Let’s pretend none of this ever happened

Walking towards my London Shoreditch office
to meet the Swiss investor and his impeccable suit,
leaving the City bankers’s coffee-holding fast pace behind,
I notice the absence nobody seems to
Where did he go?
His sleeping sack and pillow still on the sidewalk
as annoyingly positioned in the corner as always
But he’s gone
.
I wonder and I worry
his failing body, almost as absent as his lost gaze
with nobody to return it,
had been a constant and silent companion of my daily walk
We never spoke, but we connected
He needed help that I did not offer
but he was also longing for a contact that I did accept
with my eyes and my smile
He fed on that with desperate hunger
but I fear that could not keep his body alive
.
I look for him
Did he finally manage to gather enough crumbs in the form of coins
to enter the new temple of exclusive abundance
and be able to reach for an edible item that might keep him going for one more day?
Or did he perish, vanish, and was removed out of our sight and our path?
In that case they did not remove him from my life, from my heart,
where you all live, far away from me
.
As my gaze, still in the lookout, turns the corner
in the hopes that he’s defacing the wall with his urine,
I see the ultimate social irony:
inside the Bloomberg Space
a neon sign
someone most definitely put up for me today
reading:
“Let’s pretend none of this ever happened”

The romantic poet in me stops there
no more words, no more thoughts,
the insulting irony has spoken, in obvious terms, to nobody
.
But I can not
CAN NOT
let it go
and enraged with fury and disbelief
I go on
determined as I always was
to subvert the system
to penetrate it, hack it, and milk it
for then I will have the dirty tools the system uses to turn our alienation against us
.
And then the day will come when we will see each other as one, and the world will be full of “us”,
as there will no more “them”,
and then I will be gone
for my job will be done
.
I see you
open your eyes
.
35000 decisions a day
this is the one
I’m not hiding
.
Hello Mr. Banker
here’s my soul
give me the tools
to obliterate your world
and free you all

Cold men destroy women

Cold men destroy women,” my mother wrote me years later. “They woo them with something personable that they bring out for show, something annexed to their souls like a fake greenhouse, lead you in, and you think you see life and vitality and sun and greenness, and then when you love them, they lead you out into their real soul, a drafty, cavernous, empty ballroom, inexorably arched and vaulted and mocking you with its echoes— you hear all you have sacrificed, all you have given, landing with a loud clunk.

Moore, Lorrie

My gift, goodbye or new beginning

If the world ends today, this is my goodbye soundtrack gift to you.

If it doesn’t, tomorrow it will be the soundtrack of a waterfall, my new beginning gift to you.

In any case, the first composition that I ever share with the world (“Waterfall in the winter“). Straight from my open heart. Enjoy. Peace. Love. Happiness.

 

Red curtain

Red dyes sky and “sea”, as they call it, as the sun sets over the Rio de la Plata.
The promenade fills up with Montevideans with their mates. They smile, oblivious to, or despite of, life’s drama.

This intense red bursts, invades, dyes and covers like a curtain. I must share it with you.
It’s ephemeral, I know it will pass, but now it feels as if nothing can escape its spillover, which drags along my attention, my sensibility, my pain, my life.

Trees rise, leafs leave

Astonished I witness the trees rise
tall from their base,
not even rooted.

Leafs leave,
group,
organize,
and shifting shapes,
take to the sky
only to dive down.

A red dragon,
a viking vessel,
coming straight at me.

The memory of holding your hand,
and blinking,
gets me through.

But how far could even a never fading memory take me?
I shall hold your hand again, or be taken by the leafs.

319 Scholes art opening of "Collect the WWWorld: The Artist as Archivist in the Internet Age"

No name
No name
No name
No name
No name
No name
No name

On Thursday I went to 319 Scholes to attend the art opening of “Collect the WWWorld: The Artist as Archivist in the Internet Age“.

Beyond the anecdotal post/pre hispter crowd, the exhibition itself is a sad celebration of noise. Which, in itself is as valid, or invalid, as any other starting point in the endless debate about art (more so in regards with contemporary, electronic, net, etc).

But it is its legitimization attempt, with research project, curator, catalogue, and international tour, which brings the debate to a whole different level. Again, struggling with the Institutional Theory of Art. Again, falling in the trap of the spoon fed.

Again under the false impression that art, time, space, and the like are limited resources. They are not! And they are not because we, ourselves, our time, our space, our bodies, our mids, are indeed limited, and therefore, when put into context and perspective all those other subjective concepts upon which scarcity we base our interactions on, do become unlimited in the light of our own finitude.

So don’t celebrate noise as an abandonment to the vastness of the unreachable. Don’t hide behind noise as a way to escape the unavoidable void. Embrace your own limits and work to expand them. Thrive in uncertainty, certain that the external shall not define you.

white skin

Autumn.
My skin falls and yours is not there.

I turn to the canvas, but it’s not color I want to smear your whiteness with.
I face the white screen, but it’s not light that I seek.
I confront the blank page, but words will not bring solace.
Then my skin falls on the piano ivory.

Fingers sliding down each key.
Caresses that the air won’t keep.

The music was already playing in my head.
The beat was already being followed by my heart.
But it was my skin that needed the touch.
The touch that turns into music, color, light, words… and none of that.

Autumn.
My skin falls and yours is not there.

ote: playing ‘Le Depart’ by The Style Council]

High culture might will numb you, how stay true? On "Graffiti" screening and panel at New Museum

On Thursday I was invited to the New Musuem for the screening of “Graffiti – PostGraffiti” documentary and panel discussion.

Your usual suspects were there. Besides the panelist (Pattie Astor, Fab Five Freddy, Lady Pink, and Lee Quinones), there were many old glories and a couple of aspiring bomber kids in the audience that I am sure were tagging walls late that night.

What started as a celebration, a remembrance, and a comunion, as the liturgy advanced ended up becoming a hurtful vindication and even a flat out purist attack. And that is exactly how “high culture” (market and marketing, generating artificial scarcity) assimilates art and expression forms.

It was beautilful to hear from the very people that were there and made it happen how the ’77 NY BlackOut allowed kids to “borrow” musical equipment that they would not have had access to any other way, which in turn sparked a wave of wild and pure self expression from kids that did not have the influence of traditional art education, which led to rap/hip-hop, break dance, and graffiti. It was empowerment from an accidental redistribution of artistic production means. Forced expression socialism.

The voyage went throught the highs (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Futura2000, Keith Haring…) and lows (the LA show, threats, stigmatization…). It could have ended there if those were scholars talking about art history. But they were not. They were the alive and active protagonist of a movement that is very present today. It was a great opportunity to talk about the present and future after the past had been cheerfully celebrated with endogamic enthusiasm.

So I asked Freddy, Lee and Lady Pink about their opinion about it. “How graffiti, street-art, posters, stickers, stencils, LED throwies, etc incluence one another, and where is it going?”

Pattie took the microphone with her worn-out trucker voice and started ranting about how Graffiti was a style, a movement, that had nothig to do with stencils, posters, and all that. She explained how those sitting there were all Post-Graffiti Artist (I heard her capitalize the “A”, which sent goosebumps down my spine) with studios, not “street-artist” (again a chilling reaction to her despective tone).

Jumping on her angry bandwagon the rest affirmed her views. “It has been many years since I painted on a wall”, “I have a studio, I exhibit around the world, my paintings are in many museums”… It was SO sad to see them react. Still feeling the pain, still feeling they needed to defend themselves and their expression means from others (even though that same panel met at that same museum in ’98, ’02, and ’04). That was understandable. What was unbereable was to see how The System, embodied by The Art World, had yet again, once more, engulfed and prevailed, not just assimilating art, expression, freedom, rebellion, and spontaneity, but also being assimilated by those very same people that once laughed at it.

And they fell with full force, with enclosing reductionist force. Up to the point that when Banksy was mentioned, Lee said “sorry Banksy, we beat you to it”. 

So, heroes of the past, I salute you for your bravery and contribution of the past. But that does not earn my respect for the present, nor my enthusiasm for the future. I’ll keep on looking, and more convinced than ever that the energy of the present and the light of the future might be anywhere, come from anywhere, but definitely not a Museum.

PS: I do take a wonderful inspiration from the event, and some recent conversations and messages I’ve had to endure. Finally an art definition that leaves me satisfied. Mine. To me:

Art is a unidirectional expression of reality

[Update: check out this great infographic about the origins of Street Art]

I'm the man and the boy

I’m the man that leads his team to victory

and the boy who enjoys playfully

I’m the man that fears rejection

and the boy that wants the affection

I’m the man that tries to seduce you

and the boy that loves you

I’m the man that can’t sleep because of problems

and the boy that does not see them coming

I’m the man that will fight and defend the castle

and the boy that fears the lurkers

I’m the man that wants to control

and the boy that wants to explore

I’m the man that writes this poem

and the boy that dares to post it

It's October and all I want is you

Lying on the carpet, poetry book and pencil in hand, U2 in the background.

October

October
And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care

October
And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on…and on…

So many literal meanings: the fear of wearing-out (The Edge was considering leaving the band like his brother did before they were even called U2), the false sense of security arising from self-defeat (“What do I care”), moving on after a loss (both Bono and Larry had just lost their mothers), the high hopes and expectations arising from new democracies in Eastern Europe only to become despair and dissapointment, and eventually resilience, surviving, going on…

Add that to the fact that Bono’s suitcase with the complete lyrics were stolen, he could only remember these lines, and decided to leave it like this, which is in fact quite poetic and coherently illustrative.

And then the personal meanings. This song speaks to me, with its haunting piano (the one song that motivated me to learn a little bit of piano when I was a kid), as I am sure it speaks to you. Today. In October. My October.

Of course, what song comes next?

‘All I want is you’