PEACE, POPEYE, INCUBATE
MARCH 25, 2007 4:53 PM


[short video]

Last week, Emma and I marched in the Peace Rally downtown Chicago from Michigan and Chicago to Daley Plaza. The march was probably the most peaceful I've attended over the last four years. Marchers varied from elementary school kids to old men yelling, "What do we want!?" - followed by a response of "PEACE!" yelled by a group of teenage girls. Even the police seemed to be accepting of the situation, opposed to recent rallies I'd been to in Grand Rapids, where everyone has this sense of anxiety that the police are there to infiltrate and instigate rather than protect you, which is on mark. There is an article in today's NY Times about police infiltration prior to the 2004 GOP convention in New York City. NYPD spread out through the entire country - according to the article they, "made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. Other investigators mined Internet sites and chat rooms."

There are more photos of available from the protest here.

I had spent a good 40 hours in less than a week doing photoshop work for an artist, removing Popeye from old comics and then rearranging them to form a new narrative. The final piece was installed at the MCA along with vinyl signs like one above the desk.

To add to the list of things I have been doing to avoid my dense reading for class, we've finished painting the InCUBATE space and started moving some things in. We also went to Home Depot and bought a ton of lumber to build a loft at the back of the space a la NEST.

More pictures of InCUBATE here

Comments (0)

POPEYE, SCRABBLE, RADICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
MARCH 13, 2007 11:22 AM

I have spent over 30 hours removing Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Dick Tracy from old comics - leaving only the word bubbles left. This is all for an artist that I am working for who is preparing for a show that opens the 19th, thus the urgency. I'll say more about this once it opens.

I never realized all the gender and class issues going on in these comics, especially with Popeye. There is one series that I worked on where Popeye announces he is the "Dictitator," and is constantly talking to himself about how best to fool the "sheeps." Sound familiar?

Aside from spending ridiculous amounts of time photoshopping Olive Oyl's knobby knees out of the picture, we've been playing scrabble like addicts. Jdawe who tends to flaunt his knowledge and grasp of the English language somehow never wins, and Emma - who is most modest in her approach, tends to always win.

Most of the time we have been using the online Scrabble dictionary for word challenges, but it'd be nice to have a secondary slang dictionary. Any suggestions?

I'm currently taking a class on the history and the theory of the avant-garde, exploring the different developments and appropriations of the term; from the Russian constructivists, dada, Clement Greenberg's "Avant Garde and Kitsch," etc. These artists and groups of people aren't all necessarily "avant garde" in the same way, but there does tend to be a common theme; the avant garde cannot exist without the bourgeoisie. Without the money of the upper class and the "umbilical cord made of gold," as Greenberg calls it, the avant garde would cease to exist. In terms of this history, it is exciting to think about the potential of InCUBATE; we are a group dedicated to understanding infrastructure and creating alternatives to relying on corporate sponsorship, private loans, grants, etc. These ideas are also alluded to in the article about Chris Gilbert on LAMB, creating a "radical infrastructure," or rethinking the ways in which institutions work, as Brian Holmes would say.

Are the arts administrators the new avant garde rather than the traditional artists? With separating themselves from outside monies and creating a self sustainable infrastructure, can we still use the term avant garde?

Comments (3)


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