Massive Links! Miscellany Edition

by Paddy Johnson on June 23, 2010 Massive Links

art fag city, eve sussman, rape of the sabine woman

Massive Links is back! Here come the links:

  • Tonight: WANGA! Work of Art, The Next Great Artist. Time Out’s Editor Howard Halle tells me over facebook my coverage might be a little over the top. “It’s just a TV show” he quips. Admittedly this show isn’t going to lead to the level of discussion the blog saw with Raashad Newsome or Amy Sillman, but it’s a lot of fun regardless. Also, we’re gearing up for IMG MGMT again this year which will certainly provide an opportunity for more in-depth work.

    A notable feature of reportage about the world's current financial situation is how little imagery there is with which to illustrate it. The language used in newspaper and television coverage is that of high drama — reports are liberally peppered with words such as 'disaster', 'meltdown', 'chaos', 'crisis' and 'crash', but the pictures that accompany them do not depict hundreds of people queuing for bread, families walking the streets with their worldly possessions, piles of valueless banknotes carted around in wheelbarrows or bankers throwing themselves from tall buildings. Rather, our images of economic catastrophe so far amount to commodity traders barking prices at each other (much the same as during boom time, then) or silver-haired CEOs looking ashen-faced before governmental committees; panning shots across the London or New York skylines; businesspeople entering steel and glass corporate headquarters (or leaving with the contents of their desks); graphs depicting plummeting prices and computer screens displaying numerical information incomprehensible to the average person.

    Well sort of — when a live plummeting graph replaces photographic imagery on the front page of the NYTimes, readers at least know something very bad is happening. I’m not sure I have any deep reflections on Fox’s astute observations, but his thoughts reminded me of Evan Roth and Matt Mullenweg’s “surprise me” function created for wordpress, which added a number of features to help celebrate the act of publishing. For example, rather than viewing a line graph, a “humanize stats” link offered users pictorial representations of their reader numbers. It’s a fun feature, but of course, sometimes I’d rather look at a plummeting graph than the real world results. In the case of a stock market crash, I’d argue the graph is a more accurate visualization of the event than a picture and therefore more useful. Part of this stems from the fact that money itself is very abstract to begin with, so cause and effect photography isn’t particularly useful.

  • I visited Andrew Andrew at the East Village Radio Station yesterday where we talked about all things art (okay mostly Work of Art). Thanks to the CRAZY caller who phoned in towards the end of the show, and of course the awesome ipad DJ duo Andrew Andrew. There are few people I enjoy talking to more! The show is available online here.

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