Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wearing panda costumes to reintroduce panda cub into the wild

Image: Scientists measuring panda cub's temperature

Researchers dress in panda costumes at China's Wolong National Nature Reserve so that the panda cub doesn't get used to humans, in order to help re-introduce it to the wild. Previous attempts at reintroducing pandas to the wild had largely been unsuccessful. This is a new experiment. Rest of images at

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Did you know that you can't use the word Realtor?

In case the incident of Park Life's balloon dog is not surreal enough, Larisa Naples, who created an audio drama called "The Realtor and the CEO" received a series of cease and desist letters from the National Association of Realtors last week, demanding that she 'excise[s] all uses of the word Realtor from [her] URL, web site, audio-drama title, audio-drama art work, and audio drama recordings. Otherwise, they will sue [her] for "trademark infringement."'

She wrote (via email), 'I spent all of last week talking to trademark lawyers associated with the California Lawyers for the Arts, and legal advisers at ACLU and EFF. Apparently, we have a pretty clear first amendment right to use the word Realtor in a work of fiction, when actually referring to a Realtor (as we did), however, the estimated cost of hiring a lawyer to defend that right against a large, well-funded organization based in Illinois is prohibitive. We might win in the end, but could be financially ruined in the process.'

'I have closed New, "bleeped" versions of the audio drama stories are now available for free listening or download/purchase on my personal web site, Along with a carefully worded description of the stories, crafted to avoid making any use of the now forbidden "R-word."'

Friday, January 7, 2011

Certificate of Inauthenticity

San Francisco gallery Park Life received a cease-and-desist letter from Jeff Koons to stop selling a balloon-dog bookend. This balloon-dog bookend is orange in color, matte, and the size of a real balloon dog (made of a standard 260Q balloon). “Wait, I’m confused, isn’t his ENTIRE FUCKING CAREER based on co-opting other peoples work/objects?”, reads a post on the gallery’s blog from December 21. (Via Park Life Blog which is in turn via Artinfo).

If I were the gallery owner, I would sell the balloon dog bookend (priced $30), together with a copy of Jeff Koons's ceast-and-desist letter, for $70-$100 more, since this is now an art piece, and donate that part of the proceeds to a local arts organization that supports artists' rights.

Update 01.19.2010: This story is now on NYTimes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Erika Vogt's "I Arrive When I'm Foreign"

'The piece is a large-scale print of a video still, in which Vogt faces away from the viewer, holding a camera behind her back with its lens pointed down, and snapping a picture. Beneath her, a life-size photograph of the artist responds with a vexing near-symmetry: In that image within an image, she lies on her back, holding a camera at her waist that is taking a flash photograph of her upright double. ' ["Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture" in]

Friday, October 1, 2010

William Powhida's "Tips For Artists Who Want to Sell (New and Improved)"

William Powhida's "Tips For Artists Who Want to Sell (New and Improved)", a remake of Baldessari's piece:

And here's Bread and Puppet's 1984 sincere version, "Cheap Art Manifesto":

Via Eyeteeth

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alain Delorme's Totems

Yet another critique of China by someone who probably doesn't live there or speak the language. Hmmm.... I'm all for skewing everyone but perhaps not so much for this Eurocentric stereotyping kind typically deployed towards China. Arresting images though... more at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Banksy's cheetah

Video documentation:

This is a piece from Scott's earlier post.

'A dimly lit room housed Banksy’s caged mechanical sculptures, some displayed last year in his storefront fake pet shop in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. A mother hen watched over her chicken-nugget little ones pecking away at a synthetic-looking sauce in a fast-food plastic container; encased raw sausages, salamis and hot dogs writhed and squirmed in a sickly sexual manner; what looked from the back like a cheetah curled in the branches of a tree was chillingly revealed to be a fur coat. ... Judging from the long queues spilling out of Bristol Museum every day and the great enthusiasm displayed by visitors, the artist’s decision to come indoors for a while was only good. The strength of Banksy’s work lies in the fact that, even in a museum environment, his messages are direct enough to reach anyone on the street.' []

Robert Waters's Control

A possible follow-up to Maurizio Cattelan's The Ninth Hour... 'Control (2008) features a small resin sculpture of the late pope, John Paul II, creeping along, holding up a crucifix as he confronts another mounted on the wall. From the end of the pontiff’s robe extends a serpent’s tail, sliced like a sausage to reveal a meaty interior. The effect of this meticulously painted, paper-and-balsa-wood protrusion is unusually visceral. Is Waters’s pope otherworldly, or somehow more earthly than ordinary humans? Or is he maybe even monstrous? ... Titled “Taparrabo,” meaning “loincloth” or, literally, “cover your tail,” Waters’s exhibition includes a dozen works, some in series. Finely crafted, and executed in a range of mediums and formats, they also reflect the postmodernist, appropriationist mode of art-making still prevailing in Mexico, in which humor mixes with social commentary, and self-conscious cleverness borders on gimmickry. Waters plays down the latter tendency, instead emphasizing an inventive use of materials and allowing for interpretive ambiguity.'
[Edward M. Gómez in]

Postmodernist critique is over??? Here's the official notice. Postmodernism is over. In the past. Dead as objects. Did you think it would last forever? C'mon it's 30 years old -- you weren't even born yet... So what now? Hybrid-beyond-abject-virtually-positive (e.g. Ryan Trecartin) interventional (Yes Men) relational (Burning Man) new media art?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ryan Trecartin's I-BE AREA

Videos at

Check out "Craig-Ricky I-Be the Original I-Be2" whose sound translates well over the net. These videos curiously made me think of Beckett's Play (Anthony Minghella). I-BE AREA was shown at the Hammer and at the "Younger Than Jesus" show at the New Museum. 'Ryan Trecartin’s videos uncannily reflect his generation, which was raised using the Internet, digital television, and interactive video games. He mixes cheap special effects with absurd narratives in which he and his cast of collaborator-friends act out a sort of Lord of the Flies for the 21st Century. He tells sad love stories and bizarre family dramas utilizing technology to heighten the action and reflect the information overload we all experience today. In his latest work I-BE AREA, 2007, Trecartin weaves together several unruly stories with fast-moving, fast-talking characters that deal with such themes as cloning, adoption, self-mediation, life-style options, virtual identities and larger questions of an existential nature.'

Friday, December 11, 2009

Luc Tuymans at SFMOMA 02.2010

Image: Iphone, 2008

'[Tuymans's] most famous piece is an empty, otherwise-anonymous room with the chilling title "Gas Chamber". ... [He uses] banal, decontextualized images as stand-ins for some of history's most troubled moments. ... Helen Molesworth, the co-curator of this exhibition said, "When you stand in front of his paintings, you can't believe how beautiful they are. They have an eerie quality of developing before your eyes, like a photograph in a darkroom tray, and an uncanny sense of light and fluidity. They make you think about how just about anything in our culture can be turned into a pretty picture, and how used to it we are."'
[Monica Khemsurov, "Seeing is Believing", T Magazine (Fall 2009): 56,]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cao Fei's Cosplayers

Related to yesterday's discussion of Myrina's photos are these video stills from Cao Fei's Cosplayers. She's featured in Art 21: Season 5.

Also related to Myrina's project proposal are Gregory Crewdson's staged photographs.

Projections: Tony Oursler & Laurie Anderson

Hilde & Nick, yet another idea is to project both your video images onto sculptural stand-ins who're watching the TV's, recreating the scene as a sculptural installation. Examples are works by Tony Oursler and Laurie Anderson, who did a monologue via her video projection. The projection volume can be tweaked to include the having sex part, with the yet-to-be-projected portion of the volume also serving to hint that something else will happen later.

Image: Laurie Anderson, "From the Air", 2006