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January 2002, 60 posts, 2230 lines


Check out the pitiful report on the Stray Show by Victor Cassidy. Or as some might say : "a lovely little ditty by Victor Cassidy "

Yes, that's all Chicago always gets, a lovely little thing. Be it from James Yood, Alan Artner, Susan Snodgrass or Victor Cassidy. After all that work at The Stray Show, and all the crowds, and the amazing effort, and the amazing art. Fast Foward in Miami got like three different reports and all Chicago gets is the "lovely little ditty"...Miami?

C'mon Chicago, you make them as powerful as you want them to be. I think it is obvious that these so called "critics" are not equiped to deal with contemporary art. So take them out, put the pressure. Just keep in mind that you don't need them, we never have and the best thing of all...they don't give a shit. So stop being so grateful and let's start playing it like adults.

Pedro Velez



I think you read my least that there really hasn't been much public response to the Stray Show. I was about to send out a call to everyone who participated or was just there, to e-mail me their feelings about the event, as well as pictures. I am posting the new KDP in the next few weeks and would love to publicly post some dialogue....If anyone is up to it. Spread the word. I will need submissions by January 12, at the latest.

Happy New Year All,



Victor really didn't bother to do his homework with his article. He did manage to note correctly that some of the involved spaces are more commercially sophisticated. I don't know that that is a point worth noting at this time in Chicago. After all who isn't aware those differences after 5 years. It means nothing in comparison to the fact that the photos for his piece had nothing to do with the event. In fact in Edra Soto's case she wasn't even represented in the Stray Show. While Dogmatic wasn't contacted for verifacation of this before her photo was lifted from it's web site, without permission. Also Victor might be a very nice fellow but he never introduced himself in the three days of the event at SoGo. He didn't ask any question about the curatorial bent or the nature of the gallery itself either. Given that Michael has never met him and that Victor has never physically appeared at Dogmatic's 3 story residential (store front) brownstone with 3 full sized galleries equal to over 15 00 square feet of show space and a dedicated installation gallery. I am apt to believe that a certain amount of misrepresentation is going on here. If I were a man who liked to complain, I might even say this misrepresentation borders on the libelous. It is certainly a gross wielding of his journalistic powers. Hell even Fred Camper makes an effort to get the facts before he tries to cover up the fact that he doesn't understand them. Finally in saying that all the Art in the Stray Show was pop culture related does not in itself exclude it from the context of Art's history nor does it explain the presence of John Neff, Paul Chan, Wesley Kimler, Nancy Ford or others who were present. I would like to see Mr. Kassidy's piece retracted as it concerns the Stray Show until he has enough time to get his nose unwedged from Mr. Klien's ass and do his homework. The participants of the Stray Show worked their collective butts off to put on this show up in about 4 weeks. For it to be so sloppily re viewed does it little service and does these Artists and their galleries even less. If Mr. Kassidy would like to contact Dogmatic and make an appointment to see some Art work and discuss this issue on any day of the week, I'm certain he can find the phone number at the web site he visited. He might even find it's director Mr. Thomas in a forgiving enough mood to accept his apology for such irresponsibility.



For what it's worth, I thought the stray show was very exciting. Every year I go to the navy pier show, which is ok, and I used to go to the grammercy shows, which I actually thought were really weak - the same stuff, the same look, at every gallery. The stray show was in a cool venue; the work was interesting and original. I was impressed. I enjoyed it more than the pier show, thought there was a much higher concentration of good and/or interesting art per square inch than at any show I've seen in a long time. And, best of all, everyone was decent and respectful to everyone else. The event had a good feeling about it. Congratulations to everyone involved. It's too bad there weren't more collectors/curators there.

Al Ravitz


For what it's worth:


Expectations. Expectations. Expectations. What did you (the galleries involved) want?

The stray show was advertised locally and minimally. Miami was going to be the venue of art basel and related events. When those got post-poned and other things took its place, of course, it got a lot of attention. However, was the work good? I don't know, but there were a lot of parties. Is that what you want?

The stray show although commercial in format was a good thing. Let's not forget that. Are the other ways to do it if we had to do it again? You bet. Tom Blackman, Heather Hubbs, SoGo and all the participants busted ass in a month to put this thing together. Isn't that an article? I don't know.

I think someone is going to be disappointed no matter what gets done. And you know what I say, "Get fucking used to it."




I think you are missing my point. I'm not dissapointed with Stray... Stray was great and we did good. And yes, Miami seemed to be crap but I wasn't there.... It's just funny how the Chicago peps got more attention there than from what they do at home and that's good. I guess that means we are on the right track, because people outside of this province do pay attention. I'm just talking about our eternal dammnation, fucking old time ignorant writers that dominate in the press and make us look bad in the outside. All I'm asking for is a little respect, but we have to ask for that respect, we need to make it happen. We have to kick some ass, not just talk about it but actually kick some ass. We need to let the Reader know how we feel about fucking Camper and we need let the TRibune know how we feel about Mr. Artner. The same with the Yood and Snodgrass situation. And even Flash Art. Magazine editors do listen, they are not gods, they do have some power, but still, it is just the art world. I just talked to the Editor from ArtNet and he seems to be a pretty easy going reasonable person. But I don't have a gallery or money. I can only talk loud and help with some writing but I don't have the Do you know what I mean ? The same thing happens with Sculpture Magazine, they asked for good reviews alternative galleries because they know they are getting crap from the old timers.

Maybe I'm too optimistic or maybe I just love Chicago too much for my own good. And I do have expectations, that's the least we can have if we know we are doing great things. And we must have expectations and hope because this art thing is our lives, this is what we love doing instead of some shitty 9-5 job, right? So why let some assholes spoil it for us.



I just noticed that Mark Kostabi writes an advice column for Perhaps he can help all of you with some sage advice? Surely poor Mark Kostabi has gotten a really rough deal from a lot of critics who misunderstand his incredible paintings. Pedro - I think you and Mark might really hit it off. He might have some good advice for you about how to handle Fred Camper, Michael Weinstein, Jim Yood, and now the demonic Victor Cassidy. The very sponsors that host the writings of Victor Cassidy, just might be able to help you with one of their own: the extraordinary painter, and now, the extraordinarily wise advice columnist Mark Kostabi. C'mon Pedro
- give it a try. You know you want to hear what he has to say.



On Mon, 7 Jan 2002, Marc Fischer wrote:

I just noticed that Mark Kostabi writes an advice column for Perhaps he can help all of you with some sage advice? Surely poor Mark (snip) YM ^^^^rage?

Amazing how these threads peter out.


Who the hell is Mark Kostabi? Nato, you had a good idea, Thanks. Hope you are having fun in your new place.



Help save New Art Examiner at the:


Friday, January 25, 7-10 pm Former Vedanta space, 110 N. Peoria $10 (includes one free drink)

Watch your favorite art world personalities reveal their hidden talents at the Emergency Talent Show, hosted by Emcee Hamza Walker!

Then, feast on delicious home-baked treats lovingly created by yet more local art stars!

Featured performers and bakers include Dawoud Bey, Stephanie Brooks, Sylvia Chivaratanond, Patrick Collier, Jeanne Dunning, Gaylen Gerber, Michelle Grabner, Rhona Hoffman, Judy Ledgerwood, Monique Meloche, Iain Muirhead, Amavong Panya, Jennifer Reeder, Marie Walz, and more!

-- New Art Examiner 314 W. Institute Place Chicago, IL 60610 tel 312.649.9900 fax 312.649.9935 examiner at []


Now you are being way too funny. Sense of history ? These people. History to talk about H.C. Westerman once a year every year. Or to trash the MCA whenever a new show comes up. Please, Camper? History? Yeah, he knows everything from Picasso to Picasso.... and why even bother with Weinstein, his sense so history is only related to Photography, now there is a genious! reviewing the same three galleries every month. And Artner ? Does he still writes ?

I'm going to be laughing all the way to bed tonite. Thanks for making my day.



Weinstein only writes about Photography so if you don't like his writing that is fine, but he's only trying to cover one thing. You can criticize him for the way he writes or the way he does his job but it's not his fault that New City can't seem to find a regular art critic. This is the problem I was talking about before. Who wants to do this full time? Weinstein does it full time but only for Photography. Good for photographers. If Weinstein wants to be a photo specialist let him be a photo specialist.

Having a sense of what has been done over more than the past couple years would be a pretty nice qualification if you are going to write weekly art criticism in a given city. I do think Camper probably has a pretty long sense of the history of art being made in this city. Whether he gets it right is certainly open to debate. But even if you want to include local transplants, who can you think of that would actually want these peoples' jobs? Answer my question, and then you can go to sleep :)




that has got to be the silliest argument. You are simply being silly. Who on earth believes that? I am sure there are a bucket load of competent people that would be willing to take on that ever so revered crown of art reviewer (as well as cultural ambassador for all intents and purposes). I think your just being difficult and fiesty. You most definitely don't want to be so polemical that you find yourself sympathizing with those folks.

You must admit a modicum of capable criticism and discussion would be a real benefit to that city that you love so much.


Just some small clarifications of fact -

Michael Wienstien teaches Political Science or something in Indiana full time and knocks out the New City bits while hanging out with his photographer friends. Sure he's mostly too happy, but better than nothing. And it is New City policy that he does photography, and that when they have an art reviewer, that person doesn't. He even gets the non-traditonal stuff if it is photo-based (I'm thinking specifically of a couple of shows at Carl Hammer that I would have liked to have done. Of course I can't remember the artists' names.)

Fred Camper is a starving freelancer, not full-time, nor staff, nor salaried.

I don't think Susan Snodgrass is starving, but still freelance.

The editorial girls at the Examiner may be the only full-time art journalists in town.

Artner? That name sounds vaguely familiar.

It is a shame that when there is art coverage, it is whine about not gettin' no respek (recent Reader cover stories - Jeff Huebner on "A City whithout Art", and Fred on the Zhou brothers), listings in the entertainment section, or the frivoulous fluff on chanels 11 and 20. Not that I have a clue what to do about it.

I remember Dennis Adrian talking about his days at the Sun-Times, when an editor told him that he was using words that their readers couldn't understand. His response was something like "Sure, and why don't you make the sports reporters write so it makes sense to me."



I'm going to sleep, so forgive my bad grammar...

Well, I guess this answers Marc's question. Ther are no more steady art writers besides Jerry Saltz and the New York Times posse. And that is OK...As long as the new writers/artists don't turn out to be the Karl Ericksons, Ken Fandells, Cindy Loehrs, or Jeff Carters of the criticism for name recognition. What happens with this kind of situatuion is that they only review stuff that will help them somehow somewhere. Which then leads to half ass gigs. But, of course, big admiration from Judith Kirshner.

But let me mention some good people that could actually be the new wave and that are active: Leah Finch=she has never stopped writing for the Examiner, Dialogue or FGA, Nato= who is actually amazing but not in Chicago,and that's OK too because he can still help Chicago or the midwest, Carol Jackson= for Frieze...the only problem is that she doesn't go out much, Michelle Grabner = for Tema Celeste...always steady and right. Gabe Fowler who just started at the Examiner and seems to be pretty good and Dan Wang who may be too selective , slow and I guess doesn't go out much. Also Annete Ferrara who has a steady group at Annex (Ten by Ten on line).

We do have smart people but not in the right places. And then we have the snobs like Olga Znadovics who only reviews what she thinks are "big time museum shows" and that other person at Art News but who the fuck cares about Art News. So think about it, we do have the infrastructure. We do have critical writers.


I amazes me that Pedro can not only get to most of the shows in Chicago, but also keep up with all the press. That's a real full-time job with no pay. Maybe he can be forgiven for not knowing an old man like Kostabi.

Although, if what passes for art criticism is just about name regognition, maybe it is because as artists we are only looking for minor celebrity (isn't that the program at UIC?). So who can complain if instead of Clement Greenberg we have Entertainment Tonight? Kostabi's manufactured celebrity could be interpreted as a post-modern gesture, but twenty years later, we've learned to accept PR as substasnce.



Thanks for these clarifications Mike. By "full-time" I meant more a definition of quantity and regularity of writing, rather than pay structure.

If other people wanted to write art reviews for the Reader - would they be able to? Or is that space at the back of section one earmarked for Fred every month? I seem to remember seeing one or two 'non-Fred' exhibition reviews in section one but that was a long time ago. I actually think some of the most helpful art writing in the Reader are the shorter pieces done by a variety of people (including Fred on occasion) in the Calendar section of section one.



Reply-To: moneal at


The Department of Art, University of Minnesota -Twin Cities seeks a 100% time, 9 month, tenure track assistant professor in the area of Photography to begin Fall Semester 2002. The successful candidate will demonstrate interest and ability in the areas of Research, Teaching and Service - engaging in outstanding creative activity, dedicated teaching and multifaceted service in the photography area of an interdisciplinary fine arts department.

For a complete position description and application procedures, visit Department of Art website at: [,] call (612) 625-8096, or fax your request to (612) 625-7881. Application deadline is March 1, 2002.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer and educator.


On Wed, 9 Jan 2002, bulka wrote:

Reply-To: moneal at PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR College of Liberal Arts

[.. snip ..]

Are you suggesting this for Michael Weinstein? To get him out of town? /j


At 1:50 AM 1/10/02, jno wrote:

[.. snip ..]

Are you suggesting this for Michael Weinstein? To get him out of town? /j

don't you teach photo, jno? Maybe I'm trying to get rid of you.


So, what would it take to make folks happy?

Is it the amount or quality or exposure that is the problem? Is it that your show isn't covered, or that you don't agree with the choices or opinions of the people who write, or that nothing written here attracts the attention of those you want to notice you? Is it just that you want there to be some site or publication that is engaging enough that you check it every day or look forward to each issue? Is it that people outside the art community don't care about us or that the art community outside of Chicago doesn't?

We do have Fred and the Reader listings, and Margaret Hawkins at Sun-Times, and the Examiner, and frequent reviews in the glossy mags. We have this group and Keri's FYI and and Gravy. CACA and FGA never quite took off. Cakewalk and TENbyTEN (and Artner) may still be going, but are insignificant.

We've got lots of artists and galleries, two big schools and some small ones, several loose communities, but not - what? A critical discourse or presence? A paper documentation trail? Celebrity?

Is it that there isn't a common thread of interest, that turn-of-the-millenium art is unfocused? Is it a local problem - that there are so many galleries, so many neighborhoods, so many bars, that we don't reach critical mass in any one place; or that there is a Chicago spirit that is anti-literate, anti-intellectual, even anti-celebrity?

What do we want? Whad'ya wanna do about it?



On Thu, 10 Jan 2002, bulka wrote:

At 1:50 AM 1/10/02, jno wrote:

[.. snip ..] Are you suggesting this for Michael Weinstein? To get him out of town? /j

don't you teach photo, jno? Maybe I'm trying to get rid of you.

Yes, but I am not one of them competing 'art critics'. /jno



Thanks for your response, very helpful...but I would not like you missunderstand what I mean by "going out to shows." I couldn't care less about an opening or "making friends". I have a few friends that I love and most of them live in Puerto Rico or New York. I do know some people that I care about here but that is as far as it goes, that doesn't mean I'll give them a good review or put them in a show. I just prefer to see a show while having a free beer than going to a space, later on the week, and be harrased by the gallery director, or other situations like that. I like to see people's reactions to the work in the space, that I won't enjoy during a weekend visit. I don't know if you have read that Ken Fandell article in the Examiner about "making friends" but if this helps, I simply don't believe in anything Fandell says and would love it if no one else did. People, specially critics and curators, can be objective and if your friend's work sucks, well, then it sucks. What I mean by "going out" has more to do with the responsibility a writer has. By going public, writing for a publication, you raise expectations, and people will expect you too see their show, not to write about it but at least see it. In my case,I try to see as many shows as I can because many good things happen in this town and I love art. And I do have an agenda...I love minimalism which is lacking in Chicago. If I were to stick to that rule of seeing what I only like, then I'll have to sit down and wait for two years until the next Tony Tasset show came up. Anyway, thanks again.


doesn't go out much? Maybe not, or maybe just not to the same places as you. Most of my friends are not artists/art world people. Although I think of myself as a friendly person, and now count a number of art people as friendly acquaintences if not friends, I'm not at openings and other events *to* make friends. The art world is a professional world for me, and only a social world insofar as it's relationship-based for its professional workings (no different than most other professional spheres, of course). But thank you for recognizing my work.


all of the girl editors at the examiner have second teaching jobs to help make ends meet.

---- New Art Examiner 314 W. Institute Place Chicago, IL 60610 tel 312.649.9900 fax 312.649.9935 examiner at []


On Thu, 10 Jan 2002, bulka wrote:


Is it a local problem - that there are so many galleries, so many neighborhoods, so many bars, that we don't reach critical mass in any one place; or that there is a Chicago spirit that is anti-literate, anti-intellectual, even anti-celebrity?

What do we want? Whad'ya wanna do about it?

[x] all of the above to a greater or lesser degree.

There are reasons why there is so little community, or 'critical mass', and little discussion. For one, we are out of school now, and on our own. The unhappyness is caused by our schoolish expectations of having critics speak for us.

IMHO, to depend on a handful of 'art critics' is a waste of time. They will never cover all the show, it will never be published - there isn't enough hard copy space, or interest. And yes, the rest of Chicago could care less. Art production is a fiercely competitive struggle among way too many people for way too few resources, with no-one else watching.

It would certainly be delightful if there was more of a community, a place where you could check in and participate. But it is not going to be a bar down the street, cause we don't all live down the street. And it is not going to happen in print cause most of us can't write, or don't want to, at least not to the formal requirements of 'criticism'.

Whatever form, you need to first jettison the dependency on 'critics' and the concept of 'criticism' -- we don't need that, we don't need them; they are too few, they can't possibly represent us when we are so many, and we are everywhere. And reading criticism is bad for you. Yuk. So stop complaining.

Artists are better qualified to talk about art. An artists-run dialogue would make more sense, if they can get away from the expectations of how it is 'supposed' to be done. (long magazine-style paragraphs is one of those expectation)

We don't need 'relevant art criticism' -- what we need is gossip, opinions, arguments, reponses, observations, party reports, histories and anecdotes, verbal tours, translations from 'artist statement', and whatever else might fill the gap between visual art and the verbal.

Of course a 'magazine' as a container for this comes to mind, but we see what the magazines are _not_ doing or able to do. Something 'on-line' would make more sense: topical, immediate, available, archived, cross referenced, open to all -- and while we are at it: unmoderated, anonymous, and revisable.

Sounds like 'Other Group' to me. I could offer the use of a spare domain for a web site, which would make it totally public and open to the whole community of other artists, viewers, gallery goers. Imagine: "what artists are saying about art". Dare anyone?

I have tried this before in the past, with resounding silence. Maybe with the this present vocal group it could be accomplished. Imagine a CNN style page with headlines, links, "more", etc. Color, variety, and an index page composed on the fly, so that it would never look the same even to two people fetching at the same time.

If this group could give some feedback by early next week, I could use the current thread as a sample on a hidden un-linked web page. Let me know if there is any interest.

[watch everyone start lurking in the background again]

/jno [C style punctuation]



I cannot figure out how to post this. Please do that for me. Thanks so much. Victor M. Cassidy

I just joined othergroup and am delighted to enter the fray. Folks complain that there's no sense of community in Chicago's art world. It has always been that way-I don't know why-but otherwise conditions have improved tremendously.

Let me introduce myself. I am Victor M. Cassidy, an art journalist in ArtNet and Sculpture primarily with cameo appearances in Art News, Art on Paper, and some others. Ages ago, I published things in the Reader, the Examiner, and Chicago Artists News.

I came to Chicago in 1966 and began to collect art, but things really started to happen about 1975 when I returned after two years out of town and discovered N.A.M.E. Gallery and the womens' spaces. From 1975, I have seen zillions of shows, talked to zillions of artists, and written voluminously about art-my grand passion.

Today's Chicago artists have NO IDEA what a disaster zone this town was during the mid and late 70s.

a.. In 1975, the Examiner was a newspaper, not a magazine, and one of the drabbest publications I have ever seen. It just looked like hell. The contents were mostly a mess because the Examiner stiffed its writers and couldn't get reviewers. Some good people started there, but most of the prose was execrable. The editors, Jane Allen and Derek Guthrie, picked quarrels with everyone in town and editorialized splenetically about their many enemies. Guthrie was a Marxist who enlightened us about the glories of life in Cuba, North Korea, and similar paradises. But the Examiner was about the only place where one could read about Chicago art, because the New York mags hardly acknowledged us.

b.. Today's Examiner is a professional-quality publication with art and no Stalinism. We also have Dialogue, which is the best local magazine--and worlds better than it used to be. There are Internet sites with art news and criticism-I don't pretend to know them all. Several other magazines publish some art criticism.

c.. The New York art mags now acknowledge Chicago and we have good Chicago people who write regularly for them-Susan Snodgrass in Art in America, Garrett Holg in Art News, James Yood in Artforum are names that come to mind. Look back 25 years and Chicago did not get anywhere near as much ink in NY as it does now. The present generation of critics and journalists is more capable, dedicated, and influential than the last.

d.. Grump all you want about newspaper art criticism, but Chicago is much better off than it was 25 years ago. We have Margaret Hawkins in the Sun Times and Fred Camper in the Reader. Alan Artner is a competent writer with sound views, but he wants to be a music critic, not an art critic, and he has been whining about this for as long as I can remember.

e.. Ten years (or so) ago, Chicago's art dealers got together and wrote Artner a letter, demanding that he spend more time in the galleries. This was an amazing event! Imagine the major league baseball owners telling a Tribune sportswriter that he should come out to their games instead of sniveling that he prefers ballet! Artner has been tolerated all these years because the Tribune's editors don't give a damn about art. Someday he will be gone and we may get someone who wants to be an art critic.

f.. Art Expo (born 1983) has done a tremendous amount to project Chicago, its art, and its artists onto the international consciousness. It got international dealers to come here and brought journalists from everywhere. If nothing else, Chicago is the place everyone goes in May.

g.. Now we have Tom Blackman running Expo and isn't he the guy who has a space downtown where young artists show? And isn't he the guy who gave lights, booths, cash, and organizational backing to the Stray Show in December? John Wilson, who ran Expo before Blackman, would never have done those things! He did not care about young artists and was too busy fighting with everyone in sight. Please do not take Blackman for granted-cherish him!

h.. Be grateful for Paul Klein who has shows in his gallery of unknown local artists. He just put on a Chicago and Vicinity show in December and it was excellent. Is there another dealer in town who does this? I can't think of one.

i.. Celebrate Terry Karpowicz, sculptor and artworld organizer extraordinaire. He is responsible for the Pier Show of international outdoor sculpture that goes up for every Expo and stays until the end of the year. Someone else runs the Pier Show now, but Karpowicz pioneered it-and its predecessor, the Mile of Sculpture. Because of Karpowicz, sculpture is taken much more seriously in Chicago now and Chicago sculpture has an international profile.

j.. Another name that comes to mind is Denise Miller, who directed the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College for 15 years or so. When she took it over, the Museum was a shrimpy little operation with a tiny collection and humpty-dumpty shows. When she left, it had a major league collection, almost entirely donated. Miller originated the Midwest Photographers Project, a rotating collection of work by Chicago and vicinity photographers that the Museum makes available for study and loan. Miller did fabulous shows down the years and won national accreditation for her museum. Today, everyone takes the Museum of Contemporary Photography-and Chicago photography-seriously.

k.. Praise Greg Knight, who directs the Chicago Cultural Center and its amazing exhibitions program. Every single month, the Cultural Center shows work by local artists, many of them young and unknown. Knight has kept the Cultural Center going and attracted a first class curatorial staff. He has maintained high standards even though his boss is Lois Weisberg! Where would we be with out him? Don't even think about it!

There is plenty to complain about in Chicago, but things have improved radically over the past 25 years due to some very community-minded people. Who will replace them when they are gone? Maybe we should discuss that on othergroup.


Well Victor… I don’t know how to respond. I’m kind of glad that you finally showed your face at the Stray Show, and I respect that you care about Chicago and that unlike Snodgrass or Yood or any other "big time art critics

But that’s only my opinion.

Pedro Velez


We're good at questions, and some of ian's (and mine) were good, but we're not so good at answers.

I like jno's active anarchy, but that depends on him or someone like him to make it work. And it sounds a lot like Gravy and FGA, which haven't been raving successes.

No editing results in slop, too much is staid and slow. Still, there is too much thinking and planning and not enough doing. jno and I are probably among the oldest guys here - why aren't you kids kicking our asses? If jno can set up a structure, we ought to be able to flood it with content, and we'll figure out editorial stuff as it is needed.

Being "as good as a Xerox", or "better than 25 years ago" doesn't mean anything. We are as good as we are today and our community is who we choose it to be. As long as you acknowledge the power of the mainstream local press or the New York magazines you accept your status in their eyes - a side-show at best, or a charity case. Let's fight among ourselves, and if those other folks want to press their noses against the glass, let them.

And Derek Guthrie's twenty-year-old newsprint passion is still more interesting than the current NAE's four-color perfect-bound complacency.



Well, there we go again. Amo, I can try as hard as I can to write or get my foot in these publications. And I am and things seem to be working, slowly but working. But if you guys, with the gallery and the commercial need, don't talk to the editors of those publications or advertise with them , then there is nothing I can do. Those publications need pressure, and as I said before, if the power structure doesn't complain to the EDITORS then there is nothing the new writers can do.

Anyway, I think we are starting to sound like old grandmas, I think we know what's going on by now. Let's get to work. And remeber to not suck up to the Snod and the Yoods and the Cassidys or the Campers. If you keep on sucking...good luck. And Bulka, dude, get back on track, you are either in or out.

And, remeber, suppot Ten by Ten, Bridge and the KDP. They are working with us. Also, remeber that Ten by Ten has an on-line version that keeps current reviews. So, even if we don't have New City we still have Ten by Ten.

And if you guys can work out a way for me to write for the Reader, I'll do it. I've tried before on my own but nothing happened.

I'm off to Puerto Rico for two weeks.



Help the Examiner ? Sure, I'm all for the Examiner...but could someone remind them to make good on their promise of  "helping the scene," reviewing the alternatives", "going out to shows to find out what's really going on." Didn't you guys (the alternative spaces) paid a $100 a piece for a group ad ? So where are your reviews? Have they been to Joymore or 7 split 3 yet? Any reviews on MN, Spareroom, Contemporary Modest Projects, MN ? Any articles on artists like Siebren Versteeg or Paul Chan ? Where are the articles on your galleries and artists? I keep reading the same Donald Young/Vedanta/Gallery 312/UIC 400 reviews. Chicago is made of all the alternatives and not the commercial galleries, keep that in mind.  

By the way, this is not a complain but a fact.



On Tue, 15 Jan 2002, Pedro Velez wrote:

[snip] Anyway, I think we are starting to sound like old grandmas.. [snip] I'm off to Puerto Rico for two weeks.

Bye, Pedro; and hey, Bulka (talking of grandmas), I either am _the_ oldest, or I am in competition with Cassidy (and who knows how many other geezers lurking in the background), for being able to recall the 1975 newspaper sized 'Examiner' ...

... where they printed all artists names in ==bold== so you would not even have to read the text to find out if your name was mentioned. But, better than nothing.

Topic: Long Term Improvements in the Contemporary Art Environment: unsigned Other Group post of Tue, 8 Jan 2002..

Didn't last year's hundred dollar plate dinner save them?

I think the difference between 1975 and 2002 is that there seem to be a hell of lot more artists, a lot more work which was inconceivable in 1975, a lot more people willing to open galleries on a shoe-string, organize shows, and even start independent short run magazines, etc .. a lot more diversity. You can thank NAME and RSG for bringing changes, but, sigh, both of them are disappeared: money problems, same as the Examiner. Maybe it is sunset for the geezer orgs.

I'll get to answering Keri's questions later. /jno


hi cindy,

what is the url for your collective experience site? i can't call it up with the one lori waxman gave me:

do you by chance have grabs from that site you could lend us if for some reason the site is down? unfortunately i need them very very quickly, by monday if possible, but if you get this email today email straight back and i'll see if i can grab something from work.

i hope all is well with you, jan


the geezer org's allowed you folks to rebuild on top of them and also aritsts always evole or push what comes before them and what comes after them

did not who was founded by barry holden and jerry slatz give birth to a lot of gezzer orz's which changed the artistic enviroment-- in chicago.....

I was there as an artist-in-residence of chicago in the late 70's-- anywho barry is an architect in nyc and jerry saltz in still writing

--young future geezers just keep up this legency... for one day you to will be a geezer artist-

btw-creatives never retire--at least the ones I know are still out there doing their work

isn't that what it is all about?

does anyone know where alice thorsen is?

best to al of you: Lipuma


On Fri, 18 Jan 2002, Josephine LiPuma wrote:

the geezer org's allowed you folks to rebuild on top of them and also aritsts always evole or push what comes before them and what comes after them [snip]

LOL! Right on. /jno


Not to change the topic, but.. Bulka said, "our community is who we choose it to be."

Other Group is a community of 72 'subscribers' (so say the poop at Topica; look it up: [,] and a long string of comments on diverse topics, unmoderated, archived, and (surprise, surprise) readable by anyone in the world. Just try


That will access the Topica database at the first comments (or complaints) by Pedro of January 15. Topica's directions are:


Better watch what you say, for all we know Artner may be reading this. /jno Oops, I just noticed: now 71 subscribers.


Things have gotten really quiet lately. Maybe we are waiting for Pedro. Since I just started writing again, I feel better about re-opening a discussion from last week.

At 1:43 AM 1/11/02, dan s wang wrote:

(with lots of my snippage)

I write about shows only when I see ones that really seem to beg for well-considered, informed interpretation and judgment.

Choosing not to write about any particular show is, for me, usually a criticism in itself. The art must be substantive before I'm gonna write about it. I don't see the point of spending good time and energy writing reviews that only argue for the total worthlessness of a given show or art work. indifference is the worst criticism of all.

The art magazines . . .become the professional record as the issue passes from current to past. I choose to write for the art magazines because of the better informed editors, longer lead times, and longer shelf life.

Not to single out Dan Wang, but attitudes like his may be part of the problem.

I think the longer lead time he prefers is what Pedro meant by "slow". The desire to be part of a professional record rather than an active dialogue, and the notion that any writer's individual indifference would even be noticed, let alone considered as criticism, hints at hubris. ( I remember hearing Katheryn Hixson addressing some sort of SAIC assembly, saying that her first published review was of some international art fair, so that she couldn't be called a "local critic". Same problem.)

We do need "well-considered, informed interpretation and judgment", but that doesn't have to take three months. It's useful to have something other than a press release out while a show is still up, and that's not going to happen waiting for an out-of-town editor, unfamiliar with the work, to either ask for revision and clarification, or (as has been my experience at ArtNet and Art in America) make ridiculous changes without asking.

Personally, I try not to have too grand an opinion of my own opinion. I don't think a negative review is a waste of time. I'm not afraid to make mistakes in print, change my mind, or take an extreme position for the sake of stimulating the conversation (not that I'm usually all that stimulating). New City and the Reader may be just yuppie bar guides, and end up in Saturday's garbage instead of university archives, but at least they're there. What we need is more lively ephemera.

Oh, and I just learned that P-form is trying to do something interesting online.



Puerto Rico is kind of boring this time around but I should bring some sort of report for the next FGA . And if anyone cares...the FGA needs more writers...if interested contact me. I think you all have noticed that it has been getting better and "more substancial." I actually need someone to review or comment about  "Devil is in the Details" , curated by Anthony Elms.

I agree with Bulka. I think silence is just that....silence. Why is it that art people can't take critcism or feel the need to be so selective. I mean, movie and music reviews tend to be really substancial and constant. And usually, big expensive summer blockbusters tend to be trashed without any mercy but I don't see any actors or directors crying like babies. Instead they actually discuss that bad review and always come up with some smart argument to defend their work.And that is important. Talking is all about talking. 

Have you guys seen the new KDP ?



Not to single out Dan Wang, but attitudes like his may be part of the problem.

What problem? By doing what I do, I think I make a small contribution in ways that best use my interests and skills. At least that is the goal. I see many people doing just that, so what's the problem? Sitting around and bitching. . . now *that* is a problem, but that happens everywhere, all over the world. Last time I travelled to Asia, I spent a couple of hours with the artists Xu Zhen and Yang Zhenzhong in Shanghai. When asked about the place of art in Chinese society, the first thing they did was shake their heads about how people just complain but never do anything.

I think the longer lead time he prefers is what Pedro meant by

True enough. But still, I would say the indifference is noticed when a writer chooses not to review something after having been specifically invited or encouraged to do so by his or her editor, the curator, or the gallerist. At least it is noticed by that person or persons, and I think that counts for something. (Even next-to-nothing is something!)

Personally, I try not to have too grand an opinion of my own opinion. I don't think a negative review is a waste of time. I'm not afraid to make mistakes in print, change my mind, or take an extreme position for the sake of stimulating the conversation (not that I'm usually all that stimulating). New City and the Reader may be just yuppie bar guides, and end up in Saturday's garbage instead of university archives, but at least they're there. What we need is more lively ephemera.

Well, I can agree with your point about "more lively ephemera." But for me that means talk, e-mail, listservs. . . if I'm gonna write for print, I'd like for it to last longer than a week. But that's just me. And I have no problems about changing my mind, or about anyone else changing theirs, if it means that we reevaluate our original opinions when encountering new information, or after having seen or read about the work in a new way.

Okay, in the interest of more lively ephemera, here's an opinion for you­a real current one, and it's actually about art, not just the art world: I was disappointed by the Ren's Q4U video game installation.

It's cool to watch the near life-size action, and probably neat to play on such a scale. (I can't say for myself, since I'm not much of a gamer.) But the three elements which differentiate this customized version of Quake from the regular thing--the enlarged projections, likenesses of Feng being the player's target, and the gallery setting--aren't enough to expose the most interesting aspects of the video game idiom. Not in the way that the Electric Donut did at Gallery 400, in which a range of video game period aesthetics were woven together to expose the medium and technology as existing within history. Our lifetimes, no less.

That doesn't seem to be the point of Feng's work at the Ren, but then what is? It's a technical achievement, that's pretty clear, and impresses on that level. . . but what else? I suppose I see a possible thread of inquiry in his promise to meet and beat all players on-line--maybe the work is an allegory for networked Chinese finding a way to circumvent the very tight government controls over internet content. . . through networked gaming of the most "violent" sort. Okay, that's a stretch.

Maybe I'll change my mind and see some more complexity after I've gone down and played. Anybody else have an opinion about this work?

dan w.


I confess, I didn't make it to the Ren for this, precisely because it is too far to go for something that promised to be so trivial.

Video games, skateboards, DJs - are we so bereft of ideas that anything a 14 year-old thinks is cool becomes art if it's in a gallery? It should work the other way - once Mom and Dad like it, the smart kids find something better to do.

I don't mean to offend the EVL folk here, but, while technical inovation is interesting in its own right, there are more amazing things at the Consumer Electronics Show and it's still not art. Neither is the surreal environment of Dave & Buster's.

I was thinking last night about the difference between primitive rituals (or for that matter, children's games) and, say, Mariko Mori. From the outside, the first is just a few people and some simple props, but they do enter another reality, they are transformed. Mori and her ilk use an impressive and expensive array of equipment to give us a finger much more compelling than the moon it purports to point to.

Maybe we are spolied by TV and movie special effects. Most of the important art of the twentieth centuy was pretty shabby by our contemporary slick standards, but the energy there was in the idea, the making, the experience, rather than in funding and presentation.



Feng Mengbo is dying in the background as I write this (working at the Ren). I've never enjoyed playing videogames (read 'I die fast'), and find the aesthetic (from Pong's animated chalkboard-look to today's glowing green dungeons) only moderately engaging in that gee-whiz kind of way. Watching the elaborate sets of Quake projected on three big screens is perversely gorgeous, but most of today's games would look that good given that presentation.

What we've been talking about here though, among other things, is the significance of fantasy roleplay: what used to be personal has become reified in hot color and light and real-time moving image, giving us satisfation in our virtual agency: you move the stick, a little guy explodes. Best yet, we can share that vision simultaneously with scads of people across the globe.

That's the structure of Quake, as Jason started to explain: not only can anyone can come in and customize the character, there are hundreds of these customizations on the web that other people can access and play with. You might be obliterating someone from Brazil. What does it mean to bring the world together that way? The basis of this piece is that Mengbo has inserted himself (looking very realistic with sneakers and a little pot belly--a very un-idealized self in a super-powerful situation, leaping and jumping and weilding big guns) carrying the usual assortment of weaponry, along with a videocamera in his left hand. The videocamera plays with the tension of our dual role of documentarian and agent (here you could go off into the Freudian idea of the voyeur--he never achieves satisfaction. Is Mengbo's effigy a step forward or back?) It also relates to his last piece, in which Mengbo inserted live footage of himself into the game as a war correspondent interviewing a "clone" from the Quake battlefield. Which has gotten us talking about young boys (predominantly boys--c'mon) who project themselves into the game. Basically, it's a fantasy of sanctioned killing...Not a new phenomenon: soldier toys may be as old as civilization (we'd love to check--any ideas?). What part does playing soldier play in the socialization proc ess? It's not just about violence.

Much of this simply serves to call attention to a genre of videogames and Quake in particular--...truth is, others have customized the game more extensively, and Mengbo certainly could have. He chose not to, as it's basically a readymade: he wanted to show us Quake--as he sees it. There is socio-political content behind some of Mengbo's earlier work (he lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square) but that may serve best as a general context to reflect on the direction of videogames in general more than a literal reading of the piece.

A plug--to see if this is worth following: Steven L. Kent, author of "The First Quarter: A 25 Year History of the Video Game" will be speaking at the Ren this Sunday, Jan 27 at 3 pm in Cobb Hall Room 307 (Film Studies Center). 773-702-8670.

Jen Zukerman


I went to the Ren and saw the show the other day. I tend to agree with Bulka. My response was, "So what?" (But I have that response to a lot of contemporary work. e.g. Thomas Hirschhorn, another recent Ren show.) Mengbo's show just seems like a clever trick, a joke or an idea that could be summed up in a paragraph. I guess I'd rather just read the paragraph and then do my own thinking. This may sound strange, but there's nothing visual about the show - nothing that doesn't require translation into words before the thing transforms itself from Quake into "art." Contrast this with Helen Mirra's show at the Ren, where no matter how much you try, you can't transform her thing into the technical object that it is. That highly engineered and computed piece of cloth remained, to me, verbally incomprehensible now matter how hard the left side of my brain tried to compute it. I liked that. I liked the feeling it gave me. Totally nonverbal. Mengbo just made me smile, but so does Buffy.

Al Ravitz


Please remove my e--mail address from your address book. Thanks!


Dear Other Group,

I'm picking the recommended shows for March/April 2002 .. any ideas? Thanks for your support at the bake sale!



ok I admit i am a girl geezer however I do VR -- evler i is-- and other stuff so you can teach an old geezer girl -- new stuff-- yes? love all of u-- geezer girl aka Lipuma weaseldoger


Oops, I just noticed: now 71 subscribers.

That was probably me. Inexplicably unsubscribed for a few days, but I'm back. The Cabaal of 72.

Also, all this talk has upped my guilt factor. I'm sending stuff to New City again. Not about any of you guys, though, so you still won't be happy.



On Wed, 23 Jan 2002, bulka wrote:

[bulk snippage] What we need is more lively ephemera.

2nd'd. Good name for a band, too. /jno


I haven't seen the Feng Mengbo show either, so I won't make any qualitative comments. I spent a fair number of years as an artist and programmer in the video game industry and can offer a couple points of fact, though.

The very smart people who made Quake (and its predecessor Doom) designed it so that it would be relatively easy to add your own content (as it were) to the environments. So, for years people have been making Star Trek versions of Quake and western versions and porn versions, etc. Really elaborate stuff, too. Putting yourself into Quake is not a technical innovation, it's built into the game. Making a game open like that was quite innovative and a marketing master-stroke to boot.

Generally speaking, in the video game industry (and to a lesser extent the broader software industry), it's a long standing tradition to put oneself in. You can almost always find the people who made a game in it. If you enter my birthday while playing "Blitz 2000" for the Nintendo64 my head replaces all the football players' heads. It's standard game programmer protocol.

But I don't know, I kinda assumed that there was more going on in the Ren show than Quake projected with some replaced 3d models and texture maps.

Jason Salavon


I don't much like k-d-p, but maybe it is mostly the horribly clever design I hate, especially the front page. Once it finally loaded and I was able to guess how to navigate, the parts I had the patience to read were more like a chatty letter than journalism or criticism. Pictures of friends and gossip are theoretically a good idea; why was this so uncompelling? Maybe if the net were cast wider I would feel less like I had stumbled onto some stranger's personal scrapbook.

Danielle G-S's field trip reports were at least enthusiastic, if not informative or insightful. As far as I know, this and the ArtNet thing are the only trail left by Stray. What we've learned from this is that anyone with a keyboard is a writer. The best answer is to drown out the drivel with a flood of better writing.

The following will make no sense until you've read the original comments. This is what I sent to the site in their little response box. This might help you avoid some of the designer's work:


response to Stray Show comments

But, the "Vanessa Beecroft rip-off piece" was made, and modeled by, Vanessa Beecroft.

And doesn't Dominic already have that big building over by Northwestern Hospital to work with?



I don't consider the stray article criticism either, and i definitely would not make the mistake of calling myself a writer. you are right anyone with a keyboard can write (hell, the other group proves that, or internet communications in general..) but here is the thing-no one did--- not even you folks that grace yourselves with the title writer. k-d-p put out a call a long time ago over other group for writing on the stray show, and many promised to write something (she only asked for a paragraph) only to back out at the last minute. once again lots of griping- lack of this- lack of that- but no action. i responded to a friends request(k-d-p) and did so because k-d-p is a good venture and worthy of support. in reponse to your comments regarding my comments-my mistake on the beecroft, but also so what? my comments still hold and no- just because a curator works for the mca does not mean they have access to the spaces, resources,etc of the museum. many museums have policies about curating outside of the institution-(not sure how mca stands on this), making it difficult for a curator to be active outside of the institution. dominic has taken alot of hits via other group simply by affiliation (mca) well, this was an unaffiliated show and as i said before-real good. i would love it if someone would drown out my drivel with that hoped for flood of better writing. but guess what? i am not holding my breath.

enthusiastically yours,



This is better than TV!!!!!


Well, I've said I'm not afraid to make mistakes.

NOT Vanessa Beecroft. Oops. Nevermind.


Hey guys,

What's going on here...I've seen Danielle's e-mail but that's it. What's going on ? I didn't recieved the other previous stuff...



While prefacing my response with the phrase "to each his own" I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Bulka's comments regarding K-D-P. Let me dispense with the notion of objectivity as well, as I am friends with those authoring K-D-P and participated in a drawing session that spawned much of the graphics for the site. That said, I have the luxury of a job which requires alot of time spent searching the internet; as a result I have become very familiar with the graphic language of the internet, which is overwhelmingly homogenic: flat, hard edged Illustrator-type geometric shapes, with bright colors fill design and art sites. This type of flash-y (forgive the pun) design is easy to become enamored with, but after seeing this type of design repeatd with such frequency, I, for one, welcome a site that is "touched" by human hands. It seems to me that this "touched" approach is an appropriate and thoughtful way to speak about the need for more personal forms of communication, particularly when speaking about dramatic and personal events. As to the ease of navigation, the format is unconventional, but hardly discouraging. And in regards to Danielle's article, I am wholeheartedly in agreement about the need for criticism and journalism, but what Chicago also lacks is a healthy dose of enthusiasm and positive reinforcement. And so, to all who are enthusiastically working to promote art, ideas, and conversation, in the alternative spaces, in print, on the web and beyond, kudos and thanks.



On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Danielle wrote:

[snip] i would love it if someone would drown out my drivel with that hoped for flood of better writing. but guess what? i am not holding my breath.

and don't - the Stray show is even harder to 'critique' than a group show. I don't know what anyone expects, but the best you could do was to write some anecdotes, like a gossip column. But that is alright, too.



Just passing this along:

What is their website again? .. google: Searched the web for KDP. Results 1 - 10 of about 74,500. Search took 0.09 seconds.

- Kurdistan Democratic party-Iraq, KDP
- Kappa Delta Pi: Welcome to KDP Online
- The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing
- KDP Interior Designs
- KDP Informatique - Vente Partner
- KDP Software Ltd
- Bienvenue chez kdp
- Copper and Copper Alloy Semifinished Products
- K U R D I S H M U S I C. Kurdish Music Links
- KDP Page ..a community of scholars pledged to worthy ideals
- Welcome To KDP Online - USA
- kdp : jusqu' 20% de rduction sur la tv
- Komisja Dzia?alno?ci Podwodnej ZG PTTK
- Kurdish Observer - Kurdish Daily News
- - Japanese
- Nonlinear Optical Absorption in KDP Crystals
- Sony consumer electronics guide: KDP-65XBR2
- KDP and DKDP crystals
- Kdp ATPase, ADP/ATP Carrier
- Type I downconversion in KDP
- RGL -S (4050- ) KDP C
- Knowaste:kdp manufacturing,recycling personal care products
- Origins of Laser Damage in KDP Crystal
- KDP ZG PTTK / Zarz?d
- KDP-P-2232 Revision A Page 1 of 11 RELEASED
- Unit Komputer Dalam Pendidikan

10 pages later.. OK, i cant find it, mebbe try 'Stray Show' google:

Your search - Stray_show - did not match any documents. No pages were found containing "stray_show".


Oh ! I see now...Well, Bulka...I think you are way off base here. This was a candid article...flashy and that's OK. I mean, you didn't write shit about Stray and I prefer Danielle's thing over Casidy's pitiful commentaries. I also agree with her view on the Beercroft's low budget rip off. I mean, it was just stupid. So stupid nothing can be said about it, good or bad. Anyway, I'll take KDP, White Walls or Ten by Ten. Support them, they are important.

About Humid I only heard favorable commentaries about it in Puerto Rico. But the hotel show got the worst part. People did remembered Law Office but I don't know, I didn't see it.

And about the FGA's Top Ten:

Danielle, I think you are just dissapointed that I replaced you with Ben Stone. I love your work and what Deluxe stands for but I do believe Ben Stone can kick anyone's ass in the MCA selection. Why? Because the MCA's selection is dumb, too cute, easy to forget, and an insult to young Chicago art. My list wasn't a provocation but a valid argument. And I think I nailed it and I'm sure many people agree with me. Some of the people in the list have shown with FGA and they are good, but not the best representatives of the young Chicago art scene... I mean, there are people in this list who are still in grad school. Have they paid their dues ? Have they develop a substancial amount of work? Will they stay in Chicago when all is said, done or sold? How can I put a good face when there is no Law Office, no Temporary Services, no Anthony Elms, no Lori Daniels, no Chuck Jones, Andy Hall /Steve Lacy, no Ben Stone,no Carol Jackson, no Meg Duig, no Siebren Versteeg...C'mon...these are the young talented Chicago people with more than hype, talent for sucking up, being one of Ken Fendell friends, or a couple of lame, one night group shows under their belt.

Now, I dare anyone to justify the MCA's selection. Please, could someone try to convince me or make me believe in the MCA choices. Let's make it fun. Let's just go at it name by name. Anyone ?



Just in case many missed the FGA's Top Ten at Stray it is.


The FGA’s Top Ten is a response to the recently published list of young artists that will be included in the "12x12" exhibition series at The Museum of Contemporary Art. At its core,12X12 seeks to "provide a forum for the many talented younger artists in Chicago...[and] stimulate awareness of and discussion surrounding these works within the larger art community." The problem with the MCA’s choice is one of selection. This grouping, although good in skill, hold on to work with no further consequence than being cute, full of hype, and custom made to fit the label of "commodity art," in other words, very collectable. But if the MCA hopes to stimulate discussion surrounding young artists then the curators should try harder because good craft can only take rhetoric as far as the couch it is hung over. Here are some recommendations:

Who is in Who should and why

1.Laura Mosquera / Laura Mosquera. Laura is like Opium for the masses. Laura is a keeper.

2.Oli Watt / Pamela Jo Buchwald. sex, fetishism, passion and minimalism. All with a smart, thoughtful and measured voice.

3.Melissa Oresky / Edra Soto. Because Edra works outside of the white box. Kind of like Gabriel Orozco but less artsy and more leveled with the everyday Joe.

4.Rashid Johnson / Temporary Services. Because if you need to feed the token socially conscious crave, cliched photos of homeless people won’t do. Think big , think expansive, think "community".

5.Pate Connaway / Lori Daniels. Because she is the most underrated young Chicago artist. Human relations, language and perception.

6.Nicholas Brown / Chuck Jones. Everything we love about America and everything we hate about America.

7.John White Cerasulo / Rob Kelly and Zena Sakowsky. Because they represent the super underground. Low budget artists that put Paul McCarthy to shame.

8.Paul Dickinson / Law Office. Because they are a riot, young at heart ,overly active and always putting Chicago on the map…and the MCA can sure use a good promotional team.

9.Danielle Gustafson-Sundell / Ben Stone. Sculpture vs. sculpture Ben definitely wins.

10.Georgina Valverde / Siebren Versteeg. Because Siebren represents a full circle of Chicago art, from the Hairy Who group to the most recent conceptual "Tasset" school.

11.Adam Scott / Gerald Davis. No one beats Gerald’s imagery and masterful craft. Creepy, smart, yet beautiful. Think of John Currin and David Lynch.

12.Cindy Loehr / Zackary Lowing. Because Zack has no gallery support. Because Zack is a true independent contractor. Because Zack is not from UIC or SAIC or one of Ken Fandell friends. Because Zack’s work brings hope.


if you haven't seen it yet....



Ohter group,

Some of my friends have complained about my commentaries and attitude in relationship to the Other Group. They think I am attacking some people. I'm sorry if I offended anyone in a personal level. Maybe I did and I shouldn't have. I should stick to the the art. I know sometimes I might sound bitter and angry but I'm not like that at all. And I don't want to antagonize anyone at all. I think everyone knows who I dislike in this town, which is basically those old art critics. But as far as it goes, I'm all for the art scene and the artists here. Most of the things I say tend to have humor in it. But it seems that many of you are just not getting my brand of humor. So I'll try to smooth up my commentaries. Not that I'm going to stop being the critical asshole I am or stop ripping on Snodgrass, Kirshner, Rondeau or Yood but I'll just turn it down a bit.


Pedro Velez


I'm very dissapointed at how few others showed up tonight. A spontanious panel sprouted out of an ediary entry is the coolest cultural event I've done in quite a while. Don't you EVL people want to support your media brothers? It would have been more fun if there were enough of an art contingent for a rumble.

It was an entertaining evening nonetheless, though at a real star trek convention I'd expect some fat chicks dressed as Klingons. The smart bald guys in argot were just as good.

You're right, it was a pretty good discussion, though part of that was the mutual novelty thing. . . like, Whoa you guys *really* make and write about art? And, Whoa you guys *really* cut code? The mutual encounter aspect to the evening was interesting in itself. The smart bald guys were kind of fat, too.

There are lots of questions having to do with what Quake might mean to gamers in China, how the emerging gaming subcultures there might be different than the ones here, what the game symbolizes given the social conditions of Chinese cities. . . questions which mirror the identity/non-identity questions internal to all networked interactivity in which anonymity and/or assumed personas are available to participants.

If you know about China, follow developments going in China, have been to China, read about how Chinese society has changed in the last ten years, are familiar with Chinese contemporary art, etc., then it's really hard to interpret the project at the Ren without thinking about all those things. But it was useless to bring up those kinds of questions at the discussion last night after it became clear early on that the familiarity with Chinese culture, politics, and society in the room ended at the artists name. (Everybody speaking mistook the given name for the surname, see the subject line above for further butchering.)

Obviously, a meaty discussion of the work is possible and warranted without getting into all that. . . especially with a group of highly enthused, intelligent people willing to just put their opinions out there, and hammer out their thoughts as they go. There was a real refreshing atmosphere to the occasion, as if everybody knew this was a one-time thing and had decided that they were going to contribute and make it fun. Totally worth going to.

dan w.