Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ray Bradbury's Halloween Tree

O Mr. Moundshroud, will we ever stop being afraid of night and death?. . . 
When you reach the stars, boy, yes, and live there forever, all the fears will go, and Death himself will die.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Many a star must have been there for you so you might feel it...

- i am taking samples of light as it passes through a glass orb filled with water
- i am covering them with lacquer
- i am applying paint to mimic the lines of light passing through the surface of water, as seen underwater
- i am covering them with polyurethane and then repeating the last two processes to create a physically create depth
- using white paper and using paint to create abrasions
- i am then covering them with wood finish
- my interest in skin and light has brought me to the exploration of photodermatitis

Thoughts in the Studio:
I often question my artistic practice, and question the work I am doing, I question why I am doing art and not something else, I doubt myself and that anyone understands what I am trying to do, I think that what i am doing is contrived and just a sad simulation of a simulacra, I think about everything everyone has ever said (negative) about what I am doing and believe it, and when I feel like all i do is add tic marks under "Not good enough", i remember that for some reason i am still here and there has to be an all encompassing reason for my existence and what i am doing... or else i wouldn't be ... why do i invest so much in contingencies?

I want to come up with the equation that will effectively, efficiently, and successfully, solve the problem of the plight of existence. I hope to further explore porphyria cutanea tarda (a skin disease characterized by blistering of the skin in areas that receive higher levels of exposure to sunlight) ... and perhaps even the mythology and mysticism that has been entangled into this affliction... i think that i am interested in these subgroups of unique individuals that are estranged from whole populations and ultimately tortured or killed... and then maybe delve in the reversal....

Celtic Druidism // druids = philosophers and theologians
Diodorus Siculus -Greek historian who wrote Bibliotheca historica - remarks upon the importance of prophets in druidic ritual:
 "These men predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals: all orders of society are in their power... and in very important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest; by observing the way his limbs convulse as he falls and the gushing of his blood, they are able to read the future."
Writing :

"For beauty is nothing but

the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,

and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains

to destroy us."


take a deep breath... do not breath out... count to ten in your head... still holding your breath get a glass of water... do not breath out... take a drink of water... do not breath out... swallow... do not breath out... think of nothing... breath out... your hiccups are gone =) 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

porphyria cutanea tarda

Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is the most common subtype of porphyria. The disorder results from low levels of the enzyme responsible for the fifth step in heme production. Heme is a vital molecule for all of the body's organs. It is a component of hemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood.

This type of porphyria occurs in an estimated 1 in 25,000 people, including both inherited and sporadic (noninherited) cases. An estimated 80 % of porphyria cutanea tarda cases are sporadic. The exact frequency is not clear because many people with the condition never experience symptoms.

Porphyria is implicated in the origin of vampire myths because people with the disease tend to avoid the sun due to blistering and desire iron rich foods (blood and meat) due to their enzymatic deficiency.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fahamu Pecou is the Shit

Danielle Galietti
CAP – October 13
Fahamu Pecou

Visiting artist Fahamu Pecou spoke at the University of Delaware on October 13th. He began his lecture by talking about the plight of the artist post graduation. He noted how he had made up a bunch of packets containing his resume and samples of his work, and then sent them out to a bunch of galleries. He figured that in no time he would be receiving calls in regards to his work. However Pecou became worried when none of these venues had called him back and contemplated on whether it was because they were unable to pronounce his name.
This incident provoked Fahamu to start thinking about why the visual artist was not advertised in a way similar to the hip-hop artist. This questioning led him to create his own marketing campaign “Fahamu Pecou Is The Shit”. He started with viral advertisements posting flyers throughout his town. He kept the flyers extremely vague in regards to the event however clearly stating a time and place. He was interested in seeing how many people would show, or if anyone would show up to this “mystery” event. On the day of the event Fahamu remained low key and hung out at the bar until midnight. While standing at the bar a gentleman approached him and inquired about the man that was advertised about in the flyer. Fahamu played innocent, shrugging his shoulder back at the man. When midnight struck, the stage was illuminated to reveal a sole easel. As the Dj began to spin, Pecou walked on stage and began to paint. As the night progressed people began to drink and even dance, enjoying the atmosphere. One participant remarked, “He IS the shit!”
Fahamu continued his advertisement campaign by distributing T-shirts with his image and the words “Fahamu Pecou is the shit”. He also began to widen his source and means of distribution. Pecou created fake postcards advertising the magazine “Contemporaneo”. He placed these post cards into various magazines at bookstores; soliciting people who found them to fill out and send the postcard back in order to receive a free copy. He contrived this magazine to feature his image on the cover, as well as a couple of back copies so to make it more believable. He used his uncle’s address in Brooklyn in order to make the request appear more legitimate. Not long after, this next wave of advertisements were put into the public, Pecou received a call from his slightly perturbed uncle inquiring about why so he was receiving all these cards. His interest in this project spawned from the questioning of how people were chosen to be on the cover of magazines.
One of his most interesting pieces was a performance that was the result of a reactionary response. On the day of the opening of an exhibition at the Hyde Museum, Pecou was at the space finishing installing his work, when he was asked to not display. This last minute decision to take Pecou out of the show was based on a thought that they might not have enough space to show all the artists. After all his hard work in preparation for the show, Pecou fought back and argued for his work to be displayed in the show. Fortunately the directors gave in and allowed for him to show his work. However this incident upset Pecou so much that he decided not only to be in the show, but rather “to take over the show”. Pecou arrived to the show in a limousine, accompanied by bodyguards. Since he had known some of the security staff at the Hyde Museum, he had arranged for them to escort him into the building, meanwhile cutting the line, which extended around the corner of the building. As he entered the exhibition space, dressed to the nines replete with his “eye candy” at his side, Fahamu began his performance. He refused to talk to anyone, and if approached his bodyguard would step in front and hand the person Pecou’s business card. Because of this flamboyant procession into the museum, Pecou immediately caught people’s attention. People began to whisper and inquire as to who this man was. His performance was so success that in a newspaper article discussing the show, only one paragraph was actually dedicated to the show, whereas the rest focused on Fahamu.
Borrowing imagery and taking cues from mass media, Pecou continued with these ostentatious displays gaining much recognition. At one art fair in Chicago, Pecou set up his pavilion to resemble a VIP lounge area of a nightclub. Not only did he have black velvet ropes surrounding his space, but he acquired a high end brand of vodka to sponsor it. Because of the way he advertised himself, Pecou’s work sold out by the end of the day, where as other artists did not even sell a single piece.


I have been intrigued by them... especially the fibonacci sequence...

I have been haunted by them...
 the number 9... duchamp made 9 original erotic objects, there are 9 bachelors in the large glass, there are 9 bullet holes in the large glass, he produced 999 copies of the first papers of surrealism exhibition catalogue...

the number 7... Dante exlpains that there are 7 circles of hell in his Divine Comedy...the number 3... there are 3 volumes in his Divine Comedy...

9,7,3... is my area code... they are all odd... two are prime... i hate odd numbers...


divination by means of water, including the color, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool.

there are seven methods

"In a fifth method of hydromancy mysterious words are pronounced over a glass of water, then observations are made of its spontaneous ebullience." --> lullabyes?

Trial by Ordeal

confessions extracted under torture
"swimming witches" = trial by water

ordeal of hot water
the ordeal of hot water requires the accused to dip his hand in a kettle of boiling water and retrieve a stone.

ordeal of cold water
1.) where a man accused of sorcery is to be submerged in a stream and acquitted if he survives.

2.)The cruel pagans cast him into a river with a millstone tied to his neck, and when he had fallen into the waters he was long supported on the surface by a divine miracle, and the waters did not suck him down since the weight of crime did not press upon him.

3.)Ordeal by water was later associated with the witch-hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries, although in this scenario the outcome was reversed from the examples above: an accused who sank (and usually drowned) was considered innocent, while floating indicated witchcraft. Demonologists developed inventive new theories about how it worked. Some argued that witches floated because they had renounced baptism when entering the Devil's service. Jacob Rickius claimed that they were supernaturally light, and recommended weighing them as an alternative to dunking them. King James VI of Scotland (later also James I of England) claimed in his Daemonologie that water was so pure an element that it repelled the guilty. A late witch process to include this ordeal took place in Szegedin, Hungary in 1728.[7]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rock my Religion

Rock My Religion is a provocative thesis on the relation between religion and rock music in contemporary culture. Graham formulates a history that begins with the Shakers, an early religious community who practiced self-denial and ecstatic trance dances. With the "reeling and rocking" of religious revivals as his point of departure, Graham analyzes the emergence of rock music as religion with the teenage consumer in the isolated suburban milieu of the 1950s, locating rock's sexual and ideological context in post-World War II America. The music and philosophies of Patti Smith, who made explicit the trope that rock is religion, are his focus. This complex collage of text, film footage and performance forms a compelling theoretical essay on the ideological codes and historical contexts that inform the cultural phenomenon of rock `n' roll music.

For a short preview

For the whole video

Thursday, October 22, 2009

lost in a dark wood

from the Inferno part of Dante's Divine Comedy

uttered by an unnamed demon

Saturday, October 17, 2009


How to Build Binaural Stealth Mics

Sound Artist Janet Cardiff, who works alongside Georges Bures Miller (see link in side bar for more info) uses Binaural Microphones to record her "Walks"
These microphones actualize 3-D sound, and when you listen to her walks (she literally goes on walks and tells a story) it sounds as though u are actually walking with her... I have a couple MP3s recordings of her walks if you are interesting in listening to one or a few of them in full length.. however you can listen to excerpts to some of them on the website (click on the word Walks) =)

PHOTO: Janet records her walks while carrying a mannequin head that is wearing the microphones... so that mannequin head becomes the listener...

I have become recently extremely interested in Sue De Beer's work. In her latest video SISTER she collaborates with Alissa Bennett: writer and wife of artist Banks Violett ( see previous post for more examples of her writing). Bennett writes the screenplays and monologues/spoken words that are included in DeBeer's videos. SISTER, is beautifully haunting, enigmatic, and even playful. I encourage everyone to watch this beautiful and intimate portrayal of a relationship between sisters.

This piece struck a connective chord... for many reasons i could draw correlations from my personal experiences, and was extremely moved by this piece... some stills i could relate with

things sisters do...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Potential Banner Design

Pending apporval... this is the potential banner design for The Curatorial Apprentices FIRST SHOW!!!! AT the CFA!!!!!
It will contain various objects from Africa from the University Museum's collection

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alissa Bennett


"And then it's quiet, and I listen to the wheels until they're playing 99 Red Balloons, I mean the 7 Seconds version, and everything's the same as always, like time isn't progressing in my life at all cause I'm still finding the same song I found last week, and I'm wondering who's gonna take my place in the passenger seat when I'm gone, and by then I bet the radio will be fixed, and it will be warm enough to go outside without a coat. It sounds perfect, like the first day of summer vacation, but I know it will only happen if I'm not here.

I've really thought about that, like how every single person who was ever in my life is gonna think that if they'd just found the right word, or if they'd payed more attention during ninth grade suicide prevention class that they could've stopped it, but it's not like that.

I have to talk to the school psychologist twice a week now, but I never really listen to what she's saying, I mean, I listen, but her advice only makes sense for a second, like when I'm in that office it's a different universe where I could salvage my life and my academic career, and there's a chance that I will have some control over what happens in my life, but as soon as I leave, all I can think about is that the prospect of having to brush my teeth for the next sixty years is just too disgusting and awful for me to deal with.

Everybody wants to think that suicide is this dramatic event, and it's not. It's like you're walking on top of a roof, and you have about ten seconds to decide if you want to stop, or you want to keep going, and you decide to keep going. Sorry I'm always talking about this shit- it's boring, but it's not like, a cry for help of anything. It's just the truth, and the day I die, the sun will come out, whole world's gonna smell like green. There's a bee in the classroom, so I'll turn out the light, shut my History book, and start summer vacation that lasts for ever.

Sitting in the car with Jim, the windows are all rolled up cause it's still a little cold, and he always smells like soap and cigarettes. There's a cup of soda from McDonald's on the dash board, and he's kind of my boyfriend, so I know I can have as much of it as I want. I don't want any, but I'll drink some to show him that I didn't forget, and we're still together. His hand's on the stick shift, and I'll cover it with my own while I stare out the window, and there's no way he could ever imagine that all I'm thinking about is how I could never do this for the rest of my life. He kind of looks at me for a second, and he's so nice to me and he'd never ask me for gas money and for now I'm really happy just to sit in the car and watch the trees.

Hand clapping starts, 99 red balloons go by."

For full writing by Alissa Bennett in the Superficial Dragon

Master Players Concert Series

Dani Galietti
CAP - Oct 10, 2009
Master Players Concert Series
“I Left My Heart in Newark”

Last night marked the season opening Faculty Gala for the Master Players Concert Series. The performance entitled “I Left My Heart in Newark” featured the voice and musical talents of the University of Delaware Faculty in the Music Department. The chosen pieces that were performed were by a variety of different composers, some of which included as Rachmaninoff, Rossini, Sarasate, and Brahms.
The performance began with a piano accompaniment. Soprano Sara Seglem-Hocking beautifully sang “Chere Nuit”. In the next performance an xylophone was brought onto stage, and a very animated Harvey Price accompanied by Linda Henderson on the piano played Rain and a Spanish Waltz by George Hamilton Green. Before the performance Price noted that Green was one of the ground breaking xylophone composers. I especially enjoyed this piece because of the performative qualities the musician brought to the piece. Not only was their a focus on the music but Price had an extremely corporeal response to each individual note he played- it was as if he was literally acting out the music. He wasn’t just playing music; you could tell he was extremely passionate about it. This was extremely true in the case of baritone singer Robert Brandt, in his performance of “Largo al Factotum” from “The Barber of Seville”. As he sang to the piano accompaniment of Marian Lee, his facial expressions and arm movements truly conveyed a sense of the song and his personality. However, I was even more enamored when Lawrence Stomberg entered on stage with his Cello. Along with Holly Raodfeldt-O’Riordan on the piano, they played two incredibly amazing movements from Rachmaninoff’s Sonata. Before the performance, Stomberg noted that the reason for his more formal Tuxedo attire was because he was “so pumped for tonight”. Though the validity of this statement was thrown off by the jesting remark of tenor singer Blake Smith, who told the audience that it was in fact he, himself, who told Stomberg to wear a Tux. Smith was an incredible performer, in tone, and in actions. With Marian Lee on piano, they ended the first half of the performance with incredible energy and life.
After intermission, the second half began with Xiang Gao on violin, and Marian Lee on piano performing 5 movements from the Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25. Gao and Lee were fabulous together. There was so much emotion and energy in the music and especially their performance. The following performance was a Piano Sonata for four hands. Two women, Marian Lee and Christine Delbeau, shared the bench and played a lighter, fluffier piece. The piece, by composer Francis Poulenc, took advantage of the dissonance that was created by the two players, to create a fun and lively sound. The concert culminated in a multi faculty final performance of Brahms’ “Liebeslider”.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cassandra Jones

Dani Galietti
CAP - Oct 6, 2009
6pm -7pm
Cassandra Jones Visiting Artist Lecture

Visiting artist Cassandra Jones introduced herself to the University of Delaware as a Photographer. However, all the work that she showed contained no photographs that she her self took. She began, with the quote “Now a days photography has become as widely a practiced form as dancing and sex.” Jones commented that there were already so many photographs out there in existence that instead of adding to this limitless resource she decided that she would use it.
When she was younger, Cassandra promised her grandmother that when her grandfather passed away, that she would accompany her grandmother in her return to Greece. However this happened at a very unfortunate and extremely hard time: during Cassandra’s last thesis year. She confessed how she put up a fight but however in the end obliged. It was here in Greece where she decided to put her camera away and explore the wealth of imagery that was already in circulation.
For the first few weeks she was on the island, she noted how her grandmother, who hadn’t been on the island in over 36 years would encounter familiar faces. Every time this happened, the two people would stop in recognition, embrace, and cry. This was followed up with coffee and the combing through extensive amounts of photo albums. It was at these encounters and coffee meetings that Cassandra began to notice that almost every person had the quintessential sunset photo. This is where the idea for her thesis work came from.
“Eventide” her thesis piece is a 5minute stop-motion video of the sun setting. The photos came from hour and hours of Cassandra collecting from people’s personal albums, magazine, and the Internet. She would then scan all the imagery in and arrange them so that as the sun set it always anchored in the center of the screen. She did this with another one of her video pieces “Wax and Wane” which showed the different stages of the moon as if moved in an arc from the left to the right side of the screen. Interestingly so, this is not the first time something like this has been created. She showed the audience a video created by the NHL, which has been broadcasted on television. It shows the Stanley Cup positioned in the center of the screen, and as the photos change the players and team change showing a linear progression of Stanly Cup champions and the Cup’s passing through generations of hands.
Another source for her imagery became EBAY. She poured through thousands of photos looking for patterns and trends in imagery, until she found the one she was looking for. This was the $2.99 “cheerleader with leg in the air” photograph- the quintessential crotch shot. She purchased this photo and then used PhotoShop to arrange the figure into a radial design. She did this multiple times, using different cheerleaders in the same position. She continued to do this with as many different cheerleaders in the same position until she had a array of different radial designs of different cheerleaders. She then arranged these into a pattern and created her own wallpaper. This was incredible because when you saw an installation view the wallpaper resembled “your grandmother’s wallpaper”. However on closer inspection you noticed these flesh tones, and if the viewer came close enough they would be rewarded with the fact that these intricate designs were actually composed of fragments and layers of cheerleaders. She did this also with photographs of actually flamingoes. She noted that it was interesting how the flamingo “money shot” resembled that of a lawn ornament. Commenting on how the way in which we think about flamingoes is extremely influenced by these kitsch objects.
One of her most interesting works was entitled “Swarm” in which she described as a drawing. For this series, she collected thousands of images of lightning bolts and then arranged them so that the lighting created a closed connected circuit. However if you really looked at this circuit you realized that the lightning was arranged to resemble different urban animals. In the first collage she showed, the lightning created an outline of a bunny, and in her other arrangement it created the outline of a squirrel.
Though her work wasn’t extremely cutting edge and original, her ideas and the way she talked about her process was extremely interesting and inspiring. The process of searching and arranging added more to the work than just the pure visual element.