Miami Picks


Pae White, The Oceanfront, 2009

Miami art fair season is in full force. Projects falling into the art and technology category are somewhat slim this year, but here are a few things to check out:

► Open-air theater for Art Video by Pae White

Art Basel Miami Beach premiers the Oceanfront this year, a new space on the beach that will serve as the platform for Art Video, Art Film, Art Perform, and Art Basel Conversation. West Coast artist Pae White was commissioned by Creative Time and ABMB to design the space. She produced an ambitious interactive cityscape of large color blocks made from scaffolding and printed fabric. Comfy seating and spaces for eating add to the communal atmosphere of the installation.

► The Watcher and the Watched: Jill Magid and Kon Trubkovich

On Saturday, December 5th from 7 - 8:30pm, curator Meredith Johnson presents video works by Jill Magid and Kon Trubkovich that explore issues of surveillance and control. Magid’s show "Authority to Remove" is currently on view at the Tate Modern.

► SCOPE Film Program

This year the SCOPE art fair commissioned a handful of curators to select a single work to screen at the SCOPE theater. Below are the four remaining screenings:

Friday, December 4 | 11am-7pm
Kate Macnamara (curator)
Edgar Arceneaux, An Arrangement without Tormentors, 2004

Saturday, December 5 | 11am-7pm
David Hunt (curator)
Robert Boyd, Conspiracy Theory, 2008

Sunday, December 6 | 11am-6pm
Benjamin Godsill (curator)
Kon Trubkovich, Double Entrance/Double Exit, 2009

► Art Basel Conversations: The Future of the Museum: The Portable Museum

A panel considers future models for exhibition-making, with artists Raphael Montanez Ortiz, Pedro Reyes, Peter Saville and Katerina Seda. Moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Speakers available for informal discussion after the panel. 10-11 a.m.

Jenny Jaskey is Rhizome's Curatorial Fellow


The Rotating Kitchen (2009) - Zeger Reyers


Originally via today and tomorrow


from here to ear (2008) - Céleste Boursier-Mougenot


This installation, whose principle was conceived in the early 1990s, transforms the gallery into an aviary where visitors share the space with a few dozen birds, who, by landing on electric guitars, create a musical piece.



Black Chords Plays Lyrics (2004-2007) - Saâdane Afif


In his work, Saâdane Afif adopts strategies from the fields of art and music, for example the method of appropriation, in order to critically explore the concepts of interpretation and repetition. Among other elements, his room installations combine song texts and pop music with pictures, personal comments and objects which have been pre-fabricated or already exist. Afif reflects artistic authorship and how the art system works.

Saâdane Afif has arranged thirteen black guitars and amps in a room. Lyrics (2007) creates sound to accompany a sculpture. The guitars are orchestrated from afar by a computer and also altered conceptually. Afif has been commissioning writer friends to write Lyrics to one of his works since 2004. The Lyrics thus provide a personal perspective on each work and are thus interpreted once more by the musician’s free-form improvisations.



Bad Beuys, Bad Beuys


The banlieue, ie. the French suburb, has always been at core of Bad Beuys Entertainment’s work. Originating from the Parisian outskirt Cergy-Pontoise, the collective has created a reputation for itself through their aesthetization and simultaneous critique of the banlieue as a symbolic system. The socially conscious element in their practice reflects the reference to artist Joseph Beuys in their name, whose work was closely allied with socioeconomic reform. Iconic images associated with the French suburbs, such as burning cars, council housing, and small-time gangsters reemerge as cardboard public housing (Babylone_by_us, 2003) or “self portraits” using stand-ins (Sauvageons (little savages), 2004). Bad Beuys Entertainment’s move to recover the popular representation of the banlieue in their work is apparent in the current show at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.


Interview with Mark Amerika


Amerika describes himself as a "thoughtographer", an "artist-medium", a "fictional philosopher", a "remixologist", a "network conductor", a wanderer who constantly changes identities and roles in a fragmentary world where time acquires an a-synchronic and non real dimension. By trying to express the complexity and the interest of contemporary digital reality, he delves into different aspects of himself and draws on elements and traits that he transfers to the characters of his works, by using the media, the technological platforms of our time. Developing projects on the net, filming with mobile phones, remixing common moments and figures of today's culture in a VJ-like audiovisual rhythm, Amerika redefines the characteristics of today's culture and opens up the possibilities for new interpretations and thoughts from the audience itself. -- "UNREALTIME" at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens


Artist Michael Smith on "Open House"


An ongoing project by artists Michael Smith and Joshua White, Open House was commissioned by the New Museum, and presented in its lower level public gallery in 1999 when the institution still resided on Broadway. In this version, Open House was a large-scale installation of a Soho artist’s loft belonging to the fictional artist “Mike Smith,” who is created and played by the artist Michael Smith and who, viewers learned through a video-taped sales pitch playing in the entrance to the installation, has lived in the loft for over twenty years, and is now looking to sell it. According to the pitch, the new owner will inherit the loft and, in a gesture that lies somewhere in between personal erasure and a Buddhist-like surrendering of material possessions, the past twenty years of Mike Smith’s art, all made while he lived in Soho. This dual sale—of art and life—turns the Open House installation into both a marketing pitch and a memoir. It presents the artist’s two-decade trajectory in Soho: video-taped documentation of the rigorous building of the loft, which in itself resembles a durational performance art piece of the 1970s, his multi-faceted, multi-media art, his activism, and his personal evolution, all with a price-tag. Presented at a critical juncture in the fictional artist’s life, Mike’s story with Soho ends where Open House begins, with the desire to leave the neighborhood, or what it has become, for some place more affordable and less pretentious.

This interview with Michael Smith took place in anticipation of the launch of an online version of Open House—a project that was realized thanks to my colleague John Michael Boling, who worked with Smith to transfer the work from DVD to the web.


"Open House" by Michael Smith and Joshua White Now in Rhizome's ArtBase


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The DVD produced by Michael Smith and Joshua White in 1998-1999 in conjunction with the site-specific installation piece Open House is now available online, click here to view.

Rhizome's Associate Editor and Special Projects Manager John Michael Boling worked with Smith to clone the DVD to an online format and to preserve it through Rhizome's online archive, the ArtBase.



one art (2006) - Anya Gallaccio


Weeping cherry tree, bolts, aircraft cable. (Courtesy the artist and SculptureCenter.)

For one art, Gallaccio will fell and disassemble a tree and then reconstruct it with all the engineering required to support it visible. The tree, a weeping cherry killed when contractors erroneously cut its root system, will reach into SculptureCenter's fifty-foot-high clerestory, virtually filling the space with its branches. Viewers will enter the space under its branches and will only be able to apprehend the full tree when standing at the far end of the gallery fifty feet away.

The title of the work is borrowed from an Elizabeth Bishop poem whose subject is loss and the unlikely possibility that we might master it through artful practice. one art is a tree as assisted ready-made, building on the art historical tradition of landscape and grappling with our desire to believe in an untamed nature.

In one art, Gallaccio's aesthetic act is to move the tree from its normal outdoor environment to an urban industrial building adapted as an exhibition space. Yet the process of disassembling and rebuilding the tree transforms it - drawing attention to the extraordinary formal and structural properties of the tree.



Dervish (2004-2005) - Jennifer Steinkamp




Dimensions: size variable, horizontal: 8 - 12 feet high x 10.6 - 16 feet wide Equipment: Equipment: 5000+ lumen projectors, 1 PC computer. (Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy Lehmann Maupin)

Dervish consists of four high definition projections of individual trees with twirling branches. This was inspired by a ritual practiced by the priests, or dervishes, of the Mevlavi sect of Islam. In the midst of a trance, the dervishes whirl in a motion symbolizing the soul's release from earthly ties and communication with the divine. The movement of the branches contains elements of both control and lawlessness -- while the whirling motion of the trees is fanciful and seemingly enchanted, the movement is limited by the roots of the trees.