RIP cartoonist John Callahan

NY Times:
John Callahan, a quadriplegic, alcoholic cartoonist whose work in newspapers and magazines made irreverent, impolitic sport of people with disabilities and diseases and those who would pity and condescend to them, died on Saturday in Portland, Ore. He was 59 and lived in Portland.

The causes were complications of quadriplegia and respiratory problems, his brother Tom said....

Bits: 07.30.10

Matthew Moore, Moore Estates (detail)

• 20x200's newest edition shows Matthew Moore's Moore Estates (West), aerial photos of a plot of his family farm planted with sorghum and wheat to show a 1/3 scale map of the suburban community that's being developed nearby. Here's how the project, "Rotations," looked in 2005, 2006 and 2007. (Thanks, Kristina.)

• Atlanta's National Museum of Patriotism is closing its physical space.

• Gary Hustwit (Objectified, Helvetica) has another film in production: Urbanized, which "looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design, featuring some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers," is slated for release in 2011.

• Steal this movie: "The Yes Men Fix the World is our second feature film. It's won a bucket of awards and accolades, but we're still broke. We are hoping that people who share it will donate some money so that we can do even more outrageous actions." Download the torrent here.

The New Yorker offers up a series of photos showing glimpses of the U.S. military's black ops from artist Trevor Paglen's new book, Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes.

Artthreat: "Artist Wu Yuren has been arrested, beaten and is being held in a Beijing jail according to his wife, Canadian Karen Patterson."

• A series of nice street interventions -- including a subway-vent shark -- by Spanish artist Kapo.

• Anne "Interview with A Vampire" Rice is leaving Christianity, thanks in part to the Westboro Baptist Church and Minnesota's proseletyzing anti-gay "punk" band You Can Run But You Cannot Hide (she links to the Minnesota Independent as part of her rationale).

William Powhida at Platform, Seattle

Brooklyn's William Powhida, who last brought us the work How The New Museum Committed Suicide With Banality, is in a show closing at Seattle's Platform Gallery on Aug. 5 that covers more art-world content: His talismanic schematics featuring art dealers, collectors, critics and bloggers conjure the cult-like and mysterious qualities of contemporary art today.

Via Happy Famous Artists.


Bush billboard: "Miss me yet?" Spraypaint wielder: "No."

A billboard showing George W. Bush along with the words "Miss me yet?" has been vandalized. Now it shows Bush sporting a black Tom Selleck-esque moustache and includes the answer: "No."

Earlier: RNC graffiti -- Greed Over People, Get Out Phascists, etc.


Bits: 07.26.10

Jason Lazarus, Untitled (Summer 2010)

• "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions today, carving out new legal protections for consumers who modify their cell phones and artists who remix videos — people who, until now, could have been sued for their non-infringing or fair use activities." Via Hyperallergic Labs.

• Chicago exhibition: Sense & Sensibility (a group show featuring a work by Jason Lazarus [above]), Rainbo Club, through Aug. 21.

A lawsuit has been filed in Detroit over the removal of a Banksy mural, said to be worth $100K, by a nonprofit gallery.

• Francis Alÿs on his 10-year project filming inside sand tornadoes: "Going inside tornados is also quite addictive, so it’s hard to stop and say, 'That’s enough, it’s not going to get any better.'"

• Modern Art Notes' America’s Favorite Art Museum tournament is underway. Based on reader votes, two locals move on to the next round: The Walker was seeded at number 12 and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts at 38. The Walker moves on, having defeated MCA Chicago, and the MIA squeaked by the Nelson-Atkins.

• Hey look at this guy of the day: He's just poppin' balloons.

Duluth street sticker: Sinbad on a Viking ship

Even before the modification, I thought this logo -- for a Duluth, Minn., solid waste transport company -- was pretty awesome (Viking poop!). Then somebody stuck the Sinbad photo on it.


Mountain of 11,000 trees

Lovely. Agnes Denes' Tree Mountain: A Living Time Capsule, in Finland. Matt Olson at ROLU writes:
Eleven thousand trees were planted in a complex mathematical pattern by eleven thousand people from around the world, to be maintained for 400 years. One of the largest environmental reclamation sites in the world, Tree Mountain, created from refuse material from a gravel pit, was declared a national monument to serve future generations with a meaningful legacy. Dedicated in 1996 by the President of Finland, dignitaries, and participants from around the world.

Walter Robinson's Napalm air freshener

Regina Hackett begins her look at text-based artworks with this image by Walter Robinson, from his 2007 installation Forest.

Bits: 07.08.10

Fiona Banner, Harrier and Jaguar 2010, installed at Tate Britain through Jan. 3, 2011

• Amara Antilla, co-founder of RECESS, interviews artist Huong Ngo in the first installment of Lessons Learned, a blog feature on "conversations with artists who are rethinking in a similar way, how, where, and with whom learning happens."

• Another nice time-lapse video from BLU: "Big Bang Big Boom."

• Documentary: Unurth has all 57 minutes of Sebastian Peiter's street-art history, Guerrilla Art, based on his book of the same name.

• Fascinating book of the day: Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher's microscopic look at bees turns a common garden insect into an unfamiliar and engrossing landscape in the just-published volume, BEE. Beautiful/Decay has the pics.

• Minneapolis exhibition: 2009/10 McKnight Foundation Visual Artist Fellows Exhibition: Michael Kareken, Aldo Moroni, Carolyn Swiszcz, Piotr Szyhalski, opens Friday at MCAD.

• London exhibition: Whose Map is it? new mapping by artists, Institute of International Visual Artists, on view through July 24.

Siah Armajani named 2010 McKnight Distinguished Artist

Benjamin Newland's Nomadic Sound Systems "open up new possibilities for electronic music performance to play with location, narrative and choreography of the sound system components themselves, in human surround-sound."

Interviewed by Hyperallergic, artist Dread Scott offered a July 4 reading from an 1852 Frederick Douglass speech:
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies, and despotism, of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the every-day practices of this nation, and you will say with me that for revolting barbarity, and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without rival.
MPLSArt.com has an iPhone app.


Video: Chicago's new eyeball

The Chicago Tribune looks into the making of downtown Chicago's newest sculpture, a 30-foot orb modeled after sculptor Tony Tasset's eyeball. Props to the motherland: The fiberglass ball was fabricated in Sparta, Wis., -- not so far from where I grew up -- by F.A.S.T. Corp., which made the world's largest fiberglass sculpture, the 145-foot-long muskellunge that makes up Hayward, Wisconsin's Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

Via C-Monster.

Bohyun Yoon's Mirror Mask

Artist Bohyun Yoon on his Mirror Mask:
When I first came to the U.S, I had a communication problem as English was not my native language. Observing people's faces and gestures helped my understanding, and I started to inquire and develop a project about non-verbal communication. In "Mirror Mask", I focused on the concept, where I questioned how we are universally able to communicate with our body regardless of race or language. This mirror shows more angles of the face so that it helps communicate and exaggerate our facial expressions to one another.
Via Designboom.

James Chance photographs Manila's cemetery dwellers

Image from James Chance's "Living with the Dead," used with permission

The intersection of poverty and overcrowdedness means the world's poorest are often pushed into unlikely and surprising living environments, from shantytowns and favelas to massive landfills like Jakarta's Bantar Gebang (where children of ragpickers run a radio station) and Manila's Smokey Mountain. In his recent series, photographer James Chance looks at another unexpected community, Manila's North Cemetery, where more than 2,000 people live among the graves of presidents and paupers alike. Photo District News, which reports that 40 percent of Filipinos live below the poverty line, offers a stunning presentation of Chance's "Living with the Dead" series.

Update: As a winner of a $10,000 POYi Emerging Vision Incentive award, Chance will be continuing the project. He plans on focusing on individuals who live and work in the cemetery, including Rodolfo "Rody" Villenueva, the caretaker, and a squatter named Bobby.