Bits: 06.04.10

Hong Seon Jang, Forest (2010), tape on black chalkboard

• Designer Emmet Byrne blogs on former Bogota mayor Antanus Mockus, whose governing style was creative, open and poetic. Said Mockus, who was defeated in his re-election bid last week: “While I was the mayor of Bogotá, I received occasional death threats. Therefore, I had to use a bullet-proof vest. I made a hole right where my heart is. The hole was in the shape of a heart. I believe this kind of gesture, gave me indeed more protection.”

• RIP Tobias Wong: The 35-year-old designer who gave us a Karim Rashid book shaped like a pistol, designer air sickness bags and a gold-plated McDonald's coffee stirrer, died Sunday of an apparent suicide. His prankish critiques/celebrations of consumer culture seem to be embodied in his tattoo. He made permanent an aphorism signed on his forearm by Jenny Holzer: "Protect me from what I want." Via Emmet.

• While artist Marina Abramovic told the Wall Street Journal she was "completely destroyed" by her just-completed 736-hour epic endurance/performance art work, she tells MOMA's PS1 blog what she learned about her body in the process: "I learned that in your body you have so much space and you can actually move inside that. There is space between organs, there is space between bones, there is space between atom and cell, so you can actually start training yourself to breathe a kind of air into that space. And then I understood that the pain is actually not having space, it’s when organs and everything press inside, so by breathing air you can make the pain just disappear."

• Artist Ap Verheggen's scultpure atop an Arctic iceberg -- created to "demonstrate the inextricable link between climate and culture and visualize what the consequences of that link" -- has melted to such a degree that the ice chunk has sunk.

• Minneapolis exhibition: What Remains, featuring work by Jill Auckenthaler, Mara Baker, Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, Kathleen Griffin, Leslie Kelman, Hong Seon Jang (whose work is pictured above), Wil Natzel and Scott Nedrelow, opens June 5 at the Soap Factory.

• Washington exhibition: In honor of self-taught artist Jimmy Mirikitani's 90th birthday this month, a link to the Smithsonian show that features his work, The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946, on view through Jan. 30.

Half Letter Press' publication of a limited edition booklet on the late Minnesota-based conceptual artist Don Celender reminded me of his various projects, from baseball cards featuring artists to his dying request -- that, at his memorial service, friends read from his book Mortal Remains, in which he asked 400 artists and writers what they want done with their remains after passing away. A sample: New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast said she wanted her body compacted into the shape and volume of a bouillon cube (if you have trouble with the how-to part, check with the military, she suggests) then buried in the ground beneath a small tombstone marked with a Minnesota-appropriate epitaph, “Don’t mind me.”

• In case you haven't heard such a thing today, the sound of a toilet flushing: Yoko Ono on Ubuweb.

Wilco sponsors Little League teams.

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