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Aya T. Kanai, "Polaroids Tokyo/NYC," 2004, spectra polaroid photos, from "The Infinite Fill Show." Web layout (rephotography, slight cropping of installation views) by Tom Moody.
Just walked past Madison Square Garden, and they're getting it all spruced up for the big übermenschen rally later this month. The place is already swarming with cops, and construction crews are building a big pedestrian skyway/habitrail thing arching over 8th Avenue, which will presumably allow bigwigs to go back and forth from the Garden to the old Post Office building across the street (some kind of temporary VIP headquarters?), without mingling with the hoi polloi. Incredibly intrusive and ugly, the skychute is a windowless, blue-painted wood and metal structure raised up on temporary girders, with the logo of a stars-and-stripes bedecked Empire State Building and "2004" emblazoned on the side. No Republican-specific signage yet, but I couldn't help but laugh at the several-stories-high banners currently on the sides of the Garden, featuring pictures of nasty, chitinous monsters and the inscription "Alien vs Predator: Whoever Wins, We Lose."
Still more thoughts on Infinite Fill. The so-called Bedroom shows Roberta Smith talks about in her review--she mentions Dearraindrop but Scott Hug's and Daniel Reich's shows also come to mind1--are mainly of sociological interest (collectives arise to challenge the hegemony of the individual genius, only to eventually be beaten down by the art world's need to market solo work--my cynical prediction), and backward-looking to the extent that they stand for some "rejuvenation of painting" discourse. The Providence collectives didn't invent the "colorful room full of manic cartoon imagery"--arguably that was Kenny Scharf's contribution to art...20 years ago. Whereas there is something larger at stake in IF, which is the merger of so-called new media art with traditional gallery exhibition practice. If art is to avoid shriveling into some finicky "cult of the hand," it's going to have to reconcile itself to technology, and eventually something interesting will emerge from what they used to call the "dialectic" between the two arenas. In Infinite Fill, the monochrome grid is the level playing field where the two opposed forces meet, intuitively connecting Sol LeWitt, needlepoint, and video games in an easy to read, "anyone can play" matrix. Also, as Sally McKay suggests in the comments to a previous post, "Infinite Fill" is a pun--it's about a computer filling up space and artists filling up a room with work. So far, none of the Bedroom Gang has come up with anything that elegant or concise, theory-wise.
1. I would exclude Paper Rad here, since their Foxy Production show was fairly tightly organized, with different walls devoted to different themes. I missed the Dearraindrop extravaganza at Deitch but friends said it wasn't so good--too much wall space to fill with manic creative activity. I did see their previous floor to ceiling effort at John Connelly, and like most people thought Billy Grant's video was the best part. You don't need a Soho barn for that, though--just a TV!
Cody Trepte, Why Are Numbers So Comfortable? (detail), cross stitch binary, 2004, from "The Infinite Fill Show".
Belatedly noticed that this image should be rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise. I don't know if it's the installation or my photo that got it wrong.
You're probably thinking "Those folks at preReview have packed it in. They had their little joke of reviewing movies they hadn't seen and getting written up in Time Out and being cool site of the day and now I'll bet they're dormant." Well, if that's what you're thinking, you are very wrong. The urge to preReview is a deep, abiding and very human hunger that never really goes away--just ask an agnostic what he or she thinks of Mel Gibson's Jesus movie, Rush Limbaugh what he thinks of Fahrenheit 9/11, or George Bush what he thinks of the Taguba report. Anyway, check out the new "point/counterpoint" on Breakfast at Tiffany's, which neither Joe McKay nor I have ever seen, and while you're there, peruse the cogent, uninfomed thoughts on Collateral ("Tom Cruise can no longer move the bottom half of his face"), King Kong ("The big secret of Peter Jackson's upcoming Kong remake is that he's gone 'high concept.' Instead of the CGI spectacular we're all dreading it's going to be a shot-for-shot remake of the 1933 original, a la Gus Van Sant's Psycho"), and The Village ("I had to watch the director's interview on the [Sixth Sense] bonus dvd. What a pretentious bastard. He's like, 'I used red to symbolize death...' and says this like he's Godard or something.")
Before MacPaint incorporated black & white, so-called infinite fill patterns into home computer graphics, most already existed and were used by design firms, newspaper paste-up departments, and cartoonists for shading camera-ready art. Manufactured as adhesive sheets, they were (and still are by some) cut out with X-acto knives and mounted on illustration board. Zipatone was the company cartoonists swore by; it's now defunct but Letraset has a mind-boggling array of fill patterns viewable (and/or downloadable) online.
Transfer Graphics - Letratone (physical media - comes printed on sheets of adhesive film) Textures & Tones - Single Downloads
Excerpt from today's Daily Howler:
YOU’LL SEE IT [IN THE HOWLER] AND NOWHERE ELSE: “By any measure of his votes,” [Tucker] Carlson said [on CNN], Kerry is “the most liberal member of the Senate.” When GOP hacks say that Kerry and Edwards are first and fourth most liberal senators, they are citing a survey from National Journal. But on March 6, that very same Journal—explicitly responding to this misleading claim—published its list of current senators with the most liberal lifetime voting records. Here it is—the Journal’s Top Ten. Guess whose names aren’t on it?
National Journal: Most liberal senators, lifetime voting
1. Mark Dayton, D-Minn.
2. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md.
3. Jack Reed, D-R.I.
4. Jon Corzine, D-N.J.
5. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
6. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
7. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa
8. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
9. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.
10. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt
In case anyone quotes you this absurd RNC spin point, here's some ammo. --ed.
UPDATE: Obviously Kerry's not a liberal, now he's saying he would have invaded Iraq even without WMDs. What a putz; anything to get elected, I guess.
Coalition and Iraqi civilian casualty links added to column at left. (Who's tracking insurgent deaths? Aren't the "civilian" numbers increasingly fluid as more and more Iraqis take up arms?) Number of US soldiers killed in Iraq to date: 929. Number of coalition soldiers killed: 1052. Number of US soldiers killed since August 1, 2004: 17. Iraqi civilians killed: 11429 - 13398. All thanks to George W. Bush, who fails in everything he does, and is now taking innocents along with him.