Post image for An Artist’s Guide to the Republican Primaries

Just how bad would one of the Republican candidates be for the arts in America? Ahead of the upcoming New York primaries, I decided to find out. It’s looking pretty bleak in the GOP, but at least this race has been as surreal and entertaining as a Ryan Trecartin tribute to Hieronymus Bosch. Below, I’ve researched each of the candidates’ histories and policies on the arts and affordable housing. If I’ve missed something, feel free to contribute in the comments, but keep it a little more civil than a Trump rally.

Post image for AC Repair: Toronto’s Littlest White Cube

Add AC Repair & Co. to the long list of galleries now setting shop in Junction Triangle, the city’s newest gallery district. Founded by curators Emma Clough and Jess Carroll, it’s a unique entry in the commercial gallery scene thanks to its small scale and non-traditional walls. It’s literally a 324 square foot garage, with no running water or toilet.

“We were inspired by galleries that were making creative use of unconventional space in cities outside the traditional ‘art capitals’, such as the recently-closed Appendix gallery in Portland, as well as Young World in Detroit,” says Clough and Carroll in an email interview with AFC.

This interest plays into Clough and Carroll’s sales strategy: keeping costs low so they can take a chance on selling work by artists lacking the “kind of commercial legacy that a lot of gallerists are looking for,” says the duo. “Toronto has a lot of great, young artists who find it hard to align themselves with commercial galleries as they find that they’re intimidated or their freedom is restricted. Because AC is such a small, raw space with low overhead, we have the freedom that a larger commercial gallery does not. We want to work with artists who are pushing the envelope.”

Post image for Can the Term “Gentrification” be Applied to the Internet?

On Monday, luxury lifestyle website Amuse published an interview with Petra Cortright, in which she used the term “gentrification” to describe how the internet is now less weird.

“I think the internet is becoming this really gentrified place,” the LA-based digital artist told writer Iona Goulder. “Today’s forms of social media feels more like people’s personal brands. Now it’s just people promoting their shit constantly and it makes stuff on the internet less weird. Everything feels more censored.”

Boosted by the interview’s SEO-driven headline — ”Petra Cortright on the Gentrification of the Internet” — the story circulated through my social feeds this week, eventually provoking a dust-up within some of my internet art circles. Cortright is among the increasing number of artists whose practices were shaped by the surf club era and who have gained bricks-and-mortar gallery representation and Rhizome cataloguing, so an overarching criticism of her statement stemmed from the perceived entitlement of an early internet user. There is an enduring fondness that borders on immaterial fetishization for a time when the internet was this unfettered, non-indexed boon of online amateur cultural production.

Post image for In the Ring: Paul Pfeiffer at Carlier/Gebauer

At least half the fun on any spectacle is the after-chat: the armchair philosophizing, the intention guessing, the interpretation, the endless acts of interpretation. The ancient Romans knew that much.

For instance, think of Beyonce’s recent Super Bowl performance, which is now generating MA theses, or Taylor Swift’s over-discussed Grammy speech, or, even more fleeting but just as worthy of spin-offs, that moment during the Golden Globes when Lady Gaga bumped into Leonardo Di Caprio – memes sprung up like freshly watered Sea Monkeys. (And, no, I hardly think it accidental that these three examples are all centred on people who present as female – women are still watched far more closely than men, because men still run the shows).

Paul Pfeiffer’s tri-part video installation, “Three Figures in a Room”, digs into this watch-analyse-watch again circle by distilling one world media event (a televised boxing match) to its core elements – sights and sounds.