This Week in Art News and Internet Eye Candy
Included in this installment: Obama fights conspiracy theory with humor, a photographer captures how NYC subway cars became plankton penthouses and an artist solicits voice mail messages to inspire works of art. Consider this post a short ride through the art world and internet. I’m your captain on the good ship Popten.
10. Immigrant advocacy may be the new oil painting. Artist Tania Bruguera has decided to spend one year living in Corona, Queens and is running an “advocacy group/art project.” I think the money quote from the NY Times article about her project is this: “‘She’s an artist? I didn’t know that,’ said J. P. Jimenez, a salesman at Metropolitan Lumber and Hardware on Roosevelt Avenue, opposite the storefront Ms. Bruguera opened last month. ‘I don’t see nobody going in with paintings.'”
9. Foul Mouthed Street Art:
Yesterday I got an email from BarackObama.org. In a response to Jerome Corsi’s new book Where is the Birth Certificate? and to poke a little fun at the Birthers, Obama’s campaign team came up with the above graphic design for a mug. You can all insert your own variation of a “No Tea Allowed in this Mug” disclaimer joke in the comment section below.
7. For the Rembrandt inside of all office workers: Post it note art.
6. Paddle8.com is a new website where visitors can view works and collectors can make purchases. The wrinkle is that influential cultural figures act as curators for the exhibitions of works that go on display. In the same way as visits to galleries and museums, didactic material is provided that puts the works in context and provides insight about a particular artist’s practices. Glenn O’Brien is the curator for the next show.
Devoted readers of my previous posts know that I am a big fan of public art. While I’m partial to NYC, Philadelphia has a ton of wonderful murals and a new interactive website has images of those murals and information about the stories they tell. My favorite is “The Heart of Baltimore Avenue” (featured above), by David Guinn. For this mural, you can zoom in on a particular person and hear a brief description of who they are in their own words. Here’s a link to the site: http://explorer.muralarts.org/
The folks over at Techcrunch.com have a story about a photographer who is claiming to have snapped the largest photo ever taken indoors. Although the writer of the article I link to below points out that it is actually 2,947 photos stitched together, the clarity of the detail is amazing. The photographer is Jeffrey Martin, founder of 360cities.net and the subject of the photo is in the Strahov Monastery, in Prague, Czech Republic. Video above, story here: 40 gigapixels of awesomeness
3. Dustin Grella is asking people to call him at the “Animation Hotline” and leave him a voicemail. He will then do a work of art based on your VM. The phone number is (212) – 683 – 2490. You can watch videos of his works, set to the recorded VM, on his website. The images plus the words make for a kind of visual poetry.
Lech Szporer and Matthew Blair undertook a project to synchronize a series of actions, within a specific time frame, on two different sides of the world. On the same day, while Szporer was in Rome and Blair was in New York, they both drank a cup of coffee and smoked a cigarette at the same time. What feels like the climax of the piece is when both men leap into two rivers. Szporer into the Tiber and Blair into the East. After that they each smashed a bottle and collected the shards of glass. Then they had another coffee. They showed this work at a gallery in Miami during Art Basel 2007. Included in the installation were recordings of rolling landscapes from trains Szporer rode in Tuscany and Blair rode in Brooklyn, the glass collected from the broken bottles, their Gmail conversation about the piece and the top recording above.
The second video features the same artists, doing another simultaneous project with Blair in Berlin and Szporer in New York. Blindfolded, they find their way through the streets of both cities, struggling at moments to find their way amongst the crowds, cars and bussle of each respective metropolis.
Stephen Mallon’s “Next Stop Atlantic” series showcases the disposal of old NYC subway cars in the Atlantic Ocean. Once they submerge and land on the ocean bottom, the subway cars became reefs for various creatures. According to a NY Times photo feature on them earlier this week, the practice is going to be discontinued because new subway cars have plastic parts that make the prep process too expensive. I wonder, do fish also gather around the doors and not push to the middle of the car? Because when people do that on the subway it really pisses me off.