December 4th, 2009

science, oppenheimer, poetry

madrid, barcelona

I think the 10 year old boy I live with is deeply confused by me, and is confusing me just as much in return. Today his little sister told me he wanted to let his hair grow long like mine, and even though it's really hard to read his feelings i sensed him blushing while staring at GTA Vice City Stories. I don't mean that he has any kind of romantic inclination towards me, well I hope at least. He is of the aspiring badass type of kid, all tough and macho, quiet, frowning and not letting anyone touch him. He's showed admiration at my drawing abilities, and my ease with technological matters. Once he asked me to draw him, after i drew his sister. He liked it, but then he grabbed the eraser to change his mouth - I asked him instead to pose so I could draw it for him and he made this angry face showing his teeth. grr.
He also likes the big chain with a lock i wear in my neck whenever I ride my bike (his mother's bike actually). But I probably give him just as many reasons to think of me as a weirdo, queer, uncool old guy, as one day i wear a leather jacket and cool shades and the next Im wearing a stuffy old mans jacket and getting all aroused to debussy and saying "oh in my time i was the worst skateboarder I couldnt do a thing!". And more than ever before in my life Ive absolutely no desire to resolve those ambiguities to have, as I've proven unable of doing it time after time. There's way too many contradicting things I want to project to the world outside and trying to control it is bloody useless.
He also made his mum buy him the yoghourts I eat, which are the cheap brand from the cheap supermarket Dia, instead of the fancy ones he usually eats. Im still puzzled by that one myself.
I wonder if he likes me so much why won't he let me teach him how to draw!!!! I hope it will happen in the week i get to babysit them both this month
science, oppenheimer, poetry

(no subject)

while in barcelona i had the inmense luck of catching an old friend of mine doing a guided tour of the John Cage exhibition at the contemporary art museum there. He usually does it as part of MACBA's program of activities for children, so he did it in a very entertaining way as we were the first group of adults exposed to him.
And it was lucky that it was so, for what could be more inappropiate for someone like John Cage than a guide who used the usual contemporary art bluff talk to expand his works into some shapeless infinity?Of all the very complex and advanced artists in the past century, he is one that cannot be expressed beyond terms a child can grasp, for good and for ill.
While in the shabby non-art school i went to I had a big trouble putting together in my mind his work and that of Duchamp with the complex terminology that they were introduced with.
Cage is known for making a 1950's audience listen to an orchestra playing a score which consisted of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence and changed music forever. Duchamp exhibited a toilet in an art gallery in 1917 and changed art forever. That was the official line, only with less words. My obtuse and provintial 18 year old head had an enormous trouble getting around that idea. I guess the thing that most troubled me was what about the rest of those two guys' work?what did they do the rest of their life, after changing art and music forever?did they retire off the royalties and went hunting giraffes with Dali in the south pole?what was in their head that was so brilliant,and can I have a piece of it so I can change something forever too?I wouldn't have minded something humbler, like being the guy who changed origami forever by making a crumpled paper ball during the World Origami Olympics.
But in this tour of his work I got it, and I might have grasped part of the mistery that always eluded me about contemporary art. I realized that those two iconic acts from duchamp and cage were so much bigger than themselves as artists, that they had rendered their work almost invisible as a result. They almost seem like the doodlings that the idea itself would make if it was a person, and had to fill its days doing whatever until death made it inmortal. Its not like their work is worthless - what it was is as unpretentious as can be. Oh, wait, im getting it now, as Im typing. Fuck, was I ever obtuse!I was fooled by the epic proportions those acts had taken. Ive been fooled all along and I see it now, in the middle of making my point. What I didnt see was the same that the others didn't see, and the reason that those 2 deeply innocent acts became a scandal in the first place. Fuck, I dont know how to resolve this situation now Im just gonna have to post this as it is to show my foolishness.