... for being the craziest goddamn place in America. I lived there all summer, had a nice time. I left. That place is $%!#@!!! The rest of South Florida seemed pretty whack too. I grew up here, it was different then. During the 80's I went to a slew of metal and punk shows at this here Cameo Theater, and I thank somebodys for that. But those days are over, I'll spare you the teary reminiscence. So whereto next?
For nearly a year between 2008 and 2009 I had an art studio in Denver where I made and exhibited things. It was nice to have, but came at a cost that I could no longer afford. I'm currently back to a virtual studio, which comes with far fewer attached strings. For those who didn't get to visit me while I was there, this is a photo walk-through made out a short video I recently found. Imagine walking in and scanning around the space from left to right.
Did Summer end already? Daaaaang I guess it is time to post some new news here. Having recently completed a zombification of one of my old bands using all manner of incisive documentation maneuverings, I performed another. Shortly after that band broke up, in 1996 with nothing better to do I tried my hand at making a world wide website. Ladies, Gentlemen, and Armadillos, I give you VIAAT.NET! It was live on the Internet for about 4 years and received a respectable amount of visits, with some even submitting themselves graciously to the "Viaat-Net! Info-Base", but it was chiefly obscure and unpalatable. Once completed I truly had no idea what it was, nor what to do with it (other than to tease search engines to suck its blood). But it was fun, and I got laid at least 7 times because of it.
This restoration project was not easy. The Viaatants tried to keep it secret but in the end I, Steve Or Steven Read, succeeded in the vicious hive-mind information retrieval objectives. In late 2008 I began to search for the source code and image files. It all started with a hearty disappointment that the Viaat-net master 3.5" floppy disk was corrupt and unusable. Then I tried firing up various aged IDE hard disks that have been slowly decomposing in storage boxes, to no avail. Eventually I thought of trying out the Wayback Machine using the http://mindspring.com/~steveread address as I had remembered it, and was initially quite elated to find most of the HTML code and 20% of the images. After which I decided to reconstruct the entire site by redoing all the missing images from memory. So I had nearly completed the lengthy task of recreating the lost images (for instance these: 1 2 3) when I discovered a forgotten variant of the url http://steveread.home.mindspring.com found on one of the previously retrieved pages. Searching the Wayback Machine again for THAT address resulted in a payload of 100% of the HTML and 95% of the images! Here and now I am finally able to republish and serve adequate justice to my very first webby pages and graphics.
keywords: Conspiracy Government Sex Christian Nudity Erotic Sports Conservative Psychedelic Deviant Free Products Money Pictures Pornography Science Fiction Breast Philosophy Hobbies Religion Politics Cult Limbaugh Bob Dobbs New Age Drugs Health Illuminati Bulldada UFO Activism 12th Planet Abductee Absolute Zero Acupuncture Addiction Admiral Byrd Admiral Forestall Africa After Time Aging AIDS Akashic Records Alexander Alien Alternative 3 American Indian Annunaki Antartica Antichrist Apollo 13 Arab Armageddon Archetypes Area 51 Ashtar Assassination Asteroids Asteroid Belt Astronauts Astronomy Atlantis Atmosphere Auras Auroras Auto-Immune Diseases Aviaty Awakening Barbara Marciniak Belgium Bermuda Bermuda Triangle Betty Andreasson Betty Hill Big Bang Bigfoot Bill Cooper Billy Meir Binary Suns Biorhythms Black Hole Body Language Bon Brain Brain Waves Bramley Brazil Budd Hopkins Cancer Capitalism Career Carnivors Cataclysm Cayce Celestine Prophecy Chakras Channel Chi China Chupacabras CIA Cloning Close Encounter Coapies Coma Comet Commander X Communion Computer Confederation Contactee Continental Drift Coral Obelisk Cosmic Voyage Council of Nine Council of Worlds Cover-up Creativity Crime Crop Circles Crop Failure Crystals CSETI Cult Dark Matter Death Sentence Deja Vu Democracy Democritis Density Devil Dino Dinosaur Dimension Disinformation DNA Dogon Dolphins DOMA Dragons Dreams Dr. John Mack Dulce Earthquake Early Man Easter Island EBE Ebola Virus Einstein El Dorado Element 115 Elizabeth Clare Prophet Elves End Time Enlightenment Ephemerides Etheric Grid Evolution Exorcism Fairy Faith Healer Fate FBI Fear Fire in the Sky Fish Farm Galaxy Ganesh Gangs Genetic Engineering Ghandi Ghosts Government Gravity Greys Gulf Breeze Gypsy HAARP Hale- Bopp Harvest Health Helicopter Hindu Hippocratic Oath Hitler Homosexuality Horoscope Humor Hybrids Hydroponics Hypnosis ID4 Implant Incarnation India Indonesia Interstellar Travel Intuition IQ John F. Jennedy Jonah Karma Kecksburg Landing Sites Language Levitation Lightning Lightworker Loch Ness Monster Love LSD Lyra Lysa Royal Ma-Di Magnetic Field Marilyn Monroe Marriage Mars Martin Luther King Mass Landing Mayan Mathematics Mayan Calendar Meditation Mediteranean Men In Black Meteors Methane Mexico City Millennium MJ12 Money Montauk Moon Mourning Mu Multiple Personality Disorder Music Mutilations NASA Nazis New Age Near Death Experience New Word Order Nirvana Nordic Nostradamus Nuclear Numerology Oahspe Ocean Oil Oklahoma City Oort Cloud Orbit Orion Omnipotent Krlll Out-Of-Body Pain PCB Philadelphia Experiment Photon Belt Planet X Pine Gap Pleiadean Pole Shift Politics Pollution Poltergeist Polynesia Possession Power Outage Pranayama Praying Mantis Pregnancy Premonitions Prime Directive Prison Prophecy Psychic Psychosis Pyramid Quarantine Races of Man Red Book Red Sea Reincarnation Reptilian Right to Know Rituals Robots Roswell Rotation Rules of Engagement Sadism Satanic Ritual Satellite Scapegoat Science Fiction Secret Government Seth Shaman Shasta Sighting Sirian Sitchin Skywell Society Sociopath Sodom and Gomorra South America Space Ship Space/Time Sphinx Spirit Guide Spontaneous Human Combustion Star Child Stargate Star Trek Star Wars Statistics Stonehenge St. Germain Subatomic Particles Subconscious Subterranean Suns Super Conductors Tarot Cards Technology Telepathy Telsa Theosophists Tides Time Travel Tower of Babel Transformation Trojan War Tunguska UFO Unified Field Theory United Nations Universe Urantia Vampire Vectors Vedas Velikovsky Venus Victim Violence Visigoths Voodoo Vortex Walk-in Washington Monument Wealth Weather Werewolf White Brotherhood White Buffalo Whitley Strieber World War III X-Files Yeti Yin-Yang Yugas Zeta Reticulan Zoo
While taking a much needed summer art break I donned my best fishing hat and went out with amigo viejo Todd Space on a party boat named Gulfstream in Key Largo near where I live. Captain Chan and first mate Fluffy. My goal was to catch a "Goliath Grouper"... that being one of at least 50 pounds. I did eventually hook a couple with the second one feeling to be easily around that size, but sharks ate both on the way up. The shark that chomped on my backbreaking Goliath ran with it in its mouth for hundreds of yards and nearly spooled me out of line, with the drag-hammered reel getting so friction-hot that I could not touch it, even after several frantic splashings of cool sea water. We were also "sandballing" for Yellowtail Snapper and caught a bunch of those plus Bonita, Queen Triggerfish, etc. One drawback of this sandball-chum method is that it attracts sharks. The groupers were hooked just off the bottom, 120 feet down, in heavy currents, with large bloody chunks of Bonita fillets. I live for this shit. Bet you didn't know that I have a bachelor degree in Marine Biology with an emphasis on fish behavior, morphology, and evolution. Studied with Dr. Hernkind and Dr. Wainwright. But probably could not describe to you the functional behaviors of our bellies when the Yellowtails hit bottom. Photos here by Todd, who studied Marine Biology at Florida State University with me.
Showed a new video called Behind the Green Calves of Bill Bixby Part II this month in Los Angeles at Show Cave Night Gallery. This screening was the 4th installment of their video series and was entitled "Quartz Qube". I also participated in their 2nd video show called "Future Heat". The Show Cave rocks. They cultivate top-notch new work, and I like their voice/approach to video and media, which differs greatly from the more serious and restrictive tone often found on the East coast. The West vs East divide in American art/music/writing is an old idea, does it still exist today within media art? I have seen hints that it does, but such broad stroke distinctions are likely melting away these days. Having spent about half my career in the East, the second half in the West, I feel happily lost in the middle somewhere.
This type of piece is what I am calling "desktop sci-fi" as it uses the desktop computing world as a real and fictional interweaving of it as both medium and subject. I have been slowly developing some kind of "screen mythology" since 2005 starting with these pieces, this one, and then this one. This latest video is thus a "Screen Destiny" involving the classic Incredible Hulk television character who is perhaps altering his destiny within a framework of futuristic alien reconstructions of human culture and media. Lou Ferrigno is trapped in screens, being used like a toy, and he doesn't like it. The first chapter of this epic saga goes all the way back to about 1992 in a Steamin' Cup O' Joe song.
Many thanks go to Show Cave, as well as Mr. Kittinfish Mountain for the wonderful sounds and music! (the hills are alive with you)
Lately feeling transitional, having just relocated cross-country from Denver to Miami in the wild and wacky summer of '09. So I took some time to dig into closets, into boxes, into the past. I was once a rather aspiring rock drummer, maybe I still am. (have discovered that drummers are crazy by the way, handle with care) In 1990 I was 18 years old, a college freshmen at FSU in Tallahassee Florida, and hungry for a 'real' band, having spent 10 or so years prior studying music theory, bass, keyboards, drum-kit techniques, and live performance. Was lucky enough to have found some very talented, eccentric, like-minded peeps and we formed the band Steamin' Cup o' Joe which is slang for coffee. We didn't really drink coffee though, not many kids did then in the hot south... this was well before starbucks culture, not many cafes existed and the ones that did were filled with piss coffee, old farts, and truckers, but at least coffee was only 50 cents.
In 1990 we were somehow *arguably* successful at fusing punk, metal, indie, prog, funk, and jam together into a psychedelic amalgamation. Not many rock bands were doing that then, the hip scene was mostly heavy-fuzz-indie-dada-grunge. Indie had just broke big, metal/punk was still alive but a bit smelling funny. Math rock was fresh with Voivod and Agitpop. Jam bands were just forming like Phish and Widespread Panic, heavy psychedelic bands like TOOL didn't exist yet. Exciting times for the youths, as always, and we had big appetites... gen-xers who grew up with cable TV, VCRs, video games, magazines, computers. Popular bands that inspired us were those that freely mixed styles with intensity... Frank Zappa, Butthole Surfers, Melvins, Primus, Ween, Bad Brains, Fugazi.
We came, we saw, we kicked ass. We got a cool logo, gigs, a record deal, press, and a modest but wonderful fan base. Not too bad for suuthin' college kid nobodys with few monies trying to create a new style of music. At the time I remember that the entrenched indie scene didn't like us that much, the hardcore punks weren't fully sold either. (very little has changed here actually) We were these intellectual hippie punks, so we created our own world and got people dancing, moshing, partying. We DID get lots of help and support from friends, artists, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, and musicians. We wrote original music and produced cool flyers. The scene was hot with great bands. We had fun. We smashed and burned shit. We got into trouble. People went crazy. Lots of stories. (Marshall Ledbetter we miss you and have not forgotten)
Oh, and the music we made. I am certainly not the best person to pick it apart and discuss. But I am very proud of this music. In particular our first release, a 3 song 7-inch recorded in 1990... Jizzday Blooz (title ripped from a porno mag) Vomit Song and the psychedelic saga Freye. Also the song Breakin' Wind was a personal and fan favorite. I am also attached to a few songs from the middle period like Cannabis Vulture, Goddess, or Behind the Green Calves o' Bill Bixby (dedicated to Ledbetter). Later, with some gained confidence we dove into relentless punk tunes like Showing Obsession, Raphleezia or Dickeye, along the way still writing phunkier tracks like Love Gift and Commixio. At this point the jam-band fans were scratching at the head, the punks salivating at the mouth, the indies perhaps finally warming up to it. Everyone was gettin' along and havin' fun. And if you think you've got us pinned down then take a gander at Daze o' the Weak.
Today the members of Steamin' Cup o' Joe feel that the music has withstood the hard test of time. It still sounds fresh. We didn't have much business savvy we just rocked out. There was limited funding and few venues, but we had a vision, we did what we did, which is the best we could have. We did eventually move to Atlanta (the big city!) and played more gigs, tried to build it, but in 1995 we broke up... you've heard the story a zillion times. And so it goes, then the Internet came, the world changed almost overnight. The band's documents and music had already been reluctantly sealed into a box, into a closet. In the early-mid 1990's there were ZERO rock bands that sounded like us. In 2009?... Nope. Oh just when *will* the neurotic jam metal scene finally take off? :)
Other fine bands from the late-80's early-90's Tallahassee scene... hoping that soon all these bands will have a page of some kind.
Singing Spoons, Ultraboy, Kenny Howes, Darth Vader's Church, Spirex, Cream Abdul Babar, Zombie Birdhouse, Gruel, The Giving Heads, Magic Juan, Insect Fear, Zen Lemmings, Pink Trim, Beef, I Guard The Sheep, Emma, Johari Window, Buzzfish, The Plug Uglies!
Found an old discussion thread on Google Groups that I had posted in 2005 when I was fishing for info on CRT computer monitors for phosphor screen burns. And even another one from a couple days later. I ended up trying at first an Apple Monitor II because someone on craigslist gave me a bunch of free vintage Apple hardware which had been pulled from a science laboratory at Colorado University in Boulder. My first screen burn piece made from this donated hardware was published a year later in a 2006 "Vague Terrain" journal article called "Digital Minimalism" which has since disappeared from the Internet. I did eventually try an IBM 5151 screen burn as suggested by "RickE" in the discussion thread, and he was spot-on correct as this model has a BEAUTIFUL powerful electron beam that burns quickly. Considering that now a similar piece of screen burn art made a few years after mine is sitting on display in a large art museum in Manhattan and that the authenticity of my own endeavors have been openly questioned and ridiculed by the art establishment, I am delighted to find these date-stamped lumps o' data. Documentation via authoritative public archives such as Google Groups or Wikipedia is a free, easy method for those artists/inventors who might not have lawyers or industry heavyweights at their side.
Steve Or Steven Read has relocated to Miami Beach! Holy crap stop the presses! Whoa man its true, after 10 good years in Colorado I have moved back to my dear native Florida. During the process many Coloradans were asking me "Why?" and "What are you going to do there?" or even "Why not NYC?" which are tough yet nonsensical questions. Needless to say I loved Colorado, both landscape and people, the art/music scene was excellent and 'per capita' is easily one of the most vibrant in the US. I don't think you can find a community with a more open, experimentalist mindset anywhere else. Perhaps its the altitude. I'll be in debt for life to certain people there (you know who you are) who reached out to me and acted lovingly. Well at any rate here are some belated updates on things I did in Colorado before leaving on the mighty cross-country trek...
Finished a year long studio residency grant at Redline Denver, an incredible facility with incredible artists! (no comment on the management though...) This studio was a fantastic thing for me to have had, am grateful for it, and will truly miss fellow resident artists.
Before leaving Redline was involved with a big event there put on by Illiterate Magazine and showed a recent 8-bit video projection of animated hummingbirds. Its a small but large software driven animation using painfully obvious generative algorithms, with nods to web GIFs and vintage PC software demos. Seems like people dug it. Actually not as low-tech as it appears because my software pushes the limits of the DIY hardware tools used by maximizing the available size, speed, resolution, and color depth. And folks this is post-pre-DVD video art! (fuck spinning discs)
My Super Monkey Kong LED video game got blogged at a whole bunch of places including Engadget, Joystiq, OhGizmo, Offworld, Rubbishcorp, and GameSetWatch. Thanks bloggers! So glad that people have been playing it (or at least watching the video) and find it funny that some gamers are underwhelmed by such low-tech graphics. But people who know that I made one of the early electronic/videogame/gadget websites on the Internet (miniarcade.com) which took an essentialist bent, should not find this project surprising.
Participated in the Rhizome 50,000 Dollar Webpage fundraiser, not only to support this media arts nexus but also because I've always been a sucker for the Million Dollar Homepage! I stumbled upon that one at the beginning when it only had a few pixel ads, thought seriously about buying some but didn't. Then a few months later I discovered to my surprise that it had sold out and I was kicking myself. So I couldn't resist the Rhizome take on it and made this anti-puzzling icon by copying these weird retina-seizing buttony color 'blocks' from the original homepage that I've always liked. Let's not forget that the kid who made a million off this probably got the idea from early Internet artists (see the Communimage for instance) so its only fitting that they borrow it back. Looks like Rhizome sold about half still resulting in some decent funds and a cool socio-temporal-portrait of sorts, you can see mine out there in open frontier space in the middle-left region. [Update: decided to make a browser icon out of it]
Showed my LEO (light emitting oven) piece in the large Colorado Art Open 2009 show at the Foothills Art Center curated by Michael Chavez and the Denver Art Museum's Christoph Heinrich. Was pleasantly surprised when many people commented that based on photographs they had expected the light oven to be full size, when in actuality it is about 1 foot tall and stood on a standard white gallery pedestal. I suppose this one has become a favorite of mine... a simple, pattern looped, conveniently sized, easily operable, recycled art gadget toy existing as both object and space... sensory & consumptive, confused but happy to be lost in old and new technology.
Also played a wonderful gig at the Bluebird Theater opening for Stereo Total doing my patented finger drumset thing with the band B.Sous. Chris on horns from Devotchka also joined us! (see photo) Leslie and the Lys also on the bill and they were truly something. Thanks goes out to Brandi, Johnny, Saigon will miss y'all! Stereo Total of course rocked. (and there really were more than 2 people in the audience too)
OK so now I'm fairly settled in Miami Beach it is time to make new, and document old. And I'm surrounded by bright tropical modernist COLOR! (among other things)
Posted a video and source code of a new game called Super Monkey Kong which I recently programmed. It runs on an open sourced Arduino based platform called Meggy Jr. in glorious multi-colored LED. The game is essentially a Donkey Kong clone, one of my favorite games and one that has influenced me greatly, and besides there never has been an LED version before so I just had to try. Still have a few tweaks todo on it but for the most part it's complete. You can buy and build the Meggy Jr. electronic handheld kit yourself and then download the game (and other excellent homebrewed games) for free. Or just watch the video.
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to present to you some chunks of information about my recent doings, directly from me to you over the Internet, glad you stopped by. Well well, what is new you ask? For starters I recently made a few more generative sound pieces that you may or may not like. Past sound works in this series which began in 2005 and is rather slowly unraveling, involved me surfing into people's web directories, borrowing their sound files and curating them together into randomized browser collages. Now I've decided to find and use someone's entire sound directory, allowing them to be the unwitting curator. Made 3 so far... Trains (my favorite) Drums & Percussion and Star Trek, fairly obvious choices I guess, plenty more to make no doubt.
As per the above image, another recent piece is a cluster of Microcomputers which took some time to complete due in part to the scarcity of 80's vintage blue dollhouse microwaves. Each microcomputer was programmed to loop through a 'processing' pattern - these computational badboys are really crunching the numbers. Couldn't have made this one without the help of an Evil Mad Scientist so thanks!
Been playing around with some 8-bit video programming, which I never tried in the past because I hate assembly language, but found a way to do it in the beloved C language. The first 2 made are TV Colorizer Patternizer and Sine TV. Working with the idea of a simple, reusable, long lasting, componentized art object that can plugged into a variety of display systems, adaptable to new forms and environments which it may encounter over time.
Posted a couple more screen burns and updated a few others with pictures of them 'burnt'. Made an Ad Reinhardt tribute screen burn, one called Test Burn and finally Crash & Burn (whoops I made "sad mac" art). Rather challenging to photograph the subtleties of the screen surfaces, thus grossly overexposed. This series has been critiqued rather negatively by folks... "What are these supposed to be about?" "Too geeky." "Not much to look at." and even "The hardware is not quite vintage enough." Hmmmmm interesting.
Moving on yet backwards, I posted some amateurish travel photography taken in 2007 during a 200 mile backpacking trip through the Nepalese Himalayas. I also have 2500-3000 miles of backpacking experience in the Appalachians, Ozarks, Rockies, and Sierra Nevadas. Though not really a hardcore high-altitude mountaineer, it was indulgent fun to go over a few 17,000 foot mountain passes on this trip, and hiking amongst 8 of the 14 total 8000-meter peaks on planet Earth was life-changing.
Then another page about the miniarcade.com game collection and museum website which I started around 2000. (BTW the Google ads there fund this website) Other ancient projects of mine are soon to be posted here.
Goodbye 2008 Hello 2009 Goodbye.