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  • Source: ARTNEWS
  • Author: EDITORS
  • Date: MAY 14, 2019
  • Format: DIGITAL

Consumer Reports: Torey Thornton


Torey Thornton is a Brooklyn-based artist whose mixed media painting-centric practice has recently spread to include installation and sculpture. The artist was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and has staged solo exhibitions at the Albright–Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York; Stuart Shave/Modern Art in London; Shane Campbell in Chicago; Moran Moran in Los Angeles; and Karma in New York. His most recent exhibition was “Sustenance Traversing Foundational Urgencies (STFU [some])(Re-Faux Outing),” earlier this year at Essex Street in New York.

Thornton’s mega-Consumer Reports week covers a full seven days and takes place during a studio move. U-Haul vans are rented, the Jennifer Lopez movie The Cell is watched, and rare Beanie Babies are researched. Speaking of research, there is an investigation into the confusing art of “Tinder Blanks” and plenty of Shazam-ing, often to no avail. All that and plenty more below. —John Chiaverina

There are certain things that happen almost every day that I’m alive at this moment in time, so I won’t repetitively mention that the neighbors above me always seem to play SZA’s “Love Galore” between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at least once, and that if my eyes are open then my ears hear Mara’s single bell alarm that notifies her when to end her meditation. Of course I try not to start each day reading the emails on my phone or fumbling around the chosen online social corralling applications, well that will be plural if Raya accepts me back after I’d once told them that I want to have my account deleted (when I was using it I searched for days to find the delete button and I eventually had to email them and they still never directed me as to how the user can end their life there but they “made sure my profile was removed”). I’ve noticed also how no one that I came across in these Consumer Reports mentioned their pornographic or adult, whatever that means, consumptions or observations. I won’t say much more than the fact that this subject would also fall under the category of things that I research almost daily if not at least to see what may exist around the web, what can excitement mean, or not.  Lastly and obviously the most versus the least, Mara and I text and email content almost every day unless we are in each other’s presence and even then, there’s the articles and things that pile up due to reference and “that’s important you should look into when you get a chance”–a given I suppose. A few friends fall into this space as well.

Tuesday March 12

Swipey no swipey, match and go. I realized recently after making a Tinder out of experimental curiosity while waiting for Raya to say that I’m worthy enough, that some people choose to not use an image of themselves at all. They replace it with this sort of theoretical self, a character from a Disney movie, an inanimate object or just voids of space or color which sometimes just appear as strange zooms or screen grabs. Most of these scenarios are just a black even mass of an image. So there will be just the person’s name, age, distance and the about of their choice. Some of these get extremely lewd and fun, or so ambiguous, so I decided to start saving them in the chronology of which I find them. Blanks.

I’m Lyfting around even more than usual due to this week being the week of moving from my ex studio landlords trashy disrespect center, to the new place in Gowanus. It’s sort of early for this one driver and I to be listening to Blondie’s “The Tide Is High” (I never knew that was its title). That song always sounds like a Wonder bread mimic of a Quinceanera after party due to the horns and jolly spring noises and zips.

I look up what media means in google out of temporary confusion and of course instead ‘The Man” inside the computer sends me to another link but luckily it’s to Nico’s new Broken Call Records compilation that I already downloaded. BC005. I’m pleasantly reminded that I should finish listening to that.

Text Andrew and Maxwell to ask if text combined out of context, and in image, are considered abstract versus representational, but it’s very hard to formulate my question properly (even still) without following it up by explaining this new Tinder image capture project that I previously mentioned.

Watching, searching, lurking. Research.

I’ve been reading this Eldridge Cleaver book, titled Soul On Ice, for what seems like months and months. Today I think I’ll be able to finish it. Many of the moments in the book, although I don’t agree with most of them, are so wild they make me feel like a teenager again due to the complex and sometimes fresh ways of approaching certain topics, namely the head butting and brushing of sexuality and race with one another.

I found myself playing these songs during my late late lunch. Disclaimer I have very low tolerance for the N word in any situation but this Space Ghost song is so absurd and deranged lyrically and in its production, so…

or some reason I never knew that there are ways to download songs guerrilla style from SoundCloud, but I’m thankful that Tommy just introduced me to

A woman and her niece are sitting at the table beside me and arguing about how the guy who runs the psychopaths in our country, is not a racist.  This forces me to put on Brian Eno while I read. The track is a bit too nostalgia solemn so I move to Aphex, repeatedly of course.

I’m reminded to look into the reality of pickled human penises, due to the book I’m reading. The first online article that comes up is by Vice, a site which I try to never to click on, so I scroll down to the result below it titled “Man Arrested After Jars and Jars Of Human Penises Discovered In His Apartment.” A 52-year-old man was arrested in Slavonski Brod, a small city in eastern Croatia, after numerous formaldehyde penis tombs were found. The collection was curated by the “family man,” a registered nurse with no previous record. Only two years of prison were granted.

Tommy and I talk about Michel Auder (controversy), and he sends me images of a book of his that he owns published by Sternberg press titled Stories, Myths, Ironies, and Other Songs: Conceived, Directed, Edited, and Produced by M. Auder. He sends me a video link. This leads us to talk about Ken Okiishi’s video Being and-or Time, 2013 – 2016.

After dinner I google the 425 pound tiger that lived in the Harlem apartment to show to Mara.

Following a Wikipedia scan and many surprises I am reminded and brought to this video documenting a rogue leopard in India.  The hidden, demonic, restless eyes at the end is my favorite part.

Wednesday, March 13

It’s 6:33 a.m. and I should sleep but I’ve been wondering and I’m up reading this David Diao profile/interview I found. I’m shocked on how late I am to his work.

Church bells alarm to click clack, standard scrolling.

The neighbors above play a Beyoncé song, I forget which one because I forgot to take note, but the more important point is that I haven’t heard the SZA song in a few days which reminds me to go play my favorite track from her album and of course I repeat that twice on the home speakers, then plug into earphones and continue repetition in the car.

Wow and the car next to me plays this song that I didn’t know until I shazamed. Its semi-unintelligible but the production seemed good at that moment… I move through the Ctrl album once more.

There’s a David Bowie song that arrives during my lunch at “light drenched” Metrograph, but then my favorite Aphex song comes on … “#3” which I mentioned yesterday. I’m meeting with Maxwell and I’m so distracted hearing the track, which almost brings me to tears. What a coincidence?

At some point I hide from the weather in Dean & Deluca and facetime Matt even though I never use “FT.”  I think I knew it would be funny because we’ve hung in there for hours before, so he needed to see where I was standing.

At dinner Mara and I look at the absurd greatness of some Tinder profiles that I saved and she shows me the cartoons that she loved as a kid, living in a partial French household, including Muzzy and Astrix and Obelix.

Afterwards we go to HBA release party weekly and hear sounds that I do not know and Shazam refused to inform me.

Mara shows me competitive videos of girls running around on fake horses that consist of a stuffed horse head on a broom stick essentially (picture a flying broom but replace the straw with a stuffed animal head and turn the vehicle backwards).  The girl’s legs are supposed to be the horses as well as whatever else her body can replace? Head nods, stomping and rail hops.

Thursday, March 14

All the music forced inside me from around…

I put on this SZA that I’m reminded of due to previously thinking about her this week.

Neighbors are playing “That’s The Way Love Goes” by Janet. Then eventually hear “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” by Roy Ayers via my neighbor’s continued mild surround sound.

There’s a big friend dinner and somehow childhood toys and collecting them comes up. Before I know there’s a tornado of info being passed around about Beanie Baby rarity and auction prices. Cruz reads an article out loud to the table about the absurdity and excitement surrounding the hundreds of Beanie posts on eBay, a single toy estimated to pack up and leave for thousands of dollars, but the article tells us to not be fooled as it’s rare that people pay what they are rumored to be worth.

Gawk, absorb, research.

Friday, March 15

It’s Friday which feels fun to say after all these years although it doesn’t really mean so much to me per say. I’m finally finding more of these Tinder blanks, for a good moment I was worried they were all gone.

I forgot what polyamorous meant and had to look deeper into and find that there’s a flag that represents the lifestyle which I’m not so surprised about.

I went into Elli’s market and they were playing “What A Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera and then when I left the market and got into the car, it was playing on the same station so it was as if I was being followed. Heading back to Hellhole ex-studio to finish moving and trashing and I realize that the cabs and share rides, or whatever people call them these days, often have these complicated media interfaces and curated dashboards/displays, along with various personalization.  This display is similar in ways to my mom’s office desk.


A guy roller skating solo in the handball court with his own speaker rig is a version of my biggest form of inspiration. Second Christina Aguilera song I hear in two hours followed by “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. And in a similar instance I walk a block up on Nostrand and I’m being followed again because I hear the song coming from inside a parked Chevrolet.

Maxwell texts me a quote from Frank Stella further supporting Maxwell’s belief that Picasso never made an abstract painting. I don’t care much about Picasso to be honest but I like these conversations or mini-disagreements that happen surrounding theories and beliefs in art.

I read through some Consumer Reports that I never finished while I wait for my dinner at my second home/fave rest or rant.

Mara talked about wanting a pearl earring and I had coincidentally been looking for more of my favorite pearl constructions made by Phoebe for Celine so I get another older pair online for us to split.

“Describe sleepy album?” I wrote that note but don’t remember what it’s about but I think maybe it was referring to the Delroy Edwards Dean Blunt album that I was working my way through.

Lo-fi medium dusk wave (I just made this up), reminds me of early John Maus or Ariel Pink in ways but much more stripped. There are some tracks that are very minimal and seem to be wearing a noise skin which I’m sure I prefer those ones. Otherwise the songs get too nostalgic maybe. Most of the tracks have a feeling like something of the lonely hitchhiker. Chugging along to possibly nowhere. Thank you Rafael for introducing me to this album though, major. Always sends me sounds.

It’s 8:30 p.m. but for someone reason I get the urge to check eBay to see if this person got my message about sending the surfaces I purchased to my new studio address versus the old. A few months ago, they were a little spotty with communication so I guess there’s the idea that I must keep the pressure on.

At track 12 of the dean Delroy album I’ve had enough for now and go to my fave Dean Blunt song so far. It makes me feel overwhelmed and sexually repressed but excited at the same time along with feelings of having a new crush or something of that nature. I always play this one at least twice, even if people are listening alongside me. It feels honest as, the song, as strange as that sounds. Amazing.

Then there is one of the most complex emotional rides of a mix, built by Eartheater for i-D, so I marinate on that one again.

Nancy texts me and we bounce back and forth in regards to the extremely thoughtful email she sent me in relation to my show at Essex. (I still don’t know how much text message discussion and names to put in this thing…)

The EE mix makes me think of Bjork and her standard technological morph logo and I tell myself it’s one of the best logos ever made.

10:45 p.m. onward, SILK party, many sounds. ghe20g0th1k for Nacho, many sounds. Shazam doesn’t capture any of them.

Saturday, March 16

At brunchy I pull up images of Carl Andre to show Mara and Rebecca after Maxwell and I had discussion surrounding his fashion. I never even knew what he looked like before this week. We decided he’s very industrial Amish Manson (you choose which Manson of course your brain already did).

Download U-Haul app and squirm through its maze to reserve a truck for the last bit of my move. 

I finish reading Consumer Reports that have sat open on my phone for some weeks. This leads me to Merlin Carpenter’s website due to its mention. I haven’t been on here in a long while. I briefly forgot that he posted one of my Burberry paintings on the trash blog I think. I can’t find it anymore so I go to me and Maxwell’s details to get images but realize that it was actually in an email chain of ours.

I check the group chat with Reba and Matt which houses our dinner information at SoHo boat suit club aka Lure. Their logo hats are great by the way.

The recent studio and home soft renovations lead me to Re-examine these Helena Borek Sipek chairs. The rattan ones are so complicated and borderline gross. This reminds me that I’ve really wanted to learn rattan wicker construction for years.

Matt and I text about how this guy Zac’s consumer report causes me to laugh out loud twice and is a fun ride although it’s super beef pokey.

I ask myself does attending Harmony and Jessie’s openings consist of media consumption and realize that I forgot to mention it in the Thursday entry.

At dinner Matt looks up who the oldest pregnant woman in history is, she was 67.

I read out my pet pig names list to the table which causes us to re-check on what Salope means, because it’s second on my list to the name Oeuvre, and people have different memories of the term’s meaning. If Mara were there she would help explain the name Porsciutto that she came up with, emphasis on the Pooor. You have to drag it a little. The letter swap makes for a softer round sound.

Sunday, March 17

At around 3:25 a.m. I finish watching the first few episodes of True Detective season one with Mara as she’s never seen it before. I remember originally thinking it was some of the best internet faux T.V. I’d ever seen.  

I look into the Tinder blanks (my idea of blank and the internet’s ideas are often very different) in order to wrap my head around them more. Some people believe they aren’t made on purpose and are a web bug, and others believe they are intentional, specifically the black blanks, or other colors of course.  I don’t find much helpful information.

Various Radio sounds impose.

I see a uline catalog that came for me and realize I never canceled my account. This reminds me of Calvine’s older mixes for Know Wave under the name uline catalog.

I order a new U-Haul after I have mind scramble and accidentally reserved the previous one on the wrong day.

Mara and I finish watching The Cell staring JLo, at 12:35 a.m. I hadn’t seen it in about a year, it’s so strange and problematic but entertaining. The director loved all of the bondage references and subtle torture play, and Alexander McQueen it seems?

Monday, March 18

9:23 a.m.

105.9 classical and Ronnybrook yogurt drink for breakfast in U-Haul van.


Ways, ways, ways.

Hot 97.1 radio then back to classical to counter the energy of the days move.

Tuesday, March 19

It’s 2 minutes after midnight and Mara and I scroll through our entire text conversation on the computer to get back to the beginning. We re-observe and are surprised by the content. Some word combinations are relatively abstract seen out of their context, namely, “accessible blocked link” and “Food chain 2.0.” We don’t reach the top of the building due to computers lag.

The day has started and I am lightly surfing SoundCloud app. I like (heart) LSDXOXO Rinse FM mix, “4th March 2019” before I even play it. My place holder strategy. Until now I sort of forgot that I follow this woman named grossmary, that’s a solid handle name I think. I like DJ BEBEs LUARFW19 mix, it’s funny being at a show in person but simultaneously feeling too absorbed to discern sounds but then to see the “object” later where you can pick things apart. I remember in the LUAR show two seasons ago, BEBE made a darker mix of Jewels’ “Pieces of You.”

While thinking about my acts of looking and reading I think about my affinity to the way in which some of the British say research, the re and search seem like separate entities.

I take a very short cab ride to pick my car up from garage and due to the distance I’m too shy to ask the driver to turn Radio off…. I’m always so fascinated by the garage surveillance.

Unfortunately, I play many violent rap songs on repeat while I drive. Then I counter by just running Frank, Ocean not Sinatra, indefinitely. My blown speakers make sounds into samples of aluminum foil deep down inside a vase.

Much more moving is softened by my days end listening to these new Angoisse doings. I’m obsessed, theres so much space and emotion to the tracks. Nico always leads me to the greatest depths of music, whether through direct relay or more adjacent atmospheric means.

Research, research, research.