange, she knows I don't get paid to do these.
Battle of the egos and I really want to take the high road but I feel like saying very pronouncedly FUCK YOU. I dunno, we'll see. I thought about telling her she needs to pay me $300 to make this promotional video since she obviously thinks I'm working for her.
Maybe editing is the only difference between art and business. This concept of style, I guess I need to think more about it.
One thing sticks in my head and that's her telling me the little slip up on screen is not needed. Ohhhhhh, now she wants to give me creative direction? Ahaa, but that would be cutting into my style and I can't do that. I think I just figured it out: she's gotta leave me be when it comes to editing or I'm not putting anything online with her face on it.
Editing is such an important concern. Everyone knows "reality TV" is a total lie; and that's because it's edited.
Thur. Oct. 7
Art stuff on my mind today. I was cravin' bacon this afternoon so I came down to this coffee shop a block away, happens to be across from a previous fishbowl location, the furniture store, Living Room. I made some money yesterday doing yard work. Thought I deserved a splurge.
I love this neighborhood, granted, my judgment's not very credible; I love alot of places I end up.
Anyway, it's art on my mind. It's what I am doing as an artist. I'm missing straight-up painting, old fashioned rendering, modernist abstraction; I'm missing sloshing paint around. Viscosity, tactility, feeling, movement, materiality. I miss all that, I miss being a painter. Painting gets me back to nature even when it's not very nature like: spray paint, oil stick. It's more like physics I'm talking about. I remember the moment I realized what physics was: it's physical; that's it.
For a long time I've wanted to bring my whole life into my art. I'm that kind of artist and it's not rare. Some are that way, some are not, but a lot of artists are that way.
Painting is another thing, it's not my life, not the way that I paint anyway. It's not autobiographical. Even a self portrait, to me, is not at all autobiographical. It's biology, that's all. My skin, my hair, wrinkles, etc. It's not my life though, it's only my shell.
Art shows, curating, cat herding, that's the other part of 'art' that's on my mind. It's possible I may be able to get some shows together, gather some artists, make some noise. I'm ready to draw some crowds.
Sitting at this cafe, I'm reading the Damien Hirst biography by Gordon Burn. Just now I read about things that are art in Hirst's life and things that are not. He got an office downtown and called it Science. This is where all the things that are NOT art were negotiated. Money stuff, dealings, the business that allows his art to happen.
Like I said, these are common concerns to analyze what's art in what I'm doing and what's not. Allan Kaprow has all these great quotes about what he did with the Fluxus movement. Life and art were re-connected.
Sun. Sept. 19
Beach @ Night
It's hard to believe I haven't come down here at night until now. It's high tide and I think about the cycles of nature. I'm so ignorant of the whole high-tide, low-tide thing. I see the moon is waxing. I think that means it's getting back to full. Anyway, it is. A week ago it was a half moon. I know this has something to do with the tides and if I wanted to spend 10 minutes, I could get online and learn about it, but instead, I want to write.
I'm sitting on this wood and canvas structure that, apparently, was used this weekend for a surfing contest of some kind. Judges stand. I see a couple posters hung on here cuing me in to this info and it makes sense because I'm overlooking this moody late night ocean and it seems people have made use of this. It's scuffed and dirty, not brand new.
This ocean, it might be moody but it's not angry. It's just powerful and active. It just doesn't stop. There's no oil spilled here. I do see 4 giant rigs out there though, glowing with the oil pump horizon flicker glow. I know oil has been a big thing here. People come to this area still to make some big bucks pumping it. The rigs I see to the north on the Avenue attest to this. They're kind of surreal, all humanoid in appearance and nonstop like these waves.
I gave a homeless dude my coffee a bit ago. It was kinda warm and mostly full. Starbucks coffee sucks. I've seen him before, he's peaceful and was enjoying a quiet moment overlooking the waves and was kinda' indifferent to me asking to give him coffee but he said yes.
Great conversation with HatDave earlier tonight. Again, I'm not supposed to talk about him or he'll sue me "you'll be talking to my lawyer, she's Jewish. Those Jews have been good to me." But he's friendly once he checks you out. We talked about art for like an hour.
His conversation is mixed, highly mulched, and I mostly listen, though he does open it here & there to my talking for a minute. He's not oblivious to me and he's respectful. He asks me questions and pays attention to what I say.
He's all over the place but quite lucid and full of info and he knows so many names and facts. It's not the nervous rambling you get from some people. It's just that he goes off in conversation that rolls into new subjects unnoticeably and you pay attention if you want to follow. Alot of times you don't need to follow though.
I like him alot. He's starting to trust that I'm a different kind of yuppie. He's intelligent and he lives by choice and he knows he's got problems and he knows where he's right. 18 years in Ventura. He goes to Mexico and has been to other countries and he reads alot. He's not on the outs. People like him here and he dresses colorfully and makes hats. I didn't know until today that he makes wall art too. They're cardboard, cut-ups from National Geographic and rolled, thick paper, painted in glowing acrylic around the edges for frames. He's economical in his speech as well as his art. I'm learning that, though this post is too long.
You think of the ingenuity and simplicity of the designs and you see a person's wit. He's not trying to show off. He simply makes steady things that he can sell for one dollar. I shouldn't have told you that. Fact is, I want to sell them for $5 for him. I'm really into this idea of selling the art works of homeless or outsider people. It's just that I'm starting to wonder what else to call people that live outside of the system. Just like me, they're not homeless. Home is where you hang your mind.
Right now my mind is being pulled out into the dark sea in perfect temperatures and timing without a lonely thought because my waves are what rotates all the sludge of the world and I regurgitate and hope mankind is not trying to kill me. If it is, I'll sweep away and we'll have to start afresh. It's simple.
I just want to ramble tonight and let rhythm take over.
This soggy structure I sit on in this light fog is simple but built and intentional. It's made to keep the sun off and be roomy too. I wonder how many land owners have opened their land up to outsiders to squat on. I wonder how many people of ownership have crossed the borders of society to talk to the bottom class, the classless. I wonder how many people have learned scrambled knowledge from people like HatDave. How important is it to house the hungry?
I wanna' write 'can't we all just get along?' but that would be stupid. We'll never all get along all the time, ups and downs, and disbeliefs and disputes that end in a little blood letting, but if there were a way to harness fear and simply look at it when it comes into our heart when a beaten down dirty brown man scruffs up beside you to get 40 cents, can't we feel strong enough to know this guy can't hurt us? We have detergents and scrubbers. What's the worst that can happen? He swears at you or spills your coffee?
I've got one week to gear up for the big move. The train takes me across the region here and I'm back in the heart of action and muffled scrambled brain activity. I'm going back to Sunset and I like it down there, it's just that here it's so open and a truly beautiful place.
I want to talk about Bruce, a homeless guy I spoke with yesterday who was super grubby. We sat beside a Ferrarri on the sidewalk with ants and he told me of his financial ability to buy that car if he wanted to sign the check. We compared the lines of this one to another model. I didn't catch the whole story, his story, only that he's schizophrenic and I relayed that it's in my family too. He's been that way since day one and he got sick of being taken care of by his brother.
I wonder why it seems to be a pattern that they want to tell me about their riches and things they own and money that's waiting for them. It shatters my myths to think that people down on their own like that still worship money like the rest of us. We used to have angel stories to keep us warm, now it's trust funds and annuities maturing.
Yeah, Bruce would be the last name you'd ascribe to this guy if you saw him, but after talking for about 30 seconds, you see he's simply a Bruce with dirty dreads who'd like 50 cents to call his brother. Current appearance aside, he's the kind of guy you'd expect working in a bike shop. He told me how beautiful it is at the river bottom for an artist. He's a guitarist and I should go down there around sunset to see it. People will talk to me he says and he makes me feel not scared at all to go there. I'm embarrassed to ask him what I should wear when going there.
I just don't want to leave this spot. The waves push so high up on these rocks the water is especially close to me. I wish the generator wasn't on at this big light cart thing. It illuminates the area so they can break down from the festivities. I'll probably go find a quieter spot now. It's surprising how sounds can alter our subconscious and I'd like to be alone with this ocean right now. Is it high-tide in Japan at this moment too right now then? It's amazing to think how there's only so much water but it can stretch along all these coasts to swell up and then push back down. Rhythm, cycles, flow.
Sat. Sept. 18
Meat Cleaver Man
"Granny always said 'if they're givin' you problems, show 'em your meat cleaver and if they're still comin' at you, they're fuckin nuts!' My little GRANNY said that!"
This was told to me by a guy on the street last night. He offered me $5 to go into the little convenience store that's run by an Arab guy. This guy needed 6 D batteries which came to almost $15. He told me that he and the store owner don't see eye to eye.
Store owner's name is Tony whom I've warmed up to but he DOES put on a gruff show for everyone. I noticed he knows his product very well and will always inform you of the better buy if he doesn't work you for the upsale. He's a good businessman.
Anyway, there was puke on the sidewalk one night. My new friend, the battery guy, says he offered to clean it up one night and Tony kicked him out. Who knows. Who cares? he gave me $5 for my troubles and three cigarettes. Fuck, I gotta quit that shit. I gave one away.
So then, after walking away from the store, we talked a bit and he told me about a couple characters to watch out for in the neighborhood, one of which, he recently had an altercation with involving battery man with his meat cleaver that granny suggested and the other guy coming at him and friend with a boulder. He showed me his hand wounds that are just now healing. He assured me it's a been a bit because they locked him up in a mental hospital for a few days while the boulder guy walked free.
So that's Battery Man, a.k.a. Meat Cleaver Man.
He's the young guitarist you see belting it out, "top of the mountain, that's where I lost my mind" with plunky coastal guitar chimes. He's in a few of my videos. I just can't get that song out of my head, and with no Spanish twang in his voice to color it with. It's just a combination that this kid's got. You get it all just listening.
I'm not sure how embarrassed Carlos will be to see this, but he told me he wants to be the Jimmy Hendrix of Latino culture.
I'm sorry to talk in this music-mag-intro kind of language, this flash and glam, but this is how we pick up musicians. The whole lingo of calling another man 'babe' and 'we gotta' look at A&R and all that. These are why the lingo holds to this day. I'm talking out of my ass here, but what I'm trying to belt out in my overcast muggy Indiana urban draw is that this kid has something. He's got something and it's that magic that the execs talk over their snifters of coy bourbon at 3pm because noon is soooo MadMen.
He comes across as a mix between Richie Valens and Kurt Cobain. He's never heard of the Meat Puppets, but that's OK because he brings much more heat than them. He's got his own thing and I AM 37, so..
I get glimpses of wisdom from him. He looks you deep in the eye and he wants that back from you too. He's got braces and the smooth skin like a pregnant woman and prominent cheek bones and you see this kid growing into something the world needs, but just not this moment. He talks like Americana youth, smokin' bowls and texting her if she won't pick up. Once he corners you for a bit, he shifts gears a little lower and wants to talk about real shit.
About my project, he said something interesting, making a point of the fact that I edit myself into it and how I can make myself look however I want to. Yep.
I thought of my thing being closer to 'new media' a.k.a. 'web2.0', a.k.a. ' the age of social networking', but I didn't bother to go into it because I noticed how this young guy has no attention span and a lack of social graces. All I know is that he's a shitty listener. I told him that, haha.. That's OK, I can deal with that. He's probably going to be reading this at some point if he can sit down long enough for more than one paragraph so I'm not talking behind his back here.
So I showed him my crying video. He called me a yuppie and I see him questioning my motives. He wants to know how authentic I am. Doesn't everybody? What is there to lie about?
It's the same with Michel, but she's a later update.
(this journal is a work in progress)
... is the arts editor of VC Reporter. I'm glad they wrote about our show @ 643 ProjectSpace, but on the cover it says "Artist Pretends to be Homeless". I assume that refers to me, though 4 artists were featured in the article. I'm assuming the choice of text was Michel's decision to make. If it was someone else's wording, well that's even worse because Claudia didn't write it and we're getting further and further from the source. I'm the source. Claudia Pardo did the interviewing and wrote the article, she should write all text associated with the article because a clear opinion in the review is essential whether the subject agrees or not. I agree with her article, I do NOT agree with being called a 'pretender' because anyone taking the time to read what I have to say about what I'm doing will understand, it's all honest and I'm not trying to be anything I'm not.
Yes, I feel vengeful. I have some emotion attached to this and I'd like to be fully upfront about that. It clouds my judgment and it clouds my art but maybe it'll make this entry a little more funny or divisive and maybe someone will be able be angry at me.
Anyway, my problem is that someone doubts my authenticity. Quite simply, my logic is muffled here because it's obvious that this person did not do their homework and made a snap judgement. Haven't I gotten used to that in this world yet? It's just an alternative weekly rag, what kind of quality standards did I expect?
Also, in the spirit of honesty & transparency, the nature of journalism is such that any sensation makes for more news and mental activity among readers so if I seem like I'm sensationalizing this whole episode, you're damn right!
I want to assist Carlos. It's the same with my new gay black friend from across the street. I went up to his apartment the other night and we watched "How High" but I looked at his art and listened to him read a couple poems.
Why do i want to assist these two? Is it because they are another race and of so held down and poor and misunderstood and underprivileged?
Fri. Sept. 17
Some things about moderation. I smoked a cigarette this morning. Yeah, I've broken my promise to myself. I'm sorry, anybody reading that might lose a little faith in the possibility of quitting, but before this week, I hadn't smoked for 3 months and this week it's only been like 7 of them, most were in one evening while I hung out with a new friend here that smokes, and YEAH, that's totally it. If I'm around people smoking, it's very hard for me to avoid doing it myself. I'll keep working on it.
So, sitting on the sidewalk today blogging a bit, I smoked one just a quarter of the way and decided there's no reason to continue smoking it. It was tasting like shit. I've gotten to this point before and because I had paid for it or I would think of later in the day when I'd want to smoke again, I went ahead and smoked the whole cig. This makes no sense really but that's my brain at work.
Now today, I stopped. I laid that smoke down in a prominent location on the sidewalk because i knew it'd be gone 15 minutes after I got up with all the bums that walk by here every hour. Low and behold it was gone even before I left because boom box man, remember him? he came by with a friend as he does multiple times a day and he stopped at the sight uof that nice cig on the ground. He halted, "Can I have that?"
I said "Yeah sure Boombox man, I left it there for somebody." His eyes were aglow for a second as he listened to me and he picked it up and said thanks.
This little procession of events, of course, reeled off a series of thoughts for me.
This was a smoke from a pack I had bought for my friend Gavin who lives across the street because one evening I smoked quite a few of his, so in my mind, I had paid for this cigarette.
Now I've learned about street people, they watch the ground, everything ends up on the ground. The ground is the great enabler, it's the great leveler, it's the giver of all bounty and street people don't look in trees for stray quarters and yarn and half cigarettes, they look on the ground. I'm giving back, someone wants this and they will find it here.
I was told once at the end of a dinner that there's some kind of etiquette thing where you leave a few scraps on the plate to be scraped off into the waste after dinner. Don't clean your plate completely because they'll see you as really hungry and feel the need to feed you more. There may have been more to it, more spiritual or unspoken kinda' thing about giving back to the earth or something but it was about finding the will to be finished.
Another point about that was told to me by a friend I've only met with once. She bought me breakfast because I gave her a piece of art. Her Name is Tele and she shared this idea with me that her husband had shared with her and apparently it was a concept important enough for her to feel the need to pass along this morning.
She said once something's paid for, it's paid for. There's no need to feel like it should be fully devoured or used up because it's already been created or cooked, prepared, and at this point, after purchasing it, one should not feel the need to use it all up. It's bought & paid for. It doesn't matter.
This seemed a bit counter intuitive to me at first as I don't like to be wasteful, but the logic goes, it was prepared, the potatoes were cut, the oil was poured, the onions were sautéed it's already there, if some of it goes back to the soil, there's no waste. The price has been paid; move on.
And lastly, it makes me think of the Buddha's words when asked about enlightenment and a follower wanted to know how it has changed his decision making powers. He said "I eat when I'm hungry and sleep when I'm tired".
Thur. Sept. 16
Observing how people move away from me, I mean on Facebook of course. but they back up sometimes and I don't think it's any thing I've done. It's what I haven't done. It's just like in the flesh world. Meeting up with friends and they'll come around or pursue me for a bit and then they're kinda' gone. Why'd they leave? What'd they want from me?
I only have people near me for a bit and then they're backed off.
I'm hiding right now in my box, thinking of all these past loves and I did love them. Shit, I still do. I've had these girls give themselves to me. I've had them still questioning me and asking, waiting, wondering why I'm the way I am and they want more from me.
They love me and the way I am but they also don't get me all the way. There's something missing they think, but to me, it's all here, more than most. I'm more than most and because of that, I have certain needs met within myself. Other needs are not met and one is dollar bills in my pocket. I'd like to take her out for a date but I don't have cash for such a thing.
A bit arrogant to talk of myself this way but that's ok. I can say anything. I've lost alot of fear and that's exactly what they're seeing but misunderstanding. When fears are gone, others see this as heartless. It makes me think of the enlightenment thing where you don't have the desire for things in the way you used to. One misunderstands how this will be once enlightened and fidgets for desires and wants to always have lust for things because we attach to these feelings and think it is ourselves and we see these desires as our heart; we don't want to lose our heart.
I can't wait to lose more stuff. I realized today that it's the very best kind of life that I'm looking for. A life with nothing to hold me down or back or in, that's the best kind of life. Laying in the park overlooking the ocean, I can nap in peace because nothing needs to be paid for and nothing needs done at any certain time.
Love is a thing to have and hold and keep and pay attention to. Nothing is free. You gotta' pay. You gotta' pay.
Some people get the fear beaten out of them. Some are only asking for that kind of beating.
Wed. Sept. 15
Talking with Monica today, two asides come to mind, one is "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" and the other is an artist, _____________ Indian? or from a country in that area, Nepal? He feeds people at art shows. Or did; that was his thing. Come into the gallery and there's a big table of food, not posh, or plush or even polished and nothing on the walls.
The whole show was on the table for your consumption. We all know cooking is an art and it's called 'culinary' but this was different.
Connection is the word I'm thinking of and I'm not implying any condescension or implication of bamboozlement, flim-flam or fraud. What I AM implying is that we connect on needs. Give/take, haves/have-nots.
Wow, just now, Priscilla, homeless pretty young girl I've interviewed came by here. She was with another guy, smart guy.. I could tell because he wears glasses but also because his gear was smart and contained.. earlier today I wanted to give him a quarter and he didn't give me that look so instead I said "nice vest" and he said thanks. Anyway, those two just came by so I went outside to ask her if things are good and she walked with him and they went in the shelter across the street. I walked toward them and it could have been good, but I held back and let them go in.
I read the body language and it wasn't about who's fucking who, that's not at all the point. That happens when it needs to and if that's that, that's great, but I'm just curious of her situation because she came in my place to see what's what. The guy is nice and we'll probably be friends if he's over there for awhile.
Anyway, my eyes have opened to a new kind of person and this is the kind of person that towers in human understanding over you.
This seems like a good ending for this afternoon's blog post.
2 Whoppers for $3.50 and then the grocery store for some wifi and food. I'm trying to resolve in my head that I don't need Starbucks there, though I'll have a strong draw to buy some coffee since I'm using their connection. Maybe. It's certainly good to use a strategically spent batch of cash to get people's sympathy. We should buy conspicuously when we do it.
Like for instance, today I stopped in at the bookstore. The bookstore, the one I support, MY bookstore, Bank of Books. They're the one opening the Erle Museum in the basement. They have wifi there.
So my new friend Carmen works there. She's the manager. She & I have talked about my project and she knows I'm in the paper it has been suggested that maybe I should try to get a fishbowl stint there as the owner boss guy is pretty generous and sympathetic and just might like to have the promotion I can offer.
So I decide I'm going to buy a book. One jumps out at me and it feels right and it's 20% off so I decide to buy it. Rachel is there but not Carmen and I ponder whether or not I'm going to buy it without the manager seeing my purchase.
This is all rambling through my head because I need use of wifi everyday and it'd be nice to add one more location to my list of wifi spots.
I so far have just outside of the gallery. I can pick up the connection from the library across the street but they limit the bandwidth I guess. It runs very very slow, even inside the library and you can barely upload a picture if it's not too big and videos? Forget it. So there's that connection. A good connection is down the street, Bell Arts, but I have to sit in the parking lot out back, which has actually never been a problem infact one night one of the studio artists there, Joe, fed me some beer and a big shot of whisky. I walk down there from the gallery in about 5 minutes.
Otherwise, I've found nothing at the beach, the big hotel there would never let me. Maybe I can figure out a little scam there to get the password. There's also one that shows up but won't work there for me called wifiharbor. Don't know what that one's all about, but no connection at the boardwalk for me.
Starbucks has it and they're open late and I can be pretty anonymous there. Their coffee sucks and it's an outlet issue there, just one basically, but I go there alot.
TODAY I just found out, the local downtown coffee shop has it available. I'm going to start frequenting their place as much as possible. An upscale cafe on main has it too but it's the awkward feeling there. And only one outlet at a big table. The less imposition I can make, the better.
Anyway, this is all about connection isn't it? I felt like writing about that, like how the richest people buy their separation. The poorest ones can't afford it. I need sake. I'll write that one another time.
Enjoy my crybaby video please.
2:36 pm now.
Pot is a beautiful thing.
Who messes with a person that lives outside?
[ok, at this point I went away from the computer and cried in the backroom, you may have seen the video.] I came back out and got the computer to cry some more on film. Apparently I wanted to cry outside of this room and also by my coffee.
So that was a total breakthru. I don't even need to talk about it. I had some things to say for this upload but I guess that too care of it.
Enlightenment Training #1:
Think of your mind as stinky air, somebody shit in here, there was sloppy food in the trash for a couple days, it stinks in here.
Don't use those air fresheners that cover it with more stink, use the purifying sprays that take that smell right out of the air. How do they do that?
I told myself I was going to the laundromat to edit the next video, I need to do that now. I'll upload 2, the one with Val that's super editing and features the lunchboxes and then the preemix of the crying scene.
I'm also going to call Alanna. I'm not heartless. I'm figuring out how to safely separate from everyone. It's not a sad thing, I won't always be this way but for one year I need to be separate from everyone.
I'm thinking of putting a cardboard show together. Last night I talked to a locally famous bum. His name is HatDave. He looks me in the eye and tries to verbally spit me away from him. I tell him he doesn't know what I'm about and to not assume. He tells me he'll sue me if I blog about any of the stuff he told me. I don't know why really, it was just spouting off a bunch of places he's lived and his family gentry, his war glory.
HatDave advises me he's not a good one to interview about the 'homeless problem' as he rolls his eyes and elongates the groaning word. "Talk to the women. He names certain city council people, ex mayor and some fat lady in charge of something, I'm forgetting now. They were'nt all women but he says it's the women I need to talk to, to interview.
He told me the Starbucks we stood beside used to be.. I'm forgetting the name, but a more local cafe.
I asked him if he makes hats, he said he makes money. Guess I just told you alot. Maybe he'll sue me. Maybe we'll finally get to know his last name. He looked into my eyes like a construction foreman. It wasn't weird and I wasn't scared and he didn't have any stuff at all except a yellow book in his caucasian hand that he never lost the page of.
It crossed my mind as we were talking that someone had recently told me the homeless don't need your money but if you talk to them that's more important. Like a human even. Remember that movie? "I see dead people". Like that.
Mon. Sept. 13
At the moment I'm at the pier restaurant, Billie's, Eddie's, Johnny's, whatever. It just turned 5, the place is empty. They're trying to fill the bar with happy hour.
These pants make this busperson's ass look so good. She doesn't have a tan. Not hardcore looking enough to be goth or whatever. Bet she loves the Doors. I'm listening to them thru my earbuds, basking in sunset rays and picking up a little seabreeze thru the window waiter opened for me. No wifi but plenty of outlets. Good hour to show up here.
This is the strangest life I've ever known. Wonder if the doors ever lived here. Those beach parties rendered in Oliver Stone's picture; I see Morrison here, in this beach town, thinking deeply, looking like a perched god, pondering like a greek poet. He could do what he wanted and he had choice to be what he wanted to be.
In this perfect place with my perfect body, this perfect time is mine. Tomorrow morning I might be sad but right now I'm alone with my laptop and earbuds and a glass of Bud. Might have to get another one of these. And then coffee. Tonight I splurge. I expect a return on my investment; today was stressful sitting at banks talking to humans in a systematized world.
It's a big responsibility to be able to do whatever you want. Money, that's always the hinderance. Always is, but to be free, it's not easy, it's not free. You gotta' pay for freedom.
As I sat in the bank, feeling like a moron because I don't care enough about their policies and I don't care enough to make it all work like it's supposed to, I thought of how the system is who we all work for. The system is who the big bank execs work for. We all work for the system, and this is not some kind of hippy rant against the system because I'm trying to see things for what they are and without slanted opinions.
I'm just seeing it neutrally and I notice we all fall in line. We fall in line, that is, if we're the worker bee type. We become the type that say I'm sorry for every little thing and excuse me and thank you oh soo annoyingly. We're so focused on making people feel pleasant that when we say 'can I help you' or 'how are you?' it's obvious that our intention is not really to be helpful, it's to move you along with no interruption to our pleasant day and what we really want is to be able to smoothly glide along and not think about you but think about the details of our own life which makes us numb and not so much happy but pacified.
It makes us talk about double fraps and berber carpet and eggshell paint and the difference between Mexican pavers and the more Swedish design kind. Frosted glass across my shower would make me happy and I wish to have more stainless steel in my kitchen because painted beige appliances wreaks of the '80's.
This banker, as I walked up, she was talking with one regular standing in line about tint and what kind would be best for her car. In my state of mind I had to focus on the fact that she'll be paying this guy $120 to give her car 25% tint intstead of 35% tint because he says a dark interior allows her to go a little lighter because it'll look darker because of such.
To apply brain power to details like this day in, day out, throughout every waking hour of every day, I wonder about waste. I wonder if the power that these people possessed might not be more well spent on something more substantial to the human race. Yesterday at Arby's a story similarly innocuous was being spouted off about a tree in the guy's back yard that was 20 feet tall instead of 10 feet because the wife wanted to outdo the neighbors' trees and this extra cost and work stressed him out.
I can't believe I'm going on about this because foremost, I believe we should only rant about original ideas and do it in an original way because I'm so sick of hearing the same hippy rants repeated over and over.
Anyway, back to neutrality, it's the system that we're all supposed to get inline with. These are the cappuccino and 25% tint people. Ohh.. I didn't mention the coffee machine that was a new addition to the bank apparently and has been oh so popular.
I could be an actor. I should start trying to move in that direction. At an age when we're all supposed to be learning how to work and be productive here, I learned that one should diversify his income. Don't put all eggs in one basket.
As far as being an artist, I just want to be able to relax and enjoy the world and reflect and not anchor my self to one place and one act and one lifestyle. I'm not a simple machine and I'm not a simple man and the world would do best to let me be what I want when and where.
In the late afternoon yesterday, I decided to ride up the hill here in Ventura. I'm so glad I did. There's a park up there and the view is priceless and my experience at that moment was incredibly unique. First off, I walked out into the tall weeds, there was a trail around the hilltop park, and there was a nudie mag laying there. That was weird and I thought of how it would be such a great place to jerk off. Just then some agro bicycle guys came by with a kid and were scoping out the trail 'cause they were downhillers and wanted to come back down for their kicks.
Once they were finally not looking in my direction, I picked up the dirty mag, careful to notice whether or not there were any fluids deposited I should be concerned with. There were not. I rolled the thing up and shoved it in my bag because there were no safe places for me to jerk it. I walked up to the grass where others were and there was a bit of a feeling in people's reactions. I felt out of place and knew they couldn't see my stashed nudie but I felt on the spot.
After shooting some shots across the immaculate ocean views, I walked across manicured grass to a stone built wall, giant pedestal formation that offered the most perfect view in the area, maybe in all of Ventura area. Just then, I notice a scuzzy with bright hawaiian shirt and big beat box walking up with a stick. From a distance I studied him, mostly because in the year 2010 people don't walk around with beat boxes so I had to wonder about this guy.
Visually he checked out for the most part. Clothes not too dirty, though, fully 'out of it'. Getting closer he seemed maybe a bit drunk. He got to the foot of the stone thing I was standing on and laid down his radio and I noticed a stick in his hand, not long enough for a walking staff. Oh great–what's this guy's deal?
He rumbled something to me and said "what are you doing up there? come here." I just looked at him, the brush off. This pissed him off of course and he continued to try to engage me and call me out and the phrase he was using was "you posting the club on me?" or something like that. I don't even know what he meant but he continued and continued until I told him to go away. "Mind your own business" and finally, annunciated very directly and looking penetratingly at him I said "GO–Do–SOME–THING" with a slashing side pointing gesture. Away dog and he did finally go.
For half a second I considered going down there to fight him because I need the experience. When I looked at his face, I saw a pretty fresh wound across it, like from twigs or something, nothing substantial, but it was deep enough to have deposited kinda fresh blood and I thought, nooo.. I'd rather not mess with this guy. He walked up the hill back into the dirt and away from the cleans.
Having that dirty mag in my bag, in the nomadic situation I'm in now, it made me feel a bit 'with' this guy. It made me feel on his level, at least a little. I'm not so far from his situation and I'm betting he's not a total dumb ass or even mentally challenged, per se, he's just mad. He's sad. He's a reject. He's been more cast off than the rest of us and he's not equipped to handle that fact.
This is the point where I say "I been there." To an extent, I have. I've been very mad, very sad and feeling rejected. I've felt alone. I've felt undervalued and I've felt like I need to engage others in battle to feel alive and to remember I've got something over others somehow. I can beat someone somehow.
I get this voice in my head sometimes, like a caring young girl that looks at this guy and wonders what happened to him. This person inside of me wants to reach out to him or at least thinks about doing such. She's an enlightened young thing. To have the tough guy on the other side backing her up, inside my internals.
Maybe I could get somewhere and help a guy like this, if only just a little. Maybe I could start by a solid punch to the eye, wrap his arm behind him once on the ground and a knee to his lower back till he calms down and then shift him into another frame of mind. Maybe offer a bit of whisky or share a joint, talk him down.
Instead of helping anything, I diverted action. I just got this human mess away from me and then I acted concerned for the other park people, that he might inflict harm on any of them. We all felt accomplished to have the guy walking up the hill into weeds away from us. Next time I'll stab him to death. Problem solved.
Sat. Sept. 11
Today was so satisfying. We had a room full of people. Ventura is a small enough town that our show was the biggest art thing going on this week in Ventura County.
Some of my very good friends showed up to be supportive. It was really great to have some friendly faces in the crowd.
The questions raised by this show were just perfect. There was so much discussion that made me very happy to have inspired it. Homeless in a gallery.