“Have you ever read those stories about how people produce bio-electricity? And that some of us produce more bio-electricity than others, enough so there is a strong-enough electromagnetic field that it disrupts electronic devices, like cell phones and computers? I like to think sometimes that art is a thing that produces a kind of charge that makes nothing work. Then we can look at these things that don’t work and decide whether they are in fact worth their weight for us.”
The current issue of Art Practical has an excerpt of a conversation between AP contributors Zachary Royer Scholz, Elyse Mallouk, and Patricia Maloney and artists Aaron GM (TPG 18) and Ginger Wolfe-Suarez that took place at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Fair. It was one of several conversations held over the weekend of the fair as part of “In and Out of Context: Artists Define the Space between San Francisco and Los Angeles,” a program that invited artists to consider the two cities as a continuously evolving constellation of dialogues, shared interests, and overlapping approaches. You’ll be able to listen to the full interview on Bad at Sports starting Sunday, May 22, 2011.
AGM: “I want to reflect life or this affirmation of life. You know, this optimism of transcendence in the mundane and in the domestic. That’s the space I like to dwell in, reinvent and play with. There’s a lightness and playfulness in that space.”
Chad Jones sat down with Susan Medak on her 20 year anniversary as Berkeley Rep’s Managing Director. This quote resonated strongly with us because we think along the same lines about the work we produce, the context we provide, and the subscribers that provide the support for it to all happen.
Why do you think you and Berkeley Rep have worked so well together?
“If we have been successful, it’s been in part because we produce what we care about, and what we care about turns out to be an aesthetic that is shared by our community. This formula wouldn’t work in every community. We’re in Berkeley, in the Bay Area, and that gives us a certain license to do the kind of work we do. We have taken responsibility for building an audience and bringing that audience along with us. We’ve taken a lot of responsibility for helping audiences enjoy the work as much as we do.
Context is all- and that’s my philosophy about everything. The more context we can provide, the richer the audience’s experience. Our audiences are intelligent and thoughtful, and we have a lot of respect for them. “
“Why go on? I believe in art and artist as perhaps society’s last free agents. Artists and children augur change, and no one listens to children.”
from “Personal Economy #11” by Anonymous
included in “Art Work: A National Conversation about Art, Labor, and Economics“
I was listening to the Phases of the Moon interview and heard about your project about the value of art. Although I don’t know anything about the nature of the project I didn’t want that to stop me from offering a few lines:
One of my favorite novels tells of a man who stopped believing in the world and disappeared. Art is that vanishing. A new space testifying to the unseen, and an invitation.
I found this paragraph in Alice Waters’ new book “The Art of Simple Food.” She has such a lovely way of viewing the way she buys food, but I was struck by how she could just as easily be describing art produced through the subscription method. Just replace ‘farmers’ with ‘artists’ and you might not be too far from a vision of a future art world.
“When I started shopping at farmers’ markets, one of the best things about the experience was meeting farmers and learning from them – and influencing them, too, by asking if they could grow vegetables and fruits that has almost disappeared from commerce. After years of this weekly connection, I realized that I had become dependent on a family of friends – and they were dependent on me. By choosing to buy food grown locally and sustainably, in ways that are healthy and humane, I had woven myself into a community that cares about the same things. As a community, we share not only a commitment to protect our natural resources, but an appreciation for the value of food itself, a love for its taste and beauty and the deep pleasure it can bring by connection us to time and place, the seasons, and the cycle of nature.”
I’m trying to get my act together over here, so rather than post all these things I have been thinking about for a long time individually , I’m going to slam bam you in one massive post.
First off, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone’s was wonderful and looked as good as this. Scrumdillyumptious.
As most of you know, or are finding out any day now, #4 is out!! We are very happy to have ended an eventful year with Brian’s work. Here’s a peak at me doing a late night final edit of our letter to our lovely subscribers.
In our travels and travails around, we have come across a few things that I think are worth sharing.
Guerilla Sculpture spotted in Walnut Creek, CA- Sunday, November 18th
We just happened to come across this at the exact right moment, it’s peak. For a moment we didn’t understand or comprehend what was going on- it almost looked like snow, but it was advancing slowly towards us. For a moment while my brain was adjusting, I had a fleeting fear-unknowing, but then I was sooo happy. The bubbles were just billowing out and the wall of foam (at least a foot and a half tall) was slowly creeping across and covering the street. Pretty soon thereafter cars started whizzing through it, sending up huge blasts of “confetti” into the air, and trailing it all down the street.
“[Artworks] help contruct my notions of what is possible, open new vistas of interest and have the potential to change who I am and what I think….What they do share is that there is a consequence to looking and thinking about them – a consequence that generates a possibility that was not there before, or was, at least, not available as a possibility to me…and has the potential to affect our social relations – how we choose to behave and what we choose to value.” -Charles Esche
“Art is the best tool we have when it comes to shattering our environment into an infinite number of imaginary tales, forms and space-times….What does seem clear is that art occupies a specific position in the city, and that this position is thus political: it incites its subjects to become active, to refuse the passive position the world of entertainment tries to foist on them. Entertainment places us in front of images to be looked at, while social formatting provides us with frameworks in which we must live. If artistic activity consists of putting these instruments and products back into play, then the observer’s task is, as in tennis, to knock the ball back into the other court.” – Niclolas Bourriaud
I found it interesting that both authors found the ulitmate purpose of art to be social, political. I’ve always liked art, and considered “good” art, anything that has had an affect, one way or another, on me. It is the challenge. A game. Bourriaud insinuates that it is the viewer that absorbs the new world and boundaries that the artist proposes by using that information to define and restrict that very world with new boundaries. Think of all the advertisements showing things floating in glass cubes floating in liquid years after Damien Hirst showed his first floating shark. So what is art for? It keeps the game going, keeps us moving forward.
“I always think that art, on top of the thing that you are looking at, is a sortof occasion to have a discussion about whatever it is that the art brings to bear, or to light rather.”
-Scott Oliver from An Interview with Scott Oliver and David Lawrence by Frank Prattle from Neighborhood Public Radio
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.
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.