Gold teeth diary 7/16
I was doing the “Bruce” routine (British accent rich person in Gotham City looking for Bruce Wayne at a benefit party; used to do this routine mainly with KW in the Lockwood kitchen before noon) with this kid I love at breakfast for like 25 minutes just now, he was saying how he was in England this year “because his drama teacher is Shakespearian” and he really liked how the palace guards didn’t move when he poked them, but how “they would probably move if you pissed on one.”
1) LITMUS TEST / TWO BECOME ONE
This being the fifth year of doing this job I’m not able to remember all of the funny things that have happened anymore. Jeff reminded me yesterday about how this same kid used to “do ‘Iron Man’.”
Two years in a row at the talent show (aged 9 and 10, he’s 11 now) he wore this little freddy kreuger outfit and did slowwww air guitar and head-banging to black sabbath iron man. He did it totally straight the first year and everyone was like, What?! and with a huge grin on his face the second year, scanning the crowd with eyes narrowed, while a few people cracked up laughing and everyone else who was there the year before was like “AGGHH AGAIN?!”. Something in here about how a good chunk of the crowd isn’t gonna be psyched to hear that there’s “another SHV/Tsarlag show at Mars Gas.” (Some girls came down to the project with heavy makeup on and shirts in knots and said, “Tom, look, we’re punk rockers today!” and I said, “No you aren’t!”; and of course the ingredients for this basic exchange to happen exist every day, everywhere.)
I’m off today but when I saw this little dude going into the dining hall I was like “nah I got this one, Rebecca you can go back to the project.” I started doing the Bruce routine while explaining to him how you butter toast (he made me get a different knife from the one I used to slice my banana up; I used both knives to butter my english muffin sorta to prove a point) and after breakfast we emptied out his backpack.
Contents = Two composition tablets for drawing/writing, two mangas (Naruto vol.1 and a chibi thing) in case he loses one, two sticks (one that “looks like a magnum” and one that he had no idea what it was doing in there), a flip video with a busted lens, some twisted pipe cleaners that he’s using to “make a cat toy,” some crystals, some rough-cut wood cubes, about six fully drawn-out 11x17 comic/video game fan art pages, a Sonic the Hedgehog Universe comic, dry leaves, crumbled packaging from British crackers he liked (i.e. he liked the packaging), a full water bottle that was not his, a stuffed dog, a stuffed sock creature, pencils, sharpies, three wooden blocks on an axel he made at the shop (“it’s a guy with no legs”), and a round glass container with little puffy balls in it, that he said had no purpose.
2) WHAT I AM DOING
Swimming a lot, working on real life, working on camp. Listened to MARBLE SURF on a deck as the sun was setting. Listened to Angels in America while reading my RISCA fellowship rejection letter; alas, no dog for Lockwood Street this season. Watched the Grateful Undead while printing the second ZOLA’S last week. Went on some nice hikes, some nice walks.
Been doing all the same stuff as last week = Reading, drawing, working on this and that. Confirmed a painting show at Space 1026 in Philadelphia with Mike Hall for February, so now there’s that. Prototyping forms for the DP window project. Working on ideas for a 4”x4” thing that’s gonna get scaled to 1”x1” for the cover of top-three-providence-poets Kate Schapira’s upcoming book; was super psyched to be asked to put a thumbprint on that.
At camp I like doing “craft projects” (historically this has meant mending/embroidering my clothes, but now that I have like six of these pocket tees and three pairs each of these pants and shorts I’m good) and so yesterday I made the chess set above. Similarly, I’m terrible at having a cool bedroom in real life so I thought it would be funny to mess with that here. I guess this just means “I’ve been decorating.” I’ll post a picture of that when camp is over probably, it’s still nothing to look at; right now “decorating” means there’s a lot of paper and junk I found on the floor in there, and that I swept and put my laundry away this morning.
3) COOL SHIT ALLEN IS DOING AT CAMP
PUNCHING IN = Sixteen kids = One tape recorder = Single track cassette = Trillions of rhythmic overdubs, cut-outs, tape-sounds. For fans of the horrendous DENNIS DUCK DOES DISCO tape, or like, a non-cloying outtake reel from THE BOOKS: 50 minutes of mirror-mystery-babble from a ton of different voices taking turns in a room. Drifts between a way-zoomed-in Folkways recording of kids being silly in short bursts, burping voice/electronics/tape-noise, silence, and super brief and shining moments of actually-composed music. Variously intolerable, fading, mysterious, kinda funny. A definite dreamtime super sound = Take a nap with this one on and you can do a project at the camp in your dreams. Someone (Mickey) put a 20 minute edit of this out (on PRICE TAPES) so someone can make Allen a discogs page and so I can review this for Vice.
TURNING THE HOG LOOSE = Two surveillance cameras, a weird room, a television, a VCR, an A/B switch for the cameras. Realtime video of “arguing about nothing” cutting between the kids. Non-sequential, non-narrative, non-specific, non-directional arguing. Arguments on tape include “I was here first,” “I need my space,” and “Stop it.” When they’re good they’re at least twice as good as anything from YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON TELEVISION and of a similar fidelity. The project title is re: what Herzog told Nicholas Cage to do in Bad Lieutenant. The idea is for the kids to do this too as they argue with each other on tape about nothing.
GURU MOVIE = Fourth iteration of Allen’s “kids covered in burlap and slime” movie-making technique. This year it’s multiple takes of the same scene = A searcher climbs a mountain, and asks a guru a question. The guru has a huge beard and there’s a smoke machine going. The video’s not the greatest (the kids wrote/directed/lit/etc. the scenes and directed them, so the quality’s super variable from scene to scene) but the stills from it rule, ahahaha, and at least two of the scenes are pretty funny. The beard is made from a huge bag of alpaca wool scraps Allen got a local llama farmer to leave out for him to pick up on his day off.
This new dude Bryan (who was the TA for Allen’s color theory class at Alfred last semester) is re-recording the entirety of VU+NICO with the kids, all songs one take, not playing the actual songs for the kids. Can’t wait to hear that.
(Jeff is doing amazing shit here every day too. So pointless to even try to go down a list there. “You had to be here.”) We’re a little less than halfway done with our summer.
I’m making this camp magazine in the “piles of paper” format; that’s coming out next week. Gonna probably fall pretty square in the middle of “What the hell is this” and “Check this out.”
4) HERE’S THIS
Outlined water spill
This font also seen on a recent Gross Domestic Product release
Across the street from Wild Willey’s Burgers, Rochester NH
16-page “classic mini” zine I busted last week to promote this idea of what’s possible with a “camp magazine” (submissions due tomorrow)
On my day off
At the bulletin board
Right now it says “Eatin is perception”
Rudeboy over the village, 7/15/11, 10pm