EXHIBITION REVIEW: CODING THE BODY - ORGANIZED BY LEAH BUECHLEY
GF: Coding The Body is a very small exhibition at apexart aiming to communicate the notion of integrating the body with technology, organized by Leah Buechley, founder of Lilypad Arduino (a small circuit board made especially for wearable technologies).
Upon entering, you will first see a wall with data visualizations extracted from the Nike Fuel band followed by a piece by Ben Fry called “Chromosome 21” (2002). The piece displays a part of genetic code from the chromosome 21, nicely illustrating the way bio technologies and genetic engineering serve as a vital building block towards this new era ahead of us. For true integration of technology with the body, nanotechnologies are essential, as this is the only way technology will be able to truly morph with the body. Next, you will see a piece that nicely leads into the aesthetic and expressionistic part of the exhibition, made by Nervous Systems - an apparel company that works with algorithmic designs inspired by organic systems.
Nervous System. Kinematics concept wearable, 2014.
Nervous System’s wearable is a great example of how 3D printing enabels novel aesthetic forms, taking a 3D scan of the wearers body and then creating pieces using a pre-written code to generate a design, giving fashion new interdisciplinary aspects. The exhibition also showcases an object made with FreeD, a software that translates physical sculpting into digital.
The aim of the exhibition according to the brochure seems to be creating a discourse between the digital and physical and the merging of these, questioning our comfort as these technologies get pushed towards posthumanism. As Leah Buechley states: “The cyborg is a popular imagining of the relationship between code and the body, of how people can and should relate to computers. Alluring and unsettling, this vision promises that we can be better than human: smarter, stronger, faster; but it leaves us suspicious that we will lose ourselves in the process—as parts of our bodies are gradually “augmented” or simply replaced by machines and software.”
The exhibition falls short in communicating this notion. Materiality, processes and function should have been amplified though storytelling. However the project is admirable and clearly much research has gone into it, reading the online material accompanying the exhibition gives the necessary insight in design and technology discourse to breach the subject of body and technology merging.
Photo: Courtesy Fabiola Einhorn!
5:51 pm • 14 April 2014
Two artists: a President and a Fuehrer
GA: So the verdict is George W. Bush’s paintings of world leaders were inspired by Google searches, further condemning the pretty terrible president’s now-officially hopeless intellect. Something about bad art and bad politics seems to go hand in hand. I can’t say I’m surprised that the only place showing Bush’s paintings is Dallas.
Bush’s awful painting, casually making international news in The Guardian
Not to say they’re quite the same, but Adolph Hitler was a failed artist as well. In fact, I think if he’d had an outlet like art school, he probably wouldn’t have let his crazy run a muck in prison pre-Holocaust, but who can say? Hitler’s artwork is clearly the product of an anal-retentive psycho. It’s so bad it’s good. #thewordsofanimportantartcritic
A 1912 painting by Hitler in the Daily Mail
Bush may be Googling, but Hilter’s painting is like a coloring book on acid. Look at how maniacally he colors in the lines…look how the vivid colors on such a tranquil, natural item look arguably ominous. Who paints flowers like this?
Maybe if Hitler had had an outlet like this for his crazy, the world would have been a better place.
Unfortunately, Putin doesn’t paint as far as I know, but look at these ridiculously accurate doppelgangers.
10:34 pm • 13 April 2014
Opens April 11:
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NYC
Brooklyn-based artist Swoon creates a site-specific installation in Brooklyn Museum’s rotunda gallery, transforming it into a fantastic landscape centering on a monumental sculptural tree with a constructed environment at its base, including sculpted boats and rafts, figurative prints and drawings, and cut paper foliage. Often inspired by contemporary and historical events, Swoon engages with climate change in the installation as a response to the catastrophic Hurricane Sandy that struck the Atlantic Coast in 2012, and Doggerland, a landmass that once connected Great Britain and Europe and that was destroyed by a tsunami 8,000 years ago.
photos from Swoon’s instagram.com/swoonhq
5:29 pm • 10 April 2014 • 1,030 notes
GY: I spent the early afternoon hanging out with artist Mary Valverde. I have admit I am a true fan of her work, so this will by no means be an unbiased commentary. Valverde’s work hints at performance acts that one can never fully re-experience and uncovers researched histories and traditions without mirroring dry artifacts. For example, the cooper often found in her sculptures hints to the protective properties some in Latin America have long believed the metal to have. The ephemeral qualities found in the majority of her soft materials, such as the yellow and red thread pictured above, and fleeting moments of the past subtly blend in her installations to create a meditative experience. Visit this work if you can. The show ends April 12th. More details below (taken from the official press release):
UNTITLED STUDY FOR AXIS
March 28th to April 12th 2014
Curated by Aisha Tandiwe Bell
Valverde’s work is driven by creative research. It is the chronicling, indexing and archiving of patterns, and the examining of ways in which they empower and adorn space, the body and the psyche. She is interested in systemic arrangements and collections of objects, sounds and textures manifested through the experience of music, materials and memories in the individual and in societies.
Thomas Hunter Project Room is located in the basement of the Thomas Hunter building on Lexington Ave. between 68th. and 69th Streets.
Visitors will need to get a “guest pass” from the main entrance (next to the enormous black cube) at Hunter College on the corner of 68th St. and Lexington Ave. You may then use any entrance to reach the Thomas Hunter Project Space, located in the basement of the Thomas Hunter Building.
5:26 pm • 10 April 2014 • 3 notes
"THE TENTH (@thetenthzine) is the first independently published project from Pink Rooster Studio as we are committed to doing work that is not only commercially and conceptually inventive, but also that which enriches communities. By successfully merging the visually engaging style of a magazine and the in-depth exploration of a scholarly journal though wide-ranging, mufti-disciplinary content in each issue, THE TENTH successfully captures and highlights the experiences and excellence of the black, gay community…."
GY: This is happening. More culture coming soon… Launch party tomorrow night!
11:58 am • 9 April 2014
Titus Kaphar - I Still Don’t Know How It Ended Like This, But It Began When One Of The Older Women Called Her Blackness Into Question (2007)
11:50 am • 9 April 2014 • 1,737 notes
GAM: DOESN’T THIS LOOK AWESOME? This Is Not A Toy curated by John Wee Tom and DX Associate Curator Sara Nickleson with Guest Curator Pharrell Williams, explores design and art objects made in a toy aesthetic. The name is derived from the disclaimer found on toy-like products manufactured for adults. Canada’s Design Museum Design Exchange (DX) promise a whimsical display of sculptures, figurines and art works ranging from a value of $2 to $2 million created by artists such as Takashi Murakami, KAWS, FriendsWithYou, Coarse, Huck Gee, and Frank Kozik. Many come from Pharrell’s private collection.
"Pharrell personifies this century’s renaissance man. His influence on music, fashion, design and contemporary art is profound," commented Shauna Levy, President of the DX. "From penning and performing 2013’s hottest songs to the furniture he designed for Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery, to his BBC/Ice Cream streetwear, he is truly ubiquitous. But it was his amorous relationship with urban vinyl and contemporary art that precipitated this collaboration with the DX… I am thrilled to host another first for the Design Exchange, Canada’s Design Museum."
Sounds amazing; investigating playful aspects of contemporary art, bridging the gap between art and design by displaying objects that adhere to and/or expand on the cultural signifier “toy.” Pharrell’s involvement makes the exhibition more complex by blurring the lines between or perhaps a juxtaposition of high-art and pop culture, it also fits in-line with the museums mission to ”draw broad public appeal and reflect contemporary popular culture.” I want to go to Toronto!
This Is Not A Toy at Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street, Toronto open through May 19th, 2013.
ps. Another cool toy exhibition Japan: Kingdom of Characters, currently on view at Östasiatiska in Stockholm through June 15th - produced by the Japan Society and has been touring for 2+ years. Apparently you can take your photo next to a larger than life Astroboy. Kawaiiii!!!
10:19 pm • 7 April 2014 • 5 notes
GY: I stopped by my ex-professor, Dona Nelson’s, opening last night at Thomas Erben gallery in Chelsea. The crowd was great and as always Nelson’s paintings offered an abundance of energy, layering and confrontation. Part sculpture, the work stands apart from the wall and forces viewers to walk around it. Equal detail is given to the front and back of each free standing piece. One painting had small holes that allowed viewers to look from one side to another. I found that brilliant and unexpected. (It doesn’t hurt that Ms Nelson is a fan of Operation Casuist… so I figured WHY NOT wear the ‘Wild Thang’ catsuit to her opening.) I’m a fan. Official Press release below.
April 3 – May 17, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, April 3, 6-8:30 pm
Thomas Erben is very excited to present a third solo exhibition by American painter Dona Nelson, a participant in the 2014 Whitney Biennial (on view until May 25). With an impressive group of newly produced, large scale works, Nelson once again confirms her position as a vibrant, tough, and visually and materially inventive artist – a continued influence in the discussion around current painting practices.
Dona Nelson’s work is rooted in the very fundamentals of what a painting is. Throughout her process, she lets the medium itself dictate the form, using its basic components: canvas, paint, stretcher. Working from both sides of the canvas, and often stretching and re-stretching it several times before deciding what is front or back, she stains, soaks and pours paint, sometimes forcing it through incisions or hosing down the canvas with water. The stretcher, equally affected, becomes an integral part of the painting/object, either adding another surface, or lingering as an imprint if the stretcher is removed. She articulates her works further with strips of fabric soaked in acrylic medium, and painted string poked through the canvas. Regarding the two-sidedness, Nelson says, “That’s the process I’ve found that works best for me, soaking paint through the canvas, using fluid acrylics and acrylic flow release. The painting on the back comes into existence without my seeing it. The backs are received paintings, like the back of March Hare is a completely received image, and the front is worked like crazy. I work with the painting gods. We drink together.”
6:35 pm • 4 April 2014
GY: Eerie photos of abandoned malls from buzzfeed.com. The photos are banal and beautiful all at once. But the descriptions are priceless. Example: “Crestwood Mall opened in 1956 and stayed open for more than 55 years. At one point, it had over 90 stores and 4 anchor stores. According to St. Louis Today, “Like many longtime indoor malls across the country, it is changing because of age, location, new ways of shopping, and increased competition from newer shopping centers and the Internet.” The mall was also inconvenient to get to because it wasn’t close to an interstate exit. In 2013, the mall was put up for sale, and if sold, will most likely be razed.”
To view more visit: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/completely-surreal-pictures-of-americas-abandoned-malls
12:31 pm • 3 April 2014
Video by conceptual artist Adrian Piper from her installation, Cornered (1988).
GY: An oldie but goodie… by my hero, Ms. A. Piper.
12:11 pm • 3 April 2014 • 310 notes
Book Review: The Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy, By Robert Scoble and Shel Israel
GF: With the global ad spend in 2013 adding up to about $503 billion dollars, it is difficult to argue against the impact advertising has on society and culture. We see it everywhere we go - marketers have for decades competed to get our six seconds of attention, but this is about to change according to Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, the veteran marketing journalists, as we enter the “age of context”.
Having worked in advertising myself as a digital strategist, many points brought up in this book and proposed as “new”, are in fact not new concepts. Ever since the first claimed advertising revolution in the 60’s, when agencies started to realize the importance of target audience research and hired account planners as cultural specialists, context has been increasingly emphasized. Many marketers today realize that you can only reach people when they are in the right mindset, and this is exactly what the age of context rightfully proposes. The difference now is that we finally have the smart technology to truly target people, and most importantly - they have adjusted to the thought of brands acting as mediators for things they truly desire. Brands have started to act more and more like people, and are trying to tailor their messages according to individual needs.
Google has been tracking your online behavior for quite a while now, and cookies are certainly not a new thing. The difference here is, as the book point out, that now people are part of the decision making when it comes to brand tracking - cookies operate behind the scenes, whilst apps ask you to sign an agreement (even though you might not be reading it). The key here is brand transparency, something that agencies have been working hard on the past decade. With the arrival of graph-based search engines such as Microsoft’s Satori and the less successful Facebook graph search, we are entering an age of contextual knowledge, where search queries are better understood as relational datasets. Scoble and Israel believe that Satori will overtake Google’s search engine because of this, and I agree that context here is the key for companies to thrive. Contextual data is the backbone in development of personalized digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, and with smart search engines as a hub for all this new technology on our smartphones, all we are missing is the human sensibility of understanding exactly when to push out a message to customers.
The book proposes five key technological pillars as the driving force behind this new contextual age: the internet of things is now finally taking place, using mobile as a hub, sensors to provide data and marketing plans that respect privacy to slowly shift our psychological stance from fearing brands to seeing how they benefit us. Pinpoint marketing will evolve to better understand our milieu, and profit will be mainly commission based. At least, that’s the way to go if brands want to start being our friends.
So what does all this mean for designers? Suddenly, we have a whole new set of products that act as a smart second skin, augmenting our sensors and tracking our every move. The emergence of wearable technologies allow for the entering of brands into our personal sphere, the question being will we allow this? I believe that this change will be more gradual than many might predict, as psychological changes especially when it comes to trust and privacy is slow. Brands will truly have to gain the trust of people again, and emphasize the benefits of sharing personal data with them. Google Glass is probably the first product with the potential to make this happen big, as users will soon be able to tell Glass for example that they are thirsty, and Glass will give you the nearby deals on drinks considering your personal taste and transportation vehicle. But even with this contextual data, providing customers with right-time experiences will be difficult. Even with pulse, muscle or galvanic skin response sensors, technology is not smart enough to accurately track your mood and emotion. The risk here is that brands will take advantage of the new mediums that are so close to your body in ways that annoy us, and it is up to the customers and designers to speak up and keep a two way dialogue to prevent this from happening.
3:48 pm • 1 April 2014
GAM: Just watched Party Monster (2003) a film about Michael Alig a co-founding member, along with James St. James, of the 80’s 90’s Club Kids’ movement in Manhattan (I watched it because I think Macauley Culkin is gorgeous). Alig emerged and took over the underground club scene as a promoter and organizer for outrageous drug-infused parties embracing misfits in elaborate outfits… Things eventually got out of hand and Alig and his friend murdered their drug-dealer Angel - Alig got 10-20 years in prison for manslaughter. Not only am I a big fan of Macauley Culkin (and Amanda Lepore who makes a cameo appereance) I also, as Alexandra put it am “fascinated by jail.” Even though the film was lousy it led me to some interesting reading -
James St James began transcribing and posting his phone calls with Alig in 2004 resulting in a series of twelve phone calls accessible online: Phone Call from a Felon.
Jonathan van Meter interviewed Michael Alig, in 2007 shortly before his release, for NYMAG. The juxtaposition of a felon in jail for manslaughter and a person in the arts with opinions, ideas and an interest for self-promotion is fascinating, or at least unusual.
A rehabilitated Michael Alig will be released May 5th, 2014. He apparently has a strong support system who will help him re-integrate into society. Great!
Off the top of my head, on the topic of art and murder, the minimalist artist Carl André comes to mind. André was trialed and acquitted for the 1985 death of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, also his wife, who had "somehow gone out the window" of their 34th floor apartment on Mercer street.
And perhaps less related but still intriguing Andra Ursuta based an exhibition of her work held at Venus Over Manhattan last year on Solitary Fitness, an exercise manual for small and/or confined spaces. Authored and conceived by English criminal Charles Bronson, referred to as the “most violent prisoner in Britain” in press.
Art permeates all &/or even geniuses make mistakes. Find your own at http://www.hotprisonpals.com/
Image: Filmstill from Party Monster, courtesy the w0rld w1de n€t.
12:39 am • 1 April 2014
P.S. I made this.
Gallerina Art Consultant, Events Coordinator, Writer & Tumblr Tycoon
Special thanks to Alessandra at The City Firm for setting up the design!!!!
Oldie but goodie…das me by the way
5:14 pm • 29 March 2014 • 2 notes
GAM: My editor cut lots of juicy bits out of my latest article for Art Observed, so dear (lucky) reader I suggest you read the unedited version here instead!
Stockholm Brad Kahlhamer: The Four Hairs at Andréhn-Schiptjenko
February 20 – March 29, 2014
The Four Hairs
Brad Kahlhamer (b. Tucson, Arizona 1956) received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently lives on New York City’s Lower East Side and works in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Kahlhamer invites viewers to access his unique understanding of his surroundings or perhaps, alternative reality through several mediums, ranging from painting and sculpture to video and music. His work springs from a personal place, an exploration of his own ethnic and cultural identity; he is born Native American and was adopted at a young age by a German-American family. His Native American heritage permeates his practice, not only through visual aspects like colors, patterns, symbols like headdresses but also the materiality of the works spiritual components, like his totem poles and models figured on Hopi and Zuni Katsina dolls. The Native American aesthetic is always juxtaposed with urban street culture and/or a distinct American aesthetic such as brand logos, American landscape or nature life, pop and rock-cultural references. Kahlhamer has a professional background as an art director for Topps Company; manufacturer of confectionary like “Push-pop” and “Bazooka” bubblegum as well as collectible games and trading cards, he has created album covers for indie rock-bands The Kills and Man Man and currently plays in a rock band. He often makes use of feathers and material he has found on the streets of New York in his work. With a nod to abstract expressionism, in terms of practice Kahlhamers splashy, colorful yet intricate and enticing work are vivid depictions of his American identity.
Please Pay Me so I Can Pay Them
The Four Hairs is the artists third solo show at Andréhn-Schiptjenko. The Stockholm gallery was founded in 1991 by Ciléne Andréhn and Marina Schiptjenko today it is well established and ranks high on the international arena present at several of the leading fairs such as; Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong, Zona Maco and The Armory Show. The gallery has successfully launched the careers of several Scandinavians artists, including Annika von Hauswolff, Tobias Bernstrup, Omid Delafrouz, Katarina Löfström and Cajsa von Zeipel the latter two had work on view this year in New York at Moving Image Art Fair and at their booth in The Armory Show and, introduced internationally acclaimed artists to the Scandinavian market, Uta Baarth, José León Cerillo, Siobhán Hapaska, Nandipha Mntambo, Tony Matelli to name a few.
Sarah dream catch
Topps Platinum dream
On view in the light flooded galleries at Andréhn-Schiptjenko are seven wall pieces on paper, one on bed sheet and a sculptural totem pole all framing the large scale mixed media wall piece The Four Hairs(2012), the core of the exhibition. The Four Hairs measuring 120x120 inches tells a transcendental fluid story of coming of age, sexuality and consumerism, the remaining pieces of the exhibition deal with the themes independently. Stages of authority throughout life are portrayed adults, guardians, cliques in school, employers, lovers, muses and perhaps the most difficult authority of all, the mind. The spirituality and vivacious character of the work makes it look effortless, however Kahlhamer’s use of different materials in the show ranging from gouache, ink, oil on paper and textiles is exquisite shifting from clear to bleeding lines and abstract to figurative forms. Kahlhamers studio in Bushwick is his work space and also a reflection of his artistry; he has a collection of taxidermy animals on display in a bookshelf and the creative process of his sculptural figures can be followed throughout the studio, his birds are at one stage placed outside the window for weathering. As in taxidermy the character or movement of an animal is captured Kahlhamer’s work captures a moment or an idea and vividly almost musically portrays it to the observer.
Brad Kahlhamer’s work has been accessible to a larger public during the past six months with two versions of “Bowery Nation” on view, at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and his gallery Jack Shainman, New York as well as work was on view in the booths of his New York and Stockholm galleries during The Armory Show. He was previously represented by Deitch Projects with a short stint at Horton Gallery. Very different from the exhibition at Andréhn-Schiptjenko “Bowery Nation” is the culmination of a long-term sculptural project, it is populated by one hundred foot-high figures that the artist has worked on since 1985 inspired by Hopi and Zuni Katsina dolls and twenty-two birds mostly made out of material found on New York’s Lower East Side. After seeing them in New York Holland Cottar of New York Times wrote “And the sculptures themselves convey mixed messages. No two alike, together they’re as vivaciously inventive as Calder’s “Circus.” But they’re also morbid, death-haunted, a circus risen from the grave.” Forthcoming he has a solo show at Jack Shainman and his work is included in Musée du Quai Branly, Paris exhibition The Art and Life of the Plains Indians which is scheduled to travel to Nelson Atkins Museums of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Brad Kahlhamer is the recipient of several prestigious awards including Joan Mitchell Award, Smithsonian Commission and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. His work has been collected by institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Four Hairs is open at Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm through March 29th, 2014.
IF YOU ARE IN NEW YORK AND WANT TO SEE SOME BRAD KAHLHAMER IRL Fort Gotham Girls+Boys Club runs March 28th- April 26th, 2014 at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea!
All images courtesy Andrèhn-Sciptjenko ;)
10:01 am • 29 March 2014