IN CONVERSATION: TANNON RECKLING


August 26, 2022


You have now entered a special place in hell for the discussion of contemporary art practice featuring Tannon Reckling and Kevin Yatsu. This installment is the latest recorded conversation of a larger discourse between Reckling and Yatsu spanning the past 3+ years. These conversations were originally held in the context and structures of an institutional art program but have since moved to hell for practical reasons. Transcription is below. 







Kevin Yatsu: How have you been doing?

Tannon Reckling: I am now a bicoastal elitist creative, in more debt than ever... I feel the way of Oscar Wilde-like ancient gays: useless, indulgent, destructive to the environment, but traveling and seeing things that my own imagination and certainly others have a low probability to generate for the sake of esoteric #aesthetics.

What have you been up to?

Been living in Philly, but now moving to New York City to steal NYU’s money. With a brief stop in deep rural Nebraska.

Has anything exciting happened recently?

Just getting out of COVID, I’m finally having sex again, and now (the racist and queerphobic) Monkeypox is making the rounds. - This week, I went out to an Monday night drag show and saw some of the most unexpected, exciting things I've seen in a long time. I'm happy they’re not online.

Are you having fun?

Quoting the 1987 movie “Moonstruck”:

-”Do you love him, Loretta?”

-”Ma, I love him awful.”

-*hand gesture* “Oh god, that’s too bad…”




How would you define your practice?

A formal messy queer pile of social clout and material references what wish to suckle the teet of dying institutions in a state of the continous failure to know the self in a water puddle reflection or through screen lens.

I’m just trying to get money to pay people to make weird animations for me cause I can’t use the software and all the hardware I have is stolen and getting old

Do you enjoy the direction your practice is taking you?

Learning my own values is helping me steer my creative practices. Engaging ant taste as solely the context of our material circumstances, in 2023, we’ve got big ass contexts.

What have you been reading/watching/thinking about?

I want to see what Lady Gaga does with the Chromatica Ball. I assume it flops, but I need to know. - More importantly, I need Janelle Monae to rest up and make her next album cause I need her zeitgeist readings to base my entire personality on for a few years.

What are some questions you have been dealing with?

Q: How do I get the same feeling that I had while looking at “good” memes around 2015-2020. What was going on? If art is context, was the context of a specific surveillance economy (social medias) and the specific methodology of circulation occurring during this late decade the only thing making these .jpegs affective? Was I the only one feeling this “this is art” feeling at this time?


Q: I’m trying think about being solely a “faggot” in 2023, not gay or queer. It suddenly is a tongue twister, opening up more inarticulable, or inaccessible, experiences for those engaging it. It certainly isn’t online, like I wish to be. - This is increasingly important to me, something I will take the next decade to think about.  It’s doesn’t feel correct to be gay or queer. Much like the visual arts, I think references are important to push towards a thing with many open ends.I feel LGBTQA politics today is now almost solely white branding techniques, etc.


Q: How do I watch the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City for free?


Q: What’s the deal with the cake in Donna Summer’s “MacArthur Park”? Who came up with this cover version of the song, this continues to be the best cover of a song and I want to know what’s up with the cake. Timeless pastry in a timeless park.





Have you found anything good on the internet recently?

Kinda the opposite for some reason. I suddenly can’t find, or even stumble upon, good things. I don’t think this is a coincidence moving into the 2020’s.

Are your places for digital catharsis still intact? Which ones have you lost? Which ones have you found?

I’ve lost this and am trying to find a new one. I think I found solace in different specific links or images that came to me at specific speeds and moment and cadences, they’re gone now, I’m in mourning. - As of right now, August 2022, I am watching ACTUP (and other historical HIV/AIDS activist groups) activate suddenly in online space (gritty and wonderful and horrible websites) in wonderful ways that I hope signal a less polished online/offline presence. I would say is also a good thing i’ve found online recently.

I enjoy the popular AI images and AI memes going around right now because I think they free us from our mortal coil quicker than incoming climate disasters. Like a boomer, I am finally watching WestWorld, and yeah baby, the mind is a burden of our own history’s making. Frankly, any “art” with a lobotomy and castration (hopefully consensually) is something the human eye & canon hasn’t encountered yet. - I can’t wait until #thesociety gets over the spectacle of technology and understands more how white men from the suburbs are creating the datasets that are controlling almost aspect of our lives, as their mechanisms have been in most ways “forever.” 

Where have been your favorite places?

I just went to Brunch with a gal pal and she took me to this unassuming cafe with the most boring storefront entrance. I had walked past this place many times in downtown Philadelphia and scoffed at it. I went inside and was astonished to be transposed into a caricature of a Parisian cafe with the strongest air conditioning.

I have the same feeling when I’m in the deep rural country at times: away, but never alone. But I can only have these feelings, I think, because I have experienced the other side of this false spectrum, but this side is less articulating but more visceral.





What are you worried about?

I am worried the “rock scene” in Everything Everywhere All at Once could have been shot better.

Any links/events/etc?

My post hole and future prediction for most commercial spaces I enter: @foreclosedgaybar.

Are you reachable?

Unfortunately, yes. I try not to reply to messages, no matter the tone.

Any final closing statements?

I wish craigslist miss connections were less of a meme and actually entertaining.