joy garnett
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

Joy Garnett is a painter based in New York. She appropriates news images from the Internet and re-invents them as paintings. Her subject is the apocalyptic-sublime landscape, as well as the digital image itself as cultural artifact in an increasingly technologized world. Her image research has resulted in online documentation projects, most notably The Bomb Project.

Notable past exhibitions include her recent solo shows at Winkleman Gallery, New York and at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC; group exhibitions organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, P.S.1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center, Artists Space, White Columns (New York), Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (UK), and De Witte Zaal, Ghent (Belgium). She shows with aeroplastics contemporary, Brussels, Belgium.

extended network >


The Bomb Project

First Pulse Projects

NEWSgrist - where spin is art

Discussions (685) Opportunities (5) Events (8) Jobs (0)

the bomb project: recent publications >>update

The Bomb Project

added June 26, 2002:

Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America
by Tom Vanderbilt
Princeton Architectural Press;
ISBN: 1568983050; (March 2002)

About the Author:
Tom Vanderbilt is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. His work has
appeared in Wired, ArtByte, Nest, The New York Times Magazine, and The
Nation. He is author of The Sneaker Book: An Anatomy of an Industry and
An Icon.

From Publishers Weekly:
Highlighting the Cold War era's obsession with what Vanderbilt (The
Sneaker Book) calls "constant protection from an invisible threat," this
is a fascinating political and cultural analysis of "cold war
architecture": a vast array of structures from missile silos to small
towns built to test the effectiveness of an atomic blast, presidential
fallout shelters, nuclear waste dumps, monoliths like the windowless
PacBell building in Los Angeles, and countless motels and diners named
"Atomic." The physical structures that resulted from Cold War ideology and
politics also had far deeper and extensive psychological and emotional
implications and ramifications: "the domestication of doomsday." Mixing
first-person narrative of his travels around the U.S. in search of Cold
War sites and objects with an extensive accumulation of provocative
historical facts ("the U.S. Air Force bombing raids on Tokyo exacted a
higher cost in lives and property" than the later atomic bombings),
Vanderbilt takes great pains to reveal the Cold War policies behind the
scattered remnants he encounters. Once-ubiquitous fallout shelter signs
were a result of the Kennedy administration's National Fallout Shelter
Survey, undertaken by "a mobile army of atomic surveyors (many of them
architecture students)." As far as blastworthiness is concerned, "the
toughest job is myth control," a NORAD civil engineer tells Vanderbilt
during his trip 4,400 feet underground to the North American Aerospace
Defense Command Center. This book certainly does its part in debunking the
"Duck, and Cover" mindset.

[Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.]


The Bomb Project is a comprehensive on-line compendium of nuclear-related
links, imagery and documentation. It is intended specifically as a
resource for artists, and encourages those working in all media, from, film and video, eco-intervention and site-specific installation
to more traditional forms of agitprop, to use this site to search for raw
material. The Bomb Project has gathered together links to nuclear image
archives (still and moving), historical documents, current news, NGOs and
activist organizations as well as government labs and arms treaties. It
makes accessible the declassified files and graphic documentation produced
by the nuclear industry itself, providing a context for comparative study,
analysis and creativity.


the bomb project: june news feed >>update

The Bomb Project

JUNE 2002 NEWS FEED | Contents

Special Feature:
June Issue of The Sunflower (Waging Peace/Nuclear Peace Foundation)

June 26, 2002
Foul-Ups Mar Effort On Nuclear Materials (Washington Post)
June 26, 2002
Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain site is safest option (Journal
June 25, 2002
Agency Says 'Dirty Bomb' Could Be Made in Any Country (NYTimes)
June 5, 2002
Cleanup won't end nuclear waste sites (USA Today)
June 25, 2002
US and Russia to Guard 'Dirty Bomb' Materials (Washington Post)
June 24, 2002
Russia fails to secure Tehran nuclear deal (Guardian Unlimited)
June 24, 2002
Hanford Study: Releases Didn't Cause Thyroid Ills (Washington Post)
June 23, 2002
Russia set to build nuclear dumpsite (AP)
June 23, 2002
Weigh station may be first to know plutonium has entered state (The State)
June 7, 2002
Agency Deems Calif. Lab Insecure (AP)
June 6, 2002
Rumsfield Cautions Nuclear Foes (Washington Post)
June 5, 2002
Russia Fails to Persuade Pakistan, India to Budge (Washington Post)
June 4, 2002
Pakistan Explains Nuclear Policy (AP)
June 4, 2002
South Asia's Hair Trigger (NYTimes Op-Ed)
June 4, 2002
Can Pakistan Avoid Sliding Into War? (NYTimes)
June 4, 2002
India Tones Down War Talk as US Presses Pakistanis (NYTimes)
June 3, 2002
Stopping Nuclear War in Southeast Asia (Nuclear Peace Fndtn.)
June 1, 2002
Radiation Pills to be Given Away (NYTimes)
June 1, 2002
Six arrested, one sought in radioactive "dirty bomb" plot (The Guardian)


>>>back to Index

The Bomb Project is a comprehensive on-line compendium of nuclear-related
links, imagery and documentation. It is intended specifically as a
resource for artists, and encourages those working in all media, from, film and video, eco-intervention and site-specific installation
to more traditional forms of agitprop, to use this site to search for raw
material. The Bomb Project has gathered together links to nuclear image
archives (still and moving), historical documents, current news, NGOs and
activist organizations as well as government labs and arms treaties. It
makes accessible the declassified files and graphic documentation produced
by the nuclear industry itself, providing a context for comparative study,
analysis and creativity.


LIVE ELECTRONIC PERFORMANCE| Bill Jones + Ben Neill at White Columns



Thursday June 27, 2002

Bill Jones & Ben Neill at White Columns
FREE + Open to the Public

original music by Ben Neill
performing on mutantrumpet/electronics
with midi-video performance by Bill Jones

DJs Eric Calvi and Ben Neill

In conjunction with
"Night Vision" June 14-July 20, 2002
curated by Joy Garnett

White Columns [entrance on Horatio St.]
320 West 13th Street
NYC NY 10014

Summer Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6 p.m.
For more information, please contact the gallery:
tel: 212 924-4212
Night Vision was made possible in part by the
Manhattan Community Arts Fund/ New York Department
of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Lower
Manhattan Cultural Council.


Newsgrist: ECOVENTION..First Reports from's teeniest website; n3xt..Art After NAFTA..Detention Inventions..The Young & The Restless

where spin is art
{bi-weekly news digest}
Volume 3, no. 12 (June 17, 2002)
Previous Issue:

- *Quote/s* First Reports from Documenta...
- *Url/s* world's teeniest website; n3xt
- *Art After NAFTA* Tim Griffin's NY globalism
- *Detention Inventions* Matt Mirapaul up against the wall
- *The Young & The Restless* The new new thing...
- *Book Grist* Sandbox Mag: The Incarceration Issue
- *Obit* Holly Solomon, Adventurous Art Dealer, Dies at 68
- *Classified* sublet available(LES); room to rent


environmental art at the
Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center

see splash page:

"The nineties are over..."

"a gigantic set of the world that narrates the accidents of history
through an enduring inventory of the century that has just expired."

from ArtForum Online, 06.13.02:
The First Reports from Documenta 11... 0224#news2967

1) world's teeniest website

2) n3xt
*Art After NAFTA*

As the world turns
A local show takes on the theme of globalism in art
By Tim Griffin - Time Out NY June 13-20, 2002, Issue #350

By now, most of the art world's major players have departed New
York for Kassel, Germany to attend Documenta-a once-every-five-
year exhibition that takes the pulse of contemporary art. If you
believed the word on the cell phone during recent weeks, most of
these frequent flyers were skeptical about this year's show, feeling
that it would be big on ideas but short on visual pleasure. But,
according to Documenta's organizer, Okwui Enwezor, such grand
scope is inevitable, considering the worldwide cultural transform-
ations that have weakened our ideas of nation states and personal
identity alike; to his mind, art must look at its own shaky founda-
tions and "pursue the possibility of cracking the kernel of globalist

As alternately heady and vague as Enwezor's statement may seem,
the sentiment behind it has become a core subject for younger
artists and curators. While previous underground generations got
themselves stoked on Sartre, today's big tome on students' book-
shelves is Empire, a critical analysis of globalism by Michael Hardt
and Antonio Negri. Still, you don't have to go to Germany to get a
lock on this view. For starters, visit "Empire/State: Artists Engag-
ing Globalization," a group show at the CUNY Graduate Center
curated by the Whitney Independent Study Program.

Clearly, the curators have based their show on Empire. A wall text
resonates with the book's proposition that numerous convergent, or
separate but parallel, economic and political forces are superceding
national boundaries to reformulate culture and people, rich or poor.
Among the first works on view is a series of photographs by Sergio
Munoz-Sarmiento of massive building complexes constructed in
Mexico to house corporations that migrated from the United States
after the passage of the North America Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA). The buildings' facades, which bear no logos, are
vaguely reminiscent of Frank Stella paintings and Donald Judd
sculptures. Elsewhere, a large drawing by Mark Lombardi is titled
"Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Reagan, Bush, Thatcher and the
Arming of Iraq c. 1979-1990." Gathering information from public
news outlets, the artist constructed a mainframe of curving lines in
which well-known individuals like Brent Scowcroft and Henry
Kissenger are enmeshed within a larger network of people and
agencies responsible for the rise of the Iraqi military and the fall of
a major Italian bank. A few raw images by Martha Rosler are
among her strongest. Taken from her "In the Place of the Public"
series of the 1980s, they depict scenes from airports in which, for
example, a Wall Street Journal advertisement declares, MAYBE
were made at the start of a period in which emotional values
would be attributed to branded architecture--first, in such
environments as airports and, later, in stores such as Niketown.

Most other selections here are unfortunate. Fatimah Tuggar's
"Working Woman" and Allan Sekula's "Waiting for Tear Gas
[white globe to black]" amount to little more than didactic

By far, the best work is by Wolfgang Staehle, who presents a real-
time, 24-hour-a-day webcast image of the Empire State Building.
Projected onto a gallery wall, the piece invokes Andy Warhol's
film of the structure, yet is aligned with the contradictions of our
time: While Internet-based, the work can only be seen in a gallery
setting--much as our "free" press is being limited in its coverage of
the current war. Strikingly, the image is of a building that stands
only a few blocks from the exhibition. The radical divide between
the building's iconic status in a mass medium and its physical
presence is stunning, if not entirely unfamiliar to New Yorkers
whose architecture has been regularly appearing on CNN since
September 11.

It is precisely this component of reality, of art itself as a circum-
stance of culture, that is largely missing from the show. But other
New York exhibitions have offered plenty to consider in this sense:
The signs of identity-driven introspection amid fragmentation are
seemingly everywhere. The Whitney Biennial certainly reflected a
fractured art scene, with different regional and aesthetic sensibilit-
ies butting against each other. At the Studio Museum in Harlem,
"Black Romantic" similarly looks beyond the gallery circuit in an
effort to reformulate "black art." Arguably, even Ed Ruscha and
Richard Prince look inward to explore the idea of masculinity in
their current exhibitions. The sense that the personal and local are
being revisited and redefined amid overwhelming and abstract
global forces infuses all of these shows.

Still, the most concrete example of these tidal forces is only now
set to appear. In 1997, Swingline, the Queens-based stapler
manufacturer, joined the queue of companies that left the city for
Mexico after the passage of NAFTA. Some 400 people lost their
jobs; many of them had worked their entire lives for the company.
On June 29, 2002, the Museum of Modern Art opens its interim
exhibition hall in one of the corporation's closed factories.

"Empire/State: Artists Engaging Globalization" is on view at the
Art Gallery of the Graduate Center City University of New York
through July 14
*Detention Inventions*

Within Walls and Memories: Dimensions of Detention


When Jenny Polak began working on Varick Street in Lower
Manhattan in 1996, she was unaware that the nondescript building
across the street from her new job was a detention center for the
United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. She soon
noticed that this was no ordinary office. For instance, when going
out for lunch, she said, "you would sometimes bump into a
shackled guy being pulled along."

Ms. Polak, a British artist living in New York, became so curious
about what lay behind those walls that, through contacts at
immigrant-rights groups, she solicited drawings of that building,
the Varick Service Processing Center, and other I.N.S. detention
sites. Because these centers often prohibit the taking of photo-
graphs, their interiors are rarely glimpsed by the public. The rough
sketches of floor plans she received, made by detained immigrants
and their visitors, were the starting point for "Hard Place," an
unsettling new digital-art project created by Ms. Polak during an
artist residency at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. The
artwork can be viewed on the museum's Internet site, at

Disturbed by what she perceived as harsh conditions, Ms. Polak set
out to share her discoveries on the Internet. But rather than make a
Web-based documentary project like, which
realistically depicts prison cells and other environments in the
criminal-justice system, she decided to develop an online artwork
that would better advance her political agenda.

The first drawing of the inside of a detention center arrived
anonymously by fax in 2000. Others were delivered personally, on
crumpled scraps of paper that had been passed from hand to hand.
Working from these crude blueprints, Ms. Polak used an archi-
tectural software program to create virtual versions of 10 detention
centers, including three in the New York region.

As depicted, they are windowless warrens of cramped cells,
claustrophobic corridors and drab common areas. For the most part
they are shown without human figures.

In an interview Ms. Polak was quick to note that, given her source
material and the restricted access to the detention centers, she
cannot verify the authenticity of her 3-D renderings. Nor is
accuracy necessarily her aim. Instead, she said, she is straddling
"a fine line between actually presenting plans of these places for
everyone to see and saying it's people's memories, it's a reconstruc-
tion of a nightmare."

Yet the renderings are accompanied by documentary materials that
are clearly meant to convey why detention sites have raised
concerns among human-rights groups. They complain that detained
immigrants are deprived of their civil rights and subjected to un-
pleasant conditions. (Immigration officials in New York and
Washington did not return calls for comment, and the man who
answered the phone at the Varick Street center would not say if it
was still being used for detainment.)

At "Hard Place," clicking on a keyhole icon, for instance, gives
access to pages of detention-center rules and other prisonlike
procedures. One detainee sent a sketch of handcuffed wrists raised
in prayer. There are poignant audio clips, one from another
detainee who said: "I'm not a criminal. I didn't do anything wrong.
Why am I here? For what?"

Although Ms. Polak acquired drawings of only 10 sites, it took her
more than a year to collect them. One of her methods was to ask
immigrant-rights groups to send e-mail solicitations to the families
of detainees. The mother of a detainee in Louisiana passed the
message to her son, who then mailed a package of drawings and
documents to Ms. Polak. In other cases detainees' lawyers would
slip sketches to Ms. Polak after a court hearing. But, she said,
"mostly I was told that people wouldn't be able to make these kinds
of drawings with impunity."

As one peers through successive keyholes, a grim reality emerges.
Nina Felshin, a curator at Wesleyan University, said, "The layered
way in which her Web site reveals information operates as a kind
of structural metaphor for the layers of secrecy that prevail within
the executive branch of the U.S. government."

Ms. Polak, 44, is a London native who came to the United States in
1990 to study at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. She
campaigned against 1996 immigration laws that led to the detention
of hundreds of foreigners. "Hard Place" was conceived in part as a
reaction against that. "People should know what it will mean for
their neighbors if they are picked up by the I.N.S.," she said, "It
should not be sugared."

But the points that "Hard Place" was intended to make were not as
likely to be accepted after Sept. 11 and the adoption of broader
government powers to detain foreigners in the interest of national
security. Ms. Polak's four-month Tenement Museum residency
began in October, when public opinion had become decidedly more
defensive about foreigners.

She remained undeterred. She said: "People got more scared. I got
a bit more scared myself. But it became even more pressing to get
information out as people were being herded away at such a rate."
She and her Web designer, Lauren Gill, plunged ahead.

Jeff Tancil, who runs the museum's artist-residency program,
acknowledged that the artwork was critical of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service and its treatment of foreigners. But so far
the work "hasn't generated any controversy," he said. While that
lack of controversy isn't disappointing, he said, "given the
reactions to Sept. 11, it's a little surprising."

Regardless of how one responds to the work's politics, Ms. Polak
has cleverly appropriated computer-aided design software for her
own ends. Typically, such programs are used to design glittering
new buildings, and much has been made of how these software
tools have liberated architects from rectilinear shapes. Historians
also use the programs to reconstruct virtual versions of ancient
cities. For "Hard Place" Ms. Polak, who was trained as an architect
and now works as a graphic artist, did nothing more than use the
software to put her bleak houses in order.

Her approach is reminiscent of another online art site dealing with
detainment. In March the Library of Congress put 200 Ansel
Adams photographs on the American Memory section of its Web
site: The images were
taken in 1943 at the Manzanar War Relocation Center for

Unlike Adams's landscape photographs, which are imbued with a
divine light, these images are closer to snapshots. Verna Curtis, the
library's curator of photography, said Adams donated the photo-
graphs in 1963 without restrictions as to how they could be used,
to make sure that the internment camps were not forgotten. "This
was a matter of conscience," she said.

With "Hard Place" Ms. Polak seems to have a similar motive. She
said: "It makes a lot of difference if the ordinary person, whose
neighbor is of Muslim or Arab origin, can see the netherworld that
those people might be threatened with. The whole business of
`we're so frightened of everybody' just has to be laid to rest."

'Hard Place' by Jenny Polak and Lauren Gill:
*The Young & The Restless*

Betting on the young outsiders: the new new thing
Schools fear that market-fever could stifle experimentation
and create a made-to-order art
By David dArcy

The Art Newspaper - June 2002


Night Vision at White Columns

White Columns presents

Night Vision
curated by Joy Garnett

Opening Reception: Friday June 14, 7 - 9 p.m.
June 14 - July 20, 2002
White Columns
320 West 13th Street (entrance on Horatio Street)
NYC 10014

Night Vision presents artists who are influenced by technologies
developed by the military, government intelligence agencies, and
NASA for use in research, surveillance and combat. The title of
the exhibition is taken from the high-tech optical apparatus used
in nocturnal military operations, whose green glow has become
familiar to television viewers. Some of the artists in this
exhibition co-opt these technological advancements while others
examine public perception of them as revealed by film, television
and news media in order to explore the various murky implications
surrounding their uses.

Participating artists:
Jordan Crandall | Christoph Draeger | Joy Garnett
Adam Hurwitz | Bill Jones + Ben Neill | John Klima
Joseph Nechvatal | Jonathan Podwil | Radical Software Group

Night Vision first opened at the University Galleries at Illinois
State University, and will travel to g-module in Paris in 2003. It
is accompanied by a 16 page color exhibition catalogue with essay by
Tim Griffin, art editor of Time Out New York. The catalogue is
available at White Columns, Dia Bookstore, Printed Matter, The New
Museum Bookstore, St. Mark's Books and

Thursday June 27th, 2002, 7-10pm
Ben Neill and his mutantrumpet will play music from his forthcoming
album "Automotive" along with midi-video performance by collaborator
Bill Jones.

Wednesday July 17th, 2002 7-9pm
Night Vision artists and writer Tim Griffin will present their work
and ideas touched upon in the exhibition.


About the curator: Joy Garnett is an artist and co-founder of First
Pulse Projects, Inc., an art/science publishing collaborative:

White Columns Summer Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6 p.m.
For more information, please contact the gallery:
tel: 212 924-4212