Friday, March 04, 2011


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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Keith Rocka Knittel: Prosperity Gospel

Anthony Greaney x Sams√łn x DAN GRAHAM @ Cottage Home
January 14 - February 20, 2011.  Opening reception Friday, January 14, 6-9PM.
410 Cottage Home St
Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA 90012

Craig Drennen
Liz Glynn
Greg Hayes
Ian Jeffrey
Keith Rocka Knittel
Nick Kramer
Calvin Lee
Annette Lemieux
Todd Pavlisko
Matthew Rich


Keith Rocka Knittel
Prosperity Gospel

Prosperity Gospel is a sculptural installation with concepts arising from a Pentecostal theology Knittel links, through these pieces, to the recent housing bubble and its subsequent burst in America’s Sun-Belt states.  Knittel toys with the idea of gospel as a counterpart to the achievement of the American dream through the creation of objects that represent this idea that faith will reap financial reward.

Fabricated from ready-made, artificially opulent construction materials accessed in home renovation super-stores, the central pieces in Prosperity Gospel are symbolic of miraculous financial gifts from the Heavens.  Two large architectural elements book-end the installation and emblematically re-construct an existing space- the project space Dan Graham- within Cottage Home, while also functioning as altars or lecterns that tower over the viewer.

Keith Rocka Knittel received an MFA from CalArts, Valencia, California, and a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland.  He currently lives and works in San Pedro, California.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Holiday MiXXXes

In the spirit of December, I'll be uploading a bunch of holiday-themed and other mixes and audio tracks periodically.  Call me the Kanye West of the holidays.

Here are direct download links for the first few:
XMAS RAPPING 2010 - Christmas rap songs mixed into thirty minutes of holiday madness.
Christmas Mix (recorded in 2009) - Christmas favorites and not so favorites mixed up.  Perfect for Holiday parties!
Days 'Til Christmas (Soundtrack) - This is the audio portion of a recent performance of the same name.
Hippo - My cover version of the obnoxious Christmas classic "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas."  Spruced up for the 21st century.
hanuKKah Mix 2010 - My first delving into the world of Jewish music, traditional and not so  traditional.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

White Arrows (To the People of Los Angeles) 11/13


November 13, 2010 – LOS ANGELES, CA - “White Arrows (To the People of Los Angeles)” is a site-specific artwork to be staged on November 13, 2010, from 5:30 – 7:30 PM across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) at 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90012.

Rocka Knittel hired five professional sign-spinners to activate, consecutively for two hours, five white arrow-shaped paintings made by the artist.  Viewers will be presented with a constantly moving blank advertisement, arrows pointing in all directions and at nothing in particular.  The method of sign spinning, used primarily as a curbside marketing tool, is blurred in this instance as no product is being advertised, thus emphasizing the actions of each individual sign-spinner and the object with which they are interacting.  The sign-spinners act as stand-ins for the artist, both as commentator on institutional and social paradigms and as creator completing the paintings through the action of the performance.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Letter to Lindsay

I recently wrote and sent a letter to Lindsay Lohan as a performative utterance.
You can read the entire letter here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

REDCAT video screening 7/15/10

"In conjunction with Box Scheme, the CalArts 2010 MFA Exhibition in Chinatown, a screening of video works by 13 CalArts MFAs will be held at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in downtown LA. The event takes place July 15th at 8 PM and has a running time of 2 1/2 hours including intermission. The screening promises to further showcase the breadth of experimental forms and critically reflexive expression in the CalArts graduate Art and Photo/Media programs."

Below are some stills from the new video I'll be premiering, titled "1:08 We Got Mario on the Scene."  Video will be posted after the event.

Redcat is located at 631 West 2nd St. in downtown Los Angeles, at the base of Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall. Admission to the screening is free. For directions and parking information, please visit


Sunday, July 04, 2010

We're All Haunted By Michael Asher's Ghosts

“We’re All Haunted By Michael Asher’s Ghosts,” part of the Box Scheme 2010 CalArts MFA Graduate Exhibition, transforms a former projection room located on the second floor of Cottage Home gallery into an experiential three-room environment investigating institutional critique through discombobulating physical spaces, camouflage, isolation and voyeurism. 

Viewers enter the space through a site-specific construction – a skewed, white hallway evocative of a trough or an industrial chute.  This transitory space is a disconcerting and problematical passageway. 

A second room showcases a sculpture that resembles both a bench, the classic seat of Socratic dialectic, and a utility pole textured by thousands of staples from notices and posters past. The bench offers respite only after one navigates its treacherous landscape of obsessively applied staples, alluding to the artist’s studio practice, manic hours spent working over ideas and engaging in repetitive labor.  The piece expands beyond the gallery with an edition of letterpress posters hung around Los Angeles in conjunction with the installation.   

In a third room, paintings on canvas, constructed scenic flats and existing walls form a hidden observation area or duck blind that overlooks the bulk of the exhibition.  The paintings combine camouflage worn while hunting and observing waterfowl with dazzle camouflage, a type of camouflage used on World War I battleships to “dazzle” the enemy into a state of confusion.

Monday, June 28, 2010

We're All Haunted By Michael Asher's Ghosts (a preview)

My new installation "We're All Haunted By Michael Asher's Ghosts" arrives this week at Cottage Home Gallery, 410 Cottage Home Street, LA, CA, 90012, upstairs in the former projection room.

Part of the exhibit Box Scheme (see post below), July 2 - 10, 2010.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Box Scheme: CalArts 2010 MFA Exhibit

California Institute of the Arts
Master of Fine Arts Exhibition 2010
July 2nd - July 9th, 2010
Opening July 2nd, 6 - 10 PM

Participating galleries:
Actual Size, 741 New High Street, LA, CA, 90012
POVevolving, 939 Chung King Road, LA, CA, 90012
Charlie James Gallery, 975 Chung King Road, LA, CA, 90012
The Company, 946 Yale Street, LA, CA, 90012
Dan Graham, 506 Bernard Street, LA, CA, 90012
Cottage Home, 410 Cottage Home Street, LA, CA, 90012

Monday, February 08, 2010

Coming soon...

Keith Rocka Knittel : "Way of Sorrows"
March 7-13, 2010
With performances on Thursday March 11
Opening reception on Thursday March 11 
6PM - 11PM

D301 Gallery
24700 McBean Pkwy
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 255-1050

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Keith Rocka Knittel presents: Rocco Gaccione's "Suspiria"

Keith Rocka Knittel: "Keith Rocka Knittel Presents: Rocco Gaccione's Suspiria," 2009 (installation views)
Wood planks, speakers, video, monitor, scenic flat
Handle Like Eggs Studio, Valencia, CA

"For Immediate Release:
Keith Rocka Knittel presents:
Rocco Gaccione’s “Suspiria”

Valencia, CA – Keith Rocka Knittel is pleased to present a new site-specific work by Italian artist Rocco Gaccione as the first installment of the Handle Like Eggs Studio Exchange Program. Rocco Gaccione’s piece “Suspiria” will be on display in Broad Studio 20 at CalArts in Valencia, California on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, from 7-10PM.
“Suspiria,” 2009, uses appropriated footage from the 1977 film “Suspiria,” directed by Dario Argento, to create an environment that is at once inviting and repulsive. The soundtrack (by the Italian progressive-psych rock band Goblin) is amplified and looped into an endless crescendo. The tropes of Italian horror movies, or Giallo, are expanded beyond the constraints of the video frame into the viewer’s personal space, creating a tense expanse where voyeur and victim become one and the same.
Rocco Gaccione (b. 1984) is a graduate of The Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences Studio Art Program, in Sicily, Italy. He received the Enzio Fabriccone Award of Excellence from the Centro per Arte Contemporanea Italiana a Milano (CACIM) in 2007, the youngest recipient of the award. Gaccione has exhibited his work in Europe and Asia, and has an upcoming solo show in 2010 in New York City. He currently resides in Cosenza, Italy.
The Handle Like Eggs Studio Exchange Program invites artists from outside of North America to create site-specific installations in Keith Rocka Knittel’s graduate art studio at CalArts. The goal is to create a dialogue between artists from around the world, and present new, unseen works to the students of CalArts."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Keith Rocka Knittel presents... Authenticity

A multi-media performance by Keith Rocka Knittel
With choreography by Andrew Wojtal

Authenticity examines issues of authenticity, appropriation, re-enactment, and re-presentation.
Key scenes from the 1984 teen exploitation film Breakin' are reinterpreted through video, dance, and music, creating a multi-media environment in which larger issues of artistic integrity are examined. Authenticity confronts the philosophical and artistic ideas of authenticity by questioning the role of art and artist as both a contributor to and product of external societal values such as history and commercialism.

Thursday, December 3, 2009
7PM & 10PM.
Coffee House Theater
24700 McBean Pkwy
Valencia, CA, 91355

photo by Rena Kosnett
photo by Rena Kosnett


Keith Rocka Knittel: "Legacy," 2009 (installation view, detail)
CalArts 2010 MFA Mid-Residency Show

October 18th - 26th, 2009

Multi-media installation consisting of scenic flats, painted Styrofoam, hand-made red canvas "sandbags" stuffed with polyester fiber-fill, clip lamps with red-clay bulbs, viewing ramp, and a single channel video projection.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Keith Rocka Knittel Presents: September!

Keith Rocka Knittel: "Septembr9," 2009
Digital audio file™

Here's a mix I made last week, inspired by the "Pomposelli x Party People" installation and performance in Carl Pomposelli and my adjoining studios.  I was closed in Carl's studio where I djed for an audience in my studio, whom I could not see.  The audience could view into Carl's studio via a live video feed projected onto the wall in my studio.  The audio from my dj set was playing through a p.a. also in my studio, which was installed amongst mini-installations and a projected animation by Carl.  Peep holes (or glory holes) and a pin hole camera were cut in the walls between the two studios for direct contact.

The mix consists of loops of songs, overlapped and sculpted to mimic the arcs and dips of a dj club mix but with no apex or nethermost floor. No song plays in its entirety- only in chopped up pieces, some times more recognizable than others. Versions of some emerge, disappear, and revisit the mix in an attempt to represent the fuzziness of time and memory.

It's a roughly thirty minute mix.  Sometimes up to five loops are playing at a time.

Tracks I Took From:
Destroy Wendy Williams - Keith Rocka
Birthday Sex - Jeremih
My Melody - Stu
Apache - Incredible Bongo Band
Windows Media Player - Charles Hamilton
Monsters - Kid 606
Fuck Off - Yerzmyey
Blow Ya Head - The JBs
Tokyo Boy - Sabrepulse
Emerge (DFA Remix) - Fischerspooner
What's A Girl To Do (remix) - Cristina
The Other Woman - Ray Parker, Jr.
Spooks in Space - Aural Exciters
Hot Chick - Uffie
I'm in Love With a Ripper (Party Mix) - Yacht
Busta v. Mario - Stolen From YouTube
Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Mutant Wisdom - Richard Bone
Woof Woof - Dan Deacon
Beach Culture - The Thompson Twins
Triumph of a Heart (Video Mix) - Bjork
Charlie Brown (DJ Technics Remix) - Debonair Samir
Deli - Delorean
Mario's HA (Bonus Beat) - Bama Bounce
Playmate (feat. Roxy Cottontail & Lacole "Tigga" Campbell) - Armand Van Helden
PPXCP- Keith Rocka
I Hold The Crown (Gigi Barocco Remix) - Redman
Pop Champagne - The Clipse
Freaky Tales - Too $hort

As always, best on headphones, in a car, or loud on decent speakers. Pass it on, but give me credit please.

Download it for a week here:
Keith Rocka September Mix

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I Buried Paul

Keith Rocka Knittel: "Keith Rocka Meets The Beatles / Magical Mystery Tour Re-Edit," 2009
Digital audio file™

You can download the first in a new series of work where I re-edit significant works by other artists here.

Keith Rocka Meets The Beatles / Magical Mystery Tour Re-Edit
Track List:
1. The Magical Mystery Tour 9:23
2. The Fool On The Hill 4:31
3. Flying 10:10
4. Blue Jay Way 7:11
5. I Am The Walrus 7:21
6. Your Mother Should Know 3:21
7. Baby You're A Rich Man (Bonus Track on US Release) 6:52

There are only 100 available downloads from this link, so please download, repost and share.