Lebenskünstler

A relic unearthed.

Posted in Uncategorized by Randall Szott on 08/25/2016

Way back in the day Jen Delos Reyes and I (among others), started a journal devoted to social practice. Gone, but not forgotten – the original domain is now a porn site, but you can still find the material here. I even gave it a face lift.

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Ted Purves – Aesthetics – Social Practice – Personal Economies

Posted in Uncategorized by Randall Szott on 05/25/2012

Summer of Utopia: Interview with Ted Purves

We’ve been working from another starting point: the position of economies in people’s lives and how exchange functions.  Even though we tend to think of ourselves as living in this highly capitalist market economy, we actually live within several different economic systems all at the same time.  Getting paid and going shopping is participating in a larger capital economy, but giving a friend a lift to the store is a different, casual kind of economy.  Not all of our relationships are of cliency and payment.  We are interested in the way people are negotiating between competing or overlapping economies within their own lives, and creating a way to see that there are different ways to view your own personal economy.

I feel like a project is successful if we have had substantive encounters with people, if we have created spaces where a kind of exchange—whether it’s family history, or talking about why something should or shouldn’t be in an art museum, or sometimes it’s just swapping recipes—some form of animated or engaged dialogue comes out, or some sort of story emerges.  It means we learn something, a story can be brought forward from that, that’s when things are successful.  Another high-five moment comes when there is something compelling to look at.  A lot of times when you see a social practice show, it’s either a room full of crap to read, or it looks like a place where they had a party and you didn’t get to go.  I’ve been to a lot of those, and they’re not satisfying!  You either wish they had just printed a book you could take home and read in your own chair—because it’s not very comfortable to sit in a museum—or you wish that you’d been at the party [emphasis mine].  When we did Lemon Everlasting Backyard Battery we had hundreds of jars of lemons on this table, and it was beautiful.

Open Engagement 2012, or a drop out drops in

Posted in Uncategorized by Randall Szott on 05/22/2012

What follows is a wholly incomplete account of my time in Portland during the Open Engagement conference. It may or may not be accurate or completely truthful. It is dedicated to my fellow travelers, and is especially dedicated to Abby (it may not be poetry per se, but still…):

 

Public sculpture near lecture hall.

 

eclipse watchers on the sidewalks

early dusk hummingbird escape

a graceful old farmhouse scratched by divorce and chicken feet

yakuza drinks with a Port Townsend farmer I swear keeps talking about gynecology (but is not)

an old friend rant, like falling from a bar stool – “ham and cheese sandwiches in my pocket!”

Cheerful Tortoise

beards and spectacles

aggressively unfashionable lesbians

fashionably unaggressive  straight dudes

bloody mary truth serum

portable wardrobe sidewalk disintegration

confiscated fake id with threats of boyfriend reprisal

tales of mutton served to unsuspecting family members

Grain and Gristle

red velvet cake with herbaceous Italian dessert wine

crazy i-talian farmstand bitches

Native American salmon fisherman breaking down his catch over beer (I open one for him as his hands are slimy from the work)

DOC

opening remarks missed due to hangover

pickled beets greens mint soft boiled egg

bamboo mat is magic carpet then hiding place

alka seltzer + alka seltzer plus cold medicine

they talk and talk of social practice yet the farmer’s market overshadows

Woodsman Tavern

stacking veggie filled Rubbermaid totes for Gathering Together Farm

iced coffee in the rain

old haunts with new friends

new haunts with old friends

honey basil tequila lime

driving a Toyota Tacoma

lunch in the grass

radicchio feta hazelnuts

crows by the dozen carrying on as crows do

pea shoots and potatoes

drunk Florida women yelling from a car (see also i-talians)

deviled egg w/anchovy

anchovy butter w/cauliflower

cauliflower w/smoked almonds

almonds coated in salty sweet cocoa

Obama classmate from Hawaii describes him in a way that makes me like him

Robo Taco throat slash confusion

Ted Purves as phantom limb

Stephen Wright as mushroom shaman

who is sleeping with their grad students/who is not?

much note taking and unasked questions

I left it all with a heavy heart and a French goodbye (thanks Sal)…