Artists from this month’s AMP show + curator Dena Beard talk! March 22nd. @ProArts


Inverse Internet Operating Manual Live Artist Talk

7:30 p.m., March 22
150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza  Oakland, CA 94612

Join the artists of Inverse Internet Operating Manual and curator Dena Beard to reverse engineer the World Wide Web. Cycling between physical and virtual states, they will impart daring instructions for browsing, poaching, crowd-sourcing, misusing our favorite non-site. Finally, exasperated, they may ask: how do we look at art online?


This talk will be broadcast live at
Pose your questions in person, via the website, email (, or twitter (@AMPatronage).

Hosted by Art Micro Patronage, a project of The Present Group.




Call for Curators: Shows of Internet Art on Art Micro-Patronage

This fall, Oliver and I will be debuting our new project: Art Micro-Patronage.  It’s an experimental exhibiiton platform that tries to figure out good ways to both display and fund artwork that is ideally viewed online.  As visitors navigate through the monthly exhibitions, they will be encouraged to become micro-patrons of the arts, associating their appreciation of the works with small monetary values. Only patrons will be able to view the exhibitions once the shows are over and they will receive a link and image as recognition for their generosity.

And we’re looking for curators!

Here are the specs:

What are we looking for?
We seek tightly curated shows of works that are ideally experienced on the internet.  Shows can be organized thematically or formally.  Some possibilities include (but are not limited to): artists working with twitter and facebook, digital artwork, video, sound, animated gifs, interactive works, web-based campaigns, physical works that address or involve the web in some way, documentary websites of artists working with intangibles.  We would like these to be group shows of between 7-15 artists and we would like the curator to write 400 – 600 word intro to the exhibition.  Shows will last 1 month.

How does it work?
We will encourage visitors to the shows to donate small amounts ($.50, $1, $5) directly to the artists as they navigate from piece to piece, similar to a “like” button only with pledging and a navigation element: if they press a donate amount, they are moved forward to the next piece in show.  AMP will take a small administrative cut from the proceeds in order to cover the transaction fees and to sustain funds for the next set of 6 (we have secured funding for the first set of 6 shows). Only the patrons will have access to the show after the month is over; the general public will still have access to the written piece by the curator and see the list of artists that were involved with the show. Patrons will also be given recognition and links on a donor’s page for each show (and each piece while the show is up).  Curators will receive a stipend of $200 upon completion of their project.

We have also set aside money for web development with each show, so we can work with you to figure out the best viewing experience to suit the artworks’ particular needs.

Please explain your proposed show and give 2-4 examples of pieces along the lines of what you’d like to highlight.
Submit your contact info and proposal to:  submit [at]

Placemaking with Public Art: Who decides?

VSmoothe over at A Better Oakland has a recap of a recent Oakland Planning Commission Meeting in which the above Oaksterdam University signage was judged to violate Oakland business signage size ordinances.  As she notes, since “the Planning Commission was clearly sympathetic to Oaksterdam University” discussion turned to redoing the sign as a “mural” or “special sign” in order to skirt the legal issues.  As this discussion has been going on for a year, Oaksterdam had already put out an open call to attract artists to redesign the sign as a mural.  This is when the Planning Commission decided it was their place to choose which of these public art proposals should go forward.

There is a fundamental problem when the planning commission is choosing artwork.   That is not their job, and the fact that they refused the help of Oakland Public Art Advisory Commission is deplorable.  Steven Huss politely and rightly offered the PAAC‘s services, since it is their place to help decide on works of public art, but also because they have experience guiding organizations, businesses, and individuals in matters of budget, permits, and the hurdles that one has to cross when working with artwork in the public sphere.  But instead, the Planning Commission moved forward with their own opinions, deciding which work had the “broadest appeal” and which was too “on the edge.”

Here’s the one the planning commission preferred:

Proposal 1

And here’s what V Smoothe had to say:

I mean, the whole original discussion about the idea of sign or mural was about placemaking. And whether one thinks this mural is pretty or not, it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the neighborhood. Oaksterdam is not on Lake Merritt, nor is it at Oakland City Hall. I live in the heart of Oaksterdam, and I cannot see either Lake Merritt or City Hall from my apartment. The only thing about the mural that identifies the neighborhood at all is the text with the name of the business.  read more>>

If we’re talking about a mural with a purpose for place-making, that mural should be judged not only for relevance to the area and the people there, but also specifically for it’s innovation and interpretation of those concepts. This proposal does not address the specific locality as a place, other than being located in Oakland.

A mural will not assist in place-making if 1. it does not address the specific place and 2. is aesthetically bland.  Artworks and architecture can have a drastic effect on the community and pride of an area, especially if it is something that stands out.  The TransAmerica Pyramid was deplored when it was built. But what would the San Francisco skyline be without it?  Bold moves are sometimes required.  Risk is rewarded with awareness, even if some people hate it.  Richard Serra’s Titled Arc was eventually removed, but now many people think of Federal Plaza as the place where it existed.

Here are two other top contenders for the Oaksterdam mural:

Proposal 2

Proposal 3

Since we’re all into voting these days, which do you like the best?  Perhaps an art audience has a slightly different opinion than the Planning Commission?

Which proposal for the Oaksterdam Mural do you like best?

View Results

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New Media, New Modes: On ‘Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media’

Nathaniel Stern takes a look at this new book by Sarah Cook and Beryl Graham, co-editors of the CRUMB site and list (the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss

Web hosting that supports artists.


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