Saturday, August 15, 2009

Week #29 The Anti-Fashion T-Shirt Project - Conceptual Art

For five years straight I wore only T-shirts adorned with something I’d written on them in black marker. The things I wrote on the shirts fit into two basic categories. The first category was self-deprecating remarks like “I feel vaguely guilty all the time”, “I’m weak” or simply the word “Ugly”. The others where things I wanted to express to the world but had some sort of fear that kept me from doing so; comments like “I’m ashamed to be white”, “I do Drugs and I Vote” or “I want to Kill Tom Hanks”. All the comments where stated as “I” statements, these where my feelings not facts about the external world, there was no way anyone could disagree with them.

The essential concept behind these shirts was two-fold. The first thing I was trying to do was examine the nature of fashion. I came to the conclusion that fashion was a way we non-verbally tell the world something about ourselves. My idea was to see what happens if we bypass all subtlety and just write what we feel on ourselves.

The second level was based on my belief that most of what we try to express to the world through fashion are positive traits. We are trying to tell people “I’m confident”, “I’m interesting” “I’m well adjusted”. These are usually things that are not entirely true about ourselves. With my project I wanted to make fashion that expressed the opposite, that said things about ourselves we maybe didn’t want the world to know. Thus “Anti-Fashion”.

The project it’s self is long over, it ended on July 1st, exactly five years after is started. The project was both entertaining and enlightening but after a while I just didn’t want to explain myself all the time.

I still have the shirts though and I still wear them from time to time (There’s over fifty of them in my closet). There’s pictures of models wearing them, videos of Anti-Fashion shows I’ve done even an award I got for “Best use of First Amendment Rights of 100% Cotton” from the North Bay Bohemian. I even sold some of them to people on eBay.

What I’d like is to find some way to show the project to people as a finished product. An experiment that ran it’s coarse. I’m not sure how to go about it but it would be nice to have something to show for it

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week #28 Better Biographies - Book

This weeks project is one I just thought up but I'm kind of exited about it. Three separate things inspired it:

1) When I was in New York recently I bought a tiny little hard cover book from a street side book seller about Sarah Michelle Gellar. Despite my deep love for buffy, the mere existence of the book was ludicrous. Also Sarah Michelle Gellar had just about the most boring life story ever.

2) I was reading my book of short film biographies, the biographical dictionary of film, and I came across of the director “George Stevens”. He directed Fred and Ginger in Swing Time, Montgomery Clift in "A Place in the Sun" and the story of christ in the Greatest Story Ever Told. He also shot some of the 16 mm footage of the liberation of Dachau.

3) Recently, with my Cultures of Wonder project and a few others in this blog, I’ve gotten more and more interested in creating fictions and presenting them as part of the real world.

I thought “what about writing fictitious biographies for real people?”. That way we could make Sarah Michelle Gellar as interesting to read about as George Stevens. After all public peoples life stories are usually told with an eye for entertainment, why not just cut out the editorializing and invent the entire thing.

I’d want to do about 20 of them and present them as a book. I’d love to have twenty different writers work on it, one for every celebrity. Maybe I’d even get someone to illustrate it with portraits supposedly commissioned by the celebrities, although that might be too silly.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Week # 27 Shows at Lobot - Event

Ryan Beebe, my old friend and co-conspirator asked me recently if I’d be interested in booking shows with him at Lobot Gallery, a venue and art space where he lives.

The idea is simple enough. He’s got a great space and it’s open most weekends, we might as well start filling it with people and music.

We’ll be starting small, one show a month starting in early October and then moving to a biweekly thing in the beginning of the year. These wouldn’t be huge shows just something to keep us busy and keep the art/music world in Oakland thriving.

We met the other day and we both agreed that the thing to do would be to make them theme show. Kinda like the Mishap shows but way more layed back.

We need bands, art and films. Oh and we need a name for our project something simple that doesn’t commit us too much to any one aesthetic.

Here’s the themes we’ve come up with so far:

Tropical (in the Winter of coarse)
Black Coffee (Where we serve coffee)
Jumpsuit Party (Me and Ryan got thrown out of one these once)
Outer-space Cocktail Party
County Fair
Dance Contest
Dance Marathon
South of the Border Party
Talent Show (Ryan did one of these for his birthday it was bad ass)
Roller skate Party
70’s Porno Party (Biggest mustache contest)
Movie Monster/Vampire Party (Not around Halloween)
Christmas Party (In summer)
Art’s and Crafts
American Gladiators
Bouncy house (in the house)
Laser Tag (All we needs the equipment)
007 Party

Let me know if you guys can think of anything else.