Farmlab Public Salon
Amy Pederson + Two Superheroes
Friday, November 14 2008 @ Noon
Free Admission

The Between is Tainted with Strangeness: Superheroes, Zombies and Masked Wrestlers

About the Salon

This lecture will use Freud's concept of the uncanny to examine the political and social implications of doubled forms within contemporary popular culture.

While often disregarded as empty entertainment,superheroes, zombies, and luchas are more than the sum of their parts. The uncanny double has maintained a consistent presence in literature, philosophy, psychology and art from the nineteenth century to the present day, but during certain moments of historical crisis and social instability it has had a heightened influence on culture. In the uncertain space that exists between secret identities and the worlds of the living and the dead, that which is hidden often comes to light. This presentation will examine the way in which these cultural forms allow us to map social anxieties, and produce narratives of power and powerlessness, violence and morality.

About the Salon Presenters

More information about Amy Pederson will be posted soon. More information about the two 'superheroes' who will accompany her may or may not be posted soon.

Dr. Amy Pederson received her Ph.D. in Modern & Contemporary Art History from UCLA and is currently Assistant Professor and Departmental Coordinator at Woodbury University in Burbank, CA. Her doctoral thesis entailed a joint investigation of midcentury modernist painting and criticism, and Golden Age superhero comics from the same period. Her interests include critical theory and contemporary Latin American art and popular culture, as well as zombies.

Jason Keller is an interdisciplinary artist that lives and works in downtown Los Angeles. His practice involves working from an idea of aesthetics bound up in a culture of deficit spending. This 'aesthetics of deficit' is not a denunciation of art nor a failed practice but, for him, a re-shaping of practice as a relationship that collapses the distance between aesthetic spaces and credit structures. Born on the cusp of the credit explosion and later crisis of the early eighties, Jason explores this interaction of deficit, credit, and aesthetics as a fundamental constituent not only in art production but as a contemporary translation of those older processes of coming to a sense of self (credit/debt/deficit as faith/guilt/hope). Jason is currently an acting editor of ft.bibles which will be releasing AGO Volume 1 and MP Projects this fall.

"I heard about that 'post-comedian' type, yeah yeah, laughter completes the joke, we all laugh to make sense of stuff. Sure, sure. But I tell jokes because I'm fucking mythological, I'm not funny because I get a lot of laughs, I'm funny because I make them laugh when they absolutely refuse to." - Dave Chappelle's response to a question on the measure of art to heroics.

The work of Douglas Green indulges in a gallows humor that is actually born from an optimistic fascination with art
market returns. The vagaries of the culture game can appear cruel and yet it is the seemingly cold market forces and personal Darwinian realities that provide the sustenance for Douglas' video and performance work. Like any good economist, his practice consists of producing the algorithms that will eventually allow him to forecast his own exchange rate in the symbolic, economic and cultural capital markets. And should the returns on these markets plummet, you will find him creating a metrics by which to measure the effortneeded to maintain his smile through the downturn.

Douglas Green is an interdisciplinary artist/entrepreneur that lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a degree in English from U.C. Riverside and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from U.C. Irvine. Currently, he is an editor for the emerging publishing company F.T. Bibles.

The Green Screen Machine (Arch Villain and formerly Lynne Cheney's personal stylist): The Green Screen Machine is focused on achieving one single goal: to depose the person currently employed as the art buyer and decorator for Allen Greenspan and take his or her place (by any means necessary, of course). Inspired by the aesthetics of Wonder Woman's extraordinary invisible jet, The Green Screen Machine has created an even more magnificent mode of transportation that he has christened The Sea Fairie. It is from within the bowels of this contraption that he is able to launch all manner of attacks
against any that stand in the way of that final epic battle with whomever is currently buying art for the former Chairmen of the Fed. Unfortunately The Sea Fairie serves not only as a weapon of doom but also a prison as The Green Screen Machine can never leave its life sustaining confines due a tragic accident that occurred while testing his nefarious device. But woe betide any that underestimate The Green Screen Machine as the wake of vanquished foes can attest to the dangerous power of The Sea Fairie and the relentless determination of its captain to become THE art procurer to Allen Greenspan.

Photo copyright and courtesy Amy Pederson, 2006

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