Aural Sex: Kate Bush, Word Play and Towering Old Erections
In this new installment of our BOOKMARKED column, artist, curator and critic Darren Jones (a regular contributor to artcritical) gives insights into his work. Through his habits and interests, one can detect some of his thinking and working process. Although Jones disclaimed that this column isn’t intended to be related to his critical writing, one can no doubt nonetheless discern influences, pathways, and his mind at work. Jones’s writing for artcritical can be found here. And his website is darrenjonesart.com.
Considering the clamorous and literally unbelievable results of the life-editing that has corrupted our presentations of who we are — replacing them on social media with desperate assertions of who we would like to be seen as — rather than contrive a list of what I would prefer my topmost visited sites to be, thereby concocting some intellectual fantasy about myself, I remonstrate here against digital self-denial and provide the list of my actual recent most visited sites, and what impact they have on my life as an artist. They are in no particular order.
This site is the Kayak of porn, alleviating of hours whirring about the web in frustration, by efficiently finding the pornographic clips that a person most responds to. Type in the word or phrase that you are looking for, and it searches all the top porn sites in an instant. It even makes suggestions. PornMD frees up oceans of time for considering my next exhibition, while simultaneously offering up the male physique as artistic inspiration. And anyway, it’s on doctor’s orders.
Kate Bush Youtube/Google searches
She is only considered bizarre or banshee-like by incompetent journalists without the capacity to consider a songwriter/singer existing beyond the narrowly defined societal prescriptions of what a female artist ought to be.
The worlds, sentiments and experiences that she has conjured through her intellectual, sonic and visual individualism have been a constant source of reference to me since youth, outstripping that of any visual artist. The two minutes and seven seconds of “Under the Ivy” (1985) are among her most excruciatingly beautiful retreats. Bush is one of three principal figures who anchor my artistic sensibilities by forming a trajectory of sweeping gothicism across art, music and literature; the others are Emily Bronte and Casper David Friedrich.
Wikipedia entry on Scottish castles
Having left Scotland at age 19 to live among the tumult of London and New York, I often long for the solitude, brooding history, and enchantment of my ancient home. When the rigors of urban life mount, I’m afforded distance from the present by an Internet journey back in time through the presence of spellbinding buildings that embody the gruesome, captivating march of humanity.
Castles have lent me an artistic dowry since I was young and spent time investigating ruins, searching for secret tunnels and seeking the supernatural. The experience of such places endows the mind with boundless imaginative force, lowering the divisions between reality and the mythological. Related artworks include Portrait as a Gargoyle (2013), photographed at the Tolkien-esque Castle Glume, situated above the Burns (rivers) of Sorrow and Care in the Ochil Hills; and Portrait as the Devil (2014), taken at Glamis Castle, and referencing the Devil’s visit there one stormy night to play cards on the Sabbath with the fiery Earl of Crawford.
Words are to me what clay is to a sculptor. As a text-oriented artist, words are the pleasure and pain of my existence. The limitless potential that text contains for communication, connection and harm, positions words as the most powerful tools for construction, and weapons of destruction, that humans possess. This website remains a source of delight, humor and alternate truths in relation to my ongoing series of anagrammatized vinyls.
Physical exhibitions of contemporary art in galleries have been around for perhaps 200 years. They ideally present much art, which is often created with consideration as to how it will appear in the gallery. It’s hard to imagine now, but they may not always exist. The computer disseminates work far more efficiently and to a larger audience than a traditional gallery, while the computer screen need no longer be considered a virtual gallery but an effective and autonomous exhibition space. If the requirement to experience the work in person is reduced or eliminated, and if the sentiment or intention of the work can be liberated from the physical and adequately conveyed across the internet, then the need for an actual site is lessened. I visit my website a lot, to regard and refine the work, and what I say about it. It is a working platform not dissimilar to an artist taking up residence in a gallery space. It functions as a studio, and a place to present work, ideas and observations that are sometimes fabricated and pictured in situation as completed pieces, but increasingly that exist entirely in sketch, or conceptual format on the screen.
Maploco enables viewers to create personalized maps of the states, countries or continents that they have visited by clicking to highlight each territory. The thrill (or disappointment) lasts about 10 seconds. By inserting various maps into photoshop, cutting, resizing, flipping and rearranging various regions I have formed a series of geographic motifs that include responses to empire, gay marriage and the recent tragic events in France.
Another marvelous tool for an artist enamored with vocabulary and words, who also writes about art. Clichéd phrases and art-world gibberish so quickly become bankrupt husks exhausted of impact and meaning, and deft new ways of saying something are refreshing. However, there are artists whose descriptions of their work are so stuffed with superlatives and overwrought language that they are downright fuliginous… I mean opaque.. I mean, well, confusing.
Concrete poetry is the use of visual or typographical arrangements or patterns of words to convey the meaning of a poem or text. It wasn’t an art form I was familiar with until discovering this site, which is a portal to some brilliant, simple combinations of word, image and meaning.