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STORY OF AN ARTIST
NOVEMBER 28, 2006 3:10 PM


This weekend we watched The Devil and Daniel Johnston. So beautiful and sad, inspirational and dark- truly amazing. I am a huge fan of Daniel's music and art. I was particularly struck by the moment of relational printmaking discussed in the film. Early in his music career, Daniel was distributing a lot of cassette tapes of his music, and since he had no dubbing capabilities, he would record the same songs onto each tape, each time.
They would be variable tape editions made for each listener, but not personalized- just made again. There is something so fascinating about the compulsion, the repetition, the multiplicity. Originals, copies, multiples, auras by Daniel Johnston, troubled genius.

Daniel Johnston's multiplicity of originals reminds me of Bogdan's obsessive drawing activity. In a previous panel at the MAPC Laramie Conference he stated his notion that to draw something over and over is a form of printmaking. Likewise I have tried previously to print all of the animals in the world, but failed/abandoned the project as unrealistic. I was using existing images wherever I could find them. I was unable to discover, even, whether there was already any kind of correlation between existing animals and existing images of the animals. We could go on and list other exemplars. Yet finally we would end up in the same place: Borges' story concerns a kind of original map. According to Borges there was once a map that corresponded to the world in a ratio of 1:1. That map has been lost, ruined, scattered; occasionally one stumbles upon fragments of it, tattered, here and there...

...or, do you know the Laurie Anderson lyric from her Big Science release [1977?] let x=x. Life is in record, she writes later. Friends, we have to let go.

Dean Dass | December 1, 2006 2:51 PM

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