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Reporting from Washington DC. Checked out the newest addition to the Smithsonian's museums on the Mall: the National Museum of the American Indian. Dramatic yellow adobe modernist building with the obligatory giant atrium, nice for the architect's portfolio but hogging much of what could have been exhibit space. Some wonderful collections of objects such as a show of women's apparel with intricate beadwork and concentric rings of elks' teeth (only two of such teeth per elk, so the more rings the mightier the woman's husband's hunting prowess, according to the video).
Unfortunately most floors gave prominence to exhibition design over artwork, presenting crowded mazes of computer-generated text-and-photo spreads and interactive video terminals. Actual artifacts, darkly lit against darker backgrounds, tended to be swallowed up in these seas of typography. Other problems: vague and blandly worded themes ("our people," "our universes"), no clear timelines or sense of geography, avoidance of any kind of overall narrative history. Haven't researched the politics of how the museum came together and what kinds of compromises had to be made (either among tribal interests or to sidestep the U.S.'s sordid past of mass native American disenfranchisement), but the murkiness of the design seemed purposeful. Not to overlook the simple problem of "too many cooks" in the layout or the ever-ascendant tendency of designers to think they're artists and overwhelm the actual artwork on display.
Belatedly posted photos here
Documentation of my work in the "Fresh NY" show at Threshold Art Space
, Perth, Scotland. Eleven of the 22 screens are shown. Photos by exhibition curator Anne Barlow. The OptiDisc
GIF below is reduced; clicking on image shows the actual size (of the GIF--the screens are much larger).
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Currently making the Internet rounds: Hieronymous Bosch action figures
. Never warmed to the blow-up Munch scream for museum gift shops, but these are f*ckin funny. How many childhood hours did certain of us kids spend looking at those paintings? Their re-reification as toys was inevitable but not before this moment, somehow.
Update: These are not really action figures. They are art gift figurines from a company called Talaria
. The cheeky, inaccurate description comes from irresponsible bloggers and is being passed around by other online ne'er-do-wells desperate for an eyegrabbing tag line.
Will be traveling hither and yon for a few days so my BLOG
performance posts will be erratic. Some items are "queued up" waiting for me to hit the post button from wherever I am, and I may be doing some live blogging, but the post times may not always conform to gallery hours. Fascinating, I know. Right up there with drawing other artists' work in MSPaint.
Highly recommended if you can scarf it up:
Sun Ra and his Arkestra
Saturn CMIJ 78
Saturn Gemini CMIJ 78
Disco 3000 (incl. Space is the Place) (Ra)
Third Planet (Ra)
Friendly Galaxy (Ra)
Dance of the Cosmo-Aliens (Ra)
Ra--p, org, Crumar Mainman drum box, etc; Michael Ray--tp, voc; John Gilmore--ts, voc; Luqman Ali--d, voc. Italy, 1/78. Side B live. [Stahl and rlc]
A review found online by Paul C.:
Recorded in Italy in 1978 DISCO 3000 stands apart by being a quartet record as well as being from a brief period when Sun Ra was noodling [please, this is not noodling]
with the Crumar Mainman keyboard. Playing organ and Moog along with the Mainman's rickey-tickey pre-programmed beats [please, this is not rickey-tickey]
, DISCO 3000 has a sound unique in the Sun Ra catalog (not counting the equally rare contemporaneous releases MEDIA DREAM & SOUND MIRROR). With the Arkestra stripped down to just Ra, John Gilmore on sax, Michael Ray on electronically manipulated trumpet and drummer Luqman Ali DISCO 3000 gives the listener an excellent chance to hear some of these important sidemen step to the forefront and shine. This impossibly rare release from the Saturn catalog has just recently been resurrected in a small deluxe vinyl pressing from the Italian label Art Yard.
"Dance of the Cosmo-Aliens" is very Can-like--stunning.
mspaint-ified steve mumford
"Sacred Elephants" [mp3 removed]
This song has several variations: "Piano Three Hands" was the first. This is a Reaktor-ified version with fairly active percussion.
Update: Remixed and reposted