Do you want to be edified by insightful panels, screenings, talks and performances that illuminate the nature of collaboration? Do you want to rub shoulders with real live collaborative artists at dinners and actions? Of course you do. Check out the schedule and fill your calendar.
An action by Voina, who will be presenting at Congress of Collectives October 6 at Union Docs
The Creative Time Summit and subsequent Living As Form extravaganza, which is still unfolding and which you must make time for, have left me with so much to say that on Sunday I had a hard time nailing down any one thing to focus on. This morning my desk is all scraps of paper and my screen is a jumble of questions and notes to myself and I am still confused. Up early. Staring into space and wondering what I saw, and what I am to do with all this mental byproduct.
I want art to mess with me like this. I want to wrestle with art and I want it to infect me, so I consider this weekend a smashing success. I feel sufficiently art-ed upon.
And I am interested in how I acquired the feeling that art happened to me, because the biggest problems with social practice are ...
There’s a lot going on this week, beautiful people.
Tonight I’m looking forward to the first Public Art Fund Talk at the New School. Michael Sailstorfer will discuss sculpture’s ability to transcend physical form, and I’m looking forward to finding out what that means!
Friday belongs to the Creative Time Summit, and then the always astounding variety show at House of Yes! The last time I went, a guy swallowed a 3-foot balloon-animal balloon and never took it out. Seriously.
Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from the Last 20 Years
Saturday and Sunday Living As Form will be in full effect! I am looking particularly forward to Reflections on the Economy Inspired by an Elegant Toilet, not only because it contextualizes the economic crisis in terms of toilets but because they are going to serve economic-crisis-inspired food. I’m also thinking ...
There’s a funny conversation going on at Real Clear Arts right now about what constitutes radical art.
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti - Futurist Manifesto, published in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dell'Emilia, 1909
I’ll sidestep the nitty gritty because it’s terribly predictable. Judith Dobrzynski finds an artist asserting that he is radical because he’s making landscape paintings, and this unleashes a small flurry of art clichés ranging from the notion that avant garde art shocks because it’s really truly original, to the basic impossibility of learning art in school.
I know, it’s boring. But can anything be squeezed out of this ancient argument? Can it get us anywhere new? Just because this argument is old… does it necessarily follow that we shouldn’t have it?
I think arguments continue until everyone has reached a satisfied state, and there is no satisfaction here yet. The search for ...
Mel Chin, Revival Field
Her essay lays out a handful of projects, like Tania Bruguera's Immigrant Movement International and Rick Lowe's Project Row Houses in Houston, and a handful of protests like Walid Raad and Emily Jacir's actions against Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. And it winds up nowhere specific. Cembalest stays in description mode and never really forms an opinion beyond well, you know, artists have been activists for centuries and these are tough questions and nobody has a real answer.
This is both understandable and unfortunate. We are at an interesting moment that demands strong opinions! Art wants to be useful for specific reasons, and faces a unique kind of resistance. Can art be truly useful? If so, how?
I don't know ...
Il Sodoma - St. Sebastian
Apparently JM Coetzee said this, and it’s where Jonah Lehrer ends his essay about the way negative emotion heightens creativity.
Lehrer’s citing from a new paper in which subjects were given either positive stimulus in the form of a smile and a vertical nod, or negative stimulus—a frown and horizontal shake. After stimulus, subjects were asked to make a collage. When the collages were evaluated by professional artists, it turned out that the frown-and-shake crowd made more interesting and thoughtful work. Lehrer ties this to Steve Jobs’ capacity to deliver devastating criticism to employees, and suggests that the feeling of sadness improved the subjects’ ability to focus and made them more capable of persisting with a creative challenge.
This resonates on a number of levels, and presents a number of problems.
I come to my work as a practicing artist, and I’ll ...
Thinking about Jake Hanrahan’s misunderstanding of what art is and what it’s for has me thinking about what art is, and what it’s for.
Jozef Legrand - Hareng Saur
Even when art seeks to do good, its primary lever is its lawlessness—Its utter lack of utility. Art isn’t really for anything. Even activist-artists like Laurie Jo Reynolds, or an artist like Jozef Legrand who is working so explicitly with public space that his work is mostly outdoor furniture—they are both coming at their legislation, plazas and benches from this artistic vacuum in which you really can do whatever you want. Reynolds’ work grew out of using the inmates at Tamms as content for her own ideas about isolation. Legrand works with people so well because of his own obsessions with congregating and civic space. When he’s not consulting with local governments about how to ...