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Disposable Life

Week in Maine

Candy-colored and laser-traced, Jenny Drumgoole provides gleefully cryptic dispatches from the hyperurban liminal. Jamming stultified, waspy conventions together with telekinetic ad lib media interventions, Jenny knocks proper taste on its ass and annihilates current art market notions of supply and demand. She understands this is physic warfare against the forces of despair. That’s not clown makeup on Rox Soxx’ face: it’s war paint. Behold Jenny’s mediated meditations created during a recent road trip to Maine.

– Tyler Kline, curator

Tyler asked me to document my week alone with my dog in Maine at the end of August.

Below is a 35 second recap followed by: 1) a souvenir, 2) a thing I learned, and 3) a send-off to remember:

Eat Lightning Crap Thunder, Jenny Drumgoole, Curate This

1. This is an “Eat Lightning Crap Thunder” drink coaster I made (next to my acorn fort drink coaster). It’s what Mickey tells Rocky when they are training for a fight in the first Rocky. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious love and reverence for Rocky. If you have never seen any of the movies, start with Rocky (1976), then Creed (2015), then Rocky 2 (1979). Everything got weird in the 80’s so watch these before Rocky 4 & 5.

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2. I learned that I best understand Marshall McLuhan when I transcribe his writings in crayon. This is the introduction to his 1964 book Understanding Media, The Extensions of Man. There’s some really great stuff about the role of an artist in a media-driven society.

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3. In the early morning as my dog and I were getting in the car to leave, we got sprayed by a skunk. We had to make the eight hour drive home like this (my dog is also a car barfer). My first contact with humans upon returning to Philadelphia was at a Family Dollar on Aramingo Avenue covered in skunk oil buying armfuls of peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn. Apply and repeat the next three days, and if that doesn’t work, try tomato paste.

Sculpture and photo by C.J. Stahl. Curate This.

Disposable Life

Public Space and the Prospector’s Cry

I chose C.J. Stahl for this project for his analytical interrogation of the public object and its relationship to our collective consciousness. C.J.’s evidence of contemplation, his structures that act as residue of psychic alchemy, point toward a very personal and highly sensitive nomenclature of symbolic fetish. Through a rigorous methodology Stahl is able to document the privatization of public spaces and synthesize this visual ethnography through sculptural forms that present both a clear dialectic and mystic talismans. Stahl’s results stand as hybrid/dirty Cartesian calibrations of phenomenological artifacts.
-Tyler Kline, curator

When contacted about this project, I was excited at the prospect of documenting some of my changing surroundings using a single-shot camera. Since January of this year, there has been a development boom in many Philadelphia neighborhoods, including mine of Callowhill/North Chinatown. This was no doubt due to Jim Kenney’s first order of business as Mayor: signing an executive order to create the Office of Planning and Development, intended to streamline the development process for city administrators and investors alike. The resulting rapid appearance of worksites was hard to ignore as a pedestrian. Public throughways like sidewalks and street corners became congested or inaccessible, and once-vacant lots doubled as site and storage.

With the coming of the warm months, I began to consider another public space, one that is more green and seemingly in a dialectical relation to the current wave of development. Outside of the Reading Viaduct Project, under the now green-lighted name of The Rail Park, it didn’t seem that the development of mixed-use buildings was balanced with growth of publically accessible green spaces. I noticed the cultivation of green was looking more and more private. Places that looked like community gardens were actually privately cared-for plots, still very beautiful for the passerby, but not an option for a gardener hoping to fall within a participatory catchment. Individuals’ stoop gardens and armies of planters in front of their homes staked a claim that echoed the prospector’s cry. Space, it seems, is running short, and the need to claim territory is now, a near-synthesis of the dialectic.

This project gave me the opportunity to visualize some of my ideas surrounding the places and objects I encounter daily. The image roll that follows is a small selection of photos taken with the single use camera, as well as two sculptures and a collage that make use of these images. For the sculptural works, I considered the mediated experience of urban green spaces from the point of view of a domestic interior. The objects make reference to a space caught between an aesthetically manicured capacity and the desire for an immersive natural experience. The collaged work picks up on the idea of prospecting, and visually acts as a proposition or survey for sculptural works in a public space. In actuality, the space that is cited in the collaged image is private, nestled behind a condo building close to the Whole Foods on the Parkway. I have fantasized about installing works in this space, but it is hard to know how much longer it will remain vacant.

David Cronenberg

Homework

Somnambulist Alarm Clock: If You Must Stare Into the Screen

From bronze to digital, Tyler Kline’s art spans the ages, melding ideas of time, space, metaphysics, and humanity into packages of cast metal that last forever, or into Vine videos that live for seconds in a Twitter feed. Tyler is fearless in his use of materials, generous in his treatment of others in the art community, and one of the smartest artists working in Philadelphia today. He’s a member of the Little Berlin collective and by day he manages the Sculpture shop and the bronze forge at University of the Arts and curates several art spaces at that university.

-Roberta Fallon, past curator

Regarding phenomenology and the sensate, one of the greatest functions of art is to open new ways of feeling, thus eliciting new modes of thought. The following is an abbreviated list of media that attempt to map the landscape of the heart, with a network I created to explore artistic and intellectual connections in Philadelphia and throughout history.

Videodrome, Shivers, The Brood, and eXistenZ, films by David Cronenberg. Using horror as a language to speak as a prophet, these films weave a caustic poetry narrating a tale of a visceral existence mediated by an artificial cognizance.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, novel by Carson McCullers. Whispered gospel from the haunted, secret South.

Audition, a film by Takashi Miike. Tight steel tension lurking and staggering toward a transgressive resolution.

Endgame, a play by Samuel Beckett. One of the most hilarious situations ever wrestled into existence, pointing a fierce klieg light toward the more absurd aspects of the human condition.

Auch Zwerge Haben Klein Angefangen, a film by Werner Herzog. Holy fools and anarchist clowns define authority through pandemonium.

Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, a book by Carl Jung. A noble attempt to plot one of the most elusive yet inescapable forces of the universe.

Delta of Venus, a novel by Anaïs Nin. Prose as lucid and phantasmagoric as it is subversive.

Rigadoon, a novel by Louis-Ferdinand Céline . . . problematic . . stylish . . . assaulting . . . compassionate . . . doomed . . . jovial . . . beastly . . . ravaging . . .

The Impossible, a book by George Bataille. Disorientation as stasis and clarity.

Welcome to the Desert of the Real, a book by Slavoj Žižek. Draws much needed connections in our post Sept 11th psychosocial labyrinth.

Kikujiro, a film by Takeshi Kitano. Bizarre take on the father-son road movie that is so much more.

Being and Time by Martin Heidegger. Extremely important work, dense; I suggest the uninitiated first watch Being in the World and allow Hubert Dreyfus act as a lens into the concept of Dasein.

The Blood of Others, a novel by Simone de Beauvoir. Meditation on what it means to be free.

Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre. This novel meant a lot to me as a young man when I read it during my breaks as a graveyard dishwasher in Athens, GA; it contains a great passage regarding the autodidactic.

F♯ A♯ ∞, album by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “The car is on fire and there is no driver at the wheel.” This statement helped usher in the 21st Century.

2666 by Roberto Bolaño. A novel as an infernal biological mechanism, an animated corpse that bears witness.

Defixiones Will and Testament, a live performance album by Diamanda Galas. Art as psychic warfare against the forces of despair.

Hard to be a God, a film by Aleksei German. A spectral madhouse of what might have been, a horror, a vacuous portrait of a society spectacularly in disarray. “…it began with the destruction of the University.” Truer words were never burned into celluloid.

Negative Horizon, a book by Paul Virilio. Tackles issues of speed, scale, late capital, globalization, the military industrial complex, and the role of the urban metropole orchestrating this chaotic dance.

Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, the life of Paul Erdős, and As If Summoned from the Void: The Life of Alexandre Grothendieck. All elucidate a much deeper relationship with the universe that what we merely observe.

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Disposable Life

Lasers, Lips, Psychedelic Gifs

From bronze to digital, Tyler Kline’s art spans the ages, melding ideas of time, space, metaphysics, and humanity into packages of cast metal that last forever, or into Vine videos that live for seconds in a Twitter feed. Tyler is fearless in his use of materials, generous in his treatment of others in the art community, and one of the smartest artists working in Philadelphia today. He’s a member of the Little Berlin collective and by day he manages the Sculpture shop and the bronze forge at University of the Arts and curates several art spaces at that university.

-Roberta Fallon, curator

I actually have a long history with disposable cameras. When they came on the market in the late nineties I would use them to document travels, skate sessions, art processes, and the architectural changes of the cities I was living in at the time.

With this project I find myself tracing the same threads of connection. I animated certain photographs to give them a heightened sense of transformation, invoking the sensations of a particularly poignant studio visit, the alchemy of certain art processes, or the visceral engagement of a skate session. Others I combined in a sequential fashion to emphasize states of flux, such as in the changing Philly skyline or the repetition of riding the 32 bus into my job at UArts.

I have always been inspired by the way Philadelphia is redefining itself in the early 21st century as a post-industrial laboratory of urban living, and I always use my commute as studio time: either through daydreaming, honing vision, creating digital designs on a tablet, or drawing in my sketchbook.

The other images are the flotsam and jetsam of my daily life: meeting friends for coffee, playing with my family, and walking along distinctly Philadelphian landscapes become the rhythms of my existence.