Brian Belott - The Reassembler
The educator and psychologist Rhoda Kellogg believed that every child is an artist and that all children arrive at similar forms at similar age. Among the first marks is a horizontal line.
Brian Belott was born in the same town where Thomas Edison lived and died. Edison is considered both a monster of capitalist ambition and a hero of technological development.
Among Brian’s most recent works is a series of frozen collages that require constant refrigeration to maintain their form.
The word “collage”comes from “kolla”, the Greek word for “glue”, which has the same origin as “gluten”: a sticky substance.
The Dutch pianist Hans Liberg referred to Mozard as “a pervert”.
Over dozens of phone conversations, Brian has repeated the phrase “Mozart is great” to me hundreds of times.
Rhosa Kellogg states: “My observations suggest that basic artistic talent is commonplace rather than a gift accorded to a lucky few, and it is this statement that engages the attention of a professional artist”.
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, Brian left New York and travelled to Vermont, where he produced a new form of collage work he called “The Reassembler”, which he created while listening to the composer Jean Francaix.
“Herbal Semester” is an anagram for “The Reassembler”. So is “Mrs Table Sees Her”.
The first paper shredder was built in 1935 by Adolf Ehinger out of a hand-cranking pasta maker. Its first use was to shred anti-Nazi documents and hide them from the authorities.
Early cameras were hand cranked. When silent films were screened in theatres, projectionists could slow or speed up the frame rate based on the mood of the scene.
Celluloid was one used for film, before it was discovered to be highly flammable. Now is largely used for ping pong balls.
While working on collages in 2020, Brian primarily worked on his partner’s parents’ ping pong table, Brian prefers bocci balls, which he often played at his own parent’s bed and breakfast in Florida.
Nazi Germans burned books on summer solstice. Some of their favourite authors to burn were Thomas Mann, Jack London and Helen Keller.
Shredded papers are often used for animal bedding or insulation for buildings.
One of Brian’s studios is so filled with materials that it is impossible to enter. For a period of time, a family of mice lived inside one of his paintings, eating the marshmallows he originally used as collage materials.
In one of Brian’s “sound scribble” works he repeats three alternating phrases: “Annoying voice”, “Cheat Sheet” and “Hamster cage”.
When analyzing children’s art, Rhoda kellogg defines a “merging” as “a scribbling which takes the form of one scribble then produces another scribble without a lifting of the marking instrument”.
Likewise, in Kellogg’s vocabulary “horizontal”, refers to “a line going from one short side of the paper to the side opposite, regardless of the paper’s position when the child draws on it”.
In fashion, horizontal lines are slimming. A person wearing vertical lines -- such as a pin-striped suit -- would appear to be six percent thicker than the person dressed in horizontally striped clothing.
Many of the documents in the “Enron Accounting” scandals were fed through a paper shredder the wrong way, making them easier to reassemble.
In 2015, Brian visited my home my then-home in Brooklyn and said nothing but “That’s not cool dude” for three hours, eroding the phrase over time until he was mumbling and barely opening his mouth. Eventually, I asked him to leave.
The “doorway effect” is a scientific term referring to the experience of people walking from one room to another and forgetting their initial reason for doing so.
On June 15, 2020, Brian called me 23 times in a row but only left one message and scolded me for not answering the phone.
Brian’s father, Robert Belott, was an artist, innkeeper, and inventor of jokes. One of his fictional inventions, “The Reassembler”, could undo the work of paper shredders, making what is private become public.
It took 36 people sex years to reconstruct 300 of 16,000 bags of archives shredded by the German Stasi.
In Latin, the sentence "Malo Malo Malo Malo" means "I prefer to be a bad man in an apple tree, rather than the mast of a ship".
In English, the sentence, “Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo” can mean “Buffalo from Buffalo bully other Buffalo from Buffalo.”
In the world of non-fungible tokens, a “rug pull” is a scam, “chad” and “stacey” are the derogatory terms for young crypto trader, and “dry powder” is cash.
Brain fetishized objects. He and his father used to explore antique stores, collecting small shiny, pearlescent things, such as marbles, compacts, polished stones, and pocket watches.
Bria has compared painting to hypnotism: “a pocket watch slowly going back,” or “the always ever-changing flickering light” of rippling water.
Brian dislikes the work of Marcel Duchamp, to whom he is sometimes compared.
Anthropologist Anthony F.C Wallace’s most classic paper is “Revitalization Movements”. For his analysis, revitalization movement meant” a deliberate, organized, conscious effort by members of a society to construct a more satisfying culture.
The economist Thomas Sowell has said, “Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late. ”
The artist Agnes Martin believed that hotdogs needed endless sauerkraut.
In January 2021, the pop star Azaleia Banks dug up her dead cat from her back yard, boiled it, and then made herself a pair of earrings from its jaw bones.
Every day, for the last 27 years of his life, the philosopher Arthur Schopenauer took a half-an-hour break from writing to practice the flute.
Brian asked a European curator to write an essay about his work, but he did not care for it, so he ripped it up and reassembled the work. The curator was displeased. The essay was never published.