NY Art Book Fair

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While combing through the tables and displays set up by artists, book publishers, periodicals, small press bookstores, non profit arts organizations, collectives and presses who participated in the NY Art Book Fair over the weekend, I could not help but recall this past summer's No Soul For Sale festival. Both events succeeded in fostering a feel good environment, while also serving as an inspiring reminder of the number of independent, DIY initiatives out there.

I managed to take some photos yesterday, below. Even if I had camped out in P.S.1 for the entire fair, I would not have been able to see everything. Perhaps the subheader for this post should be "Incomplete Highlights" or "Some Stuff I Saw." As always, if readers want to share information or link to projects I missed, please do so in the comments section.

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Artist Amy Prior playing the record from the book/record set Slumber Party she produced with Lucky Dragons at the JUNCTURE booth. Slumber Party is "a book and music about sleep - from dozing to waking. Made during an economic crisis, 'Slumber Party' imagines the ultimate easy escape; it is really only during sleep that nothing can get bought or sold."

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Close up of the Slumber Party book.

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Two prints from Brett Ian Balogh's A Noospheric Atlas of the United States on view at the free103point9 booth. The work aims to "map the hertzian space created by the United States' mass media broadcast stations."

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Artist Gareth Long and friend at work illustrating Flaubert's Dictionary of Received Ideas while seated at the Invented Desk for Copying, a desk/sculpture derived from the unfinished pages of Flaubert's incomplete last novel.

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Table for Chicago shop Golden Age.

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Golden Age launched Jon Rafman's book "Sixteen Google Street Views" during ...

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Interview with Mark Leckey

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For anyone who has found pleasure in the dancing, drinking, and melancholy of Mark Leckey’s collage films—or the witty lyrics of his bands, JackTooJack and the defunct donAteller—it was a surprise when the British press labeled his work esoteric and over-intellectualized following his receipt of the Turner Prize last year. Perhaps the work featured in the exhibition of nominees, Cinema in the Round, lost something in the translation from a performance to a gallery installation. Leckey’s staged lecture wove Felix the Cat, Philip Guston, and The Titanic into an idiosyncratic history of art and film. Mark Leckey in the Long Tail, a new talk that premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London earlier this year, takes the same approach and extends his argument into the twenty-first century, using examples and props to visualize how an internet-based economy has changed distribution, demand, and creativity. Its U.S. premiere, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, will take place at the Abron Arts Center on Oct. 1, 2, and 3. - Brian Droitcour

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WarMail (2008) - Jeremy Bailey

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Warmail is a live, collaborative software performance, led by Jeremy Bailey, commissioned by HTTP Gallery in London, UK. Warmail uses the audience's latent song and dance potential to write and send an email to my mother while simultaneously directing a space war campaign

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S DESCRIPTION

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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's "Levels of Nothingness" at the Guggenheim

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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Levels of Nothingness (Mock-up), 2009

When artist and curator Hilla Rebay hung Vasily Kandinsky’s paintings at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which she convinced her lover Solomon R. Guggenheim to open in the late 1920s, she created a sensual environment for them with colored walls, faint music, and perfumed air. It was an approximate construction of an inner, spiritual harmony unencumbered by reminders of nature, in keeping with the ideas of Kandinsky’s influential tract “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” While multimedia updates of art from an older period risk becoming mere bells and whistles on a body of work that stands on its own merits, Kandinsky’s intense interest in synaesthesia—and his exhibition history with Guggenheim’s collection—make it seem like he might be sympathetic to opportunities for multiple sensory stimulation afforded by today’s data processing technologies. Perhaps that’s why Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum commissioned an immersive light-and-sound piece from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer to mark the opening of the museum’s major Kandinsky retrospective, the first for the artist in more than twenty years. Levels of Nothingness, which Lozano-Hemmer developed in collaboration with philosopher Brian Massumi, takes its inspiration from Kandinsky’s 1912 essay “Yellow Sound.” The installation generates visuals from phonetic data produced by reading philosophical texts by Kandinsky and others. (At the performance, Isabella Rosselini will kick off the readings, and audience members will be encouraged to continue). Rather than translating one kind of information into another to spell out a neatly servable metaphor—as Lozano-Hemmer did, for example, with Pulse Park, which presented Madison Square Park as a living organism by animating it with lights activated by the heart rates of passers-by—Levels of Nothingness promises to be more meditative and fuzzy, suggesting the connection between thought and ...

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Speaking in Third Person

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MIT Press recently published Third Person, an essay collection that follows First Person and Second Person in a series exploring how new media has changed the roles of author and audience. Third Person declares its subject to be “vast narratives,” which editors Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin define as cultural products that extend beyond the physical and temporal parameters usually associated with their medium. While most television detective shows devote one episode to one investigation, The Wire, for example, can stretch a case out over a season, and the continuity of characters and settings puts demands on a viewer’s memory that other shows rarely make. If the Harry Potter series of books is considered the authoritative source of that fictional world even after the release of the films, Lucasfilm delegates storytelling duties for Star Wars among books, movies, and animated series, and each addition extends the fictional universe in new directions in time and space. Vast narratives can also be generative frameworks that allow for many reconfigurations of the characters and settings over several instantiations, as in computer role-playing games and their pencil-and-paper counterparts like Dungeons & Dragons.

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Interview with James Voorhies

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Image: Front of Office of Collective Play, the temporary storefront space that will be used for programming during "Descent to Revolution"

Last Thursday, the new exhibition “Descent to Revolution” organized by Columbus College of Art & Design’s Bureau for Open Culture opened in Columbus, Ohio. Taking place around the city and at a temporary location in a former storefront downtown, “Descent to Revolution” will host residencies by five artist collectives and collaboratives over the course of the next three months. These groups will take up projects that engage and respond to the city of Columbus. The first resident is Portland-based collective Red76, followed by Claire Fontaine, Learning Site, REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, and Tercerunquinto. “Descent to Revolution” curator and the director of exhibitions for the Bureau for Open Culture James Voorhies took a moment to answer a few questions about the show. You can follow the exhibition as it develops through the "Descent to Revolution" blog, here. - Ceci Moss

It seems like the multidisciplinary and fluid nature of the exhibitory framework for "Descent to Revolution" is a natural extension of the Bureau for Open Culture's activities and ethos. I am wondering if you can speak more about the Bureau for Open Culture itself and how the space came into being.

Yes. "Descent to Revolution" is, in a way, a culmination of some of the underlying ideas of what we're doing at the Bureau for Open Culture. The Bureau for Open Culture was created as a way to give shape to the exhibition program I've been operating since 2006. Many of the projects we've organized have taken place outside of the gallery or had components outside of it and often involved participants from diverse disciplines and locations like libraries, non-profit music venues, city-owned sites, empty storefronts and other area universities ...

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Burn Your LiveJournal (2008) - Brendan Sullivan

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SEP.12TH 2008, CURRENT GALLERY, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND. Special Thanks : Zach Genin, Neil Sangiri, Ingrid Burrington, Ann Kelly, Jaime Friedman, Scott Ache and Neal Reinalda

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Prepare for Overload

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Video: Ray Sweeten, Altercations (Excerpts), 2007

Issue Project Room will host two video performances by San Francisco artist Nate Boyce and New York's own Ray Sweeten this Friday September 4th. Boyce will be showing all new work, some of which was developed for a recent exhibition at Partisan Gallery, a space based in Chris Fallon's apartment in San Francisco. I caught the closing party for the Partisan show last week, and took some shots of the installation, below. Boyce's work has long been informed by an interest in the manipulation of human perception through the moving image, but his new videos operate much like subliminal advertising, where letters flash in between short, jarring segments. Sweeten's work, which often integrates the use of an oscilloscope, can be equally overpowering. For Friday, bring earplugs, shades advised.

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Image: Nate Boyce, Installation from "New Work" at Partisan Gallery, Summer 2009

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Image: Nate Boyce, Installation from "New Work" at Partisan Gallery, Summer 2009

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Looking At "Looking At Music: Side 2&"

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Image: Marcia Resnick, Glenn O'Brien's TV Party, NYC. 1980.

A year ago the Museum of Modern Art’s media galleries hosted “Looking at Music,” an exhibition of process-based work from the 1960s and 1970s that included music videos by pop icons like David Bowie and The Beatles (as well as cult favorites Captain Beefheart and Devo) amid works by Nam June Paik, Joan Jonas, and other avant-garde heroes. Caitlin Jones expanded on the inclusions and their mutual connections in a review on Rhizome; I also wrote about how it traced two paths in process art, which were exemplified by the music of John Cage and Steve Reich. Whatever a viewer brought to the show, it’s safe to say that everyone felt a thrill from the incongruity of watching Bowie’s Space Oddity in MoMA’s white boxes. The approach helped tear Cage, Paik, and their cohorts out of the textbook, and demonstrated that while ideas germinated in strongholds of the creative intellect like Darmstadt or E.A.T.’s “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering,” art did not exist in a vacuum. With “Looking at Music,” curator Barbara London set an agenda continued in an essay published in the March 2009 issue of Artforum, making a case for the study of music video in terms of process art in the late twentieth century.

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Image: Stephanie Chernikowski, Sonic Youth. 1983

Now “Looking at Music: Side 2,” on view through November 30, offers the flip side as it takes the exploration of the topic into the late 1970s and early ‘80s. If art-world favorites set the tone in last year’s exhibition, “Side 2” is dominated by album covers and concert posters. A sprawling mural of work by rock’n’roll photographer Bob Gruen overlooks a monitor showing a grainy video ...

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SECURITY AESTHETIC = SYSTEMS PANIC

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This essay originated from the anthology DATA browser 04: Creating Insecurity: art and culture in the age of security edited by Wolfgang Sützl and Geoff Cox. The book was published by Autonomedia this year and is licensed under Creative Commons.

Where does security end, and insecurity begin? Systems analysts recognise this as a classic boundary question. Its answer determines the precise deployment of any security system. But as we shall see, this particular boundary question cannot be answered under present conditions, except through the definition of a second system, a specifically interrogatory one. Drawing on the work of an American art critic of the 1960s, I’ll call this second kind of bounded entity an ‘aesthetic system’.

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