Farewell Douglas Coupland and Slogans 9,10 and 11

last blocksThis ‘monument’ of children’s lettered blocks were a component of a full room symbolic  representation of Coupland’s brain brilliantly conceived and executed by the artist using found objects. This is my final example of text-based art from this summer exhibition. The show closed on September 1 and I close this series today. It has been fun sharing Coupland’s art with you and I thank you for your comments and ideas.

Here is a view of downtown Vancouver as one leaves the VAG. (Click to enlarge).

downtownand here are Slogans 9, 10 & 11 chosen from so many more I haven’t shown:

Slogan 9Slogan 10

Slogan 11Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts and of photo below: ‘Gumhead’. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post to understand #9, 10 & 11.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions used in this series.

Gumhead 2

All photos by clinock.

 

Penguins and Slogan #8 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

Penguins 1

The crowds were thickly gathering on the final day of the exhibition as I captured these photos, I apologize for the poor quality, shooting between dozens of heads. The wall description photo was totally out of focus so I paraphrase it here:

‘The collages forming Coupland’s Penguins series are centered around the Penguin publishing house’s familiar orange and black paper backs. Over the covers of these iconic cultural tomes Coupland has applied vinyl texts. Some of these, read across several splayed paperbacks, form short phrases such as “Love Will Tear Us Apart” a song by British post-punk band, Joy Division or “Blasphemous Rumours” the title of a Depeche Mode song.  These phrases layer additional cultural references to the books beneath them.

In my photos I have edited the sequences for brevity.

Penguins 2

Penguins 3

I admit I haven’t read all of the novels referenced. I know there are those amongst you that have. I believe the vinyl overlays probably connect to the underlying theme of each novel. Am I correct in my assumption?

Penguins 5

Penguins 4

I nostalgically connect with the distinctive design of the Penguin covers, remembering them from my early years of reading. I think I understand some of the textual relevance of the overlays. I enjoy the formal qualities of the juxtapositions of Coupland’s text over the Penguin covers, the blocking off and letting through, the casual use of duct and painter’s tape. How do these collages work for you? What memories are evoked for you by these Penguin covers?

Slogan #8:

Slogan #8

Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post to understand #8.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.

All photos by clinock.

 

 

 

Tokyo Harbour and Slogan #7 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

Tokyo HarbourTokyo Harbour description

Tokyo Harbour detail Above: a photo of full work, Coupland’s description of the work and a detail.

Yes, echoes of Warhol here and not surprising because Coupland’s past and present art is infused with Pop sensibilities. Like the artist I too was drawn by the colours and “bold graphic treatments.” The text for me is in a language I cannot read but can enjoy as textual cryptograms. Arrayed as they are in linear formation I can also appreciate the sculptural qualities of the containers.

I admit to a few disturbing thoughts and feelings evoked by Coupland’s description. There are karmic links and confluences here that don’t sit easy in my head. What do you think?

Slogan #7:

Slogan 7Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post to understand #7.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.

All photos by clinock.

And Now For Something A Bit Different (21st Century Word Slogans and Memes by Douglas Coupland)

I am sharing Gary’s personal take on Coupland’s ‘Slogans for the 21st century’ because I enjoyed his comments and am happy for another point of view from someone else who attended the show. I have followed Gary’s blog for a long time and am always inspired by his art and deeply thoughtful meditations on what it is to be human in our challenging world. I encourage you to visit Gary’s site and immerse yourself in his compassionate and insightful words and images.

Waking Spirals

“Anywhere is Everywhere is Anything is Everything”
— Douglas Coupland

Today I went to an art exhibit of the works of the writer/artist Douglas Coupland with the title of the above quote. It was an amazing exhibit and a remarkable reflection of what it means to live during the internet age… There was a room of memes – 21st century slogans that I thought I’d share some of for tonight’s blog. All slogans from the exhibit with perhaps the occasional comment from me.

I Miss My Pre-Internet Brain

Last week I was thinking how difficult it was to remember how I researched things and how different things were before I had basically the world of information at my fingertips. I know that my attention span has shrunk tho my ability to access information has increased. My short-term memory has decreased tho my ability to multi-task has reached an all time…

View original post 135 more words

Book Chewing and Slogan #6 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

chewed books 2

chewed books description

book chewing 1Douglas Coupland has a new project: eating his own books. He recently chewed his way through a first edition of his novel Girlfriend in a Coma. “Mostly with my molars,” he says, helpfully pointing to his mouth, “the back teeth, here.” After reducing what may be his best-loved book to mush, he used it to fashion a replica of a hornets’ nest. The nest is affixed to a short twig like a Japanese lantern cut from a cherry tree. The twig is a nice touch, suggesting both authenticity and artifice.

Thanks to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ for this edited article.

chewed books 3The following from http://coupland.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/.

Douglas Coupland’s words:

“Nests are beautiful objects — the inner combs in Koolhaasian layers, the striations of pulp that resemble avant garde Japanese fabrics. You can easily meditate on one for hours.”

Hornet-Royalties.533 “So after my nest meditations I took copies of my own novels and began pulping them myself, chew by chew, a slow, laborious process. Have you ever chewed a book? I doubt it. The first thing you need to know is that doing so really trashes your saliva ducts, and it takes about a week to get through one average-size book. The second thing to remember is to drink lots of water and spit regularly or your teeth will turn gray. Usually I’d chew while watching ‘Law & Order.’ (I’m an addict.)”

hornet.533.1“To look at my own complete wasp nests raises odd issues in my head and, I hope, in the minds of observers. Is our bunkered mentality about the sanctity of books more genetic than cultural? Are we no different than wasps defending against intruders when we force students to read Henry James or Nadine Gordimer? What would wasps make of books?”

hornet.gf“How do wasps think of their role within evolutionary time? Do wasps have any sense of culture? Why does it feel so strange to see a book removed from our own sense of history and culture and inserted into a non-cultural slot where art or music or any other art form don’t exist?”

hornet.533Slogan #6:

Slogans #6

But thank you if you made it this far 😉

Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post to understand #6.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.

First 4 photos by clinock, the remainder with thanks to http://coupland.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/.

Word Clouds 2 and Slogan #5 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

word cloud 3(interviewer) Are there deeper connections between your art and novels?
(Coupland) They’re so interconnected. You can’t just kill one Siamese twin. Part of the survey is a [section] where books become objects and then objects turn into words. And each of my books has all sorts of suggestions of either sculpture or installation or time-based art. In Microserfs in particular, there’s all those word clouds. The premise was What if your hard drive was dreaming? And guess what? Twenty years later, word clouds are just the way we file information now. For a decade I got people saying, “Gosh, Doug, your writing is very, dot-dot-dot, visual isn’t it? And I was never sure if it was a put-down or put-up. I realized what they’re telling me is “Doug, I’m not a visual thinker, and your books are written that way so it’s very hard for me to get into them.” I think non visual thinking is spread around the human race in a 2-to-1 ratio to visual thinking. Inasmuch as there’s a book world, I’ve never felt a part of it, and I don’t think I ever will.

Thanks to http://www.vulture.com/ for this interview fragment.

word clouds 4Slogan # 5:

Slogan 5Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ and ‘Word Cloud’ posts for details on this section.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.

All photos by clinock.

 

Word Clouds and Slogan #4 (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

word cloud 1word cloud description

 Word Clouds, another room in the VAG of Douglas Coupland’s text-based art. We all are familiar with Word Clouds and many of us use them in the ‘content’ area of our blogs, but it’s fascinating to view Coupland’s early 20th century concept of this as a computer’s dream.

word cloud 2

There is something random and incongruous here, reminding me of Dadaist poetry. These works are framed behind glass so what looks like reflections on their surfaces actually are reflections….another level of seeing. The fact that they are framed behind glass as traditional works of art adds to the incongruity. A preciously framed computer’s dream!

Slogan #4:

Slogans 4Do I? Do You? Can we ever go back? Honestly?

Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post for details on this section.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.

All photos by clinock.

Footnote: to save you looking it up…Shinhatsubai (新発売) is a marketing ploy widely used in Japan that is slowly spreading internationally.
In a nutshell, ShinHatsubai can be interpreted as “New out” and is used to denote the latest and greatest generation of some product or other. From cars to computers the Japanese media feeds the consumerism that has become the norm in Japanese society where the vast majority of people feel compelled to have the latest thing.

Thank you to: http://michaelkishi.wordpress.com/ for this information.