- Michael Kimmelman, killing it, as per usual. In his latest piece he takes Mayor Bill de Blasio to task for entertaining the idea of ripping up the pedestrian plaza’s in Times Square as a means of curbing topless women wearing body paint from asking for tips. He calls the whole idea harebrained. From the piece: “As an exasperated Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, put it on Thursday: “Sure, let’s tear up Broadway — we can’t govern, manage or police our public spaces. That’s not a solution,” he added. “It’s a surrender.” Not for the first time, Mr. de Blasio is creating a peevish impression that, even now, he is running against his predecessor when he needs to be running the city.” [The New York Times]
- The Awl has assembled a post of architectural renderings that demonstrate “That Brooklyn Look”. Get ready for fields of grey, glass and brick combined to create a whole lot of ugly. [The Awl]
- Speaking of real estate, The Awl has another feature on a Bushwick development project called “Colony 1209”. Turns out this was a bad name for building because to “colonize a place means to overtake it, to pillage its resources, to dehumanize its people, and to attempt to erase its past.” Anyway, the owners have changed the name and are happy to talk about the lofts they have for rent, but strangely refuse to talk about turn in marketing strategy. Sarah Quinter, an artist and activist born and raised in New York City, who co-founded Reclaim Bushwick had this to say, “We never just wanted the name change. When you are gentrifying this neighborhood, you are taking away other people’s ability to live here, and to feel like they belong here. So, you should give something back to the community.” She continued, “The name change is a kind of flip way for them to deflect some of the attention, so they don’t have to give up real concessions.” [The Awl]
- Why do plagiarism stories make everyone look like an asshole? Here’s the latest: Kelly Mark recently discovered that her text neon piece “I Called Shotgun Infinity When I Was Twelve” was copied and on display at Old School, a restaurant in Toronto. Neon text based art is the easiest thing in the world to copy. Mark enlists her lawyers. Old School Co-Owner Brad Moore claims that because they were made from scratch they couldn’t possibly be plagiarized. Riiiight. And Mark says she thinks they should commission her to do a new piece called “Old Schooled”. Everyone is terrible. [The Toronto Star]
- Performance artist Tania Bruguera is back in the US. She was detained for eight months in Cuba for her art and activism. [Culture: High & Low]
- There are no instruments used in this rendition of Hotel California, where even the guitars are imitated through vocals. Watching this, you can kind of imagine how this got conceived and it begins with a bunch of bored Dads in a garage one day. Anyway, it’s worth a watch: very entertaining. [Youtube]
- MetaModern at Denny Gallery gets a review from Thomas Micchelli. Micchelli seems to like the work in this group show because a lot of it exists in an inbetween state, but there’s a lot of parsing of what Meta-Modernism is before we get to that. And good luck nailing that definition down. According to the cited cultural theorists Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van der Akker it “oscillates between a modern enthusiasm and a postmodern irony, between hope and melancholy, between naïveté and knowingness, empathy and apathy, unity and plurality, totality and fragmentation, purity and ambiguity.” Micchelli boils all this down to mean “art after the death of art.” [Hyperallergic]
Artists Monica Mirabile and Sigrid Lauren perform dance collaborations as FlucT. Last year, they were interviewed by Tucked-In and responded to each question with an animated GIF answer, such as the one above, which was created as a reply to the query: “How did FlucT come to be?”
As we mentioned in our events listings this week, Sigrid and Monica will be performing tonight at Secret Project Robot at artist/musician James Thomas Marsh’s record release party, which begins at 8 p.m. Also performing: an impressive round-up of the Bushwick scene who blend music, performance art, and dance.
Here’s the full list:
Adam Endres, Ana Lieberman [Froggy Rivrrs], Buoy, Colin Self, Deanna Viva Garcia, Garret Edwards, Greem Jellyfish, The Human Carpet, Jake Dibeler, Monica Mirabile, James Thomas Marsh, Raul De Nieves, Rebecca FIN Simonetti, Robot Death, SADAF, Samuel Muglia, Sarah Kinlaw, Sean Benjamin, Shireen Ahmed, Sigrid Lauren, and Sophia Park.
And one more GIF, my personal favorite. This was created in response to the question “What would your relationship have been like at 13?”
Thank you, Ilana Savdie for conducting the best artist interview I’ve ever read.
What were the craziest presentations at this year’s Creative Capital retreat in Troy? In my first installment I provided a brief overview of the arts granting agency’s conference—it’s several days in an auditorium listening to amazing artists give seven minute presentations on their projects—and discussed the work of three stand out artists: Lorraine O’Grady, Brittany Nelson and Narcissister. This week I highlight three more. Let’s get this started.
What does millennial cultural tourism look like? From the institutional standpoint, it’s about making exhibition and outreach programming more “social” and appealing to younger audiences with stuff they think they’ll like: “late night” events, live music, food trucks, booze. Publicly funded outdoor summer music festivals now come with visual arts programming; at last month’s WayHome Festival outside of Barrie, Ontario, a curator was hired to oversee interactive art installations scattered through the grounds, providing the perfect backdrop for festival goer’s selfie stick snaps.
A new exhibition space, which bills itself as a “concept store”, opened last month in DUMBO. Usagi NY combines a gallery, cafe, and library in a crisp and surprisingly functional 2,800 sq ft space designed by Sou Fujimoto. The cafe and reading area are quietly tucked in the back, resulting in a gallery that isn’t too cluttered but still manages to feel more gregarious than the average white-box space. It’s a rare example of a multi-use space where the artwork doesn’t feel like an afterthought, which is an accomplishment. Their inaugural show is organized around the Japanese designer Kenya Hara’s theory that the color white inspires creativity—along with a unifying thread of projects that involve commerce, research, or technology.
Some highlights after the jump.
This Spring, Artists Space presented an exhibition by Hito Steyerl. Complimentary to the gallery show, they also hosted this nifty archive of the German artist/writer/filmmaker’s writings and illustrative GIFs. The above GIF accompanies an excerpt from the essay Culture and Crime:
“In the global North, this sphere of privacy offers a whole range of different life styles. They suggest the complete freedom to design one’s own living conditions – provided that they remain private and remain restricted to the recognition of individually culturalized identities. Difference is tolerated within the system of cultural domestication – but not as opposition to the system itself. Opposition is thus replaced by cultural difference.”
First appeared in Transversal 01/01: Cultura Migrans, 2001
Published by eipcp – European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies [PDF]
Just look at that surveillance camera go! Whooshing around a panopticon-like geometry of institutional space, security culture never looked so much like a fun motion-simulator ride.
Sometimes GIF of the Day isn’t a very accurate description of what’s being discussed. This would be one of those days. This is a screenshot from John Michael Boling’s “Accidental Blue Screen”, a website included in the Rhizome 2006 show curated by Lauren Cornell, “Professional Surfer”. The show considers web browsing “surfing” as a professional practice, highlighting the work of four artists and two collectives. But this suggests a more performative practice then was often the case. All of the artists in this show use pre-existing images in one way or another, and that was a defining characteristic of many artists working at the time (and continues today). Tomorrow we take a more in depth look at the show. For now, here’s the list of artists we’ll be discussing: John Michael Boling, Olia Lialina, Joel Holmberg, Nasty Nets, Travis Hallenbeck, and Supercentral.
In part one, art writers discuss discrepancies between the number of women in staff writer positions in contrast to editorial ones. Part two goes in-depth into what makes up everyday sexism, from female-specific reporting topics to out-and-out harassment, and concludes with suggestions for achieving some semblance of equity in the field of art writing.