Monday, June 28, 2010

The Ghost's Stories Must Somehow Be Important

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Jovante's musical side project filled the cabin of the station wagon:


While "When I'm Chilling at the Demos, I'm juz chillin with DEM-hoes" was really exceptional,it was most unfortunate that it was Jovante's only real joint. Jason had always guessed that Jovante must have also been as lazy with his hip hop as he was with his skateboarding- but dam it, that was still one good tune!



Driving back to Santa Monica, distancing himself from the sudden hell of TÖC and Sigourney, Jason's thoughts were finally able to settle and drift about.


Jason though about Templeton, about the photo he had seen of Ed in an Art Forum earlier in the week. The photo with Ed standing with Larry Gagosian, both of whom were exuding natural confidence with their relaxed smiles of privilege, holding flutes of Champagne at some opening in Sweden. Ed, looking like he had lost some weight, with dark blue blue jeans and blazer, ironically wearing some pink Volcom T. Jason was familiar with this type of shirt. Jason knew Ed had probably not worn skate garments since the 15 years that have passed since Ed retired from being pro,so he could interpret the T as Ed's passive aggressive way of jibbing on the current state of the action sports industry.



While lesser would flaunt their former pro status on their resume, Ed eschewed all past association with skateboarding, as if it was an embarrassing parent or a bad tattoo.


"Did ED consciously leave skateboarding before everything turned to shit or did everything turn to shit because Ed left?" was a question asked by critics and analysts, but never adequately answered, as the nature of Ed's actions were always hard to speculate and understand.


Jason knew more about Ed than most people, he no doubt knew more about Ed than he wanted to know.


Still, although Ed did actually have great fore site which was rooted in some higher calling, Jason still didn't envy the burdens Ed was forced to carry.


If one was to compare the trajectory of Ed's art career to Brian Anderson's skate career, Ed would have never had to get on Toy Machine to get on Girl- Ed would just have gone straight to Girl.


For the Thrasher crowd:If getting with Jeffery Deitch was Toy Machine, than Larry Gagosian would naturally be Girl.


Ed would quickly come to realize the hierarchy structure to getting represented in the art world was very similar to the skate world in that; in order to turn pro or rise to the top, it was mandatory to take all the big dogs out.


When Ed quit professional skateboarding he had also actively disassociated himself with what he described as the "vulgarity" and "impishness" of Aron Rose and the Beautiful Loosers camp.


Matthew Barney instantly intrigued by Ed, was an early admirer and fan. Barney actively championed Ed saying "I concede that Templeton is what I have actively tried to become-he has a soul and heart of a poet- Templeton, Templeton the Shaman."


The great difference between Templeton and Barney of course was; Ed's work was an actual channel- a window into the absolute, whereas Barney's oeuvre now more than ever resembled the overly stylized staged vaudeville act that it was.



"My work is distillation, nothing more. There are incidentally as few creative freedoms allowed as possible-- mostly born from trying to translate what may come over- whatever may transpire" Ed was quoted saying in that one old seminal article in the Sunday Times.


People either loved or hated Templeton and even the people who hated him easily spent hours talking about and contemplating him.


Templeton's breakout work; the CIBACHROME photographs of mutilated ghost children were very controversial and had many detractors. Although Ed and the Stanford scientists with whom he collaborated, defended that the photos were indeed real and that no one actually had any idea that they would come out so grotesque. Ed and his team even deeply considered not showing the mordantly disturbing series of prints, but further theorized and concluded that the ghost's stories must somehow be important- it might have been decided out of some moral duty to show the work.


Ed's first and most important discovery about the nature of his work; the final product and the public's reaction were all completely out of his control.


Even by the time he was barely established, people were already calling Ed a charlatan, but that still didn't much matter. The ones in the know knew , that for instance such spectral analyzing photo technology had been developed for some time, but for the times Ed shot with them ,the cameras miraculously worked. The Ghosts for some reason wanted to be photographed by Ed. It was discovered by Ed that just having a camera that could take photos of ghosts didn't necessarily force ghosts to show up to be photographed. The cameras needed Ed to push the button for them to be able to work. The camera needed the subject's willingness.


The ghosts might have even given the idea for the series to Ed in a dream, but Ed couldn't be too sure.


There were also the other art artifacts;The double headed snakes in Formaldehyde, the "found" snuff films presented as ready made, the hyper realistic sculptures cast from polyurethane molds,the newer renditions depicting the sacrificial lamb of God-they were all so devastating and so instantly transcendent that they could easily make a Damien Hirst look like Jeff Koons.


JASON KNEW ABOUT the personal tragedies Ed and Deanna Suffered and had always tried to keep private, EVENTHOUGH Jason and Ed hadn't spoken in almost a decade.


There was the polarizing interview in Time magazine last year where Ed was quoted:
"The ignorant carelessness of my practice has spilled over and accidentally caused irreparable spiritual damage to my personal life."


Ed also said one of his greatest wishes was to destroy everything that manifested through him, but he couldn't even touch the work because they had all been sold off at record breaking prices and by this time everyone was well aware of Ed's destructive desire. He said he would even be willing to suffer prison time by destroying them, but even for Ed such an ambitious act was impossible. Although he publicly urged all collections and institutions to destroy them all- he still knew that not one of his works would be touched.


The works were never really Ed's anyways and the world still choose to live with them-as they always would. Humanity consciously willing to stomach Ed's art reflected that they would also choose to stomach the same real life horrors, the same evils that were caused by the quadrillions of preventable bad decisions that would still continue to perpetuate well after those sculptures were made.


And Ed might have been speaking literally when he said "My career was created from by being tricked by demons."



In the middle of the Time Magazine article Ed had become uncharacteristically optimistic. Ed talked about the incidental innovation in science that had resulted from the acting out some of his ideas and how these innovations were being used to create supertechnologies that were then actively being applied practically to many, various fields.


He also spoke of the "Wishing Well Project"- an algorithm attached to a future global information network data base. An alogrithm designed by engineers that would require a certain wind or ghost or push in order for it to work for us. These winds could be at many places at once ,within the almost infinite information well and could instantly judge and assess the constantly chaging seas of sets of data.


The software would have to employ some objectively ordered spirit,one that would want to help us- would want to power and judge the software and would want to make the right decisions. And that of course is where Ed fit in, he would somehow have to channel the spirit into the algorithm. Ed talked about a future where everyone would be connected to the wealth of all the world's data and the Wishing Well could make sense of it all- could solve and answer complicated questions. The Wishing Well could have the potential to steer the world from many avoidable problems.


When asked where he would find such a trusting soul, that has not yet ascended and would want to redeem its mortal sins by embarking on such an ambitious service work project.


Templeton said he already found one, he said he would get his old friend Justin Pierce to work in the Wishing Well.













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Houston, Texas
Be kind, because everyone you'll ever meet is fighting a hard battle.