Monday, March 31, 2008


For a meditation on how much art fairs sort of suck read Roberta Smith's NY Times article on the The Armory Show.


I've decided not to bother. Sure, I got depressed sometimes. Sure, I think it's all over-done. Sure, I think some of it's crap. In light of the fact that there is a huge undertone of swindle to the art-world that all of us have already been disilluisioned by, and taking into account that we have reconciled ourselves to the conclusion that art cannot change the world for the better and that yes, the majority of it is about the money, I'm just going to point out the things I enjoyed or became interested in. After all; I still like art. I still like artists, and I even like some dealers and curators. I suggest looking at everything without thinking about how much it must cost. Information on galleries is a little absent because in most cases I forgot to care about which gallery I was at.


Ara Peterson (click for an awesome web experience. Sorry, did not write down the title of this artwork.) I saw this piece in the Ratio 3 booth, Ratio 3 is a San Francisco Gallery that also represents Philadelphia resident Ben Peterson. Some readers may recall that Ara was a founding member of Forcefield.


Jacob Dahlgren Sydney 2006. His website is really cool and gives you a better idea of the scope of his work, make sure to check out the wall of dart boards.


Eliezer Sonnenschein (a good bit about him on JamesWagner)--yes, a drawing on a pot leaf. I would totally own this.


Jennifer and Kevin McCoy Big Box (biosphere), 2008.


Tara Donovan, Untitled (mylar), 2008.


Takeshi Murata, also at Ratio 3.


Sterling Ruby, Big Grid 2008.


Ry Rocklen, Rock Balance (2), 2008.


Dennis Tyfus. Untitled 2008. Couldn't help but love this little drawing just tacked to the wall, lonely.


Yeah. Ha. Cory Archangel with Photoshop Gradient and Smudge Tool Demonstration 2007. Also, I would own this if I could.


Colby Bird, go to his website if you want to feel like you're on Terrence Koh's website but you'll get more out of this Village Voice article. I almost feel dirty for liking this piece.


Richard Tuttle, 20 Pearls (1), 2003.


Noah Lyon kept it real, selling buttons for $2, not a button installation for $12,000. Rad. Plus, while Noah and I were ranting about how lame The Armory was John Waters totally walked past us.


Mark Dion was EVERYWHERE, and for some reason I snap-shoted one of the lousier pieces. Still. . .


Brandon Lattu!


Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung. Residential Erection (Barack Obama) 2008, may be one way to solve the problem of how to sell work that was made for the internet. . .


Chris Johansen who always seems like the voice of sanity.



Mitzi Pederson. I guess I've seen her work before, but I really started to relate to it while I was at The Armory. There is something transcendental about how beautiful cheap wood, glitter, cellophane, and string can look even though it's barely there.

Martin Jacobson. There's not much around the internet on this man and the flick I took of his work sucks to hard to post, but I may have developed a bit of an art crush. He's Swedish, I guess.

P.S. If this post overwhelms you try visiting the fair. . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008



I'm bringing bike painter Taliah Lempert to Copy Gallery this April. The show is opening next week: Opens Friday, April 4th 6-11.

I'm writing an essay that takes painting the bike back to around Renaissance era and compares it with the old-school inclination to paint horses, there may even be a word or two in there about custom paintings in general. I promise to publish it here when it's done and also to have copies available at the gallery for the opening.

This painting show will also coincide with R.E.Load's 8th Annual April Fools Fun Ride (more info here.) which Copy salutes and supports. Bikes rule.

Below are some pictures I took when I visited Taliah's studio last year:





Also I'm headed to The Armory Show this Friday, and I mean to check out The Dark Fair at The Swiss Institute, and I want to stop by Honey Space. I'll probably also go to many more things, but these things sound the raddest. If you have a hot tip let me in on it.

Also! Next week I'm going to the press preview for Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum. Yes! Art candy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My picture of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, now in a private collection.


Just turn your computer sideways to see it properly.

Or. . . I guess you can look at it straight:


As always, the best way to actually see any of my drawings is with your nose about an inch from the actual paper.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Existential Science Fiction; Michel Houellebecq


Michel Houllebecq with dog. Philip K. Dick with cat.

About a year ago I read an article in The Believer on The Believer that lead me to want to read the works of Michel Houellebecq, an author who has a reputation for offending people, especially those who follow religion or spirituality of any sort or are a muslim or are a woman. The article relates a rather boring literary tour of The States Houellebecq was making that the author of the piece was asked to tag along on. During the entire run of the article the author/reporter is waiting for Houellebecq to do something horrible, but the novelist mostly pretends to be asleep in the back seat of the car.

Since then I have read Extension du domaine de la lutte (in english translation: Whatever), Les Particules elementaires (The Elementary Particles) and La Possibilite d'une (The Possibility of an Island) . Each of these novels are pretty much what I was lead to believe they were; nihilistic, existential, often depressing, serious, offensive if you take offense to things written in novels (for instance women don't usually make out as anything more then someone to stick your dick inside), and really good. All of this was to be expected.

What I didn't expect upon reaching the end of Les Particles elementaires was to find out that the entire time I thought I had been reading a really serious "nihilist classic" (quoted from somewhere, loosely) I was really reading a really excellent piece of SciFi. As the last chapter reveals the entire novel is written by an evolved form of humanoid who tells the story of one of the human scientists responsible for the evolution from human to humanoid in order for the humanoids to better understand their human predecessors. The Possibility of an Island starts out SciFi, as every other chapter is written by a clone (Daniels 24 and 25) commentating on the life story of the human he was cloned after (Daniel 1).

What strikes me as dead strange is the lack of reviews that put Michel Houellebecq's novels in the category of Science Fiction. (Houellebecq himself has, however, written an essay on H. P Lovecraft.) In fact, if Les Particles elementaires was an album put out by a band I might review it as The Stranger if Albert Camus wrote Science Fiction, or, something Philip K. Dick* might write if he was a grumpy french man. Granted, Whatever had no real trace of sci-finess, but it also had very little trace of a plot, one might liken it to a long rant. Each subsequent novel (including Platform which I have yet to read) could easily have been a plot device used by Kurt Vonnegut.

The only reason I can come up with for this complete lack of discussion on the topic is that the stigma of Science Fiction would stop people from declaring Houllebecq "the new Camus" or "the best french writer of his generation". I however, have no problem with declaring that most of my favorite novels are Science Fiction novels and that Science Fiction seems to be the only fiction that makes any real sense these days.

*It might even be interesting to write a long essay comparing the the use of cloned animal companions (dogs only) in The Possibility of an Island with Philip K Dick's character's obsession with android/real animals in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. In both novels the love of an animal outweighs the love of another human being.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Opportunity for Artists

Submit your work to be a part of Vox Populi's annual juried show:
Submission Form.

Friday, March 21, 2008

When a print goes 3d it's called Seripop

Chloe of the Montreal-based print duo Seripop sent these to my e-mail the other day, she didn't really give much of an explanation but I think they pretty much explain themselves:


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dave Dunn at Copy

At Copy Gallery through March 29th. Opened by appointment (e-mail: or Thursday-Saturdays 12-6 for the rest of the month.


In order to prepare to write a review of Dave Dunn's video installation, Reflection Time, at Copy thru March 29th, I re-read a review I wrote on Dave's work when I was working as a blogger for Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and Copy was called Black Floor and Black Floor was hosting all sorts of events at the ICA. You can read that review here, but I don't suggest it because I think I was full of poop. Not that the review is mean or anything, it just fails to see how great the work of Dave Dunn really is.

Reflection Time, as an installation, is five videos on five TVs. Grouped together; are two TVs with videos of vacuum cleaners being turned and left on. On a separate table two TVs; one with a video of endless buses passing you by and one with a video of a disembodied hand (read as "Dave's hand" or "the camera person's hand") opening an endless stream of doors. There is one single television on a table by itself with a video of Mr. Dunn running through the streets of Philadelphia with a paper bag in his hand which he breathes in and out of, his other hand (not pictured on screen) holds the video camera.


I am not sure if the videos are meant to stand alone or meant to be viewed as one piece. I don't think it matters, though your experience would be different if you fell upon one of the videos in isolation from the others. As they are, I believe a visitor to the gallery summed up the experience best when she said "This is stressful to watch."

Buses, opening doors, hyperventilating on the streets, vacuum cleaners running for no reason and producing a machine-like buzz, simultaneously. Infinity, because everything repeats on an endless loop and everywhere the evidence of the videos, tvs, and dvd-players being plugged into an electrical supply. The lighting is also a tad dramatic. All of this seems in opposition to the exhibition's name, Reflection Time, which is the only text Dave has provided us with to explain his meaning but I think I catch his drift. . .


The camera has done the recording, been the eye, as Dave has gone about his busy days. It has produced data. Now, in a small gallery on the 3rd floor of a warehouse-space, we have the chance to sit back and study it.


Friday, March 14, 2008


The show opens today. 5-8. The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery


Open Source

Eric S. Raymond ("Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow")

The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Raymond's book

Linus Torvalds, the developer of the Linux kernel, on Charlie Rose


Arnaoot, Ramsey and his project at The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study

Bocchino, A J

Bruns, Kendall: watch The Haircut.

DiGiuseppe, Joe

Sodeoka, Yoshi


Kenneth Tin-Kin, an artist

Cory Arcangel, an artist

Conrad Bakker, an artist

Super Mario Bros. Air hack speed run

Mario clouds in reverse

Reverse Super Mario Clouds

Rhizome. org

Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, artists



We were written up today!!!


A screen shot of the Audio-Video Sampling Synthesizer.

Ramsey Arnaoot is a philadelphia-based artist and faculty member of The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study, which we call pifas for short. I wrote a blog a while back on Ramsey's artist residency program here.

His piece for Given Enough Eyeballs is an Audio-Video Sampling Synthesizer , and has the distinction of being the only project in the exhibition that actually utilizes open source technologies. At it's simplest the Audio-Visual Sampling Synthesizer is a machine that will create a mixed-up version of anything you put inside of it, a tool for creating new data out of old. At it's most complex it gives us a behind-the-scenes look at digital media that we often take for granted, making the technologies of the image transparent.

The source code for Ramsey's project and notes on how he created the program are all openly available to the public on The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study's web-site.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Mr. DiGiuseppe is a young Philadelphia-based artist who also has a hand in running one of our city's best alternative spaces, Flux Space, which is hosting an opening for Extra Virgin this evening.

See Joe's project here.

Joe has lots of big ideas. I did a studio visit with him back in the beginning stages of Given Enough Eyeballs, and while I didn't see much in the area of concrete work, I was aware of his interest in internet-based art (there are some examples on his web-page) and I decided to chance it on the grounds of his ambition. He has created a truly beautiful piece of interactive sculpture for the exhibition called Entertainment Center #3 (along with several other working titles).

The technologies employed in Entertainment Center #3 are analog, the inquisitive nature of the piece speaks to the thesis of the exhibition. Plus, when you visit the Science Center, you'll see how rad it is to have a piece that calls for public interaction.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008



Yoshi Sodeoka creates internet-based art, video art, design, and experimental noise. He's done pretty well at it, creating projects for websites like the Whitney Museum's Artport, and, receiving grants from the likes of the Greenwall Foundation, and having works in the permanent collections of San Francisco MoMA and the Museum of the Moving Image.

A good many of his projects are available for your eyes to and ears to view on his website c505. You could spend all day on it, as I have done, and not be any closer to describing what you like about it and how you think it's relevant. Many of the articles on Yoshi like to point out that "he's a man of many hats" which makes it a little hard to pin-point a portrait of what his work is. He has many projects under many names and combined this makes for an awesome web experience.

The video on view in Given Enough Eyeballs is Let It Bleed (Left) Let It Be (Right), The Stones And The Beatles Getting Tweaked At The Same Time. It is a mash-up of documentation of The Stones playing Let It Be with The Beatles playing Let It Bleed. The audio of both songs has also been mashed, so what you have is an audio/visual portrait of what happens when you combine Let It Be with Let It Bleed. One reason Yoshi was drawn towards creating this frankenstein video is the history of similarities between the two songs and groups who wrote the songs.

Combing The Stones and The Beatles doesn't give us any new tangible information about a heated pop-culture discussion, but it may be the last word in discussing the discussion.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Hey, welcome back.

If this is your first time visiting the blog this week let me fill you in; This Friday an exhibition I curated is opening at the The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery (3600 Market Street, Philadelphia 5-8pm). I'm taking the week to introduce the public to the artists in the show.

Today I'm sharing the work of A J Bocchino. Here are some pictures I took of A J's work as it appears in his studio during a recent trip to New York:

A J Bocchino seems to be most known for his New York Times Headlines pieces but he also makes prints of systems that involve flags, corporate logos, images, and other forms of data.

A J's work is different from most of the other pieces I have chosen to include in Given Enough Eyeballs, mostly because his work retains many of the properties of "traditional art". That is, it's on paper, you can hang it up, he creates large series of similar works, and you get more out of seeing the work in person then you do by looking at it on-line. The large, color-coded, images and headlines differ from our usual idea of a static work in that they are (usually) all on disk and A J can print them out to whatever scale fits best.

Two pieces by Mr. Bocchino, The New York Times Headlines (1976-1985) and (1986-1995), will be on view. They are just what the title makes them out to be, the headlines of the New York Times from the years in question, all laid out in order, and awarded a color that corresponds to a category (i.e. politics, war, entertainment, etc.). When looking at the pieces you feel as if you've been given the cliff's notes for a decade, and it's rather unsettling to see all the names and histories you have forgotten. Every time I encounter one of A J's works I can't stop looking at them, It's startling to have history laid out in a comprehensive way in front of you and the prints almost fool you into thinking you can figure it (meaning life and etc.) all out. The work has the added bonus of being lovely, if you unfocus your eyes or stand back far enough you can pretend you are looking at an abstract formation of random color.

You can familiarize yourself with some of A J's other projects by following the links below:

An article in Downtown Express.

A large wallpaper print.

A slide-show at neoimages


The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery
Opens Friday March 14th (5-8pm) - April 26th

This is the announcement card. It is a photo of the plants in the lobby of The Science Center

This Friday a show I put together for The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery is opening. The work all somehow relates to open source, a computer term that refers to a set of principles for designing software in which the source code, which you can think of as the building blocks for a software program, is openly available for any and all parties to use or learn from. Because a lot of the work is more cerebral then visual I've decided to spend this week blogging about the artists in the show and highlighting how cool their work is, this makes double sense because many of the artist's work is readily available to view online. If you take the time to visit the exhibition you will also benefit from a personal experiment; is it necessary to investigate artworks in person or do you get more out of the online experience?

Today we will cover the work of Kendall Bruns, a Cincinnati-based artist who spends most of his time making videos and pod-casts that are freely distributed on the inter-webs.

Kendall has a dry sense of humor that is a little hard to take at first. His artwork is also really self-absorbed but, taking these factors in mind, I think you'll come to love him as I do. He has two pieces in Given Enough Eyeballs.

Kendall's haircut history chart.

The first is entitled The Haircut Entries and this is a grid of entry forms for a contest to create a new haircut for Kendall. The artwork isn't really the entries but the documentary, which turned out a lot like a reality tv program, called The Haircut. You can view the documentary online by accessing Kendall's you-tube or Vimeo channel Pizza Infinity, which is also the name of his podcast. I've embedded the first part of The Haircut here, altogether there are four parts. I suggest watching them as they are pretty funny and in a mixed-up way a sort of poignant metaphor for the condition of public image and art:

My favorite moment is in the second part when Kendall says "People don't like art because it's pretentious and boring. This may be pretenious but it's at least not boring." I think this quote explains the heart of the whole project.

Mr. Brun's second work is called Landscape and it's the first world of Super Mario Bros with Mario removed. I wanted this piece in the exhibition as sort of a homage to all of the artworks and etc. that have been created by hacking Mario Bros.

Here are some links to just a few of the things regular people and artists have created using this video game:

Cory Archangel scroll down the page until you see his "Mario Clouds" project which you can download the source code for.

Mario Air Hack, if you follow this link you will find many related "hack" you-tube searches, happy hunting.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Air-Kissing at Arcadia University

It was discussed, during the talk between artists and curator, before the opening of Air Kissing at Arcadia University's Art Gallery, that a group show is often seen as a competition for "most-noticable art work" (this was stated by James Mills, a Philadelphia-based artist, who coincidentally, has never sold a piece of art.)

When I arrived home and looked at my pictures of the exhibition, I found that I was only interested in one thing and it was a piece I had heard of before but never really thought about: Prada Marfa, a life-size sculpture of a Prada Boutique created by Germany-based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingmar Dragset. Below is one of the pictures (the opening) of the sculpture on view at Air-Kissing:

On a website devoted to Marfa I found this description of the project:

"The work will be located on the outskirts of Valentine, Texas near Marfa on desolate ranching land with no other visible trace of civilization. As one drives toward the artwork it will appear to be a large minimalist sculpture, as one gets closer it will look like a luxury boutique where a display of Fall 2005 high-heel Prada shoes and bags will be seen through the store front windows... [It]blends into the exciting historical structures of the area in which it will be placed... As we purposefully will not preserve Prada Marfa, it will eventually become a ruin so that even in a future decayed state it will remain relevant to the time in which it was made..."

With a 13-note long comment thread that included gems such as:

"Don't mess with Texas. This sounds like littering to me." and

". . . As to how this is different from the rest of the Marfa circus, well, there's a line in there somewhere between bringing something to town and just using the place, gobbling it up to serve your own ends. Thank god a lot of the new arrivals fall in the former; I reckon, however, that we will see more and more of the latter as the years go by."

One gets to thinking the population of Marfa, Texas are a good, well-meaning and honest people who are the unwitting targets of a zombie-art invasion that started with Donald Judd.

Everything Must Go! by James Mills, is a wiry comment on the state of the art market that typifies the exhibition's love-hate relationship with the art world.

As for the rest of Air-Kissing I only mention this highly-romanticized piece of art folklore: Marcel Duchamp "quit" art to become a master of chess, only to secretly create the best piece of kitsch road-side attraction-art on the planet that now resides in the Philadelphia Art Museum; Étant donnés (Given: 1 The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas, French: Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau / 2° le gaz d'éclairage.)

Truthfully, though I really like many of the artists in Air-Kissing and often critique the art world in a similar fashion. . . if all of them never made a piece of art again I doubt I could bring myself to really care, just as you, dear reader, could easily replace me if I never blogged again. If art is a job it has little stability and no benefits (in terms of healthcare), perhaps we should all send in letters of resignation?

Air-Kissing: An Exhibition of Contemporary Art about the Art World
March 5-April 20th at Arcadia University.
Curated by Sasha Archibald, originally at Momenta Art (Brooklyn)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Deitch Projects February 16, 2008-March 22, 2008.

Michel Gondry has the sort of not-easily defined and boundary-stepping career that many people seem to have these days. No longer can film-makers stay film-makers, or music-video-makers stay music-video-makers, or artists stay artists, or commercial-makers stay commercial-makers. No. You have to be all of thee above. I wonder how the kids are going to turn out without any of these distinctions?

I missed Gondry's first foray into installation art, for The Science of Sleep, at Deitch Projects on Grand. In fact, it didn't even cross my radar so I was surprised (and a little bit giddy) to find an installation about a movie I had seen advertised on TV at Deitch Projects on Wooster. I think I said "I saw this on TV!!!"

As I stare at my powerbook today I wonder why I was so excited and I blame it on working for too long at cross-marketing things (I am, after-all, a blogger). My first thought is to think that Gondry's installation at Deitch is great promotion for his movie and vice versa. My second thought doesn't even go that far and I simply try to figure out if I had a good time at the exhibition.

What Gondry's done is to set up a maze-like world of movie sets. The "opening set" is the video store from Be Kind Rewind the movie (which I have not seen yet), which you pass through to journey a labyrinth of fake trains, cars that look as though they are moving due to video screens behind them, bedrooms whose windows change from day scene to night scene, little cafes, doctor's offices, escalators and etc. You can sign up to make a movie while you're there and Deitch provides the camera, you can leave the movie you made in the video store and people can watch it there. All of this is very cool and you know how much I love to take a good picture. The area was ripe with the means to take a good picture.

Here, provided, is the means to make yourself a local celebrity (A local NYC celebrity!). You could film a bad-ass zombie movie with a group of friends after you all went out for a sushi dinner. People could watch it. People could bootleg it and you-tube it. Part of me would really like to do this, while another, bigger part of me, grows more apathetic by the minute. That part almost wishes for the "good old days" when you could be a faceless entity, entertained, but not expected to do any of the entertaining.