M. NoursbeSe Philip says

27 Aug

Law and poetry both share an inexorable concern with language – the “right” use of the “right” words, phrases, or even marks of punctuation; precision of expression is the goal shared by both. In the case of the former this concern has both material and nonmaterial outcomes. A rightly worded contract, for instance, can save an individual from financial loss, or secure great financial benefits. A proper interpretation of legislation can result in an individual’s physical freedom, confirmation of civil or human rights, or even death.

In Gregson v. Gilbert the material and onmaterial would come together in unexpected ways. An accurate interpretation of the contract of insurance, according to the owners of the Zong, that is, would result in great financial benefit to them: they would be paid for murdering 150 Africans. At the same time, it would mean that the deliberate drowning of 150 people was not murder, but merely the disposition of property in a time of emergency to ensure preservation of the rest of the “cargo” – a reasonable expectation at that time given the law governing contracts of insurance. However, even if the courts had found against the owners of the Zong and ruled that they could not claim insurance compensation, given the law at the time, neither Captain Collingwood nor those who had helped in the massacre could be charged with murder, since what was destroyed being property, was not capable of being murdered.

M. NoursbeSe Philip

singles: Shawn Bush

25 Aug


Shawn Bush

David Krasnic

11 Aug


David Krasnic

Virginia Beahan

7 Aug


Virginia Beahan

She has a show up about the Salton Sea in San Diego

single: Greg Ruffing

5 Aug


Greg Ruffing

Christopher Rodriguez

3 Aug

Christopher Rodriguez

Laser Tag

1 Aug

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Jose Carlos Martinat

30 Jul


Jose Carlos Martinat, Revolver Galeria

I was fortunate enough to see Martinat and Mayorga speak at an ATC lecture last semester (many of them are online. He presented some of his work, which was political without being didactic.

In Ambiente de Estereo Realidad, Martinat collaborated with Enrique Mayorga, who wrote an algorithm which would scour the internet for headlines and randomly construct sentences from portions of them. The combinations were sometimes absurd and sometimes cogently critical of the political establishment. These sentences were then printed by multiple printers fixed to the side of a building and dropped to the street below, where passersby could pick them up and read them.

In another iteration of the idea, the algorithm searches for specific headlines about the relationship between the US, Puerto Rico and Cuba.


Jose Carlos Martinat, Galeria Leme

In Extracto de Campaña Politica, Martinat used the 24-hour window before an election in Mexico (?) to rearrange the campaign lettering that candidates had pasted all over the streets. The candidates couldn’t do much about it due to a law prohibits the parties from adding new political advertising.

In Pista 1, Martinat again worked with Mayorga, this time to install a track traversing the entire exhibition space. A motorized loudspeaker moved along the track in an infinite loop, intoning information found on the web.

You’ll have to excuse me if any of my info is wrong. They spoke through a translator and There seems to be very little explanation of his works online in English.

Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras

28 Jul

Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras

is a Los Angeles-based ensemble theater group made up of day laborers. Our mission is to improve the lives of day laborers everywhere through the creation of plays by and for the day labor community, over 25,000 strong in the LA area. Responding to an often degrading and hostile work environment and an increasingly anti-immigrant climate nationally, the troupe uses theater, music and dialogue to educate immigrant workers about their rights; inspire day laborers to use theater as a tool for change-making; empower the community by reflecting their stories in their own voices; and humanize the immigration debate for the community at large.

Cornerstone Theater Company

For over 28 years, Cornerstone has brought together an ensemble of professional artists with people who would never think of themselves as artists to produce works based on the stories, concerns and issues of a given community.

Our plays celebrate many voices, and are staged in theaters and in parking lots, in factories, schools and subway stations. We strive to include people who have not been on stage or even seen theater. We’ve taken up residence in small towns and urban neighborhoods, collaborating with locals from start to finish to tell their unique stories through theater.

1001 Chinese visitors

23 Jul

For his contribution to Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany, Ai WeiWei brough to town 1,001 residents of China. With $4.14m from funding sources, Ai arranged all aspects of travel. He paid for airfare, processed visa applications, refurbished an old textile mill into a temporary hostel, transported Chinese chefs to cook meals, designed travel items such as clothing and luggage, and organized tours of Kassel’s landmarks. He also installed 1,001 antique chairs throughout the exhibition paviliion to represent the Chinese participants’ presence. His visitors acted as both tourists and subjects of his art.

Within advertising the free trip on his blog, Ai received 3,000 applications. He privileged those with limited resources or travel restrictions: for example, women from a farming village, who lacked proper identity cards, were able to obtain government-issued travel documents for the first time. Other participants included laid-off workers, police officers, children, street vendors, students, farmers, and artists. They arrived en masse. However, Ai solicited their individual voices through filmed interviews and also a lengthy questionaire that focused on personal histories, desires and fantasies.

– From Living As Form

Media coverage in Spiegel. A long meandering doc including the process of applying and getting travel documents, the departure from Beijing, construction of the dorm, arrival in Kassel (around 1h40) and the German reaction (~2h15) is on Youtube: