Daniel Johnston

Daniel Johnston

daniel johnston

The late, great Daniel Johnston was born in Sacramento, CA and raised in New Cumberland, West Virginia, by fundamentalist Christian parents alongside four siblings, before making his way after some college studies to Austin, TX.

Young Daniel’s foray into the arts began with drawing, but later he started singing and playing piano and organ, and by the late 70s, began recording his own music on a $59 Sanyo boombox. During his stint in the art program at the East Liverpool campus of Kent State, he recorded, “Songs of Pain,” and “More Songs of Pain.” He was diagnosed bi-polar, and had endured his share of psychiatric institutions, and naturally, his struggles greatly informed his work.

When he landed in Austin, he began working at McDonald’s and passing out cassettes of his music to to people he met. The most notable of these early recordings was his, “Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album,” in 1983, with cover art of the now-famous “Jeremiah the Innocent” frog.

From this, his cult following was born.  His live performances were packed and his local fame led to him being cast on an MTV program featuring Austin’s “New Sincerity” music scene. In 1988, he recorded in his first professional capacity, his album “1990,” with producer Mark Kramer in NYC. His mental health took a turn for the worse during this experience.

In 1989, Johnston released both one of his homemade albums, “Yip/Jump Music,” and the studio-recorded album It’s Spooky in collaboration with singer Jad Fair of the band, “Half Japanese.”   

Shortly following this, Kurt Cobain was seen wearing the “Hi, How Are You” t-shirt on occasion, most notably at the 1992 MTV VMA awards, and Daniel’s international recognition was now cemented.  That year, Sound Exchange on “the drag” in Austin commissioned Daniel to put that artwork on the side of their building. When the business closed, it took an uprising of concerned folks to keep the art in tact. The last business in the spot, a Thai restaurant, aptly named itself, “Thai, How Are You” – but that’s now closed and the building vacant.

In 1993/94, the big record labels were falling over each other to sign him, and he went with Atlantic, recording, “Fun” with producer Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers. It fared poorly commercially and Atlanta dropped him in 1996. However, the first decade of the new millennium proved fruitful with his release of, “The Late Great Daniel Johnson: Discovered Covered,” with his songs covered by other well-known artists; and a grant-funded rock opera based on his musical, “Speeding Motorcycle.”  His visual art was being shown worldwide.  In 2006, a documentary was released, “The Devil and Daniel Johnson.”  Then in 2008, Jeremiah became a collectable figurine and his first concert DVD was released from his 2007 show in London.  

Next came an iPhone platform game, “Hi, How Are You,” featuring his music and visual art; his first comic book venture; collaboration with skateboarding and clothing company Supreme for several lines of clothing featuring his artwork; and a photo book and traveling exhibit with Daniel by photographer Jung Kim.  

In 2017, he announced his last live tour – for five stops featuring back up bands who list Daniel as an influence: The Preservation All-Stars in New Orleans, The Districts and Modern Baseball in Philadelphia, Jeff Tweedy in Chicago, and Built to Spill in Portland and Vancouver.

Daniel achieved a “legendary, near-mythical status as an artist…[amassing] a catalog possessing his uninhibited vulnerability, underscored by a persistent sense of humor, anxiety, and loss.” On Sept. 11, 2019, he was found dead in his home from a suspected heart attack.

Visit his website’s store for art, posters, music, t-shirts & books. 

The End is Never Really Near

Mural in the Downtown Austin Public Library during Daniel Johntson exhibit (depicting various Johnston works)

The Darker Side of Gerald Clutter

Melanie Clemmons

Melanie Clemmons

Melanie clemmons

Melanie Clemmons is a new media artist interested in reimagining technology toward a more metaphysical, just, and weird future. She makes videos, net art, installations, & VR experiences and performances. In addition to her gallery and museum work, Clemmons toured with Pussy Riot doing visuals during their first North American tour and has collaborated on several of their music videos, has worked on videos for fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, and is 1/2 of the video performance and installation collaborations Vidkidz, and Clemmons & Loyd.


She has completed a digital artist residency at Welcome to My Homepage, and her work has been shown at, among others: HeK (House of Electronic Arts), Basel, Switzerland; CICA Museum Gyeonggi, Korea; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Light Year, Brooklyn; Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles; LRLX, San Francisco; Aggregate Space Gallery, Oakland; UPFOR Digital, Portland; Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago; Denver Digerati; University of Dayton; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; Women and Their Work; Austin; the Museum of Human Achievement, Austin; SP2, Dallas;Ex Ovo, Dallas; and many other DIY spaces and venues.

 

Photo credit: Ariel René Jackson
Maggie Duval

Maggie Duval

Maggie duval

MASTER CLASS, noon-1pm, Sunday:
MINING FOR MEANING IN THE DEPTHS OF CRISIS:
A DEEP DIVE WRITING MASTERCLASS

SUNDAY: Noon-1pm

Rev. Maggie Duval, the “Mind Travel Agent,” brings over 16 years of experience and expertise as a producer, director and experiential designer to her work as a Somatic Writing facilitator.

In 2002, she completed her training as a Somatic Writing facilitator, a creative and therapeutic technique combining monologue writing and performance developed by Tanya Taylor Rubinstein.

In addition to supporting people in their Somatic Writing process, Maggie has helped design and implement one person shows. She is masterful at creating multilayered experiences combining art, sound, color, and tech to uniquely engage and inspire audiences with story and message. Her integrated approach focuses on setting the stage and creating a mood via themed environments that combine set design, decor, lighting, projection, special effects, interactive art, costuming, and more.

As a producer and director, and long-term explorer of the convergence of art + science + tech + entertainment since her early involvement in Burning Man, she has created, produced, and directed exciting and immersive intimate to large scale events at SXSW Interactive and beyond. Facilitation, design, direction, and production credits include:

Somatic Writing-related events:  Standing on the Gone Side of Leaving (Dana Williams One Person Show Staged Reading); The Election Monologues: Austin; San Marcos Stories; and She Moves Like Water: Aryana Rising, a One Woman Show. 

Larger scale events include: EFF@SXSW 2014: A Cyberpunk Retrofest; Showdown at Unobtainium: Tesla vs. Edison; The Spectral Panopticon: A Fundraiser for the Round Top Festival Institute; STEAM³: The Future of Education (Austin, 2014 & Atlanta, 2015); Plutopia@SXSW Interactive: Living Systems (2009), The Science of Music (2010, The Future of Play (2011); The Future Music Summit at Round Top Festival Institute featuring DJ Spooky; NPO Camp; NextEcon Conference; and many more.

Stuart Sullivan

Stuart Sullivan

Stuart Sullivan

MASTER CLASS:  HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR SONGS IN THE STUDIO

Multiple Grammy award winning producer, right here in Austin, TX, Stuart has produced most famously, Little Joe y La Familia, Meat Puppets, Jimmy Vaughn, Pinetop Perkins and the Butthole Surfers.

In 1983, after graduating Indiana University in Bloomington where he was the house engineer at the Musical Arts Center, Stuart followed a friend and made the move to Austin. He got a job sweeping the floors at Lone Star Studios and worked his way up. It wasn’t long before he was doing sound engineering for the likes of Eric Johnson, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan. His first producing ventures were with the Wild Seeds, the True Believers and The Hickoids. Projects with Alejandro Escavedo and Dino Lee soon swerved him into becoming the house-recording engineer for Willie Nelson and Clifford Antone’s legendary blues label. 

He became known for a certain style – a certain sound, no matter the genre of music, that captured those early slacker days of Austin and propelled him to an international network of artists and labels.  He’s garnered much acclaim for his work with Lou Ann Barton, Kim Wilson, Junior Brown, Toni Price, Starfish, Sincola, Euripides Pants, Ruben Ramos, the Texas Tornados, Poi Dog Pondering, as well as national acts like Toadies, Supersuckers, Lucinda Williams and Sublime. 

Except for a gig in London with Nick Lowe and a short stint in the 90s in Los Angeles, he remained working from the ATX via his Wire Recording Studio, which he opened in 2001, going on to work with: Robert Earl Keen, Stephen Bruton, James McMurtry, Roky Erikson, Junior Brown and Dave Alvin and notably, collecting and rereleasing the Doug Sahm archives. 

Wire Recording Studio recently partnered with Mosaic Sound Collective to launch a sustainable music community complex in Austin. As a side project, Stuart became partner of Lucky Hound Music Group and runs Lucky Hound Records.

Watch here to a talk he gave in 2018 about building and maintaining a music community in Austin. Listen to some of his impressive discography.

Alonso Rey Sanchez

Alonso Rey Sanchez

alonso rey- sanchez

The painter, Alonso Rey, (April 29, 1967 – January 30, 2017), was born in Lima, Peru. His father was a doctor and his mother was an artist. He grew up watching his mother paint, and from an early age he identified with the vocation.

 

Alonso studies at the Joe de Leon School of Graphic Design, but after two years he realized that painting was his passion. He entered the Escuela Nacional Superior Autonoma de Bellas Artes de Peru, Peru’s century old School of Fine Arts.

 

There, he learned the use of color and received the academic preparation to continue his journey of painting. “I am not fearful of expressing myself through my work. With each painting, I convince myself more that I was born to be an artist.”Alonso’s energetic and detailed brushwork and unabashed love of color is both painterly and expressionistic.

 

The artist offers us his emotions derived from his experiences in various periods of his life. His work is decidedly expressionistic in both his style and theme which makes his paintings interesting and announces the emergence of Alonso Rey as an artist to keep our eyes upon.
(bio composed by José Pivín)
 
Upon his passing, several of his works were acquired by Austin’s own Mexic-arte Museum
Emigrando
39½“ x 39½“
“Obelisco”
4-paneled mural at
Pedernales & E. 7th St, Austin, TX