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Post #1004 • May 18, 2007, 7:13 PM • 36 Comments

Over the last few weeks I've been contacted via email by two scam artists. ...The smart part is they're targeting independent artists who, on average, aren't the most business savvy group around and they only seem to be after your higher priced paintings. (Drawn)

Alfredo Triff publishes his opening remarks from the Dangling Pink Elephant panel discussion; hilarity ensues.

Why are most artists liberal? (Kottke)

The 18th-century painter and calligrapher Ike Taiga was something like the Pablo Picasso of Japan. The comparison, while superficial, is hard to resist as you wade into the dazzling, almost daunting retrospective of Taiga's work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and begin to absorb the many sides of his achievement.

Cumulate Draw, one of the more viable drawing web apps I've seen. (Reddit)

Improve your photography with classical art. Could work. (Andrew)

George Bethea used an actual paintbrush on his abstract Day-Glo whirls - though there's also plenty of glitter, sand, and chunky goo in the mix, all serving to create hypnotic forms that practically cry out to be touched. (Brett)

Tony Millionaire hits the boob tube.

Ulam spiral. (Reddit)

Bank of America is putting on a Museums On Us promotion. (Necee)

Researchers found that the brains of older East Asian people respond less strongly to changes in the foreground of images than those of their Western counterparts. They suggest this difference is due to an increased emphasis on the background, or context, of images in some Asian cultures. (AJ)

NVida human head demo. (Reddit)

Department of Skills: Jazz Dispute. (MeFi)




May 18, 2007, 7:49 PM

who reads these useless blog things anyways... they are soo 2003.



May 19, 2007, 12:30 PM

Well, Franklin, I started to wade through this elephant/Triff business, but I lasted about 3 seconds per link. I don't know, maybe something's changed in my brain chemistry. I used to devour this kind of stuff, if only out of morbid curiosity, but I'm a little too familiar with the usual suspects, and you know what they say about familiarity.

Maybe I've become a nihilist. Maybe I'm just over it, after being feverishly into it for what turned out to be no good reason. I find it harder and harder to motivate myself to go see anything around here. I don't even try to keep up with what's happening, such as it is. Basically, I think I just no longer give a shit.



May 19, 2007, 2:32 PM

F: Elephants are noble animals. Hilarity can be good for you… what a coincidence; pink is my favorite color. Even at my expense, thanks for the posting.



May 19, 2007, 8:59 PM

Why am I getting this error message when I try to comment?

"Precondition Failed. The precondition on the request for the URL /comment.php evaluated to false."



May 19, 2007, 10:20 PM

Sorry, Jack. New Guidelines. No nihilists allowed.



May 19, 2007, 11:28 PM

Well, OP, maybe you can manage to read through the stuff and make some sort of comment. Honestly, I have this major ennui thing going on (not with good art, mind you, but with the ongoing game and its players).

I'm increasingly seeing the official art scene as something akin to the situation in the so-called serious/art music arena. I'm referring, by the way, to the ostensibly serious art scene, not the social butterflies who clearly go to openings to see other butterflies, be seen and scarf up free booze and munchies.

In other words, an inbred clique of delusional and/or cynical would-be deep thinkers making all manner of noise signifying practically nothing.



May 19, 2007, 11:31 PM

I like the Ulam Spiral, it has patterns. And thanks for the Maakies, a good addition to my online comics bookmarks.



May 20, 2007, 8:46 AM

Jack, I feel your pain.


critical eye

May 20, 2007, 11:04 AM

what, noone see Jacin Giordano'ss work up this month at Snitzer?
i hope you nihilists donot put his work in the same pile as whatever else it is you're looking at in's a higher caliber, and he's dead serious about what he's doing.


Marc Country

May 20, 2007, 1:12 PM

AT: "...when Marina Abramovic came to Miami, I realized that performance too had become stultified".

Weird. I thought AT was arguing here in favour of Abromovic, before.. but now, he's saying that her work actually resulted in his epiphany that performance is stupid, foolish, or absurdly illogical, impaired, invalidated, ineffective... (I looked up 'stultify' and man, it's harsh!).

Are there multiple, different AT's out there, or, did he just 'stultify' himself in the pages of the SunPost?

Oh, yeah, I liked the Jazz Dispute... it'd be better with two people doing it though... or the same dude, but with different camera angles, or maybe a split-screen...



May 20, 2007, 2:51 PM

I my early exchanges in this blog, I defended the idea of performance as a viable artistic form with a well-established history. What I mean to say in this article is that performance art has changed considerably since those early days (and I think for the worse). Early practitioners like Acconci, Nauman, Burden, etc, left performance (I’ll not get into the reasons for this). In my interview with Marina, I asked her why performance had become less confrontational and inspiring and she offered an explanation we don’t have to get into now. Yes, in the 2000’s we still see some of the issues: the body, politics, ethnicity, gender being tackled; but in the general landscape of our global late-capitalist society, performance has become “performative”, a cultural spectacle of itself. “Stultified” is not a bad appellation.



May 20, 2007, 4:52 PM

I like the jazz number too, Marc, and I agree that it would be better with two people, but where would the fellow find some else to go through all the practicing he had to?

Maybe he should have made it a split screen, with him doing both sides. Or would that make it too much like "art"? God forbid.



May 20, 2007, 6:18 PM

It may have stultified his performance by making it too performative.



May 20, 2007, 7:24 PM

Stultifera navis

aka Ship of Fools

Not a bad title for the art scene, though it probably doesn't deserve to be referred to in Latin.



May 20, 2007, 8:24 PM

You may be right, Ahab.

But actually I think would have made it even more fun to watch, which should disqualify it as art anyway.


a bonanfide personal attack

May 20, 2007, 11:07 PM

you're such an arse, jack.



May 21, 2007, 12:05 AM

... well arse, Jack is a respectful art advocate and regardless of his tastes, he cares at least.


caryn elliot

May 21, 2007, 8:39 AM

"...we still see some of the issues: the body, politics, ethnicity, gender being tackled;..."

How do you "tackle" an issue in performance art, or any art discipline for that matter? Chris Burden having himself shot --who cares? Why intellectualize this? Annie Sprinkle displaying her cervix for an audience? Brilliant. Gomez-Pena does come close, but still it remains a semi bad skit for a select few. (His writings do more for the issues he wants to address)

I'm all for new media, however this is more about critics and writers that are creating a new job position, one that obfuscates general public of the art being shown. As a critic and writer, please tell us what is being shown and why you find it interesting --or not. But don't mislead with talk of issues in front of the art and a supposed harnessing of them.

Artwork aside, you can learn more about the body, ethnicity, and gender by attending any gallery opening and witnessing your fellow onlookers.



May 21, 2007, 9:55 AM

Or by engaging in politics, or reading an anatomy book, or any number of other ways.

I don't think art is much good at "tackling issues", which is a concept I can't even visualize, much less tackle.



May 21, 2007, 10:58 AM

I'd say Jack is more like a mule than an arse. If he doesn't like it, he won't budge.

Lemmings, take notice.



May 21, 2007, 12:22 PM

Caryn: I use “tackle” (for lack of a better word) only mean how artists take a given subject and develop it. As someone writing about art, I have to put words between my observations and the art. How do I see it? Looking at context, message, intent and delivery. After the artist does her thing, the art is there to be looked at; felt, interpreted, decoded (not precisely in that order). For instance, the actions of Pollock are different from those of Klein; the body gestures of Carolee Schneemann (taking time, place and intent into consideration) are very different from those of Sprinkle -or Ana Mendieta.



May 21, 2007, 12:37 PM

By all means, get it decoded and interpreted, or, better yet, translated Get all that unruly emotion tucked safely into words where it can be understood. Otherwise... man, it's kind of scary!


Marc Country

May 21, 2007, 1:26 PM

You just gots to love an "art writer" who uses useless words, because he admittedly "lacks" better ones... YIKES!



May 21, 2007, 1:59 PM

All the words are inadequate, but some are more inadequate than others.

Caryn hit the nail on the head when she mentioned putting "issues in front of the art and a supposed harnessing of them." Doing so is much easier than describing an experience of taste, and this is the mode that the majority of critics lapse into. I might even venture that a certain kind of art advances in perceived importance to the extent that it can be rendered by parsing its issues.

I don't think that any issue has ever been more thoroughly explored by an artist than by a writer on the same topic.



May 21, 2007, 3:07 PM

I don’t know what’s the problem with feeling at loss with words, particularly when talking about art. In Languages of Art, an extremely difficult but gratifying book, Nelson Goodman (an important American pragmatist of the 20th century) admits that art and language operate at different levels: verbal vs. non-verbal. Language can only “metaphorically” denote a picture, but since metaphor involves a process of transference, there’s always a process of “remaking” (one merely “approximates” the two systems). The process is a constant fitting and refitting.



May 21, 2007, 3:13 PM

Two "forbidden" words in my writing course:

ISSUE - unless an issue of a magazine, or children

EXPLORE - unless you are in a cave, or a jungle or some such


caryn elliot

May 21, 2007, 5:27 PM

at: how can you possibly know the artists intent? message-- well that will change from one to another. all this talk really reduces art and the art experience. very who, what, where, when, why. however only a couple of these can be easily answered.

anyway, more writing about artwork produced and exhibited in miami at



May 21, 2007, 6:59 PM

Re #16, nihilists don't care what anonymous commenters (especially the drive-by kind) may think, and being called an arse could actually be a compliment, depending on who's doing the calling. By the way, it's bona fide (two words; no n after i). If you're going to make personal attacks, learn to spell, or have the software do it for you.



May 21, 2007, 7:02 PM

Misread the handle on #16. That's no n after a, obviously.



May 21, 2007, 9:14 PM

You're right, Caryn. Intent is a weird animal (though somewhere down the road artists end up disclose their feelings and intentions). I particularly don't care much for it; art should speak for itself.



May 22, 2007, 8:15 AM

"intention" is better than "intent", and whether or not artists "disclose their intentions" is beside the point. My "intention" everytime I paint a picture is to make a masterpiece, but so what? The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, as the saying goes..



May 22, 2007, 8:42 AM

Apparently, at fist sight, it seems you want to make a masterpiece; you also want to paint a blue canvas, finish that white blob, let off steam, keep moving, win over the night, spend more time alone, try out that Cash album while going about it… (in this age of art-celeb magazines, one always end up knowing more and more about what goes on in the artist’s mind)


caryn elliot

May 22, 2007, 6:52 PM

at: you had me at "fist sight."


Marc Country

May 23, 2007, 11:24 AM

" this age of art-celeb magazines, one always end up knowing more and more about what goes on in the artist’s mind."

I guess we can blame art writers for that (although the idea that these writers have somehow read the minds of the artists covered, and have put that oh-so accurate reading down on the glossy page, is fucking laughably retarded)....

Of course, I should also point out, that in this age of art-celeb magazines... YOU DON"T HAVE TO READ THEM!
In fact, why on earth would you... masochism, I suppose?



May 23, 2007, 1:40 PM

I had exactly the same reaction, Marc. So often when these people say "one knows" I find myself mumbling sourly, "well, not THIS one".


Marc Country

May 24, 2007, 12:55 PM

The Real Reason why Artists are Liberal...



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