Wednesday, March 31, 2010

internet/data 'Cloud" fueled by coal

You have to appreciate the symbolism here despite the bad news.

SAN FRANCISCO - The 'cloud' of data that is becoming the heart of the Internet is creating an all-too-real cloud of pollution as Facebook, Apple and others build data centers powered by coal, Greenpeace said in a new report to be released on Tuesday. Facebook facility being built in Oregon will rely on a u utility whose main fuel is coal, while Apple Inc is building a data warehouse in a North Carolina region that relies mostly on coal, the environmental organization said in the study."The last thing we need is for more cloud infrastructure to be built in places where it increases demand for dirty coal-fired power," said Greenpeace, which argues that Web companies should be more careful about where they build and should lobby more in Washington for clean energy.The growing mass of business data, home movies and pictures has ballooned beyond the capabilities of many corporate data centers and personal computers, spurring the creation of massive server farms that make up a "cloud," an emerging phenomenon known as cloud computing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

National Gallery of Art in 365 days

365 days of exploring the National Gallery of Art, one artwork at a time! sounds like an incredible project and certainly a test of stamina. If you've never been to the NGA this is a virtual treat for you. Art 2010 is a blog project on Head for Art, that’ll run from January 1 to December 31, 2010.

image:Willem van Aelst :
Still Life with Dead Game (1661)

Concept Horror

Citing another case of the investigation of Horror. Check out the Collapse series at Urbanomic.

Collapse Vol. IV: Concept Horror

Editorial Introduction [pdf]
Robin Mackay

Surveying a century in which experience has taught us that man is capable of inventing ever more atrocious forms of violence and horror, is it necessary to remark that much of modern thought offers little to soothe, and much to exacerbate our disquiet? Nietzsche famously observed that the psychic well-being of the human organism is predicated, minimally, upon a drastically partial perspective, and ultimately upon untruth. Human cognitive defaults continue to cry out against the insights which modern physics, cosmology, genetics, neuroscience, psychoanalysis and the rest seem to require us to integrate into our worldview. As for philosophy, it has largely replaced wonder, awe, and the drive to certainty with dread, anxiety and finitude. Moreover, despite the diverse technological wonders they have made possible, the modern sciences offer little existential respite: There is no consolation in the claim that (for instance) I am the contingent product of evolution, or a chance formation of elementary particles, or that my ‘self’ is nothing but the correlate of the activation of neurobiological phase-spaces. Yet mundane thought, whether through obstinacy or inertia, maintains its stubborn course regardless, as if oblivious to their consequences, or at most allowing them to subsist at a safely delimited, solely theoretical level.

What if, prising the more disturbing elements of modern thought loose from their comfortable framing as part of an intellectual canon, we were to become fully attentive to their most harrowing consequences? What if, impatient with a consideration of their claims solely from the point of view of their explanatory power and formal consistency, we yielded to the (perhaps ‘unphilosophical’) temptation to experiment with their potentially corrosive effects upon lived experience? If the overriding affect connected with what we ‘know’ – but still do not really know – about the universe and our place in it, would be one of horror, then, inversely, how might the existing literature of horror inform a reading of these tendencies of contemporary thought?

via:wood s lot

Saturday, March 27, 2010

summing up the MTA

A great public intervention, well done.

Luna Park/Hrag

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Polaroid is back

A few years ago Polaroid went out of the instant film biz which created a vacuum within the possibilities of photography.

Lucky for us, a couple of artists bought the Polaroid plant in Holland and started The Impossible Project, an effort to resurrect that plant and create new instant film.

They have announced their first new product - a line of black-and-white film that fits in old SX-70 and Polaroid 600 cameras. Color is next.

via: The Consumerist/Balloon Juice

Monday, March 22, 2010


Apparently MoMA has acquired the @ symbol for its permanent collection.

from their blog:
Contemporary art, architecture, and design can take on unexpected manifestations, from digital codes to Internet addresses and sets of instructions that can be transmitted only by the artist. The process by which such unconventional works are selected and acquired for our collection can take surprising turns as well, as can the mode in which they're eventually appreciated by our audiences. While installations have for decades provided museums with interesting challenges involving acquisition, storage, reproducibility, authorship, maintenance, manufacture, context--even questions about the essence of a work of art in itself--MoMA curators have recently ventured further; a good example is the recent acquisition by the Department of Media and Performance Art of Tino Sehgal's performance Kiss.

The acquisition of @ takes one more step. It relies on the assumption that physical possession of an object as a requirement for an acquisition is no longer necessary, and therefore it sets curators free to tag the world and acknowledge things that "cannot be had"--because they are too big (buildings, Boeing 747's, satellites), or because they are in the air and belong to everybody and to no one, like the @--as art objects befitting MoMA's collection. The same criteria of quality, relevance, and overall excellence shared by all objects in MoMA's collection also apply to these entities.

For more on the story and history of the symbol. Read here.

via:CORE 77

The Oldest Trees on the Planet
Tia Ghose

While Pando isn’t technically the oldest individual tree, this clonal colony of Quaking Aspen in Utah is truly ancient. The 105-acre colony is made of genetically identical trees, called stems, connected by a single root system. The “trembling giant” got its start at least 80,000 years ago, when all of our human ancestors were still living in Africa. But some estimate the woodland could be as old as 1 million years, which would mean Pando predates the earliest Homo sapiens by 800,000 years. At 6,615 tons, Pando is also the heaviest living organism on earth.

image:“Clonal Quaking Aspens
(80,000 years old, Fish Lake, UT)
Rachel Sussman

via: Wired/wood s lot

Ginger breaks

Ginger Baker in Africa

Friday, March 19, 2010

36 Shades of Prussian Blue

For all of us who enjoy the history and use of materials, the new issue of
Triple Canopy has something just for us. "Thirty-six Shades of Prussian Blue" by Joshua Cohen, collects historical and scholarly observations on the origins, production and uses of Prussian Blue: the world's first artificial color.


Artists in the West had no reliable blue until the early eighteenth century. Ultramarine, extracted from the blue stone called lapis lazuli, was said to have once been more expensive than gold, and Renaissance artists had to negotiate with their patrons for individual drops of blue upon receiving their commissions (ultramarine means, literally, "over the sea," because most lapis was imported from Afghanistan).

Full text here.

via: Triple Canopy/CORE77

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rest in peace Mr. Chilton

I think I'll listen to Big Star all day today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Essential reading on the Lehman Brothers scandal

Looks like the criminality is finally seeing the light. Wonder how Geithner will survive now.

Blogs Beat the Press on the Lehman Brothers Scandal
Columbia Journalism Review
Economic Crisis, The Audit -- March 15, 2010 04:20 PM
Monday, March 15, 2010
Last Update: Mon 7:38 PM EST ...Look, I know that Lehman collapsed a year and a half ago, but this is a major story--one that finally gets awfully close to putting the crimes in the crisis. I'll go ahead and say it: If you've wanted to know about the Valukas report and its implications, you've been better served by reading Zero Hedge and Naked Capitalism than you have The Wall Street Journal or New York Times. This on the biggest financial news story of the week--and one of the biggest of the year. These papers have hundreds of journalists at their disposal. The blogs have one non-professional writer and a handful of sometime non-pro-journalist contributors...
Also here:

Wray: Timmy-Gate: Did Geithner Help Hide Lehman Fraud?
Naked Capitalism
Monday, March 15, 2010
By L. Randall Wray, a Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who writes at New Economic Perspectives

hat tip: daily kos

Saturday, March 13, 2010

shaped by our shipping

Here are a couple of good reads on the nature of shipping containers (historic/contemporary) and their silent role in within the fabric of a consumer society.

via: CORE 77

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Escape from New York

I've been asked to participate in the proposed art exhibition - Escape From New York. More importantly though is the project behind the show. A great group of artists have been lined up by Olympia Lambert so please read the proposal.

Here are the details:
Do you have $5.00 (or more) to support a proposed art exhibition as hopeful as it is handsome?

Curator and freelance arts writer Olympia Lambert aims to turn a former silk factory in Paterson, New Jersey, into a noted art destination. Unfortunately, Lambert doesn't have the capital to make the project happen. Thus, she's turned to KickStarter, a terrific website and "funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers," and other folks trying to bankroll a good idea.

On the KickStarter page for her project, Lambert writes:
"2010 has brought with it many changes and challenges, and with it a newfound enthusiasm and excitement for New York artists. In many ways, the art world we once knew and loved has come to pass. Artists are being pushed out left and right, publications folding, galleries closing, all while more and more MFAs continue to be churned out than can possibly be hired on by Manhattan’s service industry. Space is at a premium. Do we continue to go even further east into the cramped, treeless, concrete, PCB-infested jungle of Bushwick? [...] Or do we begin to explore other venues west of the Hudson?"

"This project is specifically designed to raise financing for a print and online media advertising campaign for the group art exhibition, "Escape From New York," held in the Fabricolor Building on Van Houten Street in Paterson, NJ. [...] We will be placing a full-page ad in the second week of May 2010's edition of 'New York Magazine' and run online banner ads on ArtForum, Culture Pundits, and other art media."

Image credit: ripped from Olympia Lambert's Kickstarter project page

Sunday, March 07, 2010

David Foster Wallace audio project

Haven't downloaded these audio files yet but this looks like a great resource.

The David Foster Wallace Audio Project

This collection of David Foster Wallace MP3's was lovingly collected by Ryan Walsh in early 2009. Included herein are many, many files under the following category headings:

hat tip:Simplistic Art

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Art Blogging Panel at SMartCAMP this Sunday

This looks quite good so head over to the Lab at Roger Smith Hotel tomorrow.

It’s art fair week in New York but this year Gotham’s art market orgy will coincide with SMartCAMP, which is a two-day conference jointly organized by #artstech and the Roger Smith Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

A social media bootcamp of sorts, the conference is designed to:

…help those who are new to or skeptical of social media put together a course of action with the help of presentations and case studies from some leading figures working at the intersection of art and social media. For those who have already been engaging in social media, SMartCAMP offers an opportunity to deepen their knowledge, hone new skills, refine social engagement strategies and gain inspiration for future social campaigns from distinguished peers and colleagues. For social media professionals looking to work with arts organizations, SMartCAMP offers an opportunity to learn about the challenges unique to the cultural space.

For my part, I will be moderating a panel on art blogging — FINDING A VOICE IN THE ART BLOGOSPHERE — and I’m very lucky to have the following panelists in attendance:

read on

Friday, March 05, 2010

Secrets of the New York Art World

The above proposal from Hyperallergic is part of the ongoing think tank experiment at Edward Winkleman's new storefront gallery on West 27th Street with artists William Powhida and Jen Dalton. The artists were asked to “consider ‘alternatives/solutions’ to the market” and decided to organize a show titled #class. You can follow events via their live web cam, which broadcasts whenever the gallery is open (find it on the #class blog).

The Hyperallergic proposal:

Help Us With Our Project

When the buzz began, Hyperallergic decided to join the mix by submitting a proposal called, “$ECRET$ OF THE NEW YORK ART WORLD,” which involved placing a ballot box in the gallery for the duration of the event that simply asked if people were owed any money from someone in the New York art world (artist, dealer, publication, etc.).

Where did the idea come from? Well, after hearing about all the heinous amounts of money that The Project and Salander-O’Reilly Galleries owed people before they closed up shop (or were forced to close, in the case of the latter), we guessed there had to be some doozies out there. While, I don’t expect that we will uncover millions of dollars owed to individuals, we want to document the stories that eat at us and frustrate us to no end. We want to hear from you about the $40 you were owed and never received. That artist who promised you an art work but never came through, or that critic who took a work from your studio with a promise of something that never happened. Consider this your confessional, and everything will stay confidential … unless you don’t want it to.

So, if you or someone you know would like to submit to our project, please fill out the form below:


All submissions will be published April 1, 2010, in the form of a PDF which you will be available for download from this website.

Feel free to fill out the form in color (any color you wish) and submit via email or snail mail (all instructions are on the PDF download).

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ivory Tower w/Sharon Butler today

If you are attending previews today, you may want to stop by Winkleman Gallery at 4 pm for this discussion.

TODAY: The Ivory Tower

Today at 4pm!
Winkleman Gallery, 621 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001. If you're interested in the discussion but can't come to the gallery, check out the live streaming video and the #class feed on Twitter.

Everyone is welcome, but confirmed participants include:
Greg Bailey--Connecticut College
Mia Brownell--Southern Connecticut State University
Peter Dudek--Hunter College
Rico Gatson--New York University
Ethan Ham--City University of New York
James Holland--Eastern Connecticut State University
Brece Hunnicutt--Non academic, MFA Columbia
Clint Jukkala--Yale University
Kate Kretz--an academic who (gasp) quit teaching
Martin Kruck--New Jersey City University
Kevin McCoy-New York University
Joanne Mattera--Director, Monserrat Encaustic Conference
Tom Micchelli--Cooper Union
John O-Donnell--University of Connecticut
Cathy Nan Quinlan--Non academic
Austin Thomas--Camp Pocket U

Here are the topics we'll be discussing:

• Art schools have drawn heavy fire recently for churning out young artists driven towards quick commercial success at the expense of their long term artistic development. Yet most artist-academics do not consciously try to instill in their students an impatient mercenary sensibility. Where, then, does it come from?

• Artists who are lucky enough to find full-time teaching jobs have to find a way to fit into conventional university systems that don't understand anything about art. Promotion and Tenure Committees, comprising professors from all departments, may understand the importance of gallery exhibitions, but are completely baffled by relational aesthetics, new media distribution, and other contemporary art practices. How do artists maintain their identity and artistic integrity while working within the traditional academic system?

• The corporatization of education has led to a bureaucratic environment in which we are asked to participate in efforts like “Outcomes Assessment” and “Academic Program Reviews” that contradict the open-ended nature of artistic investigation. Are we guilty of maintaining the status quo by seeing our institutions simply as paycheck providers rather than art communities? Why are our teaching and art practices two separate and distinct activities? Are we failing to think creatively?

• How do you feel about the Bruce High Quality Foundation University's critique of traditional art school?

Overview of the #class project:
#class, organized by William Powhida and Jen Dalton, has been selected as a Critics' Pick in ArtForum. Bill and Jen have turned the gallery into a 'think tank' for guest artists, critics, academics, dealers, collectors, and anyone else who's interested to examine the way art is made, seen, and sold in our culture. Their goal is to identify and propose alternatives and/or reforms to the commercial model and attendant commodification of art, but also the unquantifiable, intangible, unpaid aspects of participating in the art world. They transformed the gallery from a showroom into a conference room, where discussions and events will take place from approximately Feb 20 - March 20, 2010. For a full list of events and video feed, click here.