tobias is sponsoring a dope looking conferance at McGill in october; [CTRL]- a timely intervention which aims to foster critical dialog interrogating emergent modes and methods of control. I am def. going to come up with something to submit and I urge you to as well.
Get your art/rock/rockart/artrock on tonight at a new space on 21st street. Looks like fun and games and girls with long hair and lots of bracelets. Yea. I am actually not too sure about the music but you can check it out for yourself here
I got this from rtmark today. I hate to just pass things on, but i suppose it is better than filling up all my friend's (ie... your) in boxes. This shit is gross (not as gross as torture, but still pretty gross)....
May 25, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FBI ABDUCTS ARTIST, SEIZES ART
Feds Unable to Distinguish Art from Bioterrorism
Grieving Artist Denied Access to Deceased Wife's Body
DEFENSE FUND ESTABLISHED - HELP URGENTLY NEEDED
Steve Kurtz was already suffering from one tragedy when he called 911
early in the morning to tell them his wife had suffered a cardiac arrest
and died in her sleep. The police arrived and, cranked up on the rhetoric
of the "War on Terror," decided Kurtz's art supplies were actually
Thus began an Orwellian stream of events in which FBI agents abducted
Kurtz without charges, sealed off his entire block, and confiscated his
computers, manuscripts, art supplies... and even his wife's body.
Like the case of Brandon Mayfield, the Muslim lawyer from Portland
imprisoned for two weeks on the flimsiest of false evidence, Kurtz's case
amply demonstrates the dangers posed by the USA PATRIOT Act coupled with
government-nurtured terrorism hysteria.
Kurtz's case is ongoing, and, on top of everything else, Kurtz is facing a
mountain of legal fees. Donations to his legal defense can be made at
FEAR RUN AMOK
Steve Kurtz is Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the State
University of New York's University at Buffalo, and a member of the
internationally-acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble.
Kurtz's wife, Hope Kurtz, died in her sleep of cardiac arrest in the early
morning hours of May 11. Police arrived, became suspicious of Kurtz's art
supplies and called the FBI.
Within hours, FBI agents had "detained" Kurtz as a suspected bioterrorist
and cordoned off the entire block around his house. (Kurtz walked away the
next day on the advice of a lawyer, his "detention" having proved to be
illegal.) Over the next few days, dozens of agents in hazmat suits, from a
number of law enforcement agencies, sifted through Kurtz's work, analyzing
it on-site and impounding computers, manuscripts, books, equipment, and
even his wife's body for further analysis. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Health
Department condemned his house as a health risk.
Kurtz, a member of the Critical Art Ensemble, makes art which addresses
the politics of biotechnology. "Free Range Grains," CAE's latest project,
included a mobile DNA extraction laboratory for testing food products for
possible transgenic contamination. It was this equipment which triggered
the Kafkaesque chain of events.
FBI field and laboratory tests have shown that Kurtz's equipment was not
used for any illegal purpose. In fact, it is not even _possible_ to use
this equipment for the production or weaponization of dangerous germs.
Furthermore, any person in the US may legally obtain and possess such
"Today, there is no legal way to stop huge corporations from putting
genetically altered material in our food," said Defense Fund spokeswoman
Carla Mendes. "Yet owning the equipment required to test for the presence
of 'Frankenfood' will get you accused of 'terrorism.' You can be illegally
detained by shadowy government agents, lose access to your home, work, and
belongings, and find that your recently deceased spouse's body has been
taken away for 'analysis.'"
Though Kurtz has finally been able to return to his home and recover his
wife's body, the FBI has still not returned any of his equipment,
computers or manuscripts, nor given any indication of when they will. The
case remains open.
HELP URGENTLY NEEDED
A small fortune has already been spent on lawyers for Kurtz and other
Critical Art Ensemble members. A defense fund has been established at
http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/ to help defray the legal costs which
will continue to mount so long as the investigation continues. Donations
go directly to the legal defense of Kurtz and other Critical Art Ensemble
members. Should the funds raised exceed the cost of the legal defense, any
remaining money will be used to help other artists in need.
To make a donation, please visit http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/
For more information on the Critical Art Ensemble, please visit
Articles about the case:
I hate to stamp my dirty feet all over the political/media floor however in all the reporting on John Kerry's new campaign plane, which includes mention of the "real deal" decal on each engine, no one has mentioned what is emblazoned across the side of the plane; John Kerry: President
I wonder what the thinking behind this move was, positive reinforcement? Did the Kerry media wizards [sic] feel that this would look nice headlining the local news in western Pennsylvania in late october? Do they feel it adds gravitas to their candidate?
I have no idea, but if you think you understand the reasoning behind this (or even if you just have a really catty answer) let me know.
Do you remember that great "fake" Chinese food of your youth? Dim red lights, sticky sweet duck sauce, spare-ribs the bright red color of a fire-truck? Sam Sifton of The Times sure seems to and he went looking for it at the new east village american/chinese/hipster No. 1 Chinese.
Usually the overwroght prose in a short "diners notes" colum would prickle my sense of decorum, but really, how can you argue with statements on fake Chinese food (and perhaps even the meaning of life itself) like this; sit a Chinese restaurant tucked into a low storefront on a grimy stretch of highway in Portsmouth, N.H., and ask yourself: is it any good? The faithful will respond joyfully, without further question or prior knowledge, Yes. It is. Only those without faith, those without grace, would doubt this truth. And thus only the faithful are ever disappointed.
I really don't think you can.
My gosh, I might as well just start a blog that tracks the various major media blips of madam vaginal creme davis on the cultural radar screen. This week she is in the Sunday Styles section of the NY Times[reg. required, etc]. As hard as they might try, none of these stories seem to really capture the true essence of madam davis, the weird liminal and ephemeral space of her meaning. The various transgressions of the boundary between truth/lies (and many others) are never really studied. Still, it is nice to see the crazy amazon woman who gave me my first showing in a real art venue and who wrote grad school recommendation letters for me get a tiny, tiny sliver of the cultural adoration which she deserves.
A couple notes:
1.) I am really weirded out by the use of the male pronoun in articles about her. Even though she is not a real "drag queen" or trans, her embodiment is still from a very womanesque space.
2.) So does the Times always steal articles so blatantly from the LA Crimes? This is basically the same article with better pictures. Same basic premise, same points, same people quoted. I know the NYT is a bit stodgy but you would think they could find this shit on their own.
3.) I wonder if the person usually referred to as The Professor in this space will care that he described as "Mr." & not "Dr.", I would but I am also a sucker for status.
4.) Why are articles about Vag always in the style or magazine section of newspapers. The woman's whole life is an art project, she has show/performed at museums and is always billed as an artist when she lectures at universities. Can the art press not handle her?
Often I will read of someone around my age doing something lucrative, cool, new, creative, and feel a certain sense of purposelessness. There they are either starting a new biointernetentertainment company, publishing their first book, having a solo museum show, battling against the odds to fight cancer, graduate harvard and raise their MS afflicted younger sister and I will look at myself, drunk again, whiling my days away reading, seeing, writing and making masturbatory art/academic objects and think fuck- I should/could be doing that. Then I realize that the path they are on is not for me, for whatever reason, pour myself a drink, toast to them and continue on my way.
This fucker however graduated from U of M last may, and promptly left for Baghdad and started an English language news weekly with a bunch of other ex-pats. I can't say that I think his writing is much in the style department, but his takes on how college did and (mostly) did not prepare him for living in a war zone are totally entertaining, and make me a bit wistful.
The fucker is going to have one motherfucking ass-whooping grad-school essay to boot.
Joshua Green has a great article in this months Atlantic Monthly which explores just how advanced the art of dirty politics has become. Using the 2k elections as a benchmark he recounts (no pun intended) a bbc film never released in the US, Digging The Dirt. The film explores how "opposition research" became professionalized, especially in the GOP camp. The articles main focus is how this opposition research has become a way not just to catch the other guy in a lie or scandal but a way to totally change the public perception of someone. Case in point- Al Gore: from still environmentalist to Al Gore, someone who will say anything to become elected. I think Green's argument goes hand-in-hand with about the internet/blogging and political rumor mongeringsome that I made . It's a dirty, dirty sport
I think it is interesting that everyone on the mid-left has been all over Ralph Nader like iBankers on a drunk model. They keep asserting that his running will, in effect, destroy his legacy, especially if Bush wins. By legacy these whiney lefties refer not only to the laws he was able to have enacted but also his perception in history.
The facts are these: Ralph Nader was and will never go in any history books - since when does our country really honor those that fought for the rights of everyman? I bet that in 2085 Donald Trump is more likely to be in the books that Mr. Nader. Secondly, by running Nader has a lot more political power than he would if he did not run. Today he is having an hour long meeting with John Kerry where-in Nader can get promises of just about whatever he wants so long as he does what he can (short of dropping out) to make sure he does not get in Kerry's way. This is backroom politics at their best, one man over a barrel, neither with any real power... yet.
Anyway, my point is this, Nader has been accused of a certain naiveté but I think he is actually an extremely savvy political player.
I have not seen this mentioned anywhere else, but it should still come as no suprise- There is a four page sexed up spread of nick denton with ana marie cox and choire sicha featured in the June issue of Wired (yea, i didn't know they were still around eitherupdate: I meant wired btw). The articles title "how can I sex up this blog business"
Steven Levy's article is pure star-fucking (for good or ill, depending upon your world view). I have not really read it per se but the whole thing is structured as a Gawker Stalker item. Yea, I know.
Best Pull Quote "his sites are hit machines and his stars work for wal-mart wages.".
Andrew Hetherington's photograph (which I assume was self styled) shows an adorable CS and AMC (of whom I would totally be a burger to their bun) and a _really_ creepy looking ND.
UPDATE:opps, in review it was a 6 page article, not 4. Towards the back of the book
Then slide on over to the wondrous site of political media aesthetics that is American Dynamics. Why you ask? Just click the link, AB already explained it and I am waaaaay too lazy.
(btw- notice all the posts, is this a trend? Can you count on thrilling "content" not only 5 days a week but more than once per day? Hope and faith my children, hope and faith (and a willingness to be soul crushingly disappointed)
This may seem like an obvious question to some, but please induldge me: Can a movie about a vapid supermodel who is never allowed to speak for herself, who traverses from the arms of one powerful man to another, entirely shot through the eyes of TV media be a masterpiece?
If by masterpiece you refer to an insightful (er, snarky) look at celebrity, media, sex and beauty which skewers Charlie Rose, fashion photography, model chasers, diplomats, agents, the French, academia and everything else then yes- yes it can.
It’s the kind of movie that makes you want to go out and get drunk in order to meet a former model turned heroin junky turned performance artist who works in the medium of her own shit.
Did I mention that it has Dan Aykroyd in it? It does.
Ok- the ending sucks, it is some fascist shit about how happiness only occurs when the cameras are off, when one has settled down into a man/wife dyad out in the country, but still totally worthwhile, I garentee that STARDOM will change your life (and if you have cable it is on IFC and you can watch it for free).
It stars Jessica Paré a little 22 year old trumpet who i would sodomize if need be but she was no where near as attractive and charming as Joanne Vannicola of whom I would not only sodomize but also cook, clean and rear children for.
There are two new curated online shows featuring the work of robert mapplethorpe.
sponsored by the mapplethorpe foundation
It looks like they are curated by a couple of Curatorial studies majors, one from Bard & the other from Columbia/Whitney. As much as I like mapplethorpe (and I do like him, a lot) the idea of young students who want to become curators, not going out on their own and finding young talent, and then finding a space to show that talent in, getting flyers, etc., seems a bit empty to me. Like really what is the fun in just going through an archive, picking out 30 shots that you think go together and then writing an essay for it. Fucking banal if you ask me.
At the same time there is something to be said for the idea of on the fly curating, or curating as re-mixing (a la muzak). Tom Moody has some great thoughts on this subject .
So much awsome. Reblog noted that Rhizome gave out a bunch of (fucking tiny) grants today. Reading over the press release I realized that some of my old LA heads, C-Level were awarded a grant for what sounds like an _amazing_ multi playere game: Endgames: Waco Resurrection
in their words: Players assume their role as David Koresh, Ted Kaczynski, or John Africa within an expansive multiplayer online environment. Between 6 and 18 players inhabit the online world to play out the game scenario - a timed game with a predetermined series of encounters based on the actual events.
Expanding our game model from the present LAN multiplayer competition to an online connection increases the number of potential players by allowing anyone with a fast internet connection to participate.
I can't wait. I love cults, and i think i will like cult video games even more
for more info on the game check out c-level's proposal HERE
an exhibition of groundbreaking interactive art installations is a part of Digital Avant-Garde celebrating 25 years of Ars Electronica
Opening Friday, May 21, 2004, 7-10p
Live Performance by Rupert Huber @9.
540 W. 21st street (btwn 10th & 11th)
I am pretty sure there is free booze of some sort (or I sure as fuck hope there is).
You can find an online outline of the works in the show here.
I almost spit out my coffee this morning (er... afternoon) when I stumbled accross NY Times architecture wonderkind Herbert Muschamp refer to one aspect of a building as "pure bling-bling". The article is about the new Seattle Library by Rem Koolhaas, A young Ph.D. who is up for a position in my department gave a (very uninspiring) lecture on the library as holder and documentor of media in a changing media age (Yawn). The part that was intresting about her talk was the gloss of the plans for the new Seatle Library by Rem Koolhaas which includes a circular stack so that new additons and ways of arrainging the librarys holdings can me made easily, whcih is cool fo' sho'.
The real point is, reading the article it seems as though HM was high as a kite while he was writing it, although, to be honest, that is not a bad place for an architecture critic to be.
In an online discussion for a class I TA for (Documentary as Social Practice) the very smart and very well spoken professor (Elizabeth Ellsworth) interjected, on the subject of the Iraqi prison/torture photographs:
"that [these] images […] exceed the representational and become performative--eventful in themselves--in a number of ways. They seem to implicate "us" in the events that they both refer to and in some cases actually constitute (as when people are killed on camera at least in part for the reason of creating an image). They implicate us as witnesses, and to the extent that the present moment is contemporaneous with [them] (they are not yet "historical images") we are implicated as social actors who can literally "do something" about the events surrounding the images. "
Which spurned my response;
I think this line of reasoning is the first that I have found which allows me to begin to wrap my head around this images in such as way as to allow me to move beyond the sheer horror/disgust/etc I feel when looking at them. I do question the manner that they have been isolated (esp. by the media) and decontextualized from the other horrors that have taken place in Iraq (the death of civilians etc) and elsewhere.
In his book Taking It Like a Man: White Masculinity, Masochism, & Contemporary American Culture David Savran, referring to the master/slave dynamics in the work of (1960’s avant-garde theatre group) The Living Theatre, writes of “the psychological power of neocolonialism to produce particular kinds of (unconscious) desires” in American life. Savran goes on to argue that when (individuals or societies) become conscious of these desires and the actions that result from them they will disavow them, however they will fail to realize/change the underlying base upon which these superstructures rested.
It seems to me that the photographed horrors in Iraq are evidence of an unconscious desire by both the American public and the military to de-humanize the Other in the service of post-colonial goals. While the press now decries the pictures and the public and military both distance themselves from what took place, this sort of dehumanizing treatment is in many ways a result of the language/ideology that have been employed to facilitate this unjust war in the first place; terrorists, murders, fanatics, insurgents, fundamentalists, die-hards etc. The use of these terms, in justification and explanation for the war and its aftermath, so excessively otherize the people of Iraq that the evil which took place in the prison seem, to my (admittedly jaded) mind, un-surprising.
The media and government have, through the use of language and images, made it nearly impossible for the public to enact any sense of relationality to the people and events of Iraq that is not fundamentally neocolonial and violent in its structure. This structure created an unconscious desire on the part of a largely uncritical American public to see horrors such as these committed. Once the materialized form of those desires became actualized the public became (rightly) horrified, not at the structures and desires that allowed these events to take place but at the events themselves.
Furthermore the outrage in the press coverage of these images, however genuine on an individual level, seems to displace the images from the act of “making-war” itself. By treating these actions as isolated from the “norm” of war, by making them seem as if they are transgressive acts in the performance of war I believe we are in danger of implicitly signing off on the less documentable horrors of all war and all violence
In doing research on death in the media, I decided to focus on The Sopranos 'cause...well... I dunno, it sort of seemed like a fun place to play around in the media-sphere. I like things that are really popular (either broadly or really intensely in small sub-cultures), I think there is something there in what makes people attracted to them.
Anyway, this work draws on the ephemeral (thanks again José) in placing Tony Soprano as someone who transgresses traditional gender boundaries. It is pretty sloppy but I think there is some interesting shit I can build on: how tony uses dreams, premonitions and the (usually female) intuition to make decisions, he is governed not by the patriarchal modes of traditional "knowing" (in a sense of coherent evidence) but instead he uses a combination of that 'male' type of epistimology with a more female non-rigorous form of logic and reasoning in a way that can be seen as 'queer'.
Furthermore Tony’s gender is problemized by his hysterics, (inability to control emotion) and his fainting (panic attacks). I think if I were to do another couple of drafts, and explain/break down what I was going for a little better, instead of dashing it off the day before, it could actually turn into something worthwhile/publishable.
Anyway, if you have the time give it a read and yell at me for my pretension/bad-spelling/poor sentence structure.
After escaping from the clutches of the evil dragon lady and her cohort michael caine (whom taught me that the cube thing in astor place spins... WTF) I walked aimlessly down from gramercy park secure in the knowledge that the devil had lodged himself somewhere in my upper brain stem. None-the-less I had art to make- and despite the pain, art is what I made, for good or ill here is a little project that explores personal security v. physical security- creating boundaries in our lives and the physical manifestations of boundary policing in the 'real world'.
Sorry for the slowdown in poorly edited rambilings. I am in the midst of finishing up grad school semester 2.0 and all energy is currently being exausted trying to argue Queering Tony Soprano: Fraternity, Masculinity & Death in The Sopranos
As silly as it seems, it is just as much work. Go! team decedant accademic pinko faggot artist elites, GO!
One of my fav. things about my expensive and rapidly gentrifying 'hood has always been The Hat's "frosty, alcholic, drinks to go". One of my fav. things to do on a sunny afternoon has always been to grab one to-go, roll up the the pony and smoke some cig's watching the pretty girls go by. Due to schoolwork and the like the last week or so has ill afforded me such an opportunity.
With this in the background it was to my EXTREME displeasure to find out from ms. lindsyism that margaretttas to go are no more. A sad, sad day in new york.
Oh... but wait, i guess there are new ones... so that's ok... yea?
I went to the NY Bloggers Talk at the apple store, which was by and large as mastibitory as one would assume such an event would be. It was fun, dont get me wrong, but it had a self loving tone that seemed very 1996 to me, for what it's worth.
That aside I was lucky enough to have Mr. Blaze take me to meet a young accademic who seems to think much along the same lines as me (i.e. theory, theory, drugs, politics, technology, theory, sex). I urge you to check out tobias c. van Veen's blog.
He seems to be working on lots of the same issues as me but his blog is much more well done, I make have to take my game up a notch or two to compeate, but i suppose thats a good thing.
One of the greatest influences on my life has to be the incomparable Ms. Vaginal Creme Davis. And now here she is in her very own mega profile in the LA Crimes[latimes.com fucking reg. required). Go read it. Now.
To live art in the manner that she does, to really make meaning in the world, in real time is obvs. brillance of the highest order. Her ability to externalize the fluidity of internal identity is, for lack of a better work, fucking genius (in the most true sense of that word).
The fact that she is not an international art superstar of the highest order is sad and and an everpresent reminder that the man is keeping us all down.
I am suprised at how accurate, beautiful, and insightful the mega-piece that the ever shitty LA Crimes did on her is. Not only does it point out the ephemerality of her work but it even pulls in quotes from superstar accademic Dr. José E. Muñoz (aka the prof.).