November 2009 Archives

Happy 5th Birthday to ArtCat Calendar

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On this date in 2004, James and I launched the first version of the ArtCat Calendar (then called ArtCal). The first version just listed shows and dates by neighborhood, with the main innovation being the listing of Chelsea shows by street.

Some history:

  • Images added: September 6, 2005
  • RSS and iCal feeds added: December 12, 2005
  • E-mail newsletter launched: March 30, 2006
  • Newsletter reaches 1000 subscribers: March 13, 2007
  • Redesigned: August 28, 2007
  • Merged ArtCal and ArtCat: March 2009

Fritz Lang Quote

All decent people should run away from home. -- Fritz Lang, 1975

I heard this quote in a fascinating interview with Fritz Lang by William Friedkin last night, from the bonus disc to The Criterion Collection's excellent release of "M."

Gentrification, 1921 edition


Gentrification pushing out artists has a long history in New York. Via the New York Times:


A 1921 cartoon, courtesy of Duke University, shows a displaced artist walking past Vincent Pepe, an Italian-born real estate entrepreneur, and two rich clients in search of a Village home.

Nikhil Chopra at the New Museum

James and I visited the New Museum three times during Nikhil Chopra's performance. For more background, and images of the first day, see James's post. We had been told by the curator, Eungie Joo, that we should expect a rather surprising transformation on the last day, and we were not disappointed. Below are few of my photos of the last hours of the performance. When we met him afterward, the artist told us that he had insisted that the museum allow photography of his performance. After all, he said, "it's a visual medium" and that photography is one of the ways people in our contemporary world engage with and process images.

I felt dazed, as if I had just left a moving ritual in a temple in a strange land, as I walked out onto the Bowery that day.

There will be performances and lectures related to the project this weekend, starting tonight (Friday, November 13) at 7pm. James and I will definitely be there.


getting made up




3 images of his final pose, held for about 45 minutes


We missed this Jack the Ripper-esque costume. See it in action here.

A set of scattered thoughts on the New Museum's plans to show works from Dakis Joannou's collection selected by Jeff Koons.

  • Many people have argued online via blog posts or comments that the collection is so interesting that it doesn't matter what the ethics are in presenting it at the museum where Mr. Jouannou is a trustee.
  • I for one don't want to see some of the limited resources and spaces available to show art in this city devoted to a huge exhibition mostly composed of previously-market-validated living artists that we have all heard of already.
  • The New Museum and other museums receive public funding, to say nothing of the subsidies represented by the tax exemption of donations of art and money. The 990 for the New Museum for 2008 shows over $940,000 coming from government grants.
  • Because public funding is still a relatively small percentage of their operating budgets, museums and other non-profit cultural spaces must raise money from wealthy patrons, foundations, and other sources (which are subsidized through tax deductions or the non-profit status of foundations).
  • This is a country that has trouble convincing taxpayers that guaranteeing decent education and healthcare for all American children is something government should do. If that is considered a luxury in the USA, the use of tax-exempt art museums to show works (owned by wealthy collectors) by artists who have been successful in the commercial art market is a rather decadent use of public subsidies.
  • If the market is how we decide what works of art are important, then the market should find a way to cover the costs of presenting these works to the public. The curatorial, educational or scholarly mission of museums is tossed aside, and thus the rationale for providing subsidies, other than the tourism draw of such institutions, disappears.
  • Abandoning the assistance that non-profit institutions have provided to emerging artists, unknown artists, and artists whose work is not successful in the commercial art market will further undermine public support for any kind of funding for culture, which is already pretty shaky.

Sand Art about World War II Ukraine

Apparently, I'm quite behind for just now hearing about this. I'm impressed that Ukraine's Got Talent would have a performer who does Robin Rhode/William Kentridge-esque animation with sand about the Nazi invasion of her country.

Update: There is a FAQ for the video! Thanks, Marc Shifflett.


I'm glad the World Series is over so I can stop hearing about it. Here are some data points:

  • Estimated total cost of public subsidies to the Yankees for the new stadium: $1.8 billion.
  • The city turned over a Bronx park to the Yankees to build their new stadium in 2006, kicking out the kids who played there. They're now expecting it to be replaced in 2011. The high school that lost its playing field has been offered $37,500 by the Yankees to buy a bus so they can play their games in convenient locales such as Staten Island.
  • In May, New York City's Education Department announced a $405 million cut, an average of 4.9% per school.
  • School budget cuts are wiping out entire departments, with art classes and programs for at-risk students disappearing fastest, according to the Daily News.

[image via University of Nebraska Press]

This is a short excerpt, at a time when one can actually hear the sound coming from the cell phones. Visit the Performa site for more information.

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