Friday, June 25, 2004

In the Zone, the Green one, Pig Bodine may have been spotted:
....Roubicek is sitting in his room on the third floor of the Sheraton, drinking red wine and getting high on Afghan hash. You can buy excellent hash in Iraq. It's one of the perks of reconstruction. Before the war, getting high was punishable by a long stint in one of Saddam Hussein's jails. Now you can send an e-mail order and have hash delivered right to your hotel room. Roubicek's dealer is a cigarette salesman in the compound.... it all in Rolling Stone:
The Baghdad Follies: Hunkered down with the press corps in Iraq

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Pictures of What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow
Zak Smith, 2004

Page proof.(Letters)(Letter to the Editor)
397 Words
22 June 2004
Artforum International
ISSN: 1086-7058; Volume 42; Issue 10
(c) 2004 Information Access Company. All rights reserved.

To the Editor:

There's an error concerning my piece Pictures of What Happens on Each Page
of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow in David Joselit's review of the
Whitney Biennial, "Apocalypse Not" [May 2004]. Joselit writes: "Like its
literary model, Smith's work adopts an episodic structure through its
arrangement of 755 page-size drawings in a grid, but the connection to
Pynchon is largely metaphorical. While adopting different visual idioms
ranging from cartoons to modernist abstraction, Smith's subject is
apparently his own private milieu."

The connection to Pynchon's text is by no means "largely metaphorical"; it
is in fact meticulous, exact, and quite literal. As the title states, the
images correspond, in the order presented on the wall, to each page of the
novel--the first Viking edition, to be precise. (See, for instance, in the
detail reproduced in Artforum, the image in the bottom row, far right, which
corresponds to page 536: "He beams at Katje, a sunburst in primary colors
spiking out from his head.") The images required hours of historical
research and are as true to the descriptions in the text as possible. If
there's a B-52 in the fiftieth drawing, it's because there's one on page 50.

While I can only guess what insights Mr. Joselit may have into my
(admittedly rather limited) "private milieu," I assume I will be believed
when I report that it is utterly devoid of V-2 rocket strikes, sentient
light-bulbs, and paranoid men in pig costumes. All of these do, however,
appear in Pynchon's book.

- --Zak Smith, New York

David Joselit responds:

I am sorry for any inaccuracy in my characterization of Zak Smith's work.
However, I remain convinced that the relation among his motifs, his formal
realization of them, and the profusion of pages that constitute the piece
place the viewer in doubt over how systematic the project is. It seems to me
that, like Gravity's Rainbow, this artwork is meant to embody a system in
the process of its own undoing. To my taste--and I'm afraid I can't cite any
higher power than taste--Smith's network of text/image somehow needed to
read more forcefully qua network in relation to its literary analogue.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Artforum International Magazine, Inc.

....more about Zak's art (which pynchonoid enjoyed tremendously at the Whitney in March):

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

.... It's all so beautifully postmodern: all of the
Bushies' lies are true. Technically....

from: Fuzzing It Up by Ted Rall

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

From today's Financial Times:
....Of course, if Italian conspiracy theorists are to be believed, all talk of players, shapes and systems is academic, and the Scandinavians will strike a deal to play out the 2-2 draw that, thanks to Uefa's complicated and illogical rules (see panel), will see both through no matter what Italy do against Bulgaria - a suggestion dismissed as "ridiculous" by Olsen. Their fears probably say more about Italian football - which resembles sport as written by Thomas Pynchon, riddled by corruption and paranoia - than it does of the reality, but the instinctive defence that Danes and Swedes are bitter rivals doesn't wash....

Sunday, June 20, 2004

....Like a modern-day Bayeux tapestry, Dominic McGill’s latest drawing, Project For a New American Century, is an epic graphite on paper panoramic loop that stretches 65 feet. Standing at almost 8 feet high, the drawing hangs suspended from the ceiling and fills the entire gallery space. Project for a New American Century takes its name from a Washington-based neo-conservative think-tank “The Project for the New American Century“. Drawn largely from historical quotes, political slogans , media buzzwords, and pop culture references; this endless timeline spans from Hiroshima through the Cold War to the present, ending and beginning in nuclear fire. The work functions as a hypertext of conspiracy, the sensational, the propagandist and the revolutionary....

Sounds pynchonoid to me. Click for more details of the show, June 29-August 6, in NYC.