Friday, February 29, 2008

William Buzzell at Giant Robot, NY

Class Action
February 16, 2008 - March 12, 2008

On a recent visit to NYC I visited the Giant Robot store and found the work of Space 1026er William Buzzell. Dear William; the cell phones are amazing, perhaps that is why they are all already sold. Props!

Sneak peak:

Many "Untitled" cell phones (sold seperately) over top of "Textual Intercourse".

"Kid Nation (Breathe for Peace)" I think. . .

"Eastern Backyard Birds"

Buy his work here

Also a visit to GRNY got me a bit excited about the Murakami exhibition coming up at the Brooklyn Museum.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stefan Sagmeister at Deitch Projects

Things I Have learned in my Life so Far
Deitch Projects (Closed as of February 23rd)

Even though my nose was immediately assaulted by the smell of something rotten I was as pleased as I would be if I had run into a very dear acquaintance that I hadn't seen in thirty years when I walked into Deitch on Grand and saw that Stefan Sagmeister had control of the area. Sagmeister is mostly known for graphic design that borders on art, so it was cool to see his artwork as art that borders on graphic design, not that any of those distinctions really matter anymore.

Rotten bananas and what they used to say.

Dipping into Mr. Sagmeister's head is a familiar place, comfortable like looking through old Ed Ruscha monographs on a rainy day. His way of thinking is off-beat but popular and he's someone you can depend on. His artwork sympathizes with your existence, it's a shoulder to lean on and a pick-me-up when times are rough. If at times you wonder if you might be looking at an ad or video that belongs on MTV-- hell, get over it and listen to the things Stefan Sagmeister has to tell you.

Installation view of a room with a large inflatable monkey. . .you can find much better flicks of the whole show at Deitch.

An image by Stefan Sagmeister

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Unmonumental at the New Museum

Ugo Rondione's Hell, Yes! graces the front of the new New Museum.

Unmonumental investigates collage in contemporary art practices and it does so by turing the exhibition itself into one large collage. The outcome is just as confusing as it sounds like it should be.

I supoose the ideal way to have viewed Unmonumental was to visit the museum three times. First, when Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century opened on December 1st and the galleries hosted only the sculptural assemblages. Then it might have been a treat to re-visit when Collage: The Unmonumental Picture was added to the walls on January 16th and less over-stimulating when The Sound of Things: The Unmonumental Audio took the airwaves on February 13th.

Videos were added to the collage on February 15th as part of Montage: Unmonumental Online which doesn't seem as overwhelming because you have the advantage of knowing that you don't have to take it all in at the museum, but can view all of these projects while browsing in the relatively stress-free environment of your own home. (I suggest works by Michael Bell-Smith and Kenneth Hung.)

Stand-outs (to me) in the exhibition are:

Sculpture: The always awesome Rachel Harrison (with exciting assemblage seen below), and Gabriel Kuri who I believe made some neat sculptures out of two wire garbage cans with stuff caged in between (one of the "stuffs" was a bit of plastic in rainbow colors).

Rachel Harrison

Collage: Actually a lot of the collage was pretty cool, and to me works on paper are pretty much the essence of "unmonumental", especially on so small a scale. I was pleased to be intoduced to the work of John Stezaker and Martha Rosler.

John Stezaker

Martha Rosler

Audio: I can safely say that I digested none of this. Totally my fault as I found myself flying through the museum at top-speed. It was like I couldn't concentrate on anything.

I am left wondering if it is now heroic to be un-heroic. I am left wondering what un-heroic means. I feel as disjointed as an assemblage. Calling this show inspiring is a bit like calling this exhibition monumental. It's a survey of a state of mind. It mirrors the complexity of every-day existence. I don't suggest a trip to the New Museum if you are trying to run away from your problems.

Part of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries' Black on White, Gray Ascending (2007) as seen from the food service.

I did enjoy the piece by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries in the lobby next to the food service, and I suggest bi-passing the whole "paying for a ticket to see the show bit" and just hanging out there for free. But you can also enjoy some of their projects right here (THESE GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!):




So why leave the house anymore really?

Monday, February 25, 2008



The bands playing and links to hear their sweet music:


The Muggabears

Paper Napkin

Geordi's Visor

Yes! That's right! My band, Paper Napkin will be performing for the first time in a year or more! Yikes! We have changed a lot. Now we only play acoustic guitar.

Print Liberation put out a 7" for us. Red vinyl! "Water Song" is the A side, "Surf Scream" is the B side:


Buy it here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wooden "gunfiti" spotted on northeast telephone lines

Visual reminder of the violence in Philadelphia?

An artistic plea for peace?

A grave marker?

Or just a take-off on the classic shoefiti?

Looking at this I am reminded of predecessors to the thrown-over art movement such as the Skewville brothers:

Extended Browsing:

Shoe Tossing

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

UPDATES: Or why I do not blog this week

First some drawings to take the sting off:

Then, my PEI grant application is due on Friday. I am writing one for an exhibition at Copy slated for September of this year, it is a currently top-secret show involving the work of Beth Brandon and Carrie Collins. Keep yer fingers crossed.

On the budget cutting issue: There was a hearing for Philadelphia Safe and Sound scheduled for Thursday of this week and then it was postponed till next week:

City of Philadelphia Public Hearing Notice The Committee on Public Health and Human Services of the Council of the City of Philadelphia will hold a Public Hearing Thursday, February 21, 2008, at 2:00 PM, in Room 400, City Hall, to hear testimony on the following item: 080139 Resolution authorizing the Council Committee on Public Health and Human Services to hold hearings to investigate the City funding and operational changes of Philadelphia Safe and Sound and its impact on the delivery of social services in Philadelphia. Immediately following the public hearing, a meeting of the Committee on Public Health and Human Services, open to the public, will be held to consider the action to be taken on the above listed item. Copies of the foregoing item are available in the Office of the Chief Clerk of the Council, Room 402, City Hall. PATRICIA RAFFERTY Chief Clerk 2-11-1*

So my job will already be dissolved but I'm going to the hearing anyways, join me if you wish. It'll be my first time in City Hall.

Third. My band, Paper Napkin will be playing a show at Copy on March 3rd, and oh my god, we haven't played for a year or so.

Last. Given Enough Eyeballs the show I'm curating at the Esther M. Klein Gallery, opening March 14th. More on this next week as I want to post a mountain on open source and all the cool artists involved.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Dear internet colleagues and esteemed members of the more traditional press;

For the past couple of months I have been working at an after school program at Carnell Elementary School in the far northeast of Philadelphia. I have been paid very little and commute via septa an hour in each direction to make it to work. I have done this because I believe that working at Carnell Elementary provides me with the rare opportunity to make Philadelphia a better place and give the students I have had the honor to teach some much needed cultural education.

I really believe that education will make all the difference in this city.

Mayor Nutter has made similar lip service to this notion, but last night I found out that in about a week, on February 15th, the budget for the program I have been working for will have been cut completely and I will be out of a job. The forty-five students who attend my program and their parents will have to find somewhere else to go in a week's time. I am left feeling confused. I voted for Mayor Nutter. I have been trying to do the right thing by the city I live in, and I don't think this change is for the better.

The Philadelphia Daily News has been covering the story of how Nutter's recent cuts will affect the city:

Daily News

Daily News

Myself and my compatriots at the program I work for are trying to get our voices heard. We feel it is our duty to hold the Mayor to his campaign promises, we have been optimistic about this new era for Philadelphia and we want very much for the change we voted in to take place. I invite you to follow this story on my blog as it unravels; currently one of my coworkers is trying to get a meeting with the mayor and this afternoon we will be approaching the parents of the students in our program, reaching out to them in support of our cause. With any luck I will also be sharing with you the student's art projects and a special quilt we are making to send to Major Nutter.

Thank you. It is my hope that together we can make Philadelphia a better place.

-Annette Monnier

Monday, February 4, 2008

2000 Years of Sculpture

Review at Free News Projects.

A.V.O.W (Amps, Volts, Ohms, and Watts)

Painted Bride Art Center February 1 - March 15, 2008

Jeremy Boyle, Pablo Colapinto, Kara Crombie, Max Lawrence, Justin Marshall, and Huong Ngo. Curated by Sean Stoops.

Painted over outlets were dug out for A.V.O.W at Painted Bride

I'm tempted to call Sean Stoops' exhibition at Painted Bride a Max Lawrence solo effort with some Jeremy Boyle mixed in for good measure. Which is not really a horrible critique, as I enjoyed the show, especially the offerings by Maximillian Lawrence. I just might be a little annoyed if I was Pablo Colapinto's video in the downstairs' back corner or even a little angry if I was Kara Crombie's video shoved off to the side of the Bride's front gallery top floor in the middle of what other-wise appears to be a Max Lawrence installation.

Max Lawrence's The Darlington Pair

This "lion" is also by Max Lawrence. I do not know the true name because I forgot to take notes (per usual). If you ghost both hands over the paint you will be able to manipulate the audio of this piece. Here, Carrie Collins demonstrates the wrong way to do this.

I don't want to hassle Sean too much about the gestalt of his group exhibition (It may be my fault that I still know nothing about Justin Marshall) as A.V.O.W offers the perfect chance to wax poetic about how difficult it is to arrange for an art show of Amps, Volts, Ohms, and Watt's electrical magnitude. Mostly I want to give Mr. Stoops props for organizing a show in which six out of eight (?) pieces have to be plugged in inside of a gallery that had painted over all of its outlets. As a curator who is trying to put together an exhibition on open source technology and artworks (Given Enough Eyeballs at the Esther M. Klein in March) I have a first hand knowledge of how difficult it can be to supply your artists with things like electricity, computers, tvs, projectors and all of the myriad of things that art is displayed on or in currently.

There is also the fear, with a show like A.V.O.W, that the art work won't be turned on or working when the audience comes to see it. Three perfect examples of what could go wrong did go wrong while I was perusing the show; A piece of Jeremy Boyle's automated drum-set detached itself, I couldn't figure out how to work the Cd player to hear Huong Ngo's audio piece, and I didn't realize that you had to use both hands, creating a circuit, to hear the audio manipulations in Mr. Lawrence's lion wall piece. As pal Nick Paparone exclaimed "That's the problem with this type of show, too much can go wrong."

Video by Pablo Colapinto

Despite the SNAFU implications, A.V.O.W was time-well spent. It was great to see Max Lawrence's Darlington Pair fully functional and (fingers crossed), it appears that in setting it up for a second time (It was mostly inoperable at Vox in December) all the bugs have been worked out. I think this is the first time I can safely say I've seen a complete work from Mr. Lawrence, though there is evidence from his mad-scientistesque work-bench installation, that Maximillian's work is never done.

A self-playing drum kit by Jeremy Boyle

Maximillian's "work bench" completes his Darlington Pair Installation

Originally posted to artblog.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Adventures in First Friday and Beyond

7 pm at a Tiki Club built into Copy Gallery:

Ben Peterson, he who built the Tiki Club.

Carrie Collins and your blogger take the Tiki down wind to Space 1026 for a little White Noise, a show I promise to review as soon as I can go back and take notes:

This eye was there.

This plane was there.

Adam Wallacavage brings the party.

But Tom Lessner one-ups him by bringing Lucy the one-eyed dog.

Back at Copy/Tiki Club people have started to find out how low they can go:

Evidentally, pretty low:

Some things I forgot to mention yesterday:

James Johnson at Vox.

The End.