iMOCA blog 6.28.13
"We Buy White Albums" (Rutherford Chang) & The Opposite of Lost" (Nathaniel Russell) shows are up and running—its 3:30 and a guy just asked me if I sit here and listen to the white album all day. Yes, I do and it’s a great gig. I could be tortured with a mall job, enduring hours of thumpa thumpa thumpa chump for a 7 hour shift.
It is my first day hosting this show & yes, I’ve been playing the white album all
day long—with one exception…I found a John & Yoko album in a sleeve in one of the White Album covers, an Apple record disguised as sides 3 and 4 of the Beatles 1968 double album (say that out loud: “double album)—-it was “Two Virgins”, with John & Yoko
naked on the front—-wonder if anyone collects those covers? and how would the owners decorate the nude Lennons?
A trio of cool kids visit, dig the albums & they decorate a couple of mini White
album covers. I show them how to play exquisite corpse & they promised
to share the game so I sent them off with the collaborative drawing—
another visitor talks about the controversy in Cincinnati decades ago when a show
of Robert Mapplethorpe caused much hubbub. (That’s the first time I’ve ever written the word: hubbub.)
I let visitors know that they can cue up a record of their choice. I wonder if there are any mono versions in the collection? I also talk to visitors when they seem to
want to converse. Ask them where they are from and how they heard about iMOCA.
Two friends of Nat Russell’s visit from California. They laugh when viewing “The Opposite of Lost” as do most people who see these fake fliers. The show certainly changed the way I consider “real” fliers when I see them in the neighborhoods I visit.
After unlocking the front door, the first order of business is to cue up one
of the vinyl discs pressed in 1968 with grooves that— when played with a stylus attached to a turntable plugged into an amplifier—makes the sounds of the Beatles
self-titled double album commonly known as “The White Album”. (Say that out loud: “double album”…feels nice, doesn’t it. Say it twice. These are words that go together well, my Michelle.)
As I write this line the Beatles tell me—no, they sing me—to “look around round round”. Meet the brand new day, Johnny. It’s raining. Rain shine, I don’t mind. There’s an Instagram meet up in Fountain Square today. Talk Beatles with the first visitor of the day. We talk about mono/stereo differences in Beatle albums. The way the Beatles released singles & albums in the UK, while the US added the singles to albums (& even took songs off forthcoming albums such as Rubber Soul and Revolver) to make more albums and more profits from their Fab Four moneymakers. Which eventually resulted in the infamous “butcher album cover” incident. The butcher cover is the most collectible album cover as it was pulled from the stores after only a day or two when everyone realized the cover was in “bad taste”. But some made it into the hands of the public and radio stations and later collectors learned how to steam the replacement covers off to reveal the original, “tasteless” cover below. But what could be more tasteless than to mess with some of the best records ever produced and released.
And now I’m recruiting passerby to check out the show. If they seem bored or wandering aimlessly, looking like they’re looking for something to do. The Beatles
certainly inspire talk about…The Beatles. A guy talks about being in London, going to the Tate gallery, and then he shows me an app from Abbey Road studios, a 24 hour live stream showing the crosswalk where people constantly recreate with cover of the Abbey Road album.
A Purdue MFA student, Oren Darling describes his elaborate art project—check it out here: timeismoneyportraits.tumblr.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Double album, double album….”
Arrived early so took a quick bike ride around the Fountain Square neighborhood to see what was happening. Answer: not much. Calm morning after the fireworks storm and the first Fountain Square music festival, which drew over a thousand visitors. Saw only one person. Ironically—or something like irony—-I saw Phil Campbell walking to his car in the Murphy parking lot. He was on his way to pick up the keys for his new large studio space. Fairly beaming with optimism he was and that made me wonder what he would make happen next. He spent the last 2 or 3 years managing & curating the Indy Indie arts building and before that was responsible for establishing and nurturing the Murphy arts center with the added bonus of the annual Masterpiece in a Day event. Phil is an Indy arts legend.
First visitors of the day are from Chicago, they asked about the neighborhood and I told them to return this evening for First Friday when & where the action shall happen. Family of five show up, I can hear them laughing at Nat’s flyers. A couple of gals from Plainfield, inspired by margarita’s dig through all the White Albums and we talk about various Beatles & sixties and American culture etc. “Columbus” says one when she sees the drawing of marijuana on the replacement inner sleeve from a Grateful Dead album. They giggle. They love Nat’s flyers and pose for photos for Twitter and I take their photo with their phone.
I spent some time looking for a “mono” version of the White Album in Rutherford’s collection.
Just spoke with a visitor from Davenport Iowa, his son is resting in the car, tired from visiting local museums. I can relate, I’ve learned to go by myself to most museum shows, although I have to admit that on my last visit to Houston, my brother & my mom went with me on 2 separate visits and they hung right in there with me on 4 hour marathon visits to a big Picasso show. The dad from Davenport wants to go to parks, & museums and Bloomington so I direct him to the IU art museum, Lilly library, state parks etc.
Right at the 11a.m. opening there’s a young man & his mom ready to check out the show—he’s wearing a Revolver T-shirt—-Jesse stopped by with his daughter, Artemus—a couple from Lexington KY checking out the Indy scene. Plus:
2 people from Detroit
2 friends of Nat’s from California
2 guys from San Francisco on a road trip, they tweet photos of the show.
2 musicians from NYC
& a couple from Montreal on a bus trip from Chicago to New Orleans, stopping in
Louisville Nashville & Memphis on the way (she is a documentary filmmaker named Celine Baril—we bonded because we don’t care for Ai Wei Wei’s artwork. His life
sure but not the actual artwork objects). She is a documentary filmmaker, the theory of everything “La Theorie du Tout” is the title.
Met street artist Stephanie Rond from Columbus OH—does cool work
and loves iMOCA space and enthusiastic about Big Car stuff, they were
going to check out Service Center.
I enjoy demonstrating the “hidden messages” when playing parts of “Revolution #9” backwards for those interested.
JJ worked with a mutual friend Jim as a teacher and recalls Jim helping him with his lesson plans, also thinks he knows a woman whose signature is on one of the White Albums—
As of 5pm, 47 visitors so far on this the last day of We Buy White Albums show.
27 total visitors—a local couple Wendell & Sandy Fowler, long time Fountain Square
residents—he writes for Southsider newspaper & does food/cooking segments for channel 8. www.chefwendell.com
August 9—24 total visitors—artist from San Francisco in town for a conference—Larry Ackerman (multi-image photographic projections for performances, environments and sculptures) according to his business card—- www.SaintRubidium.com —maybe he did light shows in the 60s at Fillmore West or Acid Test shows?—he sports a foot-long mustache but only on the left side of his face—-tells me he walked to every gallery on the iDada map—he points out that the map mistakenly shows address of iMOCA as suite 215—he was quite relieved & pleased to see “In the Name of Love” show as he was not impressed with any of the other shows. “I’m so glad to see men depicted.” He had one criticism, feels that the photos look “washed out”.
Another artist from Ft. Wayne, kinetic sculptor Jim Merz— www.jimmerz.com chatted with me & Shauta and was curious about Big Car & professional development workshops—Shauta suggested Primary Colors as a resource for that—later a drunken woman slurred her way into the gallery from the pub next door—-she gushed about the gallery and seemed to be saying that she’d never been in one before: “Shleriously, this is cool. Shleriously!”—-she was with a two-bike Harley gang who took smoke breaks by their hogs & seemed hungry for attention. I feared she might keel over or puke but that didn’t happen…at least not in the gallery.
A local woman brought her two daughters—one lives in Georgia & the other in
Ohio—she had read the piece in the Indy Star with Karla Romero and was intrigued.
August 10, 2013
Another mom with grown son (he now lives in Austin) and daughter ( she lives in Brooklyn) checked out the show and tried on the 3D glasses. The daughter recalled that the last time she visited iMOCA it was housed in the Emelie building. I told them the Vonnegut library was there now and they planned to check it out. Mom filled out a questionnaire.
A couple with a kid in a stroller. The guy asked if Rutherford Chang was going
to release the layered, digitized version of the White Album. He raved about the White Album show, how it was displayed, the conception and the single turntable
playing the album. Plus the interactivity of being able to flip through the records
and place them on the turntable and cue up the stylus.