March 9, 2009

2009 Pulse; Plus New Beecroft at Deitch, and Eyebeam

More pics and vidis starting here.

I began the day at Art in General, where Sandra Skurvida gave a helpful and thought-provoking talk about the show she curated there, Custom Car Commandos (unfortunately now closed, and yes, tipping the hat to Kenneth Anger's Kustom Kar Kommandos showing at P.S. 1 through September 14, 2009). Angie Waller's piece was pretty hilarious, and I esp. liked Lars Mathison's.

I enjoyed the first piece I encountered at Pulse, by Eyebeam alum R. Luke DuBois; he'd made something like "tag clouds" for each of the U.S. Prez's based on their State of the Union speeches, laid out like eye exam charts. (Reminded me of a John Cheever Wapshot tale, in which a the protagonist plugs the complete works of Shakespeare into a program that spits out a list of words in order of most frequent use, which list itself turns out in the Bard's case to constitute a sonnet.) DuBois's results are evocative and sometimes ironic: Washington appealed to our higher selves as "Gentlemen"; Nixon's most-used word was "truly."

I really liked Airan Kang's "illuminated" books -- his and the Bliumis' works evince a trend I'll maybe call nostalgia for old media, including words; Gino Rupert's work; Michael Joaquin Grey's work (starting here); Li Wenqiang's work. And, fellow M.B. fans, don't miss Laurina Paperina's Joseph Kosuth versus Matthew Barney (Barney wins)!

One thing that sounded like a good idea but didn't really work in the setting was Pulse Play: curator Marina Fokidis invited various artists to select their own fave YouTube videos. While the list is appreciated and I hope to explore it, who's going to sit there and watch a faded projection during fair hours when they can see the same quality or better at 4 a.m. in the comfort of my own home.

Also at Pulse, ran into artist Fahamu Pecou (his work was being shown there by Lyons Wirr Ortt, NYC; I originally met him at his Dallas, TX gallery, Conduit) -- thanks for encouraging me to go to everything, Fahamu! Not that I need much pushing.

I left Pulse to catch the new Vanessa Beecroft performance/sculpture at Deitch Projects (see here).

Next, the MIXER performance(s) and party at Eyebeam; and as I go thru the pics and vidis (starting here), I'm pretty knocked out at the talent and effort that went into creating this event. Eyebeam has always been among the most worthwhile destinations for me, and a lot of people deserve a lot of credit.

Re- Mark Shepard: I had to include that vidi, which isn't much, but: he created the umbrellas as part of his project, called Hertzian Rain, and as I understand, the deal was, they were covered with a (radio?-) wave-resistant fabric, and waves were being transmitted from different points in the building, and as you walked around under an umbrella, depending the angle you held it and your location, different sources would come through or be cut out. For more on the performers and attractions, see here.

Eyebeam will welcome new residents 3-26 at 6PM; I will be there.

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