Sunday, January 31, 2010

(Some) New Drawings

As I related in an earlier post I am trying to develop a new, focused body of work. I feel like things have progressed to the point were I can post something about it - both the idea behind the work and some of the pieces I've managed to put together so far. These are a series of googlewhack drawings. What is a googlewhack? From wikipedia:

A googlewhack is a kind of a contest for finding a Google search query consisting of exactly two words without citation marks, that return exactly one hit, no less no more. A Googlewhack must consist of two actual words found in a dictionary. A Googlewhack is considered legitimate if both of the searched-for words appear as live links in in the blue bar above the Google results. Published googlewhacks are shortlived, since when published to a web site, the new number of hits will become at least two, one to the original hit found, and one to the publishing site.
As some of my former co-workers can attest there was a time several years ago that I became a bit obsessed with finding googlewhacks. What I ended up with was eyestrain, an expanded vocabulary and a list of several hundred successful googlewhacks - two-word pairings what were often strange, sometimes nonsensical, occasionally naughty, and usually just downright weird. The exercise of finding valid googlewhacks has become increasingly more difficult in recent years - keep in mind that the world wide web was a much smaller place just a few years ago (especially in the pre-blog era) and our vocabulary certainly hasn't expanded at the same rate as the internet. Eventually the list got filed away and I moved on to other distractions.

Recently I got to thinking about the list and decided that it might be fun to do a series of text-based drawings using the googlewhacks as the focal point. I'd already settled on both the materials (crayon and vellum) and process (cut & paste, draw, repeat) based on other recent work I'd done.

Anyway, what follows is a sample. I think I was still trying to find my way around in the first two drawings - the process and format seems to be more settled (in a good way) in the last three works:

eggnog lotharios. 2009.
crayon and enamel on vellum. 13-1/4 x 12 in.

zombi dovetails. 2009.
crayon and enamel on vellum. 21 x 16-1/2 in.

beatified oolong. 2010.
crayon and enamel on vellum. 31 x 29-1/2 in.

dharmic ravioli. 2010.
crayon and enamel on vellum. 27 x 22 in.

incurably longshanks. 2010.
crayon and enamel on vellum. 18 x 36 in.

So, what are they about? Well, I think they're partly about the ephemeral, fluid nature of language. I'm also seeing them as verbal follies - I hope the drawings read (both literally and visually) as something both monumental and ridiculous.

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