New Yorkers: Punch a panda tomorrow

Photo (detail) by Rob Bennett for the Wall Street Journal

Artist Nate Hill, whose Punch Me Panda project earned an excellent Rob Bennett photo essay and writeup in the Wall Street Journal, will be available for your punching pleasure tomorrow at the Union Square L train platform from 5-6 pm. The project:
Do you ever get so mad that you want to punch something? I'm here for you. My name is Punch Me Panda.

If you find yourself frustrated, angry, or just had a bad day, I will come to your house, and you can punch me. I wear a chest protector, and you wear boxing gloves, so no one gets hurt. It costs one cent per punch.

I am sympathetically masochistic, so you can hit me as hard as you can.

Serving individuals and couples, one-time basis or continuous. Serving all Brooklyn only.
Alternately, the panda is available by appointment for punching in the comfort of your own home.

(Thanks @museumnerd for turning me onto the project.)

Also: For those who don't follow me on Twitter, here's the San Francisco mural (no longer extant) where I got my Kiss panda icon.

Garage-sale photo finds

Newsweek on this photographic "masterpiece" found at a garage sale (detail above):
The best part of this photograph, [collector John] Foster says, is the contrast between the twins' formality and the kid in the window frame (at right). "Put your finger over the the kid backing out of or climbing into the window, and you have a normal photograph," he says. "But that boy is the big exclamation point on this posed, straightforward image. It's absolutely nutty."
Thanks, Craig P.


Bits: 11.26.10

Monika Sziladi, Untitled (Ribs), 2009

Picture Black Friday is "an open call for photographers throughout the U.S. to go out and produce images that document Black Friday -- how you see it, on your terms." Submissions accepted through Dec. 5.

PDN: "To cheer up his 91-year-old Hungarian grandma, Frederika, French photographer Sacha Goldberger took a series of photographs with her wearing various crazy costumes in different poses. While the photographs are purposefully surrealistic, Frederika Goldberger is a hero, having saved lives during World War II. "

Ben Davis at Artnet: "The movement of art and art criticism, as I have come to see it, is a movement of threading, of finding the points where art and its world connect back to everything else, the big, beautiful, sometimes fucked up and scary world beyond it. If you can’t stomach being interested in the wider world and having a thought about it, and figuring out how that relates back to what artists are doing in the present, then all you are left with is meaningless professional opinion, of interest mainly to other art professionals or those in their spell. "

Flashmob sings Handel's "Messiah" in a mall food court. Had I not grown up a Catholic school kid enlisted to sing Christmas carols in malls, I'd think it could be construed as subversive.

Pomplamoose -- the duo that does excellent, quirky multi-track (looped? multi-layer video?) covers of everything from Beyonce and Lady Gaga to The Chordettes -- just made Hyundai's new holiday TV commercial.

Minneapolis gun-ban signs

Minnesota's 2007 "concealed-carry" law allows permit-holding gun owners to carry an unlimited number of handguns on their person in public except for certain cases and when businesses specifically post their policy banning guns on site. While Flickr users -- including Kelly Haferman, Geoffrey Brown, Kerim (1, 2, 3) and Jeff Houck -- have documented many of these ubiquitous signs, I haven't seen any contemporary art photographers address the topic. Have you? Please let me know in comments. Or if you find any examples of hand-made or uniquely designed signs, send them my way.

Operation Exposure: War is Trauma

War is Trauma by Jesse Purcell
On Nov. 15, veterans, artists and volunteers in Chicago hit the streets to wheatpaste posters on boarded-up buildings and corporate ad spaces calling attention to the suicide epidemic among veterans and the military's redeployment of soldiers with traumatic brain injuries. A collaboration between Justseeds and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Operation Exposure is part of the National Veterans Art Museum's Chicago in War series, which "explores the continued rupturing of the traumas of war in everyday America." The posters, reports Art Threat, are on view at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Chicago for one month.

The Groundswell Collective has more on the project.

Happy Buy Nothing Day

Today. Via Unconsumption.


Bits: 11.05.10

Banksy, You Concrete Me

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is placed under house arrest for planning a party to "celebrate" the government-decreed demolition of his studio. Police won't let him leave his home til midnigiht Sunday, the day he scheduled the party.

Henry Rollins and artist Shirin Neshat visit a "hipster" East Village record store. (Also: Rollins signs my name several times.)

• Slavoj Zizek, in a statement accompanying a portrait in Steve Pyke's series of photos of philosophers: "I HATE philosophy, but I cannot find peace if I do not get rid of a philosophical problem. Philosophy is or me like women: they are impossible, but it is even more difficult without them."

Hans-Peter Feldmann wins the 2010 Hugo Boss Prize.

Boats recycled as sheds. (Thanks, SP!)

• From 1995: How the CIA used art by the likes of Rothko, DeKooning and Pollock as Cold War weapons. (I forget how I found the link; if it was you, let me know.)

• Next Halloween, consider going as a Banksy mural. Via Make.


Bits: 11.02.10

Danh Vo, No-Rat Box, gold foil on found cardboard, 2010 [via]

• Please, for the love of God, vote. It matters.

• Then head to the Walker Art Center. Admission is free all Election Day.

• As part of the just-opened SFMOMA exhibition Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870, Marie Sester's ACCESS is installed in the museum's atrium: Go online and use a "robotic spotlight and acoustic beam system" to follow museumgoers with light.

• NYT: “Because Obama’s presidency seems to many to not have lived up to its promise of a different, progressive way of doing things, people have perhaps pulled away from his font,” said Robert Arnow, a font designer in San Francisco. “For the most part, the fonts chosen by candidates do not take chances, but rather tend toward what’s been done the past.”

• Japanese-American dance legends Eiko and Koma are performing Naked naked in the Walker galleries, six days a week through Nov. 30. Here's the Star Tribune's writeup of it.

• Barcelona exhibition: Eugenio Merino: We Don't Need Another Hero, ADN Gallery, now on view.

Beautiful/Decay on Thomas Struth.

• A letter from John Lennon to the laundry: Yoko "does not sweat."