Movie Nights in REVERSE
During November, Reverse Space is presenting a series of film screenings in their gallery on Frost Street. Considering the diverse platforms of distribution and displaying of moving image in Chile, each monday evening Omar Zuñiga y Macarena Fernández have scheduled a film they consider introductory to the new voices in current Chilean cinema. In addition, before each film they are presenting shorts by young filmmakers from the Film Graduate Program at Tisch NYU. Reverse is a multidisciplinary art gallery run by artists, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It promotes the work of emerging curators and artists, and it serves as platform for exchange through art shows, video and film screening, lectures, and workshops.
Omar and Macarena are young Chilean filmmakers and producers living in New York, and with the screenings are creating an interesting dialogue between productions from different backgrounds. The program includes the films Life kills me, by Sebastián Silva; Summertime, by José Luis Torres Leiva; The Ducks’ Migration, by Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo; Thursday till Sunday, by Dominga Sotomayor and The year of the tiger, by Sebastián Lelio. In a more personal note, I think Summertime and Thursday till Sunday are beautiful examples of how new generations of Chilean filmmakers are looking to the construction of time and territory, from a very intimate, delicate point of view.
28 Frost Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Movie Nights Schedule
Short :Frank-Etienne vers La Béatitude, by Marie Constantinesco
Feature: Life kills me, by Sebastián Silva
Short :Little revolutions, by Marie Constantinesco
Feature: Summertime, by José Luis Torres Leiva
Short: The Ducks’ Migration, by Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo
Feature: Thursday till Sunday, by Dominga Sotomayor
Short: A Chjàna, by Jonas Carpignano
Feature: The year of the tiger, by Sebastián Lelio
9:36 am • 6 November 2012
If intelligence is the ability to find connections between existing entities, and consciousness is the ability to find novel connections, leading to the creation of something new, then perhaps simulating these connections with technology can provide more insight on the fleeting notions of ingenuity, artistry, originiality, etc. This is what Antonio Chella, the Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory, and a Telenoid robot is exploring: the nature of consciousness and creativity. A singing Telenoid robot is being trained to mimic the movements and sounds of a human singer and associate parts of music with different emotional states. By learning to improvise and choose movements and vocalisations that complement the human singer in a duet, human traits of taste and aesthetic judgement will make the robot unique from imitation software. Illustrating what is merely composition versus improvisation will guide the robot towards creativity. Musicians make novel connections from their mental library of musical phrases when prompted by other musicians; and this dream-like state, somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, is perhaps the source of musical improvisation. Simulating these states in a machine, and studying the link between consciousness and musical interpretation could potentially lead to better understanding the unconscious and whether or not there is a science to creativity. All technological advances seem to be extensions of the human body and mind. Perhaps the future of robotics will also provide humans the vessels to explore further inward rather than outward.
The Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory holds a similar perspective:
「The end of the information age will coincide with the beginning of the robot age. However, we will not soon see a world in which humans and androids walk the streets together, like in movies or cartoons; instead, information technology and robotics will gradually fuse so that people will likely only notice when robot technology is already in use in various locations.
Our role will be to lead this integration of information and robotics technologies by constantly proposing new scientific and technological concepts. Toward this, knowledge of art and philosophy will be invaluable. Technology has made art “reproducible”; likewise, artistic sense has contributed to the formation of new technologies, and artistic endeavors themselves are supported by philosophical contemplation and analysis.
Hereafter, human societies will continue to change due to “informationization” and robotization; in this ever-changing setting, artistic activities and philosophical speculation will allow us to comprehend the essential natures of humans and society, so that we can produce truly novel science and technological innovations in a research space which lies beyond current notions of “fields” and boundaries of existing knowledge.」
I’ve come to find the recursive entities between the natural and artificial manifestations of this world to be endless. It is only apt that the future of technology will further the natures of existence by externalising the internal and internalising the external.
12:00 am • 15 October 2012
Alternative Highlights at the NYABF
My regrettably short visit to the 2012 New York Art Book Fair
(NYABF) was spent focusing on smaller presses, zines, and emerging artists’ publications. Though the selection of works at the event on the whole speak to a wide range of formats and purposes for artists’ books, it was encouraging to find compelling alternative approaches and departures from monographs, gallery produced critical texts and precious limited editions. Such alternatives are nothing new, but I found an increasing number of publications that represent a rising tide in the reinvestigation and restructuring of intimacy, queerness, and community.
Beginning in the outdoor tent, aka The Schoolyard, full of emerging and independent publishers and zinesters, I found a series of mini-zines by Eloisa Aquino titled The Life and Times of Butch Dykes. These quarter sized zines use illustration and short quotes to recreate works and highlight cultural contributions by such artists as Claude Cahun, Gertrude Stein or JD Samson. Another lighthearted and queer themed artist zine was the latest in the Homocats series by J Morrison titled Lollipop Considers a Trans-Feline Change! The half-letter sized zine pairs collaged images of his cat with the narration of a physical transformation, along with speech bubbles exclaiming things like “I am a transgressive woman of the future!” or “Don’t give up!”. Morrison’s ability to address the politicized and gendered body through photo-collages of cats (of all things) and just enough humor is unsuspecting and admirable.
My last purchase in the Schoolyard were two issues of the mini-zine “Sad Sex”
by artist, Heather Benjamin.
Her black and white illustrations of awkward, bloody, hairy and sometimes disturbing portrayals of sex exude the vulnerability, desire, and sometimes darker side of the current discourse surrounding sex-positivity. As messy, gestural and shock provoking as these zines may seem, the larger question becomes how comfortable the viewer really
is with such details of sexual pleasure. Benjamin’s execution of these themes, especially in a format that can fit in your pocket, disseminates an honest investigation of sexual power and desire.
Once inside PS1 itself, I picked up an issue of Shifter Magazine
, co-edited by Parsons faculty member Sreshta Rit Premnath
, appropriately titled “Intimate”. The issue departs from intimacy within the confines of sexual relationships, and focuses on those of “kindship, friendship and neighborliness” through critical texts, visual artworks and interviews. The issue’s content suggests the capability of art to impact the remapping of intimacy beyond private life and into a more social and neighborly sphere.
The examination of alternative forms of intimacy within community, identities, and neighbors, connects to my final purchases from the magazine Girls Like Us
. Based in the Netherlands, the publication highlights a community of women contemporary artists, writers, filmmakers and more. Their contributors are cultural producers and subversives, connected through collaborative, creative and social networks that are certainly intimate and embrace a primarily lesbian readership. Queerness is not the deciding factor for inclusion in the magazine, though there is an specific emphasis on the strength and impact of such women (and a larger queer community) on contemporary art. Contributors in the most recent issue include such artists as Emily Roysdon
, Katherine Hubbard
, and Collier Schorr
, among others. To tie in the true community aspect of the group, an interview with noted hairstylist Holli Smith
confirms suspicions that yes, a large swath of those “transformative lesbian haircuts” are, in fact, created by the same person. To top it all off, as an addendum to the recent issue, Girls Like Us was slinging a limited edition T-shirt featuring a stark black and white text excerpt from Monique Wittig’s “The Lesbian Body.” Sold!
Despite the true range of artists’ publication at the NYABF, the objects I was most drawn to were not merely accessible forms an artist’s work, but those that spread theories on restructuring and queering that is increasingly present in contemporary art, especially among the DIY and self-publishing set. Certainly zines like Life and Times of Butch Dykes showcase Aquino’s artistic skills and interests, but the series also works to connect historical queer artists and musicians with their contemporary counterparts. Other publications like Sad Sex, Shifter, and Girls Like Us, though varying in form, are an asset to the engagement of art with social theory, philosophy, and transformative social change. This type of dialogue between publications and artists has made events like the NYABF a vital part of social practice, political expression and a sustainable, collaborative venue for artists of many disciplines.
(Writing as Studio Practice)
3:01 pm • 2 October 2012 • 4 notes
Fashionable wheels help!
A while ago, my friend Skye Parrot asked me to be on the committee for a silent art auction to benefit a charity. Skye is the creative director at Dossier magazine and the charity was Worth Motorcycle Company.
What Worth does is pretty cool and very smart: they teach young people at risks and youthful offenders to repair and maintain vintage motorcycles, over a six months program, here in New York. I mean, I imagine those kids are much more incline to improve their learning and commitment skills, along with gaining a sense of self-respect, by providing tender love and care to a vintage Harley than, say, bake cupcakes!
The guys at Worth know their audience, so do the girls at Dossier. The silent auction took place this past Friday, pairing with the launch of Dossier’s tenth issue, and he event was held at Dustin Yellin’s new space, The Intercourse, in Red Hook.
My contribution consisted in contacting the artists I know who have made a name for themselves and lead a professional career. When the idea is to have an audience purchase some art, a few names are welcome. Of all the people I contacted, only my friend Vidya Gastaldon, a French artist based in Geneva, came through and actually sent a drawing.
So on Friday, in fashionable company, I browsed the exhibition sipping my complimentary cocktail, and it felt good to see Vidya’s drawing on the wall, not far from a print by Nan Goldin and a drawing by Robert Longo. It felt good also to see all these people make it to the far end of Brooklyn, on a rainy Friday night, to show some support. I mean, New Yorkers don’t go that far for just a free drink and magazine.
9:25 am • 2 October 2012
Artist talk: Helen Sear
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Aperture Gallery and Bookstore
547 West 27th Street
New York, NY
This weekend I visited Aperture to listen to Helen Sear’s lecture about her work. She began with her early work and finished up with her most recent series which is exhibiting at Klompching Gallery until October 26, 2012. Sear started out with creating projections and video installations and moved into photography with “Between Here and There.” I noticed in her early work that nature was a component in her image making process. Sear asked the question, “How do you recreate the nature of experience?”
“Her work explored ideas of vision, touch, and the representation of the nature of experience, demonstrating and enduring interest in landscape in relation the the human and animal body.”
The series “Spot” is a response to the British bird collection that the Elizabethan stately home of Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, England, which was one of the first British museums for natural history. The photographs have been constructed digitally from two separate images, one a photograph of a bird and the second layer is a photograph of treetops from below. The spot of color on the eyes are sampled colors from the palette of the bird. Sear explains that the purpose of this is because the taxidermic birds have glass eyes and they are difficult to photograph. The intention of this series was to emulate the hall’s ancestors by recreating the families portraits. Sear also has her retrospective book out in an edition of 800. The book would be a good source for inspiration although it was around $50.00.
9:32 am • 18 September 2012
Firstly, thanks to Photofeast, for hosting us WASPs.
As guest bloggers, we were prompted to write posts about cultural events and/or interesting art-related ideas and dialogues that we’ve seen, heard, or been involved with here in New York City. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that this past weekend, I did not attend any art openings, museum exhibits, music or performance shows. I did, however, spend a couple of hours at a tattoo shop, paying a lovely and thoughtful complete stranger to prick me thousands of times with a needle, permanently scarring my skin (and no, I won’t say, “getting inked”). Tattoos are not only more common than ever, an undeniably part of our culture and our conversations, but still remain a source of endless fascination.
With the subject of tattoo and art, the ensuing discussion has the potential to bear some low-hanging fruit - like “high” versus “low” art (yawn), a discussion of the interesting and varied histories of tattoos, or its association with a sort of caricature of hipster cities like Brooklyn, Austin, and Portland having a tattoo parlor in the back of a micro-brewery in the back of a farm-to-table bistro/organic farmer’s market (I don’t actually know if such a place exists, but if it did, it would be fantastic). I think instead of reaching for those easy-to-pick fruit, I’d rather just ramble a little. I have, after all, lost a bit of blood and went through an hour of pain… So, bear with me…
There is something beautiful about the idea of tattoos as a mark of unification. There are hundreds, probably thousands of people in the world who have the Chinese character “love” tattooed on their bodies. More ubiquitous, perhaps, is the heart with a banner that says “Mom.” And then there are the teardrop tattoos, as if the bearers of them experienced a sadness that was so profound and heart-wrenching that their tears actually etched a permanent mark on their faces. These are such literal representations of the universal emotions of love and pain – the most profound feelings we feel – that this blunt form of camaraderie is simple and moving. Perhaps that makes up for one of the reasons why tattoos have such an appeal – that there is something sinister about them – beyond the “bad-ass” factor, the non-conformist ethos, but that the very notion of pain has a haunting beauty. In one four-letter word, “pain” can describe a scratch on the knee when we fall down, the gut-ache of loss, or an overall despair over existence – in this way, the skin-deep pain of tattoos bespeaks a yearning to understand a more poignant, yet ultimately tragic reality.
But the other side of pain also deserves a rambling-on – love, or at least, like. Tattoos are the manifestation of liking an image, an idea, a phrase so much so that we want to brand ourselves so that we can make a statement to the world of this “liking-so-much.” It does, rather obviously, seem curious that we can “like” and “unlike” things, images, pictures, books, and comments as easily as a click-and-tap of a finger, yet the impetus for permanent mark-making should be so much on the rise. If tattoos are accessories, and accessories go in and out of fashion faster than ever, how do we reconcile, even entertain, the idea of permanence? I imagine this must be motivated by a complete lack of understanding of the word “permanent” in the day and age when news stories of last year seem like a life-time ago. So in a way, it all seems nothing more than romantic grand-gestures – like the proclamation of ever-lasting love, of undying loyalty, of unwavering resolution – the fiction of “forever.” Well, I just so happen to love that fiction, that romance, but I suspect it is precisely because I have no idea what “forever” means. Forget “forever,” even “a long time” is a hard concept to grasp.
There is quite a bit more to say – the transformative, phenomenological experience of tattoos, the way that bodies interact with them, that they are at once completely unnatural and yet simultaneously the very pigment of our skin, that they are beautiful, horrendous, time-based, decadent… all these and more. But alas, I may have rambled on long enough. I will end this post by sharing a few links below, and with the amusing fact and the imagery this fact conjures – that the oldest tattoo ever found belongs to a 7000 year-old mummy in South America who has a tattoo of a mustache – (low-hanging fruit warning)… the original hipster?
- Ilyn Wong
1:40 am • 18 September 2012 • 1 note
I have never been disappointed by the Guggenheim’s impressive program of exhibitions. From the unforgettable Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance in 2010, the memorable display of Lee Ufan’s work and the Maurizio Cattelan shows in 2011, to the John Chamberlain and the Francesca Woodman shows earlier this year (just to mention a few), I am continually impressed by the thoroughness and professional presentation of the works of art.
I recently attended the latest exhibition at the Guggenheim, a show entitled Art of Another Kind, International Abstraction and the Guggenheim, 1949 – 1960. If you have not yet seen this exhibition, I highly recommend attending before it ends in a few days, on September 12, 2012.
Art of Another Kind celebrates the history of abstract art and also represents a very important moment in the history of the Guggenheim as an institution. All of the works in this exhibition are part of the Guggenheim Museum’s collection, most of which were acquired by the museum’s second director, James Johnson Sweeney, who became the director shortly after Solomon R. Guggenheim’s death in 1949. Sweeney began to collect artwork from avant-garde artists “whom he called the ‘tastebreakers’ of his day, the individuals who ‘break open and enlarge our artistic frontiers’” . Most of the works on display date back to the 1950’s, after World War II, a time in which there was a renewal in the interest of freedom of the brush, freedom of expression, and a move towards experimental practice. Artists working both in America and internationally at this time, such as Jackson Pollack, Kenzo Okada, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and many others, began to experiment with new materials and methods of composition, often employing what the critic Harold Rosenberg referred to as “action painting”, a gestural act of painting where the artists’ unconscious would be revealed through their practice.
The title of the exhibition derives from the French art critic Michel Tapié, who “enthusiastically declared the existence of un art autre (art of another kind) – a radical break with all traditional notions of order and composition in a movement toward something wholly ‘other’” . There were many highlights in this show, both painting and sculpture, beginning at the bottom of the ramp with Alberto Burri’s Composition (1953), Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow in White and Red) (1949), and many works by the Cobra artist group, named after the first letters of the cities from which the artists originated, (Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam), including Asger Jorn’s oil paintings from the mid 50’s, Karel Appel’s works, and Pierre Alechinsky’s spontaneous canvas pieces. As you work your way up and around the spiraled ramp, the show ends with a look into Kinetcism with works of art such as the White Moving Forms on Black Background (1957), which moves every half hour for approximately 4 minutes.
I really enjoyed this show, not only because of the quality of the artworks but for the curated organization of the exhibition which started with the Younger European Painters moving to Abstract Expressionists and Art Informel, to European Postwar Abstraction, to Art Brut, to French Informalism, Kineticism, and ending with Spanish Informalism.
For those of you who can make it before the show ends this coming Wednesday September 12th, I can’t recommend this exhibition enough. Regardless, the Guggenheim has an interesting website that accompanies this exhibition, providing an overview of the show as well as a look into some key artworks featured in the exhibition. (http://web.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/anotherkind/)
- Madelaine Edmonds
 and  “Art of Another Kind,” last modified June 2012,
10:55 pm • 10 September 2012
Welcome back WASP
Last week I sat down the six year old girl I babysit and declared “you are going to learn how to write a letter!” And by letter I meant on paper, with a pen, address to the top right and beginning “Dear….”. My gut feeling being that if she knows how to write a letter then she will survive life. She will get that job, convince sponsors to give over money or share her inner most secrets with a lover. But she has to know how to do it properly. Because knowing all the rules means she can break all the rules and find her own voice. However, without the rules taking command of words becomes overwhelming and one’s voice lost.
So, with this in mind, Photofeast is more than happy to welcome back Parson’s very own WASP writers who will be guest bloggers over the coming weeks. (WASP = Writing as Studio Practice).
Writing can be the source of joy or the cause of all frustrations yet it is undeniably important to many artist’s studio practice. Whether it be notes scribbled on napkins, lists and lists filling diary pages or a critical essay which helps place our work in the world, writing defines ideas and expresses thoughts. Even if only to ourselves. So it is with grateful anticipation that we look forward to reading what our guest bloggers will share.
10:54 pm • 10 September 2012 • 6 notes
Conveyor Magazine Call for Submissions
Also check them out at MoMA’s Millennium Magazines Exhibition which is currently on view right now.
Smoke & Mirrors
Conveyor Magazine, Issue No. 3
Photography lies. It’s supposed to.
Harnessing the sophistry that is inherent in the medium, collaboration between artful deception and red herrings can transform a gritty alleyway into a golden field of wheat, make ghosts appear on the…
3:57 pm • 29 February 2012 • 6 notes
Photofeast Spring Exhibition 2012
Curated by Justin Wolf
Exhibition opens today (Feb. 29th) through April 1st.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Arnold and Sheila Aaronson Gallery
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street
New York, NY. USA.
1:30 pm • 29 February 2012 • 6 notes