Well, fuck. Sorta.

When my paternal grandmother died last spring, we stopped by in Sanok to check in with my fathers father. Although not totally estranged, the relationship wasn’t very cordial and he hadn’t yet met dads second wife of fifteen years, nor their kids. The meeting was short and somewhat strained, but since grandfathers refusal of taking chemotherapy had left him with only a handful of months to live, dad thought he’d make an effort.

The previous occasion that I’d spoken to him had been almost ten years ago. Dad called me up on Iceland while visiting grandfather who had taken ill, and asked that I talk with him. I told shortly of what I was doing and where I was, and he sounded very weak and grateful that I’d taken the time to speak with him. The stories I’ve heard about him has him pegged as a dick, and perhaps illness had brought awareness of this to the foreground.

Regardless of his feelings, he died two weeks ago from metastasized cancers. When we met him in spring he had a brisk step and keen, albeit weary eyes. He’d cut back on the amount of work and now went to his tailors studio only to keep himself occupied during the days. He was living with a woman who cared for him, and if he was wanting for anything it was certainty that he’d die with dignity, which he’d found lacking as of late.

When I last saw him, I was ten or twelve. He gave my brother a straight razor and me a paratrooper knife. “When the Russians attack at least you can take one with you” he said. Mom confiscated the razor. I used the knife when I parachuted ten years ago, but have not killed any Russians. My brother went to the funeral a week ago, while I stayed at home, tied to work, sending my regards to those left behind, and from afar.

Now both my parents are without parents.

Come together. Right now. Over here.

Over at We Make Money Not Art, there’s a brief description of the work Hello Process which is being exhibited at the Process Becomes Paradigm show. In a related vein, Rhizome just published an editorial by Jacob Gaboury on the art collective JOGGING which are all about process instead of product. JOGGING are indeed mostly interesting in terms of process, as most of the documentation / made for net / performance, is undistinguishable from a Onion parody of art, or perhaps a Mcsweeneys piece.

While each piece may seem unimportant on its own, when viewed as part of a growing collection of work unconcerned with the materiality, permanence, or the importance of the individual piece, any insistence on the auratic quality of the object itself falls away. Indeed the content of each piece is doubly immaterial. Not only do they exist in passing, as documentation, or not at all, they are also unconcerned with the question of quality or importance, and are relevant as process rather than as product.

→ Rhizome, Jacob Gaboury: Immaterial Incoherence: Art Collective JOGGING

It’s through editing we make something beautiful appear. This Youtube choir, bringing together 185 individuals in a performance is inspiring — despite the slightly cheesy look of the stage and conductor Eric Whitacre — not because it resulted in this particular musical arrangement, but because there is a sense of universality to the participant’s ambitions. There’s a common denominator which becomes visible exactly because it’s mediated through a webcam, each video independently recorded. It’s the audience performing for itself.

The arrangement of the singers and panning over their individual videos in faux 3D also changes the interpretation of the piece; Compare the feeling of this version to the previous experiment he did, Sleep, in which all videos are arranged on a flat grid. The edit of Sleep creates a monumental feeling of the choir, whereas Lux Aurumque seems made up of individuals acting in concert. [Via The Technium]

As an aside, my name appears in an Excel file at one of the largest dairy producers in Sweden, Arla, since I sent in a bogus recipe containing cottage cheese to a competition. I don’t know if I’ve won anything, but judging from the other entries (all visible in the same document) I’m not the only one who’ve fibbed a love to that product. Twohundredandeightysix other people filled sent in their recipes to win whatever it was one could win. Imagine if you could get 287 people to spend those five minutes working doing some work for you, paying all of them fractionally more for their time than they stand to gain on average from a competition and thereby creating a win-win! What would you do with those 24 hours of labour? Or is an XLS-file with slogans enough?