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ATTENTION!! We Control Your Internets!!

I just received the following letter from Michael Grant asking me to remove video recordings that I made at the September 17th lecture of Dave Hickey at the SVA Theater and posted on my internet network. I have no desire to employ a cadre of lawyers to sort this out, but it strikes me as extremely ironic that one of New York’s most prestigious and “progressive” institutions of higher art education is, through some misguided desire of control and artistic suppression, actually seeking to destroy works of art.

We’re entering a new age, and as I’ve stated before, I believe the Kalm Report to be an art project that melds reportage, documentation, performance and art criticism. Fittingly, Dave Hickey states in this lecture that “if I saw the new art, I probably wouldn’t like it, I’m too old”. Seems to me that SVA needs to “get young” too. Here's their letter:

Dear Mr. Kalm,

I believe you may have recorded a recent lecture here at the School of Visual Arts with Dave Hickey, which appears on You Tube, and

I appreciate your interest in the program, but I understand that you did not get Mr. Hickey's permission to record or disseminate the lecture, so I have to ask that you remove the video from these sites and let me know when you have done so. I would be glad to send you a link to SVA's recording of Mr. Hickey's lecture when it is posted to iTunesU, where it will be available to all, free of charge.

Michael Grant

Michael Grant
Director of Communication
School of Visual Arts
209 East 23 Street
New York, NY 10010-3994
Tel: 212.592.2011
Fax: 212.929.0325

Loren: No need for you to take your clip off our site!

The Director of Communication is being overzealous in trying to direct censor your content. He mentions it will eventually be posted on his approved site and available to all, free of charge. Does he actually think you are charging people to view your videos?

I think the best route is to inform Dave Hickey, to let him know that your well meaning documentation is being assaulted by the institution. I can only imagine he would come out strongly on the side of free expression.

Latest Dave Hickey developments

James Kalm

Thanks for your support Steven.

I Received a phone call last night from Phong Bui (Publisher of the Brooklyn Rail) that he’d been contacted by David Levi Strauss (head of the Art Criticism Dept. at SVA and also a Brooklyn Rail contributor) saying he’d heard Dave Hickey was upset by the vids. Evidently, after viewing part of the lecture, well know local artist, Glen Goldberg, called the administration at SVA to complain about Hickey's "Jew" remark. When Goldberg watched the entire lecture, he changed his mind and realized Hickey was making a provocative jest (perhaps not in the best taste, considering where he was speaking). I have defended Hickey and sought to dismiss any charges of insensitivity. I'll write an open letter to Hickey, that will be published here, and try to smooth ruffled feathers. Wish me luck.

Hello Loren and all, It is

Hello Loren and all,
It is important for me to state clearly that i did not contact anyone at SVA regarding the recent Dave Hickey lecture. I do not know where that idea originated but it is entirely untrue.I was initially taken back by the reference in Hickey's lecture when initially viewing the video. I re-viewed it and understood quickly that he was role playing. I have absolutely no interest or intention to censor, or participate in the censorship of, this video. It is important that we all understand each other and not inflame this issue unnecessarily, but most importantly, get the facts right.
Glenn Goldberg.


What a champion of free speech you are, Loren, folding the instant someone sends you an e-mail message. You could've showed a little backbone, you know. Argued your case. You don't necessarily need a lawyer.

Then again, maybe you were right to take it down: I don't know the legality of posting home videos of lectures. Obviously the copyright on the lecture belongs to the speaker, but I'm not sure about a video of the lecture. Google is your friend, though: Did you look up your options before you took it down?

Maybe you just don't want to piss off other people in the art world. In which case I guess I understand that.

But I do need to call you out since you invoked Godwin's Law in your post here. Although you didn't clearly reference Nazis, exactly. But then it'd be merely a slur against Germans, which isn't very nice, either.

James Kalm Hey Chris, the vids are still up!

James Kalm
Hey Chris, the vids are still up! You can go to my blog page here and view forty minutes of Dave's lecture, or check the slicked-up YouTube versions at the James Kalm channel.

At this stage of my career (whatever's left of it) I ain't got nothin' to lose, the powers that be won't touch me with with tongs, so I'm just trying to catch a bit of the real New York art scene, and put it out there for the rest of the world to see.

With regards to Goodwin's Law, this is probably more analogous to Soviet (or East German) totalitarianism, but I don't write Russian.

P.S. I love Germany and Germans, but not Nazis.


I guess I stupidly assumed you took the videos down. EAG said as much over at his blog, and then I read the cease-and-desist here, so I figured you'd removed them as asked. If you left them up, good for you! Although, having watched that video I linked to, I'm not sure you have a shot here without Hickey's permission. I'm not sure.

I always tell people who receive cease-and-desists to argue the point for a bit. Just because it sounds all serious and legal and stuff doesn't mean the guy who wrote it isn't wrong. You can get far -- I know this from personal experience -- by talking it over before you roll over.

Lay off the poor Germans, though, just because their language has an clearly defined imperative form. It's not their fault they always sound like they're giving orders, it's their grammar.

James Kalm: Thanks Chris, but enlighten me.

James Kalm:
Thanks Chris,

but enlighten me, EAG?


Funny how easy it is to think that everyone else knows about your own tiny little world. I've built a wacky little segment of art world blogs for myself and I often forget a lot of people don't read the same ones.

EAG is the cranky but entertaining artist and critic over at EAGEAGEAG. He's the one who probably started the flap about Dave Hickey and his allegedly anti-Semitic aside, although I imagine it might have been simultaneous spontaneous generation. Then again, maybe EAG just picked up the ball from someone else and ran with it. I don't know. I don't read a lot of the blogs other people do. I saw it there first.

Seriously, Apologies

I want to add that I really am sorry I thought you took the videos down. I should've checked. Silly of me not to.

James Kalm Hey, what good is the internet...

James Kalm

what good is the internet if not for confusion, consternation and entertainment.

Oh, and nice to hear from you again. Still down in DUGO (district under the Gowanus Overpass)?


Did you coin that phrase, DUGO, yourself, or do people actually call it that? I'm thinking I like "Area Suffused by the Gowanus Odor" better.

But, yes, I'm still there, beavering away. Any time you want to drop by, let me know. We can go to Lowe's and build something together, as the commercials say.

Good to see some dialog here.

Loren, when I first saw your "Achtung" title, I also thought about Godwin's Law and all the cliches surrounding the Nazis. So in the interest of not impinging your valid arguments re: the Hickey videos with any negative borrowed controversy, I have changed the title to an English equivalent. If you feel this takes something away from your message, you can always restore it.

Paging Mr. Orwell...

Now you've rewritten your history! Holy 1984!

Oceania is at war with Eurasia.

Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

And may I add:


Poor Guy

If Big Brother was watching me, by now he's fallen asleep from boredom. "All he does is type on the Internet all day. Hey, Prole, wash some dishes or something!"