Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scraps For Alison With Love And Squalor

Hi! I’m Alison. I do rebellious

magazine collages. They’re rebellious

because when I cut up a magazine

I’m not only cutting up pop culture,

I’m cutting up the invisible world.

You know, the political and social

alchemy stuff. All the subliminal

embeds in the photography and text.

And I’m not just cutting up all this stuff.

Oh, do you get the cutting up business?

Anyway, I also reshape content.

For my own purpose. I’m making my own

messages. My own invisible world.

I glue down my worlds, damn it, and frame them.

That’s what real rebellion is all about.

The Pilgrims didn’t just exit England.

They built America. Or, well, you know,

they moved around some pieces, glued down stuff

for their own purpose. In both of the worlds—

the visible and the invisible.

Just because something is invisible,

just because I can’t identify it,

doesn’t mean I can’t play with it. Photos,

text columns, pop culture. Hell, cut it up!

Reshape and rearrange it. Glue it down.

Frame it. Yes! Magazine collages rule

in the monolectic New World Order!”

This is kind of a silly and pointless post, but it was kind of fun to do, so I’m going to let it stay.

This is about magazines. And Alison.

I don’t read as many magazines as I once did, but I still read, I guess, comparatively, a lot of magazines. By the end of a month I usually have a sizeable pile of magazines I’ve accumulated during the month.

I usually have, for instance, the monthly issues of Sky and Telescope, American Cinematographer, Acoustic Guitar Player, Guitar Player, Keyboard, American Artist, Black Belt, Elle and Vogue. Then there will be random things I picked up. Robot magazines. Fishing magazines. Maybe something like a Star Wars magazine, just because I can’t believe they print such a thing.

Lots of magazines.

Now, one of the coolest women I’ve ever known was a woman named Alison and she used to read a lot of magazines, too. But instead of just reading a magazine, she would carefully tear up magazines and save the pages in particular folders sorted by subject matter or color or other criteria that were meaningful to her.

Every month she would make—just for fun!—a really amazing collage from the torn up scraps of magazines. Sometimes they were abstract, sometimes they had themes. But they were always cool and sometimes they were just amazing and, amazingly, they all just ended up in a pile in her closet.

Now, at the end of the each month I tear up all my magazines. I used to give them away to libraries, but I’m not as fond of libraries as I once was and, besides, it’s just a lot of fun to rip up an entire month of pop culture.

(To be fair, I do collect tear sheets. If there’s a good article, I tear that out and save it. But, these days, there isn’t as much good stuff in magazines as there used to be.)

So tonight I was tearing up magazines from July and throwing out the scraps but when I came to Elle and Vogue I got to thinking about Alison and, before I threw away the colorful, torn up scraps from this month’s fashion world, I bunched them up on my notebook and randomly shifted around some scraps and—all by themselves!—they made a little found-art collage.

I didn’t glue anything down and gloss it over with acrylic. But I did take a picture.

So here is me indulging in a kind of blast from my past, remembering a time when I knew a very cool woman and making a little magazine collage of my own, giving a little kiss on the cheek myself to Alison’s monolectic New World Order:

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