Category:scott sforza, wh producer

ucdavis_dome_amychamp.jpg

Wait, the UC Davis Occupy protestors built a 30-foot geodesic dome for their general assembly? Of course they did.

This is not a drill, people. Welcome to the Pepper Dome.

[image via @amychamp]

Previously: jackboot, Bean Boot

November 19, 2011

Jackboot, Bean Boot

The video is absolutely riveting, all the way through. And though it's outrageous &c &c., the casual pepper spraying of the seated student protestors is only the second or third most important takeaway from this clip.

That said, I have to confess that the, like, third thing I thought when seeing Louise Macabitas' photo [via motherjones] was, "Hey, Bean Boots!"

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November 15, 2011

Maintaining Power

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Gotta hand it to the Bloomberg Administration: scheduling the expulsion of the Occupy Wall Street protesters for the middle of the night, and then arresting and beating and harassing journalists covering the raid, thereby minimizing--but apparently not eliminating entirely--the creation of images of white-shirt violence like the one above by Agence France Presse, was slick.

But then scheduling the cleaning performance at Zuccotti Park for sunrise, when the dawn's early light hits the golden trees just so, and the Times' photographer can get an NYPD relaxing against a barricade just so? That is pure political poetry.

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It reminds me of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, longtime artist-in-residence for the Department of Sanitation, who identified the political and aesthetic power of maintenance when she asked, in her Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! [pdf via feldmangallery.com], "After the revolution, who's going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?"

Unfortunately, I think this is the opposite answer Ukeles was seeking.

September 27, 2011

Look Into The Teleprompter

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Ooh, this is nice. I can't remember seeing a White House photographer use a teleprompter to pick up a crowd like this before. Carry on, Stephen Crowley of The New York Times!

Not that Mr. Crowley's colleagues didn't find some classically Sforzian shots there at Denver's Abraham Lincoln High School. The full banner said "Lincoln Lancers." Which may let the photographers feel like they've "discovered" this angle. It's a lower-key, but no less programmatic Sforzianism.

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[via Getty/daylife]

I need a way to put the people in my Twitter feed in touch with each other.

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Because what are we fighting for, if not the right to all 50 flavors of Doritos?

From a NY Times article about a gay activist's petition for Microsoft to stop participating in an online affiliate sales company CGBG, which earns revenue for anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family:

"This is economic terrorism," said Mike Huckabee, the former pastor, governor and presidential contender, who is a paid CGBG consultant. "To try to destroy a business because you don't like some of the customers is, to me, unbelievably un-American," he said in an interview.
From SFGate, Dec. 6, 2005:
Christian group pulls Wells Fargo accounts / Focus on the Family objects to donation to gay rights group

"We don't expect corporate America to do our bidding on the issues, but when they use the proceeds from our business and give them to others who clobber us over the head, we say enough is enough," said Tom Minnery, who oversees public policy for the organization.

Focus on the Family's move follows a recent spate of conservative boycotts and other actions against large companies that support gay and lesbian causes, including Walgreens drugstores and Kraft Foods Inc., both of which contributed to the Gay Games.

Conservative groups also have targeted Ford Motor Co. for advertising in gay media and Procter & Gamble for advertising during the television shows "Will & Grace" and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." The best-known protest may have been the nine-year boycott led by the Southern Baptist Convention against Walt Disney Co. for hosting Gay Days, a week of gay-themed activities at Walt Disney World in Orlando. That boycott ended in June.

From a 2005 Orlando Sentinel article on the Kraft, Proctor & Gamble and Disney boycotts:
As more companies adopt gay-friendly business policies, they risk the wrath of conservative Christian groups prepared to take action with their collective buying power.

"People are willing to fight back with their pocketbooks," says Tim Wildmon, president of the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association, a conservative group that has boycotted such companies.

September 19, 2011

Two Of These Things

As those who kindly email me about run-on italics--and those who don't--know, I don't actually visit this site site as often as I probably should.

Which is part of the reason I didn't notice until just now this nice side-by-side posting of Matt Connors' painting and Barack Obama et al's blast shields at the dedication of the World Trade Center Memorial.

obama_connors_gregorg.jpg

UPDATE: Or three of these things. Mondo Patrick likes the Connors diptych alongside this:

Thumbnail image for flavin_beyeler_christies.jpg

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An extraordinary Reuters photo from the World Trade Center Mem--wait, I guess now we'd better make that "ordinary." Maybe add an integrated teleprompter or heads up display?

And Joe Biden complains that the Secret Service won't let him drive his Corvette off his driveway.

image: Reuters/Daily Mail via @wagnerblog

billings_strafing1.jpg

Another inadvertent Google find, also from the World War II School of propaganda art. In anticipation for an invasion of Japan, 1945 LIFE Magazine wanted to give the general public a fighter pilot's-eye view of ground attacks.

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Perhaps because actual combat photos were deemed too sensitive or otherwise unsuitable, the magazine asked artist Henry Billings to create a series of strafing attack paintings.

Noted before the war for his machine age-themed murals, Billings' characteristically mild-mannered modernist/precisionist landscape style goes uncommonly well with the scenes of destruction from the air.

billings_strafing_3.jpg

But the most prominent thing in the images, no matter the sometimes dizzying orientation of the earth itself, is the central fixity of the P51 Mustang's reflective sight. A technological advance that only rolled out during the war itself, the gunsight's half-mirrored glass panel meant the pilot could maintain his fix on his target without lining his eyes up directly with the line of fire. It's an interesting perceptual concept to try to capture in a traditional landscape painting.

I don't know what happened to Billings' art career, but his posthumous market is pretty weak, with paintings and drawings selling in the low hundreds of dollars. [Oh, with the exception of this nice precisionist boatyard panel. Wow.] No word on the fate of the strafing paintings, though.

Ground Strafing - LIFE June 30, 1945 [google/life]

gc_photomural_loc.jpg

Instead of jumping to the first search result, Google's "I'm feeling lucky" button should go to something tangentially related but certifiably awesome and probably better than what you were looking for in the first place. For the first datapoint in fitting that algorithm, I submit this post from The Bowery Boys about the "World's Greatest Photo-Mural,' as proclaimed by the New York Herald upon the dedication on December 14, 1941 [!] of the Defense Bonds Mural in Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA.

At 96x118 feet, and covering the entire eastern wall of the station's Great Hall, it was certainly the world's largest photomural to date. [Only an Axis appeaser would point out that it's actually six photomural elements installed in a larger, non-photographic composition.]

The mural was created by the Farm Security Administration's Information Division, the legendary New Deal documentary photography propaganda unit run by Roy [no relation to Ted] Stryker. The three main photocollaged panels depicted what America was defending: Our* Land, Our* Children, and Our* Industry. [* Offer apparently not valid for non-white Americans, as the NAACP pointed out in protest letters to the FSA.]

Classic racial exclusion notwithstanding, I was most amazed that a giant war bonds photomural in Grand Central Station was the government's instant response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. And I was also wrong. According to a contemporary report in Time Magazine, the FSA photo staff spent three months designing and fabricating the massive photomural. Which should be evidence enough for the conspiracy theorists who suspected that Stryker and his puppet FDR had been planning to get the US into war all along. But it turns out the Treasury Department had already begun its defense bond campaign in 1940, and that the government marketing masters at the FSA had already been enlisted in Treasury's bond-selling campaigns.

Which seems odd, that a Depression-era tenant farmer resettlement program would morph into a historically ambitious documentary project for rural America, and then into a war bond marketer, before becoming the military propaganda operation for D-Day. Odd until you hear Stryker's longtime assistant Helen Wool describe Stryker's vision of the FSA's photographic mission in a 1964 interview for the Smithsonian:

[I]n that drastic difference he still stuck to the same type of basic idea, that America is America and that's all there was to it. We had psychological warfare films, and we had displays, and we had defense bond things, and everything else. But, underneath it he was selling America as it should be sold. [emphasis added because, obviously]
So what does the 3-months making of the world's largest photomural entail? Fortunately, the snap-happy photographers at FSA like Edwin Rosskam and Marion Post Wolcott documented the process, in a group of 53-70 images now at the Library of Congress:

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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.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
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Category: scott sforza, wh producer

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Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
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Madoff Provenance Project in
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Armory – ABMB 2015
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It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
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TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
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Standard Operating Procedure
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CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
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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
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HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
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Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
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"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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