Bits: 02.17.09

Eugenio Merino on For the Love of Gold: "[Damien] Hirst is always trying to think of ways to make his art the most expensive. If he killed himself, then the value of his art would increase a lot.”

• "God save the Damien Hirst rip-off industry!"

• Who signs their pajamas? Julian Schnabel, that's who. He's auctioning off a pair, along with an Annie Liebovitz photo of him actually wearing said PJs! My goodness: "The dark blue, yellow-striped pajamas are a laundered, paint-splattered, lovingly mended and patched two-piece collectible, signed by the artist." Top bid so far (reserve not met!) is just shy of $2,400. Now, if only Eugenio Merino, who's sculpture of a suicidal Damien Hirst is shaking up ARCO, could put a gun to Schnabel's pajamas...

Arts & Ecology interviews Superflex on their "Flooded McDonalds" video: "Of course climate change is also one issue that we wanted to point out with this. But we wanted to try to keep it as open as possible, even though we chose a McDonalds. McDonalds is iconic for a certain type of consumption, but it was also trying to make a film that would give you the impression of these consequences."

• PBS offers a nice interactive tour of "backyard paradises," outsider-art environments including Palais Ideal in France, Grandma Prisbey's Bottle Village in California, and the Forevertron by my old pal Dr. Evermor near Madison, Wis.

Gradients for sale.

• Minnesota's got the world's largest ball of twine and, I've just learned, the world's fastest banjo picker: 260 beats per second (video).

• "41% of museums don’t know how dogs actually walk."

• More misheard lyrics.

• No artblogs make the list, but, yow, TIME's top-25 blogs of '09 list is teemin' with libruls: TPM, Huffington Post, Paul Krugman's blog, Daily Kos, Crooks & Liars, etc. Local conservative blogger James Lileks makes the cut as does unclassifiable, but once thought to be conservative, political blogger Andrew Sullivan.

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