Interview with Christiane Paul

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The Third Quadrilateral Biennial opened last week at the MMSU in Rijeka, Croatia, and it will remain on view until January 13, 2010. The Biennial emerged out of a cultural partnership between four participating countries - Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Italy. Artists from these countries are selected for exhibition in the Biennial. The focus for this year is new media art, and the organizers fittingly selected acclaimed new media art scholar and curator Christiane Paul as the Artistic Director for the Biennial. Paul took a moment to answer a few questions about the exhibition over email.

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Call for Proposals

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Delhi's Sarai Media Lab posted a call for their City As Studio fellowship program. Brief description below, full details and information regarding applications available here. The fellowship will take place February 1, 2010 - October 31, 2010, with a bursary of Rs 65,000 spread over a period of nine months. Applications are due by December 26, 2009.

The Sarai Programme at the Center for Study of Developing Societies, Delhi is an interdisciplinary platform for the investigation and interpretation of contemporary urban experience. Sarai produces events and processes, publishes offline and online content and generates contexts for research and creative practice concerning contemporary urban conditions.

The Sarai Media Lab invites expressions of interest and intent from artists and practitioners in diverse media - textual, visual, aural, spatial and temporal - who could be - visual artists (photographers, sculptors, installation artists, graphic artists), writers and independent scholars, filmmakers, architects, experimental musicians and composers, sound recordists, performers and people whose practices straddle or transcend different areas of practice - for participation in the 'City as Studio' Project.

The City as Studio initiative will create contexts for high intensity inter-disciplinary processes at different locations in Delhi and at the Sarai space at CSDS. Sometimes these process(es) may be rendered as an exhibition, at other times as a gathering, as a library, as a temporary archive or as an occasion for performances, conversations and debates. At still other times it may take the form of a workshop, a temporary atelier, a media studio, a publication or an online platform. The City as Studio is neither a one off event, nor a workshop or a residency, nor a festival or a simple cluster of public programmes - though it has elements of all of the above. It is primarily a method of generating a new public profile for creative ...

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1 kilometer zürich hardbrücke (2008) - Luc Gut

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Bad Beuys, Bad Beuys

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The banlieue, ie. the French suburb, has always been at core of Bad Beuys Entertainment’s work. Originating from the Parisian outskirt Cergy-Pontoise, the collective has created a reputation for itself through their aesthetization and simultaneous critique of the banlieue as a symbolic system. The socially conscious element in their practice reflects the reference to artist Joseph Beuys in their name, whose work was closely allied with socioeconomic reform. Iconic images associated with the French suburbs, such as burning cars, council housing, and small-time gangsters reemerge as cardboard public housing (Babylone_by_us, 2003) or “self portraits” using stand-ins (Sauvageons (little savages), 2004). Bad Beuys Entertainment’s move to recover the popular representation of the banlieue in their work is apparent in the current show at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

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While Enhancing a Diminishing Deep Down Thirst, the Juice Broke Loose (the Birth of a Soda Shop) (2008) - Phoebe Washburn

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Installation view from the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Mixed media, Overall dimensions variable (Images courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery)

For this installation, Washburn grew flowers in tanks of golf balls, which were watered by an irrigation system pumped with Gatorade. From Washburn's entry on the 2008 Whitney Biennial site:

"Like artists such as Nancy Rubins, Vik Muniz, and Sarah Sze, Washburn composes her pieces with items from the world of manufacturing, and this choice seems to comment on the profusion and waste of consumer culture. But she says her recycling of refuse is not an ecological act: “A lot of my working process involves skimming off of other industries, but my decision to collect and repurpose materials was not born out of trying to make a statement at all.” She explains that her compulsion to accumulate discarded materials to feed her art is motivated by “greed” rather than notions of conservation. Yet her work continues to resonate with ideas about economy and sustainability."

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Artist Michael Smith on "Open House"

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An ongoing project by artists Michael Smith and Joshua White, Open House was commissioned by the New Museum, and presented in its lower level public gallery in 1999 when the institution still resided on Broadway. In this version, Open House was a large-scale installation of a Soho artist’s loft belonging to the fictional artist “Mike Smith,” who is created and played by the artist Michael Smith and who, viewers learned through a video-taped sales pitch playing in the entrance to the installation, has lived in the loft for over twenty years, and is now looking to sell it. According to the pitch, the new owner will inherit the loft and, in a gesture that lies somewhere in between personal erasure and a Buddhist-like surrendering of material possessions, the past twenty years of Mike Smith’s art, all made while he lived in Soho. This dual sale—of art and life—turns the Open House installation into both a marketing pitch and a memoir. It presents the artist’s two-decade trajectory in Soho: video-taped documentation of the rigorous building of the loft, which in itself resembles a durational performance art piece of the 1970s, his multi-faceted, multi-media art, his activism, and his personal evolution, all with a price-tag. Presented at a critical juncture in the fictional artist’s life, Mike’s story with Soho ends where Open House begins, with the desire to leave the neighborhood, or what it has become, for some place more affordable and less pretentious.

This interview with Michael Smith took place in anticipation of the launch of an online version of Open House—a project that was realized thanks to my colleague John Michael Boling, who worked with Smith to transfer the work from DVD to the web.

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Excavated Tree (2009) - Katie Holten

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site-specific installation: wood, newspaper, cardboard, duct tape
(Produced by CCCS, Florence. Courtesy the artist. Photo Credit: CCCS, Firenze; Valentina Muscedra

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one art (2006) - Anya Gallaccio

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Weeping cherry tree, bolts, aircraft cable. (Courtesy the artist and SculptureCenter.)

For one art, Gallaccio will fell and disassemble a tree and then reconstruct it with all the engineering required to support it visible. The tree, a weeping cherry killed when contractors erroneously cut its root system, will reach into SculptureCenter's fifty-foot-high clerestory, virtually filling the space with its branches. Viewers will enter the space under its branches and will only be able to apprehend the full tree when standing at the far end of the gallery fifty feet away.

The title of the work is borrowed from an Elizabeth Bishop poem whose subject is loss and the unlikely possibility that we might master it through artful practice. one art is a tree as assisted ready-made, building on the art historical tradition of landscape and grappling with our desire to believe in an untamed nature.

In one art, Gallaccio's aesthetic act is to move the tree from its normal outdoor environment to an urban industrial building adapted as an exhibition space. Yet the process of disassembling and rebuilding the tree transforms it - drawing attention to the extraordinary formal and structural properties of the tree.

-- FROM THE DESCRIPTION FOR THE EXHIBITION OF "ONE ART" AT SCULPTURE CENTER (JANUARY 8- APRIL 3, 2006)

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Arbores Laetae (Joyful Trees) (2008) - Diller, Scofidio + Renfro

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Consisting of 17 vibrant hornbeam trees formally planted in a grid pattern, at the heart of this landscape three trees will slowly rotate. In place of the familiar movement of shade according to the rotation of the earth around the sun, here shade migrates at an artificial speed, transforming the familiar patterns of the natural world into artificial creations.

-- FROM THE PROJECT DESCRIPTION FOR THE 2008 LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL

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Constellations Corpo Real (2008) - Gerald Edwards III

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Flying down the back roads and divided four lane highways that cross the southern part of the United States has given me pause over the years to think about the rapidly shifting landscape. Granted being born in the mid 1980’s was like being dropped into the rushing river to maddeningly fast growth and development. When the first Best Buy came to my town it was like dreamland opened its gates right up, with the Sunday circular fueling my insatiable desire to get that fresh video game, or the hot discounted DVD player. As the time passed though, and I began to take these road trips with friends across the south, I realized what was eating me. The disappearing sense of regional diversity, passing through Dothan, Troy, Ozark, Alabama each town had become defined by its strip, the reconfiguring of Main Street, into a bypass road lined with the shiny, glowing colors of economic growth and progress.

Each constellation is a set of points on a laser etched map that correspond to photographed franchises of the projected logo. The first in the group is of Eighteen McDonald’s that spread across the beautiful city of Memphis, Tennessee.

-- FROM THE PROJECT STATEMENT FOR THE SERIES

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