Is there any anxiety worse than that of the liberal empowered self-aware non co-depending politically correct BFA’ed? Based on Jeremy Wade and Jibz Cameron at the American Realness Festival, no.
What up, Internet?
Jayson Musson is back on YouTube, but not with his well-known “Art Thoughtz” web-series featuring Hennessy Youngman. Instead, we get “The Adventures of Jamel: The Time Traveling B-Boy,” created and written by the artist and directed and edited by Scott Ross. It’s flashy, and has more in common with Chappelle’s Show than Hennessy’s old show. Straight up, it’s a hip-hop comedy with sci-fi and social commentary thrown in the mix. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a pilot in the works for any premium cable channel.
Without giving away any spoilers, in the first episode, we’re introduced to:
- An Iraqi baby skull filled with Merlot
- The Illuminati
- A time-traveling janitor
- Mention of anal sex with goats
- Breaking the bonds of slavery with the power of hip-hop
Are we playing Cards Against Humanity? No. This is just Jayson Musson’s new web-world, a world without art. So very populist of you, Musson.
What the hell is Nicolas Sassoon doing in his studio all day? Getting high, if his latest GIF is at all autobiographical. It is the second in his Pandora series, which renders his studio in different states. Sized to fit the full screen of the browser, each shows a straight on view of the same space.
A bit of background: For Sassoon’s first installment of his residency at Opening Times, an online arts organization based in the UK, he created an idealized representation of his studio space. That was back in July, and I interviewed him about the GIF and residency over at artnet News.
My studio is a very dark space inside a basement located in a city that is pretty dark for eight months of the year. A lot of my work emerges from extended periods of time immersed in that environment. This lifestyle allows me to project myself into a virtual world, but it also lacks the physical interactions of the real world. A lot of my work tries to give a physical quality to my drawings and animations. The bleakness of my aesthetic is also what I use to give a physical quality to my art.
In an email to me last week, he described the second iteration, (detail pictured above), as even darker. Literally speaking that seems unlikely given all that pot—if he wants that stuff to grow, the actual studio space has to be brightly lit.
I’m on the fence about this piece. Its size and detail is impressive, but the message doesn’t seem all that different than the pot leaves that get printed on T-shirts. If drug use is really so critical/destructive to the artistic process, there’s probably more to say about it.
Social capital is the fuel of the art world. Attending art openings, dance performances, and biennials is seen as glamorous and sexy. Studio visits feel like exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the artist. Actually financing the lifestyle, though, requires a lot of soul-killing administration: constant emailing, negotiation, and usually a bit of flattery.
Most of us hate it. A lot of us try to avoid it. And then there’s Ivo Dimchev, who uses his distaste for administration as inspiration for his disturbing three-person performance, Fest, at the Abrons Arts Center. The piece tells the story of Ivo Dimchev’s negotiations with a festival director and staff in Copenhagen, all of which devolve into power plays driven by sexual desire. It is an absurd and abject comedy that sits somewhere between total chronophobia and complete brilliance.
In 2008, Laurel Ptak, founder of the blog iheartphotograph, curated 67 artist-made GIFs for Graphics Interchange Format, an exhibition at Brooklyn’s Bond Street Gallery. The gallery no longer exists and neither does the website that formerly hosted those GIFs. As Paddy noted in her “A Brief History of Animated GIF Art” series on artnet News, the lack of an online archive poses a problem for piecing together the format’s history.
Though we can’t poof the Graphics Interchange Format site back into existence, we can do what we’re good at: googling. All week we’re going to search the web for GIFs that were in the exhibition. For historians, artists, and consumers of net art, this GIFt’s for you.
Laurel Ptak’s Graphics Interchange Format had 26 artists make 67 GIFs. Our online hunting for those GIFs has resulted in fewer than a quarter of what would’ve originally been on view. It’s not just those GIFs that are rare on the net; some artists seem to have disappeared from the public web, too. (Although, to be fair, some have gone on to become more well-known: Alex Prager, Talia Chetrit, and Petra Cortright among them.)
For those GIFs we could not find, which were deleted long ago, we bid you farewell. We did not know you well, and likely never will.
Below, we give you the rest of the GIFs we were able to round up. And of course, if you have any tips on where to find the rest of the works from Graphics Interchange Format, we’re listening. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Top two GIFs: Anne de Vries, Jason Fulford.)
By the end of this weekend, the AFC staff will have seen a total of 15 out of 21 performances at the “American Realness” festival at the Abrons Art Center– which, so far, has been defined by a mix of blow jobs, spray blood, DIY aesthetics, and self-referential institutional critique. On the messier fringes of these performances is Keith Hennessy’s “Bear Skin”.