Idle Accord 1995

Idle Accord

A video collaboration with Cathy Gasser (Ono), Melissa Goldstein, and Catherine Smith

3 video monitors


This is the last in a group of collaborations with women I studied with at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. By this time we were scattered throughout the country: Cathy Gasser was in Kansas; Melissa was in New York; I was in Michigan. The internet was in its infancy though we did communicate through email. Each of us videotaped ourselves stressed out on a comfortable couch or bed. We had taped a conversation we had the previous summer when we were together in New York City. The piece consists of three monitors with the images of each of us and the conversation in text ran across the bottom of the screens. This piece was exhibited in Kansas, Michigan and Illinois. 

Here is a sampling of the text:

It’s such slacker art in a way. It is. You know what I mean? I don’t mind that, I mean. I think that’s being honest, I mean, you know all the work in graduate school that you could instead write an essay about? Oh definitely. You could write an essay about this; this is a little bit conceptual, right? Highly, I mean, I think slacker art is conceptual, just in it’s not being, it’s being. I mean like Sean Landers’ kind of slacker art. I don’t know his work, what’s his work like? He talks about his dick. He takes pictures of himself on rocks naked. His whole body, or just his dick? It’s adolescent male art to me. I think it should be something really serious, like a car wreck. Serious involves like, death. Well, it’s something that moves you, like who are you going to vote for President? You are talking about things that are not personal. Right, okay, I talk about a dead person in the family. This is not personal. Aunt Heloise? It’s not personal that Aunt Heloise was blown away by a Mac truck in the morning. That is personal. You mean serious is not personal? What if little kids were having our conversation? Then it’s like Gary Hill. The impenetrable book. A book about color theory. Well, what is a situation in which three people would sit down and have a fairly serious conversation? Probably about . . . their job, their love life, their family. A disagreement they were having. We talk about art, that’s not serious, even though I got into a huge fight and told someone I never wanted to speak to them again a month ago. You were talking about art? Yup, I was talking about fucking painting and DeKooning, DeKooning, DeKooning, DeKooning. I was thinking of making. . . I found all these boats made out of ummmmm, burnt matches, and I was thinking that would be really fun, maybe I will just make a hundred of those and do an installation like that and they would be like folk art and everyone would want them, and afterwards I would sell them for like a hundred bucks, ‘cause everyone loves those matchbook boats . . . and they are so nice. I mean that is what people want. I’ve never seen them, but I believe you are right. They are made by prisoners. I think I would make about one a week. I could make like fifty a year. And people could write an essay and talk about what a prisoner you are. Yeah, I’m a prisoner of my matches.