Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Brief Updates:

I have quit writing for ARTistics because of restraints on my time.

I am now the Outreach Coordinator of The Claymobile.

I look forward to the launch of the Megawords storefront and to 10% Tiger Fire, the show I'm curating of work by Beth Brandon and Carrie Collins for Copy in September.

New Paper Napkin recording on the podcast.

Move-On Obama buttons designed by Print Liberation.

RELoad and Magic Outlaw combine to make THE BEST MESSENGER BAG EVER (top).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This music video is great.

Parts of the Whole

(A pie chart of un-excellence in art)

Me, in front of an Adam Cvijanovic.

It's been awhile since I've felt that special aesthetic feeling you get sometimes when you enter into an especially well-put together art exhibition. 50% of the problem can be blamed on my new job, which is taking up a large chunk of my aesthetic and intellectual experience these days, 20% might be on the account of summer which makes everything beside a mojito poolside look like hot poop on a stick, but I solidly believe a good 30% can rest on things really not being super-interesting of late. I guess that's to be expected, standing rumor being that the art-world takes a well-deserved break in the summer.

Still, in every stinky summer garbage heap there grows a surprisingly pretty weed and this particular web-log will be devoted to sharing the one's this blogger has lately spotted:

Maybe two weekends back I travelled to Upstate New york with pal Ben Peterson to see Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape at The Neuberger Museum of Art. You can read the NY times review of the show here.

I wasn't that stoked on Ben's piece in the exhibition, though usually I am quite enamored, this drawing (not pictured, though hopefully you will be able to look it up via the web as soon as the museum's site lists the show in it's "past exhibitions", currently it must be lost somewhere between past and current.) left me feeling flat. However, there is no doubt that Mr. Peterson deserved to be in the exhibition, his work fit in with the pseudo-apocalyptic landscape thesis of the show really well, and I'm totally excited to see the work Ben's making for an exhibition at Ratio 3 coming up in January 2009.

My personal favorite piece in the show was the large-as-life landscape by Mr. Adam Cvijanovic. Many pieces (his included) would have worked well in a museum of natural history setting, perhaps as part of a diorama.

For some reason I had a better time at the museum's other exhibition; Reframing American Art: Selections from the Roy R. Neuberger Collection, which was a show of modern art from the museum's permanent collection. There was a very nice small Rothko, a weirdo Marsden Hartley that I actually liked (Mr. Hartley and I have never been great pals), a cute Lee Krasner next to a Jackson Pollock that wasn't very special as Jackson Pollock's go and a painting by Horace Pippin that I've been haunted by ever since I saw it:

The exhibition space was carpeted in brown, and in the middle of the floor was a box fan, unplugged. I was charmed to say the least.

I found these two sculptures of ash-trays at The Clay Studio the other day. I think they're amazing. I found out the artist's name but don't know how to spell it, evidently she's 90 and used to live in Hollywood. The style of the ash-tray looks very L.A., and I think they make a very good case for ash-trays, an art-form that grows ever-more extinct with the banning of cigarettes.

Finally, I went to the "mold opening" at Little Berlin the other night. I didn't think much of the show in general, though the atmosphere and fellowship was inspiring. However, I did think this piece; Jesus' face sculpted onto the bodies of several different cartoons and super-heros was more then clever:

You could write essays and essays on the jesus-type imagery in many cartoons and super-hero stories but I think looking at this would render just about any intellectual argument unnecessary.

The End.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Artfag tells it like it is re Terence Koh

I have dreams about being being able to express my cynicism as well as artfag:

"We’re sure some meat-headed queer academician will, with breathless enthusiasm, confuse content for substance, and apologize for this waste of celluloid by christening it Dionysiac and piling a great wet heap of blue-chip precedents all over it. No doubt Andy Warhol and Kenneth Anger and Jack Smith and Pier Paolo Pasolini will end up shoved into the lubricious gangbang of justifying cross-references. And perhaps this will fool the foolhardy. But the fact remains that this is in perfect keeping with the rest of Mr. Koh’s oeuvre: pretty, bombastic, and utterly meaningless."


Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear Internet,

There is so much I need to tell you but I puke every time I go to type it down. Please enjoy this recording in information's stead.

I am working on curating an exhibition for Copy in September, a two-person show; Beth Brandon and Carrie Collins (BB and CC) everything else, besides work. . . I am sorry.

I think you'll be alright without me,


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Marisa Olson: Background Information

This image taken from Marisa's Blog.

The following is a transcript of a telephone conversation I had with Marisa Olson.Feel free to download the podcast if you prefer to listen, but I must warn you that the quality of the audio is appallingly bad.

The first question I asked was supposed to be "What is New Media Art?", a question Marisa, classified as a new media artist herself and also curator-at-large and staff writer for the new museum's new media component;, is in a better position then most to attempt to answer. However, I forgot to turn on the recorder for most of that answer.

Marisa, who lives in New York and has recently taken her oeuvre on tour to Paris, Berlin, and Cincinnati, Ohio, is in no fewer then two exhibitions in Philadelphia at the minute. A solo exhibition of her work, "Background Information", opens at the Esther M. Klein Gallery TONIGHT! (she is also in Bitmap at Drexel):

New Media can be old

Annette: You mentioned earlier that New Media art doesn't necessarily have to deal with new technologies because a lot of the [technology] used in [what's classified as] New Media art is now old. I noticed in your personal artwork there's a lot of nostalgia, maybe, for artwork gone by. Could you address that issue?

Marisa: You mean for media that's gone by?

Annette: Yes [sorry]. For instance on your blog you have an image of a [cassette] tape with your name on it which looks sort of "bubblegum pop", and I noticed you've done a lot of drawings based off images you found on the internet that were of older headphones and recording devices. . .

Marisa: Yeah. That work that I've done with mixed-tapes and headphones and that sort of thing, it definitely initially came out of a space of nostalgia, but as I worked more and more with it I've asked myself why I'm so interested and I've realized that I'm more into media change then anything. I'm more interested in what are the cultural or political forces that compel people to keep upgrading and keep making the new ipod or the new device that makes the old one obsolete. More so, what happens to those old things? Do they just end up in landfills?

These drawing's that I've been making, these monitor tracings--sorry it's really loud outside--

Annette: s'ok

Marisa: In a way they are about the google image search and the way the internet is becoming this depository for our memories of these things, these things that are sort of "out of sight, out of mind". The other thing about these drawings is thinking about the monitor as the newest technology in the lineage of technologies that have assisted artists, like the camera obscura, the overhead projector, that kind of thing. It's all kind of about the evolution of technology.

I'm really nerdy

Marisa: I'm really nerdy.

Annette: Actually, I was wondering how nerdy you are? Do have, like a degree? How much technology do you actually understand? I realize that you have to be able to manipulate it. . .

Marisa: When I was a little kid I was a total computer-programmer nerd on my Commodore 64 and now I write a lot of html, everyday, by hand, but I'm not like a hard-core programmer by any means.

Annette: Well html is kind of old isn't it, if you were [hard-core] you'd be writing in something crazy, like not even Java Script anymore I don't think. . .

Marisa: Yeah. I can't really do any of that stuff. But I can understand what it can do and have conversations with people about it, which I like. I like learning more, it's kind of mystifying and really interesting.

Speaking of degrees, I don't really have a degree in computer science but in the course of working on my PHD one of my official field titles was "The Cultural History of Technology" so I have spent a lot of time studying the history of batteries, televisions, telephones, and video games. . .

Marisa Olson, Free Gift Economy, 2007, screengrab AFC, stolen from artfagcity.


Annette: Is that like studying "The History and Philosophy of Science" or something?

Marisa: Yeah. Exactly, it's very closely related.

Annette: I always liked those kind of courses. That sounds pretty cool.

Marisa: Yeah, me too. Thomas Khun is one of my favorite writers, "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions".

Annette: Oh, yeah. I remember reading that in a class called something like "History and Science of Philosophy 101" or something.

Marisa: I re-read it every single year. Twenty-four is my favorite page.

Annette: I have no idea what that refers to but I'll look it up.

Marisa: It's just this line about how science is trying to force nature into a conformed thought. It's all about how science as a field is trying to confirm existing ways of thinking, existing paradigms, and you have to wait until enough things don't fit into the box until you change the box. I dunno. I like stuff like that.


[Cut out in acknowledgment of all of our sort attention spans

A bit about gender politics, which is a sore spot of mine and makes me sound like a dweeb. (As you may too notice; Marisa's work looks "girly" and I wondered why.)

A bit about Marisa's childhood, basically stating that she had very technological parents. ("They were in intelligence")

Some bits about how the opening she attended in Cincinnati, Ohio was one of the funnest openings she has attended in a long time. . .

And, just a recap of all the myriad of things Marisa has been up to this summer.]



Annette: I just want to end with a little bit more about your show at Esther Klein Gallery that is coming up on Friday. It's called Background Information, what sort of spurred the ideas of the work in the show?

Marisa: All the work in the show revolves around images pulled from the internet that are not really meant to be looked at directly. I'm going to do a wallpaper installation of the background image on my myspace page, which a lot of these animated .gifs are referred to as wallpaper files. I'm actually making wallpaper out of it.

Then there are are other things like a flickr space search bale, it's an image that flickr uses to cover up "inappropriate images", or a comparison of the background images that really hide in the background of the web-pages for McCain and Obama, just showing only the background and you can kind of think about whose is whose, and other kinds of images that are meant to be peripheral rather then foreground images but have a kind of duty and cultural relevance of their own.

There's also going to be a video animation that uses only icons from my facebook page.

It's kind of a double entendre, background information in terms of background images, but also background information about myself and the kinds of web pages I've been looking at. It's kind of a self-portrait in a way, the type of material that I tend to surf.

Annette: Yeah. Especially coming from your myspace page, that seems pretty auto-biographical.

Marisa: Yeah, even though looking at this wallpaper of glittery stars isn't going to tell you that much about me, but that's kind of funny too because I think that the whole discourse of auto-biographical art could use some critique.