Whoop Dee Doo is a kid's show, run by about 20-30 volunteers in Kansas City. The show is filmed in the style of public access television shows of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, drawing heavy inspiration from the likes of The Carol Burnett Show, The Gong Show, Pee Wee's Playhouse, You Can't Do That on Television, Mr. Wizard, Soul Train, Double Dare, public access horror show hosts like Svengoolie, and the Chicago public access program Chica-go-go. The group has put together shows around the country and internationally, from the Smart Museum in Chicago, to a holiday party at Deitch Projects, and a collaboration with Loyal Gallery in Malmo, Sweden. In each new venue they draw on local communities of performers and artists to collaborate and contribute. Performers range from musical acts and performance artists to Civil War Re-enactors, Celtic Bagpipers, Christian Mimes, drag queens, drill teams and science teachers. Kids help build the sets and make props along with artists and volunteers, and they are a huge part of the show itself. Whoop Dee Doo is intended to showcase the diversity of artistic talent within the community, and to create an opportunity for these groups to work, and party, together. Unlike many kid's shows, Whoop Dee Doo is in no way dumbed down or infantilizing, and it forms an important part of the vibrant and creative Kansas City arts community.
The show is hosted by artists Matt Roche and Jaimie Warren. Matt plays a quiet, awkward werewolf, and Jaimie is generally wearing red spandex and covered in empty food packaging. I spoke with Jaimie about the art scene in Kansas City, about working with kids and technology, and about the philosophy of Whoop Dee Doo.
Got a short attention span? If so, be sure to put aside Wednesday evening for Electronic Arts Intermix's Summer Screening "Short Shorts." Drawing from EAI's massive archive of video art, all the works in the screening are under 2 minutes long - meaning that forty-five works will be shown during the entire duration of this forty-five minute screening. Blink or you'll miss it, seriously. "Short Shorts" includes work by Dan Asher, Beth B, Phyllis Baldino, Michael Bell-Smith, Dara Birnbaum, Cheryl Donegan, VALIE EXPORT, Forcefield, Matthew Geller, Gran Fury, Gary Hill, Ken Jacobs, Tom Kalin, Kalup Linzy, George Maciunas, Charlotte Moorman, Shana Moulton, Yoko Ono, Dennis Oppenheim, Nam June Paik, Martha Rosler, Paul Sharits, Stuart Sherman, Shelly Silver, Michael Smith, Leslie Thornton, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Lawrence Weiner and Bruce and Norman Yonemoto. Event begins at 6:30 at EAI in Chelsea.
The Nam June Paik Center is dedicated to the artistic and intellectual legacy of Nam June Paik, the renowned Korean-born artist who transformed visual art worldwide. In addition to its function as an exhibition space, the Nam June Paik Art Center developed a new publication, NJP Reader. The aim of the NJP Reader is to recontextualize Nam June Paik’s artistic thought and his ‘random access’ strategies in a topical discursive practice. Leading questions are: What is the meaning of Nam June Paik’s multi-medial experiments, performances, and sculpture for our current artistic practice and discourse? What new dimensions for re-imagining notions of technology, ubiquity, and human experience do Nam June Paik’s thinking and practice suggest? How does his practice potentiate paradigm shifts in broader understandings of the potentialities and characteristics of alternative processes of participation afforded by the introduction of media technology into artistic practice?
Obviously, Nam June Paik’s work requires a conceptual framework that goes beyond an art historical narrative. Therefore, for Issue #1, NJP Reader conducts an inquiry into the novel concept of artistic anthropology in art discourse as an invitation to produce new conceptual systems. The NJP Reader intends to be an open platform for generating novel ideas, connections and concepts (this intention is also reflected in choosing to use Nam June Paik’s initials for its title, rather than his full name). To this aim, the first edition of the NJP Reader is based on a questionnaire that as many artists and intellectuals as possible were invited to contribute responses to. Through this conceptual inquiry the NJP Reader hopes to help in creating novel lines of thought and conceptual schemes. For the questionnaire three questions were formulated:
1. Artistic anthropology intends to produce novel models of relationality and connectivity. Could - Nam June Paik ...
3 Minute Loop
A formal expansion of the artist's essay films, Deep Play brings together 12 different vantages on one of the biggest television events to emerge in the new millennium--the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The event, held in Germany, was reportedly seen by an estimated 1.5 billion viewers worldwide. Unfolding in simultaneous, real-time montage, Deep Play depicts the artist's own footage of the game, official FIFA footage, charts of player stats, real-time 2D and 3D animation sequences, and stadium surveillance, exposing the visual, informational, and technological design of these grand cultural spectacles. Though visually bombarding at points, the network of images and data stages a reprocessed disarticulation of spectacle, aptly pointing out the present conditions of visuality and its overwhelming influence on representation and subjectivity.
Knifeandfork explores the media-perpetuated nature of the chance moment in Trying the Hand of God, hosting a carefully choreographed continuous reenactment of the infamous illegal, but not penalized, "Hand of God" soccer goal from the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The performance is staged on a recreation of Mexico City's Azteca Stadium, constructed within the confines of the MOCA Sculpture Plaza. A limited number of audience members have the opportunity to play the role of Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer legend who scored the controversial goal against England during the quarterfinals, eventually leading his team to win the match and the tournament.
Through live performance, Knifeandfork introduces the potential for variations on a familiar, media-repeated image. The issue of variation is particularly interesting in this case, as the controversy over the "Hand of God" goal raised complex questions of chance, skill, and fate. In their choreographed reenactments, Knifeandfork attempts to control for all possible variables, yet the possibility of a "perfect" performance inevitably remains elusive. Rather, the repetitions serve as a form of kinetic documentation, both of what was and what might have been, and they grant the audience agency over the representation of this iconic event which has been otherwise ossified by media reproduction.