Category: Miscellany

Miscellany. 11.04.13.

Fenomenología a las 7:30 p.m. (codiaeum varegatum) by Melissa Gallaga
Fenomenología a las 7:30 p.m., by Melissa Gallaga. (Image courtesy of the artist.)

**I gave a talk about Art and the Internet at Scripps College last week, and came up with this list of potentially helpful links.**

  • The street dogs of Juarez. Read. This. Story.
  • Germans recover more than 1500 modernist works of art looted by the Nazis. Whoa.
  • TED Talks are lying to you: deconstructing the creativity hype.
  • The corporatizing effects of SXSW: “For at least ten days, downtown Austin becomes privatized, a company town controlled by Miller Lite, Google, Doritos, AT&T, and Pepsi.”
  • A helpful tool for all those tech conference organizers that can never seem to find women speakers.
  • Tired of the tidal wave of high-testosterone dude art showing around New York? ARTnews has a handy guide to interesting lady shows. (To this I would add the Sophie Calle exhibit at Paula Cooper.)
  • The Paris Review has a wonderful piece about Cal Worthington and the L.A. experience he represented.
  • Writer Rebecca Solnit and curator Nato Thompson talk gentrification and the role of culture in cities.
  • A history of the artist statement.
  • Related: ArtSpeak, the guide.
  • Two Banksy pieces worth reading: Jerry Saltz’s critical rant, and Ben Davis on what the Banksy publicity-fest reveals about New York.
  • Museum I’m totally excited to visit: the one housed in Saddam’s former palace in Basra.
  • In other dictatorial architecture news: Apple’s hemorrhoid ring HQ has been approved by the Cupertino city council.
  • Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall turns 10.
  • Revisiting Peter Zumthor’s proposed LACMA scheme.
  • Interesting profile of David Adjaye in the New Yorker. (Subscription required.)
  • How to name a subdivision. This explains Orange County.
  • The Day in Art Merch: LAX Airport Socks. (Gizmodo.)
  • In praise of boredom.

Miscellany. 06.25.13.

Nail salon landscape
Nail salon landscape. (Photo by C-M.)

  • A woman responds to a very personal question from the Harvard GSD 52 years later. (With a nod to Denise Scott Brown.)
  • Plus: New York Magazine’s Justin Davidson has an interesting piece about couples that run architectural practices together — with a nice nod to my Denise Scott Brown Q&A in ARCHITECT.
  • The Le Corbusier show at MoMA is taking an unusual position on the architect: that Mr. Machine-for-Living was more inspired by nature than anyone would think. The critics do not seem to agree.
  • In related news: the MOCA New Sculpturalism show is a hot mess. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking a look.
  • Modernist masterpiece demolished in Fort Worth.
  • Why Roman concrete is so damn good. (@marklamster.)
  • Conserving ‘net art: On the work done on Douglas Davis’s pioneering piece The World’s First Collaborative Sentence.
  • An Xiao Mina on the meaning of memes.
  • If you haven’t made it to Venice for the Biennale, this is an excellent overview.
  • Speaking of which: Christian Viveros-Fauné dissects the intersection of art and the celebrity industrial complex.
  • Street artist Swoon has launched a prints site to help finance a hand-made, ceramic tile roof for a community center in Braddock, Penn.
  • Farhad Manjoo on why people online don’t read until the end. I’m not sure this is that different from print reading. When I worked at Time, it was pretty common knowledge that there was a whole category of reader who read only headlines and captions.
  • The tech industry’s aura of egalitarianism belies a reality that is very 1%.
  • What the L.A. Times is in for if the Koch brothers take it over. FRIGHTENING.
  • Great Art in Ugly Rooms.

Miscellany. 06.03.13.

Detail from the LAX Theme Restaurant (Pereira and Luckman)
A detail from the LAX Theme Building, by Pereira and Luckman. (Photo by C-M.)

  • Artist lists the Donald Judd house at 101 Spring Street on Airbnb.
  • READ: This insightful, well-reported piece by Kriston Capps on what the demise of the Hirshhorn Bubble and Richard Koshalek’s subsequent resignation signify for the state of contemporary art and architecture in our nation’s capital.
  • Tapes reveal that Cooper Union trustees considered shutting down the school altogether.
  • From the Department of Developments No One Was Expecting: Former L.A. MoCA curator Paul Schimmel has joined the gallery world — as a partner in Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel.
  • Aaaand Frank Gehry is back in MOCA’s New Sculpturalism show. This one is gonna be a squeaker.
  • A damn good dissection/dismembering of Léon Krier’s book about Hitler architect Albert Speer.
  • “‘Metal’ that seems to have been written by Yanni.” Brent Burket reviews Ai Weiwei’s heavy metal effort on Hyperallergic. YES.
  • This review really makes me want to see the Los Carpinteros exhibit at Sean Kelly.
  • Art in the wake of natural disaster: Rachel Wolff has a nice piece on the matter in ARTnews.
  • A tree map of Tompkins Square Park.

Miscellany. 05.21.13.

An installation view of the atrium at Gutai: Splendid Playground, at the Guggenheim.
Work (Water), an installation by Motonaga Sadamasa. Part of the exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground, at the Guggenheim in New York, which closed earlier this month. (Photo by C-M.)

  • Are Cooper Union’s finances fixable? Felix Salmon does some math.
  • MOCA’s New Sculpturalism show is back on track — but a lot of questions remain. My latest in ARCHITECT.
  • When is a Warhol authentic and when is it not? For the authentication committee at the Warhol Foundation, these are serious questions — with some significant legal ramifications.
  • A new book accuses Joseph Beuys of having close ties to Nazis. Draw your own conclusions — I’d need to read the book and see a more thorough explanation of the evidence before I make up my mind on this one.
  • Jack Goldstein, GIF artist?
  • Good read: Ben Davis on Jeff Koons.
  • Plus: Koons’ balloon consultant. Seriously. (Hyperallergic.)
  • Turning guns into art.
  • This piece by Deborah Solomon on WNYC is kind of cockamamie: “Critics have no doubts.” “They specialize in certitudes.” “Their prose is notoriously dense.” Seriously?
  • The Cedar Tavern is reborn as a waxing salon. (My own look back at the bar can be found here.)
  • NYU’s Fales Library has put all of David Wojnarowicz’s papers online.
  • Jörg Colberg’s photography blog, Conscientious, now has a new home. Update your feed readers with the new link!
  • Michal Chelbin’s portraits of juvenile prisoners in the Ukraine.
  • The Day in Art Merch: Laurel Nakadate skate decks.
  • Architect William Pereira’s Oscar-winning giant quid.
  • The U.S. government’s war against…apostrophes.
  • And many thanks to Boing Boing, Andrew Sullivan and Lawrence Lessig for linking to my ARTnews story about photography in museums!!!! Very excited to see this piece getting traction.

Miscellany. 05.14.13.

As He Remembered It, 2011, by Stephen Prina, at LACMA
An installation view of As He Remembered It, 2011, by Stephen Prina, at LACMA. On view through August 4. (Courtesy of Galerie Gisela Capitain and Petzel Gallery, New York.)

  • Must-read interview: Jaron Lanier on how the internet has destroyed the middle class.
  • Putting a visit to Noah Purifoy’s desert installations at the top of my SoCal bucket list.
  • From the Department of I Heart the Art Market: “It is hard to imagine a business more custom-made for money laundering, with million-dollar sales conducted in secrecy and with virtually no oversight.”
  • A proposal to redo LACMA — this time by Peter Zumthor. More here.
  • As someone who grew up going to LACMA (not to mention the Tar Pits), I have a deep nostalgia for the Pereira buildings — design warts and all. But I suppose their memory will always be preserved in Ed Ruscha’s Los Angeles County Museum on Fire.
  • Speaking of which, it sounds like MoMA is gonna think deeply about razing the Folk Art Museum before it razes it.
  • Countdown on the Hirshhorn bubble: Will the museum’s puffy turquoise pavilion really happen?
  • The first known painting of Southern California.
  • Flashback: Peter Plagens’ cranky-pants L.A. rant published in Artforum in 1972 is all kinds of epic. (Mercy, Christopher Hawthorne.)
  • Critical Theory Heads: The Pacific Northwest College of Art is looking for critical essays about stuff only 10 people care about. Winner takes home the Hannah Arendt prize and 5Gs. You’ve got ‘til the end of the month
  • Plus: Create a work of virtual public sculpture. And make money. (If you win.)

Miscellany. 03.24.13.

Gravity and Grace, 2010, by El Anatsui
Gravity and Grace, 2010, by El Anatsui. Currently on view as part of the artist’s solo exhibit Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui, at the Brooklyn Museum through August 4. (Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery. Photo by Andrew McAllister.)

  • Have something you need to get off your chest? Artists JEFF&GORDON want you to leave them a voice mail.
  • “It’s time to restore Marcel Duchamp’s urinal to the bathroom.” Randy Kennedy has a good piece in the NYT about art as a form of social service.
  • CultureGrrl picks apart how MOCA might be able to merge with LACMA. Needless to say, it would involve committees and a refund to Big Brother Broad.
  • I’m digging this L.A. Times series, in which artists discuss works they find interesting or influential in SoCal museums.
  • A site comprised entirely of Facebook comments.
  • The Accidental Audience: Brad Troemel has a thoughtful piece on the ways in which art is consumed, shared and regurgitated on the internet — sometimes unknowingly.
  • This new Art F City feature is something I can really get behind: understanding an artist through his/her stuff. First up is Paul Chan.
  • Peter Schjeldahl’s review of the Piero della Francesca exhibit at the Frick makes me really want to see the show.
  • Pete Brook’s “Pete’s New Friends” series. I love running into these on my Tumblr.
  • The urbanist philosophies of Batman versus Superman.
  • Totally late on this, but what the hey: Toyo Ito won the Pritzker Prize. And Architect magazine says, “Finally!”
  • An interesting essay in the Guardian about the myth of the American cowboy. Interestingly, a lot of the language and costume is derived from Mexican tradition.
  • Maureen Tkacik dismembers the Thought Leader class. Whoa.
  • There is an absolute stunner of a story by Jill Lepore in the New Yorker about the legal history behind the creation of the Guantanamo detainee camp. One of the first times that the notion of the unlawful combatant was employed in U.S. jurisprudence was in the 17th century, against Algonquian Indians trying to oust the British from New England. They were sent to the Caribbean and sold as slaves. (Subscription required.)
  • Journalism words to not live by, according to the Washington Post. Someone needs to come up with a list of these for art writers.
  • Book writer Edward Champion is trying to raise bucks to walk across the country. Help a blogger out!
  • The internet has had great giffitude this past week. Also here.

Miscellany. 03.11.13.

This is a video of me reading news about MOCA. Okay, maybe not. It’s really Marina Galperina in Eva and Franco Mattes‘s latest work Emily’s Video, from 2012, which gathers the reactions people have to watching the “worst video in the world.” (Get deets here and reax video here.)

LACMA Offers MOCA a Shotgun Wedding
LACMA has laid out a formal offer to take over L.A.’s troubled Museum of Contemporary Art. As part of the deal, LACMA would raise $100 million for MOCA and keep the museum independently housed in its two downtown buildings. KCRW has a very good convo about the whole deal with the L.A. Times’ Jori Finkel and art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp. Naturally, there is all manner of conjecture about what Big Brother Broad will have to say about a merger. William Poundstone says there are hints that he isn’t planning on going quietly into the night. So expect a few mushroom clouds out of downtown…

LACMA, not on fire.

The idea of a merger would have been considered heresy back in 2008 (Eric Garcetti hated the idea), but many folks in L.A. seem to be resigned to the notion of the County Museum taking over one of the premiere bastions of contemporary art in the United States — in the same way that you might feel resigned about having to resignedly take in some hot mess of a family member who, despite having every social, cultural and financial advantage, can’t seem to pull their shit together. Christopher Knight reports on why this is such a good deal for LACMA. And the NY Times has the obligatory follow-up. But you’ll find the best quotes in this L.A. Times story:

Charles E. Young, the former UCLA chancellor who was brought in by Broad as chief executive to help set MOCA back on sound footing at the start of 2009 — serving until Jeffrey Deitch became the museum’s director in mid-2010 — said “it’s a good question” why the MOCA board, which commands great personal wealth, can’t muster the will to keep the museum independent.

“There have been people brought on with the understanding they don’t have to do much,” Young said. “There are members of the board who are there for their names, I think, or who have some clout of some kind because they are major collectors or whatever, rather than people who have been, are, and will continue to be dedicated to making MOCA what it ought to be. But there’s a lot of unhappiness on the board. People are not willing to do things.”

Well said.

Certainly all of this goes back to the point that the people who got MOCA into this mess — aka, the board of trustees — are still in charge. And there probably isn’t gonna be any sort of change at that museum until they stop being in charge. (My earlier rant about that here.) So, congratulations MOCA Board, for your poor decision-making and paralyzed inaction. Obviously, LACMA isn’t gonna totally get rid of you guys (you’re all too rich and “important”), but let’s hope they find a way to vaporize all that toxicity.

Plus: Some Random Linkage

  • The best fucking Armory Week commentary I’ve ever seen. More here.
  • Literary gender disparity in pie charts. Gruesome and depressing.
  • In case you’re feeling the need to O.D. on animated GIFs.
  • Speaking of GIFs, here’s one of me hard at work.

Miscellany. 03.03.13.

Madawaska, Acadian Light-Heavy, Third Arrangement, 1940 by Marsden Hartley
Madawaska, Acadian Light-Heavy, Third Arrangement, 1940 by Marsden Hartley. Part of the Whitney Museum exhibit American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe. (Photo by Sheldan C. Collins. Courtesy of the Whitney Museum.)

***Please please please vote for my Richard Jackson story over at KCET so that it gets made into a video segment and I don’t suffer INTERNET SHAME on par with Denver the Dog. Voting ends ended on Monday evening morning. Never mind! I lost…  (Though you should totally watch the Denver the Dog video, which came to me courtesy of John Powers.)

  • When the Hitler art isn’t ironic: A staggering must-read from Jen Graves.
  • With a very thoughtful follow-up by Jillian Steinhauer.
  • Highest median student debt comes from…art schools.
  • Mid-size galleries being squeezed out of Chelsea spaces by rising rents. Which means Chelsea is about to become waaaaaaaay more boring.
  • So glad to hear that MoMA has acquired one of Senga Nengudi’s pantyhose pieces. ♥♥♥
  • A Tumblr art symposium.
  • To respond — or not — to bad reviews.
  • Kriston Capps has an interesting write-up on the Corcoran Gallery’s Pump Me Up show, which examines D.C. subcultures of the 1980s.
  • The complicated provenance of street art: a London town wants its Banksy back. More here. (Hyperallergic.)
  • A wonderful video from Art21 about Margaret Kilgallen’s heroines. WELL DONE.
  • A Kiowa Warrior’s sketchbook from 1877.
  • Trouble at El Museo. This bums me out.
  • If you’ve got some extra cash on you, Bob Hope’s John-Lautner-designed Palm Springs pad is for sale. It looks like a space ship and comes with a golf hole and impossibly green lawns. (@HawthorneLAT.)
  • The history of Pad Thai.
  • The artist as a chocolate bust.
  • At an alternative L.A. space: The art of food. So conceptual…
  • And speaking of conceptual: an excellent takedown of the form. Thank you, Portlandia.

*** PLUS: Congrats to Maggie and Chris for winning the Tony Smith T-shirts! And thanks to INCCA-North America for supplying them.