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the making of

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  • Permalink for 'Nice Grouping'

    Nice Grouping

    Posted: 7-July-2014, 10:29am EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 9.33.10 AM.png

    very nice grouping (loading):

    — gregorg (@gregorg) March 28, 2014

    I've began noticing these twitter juxtapositions about 18 months ago, and have been collecting and occasionally retweeting them since last fall.

    Now I've put these groupings together in one place, to see what to make of them. At, I'm caught up through April, and will start functioning in realtime in a week or so.


    When I first started, I connected these abutments of random images and texts to, of all things, the upload scene in Johnny Mnemonic, where Keanu tells the renegade Japanese pharma chemists to encrypt the data by capturing three images from the television.

    But I just rewatched that scene now, and it's meaningless, also hilarious. First off, they print hard copies and then fax the three images to Newark? Don't get me started. Anyway. That is definitely not important now, but I am interested to see how these things look together.

    grpg: nice grouping []

  • Permalink for 'Readymake: And You May Find Yourself 3-D Printing A Marcel Duchamp Chess Set'

    Readymake: And You May Find Yourself 3-D Printing A Marcel Duchamp Chess Set

    Posted: 2-July-2014, 2:29pm EDT


    A couple of years ago Scott Kildall created Playing Duchamp, an online chess program designed to simulate the chess play of the artist, and incorporating the designs of two of the chess sets Duchamp created over the years.


    As a non-chess-player, my own personal favorite is the Pocket Chess Set, 1943, which he planned as a mass market product, but which ended up as a limited edition. [The image above is from the example the Arensbergs donated to the Philadelphia Museum.]

    But I also like the sleek, Art Deco-inspired set Duchamp had carved in Buenos Aires when he arrived there in 1918-19. The knight especially reminds me of the Futurist-ic Horse sculptures of Marcel's brother, Raymond Duchamp-Villon.


    Anyway, Kildall has collaborated with Bryan Cera to recreate Duchamp's Buenos Aires chess set from archival photos, and to release them as 3D-printable models. The first draft was uploaded to Thingiverse a few weeks ago. Titled Readymake, the Duchamp Chess Set has already been printed in several media and finishes by Makerbot community members. They look pretty sweet. [That's Cera's image of his proof set above.]

    Cera writes that his and Kildall's concept was "resurrecting objects [like the Chess Set[ that have been lost...This set no longer exists save the archival photograph pictured above." Well, and this photo:


    And the chess set itself. This pic's from a 2008 Duchamp exhibit at the Fondacion Proa in BA, that lists the chess set as belonging to a private collection. And Francis Naumann included the set in his 2009 exhibition, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess in New York.

    No problem: if the set was not exactly lost before, thanks to Cera and Kildall's project, it is now much easier to find.


    No, there is another. This carved knight on the page for Francis Naumann's exhibition catalogue, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess, is different from the "lost" Buenos Aires set.


    Please don't make me dig out my copy of Naumann's catalogue raisonnesque Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction to figure this out...

    Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set []
    Resurrecting Dead Objects []

  • Permalink for 'Uncle Sam's Club'

    Uncle Sam's Club

    Posted: 27-June-2014, 1:52pm EDT


    The Department of Homeland Security released this photograph of Secretary Jeh Johnson and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and their respective entourages visiting the Males 16-17 aisle in the Nogales Placement Center, where several hundred ? thousand? unaccompanied minors are being detained, after being arrested while crossing into the US.

    I'm going to be Gurskying up images of these juvenile prison warehouse stores as I find them. I just cannot even right now.

    Readout of Secretary Johnson's Visit to Arizona []

  • Permalink for 'It's The Little Differences'

    It's The Little Differences

    Posted: 24-June-2014, 11:32pm EDT


    A couple of commentators crystallize what is becoming the conventional wisdom about Wade Guyton's Instagram provocation last month, a few days before one of his paintings headlined a heavily hyped sale at Christie's. It's the idea, first expressed by a giddy Jerry Saltz, that Guyton is trying "to tank his own market by flooding it with confusing real-fake product."


    Marion Maneker expressed concern that the Guyton's "threat" to create "a whole series of works from the previously unique printing of an image file" had backfired, and if we were all obsessed with his market now instead of his work, it's basically Wade's fault. From Art Market Monitor:

    It's hard to tell whether Wade Guyton is inadvertently steering the conversation away from his art and toward his market or whether the artist has simply fallen prey to the Barbra Streisand effect where the more one tries to deflect attention to an event, the greater the interest.

    I just don't buy it.

    As Guyton's own Instagram photo above showed, the Times [and Christie's themselves] had already made him the poster child for anxiety marketing for a auction that was actually full of guarantees and third-party pre-bids. If Guyton really wanted to destabilize his market, he could just pull a Cady Noland and demand the auction house remove his name from a work. This did not happen. Instead he reaffirmed the central element of his practice: that his paintings are each machine-printed renderings of infinitely reproducible digital files, whose uniqueness derives from the circumstances of their production. And record resale prices continued apace.


    [How uncontroversial was Guyton's backup copy situation? Christie's auctioneer Loic Gouzer made--and signed--his own batch and sold it as an edition of 10, with proceeds going to Leonardo diCaprio's favorite shark conservation charity.]

    If it did anything, Guyton's Instagram posts served as public critique of the Auction Week hype. It was a way to align himself critically against the system of relentless commodification--and to inoculate his work against the charges of speculation and cynicism that are leveled against auction stars. Even while his work was jostling around in the center of the hypercapitalist scrum.

    Perhaps it's not fair to blame Maneker for toeing Carol Vogel's NY Times line, but he did it again in the very next paragraph, about the art market's very next get-together. In her Art Basel roundup, Vogel made a lot of hay about Guyton giving each of five dealers "a black painting, all the same size and all made from the same disk." Guyton calls it "a way of talking about the repetitive experience of seeing similar artworks throughout a fair and embracing that aggressively by showing almost identical works."

    Which is taken by Maneker to be the artist's "ploy" to "orchestrate his market" and emphasize the arbitrage-friendly chasm between the insider/primary vs speculator/secondary channels. Except that's exactly how almost every artist deals with auction spikes, as any art market monitor would know.


    And there's another salient fact that's missing: Guyton makes all his black paintings from the same "disk," or as we call it nowadays, a "file." It's called bigblack.tif, and there's a screenshot of it in Scott Rothkopf's essay for the Whitney's 2012 OS exhibition catalogue.

    installation view, 2008 Black Paintings show, Galerie Chantal Crousel

    And he makes them in groups that at first seem indistinguishable. In 2007-8, he made three shows in a row, at Friedrich Petzel (NY), Chantal Crousel (Paris) and Portikus (Frankfurt) of nearly identical black paintings, installed identically. Just this spring, he recreated his entire 2008 show at Crousel, black plywood floor and all. Everything was the same. Except for the things that weren't.

    installation view, 2014 Black Paintings show, Galerie Chantal Crousel

    John Kelsey wrote in the 2010 Black Paintings catalogue:

    What this work displays is the difference between sending information and receiving aesthetic objects in the gallery, or what happens when "black" moves from desktop to printer to museum, and whatever is lost along the way. The monochrome is a record of circulation. As it is copied and communicated, discrepancies are produced. And these are what now stand in for painting.

    Guyton: it's the little differences. And those are precisely what is lost when paintings are seen one at a time, in auction catalogues, art fair slideshows, and drifting by in infinite Instagram scrolls. Guyton's inky black paintings cast a harsh light on the impoverished experience of art-as-shoppertainment, of paintings decontextualized from the artist's practice and the flow in which they were conceived, and remerchandised as, well, merchandise. Paintings remain ruthlessly efficient units of exchange even though they're often no longer optimal units of aesthetic experience. That divergence marks what's lost when painting becomes nothing more than, as Ben Davis's timely quote of John Berger puts it, "a celebration of private property."

    But it also marks a shift in artistic practice. Guyton's just one of many artists who create on the scale of the series, the installation, the context, the network, not the lone object. Rather than throw up his hands, or lalalala pretend it's not happening, Guyton's recent actions show him to be conscious of the art market's experiential crisis, and actively seeking out a way to engage or overcome it without throwing his paintings on the fire.

  • Permalink for 'bigblack.tif (after Wade Guyton)'

    bigblack.tif (after Wade Guyton)

    Posted: 25-June-2014, 11:31am EDT


    Here you go, now you can print yourself a whole art fairful: bigblack.tif (after Wade Guyton), 2014.

  • Permalink for 'The Red-Blue Proposition'

    The Red-Blue Proposition

    Posted: 21-June-2014, 1:04am EDT


    The late Danish artist Albert Mertz spent decades working with what he called "The Red-Blue Proposition."

    Mertz died in 1990, and was reincarnated as a YouTube video uploading quality assurance tech at Google Zurich.

    Albert Mertz, 'Watch Red-Blue TV," Jan-Mar 2014 [tifsigfrids]
    image of unidentified installation via art blog art blog
    Previously, uncannily related: Webdriver Torso as Found Painting System

  • Permalink for 'On Roman Balls'

    On Roman Balls

    Posted: 18-June-2014, 12:23am EDT


    I was looking up something else entirely when I came across this post at the travel blog, Rome the Second Time, an architecture professor explaining how giant balls are a "very fascist" architectural element, which were popular starting in the 1920s.

    The photo above is of a fascist-era housing complex in Garbatella, for example, and there are several more great examples.

    Which, on the one hand, good to know, because seven years ago, when I first mapped out the world for places that could accommodate showing a 100-foot-diameter satelloon as an art object, the Pantheon in Rome was one of only a handful of possibilities. In concept, in fact, it seems like it'd be the perfect choice. [Eventually the Grand Palais in Paris joined the list, too.] But if spheres read to Romans as fascistic artifacts, you'd need to take that into account.


    The perfection the fascists loved also made Gerhard Richter very skeptical of spheres. He complained that with spheres it's "impossible to get any closer to perfection," and so you stop. Except when you don't; 16 years after he said this Richter created his own shiny steel sphere editions.

    The Balls of Rome [romethesecondtime]

    If I Were A Sculptor, But Then Again...
    Les Sateloons du Grand Palais
    Shiny Balls by Gerhard Richter

  • Permalink for 'On Kawara Data'

    On Kawara Data

    Posted: 18-June-2014, 8:25am EDT


    I've had this image of a spread from On Kawara's Journal on my desktop for months now. I love the reduction of the Today Series paintings to desk calendar size. There is one binder journal for each year since 1966, when the series began. [chungwoo has more images and details the content and format of the journal. In Korean.]


    Anyway, while surfing through Michele Didier's site just now, Kawara's Trilogy stood out for a couple of reasons. First, and obviously, is its sculptural presence. They look so Juddy, especially with the sliding front covers on.


    Kawara's not necessarily known as a sculptor, but then, it's not just these boxes, is it? The paintings are objects in boxes, too. And books and binders and CDs, however unreadable their information, always read as physical objects. [The file name on this image even turned out to be on_kawara_boites.jpg,]

    Didier published the Trilogy over four years: I Met (2004), I Went (2007), and I Got Up (2008). Each twelve volume set is an edition of 90, with 10 APs. I Met is now only available as part of Trilogy.

    I Got Up, detail. Wait, so will there also be a I Photographed Postcards? How did he get pictures with postmarks? Did he get the cards back? This is no small task. [images: micheledidier]

    The sets overlap in time, an 11.5-year period from May 10, 1968 to September 17, 1979. Actually, I Went, in which Kawara traces his movements on a map of whatever city he's in, didn't start until June 1st. Which now makes me curious. Did it take a couple of weeks to figure out? Did the idea only come once he'd started logging his interactions [the people he met and the ones to whom he sent his wake up postcards]? Did he have somewhere to hide?


    Or to use Didier's term, "the information within [I WOKE UP] intersects with the facts reported in I MET and I WENT." Information and facts. Data. Kawara was logging by hand exactly the kind of information our computers and phones now track automatically. As metadata. For Kawara, metadata is the data. The difference, of course, is that he's tracking himself, intentionally marking his passage through time and space, and across his social matrix. [btw, does I Met include the cashier at the deli? Does he live in a doorman building? Is his partner in there? His hookups? What do these maps of Kawara's mindfulness communicate?]


    The takeaways here are clear: What IS it like maintaining such total personal information awareness? Since Kawara's not talking publicly about it, we can turn to Eric Doeringer, who has re-enacted three Kawara projects, including I Got Up (2008-13) and I Went (2010) [above].

    Also, who's going to digitize the 14,000 pages of Trilogy to create the On Kawara Database Beautiful boxes of books are great, but information wants to be free of the box. Why flip through a book when we could be reliving Kawara's 1970s day by day on Street View? At a time when we're all unwitting, indifferent, or dispirited subjects of constant surveillance, the lessons of Kawara's project have never been more important.

    UPDATE: Or it might be the exact opposite, hard to say.


  • Permalink for 'Danh Vo On 'We The People (Detail)''

    Danh Vo On 'We The People (Detail)'

    Posted: 12-June-2014, 9:14pm EDT

    Here is an interview [in Danish, subtitled] with Danh Vo, on the making and exhibition of We The People (Detail), his full-scale copy of the Statue of Liberty. Many of the 400+ pieces of We The People were rotated and stored at the Statens Museum for Kunst in Denmark in 2012-13.

    I am enthralled with this work; it strikes me as one of the smartest, most elegant, and provocative sculpture projects in years, and yet it didn't occur to me until Vo mentioned it that Gustave Eiffel, who designed a steel armature to support Bartholdi's copper repousse skin, did not see the Statue of Liberty installed in the US.


    But reading up on the Statue's history, it turns out the entire statue was assembled in Eifell's factory in France, and then disassembled for shipping. Also--and I did know this and should have remembered it--the statue began as parts, exhibited. Bartholdi made the statue's arm and torch, which traveled to the US for the 1876 US Centennial, and which remained installed in Madison Square Park for several years afterward. And the head was exhibited at the Paris World's Fair in 1878, all as part of a fundraising, promotional effort for the project.

    SMK TV: Danh Vo - We the People [ youtube via @aservais1]

  • Permalink for 'It's Hard To Keep The Cowboys Straight'

    It's Hard To Keep The Cowboys Straight

    Posted: 13-June-2014, 10:53am EDT

    Republicans: Gays, Drunks, Let God Sort'em Out, image: AP/Rex C. Curry via TPM

    Yesterday I tweeted about Texas governor Rick Perry wearing his "Smart Glasses" and standing "in front of a Richard Prince mural" in San Francisco where he was condemned for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

    This morning Mr. Prince tweeted the following, which, like most tweets that don't mention me, I assumed to be about me:

    Getting blamed or credited for everything Cowboy. "Whoever it is, wish they'd cut it out quick. When they will I can only guess".

    — Richard Prince (@RichardPrince4) June 12, 2014

    Upon further review, it turns out the photograph of Governor Perry was actually taken last Thursday at the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth, where the party was condemned for endorsing anti-gay "conversion therapy."

    images ap/ray c. curry via chron

    The image projected behind Gov. Perry is Lone Rider, Texas, a 1974 photo by William Albert Allard, originally published in National Geographic Magazine.

    detail of "West Texas Cowboy," Allard's National Geographic wallpaper

    It is one of the first five results on Google Image search for "texas cowboy riding," and given the saturation levels and pixellation, I suspect Gov. Perry's people got their jpg from the National Geographic wallpaper collection and cropped out the copyright info and logo,


    and not from the C-prints for sale in Allard's gallery.


    Allard was one of the original photographers for the Marlboro Man and Marlboro Country ad campaigns after they switched from models to real cowboys in the 1970s. Prince would begin rephotographing these print ads around 1980. As far as can be discerned, this image has not appeared in a Marlboro ad, and has not been rephotographed by Mr. Prince. Yet. regrets the error.

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