I started out in high school in rock bands. Living in suburbia, bored,
with no culture and no access to culture. I wrote, was an art major and
played music. At that time rock was just becoming big business. Here's
a word piece that was published in my high school poetry magazine;
REALITY IS SECURITY. SECURITY IS AN ILLUSION.
ILLUSIONS ARE DREAMS. DREAMS ARE LIES. LIES ARE REALITY.
I applied to art school and was accepted to PCA (Philadelphia College
of Art). My first weeks in art school were heaven. There I was with very
smart, creative people, artists musicians, poets, designers etc.. I was
a painting major at first. One of my teachers at the school was Rafael
Ferrer. He taught a 3D fundamentals course. He was however teaching the
most advanced ideas about Minimal Art. Rafael was a friend of Robert Morris'.
Morris invited Rafael to be in a Process Art show at the Castelli warehouse.
This was the show that introduced Arte Povera to New York. Ferrer filled
the staircase at the warehouse with dried leaves raked up from lawns. I
was enlisted with a couple of other students to help with the installation.
After returning to PCA I found myself less interested in painting and switched
to Sculpture major. The sculpture department was very active and wildly
experimental. I did performance pieces, photo/text and installation work.
I also studied film. and did body art.
Along with Rafael Ferrer the other teachers, Ree Morton and Don Roger
Gill were very active in New York especially at 112 Workshop in New York.
112 was the first Alternative space in the country. It was run by artists
and showed a lot of installation/ performance and conceptual works. I began
to hang out at 112 and after graduation got a make-shift job of managing
the gallery (actually just answering phones & gallery sitting). Among
the more interesting events at 112 was a Video-performance week orgasnized
by Willoughby Sharp. I participated in several of the videos among them
The Prisoners' Dilemma by Richard
Serra & Robert Bell.
After leaving 112 Workshop I organized a group of younger artists into
a sort of loose collaborative. We had several shows and then broke up.
A year later the group reformed and became Collaborative Projects. In the
meantime I had been working with Gordon Matta-Clark
helping him execute some of his large scale building cuts.
I was also doing my own videos/ performance and installation works. I became
part of the Punk Art scene and did a performance for the Chant Accapella
tape done by Davidson Gigliotti. My piece,
Rich Sucker Rap was an early rap piece although I didn't
know it at the time which was 1977. Most of my fellow performance artist
were pushing the boundaries and at a certain point we all formed bands
and began to play at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City. I was
in a band called The Communists
. I was the drummer. During that time I acted in films by Scott & Beth
B as well as Charlie Ahearn. I also did some sound track drumming for one
of the BÕs movies. I made sculpture and conceptual work. I showed
at various Colab organized shows,The Propaganda Show, Salute to Creative
Youth etc.. I moved to the East Village in 1981 and in 1984 opened a gallery
in the East Village. The name was Virtual Garrison.
I did this for a couple of years. I closed the gallery in 1986.
Between 1986 and 1990 I took some time out of the public sphere. I
was trying to build a stabile life for myself by purchasing a house with
a studio in the mountains. This became my refuge. I returned to making
sculpture in 1990. I made a series of archetypal, primitive sculptures
and exhibited them in various shows, among them the Value
Show curated by Dooley Le Cappelaine. I was trying to find
a way out of art commodity manufacture to a pure creative state. I found
that I couldnÕt reach a pure state with this work. I explored cutting
apart buildings as a sort of homage to my relationship with Gordon Matta-Clark.
I returned to the conceptual/ photo/text work I had been doing in the 1970's.
I produced a showed called Surveys & Questionnaires which was all photo/text
work. I did a billboard project called Terrorist Advertising. I did another
for Creative Time called and the Metropolitan Transit authority called
Hey Bozo... Use Mass Transit . The
Hey Bozo piece caused a big stir in the media. I was on the TV shows, Good
Day New York, ABC local news and NBC Nightly News.The United Press interviewed
me and put the story out on the wire.The story was picked up by many local
newspapers across the US.The NY Times, The NY Post, and the Daily News
all did a story on the billboard. I began to see Mass Media and information
systems as both material for art and a site for art making, A location
if you will.
Still not satisfied I began to experiment with the computer and the
internet. I joined the New York bbs's, artnet bbs, the thing bbs
and echo bbs. On The Thing I did my first internet piece. I was trying
to see if the internet was a viable method for distributing art. The piece
was BKPC or Barbie & Ken Politically Correct
. I started by scanning photos and presenting text & photos once a
week for 14 weeks to members of The Thing bbs. The members could download
the images for free. Later I happened into a gallery in Soho called TZ'Art.
I was speaking with the director Tomas Zollner when he confided in me that
he had downloaded BKPC and was using the images as a screen saver on his
computer in the gallery. This confirmed my idea for using the Internet
to distribute art. An image from BKPC was used in the December 1996 issue
of Art in America as part of the cover story about Art on Line.
At around the same time the New Museum accepted the CBS news report
of Hey Bozo..Use Mass Transit for a video show called Courage. I liked
the fact that the boundaries of that art work were not confined to a discreet
object nor to a specific event, rather its meaning exists separate from
any objectness or time constraint. Indeed recently the documentation of
the work and a 1/4 size new digital print of the billboard has been included
in the Meme Breeders Show organized by Ebon Fisher. I have often found
myself in the past, at odds with the incredibly slow moving mechanisms
in the art world. I feel this is because the whole attachment to physical
objects and discreet collectibles has an inherent slowness. Molecules after
all move at a much slower rate when they form material.
My next steps were onto the world wide web. I put up
Terrorist Advertising as a photo/ hypertext manifesto
outlining some of my ideas on media environment. I was invited by ArtNet
bbs to do a special project for it's new web site artnetweb. I put
up Faux Conceptual Art. The
piece is about signature style as a commodification of art. The work was
also a proposal for a museum show or installation. The work has several
forms, a digital form, a boxed set of the proposal and the actual installation
(as yet unrealized). My third project on the Web is called
Art Direct/ Sex, Violence & Politics.
It is a protest work that uses some of the more disturbing aspects of media
as an amoral confrontational system. The work is intended to convey psychic
the perturbance that always churns just below the surface in American mass
media. I find myself operating in a realm somewhere between art, advertising,
pop culture, sociology and performance. I often take the position of a
provocateur assuming that within a media driven spectacle society that
information and the response to information is indeed art. Along with my
Web projects, I write reviews for The Thing, and host a netcast talk show
called Art Dirt.