Category:architecture

July 14, 2012

Mike Mills Photo-Murals

mike_mills_murals_thehundreds.jpg

So I start looking around for installation/shop shots of Aaron Rose's Storage Unit Fire Sale, which just opened at Known Gallery in LA, and what's the first thing I see? At The Hundreds?

That's right, not decks or kicks or posters. Photomurals. By Mike Mills.

They're vinyl prints, of course, as most giant images are these days, but they are rather awesome nonetheless.

Except technically, they're not by Mills, but of him, spraypainting his messages in his suit. There's "Let's all be human beings," and "Stop Hiding." I called about them, and learned there's are some other ones, "Love is worth it," and "Neither of us can get to heaven unless the other one gets in," somewhere. Ah, here's the latter, in Ann Duray's coverage at Juxtapoz. I like the way the low-res original fits with the vinyl inkjet. Meanwhile, yow, Duray's also got a picture of a larger-than-life full-length of Terry Richardson. Roll that one back up.

mike_mills_known_juxtapoz.jpg

And then that huge pink and white image up top on the opposite wall is also by Mills. Before the Known guy could look them up for me, I found the images on Mills' website; they're all from a 2004 show at the Mu Museum in Eindhoven titled, Not How When or Why But Yes.

Mills mentions the "cross-disciplinary work" of Charles Eames as an influence, but then only mentions furniture, "architecture, films, exhibitions and toys," not art per se. And he's expressed some wariness toward the gallery-centered confines of the art market. Though he's since married Miranda July, who has since been making sculptures that have turned up in public venues, the Biennale, etc.

mike_mills_mu_museum_inst.jpg

Which, it's not clear how he considers these awesome prints, but I bet he'd not think they're art objects in the commodity sense, just large prints, souvenirs from the show that were too awesome to trash in Holland. And then what was that giant, plush reclining Buddha sticking his/her head out of that Mu Museum installation, right? D'oh, no way, scroll down to the last photo there. It's in the show and for sale, too! Rose really stored that thing for eight years? That's gotta be $10k right there. Impressive.

It's kind of interesting to see things outside the "gallery system," though, and how they're considered and discussed--and shown and priced and bought and sold. In the case of these murals, they're unique, and pretty cheap--$1,400 or so, and the big pink one's like $5,000. They roll up for easy storage.

One Man's Treasure [thehundreds.com]
Aaron Rose Fire Sale at Known Gallery [knowngallery]
Graffiti, Mike Mills, 2004 [mikemillsweb.com]
Not How When or Why But Yes,

burton_crystal_palace.jpg

Check out Charles Burton's 1851 proposal for turning the first modern building into the first modern skyscraper:

Design for converting the Crystal Palace into a tower 1,000 ft high! in commemoration of the World's Fair and as a repository of science, art, manual and mechanical operations.
Which is all well and good. I'll let skyscraper historians figure that one out.

I'm wondering if there was a commonly discussed plan to install a replica of Stonehenge in Hyde Park, though, or if this, too, was Burton's innovation.

burton_palace_stonehenge.jpg

The crazy era slips piling up in this one painting make me wonder if this was bought in 2011 by a time-traveling 1990s Verne Dawson.

Lot 171: C Burton, 19th c, sold for £6,600, 19 Jan 2011 [bonhams.com via things magazine]

ALL HAIL SAURON

Nice hack. I didn't realize James Bridle made the awesome ALL HAIL SAURON placard at the The Shard laser show; I just thought he spotted it.

Anyway, Phil Gyford thinks placards could become a platform, a way to integrate protest into the fabric of everyday life. It'd be fresher, he argues, and less invisible than bumper stickers or t-shirts.

And as much as I'd love to see Barack Obama get met in the Oval Office by someone wearing a Katharine Hamnett-style STOP THE WAR ON DRUGS or STOP FRACKING t-shirt, I think it only underscores the point that such deployments are still rely on a media to make or preserve their contextual power.

I don't think that's what Gyford's suggesting, though; his placard-a-day proposal is speaking truth to power by everyone speaking truth to neighbors and people on the street.


Of course, imagine placards manage to catch on, and to survive the regulation and censorship that already befall t-shirt wearers and bumper sticker sporters, who've been kicked out of public [and privatized public] spaces and fired from their jobs and blurred out of reality TV shows. They'd get professionalized--in fact, they already are. The "it's not a billboard; it's a hapless guy with a sign!" free speech loophole is the advertising medium of choice for apartment complexes and suit outlets.

Or it used to be. Now it's public performance art and a highly evolved sport. Last year San Diego-based Aarow Advertising held the 1st Annual World Sign Spinning Championships. The company's founders, then 18-yo, say they invented signspinning in 2002 as a way to save themselves from what was "pretty much the worst job in the world," standing on a busy corner holding a sign.

anf_noelyc.JPG
image via noel y.c.

As for the rest of us, how many people would communicate anything different than the message of whatever corporate brand tribe pushes their buttons correctly? Placards would become shopping bags with worse ergonomics.

helmut_lang_shopping_bag.jpg

Which reminds me, I just found this OG Helmut Lang shopping bag in our storage unit. I would totally carry that into every Prada store in town. STOP PATRIZIO BERTELLI.

Placads for everyday life [gyford via dan phiffer's twitter]

Welcome to another episode of The VW Years, greg.org's ongoing mission to seek out firsthand accounts of John Cage and Merce Cunningham's VW Bus.

These are some mentions of John Cage in The Living Theatre: Art, Exile, and Outrage,, John Tytell's 1995 history/biography of Living Theatre founders Judith Malina and Julian Beck, which were compiled by Josh Ronsen and posted to silence-digest, a Cage-related mailing list in 1998:

"At the end of September, they visited Cage and Cunningham who had expressed an interest in sharing a place that could be used for concerts and dance recitals. Gracious, unassuming, the two men lived in a large white room, bare except for matting, a marble slab on the floor for a table, and long strips of foam rubber on the walls for seating. The environment reflected their minimalist aesthetic. Cage proposed to stage a piece by Satie that consisted of 840 repetitions of a one-minute composition. He advised them not to rely on newspaper advertising, but to use instead men with placards on tall stilts and others with drums." --pg 72

...

"the only person Judith admitted caring about was John Cage, "mad and unquenchable" with his "hearty, heartless grin." With Julian, she visited Cage in Stoney Point in the Hudson Valley. ... Julian thought Cage was the "chain breaker among the shackled who love the sound of their chains." Cage collected wild mushrooms, which Julian interpreted as a tribute to his reliance on chance as much as to his exquisite taste. ... [Paul] Williams wanted to help them find a new location that Cage and Cunningham could share with The Living Theatre." -pg 121

"In the middle of 1957, they saw Cunningham dance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to Cage's music. At a party afterward, C&C laughed all night like "two mischievous kids who had succeeded in some tremendous boyish escapade."" -pg 125

"[they] visited Cage in Stoney Point, where they made strawberry jam and gathered mint, wild watercress, and asparagus for dinner. Feeling a surge of confidence in his own writing, he [Julian] gave Cage a group of poems to set to music." -pg 128

"With Judith, Julian, Cunningham, and Paul Williams, John Cage drove from "columned loft to aerie garage" in his Volkswagen bus, smiling despite the traffic and the fact that their search was now in its 4th month. Finally, they found an abandoned building, formally a department store on 14th st and 6th ave, which Williams declare would be suitable for sharing as a theatre and dance space." - pg 129

"Early in December, with Cage's assistance, [Cunningham] moved some of his backdrops into the space. Cage brought with him a variety of percussion instruments--he owned more than 300 at that time--which he donated to the theatre. Julian thought there was a distance about Cage that prevented intimacy and the fullest communication, but he felt Cage's gift was a real sign of the artistic support that would be crucial to the success of The Living Theatre." -pg 140

June 16, 2012

Corcoran Fire Escape

corc_firestairs.jpg

Last fall, right after posting a 1958 press photo of a temporary fire escape stair set up in MoMA's Sculpture Garden, I went to the Corcoran in DC.

And look at that, they have a nearly identical fire escape tucked right in back there, by the vacant lot that once held their future. I suspect this is the staircase Sanity used when she fled the Corcoran board room several years ago.

Previously, slightly related: "epic-scale scaffolding" at the NGA

lichtenstein_sachs_bath1.jpg
Roy Lichtenstein, Composition, 1969, image via sothebys.com

With the confluence this week of an incredible-sounding retrospective in Chicago and a bonkers-sounding sale at Sotheby's, I was reminded of one of the weirder things I stumbled across during a dive into Leo Castelli's papers at the Archives of American Art: the bathtub Roy Lichtenstein was commissioned to make for the St. Moritz penthouse of awesome playboy industrialist collector photographer wackjob Gunter Sachs.

According to a letter Sachs sent to Lichtenstein from Paris on October 3rd, 1968, the two had met in Southampton that summer, and they'd already discussed commissioning some paintings for the soon-to-be-legendary Pop Art penthouse Sachs was constructing in the tower of the Palace Hotel. While Avedon and Warhol were creating portraits of Sachs' 2nd wife, the then still-smokin' hot Brigitte Bardot, Lichtenstein was given the bathroom.

Specifically, Sachs wanted him to make some enamel painted panels to go around the tub and sink in the master bath. And he had put together some ideas:

If you permit I would propose that the painting on the large side of the bathing-tub (60x200 cm) should show a girl's face, perhaps with tears in her eyes, looking at a lake with a swan - a kind of modern Leda. On the little side of the bath (60 x 110 cm) I could very well imagine, e.g., a sunset or a moonset over a calm lake. The painting under the lavatory (60 x 200 cm) could figure a landscape in a thunder-shower. In all these paintings, however, it is very important that you respect accurately the dimensions indicated below in centimeters and inches.
OK, then! Anything else?

RL_crying_girl_M1965.18.jpg
Crying Girl, 1964, enamel on steel, via milwaukee art museum

At first I was kind of blown away by Sachs' audacity to dictate the contents of the images, but then I figured that these were all close enough to subjects Lichtenstein was already doing at the time that it might not be so WTF-ish. [One of the artist's first attempts at enamel-on-steel production was Crying Girl, a painting produced in a multiple of 5, in 1964.]

Oh, and also, there was this: "As I am obliged to finish the apartment before Christmas, it is very important that I get your paintings till November 2nd, 1968." And he'd run the deal through Ileana Sonnabend in Paris.

Apparently Castelli, Lichtenstein, and their lawyer all jumped to work, because a contract went back to Paris within the week agreeing to sell one set of drawings and authorizing Sachs to fabricate one single set of enamel panels at his own expense, with payment due in full upon receipt of the drawings.

And then they hustled the drawings to Sachs' Paris secretary, even though the contract hadn't come back. And Sachs wasn't replying to anything at all, and then in December there's this increasingly testy series of letters demanding payment and signed contracts, which have not been forthcoming, even though the drawings were hurriedly finished and delivered.

"I must tell you that Roy is personally offended by your failure to act," wrote Lichtenstein's lawyer Jerald Ordover. A lawsuit was threatened, even though both Leo and Roy found it "most distasteful."

licht_leda_sachs.jpg
Leda and the Swan, 1969, enamel, 61x311cm, image: roylichtenstein.org

It's not clear how, but things must have worked out, because the works exist. And they turned out pretty much just as Sachs ordered them. Leda and the Swan [above] is two steel panels that could fit around a tub. And the sink piece, Composition [top], was actually in the Sotheby's sale Sachs' family held this week, a year after Gunter took his own life rather than succumb to what's believed to have been Alzheimer's. [It sold for 541,000 GBP.]

UPDATE: Oh, this is interesting. Here's part of the Sotheby's catalogue description for Composition:

Lichtenstein, alongside Warhol, sought a pictorial vocabulary embedded in modes of mechanical reproduction. However, unlike Warhol, who pioneered the silkscreen process to transfer his images to canvas, Lichtenstein set out by magnifying and transferring his sketches by hand in a painstaking process that insistently removed all the expressionistic detail of brushwork, further divesting the image of naturalistic representation. Composition, based on Collage for Leda and the Swan, 1968, is a consummate example of Lichtenstein's Modern Paintings series and of this technique of reproduction.

...

As Lichtenstein played down the idiosyncrasy of the artist's hand in favour of uninflected surfaces that replicate the look of the machine-made, we are compelled to venerate the movement and melody within this picture's unique composition. [emphasis added on the parts that are not applicable to this artwork.]

Ah, no. These panels were authorized by Lichtenstein, but fabricated by Sachs. Here's Gunter: "For the technical execution of your design in enamel I found an excellent German manfuacturer who will be able to transform your painting in a congenial work of Modern Art."

And here's the artist's attorney, Jerald Ordover, writing:

to set forth [Lichtenstein's] understanding of the terms of your commission to him to create the designs, in the form of working drawings, for the fabrication of three (3) enamel plaques...

...You are to have the plaques made from the drawings at your sole expense.

Which, yes, having them fabricated sight unseen in a German factory from drawings is certainly a process for insistently removing the expressionistic detail of the brushwork that plays down the idiosyncrasy of the artist's hand. And almost as interesting as the painstaking process by which the auctioneer insistently claims the artist's hand as a selling point, especially on work where the reason it looks invisible is because it was explicitly absent.

licht_leda_drawing_sachs.jpg
Nov 10, 2011, Lot 225: Collage [sic] for Leda and the Swan, image: sothebys

And the market seems to notice. Last fall Sotheby's actually sold Collage for Leda and the Swan, a full-scale work on paper for the short end of the tub [60x110cm]. Sachs had apparently gotten rid of it early, because its provenance shows it floated through several dealers' hands before settling down in 1989. Though called a collage, it looks to me like a straight-up drawing, overflowing with artist's hand. Which drew pencil lines, then traced them with marker and filled in the rest with acrylic. And it's signed. So it sold for $446,000.

allen_jones_sachs_chair.jpg
Lot 14: Allen Jones, Chair, ed. 6, est. 30-40,000 GBP, sold for 836,450 GBP [!!]

And though I haven't been able to find installation shots wacked out bondage furniture artist Allen Jones tells Sotheby's that he saw them in situ:

Gunther Sachs invited my wife and me to stay in his penthouse at the Palace Hotel, St Moritz, soon after he had acquired my sculptures. It was the most ritzy place I had ever been in. One wall of the apartment seemed to be entirely glass, with a breathtaking view of the Alps. There were Lichtenstein panels round the bathroom, a flock of Lalanne sheep on the carpet and the set of my sculptures. Giovanni Agnelli was at the party and wanted to stay in the penthouse, but Gunther had said that the Joneses were there. Agnelli, thinking that he meant my sculptures, said "don't worry, I won't touch them!" Prominent in the apartment was a large, bullet-proof glass panel with one side splintered in several places. Gunther used to stand behind the glass and invite close friends to shoot him. Their names were inscribed on a plaque next to the glass.
Hahwwhawaitwhaa? Are you kidding me? Where is this bulletproof glass panel and plaque now? Because THAT is what I want to buy.

gunter_sachs_tub_bvogue.jpg

UPDATE UPDATE: OK, maybe my problem is I gave up searching for photos before the Sachs auction. Because in a preview article for the sale, British Vogue ran a 1991 photo by Sachs, of a Leda and a swan in the tub. I didn't realize the Lichtenstein panels went around the base of the tub; I thought they were backsplash-type deals. But with those views, well.

Also, Vogue gushes about "Roy Lichtenstein kitchen-unit fascias and bath panels," which what? I guess the delay in payment wasn't a fatal blow to their friendship, or maybe Sachs commissioned a kitchen from the artist as a make-up. Or maybe a bar, because who needs a kitchen, it's the Palace Hotel, and this bar in the S&M living room looks very Deco-era Roy to me.

sachs_licht_bar_bvogue.jpg

And finally, Vogue doesn't mention a plaque, but does say that guests who shot at Sachs would autograph their bullet hole. And if these aren't bullet holes made by the glitterati of Cold War Europe, then why are they in Sotheby's promo video?

gsachs_bullet_sothebys.jpg

While trying not to steal his thunder, let me just post the awesomely vivid ending to LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne's review of Williams + Tsien's unavoidably flawed Philadelphia museum building now housing the art-centered educational institution known as The Barnes Foundation:

Imagine if the Barnes trustees, in the name of improved access to a supremely great but historically cloistered collection, had declared they were going to produce replicas of its paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani and Van Gogh and hang those in a new building on the parkway.

The howls of protest would have been loud and immediate. The idea wouldn't have lasted five minutes.

And yet the notion persists that re-creating buildings is somehow more reasonable or at least less obvious and that new rooms can be made to impersonate old ones without much aesthetic risk. That copies of paintings belong in gift shops and on refrigerators, where their fakeness is self-evident and salable, while copies of buildings can go blithely along pretending to be real. That architecture somehow is different.

Memo from Philadelphia: It's not. [Emphasis added for awesomeness.]

I got a million and 99 problems with The Barnes Foundation, but copying ain't one. Barnes's spaces and installations are geared entirely around the pedagogical system of close looking and cross-referencing which he oversaw. Which makes for a suboptimal museum because it was supposed to be a non-museum by design.

Meanwhile, I love that this fakeness all happens next door to the Rodin Museum, which is full of copies, thereby blithely refuting Hawthorne's analogy without making it any less valid.

Architecture review: A poor replica of Barnes Foundation museum [latimes]

smith_maze_aspen_ubu.jpg

For issue 5+6 of Aspen: The Magazine in a Box (1967), guest editor/curator Brian O'Doherty conceived of a conceptual art exhibition in a box. [Which really should be staged in real space somewhere. Has it ever been?]

One of the first things you notice when you open the box is the little stack of cut and scored black matteboard, which is a make-it-yourself scale model of Tony Smith's The Maze (1957 1967).1 When assembled, if any ever were, the pieces formed four monolith-like blocks, which were to be placed in an open rectangle:

smith_ubu_mazeGrid2.gif

As is clear from the drawings, "The Maze" was originally designed for a particular space. Thus the pathways around the pieces as well as through it are an integral part of the design. For this reason it is a labyrinth rather than a monument.

I did not think of the symmetry of the piece as I was doing it, but I happened to notice when making the drawing that the central part is a five-foot square; the part including all the passages is a ten-foot square; then if you take the extension along the room, it is a fifteen-foot square. So it is a lot of expanding squares.

On the other hand if you take different divisions, for instance if you take all these squares and carry them through, they make a grid which interpenetrates-- the two sets of grids interpenetrate one another. In a certain sense it is a labyrinth of the mind. You can see that it becomes quite complex, but at the same time everything falls in very, very simply.

--Tony Smith

The Maze was designed for the exhibition Schemata 7, at Finch College Museum, May 1957 1967. The above statement has been adapted from the catalogue.

The actual dimensions of the modules were 6'8" by 10' by 30" (two modules) and 6'8"by 5'by 30" (two modules). The models have been scaled down to fit in this box. The models may be set up standing free on neutral ground. They should be set up in accordance with the plan indicated in the drawing. Those who wish to reproduce the work in its original dimensions (in metal or wood) may do so.

The individual pieces may be cut from the enclosed cardboards by a matte-knife (e.g. the General 850 available at any art supply store) guided by a metal ruler.

The parts should be attached as indicated i.e. the appropriate edges should be opposed to the grey areas. (Elmer's Glue All may be used). "White" edges should be darkened with ink or water color.

The drawing below may serve as a guide.

smith_ubu_maze_guide.gif

It's been more than 14 years since I discovered Aspen; 5+6 was the first, and for a long time the only, issue I could find. And it's almost ten years since I found the entire run of Aspen reproduced on Ubu.com, a move which brought Aspen out of unciteable obscurity. And now it's more than two years since I cooked up auraprogettazione, a comprehensive [sic] exhibition of the rare examples of instruction-based art work that the artist actually gave permission to make. And yet I only just now noticed that Smith authorized reproduction of The Maze. Has anyone ever done so? Before me, I mean, because I just added it to the list.

1: UPDATE So yeah, I thought 1957 was an extraordinarily early year for Smith to have exhibited an installation of four matte black minimalist sculptures, and at Finch College or anywhere. So Ubu's text is incorrect, and Smith's Maze was shown in Schemata 7 at Finch in May 1967, right around the time Aspen was published.

ANOTHER UPDATE Grace Glueck's May 14, 1967 review of the opening of Schemata 7 says the show's working title was "Walk-In Sculpture," and gave each of seven artists a chance to show their attitude "to scale and enspheric space." Of The Maze, Glueck wrote:

The room is kept in a subdued light and, though the scheme is simple, a walk among these gloomy, primeval presences evokes the feeling of an endless forest.
Sounds like a wildly different experience from the toy-sized cardboard model.

In addition to Smith, Schemata 7 featured work by Les Levine, Ursula Meyer, Brian O'Doherty, Will Insley, Michael Kirby and Charles Ross. So far, I can't find any installation shots of the original Finch version, but I'm on it.

UPDATE 3 And here's John Perreault's review of Schemata 7 for the Village Voice. He puts it in the context of pioneering minimalism shows like Primary Structures, which had just happened a few months earlier in 1966. Still no pics, though.

Reuters' Jorge Duenes' cropped aerial shot of a 300-acre marijuana plantation "discovered" in Mexico last July that The Atlantic's InFocus photoblog ran today was dramatic and awesome enough to make me want to see the full thing.

Here it is:
pot01_duenes_reuters.jpg

Stunning, right? Ellsworth Kelly himself couldn't have done better. But the full caption bears analyzing a little more closely:

An aerial view shows parts of the biggest marijuana plantation ever found in Mexico, in San Quintin, about 350 km (220 mi) away from Tijuana, on July 13, 2011. Mexican soldiers discovered the plantation in a remote desert, a top army officer said on Thursday. Soldiers patrolling the area found 300 acres (120 hectares) of pot plants being tended by dozens of men.
Because I have a hard time seeing how parts of it can be simultaneously true. For the plantation to be in the "remote desert" and in "San Quintin," for example. Or for it to be in "San Quintin" and "discovered."

350km from Tijuana does sound remote. But San Quintin turns out to be on the northern part of the Baja Peninsula, the part where the highway runs between the mountains and the sea. On Google Maps, it's clear the landscape is characterized by agriculture--and airstrips. To still be in San Quintin, the terrain in Duenes' photos almost certainly has to be just off the main highway, and one of the largest crops of any kind in town. Saying it was discovered, then, implies that its existence was not known beforehand, which, holding other factors constant, seems impossible.

Still, the important thing is, it does look awesome.

Well that's an unexpectedly awkward situation I just stumbled into.

greycube.jpg
greycu.be: what, you mean your car doesn't have a domain name?

A week or so ago, I decided my new car needed a domain name. So I registered greycu.be. Partly because the tweeters these days are all hot for the short URLs. But mostly because my car, a little art hauler and storage unit runner, is a Scion xB. Which is the perfect canvas upon which to realize my previously all-talk idea of commissioning artists to do vinyl wrap art cars. [additional posts here, here, and unfortunately, here.]

Needless to say, greycu.be was available. But it did get me to thinking, so I threw whitecu.be into the whois search for the Belgian DNS operator. And it wasn't registered, per se, but "quarantined." A 40-day limbo following the non-renewal of a domain name on dns.be. Which went until April 1. And sure enough, when I checked in this evening, whitecu.be had been released. So I registered it.

inside_white_cube.jpgI confess I have no plans for it at this point. And also that buying it was motivated partly by the sheer novelty of being able to buy a domain name again after it has expired, something the shady/annoying backorder/resale adsquatting "services" in the US domainspace have made basically impossible. [I happen to be at least the second owner of greg.org; the first, an outfit called Global Real Estate Group, had let it expire in 1997.]

But even in this somewhat oddly punctuated, awkwardly unpronounceable incarnation [whitecu dot be? whitecu point be? whitecu pwahn be? It just doesn't work, except as web text], a chance to connect with one of the foundational paradigms of contemporary art theory was too awesome to pass up.

Since they first appeared in Artforum in 1976, Brian O'Doherty's essays, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space have provided a powerful critical framework for examining the impact of the commercial art market on the creation and exhibition of art. Even 35 years on, artists grapple every day with the political and financial implications of the white cube, which persists as the central site of art's instantiation as a commoditized luxury good.

Which has been deeply influential on my own education and experience with art, and with my history as a collector, and more recently as a writer and maker.

elmdrag_white_cube.jpg
Powerless Structures No. 15/12 Hours of White Paint, 1997, Elmgreen & Dragset

Which is presumably why, in 1993, Jay Jopling chose to name his London gallery White Cube. Now he has three, and they're among the most important and well-known in town. Their website is whitecube.com.

Which would seem plenty clear, distinct, and obvious, unlike, say, whitecu.be. Yet it turns out that Jay did not think so. Or at least he thought that the artist and gallery portfolio hosting service that went up on whitecu.be last year looked a little too similar to his gallery's web presence. Or that any reference to a white cube was de facto confusing to his 2008 [!] trademark on the term. Because he filed a trademark infringement claim with dns.be against the service's creators attempting to have the domain name canceled.

the_cube_jim_henson.jpg
Still from The Cube, a 1969 NBC teleplay by Jim Henson about a guy who finds himself stuck in a white cube.

The site's creators, a pair of young designers in Florida, prepared a lengthy response to Jopling's claim, but apparently they did not formally respond to it. And so the third-party arbitrator appointed by dns.be issued an extraordinary ruling in Jopling's favor. The findings for which seem to ignore the entire basis of the domain name and TLD system:

The mere fact that the Licensee inserted a full stop between the letters "cu" and "be" is not likely to outweigh the massive similarities and the replications of all the letters contained in the Complainant's trademark, in the same order, with the same meaning.
And which also ignores the highly significant, and widespread common use of the term "white cube" in an art context and its history which predates Jopling's commercial use and [very recent] trademark claim for the term. And which ubiquity was, in fact, the reason Jopling chose it.
The existence of legitimate interests in the litigious domain name appears quite dubious...
And then there's a remarkable finding of bad faith:
It is obvious from the record that the intention of the Licensee was to divert internet users from the domain name by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark.

It is the opinion of the Third party decider that this clearly constitutes a case of typo squatting, with the intent of commercial gain and potential damage for the distinctive character or the reputation of the Complainant's trademark.

Well, I still don't know how to say it, or what it'll be used for, but the new owners of whitecu.be can assure you that it will not be in the business of being mistaken for Jay Jopling's fine and reputable establishment. Which is at the obvious, widely known, and easily pronounced whitecube.com.

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Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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about this archive

Category: architecture

recent projects, &c.


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Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
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Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

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Chop Shop
at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

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eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
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It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
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TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
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Standard Operating Procedure
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CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
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"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots


HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.


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Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

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Canal Zone Richard
Prince YES RASTA:
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
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