Bits: 01.31.10

Rosemarie Fiore, who recently made firework "drawings," is now creating large-scale works by attaching airbrushes to amusement-park rides. (Thanks, Kristina.)

RIP Howard Zinn. I haven't been able to write about this yet: so much to say, such a tremendous inspiration, lots of sadness. For now, suffice it to say, I'm grateful for the lessons offered by a true "radical" (etymology: "from the roots").

The dream Alice Walker had the night she heard of her friend and teacher Zinn's death: "We (Someone and I) were looking for the place we go to when we die. After quite a long walk, we encountered it. What we saw was this astonishingly gigantic collection of people and creatures: birds and foxes, butterflies and dogs, cats and beings I’ve never seen awake, and they were moving toward us in total joy at our coming. We were happy too. But there was nothing to support any of us, no land, no water, nothing. We ourselves were all of it: our own earth. And I woke up knowing that this is where we go when we die. We go back to where we came from: inside all of us."

RIP Karen Schmeer, film editor for films including Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure, who was run down in New York at age 39 by a getaway car fleeing a pharmacy robbery. (Via @agentmule.)

• "'Grid cells' that act like a spatial map in the brain have been identified for the first time in humans, according to new research by UCL scientists which may help to explain how we create internal maps of new environments." (Thanks, Chris Steller.)

• BLDG BLOG looks at "an artificial island and devotional chapel constructed in Montenegro's Bay of Kotor."

Saber again discusses his graffiti-based video project on heathcare reform that so enraged conservatives.

• Festival: The Influencers -- featuring The Yes Men, Critical Art Ensemble and the Black Label Bicycle Club, among others — Feb. 2–4 in Barcelona.

Basquiat stencil.


Time-lapse of Flight 1549 emerging from the icy Hudson

Posted on Kontain.com - [Flight 1549] from David Martin on Vimeo.

This time-apse footage of the salvage operation of Flight 1549 after its crash in the Hudson last year is truly remarkable -- even moreso because of the cinematic music David Martin sets it to.
Via Doobybrain.


Bits: 01.26.10

John Morefield's booth at the Ballard Farmer's Market, Seattle. Photo: Jim Bovino

• Falling on tough times, out-of-work Seattle architect John Morefield decided to get entrepeneurial: He set up a stand at a farmer's market where passersby can ask him about home design and more. Half networking, half community service, it's also decent marketing. His story's been picked up by the New York Times, NPR, Media Bistro and others.

• Gilding the pierogi: Northeast Minneapolis artist wants to erect a sculptural homage to the Eastern European dumpling. Pricetag: Around $100k.

Zanadesign's sand printer is a person-powered wheel that leaves a message -- in this case, a commemoration of Spain's 1812 constitution -- on the beach. Great idea, but how soon 'til Coke or Corona get hold of it?

• As part of the Toronto exhiition Public Realm, Broken City Labs created a series of fill-in-the-blank text-based projections raising questions about how we think about public space.

@TheNassassin points out what looks like a fascinating new PBS series: Sound Tracks. The first episode includes Fela 2.0, Borat v. Kazakh musicians, and a look at the man behind Putin propaganda.

• As Jose Luis Rodriguez is accused of using a tame Iberian wolf in a shot that won a wildlife photography prize, the Financial Times reports that Moscow's stray dogs are becoming more wolf-like. (Moscow averages 84 strays per square mile!) Via @Shardlow.

• The BBC to air a film shot entirely by chimpanzees. Tune in Wednesday night; Dramamine recommended.

Auto-tuning MLK.


Bits: 01.22.10

Adi Nes, Untitled (Boys 7), 2000, via I Heart My Art

• Artist Andrea Zittel discusses 100 Acres, a "habitable island" she's building in Indiana that'll have temporary residents the next few summers. Fitting the theme, on Zittel's favorite-books list is The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaro Emotu, which examines how thought can affect water molecules.

• Via C-Monster, something we midwesterners hear all the time: the space-age sounds of frozen lakes. (You might hear 'em if you head to Art Shanty Projects, now through Feb. 7 on Medicine Lake.)

• Jeffrey Deitch's last show at his New York Gallery, before shutting it down to become director of LACMA, is a Shepard Fairey solo exhibition. Fairey recently discussed his copyright battle with the AP -- and lying about the source for his Obama posters -- for the series Brave New Conversations.

• Via Fimoculous, online video of three episodes of Andy Warhol's early '80s cable TV shows.

• The Tate has purchased eight William Blake etchings that were unearthed in a box of used books in the '70s.

• The Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting three off-site projects for the Olympics, including a giant mural by Michael Lin and, by Ken Lum, three scale replicas of squatter’s shacks from Maplewood Mudflats settlement in North Vancouver.

Homelessness is très chic... according to Vivienne Westwood, at least.

• The Banksy-produced documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop debuts at Sundance on Sunday.

• Mashup: Wu Tang v. The Beatles = Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers.


Broken Crow time-lapse: Sprinting lion

Broken Crow Stencil Mural - 1 Day Time lapse - Lion Man from The BFC on Vimeo.

Nice time lapse of Mike Fitzsimmons and John Grider, AKA Broken Crow, installing their lion-man stencil mural in downtown Minneapolis. Via l'etoile.

Avatar: $500 million and the best font they can afford is Papyrus?

Artnet tweets:
Best "Avatar" critique: a $500-mil budget and they chose “Papyrus” as their font?
My thought exactly (except for the "best critique" part: I'd save that for musings on race and gender in the film). But one entity thrilled by it is "Papyrus" itself -- actually, the site Pr*tty Sh*tty -- which wrote fanmail to director James Cameron. An excerpt:
Goodness knows I’ve worked hard the past 26 years to make a name for myself. And it’s felt great coming to the aid of New Age spa owners, suburban party planners, and young couples looking to save money by making their own wedding invitations. But only now, by appearing in your movie, have I been given mainstream, high-level recognition as a serious typeface. And for that, I thank you.


Artist Joy Garnett to donate painting to collector who gives $10K to Haiti relief

Joy Garnett's Evac (2005), an abstraction of New Orleans on fire after Hurricane Katrina

Artist Joy Garnett scours the media for news images of disasters, man-made or natural, that become the basis for her evocative paintings on canvas. Events from the Paris riots to Hurricane Katrina have sparked her work, but it's that last tragedy that's the subject of a painting (above) she says she'll give to the first collector who donates $10,000 or more for relief in earthquake-struck Haiti. Like the southeast Asian tsunami of 2005, Katrina is "a disaster that still reverberates," she tells Hrag Vartanian at Hyperallergic.

No collectors have come forward -- yet -- but she says she has been contacted by an artist who wants to do the same thing. And maybe other, bigger-name creators will follow suit:
After posting, it occurred to me that while I may have the capacity to raise thousands, or perhaps tens of thousands, through the donation of one or two paintings, more established artists whose work commands a lot more certainly have it in their power to follow suit.

For instance: Damien Hirst is opening at Gagosian in New York on Jan 20th. I imagine he might take it upon himself to donate some portion of those inevitable sales. Just a suggestion.

For those of us with non-collector incomes, consider donating to the Red Cross by texting “HAITI” to 90999 to have $10 added to your phone bill.


Bits: 01.13.10

OOF, Ed Ruscha (1962-1963), via ArtObserved

• MoMA's using Ruscha's piece above on its 404 pages, says Hyde or Die.

• Photo Essay: Earthquake in Haiti. Donate here. Via C-Monster.

• The big news among art insiders (which I'm way behind the curve on): Art dealer Jeffrey Deitch is closing up his New York gallery to accept the directorship at LAMOCA. Tyler has a three part interview with Deitch (1, 2, 3).

• Design guru Bruce Mau's 43-point "Incomplete Manifesto for Growth."

Bill T. Jones and the cast of FELA! on Colbert.

• Peter Ross on how he ended up photographing all of William Burroughs' stuff.

• RIP Gumby creator Art Clokey.

Art Shanty Projects 2010 opens Saturday, Jan. 16 on Medicine Lake west of Minneapolis.

• Video: If the French made Star Wars.

Video: Graf artist Saber on the flag video that earned him rightwing death threats

Graffiti artist Saber on his flag piece that sent the right into conniptions. An epileptic who can't get health insurance because of his pre-existing condition, he made the graffiti piece of layered graffiti over a flag image for Organizing for America’s Health Care Video Challenge, where it was a finalist. He drew the ire of rightwing media outlets like Fox News and NewsMax and death threats from online commenters. To that, he says, bring it on: "I'm happy to be America's Enemy No. 1. Please. By all means. It makes my art more valuable."

Not safe for work (language).


Bits: 01.07.10

Cinq ellipses ouvertes, Felice Varini, via rebel:art

• Chris Hedges on "The Pictures of War You're Not Supposed to See," and a counterpoint to it. Via Conscientious.

• Vancouver Art Gallery expected to be center of anti-Olympics activism next month. Via @groundswellblog.

• Essay: Hans Ulrich Obrist's "Manifestos for the Future"

• Video: Walker Art Center senior registration technician David Bartley shows off his "top five things that have to be identified as art." Among them: Meyer Vaisman's Trash, bits from Fischli & Weiss' "Empty Room" installation, and a Cady Noland piece.

• Audio slideshow: Alec Soth narrates images from his trip to Las Vegas.

• Video: The 1985 International Emmy-winning documentary on painter Francis Bacon, part of the BBC's The South Bank Show.

• Best art story lede: "Having put out the call for vagina–related works to include in an exhibition, New York art dealer Francis Naumann was unprepared for the response. 'I've got vaginas coming out of my wazoo,' he says." Via C-Monster.

Infographics from the 1930's and beyond.

Chanel samurai armor by artist Tetsuya Noguchi.

• Yoko Ono's next book, due out in 2015, will be a memoir that will discuss for the first time details of how the Beatles broke up.

• Geek marriage proposal: guy uses a 3-million-candlepower spotlight to trace "Emily, will you marry me?" in light around the city as a rooftop-mounted DSLR camera with the shutter open captures it all.

"Gorram greebols!": A list of fictional swear words



Bits: 01.04.10

World's longest graffiti? Via Torontoist.

• Curator: That's one of the top 50 jobs of 2010, according to U.S. News & World Report. But don't expect big bucks: only the top 10 percent of museum curators make over $83,000 a year. Via Unbeige.

• Speaking of curators, here's your chance to stump some: Submit questions to the Walker Art Center by Wednesday, then show up Thursday for The Inquisition, an art quiz show of sorts, to see if curators or community members know the answers.

• Probably not making the top-jobs list: gallery monitors, guards and docents.

• Chicago exhibition: Photographer Anna Shteynshleyger's portraits of members of the Orthodox Jewish community at The Renaissance Society through Feb. 14.

Forty UK museum face budget cuts because all the money's being funneled to the 2012 Olympics, reports the Independent (via Hyperallergic).

• News you can use: how to spot genetically modified food at the grocery story. (Via TWBE.)


NYT on C-Monstah

New York Times media writer David Carr says "Twitter will endure," and as if to offer proof, he lists nine Twitterers to follow -- including Eyeteeth pal C-Monster ("Visual arts savant, pop culture tastemaker," according to Carr).