Evan Drolet Cook, Places I Haven't Been (North America), 2011.
• I particularly like Evan Cook's work above in light of the revelation that presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has signed a vow to, among other things, ban pornography. According to a 2009 study, conservative states -- like those in Cook's Bible belt (at least that's what I think he's conveying here) -- consume pornography at higher rates. Could Bachmann be killing her presidential bid with this vow? [Apparently, I misread this piece, which actually depicts Cook's drive from Minneapolis to L.A., where he now lives.]
• Greg Allen, of Greg.org fame, has started a new nonprofit, The Jetty Foundation, and its first order of business was to apply to the State of Utah in an attempt to win the lease of Robert Smithson's seminal earthwork Spiral Jetty after its lease expired and with no clear indication that leaseholder and artwork owner the Dia Foundation will get a new one. "In the simplest terms, I'm bidding for the lease because it seems irresponsible not to," Allen writes:
As weeks passed, with no resolution, the possibility that Dia might not automatically get a new lease grew, along with the uncertainty of Spiral Jetty's fate. Once I received assurance that submitting an application would not automatically trigger an open bidding situation, I felt the responsible thing to do was to present apparently undecided State officials with the most constructive, credible set of choices: the status quo, or an independent, locally based institution whose purpose is to manage the site and collaborate with the artwork's owners as they fulfill their own missions.• Felix Salmon, noting Allen's nod to the Dia Foundation's "undisputed" ownership of Smithson's work, writes that said ownership isn't quite that clear-cut:
Indeed, if Greg’s bid is accepted, there will be no fewer than four entities with ownership claims here: the Jetty Foundation, with the lease to the land; the state of Utah, which owns the land; the Dia Foundation, which owns the artwork; and the Smithson Estate, which owns the intellectual property rights associated with the artwork. Clear? I didn’t think so.• Kevin Kelly's ever-awesome Street Use looks at what he terms "jailhouse tech," improvised tools -- from weapons to cook stoves -- made out of re-used materials by inmates. Worth an entire post of its own, had I time, the fascinating topic is covered well at Tóxico, which features an interview with Toño Vega Macotela, the artist whose work in prisons unearthed the illegal innovations.
• The Walker interviews its new senior curator for visual arts, Clara Kim. The former director of REDCAT starts in Minneapolis Aug. 1.
• Artist Brad Downey goes from urban interventions into The Studio.
• Design I like: A coffeemug with a plug you remove so others don't swipe it at work. And the "love mattress" by Mehdi Mojtabvi, made of foam slats that make it "possible to wrap your arms around someone without cutting off your circulation, or sleep on your belly while sticking your feet straight down."