Semiotics at the Kitchen

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I've grown almost as weary of the art rag stories and the reified knee-jerk chatter about the Whitney Biennial being 'the show critics love to hate' as I have of the Pavlovian critics who hate it -- for how could there *possibly* be value in something so thoroughly institutional, redemption in that which so perniciously aims toward a 'closed,' finality-tinged representation of two years' worth of North American aesthetic and cultural production? This year's Biennial, in the writer's humble opinion, is open to that sort of rigid, vitriolic bluster only to those who haven't bothered to really engage with it. Two of the 2004 Biennial's web projects, Learning to Love You More (Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July) and Velvet-Strike (Brody Condon, Joan Leandre, and Anne Marie Schleiner), are well worth such engagement; Fletcher and July provocatively (and humorously) play with the interactions and interfaces around participatory 'art assignments,' while Condon, Leandre, and Schleiner reappropriate online shooter game 'Counter-Strike' in the service of pacifist detournement. Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 17, you can chime in during a 'live discussion' at New York City's The Kitchen with the artists themselves, who will be joined by one of the show's curators, Debra Singer, and one of its consultants, Rhizome.org Executive Director Rachel Greene.