Wojtek Więckowski: Poland’s Pollock? Or More? Abstract Expressionism in 2017 / Abstract Realism?

Tony Robert Cochran

Wojtek Więckowski, 33, is personally enigmatic; his work cyclical, nearing kaleidoscopic. Engaging multiple mediums, from blues-infused, folk and ambient guitar compositions paired with photographic slides of his Abstract Expressionist paintings, his oeuvre sits somewhere between Ad Reinhardt’s controlled, restrained and, later monochromatic, paintings, and Jackson Pollock’s ‘action paintings,’ thrown paint whizzing onto canvas. Więckowski unconsciously synthesizes essential elements in the rich history of Abstract Expression, yet his work is not rote.

Meeting Więckowski at his studio: an austere and dilapidated, yet warm space in the basement of an old building in Warsaw’s Sadyba neighborhood, I am shocked when he speaks English with a Texan accent. I ask, puzzled, wait: you are originally from Poland? He laughs, “yep, I am polack!”  Growing up on American folk music, among his other favorite genres which include everything from progressive rock to Blues and Jazz, along with a six-month stint in Texas, has…

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One of these days I will find the courage to have a brain aneurysm.

Tony Robert Cochran

I was thinking yesterday, during one of my headaches,                                                                   as I sat in the Kino Luna, which happens to be across from the Ministry of Coffee,              a place not at all renowned for my frequent patronage,                                                   or idle worship smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee cold brew,                                       next to bottled water,           next to oat milk with espresso,                                                    observing the idol worshipers enter in and out of the Church of  theHoly Savior,             which overlooks roundabout slightly to north of both the Western Cafe,                              and the Eastern cinema,

As I sat in that cinema, head pounding,              Every sound, every movement, every smell intensifying the vein dilating,                    That one on the right side of my forehead, & Miles Davis came on the screen,                       Isn’t that what I came for? To watch a documentary about a Black man who,               Changed the musical landscape of America and…

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Short Note, 1 (Negative Nihilist Ontology & Zen Cyborgs)

Tony Robert Cochran

Invoking far-reaching consequences, empty space precludes space itself, as emptiness precludes empty space. A chain of ‘somethings,’ congeal, like an eddy of finitude on (a/the) sea of infinite nothingness. Negative Nihilist Ontology posits radically that nothing exits everywhere. And this nothing is the upsurge that is called something. Not just ‘something’ but chains, breaks, flows, crashes, symbioses, parasites, growths, decays and retractions of somethings. Paradoxically, nothingness permeates being to its core. Cogitating nothing, subjectivity cannot conceive of a nothing. Nothingness is simultaneously discrete and ubiquitous; ever present in its absence, it runs, withdraws and remains elusive, illusive and allusive. Implying or inferring nothingness conceptually is infinities. Multiple, polyvalent, directionless yet sourcing all direction and particularity, nothingness resides at the core of something. It is ‘coiled in being like a worm’ according to Jean-Paul Sartre (Being & Nothingness). For Sartre, the plenitude of being is. Being is what it is. Nothingness…

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Morph Zed: A Z-Manifesto; Or A New Aesthetic Contract For Emerging & Known Artists

Art has become degraded by the wealthy through hyper-inflation.

Institutions of art have been degraded by Big Pharma, Big Oil and other vile corporate sponsors.

A major way for artists, from sculptors to painters to performers and earth-workers, to fight back is to make legally binding contracts attached to each of their works. A New Aesthetic Contract is needed.

Artists themselves must reject the ideology of becoming / aspiring to be hyper-wealthy.

Artists themselves who have become hyper-wealthy must dramatically alter there ways.

Here are The Clauses: 

Clause I

No piece (including performances + their reproductions via various media, e.g. photography) of art by Z-artists shall be sold for more than 25% of the yearly US median income for 2018, which is $62,175, therefore no piece of art shall be sold for more than $15,543.75.

Clause II

No piece of art by Z-artists shall be resold at a value higher than the US-core inflation rate of 1.9% per year. Meaning that all buyers agree to not resell Z-artists’ work at any rate higher than 1.9% per year. This applies indefinitely to Z-artists work and must (contractually) be agreed to by anyone who buys the work, per the legally binding agreement with original buyer. Contract shall also include clause that primary buyer shall require secondary buyers to adhere to 1.9% investment return, and to legally commit to the same contractual arrangement with any further buyers ad infinitum. This will end hyper-inflation of prices in the New Z-art market.

Clause III

No piece of art by Z-artists shall be shown at exhibitions sponsored by i) entities or persons from the fossil fuel industry, ii) entities or persons from the pharmaceutical industry, iii) any entity or person directly profiting from weapons sales / dealing, iv) any entity or person directly profiting from the use of sweatshop and/or prison labor. Violation of this clause, which shall be within the legally binding contract with the original buyer plus all buyers in perpetuity, shall result in legal action. Z-artists shall receive $15,543.75 per day, from the contemporaneous owner(s), for any work shown at exhibitions sponsored by persons or entities under the aforementioned categories.

Clause IV

Established artists shall make sure that all work created after February / March 2019 adhere to the aforementioned clauses. Established artists shall engage in Z-artists New Aesthetic Contract by setting aside all of their assets above $1,500,000 for independent artist collectives, artist scholarships, and other means (studio work to be paid at the median US wage of $62,175, with healthcare benefits where applicable). Mechanism: For example, If X wealthy artist is worth $200,000,000 than all their wealth, assets, stocks, tax haven income shall be redistributed to independent artist collectives, scholarships and paid grants for singular artists via independent entities. Using this example, X artist would send $199,850,000 to an entity or entities overseen by an independent board or boards that would allocate funds for independent artist collectives, scholarships, living wage studio work and paid grants for singular artists. Said boards of aforementioned entities shall consist of a minimum of 25% women, 25% LGBTQ, 25% People of Color and 25% emerging artists.

Clause V

No artist needs more than $1,500,000 at any given time to live on. However, in understanding that large-scale projects often require self-funding above this amount, established artists are allowed to use money above the $1,500,000 for the purposes of creating large-scale pieces. Any wealth / assets shall be set aside in a special, non-investment account for sole purposes of art making. Any workers employed on the production of large-scale projects shall be paid a minimum of the US median wage $62,175, with healthcare benefits where applicable.

Clause VI

The aim of these clauses is to give emerging artists legally binding control over the selling and distribution of their work; allowing them to scale down the hyper-inflation within the art market, and create a New Aesthetic Contract, a Z-market, where rampant economic inequality is dealt with via contractually binding agreements at the point-of-sale. Any buyers, primary or secondary, who violate the core inflation agreement of Clause II, shall pay Z-artist, per written contract, $15,543.75 per day either until the work is resold at the appropriate price or in perpetuity if this cannot be done. The goal here is to wrangle back control of Z-artist’s work, pegging each piece to a maximum percentage median income levels in the world’s wealthiest nation, thereby giving Z-artist adequate payment for their work and avoiding hyper-inflation. Additionally, more onerous conditions are set on hyper-wealthy established artists, who must commit to Z-artists’ New Aesthetic Contract.

Z-Tax

Z-artists support an ultra-millionaire tax, encompassing all the assets and wealth of the richest in the US, as proposed by Elizabeth Warren; Z-artists support Medicare for All, a Universal Basic Income, Reparations for the descendants of the trans-Atlantic African slave trade, the genocide of Native Americans, post-colonial debt annulment, and all other social and economic mechanisms that work toward abolishing the traumatic system of plutocracy.

Morph Zed

 

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Literally Nothing Publishing is a non-spacial, non-temporal worksite dedicated to the hard process of delving into that which is physically, aesthetically, culturally and politically difficult. The root of this project began with Magazyn Listopadowy / November Magazine, an altermodern continuation, as the Northern Hemisphere aches/arches towards winter, of October. Expanding beyond November to encompass the transnational, globalized, non-site specific within aesthetic criticism, ontology and epistemology, Literally Nothing Publishing was born. Explicating social, cultural, economic and physical relations of inter-subjectivity and between subjects-objects within sculptural-architectural, film, and other artistic practices. Engaging with artists, architects, scientists and mathematicians, to build inter-disciplinary rapport for a neo-conceptual project involving collaborating with language, community and (what it means to be) Other. Promoting artists and artistic practices that open the field of conceptual experiences, in literature, painting, sculpture-architecture, Earth-works, site-constructions, etc.