Monday, December 31, 2007

Dark side of the Wizard at Copy for the New Year

Tricia Avey and I have decided to host a chill screening of The Wizard of Oz with the Dark Side of the Moon at Copy (319 N. 11th St. 3rd flr) this evening. If you are a friend and are in the area please stop by. The flick will start at around 10 so we can be back in Kansas by midnight. If the vibe is good we might stay at the space, if not we will move on to other parties.

BYO: pillow, bottle, snacks and etc.




Friday, December 21, 2007





"The Darlington Pair Maximillian Lawrence will be creating a device he refers to as a “relationship amplifier”, based on the electronic principle of a Darlington Pair. (A Darlington pair is a set of two transistors that amplify weak signals into stronger and sharper signals for both audio and microprocessing) In the best case, the gallery space will amplify the relationships between the people interacting with the musical instruments, culminating into a spectacularly blinding light and resonant bowel moving sound show, ending with a profound spiritual experience. In its worst case, it will flash LED’s and make fart noises."

At Vox

Sunday, December 16, 2007

nuts and berries: objects and not

Little Berlin 1801 N. Howard St., Philadelphia.
Friday, December 14th- ?

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A wall of found and manipulated objects, priced from low to "priceless"

nuts and berries: objects and not bills itself as a "visual agreement between daniel petraitis and martha savery" and each would-be capital letter was printed lower case as it is reproduced here. I can only assume the use of lower case implies that the artists (or the space) are extremely modest about their craft and its place in society. I think an adept parallel would be when a band chooses to play on the floor, becoming a part of the audience, rather then performing on an elevated stage. If anyone has ever produced or come across an in-depth study of the use of lower cases in text, especially when the capital "I" is replaced with the lower case "i" I would be happy to hear a discussion of it.

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One of the objects on display at Little Berlin.

The "visual agreement" between the two artists in question is in actuality a nice way of saying a two-person show with a few collaborative pieces. However, I think the use of the term is especially apt in nuts and berries as the works of Daniel and Martha compliment each other in a seamless way. It would be possible to imagine the exhibition as a one-person show. As the title of the exhibition implies, the artists have gathered objects natural to their urban environment. The phrase "nuts and berries" becomes a metaphor for discarded objects; telephone books, pieces of pallets, old furniture, plastic trash and anything else that one might find abandoned to the sidewalks of the city. After gathering the "fruits" of the metropolis each artist transforms the trash into an arresting visual object or installation. In one collaborative work, the transformation is as simple as hanging the objects on a wall, numbering them, and giving them each a sale price.

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A man sits on a piece of telephone pole beside Martha Savery's stack of yellow pages.

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Daniel Petraitis' stack of pallets.

For me, the "tour de force" of the show was in a slightly separated room housing a mountain of artfully stacked telephone books (by Martha Savery) and pieces of old pallets (by Daniel Petraitis). The pallet ends had been painted bright colors by Mr. Petraitis in a move that immediately called to mind Jessica Stockholder, branded onto the ends of each wooden slat, however, were the initials "dp". The branding mirrors the industrial process, pulling this stack of wood into a highly Duchampian context, while turning each piece in the stack into a highly individualized artwork produced in multiple.

nuts and berries: objects and not , was a treat to visit, it's simple modesty and use of recycled materials was a breath of fresh air in today's decadent climate.

Also posted to artblog

Scenes from the Flux Space and a studio visit with Joe DiGuiseppe

Joe DiGuiseppe's back. As I take more pictures I get increasingly shy of asking people to let me take their picture. Therefore, expect many images like this in the future.

I visited Joe at the Flux Space on Wednesday, December 12th, three days before their major Oliver Herring opening (which I could not attend due to a very important poker tournament), to gain some further knowledge of his own work and ask him to be a part of a show I'm curating for the Esther M. Klein Gallery in March of next year.

The show is going to be about open source technology, and how it or it's concept can be applied towards the creation of art, and will be titled Given Enough Eyeballs in reference to Eric S. Raymond's essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar (abbreviated CatB). The full quote it's taken from being "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow"--my simple summary of the concept being that if all of us have the access to information and the ability to process it then we'll be able to work out any problem we come across. In defense of this thesis I'm going to point to Wikipedia.

Joe and I shared some internet site favorites, including his own website:

Put things in my pussy! by Joe

Joe's site

many ones dot com a site by Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung that is truly a work of art.

You be the Man Now Dog. A site of strings of animated gifs and manipulated jpegs.

Also I enjoyed a video night and the Flux Space's scenery:

The Flux fridge

One of Joe's plans for a future art installation.

A very old dictionary that still believes computers are people who compute.

A scene from Joe's studio.

A scene from the FluxSpace.

Also in the open source exhibition so far are Yoshi Sodeoka (New York), and Ramsey Arnaoot (The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study). If you have any thoughts on open source/systems or how an exhibition about them should be run or, if you have a computer you could donate to the cause please leave your information.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


1. ALEX DA CORTE TONIGHT IN NEW YORK at Stonefox Artspace.

2. A NEW MIX on Will Pym's site by Mr. Anthony Campuzano/tc/bubbles inc.

Spread the love,


P.S. I may have time for substance later on.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Drums Like Machine Guns

This was the last music show at Copy:


On first friday (this friday) there is a new one with Akasha Blade, Psychedelic Horseshit, Tickley Feather, Pink Reason, Kurt Vile, and others. BE THERE!

Hany Armanious Year of the Pig Sty

Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on Earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this Earth.

-Jean Paul Sartre

Foxy Productions
Extended through Dec. 15th.

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Hany Armanious, the egyptian artist who brings us Year of the Pig Sty(up through December 15th) has been making mysterious installation-thingies for sometime if I am to believe the two essays I picked up from the silent and comparatively sterile back room of Foxy Productions in Chelsea. I found that Sarte quote in my least favorite essay of the two, by Jason Markou, and it really helped me put Armanious's mess into perspective. You have to love writing, communication in general really, for speeding up what would no doubt be a long and arduous journey of becoming acquainted with Hany Armanious's oeuvre only to find that the real meat of the matter is that he's looking for an answer himself.

Looking hard from the look of it. The Year of the Pig Sty has brought so much mud into the gallery that you are able to imagine you are both inside and outside at once. The lighting is low (Literally. One light is actually hung only about a foot from the floor.), you get the immediate feeling you are witnessing a mess you should not witness. Perhaps you are in the lair of some super-demon, an artist who has gone completely mad, or a pig who has become obsessed with casting his own crocs, a shoe described admiringly by Mr Markou as "the lightweight one-piece foam shoe that replaced the Birkenstock as the last word in functional therapeutic footwear." The absence of any pig was felt more dearly then the absence of anything else. The mud had all dried out and I had to wonder if it was wet during the first week of the show.

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I was in the mood to witness the display of Mr. Armanious's mess, so I won't blame you for turning up your nose and going on your own quest for more concrete answers. You won't find them in Year of the Pig Sty, but you will find chaos and confusion and someone who is searching, and you might find relief, as I did, that you are not the only one in the world leaving behind a mess of unanswerable questions.

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Originally posted on artblog.

Sunday, December 2, 2007



Amy Adams But Nature More

Vox Populi. ENDS TODAY.

Amy Adams has told me that she is interested in the chaos of everyday life, on how our focus becomes consumed in the details and we are never able to properly see the big picture. Stress, work, coffee, deadlines, these are the things that take up our days, these are the thoughts in our heads. With this in mind it is interesting to me that her last two installations at Vox Populi (Undead and But Nature More) have given the overall feeling of being a landscape we are able to see from a distance. She has given us a perspective she says we can't have, and isn't that one of the main arguments for the mainstay of artistic work? It provides us with the things that life cannot. . .

Her current exhibition at Vox Populi, But Nature More draws us even further from the chaos of work in the metropolis. We are shown a "diamond"-studded mountain-scape, in a cavern between mountains we are able to glance a projection of the sky, it's clouds moving at a rate that looks like a movie in fast-forward. It is a strange and surreal portal. It makes me think of the idea of time travel.

But Nature More draws an impossible line in the sand. We live in the city, we make our living from it , but if asked which we liked better, the man-made or the natural environment, without thought to how we would survive, which would we choose? Most of us might conclude that we like nature more, but in light of having to wake up and go to work in the morning, we might also conclude that liking nature more is a moot point.

Andrew Suggs Table Turning

Vox Populi. ENDS TODAY.

Red Scare

According to Wikipedia Table Turning is an outdated and rather messy form of Ouija board "in which participants sit around a table, place their hands on it, and wait for rotations. . . the alphabet would be slowly called over and the table would tilt at the appropriate letter, thus spelling out words and sentences." Upon entering Mr. Suggs exhibition we are therefore predisposed to think about communing with spirits and all the eeriness that entails. Two pieces of art immediately fit our frame of mind; a large pool of wax (from candles?)entitled Red Scare and a Ouija Board entitled Yes, Yes. even though it is without the words "yes", "no" and "maybe" and is tilted up by an unplugged microphone on one side.

As Above, So Below (background). Yes, Yes (foreground)

There are also several references to music. In the piece As Above, So Below, a series of constellations Mr. Suggs has made up and named after various people whose last names begin with "m" we see the names Morrissey, McCartney, and even Manson (among an assortment of "m"s with other professions). There are two sets of earbuds on pedestals, equipped with ungodly amounts of wire and coated in rubber. One can guess by the title Unsung Sculpture, that this makes the buds worthless. The final piece is a video installation, comprised of three TVs positioned at varying heights behind two black curtains. The subject matter of the videos appears to be fans at a concert, only rendered slower and more red then they would be in life. The curtains impart the feeling of standing backstage while a rock group performs and looking out over the sea of fans. Not on stage yourself, but set apart from the rest of the spectators. This piece is entitled Incantations.

Whenever I am around the work of Mr. Suggs I cannot help but think of gothic or industrial music which doesn't fail to put me in mind of high school. My mind runs circles from there and I am always concerned that I haven't figured it all out.


Unsung Sculpture

Jonathan Prull Providence #709

Vox Populi. ENDS TODAY.

I can only consider that Jonathan Prull's great cardboard characters are fighting some horrible and violent battle. Though one of them appears to be drunk, he doesn't seem to be having fun and may have just shot himself. There is a tank-like creation shooting an unsettled dog-like thing and in the back of it all there is a tall monstrous-looking squirrel or squirrel-like animal. It's all a very dark and nightmarish world these people/creatures live in and walking through the installation leaves one in fear of getting a paper cut.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

He Yunchang The Rock Touring Around Great Britain

Chambers Fine Art, Chelsea, November 8th-December 22nd.

He Yunchang has done some really rotten things to himself over the years. Recently he has embedded himself in a concrete block for 24 hours, and stared into 10,000 watts of electric light for sixty minutes. Not so recently he has suspended himself upside-down over a river, "trying" to divide it with a knife. Once he "tried" to move a mountain by pulling on a string he had tied around it. So it was nice to see an exhibit from an artist who usually sets himself up for pain and failure doing something somewhat manageable.

The exhibit at Chambers Fine Art, The Rock Touring Around Great Britain, is surprisingly a series of oil paintings. Each painting depicts He Yunchang, rock in hand, as he walks, sometimes running, over the English countryside from September 23, 2006 to June 14th, 2007. The myth that I like to believe is that He Yunchang picked up his rock in Boulmer and then carried it counterclockwise until he was able to return the rock to the exact location he picked it up in.

The effect the oil paintings have on the viewer is pretty magical because they aren't anything special. These paintings, they could have been created by Bob Ross, but there is a life in them because they record an event. Perhaps somewhat dorkily I am reminded of the childlike empress in the movie The Neverending Story telling Atreyu that the child from the real world has traveled with him the whole time. In a similar way,so have I, travelled with He Yunchang, as he picked up a rock and felt the sun in his face, or the wind, or the rain, I was there.

Emilie Clark: The Weeklies

Morgan Lehman October 25-December 22, 2007

I have many things that aren't very nice to say about The Weeklies so I'll start with the one thing I really liked; The idea. I know you're snorting right now because there isn't anything all that original about the idea of creating one painting a week since 1995 and planning to continue making one painting a week for the rest of your life. Still, I like the thought of having a life-process and actually going through with the idea is something other then a late night at the bar.

The effect of all the paintings, hung in graph formation under a year's heading, all the same size, was a bit under-whelming. There was quantity certainly, but not quality in in quantity. Although I like the idea I began to wish that Emilie had edited her weeklies, as there were at least five really good ones. Many of the good ones were towards the end. (All the ones in the beginning resembled the types of screen-printed collages high-schoolers and indie-rockers are so fond of.) This is actually an excellent sign for Ms. Clark because she must be getting better. The good paintings all resemble blurry monster-like animals in "horrible" colors. I wished they were bigger. They look remarkably well reproduced on the internet.

Though I have said many things that aren't very nice about Emilie Clark and I take none of them back I am afraid that the exhibit leaves me with the feeling that I have read her diary and now I am in danger of having a little nerdy art crush on her. Perhaps this was her sinister scheme all along? I know her too well to really dislike her.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweatheart on Trading Spaces This Weekend!!!!!

As this e-mail from Thom explains:

hello dudes, me & rose have broken into reality television. please watch rose hide bananas in the carpenters tool belt & check out my new haircut. you'll probably learn a ton.

best, thom

(reairs sunday at 1pm)

Trading Spaces
Philadelphia: Dickinson Street

Ryan is a writer for the weekly City Paper, and Aryon does operations at the art collective 1026. They'll be swapping with Rose and Thom who are in the art-dance band Sweat-heart. These South Philly hipsters swap their pads and decorate each other's digs.

Ben Peterson Reports on Poland

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Ben talks to a friend at the "Psychedelic Club", part of a project being undertaken at the residency program at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw.

Ben Peterson is an artist currently residing in Philadelphia, artblog talked to him in detail back in May regarding his all-round awesomeness and detail-oriented mega-realistic yet fantastical landscapes/architectures. Once I overheard a friend who isn't all that into art in general compliment one of Ben's pieces by saying "If I was high I could look at that all day". . . so drug-induced stupor or no Ben's the kind of artist who generously serves up a cornucopia of mysterious detail to the viewer.

Mr. Peterson recently had the opportunity to visit Poland for an artist residency, so I thought I'd talk to him about the nature of artist residencies and Polish art. I found a wealth of information that I'm only just beginning to process and thought I'd let everyone in on my new knowledge adventure:

Residency in a Castle

Annette: What was the residency called?

Ben: I don't know if it had a name. The center is called Ujazdowski Castle.

A: It was in a castle?

B: Castle is a loose term. I think it's more like an old hunting lodge you might visit for the weekend. . . it was pretty much rarely used from the way I understand it and then it was just bombed to shit during World War II.

A: So it was an old-stone building?

B: No. Don't think romantic, think governmental building. Think civic building and think plaster. It's really not what you'd expect from a castle, it has some towers but they are only towers in the since that there are four of them on each edge. No moat or princesses.

A: You're kind of ruining this for me.

B: I know. It was used as a hospital during WW I, then leveled during WW II and during the 1970s there was a cultural revival that went on in Poland and it was rebuilt. I don't know know what it was used for at first but I believe during the 1980's it became what is now The Center for Contemporary Art and I think not long after the artist residency program was established.

When the phone rings say yes

A: So how did you happen to end up at this non-castle?

B: The artists are nominated by a couple of different groups in America. . . I only know some of them because I guess it's a blind nomination. I know one of them is The Headlands Center for the Arts. . .

A: And that's another residency program?

B: Yes. That's the one I did in California. So basically a bunch of people are nominated and then they just decide form those nominations who they are interested in having come out.

A: So you don't apply for this? You just basically get a phone call one day like "Hey! You wanna go to Poland?"

B: Yep.

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This is the Polish flag.

The day I arrived the director went on vacation.

A: So what exactly do you do in a Polish artist residency?

B: The day I landed the residency director was going on vacation.

A: What?

B: Yeah. So I think partly to give me a real, interesting experience of Poland and partly so I wouldn't be wondering around Warsaw without any help, she took me to this small sculpture center in the middle of nowhere. I stayed there for a week and that was really surreal.

A: Surreal how?

B: It was a left-over communist-party sculpture center where older artists would go to work on gigantic marble and granite sculptures.

A: Like sculptures of workers with big muscles?

B: Not so much. They definitely had a socialist-realist bent but it was more like heavy 1920's, 1930's Modernism. Think vaguely futurist, but the center has fallen into misuse so the only people who go there are. . . I don't know how to describe them. . . I guess you could say they are just holding on to an older period in Poland's art history. There are some people working on contemporary stuff there, but it's mostly a refuge for the old-guard.

Of roommates and monster-drawings that lock you in

A: So you were the only person in the residency?

B: At first. There wasn't a clear-cut program so I just kind of wondered around looking at stuff for a week. Eventually the rest of the people in the residency showed up and I went back to Warsaw, but there was really no schedule. I ended up doing what I do here (wake up, get coffee, work on art) except for the fact that my roommate was involved in this project that entailed reenacting the 60s, which kind-of didn't really happen in Poland, as far as what we think of as 60s culture. I usually coin his project "the hippie project".

A: So did you accomplish what you wanted to at the residency? Before you left you were talking of this plan to create what sounded like a monster of a drawing. . . and I know your work takes time to make.

B: Yeah. The drawing was a good and a bad idea. In the end I didn't complete it there because it was such a massive undertaking. It would have been impossible for me to finish it and still experience the residency. If I had wanted to finish that piece I should have stayed at home, locked in my studio.

A: So your process is completely autonomous from your environment? Poland didn't influence what you were doing in any way?

B: The drawing took many elements from the environment but I would have had to explain them to you for you to see them. I never make work where I immediately try to relate to an environment, it's just too heavy-handed. I would never try to depict another culture that I'm completely unfamiliar with as if I am really capable of understanding it.

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"The Hippie Project"

Tell me again what you told me when you were drunk

A: You mentioned something at the bar the other night about trying on firemen's outfits and dancing in fields. . . what was that all about?

B: The one thing that I participated in for "the hippie project" was going to these art festivals that were held in smaller towns. I don't have anyway to really say that these festivals are a very European thing because this was the first time I ever visited Europe, but I believe they are. I think it's new for Poland, though, because many of the towns seemed to be a little freaked out.

One we went to took the form of a tour. Our first stop was an ice-cream parlor where all the ice-cream was hand-made and came straight from the cow to you. The next stop we went to was to the local post-man's house and he showed us his stamp collection, which was massive and amazing. Then we went to an excessively old theater that probably once lead life as a church, where three musicians played us what I would loosely term "psychedelic rock." We went on to visit the firemen and they told us about their jobs and let us try on their outfits. The tour ended at the house of a woman who worked for a very important contemporary art organization in Poland and she showed us her extensive collection.

Ask not what you can do for Poland but what Poland can do for you

A: What did Poland get out of the residency?

B: That's a good question and it seemed like that was the one on the average polish person's mind and the answer is I don't know. The whole idea of offering something tangible seems off to me. I don't think you can start out by thinking you can give something to anywhere that it needs.

A: It seems like you got something out of it.

B: There is the possibility that other people did too. I certainly brought my experiences and opinions to any discussion I was apart of. I hope I didn't leave a bad taste for Americans. I don't think I did.

During our talk Ben mentioned many Polish artists and resources, here are some links to just a few:

Piktogram. A quarterly, bilingual, international art magazine based in Warsaw, Poland.

Oskar Hansen. A very influential Polish architect, artist, and teacher. One of his most important ideas was that of Open Form. Here we can see some of his work at The Hoover Dam

Andre Cadere, left behind an oeuvre consisting of about 180 Barres de Bois of different lengths.

Krzystof Wodicko, "by appropriating public buildings and monuments as backdrops for projections, Wodiczko focuses attention on ways in which architecture and monuments reflect collective memory and history". . .

Miroslaw Balka. "Balka explores how subjective traumas are translated into collective histories and vice versa.". . .

Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw

This was originally posted on artblog

Monday, November 26, 2007

Come see me be a DJ on Thursday

That's right! BUCKETS OF BABES=GOOD MUSIC at the Khyber on Thursday 11/29. Poster designed by Emily Glaubinger.

Two Articles Off-Site

High Art, Cheap Beer and Regionalism

Annette Monnier, one-fifth director of Copy Gallery and one-sixth founder of the now defunct Black Floor Gallery, will be writing on artblog from time to time, by way of introduction her first post is on the relationship between place, art, and cheap beer.

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

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Before I moved to Philadelphia I thought of PBR as the beer in the David Lynch movie, Blue Velvet, it was somewhat unusual and hard to find and even a little bit avant garde. "The Hard to find" part of that idea was quickly displaced upon arrival in Philly. One of the first places I was taken to was Bob and Barbara's, which of course is a veritable gallery of old PBR ads, and I was introduced to the city wide special; three dollars gets you a shot of jim bean with a PBR to wash it down, though some people might say it's a PBR with a shot of jim bean to wash it down. I drank a lot of those and it did nothing to discourage my view of PBR as the beer of the underground. We served it proudly at all of our Black Floor Openings. Read more on artblog

"I thought this was a gallery. I don't get it."

Were the words Alex DaCorte teacher uttered when he brought him over to the living room of 1409 Ellsworth Street, the place where he had decided to host his senior thesis exhibition. The "living room" in question was Padlock Gallery, a thriving arts space that has been opening it's doors to both the insiders and outsiders of Philadelphia's art scene since February of 2004. Read more on digphilly

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vote for Nick-Chatfield-Taylor's Matt and Kim Video!

This video:

Directed by awesome video-maker and pal Nicholas Chatfield-Taylor for the very awesome Matt and Kim could win "best indie music video 2007" on MTV! But! Only if you get your figures clicking here! Do something good!

P.S. Blog friends! It is a very confusing site and the little black square next to the video's name is where you click to vote. Took me twenty minutes to figure it out. No joke!

People taking pictures of the Liberty Bell of Pensylvania

I went to see the Liberty Bell for the first time last Friday. It is perhaps the most famous mistake I can think of:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Philadelphia Punches Omniana Creator in the Nose

Or, What good is a blog with no pictures?

Violence in Fantasy:

First I'll explain Omniana, which is a fantasy/role-playing sort of game created by Aaron Delamatre, an artist and friend form Cincinnati, Ohio. It's a card game in which you pick a card that tells you what sort of monster you are and then when it's your turn you can "attack" someone else's monster in what-ever land they are in. Monster descriptions are like this:

Thin Rats: They are a pack of three brothers who have been weirdly mutated into paper thin rats with edges as sharp as steel blades. "Flee to safety, my papery brothers, for we are like paper and can do as the paper does."

If you pick to combat some kind of giant with your paper rat in a room with 25 teleportation holes you have to argue why your rat would beat the giant.

I, with my parents (who came to visit Philly for the first time ever) and Gerik Forston, went out to Abington Art Center to play a couple of rounds of this the other night. To get there we rented a hybrid from Philly Car Share and it took me a while to figure it out because instead of starting it with a key you start it with a start button. Weird but cool.

I had a really good time playing Omniana, if you can get a hold of the game (I think there are only one hundred copies in the world) and can find a group of people who are willing to rap like geeks then I suggest it.

Violence in Reality:

Dear Philadelphia,

You are getting scary, so calm down. My friend Beth was recently attacked with a knife in her own house, Vox Populi and my own Copy were recently burglarized--and the other night when I was walking down Frankfort from Johnny and Brenda's to the Fishtown Tavern, on my friend Sue Spaid's (currently working on developing programs for Abington Art Center) advice that we try a new place, the group of us (Aaron Delamatre, Gerik Forston, Sue and myself) were assaulted by a group of rowdy teens (perhaps five of them?).

They, the kids (and for all of you who care, these were white kids), were just generally throwing insults and we (Okay. Mostly I.) were throwing them back when one of them up and decided to punch Aaron in the nose and run. At first I thought the kid had just barely tapped him and then I saw blood.

So get this Philly: I love you but you can't treat my out-of-town friends this way. If you don't want people to enrich your life with art and culture just say so and don't send a pack of kids after us. What is it with all your pent-up rage lately?

I hope you can get over it, I hope that new dude from D.C. steps up,

-Annette Monnier

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Residency at PIFAS to cat-people in four points

K-Fai's installation at PIFAS

This post could get complicated so I'm going to try and make it as simple as possible:

1. The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study (PIFAS), basically a warehouse full of artist studios on 2nd and Cecil B. What sets it apart from most such warehouses is it's concentration on sciences, languages, clubs, and other kinds of think tanks--it even hosts a residency.

2. The Residency is called The Eric James Johnson Memorial Fellowship and it (quoted from the website) "provides a living space, a studio, a bicycle, and a computer for one month to qualifying artists with projects they wish to complete in the city of Philadelphia. The program is completely free and comprises no stipend; however, fellowship recipients are automatically considered for the Benjamin D. Letzler Genius Grant, awarded to scientists and individuals deemed to have made an indelible contribution to the discipline of public education." A conversation with Residency Coordinator Ramsey Arnaoot lead to the discovery that the Benjamin D. Letzler Genius Grant is really $36 and the bike provided is a folder but that is not the point.

Past Eric James Johnson Memorial Fellowship recipients Ursula Böckler and Georg Graw created a Drive-In and screened films of their own making.

C. The point is that this residency has been bringing some far out people into Philadelphia, people as far out as England or Germany and they have been using their month in Philly to create some interesting projects (not only art but music, writing, or whatever.) It is a great program aimed at demystifying residencies and helping free-thinkers get the time to think.

4. Recently I attended a video viewing and installation exhibition by resident K-Fai Steele who draws cat-people.

Othello, cat-people style.

I must admit that I didn't really get the cat-people adaptation of Othello that was on view, I thought perhaps it was supposed to be some absurdist play on the shakesperean tragedy but couldn't really make anything out of it. The installation of life-sized paper mache cat people was more compelling, but I admit, just as mysterious. It all seemed kind of whacky and I almost dismissed the whole thing but something made me visit K-Fai's blog and ask her a few questions. It turns out the cat-people are all actually self portraits and that I actually feel a comraderie with a lot of her drawings:

"The first questions that people generally ask are "why cats?" and "why self-portraits?"  When I was a kid, I drew myself and my family members as people with cat heads.  I'm not sure where I got this idea from, I would love to say it was divine inspiration, but it must have originated directly from me imitating Gary Larson or Richard Scarry.  I realize now that drawing myself as a Cat-Person allowed me to draw without the shame and luggage that traditional figure drawing demands.  Also, cat faces translate to the human face better than, say, dogs or alligators, and cats were the only pets that my parents allowed for us to have--"have", meaning we fed them and they roamed around our barn pissing all over my parents' carefully collected antiques."

A detail from a drawing called "In Every Cry of Every Man, In Every Infant's Cry of Fear, In Every Voice, In Every Ban, the Mind-Forge'd Manacles I Hear". See more pics by visiting K-Fai's blog.