Rereading Pettibon's Twitter
A superb meditation on the endlessly creative, volatile Twitter feed of Raymond Pettibon"Twiytter suycks. Just giveme th'mfckn mic" writes Raymond Pettibon, who has one of the most active and engaged Twitter accounts of any living artist. With nearly 25,000 followers and over 43,000 tweets since he joined the social media site in 2011 (over 6,000 tweets a year), Pettibon has made Twitter another outlet for his endlessly creative mind. His tweets range from the political to the personal, taking on artworks, advertisement jingles and, at their most subversive, global conspiracies and the realities of everyday life in America as he sees them.Looking closely at a number of Pettibon's tweets from his first foray on Twitter to the most recent, poet Andrew Durbin spins out the connections and disconnects that tie the prose in Pettibon's drawings and paintings to the verbal and psychological explorations undertaken on the social network. Durbin dips easily into Pettibon's work for more material, exposing questions of authorial doubling and self-assessment, but it is Durbin's familiarity with Pettibon's source material that makes him such an excellent guide. By following references to obscure songs, books, movies and more, Durbin brings us into the heart of this great artist's creative vortex.Andrew Durbin is a poet, novelist, editor and critic. He is the author of Mature Themes (2014) and MacArthur Park (2017), both from Nightboat Books. His fiction, criticism and poetry have appeared in BOMB, Boston Review, Mousse, Parkett, Triple Canopy and elsewhere. He coedits the independent imprint Wonder and lives in New York.