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|Current Reblogger: Chloë Bass|
Chloë Bass is an artist, curator and community organizer based in Brooklyn. She is the co-lead organizer for Arts in Bushwick (artsinbushwick.org), which produces the ever-sprawling Bushwick Open Studios, BETA Spaces, and performance festival SITE Fest, which she founded. Recent artistic work has been seen at SCOPE Art Fair, CultureFix, the Bushwick Starr Theater, Figment, and The Last Supper Art Festival, as well as in and around the public spaces of New York City. She has guest lectured at Parsons, the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and Brooklyn College. Other moments have found her co-cheffing Umami: People + Food, a 90 person private supper club; growing plants with Boswyck Farms (boswyckfarms.org); and curating with architecture gallery SUPERFRONT (superfront.org). Chloë holds a BA in Theater Studies from Yale University, and an MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College.
I am only now realizing what pioneers of socially mediated public art practices Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler were. Listen to this list of approaches they were utilizing in the late 70's (pulled from America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler:
1) Researching arcane areas of knowledge and pursuing a passion for the aura of the archive
2) Using mapping and other similar ways of schematizing life
3) Creating a system that dictates all signifiant visual decisions about a work's presentation
4) Employing found elements rather than causing something new to be made
5) Viewing the entire country as a text to be read, engaged, and decoded
6) Using natural materials, like stone, leaves and water, as they are inflected or coded by culture
7) Critically engaging decoration and architecture for what they reveal about society
8) Using Americana as topic, material or motif
9) Engaging cultural institutions, museums, and monuments, such as the Supreme Court, libraries, and universities
10) Investigating governmental decisions about urban space and making them public
11) Collecting and collating found language, which can subsequently function as a type of found poetry
12) Using the practical business decisions of others as a structuring device for works
13) Designing projects so they exist in multiple states, each of which creates meaning, from the first research to the final use of materials
14) Inserting delays into a process that unnaturally extends the in-between period of a simple task such as land-scaping or cleaning, rendering otherwise invisible processes conspicuous and examinable
15) Allowing work to disappear through transformation, making them cease to be "art" and instead begin to fulfill a useful function
16) Cooperating with people outside the specific disciplines of the art world in a way that gives them a non-artistic reason to participate
17) Choosing to work with each other as collaborators
There is no doubt that other artists explored aspects of these approaches before Ericson and Ziegler, but by bringing it into the public realm, handing much of the control to the public as participants or even counterparts, they really cleared the way for what I feel is now a predominant mode of socially-mediated public art-making. There's everyone from Spurse to Simon Starling to Miltos Manetas in there!
Let me know what other contemporary artists you see stemming from those distinctions...
Hello World! Thought I'd start by telling you what I'm up to these days. Most of this year has been dedicated to the WPA-2010 - bringing back the Work Projects Administration because the government hasn't. Essentially I am running a real fake government recovery agency that pays people to fix up their neighborhoods. Currently, I am living in a rural hamlet in upstate New York, running our first WPA effort as part of the Wassaic Project.
The second WPA office will open July in Jamaica, Queens, through Chashama.
Ghana Think Tank is always a big part of my life - this is a project in which we hire a growing network of think tanks in Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Serbia and Iran to solve the problems of the "First World."
And most minutely, my foot's all messed up from a rough soccer match followed by a relay race from Woodstock to NYC.
I'll try to keep most of my posts revolving around the Participatory Art tip, in anticipation of the upcoming Eyebeam show. But, I am also pretty obsessed with wood, things that look like they shouldn't be standing, things that float (kind of related), bright colors, and smart asses.
Here we go...
Big thanks to Jace Clayton for his excellent reBlog work over the last two weeks, really great stuff! And now we're turning the reBlog over to Christopher Robbins, a public artist who will be exhibiting with Eyebeam in our Re:Group: Beyond Models of Consensus exhibition; the VIP Private View and reception is scheduled for June 8. Robbins' collaborative project the Ghana Think Tank has recently been shortlisted for the Frieze Foundation Cartier Award, 2010.
Shared by reBlog @ Eyebeam
Jace sez: "required reading for anyone who has ever aestheticized ruins"
The Ruin Machine
By Bryan Finoki
The ruin, taken as a broad spatial typology that offers itself readily as forensic evidence useful in the investigation of contemporary configurations of power, is the starting point for Bryan Finoki’s reflections on architecture’s implication in the manipulation of space for political ends. From Ground Zero in NYC to what remains of Saddam Hussein’s luxurious compounds in Baghdad, the ruin is the battlefield not just in the War on Crime, or the War on Poverty, on Drugs, Illegal Immigration, or on Terrorism, but what he sees as an all-out War on Space itself.
Shared by reBlog @ Eyebeam
Jace sez: "in-depth interview with queer producer/DJ Terre Thaemlitz. Intelligent commentary on the zones where club music, sexuality, power dynamics, and the marketplace grind up against each other. This is just an excerpt;the whole thing is a good read."
For Terre Thaemlitz, audio is never “innocent.” From Thaemlitz’s earliest ambient recordings, through a series of incredible electro-acoustic projects for the Mille Plateaux label, to a current triple-life as producer of astringently political “radio shows,” deep house auteur as DJ Sprinkles and K-SHE, and writer/polemicist, Thaemlitz’s project has always been to unsettle any putative audience’s assumptions of what constitutes knowledge and politics. Thaemlitz is also possibly dance music’s finest socio-political commentator. Not to mention her continual “queering of the pitch.” With DJ Sprinkles’s Midtown 120 Blues somehow managing to be one of the best dance music albums of both 2008 and 2009 (thanks partly to a staggered release schedule, but also to the ineffectual nature of most any of its supposed “competitors”), it’s time to take the temperature of the “ideology of the dance floor” with our scene’s most articulate outsider.
The sense I get of any overarching “project” you may have in all of your work is this: generalization is the work of ideology and capital; in order to tease out the implications of power and/for the “margins,” we need to work from specifics. Hence the key thread in Midtown 120 Blues, of disavowing the universalist claims of “house is a feeling,” “the house nation” and instead grappling with the specific politics of house’s origins.
That’s basically correct, but I am not concerned with origins, which are another kind of naturalist claim that relies heavily on identity constructs (who constitutes the “true originator class”? etc.). I am concerned with contexts. Contexts of production, contexts of distribution, contexts of reception. And these contexts are always politicized, and about social relations. Often about consumer relations. The title of the K-S.H.E album Routes not Roots was clearly a reference to this notion of complicating concepts of origin. Because of its autobiographical elements, Midtown 120 Blues can initially come across as a testimonial about a certain era, but it’s really more about how images of a previous era are contextualized within the current music marketplace. It is the process of interpreting those autobiographical elements today — and not the subjects of the stories themselves — that are at issue. This is all pretty much laid out in the introduction monologue. And it’s interesting that a lot of bloggers really hate the parts where I’m talking. I can understand this on a sonic level — my voice sucks — but beyond that I think there is a connection between the way people rant against the intro track, and the marketplace through which they encounter that track. And this is a good reaction for me. To have people debate a little about the album is much more interesting than simply “loving it.” I think it’s good if media involves things other than “entertainment value,” if only a little. The marketplace is not very forgiving, though.
. . .Madonna turning the art of Vogueing into a number one hit exposes the masses to what was once a hyper-specific dance form for certain parts of the Queer community. I find this idea problematic — what are your thoughts?
Clearly I find it f--ed up. But what is really f--ed up is the underlying demand for mass acceptance — whether that demand comes from within, or is imposed from without. A lot of drag queens love Madonna, and my little rant at the end of “Ball’r” really described a frequent thing, where people within the vogue scene would request her tracks. Of course, most transgendered cultures are haunted by aspirations for “passability,” which means being able to “pass” as that which is most commonplace and boring in dominant culture. It is about transforming oneself into something totally banal — which is incredibly difficult. Few ever achieve that target banality, and the gap between where one “started” and how far one has “come” in transitional processes involves a lot of radical transgression. Dangerous, physically and emotionally threatening transgression, all in an attempt to reach a point of “safety.”
It’s always fueled by a sweetly romantic desire to simply fit in with that which has excluded us. For me, this is really hard-core. Emotionally difficult. In some ways, maybe the relationships between transgendered communities and dominant cultures are like those of children who continue aspiring to please their abusive parents, if only in the hope of avoiding a drunken beating. So, it would be false to try to represent the “transgendered underground” as something completely against or divested of dominant culture. It would be false to say Madonna has no place in drag culture. Rather, what is her place? I guess this is where we get into post-colonialism and thinking beyond a binarism of “invader/invaded.” This question of what Madonna means to transgendered people is a much more interesting question than what “our” place has or has not become in mainstream culture as a result of Madonna’s mass popularity. Mainstream assimilation as a goal — giving power to the very idea of the necessity for a Trojan horse — is something I don’t want to invest any energy into.
Shared by reBlog @ Eyebeam
Jace sez: "another VST plug-in for the sonic adventurers among us. This is Glitch, an 'old classic'"
What is it?
Glitch is a VST plug-in effect for Windows-based systems running a VST 2.3 compatible host.
What does it do?
Glitch chops up your audio in real-time and applies a variety of effects which can either be chosen at random, manually sequenced, or a mixture of both. The sounds it generates range from quite subtle to extremely bizarre, depending on how much you tweak the controls.
Shared by reBlog @ Eyebeam
Jace sez: "everybody with an interest in network architecture, urban computing, empathy, and acorn bread should take a deep breath and go read Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower. Once you've got that under yr skin, feel free to resume reading stuff like Situated Tech Pamphlet 5"
Situated Technologies Pamphlet 5:
A synchronicity: Design Fictions for Asynchronous Urban Computing
Julian Bleecker and Nicolas Nova
In the last five years, the urban computing field has featured an impressive emphasis on the so-called "real-time, database-enabled city" with its synchronized Internet of Things. Julian Bleecker and Nicholas Nova argue to invert this common perspective and speculate on the existence of an “asynchronous city”. Through a discussion of objects that blog, they forecast situated technologies based on weak signals that show the importance of time on human practices. They imagine the emergence of truly social technologies that through thoughtful provocation can invert and disrupt common perspectives.