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Rammellzee 1960 - 2010

June 30, 2010. News has reached us from various Twitter accounts and other sources on the passing yesterday of legendary graffiti artist and hip-hop musician Rammellzee.

from Gawker:

Rammellzee, the pioneering hip hop artist and Wild Style star whose ten-minute-plus 1983 record Beat Bop is still fresher than just about anything on the radio, has apparently died.

His death was first announced on the Twitter page of Fab Five Freddy, who would know; and early this morning, a post went up on Rammellzee's Myspace page reading in part "...in mourning..as i type this, i'm numb from overwhelming sadness.....The Equation The Ramm:Ell:Zee has left his physical....left his pain." Details are unclear.


The Madness of Art

The Madness of Art is a sitcom set in the Chelsea art world, and more particularly in the Jim Kempner Gallery on the corner of Tenth Avenue and 23rd Street. Ten episodes have come out thus far, of which the ninth (with sculptor Bernar Venet) is embedded below.


94.5º ARC x 14 from Jim Kempner on Vimeo.


~~~~~~venus©-~Ñ~vibrator, even (part xi)

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~venus©-~Ñ~vibrator, even (part xi)

What you find here as sound/image/text draws from my 39,907 word cyber-sex farce called ‘~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~venus©-~Ñ~vibrator, even’ - which I wrote during my artist-in-residency at the Cite des Art International in Paris during 1995. I edited it to this final version in NYC in 1999.


Ventriloquizing Gramsci

I heard the opening movement of the requiem for communism, The Gramsci Project, as it was played at LaGuardia Community College. Standing before a photo blowup of the sainted Depression-era mayor of New York pressing the flesh, artist Thomas Hirschhorn presented a slide show about the Bijlmer Spinoza-Festival he produced in 2009 in a housing project outside Amsterdam. He was invited to Queens by professor Charity Scribner as part of her class’s Gramsci Project.


Uneasy Rigor: Dennis Hopper, curated by Julian Schnabel, at Jeffrey Deitch's MOCA/LA

April 16, 2010. News that the first exhibition planned by Jeffrey Deitch as the new director of MOCA/LA will be a survey of work by Dennis Hopper, curated by Julian Schnabel, must be greeted with mixed feelings.

On the one hand, Hopper is undeniably a prodigious, mythic presence on the American scene, mostly due to his extended Hollywood career as actor and director. He helped define the counterculture in Rebel Without a Cause and Easy Rider, and raised the stakes with fierce performances in Apocalypse Now and Blue Velvet. He is also an early and important member of the West Coast art demimonde, friendly with many of LA's more radical practitioners, including Wallace Berman, Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston. He started buying art in the late 1950s and owns one of the Warhol soup can paintings from the historic exhibition at Ferus Gallery, among a varied and extensive collection that includes Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat as well as Schnabel.


William Powhida in A Tale of Three Covers


William Powhida, How the New Museum Committed Suicide with Banality, cover art, Brooklyn Rail, November 2009
(For a larger, more legible image, click here.)

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December 25, 2009. The Brooklyn Rail, founded in 1998, is a scrappy, independent cultural/political broadsheet that covers issues in Brooklyn's waterfront neighborhoods (Williamsburg, Greenpoint, DUMBO, Red Hook) from a politically progressive vantage point. It publishes poetry and fiction and reviews local developments in music, film, dance, theater and books. Most significantly, it provides passionate, detailed, idiosyncratic coverage of the NY arts scene in each and every issue, with a full roster of exhibition reviews, feature articles and long, in-depth "conversations" with artists. Under publisher Phong Bui, it has developed an essential and original voice, and is part of my regular reading list. [Full disclosure: James Kalm, who maintains an ongoing video blog here at post.thing.net, has also contributed regularly to the Rail.]

Viewable online, distributed for free at certain bookstores and alt.culture locations, and also available by subscription, the Rail has a relatively small circulation (around 7,500). Even so, it regularly engages in adventurous promotional efforts normally the province of larger publications; for example, the printing of multiple covers for certain issues to better showcase the artists and contents within.

A case in point: the three different covers of the November 2009 issue. The one I have at home features an image from a Carroll Dunham painting. I understand there was also a Helmut Federle cover. (Both artists had solo shows in NY that month and are interviewed in the November Rail.) However, it is the third cover choice I wish to address here, a b/w drawing by artist, activist, satirist and draftsman William Powhida, executed in full caricature/agitprop mode (and pictured above), in which he addresses cronyism at the New Museum in gleeful, graphic, subversive detail.


Bruce High Quality? No.

^ Bruce High Quality Foundation, Bachelors of Avignon ^

Bruce High Quality Foundation University
Susan Inglett Gallery
522 West 24 Street
New York NY 10011
December 8, 2009 - January 23, 2010

www.inglettgallery.com/exhibitions.php?id=93&year=2009

I had to dig up my six gun from the backyard for this. I last used it on Mel Ramos in 1975. But the Bruce High Quality Foundation’s show at Susan Inglett is the worst I’ve seen in many a moon, and that’s why I gotta get on their asses.


Review of 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wright (Tate Britain) and Pop Life: Art in a Material World (Tate Modern)

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Richard Wright no title 2009.Richard Wright no title 2009.

Pop in Crises: Time Has Come Today
A review of 2 London shows: The 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wright (Tate Britain) and Pop Life: Art in a Material World (Tate Modern)

Viewing 2009 Turner Prize winner Richard Wright’s pareidolia-laced no title 2009 and Pop Life: Art in a Material World set in motion for me a set of considerations about the contemporary condition of art. Something prime is shifting.

I think I can sum it up by saying that the success of Wright’s large, but delicate, wall mural signaled to me the return of magical immersive thinking into mainstream art. This at the expense of the pop icon/logo celebrated in the Pop Life: Art in a Material World exhibit. Its gold, monochromatic (but kaleidoscopic) ground dominates over configuration. As a consequence, this visionary art produces an exciting all-over full fervor that needs to be interacted with imaginatively.


Plans Revealed for new Miami Art Museum prior to Art Basel opening

Timing is everything. Just three weeks ago, with the international art world about to descend on Miami for the annual Art Basel fair, Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron unveiled their long awaited plans for the new Miami Art Museum, which will move from its current landlocked plaza near the civic center off Flagler Street to a breathtaking bayfront cultural complex.

As per inhabitat.com:

Located in downtown Miami in a park overlooking Biscayne Bay, the new Miami Art Museum will have 120,000 sq feet of programmable indoor exhibition space, plus 80,000 sq feet of space outside for art exhibitions, educational activities, relaxation and dining. Also located in the Museum Park will be the Miami Science Museum, as well as a branch of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, creating a tourist destination and cultural center in the heart of the city.


Transborder Immigrant Tool helps Mexicans cross over safely

Vice has an interview with b.a.n.g lab's Ricardo Dominguez about the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a GPS device based on a cheap cell phone that will help Mexican immigrants safely cross the border.

For the past few years you've been working on the Transborder Immigrant Tool, which sounds like it's really going to chafe the asses of millions of people--civilians and government entities alike. What was the impetus for this project?

My research lab at Calit2 is called BANG Lab, which stands for Bits, Atoms, Neurons, and Genes. One of the areas I've focused on since I've been in San Diego is developing what we call border-disturbance technologies.


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