Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Superflex's "Today We Don't Use the Word Dollars"
Today We Don't Use the Word Dollars is one project from a series of One Day Sculptures--temporary public artworks that were commissioned in New Zealand over the last year.
Superflex's project involved the employees of Auckland's Karangahape Road branch of the ANZ bank. On Wednesday May 27th, 2009 all the employees of the bank were not to say or use the word 'DOLLARS.' The staff used other words of their own choice to explain themselves to customers and co-workers. When they accidentally broke the rule, they paid a $1 fine into a staff social fund.
[via Ceci Moss on Rhizome]
Monday, June 22, 2009
Story that takes 1,000 years to read
Conceptual artist Jonathon Keats responds to the hyper-fast media cycles by writing a story that will take a millennium to tell.
His story is printed on a the cover of Opium Magazine. When exposed to the sun's ultraviolet light, the words will become visible at the rate of one word per century. Of course, that rate is subject to variation based upon the eroding ozone layer (or taking an ultraviolet lamp to it).
[via Wired via Jason Kottke]
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Jamie O'Shea's "3:2"
Jamie O'Shea writes:
3:2 was an experiment in time travel. On Jan 01 2008 at 12:00 am central, I sealed myself in a room with a slow clock, artificial day and night, and delayed internet. I remained in this artificial time warp until January 19th your time, or January 13th my time. I am now living forever in the future.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
David Horvitz’s "For 2009, Idea Subscription__"
For all of 2009 I will send out small texts of simple instructional ideas through the mailing list below. I will also post screenshots of them on this tumblr page. These will not be done everyday, only when i feel like it and have access to the internet. But the attempt will be to do them everyday. You can also receive these in the postal mail.One such instruction is to take a photo of your head in a freezer and post it online and tag it with 241543903:
There certainly been work like this before (see my earlier post on Yono Oko, Erwin Wurm, and Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher), but there's certainly room for more.
Oddly, my graduate sculpture class's recreation of a recreation of an Erwin Wurm "Sculpture to Embarrass" looks strikingly like the image above (below left is from an Erwin Wurm monography, below right from my class):
[via Ceci Moss on Rhizome]
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
4'33": the video game
Now he's back to the monthly games. In February he released 4 Minutes and 33 Seconds of Uniqueness, inspired by the John Cage's 4'33" composition in which the musicians do not play any notes for four minutes and 33 seconds (so that the music becomes the ambient sounds in the concert hall). A screenshot of the game:
The game play is watching the status bar for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. If no one else logs into the game during that time, you win. If someone else logs in, you're booted off and they become the "leader."
The comment section of Petri's blog is wonderful--it's full of gamers arguing whether 4 Minutes and 33 Seconds of Uniqueness is a game or not (and using the art world as a touchstone):
- Rob Says:
February 2nd, 2009 at 6:57 pm Cool concept, but to call this is a game is like shitting on a paper plate, signing it, and calling it art.
- Gemedet Says:
February 2nd, 2009 at 10:25 pm I'd argue that what distinguishes games from other art forms (films, paintings) is the ability to interact. It's great to push the boundaries of a definition, but you can't throw it out completely. Otherwise we'll go the way of the art world: they've come to the point where they consider anything to be art, and so the word "art" has lost all meaning. Still, an awesome idea, and a really clever take on the Jam's theme.
- Mike Says:
February 3rd, 2009 at 2:11 am I don't know about defining a game, but the purpose of a game is that it should be fun. This isn't.
- Jonathan Says:
February 4th, 2009 at 2:08 am Even though it feels like starting the game is the only interaction, this game interacts with every other person playing it. The author is also exploring the boundaries of interactions.
[via Art Fag City]
Monday, February 16, 2009
But for Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern, who conceived of this project, that's just a start. If a big enough stink is made (if enough people blog, write about the project, and continue to add it to Wikipedia), doesn't it become notable enough to merit a Wikipedia entry?
On the Wikipedia Art project page Kildall & Stern wrote:
Wikipedia Art is art composed on Wikipedia, and thus art that anyone can edit. Since the work itself manifests as a conventional Wikipedia page, would-be art editors are required to follow Wikipedia's enforced standards of quality and verifiability; any changes to the art must be published on, and cited from, 'credible' external sources: interviews, blogs, or articles in 'trustworthy' media institutions, which birth and then slowly transform what the work is and does and means simply through their writing and talking about it. Wikipedia Art may start as an intervention, turn into an object, die and be resurrected, etc, through a creative pattern / feedback loop of publish-cite-transform that we call "performative citations." Wikipedia Art MUST BE written about extensively both on- and off-line. This serves the dual purpose of verifying the work - which is considered controversial by those in the Wikipedia community, and occasionally removed from the site - as well as transforming it over time. WE INVITE YOU TO DO SO!In a Rhizome discussion of the project, MTAA noted:
But I can sympathize with the Wikipedians. If these Wikipedia art interventions became a popular game it would become vandalism (the resources to clean them up would become burdensome to the volunteers). But just this one is fun.[via Networked Performance]
Friday, February 6, 2009
Stephanie Syjuco's "Towards a New Theory of Color Reading"
From Syjuco's website:
Four-color newspapers printed in edition of 2000 each. Part of the solo exhibition "Stephanie Syjuco: Total Fabrications" at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Dec 12, 2008 - Feb. 22, 2009. Curated by Meredith Goldsmith.
El Dia (Spanish-Language), the Houston Forward Times (African-American), and the Manila Headline (Filipino-American). By abstracting the content of each publication, a new visual fomat was created for viewers to attempt to "read." Three bulletin boards served as a way to display all the pages at once.
[via Ceci Moss on Rhizome]
Thursday, January 22, 2009
For example, their For a Brief Time Only at a Location Near You:
For a Brief Time Only... is a purchasable exhibition of 24 artists available at a photo developer near you. You can find it at any store that allows file uploading via the internet (including most major US drug-stores). The image files will be sent to the closest location near you, and within minutes you will be able to walk in and pick them up as prints.
This exhibition contains 24 small 4x6 photographic prints contained within the packaging provided by each store. Also included are a contact sheet with all the artists' information, and a letter to the store employee reassuring that there is nothing wrong with the order.
No money is being made by us in this exhibition. You will purchase the show directly from the store (unless you can acquire it another way), which will probably cost around $5. We would like to make it clear that we have no intentions in promoting sales in these places, which will mostly include major US drug-stores. We think of it more as infiltrating these spaces with our games.
That "show" has closed, but the photos are still available in pdf form.
Read my earlier posting about ASDF's 100 $1 grants
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tickets to see the sunset
Tickets to the Sunset website
[via John Michael Boling on Rhizome]
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
"Oblique Strategies" on the iPhone
An Oblique Strategies deck is now available (for free) on the iPhone. Oblique Strategies (subtitled "over one hundred worthwhile dilemmas") is a deck of cards created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. It was first published in 1975 (the deck is now in the fifth edition).
Each card contains a phrase or cryptic suggestion that can be used to break a creative block. You draw a card and follow the strategy blindly by applying it obliquely to your problem:
Twist the spine
Change instrument roles
From The Oblique Strategies Web Site:
The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt (a British painter whose works grace the cover of "Evening Star" and whose watercolours decorated the back LP cover of Eno's "Before and After Science" and also appeared as full-size prints in a small number of the original releases) tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure - either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you're running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking - to jog the mind.
On iTunes some of the comments regarding Oblique Strategies complain about the deck not being randomized. That issue seems to have been addressed. However, a nice future feature would be to randomize the deck based on the user shaking the iPhone (as suggested in several of the comments).
Related posts: 100 Acorns, Assignment Art
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Joe McKay's mapped vehicles
Joe McKay has created collaged images (ala David Hockney) of the the Google "steet view" van (top) and MapJack (a company that's emulating Google) from reflections of the vehicles in store windows.
Not familiar with Street View? Here a view of The New Museum being built. (Hint, click on the street arrows to move, click & drag to rotate).
View Larger Map
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Grande Reportagem's "Meet the World"
Grande Reportagem is a Portuguese news magazine known for its photo-journalism and investigative reporting. Since January 2005 it has been running a series (developed for them by the ad agency FCB Publicidad) called "Meet the World" where national flags are used to graph a social/political issue specific to the particular country.
Icaro Doria, a member of the concept team, said:
We started to research relevant, global, and current facts and, thus, came up with the idea to put new meanings to the colours of the flags. We used real data taken from the websites of Amnesty International and the UNO.(quote via BrazilianArtists.net)
I do wonder a bit if all the above details are correct... a cursory google search on "grande reportagem" didn't turn up the magazine's website, just blog postings about the flag project. Likewise, I saw references to FCB Publicidad, but didn't find their site (again, I didn't look too thoroughly). I did a check on snopes (the urban legend debunking site), but nothing came up.
Related: Yukinori Yanagi's flags
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Watch Piece VI posted about Yoko Ono's conceptual instruction artworks earlier. She's now posting on her 100 Acorns blog one instruction piece a day for 100 days. Here's her introduction to the project:
Watch two people arguing on the street.
Check how you feel about them.
a) Fly up about ten meters over their heads.
Check how you feel about them now.
b) Fly up as high as the Empire State Building
See how you feel about them now.
c) Fly to another planet.
See how you feel about them now.
It's been 44 years since my book of conceptual instructions, GRAPEFRUIT was first published in 1964.
On 15 June 1968, John Lennon & I planted two acorns for peace at Coventry Cathedral. It was the first of our many Peace 'Events'.
In the summer of 1996, I picked up from where I left off, and wrote 100 ACORNS.
Starting on the 40th anniversary of the Acorn Peace Event on 15 June 2008, I will publish here an 'Acorn' every day for 100 days.
After each day of sharing the instructions, you should feel free to question, discuss, and/or report what your mind tells you.
I'm just planting the seeds.Have fun.
Monday, June 16, 2008
All the news
Martin John Callanan's I Wanted to See All of the News From Today displays the front pages of hundreds of newspapers.
I find the title interesting... "See" is the right verb, not "Read." Very little of the text is legible--either the type is too small or the language is unknown.
I initially found the project interesting, but was a bit frustrated that I couldn't click on a front page and get a closer look at it. Wondering if this was an artistic choice or a technical limitation I took a closer look to see where Callanan gathers his images from, which led to Press Display.
For a reader, Press Display's interface is much more useful than Callanan's collaging of it. On Press Display the reader can look up particular newspapers, blow up the page so that it is readable, sort on language, country, search on a particular word or phrase, etc.
Perhaps the "I" pronoun in the title is significant. Is the project a whimsical thing thrown together to satisfy Callanan's visual curiosity? Or is there an intention beyond that; something that he wants to provide us viewers? Maybe just the awareness of news coverage beyond the few outlets we choose to use? Perhaps forcing us into being viewers, not readers?
Monday, June 9, 2008
Jenny Holzer Twittering
Thursday, March 6, 2008
We started with Yoko Ono's instruction pieces, but none of her instructions (from Grapefruit) were practical to implement.
We then moved on to Erwin Wurm's One Minute Sculptures and Sculptures to Embarrass (circa 1997). The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Can't Stop music video incorporates several of Wurm's sculptural assignments.
Here are our implementations of Wurm's sculptures.
What I find most interesting about his work is the decision of what aspects of his sketches are key and what aren't. It reminds me of when I was learning Japanese katakana and hiragana. It was often difficult to determine what is a key trait of a character and what is an eccentricity of the particular font. For example, here are two different renderings of the hiragana for "fu."
Finally, we took a look at Harrell Fletcher (who introduced me to Erwin Wurm when I was in grad school) and Miranda July's Learning to Love You More website.
We choose their Assignment #23 Recreate this snapshot. Here is the original photograph:
And here is our recreation:
Thursday, January 31, 2008
WWF's semi-guerilla art
My initial reaction to this to think it's a nice little bit of semi-guerrilla art... but then it occurred to me that it's a bit off. The rain forest isn't being chopped down for paper, it's being chopped down for grazing & crop land. Does misleading people about the problem really help?
More interesting (and perhaps more on-target) is their "ocean-levels rising" billboard:
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
One is not like the other... can you spot which of the three artworks (above & to the right) is different?
Two of the images are conceptual art by Christine Bailey, who mimicked artist Cara Ober's style for a recent show in the T. Rowe Price lobby in Baltimore. The top image is Ober's and the two bottom images are Bailey's.
Ober, not surprisingly, was upset. She was quoted in a Baltimore Sun article:
The best analogy is this: How would you feel if someone stole something from you that you loved and cared for?" said Ober, 33, who lives in Charles Village and teaches art classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art. "It's a bitter pill to swallow."Bailey explained the show's motivation in an (after-the-fact) email to Ober:
For me, this was very much a project about how or if I could steal someone's artistic identity and what that would look like. Could I be the Old Navy to Cara Ober's The Gap?A Washington Post article connects the appropriation show (which was called "New Work by Christine Bailey") to Bailey's earlier work of "curating" shows of imaginary artists based on virtual online personalities (a Second Life character, the Ikea online assistant, etc.):
...She's adopted someone else's manner specifically as a way to move away from the standard issues of taste and the cliches of personal identity and expression that still tend to govern art, especially in more conservative scenes such as Baltimore's. "I'm really interested in the idea of anonymity, and not having a brand -- moving from style to style. . . . I really enjoyed making these paintings, because I didn't have to bring anything personal to it."On a side note, the Post article (by Blake Gopnik, who discloses that his wife is a colleague of Bailey's) is markedly dismissive of Ober's work:
Bailey's paintings capture all of Ober's telltale tricks and tics. Nostalgic imagery is pulled from older sources. Bird books, old encyclopedias, decorative wallpapers? Check. Tender, pastel colors -- soft washes of pale yellows, blues and pinks -- with brooding splashes of black on top? Check. Scraps of dictionary definitions, presented in old-timey fonts? Check. An overriding sense of capital-P Poetry, without ever making clear quite what that poetry's about? Check.
Whether one considers Ober's art interesting or not is parenthetical to the larger issue... and to take pot shots at it seems mean-spirited in this context.Irene Hoffman, the director of Baltimore's Contemporary Museum, suggests that an audience's knowledge of the appropriation is key:
On the one hand, the success of any act of appropriation requires a knowledge of the source. Was the appropriation evident to the audience? If so, it's a very similar gesture to those of other, more famous artists, where the audience recognizes the source.I think Hoffman speaks to the heart of the matter. Bailey's show certainly explores interesting issues... artists spend years building up a style & body of work. In comparison, mimicking an artistic style is quite easy. To take the mimicking short-cut questions what is the value of the pioneering effort (& sincerity) of the original artist... and whether the artist matters at all.
Circling back to Hoffman's comment about the audience recognizing the appropriation, it strikes me that Bailey's show could be more effective if it included the original artist's involvement (which would also settle any ethical questions about plagiarism). Much more interesting than a show that silently copies the work of some artist whose work I'm not familiar with, would be a show in which an example of the original artist's work is paired with Bailey's style appropriation. And why limit it to one artist, the show could consist a dozen such side-by-side comparisons.
Update: I was looking at Cara Ober's blog and noticed this post, where she gave Bailey's space to explain the thinking behind the appropriation exhibition.