January 2005 Archives

Favorite shows from yesterday in Chelsea

Much madness is divinest sense at Cohan and Leslie, particularly the drawings of Mike Paré and the site specific wall drawing and other drawings by Dasha Shishkin. We first saw Mike Paré's work in a group show at ATM Gallery, and first encountered Dasha Shishkin in a group show at 5BE curated by Lital Mehr.

James Hyde at Brent Sikkema.

in words and pictures at Murray Guy. A smart group show (mostly) dealing with art incorporating texts.

Betty Woodman at Max Protetch. This show is the best work I have seen from her.

Don Doe at Oliver Kamm. Old Master-style skill applied to outrageous paintings and drawings of pirate women.

Aaron Spangler (large-scale intricate wood reliefs) and Ryan Johnson (compelling paper sculptures) at Zach Feuer.

Rueben Cox at Bespoke Gallery

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Rueben Cox, Scaly Mountain, NC, 2004, C-print

Thank goodness for Roberta Smith. I probably would not have heard of this show without her review in today's New York Times. My favorite part (which refers to the image above):

Exhibit A is the flame-haired belle in the flowered dress, pastel boa and extravagantly painted lips who has flung herself across a patch of green cow pasture as if it were the seamless paper in Richard Avedon's studio. A half dozen oblivious cows grace the horizon.

Rueben Cox photographed drag and transgendered subjects in New York, New Orleans, Memphis, and Nashville in 2004. I have to try to get there before it closes on Saturday. It's on 17th Street in the space once occupied by Rupert Goldsworthy Marcus Ritter.

[Image from the gallery's web site]

Congratulations to Daria Brit Shapiro

Daria, who curated the wonderful Twilife show at Caren Golden, has just become the director of Clair Oliver Fine Art. I think that gallery just substantially increased its odds of being worth a stop. I trust this will also mean that I am unlikely to experience another ugly front desk incident at the gallery.

There is an event at Eyebeam tonight as part of their Produced at Eyebeam: Work in Process exhibition:

January 26, 6:30-8:30pm - An Evening with the Artists Please join us for an evening with the Artists in Residence exhibiting in Work in Process. Following an overview by Benjamin Weil, Eyebeam's Curatorial Chair, the public is invited for an informal tour and reception. The artists will be on hand to talk one on one about their process and their ongoing projects.

Also, on February 1st at 7pm, at the Swiss Institute, Cory Arcangel will be doing a performance. Those are always great fun, so don't miss it.

Spain to Pope: Back Off!

Imagine living in a country where the defense minister tells the Vatican to stop meddling with gay marriage. Imagine living in a country where only one member of the cabinet is religious. I'm ready to move to Spain!

From 365Gay.com

Spain's Socialist government Tuesday told the Vatican to stop butting in on affairs of state. The warning came from Defense Minister Jose Bono.

The Vatican has publicly rebuked the government for bring in legislation on same-sex marriage and for streamlining laws on abortion and divorce.

"Faith is not something a government can impose. It is not something that it is up to the state, but rather to people," Defense Bono told Spanish radio.

That the criticism came from Bono was particularly noteworthy. He is the only practicing Catholic in the government.

In the radio interview Bono said some of the church's positions, such as its opposition to homosexuality and the use of condoms, go against the message of Jesus Christ.

"Today, Christ would be more worried about the 25,000 children who die each day of hunger or in wars. I think Christ would side with those who are peaceful," Bono said.

On the use of Flash for web sites

Regarding that last post, Luke Murphy should be commended for a good web site. Many people skilled in Flash create web sites which are nearly unusable, with the inability to bookmark internal pages, and a general lack of respect for those coming to an artist's site except for the gee-whiz factor of the site implementation itself.

Luke Murphy at Canada

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I hate writing about shows after they are closed, but nearly a week of having the flu messed up my schedule in a big way. Happily for this artist, the Flash-based work I want to write about is available for viewing on his web site. In fact, I love that the description of the medium on the gallery checklist is "file on disk." I'm illustrating with stills from James.

Luke Murphy Cascade 2004 file on disk, (slow-shutter) still from installation projection

The first work, titled Cascade, uses an algorithm to animate and rotate the shovels of the piece, which show different images as their backgrounds within the outline of the shovel shape. The sound is also algorithmic, with different tones coming from different shovels as they hit a certain angle during rotation.

Like the other work, it is an algorithm designed so that no viewing of the work is like another. You are not merely watching some playback of the artist-designed animation.

Luke Murphy Porno Painter/Eroloop 2004 file on disk, still from installation projection

The second work, titled Porno Painter / Eroloop, animates words found in the meta tags of porn web sites. Meta tags are information inserted into the HTML code of a web page. They're meant to be read by things like search engines, not humans. Since the dawn of Google they seem to be less important than they once were, but sites that want to be found by people using search engines still use them. The version on his web site reacts to one's mouse cursor, but the version we saw at the gallery did not. The gallery version becomes quite dense at times, as you can see from James's still. The work also has an attractive electronic soundtrack designed by Murphy.

A lot of artists are working with technology and art, but I don't think that many of them pull off using the strengths of technology, such as writing a program which then generates the art (possibly in random ways like a high-tech bow to John Cage), rather than just using it as a useful animation or painting tool. I think Luke Murphy does pull off that feat. The works are engaging and beautiful, plus there is an intelligence to them that one can appreciate.

Some other people I admire who are working in a related vein include John F. Simon, Jr. and Mark Napier. Simon often creates computer works that appear as endless videos which never repeat. I have never talked with Mark about his work (I know of it through Liza Sabater who describes herself as his 'better half'), but from what I understand, many of them use algorithms to generate the painterly images visible on his site. The end result, such as a digital painting or print, becomes the artist's "product" for public consumption, not the program which created it.

Despite knowing Cory Arcangel for a while, I still don't have a feel for where his Nintendo work fits into the burn-in-exactly-what-I-want vs. algorithmic scale. Maybe that's another post.

For voice nerds

Via ionarts, a web page devoted to vocal range extremes. Hook up those speakers.



File under: I love the world

Via Wooster Collective, a photo of "street art" in the middle of a German forest.

I know art when I see it

Must the New York Times arts page have a story on Michael Jackson molesting boys? Can't they find an "Entertainment" section for that sort of thing?


Cory Arcangel at Team Gallery

Cory's wonderful show, titled Welcome 2 my Artshow!!!!!!!!! opened tonight at Team Gallery. I did a screen capture for him of the listing on ArtCal because I wanted to make sure he saw the ads for Simon & Garfunkel music. The ads show up because Google spotted the mention of the two in the description of the Sans Simon video. Click on the thumbnail to see the whole thing.

In Cory's honor I wore my Stonehenge Consulting t-shirt.

Don't miss the other show, a collaboration with Paper Rad, which opens Saturday.

Oh, Britannia!

[Emphasis mine below.]

Gays struggling for the most basic human rights in the tiny Himalayan country of Nepal are developing a sense of community with the launch of the country's first LGBT newspaper.

The weekly publication will start rolling off the presses later this month. It is being funded by the British Embassy and will be prepared and distributed by the Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's gay rights group.

Blue Diamond Weekly will be printed in both English and Nepalese and provide information about the struggle for gay rights along with information on HIV/AIDS. It will not be "controversial" the Society says - an effort not to incur the wrath of censors or the government.

Nepal has refused to recognize the civil rights of gays in the country and does not provide HIV information on male to male transmission of the virus.

Last year 39 members of the Blue Diamond Society were jailed after police rushed a peaceful demonstration for gay rights in front of the Parliament building. They were released three weeks later following an international outcry.

Congratulations to Joy Garnett

Anonymous Was A Woman has announced the 10 artists selected to receive the Foundation's ninth annual awards. The "no strings" grant of $25,000 enables women over 35, at a critical juncture in their lives or careers, to continue to grow, recover from traumatic life events, and pursue their work.

As the name implies, the nominators and those associated with the program are un-named, and artists are unaware that they are being considered for the award.

From the Floor has the details.

I should note that another recipient is the wonderful performer and playwright Carmelita Tropicana. I will never forget seeing her perform Your Kunst Is Your Waffen (Your Art Is Your Weapon). I first encountered her at Dixon Place.

Jury blogging

They have WiFi in the jury rooms, for $9/day. I already had my PowerBook set up as a development machine, so I didn't have to have a connection to work on code, but it certainly helps.

It's pretty quiet, as things haven't really started back up for the year. Everyone who started yesterday was released today.

I walked around Chinatown during the lunch break. My favorite thing I saw: gas-powered rice cookers for sale whose boxes said "We're Changing The World!"

I had lunch at Chanoodle. I can't really recommend the soft-shelled crab, but the fried baby silver fish were excellent -- a bit like the little fish in the Italian fritto misto.

Now I'm back in the jury room. What's with all of the people using the desks to sleep on them? Of course they also choose the ones at the ends of the rows, so that one has to climb over them to get to a free one.

The building, 60 Centre Street, is beautiful once you look beyond the metal detectors and bureaucratic detritus. It was built in the teens of the 20th century, and designed by Boston architect Guy Lowell (1870-1927) in a Roman classical style. The handout they had in the jury room says he was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. There is a magnificent dome painted with a continuous mural showing the evolution of law from the Assyrians, culminating [sic] with the United States. He originally wanted to build it as a round building, but compromised and designed it as a hexagon. Economical considerations (a round building would cost more to construct), plus the fact that the judges were dubious of courtrooms with curved walls, forced the change.

Tough old ladies at the library

I took a two-page printed list of the books from my Amazon wish list with me to my local library branch, since I start jury duty on Thursday. I'm a pretty fast typist, so I checked a bunch in a couple of minutes, but soon a little old lady tapped on my shoulder. "Are you going to go through that whole list?!" she asked. I told her I was almost finished, pointing to the item on the page I was then checking. She asked, "Is that the end, or are you going to flip it over and do some more?" I assured her it was really at the end.

My jury duty is at 60 Centre Street. I welcome any nearby attractions (ha!) or restaurant recommendations, particularly Vietnamese. This post from Chowhound pretty much sums up the way I feel about those court buildings.

Maybe I'll get a chance to sneer at the Kerik Complex while I'm there.


Daniel Dueck
Feeling It


Lily van der Stokker

This is a show I would definitely see if I were to be in Boston in January.

Daniel Dueck & Lily van der Stokker

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