Amidst national class warfare, there were some lighter moments this week: e-flux proposed an alternative economy, the MacArthur genius awards were announced, the Google wallet debuted, and the Anonymous occupation of Wall Street is creating a captivating (oft entertaining) news feed. First, the art news:
- The 2011 MacArthur geniuses, who will each be awarded $500,000, were named this morning. This year’s visual arts picks are Ubaldo Vitali, a fourth-generation Italian silversmith, and Jeanne Gang, a Chicago-based architect.
- Get a free lunch while participating in communist art! As part of Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle’s Time/Bank economic system, artists “who like to cook” will be making lunch in exchange for “hour notes,” which can later buy other people’s goods and services. For example, says the e-flux website, if you are in Beijing (you know, at an art fair or something), and you need, say, a press release translated, you can draw on the Time/Bank resources without exchanging money. Among others, artists Martha Rosler, Paul Chan, Liam Gillick, Carlos Motta, AA Bronson, Mariana Silva, Ingrid Erstad, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, will be cooking at a temporary Time/Food restaurant, Thursdays-Saturdays until October 16th at the Abron Arts Center in the Lower East Side.
- When actor Tony Curtis of Some Like It Hot passed away last year, he left his estate, including a Warhol print and a few Picassos, to his last wife Jill. His six, disinherited children began a public dispute when, unbeknownst to them, Jill Curtis sold off her husband’s estate at a $1 million auction. A signed Warhol print commemorating Some Like It Hot sold for over $53,000.
- Holy breasts uncovered! The Guardian announced that somewhere in the world, a statue of a bare-breasted woman was uncovered during a church renovation. As was the case with many prude Medieval Europeans, some one (possibly John Wesley, the founder of Methodism) had a shirt made for the distracting statue. Hundreds of years later, to the dismay of John Ashcroft, conservationists removed it again.
- As part of its plan to overthrow the system, Anonymous wants to replace the big-balled Wall street bull with a publicly-funded bison statue. This brings us to this week’s news:
- If you haven’t heard, the hacker group Anonymous, members of which have scheduled to destroy Facebook in about a month, is occupying Wall Street in conjunction with Adbusters. Though the occupation is, of course, an ongoing struggle for democracy, it’s had a few theatrical moments. (As you may recall, they basically made a horror movie commercial for themselves last year.) By theatrical, we’re talking V for Vendetta: proof that there is no longer any separation between Hot Topic and anarchy.
- However, like any multi-day standoff, things were bound to get a little ugly. A cop got pissed off and tossed some one on the ground, to the protestors’ chant “The Whole World is Watching.” Yahoo censored emails. Despite calls for reinforcement, blog coverage, and tweet requests for “Occu-pie” pizzas, this thing has gotten surprisingly little mainstream media attention.
- If you were wondering why the D train wasn’t working yesterday, it was because of a huge flood, caused by a broken water main, resulting in widespread debris and a giant sinkhole on 106th street. In a moment that makes you really psyched about the system, the MTA worked all night, pumping out three to ten feet of water, to get the trains running again. This entailed bagging debris, fixing thirty signal stop arms, and setting up stationary and portable pumps in order to move 6,000 gallons of water per minute out of the tunnels and into the sewers.
- Google wallet plans to do away with the “monstrocity” that is your regular wallet. Now you can save all your cards on your phone and just “tap and pay” wherever you go. They say it’s safer than a regular wallet, because you lock it with a pin. This works great for the taxi passenger in the Google ad, but what are homeless people going to do when spare change is obsolete?