Episode Ninety-Four: Algorithmic.
In which the Soap Strip Folk walk the wire. 

1 comment:

  1. Student needing assistance this week printing out a PDF of George Brecht's 'Algorithmic Art' ... a series of (many) cards that outline ambiguous processes by which one may create art. (One card reads, parenthesis are my description: Two Vehicle Events (in capitals, as a header, and then below, to the right, a bullet point) Start (and a line down, a bullet point) Stop (and then at the bottom of the card, in small letters) Summer, 1961.) These cards inspired me, and I couldn't believe I'd never heard of Brecht before. They reminded me of the Oblique Strategies.

    However, thinking of incorporating them left me wondering where they went - were they Pharm Life third panel Quantification? A set of rules to follow (much like the sequence of cartoon panels themselves)? Or, on finding the card I ended using, were they representative of my mind's sequence algorithm that always ends up in one place: The Exit (the final exit)? Could be a grim subjugation for panel one, or a sense of anxiety for panel two, or even a resolution for panel four. It was an inspiring concept, after all.

    So, this strip really started less as a proscribed narrative about what was shitting on me that week, and more a collection of fulfilling images that felt as though they went well together: a part of a Stenberg Brothers poster, "Vladimir and Georgii - Last Flight" (1929), an image from Joseph Beuys, "Erdtelephon" (1973), a close up from an Eno Ambient album (a topographical map, zoomed into abstraction), among others. I spent much of the week shifting these in order, trying to determine what fit where.

    Visit to Anne's dad's house in Marlboro replaced the Ambient frame when I saw he had a map of the town on his wall. That's his house, right in the middle. He's had to move out because of disability but really wishes he could be back. And so, that map is a course to a project, both physically and emotionally. And it's confusing and cluttered. And there's a sense of condemnation that pervades.

    This leads to a tightrope walk and vertigo, which leads to the algorithm: an indistinct event? EXIT. The pervasive negativity of the message mitigated by the soft detail on the print. This taken directly from Brecht's "Word Event: Exit" card, which is subbed "G. Brecht / Spring, 1961." The ragged edges revealing what was likely a hand-made printing.

    And the resolution? Beuys' Earth Telephone. These are images that he worked with commonly, I believe. Anne and I chanced upon one such piece in Berlin last fall, just sitting right there on the street in a gallery window. We were able to walk right up to it. Beuys being one of her longtime favorites.

    So, there's that personal connection with this piece. And there's a warm, rejuvenating sensation to the piece, I'd argue. And there's the connection between piles of dirt and their symbolism in Eraserhead (1977), as well, which is a good association.

    But beyond all of my own associations with the individual pieces, this is a comic that kind of found its own way into making a tale, irrespective of its creator. And that tale is just so visually satisfying to me: I just feel like it really works.

    There's a sense of falling, like falling down stairs: clunk. clunk. clunk. clunk. And you end up at the earth telephone. And there's a sense of waiting for that call. From the earth.

    Which, considering the origin of the first panel, seems so perfectly appropriate to me.

    Really happy with this one.



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