Art Sled Rally 2011

Yesterday was the fourth annual Art Sled Rally in Minneapolis' Powderhorn Park. Cold feet cut my visit short, but luckily plenty of photographers were on hand to chronicle the races. Check out shots by Sean Smuda and Ren. As Taylor Carik tweeted yesterday, the event is "like a middle finger to winter. A small and polite middle finger, but middle finger nonetheless."

Above, my shot of a cop car sled arriving at the park.

Paired: Sawblades by Mounir Fatmi and Dan Funderburgh

Mounir Fatmi's Between the Lines -- saw blades "with calligraphy inscriptions of texts from the Surah or Hadith, evoking the beauty of God or man's capacity, or desire, to obtain knowledge" -- and wallpaper artist Dan Funderburgh's My Name Is A Killing Word, a work on painted and etched foamcore.

Earlier: Paired: BP graffiti and Huang Yong Ping's Amerigo Vespucci

Video: Minnesota public artist Kinji Akagawa

TPT's MN Original profiles educator, sculptor and public artist Kinji Akagawa. His work Garden Seating, Reading, Thinking has been in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden since its founding in 1988.

Read my essay on Kinji, "How Care Manifests the World," written when he was named 2007 McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist.

Minneapolis street art: Phil Jones' Random Acts of Design

Guerrilla street signs have been popping up in South Minneapolis recently touting everything from free hugs for hippies (a tree holds the sign in notoriously lefty Powderhorn Park) to lost ninjas ("Have you seen him? Probably not. Because then you would be dead"). These "Random Acts of Design" are the work of freelance graphic designer and recent transplant to Minneapolis Phil Jones.

Check out more of his interventions on his blog or his Flickr page, and this Wednesday look for an interview with Jones at Secrets of the City.


Bits: 01.26.11

• Two years ago last week -- on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as president -- Minneapolis artist Broc Blegen traveled to Washington to unveil his inflatable sculpture, The George W. Bush Monument. With President's Day coming up, you can get your own; Blegen writes that the work is "available in a limited edition at an affordable price (compared to other monuments) - complete with a customizable inscription so you can honor the President however you wish!"

• Long ago a curatorial intern in the Walker Art Center's Visual Art department -- before working her way to gallery director/curator at REDCAT in LA -- Clara Kim has been hired back by the Walker. She starts in Minneapolis Aug. 1.

• Two interesting posts by John Thackara at Design Observer: One on 73-year old French farmer Pierre Rabhi, founder of the International Movement for Earth and Humanism; another on Milan's new "service ecology" development plan.

• LA Times writer Christopher Knight tweets: "It's worrisome when an art museum's show-title names a movie star but not the artist." The show: LACMA's Elizabeth Taylor in Iran featuring photographs by Firooz Zahedi.

• Trailer: Among others, sculptor Kinji Akagawa will be featured on the next edition of MN Original, which begins airing on TPT stations Thursday night.

• "Superflex's Flooded McDonald's becomes reality in Brisbane."

• From Vandalog, urban robots in Venezuela by Flix.

Premakes: Trailers for modern movies -- like UP, The Empire Strikes Back and Ghostbusters -- had they been made in the '40s, '50s and '60s.


Bits: 01.05.11

Will Steacy, Mold 10, used with permission

• Works from Will Steacy's series "A Human Stain" (found photographs recovered in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina) and "A Silent Affliction" (moldy interiors in the same city) make up many of the images in the title sequence of HBO's Treme.

• Because he's not rich enough: Artist Jeff Koons has sent a cease-and-desist letter to San Francisco's Park Life, a gallery and shop, for selling balloon-dog bookends. The letter, SFist reports, asked the shop to stop selling and advertising the projects, then "return them to some mutually agreed upon address, [and] tell Koons how many have been sold and disclose the maker of said bookends." Koons, of course, didn't invent balloon animals, although he's represented them in large-scale sculptures. (Via Jennifer Yin on Facebook.)

• Artists and a handful of veterans brought projectors to the exterior of the MOCA Geffen Contemporary Monday night to protest LA MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch's whitewashing of a mural commissioned by street artist Blu that depicted coffins draped with money. Hyperallergic has the story.

• Video: Hennesy Youngman helps you "PURSUE YOUR ART WITHOUT TREADING THE GROUND THAT THAT CRACKA BRUCE NAUMAN ALREADY TREAD." NSFW. (Via Kirk McCall via Kara Walker on Facebook.)

• Works by F. Scott Fitzgerald were supposed to enter into the public domain this year --- 70 years after the St. Paul writer's death -- but thanks to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act we've gotta wait. Via Secrets of the City.

• RIP Worldchanging.com.