Monday, November 10, 2008


What to write about today?? What was I doing last week?? Trying to keep my head above water, get some work done in the studio, go to Portland – none of this is worth a blog. Of course it was election week and the results were beyond good. The sign on the side of the road said “Free at Last.” The Heartfield book lies waiting – are there parallels to the narrow escape we’ve just had? Why can I not be as disciplined as Obama in setting and sticking to a schedule? Shall I go read some more in hopes of finding a spark for what to write? Possibly yes, because I seem to be drowning in a sea of bad feng shui – books out of bookshelves, papers in piles on the floor, desktops and tabletops buried under sketchbooks and broken rocks.

So I pick up Post-Modern Theory, by Steven Best and Douglas Kellner. I knew of a Kellner once and he was German. And I read this: “Privileging botanical metaphors, Deleuze and Guattari employ the term rhizome to designate the decentered lines that constitute multiplicities.“ What they’re saying is that we live in a world where all things are interconnected in “random, unregulated relationships,” and desires flourish like crabgrass. Crabgrass proliferates where it desires to multiply, in a positive way, taking advantage of newly mulched soil or improving poor soil by breaking it up. Crabgrass is useful that way, and so is art that is decentered, for instance the cartography of Julie Mehretu, and the worlds that Matthew Ritchie presents. Like crabgrass, I desire so much – electronic music, more and more books, life amid the Northeast coast’s botanical and geological feasts, and time spent in big cities. In practice, these are the concepts and things that fuel my studio work, in which, rhizome-like, an oil painting generates an acrylic on paper generates an installation generates a woodblock.

Some rhizomatic connections:
John Heartfield
Matthew Ritchie
My Installations
Roadside Geology
Free at Last

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