Archive for December, 2007

Assassination Adventure (1988)


Assassination Adventure, 1988. Directed by Mark Allen. Macintosh Apple IIgs/Apple IIc Plus, 1/2 inch VHS; 3 minutes, 21 seconds; color; sound.

During the late-80’s in Dallas I was a video artist. It was a hobby. Today, the term “video art” is extraneous, but back then—and in Texas—work of this nature needed a category. Some things I created showed at places like the Starck Club, a few small gallery exhibitions in Denton, and even on Dallas’ local PBS channel. This is a piece I created in 1988 titled Assassination Adventure. It imagined a cheesy video game based on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was created specifically for the Dallas Video Festival (the festival’s ‘Dallas Show’ featuring 22 Texas video artists, and had the 25th anniversary of JFK’s assassination as its theme). This copy is made from the original compilation of that year’s show.

It was 1988. Large, simplified pixels ruled!

This was created on a Macintosh Apple IIgs, or maybe an Apple IIc Plus. I was in the graphic design school at the University of North Texas, and that’s what we used in my Computer Graphics course (the course was new to the curriculum that year). Since the computers didn’t have an animation program, I had to create separate stills and then run through them by clicking the mouse, then record that with a VCR hooked to the back of the computer, which also needed some other kind of filtering device I’d checked out from the RTV&F department. And, I had to get it all on tape in real time, no editing. I remember my Computer Graphics instructor, Susie Cherry, becoming exasperated as she stayed late with me in the art building, acting as a second set of arms as she pushed the VCR record button over and over and kept repeating “Now…what is this for again?” The soundtrack is the result of my friend Lance Swaim and me going to a 7-11 in Denton late at night and playing a video game while I held a tape recorder up to its speaker. It’s funny to see the results now. Back then, when it came to stuff like this, if you didn’t have a television studio or work at Pixar, you had to jerry-rig everything just to try and get the desired effect. Of course I wanted it to look like a cheesy video game, but even within that capacity it looks absurdly amateur. I remember I showed someone a tape of this piece in the 90’s and thinking it was excruciating. But seeing it 20 years later, I like it again. It’s like an old finger painting.

When the piece showed at the Dallas Museum of Art during the Local Show screening, there was a lot of applause for my piece… and some boos! Back in 1988, that year’s DVF “Local Show” was reviewed by the art critic at The Dallas Observer. I remember it was the first time anything I’d ever done had been written about in any sort of press. I was ecstatic. The reviewer identified my piece as the most “shocking” of the bunch, and I think concluded with “Mark Allen’s Assassination Adventure is cheeky fun…” or something like that (I would love to find a copy of that old review).

7 Comments »

Untitled #1 (1981)

Untitled #1, 1981. Directed by Mark Allen. Starring Mark Allen. 8-mm; 2 minutes, 29 seconds; color; silent.

Here’s a movie I made in 1981 where I painted a TV set, then I painted a bathroom mirror, then I cleaned the mirror with Windex. The plot of the film was planned, and intentional—and also includes an unplanned cameo by Jack Klugman. While other kids were outside playing football or discovering sex and drugs, I was in my bedroom laboring over art projects like this one. I actually saved my allowance to buy the film, set everything up, used my parent’s ancient 8-mm camera, rode my bike to get it processed, etc., etc. When it was done I had a screening for my family and friends. If you wanted to guess what kind of kid I was in middle school, you’d probably be right.

7 Comments »

My Favorite Post-Apocalyptic Films

My favorite post-apocalyptic filmsHere’s a list of my favorite post-apocalyptic films that I did for Vice magazine a few months ago.

H.

H.

H.

2 Comments »

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part X)

This is part ten of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

plus$20 for a K-Holeplus$500 for a bleached holeplusgay New York City now

1 Comment »

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part IX)

This is part nine of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

plusdifficulty getting your wheelchair down the stairs at The Bijou at 5AMplususing the elevator access at the Virgin Megastore with ease, anytimeplusgay New York City now

1 Comment »

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part VIII)

This is part eight of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

plusAndy Warholplusthe wax figure of Andy Warhol at Madame Tussauds in Times Squareplusgay New York City now

Comments Off

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part VII)

This is part seven of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

plusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickmultiplied byRupert Pupkinplusa SnorkplusDippity-DoplusJohn SexplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickmultiplied byDiana DorsplusVenus of Willendorfplusa Wesselman paintingplusDianne BrillplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie SedgwickplusEcstasyplusThe Wonder TwinsplusCousin ItplusThe It TwinsplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickmultiplied byJanice from The Muppet BandplusNan GoldinplusStephen SprouseplusTeri Toye

plusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickplusa step laddermultiplied byHerman MunsterpluswienersplusDean Johnson

plusHolly GolightlyplusEdie SedgwickplusGrace Jonesmultiplied bySharon StoneplusSaran WrapplusPage

plusplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie SedgwickplusLeigh BoweryplusstyleplusAndy KaufmanplusvisionplusJohn Wayne GacyplusbrainsplusAngel MelendezplusMichael Alig

plusplusHolly GolightlyplusPaul plusEdie Sedgwickplusstyleplusbrainsplusvisionplusa billboardplusJason PrestonplusGay New York City Now

1 Comment »

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part VI)

This is the sixth part of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

pluscruising Stuyvesant Square at 3AM on rollerbladesplusjust using the internetplusgay New York City now

Comments Off

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part V)

This is the fifth part of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

pluswatching The Mrs. Mouth Show on MNN at 2AM while highpluswatching Ann Coulter on FOX at 2AM while highplusgay New York City now

Comments Off

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part IV)

This is the fourth part of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

plusThe Stonewall Riotsplusorderly lines for the opening of the Union Square Whole Foodsplusgay New York City now

Comments Off

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part III)

This is the third portion of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

plusChristopher Street Pier QueensplusChristopher Street pavement parkplusgay New York City now

Comments Off

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York (part II)

This is the second portion of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. The final equation is collected here.

plushaving your wallet stolen at 5AM while in the back room at Jay's Hangoutplushaving your iPhone stolen from your $500 room at Hotel Gansevoortplusgay New York City now

Comments Off

A Mathematical Equation Calculating the Current State of Gay New York

This is first portion of an ongoing mathematical equation attempting to calculate the current state of Gay New York. As each portion is finished it will be added to the final equation in the appropriate place. Click here to see the equation displayed in a wider, less horizontally challenged page layout. This is a work in progress…

2 Columbus Circleplus9/11 souvenir street vendorsplusa green monkeyplustravelingplusDraculamultiplied bypromiscuityplusThe St. Mark's BathspluscondomsplusJuly 3rd, 1981 New York Times article: plusAIDSplusGMHCplusfearplusLarry KramerplusGMHCplusAct Uppluscondomsplusa bunch of other stuffpluslower HIV infection ratesmultiplied bya cluemultiplied by2 Columbus Circleplus9/11 souvenir street vendorsplusGLAADplusP.W.A.'s public relations advertisementsplusa bunch of other stuffplusthe next generationmultiplied byfunpluspromiscuityplusCrystal Methplusjust using the internetplushigher HIV infection ratesplusfearplusperspectiveplusbrainspluscondomsplusDeathmultiplied byDisneylandplusa bunch of other stuffmultiplied bya cluemultiplied byplusAndy Warholplusthe wax figure of Andy Warhol at Madame Tussauds in Times SquareplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickplusa SnorkplusRupert PupkinplusDippity-DoplusJohn SexplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickmultiplied byVenus of WillendorfplusDiana Dorsplusa Wesselman paintingplusDianne BrillplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie SedgwickplusThe Wonder TwinsplusCousin ItplusEcstasyplusThe It TwinsplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickmultiplied byJanice from The Muppet BandplusNan GoldinplusStephen SprouseplusTeri ToyeplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie Sedgwickplusa step ladderplusHerman MunsterpluswienersplusDean JohnsonplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie SedgwickplusGrace Jonesmultiplied bySharon StoneplusSaran WrapplusPageplusplusHolly GolightlyplusEdie SedgwickplusLeigh BoweryplusstyleplusAndy KaufmanplusvisionplusJohn Wayne GacyplusbrainsplusAngel MelendezplusMichael AligplusplusHolly GolightlyplusPaul plusEdie Sedgwickplusstyleplusbrainsplusvisionplusa billboardplusJason Prestonplusa bunch of other stuffmultiplied bya cluemultiplied byplusChristopher Street Pier QueensplusChristopher Street pavement parkmultiplied bypluswatching The Mrs. Mouth Show on MNN at 2AM while highpluswatching Ann Coulter on FOX at 2AM while highmultiplied byplushaving your wallet stolen at 5AM while in the back room at Jay's Hangoutplushaving your iPhone stolen from your $500 room at Hotel Gansevoortmultiplied byplusdifficulty getting your wheelchair down the stairs at The Bijou at 5AMplususing the elevator access at the Virgin Megastore with ease, anytimemultiplied bypluscruising Stuyvesant Square at 3AM on rollerbladesplusjust using the internetmultiplied byplus$20 for a K-Holeplus$500 for a bleached holemultiplied byplusThe Stonewall Riotsplusorderly lines for the opening of the Union Square Whole FoodsplusOscar Wilde's The Importance of Being EarnestplusQuentin Crisp's The Naked Civil ServantplusJames Baldwin's Giovanni's RoomplusSusan Sontag's Notes on Camp plusa cluemultiplied bya bunch of other stuffplusOneplusAfter DarkplusOutweekplusDiseased Pariah Newsplusthe side of a cereal boxpluswienerspluspornplusa billboardplusHX magazineplusNext magazine plusjust using the internetplusbrainsplusvisionplusperspectiveplusstyleplusa mall plusnothingplusnothingplusnothingplusLance Bass's Out of SyncplusomgBICH c blog w/gr8 ASS? plz wtf?lol w/e g2gplus

plusgay New York City now
…to be continued.
AMathematicalEquation.

6 Comments »

In Space, No One Can Hear You Type


Ihaven’twrittenonmysiteinawhile.Oops,Iforgottoputspacesbetweenthewords. There that’s better.
Hey,IwonderwhatwouldhappenifIdidn’tputANYspacesbetweenthewordsasItyped? Atall? And…WhatIfIPutACapitalLetterAtTheBeginningOfEachWordLikeThisToMakeItEasierToRead? Hey, I wonder if…

continue reading

11 Comments »