curt cloninger
Since the beginning
Works in Canton, North Carolina United States of America

Curt Cloninger is an artist, writer, and Assistant Professor of New Media at the University of North Carolina Asheville (US). His art undermines language as a system of meaning in order to reveal it as an embodied force in the world. By layering, restructuring, hashing, eroding, exhausting, and (dis)splaying language, he causes language to perform itself until its "meaning" has less to do with what it denotes and more to do with how it behaves. His work has been featured in the New York Times and at festivals and galleries from Korea to Brazil. Exhibition venues include Digital Art Museum [DAM] Berlin, L'Instituto de México à Paris, Living Arts of Tulsa, and The Art Gallery of Knoxville.

Cloninger has written on a wide range of topics, including new media and internet art, installation and performance art, experimental graphic design, popular music, network culture, and continental philosophy. His articles have appeared in Intelligent Agent, Mute, Paste, Tekka, Rhizome Digest, A List Apart, and on ABC World News. He is also the author of seven books, most recently "Fresher Styles for Web Designers" (New Riders). He maintains, , and in hopes of facilitating a more lively remote dialogue with the Sundry Contagions of Wonder.
Discussions (1122) Opportunities (4) Events (17) Jobs (0)


coltrane synchronicity / whistler's mother

Hey Max,

I'm up watching your film. Turn to the part where Ezekiel is talking
about his mother going to the grave and praying. Right after the
joke about Sadaam Hussein, listen to the Coltrane riff in the

Now go here:
click on the far left link -- "alliteration," and wait for the audio loop.

I did that project in 2000.



I think your genius is as a film maker, and it may just be
subcionscious and intuitive. To me, the interview questions and the
project and the dialogue are merely a trojan horse giving you
entrance and excuse to explore your real genius of: cinematography,
editing, visual metonomy (your mother is a blueberry waffle), and
lo-fi ambient background noise as meme hybridization. Even you as
the main character are less of a "star" and more a mere vehicle for
plot advancement -- a trojan horse within a trojan horse. The only
person in the entire film taken seriously by the camera is the guy in
the striped shirt. The rest of the time the camera is more
interested in audio/visual incidentals (as tracked from an
intriguingly RainMan-esque perspective). The film's treatment and
accentuation of these incidentals turns out to be much more
interesting than any single bit of dialogue.

So it's not the objective documentary aspect of the film that gets me
going (indeed, I find it sometimes pedantically distracting); it's
the abstract cinematagraphic subtextual "dialogue" of the film, and
the way said subtextual dialogue interacts with and often derides the
ostensible "topic" of the film that I find cool. It's like you are
making one documentary (as interviewer/interviewee), and the camera
is making its own very different documentary on your documentary,
from an entirely other (and more enlightened) perspective. Whether
you split yourself in two like this intentionally or subconsciously
or both doesn't really matter to me as a critic.

If you took the transcript of the film and printed it out in text, it
would be largely banal, pseudo-intellectual, and trite. Just like so
far your online asking of the project's questions is yielding nothing
very interesting in the way of response (last time I checked).

The genius of this film, then, is its subliminal angle (literally and

I hope that's not too much of a dis. I mean it as a compliment.

Narratively, I think the film drags from the violence section on
(except for the essential dec. 22 and 24 footage and a few choice
bits). More rigorous editing would "show your hand" less and better
maintain the film's kooky omniscient "other" perspective throughout.

Much as you fancy yourself a wordsmith, I don't think that denotative
words are your strongest suit. I think your cracked-vessel
"pespective" is your most genius aspect. And I must say, this aspect
comes out better in film than it does on the web. Mere still images
and text are too fragmentary to sustain it.

To totally change the subject, what restaurant were you in where they
played dee-lite and metallica back to back?

The film reminds me of:

1. Errol Morris's "Vernon, Florida" (the biology professor is treated
like Morris's turkey hunter)
2. Mogwai's "Come On Die Young" CD


And that's my public critique of Genius 2000 (the film).



re: cupcakes [file under "chat"]

Mr. Herman (paging mr. herman) alludes:
> I am just as God made me sir.

My conscience forbids me to categorically dismiss anyone so adept at
incorporating cryptic "This Is Spinal Tap" dialogue into casual

ian (liam): How are we going to get fourteen people in a 'King Leisure' bed?

Smitty (shriveled old prune): Oh-ho-ho don't - don't tempt me, sir.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ is looking mighty promising.

"damn everything but the circus!"
- e e cool j



ACR system


The Alternative Corporate Reality


lab404: the early years

The Psychedelic Psycho-Analytical Rorshcach Cookie Cutter
Your Daily Bible Verse, psychologically suited to your current state.
88 possible outcomes.

Sartre as usability minimalist.

Crawling Between Heaven and Earth
"Search Art" before "Search Art" was cool! (But why was I using Altavista?)

A City of Prayer Contains Carbon Monoxide
A hurricane came through south Alabama and messed up all the
billboards. The mutated results were quite revealing.