Wednesday, December 7, 2011

HOW TO: Shotgun a Beer, w/ Mikey Kusnecki

  Mikey Kusnecki is a die hard, beer loving, Milwaukee-native, who you surely know from his popular stint as a television host on the canceled hit television show "Mikey Kusnecki's Packer and Beer Forum."
   He is a character I created back in college for my final biology experiment, when I created a HOW-TO video on home brewing beer, and studied the various chemical properties of yeast within the "yeast pitching" process (yeah, they obviously encourage a creative slant to biology in art school, but this was still pushing the envelope). Anyhow, the video was a hoot to make, and despite Mikey's character, I still managed to fill the video with an informed overview of the beer-brewing process.
   More recently, I think I decided to bring this character back as both an outlet to my circumstances of living in a basement in North Dakota for the time being. I can also entirely get behind the notion that Mikey's character allows me to embrace my roots as a mid-westerner, that through my relentless traveling I have come to embrace, while still opposing in many ways. It's a love hate relationship, and as much as I might oppose certain aspects of life there, I have roots I will never cut in my wonderful city, Milwaukee, and wherever I go, I will never lose my mid-west pride.
   The video is a little slow paced for the Youtube generation, but to cut it up, and make it catchy enough for kids now'a days, I would have had to sacrifice the ultimate subtleties that make Mikey a true character, paying true homage to the mid-west. Like it or not America- this one's for my homies. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"The Whiskey Economy," Collaborative Project w/ Sean O'Neill, from Summer '11 in WA.

Since there's much more to be said about this last summers collaborative music project, "The Whiskey Economy," I'm just going to post some of the raw videos for now, and leave the blurbs that they were originally posted with. More to come, more to come!

"Okay Enough"

 So this is one of my personal favorites of our work in the past few  months, and its also the first song I attempted to write...  Unfortunately, this recording is not only unflattering, but in this  quick run through, I really lacked the lyrical punch that this song is  normally emphasized by. I suppose for now though, It's "Okay Enough..."  ENJOY, and please pass these modest little pieces around like.. well,  whatever it is you kids pass around now'a days

"Machines Are Coming (Take Off Your Clothes)"

 Me  and Sean O'Neill had the privilege of playing at the Trout Lake Country  Inn last night! I don't remember much, but I think it went well lol...  For the majority of my peoples out there who probably missed it, heres a  raw recording of "Machines!"

"Fuck My Life"

Another  very raw yet very fun soon-to-be Whiskey Economy classic. It is also a  very appropriate Monday song... So here's "Fuck My Life." Next time your  in a shit mood, put a smile on and sing about it. More to come,  hopefully in a better quality format, but first things first...

"Straight Lounge"

"STRAIGHT  LOUNGE," is an attempt to describe my recent experiences living in a  rural mountain town, through an urban perspective. It was written in  effort to find a common ground between two completely different  lifestyles. It was also a way to pay homage to my experiences in Trout  Lake, because whether you say the life was "absolutely magnificent,"  "superb," "baller," "pimptastic," or "straight up gangsta," we all  essentially mean the same damn thing... (What ISN'T straight gangsta',  was having to record the damn thing in me and Sean's room in the  Lodge-Pole Cabins on the ranger compound, but oh well, all the more  reason to re-record an amazing music video for this in the future)

"Pick Up Truck"

 "Pick Up Truck," is the second song me and Sean O'Neill came up with  last summer for our music project, "The Whiskey Economy." It is a song  about my magnificent summer in Trout Lake, WA, all the amazing people I  met, and of course, all the good times we had hanging out in the back of  the pick up truck. Six months later when all was said and done, I was  left with a raw version of the song recorded via laptop, a plethora of  photographs, and the desire to share this heartfelt song with my  friends. Here's what I came up with for a video...
SPECIAL THANKS to  Maggie Wallace for helping me with some back up vocals on this tune.  People liked 'Pick Up' too much for me to not sing- but as I have  learned from the numerous songs I've been working on since then, this  one is not quite within my vocal capacity. None the less, it is a fun  and very meaningful song for me, so thanks to Maggie for helping me make  it a bit prettier, and of course, Sean O'Neill for helping me turn  allot of scattered words and sour notes on paper, into a beautiful  song...

IN:SITE Web Documentaries for "On and Off Capital," Milwaukee Public Art Project

     Last winter, I spent several months working on a series of web documentaries for an amazing Milwaukee Public Art organization called IN:SITE. The artists and the projects were really amazing, and I was glad to have been a part of such a great experience. These shorts were entirely shot, directed, and produced by me, so it was also an amazing experience in D.I.Y. style film making. My personal favorites were probably Colin Matthes' projects, but they were all really incredible pieces that demonstrated how artists can get involved in the community at large.

IN:SITE Project Overview video

IN:SITE Individual Projects: (artists interview, process, concept)





Bad Ass Kitten Hoody, from Craft Nights in PDX

So after I got out of the Americorps gig, I spent two weeks with one of my favorite houses in Portland, the beloved "Craft House." I needed something to work on during their spectacularly entertaining craft nights, so I decided to put kitten ears on my hoody, so I wouldn't have to wait until Halloween to make an ass out of myself every year. Sooooo glad I did! 
Thanks for the the guidance Steph, and Jess, I've still got a bit of work to do on the fur, but for the most part, I'm finished. Crafting is so much fun!

"The Last Trail Crew" (Zombie Apocalypse Trailer)

This is a short trailer I put together with my very own trail crew during a stint of working under the Forest Service in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, in Southern WA. In such a position, you spend allot of time full-pack hiking with dangerous weapons, so naturally, the "what-if" scenario of zombie attacks are a favorite subject in conversation to pass the time. One thing led to another, and we finally decided to turn our playful scenario into a movie trailer that would premiere at the Northwest Service Academy's summer summit.
We had a helluva' time making this short piece, and even with our tireless day jobs on the trails, the Gifford Pinchot zombie trailer came together in only two weeks.

Promotional Video for My Friend, Photographer ROBB QUINN

Here's a piece I wrote, shot, directed, and edited in 48 hours (without sleep obviously). I did it for a good friend of mine, Robb Quinn. He's traveled around the world doing photography, and learning under some of the greats, and his body of work is most definitely compelling.
If you need some video work done, holla' at me, and maybe we can work something out. 

STATEMENT: New Direction For My Happy Little Art Blog

   So as my vegabond study of the country, and relentless efforts to write a book detailing the accounts therein have been ALL TOO CONSUMING- my wonderful little art blog here has taken a beating for several reasons. Though I haven't had the luxury of a studio life since graduating, art has never even remotely taken a break in my life, it has just shifted accordingly to whatever circumstances I happen to be in during that particular month. Seeing as my focus within art is a somewhat of a "non-focus" in terms of discipline, this seems entirely appropriate. So why should my happy little corner of the net here be put to rest so easily? Well, the truth is, I've often been entirely too busy with life to post. My first blogging rule, is that since I am using it as a platform for my art, I can NOT make the mistake of ever putting the blog before my time to work. I generally never have the urge to do so anyhow, so this isn't a problem. What that does mean however, is that when I'm traveling or working 40, 50, plus hours a week, I'm still getting my art done somewhere in there, but there is not much room to deposit that work here onto the blog. So I've decided I'm going to make things a little easier on myself, by re-claiming the art blog with a new direction. A re-envisioned purpose if you will.
     When I resentfully began blogging toward the end of college, I was determined to use the blog as basically a free website to showcase my work, and present thoughtful process writing and documentation along with it. My posts took forever to create, and though they entailed spending a significant amount of time and effort, I was happy that I could appeal to what I considered a higher literary type of format. Well, sadly folks, that was then, this is now. 
     I will still compellingly struggle with over-written, intricate posts that take entirely too much time and effort on my part, but not as much here on the art blog. The fun, flowery, mess of writings are now mostly going to take place on my other blog, "THE LAST GREAT american JOURNEY," which is a smarter move anyhow, as the emphasis of that blog is much more about literature.
So what will become of the art blog here? Well, I'm going to try and use the art blog here, as kind of a directory toward my various projects whether they exist at TLGaJ blog, Youtube, or right here. Basically, what I'm saying, is this blog will become kind of like a regular blog, where I post pictures of work, short descriptions, links to said projects, etc. 
     The problem with remaining precious with my postings all the time, is that it has really hindered my ability to simply deliver all the work I've been making, and if the aim of this blog is to put my work out there- then I need to put that goal first and foremost. Though I really look forward to having a studio practice again in the future, my urge to create art in all these crazy places, under all these crazy circumstances, has forced me to really embrace the interdisciplinary approach to art that I have come to know and love. I need to make sure I'm sharing all that with you, so if it entails lazy posting with little to no writing, then that's what I'll do. 
 That being said, hopefully I can get some extra mileage out of using this blog as a depository for the different avenue's that I'm pursuing. 
   Here goes...

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Humorous Yet Critical Article on Lady GaGa for LAUGH.PL, a Polish-American Media Website

    Hello my wonderful friends! I've been keeping busy working on a trail crew in Trout Lake Washington for Americorps, as well as whoring myself out on my days off doing miscellaneous labor for locals, and cooking at the "Trout Lake Country Inn." I don't have time to go into details right now, but keep up with my other blog "THE LAST GREAT american JOURNEY" to find out more about this amazing experience.
   In the meantime, here's an article/essay about Lady GaGa that I wrote for my good friend Marcin's website in Poland. Check it out, and please let me know what you think. I haven't gotten any feedback whatsoever, and I'm really dying to know what your thoughts are about the writing.

"The GaGa Phenomenon, and Why We Can't Seem To Look Away," By Joseph R. Reeves

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"The Weight of the World On My Shoulders" Milwaukee Performance Art Showcase 2010:

For Milwaukee's 2010 Performance Art Showcase, I developed a stamina driven performance piece that entailed me attempting to hold a television bearing the struggling image of my face, over my head for the 2 hour duration of the show. This piece was unlike any media/performance work I've done in the past, and looking back now, I can honestly say that I was quite relieved to have had a nurse on staff at the show. After the course of the event, I was sick as a dog, and the pain I had the remainder of the week, was a constant reminder of the creative "burden" that this piece is suggesting an artist must bear. 
I won't say much more than that, except to urge you to read the artists statement, and check out the short clip below. 


is, in many senses, a live depiction of failure. The performance attempts to emphasize the inevitable struggle involved with achievement, as opposed to the literal product, or outcome, that one might be struggling to achieve. To this extent, the performance questions the importance of the actual 'outcome' in an artists' practice, by publicly displaying my inability to physically 'succeed' in bearing the weight of the television. 
The fact that this impossible weight is bearing my struggling image as a focal point- alludes to the extent in which I pursue my career as an artist, and directly suggests that my own maniacally driven efforts, might very well be the cause of my failures, while still synchronously prevailing as the source of my accomplishments.  
By consciously plotting this certain failure, I am ironically framing my shortcomings as a final product. The resulting efforts aim to display a visceral sense of human frailty, and weakness- while at the same time- suggesting a certain extent of triumph, if only purely through my ambitious efforts to foil my own attempts at failure. 
In this sense, I am playing off of an ever-circling dichotomy suggesting that: to fail in achievement, is still, at the very least, to succeed in failing. 
If only they'd taught me that back in elementary school, I'd have been prepared for the world...

Long time friend, collaborator, and colleague Dylan Zalewski handles the camera, and keeps an eye on the general performance. Having majored in acting, he's in charge of making sure dip-shit artist folk like myself maintain my performance stamina. Thanks Buddy!

Everyone knows where I'd be without the lovely Miss Chastaine Tallon- rotting in a gutter somewhere! This performance was no different. Thanks a million Chass!

Chassy's grueling task was to mop the sweat from my face periodically, and then neatly hang them on the "Free Souvenir" wall. The theme of the show was "Souvenirs," and as you could probably guess, the act of offering them to the public for free- though theatrically appealing- did not seem to prompt much interest in getting the audience to actually take home some of my sweat as a memento of the performance. Oh well, more sweat rags for me. You'll be sorry you didn't take one when I'm auctioning them on e-bay for a thousand bucks a piece!!

So although the show reviews were a bit fluffier than they were critical, the show, as well as my piece, at least garnered some attention from the media. The numerous mentions helped give the show exposure, and I was happy that the writers were apparently intrigued with the concept of my piece. As an eager emerging artist, I'll take what I can get! 

Third Coast Digest (preview):
The pieces in the showcase vary from light to weighty, from wordless to a scream, with lots of audience participation. Some pieces are twists on acts from traditional carnivals. Rather than a typical weightlifter, Joseph R. Reeves will be representing the struggle of his artistic endeavors by holding the massive weight of his ego as an artist above his head for two hours...

Third Coast Digest:
…John Loscuito and Pegi Christiansen are organizing their fifth such showcase. Among the many attractions is conceptual weightlifter Joseph R. Reeves. Reeves will hold the massive weight of his artistic ego over his head for two hours. He must be strong. Reeves’ act fits the five-tent, 15-booth carnival format of the showcase. Free-will donation at the door ($5 suggested, $3 for students)...

Shepherd Express:
John Schneider, an inspirational multi-disciplinary artist whom I was lucky enough to interview and meet during the "My Vote Performs" project wrote:

…I know only two of the artists. Theresa Columbus, the endearing former impresario of Milwaukee’s main performance art venue Darling Hall, returns from Baltimore to perform “The Artist Statement” about her struggle to compose one. Filmmaker Joe Reeves, his back to us as he faces a camera, will reveal “the massive weight of his ego” via his televised face as he supports the screen on his shoulder for two hours.

Third Coast Digest:
…Here’s one I can identify with: artist Joseph R. Reeves will hold his ego above his head for two hours, which is way longer than most of the artists I know can. Actually, the ones I know wear their egos on their sleeves, no offense intended….

Saturday, November 27, 2010

WEEKLY PICS! New Photography From My Vaults of Hard-drives

A fine hello, and how-do-you-do to all my esteemed colleagues out there, and hell, even you too. I continue with my customary excuse line, "I've been sooo busy with all these other projects, and yada yada yada...." the thing is though, this time, I'm not lying. I've been cooped up editing a series of documentary's for IN:SITE, a local "temporary public-art" organization here in good 'ol Milwaukee, and though I really am loving it- its beginning to make me a little nutty. If that isn't bad enough, I haven't even had the time to indulge in my usual remedy for imbalance- ART ITSELF!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"The Floorboards of Amerika"

This is a piece that I actually did very early in my pursuits as a sculptor, and as it is much earlier work for me, it has been admittedly neglected in my efforts to give it a presence in the public realm. No more of that nonsense though, right? I'm beginning to shift my thoughts on

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"All The Stars In The Sky (1843 to be exact)"

In an effort to exercise the "wit of brevity," I will keep my writing to a minimum on this piece. You may recognize this concept from one of my earlier studies here on the blog, one that WAS written about. Since its back a few pages, I'll spare you the hassle of having to go through everything, and I'll just include the link here:

The actual large scale implementation that you see above, was aesthetically developed as a result to the conditions by which it was created. Basically, I decided I would use only 3 blue sharpie's for the whole piece, and however many stars I could get out of those three, would determine the scope of the project. If they were still running strong, I would still be working on this piece. As it happened, I made a total of 1843 stars before all three sharpies died, and yes I did keep track of them. 
Although it is a simple concept, I like that the outcome is determined by my initial decisions/restrictions. I am working on a whole series of these pieces, using different methods to determine the somewhat randomized outcome i.e. one canvas, I may decide to draw 10,000 stars, and whatever it looks like at 10,000, is the final product. If your intrigued by the concept, be sure to check out the extensive writing found a few pages back, on the small scale study. In the meantime, here's some fun process photo's.
Much more to come y'all! Most of my recent work has yet to be posted, so I'm going to just bite the bullet and start posting a bit sloppier writing in favor of "getting-er-done," as many so fondly put it...

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Eyes On The Prize," Screened Live At Milwaukee's Firestarter Film Festival

This is a piece I did for the "Firestarter Film Festival" competition, that is difficult to describe. If I HAD to, I would say the piece is mostly about the process of me actually making the movie within the 24 hours of the festival, and more specifically, me humorously playing off of my desire to win the festivals competition prizes.  
The criteria said that the piece needs to be 2 minutes (something which I pretty much failed to do), and that it be about "Snow." Since I started AND finished the piece within the 24 hours before the festival had taken place, the last snowfall in Milwaukee was long gone, and I ended up using "Snow" as merely a reference point for my failing to meet the specified guidelines. The subject matter in it's entirety, began to reference itself in both process, and intent- ALSO, I managed to have some fun razzing the Festivals creators Shawn Monaghan, and Phil Koch- a point which was purely in good fun, and successfully worked as a subversive contrast to how IDIOTICALLY I portray myself in comparison; a humorous allusion to the age old artist vs. curator tension.
In the end, I created a piece that was about a competition that I didn't even rightfully qualify for; the important thing though, is that I had a hell of a time making it, and I somehow found a way to make the success of my piece, be based on the reality of its failure. As an artist and filmmaker, I am always trying to challenge the boundaries of each medium, by using one to aggressively confront the other- something that I think I also found success with in this work
From the beginning to the end (not counting credits, OR the short excerpt AFTER the "End" title) the piece STILL stands about 2 minutes and 35 seconds. What can I say, I just don't know when to quit.
Thanks to Shawn, Phil, and Firestarter Films for giving me a venue to show, an audience to watch, and another excuse to continue creating ridiculously fun works of video art!

You can also view this on YouTube

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"The Cell Phone Photo Gallery," Curated By Joseph R. Reeves

So, for the very humble hand full of people that have been faithfully following my various endeavors within art, writing, and film; you may recall my very first installation of "The Cell Phone Photo Gallery," that was cooked up my senior year at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design well over a year ago. At the time, I was very excited about the concept itself and entirely pleased with the small scale version of it that I was able to install. Since then, I had kept it in the forefront of my mind as a project that needed to be given its full extent of potential as soon as I could find a space large enough to host the show.
Over a year later, after having done a substantial amount of traveling and living on the road while working on the in-process manuscript for THE LAST GREAT american JOURNEY; I had returned to milwaukee to work for a month or two, in efforts to collect some cash to continue my traveling (I am in Eugene, OR. as I type this, and Portland bound by tomorrow). During my prolific little stint in Milwaukee, I did everything that I couldn't do on the road, and I pushed my studio practice to the fullest, almost always working large scale- mostly because it's not an option when you're living out of your back pack. Out of the whole batch of work, my biggest accomplishment was definitely the full scale implementation of "The Cell Phone Photo Gallery."
It just so happened that during my time in Milwaukee, a serendipitous little happening took place that randomly ended up getting me a job with iNViDiA DESIGN. Since these guys had the means to support a show of this caliber, I immediately began forming an in depth proposal. The extensive 8 page proposal outlined the budget, construction, implementation, and any/all otherdetails concerning the show.
I must've done something right because the proposal was accepted, and I had just over a month to collect the photo's and build a gallery for the humungous, pillar-lined Pritzlaff building. I was very grateful that M.A.R.S./iNViDiA was willing to give me the space I needed.

By using social networking devices such as text messaging, and Facebook, I was able to generate allot of interest in the show, and even more importantly, I was able to boost the number of submissions a bit. The main efforts we put forth with our highly modest budget, were in pounding the pavement, hitting the street, and littering Milwaukee with fliers requesting that people submit us their favorite cell phone photos for the gallery. An important aspect of my approach was that all the photographs would remain entirely anonymous, and pretty much anything was acceptable as content.
Opening these subversive possibilities up to complete strangers was intriguing to me because in a sense, it gives a very broad audience a certain amount of control over the content as a whole. In this way, my role as "curator" is both loose and debatable. To this extent, I believe I am working towards the idea of using curating as a medium in itself.
I collected over 600 pictures for The Cell Phone Photo Gallery, and I see this project as one that will continue to develop through the years. As I continue to travel, I am beginning to flirt with the notion of collecting photos regionally, but like usual, I will make those decisions as they come.
The idea of representing the photos eventually in a book is also a possibility- if you're interested in providing me with space for a show, or are interested in the possibilities of seeing this idea in print, e mail JOSEPHREEVESART@YAHOO.COM
I could sit here and elaborate on this exhibition till the cows come home, but to a certain extent, I feel like doing so would limit the convenient elbow room I left you for contemplation. So, UN-like a curator, I am going to shut the hell up and let you do some inventing. No short cuts to thinking around here folks, sorry.
If you'd like to read some more about the concept, check out the original posting of the small scale version- if you click on "CURATING" on the side bar here, under categories, it's probably the only other piece I have under that heading, but hell, who knows. It was interesting for me to go back to, maybe it will be for you too.

to Chastaine Tallon, Austin Gardener, and Brian Olsen, who assisted me in the major construction of the show, the printing of the pictures, and the distribution of the fliers. Their efforts were crucial to the successful outcome of this event, and I am forever grateful.
The awesome graphic design for the fliers, was compliments of Chastaine Tallon. Chassy specializes in collaborating with artists, so anyone in need of a thoughtful, intelligent, designer that understands the art of design, I highly recommend her services. E-mail me if you need her contact info.
A final thank you, goes to M.A.R.S., for giving me the space to have this show. If it weren't for their trust in my proposal, and their support of my concept, this show couldn't have happened.