Triple Canopy Proposal: Resentment

Laborious Transcendence: A Grudge Piazza

The following are excerpts of work samples from R.H. Lossin and Chris Domenick.  Follow the links to see entire articles or exhibitions.

Examples of Domenick’s site-specific rubbings can be seen here

Arguments against digitization can seem sentimental because we have so fully internalized the logic of technological progress that any argument against it seems out of step. For Marcuse, this is precisely how technological rationality works: ‘Today, the apparatus to which the individual is to adjust and adapt himself is so rational that individual protest and liberation appear not only as hopeless, but irrational.’23 Yet mine is not a sentimental argument. (The sensuous qualities of books—what Walter Benjamin identified as an object’s ‘aura’—are secondary concerns.) But it is an irrational one. Or, more accurately, it is an anti-rational one. What is at issue here is the blindly enthusiastic participation of librarians in a culture-wide rationalization of all forms of textual information: the assimilation of novels, monographs, poetry, correspondence, journals and essays to a single, if superficially decentralized, apparatus that is structurally hostile to formal deviation.

Read R.H. Lossin’s article Against the Universal Library in the current New Left Review.

Since 2011, I have been collecting sand from beaches and deserts. Using jade glue (a pH-neutral glue often used in bookbinding processes) as the adhesive, this sand is flocked to the surface of individual sheets of paper that are painted the beige color of sandpaper. On the verso is a simulated screen-printed image of the back of a manufactured sheet of sandpaper manufactured by 3M, including company logo, trademark, place of origin (often, Made in Canada), and grit size. Each sheet is labeled in pencil with the date and location of the sand’s acquisition. The project began as a re-creation of this utilitarian object, a play on the semantics of its constituent materials (a true semantic equivalent, you might say), as well as a way of documenting a given site. It has become an ongoing personal travelogue of sand-based landscapes. The sheets live in a box reminiscent of the sandpaper storage bin of a craftsman, with each slot labeled by year (rather than grit number). The box speaks to my own history; a full 2013 slot is evidence of the extensive traveling I did that year. The empty slot has recorded the fact that I visited not one beach or desert in 2015, a blank entry in this sculptural diary.

Chris Domenick writes about sand and sandpaper in his project Particulate Paper Records of Time in Cabinet Magazine

The symbolic destruction of property is a regular characteristic of resistance and rebellion. Some examples from France include workers shooting out the faces of public clocks during the July Revolution of 1830, the toppling of the Vendome Column during the Paris Commune of 1871, and in our lifetime, Jose Bove driving a tractor through the front of a McDonalds. The United States has, as one of its founding myths, the symbolic destruction of British tea. Protesters burnt the flag to in opposition to the Vietnam War and one of the first actions of the U.S. military upon entering Baghdad in 2003 was to pull down the statue of Sadaam Hussein. Upsettingly, but in the same vein, the Islamic state has engaged in the systematic destruction of unholy artifacts as part of its political program and theater. Property destruction is among other things a way of communicating political ideas. And yet we seem incapable of accommodating the idea that the destruction of technological apparatuses might be equally thoughtful.

Go to R.H. Lossin’s entire article On Sabotage in Politics and Letters here

In 2011 I was given a box of unopened cans of GOLDEN acrylic paint that had once belonged to Cy Twombly.  I had been hired to pack up his studio in Lexington, Virginia, immediately following his death.   Over the years I have carted this unexpected gift here and there in hopes of using the paints in a suitable context.  

My encounter with Twombly’s workspace corresponded with a visit that I made to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where I had first seen the artist’s series Fifty Days at Iliam. The ten paintings are based on Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad, the tragic story of the final fifty days of the Trojan War.  Recent evocations of the Trojan Horse in the political arena have made the echoes of Twombly’s works seem particularly relevant now.

To create 5 O D A Y S I washed the paper with Twombly’s paint and screen-printed repeated marks based on my memories of the gestural scribbles in his paintings.  Interspersed within the overall pattern of scattered motifs are inlays, shadows, framed works, and other ruptures. These adapt the logic of collage and joinery to suggest the psychogeography of my overlapping experiences in Philadelphia and Lexington.

See images of Chris Domenick’s project 5 O D A Y S at MASSMoCA

And watch an excerpt from his performative lecture Twombly’s—Paint_A—Presentation

For workers, sabotage was a way to temporarily assert control over the means of production in order to further their interests. For capitalists, sabotage was a means to increase profits by neglecting, overworking, adulterating, and otherwise abusing the social wealth that is the means of production. And the means of production included — as it still does today — scores of human bodies.

R.H. Lossin writes about capitalist saboteurs in Jacobin Magazine

The days of carry-on. When people still flew, and traveled long distances on foot. When the atmosphere was prophylactic. Carted around were burial urns with their ritualistic herbs, the patterns of decorative Kaboodles, specialized art-crates with interlocking interiors and ergonomic handles, disposable USPS parcels, the size and scale of which were best suited for stacking and transportability.  Now, mutually reliant objects (goods, their containers) have become sisters in the landfill.  This closet is a morgue for a bygone, unruly dilemma: how to designate space, keep the moths out, and preserve these relics from detrimental oils. Like a baby’s bronzed bootie it will only seem old to those in the future, but never to the baby. After the river, the sun. After the sun, the seeds. Each object connected to the living memory of an ancestor; Louise Bourgeois, Dick Cheney, David Hammons, Margaret Thatcher, Genesis P-Orrdige, Terr, and Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The custom containers for these hats, once imbued with the status of disparate and marginalized labor, here compose a dysfunctional yet interdependent family, singing in an eternal choir.

Chris Domenick and Em Rooney make hats and hat-boxes in After the Sun at The Vanity East, Los Angeles

Last year, the United States Postal Service sold the Bronx GPO to Youngwoo & Associates, a real estate developer, for $19 million. The murals will remain the property of the USPS, which has entered into a long-term loan agreement with the new owners. The Landmarks Preservation Commission—a municipal preservation agency—recently approved the building’s development as retail space. Nineteen million dollars might seem like a fair deal, and because of the contract with the USPS, the building’s owners are obligated to insure the murals as well as performing routine maintenance. But the transformation of this public property into a privately owned space of consumption is profound. It turns the “we” that remains after “the rest is done and gone” from a collection of workers and citizens into a mass of self-interested consumers.

R.H. Lossin writes on Erasing History at the USPS in jstor