Post image for If a Tree Falls in the Forest and There’s No New York Art Critic to Review it, No One Cares

I like looking. It’s why I write at Art F City, and why, every summer, I chose to vacation in the wilderness. I don’t want to stop looking, but I need a break from the rest of the job.

Spending a bunch of time on a trail makes that easy. This year, I spent part of my vacation at Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. One of the best qualities of visiting a national park: admission doesn’t come with a press release telling you what to think about your experience and why it’s important to humanity. Nobody expects visitors to theorize their experience in the woods or even reflect on it. The job is just to enjoy it. (Which I did.)

More after the jump.

Post image for Updated: City Councilmen Holdup Bill to Save the City’s Artists and Small Businesses

What is it going to take to get city politicians to start doing the right thing? It costs a small fortune to live in this city and when bills are introduced that would help give a leg up to artists, there isn’t enough support to get them off the ground.

Case and point: The Small Business Jobs Survival Act. This is a bill that will help commercial tenants facing displacement from rising rents—including artists’ studios and small businesses—and it currently has only 23 of the 26 votes it needs to pass.

The bill would require commercial landlords to offer ten-year leases to all existing tenants who’ve paid their rent on time. If the two sides can’t agree on terms, they go to arbitration. Currently a landlord doesn’t have to renew a tenant’s lease, can kick the tenant out whenever it suits them, raise their rent exorbitantly, and the tenant has no means of contesting the decision.

Petra Cortright

Petra Cortright’s floral digital paintings command a lot of attention these days, but given the choice, I’d pretty much always look her system landscape GIFs from 2007. Perhaps it’s just a preference for her choice of media, but I also consider the work more important for its early example use of the computer environment as a compositional device. We see that a lot more commonly now—new and established artists like Camille HenrotSondra Perry and Saul Chernick have all used the commuter screen to frame their work with great success—and with good reason. It has a large presence in our minds and shapes how we see the world. Cortright was sensitive to this earlier then most.

Unlike most landscapes, which suggest passage through them, many of the animations in this series show us the places, but prevent us from entering. At every mapping stage there are broken notices like “Try Again.” and “Door is Closed.” Later in the sequence, the images switch to small growing flowers surrounded by wire frames that size up as the plants get bigger. By the end the windows have become tiny. “Connected” reads one, followed by “Disconnected.” Ten “Cloud Forest”, then a seemingly endless number of tiny squares with landscapes, each reading “Away Message.” “I’m back!”

system

flowers

away

Post image for This Week’s Must-see Art Events: Are You Sure You Want to Delete That Account?

Let’s be honest: we’re all surprised there’s an event listing at all this week. Everyone is on vacation. And yet, here we are writing this thing with a few honest to goodness recommendations.  We don’t want to miss the evening of readings and performance art inspired by embarrassing pictures millennials can’t get off the internet, three scrappy but industrious plays about power at Secret Project Robot, and a flea market full of purveyors of dead stuff. All you guys at the beach are missing out.