2 Jul

Michael Friberg

newly nothing

30 Jun

Katie Paterson

I’ve been working a bit on collecting letters from participants/subjects, and was excited to see this project at the CJM:

The Dying Star Letters

A series of letters which proclaim stellar deaths. Upon hearing the news that a star has died, the artist writes and posts a letter, announcing its death.

It’s a shame that there are no close ups of the letters. Each one says something to the effect of: “Dear ____, I am sorry to inform you of the death of the star GB——.” Paterson posts the letters to someone, in this case Professor Richard Ellis of the Keck Observatory, and presumably collects them back after the addressee opens them. (?)

The show is Night Begins the Day, running through Sept 20th, if you’d like to see it in person.

nothing burger

28 Jun

Pretty much the most unexpected popularization of slang ever:

Anne Gorsuch Burford was an American attorney and politician. Between 1981 and 1983, she served under President Ronald Reagan as the first female Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

She was promised another job by Reagan, and in July 1984, he appointed her to a three year term as chair of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, a move which was blasted by environmental groups. She came under criticism for describing the post as a “nothing-burger,” and both the House and the Senate passed non-binding resolutions calling on President Reagan to withdraw the appointment. Ultimately, Burford chose not to accept the position. (wiki)

Sailor’s shirt

25 Jun

Dina Danish


23 Jun

Hito Steyerl

weekend silliness: film clips

20 Jun

From Bronson:

I don’t really know how to speak of that film. A semi-campy, semi-absurdist, somewhat violent, very theatrical not-really-biopic on England’s most notorious prisoner – so problematic in the system that he spent 30 years in solitary. If you’ve got the stomach for some NSFW body parts and a giveaway of the climax, take a look at another scene in which Bronson riffs (??) on his favorite artist, Dali. The music is not the actual score, which was classical, so the vibe of the whole thing is off, but you get an idea of how strange of a take on character this film is. What a shame that Tom Hardy’s taking one dimensional hard man roles – all stoic and beefy and action figure.

From A Field in England:

Wind is usually so terrible in movies, but I like it here. The end of the scene is great. There are much more experimental films out there, but I like the surprise of this after a fairly straightforward lead up. The other great bit has less visual pyrotechnics but I like the slow loopiness of it.

Of course, it won’t be a surprise for you if you watch this, so I’m ruining both of these films for you… Just go watch them without viewing these clips!

for the art world

16 Jun

If you want to be successful in the art world you’ve got to look to the art world; you don’t make it for the bloke next door and then hope the art world is going to look at it. That’s one of the big mistakes people make. Craft people, for instance, they’ll call themselves a potter or a craftsman or whatever, then they’ll hope that the art world is going to somehow recognize them as artists. It’s not going to happen. You’ve got to call yourself an artist and point yourself at the art world and make art for the art world. But of course the art world wants to be antagonized, that’s the great thing about it. If you can antagonize the art world, you’re made.

The art world is a slightly different place in that it’s so self-conscious and so sophisticated about issues of taste, but it still has the element of fitting in. I sometimes think when I make a lot of my artwork that it’s too colorful. It’s just not going to fit in with the design of the collectors’ houses, I better make a black-and-white artwork, or a beige-and-white artwork that will fit in to all the collectors’ houses better.

Grayson Perry

Starting to really hate the words “art world.”

But really, the interview is very good, at least the parts where he talks about class and taste and how they funnel into art:

Most of taste is unconscious—it comes from your upbringing, from your family, from your society, your gender, your race; it’s a melange of all those things. The basic premise of taste, as Stephen Bayley, the cultural critic, said, is that taste is that which does not alienate your peers. Most people want to fit in with their tribe in some way or another, so they give off signals, whether it’s with their clothes, their behavior, their car, their whatever, and gain status. Every tribe has a hierarchy, and that’s what taste is: it’s an unconscious display of who you are, and where you want to be.

There’s a desperation in middle-class people to try to be individual. I think it’s an illusion on the whole, because curiously they all end up being an individual in the same way. Because not many people are creative, really. They’re kind of individualistic but within a very narrow bandwidth of what is acceptable at the time in fashion, or what they’ve seen in magazines. Genuine maverick taste is quite rare.

Middle-class people, in Britain, anyway, tend to be the intelligentsia; they’re well educated, they’re very aspirational, they’re very anxious because they’re looking down thinking, “Am I going to go that way?” or they’re looking up saying, “Oh, I’d quite like a bit of that action.” They’re the most self-conscious about it, and best informed.

To be creative, you need to be unselfconscious. It’s like the sound barrier when you’re an art student. You have to reach the terminal velocity where you go through the sound barrier of self-consciousness, and then pop out the other side where you’re confident enough to handle it. A lot of people never make it through and that’s a real block to being creative.

Cultural capital is something you accrue, and it’s a subtle thing. Middle-class people in particular are more aware of it. They want the culture they consume to sort of rub off on them somehow. A big part of culture is to be seen to be consuming it. Just having art in your house…. I was talking at the Met [recently] about the fact that when I made the tapestries to go with the show, I put loads of art historical references into the tapestries, because that will give a chance for all the middle-class people who come to the show to show off their knowledge. It’s like the knowing laughter in the difficult art-house film where some reference is made.

singles: Angela Bacon-Kidwell

11 Jun

Angela Bacon-Kidwell

(Via Photo-eye)

razzle dazzle

9 Jun

Dazzle camouflage, also known as razzle dazzle, was a family of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I and to a lesser extent in World War II. Credited to artist Norman Wilkinson, though with a prior claim by the zoologist John Graham Kerr, it consisted of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colours.

Unlike some other forms of camouflage, dazzle works not by offering concealment but by making it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed and heading.

Dazzle camouflage

Although these days it’s been reworked to to evade facial recognition software rather than enemy missiles.

playlist: Exodus

6 Jun

For your exodus to cheaper pastures, for that eviction hop and skip over to the East Bay, that 27 min ride from Civic Center to Ashby.

1. The Fall – “How I Wrote Elastic Man”
2. X – “Los Angeles
3. The Gits – “Second Skin”
4. Eddy Current Suppression Ring – “Colour Television”
5. Fiona Apple – Hot Knife
6. Monte Video – “Sheba (She Sha She Shoo)”
7. Light Asylum – “IPC”

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If you miss the direct train or the timed transfer and you need more than 27min, check out the video for “Hot Knife.” Apple has the advantage of being PT Anderson’s ex, so several of her music videos are exceptionally well-shot: