Thursday, November 30, 2023

Dave Dyment | Dead Ringer

Dave Dyment
Dead Ringer
Sackville, Canada: Self-published, 2023
107-minute film on USB drive, folded poster, printed materials
Edition of 5 signed and numbered copies [+2 AP]

The boxed edition of my 2022 film Dead Ringer, which investigates Toronto’s portrayal (or non-portrayal) in television and cinema. Comprised of hundreds and hundreds of clips filmed in Toronto, with the city standing in for New York, Boston, London, Mumbai, Tokyo and countless other international locations, the film repurposes these scenes to tell local stories and examine questions surrounding representation in cinema. 

The film uses Casa Loma (a medieval castle in mid-town, built just over a century ago) as the central lens through which to look at artifice, civic pride and folly. Casa Loma has portrayed Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in X-Men, Batman’s Wayne Manor in Titans, and Dr. Frank N. Furter's castle in The Rocky Horror Picture, as well as appearances in Scott Pilgrim, Ready or Not, Crimson Peak, Strange Brew, The Pacifier, and the Oscar winning picture Chicago (which was shot entirely in Toronto).

Dead Ringer premiered at Casa Loma last fall and had subsequent screenings at Toronto City Hall, all arranged by the good people at Ontario Culture Days. 

The work is now screening for the rest of the month via Hot Docs:


RIP Shane McGowan. 

Minutemen/Raymond Pettibon | Bean-Spill

Los Angeles, USA: Thermidor Records, 1982
7” vinyl
Edition size unknown

I’ve been doing research for a text about Raymond Pettibon and discovered this obscurity in the MoMA library collection. It’s the third EP and fourth release overall by American hardcore punk band Minutemen. 

Early pressings featured a B-side label reproduction of a Raymond Pettibon drawing of a naked man with an erect penis, the spindle hole of the seven inch becoming his asshole. The parenthetical caption below reads “(We need the money).”

Minutemen were the second release on SST records, the label formed to release Black Flag records. It also featured a cover graphic by Pettibon. 

When Henry Rollins joined Black Flag as front person in 1981, he requested a "fuck you" middle finger illustration from Pettibon, for the song "My Rules." The artist’s response was to produce a drawing of a lackadaisical and effete finger (see below). 

“Don’t tell Ray what to do,” Rollins realized, "You'll notice there's a solid year of Black Flag flyers where it's nothing but erect penises."

Pettibon told Time Out in 2017:  “My brother was in Black Flag, and they were very good at self-promotion. I actually used my existing drawings for the posters and other stuff I did for them and eventually for Sonic Youth. I always drew what I wanted; I never listened to any bright ideas coming from punk rockers.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Valie Export: Works from 1968-1975: A Comprehension

Valie Export
Valie Export: Works from 1968-1975: A Comprehension
Paris, France: Biennale De Paris, 1975
[unpaginated], 27.5 x 21 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

An early overview of the Viennese performance artist that documents seven years of work, including film, video and performative pieces. The survey includes descriptions, instructions and documentation for each of the titled pieces and features a metallic page, which intentionally leaves a rust tinged print on the opposing blank page.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Roman Opalka | 1965/1-∞

Roman Opalka
Berlin, Germany: Edition Block, 1977
12" vinyl LP
Edition of 400

In his mid-thirties, Roman Opalka began painting sequential numbers onto canvases, starting in the top left and corner and finishing in the bottom right. Each finished canvas was considered a "detail" of the larger conceptual practice, and a new canvas continued where he left off. 

"All my work is a single thing, the description from number one to infinity. A single thing, a single life", "the problem is that we are, and are about not to be," he said. 

All of the "details" have the same title, 1965 / 1 – ∞, as does this recording. Three years into the painting project the artist introduced a tape recorder to the process. In 1968, he began speaking each number into the microphone as he painted it. 

"Every "detail" is accompanied by a phonetic registration on a tape recorder and a photographic documentation of my face," he noted. 

This LP consists of forty-two minutes and fifty three seconds of the artist counting:

Side A Detail 1987108-2010495 22:10
Side B Detail 2136352-2154452 20:43

The disc was recorded 1976 in Berlin and the artist designed the cover and wrote the linter notes that appear in the gatefold sleeve. 

The record is alued at approximately $200 to $275, depending on condition. 

Opalka died on August 6th, 2011 at the age of 79. The final number he painted was 5607249.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Catherine Christer Hennix

Catherine Christer Hennix died last week in Istanbul, at the age of 75. Hennix was a musician, poet, philosopher, mathematician and visual artist, and led the just intonation live-electronic ensembles Hilbert Hotel and The Deontic Miracle.

She studied with both legendary electronic composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and raga master Pandit Pran Nath, whose other students included La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, Terry Riley, Michael Harrison, Yoshi Wada and Henry Flynt. She became a pioneer in Swedish computer generated sound in the nineteen sixties. 

At the urging of Nath, she also pursued a career as a professor of mathematics and computer science.   She was affiliated with MIT's AI Lab in the late 1970s and was later employed as research professor of mathematics at SUNY New Paltz. 

In the 1970s and 1980s, she played with Arthur Russell and Arthur Rhames, as well as in Flynt's group Dharma Warriors. 

I met her once, briefly, at La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s home in NYC. I had made a pilgrimage into the city during the final months of a ten year long multi-tone drone project. When I arrived I was told that the hardware had malfunctioned and it was temporarily down. Luckily, I was invited back that evening for a talk by Hennix and Henry Flynt. 

She died at her home in Turkey, on November 29th. 

Günther Uecker | Traffic Paint

Günther Uecker
Traffic Paint
New York City, US: Kineticism Press, 1966
17.5 x 12.5 x 2.5 cm.
Edition of 2000 signed and numbered copies

Housed in a small perspex box is steel nail (the signature material of the artist from 1956 to present) on a small rectangular piece of wood, painted with acrylic white paint. The multiple is accompanied by the small book Günther Uecker – 10 Years of a Kineticist’s Work, authored by Willoughby Sharp. 

Kineticism Press was founded in 1966, by Sharp and Paul Maenz, who stated “We are dedicated to the total distribution of artistic information in all media.” The Press is best known for publishing Avalanche Magazine. 

Traffic Paint is listed as an edition of 2000 copies, it seems likely that far fewer than this number were actually realized. The highest number I could find for sale or in a public collection was 226. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Jiri Valoch | Werken 1964 - 1982

Jiri Valoch
Werken 1964 - 1982
Eindhoven, Netherlands: Het Apollohuis, 1983
158 pp., 29 x 21 cm., softcover
Edition of 30 numbered copies

Titled as though it were an extensive overview documenting nearly two decades of output, this book is actually a photocopied collection of works sent by Valoch to artist Herman de Vries over the years. He serves as editor for the collection and provides a forward. The text is in Dutch and English and the book is produced in a very small edition size. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Emma Kay | Macbeth from the series ''Shakespeare from Memory''

Emma Kay 
Macbeth from the series ''Shakespeare from Memory''
Self-published, 1998
23'' x 16 1/4'' 
Edition of 7 signed, dated and numbered copies

Emma Kay's subject matter (and materials, for that matter) are subjectivity and memory. After graduating from Goldsmiths College in 1997 she began compiling index-like lists of inanimate objects from novels. That year Art Metropole included her in the Little Cockroach Press series, and her contribution was a text list, separated by commas, of adjectives and nouns used by the authors of seven pornographic paperback novels ("jar of cream, camera, white velvet trousers, white velvet shoes, false prick and balls, skirt, garter belt, pants, pantyhose, undershorts, money, 2 pillows, vaginal jelly"...).

Her first memory text was The Bible from Memory, in which she recounts as much of the Bible as she is able to recall. 

After this - and before Worldview, an attempt to write down the history of the world from memory - Kay produced the Shakespeare from Memory series. 

This text recounts the "Scottish Play" from 1606, on half a sheet of paper. The work is valued at between 
$700 USD and $900 US. 

Vito Acconci | Pulse (for my mother)

Vito Acconci 
Pulse (for my mother)
Paris, France: Multiplicata, 1973 
22 pp., 13.4 x 21 cm., softcover
Edition of 500 

Ten offset portraits of the artist's dying mother, accompanied by handwritten texts in English and third person translations in French. For example “I can’t stay with you, sometimes I have to leave you alone” becomes “À présent il dit qu’il ne peut plus rester avec elle, que parfois il doit la laisser seule.” Translated back into English, this reads: “Now he says he can’t stay with her anymore, that sometimes he has to leave her alone.” 

Available from Printed Matter, here, for $750 US. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Dan Graham | Scheme

Dan Graham
Halifax, Canada: Gerald Ferguson, 1973
130 pp., 18.4 × 21.6 × 1.6 cm.
Edition of 6 signed and numbered copies

A photocopied book version of Graham's classic work, produced by artist Gerald Ferguson, containing five loose photocopy inserts. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


Maurizio Nannucci
Firenze, Italy: Zona, 1978
70 x 49.6 cm.
Edition size unknown

A thrice-folded poster issued to coincide with the release of Nannucci’s artists’ book of the same name (see previous post), handsomely typeset in uppercase red Helvetica Bold. 


Maurizio Nannucci
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Lugo, Exit Edizioni / Other Books, 1978
[unpaginated],  21 x 15 cm., softcover
Edition of 250

A book of over a hundred perforated sheets, all proclaiming the title sentiment, possibly conceived of to be torn out and left in various locales, thereby activating them as social spaces? 

The bookwork is valued at between $300 and $400, depending on condition.