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Peter Schjeldahl on Robert Smithson

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WHAT ON EARTH
by PETER SCHJELDAHL
A Robert Smithson retrospective.

The New Yorker
Issue of 2005-09-05

Robert Smithson is in fashion, in a hair-shirt kind of way. Excited reverence has marked the art-world response to a retrospective of hi work that opened in Los Angeles last year and is now at the Whitney. This may seem odd, given that Smithson, the mystagogical dandy o postminimalism, who died in a plane crash in 1973, at the age of thirty-five, was a sculptor who made exactly one good sculpture: “Th Spiral Jetty” (1970), a coil of rocks and dirt made with earth-moving equipment, in a remote bay of the Great Salt Lake, which few peopl have seen except in handsome but inevitably misleading photographs. (Underwater for many years, it reëmerged in 2002.) I paid my ow first visit recently, jolting over rudimentary dirt roads. The piece is initially disappointing: a rather dainty geometrical figure that, at about hundred and fifty feet across, is too small—not by a lot, but fatally so—to hold scale against the sun-stunned, distantly islanded lake, ami hills that are strewn with black basalt boulders. (It is within sight of another, truly huge jetty, the site of long-derelict facilities that were onc used for extracting oil from some still seeping, odorous tar pits. Smithson, who loved ruins, wrote about it in connection to his work, but strangely, few others have taken it into account.) The “Jetty” improves dramatically when you tread its jagged surface, which is lapped b syrupy, clear water that is tinted pink by algae, and encrusted with formations of ice-white salt left over from the jetty’s intermitten submersions. Out there, I felt mightily centered in the ambient desolation. In the course of an afternoon, I asked occasional fellow-tourist why they had come. All said that they had heard of the “Jetty” and reckoned that it was something to see—usually along with the nearb Golden Spike National Monument, where, periodically, old-timey locomotives reënact the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, i 1869. (People seemed puzzled when asked if they liked the work. One said, “It’s O.K.”


The Lower East Side, Up Close and Personal

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Taylor Mead by Clayton Patterson

Taylor Mead by Clayton Patterson

August 25, 2005

The Lower East Side, Up Close and Personal

By JOHN STRAUSBAUGH

If you have attended any public gathering on the Lower East Side or in the East Village over the last 25 years - a punk rock gig, a community board meeting, a poetry slam, a Santeria service, the infamous Tompkins Square Park riot in 1988 - chances are you're somewhere in Clayton Patterson's archives. He was the bearish man with the billy goat beard and the biker fashion sense mingling with - but never blending into - the crowd, observing everything through a still or video camera.


Down the Garden Path

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Skid Rows

Skid Rows, 2005, Brian Tolle and Diana Balmori

Down the Garden Path:
The Artist's Garden After Modernism

Queens Museum of Art
Queens, New York
June 26, 2005 – November 6, 2005

Exhibition website


"Gay Batman" Artist Gets "Cease & Desist"

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"Gay Batman" Artist Gets "Cease & Desist"

Artnet News

Aug. 18, 2005

"GAY BATMAN" ARTIST GETS "CEASE & DESIST" D.C. Comics has hit a Chelsea art dealer with a "cease & desist" letter for exhibiting Mark Chamberlain’s watercolors on a "gay Batman" theme. The works, which were exhibited at Kathleen Cullen Fine Art this spring (where they found ready buyers at prices starting at $200), include images of Batman and Robin exchanging a kiss, a watercolor titled Robin’s Baby Pictures depicting the Boy Wonder’s cute rear end, and a rendering of the Caped Crusader, sans shirt but otherwise in costume, striking a languorous pose. "D.C. Comics wants me to hand over all unsold work and invoices for the sold work," exclaimed dealer Kathleen Cullen (the gallery was formerly named Artek Contemporaries). "I’ve spent the last two weeks of my life consulting lawyers!" (Some works are also posted on Artnet, which has received a similar letter.)


deletetheborder.org - august 27-28th, san diego

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Linking Struggles Against The Border: A Call to Come to San Diego and Strategize Against Borders and The Minutemen

deletetheborder.org - august 27-28th, san diego

Schedule of Events

LINK

Hola todos. Crazy times we find ourselves in. Millions of people forced to live underground, more than 3200 dead and tens of thousands more incapacitated crossing the border. Communities and families split by the wall. As if the border and its myriad forms of violence were not enough, racist paramilitaries are openly organizing across the US and finding enthusiastic partners in politicians and corporate press outlets alike. And then there are the numerous Neo-nazi groups crawling out from beneath their rocks, thrilled with the “Trojan Horse” of growing anti-migrant sentiment.


ghostmachinegarden

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Last evening I was walking back from the store down 20th Street by the Theological Seminary when someone said Hi as he passed. It was someone I hadn't seen in at least ten years or more but he started talking as if we'd seen each other yesterday while I struggled to remember his name, which I finally did later that night.


Call for Participation ISEA2006

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CALL FOR PARTICIPATION ISEA2006
THEME: TRANSVERGENCE http://isea2006.sjsu.edu/transvergence/index.html
Deadline October 3, 2006

This is an invitation by the ISEA2006 Symposium and ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge to groups and individuals to submit proposals for exhibition of interactive art work and projects reflecting on the thematic of the transvergence.


THOUGHT THIEVE$ short film showcase

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Call for Work: THOUGHT THIEVE$ short film showcase

LINK

THOUGHT THIEVE$ is a short film showcase about corporate appropriation of knowledge, culture, and creativity. It is a grassroots response to the Micro$oft propaganda competition of the same name [see http://www.msn.co.uk/thoughtthieves/Default.asp].


Terrorism and the web: free speech vs. "bad" speech

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Sunday, August 7, 2005

LINK

Jon Lebkowsky says,

Not long ago, CNN's Miles O'Brien tossed off a comment implying that where Al Qaeda is concerned, the Internet may be the problem. Today the Washington post is running a longer piece (requires free registration) that says:
"al Qaeda has become the first guerrilla movement in history to migrate from physical space to cyberspace. With laptops and DVDs, in secret hideouts and at neighborhood Internet cafes, young code-writing jihadists have sought to replicate the training, communication, planning and preaching facilities they lost in Afghanistan with countless new locations on the Internet."


Cowboy WiFi

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August 7, 2005

When Pigs Wi-Fi

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

HERMISTON, Ore.

This is cowboy country, where the rodeo is coming to town, the high school's "kiss the pig" contest involves a genuine hog, and life seems about as high-tech as the local calf-dressing competition, when teams race to wrestle protesting calves into T-shirts.

But Hermiston is actually a global leader of our Internet future. Today, this chunk of arid farm country appears to be the largest Wi-Fi hot spot in the world, with wireless high-speed Internet access available free for some 600 square miles. Most of that is in eastern Oregon, with some just across the border in southern Washington.


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