Archive of Rhett Jones

Rhett has written 36 article(s) for AFC.

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Rhett Jones

NEW INC’s “Public Beta” Showcase Is Incubating Something Weird

by Rhett Jones on July 29, 2016
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It’s been about 35 years since we were first promised a viable, commercial virtual reality headset. The time for that promise to be fulfilled seems to be upon us with major technology companies going all in on the research and infrastructure that will be necessary to make it happen both as a technology and a product.

NEW INC, the New Museum’s ambitious effort to fuse artist residencies, coworking spaces and business incubators into one singular program, has had two years to become a fully-formed innovation. It’s tough to say whether that’s happened yet, but the latest “Public Beta” (on through July 31st, part 2 will run from August 4-7th) is certainly different than any exhibition going right now and indicates that what’s to come could be a weird and original niche between several disciplinary worlds.

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This Week’s Must See Events: Fear and Loathing in the Art World

by Rhett Jones on July 25, 2016
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Politics, politics, politics. Practically every event we have this week has some sort of political edge. From a video art retrospective dedicated to the political conventions of 1972 to Martha Wilson invading the persona of Trump, the campaign season is infiltrating the exhibition space.

Take a break from being yelled at on Facebook by someone you’ve only met once and hit the gallery. People will surely be more open to a dialogue when they can’t just click unfollow. Right? Right???

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Monday Links: Tough Times for Tumblr

by Rhett Jones on July 25, 2016

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  • Tumblr artists take note. Verizon is set to buy Yahoo, Tumblr’s parent company, for the bargain basement price of $4 billion. Changes are expected and no service is safe, so make sure to back up any artwork. [The Verge]
  • Hans Ulrich-Obrist’s latest project has reportedly run into trouble. The Shanghai Project, a multi-disciplinary biennial that Obrist was organizing with Yongwoo Lee has been reimagined as a community-based event rather than art exhibition. Reports of scheduling, funding, staffing and bureaucratic difficulties have plagued the project for months. [The Art Newspaper]
  • The New Yorker takes a dive into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the archives of the conceptual architect Luis Barragán. Following his death in 1988, the archives were sold and have been held in a Swiss bunker ever since. [New Yorker]
  • The net artist Guthrie Lonergan has installed a new work on the Hammer Museum’s website and it has made visitors baffled, delighted and angry. The museum has put together some messages they’ve received over the last six weeks along with an interview with Guthrie about the work. [Hammer Museum]
  • Edward Snowden has collaborated with hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang to design a cell-phone case for journalists and other people who may be tracked by malicious forces. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world but it’s far better than Snowden’s music video. [Fast Company]
  • Have to say that this James Turrell takeover of a memorial church in Berlin is great. It’s like the nightmare funeral scenes in Heathers made sublime. [The Creator’s Project]
  • U.S. Congressman John Lewis has won the prestigious Eisner award for the second volume of his graphic novel memoir, “March.” Done in collaboration with illustrator Nate Powell and co-writer Andrew Aydin, the series chronicles Lewis time in the American civil rights struggle. [The Guardian]
  • Bushwick will be a major pain in the ass in a few years. MTA officials have voted to shut down the L train for 18 months straight. The scheduled maintenance won’t begin until 2019 but this can’t possibly be good for local businesses or galleries. [DNAinfo]
  • Alanna Heiss recently gave a shout out to Laurie Anderson’s criticism from the early 1970’s, so ArtNews decided to collect some capsule reviews that Anderson wrote for them. Capsule reviews are a tough format and Anderson mostly sticks to a style of quick impressionistic description that’s light on opinion. [ArtNews]
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The Spiritual Failure of Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable”

by Rhett Jones on July 22, 2016
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Is there a secret, intertwined history that ties together mass media, spiritualist con artists, pulp fiction and the unreliability of the image? Tony Oursler’s “Imponderable” would like you to think so. The multimedia artist’s latest work (on at MoMA through January 8th, 2017) is a 90-minute immersive video experience that attempts to draw connections between all of those topics as well as his own familial autobiography and other threads that relate to his collection of spiritualist memorabilia. Unfortunately, when the work seems to come close to solidifying a thematic relationship between the various subjects on its mind, it tends to feel a bit like a magician clumsily employing misdirection. The audience sees a hat, a beautiful assistant and a rabbit up the sleeve, but no magic.

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