My new page at the Museum of Computer Art, and why I started using a pen name…

New-page-at-MOCA

Click image to go to the webpage.

MOCA has been around since 1993, is a nonprofit US educational corporation chartered by the NYS Department of Education, and a member of the University of the State of New York. I’ve had some work in there for about 6 years, but finally got together enough new work to feel comfortable asking them to update my page. They kept my old page, and now I have a new one as well. The upshot of this is that, as it happens, I appeare twice on the homepage at this moment, once under my real name, and once under my nom de plume*. This wasn’t a mistake, but more a matter of convenience, double exposure, and why not?

MOCA-homepage

Click image to go to page.

I think it’s been long enough for all the atoms and molecules in my body to have completely changed, in which case, if I don’t share a single atom with the guy who shared work with MOCA over 6 years ago, am I the same person? What continues? I don’t live in the same apartment, or even the same country. I don’t have the same job. Other than a few ties I have tucked away just incase, I don’t have any of the same wardrobe. But I still drink a few cups of milk tea most every day, so, there’s the link.

It’s an honor to be a part of what I think was the first museum for computer art, or at least the first one I ever heard of. Digital art is still struggling and meeting with outright, rhetorical, automatic rejection. It’s strange to read messages on my monitor that were typed on keyboards and transferred over the internet which say that digital art is merely “virtual art”. Here “virtual art” is meant to be taken as seriously as a “virtual girlfriend”. But the irony (correct use of an abused word) is that people leveling such criticisms don’t consider their own attacks to be merely “virtual”. They should be writing them with a quill dipped in their own blood and sent via passenger pigeon in order for them to have that palpable existence that digital art lacks in the ethereal imagination of the unimaginative. I’m meaning to write a defense of digital art, and digital painting in particular, but am trying to complete a wicked new image in the next few weeks (stay tuned), and need to keep my priorities straight.

If you’ve noticed I’ve been posting more appearances in contests and in other sources, it’s because I’ve switched up my strategy from the apparently hopeless attempt to promote my own work from my own blog, to trying to get recognition through more established venues with larger audiences.

And some recognition is starting to trickle in.

* A few people have asked me who the hell “Eric Wayne” is. Well, it’s just my first and middle name. Why am I using a nom de plume? Well, I have to admit I never really liked my last name, which doesn’t flow nicely from the hard “c” in my first name. It’s actually very difficult to say “Eric Kuns” without either saying the c/K as one consonant (EriKuns), or else making a long pause between the two hard consonants (Eric _ Kuns). And  then there’s all the fun ways that people mispronounce it, such as to rhyme with “runs”. One teacher insisted on calling me “Quunz”, and my French teacher always called me “Mr. Koonza” with extra emphasis on that final “a”. And another teacher liked to pronounce the final “s” as an “s” rather than a “z”, which just sounds weird.

A classmate in Jr. High thought my name was similar to “c**t”, and tacked that onto my first name, but unfortunately for him his last name was “Venus”. Better to think about what your own last name sounds like before making fun of what other people’s names are spelled sorta similar to but dont’ actually sound like at all.

But then, if you follow my blog you already know that possibly my least favorite living artist is also the richest and most famous American artist: Jeff Koons. And our names are pronounced precisely the same. It’s kind of like being named “Jack Warhol” fifty years ago. And if there’s only room for one Koons in this art town, well, I don’t think I’m going to be a multi-millionaire with over a hundred assistants any time soon, and so the name is taken, and associated with the art that is about as antithetical to mine as it gets. So, I decided, while feeling sorta’ ridiculous, that I would use my middle name instead as my last name. Then I’d sound all-American, and a bit like a superhero, along with John Wayne and Bruce Wayne (neither of whom I’m a fan of at all). I still felt weird adopting a pen name, but then I thought that I really liked that idea of people being whoever they want to be, and having whatever name they wanted, and so decided to drop “Kuns”. So, there you have it.

~Ends

Check out my gallery of new work here.

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