I just found and reread this post from a couple of years ago, and I still like it very much, unfortunately.

How Conceptual Art is Like a Renaissance Tapestry, the online audio program of PS1, has been up for a few weeks now, and it's getting better. Some listening tips:

  • An exclusive preview of "Nurse," the latest CD from Sonic Youth, broadcast on The Larry Rivers Memorial Music Hour #1. [Surf their unlinkable site: previous broadcasts > Week of May 24th]
  • A raucous 1962 debate over Pop Art, where "Henry Geldzhaler and Hilton Kramer match wits with Dore Ashton, Stanley Kunitz and Leo Steinberg. William Lieberman referees, er moderates." [Week of May 17th. Parts I & II were rebroadcast together this week, but I can't find links to the combined show.]

  • June 3, 2004

    So much for real-time

    Olafur Eliasson, Lighthouse series, image:
    I went to Houston last week for the opening of an amazing show at the Menil Collection, photographs by Olafur Eliasson. Of course, my post about it is now like a 10,000-word essay, which I don't know if even I'll ever read.

    So in the mean time, check out the show, and the Times article on the de Menil's Philip Johnson-designed house, which was a sharp International Style stick in the eye of Tara-style 1950's Houston.

    Jake and Dinos Chapman's Hell, detail, image: a 10,000sf warehouse of Momart, the leading art handler/storage company in the UK, burned to the ground yesterday, taking an as-yet unknown number of major Brit Art works with it. The Guardian has some speculative details on what burned, including Jake and Dinos Chapman's massive installation, Hell, but there's still a lot that's not known.

    If Charles Saatchi believed in karma, this would be devastating to him right now. But unless he's actively trying to come back as a worm, he doesn't so, never mind. [via MAN]

    Update: I've rewritten the title for this post half a dozen times. My initial impulse of shock still stands, but the close second--schadenfreude over Saatchi's misfortune--is untenable. It really is--sorry, Charlie--not about you. Jonathan Jones visits the site an reflects on the ashes of Hell.

    wps1.jpegUmm... I was excited for the launch of WPS1: Art Radio, the new online audio programming wing of PS1. Launched three weeks ago, WPS1 is daily mp3 streamed programming in three broad categories: awesome, edge music from all over; rare and archival artist recordings from parent/affiliate MoMA's library; and self-produced art-related talk/interview shows. Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

    After listening to a dozen or so art talk shows on WPS1, I find them almost unlistenable. Excruciatingly amateurish, painfully ad hoc. Can I say it? I have to. They BLOOOOOWW.

    Which really blows, because I'm a fan of PS1. A lot of cool people; in-tune, even daring curators; great artists, great opportunities for new artists; great music, especially in the summer; a very refreshing and energetic institution. I even know a few of the people involved in WPS1 and have been anticipating the launch for months.

    May 13, 2004

    ?: $




    May 6, 2004

    Law & Artists: SVU

    Jon Routson, Bootleg (Nashville) still, image:
    In the Times, Roberta Smith combines a righteous review of Jon Routson's "Bootleg" series--video recordings of films Routson attends--with righteous indignation against increasingly draconian copyright legislation (like making possession of a camcorder in a theater a felony).
    It does not matter whether you think that Mr. Routson's work is good or bad art; it is quite good enough, in my view. It does matter that the no-camcorder laws may not do much to stem pirating while making it increasingly difficult for artists to do one of the things they do best: comment on the world around them.

    Our surroundings are so thoroughly saturated with images and logos, both still and moving, that forbidding artists to use them in their work is like barring 19th-century landscape painters from depicting trees on their canvases. Pop culture is our landscape...

    At once stolen and given away, Mr. Routson's works operate somewhere between the manipulated magazine advertising images of the 1980's artist Richard Prince and the keep-the-gift-in-motion aesthetic of 90's artists like Felix Gonzalez-Torres, whose sculptures included large piles of wrapped candy, free for the taking, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, whose first exhibitions consisted of cooking curry and serving it to gallery visitors. [Nice company you keep, Jon. -greg]

    Routson's show runs through Saturday at Team Gallery.

    Related, Law:
    Theaters used nightvision goggles to bust the only man to record (or see) The Alamo (04.15.04)
    "If camcorders are illegal, only criminals will have camcorders." (11.21.03)

    & Artist:
    Jon Routson profile in Baltimore City Paper (with important-sounding quotes from me) (01.21.04)
    Jon Routson's edited-for-TV Cremaster 4 and video art bootlegging (08.18.03)

    Not to get all Elvis Mitchell on yer ass or anything, but if auction reports were white cotton handkerchiefs, dry, practical, and folded neatly, dutifully, and boringly into the breast pocket of some print media outlet or another, Stuart Waltzer's account of last night's Whitney Picasso sale at Sotheby's is a stunning, showy-but-inutile giant Hermes carre, silkscreened with a riot of intricate patterns, cascading like a technicolor waterfall out of the blazer of some too-tanned-for-January decorator at La Goulue.

    cottam_dekooning_weekend.jpgIn helpful, 2x2 grid format:

  • Go to the Jim Lambie show at Anton Kern, which ends Saturday. Nice pants. (Roberta Smith agrees.)
  • Go to Momenta Art benefit auction at White Columns Saturday night.
  • Go to the deKooning show at Gagosian. (Roberta Smith agrees. Again. Stop following me!) The man was either a painting genius, or he had Alzheimer's his whole life.
  • Read John Rockwell's amused, largely successful attempt to conserve and convey an admittedly ephemeral artistic experience--in this case, NYU's brainy panel discussion, "Not for Sale: Curating, Conserving and Collecting Ephemeral Art"-- before the Times locks it up in its archives.
  • Try to see, literally, Benjamin Cottam's one-man show of beautiful-to-look-at, aggressively hard-to-see portraits and drawings at Gasser Grunert on 19th St. We snapped up four of the fingernail-sized dead artist portraits as soon as we saw them, which, fortunately, was several months ago in the studio. (Roberta, where are you when we need you?)
  • Print out your treatment, and head down to the Tribeca Film Festival.
  • Go to Naoshima in Japan, either with a blogger or with a tourful of "journalling" middle aged artists (how do you tell them apart, you might ask? just look for the elastic-waisted batik pants.)

  • April 28, 2004

    From The Spring Auctions

    Inspired by Tyler@Modern Art Notes's to-bid-on list for the upcoming contemporary art auctions. I don't think I'll be bidding against him on anything, especially now that he's lining his pockets with all that ArtsJournal loot. Too rich for my blood.

    But a flip through the catalogues turned up at least one must-get work. If Sotheby's estimates are right for this storyboard Robert Smithson made for his Spiral Jetty movie, I may need to talk discreetly to someone about the street value of a small, cute, baby girl. She's very advanced for her age and sleeps through the night.

    "Smithson equated film stips to historical artifacts trapped in frames, with the movie editor acting as a paleontologist in reconstructing the whole. Smithson wrote 'The movieola becomes a "time machine" that transforms trucks into dinosaurs.' In its storyboard format, this detailed drawing by Smithson embodies his notion of historical evolution, fragmented over time, like pages torn from a book and scattered - a scene he enacted in the realized film of Spiral Jetty."

    Related: Smithson on the Jetty and geocaching

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    Since 2001 here at, 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 that time.

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