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Sparks: Performance Artists or Band?

by Paddy Johnson on March 8, 2014

All of my YouTube searches lead back to art or puppies. Last night’s brief break from the fairs lead me to a rediscovery of Sparks, a group formed in Los Angeles by brothers Ron (a straight man often wearing a Hitler mustache on keyboards) and Russell Mael (the sexy lead singer). Even a brief look at their career leaves one with the impression that they’re a performance art group that accidentally got labeled a band. I’ve embedded their 1974 hit “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us,” mostly because it’s my favorite song they’ve made, but it’s by no means their best video. For that I recommend the following quirk: “Lighten Up Morrissey,” an instruction set for Morrissey that features a group of dancing women in red wearing black-and-white Morrissey masks, “Dick Around,” a 2006 cat meme ahead of its time (it’s got only 17k views, presumably because it was made before people made careers out of their cats), and “Tryouts for the Human Race” a 1979 classic where we watch the band turn into werewolves. After watching those, the 1980 video “When I’m With You” where Ron turns his brother into a ventriloquist doll should read particularly well.

One final note on the subject of Canadiana: I suspect anyone who grew up in Canada during the eighties and nineties like me will immediately notice the influence Sparks had on Canadian rock star Gowan. Also of interest: Sparks is collaborating with Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin to produce the film The Seduction of Igmar Bergman. That’s a piece I’ll seek out.

 

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Art Watch: George W. Bush

by Corinna Kirsch on February 25, 2014
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More paintings by the former prez.

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Social Media Is Like Performance, Says Hans Ulrich Obrist

by Corinna Kirsch on February 11, 2014
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But the world is not ready.

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OMG GIFs on FB

by Gabriela Vainsencher on August 29, 2013
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Platforms for GIF makers keep expanding. Thanks to a new workaround by Giphy users can now post animated GIFs on Facebook. Lets see how long it takes Facebook to censure this double-jointed, vaguely sexual image by Lorna Mills.

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CALLING ALL WAFFLE-EATING ARTISTS!

by Clara Olshansky on August 22, 2013
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This Saturday morning, you can get a free Wafels & Dinges waffle in exchange for art! And their waffles can get expensive. I say, make a sculpture or statue. How awesome would it be to see a waffle truck decorated with tiny waffle trucks?

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Miranda July’s “We Think Alone” Lets You Know Celebrities Are Normal People, Too

by Corinna Kirsch on July 5, 2013
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Miranda July used to make art about normal people, but now she makes art about celebrities. In We Think Alone, an email project that debuted on Monday, July delivers celebrities’ emails straight to your inbox, revealing the mundane and absurd details that make up their lives. Celebrities: they’re just like us!

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New York’s First Citi Bike Art Performance Includes Fake Vulva

by Corinna Kirsch on June 5, 2013
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Less than two weeks after the debut of Citi Bike, the city’s first bike-rental program, New Yorkers got their first taste of Citi Bike art.

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