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The unifying themes of this blog and the artwork depicted here (mine and others') are stated on my main page. That statement was written in 2001 and has only been tweaked slightly since.
I believe any serious artist these days deals with information technology because that's what makes the world go round (at least till the fuel and food runs out and our society resembles New Orleans post-Katrina). The cult of "painting and sculpting" (and the collectors who support it to the tune of billions) is either about burying heads in the dirt or actively denying this prevalent reality through some imagined return to the medieval.
But tech art also has its cult--futuristic assumptions that drive advertising, design, and consumption. That's why the artwork is low-tech here and why mute molecular forms, synthetic cubism, and '80s-style computer graphics are constant themes--all are utopian forms where the bloom is off the flower (kind of like the DHARMA initiative).
Guthrie Lonergan has identified two types of artists using information tech--hackers and "defaults" artists. I'm in the latter camp, using programs pretty much as they were intended and in ways that "blend in" with the wider Web the way a Pop artist's work blended in with commercial culture. The underlying intent is still art, but doesn't announce itself in the language of academic conceptualism or overt geekspeak.
GIF artist unknown
Thanks to Paddy Johnson for the nice write-up of BLOG. The show at artMovingProjects is still ongoing--the gallery is open Thursdays through Sundays 1-6 if you want to read this in a "white cube" setting. I might even be able to come out from inside the pedestal and talk to you. (Recycled joke.) Now that the opening has passed I'm doing the exhibition remotely, from the studio. Kind of like "phoning it in" except it's harder work.
Student essays on JODI's current New York exhibition, from the vertexList blog. Efrain Calderon Jr.'s is especially thorough and helpful and does not read as if it were written at gunpoint. And here are some shots of the JODI opening, also from the vertexList blog. Looking forward to seeing the show this weekend.
A few months back a NY cyber art dealer made a comment here expressing regret that the dealer's space could not show JODI "because of the lack of support for this type of work." In fact, none of Manhattan's supposedly computer-specializing galleries stepped up, despite JODI's cred and long history as Dadaist hacker artists. Fortunately two galleries saw an opportunity: vertexList in Brooklyn and And/Or Gallery in Dallas, which are hosting simultaneous, feed-connected JODI shows. My understanding is that sales of unique and editioned works have been made at both venues, so, so much for that "lack of support."
Update: In the comments, VONA says, "JODI has shown at Pace and a big solo show at Eyebeam in the last few years. Itís somewhat of a distortion to imply, as I feel this post does, that they are locked outside a commercial art realm." My reply:
Eyebeam is a non-profit space--not sure how that show was in the commercial realm. As for the Pace exhibit--that's one group show, not much of a commitment. As discussed here, Pace seems to have flubbed that installation, projecting the wrong DVDs on a cross-shaped wooden construction built specifically for another video work.Update 2: Turns out the issue with VONA wasn't that I was distorting the record but that new media artists need to "forget" showing in Chelsea (still the key to wider art world recognition, last I heard--not a guarantee but the place that collectors, curators and writers tend to go to to see art) and I wasn't sufficiently respectful of this aspiration of VONA's.
Anyway, the point of this post is JODI's doing fine in the commercial realm, with galleries outside of Manhattan.
"Yarnstripe" by Petra Cortright.
Your government at work. This is an excerpt from a new book about Duke Cunningham, the recently convicted Republican Congressman from San Diego. (I assume it's this book--hat tip to mark)
...even [briber Brent] Wilkes drew a line on what he would do for the congressman. For one thing, Wilkes was totally disgusted by the hot tub Cunningham put on the boat's deck during the autumn and winter. What repelled Wilkes -- and others invited to the parties -- was both the water Cunningham put in the hot tub and the congressman's penchant for using it while naked, even if everybody else at the party was clothed. Cunningham used water siphoned directly from the polluted Potomac River and never changed it out during the season. "Wilkes thought it was unbelievably dirty and joked if you got in there it would leave a dark water line on your chest," said one person familiar with the parties. "The water was so gross that very few people were willing to get into the hot tub other than Duke and his paramour." That was a reference to Cunningham's most frequently seen girlfriend, a flight attendant who lived in Maryland.
One of these parties started at the Capital Grille with Cunningham ordering his usual filet mignon -- very well done -- with iceberg lettuce salad and White Oak. Wilkes used the dinner to update Cunningham on the appropriations he wanted. Cunningham then took the whole group back to the boat where they drank more wine, sitting on white leather sofas while Cunningham told more war stories. Cunningham then took his clothes off and invited all to join him in the polluted hot tub that was hidden from the neighbors by a white tarp. There were no takers.
Missed the Tarantino/Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse, which did so-so box office and now will be split into two films for non-U.S. distribution. The Tarantino segment "Death-Proof" has been selected for Cannes; Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" hasn't been. Salon (prob. subscription-only, sorry) reports on the "Death-Proof" press conference below. The producers have "restored" the film (or padded it out with cut footage, depending on how you see it) and are releasing it in France as "Boulevard de la mort."
Most strange and striking of all was the moment when [producer Harvey] Weinstein moved in to squelch all further discussion of "Grindhouse," and in the process seemed to deliver a slap-down to Kurt Russell. Most of the participants stayed on message most of the time, meaning that Tarantino insisted that the longer, "Boulevard of Death" version of the film is closer to his original intentions. Russell, who plays impressively evil Stuntman Mike, wasn't having it. "I'm sorry for people who won't get the 'Grindhouse' experience," he said. "That's what it was all about for me. So I prefer the shorter version. Now ['Death Proof' and 'Terror Planet'] are gonna go off and stand on their own, and hopefully you'll enjoy them. But in 20 years, you will want the full 'Grindhouse' experience, because there's nothing else like it."Update: Grindhouse is still playing in the theatre in NY (in Times Square of all places) so I checked it out this afternoon. The Tarantino burned brightly and intelligently (though 'twasn't enough premise for a full length, sorry, France), while Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" paid your standard loving tribute to zombie movies, with an increased disgusting gore quotient. Special effects man Tom Savini plays a small acting role in "PT"; his exploding body prosthetics ruined many an '80s film and Rodriguez has aped them and upped them in the present glopfest. Neither "Death-Proof" nor "PT" particularly evoked '70s grindhouse, aside from the scratched and grainy film stock. Tarantino's bit is a sui generis art movie--Hollywood/gender deconstruction via the theme of "muscle cars and the pros who drive them and go psycho"--and the Rodriguez mostly a subtextless homage to '80s slasher films, a genre still chugging along as late as the '90s (Tales of the Crypt: Demon Knight) and the '00s (the Scream franchise). 2002's Cabin Fever (directed by Eli Roth, who also has a bit part in "Death-Proof"), seemed more authentically '70s to me. In any case, everything about the Rodriguez felt familiar. The gore in the Tarantino happens quickly, doesn't linger, and disturbs infinitely more.
Weinstein held his peace at that moment, but a few minutes later, when another eastern European journalist asked why none of the fake trailers from "Grindhouse" are being shown with "Death Proof," he stepped up to the mike. "We had a great time with the whole 'Grindhouse' thing," he began, in the tones of a man not having any fun at all. "Now European audiences will get to see these new movies by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, and they'll enjoy them much more [than 'Grindhouse']. You'll see Robert Rodriguez making a true Robert Rodriguez movie, you'll see Quentin making a pure-essence Quentin movie. It's a completely different experience. They will dwarf 'Grindhouse,' trust me."