Keith Haring Interview

How did Burroughs influence you?

Burroughs’s work with Brion Gysin with the cutup method became the basis for the whole way that I approached making art then. The idea of their book, The Third Mind, is that when two separate things are cut up and fused together, completely randomly, the thing that is born of that combination is this completely separate thing, a third mind with its own life. Sometimes the result was not that interesting, but sometimes it was prophetic. The main point was that by relying on so-called chance, they would uncover the essence of things, things below the surface that were more significant than what was visible.

As a fan of Burroughs, both his work and the stories about him and his approach to writing, this answer was a highlight of the excellent Rolling Stone interview with Keith Haring.

[Usual disclaimer that these photos do not do justice to seeing the works in person. One of my favorite aspects of attending The Political Line exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco was getting transfixed in all the little paint drips and splatters that were present in many of the large vinyl/tarp pieces.]

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young
Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

Keith Haring "The Political Line" exhibit at de Young

If it bends, it’s funny. If it breaks, it’s not.

Michael Ian Black is one of my favorite comedians. His stand-up. Stella. The excellent MATES (Mike and Tom Eat Snacks). His books My Custom Van and You’re Not Doing It Right.

And of course, his Twitter:

What to expect if you engage him without knowing his character:

Another riposte:

The coup de grâce:

It’s a statement that reminds as it divides: if you haven’t gone through it, don’t bother reacting. And if you have, the exaggeration is contextualized, enhancing the comedic effect. A confident tightrope dance that few could pull off.

These tweets are an eon ago in Internet years, but still one of my favorite examples of how a talent showcases their nuanced comedic skill through brevity and conversational dynamism. This is organic comedy on a (relatively) new medium, informed by the skills that stand-up comics, especially, must hone over years and years and gig after gig. And of course, this interaction includes dealing with hecklers, other comedians (or wannabe comedians), and irate standers-by.

Everyone is free to @ reply Michael on Twitter. Just know what you’re getting into.

Neurons, man. Neurons.

Getting older, the city streets I physically walk down nearly every day don’t change, yet memory lane gets longer and longer, with the strange effect that, while the lane is longer, I can get from any point to any other point in exactly the same time as before.

Neurons, man. Neurons.

Synaptic lattices.

Ontological orthogonality, in n dimensions.