A seasoned alternative pathmaker, Chris Carlsson’s latest book NOWTOPIA has been on the shelf for about a month and will be on a Pacific coast tour through the summer with Russell Howze’s brand new foray into the publishing world ( though already a longtime chronicler and comrade of the street art worlds, i.e. stencilarchive.org ), STENCIL NATION on Manic D Press.
And if you’re in San Fran on June 6th, don’t miss the sure-to-be-a-Blast street art show and SN book launch at Cafe Revolution.
[ photo: I. Franco Ortiz - Oaxaca, Mx ]
Coincidentally, we were recently tipped by an anonymous reader to a fantastic article: Men in Denim re: Richard Barbrook’s Imaginary Futures by another top-notch thinker and radical Bay Area writer Iain Boal at MetaMute, which we will attempt to fully analyze in regards to our own participation in the recent World Ex-Po-Sition show here in Vienna … at some point.
But for now, it brings up some thoughts here as we post these 2 new California-toned books. We’ve been having some rather heated discussions with artists here in the “poshloch” ( posh hole) of the Austrian capital. And we are compelled to notice that the “notes from the underground” a la left coast Bay area Utop-niks, the happier insurgents , and seemingly well-adjusted radicals are comparable to some of the arts+activism circles in the equally privileged and gated euro-states, with the slight difference that the entirely unsustainable seems more stable here. Something we will have to fully flesh out to do it all justice, but suffice to say, it often feels that the urgency in insurgency has been strained of all the xtra seeds and pulp to produce a smooth counterculture that tastes mighty fine and full of optimism. That is, until you take into account the bottle is not only NOT half-empty but rather being pumped into a half-full – and plenty erroneus- picture, cause, well we must entertain our audiences now and again in today’s short-attention-span olympics to keep ‘em smiling, cause perhaps otherwise we will be communicating to an empty house about burning theaters, while in fact inside and outside the temperatures will continue to rise. Yes, it’s quite probable that the very theater wherein you sit and read this spontaneous cappuccino-stirred (we confess) rant is a hotly contested and precarious position.
“Wait ! Stop! OUR theater is Not on fire! You are sowing panic and directing flies into our diplomatic art soup! ” says the well-situated artist from his balcony perch.
“No, No, Yes, I only wish to poke a hole in the cow’s eye (btw: no cruelty to animals, only humans that are starring as animals), a new dada act for our times. Nevermind the rabbits in the hat, if only i could bring you an 1848-1920s-1968-2008 style art riot to the cubicles and the telepresent mobs, to the cinemas, and to the new playing fields. The semiotic rip would make a (w)hole the size of a fat ass eating chemicals-n-lard-drenched popcorn to the very end of his wide-screen feature sleeping pill. He’d fall right through this globe’s plush red mercy seat, and wide awake rethink the new entertainment before he even hit the ground with a psycho-surgically removed cataract. And the fiber-optic or copper-wire umbilical cords totally frayed and scorched are ready for further neighborly ‘couching’. Yes, Step right up to The Cataract Couch, unplugged, starring xtras, lots and lots of human xtras… who suddenly discover new self-directed roles…Coming soon to the theater near you!” says the underground militant carny/clown.
No disrespect to any of the authors above, we don’t even yet have the works to review them, but Boal’s article in particular is a stiff reminder with that rare quality of looking the beast(s) directly in the eye. And we think that’s where the new art begins to take shape, position and aim. Thus we’ve arrived at a possible new theme: that anything humans defined as art Before is now very likely just postcards from the edge of the globalized cliff.
to be cont.