This homage to the master painters of the caves and the Cedar Tavern came about as follows (perhaps i was thinking about Gilbert Sorrentino):

i began by photographing a child’s magnetic drawing toy on which i had scrawled a few pseudo-glyphs and one or two Tibetan characters illuminated by a green laser ‘hypercube’.

This was double exposed over a proof that was printed on the unglossed surface of a sheet of photographic paper. Printing on the ‘wrong’ side produces a fluid image because the inks never dry completely and thus it can be scratched, imprinted etc much like a polaroid in its developing stages, only much more precisely.

When i opened the result in Photoshop, very little needed to be done to produce a piece which appeared in the place of the one above until a short while ago (along with the explanation of its origin).

The image and its comment elicted this from Mikhail Horowitz:

“The explication of the process(es) used to make this image (or meta-image) is fascinating. It reminds me of the voyages by Man Ray, Max Ernst, et al, into the uncharted seas of frottage, rayographs, and other image-making processes that boldly united intent and accident. But what is of particular interest to me is that this is perhaps the only image in the entire White City that works better for me in its size on this page (screen) than as a clicked-on, greatly enlarged image. As I see it here in its miniaturized form, it is more ambiguous, more dreamlike, showing the emergence of something almost inchoate (but not quite) from the wall of its cybercave; to me it possesses a powerful mammalian energy, a powerful mammalian presence, but whether it depicts the head or hind or spirit-hide of an actual, long-vanished hairy quadreped or an animal magically conjured into being, I cannot say. But I was struck by that detail of the white area with the black dot in it that sits almost dead center — struck by its resemblance to a house key, a resemblance that does not survive when the image is blown up. For me, the incorporation of a house key into an image that resembles the cave painting of an animal is pure poetry; it strikes so plangent a note, uniting the dreamers of the Palaeolithic and their nodding brothers of the Holocene in the humble idea of a making a home in this world.”

Although i do not think that its ‘dream-like’ qualities are lost upon magnification, i was also struck by the key like form, and even had the same thought as Mikhail upon the noticing. i did not mind, however, that it disappeared on closer inspection and became digital paint, since the piece was only accidentally related in its composition to its final resonances.

Nonetheless, the mention of the non-Cedar Tavern dwellers caused me to quite deliberately create the altered image that has now replaced its predecessor, and for which i thank the most estimado senor Horowitz con todo mi corazon.

6.30.2005

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