Nine Hour Delay is about Borovo, the last remaining public Yugoslav company. The company’s inability to divide its vast manufacturing infrastructure and privatize, prevents the finalization of Yugoslavia's formal split. This project funds continuous production of ergonomic Borosan shoe (thus preventing the formal dissolution of Yugoslavia), designed especially for Yugoslav working women in the 1960's, allowing comfort for eight hours of daily work (+one hour break). This work freezes the soul of the 20th century in a kind of zombified cryogenic chamber, like the patient in E. A. Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, who, hypnotized before the moment of death, stays alive after physical death takes place, bound by the hypnotist. With each new nine hour working day Yugoslavia persists (insists).
At ICA Philadelphia, the Borosan model was re-launched through a functional shoe display and a nine minute fashion show. The fashion runway was constructed by drawing together the two long sheets of curtain (suspended above the shoe display). As the models walked up and down, the curtain cutts off at dress height, showing feet only. The program: the runway music begins and the models construct the curtained corridor. One model stands in front of the curtain reading a performance text describing the shoes in the rhythm of the music. Next, she calls out a complete set of sizes, EU 37-42, in both navy and white color. On cue, the shoes are walked by the other two models down the curtained runway, or carried on mirror plates lifted from the shoe display. Once the music stops, the curtain is drawn back, the mirrors returned, and the models bow and exit.
A comprehensive musical inventory of eastern-european architectural b-sides, starring Daniil Kharms, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Sergei Eisenstein and scarcely clad young women. The buildings flash in and out of phase in a full blown seisure-inducing techno trance. Isamu Noguchi storage units shine again.
According to cultural property resolutions by the Geneva Conventions, no architectural structure housing objects of "cultural heritage of the greatest importance for humanity" can be damaged as an act of military intervention, invasion, or war. Annex facilitates strategic placements of art objects through an international network of activist-collectors who temporarily or permanently donate Western masterpieces to institutions lacking national or international protection. The project gives works of art a direct stake in political conflicts by creating architectural safe zones. Due to the delicate nature of this work the ammount of public information is limited. Details on this project, its stages, research, and deployment are available upon request.
Protocol proposes to construct semi-permanent roof facades rendering the buildings hosting them invisible or posing as other architectural entities to the satellite imaging technologies. High resolution roof camouflage prints are constructed from GeoEye (used by the U.S. Government) and NASA SRTM (used for Google Earth) imaging typologies, blending the structures into their surrounding landscape.
Protocol makes site-specific adjustments for each individual intervention site by using sub-orbital imaging satellites to facilitate such interventions. Together with their surroundings, the Protocol structures will be re-imaged in the cycles of satellite-based image capture (the areas of least military-industrial interest are re-imaged every eighteen months, while current zones of interest, like Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are refreshed on a weekly basis).
Each imaging cycle thus provides an opportunity for further re-construction and re-mapping in one of the following three scenarios: the structure disappears by blending into the surrounding environment (chameleon); it takes on a different identity adopted from another architectural structure (mockingbird); or it poses as a destroyed or dead version of itself (possum).
Architectural structures of interest to this project are buildings that suffer from identity crisis, in need to disappear and establish a certain mode of representational refusal, to hide, or to protect themselves. The Yugoslav Dramatic Theatre in Belgrade (JDP) will be the inaugural site for Protocol.
The focus of this work is a direct translation of Jedenje Bogova (trans. Theophagia), a diary of a chief officer at the Jasenovac concentration camp, that describes various experiments aimed at cracking Croatian anti-fascists and communist collaborators. The book was published independently by Goran Cuckovic in 1982, re-igniting the tensions between Serbian and Croatian populations in Yugoslavia.
The entire text is presented as a one large print mounted horizontally on a table top (the entire text, with translation break notations). The table surface of the print is coated in silver particles (scratch-off paint). Initially the surface appears to be a minimal matte gray/silver monochrome. The table is covered with an acrylic case hosting a medium size boa constrictor. As it moves in the case, the snake scratches the gray off, revealing the text in the spots where it rubs the print surface most often. One additional monochrome edition of six has been allowed into the public. The collector may leave the work minimal and abstract (gray) or gradually scratch into the surface, revealing the content of the page. The responsibility is up to the individual.
All objects and tools involved in making this work including test strips, material cut offs, a set of Epson ink cartridges, two printer maintenance tanks and silkscreens have been burned in a second firing along with the porcelain objects made for this exhibit.The porcelains are casts of maintenance tanks and cartridges used to clean the printer nozzles and print the work.The color irregularities on the porcelain result from the gasses released by the materials in the kiln. After the second firing, the objects were filled with glass and melted in a third low temperature firing, to resemble the fields of melted glass in Jasenovac.
This work was shot on abandoned American bases in Iraq, the streets of Cairo, Egypt, gardens outside Munich where Hitler took daily walks and various architectural imagery from Serbia, Switzerland and the United States.
The sand storms of sound transmit to the gardens and lakes of the west condensing the fogs of ruin. Struck by a beam of darkness, ancient friendships and suicide pacts convulse, trapped in perpetual present where dust covers all in the pace of television.
Here Comes The Darkness for cinema audiences features an optional live intermission. In the intermission, the audience sees its mirror image and is guided with numbered subtitles through a rehearsal of politics, displaying the lines to read out loud, written by Mikhail Bulgakov for theater audiences waiting.
This series tarted in the Belgrade Institute for the Clinically Insane, where I interned to portray non responsive patients whose illness was attributed to the 1990’s wars in the Balkans. Not allowed and interested to show their faces realistically, I manipulated the images to create surrealist “floating heads”, or phantasmagoric balls of lightning, citing the portraits of the insane and guillotined heads by Théodore Géricault. The portraits are harmnized with instances of architectural exception and imperfection as indexed by Danil Kharms and inforced by instances of insanity lingering in the memory of a landcape (vistas that Hitler saw during his daily walks around Munich).
Sonic affect, absorption, and physical aspects of sound inscription motivate video works like Djinn & Tonic (2011). A narrative inspired by Hofstadter’s Little Harmonic Labyrinth, cybernetic black box, and the dizzying atonal structures, was pressed into an 12 inch record, with a labyrinth etched on one side. Titled Infinity, the Answer to all Questions, the recording served as a soundtrack for the video, a high definition photographic tableau, made up from all the objects comprising the narrative. As the story unfolds, the objects are rearranged slightly, the record needle traverses a labyrinth, making the record skip every time the needle goes over the etched labyrinth wall.
HERE COMES THE DARKNESS, October 29-December 18, 2011, ISU Galleries, University of Illinois at Normal.
Photographic, sculptural and video works housed in a collapsable labyrinth structure organized around the Minotaur, a black cube that responds to electrostatic charge. At the center of the black minimal object, comprised entirely of metal-coated audio tape, resides a Van de Graaf generator, producing a charge that is distributed by visitors moving though the sculpture. In this process, electrostatics animate and distort the sculpture itself, paralleled by an audio transmission that is generated by the charge. Like the Domus Dedali of Greek myth, the piece is lingering with potential, made visceral through the skin. Mountains Will Give, Recital, Black Matter and Open-Form/Welt-Schmerz (2011) are photographic works designed for the Minotaur, acting as portals, diagrams, and apparitions that repeat throughout the sections of the exhibition structure and foreshadow the video works.
The League of Dark Departments have joined forces in forming the Gesture Guild, a bureau for the recovery and acquisition of lost gestures. The Gesture Guild aims to return and reinforce the primordial anxieties responsible for head-bending weight and other liquid spiraling disasters, topical and tropical.
The public, inflicted with recession-based involuntary movement, nervous twitches, and ticks, due to the loss of solid surfaces and time-space incongruity, can join various Guild programs in search of gravitational re-calibration.
FOLLOW ME SAILORS!
WHOEVER TOLD YOU
THERE IS NO TRUE, FAITHFUL
AND ETERNAL SEA?
MAY HIS BLISTERING TONGUE BE CUT OUT!
FOLLOW ME, MY SAILORS, AND ONLY ME,
AND I WILL SHOW YOU SUCH A SEA!
The refrain of this song is derived from a Communist youth work song, a parody on Romeo and Juliet, ridiculing the bourgeois notion of love. The strophes are disasters, topical and tropical, devoted to the survival of SS Patria II carrying the International Congress of Modern Architecture in the Summer of 1933 from Marseille to Athens and back. During the last night of the voyage a terrible storm made the vessel lose control. The sea swamped the deck. To avoid capsizing, the ship gave up and let the gale decide its course. If it had sunk, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Kurt Seligmann, Christian Zervos and Van Eesteren would have drowned, among others. This song is ideally to be performed while collectively performing physical labor or in a Eastern-European-grand-hotel-like ballroom. The work formations and the ballroom sailor choir should assume symmetrical choreography opposite the viewer. The performer’s voices, drums and clothes should be symmetrical. If there is an uneven number of performers, remove the extras, or position them in the center.
The drum score is included in the score notes, so that the listener can play or sing along. The pdf below contains the score booklet.
A newspaper archive of semi-fictional set of narratives re-telling the deaths of conceptualism's greats as recent Belgrade narco-mafia assassination and kidnappings. The text creates a kind of serial killing spree aimed against the white men of minimal and conceptual art (Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Joseph Beuys, Sol LeWitt...) before their arrival to the opening of the first major international survey of conceptual art When Attitudes Become Form curated by Harold Szeeman for Kunsthalle Berne in 1969. The exhibit never takes place since the key artists get killed before ever making their work or on their way to Bern (feminist outcome since the exhibit featured 66 men and only 2 women--Eva Hesse and Jo Ann Kaplan). The humor ceases when the methods of killing are exposed as direct translations form Serbian contemporary daily newspapers.
Projection for external media facades and giant black projection rooms. Initially conceived as a neon manifesto, Night of the World broadcasts a comforting voice of passion from the dead of darkness.
This screening program is designed for theatre audiences. Prior to the screening, visitors are given a numbered program. After the audience is seated, and attendant announces the intermission, the program benginns. The audience sees a real time mirror image of itself on the projection screen. A line of drummers is seated in the first row. Subtitles (lines) are superimposed via a max patch, numbered, so that the audience members read them out loud as their number appears on the screen. They enact a film designed for theater audiences and a variety theater on stage (a smash product narrative of Marinetti’s Theatre of Surprise and the Black Magic Act conducted by Woland in Bulgakov's Master and Margarita) resulting in the chaos of revolution. The audio is collected for a separate work, accumulating echo chamber, where the sonic crowd grows with each consecutive screening. The text, by being repeated, re-performed and re-recorded facilitates a kind of revival chant. It serves as an accumulation site, a repeated rhythmic framework, for bringing revolutionary imagination back to life.
Apart from being performed on its own, Intermission remains a work that can be optionally inserted during screenings of longer video works like Djinn and Tonic and Here Comes the Darkness.
A project for the sludge metal band the Melvins, a double LP cover for an exhibit curated by Bod Nickas. The cover was etched into black aluminum and manipulated by the Melvins during their performance at Blum and Poe, Los Angeles by a pile of amplifiers strong enough to bend the metal (the sound and kicks crumpled the aluminium sheet). The remainder was scanned for the Melvins to create an LP based on the names constructed for the tracks. The names were etched on the drawing’s grid: BRAIN, BLOOD, BLOOMS.
A parallel track record with random track selections, titled On Being Buried Alive, broadcasts a fractured and disoriented narrative timeline. It is used as a sleep program narrative. Since 2007, a physical dormitory for fifteen people has been produced and can be sent to any venue for a sleep event. Upon requets, bankets, pillows and military sleep mats are shipped to the project site and announced through a set of instructional posters. The package also supplies the parallel-track narrative, The Oath overhead slide, and a light owl extension for the record player projecting the night skies. The audience gatheres, occupies the dormitory, the lights are turned off and the program plays to lull them to sleep. This work is ideal for war and natural disaster emergency evacuation sites. The record player can be powered by a hand crank to avoid wasting any emergency generator power.
This score was created for dark caves and working mines. Designed to test the limits of the french horn instrument, this work can be performed only by Giovanni Punto, Dennis Brain and Barry Tuckwell in its entirety. Since it requires two resurrections (Brain and Punto) Diaboliad stipulates a Satanic pact. The editions are printed with ash cartridge and once the score dries, it is smeared each time it is touched, staining the hands of the reader black.
Accompanying objects: 1.red to purple color suck measuring the length of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s conducting cane (the conductor hurt his toe by banging the baton on the floor while conducting, creating a gangrenous abscess resulting in his death in March of 1687), 2.concert sound absorbing block, used in symphonic recording studios and as packaging material for Imacon film scanners.
This work, conceived as a ongoing collaboration with University of Chicago Department of Astrophysics, functions as an annual index of all galaxies imploding since the work was first exhibited in 2006. Especially pertinent in a time of recession and disaster, recently the editions were developed into personal one-offs, where annual editions can be ordered corresponding the year of worst personal failure by the person purchasing the work. The edition is sent flat and crumpled into a pile by the collector and hidden away to gather dust and ruin.