May 02, 2014
I’m pleased to announce that I finally have a copy of “Ramones Sniffing Poster” – An Italian book on the history of posters and art inspired by the punk band The Ramones. My Ramones print, 53rd & 3rd was featured in the book along with a 3 page interview with me.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Luck. Martino Pasina, a Ramones collector in Italy, and one of the creators of the book happened to buy one of my prints online from a gallery I sell through. He liked it so he contacted me to tell me about his idea for the book and asked if I’d be interested in contributing an interview. Of course I was honored to be considered for the project so I agreed. Here is the text of the original email I received from Martino:
From: [email redacted]@libero.it
To: Ben Harris
Hello! I’m Martino and I’m working for the Italian Ramones website www.gabbagabbabook.it. We are going to publish a book containing our collection of Ramones promo and gigs posters (over 250). This is a little project but one our big dream. The book will be printed in a limited edition and will be a work by collectors for collectors. Will be published in the book only posters belonging to our collection. The images will be photos taken by us of these posters. ( you can find all the ramones photo poster on our web site here: http://www.gabbagabbabook.it/MEMORABILIA/POSTERramones.HTM
NOW, We have one poster/silk-screen that you have produced as tribute to The Ramones precisely: “53rd & 3rd”
We want to ask you if we can quote you freely in our book and if you want to participate in answering some of our questions?
Thank you for your time and we hope for a positive reply.
(Martino) Your work is based on the philosophy of DIY a process that makes your works unique. Explain better to us how you create your own paintings.
(Ben) DIY to me means that everything about the piece came from the artist… He or she didn’t outsource any of it. Not that I’m against teamwork but the work should be labeled as such. Nothing is more disingenuous than an artist or designer who labels his work as his own but that was really developed by a team. So I make sure that I actually create all of my work. I don’t just design it. I produce it.
You have produced one silkscreen for tribute to The Ramones in 2010, is it right? Are there more works that you have done for the Ramones? (You know! That’s important to know for us collectors! :-))
I’ve only produced one silkscreen tribute to the Ramones (So far!). But I really enjoyed working in that style. I’m thinking of doing a Richard Hell one in the same style soon.
These serigraphs are limited copies, how many prints are there? There are also versions in flyer format, these are in limited?
I only printed 50 of them. I didn’t print any flyer versions. If you saw some online, let me know because they’re not from me.
Why did you choose to do a tribute to The Ramones?
I’m a huge fan of theirs. I like punk music in general, but I especially like New York punk. There was a slice of life aspect to it that I think got lost once bands like the Sex Pistols got into it.. then it got too political and it was all about shock value. The Ramones weren’t really out to shock anyone. Maybe they changed their names, but really they were just being themselves. If you found it shocking… that was your problem.
Tell us about how you chose the subject and what inspired you to create it “53rd & 3rd” is a song not so common, I mean you could have chosen songs like Blitzkrieg bop or Sheene is a punk rocker. This song was written by Dee Dee and refers to what was then a well-known spot for male prostitution in New York City and probably to some events real happened in Dee Dee’s life. Why did you choose this song?
There’s a couple of reasons… One is that it was a song that I could easily visualize. It tells a story and stories are easy to draw pictures to. I wouldn’t know where to begin to design a poster for Blitzkieig Bop… but 53rd and 3rd was easy for me. Another reason is what you already said, that song is based on Dee Dee’s real experience. I think making this poster helped me understand him better in some small way. Think about it. He had to sell his body for money and he hated it.. but he still wanted to immortalize that experience in song. He just laid it all out there. How many artists are that honest with their audience? Reason #3: I really really like the song. Apart from the lyrics, the music.. that slow drum.. it just sticks in your head.
I think that you are addicted by The Ramones, so what did it means for you to do this silkscreen?
It was just a way for me to pay tribute to the song and to Dee Dee’s memory. I hope someday he’s recognized by the wider world and not just by fans like you and me.
Have you ever seen The Ramones in person? Do you have any personal story to tell us related to the Ramones?
I wish I did. My experience with them is all from my headphones and youtube.
In our collection, among the many posters of the Ramones, there are also works by Arturo Vega, Lindsay Kuhn, Jim Evans aka TAZ, Derek Hess, Shepard Fairey OBEY, Matcho Mark and more… Do you know this artists?
I don’t know any of them personally. But I did once meet Derek Hess when he came to my town and had a show at a friend’s art gallery. I’m aware of Arturo Vega and Shepard Fairey’s work too… Just amazing.
Now we’d like you to tell us if you like, in particular, a few posters from our collection and why? And if you do not like a particular one and why? You can find all our posters here http://www.gabbagabbabook.it/MEMORABILIA/POSTERramones.HTM
The Tales of Pinhead one is pretty cool. Comics and the Ramones go together so well. I’ve seen the Weird Tales one before and it was actually part of the inspiration for mine. And this one is really cool too.
Honestly,what do you think about our book? Give us a feedback!
I think it’s a great idea. Sounds like something I would buy and read and I can’t wait to see it.
MANY THANKS FOR YOUR TIME, We will inform you about our project. THANKS AGAIN
if you’d like to purchase one of these limited edition prints for $15 (I only printed 50 of them), please do so here.
Mar 11, 2014
The idea that time is flexible and that our perception of time may be something entirely different from what it actually is fascinates me. I created this code experiment as a study for a larger piece that I have in mind. The intent is to help the user explore his or her perception of time using live video.
This application creates two video streams. One which is live, and one which is delayed by eight seconds. The streams are then blended together to show two “instances” of the user, changing the way he or she is perceiving time. With practice, the user can interact with his or her past self creating a bridge between recent past and present.
This was created using the Processing language. Download the experiment here. (Mac application. 54mb)
NOTE: Some people have had trouble getting the app to open. If you get a message like, “TimeCamera is damaged and cannot be opened you should eject the disk image” follow the instructions on this page.