again, drawings by wilsonhe began reading from prepared remarks,
how many of you have tattoos?
illustrations by Wilson Kello two admitted
that's okay, secrets can be part of it too.
many of his most interesting students started showing up with "tatts",
he noticed them in fashion magazines.
flashed up a slide of a fellow with a face tattoo on his bald head, resting his forehead on his hand - clever visual pun.
Prior to 1600, in China/Japan, tattoos, involuntary, demarked punishment.
in Japan contrary to confucian founded government, tattooing became lower/middle class means of marking status, history, allegiance.
rich pattern, style, imagery arose,
Masaichi Fukushi (?), a Japanese pathologist put his skills to use and created a skin museum at the university of tokyo.
medical pathology museum of tokyo university
first visual bomb, this japanese man handling piles of richly decorated human skins.
that culture agreed to art enshrine it, still it carries a stigma,
here illegal in 7 states
noting russian gulag criminals, tats were a record of crimes
code, unspoken symbol sets, body as text.
most painful trend since whale bone corsets.
so he wasn't afraid to shock
it wasn't quite in context,
the oldest tattoo discovered on a 2200bce female priestess egyptian mummy - mostly women tattooed back then, believed to aid resurrection/osiris ceremonies.
western tattoo extraction from south sea islanders
tattoo derived from tahitian word to strike (as in mallet on ink needle), first modern mention is Captain james cook
tattoo is for them ritual space, and can demark socio status, thus over life-time, progression.
Digging into judeo-christian,
jews generally against tattooing,
due to leviticus line that sez you can't mark yourself to mourn the dead.
Christian tattooing ethics more complex,
because Paul, in some letter, claims to bear the marks of christ stigmata (like Saint Francis)
Hindus and Buddhists believed tattoos could induce mystical experience.
started to realize he's not going to stop reading from prepared remarks
like this dude's face,
anthropology/ethnography arising, Modernist project defining other - primitive condition to be overcome but this structure became oppressive, bvegan to engender critique and adaptation of difference.
so tattooing primitivism, reaction, but beyond simplicity grounded in 60s 70s performance art.
Los, Modernist stiff architect wrote anti-ornamentation essay.
Papuan tattoos okay, there it's socially condoned here, tattoo denote criminals, if they haven't murdered yet, tattooed people will (text quote)
Los, humanity destined to overcome decorativ/primative art, ornamentation
culture as a process.
These tendencies toward abstraction created insubstantial works of immaterial art
conceptualoization not enough body art - return to tangibility body art makes the body matter in the face of dematerialization.
60s, man covers women in blue paint, they roll on canvas.
halfway steps, biting performance (no skin break, no permanence)
1971, Chris Burden has friend shoot him in the arm, claims "materialization of the idea"
slide of man pinned against a VW bug, wilson sketch
Burden crucifies himself in a garage on Venice Beach, away from the New York gallery scene, rejection of art
like Pop art, rejection that simultaineously subverts and affirms cuz it's still hung on walls, distant
but tattoo as a means of popular display.
Around this time, tattoing became west coast popular, with stock images in standard colours selectable.
Cliff Raven studied with veteran Phil Sparrow, who, bored with repetition
begun incorporating oriental themes.
Raven's tattoos, free hand, custom made, full back, brgith colours
60s signs of social protest.
after his Japanese exploration
he moved toward monochromatic indonesian patterns NeoTribalism became reworking ancient patterns, integrating diverse themes.
Hardy (?) the publisher praised
tattoo art really matters to people, not hanging in galleries
he borrows from cubist art, natural themes, historical reference, eclecticism
perfect quote -
excited as artist in fusion, references to references I guess that's like postmodern or something.
signs embedded in body
difference and identity,
individual and group
he lists about fourteen binary parallels
so while this inscription differentiates,
sets one apart,
the tatts are socio-cultural codes
indelable stamp of society
joining a symbolic order, like circumcision, intitiation
body release, body affirmation
difference and identity
he starts getting pomo philosophical,
still reading from the text
those symbols, individually chosen
signify belonging, group becomes anonymizing new work necessary
if someone is too unique, they are unintelligable
to sever a break from society is inarticulare
these cities of light,
infinite presence through screens
as life becomes reflected infinitely in a web
culture of simulation, simulacrum
bringing art to life
for some immortality,
others body loss
history is stealing the body
body in danger fosters obsession
tattoo - mark body evidence against disappearance.
life is imitating art
modern art was white washing civ of discontents,
return of the repressed,
reversal of history
not distance, but re-creation of primitive.
if ornament embodies desire, then repress or indulge
duplicity of body signs
body can neither be recovered or recover
withdrawl upon approach.
so, as Nietzsche sed,how convenient
adore appearance stop courageously at the skin.
superficial profound, profound superficial.
jewish question - strict/liberal interp for pierce/tattoing?
well, I'm not one to overemphasize the determinability of meaning. if you want to get tattoos, what the hell difference does it make what the bible sez?
much looser now,
leaning causally against the side of the podium.
looks like he uses a lot of haircare products.
Distinction between tattoing and piercing, tattoo won't come off.
Tattooists/ees look down on piercing, it's not permanence.
In a world where nothing lasts, that lasts.
Marking puts body in symbolic register contradictory - flesh/image/flesh.
people see the images before those images become tattoos.
(I am reminded of jungle residents of borneo have large airplanes tattooed on their chests)
Orlan french performance artist
composite female image from the great works
undergoing pursuit; sumulcast plastic surgery
selling body parts
processes of virtualization, virtual reality natural techno interfaces.
we can't go back to tahiti,
it never was what we thought it was.
A NYC tattooist reports most of her customers
female office workers at points of life transition old relationships. responsibility/control taking.
his next book might be
picture book of fat types
he realized no one at Williams is fat
must be an admissions thing
while nearby mill town with no mill
they're what he calls "food stamp fat" fat all over.
then there's miller time/hard hat fat
tight t-shirts, pride
white collar fat
soft in the gut, shame shaped through health club transforming body into image tattooing shows us we do. martin asks about ornamentalism fosters technology?
Los - ornament - sensuality, versus formal reason plain.
pure form is bullshit.
Derrida showed us that binaries are always heirachical
modernists set up a progression used economic/efficiency arguments against it as well.
I approached him to make contact
having read about rhizomal interstanding, web structures - too much I told him I'd be sending him some e-mail.
I saw him talking to my old advisor Phil Weinstein,
big brain in the English department,
Taylor mentioned his two minute synopsis history of philosophy
Weinstein did not hide his skepticism quickly enough.
no one asked him if he has a tattoo!
background image stolen from urbanprimitive