Technological obsolescence creates mountains of discarded machines which are off gassing into the atmosphere. Questions like ‘what powers the internet or blockchain’ are sidestepped by discourse about progress. Electric cars necessitate Lithium mining. Wind turbines need copper, which is mined.
Weinstein uses the library card as a symbol of discarded technology. He began ordering boxes of them on eBay for prices so low it seemed odd that anyone even bothered to list them.
Each box contained chunks of information from card catalogues. So each box contained various obsessions. The Kennedys, Astronomy, Thomas Kinkade, WWII, The Royal Family, Dogs, among others.
By selecting cards from different boxes, they began to communicate with each other. Sometimes within a category and sometimes between categories; Joke and punchline, rhyme, shared melancholy, and eroticism are among the commonalities of these cards that Weinstein brings together out of the unbridgeable alphabetical distance that once kept them apart.
Weinstein then began to stamp them with his own imagery: fish, waves, blood splatters, skeletons and plants, like a librarian using an encrypted form of the card catalogue to create an allegorical system.
Weinstein's catalog cards are configured as pairs and larger groups, arranged on an underlying grid which provides a structural network for the work. Unique bookworks comprised of small groupings of these cards will also be on view. The imagery is sometimes contained to individual cards, but often spills from one card to the next creating a complex tiled work. The overlaid images are iconographic figures and objects, such as fish and skeletons, common throughout much of Weinstein's work.
Weinstein began acquiring piles of these cards from ebay. They arrived from different locations around the country, from different decades, and from different types of libraries specializing in different types of books. Hand annotated by librarians and smudged by generations of index fingers, they each carried their own history. Weinstein began randomly selecting them from different piles. Patterns, puns, jokes and coincidences occurred that spanned location, subject and time; a dada poetry emerged. Then he began to draw and print on them, using images from his own repertoire that have no direct relation to the subjects of the cards, and an abstract narrative emerged, one nudged along but never pushed.
As libraries have thrown away their card catalogues, we no longer search for information horizontally and sequentially. The internet search is guided by free association, random patterns of investigation and personalization. The internet is like a box of library file cards tossed on the ground; a sequence turns into a mound and the act of finding one piece of information causes us to associate it with whatever random bits of information come our way.
Weinstein's work has always been based on the linking of different ideas and images that have no logical connections into narratives that almost make sense, but fall short of logical build ups of sequence in order to allow the subjectivity of the viewer to dominate his own experience of the work. The medium that Weinstein always floats his associations in is the intensity of the visual experience he delivers, and over the years he has utilized painting, animation, music, drawing and sculpture to achieve this. Looking is the way into this work, just as it is in abstraction, and it has always been Weinstein's intention to find a place in art that can dissolve.
These pieces were first exhibited in the exhibition:
797.2 Sp. Spitz, Mark. F. Mar.
The Splendid Outcast, 1987, 139p.
November 21 – January 18, 2014
At Carolina Nitsch Project Room
Opening: Nov 21, 2013
They were also included in the exhibition Jew York at Zach Feuer. Review link is below.