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Oct 29, 2010

random friday post 10-29-10

posted at 13:21 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver


No Customs opens Nov 4 in Abu Dhabi
John Baldessari - A Painting That Is Its Own Documentation’ (1966-68)
Beuys on a Bike
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Oct 26, 2010

No Customs

posted at 01:38 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

We’re in a show in Abu Dhabi. It’s in the McCoys’ apartment.

Check it out… from the press release:
No Customs
November 4-27, 2010
opening reception: Thursday Nov 4, 7-9 pm
curated by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

an exhibition of transmissible ideas with:

Vito Acconci
Jason Robert Bell / Marni Kotak
Torsten Z. Burns
Jennifer Dalton / Susan Hamburger
Anthony Discenza
Melissa Dubbin / Aaron Davidson
Bill Durgin
Tara Fracalossi
David Grubbs
Sara Hubbs
Thomas Lail
Michael Mandiberg
Marisa Olson
Jonathan Schipper
Mark Tribe
Karen Yasinsky

A common art-making strategy when one enters into new territory is to listen, to ask, and to wait. As newcomers to Abu Dhabi, we considered this strategy, but then rejected it. Instead of waiting to receive information, we begin our sojourn in the Emirates by making an offer. In curating this show, No Customs, held in our remarkably gallery like living space, we offer the work of artists connected to us from our home community of New York City. When they asked what life is like here, we answered we didn’t yet know. We told them to send what they could send via email, via instructions, via concept. We told them to send it fast. So then, what we have is a show called No Customs. This title is a double entendre. Practically, since no objects have been mailed, we were not slowed by the expense of shipping and the delays of customs. Metaphorically, the show is not about tradition or interpretation, but rather about mapping and transcription. How does form map onto landscape? How does it transform landscape? How do you demarcate space for contemplation, for understanding, for revolution? What happens to the body when its image occupies this demarcated space?

First, the approach to a problem. This is what we hear when listening to Vito Acconci’s audio piece, Research Station, Antarctica, For Your Ears Only (2004-2010). How does an artist (here architect) turn a landscape into a series of constraints to be addressed, to create a form? In the photographs of Melissa Dubbin and Aaron Davidson, the long time collaborators use smoke bombs to test the landscape. They create form with weather, wind, light, and clouds. In a site specific project by Thomas Lail, a series of Buckminister Fuller domes are superimposed over the city view of Abu Dhabi, creating another take on the domes of the city and adding to the enormous architectural speculation already here. In another project, a memory sequence of images by Tara Fracalossi offers a counterpoint to the desert with images of most verdant spring and bleakest winter. These images purport to be memory, but their repetition on the wall creates matrices of classifications that map new space. In the end they are more like letters in an alphabet than like stories of particular landscapes.

Demarcated space
In answering a call to show work in Abu Dhabi, many artists considered the question of mapping, both graphically and metaphorically. In the work of Michael Mandiberg, the artist asked us to find an Arabic map of the USA in which we recreate the laser cuttings of print media that he is known for. In this work the message and the map collide. The artist duo MTAA and the sculptor Sara Hubbs sent ideas for works that, though they are generated very differently, come up with surprisingly congruent projects. MTAA asked us to find “the most colorful place” in Abu Dhabi. Then they provided software that translated this image into an abstract digital image (referred to as “the aesthetic object”). We could then display this any way we saw fit. In Sara Hubb’s project, an abstract form also results from a behind the scenes process. She photographed decaying areas of New York City and asked us to reproduce the patterns they create in plaster, building up a surface to form decoration from blight.

The projects of Jonathan Schipper and the collaborative team of Jennifer Dalton and Susan Hamburger ask us the audience to participate in the creation of the artwork by zeroing in on our patterns of behavior. In the ambitious project by Schipper, entitled A Million Dollar Walk, attendees of the opening reception will be given the opportunity to carry a briefcase full of money on a prescribed path through the building. Dalton and Hamburger ask participants questions about their behavior in Abu Dhabi, creating a changing sculptural bar graph that measures their assumptions about life in the capitol against actual practice.

Four artists in the exhibition deal with space by creating voids some for the viewer to inhabit speculatively others by creating spaces for lost objects. In her video mixtape project, Marisa Olson casts herself as an outsourced worker and creates a mash-up of Arab covers of American karaoke classics. The singers of course, are us by implication. In The New Revolution (2010), Mark Tribe creates an installation that invites spectators to consider their own ideas about revolution. David Grubbs, a noted musician, sent us instructions to render a beautiful wall drawing whose omissions create open spaces for meaning to drift. In an animation by Karen Yasinsky, You’d Better Be Careful, omitted objects and spaces set interpretation even farther adrift.

Several of the artists in the show responded with work implying performative space. In the video Double Face Fantasy by Jason Robert Bell and Marni Kotak this space is a virtual one in that a portrait transforms through a technical gesture. Anthony Discenza’s video, The Future has Already Been Written creates a tour de force collage of science fiction, and we follow the body of Charlton Heston through alternate visions of the future. In the work of Torsten Burns, Resurrectables (Yellow-Mobilers), the artist asked us to curate a selection of performance stills from a huge array of images of costumes, props, and locations. We selected images of vehicles, conveying transmission, speed, and the framing of the body as it moves through space. Finally, the work of photographer Bill Durgin presents work that brings it all together. The body becomes a landscape of skin, finally an abstracted “aesthetic object”.


No Customs is located at Sama Tower, Suite 3708, Abu Dhabi. Sama Tower is at the corner of Airport Rd and Electra Rd., near the NMC (New Medical Center). The exhibition will be open Saturdays from 1-5 through Nov. 27 and by appointment. Please contact Jennifer or Kevin McCoy with questions and image requests:
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Oct 24, 2010

links for 2010-10-23

posted at 02:02 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

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Oct 21, 2010

links for 2010-10-20

posted at 02:01 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

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Some New Documentation


Last weekend we presented the first work in a new series titled “Some New Documentation” as part of 10.10.10 x10. The work is set of Faux 70’s era MTAA performance documented with digital black and white photos. The photos are focus not only the performance but the people watching the performance. The first work in the series consisted of tossing wet hotel towels at blank walls. The other planned works in the series so far are slowing stacking Ritz crackers in a corner and standing in-front of osscillating fan with arms outstretched and head back.

Oct 15, 2010

random friday post 10-15-10

posted at 13:24 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

ARTBarn (East)
ARTBarn (East) Events

GZ Groundzero open mic at MTAA / EMPAC / Filiment ARTBarn. Photo by Brian Chitester permanent link to this post

Oct 14, 2010

Burning Books with RSG

posted at 13:28 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

10.10.10 x10

As part of 10.10.10 x10 last weekend, we held 10 minute reading and burning of the works of Alexander Galloway (RSG). The work honors what everyone agrees is Alex’s best art idea ever - Public Book Burnings.

Next Wensday, Alex and Jason Smith torch “Introduction to Civil War” by Tiqqun.

A Book Burning — To honor the recent publication of the book “Introduction to Civil War” by Tiqqun.

with your hosts Alexander Galloway and Jason Smith

October 20th @ 8:00pm

at ISSUE PROJECT ROOM, 232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor, Brooklyn

Free admission

“Society no longer exists, at least in the sense of a differentiated whole. There is only a tangle of norms and mechanisms through which THEY hold together the scattered tatters of the global bio-political fabric, through which THEY prevent its violent disintegration. Empire is the administrator of this desolation, the supreme manager of a process of this listless implosion.” —Tiqqun permanent link to this post

Oct 12, 2010

10.10.10 x10 photos

posted at 17:12 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

10.10.10 x10
10.10.10 x10
“Three Sheets to The Wind” and “Hack” section of performance.

Photos of 10.10.10 x10 are now up at Flickr
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Oct 11, 2010

links for 2010-10-10

posted at 02:01 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

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Oct 10, 2010

Autotrace #2 (Nocturne; performative)

posted at 02:52 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid


Artists MTAA’s Autotrace series is a group of prints, installations and performances where the artists take a digital reproduction (JPEG) of a well-known painting and then use Adobe Illustrator’s Live Trace feature to automatically transform the digital bitmap image into a digital vector image.

Different strategies are then used to present a new, original artwork from the autotraced image.

Performative Autotrace
The performative variety of the Autotrace takes the form of a live, public demonstration of the technique. The mechanics of the autotrace are performed on the artists’ computer and projected before an audience. Usually the performance concludes after a single vector shape is randomly chosen from the autotraced bitmap and presented as a new work of art.

MTAA conducted their first1 performative autotrace during a lecture conducted for the Takeovers & Makeovers: Artistic Appropriation, Fair Use and Copyright in the Digital Age symposium at UC Berkeley on November 7th, 2008. A reproduction of Joan Miro’s Nocturne was used.

Autotrace #2 (Nocturne; performative) is freely available to download. Follow the link below to acquire the artwork.

Download the shape in SVG2 format.


This JPEG reproduction of Joan Miro’s Nocturne was used as the base for Autotrace #2 (Nocturne; performative).

1. Though this was the first performative Autotrace, it is the second in the series. The first in the series is Autotrace #1 (Full Fathom Five).
2. Scalable Vector Graphics; an open and standard XML-based vector graphics format.
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AutoTrace #1 (Full Fathom Five)
2005, digital image
not yet exhibited

MTAA has released their digital image “AutoTrace #1 (Full Fathom Five)” under a Creative Commons license. Please read the license, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, before using the image.

read more »

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Oct 08, 2010

links for 2010-10-07

posted at 02:01 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

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Oct 07, 2010

10.10.10 x10

posted at 23:17 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver


On 10.10.10 M.River of MTAA will perform 10 10 minute artworks for the 10th anniversary of the Beall Center for Art + Technology at Claire Trevor School of the Arts 712 Arts Plaza, UC Irvine, Irvine, Ca 92697-2775. The 10 works, commissioned by the Beall Center will begin at Winifred Smith Hall at 5pm and move at a slow crawl to a finish on the steps of the Beall Center.

Here is the list of the 10 works.

Number 1. A Completely Random Aesthetic Object (CRAO) — A single digital image created automatically from random audience input.    

Number 2. Fly Drawings — An attempt to fly audience-made drawings

Number 3. Burning Books (with RSG) — A public reading and burning of the published works of our friend Alexander Galloway.

Number 4. Hack — The term “hack” traces back to an insult about  furniture that looks like it was made with an axe. We will do this.

Number 5. Some New Documentation — a Faux 70’s era MTAA performance documented with black and white photos of the crowd looking on politely. Performance consists of tossing wet beach blankets at blank walls with overwrought intensity.   

Number 6. Live Dramatic Reading (Disconnection of HAL 9000’s Higher Functions) — A live reading from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey”

Number 7. Default Location “University of California Irvine” — A virtual visit to the exact default location on Google Maps when ‘University of California Irvine’ is entered

Number 8. iPhone Drum Circle 2 — The west coast premier of the infamous IPDC. We will “Jam” using iPhones with drum aps connected to an ampifier.

Number 9. Snack Time — MTAA loves a good cheese tray and would like to enjoy one with you.

Number 10. Three Sheets to The Wind — MTAA concocts a new cocktail and raises a toast to the Beall Center’s anniversary. permanent link to this post

Oct 06, 2010

YDKWYTA #MTAA live feed

posted at 16:40 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

Along with the All Raise This Barn (East), we presented two 10-minute performances of a new work - You Do Not Know What You Are Talking #MTAA. The work was commissioned By EMPAC, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY as part of the Filament Festival.


Below are 2 captures from the live feed during the performances. Note: the first capture includes about 11 minutes of us waiting around backstage.

Watch live video from twhid on

Watch live video from twhid on

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Oct 05, 2010

More photos of ARTB (East)

posted at 16:12 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

Slide show of ARTB (East). Enjoy

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Oct 04, 2010

All Raise This Barn (East) build out.

posted at 14:22 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

All Raise This Barn (East)
All Raise This Barn (East)

With Thursday, our first day at the site, being scrubbed due to a heavy downpour, we built All Raise This Barn (East) with a core crew of four in the rain for 9 hours on Friday. We used hand saws and nails for the build with some screw guns used for the joist hangers on the roof. Tim and I added finish details on Saturday and Sunday before our afternoon You Don’t Konw What Your Talking About #MTAA performances. After the YDKWYTA performance, we went back to work on the barn in the late afternoons until the sun went down.

artb(east) day 1
artb(east) day 1
Crew building in rain on Friday.

All Raise This Barn stays on the RPI campus for the month to be used by various groups and clubs. More info on ARTB events as well more documentation of the building to come.

Thanks to all the folks who stopped by to say “hey”, toss paint and hammered nails.

Big thanks to Johannes Goebel and Kathleen Forde of EMPAC and RPI administration and students for their support of the project. permanent link to this post

1997 - 2006 M.River & T.Whid Art Associates. Some Rights Reserved. is licensed under a Creative Commons License with the exception of Website Unseen titles which are covered by agreements with individual collectors and otherwise where noted.