Monthly Archives: April 2015

Monday 04/27 2015
Sasha Goes Hard

“The most striking thing about Nutty World 2 is Sasha’s palpable urgency; she normally raps with a measured flow, her poise and tempo turning the beat into a catwalk. Nutty World 2 finds her rapping with a nimble aggression she has simply not shown before. The motivation for this more dangerous version of Sasha is spelled out in opener “Vision”: “As long as I’m eating/ My daughter won’t starve/ She the main reason/ That I’m going hard.” That maternal ferocity is maintained throughout the record. Addressing her daughter first thing sets Nutty World 2’s pace and tone. Whether it’s familial security, money, respect, or head, the message is the same. “I pick today/ To have fun,” she sings on the hook of “Today”, and though the stakes on that proclamation feel slightly lower, the agency is still present.”

Read the rest of my review of Sasha Go Hard’s Nutty World 2 at Pitchfork

Tuesday 04/21 2015
The Scarlet Self

“Their borders are fringed, cloudy, a particulate demarcation of crimson gnats, and that fuzz is really what the fuss is all about, an adroit—if blatant, once one sees it—analogue to the fungible nature of perception, memory, and self; there are images contained within the blood brumes, although it is only by the grace of Angel Otero’s exposition that we are privy to this, as they have been translated, riven, reconstituted, and then pressed—like a witch!—into their current, beautifully abused form; these were photographs once, the ultimate form of mimesis, until a triturator has placed his hands upon them, riven them, splayed them…and look at the bloody, powdery mess made of ipseity now!”

Read the rest of my review of Angel Otero’s Lago at New American Paintings

Monday 04/13 2015
Forever Chasing Paper

“Is it any wonder Diocles was so highly paid, his skill set in such strong demand? Consider the circumstances: mounting a chariot—usually pulled by four horses, sometimes two, when really showing off, as many as 10—with the reins tied around his waist like a cummerbund-cum-noose, festooned in the red regalia of his racing team, drowning in the fevered cries of the 250,000 Romans who have packed the mighty Circus Maximus, what Struck poetically called “the beating heart at the center of the empire,” except this heart is screaming, is drinking and dining and cheering and tossing cursed coins, a heart roaring all at once as the gates are sprung.

Thousands of pounds of muscle and metal, wood and blood, all careening about the track of the Circus, the knives flashing and wheels grinding as each full contact lap finds them attempting to ram each other into the spinae, the median, at the center of the track; now they come crashing pell-mell into the hairpin turns, each revolution marked by destruction, death commonplace, as if Mars, Victoria, Mania, and Mercury were all locked in an orgy. Is it any wonder this was the most popular of the famous Roman games?”

Read the rest at VICE Sports

Tuesday 04/7 2015
Pulchritude from Pollution

“Beauty from destruction! That is John Sabraw’s practice, if we want to reduce such a thing to three words and an exclamation point; Sabraw tramps up into those hills and down into those hollers and out into those gnarled and scared and exsanguinated portions of what was once mighty southeastern Ohio, and he pulls forth—just as your reviewer’s great grandfather and his brothers and uncles did, my veins running black as theirs—something of real value from the earth. Sure, it is not the chthonian conquest of my ancestors, and no one is writing folk songs about it, not yet, anyway—namely because he doesn’t animate an entire region of the country, doesn’t send ripples of modernity and life and light up into the blackest places of Appalachia (well, he does, but it is a more … metaphorical light, light being particles and waves and hope, with Sabraw’s being the last of these), doesn’t cause irreparable harm—indeed, the opposite—and doesn’t need to come in and dig out his dead brother on his day off, because company time is for company business, that six-eyed ballistic scholonged union rep be damned—but John Sabraw is taking the folly of man and giving birth to real pristine beauty, the kind those death streams dangle as a siren’s call.”

Read the rest of my review of John Sabraw’s exhibition Resonance at New American Paintings

Wednesday 04/1 2015
Coitus Spiritus

“Air Sex is, by now, most definitely a thing, in that it has been parsed and ogled and talked about in Jezebel, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Playboy, even the goddamn Huffington Post. Normally hosted by comedian Chris Trew—his demonstration of the form on America’s Got Talent perturbed no less a sybarite than Howard Stern—Air Sex has been making the rounds since 2007. A movie is on the way, which the Air Sex website describes as “part tour documentary, part comedy special, part exploration of sex in today’s society.”

Said site calls Air Sex the world’s first SPART—sport and art, the capital letters are theirs—a claim which Terry Southern, circus artists, and skateboarders, among others, would find laughable. But Air Sex is unique in what it can provide to both its participants and spectators: a safe environment for raucous, good natured, sex-positive… performance? Sex education? Avant-sports?

It’s not quite any of them, or enough one not to be the other. Which is a good thing, mostly. The less Air Sex resembles every other sex-related aspects of our culture—sterile “sex ed” classes or flubbily lewd comedians or stupid-mean cis-centric sitcom dumbassery—the better it is, overall.”

Read the rest in VICE Sports