Special Projects > Love and Reproduction

Object #1 - Light Pink Octagons

STOP!! This post will better serve you if you have already read Light Pink Octagons!

Object Info:

You should have received one 4.25" x 5.5" booklet containing an essay titled Light Pink Octagons. This booklet was designed using Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. (I am sure one of them could have done it all, but I do not know what I am doing. I wrote it in Google docs, formated the text using InDesign, printed that out, manually pasted the layout, scanned it into Photoshop, cleaned it up, added images, and designed the cover in Illustrator. I am sure there is an easier way to do it, but this worked best for me considering my rudimentary skills with all of these programs.) It's printed using the Canon color laser copier in my basement. I have been using this particular 1/4 page format since the late 1980s to make minicomics, and I thought it would lend itself well to an essay.

My original booklet cover was the Artsy page for Light Pink Octagon printed in pink (via risograph) with the title printed on top, but it just looked bad. Not unheroic or naive, but bad. So, I started over. I am not a designer, so I thought about some of the grid stuff I have been doing in printing, and decided it might look good here. Richard Tuttle's octagons are irregular, so I stole that idea too.

Digital Extras:

While I was writing my essay, I thought a lot about cover songs and how they relate to what I am trying to do in my work. When a band decides to do a cover, they do so out of love for the song, the songwriter, or the performer. (I am sure some folks do it for the love of money, but I am going to assume the best.) Most music is meant to be endlessly replicable: someone records the song, someone else is moved enough to make their own version, some people sample it, and some remix it. My work is not quite as direct as a cover song, not really a sampler, and not a true remix, but something that uses all of those techniques to create new things that sometimes just reference (and sometimes outright copy) the original inspiration.

I made you a mixtape of cover songs! If you have a favorite cover song video, send me the youtube tube link and I will add it to the playlist. (Note: Alanna Risse sent in a bunch of songs and I have added them to the list!)

Cover Songs are Love Songs (Link to YouTube Playlist)
1) Nina Hagen covers Ballroom Blitz by Sweet

Nina Hagen is a long-time favorite of mine. (I Love Paul is my favorite song of hers and I swear there used to be a music video of it featuring a cut-out of Paul McCartney, but it is nowhere to be found.) Sweet was an early glam rock band instrumental in the development of Metal, and this song rocks.

2) Little Big covers Everybody by the Backstreet Boys

Little Big is the Russian 2020 Eurovision entry and had there been an actual Eurovision contest that year, they had a good chance of winning. (Our preference was Dadi og Gagnamagnid from Iceland.) I listen to them a little too much, but whatever. I am not really into the Backstreet Boys, but it is fun to watch the two videos back-to-back.

3) Dee Gees cover You Should Be Dancing by the Bee Gees

Honestly, I am not into the Foo Fighters at all, but Dave Grohl seems like a nice guy and his love for the Bee Gees shines through. ALSO, THE BEE GEES ARE AWESOME. I highly recommend the documentary about them on HBO.

4) Dadi Freyr covers Old Town Road by Lil Nas X

Dadi is my favorite Eurovision person of all time. Lil Nas X understands that "lil" is in fact the proper spelling.

5) Run DMC covers Walk This Way by Arrowsmith

This song was a revelation when it first aired in 1986. Maybe the first mainstream rap hit? Anyway, Run DMC rules; Arrowsmith drools. (Ok fine, the original of this song is great. But Arrowsmith is still kinda dumb.)

6) William Shatner covers Common People by Pulp

I just like it. I am not really a Pulp fan and think this version is better. Also, Shatner is a nut.

7) Fugees cover Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack


8) Devo covers I Can't Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones

I listened to A LOT of Devo in the 80s and this was the only song of theirs my parents would listen to other than Whip It. They also do a really good cover of Working In the Coal Mine. I love both covers and had a hard time choosing. I picked the Stones song because it is so very different from the original.

9) Siouxsie and the Banshees cover The Passenger by Iggy Pop

I love Iggy. I love Siouxsie. Together they have made a beautiful music baby that I still listen to. (I don't actually spend a lot of time listening to things I used to like when I was young, because I am mighty sick of the 80s hit parade. But this never gets old to me.)

Research Notes:

Here are some things that helped me think about Light Pink Octagon, Richard Tuttle, and copies.





Fluxus Forms: Scores, Multiples, and the Eternal Network by Natilee Harren

Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard

Object 1: Light Pink Octagons Blog Entry

Blog post explaining how I made Object #1, Light Pink Octagons, with a link to my favorite cover songs.