Excerpts from Clerk Fluid

7.1 / Sell Out Now

Excerpts from Clerk Fluid

By Steven Wolf September 10, 2015

Mark Flood, a Houston-based artist, writer, and musician, co-founded the band Culturecide in 1980. Combined, his Another Painting series and vitriolic prose in Glass Tire have produced a long-running attack on academic art-world complacency, unrivaled in its persistence and hilarity. Not content just to focus on high culture, Flood has also used collage and appropriation in both visual art and music to skewer the machinery of pop celebrity. More recently he has claimed to shed the critical edge of his studio practice to make paintings that work to communicate beauty outside of the avant-garde tradition. His writings from Glass Tire, however, continue to reflect Flood's direct, punk critical strategy. They appropriate a well-intentioned art text and overlay it with his own sarcastic reading, a mirror of the strategy Culturecide used to make its irreverent 1986 album Tacky Souvenirs of Pre-Revolutionary America, in which songs by David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, and others are overlaid with discordant sound, music, and lyrics. Similarly, featured here are three pages from the self-published book Clerk Fluid (2009): a publication including a collection of Flood’s writings, many of which, like the below, were previously unpublished writing projects. The book also includes his writing from Glass Tire as well as photographs and images of his artwork. — Steven Wolf

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Clark Flood. Clerk Fluid, 2009 (Lulu: Paperback, 575 pages, 6 x 9 in.)

Recent years have seen civic art constantly redefined as artists tackle the challenges afforded by projects in an unprecedented variety of public places. Communities have commissioned artists to create new works in connection with projects as diverse as historic districts, sports facilities, theaters, bus stations and transit systems, power substations, airports, city streets and roadways, as well as public buildings, parks and plazas.

Recent years have seen submission to corporate fascism constantly redefined as artists tackle the challenges afforded by projects in an unprecedented variety of fake public places. Bureaucracies posing as communities have commissioned artists to create disinformative, disguising and distracting works in connection with projects as diverse as the suppression of free speech, systematic crowd dispersal, the S&L bailout, stolen elections and voter fraud, the suffocation of human dialog, airport security, police oppression and brutality, as well as prisons, holding pens and labor camps.

2004 (January) CulturalArtsCouncil presents 38 for XXXVIII, an exhibition of artist-modified footballs created to join the city-wide celebration of Super Bowl XXXVIII. The exhibition was presented at Reliant Energy Plaza (1000 Main).

Clark Flood. Clerk Fluid, 2009 (Lulu: Paperback, 575 pages, 6 x 9 in.)

Artists bring a sense of identity to communities. They provide a means of expression, a way to focus and build neighborhood pride. through a civic art program and the resulting interaction, a community can begin to realize its own creative potential as a means of addressing the issues it confronts.

Artists bring a sense of surrendered identity to communities. They provide a means of suppression a way to simulate and preempt neighborhood pride. Through a civic art program and the resulting interaction, a community can begin to negate its own creative potential as a means of addressing the issues it confronts, without ever really noticing what it has lost.

The Houston Midtown Management District, Clark Condon Associates and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County reverse the right to reject all submissions and cancel the project.

Clark Flood. Clerk Fluid, 2009 (Lulu: Paperback, 575 pages, 6 x 9 in.)

OUR VISION

Imagine a city where, through the hand of the artist, ordinary everyday objects are transformed into something extraordinary. Imagine a city bench or a bus stop which is unique and colorful. Manhole covers and treeguards which while functional, are also whimsical works of art. Civic art is a way to enhance our city, strengthen our neighborhoods and provide color and character to our public spaces.

OUR VISION

Imagine a secret, illegal detention and interrogation center where, through the hand of the artist, ordinary everyday objects are transformed into something extraordinary. Imagine a water-board or a sleep deprivation chamber which is unique and colorful. Tasers and blindfolds which while functional, are also whimsical works of art. Civic art is a way to enhance our unaccountability, strengthen our interrogation techniques and provide color and character to our secret torture facilities.

A giant safety restraint adorns the San Jacinto Monument to remind motorists that seatbelts save lives.

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Mark Flood was born in Houston, TX, USA, in 1957, where he continues to live and work. He studied at Rice University, Houston, graduating in 1981.

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