For his latest exhibition, Winds Across the Inner Sea at New York's Gehring and Lopez Gallery, artist John F. Simon Jr. has created a number of large-scale works that reflect his continued interest in the relationship between code and its visual representation. Blending the theories of Josef Albers with the abstract painterly elements of Paul Klee, Simon uses his distinctive code to generate limitless combinations of color and composition. With his recent practice of embedding LCD monitors within large and ornate frames of his own construction he reflects on the ephemeral structure of his software through a material one. Part software, part painting, part sculpture, part video, Simon's latest works truly resonate across all four media.
Lap of Luxury
Have you ever wondered what it was like to be Marie Antoinette? To sit in the Palace of Versailles, surrounded by revolution inducing luxury? Nicole Cohen's new installation, Please be Seated, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles offers a means to experience this historical world of extravagance firsthand. Cohen's interactive video installation reanimates the 18th century decorative arts collection of the Getty, creating not only an immersive artwork but also a pedagogical tool that allows museum visitors to experience their vast historical collections in new ways. Visitors are invited to sit down in one of six white chairs (which are abstracted from period chairs within the Museum's collection) and gaze overhead at large plasma screens. Playing above is a video by Cohen filmed in the Museum's galleries, the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, and the Nissim de Camondo Museum in Paris. Like Sophia Coppola's Antoinette biopic but better, Cohen has the benefit of both the physical objects and the moving image to transport the viewer into the lap of luxury.
Everyone has that space in their home that functions on multiple levels--a place to drink coffee, read a book, check email, or sit with friends. For the Toronto/Vancouver collective Instant Coffee this space is a small kitchen nook in the Vancouver apartment of one of their members. An intensely social space, this particular nook has been central to the collective's process, plans, and practice for the past ten years. For their current show at Toronto's Mercer Union, Instant Coffee is attempting to recreate the nook's inspirational powers in a gallery setting. Four 'sculptures' in the exact same dimensions of the original nook occupy the gallery and will be the focus of a series of events, slide shows, and even a Sunday night dinner. Eliminating barriers between the studio and gallery, Instant Coffee's practice is consistently smart, inclusionary, and most importantly, fun. By generously offering their magical place to whoever can squeeze in, Instant Coffee gives us all a space at their table and the opportunity to be equally inspired.
On the not so bucolic shores of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York has emerged something beautiful: a gallery, meeting space, concert hall, and library called Proteus Gowanus. This multi-disciplinary space is utilized by multiple local non-profit organizations who collectively organize and create a variety of experiences based on a single theme. This year's theme, kicked-off this month, is 'Play.' Exhibitions, one-act operas, film screenings, and canal-side canoeing are only a few of the events and workshops planned for the upcoming season. The reading room and library provides access to publications by Ugly Duckling Press and Cabinet Magazine, and the 'Artist Book Library and Store' curated by Maddy Rosenberg also offers a quiet space for independent research. It is collaborative and interdisciplinary in the truest senses. Like its mythological namesake, Proteus Gowanus assumes different shapes and iterations, providing broad offerings to an equally broad audience.
From September 14-29th the Staten Island Ferry, which transports commuters from Staten Island, New York to lower Manhattan, will perform a dual public service. Acting as both public transport and public broadcaster, the Ferry will be host to The FM Ferry Experiment. Organized by artists neuroTransmitter, the project will reach out to a broad audience. Those in the know can tune into WSIA 88.9 FM (or listen online at fmferryexperiment.net, free103point9.org, or wsia.fm) and others--like the thousands of daily commuters who utilize the ferry--may serendipitously be exposed to avant-garde music and sonic experiments during their twenty-five minute commute. With echoes of a pirate radio station, this offshore operation will be hosting live performances by artists such as Emily Jacir and Jamal Rayyis, and Alex Villar, as well as recordings of previous works by free103point9 artists, Paul Chan, Martha Rosler, and Scanner.
Job Title: Exhibitions Curator
Position Type: Full-time contract, 35 hours/week
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Years Experience: 3+
The Western Front Society seeks an outstanding, highly motivated arts professional to step into the role of Exhibitions Curator.
The Western Front is one of Canada’s pioneering artist-run centres and produces and presents works in five programs: Exhibitions, Performance Art, New Music, Media Arts, and FRONT Magazine. The Western Front was founded in 1973 by a small group of interdisciplinary artists, and has developed into an exemplary multi-disciplinary environment for experimental art practice and research. With a staff of ten plus interns and volunteers, the Society collectively produces over fifty events a year.
The Exhibitions Program has a mandate to present contemporary visual art by local, national and international artists. Intentionally open, this mandate has historically focused on artwork that is conceptual, media-based or otherwise ephemeral in nature. Currently the program promotes experimentation with conceptual models and contexts for visual art that have allowed the program to expand beyond gallery exhibitions to include artist books and posters, cross-disciplinary works, site-specific and Internet projects, and commissions.
The Exhibitions Curator reports to the Executive Director, and is responsible for:
• Developing and communicating a dynamic vision for the Exhibitions Program
• Curating exhibitions and all associated programming
• Editing publications
• Writing grants and seeking opportunities for additional funding or support
• Supervising one part-time staff member, contract workers, as well as volunteers
• Exemplary knowledge and understanding of contemporary art practices
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Proven financial management experience
• Strong organizational skills
• Ability to provide direction and work with a diverse staff
• High capacity to meet deadlines and work under pressure
• Knowledge of a broad range of issues related to the arts
• A clear understanding of the philosophy and history of the Canadian artist-run centre movement
• Knowledge of the principle funding agencies and prior grant writing experience
• Knowledge of managing publications and print projects
• Experience installing a variety of art exhibitions
• Mac OS, Microsoft Office, electronic mail and Filemaker Pro, an asset
A competitive benefits package is available after the three months probation period is complete. After eight months of employment, four weeks paid vacation may be taken during the period when programs are recessed. An additional ten days paid holiday time may be taken during the December/January holiday period.
A part-time Exhibitions Assistant supports this position. Provisions are also made within the program budget for research-based travel.
HOW TO APPLY
The Western Front Society is committed to the principles of Employment Equity and encourages applications from Aboriginal persons, members of a visible minority group or persons with a disability.
Applications containing a cover letter, curriculum vitae, three references, and writing samples, must be received by 4:00 p.m. on December 14, 2009.
Please send applications by email only to:
Exhibitions Curator Hiring Committee
Western Front Society
303 East 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1S1
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Therefore, not a distraction at all. I think it's a good barometer of where many of the artists (that I see in Chicago, Brussels, San Fran, and elsewhere) are pointing their vector of effort. To me, this shows me what is being "seen as important", when only 40 years ago, media art was still in a mode of challenging the galley and the object itself. This is a major shift...
While I agree with you Patrick that artists are directing efforts towards marketability, I certainly don't see it as a major shift. I think many Internet Artists who are gearing a part of their practice towards the institution/gallery setting, still create work that disrupts and challenges that system. And, I'm sorry, maybe my perspective as the one time programing director for a chelsea gallery that played a role in bringing some first generation net artists into the commercial sphere, but I just don't see this as a problem. I certainly see it as a trend to follow with interest, but don't see it as a whole hearted conversion to 'art world traditionalism.'
First off. Yes. the ongoing snark/sarcasm/animosity between tom, tim and mriver is super/totally/unbelievably "boring."
Secondly. And this is somewhat off topic on this particular string, but I think this entire net.art 1.0 v. net.art 2.0 conversation is, while not exactly boring, maybe a red herring. To be very simplistic about it, I don't really perceive much theoretical distance between the work of 'the old guard' and the work of the current "3rd generation" net artists. I think both were/are responding to the web as it existed at the time. In the late 1990s people wrote their own html, they 'view(ed) source,' and things were for the most part text based. And the art of the time responded accordingly, creating work about language, translation and disrupting the emerging systems that the general public was so quick to accept unconditionally.
Now, the web has obviously evolved into the web 2.0 (and all that comes with it). You don't need to code to be an internet artist because no one really needs to code to use the web anymore. You just need a myspace or facebook page, access to youtube or flickr, or a blogger address and you are 'actively' participating in the web (obviously a lot of people have written about the deeper implications of this type of migration - notably Olia in her Vernacular Web 2) http://www.contemporary-home-computing.org/vernacular-web-2/). So if internet artists are now making work that is a collection of links, a series of other people's youtube videos? Fantastic. As far as I can tell most of this work is doing so as a means to question the ease with which we are living our most intimate moments online.
The web is a different place, and so obviously the art that comes out of it is going to be different. But I think, at its very core, it is the same. Internet Art responds to the web, its development, and how we use it, regardless of whether it was made by MTAA or Guthrie Lonergan. Like I said, very simplistic, and not a fully formed argument at this point, but I think looking at why this work is so different is far less interesting than exploring its shared characteristics.
ps. This is just an aside. All the muttering about the 'newer generation' of Internet artists having more gallery success is also a bit of a distraction. I guarantee that Vuk, Olia, Thomson and Craighead alone have sold/exhibited more work in the past three years than all of the newer generation put together.