For someone who knows very little about visual art, I’m awfully critical of it. I’ll be the first to admit I’m creatively clueless, but the truth is, I just can’t get excited about a think piece. That’s true of most of the arts though, not just visual. I want a book to deliver everything I need right there on the page. Maybe I’m just lazy, but if I have to dig around in history to find something in the work to appreciate, I feel that you, as the artist, are only doing half your job. Perhaps that all means I’m just not an art person. Maybe I’m a craft person.
What I find so compelling about this work by Croatian artist Boris Bucan, (whose select record covers and show posters are collected here by Will of 50watts.com) is its intricacy, its evidence of Bucan’s effort into detail and commitment to vision. What I admire most about this work is its craftsmanship.
This was one of the first tapes I ever bought. A guy on the street sold it to me out of a box full of reggae tapes. I don’t know why I even stopped for him, but in retrospect, it was destiny. Other surprisingly unembarrassing earlies: Depeche Mode’s Black Celebration and Epic by Faith No More. I was maybe ten or eleven; at any rate I was young enough that I still shared a room with my sister, who confessed to having nightmares thanks to the creepy shit I listened to in bed. Sorry sis, but not sorry. It gave us character.
(note: I wanted to link to this video but it kinda ruins the vibe because it is NOT scary. Disturbing, yes, but not in a cool way.)
In Which We Treat Everything Like It’s the Same Thing
My reaction to being faced with all this music — sooo much muuuuusic — is not to uncover, amass or devour, but to weed — to pare down, shrink and throw out. Somehow I actually worry that the presence of all this crap is detracting not only from the integrity but from my enjoyment of what’s really good. I don’t want to be distracted by the mediocre. The record store has become a projection of my mind; I accept that it holds a limited amount of stuff, and I don’t want what I love being crowded out by static.
If I’m going to actually spend money on an album and lug it around my unstable life with me, it’s going to be a record. It’s a rule I have. Manual transmissions are for those of us that prefer a sense of presence and agency in our day-to-day and I feel similarly about vinyl. An LP is also a much more physically and historically weighty thing to hold in your hand. I don’t fuck around with CDs.
That said, I’m nobody’s mother; I’m not above breaking rules. I might have to go rogue for this - only on CD.
I dream of the day I graduate when oh, all the time I’ll have in the mornings/evenings/weekends to sit at my kitchen window and read! Take my coffee in sunlight with some flowers somewhere nearby probably and sit and read my paper. I could even write, too, if I wanted. I could spend my waking hours - which I will look forward to, in the future - writing and enriching and feeling accomplished. I will be accomplished. I’ll have the housedress and sprawling daylit kitchen to prove it.
I’ll take showers! Every day! I will be the kind of clean and brushed and moisturized that ladies who have time for those sorts of things are. I’ll eat meals, thoughtfully. I will think about the kinds of meals I want to eat and then I will make them and eat them. What a thing! To plan and think and do. To list and execute and complete. And then to have time to sit and reflect and feel accomplished in the kitchen with your coffee and the reading in the housedress with your clean hair!