Clark Food hard drive dump, Pt. II: Each in Turn

Clark Flood’s 20 "Objects in the Mirror" essays, published in 2006-2007 on Glasstire, were widely disseminated and discussed around the web. His new book Clerk Fluid (which is available for sale at our shop)
includes all 20 "Objects" essays, photographs taken by Flood, and
finally, previously unpublished, unfinished and unedited drafts
straight out of his hard drive.
The following is one of those drafts.



saw Robert Rauschenberg’s work for the first time in 1954. Shortly thereafter, while visiting Rauschenberg’s studio, he was taken to call on Jasper Johns, who lived in the same building. Castelli’s gallery, the first to exhibit Rauschenberg and Johns, soon added Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and James Rosenquist. Each in turn was discovered and celebrated by an art world hungry for recognizable imagery and anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.

Something about this fragment of a paragraph bothers me but I don’t know what it is yet. I admit, it’s all about me… the sickness and all…but that just means this column is Self-Expression. Isn’t that what we’re all here for? To discover and celebrate the expression of our toweringly wonderful, preposterous, fear-based Selves? I’m an editor now. This is an editorial. This is fair-use and this is free speech. Cue the band.

It’s the last sentence that does it.
Each in turn was discovered and celebrated by an art world hungry for recognizable imagery and anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.

I have to try the obvious inversion:
Each in turn was punished and insulted by an art world hungry for recognizable imagery and not anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of
Maybe a thousand years of

Each in turn was scraped from the underside of the slimy rock of anonymity and launched into a chilly and serene career orbit typically occupied by God and other celebrities…

By an art world hungry for Type O human blood and anxious for a fresh corpse to eviscerate after a thousand years of gnawing the dry, marrowless bones of Abstract Expressionism.

Each in turn was led out to the parking lot and interrogated about their potential use-value to a regime anxious about having accidentally let their last batch of prisoners die of starvation… after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.

Each in turn was denounced and condemned by a myopic art province hungry for minimization of their own complicity in the destruction of all life on earth, yet anxious about the lack of recognizable imagery after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.

Each in turn was discovered and celebrated by a lonely art world, hungry for recognizable imagery and anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace, seduce, French kiss, to wetly mutually masturbate and interpenetrate, after a decade of the dry holes and ravished gulches stubbornly proffered by the sterile, emotionally unavailable desert pimps of Abstract Expressionism.

Each in turn pulled the magic lever on the mysterious voting machine and attained, like a slots player in Reno before the icon-wheels stop rolling, a spiritual place in an overtly phony democratic process eager to masturbate the power arrangements of an art world, eager to participate in terrorism, eager to endorse child porn, eager to try new things after 15 minutes of a buzz now fading.

Each in turn has something to do with spin. I think spin is built in, but it feels pushy, coercive, phony in proportion to how authoritative the writer is pretending to be. To consolidate the ten thousand diversely wiggling worms of an art world into one anthropomorphic entity that hungers, and has anxiety…is typical, normal, familiar and also wrong. Maybe I just don’t like it. The art world, the world, my world, our world isn’t like that. So this is bad information. I know its just background noise but kids pick this shit up. The next you know they start looking for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of endless pseudo-rational art blather.

Each in turn of the peculiar qualities of the residue of irremovable spin are ominous like bird behavior. The feel of the sacred super-sentence is like an owl on the ground, and it points in a secret but obvious way to the familiar death thing. Not the good death thing. After a thousand years of anthropomorphization nuzzling a spurious attribution of motive, intent and design.


Clark Flood is a freelance writer living in Houston.

Also by Clark Flood:

Clark Flood hard drive dump, Pt I: Spirituality and the Arts


also by Clark Flood

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56 responses to “Clark Food hard drive dump, Pt. II: Each in Turn”

  1. they should build a cubicle in honor of each his own.

  2. That’s a matter of opinion. : )
    And apologies to rainbird for such a strong reply. I was having a bad night.

  3. so, mark/clark… you saw his work first in 1954. my ex invented the wheel while touring cairo, after the great war. just ask her… she hates to brag, or make false claims.

  4. Come hither vs. theremin.

  5. No apologies necessary, theremin. I have lots of bad nights. Days too.
    My top 10 list would include making Chex Party mix for the very first time. 9 cups of salted cereal is a lot to eat in one sitting.

    Would I spoil it all if I asked your thoughts on Gaza?

  6. If assholes were wishes, beggars would slide.

  7. we’ll always have Waco.

  8. Gaza is a travesty. You have two groups who have been kicked and abused at each other’s throats. The Jews by everyone, the Palestinians by the Turks, the Syrians, the English, and now the Jews. Watch (this lowbrow suggestion will crack you up) You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Sandler nailed the problem on the head. Unfortunately, the Palestinians are no match for the Israeli army. That is, until they invent an Uzi that throws rocks.

  9. Waco has that circle, too! So Euro, that city. I’d put Dr. Pepper up against the Grand Dame, any day! On Come Hither: I can laugh, and sue with the best of them!

  10. It was a only a joke, only funny (and sad) to me.

  11. OH, JE-SUS CHRYSLER, rb! Not a threat. Not at all. Put down that highball glass, and relax! I don’t support the coalition government in Israel. I do support both parties’ rights to autonomy and the peaceful pursuit of happiness. Not religious… Humanist.

  12. Spin is the virgin birth in sepia in Waco.

  13. rainbird doesn’t use a highball glass.

  14. Gotcha… sorry. Where’s Trungpa? Clark’s better when he has a knife to twist in a wound. Robert and Jasper liked to make out. Bobby got the first shot at stardom, even though the curator was coming to see Jasper. Each in turn.

  15. To each his own.

  16. Beggars would slide. Slide. theremin you should apologize to clark for hogging his blog.

  17. Asshole guessed right…. I’ve never used a highball glass. And I only use an ‘old fashioned’ glass when I can’t find a clean tankard or flask.
    Please note…. you’ll never hear a cleaner or more beautiful sound than the sound of actual crystal breaking. The sound of your dogs snoring close by is better and I’ve heard both.
    Trungpa is trying to board a spaceship to a better place. I wish him luck.

    We all should apologize.

  18. your books gave it away.

    hell to pay soon. always hell to pay. worth it. though.

  19. My cat snores.

  20. Luck, yes. They listen to Sun Ra a lot in Denton. Great place for the mothership connection. My dog burps. Check your browser cookies for the bbc, and never drink out of anything but a solid silver flask.

  21. …IS the Mothership. It does not contain water, but houses a series of computers capable of time travel. I recently consulted the Tower about the cyclical nature of the art market in an attempt to find a pattern or make some sense of it all. I failed utterly. I’m certain however, like the US economy in general, the art market is a giant Ponzi scheme.

    I did find a curious parallel between Clark’s observation about early Pop artists vs. AbEx and what some other people said later on about Julian Schnabel’s enthusiastic reception. It was claimed by some (and I can’t recall whom) that those big, gnarly encrusted plywood constructions were the perfect material foil for the cerebral, frequently site-specific (and therefore unmarketable) nature of Conceptual Art. Schnabel made stuff that looked “important”, had lofty titles, and, most importantly, could be traded. It was currency. Schnabel, in turn, lionized the younger artist Basquiat in an effort to shore up his own brand.

    Mes deux chiens lâchent les pets toujour, spécialement pendant les Fêtes de Noel. C’est la dinde.

  22. Trungpa spell somethings out about the large red grooming space Mr. Schnabel had arranged in NYC while on vacation. Would you?

  23. Motel 666

  24. I never understood the need for the Schnabel room on the roof at P.S.1. I remember the first time I went by Donald Judd’s studio on Spring. I said to myself, who does this clown think he is… DONALD JUDD? Later, this became a joke for me when I showed first timers around the city. Happy Holidays, Trungpa! Wish you could play a holiday song and post it on the site. Lofty titles can carry lofty ideas. Sometimes. The movie Motel Hell is a guilty pleasure of mine.

  25. Also, blog hogs end up in the First Circle. Hell for the company, indeed!!!

  26. I’ve cracked the secret code!


    Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

  27. I can’t figure that one out yet, but I did buy that book that you recommended Ricochet. Oh, since I haven’t seen the movie I have to watch it then I might get it sooner, although I heard a free jazz player use notes from it about every 33rd note and it sounded great. It was like LSD again.

  28. Victor/Victoria.

  29. Clack Food Hand Jive

  30. Can’t recall his name, but someone on All Things Considered (Terry Gross, NPR) recently was talking about the Myth of suicides following the crash of 1929. He said it was tabloid reporting, and that one of those reporters was Winston Churchill, who apparently made the whole thing up. He even had statistics for suicides during the boom years, and compared those to the crash. There were only 2 suicides on Wall Street.

  31. Mark/Clark, we’ve all been had. They’re playing on our sympathy. Check the mail and see if Madoff sent you a Channukah present.

  32. Sometimes, if I ‘m very lucky, when I set the bottle of dish-soap back down on my kitchen counter, several little bubbles come out of the top. It is a small celebration of sorts.
    Each in turn eventually hits the counter and disappears.

  33. The climate just ain’t right for us contemplative types….

  34. Kenny doesn’t hear you. And never will.
    What we have hear is a terrible triangle.

  35. Long time no see!, Glasstire posters!!! Mother says to say she ants in.

  36. MechaStreisand…

  37. You’d just fuck it up.

  38. no one should have that kind of power.

  39. least of all me.

  40. Some guy jumped out his plane, ran through the woods to find a motorcycle he’d hidden there, then rode to a motel where he slit his wrists. He had his own company: Heritage Wealth Management.

  41. Sounds like he is a prime candidate for membership in the Super Adventure Club!!!

  42. From the inside out next to the spit trunk bonfire.

  43. Hope springs eternal…or so they say.
    But you’ve got the wrong piece.
    I’ve given up.
    You can rest easy at any Holiday Inn.

  44. I tried the Paisano.

  45. I have another book for you….called ‘People with Problems’, short stories from the Paris review. I didn’t want to mail it and have it turn back up here on my porch . Ridiculous, I know….but I thought I’d ask before sending anything.

  46. ….gave it to my mechanic instead.
    And so it goes.

  47. Each in turn.

  48. It flooded in Leningrad.

  49. Dresden is fire bombed.
    I miss you.

  50. Well. I was reading a book or trying to.

  51. That got a smile.

  52. That’s kind of funny. I had the same thought put in concrete a few months ago. Exactly. How’d you do that?

  53. They’ve taken all the fun out of this darkened hallway.

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