Bits: 04.30.10

Brock Davis, Feb. 16: Horse, 2009

• Minneapolis exhibition: Brock Davis: Make Something Cool Every Day, opens May 1 at Creative Electric Studios at the California Building. Prep for it with this interview ROLU's Matt Olson did with Davis.

• Minneapolis exhibition: Wing Young Huie's six-mile outdoor photographic exploration The University Avenue Project launches May 1.

• Slideshow: Lawrence Weiner's LOT-EK-designed West Village home (note the windows made from reused truck bodies.)

RIP Leslie Buck, designer of New York's iconic Anthora cardboard coffee cup.

• Odd urbanism idea of the day: In northeast England's North Tyneside, officials are planning on installing fake fronts on some of the borough's 140 shuttered shops to lessen the visual impact of the recession and, hopefully, attract new business. Via Social Design Notes.

• Artworld Salon's András Szántó: "The New York Times today reported the incomes of cultural leaders. Look for the imminent brouhaha about how much some directors are making... The real issue with nonprofit compensation, I believe, lies not at the executive, but at the mid-management level, and at the lowest rungs of arts organizations."

Beetle Cam: A remote-control buggy with a camera mounted on top for wildlife photography. Beats catching the plague immersed in an African mudpit.

• Two nice musings by No Caption: "English: The International Language of Police Power" and "A Second Look: The Warrior Child"

• Journalist and Utne Reader editor Jeff Severns Guntzel's story "Bagdhad. Finished." debuted on Cell Stories, but now is viewable here.

• Your moment of rectum-shaped bar, a "multi-functional, real, oversized anal orifice" and walk-in sculpture by Dutch art collective Atelier van Lieshout.


Berlin street gets Pollocked

Photos by Loso, used with permission

Last Sunday, Berlin's Rosenthaler Platz was hit by a guerrilla paint splatterer: Gallons of pink, blue and yellow paint were tossed in an intersection in Mitte to be spread around by walkers, bikes and cars. No word whether it's street-art or a marketing campaign. Polkadot has two reasons why that could be:
a) “Some” suspicious “looking onlookers with larger cameras,” b) the choice of location (from the window of your favorite cafes in the digital Bhoème St. Oberholz can see the intersection and blogging the event almost live), c) fact that “only” indelible paint was used, d) there was no outing of an artist, and e) the similar campaigns by Sony (Bravia) and BMW.
While the Bravia ad does share similarities, the closer match is BMW's ad featuring artist Robin Rhode painting with a Z4. Photos by Loso.


No place like Noam: Chomsky street-art in Brooklyn

Via Mike Hill on Facebook, two examples of Chomskyan street art in Greenpoint, Brooklyn: A repurposed Snickers ad in a subway station and a street stencil.


Alec Soth on MN Original's premier episode

MN Original, Twin Cities Public Television's new arts show (funded by the State Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund), debuted last night with, among other features, a segment on photographer Alec Soth as he prepares for his solo show at the Walker Art Center this fall. The entire program is online. Congratulations to TPT, Chuck Olsen, Allison Herrera and everyone else involved with MNO!


Bits: 04.22.10

Penelope Umbrico's Img Collection #6: Universal Remotes, via i heart photograph

• Thanks to a program begun in 1957, artists in Mexico can pay their taxes through trade: so far, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit now owns 4,248 paintings, sculptures, engravings and photographs by Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Leonora Carrington and others.

• The winner of GOOD's neighborhood infographic contest goes to Minneapolis' 2 & 21 for a data-rich graphic about biking in the Twin Cities. Via @jsguntzel.

RIP Ray Barton, 81, who came up with the vintage Minnesota Twins logo that's now a fixture in center field at Target Field.

Hrag goes to the Whitney Biennial so you don't have to.

InfraNet Lab on a art/architecture project planned for a series of 62 sequential interlocked concrete silos in Omaha: "The Stored Potential competition is seeking proposals for gimongous 20 foot by 80 foot images to reclad the silos rippled surface. The potential for this to trigger development, reuse, and launch a new life for this massive form is potent."

• ROLU's "Scattered Light" project continues with another request for photos. The assignment: "A photograph of light or shadow falling on a room"

• Via Bad at Sports, a flowchart that'll help you pick a typeface.

• In honor of Earth Day, PBS' Art Beat blog gives props to Minnesota's Earthology Records, the green record label founded by Cloud Cult's Craig Minowa.

The art of trash.


Photo: Giant Warhol-head piñata

And it's filled with tomato soup, right? Via the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Walker's Peter Eleey heading to P.S. 1

ArtInfo is reporting that Walker Art Center curator Peter Eleey is leaving the Minneapolis contemporary art museum to head back to New York. Eleey's been at the Walker since spring 2007, when he was hired away from the public art organization Creative Time. I have an email into Eleey to confirm whether the news, from ArtInfo's Art+Auction gossip blog, is true.

Here's what ArtInfo says:

We hear that Peter Eleey, currently the visual arts curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, has been hired as a curator at New York’s P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. Eleey will join P.S. 1 director Klaus Biesenbach as the first full-time curatorial hire since P.S.1 founder Alanna Heiss’s retirement in 2007, after which the Long Island City institution — which has been affiliated with MoMA since 2000 — has operated on a curatorial advisory model...

Eleey's The Talent Show is on view at the Walker through August 15.

(Here's my interview with Eleey from when he took the Walker job in 2007.)

Update: Confirmed. A Walker contact tells me that chief curator Darsie Alexander informed staff Thursday morning about Eleey's departure. In an email, she said he'll be leaving for P.S. 1 the second week of May.

"We wish to extend our very best to Peter as he returns to New York in May, and are pleased to see another talented Walker curator continuing to make his mark," she wrote. "Please join me in extending sincere congratulations to Peter before he leaves the Twin Cities next month. In the meantime, be assured that a search for a new curator is currently underway, and we will move as swiftly as possible to fill the position."

Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Walker. And congratulations, Peter!


Bits: 04.14.10

Manga Farming, Koshi Kawachi via Pink Tentacles

Alec Soth gets his own baseball card.

• "Electronic civil disobedience" artist and UC-San Diego art professor Ricardo Dominguez could face possible criminal charges for his involvement in protests against university budget cuts. As Hyperallegic reports, Dominguez rallied students in an "online sit-in" which amounted to a denial-of-service attack on the institution's web servers: several hundred students participated in trying to access the school's website in hopes of crashing it.

• Minneapolis Exhibition: The Talent Show -- a Peter Eleey–curated show which "examines a range of complicated relationships that have emerged between artists, audiences, and participants in light of the competing desires for notoriety and privacy that mark our present cultural moment" -- is on view through August 15 at the Walker Art Center.

• Call for Artists: Application deadline for UNTITLED, the Minneapolis nonprofit artspace SOOVAC's seventh annual juried show (curated by Scott Stulen), is April 30.

• Video: Every painting at MoMA, April 10, 2010, via @artfagcity.

Sarah Jessica Parker's new art reality-TV show has a local contestant, ID'd by the show as only Miles, 23, from Minneapolis. I found myself with the only 23-year-old artmaking Minneapolitan Miles over the weekend and he confirms his participation in the show, which premiers on Bravo June 9. His only report was that the filming was the "craziest thing" ever.

• Pretty great story of a guy, inspired by absurdist-sign-wielding counter-protesters joining the Westboro Baptist Church gang at Twitter headquarters, plans to infilitrate, out-crazy and drive the tea partiers out of relevance. "Whenever possible, we will act on behalf of the Tea Party to exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV interviews, etc.)," writes Crash the Tea Party founder Jason Levin.

Bike du jour: Custom built it holds two kegs beneath an inlaid wood bar, a rack for hauling pizzas, and a wood-paneled pannier/stereo system.


Stephen Colbert won't sign "Paul Schmelzer"

My world's all topsy-turvy: Michele Bachmann, the conservative Congress member whose values are almost entirely divergent from my own, agreed to sign my name as part of my Signifier/Signed project, but Stephen Colbert, whose entire television persona hinges on borrowing the characteristics of others (namely, O'Reilly-esque conservatives not unlike Bachmann) won't.

Click here for more on my ongoing autograph project.


Bits: 04.06.10

Rudolf Stingel LIVE installed at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin

• Photographer Noah Sheldon looks at the Arizona sustainability project Biosphere 2, 16 years after it closed. Via VBS.tv.

• SFMOMA launches the first museum iPad app, Rooftop Sculpture Garden.

• Dr. Adam Bradford, in a new book, claims that Jesus' dad, Joseph, was actually not a carpenter, as biblical stories say, but an architect.

• Minneapolis film: MCAD screens Shungu: The Resilience of a People April 8 at its "American academic premier" (1 pm at MCAD). Set in Zimbabwe, the documentary follows a "30-something metalsmith and opposition supporter running his small business while facing political violence, a middle-aged widow who is a staunch government supporter trying to run a farm she took over from a white farmer, a doctor working amid health care collapse while trying to maintain her middle-class lifestyle." Geotypografika shows the silkscreen process for the MCAD screening poster, which will be on sale Thursday.

• ROLU looks into Futurefarmers' Victory Gardens project and, continuing the gardening theme, 9999's installation for the 1973 MoMA show Italy: The New Domestic Landscape.

• Mexican town erects statue of boy who survived the H1N1 flu. Via @cmonstah.

• Speaking of strange boy sculptures, nobody at Reddit can explain what's going on with this one.

Sam3's subliminal billboards

Unurth's got the full shot of Sam3's project in Murcia, Spain, where unused billboards spell out a subliminal message. Here's a few more shots of individual boards.


Bits: 04.05.10

La Pantera by the Date Farmers

• Hyperallergic surveys New York's sculptural street art.

• Today's the first day you can buy CSA shares. That's Community Supported Art, an mnartists.org/Springboard for the Arts project. Each three-month "season" costs $300 and you get three farm boxes of artworks, tickets and doodads by nine artists. The first installment's lineup is fantastic.

• Minneapolis Institute of Arts curator Liz Armstrong on how to make some museumgoers not cringe at contemporary art: "I think the answer is putting contemporary art in a historical context, which I hope will present it in a way that makes people comfortable" -- i.e. presenting Yinka Shonibare's textile-clad Victorian mannequins in an 18th-century period room -- "When you isolate contemporary art, without all the richness and history of a larger collection, it does feel more remote."

• Minneapolis poster show/sale: Artcrank 2010, 30 bike-themed prints by 30 artists, opens April 10 at Shelter Studios. Sales benefit Full Cycle, "a Minneapolis nonprofit that gives free bikes to homeless youth and teaches them bike maintenance." (Here's a peek at Jennifer Davis' contribution.)

• New York exhibition: The Private Collection of Henry Darger, April 6 through Sept. 19 at the American Folk Art Museum.

• Alec Soth is blogging for the New York Times' Opinionator blog. His first post, last week, is a slideshow of photos of the "cycles of sin and redemption in the aftermath of Mardi Gras."

Langston Hughes rolls in his grave: A Wall Street Journal reporter says popped manure bubbles on a midwestern dairy farm "wrinkled like raisins in the sun."

• Your moment of Zinn: The late great one on "being hopeful in bad times."