g..WHY ...... a Manifesto Posing as Biography, or.... Blood is Thicker than Theory


36 years ago Ld announced that she was an artist. Rather preposterous, it seemed to me, but then, ooh, I wished I thought of that. Not long after I converted my Humanities Field Major at Berkeley into a stealth Art Major and later fully came out via an MFA at UCSD. Meanwhile my sister continued on a very different path that had her oscillating between shacks in Mexico and galleries in the East Village. I slogged through academia, and she, with a lower tolerance for bullshit, did whatever she needed to do to facilitate the painting of paintings, lots of them and damn good ones. Our work has always been very different in intention, context and reception. Ld intensely focusing on an essentialist exploration of form and symbol through painting and prints, and me scratching at the unseemly seams of electronic media, bent on deconstruction.

Recently she told me about her new Magnet Opus series that was growing out of her studio practice into the streets, an arena I had stumbled into a few years before with my Tango Intervention series. Ld was back in New York again after a long absence, and as I would be there for Conflux the pieces came together for our separate careers to intersect in this collaboration when we realized what a perfect fit Magnet Opus could be for Conflux. When curator Angela Washko gave the go ahead we were off and running, or actually prowling, about Manhattan looking for ferrous surfaces on which to adhere our newly joined discourse.

As I worked with Ld on sketches for Conflux I have been reexamining my understanding of the essentialist/deconstructive divide in contemporary art, the great Picasso/Duchamp, optical/conceptual duality that I have been trying to resolve through my hybrid practice of physical components contextualized with Internet components. Somewhere along the way, in the process of putting this show together, in the interplay of our methods and thought processes and our engagements with the on-street locations and cultures we navigated through, somehow, I found this duality not washed away but recontextualized as a strawman, rather than a strongman.

The elusive mutable formula we concoct to contextualize cultural production as ‘art’, which loves to discriminate and divide, surprisingly becomes more fluid and flexible when the social dimension becomes an essential part of the process and product. If this is where relational aesthetics has lead us I could not be more pleased.

That we arrived at this version of Post-Relational Aesthetics through a familial collaboration is a delight. Did I mention that our 80 year old mother, also an artist, will be helping us install. Blood is thicker than theory is my current theory. I have also been thinking about how family is a system of transportation. I hope some of this sheds a light upon Ld’s and my first collaborative work, Gravity Ace on the Move. Carry on.