Saturday, December 14, 2013


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
- Rudyard Kipling

Hanging @ 15th & Arch

Friday, December 13, 2013

30 Air Squats Gets You A Free Subway Ride In Russia

30 air squats allows you to skip out on the 30 rubles (90 cent) fare. The installment of this machine in a Moscow subway station is a great public health initiative. Positive reinforcement at work here!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Not Packing It In

This was taken last Friday. I have not posted since then (11.15.13) because I have a tendency to "pack it in." I give up throughout an endeavor and then try to save it at the end. Maybe I manifest a sense of desperation to test my resolve. This will stop. Tomorrow, I will report back with pictures from today and I will discuss one of the topics mentioned on 11.15.13.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Information Extracted (Roll 1)

Last Monday I spent the afternoon in Rittenhouse Square Park. I laid out a roll of cardstock paper and extracted information from the environment and my body through movement.

This work deals with the body, maculinity, sweat, capability, repetition and testing oneself.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weight: 10/14/13

Weight: 169.4 lbs.

I am losing weight. I was a little over 180 lbs. 3 months back when I was moving my body against gravity at least 3 times per week.

I had to stop, twice, due to illness. I will be able to start back up soon. I am probably ready now, but for some reason have not. Talks with Rebecca Sacks reminds me of the empathetic angle; the reason I have not started back up is because it is daunting to start a movement routine, even for someone who enjoyed and understood all the benefits of such movements.

If it's hard for me, how difficult must it be for someone who has never connected with the movement of one's body?

Michael O'Malley

Michael O'Malley is an artist who concerns himself with the opportunity to foster a dialogue. He has been making pizza ovens on site across the country. 

His work is about creating experiences that foster discussion; getting people together to talk about the world. The difference between Michael and a baker is the baker wants you to buy the bread and Michael want you to come by and talk about it.

I admire Michael's work because he is concerned about empathy, agency and creating experiences.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Derrick Adams

"Derrick Adams is a multidisciplinary New York-based artist with practices rooted in Deconstructivist philosophies" (Derrick's bio 1). Wikipedia describes Deconstuctivist architecture as "characterized by fragmentation, and interest in manipulating a structure's surface or skin, non-rectilinear shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of architecture, such as structure and envelope" (Deconstructivism 1). Deconstructivism's emergence in architecture is tied to two preceding forms of art, minimalism and cubism, "Analytical cubism has a sure effect on deconstructivism, as forms and content are dissected and viewed from different perspectives simultaneously" Deconstructivism 2. "The collage works on paper create minimal geometric constructions of angular figures that seemingly live both in a state of deconstruction at the same time as if in the process of being built" (Derrick bio 2).
HEAD #12 (floor plan), Mixed media collage on paper, 36 inches x 36 inches, 2012.
In Head #12 (floor plan) Derrick successfully manipulates depth, particularly how the surface of the figure is read. The darkest section lays directly against the lightest at the cheekbone, contradicting the way shadows naturally form. Head #12 (floor plan) seems unfinished in this respect, as if fragmented layers are coming through prematurely. "Architectural processes and their different presentation strategies are important in the work: footprints, floor plans, elevation sections, visual rendering and the constructed object, acts as various developmental states and approaches and serve as a comparative investigation into the physical construction of the figure" (Derrick's bio 3).

Derrick's "focus is on fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface - exploring shape-shifting forces of popular culture and its counter balances in our lives" (Derrick's bio 4). Derrick's performative works shares these philosophies.
Ask The President, performance documentation, Adams’ Go Stand Next To The Mountain, The Kitchen,  NYC, 2012.
In Ask The President Adams's has brought to life a man who would normally be existing as a deceased president on U.S. notes. This is communicated simply enough by creating a cut-out in a large hundred-dollar bill wooden, sculptural object. Here he explores popular culture as he transforms into arguably the most powerful being on the planet.

What I can take away from Derrick Adams is his use of props. Adams's genius with theatrical objects is evident here as well,
Crossroads, Digital Photograph, edition of 5, 34 in. x 48 in., 2012.
Derrick Adams use of props is thought out and simple. Lessons are to be learned here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

John Cage's 4:33

John Cage was an American experimental composer. He famously had his ensemble play nothing. This piece, void of any musical instruments, is known as 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The audience is suppose to hear the environment as it is when the piece is being "performed."

This is performance art. Cage activated the audience and gave them a memorable experience that challenged one's notion of what a performance can be.

What I can appropriate from this?

My work with stasis has me standing still or "doing nothing," and an in-depth look at Cage's piece will take one's focus away from the orchestra altogether, shifting the focus to audience shared experience. This could prove important to master in my own work, because there may be times when I do not want myself to be the subject of the attention, and rather have the audience either knowingly or unbeknownst take center stage.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thoughts on Chris Burden 1

Chris Burden continuously questions the established order. One of my favorites is You'll Never See My Face In Kansas City, 1971. With this piece he discusses notions of celebrity. Paid engagements that require access to a celebrity and the idea of the artist becoming more important than the work are two thoughts that come to mind. Burden dons a ski mask whenever he is not behind the panel located in the gallery. He no doubt alarmed people during his stay due to the inability to perform facial recognition. Not only are ski masks associated with burglars, a face has a lot of information that would bode well for one to read accurately; the intentions of said individual are important to the group and the face will usually tell the story.

Chris Burden was present during the opening, but not accessible. If you were able to catch a few moments with him around town, your conversation, visually, was one-sided. You, as a patron/fan/gallerist, were stripped of the facial cues involved in every human interaction. Mind you, this if you were able to track him down.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Marina Abramovic Institute

Planning for the Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) is well underway as seen in this video by the artist. The mission "is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work." Marina goes on to say, "You come here not to just to see the work but to change yourself through the work."

MAI is asking the world if this is the future. Nothing like this exists. The chance for meaningful change to take place in someone's life when they surrender their time and the outside world is an extraordinary prospect.

What I can appropriate for my practice is thinking about the lasting effect my work will have on people's lives. With my pull-up bar installation I will hopefully be introducing someone to this movement for the first time, and possibly creating a lifestyle of fitness.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hirschhorn's Summer Stay in The Bronx

Thomas Hirschhorn at his monument to Antonio Gramsci in the Bronx, NY.
Thomas Hirschhorn, the famous Swiss artist, has installed his version of a monument to Marxist thinker Antonio Gramaci located in the Forest Houses housing project of the South Bronx in New York City.

What is Hirschhorn asking with the erection of this contemporary temporary monument? Well, he chose this site due to the inhabitants low incomes, and filled this site with Gramsci-approved literature, thereby sewing the revolutionary seeds needed for the proletariat to overthrow the bourgeois. Ken Johnson gives a clearer account of Hirschhorn's intentions in The New York Times, "Gramsci thought that the overthrow of capitalist hegemony should come not by violent revolution but through the rise of “counter-hegemonies” — alternative cultures developed by disenfranchised groups. Through self-education, self-organization and the creation of its own institutions, a proletarian culture might someday become powerful enough to displace the bourgeois culture of modern, industrial society." Those that say real change is not possible and this just a big ego stroke are seeing the glass half empty. Regardless of my political philosophies, I can appreciate Hischhorn's goal in making meaningful discussion, self-education and exposure tenets of this monument.

What I can appropriate from this piece is what the person takes away with them, forever. Hirschhorn's Gramsci Monument is temporary, but the ideas passed on will last a lifetime. My pull-up bar sculpture is going to be permanent, not temporary, but the skills learned will hopefully stay with someone a lifetime.

My sculpture will be in a place where you may not expect to find a pull-up bar. Stressing the notion that movement is possible anywhere, just like how you wouldn't expect to find a Marxist cultural center in a South Bronx housing project courtyard. Stressing the notion that serious discourse should and can happen anywhere.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Day Back & Typewriters, Pianos and Pull-Up Bars

Working Out:
Today was the first day I worked out since mid-summer. I am looking forward to creating projects and performances that call for an exertion of the body.

Typewriters, Pianos and Pull-Up Bars:
Henry Goldkamp is a St. Louis poet who has installed 37 typewriters around his hometown. This public art installation invites people to convey their thoughts. Erin Williams, contributor for NPR, provides input from Liesel Fenner, the public art manager at Americans for the Arts in Washington, "Successful public art engages the viewer, and whether that's hands-on participation, or the viewer coming away with a tangible change in how they experienced that space, that place... [has] a really lasting impact [on the viewer] for years to come." Goldkamp may have been influenced by Luke Jerram's Play Me, I'm Yours which has installed more than 900 pianos in 36 cities across the globe. Setting up interactive opportunities for the public to collaborate with objects at their disposal is a theme I am currently working on with my WorkoutAnywhere Pull-Up Bar installation. Accompanying the pull-up bar will be a 3 foot by 3 foot aluminum sign that is in the process of being rendered by a graphic designer and then it is off to Berry & Homer for 2D printing. The image below will give you an idea of what the sign will look like. My hope is that people, who may not normally engage with a pull-up bar, will "hang."Small communities may form around this installation, creating a home base for those that realize they don't need a pair of the latest, greatest sneakers or a $100 gym membership to sweat, build muscle and get their heart rate up. They can produce movements in public that are typically relegated to the gym/home space, thus reshaping the idea of site specificity in the minds of others.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Looking at City Hall
Mayor Nutter and myself
Today, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., I am sitting in a desk in front of Philadelphia, PA's City Hall on South Broad street. I am once again exploring stasis while reading Alfred Jarry's Supermale, a book that "is obsessed with the potentialities of man and what he considers to be his limitations, with the idea of extending frontiers, pushing the possible to the limits of the imaginable, discovering what might be done by will power to liberate and control the energy of the universe" (Jarry XIII). It would appear that finding similarities between Supermale and my work, performances that deal with human capability, should be easy. I am placing myself in a public context with a wardrobe that provides assumptions as to my line of work and what I should be doing during the work day, yet I am doing the quintessential leisure exercise, reading. In my last post I talked about the sacrifices one must make when joining a social group; conforming is needed for order. Questioning the status quo though is fundamental to the human condition. Here, I am playing the role of the white-collar worker at his desk, doing something he presumably enjoys. It is my hope that passerbys question the available enjoyment opportunities in their work place environment. Does their job allot time for said enjoyment. What if the job world had time set aside where you engaged in fun physical exertion, and on other days you read your favorite literature?
View down South Broad Street.

Donated by City Hall Coffee House, by accepting I entered an inadvertent advertising agreement

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Traci Tullius

What is performance artist Traci Tullius asking in her video piece Kneads?

Here is a link to the page

At first glance, she appears to be dealing with submissiveness. Not unlike Marina Abromovic's Rhythm 0, 1974 wherein Abromovic assumes a passive role; allowing the audience to use 72 objects on her person in any way they pleased. These objects ranged from things that nurture to those that harm. There is a connection to these artist's submissive/passive states and my exploration of capability's opposite.

My Immobile piece explored stasis. Traci is also exploring stasis, and allowing the placement of another artist's hands on her face. The man starts out with caressing strokes and progresses "to aggressive and possibly sadistic" maneuvers ( The moments before I started Immobile I struggled with the possibilities of what might happen. What if someone played with my face against my will? What if someone put a gun to my head like in Marina's Rhythm 0, 1974?

I think I can appropriate Tullius's use of the up-close, still video camera shot on the subjects face. In a simple fashion Kneads creates an immediately personal experience for the viewer. You focus on each facial expression made not by Traci, but by this man whose head is never shown. My desire for this next piece, which will be called 925, is reach the audience not present on a personal level (those who only have documentation to go by) as I raise issues of conformity through a stasis state. I'm not exactly saying conformity is a bad thing either. It exists and is necessary for particulars reasons. I think one will put up with or live with such realities if they truly care about their business. Whether it's a Fortune 500 Company or an artist collective in North Philadelphia, sacrificing a little bit of yourself for the sake of the group may not be a bad thing. If you do not think such sacrifices are worth the benefits of said incorporation into said group then maybe my piece will reignite the spark that everyone asks themselves, "What am I doing?" Those who don't see the sacrifice worth it might choose to rediscover themselves.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Immobile, a performance piece, is reflection on my time spent bedridden last week. Last week's sickness struck me with unforgiving blows, leaving me at it's mercy. Last night I made the conscientious choice to be temporarily immobilized for twelve hours, 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Conversely, last week I did not choose to be off my feet for days. This piece can metaphorically serve as a drop in the bucket for the unforgiving realities of the disabled.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Poetry For Dummies

I have an idea of reading the book Poetry for Dummies in it's entirety while engaged in a physical task. A portion of my work is performance based, pushing the body to its perceived limit. In these moments of extreme physical stress I channel the beauty of spoken word poetry. However, I am well aware that I do not have an extensive poetry background. So, reading this beginner book on poetry is a gestural act acknowledging my novice status while committing acts (working out) that I feel quite knowledgeable/comfortable partaking in.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Philadelphia Wellness Initiative

PWI's mock up to be sent to the designer
Mock up of the diagram that will accompany the installment of pull-up bars around the city by the Philadelphia Wellness Initiative (PWI). One pull-up bar will be installed underneath i95 on Fairmount Ave in Northern Liberties and another along the Schuylkill River Path. A graphic designer from Philadelphia, who will remain nameless, is interested in contributing to the growth of PWI. It is my opinion that this designer's professional skill will lend an air of official credibility to the placement of these pull-up bars. It is PWI's hope that these pull-up bars are installed without incident i.e. the authorities do not impede on our installment at the two sites. To help diffuse such possible situations, I think PWI needs t-shirts and ID's. Also, I am working with a sculpture faculty member, who will remain nameless, to make it difficult for metal scrappers to disassemble the piece. The Philadelphia Wellness Initiative would like to thank you for your continued support.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Setting up Controlled Gym Environment, so as to film in a contained space. Ran into a snag. The structural skeleton of my studio consists of metal studs, not wood. They are thin and will not support my pull-up bar. Bummer. As an artist, especially as a performance artist, you need to be able to adapt; to make decisive changes on the fly. So, I'm thinking this equipment of mine could have a life next door in the once vacant lot that is now a social-fun-food-hang out place. I will write a proposal.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

PechaKucha (The Story of The Cockle)

I had myself a holiday,
the sun was playing host,
no single cloud was in the sky
to cry on me and boast,
and this was strange because it was
upon the English Coast!

When standing on the beach, I felt
a tapping on my toe,
A Cockle looking up at me
while I looked back below,
and this went on for quite some time
till words began to flow.

"Oh pardon me," the Cockle Said,
all bashful and sincere,
"I miss the sound of seaside waves
that crash beneath the pier."
And this was rather odd, you see,
he had no ears to hear!

"I strain to see," the Cockle said,
"My way around this bay,
I don't suppose you have the time
to help me find my way?"
I tied some string around his shell
and pulled him like a sleigh.

"I thank you, Sir," the Cockle beamed,
"To lend your helping hand,
dragging me 'round this far and wide
and all across the sand."
You see, he couldn't walk himself -
he'd got no legs to stand.

"I'll introduce you to my friends
that live beneath the tide,
like dear old Mr. Langoustine
and Mrs. Shrimp, his bride."
I joked I'd like to dine on them
and little Cockle cried.

"We're almost there," I cheered to him,
expecting quite a yell,
but as I turned, he'd disappeared
to where I couldn't tell.
(A seagull came on swooping down
and picked him from his shell!)

- Ben Habbard

(each time I am descending from the 8th floor to the 1st floor in the Anderson building at UArts, where my studio is located, and then I am ascending the 8 flights of stairs)


Having fun synced to Walk The Moon's Quesadilla.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Watching TV on treadmill.
Kid exercising while watching TV
Are we so averse to exercise that we need a familiar distraction? Or are we so addicted to said familiar distraction? I guess the silver lining is that at least these people are moving. In Ancient Greece they had open air gymnasiums where you not only exercised, but pursued intellectual pursuits,

"The ancient Greek gymnasium soon became a place for more than exercise. This development arose through recognition by the Greeks of the strong relation between athletics, education and health. Accordingly, the gymnasium became connected with education on the one hand and medicine on the other. Physical training and maintenance of health and strength were the chief parts of children's earlier education. Except for time devoted to letters and music, the education of young men was solely conducted in the gymnasium, where provisions were made not only for physical pedagogy but for instruction in morals and ethics. As pupils grew older, informal conversation and other forms of social activity took the place of institutional, systematic discipline. Since the gymnasia were favorite resorts of youth, they were frequented by teachers, especially philosophers.[8] Philosophers and sophists frequently assembled to hold talks and lectures in the gymnasia; thus the institution became a resort for those interested in less structured intellectual pursuits in addition to those using the place for training in physical exercises" (Wikipedia

This makes me think about how restless young boys can be in grammar school. They literally can not sit still. Maybe we need to run them into submission, like you would a hyper dog. Get them tired so they can actually focus in a classroom, or better yet, abandon the classroom altogether and get them out into the real world. Awaken their senses with rigorous exercise and periodic spurts of real world knowledge during their workout underneath the open sky. Those who don't want to be there, send away. Treat education as a privilege.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Craigslist Ad

Talk Test

“In order to enhance endurance performance, some training has to occur around the lactate threshold intensity level. When subjects in the study had difficulty talking, they were very close to that lactate threshold intensity. Because of this, athletes could gauge their intensity based on ability to talk comfortably.” 
“If you are beginning an exercise program and can still talk while you’re exercising, you’re doing OK,” Quinn says. “But if you really want to improve, you’ve got to push a little bit harder.”

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Shut Up and Paint"

I cannot help the perfection seeking person residing inside me. The thing is, not everything I do has to be perfect, just the things I hold dear, like writing, painting, managing a restaurant and working out. I guess that's why I moved away from painting. The painter I admired the most was Alex Kanevsky. His paintings are perfectly incomplete. When I was painting, I failed to give myself the necessary failures to actually grow as a painter. Part of learning is failing and I wasn't too good at allowing myself to do just that.

With my body I can strive towards a more healthy, perfect body and that, for me, is art. Most importantly, I allow myself to make the art. I accept any failures or shortcomings due to sickness, injury or depression as obstacles that I must overcome, for my health and art's sake. In the past, when I was painting, perceived shortcomings stopped my whole practice. Now, moving forward is an absolute necessity. Failure to do so will negatively affect my health and my art. Failure is not an option.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Tarahumara

Insightful to me. Another YouTube video to someone else.

Not Failing Awakened In The Moment

First Video: Still did not let my muscles fail me, there was more in the tank. Not much, but some nonetheless.
Second Video: Max pull-ups. Here I stumble over my words. Research would suggest I fumbled my words due to breaching the lactate threshold. Working out activates a dormant body. I want to retract a statement made in the video. I do think narcissism plays a role in my life. If my memory serves me correct, Narcissus was a Greek God who fell in love with his image in the reflection of a pool. I would be lying, and so would you, if I said I didn't care about my body image. However, what I find more important is what I'm able to do with my body. The positive side effects that an active lifestyle affords is of concern to me. Staring at myself in the mirror, not so much.
Third Video: I watched the Peaceful Warrior tonight with Nick Nolte. That should explain some things. Honestly, that movie will change your life, if you let it. I haven't let it yet. If that movie taught me anything is that I shouldn't dwell on the fact that I haven't let it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Matthew Barney

"In his films, videos, and sculptural installations, Matthew Barney’s primary interest has been the transformation and metamorphosis of the physical body. In elaborate, ritualized performances Barney uses a highly developed visual language to address such themes as endurance, androgyny, autoeroticism, and spectacle. Drawing Restraint 7 is part of Barney’s ongoing interest in self-imposed restraint. He creates conditions in which it is an extreme challenge to draw on a surface, then attempts to do just that, stressing the notion that form cannot develop without resistance. Barney first experimented with this principle in Drawing Restraint 2, where he strapped himself to an elaborate harness and vaulted up to a pad of paper attached to the ceiling in an attempt to make marks" (

Matthew Barney Drawing Restraint 1 (1987)
"This early work was strikingly simple, ambitious, and desperate. The young Barney, who had been a star quarterback throughout high school, tapped an athletic vocabulary that had by then become part of his parasympathetic nervous system. The results—forms generated through the properties of repetition, physicality, and failure—held as true in his studio as they had on the playing field. Part video, part performance, Barney has continued to semi-autobiographically probe the body’s relationship to gravity, strength, architecture and desire" (

Barney used the contraction of muscles, or resistance, to create form. The struggle to overcome said resistance took precedence over any kind of aesthetic mark. I too use resistance in my work. However, I'm not concerned with mark making, rather the struggle to overcome the challenge in front of you. Thereby making you physically and mentally stronger, and thus healthier. In the tradition of Allan Kaprow, I do not regard my art as removed from daily life, but rather as something that should create daily life. I'm trying to create healthy daily life situations for myself and the world.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Earlier This Week

Sunday Night Gym
My Sunday night gym. Push-ups to the left of the shirt. Fingers were slightly over the edge of the curb. This allowed me to grip the street. T'was an interesting sensation. Sit-ups were done on the shirt, with my coccyx on the bottom of the shirt and my bare back taking up the rest of the available real estate on the shirt (this shirt also leant itself to flutter kicks). Pull-ups were done on the fence. The top of the coated chain link fence had a bar running across it. It was not an ideal pull-up bar, but it got the job done.
My David
The next morning I did "My David." I did this pose on an off day (a day where I don't work out) because I felt the David statue, even though he's amidst a battle with Goliath, is in a somewhat relaxed position.
Sick and Tired
Sick since Monday afternoon. Feeling like crap and my body feels old and weak.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Warming up and then maxing out at 50 push-ups. I could have done more, but 50 seemed like a nice round number. This rounding I did counters the whole idea behind "maxing out" since I did not reach my full (max) potential. Next time I will give myself 2 minutes to empty all the gas in the tank. I need to feel that burn, that pain, more than I did today.

Friday, May 31, 2013


The Push-Up
Tomorrow I will try to do as many as possible in one go. Gravity costs nothing, except your will.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Warning Order

The above link has a 2 phase (15 week) workout schedule that will take someone in moderate shape and get them in supreme shape.

In your 15th week you'll be completing:
30 miles of running
1200 push-ups
1875 sit-ups
900 dips
180 pull-ups
6 hours and 15 minutes of swimming w/ fins.

In my book, that is an individual who is honing his body and putting his best body and mind forward to face the trials ahead. Obstacles designed to weed out the weak from the strong, both physically and mentally.

I'm currently at only 375 sit-ups a week and these are the side effects on my coccyx
I hope calluses form when I am at 1875 a week.

The Thinker

Rodin's Thinker
My Thinker
This was a fun exercise. This one will be repeated until I get it right i.e. right elbow on left knee, mouth smushed into top of hand, feet laying at a 45 degree on object. Rodin's subject is well built; strong legs and a muscular back round out this man.

The ideal man?

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Week Away

I just took a week off from everything. Far away, in the middle of PA, I thought long and hard about my last critique. Two issues stand out: the core of what I'm doing and my blog. So, I'm told I will answer the former with doing the latter. Here I go.

Why am I concerned with my body? How am I making art with my body? So, most will agree the watershed moment for Modern Art is Duchamp's Fountain. Prior to that moment, artists were making representations of life. The Fountain planted the seed for the avant garde to begin to question art and life. In the mid 20th century Avant-garde art, no longer just an agent for commenting on culture, entered everyday life, and hasn't looked back. Allan Kaprow pioneered this sentiment with his art, which he did not regard as removed from daily life, but rather as something that should create daily life...
Alan Kaprow

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spencer Tunick and Workout Anywhere

This is the work of Spencer Tunick ( He coordinates the gathering of mass displays of public nudity. Modernity is left to respond to his attempt at a "pre-industrial, pre-everything" existence. What interests me is the body is focal in the work. These bodies are captured at a standstill. What if I captured bodies in motion? Better yet, what if I planted the seed in an individual to take back his environment; what if he/she realized they didn't have to go to a gym or the confines of their home to workout? What if I started a free athletic club on the streets of Philadelphia?

What if everyone was clothed, but doing push-ups? What if it wasn't a one time thing? What if we met once a week and took back our environment with sweat on the brow?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spring Wedding

Spring Wedding
White Pinstripe Suit
Black Tie Preferred
Panic attack
Back of car
No where to go
Wedding's a go
First world problems
Extravagant is an understatement
Felt like I was on the Titanic
The only natural disaster was Rigby
And that wedding was the midwest.
The lap of luxury was sweet
And i was born with a sweet tooth
It was a truly special day
And i value that day for sure, getting dressed up is nice.
But the next day spent with friends was more special for me.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Breathing and Working Out

The heightened activity of working out requires specific breathing practices. When faced with resistance, either with weight (lifting weights) or gravity (calisthenics), one should exhale. Conversely, inhaling during the expansion of the muscle group would be the natural time to expand the lungs. Your breathing should be natural, just with a little bit of force, as needed, during the resistance part of one's workout. The last thing you want to do when you're working out is talk., this link discusses the "talk test." The ability to talk as criteria for conducting a proper workout has long been conventional wisdom. This study from researchers at the University of New Hampshire tells a different story. The idea that if you are able to talk, you aren't pushing yourself hard enough.

Your lactate threshold, it turns out, plays a critical role if you wish to become more fit. Multiple studies and practical experience have shown, persuasively, that to increase your endurance and speed, you need to work out occasionally at a strenuous intensity that hovers just below your lactate threshold. But if you can talk easily while exercising, you are not at that point, says Timothy J. Quinn, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and lead author of the new study.

Reciting Pine Street Passerby whilst doing pull-ups demanded focus. Towards the end it did become harder to speak, however I was still able to speak clearly. This research of mine, like all good research, has raised some questions. Is there a difference between catching your breath and it being difficult to talk? Is the talk test applicable to anabolic activities such as pull-ups i.e. maybe I am working really hard and the ability to talk in a non-factor in the difficulty of the workout? Perhaps, I did not reach my lactate threshold? Could I have willed it?

Friday, April 26, 2013

JP Auclair Street Segment
I appreciate how this video does not ram the fact that it is a skiing video down your throat at the outset. The video starts off with the camera canvassing a city street, a street that is soon to become a cement ski slope. Early in the video, the skier, JP Auclair, teases the viewer on a few occasions as he enters the field of view for only a moment. The video is in total sync with the music and is a joy to watch.

Pine Street Passerby

The unmatched beauty of a passerby
brings clarity to this hour.
Fateful few seconds bring one's thoughts into focus.
Conveying feelings incurred from fleeting moments on Pine Street
is the only things that matters.
Having to pull over in this park and write this letter is evident. 
Whether it ends up in your hands remains to be seen.
As the street lamps partake in the changing of night and day,
wrestling twilight to its certain end.
I realize I must go, and I haven't even said what I wanted to say.
Just like when I passed you by.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

John Muir

Some polite small talk with a fellow bar guest at Barbuzzo has lead to probable research on the topic of walking. Tom, the man whom I made acquaintance with, told me to check out John Muir, co-founder of The Sierra Club. No doubt Muir was touched by the beauty that resides within The United States when he walked from Indiana to Florida (1000 miles) or from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park (318 miles). John Muir saw the beauty in nature and was able to convey those feelings in the written word. Muir's writings, famous for striking passion into readers hearts, were, and still are, a beacon of light in a world so ready to cut it down. Tom mentioned Muir's relationship with former President Theodore Roosevelt and at this point in the conversation I chimed in and told Tom about Wave Hill. Wave Hill is a garden located in my hometown, Bronx, New York, and it is documented that Theodore Roosevelt spent two summers there during his childhood. It is said that his time at Wave Hill helped shape his conservationist mindset. This early childhood experience coupled Muir's friendship gave President Roosevelt the conviction and justification to do something about it, like signing a bill passed by Congress that officially created Yellowstone National Park in 1890.

California celebrates John Muir Day on April 21 each year. Muir was the first person honored with a California commemorative day when legislation signed in 1988 created John Muir Day, effective from 1989 onward. Muir is one of three people so honored in California, along with Harvey Milk Day and Ronald Reagan Day.[52][53]

So, some complete stranger (Tom) whom I met by happenstance at a restaurant I have never been to tells me about a person (John Muir) who might be FUNDAMENTAL to my current work as an artist and it just so happens that the day I meet this stranger (Tom) is the day where this person (John Muir) is officially recognized in the state of California (John Muir Day)


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Contemporary Art of Walking

In accordance with my last post, this website continues to shape my opinion that "walking" is viewed in a different light across the Atlantic.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wanderlust: Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau, who walked more vigorously than me on the other side of the continent, wrote of the local, "An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon. Two or three hours' walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farmhouse which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the King of Dahomey. There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles' radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you."
(excerpt from Rebecca Solnit's Wanderlust)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Caroline, a subletter who will be dearly missed, imparted this quote from Louis Nizer on to me, "A man who works with his hands in a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsmen; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Marina Abramovic, The Lovers (with Ulay), 1988.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay (Frank Uwe Laysiepen) decided in 1994 they were going to walk the Great Wall of China. Eight years later, their 90 day journey was underway. (Carr 25) 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

5x25 push-ups
4x25 sit-ups
5x12 pull-ups
1x16 pull-ups
Ran from Fishtown to Rittenhouse Square and back.

My father pulled his back, lifting something heavy. They were suppose to come down from NYC to celebrate my birthday, this Thursday. I just hope he is okay.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Was recommended 3 books: Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit, Time Passing (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism), and But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art As Activism by Nina Felshin. Thank you, Rebecca.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

No Longer About The Mileage

I got the idea to walk from house (Philadelphia) to home (New York). "Home" will always be where my parents reside, until I start a family of my own. So, as cliche as it sounds, it became more about my journey and less about the mileage (99.2 miles) to NYC. Particularly, the self dialogue concentrated around the lack of pedestrian pathways connecting town to town, and even within neighborhoods. Once you leave the city it becomes a real problem if you have to walk to your destination. Whilst sitting in a Starbucks outside of Princeton I had a telephone conversation with a like-minded friend from New York, Ryan Bourne. Ryan and I discussed how we are slaves to our cars. Starting in the early 20th century, and followed in subsequent generations, cars have been viewed as agents of personal freedom; that life is a highway and begins when rubber meets the road. Sadly, this walking journey has me believing the exact opposite. We are slaves to these personalized vessels that cover vast distances with little to no effort on behalf of the occupant. The driver and passengers fail to experience the environment as they pass through life. There is correlation between experiencing this world with sweat on your brow and one's overall state. Mind you my "outdoor" sentiment refers to the concrete jungle I inhabit. With that said, Vitamin D, from the sun, and air, however tainted by the metropolis's pollution, remain, to name a few, key components to human well being.

The next step for this project:

I purchased 50 corrugated plastic signs (think political campaign lawn signs, 12x18 inches) with a yellow background and larger black font that says, "Sidewalk?" I plan to have a videographer film me driving these signs intro the ground, stake first, as I retrace my 47 mile walk from Philadelphia, PA to Princeton, NJ. I plan to put a sign wherever the sidewalk ends and the shoulder begins.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

99.2 Miles, Day 2

Rain. Spent the last 20 minutes water proofing my unprepared gear. Time for me to head on out. Glad I slept longer than I planned, those rain drops kept me in bed for sure. Now, time to face the music.

99.2 Miles, Day 1 (continued)

Day 1 over. 21.5 miles down. Shit ton left. Outside of cities sidewalks are rare and thus, walking is taboo. To walking as far as my feet will take me (great book by the way).

Monday, March 11, 2013

99.2 Miles, Day 1

An electrical power strip at the Tacony Branch Library in Northeast Philadelphia has re-energized my GoPro3 Black Edition. Yes, the effects of consumer marketing is on display in the above sentence; does saying, “I charged my video camera” not adequately suffice my desire to make it known that I own the latest and greatest technology? But, I digress. A more mindful state in regards to shutting off the power supply once recording has ceased will be necessary. Is it odd that the inclination to discuss the patrons frequenting this library on a Monday afternoon might be of more interest, to me, over the start of my 99.2 miles walk from Philadelphia (house) to New York City (home)? I will not discuss them individually here, rather, I will tell you what is was like walking through where these people live.
Garbage covered sidewalks, the signs of drug addiction and verbal communication that is littered with incorrections is par for the course. When I walk through these neighborhoods I feel like a foreigner in my own country. The foreigner should always have the notion of safety on his/her mind. The saying “safe travels” is indicative of the inherent danger in travelling. Accidents can happen and people rob their fellow man. For these reasons the aforementioned customary, situational farewell is more meaningful than your typically exchanged well-wishes. Accidents on the road are unexpected and they can happen anywhere. I can not say the same for getting robbed.
I do not want to get robbed, but I realize it is a possibility and that chances increase as property values decrease. This is chance I’m willing to take. I want to experience this country on my own two feet. It would be “safer” to never leave my house or the roads I knew like the back of my hand, but where is the adventure in that? Travelling by car would provide me with a personal vessel capable of covering vast distances, with many of the “safe” characteristics of home, without ever affording me the opportunity to experience the environment, and those who inhabit it. The Chinese proverb, “Conquerors are kings, the beaten are bandits” is a sociologists wet dream. This proverb is not applicable to those who would rob your from your goods in a modern U.S. city. Kings at least rule. It is time for me to get back out of the road. Wish me safe travels.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013