September 30, 2009

"'Reality' Show" Show

with work by Anna Krachey, Jill Pangallo (on that AVB page, click on her name in the column at left), Cecelia Phillips, Laura Turner, and Jamie Wentz; well worth the drive to Denton (TX).

Sharing a[n] . . . obsession for 'reality' TV, five artists come together for weekly watching parties and ultimately become their own . . . "Reality Show." . . . [T]he [artists] have [shared] tears and angst-ridden moments watching innumerable hours of television to bring you this multimedia exhibition. Their compulsion to not miss shows – with the athleticism and action on "So You Think You Can Dance," the drama and heartbreak of "The Bachelor," and jealousy-inspired backbiting of "The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search" – has led to this collection of 'reality' inspired artworks.
[Editing supplied.] Perhaps most interesting to me was Pangallo's Group Crit: The Pilot (2008), single-channel video, 30:14 min., in which the "reality"-show-watching artists play themselves giving themselves crits on works that are of course themselves virtualities. The "pilot" deploys cinematographic clichés typical of the reality genre and is sprinkled with such surreal remarks as one approving the "hand-made" quality of Krachey's Photoshop-collaged Bachelor Babies (2008). The video's a virtual (so to speak) hall of mirrors.

Through Oct. 14 in the galleries in TWU's Fine Arts Building (Denton, TX), thanks to Vance Wingate.

P.S.: If you'll be in Marfa, TX, Oct. 9-10, Pangallo's organizing a video show for Monofonus Press, to be shown at El Cosmico; check it out.

Guantanamo Allocation Center

In case you missed my earlier post on the subject, this is a project initiated by artist Christoph Faulhaber "dedicated to the question of relocating the remaining detainees . . . . GAC focuses on the global process of allocation and relocation, and aims to provide accommodations in Germany that offer a process of re-socialization by providing and furnishing a temporary, and eventual, final home."

The GAC website was recently updated; among other improvements, you can now donate by Paypal, here.

September 29, 2009

Beth Secor's Blog

on Glasstire is the opposite of what I think arts writing should be, except super-creative and funny; e.g., "[o]ne of my biggest frustrations about video is that you cannot pretend like you have paid attention to the work, like you can with other art forms." So like maybe it's satirizing arts writing and she really thinks the opposite of everything she says, so maybe she loves what she says she hates and vice versa? Have to read more to be sure.

Teenager Hamlet

directed by Margaux Williamson; I want to see it. More youth, almost naked, in nature if not caves (see previous post). Here's the trailer:

Ryan McGinley: Youth, Naked in Caves

An exhibition of new work is on view at Alison Jacques Gallery (London) through October 8; more on flavorwire.

What's Impt. Re- Marriage

Personally, I don't think it's what bits of flesh you've got between your legs.

But the ballet part – that's weird.

September 28, 2009

Cecil Jones

9 years old.

Healthcare Reform

Merchandise (not mine) here.

Related only topically: Michael Moore on Twitter: “CBS has cancelled me on its Mon. morning show. After I criticized ABC/Disney on GMA, they didn’t want me to do same to CBS.”

Moore was on ABC’s Good Morning America last week and called out ABC’s practice of hiring “permalancers.” Here’s what Moore said, on the air:

“People backstage here — they don’t get to be real employees here [, so] they don’t get the benefits . . . I said ‘Guy, I was here two years ago, you were a freelancer, what are you doing here?’ — right backstage here at ABC — he said, ‘We call ourselves permalancers now.’ They don’t get to share in just the basic benefits that an employee used to have who worked here. . . .”

More here.

September 17, 2009

If you or a friend has a website, go here and paste the URL in.

"The Mountain"

by Jill Foley, at Conduit. For more visuals, go here.

I didn't necessarily expect to like this work but was quickly won over. Foley's put a lot into creating a cardboard cave that (1) serves as her workspace for the duration (her cardboard-encased computer's installed there, among other things, along with her work table and supplies), (2) showcases her other work, and (3) accommodates weekly happenings in which the public is invited to participate.* Think Pee Wee's Playhouse meets Lascaux, only cozier and more participatory {though Pee Wee's was relatively participatory, for tv: SCREAM REAL LOUD!!!}.

The pic at left shows the cave (through one of its several entrances) in preparation for Poetry Slam Night, at which Foley emcee'd while wearing the giant puppet/costume shown resting behind the speakers (click on the image for a larger version).

*The remaining happenings are:

Thursday, Sept. 24, 6:30-8:30, Yet to Be Named Night: Piñatas, games, craft table for participants, and performances by DJ Low Rez &
DJ Coogie

Thursday, Oct. 1, 6:30-8:30, Holiday Night: ALL holidays will be celebrated in one night.

The exhibition continues through Oct. 10.

More Fun

(Published in 2006.) Available at amazon together with "Dow, 30,000 by 2008", Why It's Different this Time for only $36.60.

Congress to End Poverty by Requiring All Americans to Become Wealthy or Face Fines

Hey, if it works for healthcare reform . . . . (re- Senator Baucus's "reform" bill; see Howard Dean's take here). (Thanks, "unblock"!)

Transitory Art in Seattle

In Seattle, a block of cool old buildings were slated for demolition in order to make room for a new light rail station, and the tenants had to be out six mos. before demolition began. Artists were invited to fill the storefronts during the interim, so the block wouldn't become a "dead zone."

More details at seattlepi (thanks, Dan!).

September 15, 2009

KittyWigs the Book

Finally, the serious portraiture cats so richly deserve.

Text by my friend Julie Jackson, creator of Subversive Cross Stitch and Kitty Wigs, with photos by Jill Johnson. Available at amazon; more info at

UPDATE: Glamourpuss has made Nylon, the cover of Publisher's Weekly, and The Dallas Observer's "Best of Dallas."

September 14, 2009

The Architecture of the Rachofsky House

This last weekend, I attended two lectures on architecture at the Rachofsky House. The house was between exhibitions, with no art installed inside; so the house itself was the "star."

The first lecture, by Director Allan Schwartzman, was on how architects for art institutions sometimes seem to be trying, perhaps unconsciously, to upstage the art. The second lecture was by Thomas Phifer, who designed the Rachofsky House while with Richard Meier's group, concerning the house and some projects he's worked on since. (Unfortunately, I had to miss Charissa Terranova's talk on "The Utopian Drives of Conceptual Architecture: Avant-Garde Architecture in the 1960s and Architectural Theory.")

I enjoyed the talks I saw very much. Schwartzman discussed various aspects of the house and collecting for it, such as the fact that there are no large interior walls for larger art works with views from an adequate distance that aren't impinged upon by various disjunctions, pillars, ceilings, railings, etc., and he also discussed other art institutional buildings that "don't want" art.

There's no shortage of large walls outside, however.

Once you get past the initial wall that greets you as you pull into the driveway, you're confronted with the nearly-solid wall of the front of the house. Phifer compared it to the facade of a Venetian palace and made reference to a separation between public and private space. I'll grant that; it's also shaped like an elongated ping-pong paddle, with rather few, relatively small chinks. It does not invite me in – indeed, without a greeter, one might have trouble finding the door. Rather, it bounces me back across an unusually large, flat, green lawn, divided into quadrants by Robert Irwin's brilliant land art installation. (No one mentioned the resemblance of the property to a game of table tennis.)

In back of the house, another prominent wall abuts a long staircase from the second floor to the back yard garden. If you're on the staircase, the wall segregates you from both the garden and the largest gathering space within the house, grouping you instead with not much besides the tallest hedge I've ever seen (another wall).

I understand Mr. Rachofsky originally planned to reside in the house even while it also served as a public building; the concern Phifer mentioned to separate public and private spaces may well have given rise to these walls.

One part of the house that feels surprisingly welcoming for both art and people is the glass-encased, north-side landing half-way between the first and second floor. Interestingly, although the visual chosen for the Rachofsky House info page on the house itself shows the ping-pong table view, the visual for the House as an art institution foregrounds this northern landing (here).

UPDATE: Additional details and thoughts about these talks are set out in the comments to this post.

Sadie Benning's "Play Pause" at the Images Fest

at the Power Plant, Toronto – wish I could see this!

More on Sadie Benning's work at Video Data Bank.

"Blueprint" at The M.A.C.

(in Dallas), curated by James Cope of the Goss-Michael Foundation, the show includes work by Brian Fridge, Amy Revier, Ted Setina, and Paul Slocum.

For Slocum's triptych, Skiing cat, Heathcliff, Garfield (2009), he appropriated an image of the cat and cleaned up the resolution, then created two more rather eery, Garfield-ish images, including the one at right. Also included in the show is Slocum's One frame of a GIF animation printed and hung above a video projection of the same animation scaled to approximately 66%, which is well worth seeing in the flesh. Slocum is represented by Dunn and Brown Contemporary.

Setina's most impressive piece, Concentrations # 2:DOPP[L(E)(L)REFLE[X(CT)ION] (2009), involves a video projected onto a free-standing, frosted glass screen mounted on a low white pedestal (note: a related piece has a similar title, punctuated slightly differently; the foregoing title is as shown on the List of Works available at The M.A.C.) In the video, a life-size Setina, wearing a white space suit, is on his hands and knees – which seem to rest directly on the white pedestal – and he appears to be vomiting. On the pedestal beneath Setina's head is a one half of a large, dark red pool – on the side of the screen away from the projector and toward center of the room; the half of the pool that should be on the other side of the screen is missing. (The image is a documentation photo shot during the filming of the video.)

There's a lot to think about re- these and other works in the show, so check it out; through Sat., Oct. 10. More info at The M.A.C.'s site.

September 12, 2009

Rome to Be Re-Built in a Day

at the Arthouse in Austin, TX, and you're invited to help; starting Friday, Sept. 25 at midnite. From the ArtHouse website:

A durational, participatory model-building extravaganza and dynamic history lesson, The 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project is a recreation of the ancient capital city in historical order. Over the course of 24 hours, more than a millennium of Roman history is brought to life. . . . [the project] unfolds at approximately 1.238 years per minute, beginning at midnight with the building of Romulus and Remus’ huts in 753 B.C.E. and ending 24 hours later as Alaric and the Visigoths sack the mini-empire in 410 C.E. The city’s rise and fall takes place within Arthouse’s walls, under the direction of Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn, and with the help of diverse Austin community collaborators and energetic volunteers. The giddy, almost manic progress is photographed and recorded as night becomes day and day becomes night. The city is constructed from salvaged building materials, like wood and cardboard, while special guests enact climatic moments of Roman history. Musical performances, poetry readings, scholarly lectures, architectural tours, hands-on workshops, athletic competitions and feasts are among the many planned events and activities that breathe life into the ancient historical record. In a spectacularly delirious finale, the kingdom is trampled and destroyed by a once constructive and now bloodthirsty team.

The 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project epitomizes Glynn’s persistent use of classical antiquity to refract truths about contemporary society. The artist initiated what became months of intensive research for this project as a response to the re-building of post-Katrina New Orleans and war-ravaged Iraq, in which contexts the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is often cited. Rome’s political and military history is, of course, inscribed into its architecture, making this project more than an investigation of streets and buildings; Glynn is touring us through the life and death of a world and a people.

The 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project was presented in 2008 . . . at Machine Project, an alternative space in Los Angeles and in the recent exhibition, "The Generational: Younger than Jesus," at the New Museum, New York. Glynn’s iteration of the project at Arthouse has been customized and “Texas-sized”—that is, conceived on a much larger scale and augmented with many additional activities. . . .

Sounds cool; more at the link above.

September 10, 2009

World's Stocks Controlled by Few

A pair of physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich did a physics-based analysis of the world economy as it looked in early 2007. Stefano Battiston and James Glattfelder extracted the information from the tangled yarn that links 24,877 stocks and 106,141 shareholding entities in 48 countries, revealing what they called the "backbone" of each country's financial market. These backbones represented the owners of 80 percent of a country's market capital, yet consisted of remarkably few shareholders.

"You start off with these huge national networks that are really big, quite dense," Glattfelder said. “From that you're able to . . . unveil the important structure in this original big network. You then realize most of the network isn't at all important."

The most pared-down backbones exist in Anglo-Saxon countries, including the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. Paradoxically; these same countries are considered by economists to have the most widely-held stocks in the world, with ownership of companies tending to be spread out among many investors. But while each American company may link to many owners, Glattfelder and Battiston's analysis found that the owners varied little from stock to stock, meaning that comparatively few hands are holding the reins of the entire market.

More at

Vitreous Viruses

by Luke Jerram. The sculptures will be exhibited at The Smithfield Gallery, London, Sept. 21 - Oct. 3. More info at the artist's site.

Jerram also has an interesting-sounding book coming out soon, Art in Mind.

The sculptures remind me of Texas artist Jen Rose's STD Glasses (2004) – drinking glasses with portraits of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Herpes microbes etched on them.

Re- Facebook

Great article at ReadWriteWeb, "What Facebook Quizzes Know About You":

"[M]illions of Facebook users taking quizzes are revealing far more personal information to application developers than they are aware of. . . . whether or not your profile is set to 'private.' Even worse, the ACLU reports that even if you shun quizzes yourself, your profile info is revealed when one of your friends takes a quiz. Want to see how bad the problem is? Just take the ACLU's Facebook Quiz and prepare to be shocked."
(Emphasis supplied.) "Application developers" means, of course, anyone who develops quiz or other application for use on FB, including various Big Bros. and, potentially, crooks.
"[U]sers can limit how much information applications (including friends' applications) can see by tweaking their privacy settings. . . . To do this yourself, go to Settings -> Privacy Settings -> Applications [-> Settings]. From there, you can uncheck the boxes next to the items which you don't want apps to have access to."
Note: if you've ever taken any FB quizzes or used any other apps, you'll need first to go to the Applications page and uncheck all the applications with x's across from them (which are still authorized to share all your info).

From a friend who teaches

"My student was showing us his tattoos. He has his mother's name on each arm – first name on left, last name on right. I said, 'Oh, how sweet! Why did you get your mother's name on your arms?' He said – completely deadpan – 'That's the only way she'd let me get a tattoo.'"

(Thanks, Deb!)

September 9, 2009

Why We REALLY Need the Public Option

As you know, the rationale is that the public option would give private insurers competition.

Opponents of the public option say, we can achieve our goals by passing laws prohibiting private insurers from cherry-picking insureds, excluding pre-existing conditions, etc.

(Of course, if we don't include a public option, we'll also have to regulate premiums. Otherwise, private insurers will have no incentive to keep costs down – including excessive executive pay and costs due to inefficiency or fraud – and they'll just pass those costs on to us and our employers. But of course, opponents' real plan is to try defeat any meaningful regulation – i.e., to avoid any meaningful restrictions on premiums, any requirement of universal coverage unless fully subsidized by taxpayers, etc.)

What I have yet to hear mentioned is that, if we just pass a lot of new prohibitions and requirements for the insurance industry without creating a public option, we'll also need to create a substantial new regulatory apparatus to make sure the insurers comply with the new rules. And we'll all have to stay on our toes to make sure that Congress continues to fund that agency at adequate levels.

The SEC was once known as one of the most effective regulatory agencies in government. Then it was defunded to the point that it simply lacked the manpower and resources to properly perform its responsibilities. Voilà Madoff and many other disasters.

Having a public option means we won't need a new regulatory apparatus to keep watch over private insurers' every move. Instead, insurers will be inherently incentivized to create and sell insurance products that match or better the public option.

We've been told for decades that private companies are more efficient than government. I'm sure that if the real costs of a public option turn out to exceed those for private insurance, the private insurers will let us all know about it.

(And I'm sure that if the healthcare provided by the public option turns out to be as terrible as they say, private insurers won't have any trouble selling us their whole or supplemental policies.)

September 7, 2009

Who Moved My Cheese?

Per Bloomberg, the vaults of an Italian bank contain 17,000 tons of parmesan cheese, held as collateral for loans to cheesemakers. "So precious is the cheese that each 80-pound wheel, worth about 300 euros, is branded with a serial number so it can be traced if it is stolen."

But "[t]hieves tunneled into one warehouse in February and made off with 570 pieces . . . . 'Thank heavens we caught the robbers before they grated it,'" said the vault manager.

Or ate the serial numbers. More at the link.

September 6, 2009

New Work from Eteam

What can you learn about a society from what it throws away? These and other questions are explored by eteam's new video, PRIM LIMIT, which follows what happened after the artists opened Second Life Dumpster (more here and here) – what items were dumped there, who hung out there, how the Dumpster fit in with its virtual surroundings, etc. You can see a low-res version of the video here.

Eteam also has another new piece I like a lot, Truth in Transit; you can see that and more of their work here.

(Both images are from PRIM LIMIT; click on them for larger versions.)

September 5, 2009

Feud Between Hirst & Teen Artist Escalates Over Pencils?

Per the UK Telegraph and The Independent, the pencils, from Hirst's Pharmacy installation, are allegedly worth £500,000 and were kidnapped by the teen, Cartrain, as part of an effort to obtain the return of the teen's artworks, collages that included images of Hirst's For the Love of God.

According to The Independent, "Hirst reported [Cartrain] to the Design and Artists Copyright Society and a string of legal letters were sent to [his] art dealer, Tom Cuthbert, at, about the teenager's pieces, also called For the Love of God. The online gallery surrendered them to Hirst with a verbal apology." [Emphasis supplied.]

As of this writing, however, is still offering several of the offending collages for sale; in fact, in its description of the piece at left, the dealer provides a link to an earlier article in The Independent concerning Hirst's supposed objections to the work.

UPDATE: The New York Times reports that Cartrain and his father have been arrested.

Airan Kang's Shakespeare

At Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, along with other desirable items. As Blake wrote, I want!

September 4, 2009

The 22nd Annual Dallas Video Festival

Save the dates! Thurs. - Sun., November 5 - 8. (If you're not familiar with the Fest, see my previous posts here, here, and here.)

(There will be no The Program in 2009, but as usual, the regular Festival will include some video art.)

September 3, 2009


(Thanks, Ben!)

FundRager for Flux Factory

If you're in NYC, do this! I would if I were there. (Or, consider sending a check.)

9/11, 9 pm - late
RSVP for location at
password: LifeRaft

Come play on a boat with the best arts collective in Long Island City. We're taking over a 140-foot, 3-story, now-legendary boat docked deep in industrial Bushwick with two dance floors, a band stage, decorations in collaboration with Rubulad, and tons of fun until sunrise. This is a FundRager for the construction of Flux Factory’s new space, complete with a gallery, artist-in-residency program, and communal production facilities.

DJ's: 2melo, Atom C., Cathy, Cobra Krames, Comrade, Eamon Harkin, Justin Carter, Geko Jones, Shred, Tinseltown, and Tubby Lamborghini

Bands: ALIENS!, Brandstifter Live from the Ironing Board, Les Heures, Manburger Surgical, Miwa Gemini, Nopresha, Panonian Wave, Radio Wonderland, SK Orchestra, Womb Sharks, White Limo, and Zebu

Performers: Cock Tales, The Committee for the Spacio-Coporeality of Encounter, Computer Spoken Intercourse, Dennis Kyros Magician, Gay KK, Lázaro Valiente, Neverforgettable Memories, Pearl Harbor: Our Weapon is Love, The Port-A-Potty Deluxe No Standing Anytime Service Station (PPDNSASS), and SURPRISE!!!

Uncategorizable: A Boat Invasion by La Collette, Campfire Stories, Color Me Crazy with Last Up Larry, Heather via teleconference, It's Only Temporary, The Kissing Kiosk, light installations by Julius Schmiedel, live screenprinting by Gabe + Jolie, Minor Treat Baked Goods, projections and potentially non-vegetarian popcorn by Annie Reichert, projections by Ted Lee, and tarot by Courtney Weber.

With special surprise guests!