Joshua Abelow, Fred Escher & Susan Classen Sullivan Present "cut the branch you’re sitting on" @ darkZone In New Jersey

One time, while I stood blankly at the mouth of the crawlspace in my parent’s basement, I encountered a cave cricket. Until that point in my life, I had no idea such a thing existed. Two unfamiliar eyes stared up at me as I gazed down on the bug, confused about what I was seeing. I could see its mandibles slowly flexing, and its antennae wafting in the musty basement air. After its body had been broken by an unanticipated impact, I moved in closer to inspect the insect’s fractured form. The antennae, which once moved with agency, now resembled strands of lost hair. Its distant eyes looked up at me without judgement or forgiveness.

I went upstairs. I began to think about the possibility of other anomalies emerging from the dark corners of the basement. I began to suspect there could be an entire colony of unknown lifeforms existing in the piles of our expired familial memorabilia. After studying the discarded artifacts around them, they might come to understand aspects of a world above the basement. Having consumed the limited resources available to them, the group of interdimentional beings would become physically and emotionally starved. The footsteps from above, while once foreboding, would now spark curiosity; even being interpreted as seismic invitations. The boldest of the subterranean brood would scale the steep stairs to introduce themselves to the world above.

When I came back down an hour later, I discovered a second cricket. It loomed over what was left of the first. To my surprise the second bug had eaten all but the head and a few legs of the first. As if it understood the circumstances and mistakes of its comrade, it quickly bounded out of range into the safety of shadows. cut the branch you’re sitting on opened on April 20 at darkZone, New Jersey. photographs courtesy of the gallery

Lost But Free. The Art of Daniel Johnston

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Daniel Johnston has spent the last 30 years exposing his heartrending tales of unrequited love, cosmic mishaps, and existential torment to an ever-growing international audience. Initiates, including a healthy number of discerning musicians and critics, have hailed him as an American original in the style of bluesman Robert Johnson and country legend Hank Williams. Daniel has collaborated with the likes of Jad Fair (a founding member of Half Japanese), the Butthole Surfers, and members of Sonic Youth. A prolific songwriter, his lyrics focus on a range of familiar American themes, including the joys and pains of love, the exploits of comic book characters such as Jack Kirby's Captain America, and the allure of rock and roll. Throughout Daniel’s life as a musician, Daniel has been an equally prolific visual artist. In recent years, Daniel has gained acclaim and respect for his art that could possibly surpass his legendary status as a musician and songwriter. While at first glance, Daniel’s art might give the impression that this is the work of an “outsider” artist, Daniel’s visual work communicates the same deep content and startling impact that his songs carry. In 2006 Daniel was featured in The Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial. From December 3 to January 3 the Blast Gallery in New Jersey presents Lost But Free. The Art of Daniel Johnston, an exhibition of Daniel Johnston's artwork.