New Project: The People’s E-book

Last fall, we went to a conference in Seattle and presented on a panel called Moving Forwards by Looking Sideways: Creative Thinking in Museum Digital Strategy.  This was a great opportunity for us because one of the things we’ve been thinking about a lot is ways that we might partner or work with museums to do projects that would benefit larger communities.   One of our co-panelists, Greg from Hol Art Books, brought up the idea of Museums employing and/or creating space for artists and startups in residence allowing the museum to not have the responsibility for “crazy” stuff they might do, but also gain the rewards of the programming, energy, and community building that these small groups might generate.  The artists or startups on the other hand get a little time and money to activate collections and larger audiences that are normally beyond their reach.  There are some examples already in place for this.  We love this idea and have been talking it up a bit, but something we’ve learned is that museums move slowly and in order for something like this to get implemented, it will likely take years, not months.

Live Museum Soundtrack, Machine Project at the Hammer Museum, 2010-11

Meanwhile, little guys like us and Hol Art Books can move pretty fast.  We hung out a lot with Greg while we were at the conference and spoke a lot about e-books – what they are, how they’re programmed, and why artists aren’t making more of them.  We quickly realized that they really are an untapped medium and started thinking of all the e-books that we should start making.  One great thing about them is that there is already a funding mechanism built in.  People are used to paying for books and e-books and inherently understand that transaction.  Yet they are built on html and the structure is open enough that there is room for a good amount of play, as long as you allow for the fact that the different readers, just like different browsers, each have their own set of rules.

Greg has had an idea floating around for an e-book builder that would allow many more people to start to play with creating, publishing, and selling e-books.  It would make creating an e-book as easy as writing a blog post. But he needed a partner to build it, and as this project fits nicely with our mission of creating systems and tools that facilitate the funding and distribution of artist projects, we offered to be that partner.

Tonight, we launch our very first Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of that project, The People’s E-book.  Help us realize this dream. There are some nice rewards that will encourage further learning, collaboration, and publishing of e-books at all levels.  E-books for everyone!

Art Micro Patronage is LIVE!

What started as a few vague ideas about the possibilities of micro-donations mixed in with questions about “collecting” digital artwork is now a full-blown, beautifully designed, web application for supporting online artists.

Art Micro Patronage is an experimental online exhibition space enabling you to view and support artwork that is ideally experienced on the internet. Built on the generosity of people like you, AMP is a vehicle for a new generation of art patrons, who are willing to associate their appreciation of great work with

actual dollar amounts, no matter how small.

We’re extremely proud, and also curious if anyone will use it.  So please, check it out. Each month we’ll present a new online exhibition.  And while you’re there, become a micro-patron of the arts by giving a small donation to the artists who pieces you like.


Lego Hello World" class='title'>Lego Hello World

I wish all my printers were made of legos.

Interactive makes life more fun

Interactive Display Window from Marcus Wallander on Vimeo.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months


Rhizome’s Seven on Seven a Success" class='title'>Rhizome’s Seven on Seven a Success

I love the nature of this program: match up artists and technologists for 48 hrs and see what you get.  And it is great to hear that it worked to some degree.  I too, would love to see more of these programs.

Alula Editions: A new art subscription & An open call


TPG #11 artist Helena Keeffe has teamed up with Amber Cady to start Alula Editions, a new art subscription whose focus is to work with artists to create repeat patterns for textiles. They collaborate with individual artists and also organize participatory group drawing activities in order to create textiles that defy expectations and move beyond purely aesthetic considerations.

They have an Open Call for Submissions with a deadline of April 28th, and artists receive a $500 stipend.

Starting off with a bang, Alula Editions was a recipient of this year’s Southern Exposure Alternative Exposure Grant, will be collaborating with artists in Portland, Oregon to create the official tote bag for the Open Engagement Conference at Portland State University, and will be printing their first edition as part of a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

They haven’t figured out their pricing structure yet, so subscriptions are not yet on sale.  But you can get on a mailing list so you will be the first to know when they are.  The first work is projected to go out this summer.

Welcome Alula!

Fear of Engagement

Last night we went to a screening and discussion of the film “Examined Life” as part of our Pickpocket Alamanack class.  The film is a philosophy discussion with thinkers across the country in an engaging and easy on the eyes format.

In the followup discussion, Astra Taylor, the director/filmaker, talked a bit about how much fear people had towards the idea of a movie about philosophy, how even her well educated friends would recoil at the idea, considering themselves much too uneducated to even approach or engage the subject matter.

I feel like I have been saying the same thing for years about art.  Where does this fear come from?  Why is our society so fearful of expressing their thoughts about a subject?  And why does so often this fear prevent us from experiencing or engaging at all?

The YBCA has started a free series to address it. Looks fun.

Southern Exposure 2009 Alternative Exposure Grant Recipients

Congratulations to all the awardees!  I hope all the projects conceived or energized by applying to this grant continue to follow through.  It always irks me that Southern Exposure doesn’t link to the projects right away so I did a bit of googling.  If anyone has any insight on unlinked projects, let me know!

The 2009 Alternative Exposure grant recipients are:

Adobe Books Backroom Gallery
Alula Editions (a project by TPG#11 artist Helena Keeffe and Amber Cady)
Art Practical
ArtXX Magazine
Chris Fitzpatrick & Post Brothers
Pueblo Nuevo Gallery
Stop & Go Rides Again
THE THING Quarterly
The Upper Left Ethnography Project

Neat. We have a Band – “You came out” stop-motion animated music video

Seems like when you put a whole bunch of really creative people together you get something awesome. From what I can tell: Concieved by W+K‘s creative team: Fabian Berglund and Ida Gronblom, Directed by David Wilson, and Art Directed by Hattie Newman.  I like.

Why, bake sales of course!

I just learned about a new attempt at helping artists raise money. Brooklyn based Tracy Candido started Sweet Tooth of the Tiger as “a way to talk with people about dessert,” but it has grown into a new funding model for artists projects. Artist submit for “residencies” where they say what project they’re trying to raise money for. Tracy sets them up with an event where there will be lots of people to buy their goods (we’re talking bake sale – brownies, cupcakes, sugar in all forms) and find out about their project. She meets the artist at the venue, helps out in the selling, takes a small cut of the profit, and interviews the artist for her blog throughout the night. fun!


Spicy Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies at WORK gallery (Brooklyn, NY)
photograph by Tracy Candido

About Sweet Tooth of the Tiger: Sweet Tooth of the Tiger is part entrepreneurial/d.i.y. food service project and part participatory art project that uses sugar as a medium and explores eating as social practice. The project takes the form of a bake sale that utilizes the community and public sphere as a place for eating, feeding, and talking with your mouth full. Sweet Tooth is invited by members of its community to set up a bake sale table at awesome events and engage with participants by exchanging baked goods for some money. Hopefully, participants are activated by their sugar high to engage in conversation with other participants, heightening their awareness of their own social position as well as a broadened perspective concerning their present environment.

Whoa – restricted access twitter art – a new arts funding model

The Brooklyn Museum has a Twitter Art Feed!  Every month they welcome an artist to utilize twitter as a medium for their work.  This is wrapped up as part of a benefit for their 1st fans program- where you get to go to parties and meet artists, skipping ticket lines and such.  They call it a “socially networked museum membership.”  So you get some of the benefits of being a museum member without the high price and free access to the museum.  It is $20/year to join.  I’m not sure how they handle the yearly resubscribing – do they just block people and then allow them again?

The part that seems so great to me is that people have to pay to see this twitter feed.  And that is the only way that people are going to be able to see those artworks  Now, it seems from their open call that the artists would be doing this for “exposure” which I do not like.  I could be wrong about this, but there is no mention of money on the submission form at all. However I love this idea and it is really simple.

It does seem as though they’ve gotten some backlash for charging people to see their twitter feed.  But I don’t think they are explaining it right.  If they were giving money to the artists and it was clear that the money that people would be paying was giving them access to art and not just a twitter feed, then I think people would be more open to it.  People pay $20 to get into museums all the time.

I came upon this through Maryann Devine’s smArts & Culture blog.  She did an interview with An Xiao, one of their 1st Fan twitter artists.  Xiao used the twitter space to think about the evolution of communication and the similarities between twitter and morse code.  She tweeted in morse code for a month. You can watch a short video of her explaining the project below.

Go here for more info on 1st Fans.

Go here to follow Brooklyn Museum on twitter.

Go here to follow An Xiao on twitter.

Earth Day Pick: Trash Mashup

Reuse, Recycle and promote creativity in the world?  Create positive change in the lives of some disadvantaged kids?  Yes please.


Trash Mash-Up is a collaborative community art project. TMU enriches our community by developing creative connections through workshops and performances.
Using disposable materials, participants construct original pageant costumes inspired by mask traditions from around the world. This project reduces waste and inspires people to see each other and our environment in a new way.

We met Jesse and Bridget at last year’s Independent Arts and Media Expo, and they are two of the most fun, warm, and energetic people.  It is clear that they have a real passion for what they are doing and for the kids they work with.  They, like us, do this project in their free time outside of their jobs that make money.  But they are fiscally sponsored, so anyone can make a tax-deductable donation.

And they need your junk! See here for a list of items that you can donate.

They have parades to show off the creationss and costumes and there are three that are upcoming in San Francisco:


Need to prove you’re right? Check the internet.

We’ve all had the moment of having an argument and going to the internet to prove (or disprove) your theory.  Oliver’s made a quick solution for every situation or discussion.  Argument over.  The internet has proved your point.

just enter your name and then

Here’s an example:

Want your full name?  Just use a period for every space.



If it seemed at all confusing before, with periods and no periods, Oliver’s made it easier.  Now just go to and there is a little form to fill out and it will make you the link as you fill in the form.  Click the link and you are good to go.

Subscription Music

Subscription Music

Xiu Xiu‘s Jamie Stewart (a frequent collaborator of TPG9 artist David Horvitz) is selling subscriptions of past ambient, experimental, and minimalist works.  For $100 Stewart will send you one CD per month for a year.  The edition is 50 so they’ll probably go fast.

thanks andy

Coraline: the crafted movie

This movie looks like a feast for the eyes.  There is something in the air about crafting in stop motion – miniature and using it for financial gain.  I love it.

If only I was a well known blogger…

Joshua Allen Harris’ Inflatable Bag Monsters

This is Where We Live

Celebrating their 25th year, 4th estate, a book publisher, decided to make a video celebrating the world of books.  The stop motion animation is fantastic.  On their Vimeo site, you can watch the making of this project (also stop motion,) which is pretty impressive.  They had help from APT and Asylum Films.

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

Ethan and Ben at it again

Our very first artist/writer pair have teamed up again for an exciting new web project entitled “Tumbarumba.”

Tumbarumba, by Ethan Ham and Benjamin Rosenbaum, is a frolic of intrusions, a conceptual artwork in the form of a Firefox extension. Tumbarumba hides stories, twelve new stories by outstanding authors  where you least expect to find them, turning your everyday web browsing into a strange journey.


The project is a 2008 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.

Wassenaar: An internet photography magazine

From the people of We Can’t PaintWassenaar

photo: Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann

From the Editor’s Letter about Wassenaar:

Wassenaar is an Internet specific publication that focuses its curatorial eye on emerging photographers, photography books from established, independent, and self-publishers, as well as interviews conducted by bloggers. This simple formula, while structured much like a magazine, takes the ethos and subjective freedom of blogging by existing as both absent of commercial interests and free from a specific template. The ability to take risks in an online space means that the following issues of Wassenaar may only focus on a specific artist, type of photography, a single book, or even simply feature a collection of artist portfolios. In short, Wassenaar aims to be an online magazine that reflects its place within the web as an entity that continually evolves, never forgetting that this form publishing is indefinable.”

Next Page »

Web hosting that supports artists.


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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months