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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Making Collages


 I sometimes imagine that I am an archeologist trying to reconstruct an unknown text from found fragments of a lost or unknown civilization. Since these compositions are all black and white relationships, each composition is like looking at the constant flux of yin and yang. The sense of what is positive and what negative is always shifting back and forth.

I have been using this same black and white collage material more or less the same way for about a decade now. All of it is from a single poster that I designed for collage making and had 500 copies printed. I have close to a lifetime of the material left. Most of them have been 9 x 6 inches. This latest set is 10 x 8 inches and I think I prefer the little bit fatter proportion.

 It seems like an interesting idea to make these collages with the same basic idea and look. The variation is based on the moment they are created. Each moment is different, unique. When I say moment, I am stretching them out to as much time as it takes to make the collage. The collage starts in a certain moment and that moment of conception drives it to its conclusion however long that takes. I am different, my approach is different because I am trying to fit a composition together based on my intuitive reasoning and responses. This makes it a form of meditation or contemplation. Sometimes I do have a feel of what I want to do across a group of several works. Still, I am looking for opportunity, looking for things that strike me as going together, fitting together.

 The process is driven by an idea of chance aesthetics. I usually start anywhere and glue pieces down as I feel the right spot for it. So, I am usually fully committed to the placement as I go along. It is evolutionary, everything builds on the last thing that happened and all future decisions are driven by all the decisions up to that point. Once started, it is driven to its own unique conclusion.

Sometimes I wonder how I will get to the next part of the composition. It sometimes feels like I won’t find the right fragment but, in the end, it comes to a conclusion.

 If I get stuck then I stop and do something else for a while and then come back and finish it up. The few minutes away from the collage lets me let go of the process and then pick it back up with fresh eyes.

Because of this process, failure is not an option, there is only begin, continue, conclude. Since I have done all that I can in the design of the system of construction, whatever result is a success within that set of systematic limitations. Aesthetically I personally might like one over another but even my preference might change over time as I study them over the following years.

 “We should bring our will into harmony with whatever happens, so that nothing happens against our will and nothing that we wish for fails to happen.” — Epictetus, “Discourses,” 2.14.7

 Once a body of collages is completed and documented then they become possible studies for paintings. I think of the collages as scores as in musical scores or event scores or an architectural plan or a recipe. The paintings are performances of these scores. There might be one performance, there might be multiple performances of the original collage in different sizes, different proportions, they might be cropped, they might change colors, or the colors might be reversed or various painting techniques might be experimented with. Each performance is unique even if two instances look nearly the same. I might make a painting of a collage from last week or from a decade ago. It doesn’t matter, they are timeless.

 The progressions of the collages have nothing to do with the progressions of the paintings just like an orchestra might play a symphony from 1722 in the same program with one written last year. Both are unique performances even if the older one has been performed a thousand times over the last 300 years.

 A chef might follow a recipe from ancient Rome and try to match the dish as exactly as possible, or a playful master chef might start with a recipe and use it as only a suggestion. He/she might; change the ingredients, adjust the proportions or the spices, or take it in a completely different direction.

Journal Entry: Saturday, August 6, 2022

 Make a living, Leave the Killings to Others.

Considering intellectual property, creatives are an endless source of potential wealth and prosperity. We often do not think of what we do in this way because the intellectual property that we generate in our minds and through our hands is not often brought to market. For artists, our work flows freely like water and it can be difficult imaging ‘privatizing’ our internal resources like companies bottle water. The water is free, the cost of bringing the water in a bottle to your hand so that you can drink it is where all of the production and distribution costs and profits are at.

While we usually are not making constant calculations related to the value of our thoughts, imaginings, jotting down of ideas, etc. there is value in it if that value can be contextualized in a marketplace. There are various markets/businesses where people sitting around contemplating solutions for problems or dreaming up new ideas are well paid for the effort such as lawyers, business consultants, engineers, scientists, researchers, programmers, product designers, etc. There are also established ways for people’s work to be protected by copyrights and patents.

We as artists tend to underestimate the value of our time and creativity because we do not think of it with a business mindset. Traditionally, working in the arts is considered a leisure activity. Hence, a business mindset among artists often takes a back seat since it is a private, individual activity rather than a manufacturing company. But artists are continually manufacturing art objects of some sort, usually – and rightly so – following a private, individual creative impulse rather than creating ‘products’ for a market. The idea of just making marketable products is the antithesis to the whole point of practicing an art which is for personal exploration and expression.

However, taking into account there is a collector market out there, there is no reason not to work in a way that will allow the artist to capitalize on that market should he/she want to. The way to think about this in my opinion is to design how you work in a way that is friendly to addressing that demand. The primary suggestion here is to work in a way and with materials that, as if by accident, yield finished objects that you are willing to exhibit and sell. Contrast this to working in a way that has no consideration to ever exhibit or sell anything. For instance, drawing in the sand on a beach that will quickly disappear with the next wave or on a chalk board that you are constantly erasing or on a dinner napkin that you wad up and throw away when you scrape your plate into the trashcan.

You could have some life philosophy in which this is the most true way to be an artist, just stacking some rocks in the woods or arranging trash in an alley. However, if it is your intention to have a self-sustaining creative lifestyle, this needs to be a consideration that is only a matter of designing how you are going to capture your creativity in a relatively permanent form.

Even if you are an artist who likes to work with alternate or unusual materials, processes of decay, distress and destruction like, lets say: the Swiss artist Dieter Roth or before him the collage artist Kurt Schwitters. It is still possible to make the works in a way that can be relatively permanent, collectible objects.

Myself, I work with collage materials, often deeply distressed materials that might even be moldy but I usually do it in such a way that they are mounted on 300LB watercolor paper and framed for exhibition. I have endless boxes of collage material that, in itself, has no value at all. It is in fact, trash picked up from the streets or torn from walls. But with the addition of effort and vision it becomes intellectual property, a work of art. Since, over the years, I have developed a market or following, I can sell the work eventually for a price that I am willing to let go of it. I would rather keep them all, but what good does it do me to hold onto everything when I don’t have time to look at it? It just otherwise sits in the dark in drawers. Why not share it and at the same time create enough income to live a comfortable life?

I know, for myself, If I had no intention to exhibit and sell my works, I would not even bother to finish them. For my own artistic purposes, I might be perfectly happy just to take a work far enough to get a feel for how it would look when finished. But if you are keeping in mind that others will eventually look at and study it, then it feels right to me to be considerate and take the time to finish your thought by completing the work. Hence at this point I don’t like to leave loose ends or things unfinished, but I don’t like to force them to the finish either. Sometimes you want to think about it for a while.

I have kept some paintings in a state of process for as long as 20 years where I work on it here and there as I work out the idea. I might think of something else I want to do to it or change my mind and paint something out. But it would make me nervous and unsettled if all of my work were in a constant open state and never completed or at least that I decide it is complete. You have to find the stopping point and move on to the next thing.

Anyway, the main subject I wanted to talk about is the idea about making a living as an artist. Since artworks can be whatever price you put on them (unlike most other things) and that someone will eventually pay for it, an artist needs to work out how much income one needs to live and to function as an artist. I used to tell people jokingly that if I am not going to sell something, I might as well not sell it for a lot of money. Which means, don’t undersell yourself or your work even if prospects seem bleak at the moment. The business side of art is a long game. It usually does not yield fast results. It can happen, but it is not common. So that means you might make art for a long time and have a lot of works completed before you ever start figuring out how to sell something and that’s fine. But looking forward, the works you have now might not find a market for 20 years.

In my case, since I keep my work well organized, I know with certainty that I am still selling artworks I made 10, 20 or 30 years ago. So, assuming you are still making art 30 years from now, everything you didn’t sell early on is still in play long into the future and you will be glad you still have it to offer. How do you take it that far into the future assuming you will still be working? Planning for it, taking care of it, archiving it as you go.

Planning out a Creative Lifestyle

A simple lifestyle is typically the best, most achievable and most sustainable. Choosing a place to live that has enough room to have a studio and enough storage to keep things can often be affordable if you find the right neighborhood or the right part of the country. While, in the US it is nice to be in or around New York or San Francisco for example, it might not be a good choice from an affordability point of view. Now-a-days, you can live almost anywhere. I have said for years, as long as there is internet service and Fedex pickup and delivery, as an artist I can live almost anywhere.

Since art is highly mobile, an artists doesn’t need to live anywhere in particular, for that reason, if you can find a place that you can afford and gain an increase in square footage then that is something to consider. When we lived in Central Mexico, outside of Mexico City we often heard about artists from New York moving to Mexico City because it was so much cheaper to work from there compared to New York and you still had the big city life which is important to some. Myself, I like plenty of elbow room.

Once you get to the point of having some dealers handling your work. It is possible to develop a way to work that would allow you to live virtually anywhere in the world and then ship the works back to dealers in the US who will sell them and put the money in your US bank account. Then you just live with your debit card from an ATM. We did this for years living in Central Mexico. This can add a romantic twist to your story and can provide a lot of inspiration.

Pricing Your Work

Making a living as an artist is about making a living like anybody else. So how do you do that in a self-sustaining way? That’s the central question. If you are in the gallery market you are going to have to pay for your materials, studio costs, your effort, your intellectual property, shipping, gallery commission and discounts off retail then taxes. Calculating out all of these costs, you are going to end up with 15-20% of actual personal income at typical retail prices. This needs to be the calculation. So, this tells you that whatever you think your personal income needs to be from a given work, you need to multiply by 500% For example, to end up with $200.00 of personal income after expenses you need to price it at retail for $1,000.00

You need to charge that price even if you are selling the work yourself, because you are then acting as the dealer too and the dealer half of the work costs money as well. If you have a dealer, then his/her calculation is roughly the same as yours or maybe little better but not by much. Some claim that the actual profit margin made by an art gallery is something like 6.5%. The advantage that the dealer has over the artist is that they have a lot more artists’ work to sell, than the artist has galleries to sell his/her works. An artist’s sales then, are limited to production inventory.

You have to set your prices at whatever you would need to sell the work for after paying gallery commissions and discounts even if it isn’t in a gallery. All of these gallery expenses you just have to accept as the cost of doing business. The advantage to selling your work through galleries is that you have constant retail exposure and sales people working for you while you stay focused on what you love - your studio practice and art production.

Being in the art market can seem confusing at first and there can be fear about whether your work will be rejected or doesn’t sell. It is easy to feel despondent or intimidated about the process of getting your work into the market. Still, if you look at all the art out in the galleries you will likely wonder to yourself how a lot of things that you don’t think are any good at all are actually selling. But the fact is every artist has a potential market and there is a diverse range of ‘tastes’.

How I have come to think about it for myself is that when I am working in my studio I am an artist and that is all I think about. When I am going out to see what I can do about selling it then I become an agent or representative of the body of work that is in the studio. As a representative, I don’t really care what anybody thinks about it. I stay detached from the work on an ego or emotional level. I like my work, but I can’t expect everyone else to like it. Just like there is a lot of art that I don’t find interesting. I am just looking for the right people that do like it and take an interest in it. Everyone else doesn’t matter when it comes to business.

Some artists feel like they need to be in the very best galleries or none at all. However, you can build a career just fine by getting in any galleries around the country that fit your work. Often it is easier to get into galleries when they first get started and are looking for artists to represent so you can keep your ear to the ground for this kind of startup gallery. It is riskier because starting a gallery is like starting a restaurant. There is probably a high failure rate in the first few years. It takes deep pockets and at least 5 years to get a gallery off the ground.

Collector Market

On the other hand, a collector who buys works of art and holds onto them for 20-30 or more years might get lucky and be able to sell it for what we could call ‘a killing’, maybe 50x-1000x of the original purchase price if the artist’s name was Pablo Picasso or Jasper Johns or Andy Warhol. We hear of this happening and sometimes even with contemporary artists. BUT this is the collector market that is driving those kind of prices, not the artist who made the work. It is like the postage stamp market or the baseball card market. The original item at the time of ‘primary market’ purchase was almost nothing, but, over time collectors drive the values of a small portion of those items to extremely high levels for a variety of reasons that, in the case of art, the artist has no control over or influence on other than keeping on making better and better work and deepening business relationships.

The collector market is its own animal and has little or nothing to do with the artists in a direct way. Other investment players are playing the ‘killings’ game. Artists only need to be concerned with making a living and leave the killings for speculators further up the economic food chain.

At the beginning I didn’t really understand this idea and I thought I would somehow need to become famous to make a living, but it is actually not true. The mantel of fame in the art world hangs on the shoulders of only a very few artists and they are famous to a very small slice of the general population. A lot of the time it is about being in the right place at the right time under the right circumstances with the right support. Most of us can’t expect that kind of happy accident and we don’t need to.

In media such as film and music also, only a few bands and singers or actors and directors achieve the kind of fame that makes them a household name. Most people in these industries go quietly about their lives without anyone outside of their industry ever knowing who they are. But everybody is more or less making a living and living out their creative lifestyle one way or other.

If you slowly make good business connections and keep producing and getting the work out there, an artist can quietly create a comfortable lifestyle without too much fanfare. You will build a following and eventually people will come to know your work, but your work doesn’t ever have to be falling under a hammer price at Christies in NYC or be on the cover of whatever is the best art magazine at any given moment. And that is 100% OK. As Forest Gump says: ‘One less thing to worry about.’

“Creativity is what happens when the intellect stops working and intuition starts playing.”

 I think of intellect and intuition as two very different functions of the mind. The intellect works out schemes and plans. It is a decision making and judgement faculty based on logic and reasoning. It is good at organization, observation, and calculation in a discipled mind.

But it is not very good at creativity. Creativity depends on other things that are not as obvious and concrete as details, facts, and palpable results. However, many artists work at their craft completely from their intellect, making works based on logic and reasoning, traditions and schools of thought and president from art history. This is a perfectly fine approach but it is not necessarily creative work because unknowns have been pruned out of the process.

Intuition and creativity depend on the ability to have flow and faith. Faith is a quality you have when you take a step into uncertainty, into the unknown and have no idea where the next step after that will take you. In the arts, this ability to step out onto an unknown path toward an unknown objective is where those with the innocence of children and the confidence of the masters tread. This is a path illuminated by intuitive knowing that allows us to navigate where no map has yet been drawn.

When in a state of creative exploration, one must be willing to suspend judgement and calculation and just feel one’s way into a new territory. At first it will be a tentative and clumsy adventure and one might not have the honed skills or the right tools but, through the process of expeditionary peregrination of this unknown, we will soon domesticate it through our imagination and insight for our creative uses.

This kind of creative activity will then allow us to be able to apply techniques of the intellect in order for us to judge, refine and articulate what we have discovered in the creative hinterlands of our own imagination. This exploratory process is often the source for an artist’s body of creative works.

The difficulty for professional artists is the mercurial nature of creativity. Once the explorer’s curiosity is aroused, and one has gained a footing, one will often wish to stay in that mode and have no desire to return from the wilderness and for good reason. For most artists, the creative quest is the point of being an artist in the first place. But, like all explorers, there is also the need for provision.

This is where the intellect kicks back in, to balance the mind and help keep one’s feet on the ground, so to speak. If one is a working artist, which is to say, needs to derive provision from one’s creative passion, then the intellect is the main tool for figuring out how to create works that can be taken to market. To blend one’s intellectual judgement with one’s intuitive discoveries is the balance that allows an artist to complete the circle.

Journal Entry: Sunday, September 18, 2022

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Some Collages from Jan 2022

FS4033ct21 - 6 x 4.5 inches - collage on paper

FS4034ct21 - 6 x 4.5 inches - collage on paper

FS4035ct21 - 10 x 8 inches - collage on paper

FS4036ct21 - 5 x 4 inches - collage on paper

FS4037ct21 - 5 x 4 inches - collage on paper

FS4038ct21 - 5 x 4 inches - collage on paper

FS4039ct21 - 5 x 4 inches - collage on paper

 

Some Collages from 2021

 


Fusion Series #4031 - collage on paper - 2021

Fusion Series #4030 - collage on paper - 2021

Fusion Series #4029 - collage on paper - 2021

Fusion Series #4028 - collage on paper - 2021

Fusion Series #4027 - collage on paper - 2021

Fusion Series #4026 - collage on paper - 2021

A few collages made for the international collage exchange a couple of months ago. I got out a box full of left over pieces of found materials that includes German and English children's readers, crayon and pencil drawings, poster and billboard paper, part of a page from an old letter, page from an antique shorthand book, old receipts from 1916 London, some painted papers, etc.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

New Drawings from February 2020

2020.109 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

2020.110 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

2020.111 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

2020.112 - pencil, pen and markers on paper - 11.5 x 8.25 inches

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Constructed Gesture Hardcover Book

Covering 10 years (2010-2019) of the Iberian Variations collages, this new 262 page hardcover book,  focuses on this series of abstract expressionist works within Touchon's oeuvre.




The Introduction

The Iberian Variations suite started in 1987. The original thought was to create a series of gestural, Abstract Expressionist collages. This idea eventually developed into the ‘constructed gesture’. This was based on make the material very freely and without concern for an ‘image’ and then construct the composition by cutting up the source material that I had prepared and arrange into a gesture through the process of collage. This strategy allowed me to work in a careful and controlled way in order to look for a composition that interested me.


This collage technique also allows for the visual connections and disjunctions common to collage construction. The ability to take unrelated snippets of the same material and reorganize it allows for a much greater level of constructive possibilities than a singular gesture accomplished in a few seconds as is typical with gestural art making. Another advantage is to be able to find and edit especially interesting gestural marks and then organize the composition in such a way that the work can seem to run off the edges of the composition instead of the typical centralized composition where the gestures have to remain contained within the confines of the surface being worked on.

This process permits the kind of time needed to contemplate the possibilities in a similar way that distinguishes how one speaks spontaneously in conversation compared to how one might write out the ideas where more time is allowed to think out the thing that one desires to express and to then express it in a more precise way. The urgency of the time element in conversation is eliminated when one is writing and thus the possibilities of communication is greatly expanded. This is the basic theory of the constructed gesture.

During the course of this series of works I employed a wide range of techniques in the creation of the papers used for these collages. The typical paper used is a collection of unused billboard sheets that are approximately 60 x 60 inches in size. Being paper for printed billboards, the paper is very durable and made for existing out in the weather and sunlight and for being pasted to billboard panels. For my use this creates a very interesting, resilient surface to work on with thinned down acrylic paints. The size of the sheets allows for working with the paint in a very fluid and unrestricted way.

I lay these massive sheets out on the ground when the weather was just right and then with a bucket of paint and a large brush I dance around the sheet and work from all directions. At times I would allow the sheet to mostly dry and then spray the sheet with water to wash away whatever remaining spots on the sheet that were still wet. This technique can be clearly seen on Fusion Series #s 2984 – 2987 where a great deal of the paint was washed off.



Another technique was to dampen the paper so that the painted marks would bleed out leaving delicate edges such as: no.s 2967, 2971, 2972. Occasionally I would first make the gestures with a very washy, transparent layer and once dry would go back over the sheet with a stronger layer such as: no.s 2968, 2978, 2983, 3007. At other times I might wish to make more frenetic mark making with lots of splashing around such as: no.s 3034, 3035, 3036.

Another technique was to stain certain sheets with a coffee color to give more warmth to the negative spaces. At a certain point I began experimenting with blue paint and a combination of blue and black using all the same techniques mentioned previously. Then sometime later I tried some other kind of markings such as: no.s 3842 -3844 to see what that might look like.

Compositionally, I experimented with creating dense, compact compositions and at other times more open or even very minimal compositions having the black markings occupying only a small part of the compositional space as in: no.s 2988 & 2994.

In a collage, every square inch must be considered as in a film where there is a reason for every scene, and each scene is cut at exactly the right point to create a harmonious whole. In collages such as these, editing is equally an important and critical element of the work that gives the opportunity for a greater level of control that other forms of gestural or expressionistic ways of working have difficulty in accomplishing.

All of these collages are mounted on larger sheets of watercolor paper. They are normally numbered in the actual work in pencil on the front and signed on the back of the watercolor sheet.

The numbering system used for these works locates them within the larger body of the Fusion Series. This accounts for the gaps in the sequence. Looking at the Fusion series as a whole one will see that at different times I switch back and forth between the types of collages I am creating because each group of works requires a different set of papers. I will work for so long on a certain idea, maybe days or weeks, and then put everything away and get out the other sets of materials for a different type of collage.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Three Asemic Poems

asemic writing - 6 x 6 inches - ink on  paper


asemic writing - 6 x 6 inches - ink on  paper


asemic writing - 6 x 6 inches - ink on  paper


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Three Gestural Drawings on Paper

gestural drawing - 6x6 inches - ink on  paper


 gestural drawing - 6x6 inches - ink on  paper



gestural drawing - 6x6 inches - ink on  paper

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

typOetry: Selected Typographic Collages


typOetry: Selected Typographic Collages is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

Collages by Cecil Touchon made as poems between 2014 -2019. This is a specific set of works within Touchon’s oeuvre that he thinks of as different from his other typographic abstraction collages. This group is less concerned with an overall compositional image and tend to be more involved with structures similar to poetic architecture, often linier and working with open space like poetic texts on a page.

Examples from the book...




Monday, December 16, 2019

New Prussian Blue Typographic Abstraction Paintings on Canvas

 Post Dogmatist Painting #1100 - collage on canvas - 36x24 inches


 Post Dogmatist Painting #1101 - collage on canvas - 36x36 inches
  

Saturday, December 14, 2019

New Typographic Abstraction Paintings on Canvas

 Post Dogmatist Painting #1097 - collage on canvas - 48x48 inches


Post Dogmatist Painting #1098 - collage on canvas - 36x36 inches



Post Dogmatist Painting #1099 - collage on canvas - 36x36 inches

Two collages on Canvas

 Post Dogmatist Painting #1091 - collage on canvas - 24x20 inches


Post Dogmatist Painting #1095 - collage on canvas - 24x20 inches

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Asemic Writing: Poetic Structures


Asemic Writing: Poetic Structures is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

These poems are created by using vernacular sources for materials such as restaurant receipts, poetic structures Touchon made with spam email, pages of lists from magazines as palimpsests to then overwrite the texts on the pages using the existing texts as prompts for his asemic writing. Touchon also used various authors’ poems whose structures he liked in the same way by printing out the poems on white sheets and then overwriting the texts. Some of the poets included e. e. commings, David Drew, Vito Acconti, documents from Sigmund Freud, some pages from Mathematical Manuscripts of Karl Marx, etc. In short, any sort of page composition that Touchon could exploit with the use of asemic writing.

Samples of pages from the book




Monday, December 9, 2019

Listening with the Eye - An Asemic Notebook - Volume 3


Volume 3 in a new series of books on asemic writing, Listening with the Eye: An Asemic Notebook is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

This is volume three in a set of asemic notebooks. Like volume one, these poems or texts or drawings depending on how you think about them were all made with an ink marker on 6x4 inch smooth, glossy photographic paper. My idea was to have the works function as if they were plates of texts in a book so that the image would appear without a visible background. In this way the writing or text uses the page itself as background in the typical way that print functions in a book.
These works might be called automatic writing or visual writing or asemic writing. There is no intention to tell a story or to use any recognizable language or symbols. Rather the works function in free flow with intuition rather than thought, allowing the hand to just do what the hand does; make marks.
I prefer a more improvisational approach as if I am playing an instrument that records in marks what might otherwise be heard as notes of music. This is the natural realm of the arts; to work in a state of mindfulness or meditation





Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Listening with the Eye - An Asemic Notebook - Volume 2

Volume 2 in a new series of books on asemic writing, Listening with the Eye: An Asemic Notebook is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, Barns and Noble, and anywhere fine books are sold.

These works might be called automatic writing or visual writing or asemic writing. There is no intention to tell a story or to use any recognizable language or symbols. Rather the works function freely with intuition rather than thought, allowing the hand to just do what the hand does; make marks. There is a kind of visual vocabulary however, such as letter-like marks, punctuation-like marks such as chevrons, commas, accents, dashes and dots, the organization for the most part is in lines of markings to suggest a reading of progression. Some are lyrical and look almost like what a visual music score might look like. I experimented with different rhythmic motions, different ways of holding the tool, sometimes in silence and at other times while listening to music.

Sample pages from this volume...




Listening with the Eye - An Asemic Notebook


The first in a new series of books on asemic writing, Listening with the Eye: An Asemic Notebook is NOW AVAILABLE HERE
and soon available on Amazon, B&N, and anywhere fine books are sold.

The writings presented here were composed specifically for existing in a book environment as unified text. These works might be called automatic writing or visual writing or asemic writing. There is no intention to tell a story or to use any recognizable language or symbols. Rather the works function in free flow with intuition rather than thought, allowing the hand to just do what the hand does; make marks. Touchon uses improvisational approach to mark making as if playing an instrument that records in marks what might otherwise be heard as notes of music and this might be a way to approach the work – to look as if listening; spending time studying the nature of the work; its flow, its progression, its repetitions, etc. just as we might have an aesthetic experience from looking at pages of text in a foreign language that we are not conversant in. In such a case we get to enjoy the work on a purely visual level without the conversion of the characters into linguistic meanings.

Below are a couple of sample pages from the book...




Friday, May 18, 2018

Silent Witnesses for Péter Forgács - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Silent Witnesses
for Péter Forgács - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

and I saw the scissors.
at the edge of the unthinkable
giving a certain emotional meaning which never existed before.
and it’s very hard to feel how long an image should last
and put it together in [the] mind.

We have a lot of information.
95% is irrational, emotional, subconscious information
We are selective.

So it was about “nothing.”
That’s why it’s disturbing
about fire, skin, hair, touch, and body.
And it was quite difficult to create anything from them.
hair is being cut in the photograph.
townspeople casually witness the incident.
shocking in its banality.
when I watched it,
I hired someone who reads lips

It’s a part of a bad dream.
medieval punishment is repeated again and again.
the same aggression and punishment.
the humiliation is always the same.
There is no justice.

And then we are apart.
send a message from somewhere else;
a distance from the present time
not an easy process.

People are always trying to explain their actions.

I love those old clothes.
the different ways they wear their hair.
silent witnesses of the past
And of course, the machines...


snippets taken from: Meanwhile Somewhere: A conversation with Péter Forgács- Deirdre Boyle



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cecil Touchon - Post Dogmatist Painting #859 - 48x30 inches - acrylic over paper on canvas