January 2003, 41 posts, 1699 lines
Bye, Pedro. We'll miss you. /jno
-went to Dogmatic to find that Pedro is still in town. What a surprise.
-went to Dogmatic to find that Bulka has a broken computer. Somebody, please, donate to him an i-Fruit in working condition?
I told Bulka I was donating him my power Mac, in good conditions. Slow but good. And I'm out by the 17th...that's the date.
Let us all
gather on the 16th in the evening and have an online send off for Mr.
Velez. We can all drink and be merry while we chat with one another in our
warm othergroup way. We can roast the poor fellow in a truly 21'st century
style this way. This way it will all be archival. What do you say to a cut
and past frolic through topica's greatest hits with Mr. Velez as it's
token center. C'mon what more can we do for Chicago's patron saint of
pissed off. How better to aknowledge the achievements of an honest on-line
man. Let us check our spell checks at the door and let the divine lead our
grammer to points unknown. Lets allow ourselves this one opportunity to be
flagrant with our whimsies and throw caution to the wind. Fga and all of
it's odd acronym children deserve just such a send off. Someone get Bulka
a computer by then because he will be missed sorely. Someone call NFA
because they will be needed here to. Not to mention Chuck and Lorelie. An
on line roast at the othergroup is what I propose. It's a realtime
happening in chat form with PEDRO at its center. What do ya' say?
what time? at dogmatic?
I was thinking online via the othergroup network. You can be all cozy at home with a forty. Cut and paste your favorite moments from the othergroup archive add ironic funny and insiteful content as needed without leaving home or having to worry about cab fare.
On Wed, 8 Jan 2003 diegobobby at canada.com wrote:
The advantage of othergroup.net is that it actually puts through the eamil in a few seconds - rather than Topica, which often takes hours, and at time has taken a day to deliver. And the remailed email will show on the index ('home') page or the 'this month' page as soon as it is received (well - give or take a few nanoseconds). Lets hear it for dual Pentium processors with 2 Gig of RAM and two T-1 lines. At night the other 70 users will be mostly off-line.
Well, not a questionaire.. Just a question: How many of you want to receive a weekly digest of postings to othergroup.net, instead of single emails of every post?
If a number of you would want that, please respond and I will start writing the scripts to accomplish a digest, otherwise not. It complicates things a bit, but if a number of you need this to retain your sanity during the accassional email battles - well let me know.
Contact me at the return address (From:) which will show, or pick it off the webpage by looking at the source. Or respond -- with your opinions -- direct to group.
I'm ambivalent. I'm having a hard time, as it is, figuring out who said what (I think some of the messages get lost) and what the issues are. A digest would help, but then - if I were motivated to respond - I wouldn't have been in the conversation. Doesn't help much, does it?
Can we also get a monthly printed edition passed out at bus stations and el stops by folks that hug themselves and shake back and forth? No? But seriously folks. Why are there lions in front of the art institute? Because the elephants got tired of waiting and took a cab. So is anybody here from out of town? It figures, the crickets would be. So what do you get when you cross a Chicagoan with an elephant? I don't know but the grey guy at the end of the bar could sure use a beer. So last night I'm at this opening see, and this guy I know from this Art School is hitting on this lady from a rival Art school right. He says to her,"do you wanna come up and see my etchings?" Then she says to him,"It depends on the length of your resume?" Badum-pa! Don't worry the joke is "G" rated because he pulled it out right there. Wa-wa! Heres a naughty one for you though. So what did the first curator say to the second curator at the orgy? I could have placed that better. So who likes fat jokes? The crickets like everything tonight don't they? So How do art handlers move Michelangelo's David? Gently. And how do they move Serrano's Piss Christ? In a crate. What do you get when you cross gently with a crate? bad poetry unless I'm wrong. So what do you think of this weather? You know its so cold that this artist friend of mine is actually making his own work to keep warm? Its so cold that the critics have taken to reviewing pilot lights. Its so cold in fact, that Josef Beauys and Jan Estep's work make sense. It's so cold that someone had to throw another blanket on Rauschenberg's Bed. Alright folks, you've been great. DB
I just ran into Scott Speh's 'Hot Commodities' on line at [http://www.artic.edu/~sspeh/hc_current/]
I wonder if he gets any sleep. Amazing. Dont think of him as Pedro's clone (Marc suggested in March), although their interest and energy parallel.
Anyway, a review of the top ten exhibitions in Chicago in 2002 (certainly you will want to look through that!), plus NYC stuff, music -- and top ten picks of TV shows, movies, more. Shees, I dont own a TV, but it is nice to see that others are in touch with culture.
thanks for the props. and i do sleep. i just don't read -- note the lack of books on the list!
and Dan, thanks for the info. I just read an article on Fogerty's saga in a Des Moines alternative paper (Iowa so totally rocks!).
At 12:06 AM 1/13/2003 -0600, you wrote:
On Mon, 13 Jan 2003 sspeh at artic.edu wrote:
You dont read (paragraph 1); you do read (paragraph 2).
Wanna post an ongoing list of current TOP TEN SHOWS at this site?
Start with ten last year hits, and whenever you add one, the bottom one get deleted. I for one would find that interesting, and we would all scramble to see the last addition before it closed.
Let me know, I can have a script up and running in a few minutes.
let's do it.
but i make no guarantees about the timeliness of my postings. i'm going to be travelling for work for the next 2 and half months solid. it took me almost 4 months between hot commodities columns.
but it sounds cool. maybe others can join in?
At 02:38 PM 1/13/2003 -0600, you wrote:
Started something, I added two Speh picks for 2002 as a start; find it at [http://othergroup.net/picks.htm] or from the index page at [http://othergroup.net/]
you got the key. /jno
Emerging artists. Trout. Found art collage. Oranges. Screen prints. Paintings. And, of course, orphans.
In the wake of alternative art space thunder, here is an art opening to further tickle that alternative bone.
* * * * * * * * * * Gallery 13 presents...
featuring the artwork of dOlAn GeiMaN and sHanNon sTeEle * * * * * * * * * *
Friday 1.17.03 4-10pm Saturday 1.18.03 5-9pm
1313 West Nelson Street
dIrEctIoNs: Lake Shore Drive to Belmont West on Belmont to Southport Avenue South on Southport Avenue couple blocks Left on Nelson Street Look for trophies
For the love of buildings soon to be demolished and the wonder they breed in the meanwhile
Greetings -- Tomorrow's "Artist at Work Forum" is "Art Press -- More Ink?" at the Chicago Cultural Center. The panel will discuss realistic expectations of conventional media for visual arts coverage, and what useful options may be found in alternative media.
- Dan Andries, Executive Producer of WTTW's ArtBeat Chicago
- Edward Lifson, Art and Culture Editor for WBEZ-FM
- Scott Powers, Chief Entertainment Editor at the Chicago Tribune
- Lorelei Stewart, Director of University of Illinois Chicago's Gallery 400 and founder of an online publication.
- Moderating will be Natalie Van Straaten, Director of the Chicago Art Dealers Association
This is free and open to the public. Thursday, January 16 at 6:00 p.m. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, Room 5 SW.
Please forward this notice to others who might be interested.
Thanks to the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation for their support of this program. Hope you can make it.
Barbara Koenen Project Manager Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (312) 744-7649
I've been doing a lecture on "Independent Art Activities" to a number of colleges in the Midwest and Texas for the past few months and will be at Lawrence University next week. I pass out a resource list of Chicago and Minneapolis independent spaces, projects and collectives. I'm sure I'm missing some stuff. Below is the list. Please let me know about any space, collective, project, magazine in Chicago or the Midwest that I'm missing. Or if any of the below info is wrong, please let me know.
Thanks Scott Speh
INDEPENDENT ART ACTIVITIES Resource List
CHICAGO INDEPENDENT GALLERIES *These spaces may have only weekend hours. Call ahead
WICKER PARK *Standard, 1437 N. Bosworth Ave 773.486.1005 [http://www.standardgallery.com/] *The Pond, 1152 A N. Milwaukee Ave. 773/368-8484 *Heaven, 1550 North Milwaukee 2nd Floor, 773.342.4597 [http://www.heavengallery.com/] *1/Quarterly, 1355 N. Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Floor 773.350.2781 [http://www.1-quarterly.com] *Luxury Goods, 1820 N Milwaukee 773.907.0564 [http://www.luxurygoods.org/]
EAST HUMBOLDT PARK *Suitable, 2541 W Thomas -- at the garage 773 862 4748; 773.758.0088 [http://suitable.org/index.htm] *Joymore, 2701 W. Augusta 773-278-3375 [http://www.joymore.org/]
NORTH SIDE *Dupreau, 4229 N. Lincoln. 773-528-6440 [http://dupreau.com/]
PILSEN *Deluxe Projects, Riverfront Work Lofts, 500 West Cermak Road 312.492.7986 *Dogmatic, 1822 South Desplaines 312 492 6698 [http://www.dogmaticChicago.com/] *GALLERY SIX FOUR FIVE, 645 W. 18th. 312-455-8976 [http://www.gallerysixfourfive.org/] *7/3 split, 971 W. 18th Street 312 733.2263 [http://www.seventhreesplit.org/] *Unit B (Gallery), 1733 S Des Plaines St 312.491.9384 [http://www.unitbgallery.com/] *Apt. 1R gallery, 1722 S Des Plaines 773.263.4476 [http://www.apt1r.com/] *DriveThru Studios, 626 w. 18th st 312-243-7901 www.usersinc.com/drivethru.html
OAK PARK *The Suburban, 244 West Lake Street, Oak Park IL 60302 708.763.8554 *Boom, 863 Wenohah Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60304 708.524.2541
TEMPORARY SERVICES a curating collective: Brett Bloom, Marc Fischer, Lora Lode, Salem Collo-Julin P.O. Box 121012 Chicago, IL 60612 USA 773-395-4587 servers at temporaryservices.org, [http://www.temporaryservices.org/] LAW OFFICE a curating collective: Vincent Darmody, Robert Davis, Michael Langlois, Rebekah Levine 1837 W. Evergreen #3 Chicago, IL 60622 Phone: Office: 773/ 395-0372 law at lawoffice4.com, [http://www.lawoffice4.com/]
WEB BASED STUFF
[http://www.artpilsen.com/] ArtPilsen.com is your source for information and announcements from a new collective of alternative spaces in the East Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. A core of five galleries within a two block radius have come together to give attention to new art by emerging and established artists. The public is invited to collective show openings on the second Friday of every month from 6-10pm. [http://spaces.org/rants/index.htm] FGA, Pedro Velez's art criticism 'zine [http://spaces.org] Listings and info for Chicago artist-run spaces and projects [http://www.chireader.com/listings/static/galleries.html] Chicago Reader's art listings [http://bridgemagazine.org/] BRIDGE -- Chicago art and literary magazine [http://www.artic.edu/~sspeh] Hot Commodities, Scott Speh's culture review [http://www.slopart.com] SLOP Brand A(r)t [http://zerotv.com/] This web site is based in Milwaukee, WI USA. The main objective of 0tv.com is to provide a short feature (1 to 10 minutes) every week day.
MIDWAY, 2500 University Ave. West Ste C2, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55114, 651.917.1851 [http://www.midwaycontemporaryart.org/] NO NAME at the Soap Factory, 110 5th Avenue SE Minneapolis MN 55413, 612-623-9176 [http://www.soapfactory.org/about/about4.htm] FRANKLIN ART WORKS, 1021 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404 612-872-7494
Looks like a good list.
I'd add the Butcher Shop at 1319 W. Lake Street, 312.666.4566 Their exhibition schedule is a bit sporadic, but I really enjoyed their video show spring 2001 and their activist weekend in summer 2001.
Also, the Pilsen site you suggested doesn't list the Lampreys or The Whale at 2025 S. Halsted [http://lamprey.manilasites.com/] While some may argue about their status (gallery / art commune), I'm certain that any students from Lawrence, Kansas would find this educational and amusing.
Hello. This is a one-time posting from a group looking for a space to hold an event at the end of February 2003. Please contact me at tallllcathy at yahoo.com if you know of an available space.
Our group, Bike Winter ([http://www.bikewinter.org),] is looking for a space to hold our annual Bike Winter Art Show. The Bike Winter Art Show is a non-juried show where we welcome all art, from paintings to performance, as long as itís bike- or transportation-themed. Last yearís event was held at Heaven Gallery and it was a huge success - we showed about 100 individual art works and drew hundreds of creative, energetic people to the opening and closing events. The 2001 event was held at Law Office, and the 2000 event was held at Butcher Shop. (Unfortunately, the space we thought would host our art show this year fell through, which is why weíre searching for a space at this late date.) The Bike Winter Art Show is one of the highlights of the winter cycling season, and it continues to grow each year.
See photos of last yearís event here: [http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org/artshow.html;] and here: [http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org/cmart01.html.]
Due to other bicycling activities that have already been planned, the schedule for the Bike Winter Art Show must occur as follows:
-Feb. 13-14 Ė load-in
-Feb. 14 Ė begin hanging show
-Feb. 15 Ė Opening event/party after the Car Show Protest Ride
-Feb. 22-23 Ė gallery open to public during daytime hours
-Feb. 16-27 Ė Bike Winter would like to use the space on 2-3 evenings for low-key events such as poetry readings; exact dates negotiable
-Feb. 28 Ė Closing event/party after February Critical Mass ride
The space we use for the event should have heat, bathrooms, and should be able to meet the above date requirements. It does not need to be a formal gallery but it should be at least 1,600 sq. ft. and have walls suitable for hanging art. We have a small budget to put toward a rental fee.
Thank you for your attention, and please let me know if you have any suggestions for a space we can use.
Cathy Haibach Bike Winter tallllcathy at yahoo.com
Speaking of art, there's a few interesting things happening this evening (Friday, Jan 17), one of which is your favorite biannual art event. Yep, you guessed it, the other cattle call: Artwork IV, the Art Institute of Chicago's staff show. I'm sure you will all go out of your way to be there, especially those of you who have an ax to grind with the Art Institute, becasue it's your opportunity to tell them/us what you think: come draw on my graffiti wall with a big black marker. And while you're there, pick up a copy of the new, underground, employee newsletter, "Under The Lions."
Of course there's tons of other fabulous art by Art Institute employees to see there too.
Here's the info: ************* ARTwork IV: Opening Reception Friday, January 17, 2003 5:30-7:30 p.m. Gallery 2, 847 West Jackson Blvd.
You are cordially invited to attend the opening reception for ARTwork IV-the biennial AIC/SAIC staff and faculty art exhibition-on Friday, January 17, 2003. This exhibition features works in all media created by 131 talented employees from both the museum and the school, in addition to special performances during the evening reception. *************
Below I am pasting the feature article from the underground newsletter for those of you who don't make it.
Peace, Mike Wolf
Art Institute Employees Organize
As it became apparent to workers that many of the well established, non-profit, cultural institutions in Chicago were embracing a corporate ethos of labor exploitation, the workers came together to express their needs. They realized that they had to take the initiative and find someone they could count on to represent them, because the institutions would not do it for them.
Employees of the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), from a variety of departments both at the school and museum, were among those workers. On December 17th, 1999 a group of employees, calling themselves The Organizing Committee of the Art Institute, handed Jim Wood, CEO of the institution, a petition expressing the desire of many employees to be represented by a union, and thereby have some legal level of participation in the decisions being made at the institution.
These organizing efforts were supported by the Chicago Workers' Rights Board, a group of religious leaders, community leaders, academics, and elected officials. AIC organizers also took inspiration from efforts at the DuSable Museum of African-American History, which, in 1999, became the first major Chicago museum to unionize. Not coincidentally, workers at both the Chicago Children's Museum and the Chicago Historical Society also began to organize. Along with AIC employees these workers sought representation from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 46. It was a strong movement, and the organizers accomplished a great deal.
Unfortunately the efforts did not result in a union contract for Art Institute employees. Upper management, including the Human Resources department, used every tactic at their disposal to discourage employees from understanding the value of union representation and discourage them from even signing union petition cards (cards that show the chosen union that workers want to have an election to decide if they will be represented by that union).
If current and future employees of the Art Institute begin an effort to organize there is a lot that they can learn from the work done in the past. But they will also have to over- come challenges that past organizers didn't have to deal with, such as repairing the intensified fragmentation of the AIC work force, caused in part by the administration's growing dependence on private, profit driven contractors to take over the jobs of museum employees.
Find some more information about past efforts to organize at non-profit, Chicago cultural institutions in the following articles:
Making Better Connections: Some Thoughts on Rhetoric and Solidarity as We Struggle for Academic Unionization by Jamie Owen Daniel, Workplace: Journal for Academic Labor, Issue 5. www.louisville.edu/journal/workplace/issue5/owendaniel.html
Union Sees Potential At Museums by Stephen Franklin, Chicago Tribune, Dec 26, 1998 (Business section).
Museum's Practices Have Sparked Unionization Effort by Kari Lyderson, StreetWise, Vol. 6 No.22 July 21-Aug 3, 1998 (Front page).
Not Child's Play by Lewis Lazare, Chicago Reader, July 31, 1998 (Section 2).
And of course, ask your co-workers if they can tell you about it.
below is the updated resource list -- feel free to use it and pass it around. (and let me know of updates in the future or if you learn of new projects and/or spaces)
INDEPENDENT ART ACTIVITIES Resource List
CHICAGO INDEPENDENT GALLERIES These spaces may have only weekend hours. Call ahead
WICKER PARK Standard, 1437 N. Bosworth Ave 773.486.1005 [http://www.standardgallery.com/] The Pond, 1152 A N. Milwaukee Ave. 773/368-8484 Heaven, 1550 North Milwaukee 2nd Floor, 773.342.4597 [http://www.heavengallery.com/] 1/Quarterly, 1355 N. Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Floor 773-252-7780 [http://www.1-quarterly.com] Luxury Goods, 1820 N Milwaukee 773.907.0564 [http://www.luxurygoods.org/] EAST HUMBOLDT PARK Suitable, 2541 W Thomas -- at the garage 773 862 4748; 773.758.0088 [http://suitable.org/index.htm] Joymore, 2701 W. Augusta 773-278-3375 [http://www.joymore.org/] NORTH SIDE Dupreau, 4229 N. Lincoln. 773-528-6440 [http://dupreau.com/] LOGAN SQUARE Deadtech, 3321 W. Fullerton Ave. 773.395.2844 [http://www.deadtech.net] PILSEN Deluxe Projects, Riverfront Work Lofts, 500 West Cermak Road 312.492.7986 Dogmatic, 1822 South Desplaines 312 492 6698 [http://www.dogmaticChicago.com/] GALLERY SIX FOUR FIVE, 645 W. 18th. 312-455-8976 [http://www.gallerysixfourfive.org/] 7/3 split, 971 W. 18th Steet 312 733.2263 [http://www.seventhreesplit.org/] Unit B (Gallery), 1733 S Des Plaines St 312.491.9384 [http://www.unitbgallery.com/] DriveThru Studios, 626 w. 18th st 312-243-7901 www.usersinc.com/drivethru.html The Whale 2025 S. Halsted [http://lamprey.manilasites.com/] WEST LOOP Butcher Shop, 1319 W. Lake Street, 312.666.4566 1R gallery, 119 North Peoria, #3D 773.263.4476 www.1rgallery.org info at 1rgallery.org OAK PARK The Suburban, 244 West Lake Street, Oak Park IL 60302 708.763.8554 Boom, 863 Wenohah Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60304 708.524.2541
Temporary Services a curating collective: Brett Bloom, Marc Fischer, Lora Lode, Salem Collo-Julin P.O. Box 121012 Chicago, IL 60612 USA 773-395-4587 servers at temporaryservices.org, [http://www.temporaryservices.org/] Law Office a curating collective: Vincent Darmody, Robert Davis, Michael Langlois, Rebekah Levine 1837 W. Evergreen #3 Chicago, IL 60622 Phone: Office: 773/ 395-0372 law at lawoffice4.com, [http://www.lawoffice4.com/] WhiteWalls c/o Anthony Elms, PO Box 8204 Chicago IL 60680 Aeelms at aol.com The longest running not-for-profit organization dedicated to printing artists' projects in the world
[http://www.ChicagoArt.Net] consolidates mass e-mailings from art galleries and visual arts organizations in Chicago. It is organized so that you can pick the galleries from which you want to receive e-mail, so that no information is ever asked, no statistics are generated, no ads are included in emails or on-line, and no e-mail lists are sold to others. [http://www.othergroup.net] The Other Group began in 1999 with a small group of Chicago artists, curators, gallery-owners, and writers meeting once a month to discuss, share, gripe, and debate. This forum was transfered to an ongoing, unmoderated email discussion group in 2000. The Other Group consists of approximately 80 members. You are invited to join. [http://www.artpilsen.com/] ArtPilsen.com is your source for information and announcements from a new collective of alternative spaces in the East Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. A core of five galleries within a two block radius have come together to give attention to new art by emerging and established artists. The public is invited to collective show openings on the second Friday of every month from 6-10pm. [http://spaces.org/rants/index.htm] FGA, Pedro Velez's art criticism 'zine [http://spaces.org] Listings and info for Chicago artist-run spaces and projects [http://spaces.org/openings] independent spaces openings listings [http://www.chireader.com/listings/static/galleries.html] Chicago Reader's art listings [http://bridgemagazine.org/] Chicago art and literary magazine [http://www.artic.edu/~sspeh] Hot Commodities, Scott Speh's culture review [http://www.slopart.com] SLOP Brand A(r)t [http://zerotv.com/] This web site is based in Milwaukee, WI USA. The main objective of 0tv.com is to provide a short feature (1 to 10 minutes) every week day.
MINNEAPOLIS SPACES Midway, 2500 University Ave. West Ste C2, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55114, 651.917.1851 [http://www.midwaycontemporaryart.org/] No Name at the Soap Factory, 110 5th Avenue SE Minneapolis MN 55413, 612-623-9176 [http://www.soapfactory.org/about/about4.htm] Franklin Art Works, 1021 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404 612-872-7494
scott, please update list to include Garden Fresh. New location 1902 N. Milwaukee. 60647. [http://www.interactiveartlab.com/gardenfresh] tel: 773.732.8968 / 773.235.4634 sat / sun 12pm-5pm
A little report.
How can Charlie Ahearn's Exhibition at Monique Meloche be best described? We need to rely on time travel, historical nostalgia, and public relations to unravel this event. First, was what we saw even art? Does this exhibition recieve points for raising issues of potential definitions of the art object?
It was problematic in the eighties to exhibit work produced within the Hip Hop culture. This was a new form of primitivism and the entire endeavor was exploitative. It crystallized such topics as the commodification of the art object and further called into question the art market. These are old, if not comparatively ancient, ideas now. However, it does not mean it is old news to get over and forget about, as so many people would irresponsibly/ intentionally like us to believe. On the contrary, the situation is only more sophisticated, illusive, and immediate.
First, we need a description of the work and its surrounding environment. Exhibited is enlarged photographs of people involved in the beginnings of hip hop, flyers for hip hop parties, and graffiti on subway trains, mounted on either foam core or grommetted canvas's. This was then installed salon style. Also, there was hip hop music, and instead of serving wine and bottled beer they had a keg with plastic cups, I assume to simulate the experience of a house party. In all situations, the form an art object takes informs the viewer as to its content. Implicit in these decisions we can deduce the artists intentions; whether they are in control over these implied meanings, or not. This exhibition is no exception.
What we have is a photographic reproduction. The original image was already spectacle. When digitized and enlarged, this already distant object is degraded again, and again removed from our experience. Also, this moment in history has already been displayed. Here, we are displaying it again. There is no shortage of irony when considering the hip hop DJ invented the scratch and the loop, and that the graffiti artist was a product of repression, cultural isolation, and the desperation to be recognized in the same media that simultaneously divorced and defined his sense of self. Not only is this work pixelated in form, but pixelated in content as well. If it was simulation then, what does it mean to re-simulate now? Yet, it is more than just this. The representation is so faint it is barely distinguishable as anything at all. How does one pin-point a thing after it has been reproduced, copied, simulated, made unreal until the unreal thing became real, and then replicate this as real unreality?
Normally, I find this vertiginous appealing and hopeful; that maybe I am participating in something that meaningfully reflects the situation we now find ourselves in. Tragically, this is not the case here. This exhibition does not expose but rather envelope a larger cultural mechanism. If it had at least embodied meaninglessness, even unconsciously, that would have been one quasi-redeeming quality, but no. It just truly had no meaning. It was not interestingly problematic, just empty, a void without potential. It was an order placed at Kinko's, and sticky taped to the wall. It was no more interesting than a teenager desperately hanging magazine cut outs in their bedroom, in a hopeless attempt to distinguish themselves and create a pathetic identity; a situation we can at least be sympathetic towards, if not understanding, given the context. However, in a space that is supposed to show contemporary art, that otherwise has a progressive stable of artists, and has the potential to be a legitimate, viable venue, to say that the viewer is left frustrated is nowhere near sufficient to define the feelings of bankruptcy one is left walking away with.
What was this doing here? This is an interesting question with even better answers. I have been going on talking about this exhibition as if it were art. Appropriately so, considering it is an art gallery. However, this really isn't the case. It was a book launch, plain and simple. A tour that began, not surprisingly, at Deitch Projects in Williamsburg, New York, then traveled to the University of Washington, Seattle; Sandroni Rey Gallery, Los Angeles; and finally Monique Meloche, Chicago. The book, "Yes Yes Y'all" was co-authored by Charlie Ahearn and Jim Fricke. It is described as an oral history of the first decade of hip hop. Now, the problem is not the book, but the context in which it is being disseminated. Who is the real artist of this/ these events? Who is really applying meaning to these forms. I don't actually believe that this is Ahearn's or Fricke's artistic proposition at all. The same as with any object or event, we let its form lead us to the content and in this case, its author. To discern the identity of the artist, we would have to look at who organized this event and whose interests it serves. What would make a book launch in a gallery appealing? It appears to be the development and/ or encouragement of an ideology; that art should be fun and easy and accessible, i.e., marketable. This does not seem likely to be Ahearns concern, but rather the concerns of a dealer. Which brings me to conclude that this is an event organized by a dealer and is proposed as art; as their art. Now, this does become interestingly problematic, just not intentionally so. Intentionality lends all the credibility in world.
A weekly digest is available, see [http://othergroup.net/digest] -- you will get a dir listing, with the closing date shown. The digests are numbered after weeks of the year, the last one is shown as digest.03 (I know, this should be week 4, but weeks are counted from Sunday)
The new exhibition space for gallery 400 looks great! It was warming to see such a crowd out in the bitter cold last night. However, I really wish that all the openings could be in one night. I always prefer to make the rounds in an evening, especially in this weather. One wednesday night, one Thursday night in Lake Forest, and then some friday. Thats a lot of cold to trudge through. Anyhow, the piece I was most interested in last night was by People Powered. I admit I am biased, but I like to see work by artists who take on a pseudonym. The presentation of the piece had a delicious corporate look to it, however, i don't think I was interested in their eco-friendly bent. It became to literal for me. I'm not sure what the presentation had to do with their message. Am I the only one at odds with this? Ben Foch
Is there anyone in othergroup-land that will talk with this fellow. I myself am in my black viel mourning Pedro's departure. I just don't feel proper discussing the Good and bad of psuedonym usage in my grief. I should hope that someone could step up to the plate and speak of its improper usage in such a close community as Chicago. Maybe Mr. Fisher, he has addressed this topic in the past. You might say he's debunked many a wearer of the psuedonym. As for the new G-400 haven't been. Does anybody find it troublesome that UIC has housed students in an unsafe environment all this time and is only now dealing with an asbestos problem? They are after all a big money school. I would imagine that the building was checked for such things prior to its purchase. Was the risk assesment so low that they could deal with a few cancer law suits that might be debunked as students mishandling toxic art materials? Just thinking that corporate america is running right along. Be true to your school, DB
My condolences Diego Bobby, take as much time as you need to mourn your loss. Me? I'm never sentimental or officious. I just like discussing art.
This evening I attended the opening of "Industrial" at Lake Forest College. I find it a bit unnerving travelling to the suburbs to see art. Yet I consistently have good experiences. The last good experience was "The Devils in the Details" at the College of Dupage. Tonight was no exception. When I arrived they were actually having the artists talk about their art right there in the gallery in front of their work. I can't help but think this is somehow in bad taste, but it was interesting and informative none-the-less.
The show highlights the works of David Driscoll and Paul Kass with three and four works respectively. David Driscolls paintings leave one in somewhat of a stupor, not knowing whether to indulge(aesthetically) or engage(conceptually). The audience is confronted with both, and the tension rests there knowingly. As one investigates the nuances within its image, it is difficult to forget the object as a whole, an ultimately homogenous, reflective square. Paul Kass has works that are also wall mounted and appear to be paintings but are actually drywall and joint compound. They take on a minimal aesthetic, which is problematic, because minimalism was about content. They are not enough the imposter object to make them believable stand-ins for painting simply because they are not paintings. They make one recall the materials they are made from to forcefully. I appreciate the proposition, but can not escape their formalism.
Maire Kennedy had a piece that caught ones eye, a sculpture that dangles from the wall. It is a nine foot long strip of canvas filled with the plastic tags used to hold price tags to clothing. She spoke about the work intelligently and allowed us a bit of insider information about the piece taking a standard work day to create. Yet, even without this, the object manages to inform the viewer that this is critical of consumer culture simply by using a mundane byproduct of its process and turning it into something undesireably beautiful.
Mary Brogger had a suspicious piece in the show, titled Sciogliere or Hand Held Object. Which was an object made of nickel that rested on a grey silk pillow on a wall mounted pedastal displayed next to a video of the making of the object. It looked, to be honest, enescapeably like a butt plug. Its delicate, almost ceremonial presentation contrasted with its practical application, gives one a warm and comforting feeling about the clinical perverseness of culture.
Mathew Hanner exhibited one of his neons, Start Again. Well, I just wasn't too sure where to go with this piece in particuliar, but I still can not get over the neon he installed at Judith Reichts over the summer, The Stars Are Out. Since it was outside above the gallery door, I assume this was a wordplay on both the stars in the sky and on the social event that inevitably takes place at any art event. If art can mock,ridicule,condone,encourage,and particiapate all at the same time, he must be doing something right. I must take his word on it this time.
The final work in the show to discuss is by Gary Justis. It is a floor piece titled This is The Thing, made of aluminum and fabric. It is described by curator Karen Lebergott as inaccessible, overgrown chairs, which is exactly as they appear. Re-creating a functional object non-functional is smart and appealing, but to what ideological end in this case I do not know. I fear that it is merely formal and not an intentional appropriation of design. Which would make this only higher end instead of high art.
If you didn't attend, I'd make the journey.
For more info on People Powered you should check out its website: [http://www.spillmomentum.com/] But given the communal collaborative spirit of this endeavor, and the fact that a name is not given on the website, I think the pseudonym makes sense so I ain't disclosing. Sometimes it's better to let the ideas breath a little without worrying so much about authorship.
I sadly missed the opening at G400 but am curious about this asbestos issue. What's the story with that? Is this something that Red Eye didn't cover (still finding it for free due to my job proximity to Columbia College, where - the Trib must presume - the kids have reading troubles.
Well, nothing against pedro, but I refuse to mourn. despite a hectic schedule I'll add a couple cents.
Ben Foch wrote: "Anyhow, the piece I was most interested in last night was by People Powered. I admit I am biased, but I like to see work by artists who take on a pseudonym. The presentation of the piece had a delicious corporate look to it, however, i don't think I was interested in their eco-friendly bent. It became to literal for me. I'm not sure what the presentation had to do with their message. Am I the only one at odds with this?"
First, full disclosure, I have donated material to people powered projects in the past.
Don't know if you are the only one at odds. But I'm not. On one level I would say: a) It is too confining to see the aesthetic as only a "corporate aesthetic" with the artworld fawning over the graphic design world for the last 6 years and all. I think, also given the interests of people powered there is a desire to move towards systematic and categoric methods of display, as much toward a "corporate identity". b) in regards the corporate identity vs. eco-friendly bent. (that would make a good godzilla style film I think.) Why should eco-friendly always be hemp clothes and hacky sack? I would seem, if as a project (and I think people powered does see it at some level like this) one wants to make eco-friendly activities cheap, engaging, and as attractive as the cheap products at Home Depot, the lumpy homemade side needs to be lost in favor of logos and results that anyone would want to be a part of. c) what the presentation had to do with the message was: 1. you can do this to. 2. doesn't look as bad as one might think. 3. Look at the cool presentation, don't you want to help this to? d) I think the presentation and the message are equal to each other in function. Neither one would have been interesting without the other.
marcf wrote: "But given the communal collaborative spirit of this endeavor, and the fact that a name is not given on the website, I think the pseudonym makes sense so I ain't disclosing. Sometimes it's better to let the ideas breath a little without worrying so much about authorship."
Just to pick a small fight with Marc I have no time to engage in: I find it very interesting how you are always so intent on all the lines and connections between things being investigated to the fullest, except in cases where the materials get closer to you. You have not been so forgiving toward many other pseudonyms, nor corporate structures in art with silent partners. I'm not sure you would be so willing to let pseudonyms be pseudonyms if you didn't know People Powered. I find this somewhat the case with Michael O'Connor as well (in your complete lack of interest in his "story.") Anyway...
Speaking of Industrial, Ben Foch wrote: "The show highlights the works of David Driscoll and Paul Kass with three and four works respectively. "
I will only add I have found Paul Kass' continued drywall painting unfortunate, and a particularly troublesome example of "preparitor art." Which as a statement is not meant to disparage preparitors or art. Except in cases where artists who have dabbled in the "constructive arts" have decided their art would be better with wheels, handles, joint compound, skids, rubber feet, or "this way up" stickers.
marcf also wrote: "I sadly missed the opening at G400 but am curious about this asbestos issue. What's the story with that? Is this something that Red Eye didn't cover (still finding it for free due to my job proximity to Columbia College, where - the Trib must presume - the kids have reading troubles."
Well, to be fair to the Tribune, I think the continued editorial oversight of the paternal paper also leads one to the presumption they also think those in "upperbracket" incomes and the suburbs can't read, or at the least can't think. Of course, this statement assumes that the Tribune's marketing campaign has not been successful and that all of "us" in the desired demographic have not forgone the stuffy Chicago Tribune for the totally rad and wacky Red Eye.
Big stickers on the door two weeks ago "closed for asbestos removal" I was stopping by the g400 and had no idea that everyone had been transplanted to faraway magikal lands, or at least to the main campus. Its probably nothing. DB
This was forwarded to me. I hadn't heard about it. Maybe none of you have. Sounds interesting...
Illegal Art Show Details
From January 25-February 21, 2003, the offices of In These Times will be transformed into a gallery to host Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age, a visual, audio and video show featuring works that challenge the expansion of copyright law and the policing of creative expression. Exhibit hours will be Mon/Wed/Fri from noon to 6:00 pm.
This national exhibition was organized by Stay Free! magazine, and opened to enthusiastic crowds in New York on Nov. 13; it will travel on to San Francisco later in the year. Illegal Art explores what is rapidly becoming the ďdegenerate artĒ of a corporate age: art and ideas on the legal fringes of intellectual property. Many artists in the show have been sued, often by major corporations, and have ended up defending their works in court. Loaded with gray areas, intellectual property law inevitably has a silencing effect, discouraging art that comments on todayís culture.
Where do First Amendment and ďintellectual propertyĒ law collide? This question and others will be explored in the exhibit and in related programs:
The media and other interested parties are invited to a pre-opening press conference on Sat., January 25 at 5:00 pm, where artist Kembrew McLeod will be turning the tables on a major corporation by presenting legal action regarding material he has trademarked.
The exhibit opening will follow from 6:00-9:00 pm.
The show will be included in one of the winterís largest art festivals, Around the Coyote, Feb. 7-9. Illegal Art will be open Fri., noon to 7:00 pm; Sat., noon to 6:00 pm and Sun. noon to 4:00 pm.
A special showing of the film and video program will be held on the evenings of Feb. 7 and 8 at Select Mediaís gallery (buddy.), 1542 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd floor. Evolution Control Committee is scheduled to perform. Films will also be available for viewing at the In These Times exhibit space.
A Feb. 15 panel debate organized in conjunction with The Public Square will feature Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford Law professor and the chair of Creative Commons. Additional artists will participate, including Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid (invited) and Mark Hosler, a founding member of experimental music/art collective Negativland.
In addition to the pieces from the original show, the Chicago leg of Illegal Art will feature work from more than 15 artists. Watch this space for more details. Further information on the New York show (including many fine examples of illegal art) is online at www.illegal-art.org.
Check back for more information or contact Jessica Clark at 773-772-0100, ext. 246 or jessica at inthesetimes.com SponsorsóFull sponsors: Stay Free!, In These Times, Dix Art Mix/FOTA, The Public Square, Lumpen, and Select Media, Ellis Avenue Studios; Co-sponsor: Around the Coyote.
Director, Gallery 400, UIC 1240 West Harrison Street (MC 033) Chicago, IL 60607
312 996 6114 T 312 355 3444 F [http://gallery400.aa.uic.edu]
I should know better than to post on othergroup when I feel mentally and physically (and today - perhaps also psychically) fatigued, so I'll keep this brief by my usual standards
Damn straight - you should be working on the book we are working on together (and I should be too).
Anthony: "I find it very interesting how you are always so intent on all the lines and connections between things being investigated to the fullest, except in cases where the materials get closer to you. You have not been so forgiving toward many other pseudonyms, nor corporate structures in art with silent partners."
I would think Kevin would be perfectly willing to expose PP's structure if people wanted to know. Without having spoken to him much at all about People Powered, I'm guessing he is wisely trying to avoid the sad Ben Kinmont approach (but I'm just way to tired to launch into my criticisms of Ben Kinmont right now - much less remember all the new terms he talks about having coined and other bullshit that flows freely in his accounts of his "third sculptures"). Maybe People Powered aspires to organizations like the Autonomous Astronauts, where it eventually becomes silly to worry about who the members/participants are? I don't know.
And let's make some distinctions here. Hiding in silence to avoid confrontation or even basic dialogue, and writing rants about other peoples' work on a listserv while using a pseudonym is quite different from trying to contend with projects that seem to have such a broad scale of participation that open crediting might not make as much sense. My guess is that Kevin isn't trying to run from accountability. My guess what that some other people who use pseudonyms are. (not to belabor this diego, it's old news).
As for Mike, that's something we can talk about more off of this discussion group - the backstory is way too long and the situation much too unusual and complicated to get into here. I also don't feel it is a useful comparison at all.
Just so everyone knows. The building that Gallery 400 used to be in (400 S. Peoria Street) is/was undergoing asbestos abatement this month.
This, however, is not the reason we (and the School of Art and Design) have temporarily moved out of that space. The moved is based on major renovation of the elevator core (to bring it to street level and thereby make it ADA compliant) and some upgrades to the HVAC system. Gallery 400's 1st floor space is also due to be reconfigured and upgraded.
The absestos ababtement that has been going on is part of the preparation for demolishing the existing elevator core. The asbestos was lodged in the building's floor tiles. As far as we've been told the absestos was not airborne and therefore not a hazard over the last decades. Because the tile was to be broken up and disturbed, the absestos was then going to be hazardous and needed to be removed.
Hope that answers the fears and worries. Nice to know someone cares.
As for our temporary space at 1240 West Harrison, yes its nice. You should come visit. We'll probably be here for the next two years.
ON ANOTHER TOPIC
As sad as it sounds, Anthony assessment is not far off the mark. (But you all already knew that, right?) Scott Powers, Chief Entertainment Editor at the Tribune, was recently on a panel in which he remarked that they serve a wide audience including the person from Wilmette who comes to Chicago once a year for a cultural event. I think he was trying to be generous, but obviously doesn't think much of that described person but somehow thinks that that person is who he needs to write to. Additionally, he stuck himself firmly in the mud after saying this is "Theater and Architecture town, everyone knows it." No budging, no opne mind, no nothing. If The New York Times is trying to revitalize its cultural coverage and commit more and more to the estorica of specialized cultural fields, its seems as though the Tribune is moving in the opposite direction, no matter how many protestations are made over 1st page Thursday Tempo coverage of the visual arts. I don't mean to harp on the Tribune. Maybe small progress is good. More substantial steps are good too.
See ya', Lorelei
PS. Diego Bobby, UIC is not really "a big money school;" ask anyone around here what "state style" means and you'll quickly understand. No matter what the Tribune says....
Director, Gallery 400, UIC 1240 West Harrison Street (MC 033) Chicago, IL 60607
312 996 6114 T 312 355 3444 F [http://gallery400.aa.uic.edu]
Anthony writes: "Don't know if you are the only one at odds. But I'm not"
To paraphrase, Anthony is comfortable with the graphic design/ corporate influence in People Powered's project because to discard the "lumpy homemade" aesthetic makes this product more appealing to the consumer. In this case, the consumer is the viewer. However, this is precisely my problem, not a justification. It adopts the language of a system it seemingly wants to contradict in order to be more marketable. It is not that I find recycling or compost heaps inherently bad, but why brand this process and offer it to the public as art? What does this mean to the informed viewer?
Personally. I do not require logos to convince me to be ecologically aware. I just perceive an artwork that is inconclusive with which thread of logic it desires to follow. This is a classic example of form vs. content. The economy of the form tells me one thing, yet the content intended leads somewhere else. This other place does not have to be hemp clothing and hacky sacks, as Anthony suggests. It can just be real political action. Why does this need to be proposed in an art gallery? How does this context inform the project? Interesting art is always political, but never political activism.
More on this after I attend the Illegal Art Show, tomorrow, January 25.
sort of like an eternal religious mystery, but mostly in the order I took notice.
ben foch writes:
Well, if you are going to paraphrase, do so correctly.
I wrote: "a) It is too confining to see the aesthetic as only a 'corporate aesthetic' with the artworld fawning over the graphic design world for the last 6 years and all. I think, also given the interests of people powered there is a desire to move towards systematic and categoric methods of display, as much toward a 'corporate identity'."
it was my first point. maybe not made as clearly as intended. I do not think the project was a manner of message vs. image. And neither does People Powered. People Powered does not position itself against corporate methodologies, aesthetics, or style cycles. From the paint can: "Updating wardrobes and accenting living spaces, a new identity is solidified--if only for one season. This continuous process creates surplus; as our closets, drawers, and basements become cluttered with debris from seasons past. What is this excess was recycled and repacked to address our all-consuming desire for the new?"
I am not comfortable with the project because "the graphic design/corporate influence in People Powered's project because to discard the 'lumpy homemade' aesthetic makes this product more appealing to the consumer." As I was pointing out, I think this is a false dichotomy, completely inaccurate and irrelevant to the project.
ben foch also wrote: " This is a classic example of form vs. content. The economy of the form tells me one thing, yet the content intended leads somewhere else. " There is no conflict between form and function here. Just a s Gucci can use designs "flavored by the seventies" in the new spring line, so can someone choose to use actual old materials to form a new desirable object. The source of the material in this cycle is almost completely irrelevant. This project just presents a more cost-effective way of creating a new loop within the larger arc of getting tired of old in the attraction of the new. Color/style as an important psychic agent.
Also I think, Kevin (yes a/the force behind people powered) is interested in systematic forms of presentation, aestheticism, thought, and yes, formalism. The paintchips were handmade, the wall painting and label designed by him. All under a method of working that should not be that unfamiliar to those familiar with Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, Haim Steinbach, Douglas Huebler, Liam Gillick, rodney Graham, or any thousands of millions of others.
just as Kosuth would use philosophy as a starting point for his work, kevin chooses to begin with systems of use and reuse. For you to see the result as a politics fighting its presentation, is to concentrate too much on what you assume his politics must be. And too much on what you assume the presentation to be. And to set limited good and bad value judgments to both categories. Its a process, yes with an ethical view to the ever forbidden "real" world, but not as opposed to, nor as a more important aspect than, aesthetics. is corporate design always "unethical" is recycling always "ethical"?
ben foch, yes again, wrote: "It can just be real political action. Interesting art is always political, but never political activism."
On one level, as a quick aside, I don't think people powered is geared toward political action. I think he wants, at least in equal measure, aesthetics.
The second sentence in your quote is just plain wrong. dada was political activism, so were many fluxus events, so were many videos and performances from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies. Not to mention the many mid-eighteenth century french paintings made, and shown publicly on tours, to inspire the masses toward action. (Many of those paintings made it into the Louvre! wow! or is that for shame?...) A quick perusal of the history of art will prove the sentence wrong. Unless one has a minuscule definition of either "activism" or "political."
Lorelei wrote: "The asbestos was lodged in the building's floor tiles. As far as we've been told the asbestos was not airborne and therefore not a hazard over the last decades. Because the tile was to be broken up and disturbed, the asbestos was then going to be hazardous and needed to be removed."
Not to downplay the evils of asbestos, but it is a touch of a bogeyman. Thousands of houses in Chicago, including mine, have asbestos siding. As long as you don't munch on the tiles, turn them into a powder and drink the stuff, or snort the debris. It can be a stable, moderately safe material. the troubles begin when/if it crumbles, when it breaks apart during removal, or in the loosely packed insulation style form in which it was used as a fire-retardant insulation in some large public buildings. handling the stuff is usually when the evil starts. If you don't poke it, usually it doesn't poke you.
marc wrote: "Damn straight - you should be working on the book we are working on together (and I should be too). "
trust me I am, already contacting printers, designers for help, and bookstores. Don't worry yourself.
And he wrote, "And let's make some distinctions here. Hiding in silence to avoid confrontation or even basic dialogue, and writing rants about other peoples' work on a listserv while using a pseudonym is quite different from trying to contend with projects that seem to have such a broad scale of participation that open crediting might not make as much sense. My guess is that Kevin isn't trying to run from accountability. My guess what that some other people who use pseudonyms are. (not to
belabor this diego, it's old news)."
true not the same. I was making a somewhat pointless argument of how we (or you in specific in this case) read intentionality into work. For example, say the people Powered stuff looked exactly the same as it does, but was made by your favorite, ben Kinmont, on the side of the other stuff he makes. Would you be as accepting of the pseudonym in that case? or would it heighten suspicions? I guess I feel that it is easy to have no troubles with a pseudonym when you trust the person behind the "nom-de-plum." If you had no knowledge of the person, or knew it was someone you hated, I think you would not have been so generous. Even if you were sympathetic to the results.
and again, "As for Mike, that's something we can talk about more off of this discussion group - the backstory is way too long and the situation much too unusual and complicated to get into here. I also don't feel it is a useful comparison at all. "
true, another time, another place. I think it is a useful comparison on the notions of quiet judgments of intentionality we all overlook in our readings of art, not on pseudonyms. I think you don't care about Mike's backstory because you like the work, and his general demeanor. Not because it has no relevance to the work.
been offline for a bit fighting with ameritech and just now getting this email and wanted to clarify that Charlie Ahearn did indeed organize the touring exhibition of the Hip Hop show (in fact it continues from here to San Francisco then onto Seattle at EMP who paid for the production of the exhibition).
Only at the last minute did the publisher set up a book signing at the opening (which in fact prompted us to have beer self-serve since we had no table/space to serve wine).
It is certainly a historical exhibition that happened to fit perfectly into the 2 week January time slot that I've allocated at the Winter Experiment (last year featured a group of work by those who have worked at my gallery). Ahearn specifically wanted the show in gallery venues to make his point that the old school MCs and graff artists had artistic credibility which led him to make his wild style film in the first place.
Like it or not -- it's nice to see that it stirred up alot of writing. Monique
Gallery 13 presents its next bi-weekly art show installment.
Waifs cHeap plebeIan Prints PrOcurement of Opulent artists bRread and butter shoW Inexpensive guttLe Love art of*for masses.
W H I P - P O O R - W I L L an art flea market
**Featuring Dolan Geiman and other artists TBA**
Affordable Art. Cheap Thrills. Boycott North/Clybourne And Fuel the new creative engine.
Found art collage*Silk-screened commodities for home*Screen prints and more
All for prices you AND your little sister can afford
\\this saturday 2.1.03 7-11pm// //1313 west nelson\\
driving directions: lake shore drive to belmont ave exit. west on belmont to southport ave. go left (south) on southport. couple blocks down turn left on nelson street. look for trophies.
the car-less folk: CTA red line to belmont stop. walk west to racine ave left (south) on racine right (west) on nelson street. look for trophies.
Brought to you by the folks behind Gallery 13 Ali Walsh a-walsh at uchicago.edu and Dolan Geiman smallmouth77 at hotmail.com
Going out to the Suburban is always a very pleasing experience, whether I enjoy the show completely or not. Maybe because of its size, or the dim lamp above the door, the vines on the diffused glass of the gallery, or the noncommittal yellow of their home ... anyways, whatever it is, I feel as though I achieve a certain focus there that is lacking in most art shows I go to. I'm tempted even to call this experience a precious one, although I do have a tendency sometimes to decide to like something even before I see it; like the 25th Hour.
So, what I'm writing for is that I kept my mouth shut that night, so I could practice thinking before I talk, and I should have just asked. What was going on at the Bank show? It was called Art is Hell...(a title which I thought would have surely drawn crowds)... There was a dim red bulb illuminating the room, with two groups of cheap oriental paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling with phrases written on strips of paper tied to them, and a print duct-taped to the wall of two masked, loin-clothed people, sitting in chairs among detritus such as papers, a broken chair, a metal (perhaps medieval) battle helmet.... Anyway, maybe you sort of needed to see it. I don't know that much about Bank, and even though I like seeing art that I can't really figure out, ....... Did anyone else go?
Anthony says ‚ÄúPeople Powered does not position itself against corporate methodologies, aesthetics, or style cycles.‚ÄĚ He goes on to quote People Powereds paint can: ‚ÄúWhat if this excess was recycled and repacked to address our all-consuming desire for the new?‚ÄĚ I will refrain from paraphrasing, to discourage mis-representation or interpretation.
This tells us that they do want ‚Äúto ADDRESS our all-consuming desire for the new.‚ÄĚ By proposing a recycled product in opposition to a new product, this directly sets up a moral position against waste and indulgence, something corporations would find a beneficial characteristic in consumers, therefore would promote, not discourage. This gesture does find itself in opposition to corporate ideology and the source of the material extremely meaningful to the project.
A second example of People Powered‚Äôs opposition to corporate methodologies is that they give their product away for free. This tells a viewer that they want to subvert the market. By giving a product away for free, this discredits a company who sells it at a price. It attacks capitalism. It says, ‚ÄúCapitalism is wrong.‚ÄĚ There is a major difference between art that says capitalism is wrong and art that says capitalism is problematic. It is the difference between being politically informed/ motivated art, versus, art as political activism. I find the later to be boring, naive, and unproductive.
Anthony also says: There is no conflict of form and function here. Just as Gucci can use designs ‚Äėflavored by the seventies‚Äô‚Ä¶ so can someone choose to use actual old materials to form a new desirable object‚Ä¶ This project JUST (my emphasis) presents a more cost-effective way of creating a new loop‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
Gucci is not proposing its process as art.
Appropriating designs of the seventies, or any previous moment, has to do with marketing strategies of inducing historic nostalgia to sell a consumer back their memories of a lost era, or the sentiment of a better time and place to a younger generation; something People Powered is not investigating critically.
This project is only cost effective for the consumer, People Powered would, I assume, take a loss in production cost, and advertising. This is just bad business.
Anthony states: ‚Äú‚Ä¶to see the result as a politics fighting its presentation, is to concentrate‚Ä¶ on what you assume his politics must be.‚ÄĚ
But as a viewer, we are not making assumptions. We are taking exactly what the artist has given us. If I believe PP promotes recycling, it is because PP is promoting recycling. Our only obligation as viewers is to correctly interpret the forms and their implicit meanings accurately, which do not seem that obscure.
Anthony also questions, ‚Äú‚Ä¶is corporate design always ‚Äėunethical‚Äô is recycling always ‚Äėethical‚Äô?‚ÄĚ I can only guess that he asks this question because he believes it to be my position? I‚Äôm not sure. If so, I must clarify.
Originally, I said that PP had a ‚Äúdelicious‚ÄĚ corporate look, and I said this with NO irony. I also said that recycling and compost heaps are not inherently wrong. Meaning that I don‚Äôt disagree with ecological awareness, but find its message tedious as art.
Quickly, It is possible that I have a minuscule definition of ‚Äúactivism‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúpolitical.‚ÄĚ I define activism as a literal attempt to induce change in policy by adopting a specific stance on a particular issue and claiming it to be more morally sound in contrast to whatever that stance is in opposition towards. I define political as an informed open investigation into the social/economic/political environment, without proposing moral judgment on facts, in an effort to perceive this environment for what it is, and not for what it could or should be.
Political activism has is practical place, it is just not in an art context.
I, again, welcome any retorts to this specific dialogue, but will, however, discontinue using PP as a platform for discussion.
To come: ‚ÄúCosmetics and Content: Michael Jackson vs. Orlan‚ÄĚ
Could it be that "art" is just a language system
that allows us to communicate our subject matter in ways that "english" or
"mathematics" can't quite do as easily? I think that art is a really good
way to express political activism, especially when the discourse of
politics is dominated by a small group of people and institutions. Your
definition of "activism" could be expanded by reading Saul Alinsky's
"Rules for Radicals" or by looking at how Greenpeace used TV in the early