Post image for Stories Made With Love: Sondra Perry’s Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation

It’s an overcast day in March when Sondra Perry shoots her family portrait. She gathers the roughly ten members to stand in front of what we assume is her grandmother’s house, and asks them to hold up the American flag. They are all African American and wearing neon-green ski masks. “1-2-3,” chants Perry. “Cheese!” says the family.

A finder window pops up. The cursor clicks around and starts the music. “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” rings out and the window begins to slowly rotate and float back into the neon-green desktop wallpaper.

It’s a hypnotizing and beautiful entry point into Perry’s 25-minute “Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation: Number One,” a video that uses multiple windows on dual computer screens to invite viewers and her family to reimagine black identity and social history. Perry casts her relatives as themselves, and asks them to recall and reconstruct personal and fabricated family traditions. The result is a film that presents identity as half-true, half-constructed, and entirely mutable in the digital age. It’s a brilliant video, and one of the most worthy of attention I’ve seen in a long time.

Post image for GIF of the Day: Chriddof’s Ass Cat

chriddof

This is a cat frantically trying to escape from a bald man’s anus. The man seems downright elated about this situation. The smile on his face could be seen as the ecstasy accompanying the gratification of an unspeakably perverse sexual fantasy. Or perhaps the self-aware smirk of a frat boy preemptively reveling in the meme-fame he is anticipating as the result of this stunt performed for the virtual panopticon. Though the intentions of the image’s author remain tantalizingly opaque in regards to the human figure, it is clear the feline co-star’s expression can only be read as one of terrified desperation. As such, if this tableau were to be interpreted as a sexual fantasy, the fetish depicted would be thoroughly sadistic and thoroughly masochistic with equal depravity. And as whatever CGI-animal-rights group would already be incensed at this display of virtual anal cruelty, we as viewers are left only with the hope that the cat had been digitally de-clawed.

This animation is the work of Chriddof—an enigmatic internet auteur whose oeuvre spans across multiple YoutTube channels, various deleted-then-reactivated-then-deleted-again social-media accounts, and numerous hard-to-authenticate blogs. Last year, Dangerous Minds did a thorough job researching the artist, whose real name is Chris Lyons. But even poking around their archive of sources, one encounters mostly broken links and accounts of dubious provenance. The domain chriddof.com itself appears to be a tribute archive of found, suspected work by Lyons, rather than the artist’s own website.

What can be gleaned from that wealth of content? A conflicted individual—seemingly alienated from both the mass-media he frequently parodies and the expectations of anatomical normativity. Chriddof’s figures are idealized humans contorted to fit the strangest mutilations and depravity dreamt up by the hive-mind of the Internet’s subconscious. “Perfect” male and female figures slowly morph into fleshy monstrosities or—as in the GIF I’m calling “Ass Cat”—are thrust together with one another and/or animals to create images far more monstrous. Forced to forever loop for a few short frames, we know “Ass Cat” will never escape its rectal prison, and that look of ecstasy will never fade from its captor’s face.

Post image for This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Punk for Cyberpunks

This is one of those New York City weeks that gets off to a slow start and then builds up to a Friday night of frantically running around to see it all. It’s also one of those great weeks that reminds you the city is still full of people doing awesome, cheap projects with a DIY ethos.

Post image for Hi, Artists! Autumn 2015 IMG MGMT Application Now Open

We’re now accepting applications for our autumn 2015 IMG MGMT series! Deadline is August 1.

The strange world of sunburn stock photography.

The strange world of sunburn stock photography. Ow.

  • How popular are different art businesses globally, according to Facebook likes? Apparently Americans like Christie’s more than Sotheby’s. [ARTnews]
  • Don’t do “sunburn art”! (As if this were a “real” trend….) [Standard Daily]
  • Australia’s art funding is facing “dark days” due to budget cuts. [The Guardian]
  • Also facing a budget crisis: Chicago public schools. The city is cutting the schools’ budget by $200 million. [Marketplace]
  • An insightful article on the former sources of performance art. The author wonders about some outsider sources as well, from Oofty Goofty, a feral man-beast covered in tar, to Mr. Eat It All, a guy who tried to eat a waterbed for a promotional event. [Glasstire]
  • This is not surprising: art is really popular among the mega-wealthy. JJ Charlesworth talks about the rise of the prices in relation to the new global elite and the concept of scarcity as value. [artnet News]
  • “Incredibly fast and easy loans against your artworks. 4% Monthly, No Fees. Money tomorrow.”​ The mega-wealthy can now receive low-interest loans from ArtRank by leveraging their art collection as collateral. [Observer]
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem has just announced that David Adjaye is designing a $122 million new home for the institution. Unfortunately, it looks like this means the current building, which dates from 1914, will be joining the list of historic structures in Harlem that have been demolished in the past few years. [The New York Times]
  • Horror fans and art-school students, rejoice! This Halloween, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on Art School of Horrors, a Roger Corman production, where “bad art wants revenge.” [IMDB]
  • Baltimore has awesome bars and creative people—who actually want to be friends with you. [The New York Times]
  • In China, the exhibition ban on Ai Weiwei has been lifted. The artist remains unable to travel outside the country. [The Art Newspaper]
  • A piece of public art in Liverpool has been destroyed by vandals. The sculpture was a brass bird with electronics that played recordings of city residents talking about their hopes and dreams. Everyone’s a critic. [Liverpool Echo]
  • Hello, bears! It’s bear-cam season. [Explore]
Post image for Highlights From the ICA Boston: The Foster Prize and Arlene Shechet

In part two of my Boston adventure, I visit the ICA for a sculptor’s retrospective and an exhibition by the recipients of the 2015 James and Audrey Foster Prize.