On my stop in Pittsburgh I did three events. I finally got pictures from the last of them. Thanks to Terrance and Yona for hosting a reading at their home and to all the folks who showed up and shared poems. What a wonderful Night.
"This essay has made two basic claims. First, Heidegger and Greenberg were right to call for a depth behind the surface content of art, but wrong to identify this depth with a unified holistic background. The problem with modernist theory was not that it decontextualised art and made it too autonomous, but that it rooted autonomy in the features of the medium rather than the internal fascinations of content itself. Here Surrealism was an undeserving loser, along with Kandinsky, as in Greenberg’s blatant dismissals of both.
Second, Fried was right to call for an art without literalism, but wrong to see the human as solely a literalising agent. While the artwork must have a depth beyond how it is encountered by the spectator, the human is less a spectator than a co-constituent of the artwork itself, since nonfascinating art simply fails in a way that nonfascinating science does not. The undeserving loser here is not just performance art in the strict sense, but any form of passionate attachment, or ‘sentimentality’ as Fried terms it.”
- Graham Harman
Between Detroit and Chicago we made an impromptu visit to the Birdsell Mansion/Project in South Bend.
After leaving Pittsburgh we drove to Cleveland, where we were greeted by snow and hotdogs. The first event in Cleveland was a Type sorting and cocktail party. We drank Manhattans and the Alaska state drink. Though I was born and raised in Alaska, it was a drink I had never even heard of. 1 part chartreuse, 3 parts gin and a splash of orange bitters.
It was great seeing everyone at Zygote Press again. That being where the book was printed. and we got a huge amount of type sorted.
The first stop on the Rust Belt tour was Pittsburgh, PA. The city with the most bridges in the world and (unbeknownst to me before arriving) a pretty hilly place. Above are some pictures of type before, after and in-between, from the reading at Encyclopedia Destructica (thanks to Courtney and Nhatt for the pics).
The following day I spoke to a class at the University of Pittsburgh. The upstairs of the art building is set up circling a small enclosed garden. Along the walls are reproductions of old masterpieces (down in the windowless basement is where all the art students work). I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the reproduction of Saint Francis and the birds.