Friday, May 15, 2009

A Bullet and a Target


The last couple of years that we lived in New York my office was just two blocks away from MoMA, and I took advantage of the proximity by signing up for art history classes that met in the museum galleries after hours. It was a great way to escape the stress of my job, and wandering around the deserted museum at night remains among my favorite NYC memories. Anyway, I had an instructor there who introduced me to UbuWeb, an online treasure trove of avant-garde and outsider art, including music, video, performance, and documentaries. It's easy to get lost and spend hours on the fact, that's exactly what I did yesterday, and I'm back to share a few souvenirs.

The images above are street posters from the site's outsider art section (click to enlarge).

Here is the Cars' NSFW "Hello Again" video, directed by Andy Warhol:

And here's film footage of William Burroughs making his "shotgun paintings" somewhere in Kansas. After the film turns upside down at about 2 minutes it gets distinctly less interesting but the first couple of minutes are worth a look (could the outfit be any better?):

An excerpt from an interview with Burroughs about the paintings can also be found here.

There's lots more interesting and/or weird stuff to dig up on the site – documentaries on John Baldessari and James Turrell; Fluxus films by the likes of Yoko Ono, George Maciunas, and Nam June Paik; videos by Ryan Trecartin; Shipwreck Radio, a record created by Steven Stapleton and Colin Potter while intentionally marooned on an island north of Norway; and Images du Monde Visionnaire ("an educational film by Henri Michaux and Eric Duvivier which was produced in 1963 by the film department of Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz (best known for synthesizing LSD in 1938) in order to demonstrate the hallucinogenic effects of mescaline and hashish") are just the tip of the iceberg.

It can all be found at (and New York readers can browse and register for MoMA courses here).

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