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Here's a sample of Bruce Sterling's annotation of Laurie Garrett's leaked email from Davos (thanks to gen kanai for this tidbit):
"Watching Bill Clinton address the conference while sitting in the hotel room of the President of Mozambique – we were viewing it on closed circuit TV – I got juicy blow-by-blow analysis of US foreign policy from a remarkably candid head of state. A day spent with Bill Gates turned out to be fascinating and fun. I found the CEO of Heineken hilarious, and George Soros proved quite earnest about confronting AIDS. Vicente Fox – who I had breakfast with – proved sexy and smart like a – well, a fox. David Stern (Chair of the NBA) ran up and gave me a hug." [You'll want to keep these touching human-interest stories in mind if you see these gentle, accomplished people dangling from street lanterns.]
"The world isn't run by a clever cabal. [Cabal yes, clever no.]
"It's run by about 5,000 bickering, sometimes charming, usually arrogant, mostly male people who are accustomed to living in either phenomenal wealth, or great personal power. A few have both. Many of them turn out to be remarkably naive – especially about science and technology. All of them are financially wise, though their ranks have thinned due to unwise tech-stock investing. [The ultra-rich: an endangered species.]
An ad with my drawings of the Shell girls appears on p. 104 of the March 2003 issue of The Wire, a UK-based avant/electronic music mag. (Its website is at www.thewire.co.uk.) I haven't heard the 7 inch yet. Donna Bailey is on the left and Marianne Nowottny is on the right. That particular issue of the magazine has a long cover profile on Faust, a great German group from the '70s, and an editorial by Rob Young excoriating Nick Hornby for some recent writing on music. I've never read Hornby (I did see About a Boy and kind of liked it) but I was irritated by the obtuse conservatism of his New York Times review of Jason Little's graphic novel Shutterbug Follies. From reading Young's editorial, it sounds like Hornby has lost his grip on the zeitgeist (if he ever had it) and success has turned him into another boring old fart. (I don't really care about any of this, I just wrote it so the text would wrap around the graphic.)
More in a continuing series on artist websites. With these three, spatial relations are key:
Charles Goldman is a poet of unobserved and what might be called Zenovian space--as in Zeno's Paradox of the arrow that never reaches its target because it's always covering half the distance. Replicas of all the stairs leading to the artist's apartment, a raised platform recreating in miniature the meandering path of a walk through the city, a single line caroming around within a painting's borders like the traffic cloverleaf from hell are a few examples of his spatiotemporal investigations. In 1000 Feet of Tin Foil, 2000 (below), he hammered that many square feet of standard foil into a perfect sphere measuring ten inches in diameter. I also like the slightly larger pictures and text on this gallery-produced page, even though it's not as elegant as his personal site.
Elise Ferguson draws and paints symmetrical, tiled patterns recalling parquet floors or 50s-ish linoleum, which spill over into three dimensional space in eccentric, unpredictable ways. Sitting flat, like laminates, or cut jigsaw fashion, the patterns are one of many rogue elements in installations merging the Rosalind Kraussian "sculpture in the expanded field" discourse with the irrational or de Chiricoesque. Groupings of cylinders, boxes, pedestals, and cast (carved?) tree stumps, often incongruously including replicas of simulated fruit, mediate among the interior, the exterior, and the psychological, in work that is craftsy, private, smart, and funny in a very dry way. Below is Installation View, 2001:
Alan Wiener's boxy sculptures of Hydrocal (or aquaresin) are fringed with organic-looking tabs, the runoff of plaster oozing through molds. Instead of trimming the tabs, Wiener uses them proactively, as joints holding the pieces together. In the untitled piece from 2002 below, receding rows of toothlike tabs devour the viewer's gaze whole. Wiener's website is good--see also his matter-of-fact photos of cinderblocks from around the world--but I wish it wasn't in Flash so I could save an image or two without having to use a capture utility. [Update: his page is no longer in Flash--the cinderblock photos are gone, though.] His Feature gallery page fortunately allowed this.
This is from the White House press briefing transcript from yesterday. Check it out now before it gets revised. The subject is Bush buying UN votes with trade and immigration concessions, so he can have his war. On the CSPAN videotape, you can clearly see and hear the normally deferential press corps burst into spontaneous laughter at Ari Fleischer's BS: "Think about the implications of what you're saying," he smugly tells a reporter. "You're saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable. And that is not an acceptable proposition." In the middle of the last sentence everyone in the room starts laughing. For a split second it looks like Fleischer thinks they're laughing with him; when he realizes they're not, he ends the briefing and marches out of the room with everyone still guffawing. This should happen more often.
(Thanks to cursor.org)
Q Ari, just to follow up on Mexico. Is it true that the administration is willing to give Mexico some sort of immigration agreements like amnesty or guest worker program, to assure the Mexican vote, as the French press is pointing out today and is quoting, actually, two different diplomats from the State Department?
MR. FLEISCHER: No, it's exactly as I indicated, that we have, on this issue, a matter of diplomacy and a matter of the merits. We ask each nation on the Security Council to weigh the merits and make a decision about war and peace. And if anybody thinks that there are nations like Mexico, whose vote could be bought on the basis of a trade issue or something else like that, I think you're giving -- doing grave injustice to the independence and the judgment of the leaders of other nations.
Q -- the French press is quoting actually two different diplomats from the United States State Department that -- they're highlighting that the United States is giving some sort of agreements or benefits to Colombia -- and other non-members of the Security Council --
MR. FLEISCHER: I haven't seen the story. And you already have the answer, about what this will be decided on. But think about the implications of what you're saying. You're saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable. And that is not an acceptable proposition. (Laughter.)
Daniel Wiener makes a new kind of Pop art, twisting the language of cartooning and toymaking into convoluted psychic landscapes. He got exhibited and written up quite a bit in the early to mid '90s, before the New York art world had one of its (not infrequent) mass attacks of stupidity and let him slip away from the scene. ("But it's sculpture!" I can hear the dealers whining, "It's hard to se-e-e-lll!") Check out his page here and see for yourself how unfair this was. Especially recommended are the Quicktime and Flash animations (e.g., Bluecraters), wherein Wiener's Sculpy and Hydrocal creations come to life, like a cross between Oskar Fischinger and Gumby cartoons. It's awe-inspiring work.
Whoops! Somehow I let the second anniversary of this weblog slip by--it was February 21. Thanks to Jim Bassett, the brains behind Digital Media Tree, and all the webloggers and posters on the Tree, for the feedback, tech advice, and good natured argument over the last 2 years. As I've mentioned before, I do seem to be one of the only artists in the New York art scene with a weblog, and I wish there were a few more of us. It would be nice to have discussions going on across pages, with pictures, rather than waiting to see if Artforum or the New York Times is going to say something (stuffy) on a particular subject.
There has been interest in this page outside of New York, I'm happy to say. I've had links, comments, and emails from Japan, England, Germany, Norway, and other places I'm sorry if I'm forgetting. Even if New York has limited interest in an internal cyber-conversation, I'm happy to be giving my biased translation of New York to the ouside world.
Since it's an anniversary, I offer a few of what I consider highlights from the past 48 months (most are actually since Nov. 2002, but whatever). The following pieces drew comments, public or private, or drew no comments but I'm still proud of them:
Review of One Hour Photo from an art world perspective, which started as a few notes the day after I saw the movie and ultimately jumped to its own page.
Review of Scott Hug's K48: Teenage Rebel: The Bedroom Show (and related posts discussing it in connection with Laura Parnes' Hollywood Inferno video).
While I'm retooling my response to Jim Lewis's Slate piece on William Eggleston, too-hastily posted a few days ago, I'm putting up a color photo I think we can safely say Eggleston didn't pave the way for, acceptance-of-color-wise or any other way.
LISELOT VAN DER HEIJDEN, "Road to Victory," 2003, color photoprint.
I missed van der Heijden's 1996 show at Momenta Art, which would have provided a context for this singularly strange image (though I kind of like the mystery of it). You can buy a raffle ticket and get a chance to win this gem at the gallery's annual benefit.
Knob Twiddlers 2, 2002, rotated 90 degrees
Machine I built and photographed many years ago, "sampled" for artwork at top.
Detail, Designers Republic CD cover for The Infiniti (aka Juan Atkins) Collection.