Thursday, June 11, 2015

Theaster Gates & Dorchester Projects


This is the most exciting art project I have heard about coming out of Chicago in a very long time. The context is very different, but the principles are not far off from what the WerkStadt does in Berlin. His gallery is in London, so I discovered him reading a long write up in the Guardian . . . Check out the TED talk as well, he makes a good case in that peculiur TED conference way.

Over the seven years since, Gates has used the same principle – buying and stripping out properties in his neighbourhood, a mile or two south of the university but a different world entirely, remaking some of the scrap as art, selling it, and buying more property to create community spaces and houses for local artists and others. In 2011 he made a series of beautiful textured canvases covered in spectrums or coils of reclaimed fire hoses, called them In the Event of a Race Riot. One set recently sold at Christie’s for £250,000. Always channelling the money back into the “Dorchester Projects”, he is inexorably remodelling his entire neighbourhood which had previously been hollowed out for two or three decades by poverty and crime. Gates now employs and houses 60 “artists and makers”, and his practice is expanding to other cities in the American rust belt – St Louis, Missouri; Akron, Ohio; Gary, Indiana. His ambition is growing too. Two years ago he saved from demolition a bank building, with classical portico and marble interior, the last civic building standing on Stony Island Avenue, the main drag two blocks from his home. The bank was flooded out and long-abandoned. Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor, and Gates’s most reliable patron, sold it to him for a dollar, on the basis that the artist would raise the money to renovate it. To this end Gates has created bonds from the marble tiles of the bank’s former urinals – readymades, indeed – inscribed, “In art we trust”. He has sold 100 of them for $5,000 each to get the renovation started. In the kind of neat reversal he lives for, he plans to sell more of his urinal bonds to collectors at the forthcoming Basel art fair. “I’m hoping Swiss bankers will bail out my flooded South Side bank in the name of art,” he says, with a broad grin.

The Guardian 

TED

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It is Yoko Ono's World, We Just Live in it.

Here, at last, she seemed liberated from the hate and punch lines that had plagued her entire public life. Look not at John Lennon; look only at Yoko Ono. It felt triumphant, but I also found myself wondering an inconvenient question: Is Ono’s art less subversive when we’re living in a world that loves her?
The MoMA show prompts that question, too: There is something a little dispiriting about an artist who once staged a protest against the museum being warmly welcomed within its ranks. (And it’s easy to be cynical about that embrace, given the institution’s celebrity-chasing — see the Björk debacle.) But whatever its reason, the show arrives at a moment that is, for once, in step with Ono’s vision. Her meditative instruction pieces feel perfectly aligned with our mania for so-called mindfulness. Her work is being lauded by people correcting a history of female erasure — looking anew at the Doris Days instead of the Rock Hudsons. Many of Grapefruit’s pieces have a sub-140-character brevity. They feel, now, like the 1960s version of a tweet.

Vulture . . . (Link.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Dynamics of Design Teams

This is a talk from this year's Python conference about things that make engineering teams dysfunctional, and how that hurts diversity within them. The points are applicable to any collaborative design environment. (Link.)

Also, employee #42 of Gensler was on this week's EntreArchitect podcast. He talked about the importance of giving the individuals on design teams autonomy and responsibility. (Link.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

justfinken



While you were sleeping Mr. Chad turned himself into one heck of an exhibition designer. He even puts on a jumpsuit and gets messy on site, like a 21st century urban aesthetic paratrooper.
(Applause.)

justfinken

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Tyranny of Art-Architecture

Dear Museums: Stop Making Nonsense
When museums chase blockbusters, viewers lose out, because the artists who can deliver at the scale of architecture are few in number, especially as the scale grows.

Following the links in the article to a feedback loop of various outraged art critics (about the Björk exhibition for example) is a good time. It would appear that Mr. Biesenbach chasing celebrities is not approved of, although I suspect his success in this area is a big part of why he got his posts at the MOMA & PS1 in the first place.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Honest Elder Scrolls

Since we are back to computer games a bit, I am posting this as a footnote to the short discussion last year about epic fantasy RPG's. These guys make rather humorous videos about movies and games and I can recommend watching a few for a chuckle, especially if you have experience with the media they are making fun of.





For Mr. Bob:

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Apotheon

They went and made a 2-D side-scrolling action-adventure game specifically for Art History nerds. I bought this game yesterday because it was released for Linux. It's an XNA port. The game is a gorgeous as it looks in the screenshots. It's richly textured and nicely animated.

It's a little unstable for me. I've had it dump me out to the main menu a few times when changing levels. I was able to continue after replaying the previous level each time. They're still actively patching the game, so hopefully this will go away. My only other gripe is the two-tiered inventory system, it can be hard to use when under pressure. Slight blemishes on an otherwise well executed game.

(Link.)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Repurposing the Wunderkammer: Building a New Space for Science and Art

In 2014 and 2015 I have work up in a group exhibition at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida. (http://harn.ufl.edu/exhibitions/artandtechnology)

The show got some art press from an organisation based out of Atlanta.

Some of the works in the exhibition do acknowledge the more polemical aspects of the wunderkammer as a residual cultural symbol. Jason Benedict’s Romantische Naturphilosophie does so not by way of direct critical address but by co­-opting its formal logic . . .

http://burnaway.org/wunderkammers-21st-century-harn-gainesville/



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pop Goes the Easel

This is a short documentary from 1962 about four artists who were in the second generation of British Pop. I quite like Peter Phillips penny arcade inspired painting. Derek Boshier is very articulate about the exoticism of American advertising, something Robert Hughes would echo later in "American Visions". Pauline Boty died tragically from cancer only three years after the documentary aired. Also, watch for David Hockney in the party scene.

Art Easel from richard friday on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Inkscape v0.91

Inkscape released it's first stable build since 2010 last week. I've been compiling the developer branch on my home machine for some time, and using the stable version on my work machine. At work, I'll often use Inkscape to add illustrative flourishes to our CAD files. Inkscape's tiling tools and live path effects compliment AutoCAD very well. I've used it for radial brick patterning, batt insulation following curved walls and ceilings, and spray foam insulation and fireproofing. Also, certain drawing tasks involving organic shapes, like tracing civil plans, are much easier with Inkscape's curve editing and a pen tablet.

You can download the release on the Inkscape website. (Link.)

Here are the 0.91 release notes with screenshots (Link.)

Libre Graphics World has an interview with the lead developers. (Link.)

Tavmjong Bah's Blog is a great place to see what's in store for SVG and Inkscape. (Link.)