From Anna Skladmann's "Little Adults," a series of portraits of children of Russia's nouveau riche. Via Conscientious
• The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum just announced the winners of the 10th National Design Awards. A local winner: the Walker Art Center gets the Corporate Achievement Award. (Runner up was Dwell Magazine, creative directed by former Walker graphic designer Kyle Blue.)
• Video: Andy Warhol creates a digital painting of Debby Harry on a Commodore Amiga in 1985.
• Faber & Faber is republishing Samuel Beckett's works with a great series of type-only covers.
• Animal mummies at the Brooklyn Museum. Is this one?
• "Buddha with 1000 Hands," performed by the China Disabled Peoples Performance Art Troupe. [via]
• "Don't judge people according to their appearance."
San Francisco filmmaker Craig Baldwin's essential "Sonic Outlaws" is now online in its entirety at Ubuweb. The 1995 documentary profiles the audio-collage band Negativland just after they were sued by Island Records for their parody album featuring U2 and audio of cussin' "American Top 40" host Casey Kasem. A classic for anyone interested in fair use, copyfight and culturejamming.
Watch it here.
The Mill House, by Wingardh Arkitektkontor, via Curate
• Steve Lambert took the mobile arrow sign from his solo show at Charlie James Gallery in LA and hauled it around California, writing improvised messages at each site. My favorite, at a sprawling cemetery: "You are still alive."
• The Turner Prize shortlist: Roger Hiorns, Enrico David, Lucy Skaer and Richard Wright.
• Magnum offers a slideshow of photos by Paul Fusco shot from Bobby Kennedy's funeral train as it traveled across America on June 8, 1968.
• Rob Walker runs down the many faces (or lack thereof) of online anonymity.
• As NPR's All Songs Considered dubs Wilco "the best live band in America," Grammar Police reviews the new DVD "Ashes of American Flags" and Pitchfork reveals the name of Wilco's new album (due out in June): Wilco (The Album).
• The Big Picture runs a haunting, odd, beautiful, sobering series on "human landscapes from above," and GOOD follows it up with aerial views of California highways, shot by Benny Chan and on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (through September).
• Swine flu poster: "Keep Calm and Don't Sneeze."
Stencil by Broken Crow, Milwaukee, Wis.
• Minneapolis' John Grider of Broken Crow (above) and Brooklyn's Logan Hicks of Workhorse Visuals are being set loose on an abandoned bank in Brooklyn this week: Broken Horse will be the temporary installation of their collaborative work in the former Hamilton Savings & Loan Building. The opening reception is May 1; the following night Grider will be part of the Artbreak Gallery (Williamsburg) exhibition, The Great Out Doors.
• John Perreault: "Currently art is not global; but art education is. The stress-free Generational feels like, looks like, smells like any MFA thesis show that one might happen upon anywhere in the world." Via South 12th.
• Your own, personal Zaius! The Hollywood Wax Museum is auctioning off old stuff, including waxy resemblances of B.A. Baracus from The A-Team, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gerald Ford and others. Via @artnetdotcom.
• Peter Eleey on the human skeleton buried in an unmarked location on the Walker Art Center grounds by artist Kris Martin: "Kris wanted to take a human skeleton that had been used for medical research and to bury it in an unmarked site, so this person who had been objectified would have a dignified resting place. You know it's there, but the anonymity makes it a powerful symbol of death itself... Kris' piece reminds us of how we treat our war dead. Until recently we didn't even allow photos of their coffins covered with flags. His piece only achieves the right to explore this issue because it's fundamentally rooted in a gesture of respect."
• VACUM, the Visual Art Critics Union of Minnesota (or VACUM), is officially dead, as is Conde Nast's media publication, Portfolio.
• Etching: Dürer's "Apocalypse" (my favorite might be The Dragon with Seven Heads).
On April 25th, 2009, Jordan Seiler and PublicAdCampaign.com organized a massive takeover of these [unregistered, illegal] billboards called NYSAT (New York Street Advertising Takeover): 126 billboards throughout the city were white washed by dozens of volunteers. Then, over 80 artists transformed the advertising space into their personal pieces of art. Here's what I made.
The call-and-response street-art campaign Enjoy Banking takes the visual vocabulary of marketing, especially the kind of low-low-prices hype seen in windows of discount stores and loan-hawking banks and renders them, fittingly in "bubble" type, on stickers for application around New York City. Via NEWSgrist and Edward Winkelman.
Paul Fryer, Pieta
• Paul Fryer's Pieta, a sculpture of Christ in the electric chair, has been raising hackles in Gap, France. Some, including the newspaper Le Monde, reacted angrily to its installation in a cathedral, but the work (from the collection of Francois Pinault) was suggested by the local bishop, Jean-Michel di Falco. He says:
• Issue 56 of Visionaire, the editioned art and fashion publication, is "solar": it "uses photo-sensitive printing wizardry that instantly transforms black-and-white artwork—by contributing artists that include Yoko Ono, M/M Paris, Alex Katz, John Baldessari, and Ryan McGinley—into vibrant color when exposed to direct sunlight."
"Usually, one does not feel any real emotions in front of something really scandalous: the Crucifixion.
"If Jesus had been sentenced today, he would have to reckon with the electric chair or other barbaric methods of execution. Scandalous is therefore not Jesus in the electric chair, but the indifference to his crucifixion."
• There's little of interest in this Flavorwire interview on "redefining urban art at the auction house," except for the last paragraph, in which Phillips de Pury & Co. curator Alex Smith give props to artist Judith Supine.
• An excellent Bill Moyers interview with The Wire creator David Simon: Part I, Part II.
• New on Ubuweb: Derek Jarman's 1993 film Wittgenstein.
• Art & Ecology's William Shaw spots a gigantic tin of whale meat on his way to work.
• Comedy Central caption contest: Wax Obama and Hugo Chavez.
Walker Art Center curator Peter Eleey discusses two works in the exhibition The Quick and the Dead, which opens tonight. Tobias Rehberger's All your last week's desires, which features 11 lamps that replicate and respond to the lighting conditions at the museum one week prior to the moment you're looking at it. Pierre Huyghe's Timekeeper, a simple work made by sanding down a spot on the gallery wall revealing the history of the room, like rings on a tree. (Kudos to the Walker on this: hopefully, many more such videos are in the works.)
Matt Leines' Untitled (Red Heads), 2006
• The Guardian invokes artist Amy Francheschini's name in reference to the Obama's planting an organic Victory Garden at the White House, while agribusiness views the First Family's garden as an outrage, sending Michelle Obama a letter encouraging her to recognise the role of “conventional agriculture” in feeding the growing US population with a “safe and economical food supply."
• A visual guide to the world of street vendors, created by the Street Vendor Project, the Center for Urban Pedagogy and Candy Chang.
• Eyebeam/Anti-Advertising Agency guy makes "ADVERTISING: WE WANT GRAFFITI" stencils to apply to ads placed on graf walls.
• Stock market down, "agrivestment" up: "According to the NCREIF US Farm Index and the Lehman US Bond Index, returns to direct investments in farmland have exceeded stock and bond returns over the past 5, 10, and 17 years, with less volatility."
• An only somewhat fluffy New York Post piece on "how Minneapolis became an arts powerhouse."
• 14 postcards that rhyme with "Happy New Year," including "Mappy Nude Rear."
• A Spock spork, The Enterprise Project (artist-modified versions of Capt. Kirk's ship), a preposterously (or enviably, back in the day) large collection of Star Wars figures.
click to enlarge
Following up my post on traditional crafts addressing internet-age content, here's a nice simple project by Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge, of The Goggles. A project "dealing with notions of technology and our relationship with books," it's called Facebook.
Cezary Bodzianowski: “Great Gatsby”, Center for Contemporary Art (CCA), Tel Aviv, 2009
• Exhibition: Playing the City, now through May 6 in Frankfurt.
• A trailer for the 25th anniversary edition of Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant's book, Subway Art.
• The New York Times highlights Minneapolis College of Art and Design students as a "community of technical artists who build bikes from new and leftover parts, not only to save money but to create something of pride." Via @tlcminnesota.
• Congratulations to Justin Heideman and the Walker new media staff: their RNC-themed My Yard Our Message project -- much blogged right here -- won best of the web at Museums and the Web 2009 in the innovation category. Here's a recap of the conference.
• Kottke has links to original scripts from HBO's The Wire, plus writer David Simon's original pitch for the show. And Nieman Journalism Lab does a video interview with Simon about whether newspapers can learn how to survive by copying HBO.
• Homewood Studios in North Minneapolis is opening an exhibition of works by Peyton, co-founder of the urban art center Juxtaposition, tomorrow night, April 23. While art is Peyton's first love, his main job at the moment is as a professional kickboxer: On May 1, he's fighting for the title of U.S. light welterweight champion.
• Congrats to Art of This for winning "Best Art Gallery" in City Pages' Best of the Twin Cities.
• Source material: The Bush administration's secret memos about extreme interrogation techniques.
Lipps Inc.'s "Funkytown," as played by a Commodore 64, several TI-99s, an Intel modem and other vintage computer hardware, followed by an equally lo-fi remix of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," with a dot-matrix printer playing lead.
Jason Lazarus, Untitled (2008), via i [heart] photograph
• Rest in Peace: Novelist J.G. Ballard.
• The idea of making fake utopian newspapers is catching on: The Yes Men's faux New York Times (Nov. 2008), a ginned-up Financial Times (Mar. 2009); and Attac's forward-looking fake Die Zeit, distributed in 90 cities across Germany last month.
• The Guardian's Jonathan James: "The reason I don't like street art is that it's not aesthetic, it's social. To celebrate it is to celebrate ignorance, aggression, all the things our society excels at. For middle class people to find artistic excitement in something that scares old people on estates is a bit sick."
• Smash for Cash: An emergency stash of bills installed near an ATM machine, by Imbue.
• Fire graffiti by Ellis Gallagher.
• Trailer: Food, Inc.
Anatomy of the AT-ATVia Coudal.
Since the Dark Side started using genetically modified walkers, they found many had to visit the Imperial Veterinary Clinic of Osteology suffering with acute pain in their hip joints. X-rays revealed their skeleton structure was just not strong enough to manoeuvre wearing those heavy boots. No amount of Cod Liver oil would ease their pain.
Street-art plaque by We Will Kill You, via GammaBlog.
• Designer Ji Lee is on a mission: to preserve, photographically at least, New York City logos that still show the World Trade Center towers in their skylines. "These logos will not last forever as many of the small business will either update their logos at some point or close their doors eventually," writes Lee. "Thus the Twin Towers would sadly vanish forever." (Via logodesignlove.)
• Exhibition: Chris Larson's True North opens tonight at the Chambers Burnet Gallery, Minneapolis, with works related to shotguns: shotgun shacks shrouded in ice and 2- and 3-D works made "by literally shooting objects repeatedly and then capturing or reconstructing the aftermath."
• Art Nouveau magazine interviews Justseeds' Josh MacPhee on art and activism.
• A local winner in the PBR Art Contest features two handpainted renderings of a burly guy, a giant squid and a can of beer.
• Here's where to go to win an original Damien Hirst. Really.
• BLDGBLOG on space-based storm control.
• Free stream of Wilco's recent Tangletown show.
Umbrella sculpture by OzCollective, via Crooked Brains, which offers a compendium of umbrella artworks
• A bit like "droplifting," designer Nick Hum has been buying thrift-store t-shirts, silkscreening on them and then returning them to the stores.
• Zak Smith quoted in Plastic Water (via): “For the last eight years, if not longer, people have felt like this: our country -- and most of our planet -- has been taken over by Martians. Insane, gibbering beings driven by greed and bloodlust, and arcane religious beliefs rule and fight with each other over our planet with weird weapons, while below, we homo-sapiens try to survive any way we can in a haywire of cynicism and wrecked civilizations and technologies that come on like viruses. I cannot think of anything more alien than whatever drives are seething in the heads of Cheney and Bin-Laden and Putin and Wal-Mart.”
• Self portraits by nude models as they sit for painters, via Jörg Colberg.
• Curator Peter Eleey discusses The Quick and the Dead, "an exhibition about the things we don’t know, the big questions and deep mysteries in life, and our desire for experiences that transcend those we have every day," which opens Apr. 25 at the Walker: "I find great beauty in works such as Jason Dodge’s simple bundle of cloth sitting on the gallery floor. The artist asked a weaver in Algeria to make it for him using the length of yarn it would take to go from the surface of the earth to where the weather ends -- essentially the border with outer space. Though it leads your mind to the outer reaches of the atmosphere, the cloth turns out to be much smaller than you might think. But I don’t think the works in the show clarify anything -- like Jason’s cloth, they instead offer expansive ways of thinking about things that are much bigger than themselves."
• The return of U.S. soldiers killed overseas has gone undocumented more than 5,000 times since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. On Apr. 5, the remains of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Meyers came home, and for the first time in 18 years the press was allowed to photograph it. The Big Picture offers a selection of photos showing the sobering yet stirring scenes from the return of fallen U.S. war heroes to home soil.
• An urban sketcher has created a Google Map of drawings throughout Barcelona.
• Hey: buy some pixels at Rhizome's 50,000 Dollar Webpage, equal parts "fundraiser, art collaboration, billboard, classified ad and community builder."
• LA artist Mark Bradford is giving a free artist talk at the Walker Art Center this Sunday.
• NASA's Chandra X-ray captures an image of the Helix planetary nebula, dubbed "the hand of God."
"We here at The Wrong Brand do not intend to confuse (ahem, ahem you trademark lawyers out there), but rather to mock." So say the creators of the site that sells t-shirts bearing the mashed-up logos of Saks and Wal-Mart, Google and Yahoo, and (shudder) Apple and Microsoft.
Via Rob Walker's Delicious.
Ryan Waller's entry into the One World Trade Center logo design contest, via Media Assassin.
• "The first Biennale for International Light Art will take place in 2010, in the Ruhr Area in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, from 28 March to 27 May 2010."
• The Smithsonian launched a new blog on its photography collection on Monday: The Bigger Picture.
• Trailer: Lars Von Trier's Antichrist (Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Scariness).
• Seven of 17 charges of vandalism against Shepard Fairey were dropped in Boston Monday, due to lack of evidence.
• Eddie Van Halen's coming out with a line of Converse-style hi-tops, marked with the same stripes as his guitar.
• Warhol-style Brillo box bathroom tiles.
• Tattoo artist Scott Campbell's laser-cut stacks of $1 bills.
• Via Cynical-C, 25 years of Las Vegas' growth, as seen from a satellite.
When Steve McQueen showed the financiers of his new feature-length film an early cut, they were "shitting themselves," the British artist recalls. His first full-length film, which captures the final weeks of Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands' life, begins with a 22-minute scene -- 17 minutes of which have no cuts, pans or closeups -- of an actor playing Sands discussing his plan to starve himself. Not exactly the stuff of box office gold. But McQueen says, “I knew what I was doing.”
Apparently so. The Turner Prize winner won a Caméra d'Or at Cannes this year for Hunger, which plays at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center Apr. 10 through 26. McQueen was a boy when Sands, a member of the Irish Republican Army, started his hunger strike in 1981, but while it left a mark on him, he says the story has been "swept beneath the carpet, it hasn't been given any daylight, and for me it was one of, if not the, most important events happening in Britain in the last 30 years."
Then 27, Sands' final weeks of life were slow and excruciating: it took him 66 days to starve himself to death. But while Sands protested the British government, Hunger isn't intended as a fiercely political work (critic Rob Nelson says the World Socialist World criticized McQueen for the apolitical nature of the work). He told the Wall Street Journal, "Hero or villain, that's for other people to decide. For me, it's one of those situations where I'm a filmmaker, and this is actually what happened in history, this is a true event. For me, this is what happened. I'm not here to judge the situation; I'm here to examine and document it."
Still, McQueen won't say it's "art" either. The Observer's Sean O'Hagan writes:
A friend of mine from Northern Ireland, who has seen Hunger, said McQueen had 'pulled off the impossible' by 'making an art film about the IRA'. When I mention the term 'art film', McQueen thows me a fierce look. 'I don't know what you mean by that,' he says. 'What I tried to do was make the strongest, most powerful film I could from the events and the story. It may not have the conventional narrative of most feature films but that is my way of grappling with the subject. Art has absolutely nothing to do with it.'More:
IndieWIRE: Weights and Measures: Steve McQueen’s “Hunger”
Two projects set out to raise visibility of homelessness -- the first by making a homeless man invisible. In Düsseldorf during Christmas, a man named Lutz hawks copies of FiftyFifty, a paper made by homeless people, while projected him on him is video of the scene behind him. The message (as a cardboard placard in front of him says): "Don't ignore me."
The placards visible in a project for the Weingart Homeless Center in Los Angles reads, "Before you look away, put yourself in my place." A photographer shot some of the city's 70,000 homeless "in the places they call home," and then printed the images out as life-sized cardboard cutouts with the faces removed. These cut-outs were placed in upscale shopping districts in Beverly Hills.
Dave Arneson, one of the co-creators of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game and a pioneer of role-playing entertainment, died after a two-year battle with cancer, his family said Thursday. He was 61.Via Secrets of the City.
Arneson's daughter, Malia Weinhagen of Maplewood, said her father died peacefully Tuesday in hospice care in St. Paul.
A Mark Wagner dollar-bill collage, via SynapseCollapse.
• Buy:COLLECT, an exhibition curated by Yuri Arajs and Robyne Robinson opening this Saturday at the Bookman Stacks, Minneapolis, with works by Aesthetic Apparatus, Frank Gaard, Amy Rice, Ben Olson and others.
• Desperate plea for attention: artist flies banner on New Museum facade that reads, "Please New Museum show my work." (Via C-Monster.)
• Also via C-Monster, Yayoi Kusama-designed cellphones.
• Trailer: Crips & Bloods: Made in America, a new documentary by Stacy Paralta (Dogtown and Z Boys, Riding Giants).
• Guerrilla slide installed by artists Stefan Benchoam and Christian Ochaita in Guatamala City "as a protest against Mayor Alvaro Arzu, for his lack of interest in providing the City with adequate public areas for recreation."
• Free Artist's Talk: Mark Bradford at the Walker Art Center, Sunday, April 19.
• Roger Ebert compares Bill O'Reilly to a mouse with an erection.
• Chia President: Walgreen's pulls Barack Obama Chia Pet after receiving complaints.
A Buckminster Fuller portrait for Mined magazine, created by HunterGatherer. Via AMNP.
• "Recessional Aesthetics": In Dubai, the UK, and beyond, artists may be the accidental beneficiaries of the cruddy economy. As businesses and commercial spaces close, artists are moving in to score affordable studios.
• Today in pink: Day-glo trash bags, and a natty stormtrooper at the G20 protests.
• With LA artist Mark Bradford giving the keynote at next week's National Art Education Association conference here in Minneapolis, Art:21 interviews Bradford and offers a clip of the artist discussing Practice, a video of a hoopskirt-wearing Bradford shooting baskets (part of the Walker Art Center's collection).
• Frank Zappa on What's My Line?, Zappa on "The Monkees," and a Zappa soundtrack to a 1967 Ludens coughdrops commercial.
• Exhibition: Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World / Part 1_Volume 1_Chapter_1 (Beirut: 1992-2005), a project by Walid Raad, opens Friday at REDCAT.
• Video: An excerpt from René Laloux’s "mesmerising psychedelic sci-fi animated feature," Fantastic Planet (1973), via Jennifer Yin.
• MCAD grad Mike Perry has a new project: a kit of 50 iron-ons.
• UK residents swarm a Google Street View car, complaining about "invasion of privacy" and fears that the imagery could be used by burglars.
• Argyle skull socks!
IBM 360 Model 30 Tape Drives 1965 by Mark Richards, via 20x200
• WiiSpray, a project by Bauhaus media students to create "an interface to give graffiti a new virtual level surpassing tactile boundaries of the tangible world." Via Graffart.eu.
• Letters to Bob, a Tumblr blog featuring correspondence between art-school buddies jotted on pages ripped from Artforum.
• Matt's right. This is what American Idol should be like: Stephen Sondheim instructing a singer on "Send in the Clowns."
• Evan Roth has created stickers for guerrilla use at music stores that read, "Available for free on the internet."
• Exhibition: Barry McGee, Raymond Pettibon and Ed Templeton at CIRCLEculture Gallery, Berlin, Apr. 10-May 30.
• Harmony Korine (Gummo, Kids) is doing ads for Liberty Mutual?
• Fruity design, via Coudal.
• It's the little things that matter.
• The Onion: "Scholars Discover 23 Blank Pages That May As Well Be Lost Samuel Beckett Play."
• Picture: Ohio man arrested for drunk driving on a motorized bar stool.
In the wee hours of April Fool's Day 2009 in St. Petersburg, Russia, teenagers detonated explosives in the backside of a statue of Lenin.
• Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris turns his Interrotron -- which he's used to interview Abu Ghraib guards, Vietnam War architect Robert McNamara, and moderate voters who supported Barack Obama -- on a new topic: his and hers Depends adult diapers.
• There are some real gems in Yoko Ono's official Flickr stream.
• Art:21 episodes are on Hulu!
• Trailer: Sasha Baron Cohen follows up Borat with... Bruno. Here, Bruno interviews skinheads at "Evilfest."
• The Twin Cities' artsiest tax guy, Mark Fox, interviewed by TCBiz.
• G20 photo, aptly headlined, "How Many Cameras Does it Take to Break a Window?"
• A Marcel Dzama-directed video for Department of Eagles.
• The U.S. Post Office is making Simpson's stamps.
I've got chills: Staceyann Chin reads Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "Pity the Nation." Here's Ferlinghetti reading it 10 weeks earlier, in September 2007, and here's the text:
Pity the nation whose people are sheep,Via Curate.
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation—oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.
Rock the Garden 2008, by Cameron Wittig
The Walker Art Center just announced the lineup for Rock the Garden 2009, their annual outdoor music festival, to be held this June 20:
One welcome change this year: Instead of standing in the street to watch bands, as in past years (see above), the stage this year will be moved so that audiences can sit on the grassy hillside beside the Walker. That according to Walker performing arts curator Philip Bither, who just made the band announcements on The Current.