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Attack of the Clones, Part 4
Steven Read, Please Wait, 2005 (via VVork)
Cory Arcangelís Panasonic TH42PV60EH Plasma Screen Burn, 2007 (also via VVork)
Bonus: Nominee for Worst Theoretical Justification for an Artwork in 2007
Arcangelís "Panasonic TH42PV60EH Plasma Screen Burn" is brash and bold, it says "fuck you, Iím fucking up this expensive piece of equipment. Why? Because Iím motherfucking Cory Arcangel thatís why!" Steven Read's piece is nitpicky and fussy. His piece says ďlook! I wrote a program to destroy an obsolete piece of hardware. Why? Because Iím a geek." Arcangelís piece is about fucking with consumer dreams. Read's piece is aboutÖ time and phosphors?I would personally like to see Arcangel going back to destroying obsolete pieces of hardware instead of acting like a jaded rock star. I know some artists who could do some cool things with that plasma screen. (Also, we're taking it on faith that the screen is actually destroyed--in any case, if the gallery sells it, it's contractually tied up as an expensive name plate, which is practically the same thing.)
Previous clone attacks
Aron Namenwirth did a studio visit today, and took some nice photos, which are here.
The issue came up about people in the art world saying, regarding exhibits, "Yeah, I saw the show, I saw it on the Internet." Should galleries not post documentation so people will get off their lazy butts and come to see actual work? Cory Arcangel also addresses this matter in a transcription of a recent talk he gave, but from the reverse vantage point--he describes work he's seen on the Internet to people sitting in "real space" without a computer as an audiovisual aid. [Update: a friend noted that I am completely wrong about this--it reads like a transcription but appears to be some kind of stream of consciousness typing about the internet, to be read on the internet, but where no links are used.]
I'd been putting off the list of "art YouTubes" he and Hanne Mugaas recently published due to general leeriness of "art about art" and it feeling too much like homework. Certainly one could live without ever seeing the Italian Vanessa Beecroft interview again, but there are bad boy surprises lurking in the roster, too, such as this tribute to Barbara Kruger.
Generation - Artist Unknown
From Yahoo News/AFP:
Cheney...used his appearance before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Manalaplan, Florida, to reassure allies that the current political struggle [the House "antiwar" vote] will not result in a precipitous US withdrawal from Iraq.The vast majority of combatants in Iraq are not jihadists but Sunnis and/or (secular) Baathists who were kicked out of power when the US invaded. Cheney is taking advantage of Americans' ignorance and apathy regarding these basic facts to continue to spread fear.
"A sudden withdrawal of our coalition would dissipate much of the effort that has gone into fighting the global war on terror, and result in chaos and mounting danger," the vice president declared. "And for the sake of our own security, we will not stand by and let it happen."
He did not explain what steps the administration could take if the supplemental bill dies in partisan bickering. But he expressed confidence in the final outcome, stating "We will complete the mission, and we will prevail."
Quoting extensively from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the vice president reiterated his conviction that an US early withdrawal from Iraq would be "a complete validation of the Al-Qaeda strategy."
And he painted a dire picture of the Muslim world descending into chaos and tyranny, if radical Islamists were allowed to prevail.
"Having tasted victory in Iraq, jihadists would look for new missions," he predicted. "Many would head for Afghanistan and fight alongside the Taliban. Others would set out for capitals across the Middle East, spreading more sorrow and discord as they eliminate dissenters and work to undermine moderate governments."
This image from a stylish utopian architectural scheme proposed in Sweden comes via the VVork site. It reads like satire:
Kymlinge was a research and consultation project on new ways of developing towns in Sweden. We proposed a model of simulated organic growth, in part inspired by strategy and RPG games: We would start by installing low cost raw "industrial" spaces that would attract young people with the ikea energy to fix them up. This demographic would start-up a new area of Stockholm, creating at first a solution to the housing problem, and leading into the area gradually becoming a "cool" destination inside the city.The planned community (assuming this isn't a hoax) is essentially just a Levittown, Reston VA or Disney Celebration for these imaginary loft-living hipsters. Note that the words industrial and cool are in scare quotes. The equation of Ikea consumption and a counterculture is very slippery: the assumption is that if you give an energetic young person a non-traditional, urban, loft space, creativity and a happenin' scene will follow, but you can't always make the prisoners dance in their cells.
The computer designs are intriguing in a Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt open cube variation sense. I had an earlier version of this post up relating them to musical scores (mine, but never mind). The project appeals more as art than as social policy, which seems unnecessarily Skinnerian and manipulative.
Active Worlds vs Second Life
Was talking to someone recently who didn't know the former, a kind of also-ran in the buzz metaverse, or buzz about the metaverse, if you prefer. Posting these links for further comparison. I recall a "Virtual Chelsea" in Active Worlds with wireframe modernist gallery buildings, from about 8 years ago, that never quite got off the ground. Avatars could meet, talk art, and look at painting thumbnails mounted at oblique angles. It's all Lawnmower Man kitsch but interesting to think about the different ramifications of the "fully-immersive" Matrix paradigm (some wildly successful and some not), still grinding on while new social networking schemes based on much less memory intensive tech (MySpace etc) take off even more.
Middlebrow Democrat sites such as Daily Kos tell us the "antiwar" legislation just passed by the US House is good because it makes Bush look bad, or something. Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com notes that "the bill gives more money for the military than requested by Bush." In a blog post today, Raimondo responds to David Sirota, "the resident 'radical' over at the HuffPuffPost," who thinks the legislation, which Bush will veto if it ever gets to his desk, is just grand.
In a veritable cascade of Orwellian doublespeak, Sirota claims:Why should we accept a "compromise," anyway? The majority of Americans want to end the war and disagree with Bush's handling of it; every day that passes means more money spent and more lives lost in the 52nd State.It is a courageous move because it is never, ever easy to swallow a compromise, even if it is clearly the right thing to do to achieve long-term goals. These Members of Congress played hardball from the beginning, and that hardball made sure this bill included strong, binding legislation to end the war.If this is "strong and binding," then one can only wonder what would be weak: read it and you'll find that the actual wording of the legislation leaves it up to the White House to "certify" whether "progress" is being made in Iraq -- in which case none of the requirements, including a withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, have to be met. Itís true that such a certification would only delay "redeployment" of our troops, but then all the President has to do is assert that forces remaining in Iraq after March 1, 2008 are specifically in pursuit of Al Qaeda, or other terrorist groups with "global reach" -- which is the argument heís been making since Day One -- and they can stay -- indefinitely.
This is "strong" and "binding"?