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Jan 31, 2007

Funding cuts for NYC arts institutions

posted at 14:36 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

On WNYC this morning, I heard a report on how the reorganization of The Altria Group (parent of Phillip Morris and, until today, Kraft Foods) will adversely affect arts funding in NYC. This NY Sun article has a good rundown of the institutions that receive large funds from this company and how they’ll be affected. The NY Sun article is 3 weeks old, but I haven’t heard much about it until today. Today is the day that Altria is announcing exactly how they’re restructuring.

Some that may see this funding disappear: The Whitney, BAM, Brooklyn Museum, and The New Museum, of which is part (no!).

The report on WNYC suggested that The Whitney at Altria is a goner. permanent link to this post

Jan 29, 2007

time for a pop quiz…

posted at 15:24 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

Here are some questions that MTAA needs to think about for a new performance/ video thing (just thought I’d share):

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Where would you like to live?
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Who are your favorite characters in history?
Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Your favorite painter?
Your favorite musician?
The quality you most admire in a man?
The quality you most admire in a woman?
Your favorite virtue?
Your favorite occupation?
Who would you have liked to be?
Your most marked characteristic?
What do you most value in your friends?
What is your principle defect?
What is your dream of happiness?
What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
What would you like to be?
In what country would you like to live?
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite flower?
What is your favorite bird?
Who are your favorite prose writers?
Who are your favoite poets?
Who are your heroes in real life?
What are your favorite names?
What is it you most dislike?
What historical figures do you most despise?
What event in military history do you most admire?
What reform do you most admire?
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
How would you like to die?
What is your present state of mind?
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
What is your motto?

From The Infamous Proust Questionnaire
permanent link to this post

Jan 28, 2007

T.Whid sticking his tongue out

posted at 15:22 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

by M.River, taken at Spike Hill in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on 1/27/07 permanent link to this post

Jan 26, 2007

Good texts today

posted at 16:55 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Some interesting on-line texts have been published today.

First, and New Media Fix have teamed up for “3 x 3: New Media Fix(es) on Turbulence.”

From Turbulence:
[…] three texts about works from the archive. The texts—published in English, Italian and Spanish—were written and translated by members and affiliates of New Media Fix. They include “The Body in Turbulence” by Josephine Bosma; “Narrating with New Media: What Happened with Whatever has Happened?” by Belén Gache; and “Turbulence: Remixes + Bonus Beats” by Eduardo Navas. The translations are by Lucrezia Cippitelli, Francesca De Nicolò, Raquel Herrera, and Brenda Banda Corona & Ignacio Nieto. Ludmil Trenkov designed the PDF and HTML documents.


Also, G.H. Hovagimyan compares Doug Aitken’s sleepwalkers at MoMA to an unrealized proposal for MoMA’s facade by Gordon Matta-Clark.

Check it out permanent link to this post

Jan 21, 2007

MO & Jon in WaPo

posted at 21:25 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Artists ponder future of digital Mona Lisas
“We see the world not through a lens anymore but through a monitor screen,” said Marisa Olson, a curator of, a Web platform that has archived 2,500 digital artworks online.

“Museums have to start paying attention,” said Jon Ippolito, former associate curator at the Guggenheim. “They risk not preserving the most relevant aspects of 21st century culture and, thus, their own relevance.”
permanent link to this post

Jan 20, 2007

Cory Doctorow. I don’t like him.

posted at 16:07 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

I remember the main reason that I don’t like Cory Doctorow.

He’s a hugely overrated writer. That’s annoying. Luckily he gives his books away for free. I would be mighty peeved if I had to pay for them.

But that’s not the main reason.

The main reason (as I was reminded by typing up this post today) is that he called for the destruction of a public art work in Chicago. Why did he want it destroyed? Simply because he didn’t agree with the artist’s view on the artist’s rights concerning copyright of images of the sculpture. He wrote (in this post on his very influential blog), “they […] should melt the goddamned sculpture down for scrap.” He was talking about Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate.”

I happen to agree with him re: the right of the public to photograph things in, um, public. The artist and city officials are dead wrong on this issue. But to call for the destruction of what is a very beautiful work of art, especially from another creative — Doctorow’s a writer remember — is really sickening. He probably wasn’t serious. It was all probably just a bunch of hype. But really, it’s sad. He’s taken his copyright dogma to fundamentalist extremes if he really thinks it’s OK to destroy art work as an option in copyright disputes.

What’s next? book burnings of non-creative commons licensed books?

Rob Meyers doesn’t agree with me (and it is me T.Whid, not MTAA (MRiver has an annoying habit of not having the opinions that I want him to have)).

Rob sounds like he’s OK with destroying Kapoor’s stuff because he doesn’t like the artist’s work. He says Doctorow was being rhetorical, which is true. But it’s the kind of rhetoric I find repulsive. And then there’s this:
[..] I would say in all seriousness that if a work of art is that harmful to society (in a practical rather than a symbolic way), destroying it is the less harmful option for art itself.

I’m sure all the bookburners and christian-morals censors would heartily agree with you.

It’s simple. You can’t change copyright law by destroying art works. You do it by petitioning law makers, demonstrating, civil disobedience etc, etc.

If you simply don’t like an art work you can ridicule it, write scathing crits of it or, better yet, ignore it. permanent link to this post

WTF Claes?

posted at 14:47 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

A while back I posed the question of whether or not Anish Kapoor is a dumbass for restricting photographs of his ‘bean’ sculpture in Chicago. (Background here.)

So. I ask again. Are Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen dumbasses? Probably not.

Some of the comments on that Stranger post linked above, I DO NOT agree with. Fantasizing about vandalizing or destroying art I find offensive. Also, I like the piece, it’s fun. This pic shows how it’s situated on a small rise so it looks like it’s rolling downhill.

But this new copyright fascism does seem particularly offensive considering that Oldenburg makes his sculptures by copying designs that may be copyrighted or even patented!

Perhaps it’s the city officials negotiating the sales of these things need some education? They should make certain that they get the rights for the citizens to photograph these pieces. If the artists are going to be so greedy, it’s seems the only alternative. permanent link to this post

Jan 19, 2007

More Character Reference

posted at 16:30 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

M.River took a snap of our piece:

The show makes it to Rhizome’s official news, penned by director Lauren Cornell no less.

Tom Moody’s take:
they might to be holding poses for some future dystopian hologram ID gone all glitchy due to budget cuts in the security ministry

LOL — Thanks Tom!

This is interesting. Barry Hoggard sent us a link to a similar piece from ‘95 by Charles Goldman entitled “Happy To Be Here.” Seeing the date on this piece made me realize that we did Infinite Smile exactly 10 years after. ISmile is from 2005. permanent link to this post

Jan 18, 2007

reminder: Character Reference tonight

posted at 15:10 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Character Reference is opening tonight. If yer in NYC, be there or be a…whatever.


Character Reference — a group show

MTAA, Lee Walton, Marina Zurkow, Julian Opie and Oliver Laric.

curated by the smart and talented Caitlin Jones

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
601 W26h St. ste 1240 (btw 11th Ave and West Side Hwy)

opening - Jan 18, 6 - 8PM (tonight)
thru Feb 24

Everything is plugged in — electricity! permanent link to this post

Jan 12, 2007

Networked Nature

posted at 16:39 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Made the opening of Production’s group show entitled Network Nature last night.

The place was packed (see below) and the work was great.

M.River and I were confused that we weren’t in the show. We thought there was an unwritten rule that Marisa puts us in everything she curates. I guess we were mistaken ;-)

One more thing, check out JMB’s flickr set of the opening permanent link to this post

Jan 09, 2007

more on cats and less on phones

posted at 22:24 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

It has almost become law that to be a blogger, at some point, you must post about a cat. No one knows why this is. It is just how the Net operates. It is also a sign that a blog has run past relevance. Posting on cats is the net equivalence of jumping the shark So, just to drive Tim insane for his post below, here is a link for a Google image search on phone cat

Enjoy permanent link to this post


posted at 21:37 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid/geek

Apple has released the iPhone. I sorta called it a few months back in this Digg comment.

Sure, I was wrong about the name and the way it would be hyped. But I got the gist right IMHO. The important part was my follow up pointing out the patent on ‘dynamic and configurable touchscreen interfaces.’ Or maybe I’m just delusional; everyone and their dog was predicting this damn thing.

PS, I needed to post something again today to push M.River’s cat post down. I hate cat blogging. permanent link to this post

what may be the first MTAA-RR blog post about a cat

posted at 20:07 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

and net art 2.0 rolls on with Evan Roth’s Satanic Images. Google image searches for the 666th photo taken on various digital cameras.

I just want to point out that the cat in the third row IS evil. Very evil permanent link to this post

Sherman: Paik as first video artist is a myth?

posted at 17:12 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

I just saw the short essay by Tom Sherman, The Premature Birth of Video Art, on the iDC list and found it very interesting. Sherman’s conclusion:
[…] the myth of Paik’s first work of video art appears to pre-date its own possibility. While Paik undoubtedly was a pioneer user of portable video equipment, he probably shared the original moments of video art with other artists, including Frank Gillette, Ira Schneider, Les Levine, and Juan Downey. The mythic story of Nam June Paik shooting the first Portapak-generated video art out of the back of a taxi in 1965 is apparently just that, a myth.

He goes on to say:

I […] welcome information that supports or undermines this challenge of the myth of the birth of video art.

Read the entire essay at the iDC archives.

Obviously, I have no idea. If I see further compelling info or evidence, I’ll post it here. permanent link to this post

Spitzer slashes sick tax

posted at 15:09 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid/politics

It’s nice to see government working for the people once in a while. And Eliot Spitzer, brand new Governor of New York, is just the guy to do it.

Since 2003, NY state has had a sick, demented tax on people who’s friends and families happen to be in prison. Oh, and the government was sharing the spoils with for-profit phone company Verizon. This is how this disgusting shake-down worked:

In court papers, lawyers for Verizon/MCI said the state Public Service Commission directed them in 2003 to charge a tariff that includes the “jurisdictional” rate plus the “DOCS commission.” That included a flat rate of $3 per call and 16 cents a minute thereafter.

That meant collect calls have been charged at a rate of 630 percent more than consumer rates, of which 57.5 percent is “kicked back” to [the Dept. of Correctional Services] for operating expenses such as health care that should come out of general tax dollars, [Center for Constitutional Rights] officials said.


Yesterday, Spitzer announced that the rates would be cut. permanent link to this post

Jan 08, 2007

Dept of Homeland Security: NYC highest risk

posted at 15:19 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid/politics

Well, we all knew it to be true but now our trusted civil servants in the DHS have confirmed it:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, seeking to avert a repeat of last year’s furor over counter-terrorism grants to U.S. cities, announced Friday that New York, Washington and four other “highest-risk” metro areas will receive $411 million to subsidize their efforts to guard against terrorist attacks.

Wonder what those four others are? LA, SF, Houston? Dallas? Seattle? Miami?

Watching Children of Men (HIGHLY recommended) over the weekend it warmed my heart to see a casual passing reference by the main characters to the nuking of NYC at some vague point in the past of the movie’s present of 2027.

It seems that everyone is just assuming that it will happen eventually. Hopefully lots of people will get scared and move away so I can purchase some real estate in this damn city.

Have a good day! permanent link to this post

Jan 06, 2007

It’s freakishly warm in NYC today

posted at 15:57 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

According to my little OS X weather widget, it’s 67ºF outside right now and the high is to be 71ºF!!! Is this June or January? Outside, most people are in shirt sleeves, no jackets, no coats, no scarves, no hats, no mittens. Freaky!

I know that, scientifically, these warm (or cold) outliers don’t mean anything in the larger global warming trend. But here in NYC, winter seems to be coming much later and ending much sooner. Days like this are exclamation points on that trend.

I know what M.River is saying, “Vive La Global Warming!” Perhaps we should all start keeping canoes on our roofs — just in case? permanent link to this post

Jan 02, 2007

Character Reference

posted at 20:59 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

We’re in a group show opening January 18th at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery here in NYC with a bunch of other interesting artists.

We hope that if you’re in NYC that you can come out and see the show!

Character Reference
January 19 - February 24 2007
Opening Reception: January 18, 6-8pm

The Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present “Character Reference”” a group show featuring an international group of contemporary artists.

The portrait as a genre has enjoyed an enduring popularity throughout the history of art. As depictions of power and wealth, or socialist realist studies, through its current pervasiveness in contemporary photography, the portrait has long played a key role in creating and questioning identity. Through the works in “Character Reference” the artists Oliver Laric, MTAA, Julian Opie, Lee Walton and Marina Zurkow all mine this rich genre. These artists do not simply employ the portrait as a means to depict specific individuals but rather use the form to represent broader cultural types.

Oliver Laric’s “787 Cliparts” uses as building blocks the “clip art” which can be found embedded in Microsoft Word documents and Power Point presentations world over. These prepackaged images are seamlessly streamed together in a continuous dance to convey and question how diverse cultures and activities are stereotyped in the name of convenient communication.

MTAA’s “Infinite Smile” is a video portrait in which the artists’ faces hold a smile in an infinitely repeating loop. Their expressions, appear to change from glee to agony and back, highlighting the artifice of the smile and its function as a seller of goods and ideology, an indicator of happiness, and how we project our own assumptions on to the ubiquitous happy face.

In Julian Opie’s “Suzanne Walking in Leather Skirt” and “Sarah Walking in Bra, Pants and Boots”, female characters are rendered in the artist’s signature generic, minimalist style. These sexually charged portraits of women in underwear and short skirts conveys a connection to the specific subjects while simultaneously representing the stereotypical and loaded symbols of female sexuality.

To create Lee Walton’s “The Serial Conversationalist”, Walton targeted park benches throughout New York City on specific dates and times and initiated conversation with whoever happened to sit down. Often awkward and pained, Walton’s recordings of these conversations with random strangers about kids, dogs and other New York wildlife help inform a portrait of a city and how it establishes and solidifies our understanding of the characters around us.

Likewise, Marina Zurkow’s animated “Boom!Darling” looks at the formation of character against the backdrop of a hyper-active urban environment. Through this short animation we see a girl on the edge of puberty exploring her own identity in the booming metropolis of current day Shanghai - a city which is similarly experiencing “growing pains” in the current global economy.

Seen as a whole the works in “Character Reference” represent a broadened view of the portrait genre. Using this historically rich convention in new ways the artists are able to portray their subjects as much more than they appear.
permanent link to this post

Jan 01, 2007

Happy New Year 2007

posted at 00:39 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Now get out there and go get drunk!

Or at least spend the evening and New Year’s Day with your loved ones :-)

permanent link to this post

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