SWM Archive: Art

Collection by John Powers

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I sometimes write about art, but only rarely my own, I'm more interested in thinking about art more generally.

John Powers
Below are the slides for the third part of a three-part, art history lecture on Star Wars and American Cold War Modernism I gave. Ugly Americans, Episode Iv, Star Wars Film, Ap Art, Graphic Design Branding, 8 Bit, Modernism, Cold War, Being Ugly

Star Wars & Modernism: Episode VI - Return of The Ugly Americans

Below are the slides for the third part of a three-part, 8-bit, art history lecture on Star Wars and American Cold War Modernism I gave via Twitter. The Introduction and Episode IV are supplemented with text that give a key for those unfamiliar with some of the artworld figures mentioned and texts alluded to. This final section will be presented without comment. (Return to Episode V)

I am not a Post-Modern (an essay written in real time on Twitter) - Less a post about art, and more about art theory, musing on what exactly makes a paradigm, and what it is to be modern (vs Modernist or Postmodernist). Post Modern, Postmodernism, Essay Writing, Theory, Archive, Arts And Crafts, Architecture, Twitter, Blog

I am not a Post-Modern (an essay written in real time on Twitter)

I've never liked the term #PostModern - not because of the styles & Ideologies it is attached to, but because I question the premise. #PostModern is founded on the premise that there was a fundamental change made durring the post War Years: a "paradigm shift." Thomas Kuhn defined a paradigm shift a fundamental break in understanding between to regimes of understanding - in science. Late 70s theorist like Jean-François Lyotard & Rosalind Krauss began using the term paradigm shift to describe…

Takashings, Sky Blue Sky Janet Cardiff and George Bures, Forty Part Motet I know exactly why Janet Cardiff and Geor. Janet Cardiff, Art With Meaning, September 11, Moma, Wind Turbine, Meant To Be, Contemporary Art, The Incredibles, Culture

The Forty Part Motet and the meaning of art after September 11th

Takashings, Sky Blue Sky (2011); Janet Cardiff and George Bures, Forty Part Motet (2001) I know exactly why Janet Cardiff and George Bures' Forty Part Motet has been included in MoMA PS1's show to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I know because I happen to have participated (along with hundreds of other museum goers) in making the association between the two. I attended the opening of Cardiff's show when Motet was shown for the first time in NYC, just a month…

Takashings, Sky Blue Sky Janet Cardiff and George Bures, Forty Part Motet I know exactly why Janet Cardiff and Geor. Janet Cardiff, Art With Meaning, September 11, Moma, Wind Turbine, Meant To Be, Contemporary Art, The Incredibles, Culture

The Forty Part Motet and the meaning of art after September 11th

Takashings, Sky Blue Sky (2011); Janet Cardiff and George Bures, Forty Part Motet (2001) I know exactly why Janet Cardiff and George Bures' Forty Part Motet has been included in MoMA PS1's show to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I know because I happen to have participated (along with hundreds of other museum goers) in making the association between the two. I attended the opening of Cardiff's show when Motet was shown for the first time in NYC, just a month…

Takashings, Sky Blue Sky Janet Cardiff and George Bures, Forty Part Motet I know exactly why Janet Cardiff and Geor. Janet Cardiff, Art With Meaning, September 11, Moma, Wind Turbine, Meant To Be, Contemporary Art, The Incredibles, Culture

The Forty Part Motet and the meaning of art after September 11th

Takashings, Sky Blue Sky (2011); Janet Cardiff and George Bures, Forty Part Motet (2001) I know exactly why Janet Cardiff and George Bures' Forty Part Motet has been included in MoMA PS1's show to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I know because I happen to have participated (along with hundreds of other museum goers) in making the association between the two. I attended the opening of Cardiff's show when Motet was shown for the first time in NYC, just a month…

Hasbro's Twister Damien Hirst's Spot Challenge (Return to Part II ) Like "commodity", "consumerism" is not a word us. Size Of Texas, Damien Hirst, Consumerism, Game Art, Buy Art, The Past, Games, Connection, Archive

Buying The Art Game

Hasbro's Twister (1966); Damien Hirst's Spot Challenge (2012) (Return to Part II) Like "commodity", "consumerism" is not a word usually associated with art in any positive ways, but unlike commodity, that is exactly what contemporary art is: it is the art of consumerism. It is the product of consumerist societies; art made by consumers, for consumers. Because consumerism is a term that evokes alienation, complacency, passivity, obesity, malls, parking lots, sweat shops, big block stores, and…

Robert Smithson, Proposal for a Monument in Antarctica, 1966 Paper Architecture, Architecture Drawings, Robert Smithson, Antarctica, Land Art, Foundation, In This Moment, Landscape, Proposal

Exposure: A Teachable Moment.

Out in the Cold: Robert Smithson, Proposal for a Monument at Antarctica (1966) Mark Quinn, Self (1999) This past Monday, Nate Thayer posted an email exchange in which he was approached for a 1200 word piece on "basketbal diplomacy", but was also informed by Olga Khazan, the new Global Editor of The Atlantic: "We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month." I caught wind of this kerfuffle yesterday when my twitter feed blew up. Felix Salmon noted: "There…

Below are the slides for the second of a three-part, art history lecture on Star Wars and American Cold War Modernism I gave via. Episode Iv, Star Wars Film, Long Time Ago, 8 Bit, Modernism, Cold War, Art History, Texts, Archive

Star Wars & Modernism: Episode V - Cold Warrior Clones

Below are the slides for the second of a three-part, 8-bit, art history lecture on Star Wars and American Cold War Modernism I gave via Twitter. The introduction and Episode IV are supplemented with text that give a key for those unfamiliar with some of the artworld figures mentioned and texts alluded to. This, and the final section will be presented without comment. (Return to Episode IV)

Below are the slides for the first of a three-part, art history lecture on Star Wars and American Cold War Modernism I gave v. Episode Iv, Star Wars Film, 8 Bit, Modernism, Cold War, Art History, Texts, Archive

Star Wars & Modernism: Episode IV - The Hope of the NEW

Below are the slides for the first of a three-part, "8-bit", art history lecture on Star Wars and American Cold War Modernism I gave via Twitter. (Return to Introduction for more explanation.) I have added text to this episode to introduce some of the charicters and texts that are referenced in the "slides." Some details about Clement Greenberg: In the late 1950s and early 60s he was the lion of the American Artworld - a world that didn't exist before WWII. Greenberg is worth knowing…

Star Wars & Modernism: An Introduction 8 Bit Art, Episode Iv, Postwar, Star Wars Film, Some Text, Art History, Archive, Thoughts, Stars

Star Wars & Modernism: An Introduction

Earlier this week on twitter I 'tweeted' what might be thought of as an 8-bit art history lecture. By "8-Bit" I mean that, in the same way an 8-bit portrait is accurate, if radically simplified, this is a blocky generalized history. I was spured to give this lecture after Todd Florio passed on the artist, Tom Sachs' observation that "Darth Vader IS Hitler. Yoda IS Buddha." Sachs owns Foamcore, police barricades, and can make an almost entirely air-tight claim on NASA, but Star Wars is mine…

Why I like Christian Marclay's Clock - I can easily understand why someone may dislike or be bored by Clock, I am totally flummoxed however, as to why anyone who takes contemporary art seriously, or their role as a commentator of art, would show contempt for a work of this quality. I am not an art critic. What follows is not a review, these are the associations I made; the fun I had as an artist watching the work Christian Marclay, Critic, Contemporary Art, Archive, Star Wars, Clock, Film, Artist, Movies

Why I like Christian Marclay's Clock - I can easily understand why someone may dislike or be bored by Clock, I am totally flummoxed however, as to why anyone who takes contemporary art seriously, or their role as a commentator of art, would show contempt for a work of this quality. I am not an art critic. What follows is not a review, these are the associations I made; the fun I had as an artist watching the work

Modernist Hangover: The Masterpiece - There is no such thing a Post War American masterpiece because there is no such thing as a masterpiece. It is a totally bogus category. The Masterpiece, Archive, Comic Books, War, American, Cartoons, Comics, Comic Book, Graphic Novels

Modernist Hangover: The Masterpiece - There is no such thing a Post War American masterpiece because there is no such thing as a masterpiece. It is a totally bogus category.

In Situ vs Site Specific John Power, Richard Serra, Art Festival, Moma, Archive, Band, Live, Sash, Bands

In Situ vs Site Specific

Vladimir Putin with Ronald Reagan; John Powers, Die Die Die (2007) I'm traveling to Vyksa Russia today to take part in an arts festival. Vyska is home to a water-tower, built by the engineer/architect Vladimir Shukhov for a local metallurgic plant. The festival is built on realizing a connection between Revolutionary Russia of the early 20th century and the "street-art" of today. I won't be making any street-art, but I will be working "in situ" Incredibly (for an American), the bridging…

Junkets: Gabriel-Julien Ouvrard (ca Damien Hirst (return to Part III ) When we use the word "art" in its modern sense, we are. Damien Hirst, Consumerism, Word Art, Savage, The Past, Archive, King, French, Modern

Biographical Extraterritoriality

Junkets: Gabriel-Julien Ouvrard (ca 1815); Damien Hirst (return to Part III) When we use the word "art" in its modern sense, we are speaking back and forth through time. We mean the inherited traditions of European aristocracy, but we also mean other traditions from around the world that French King's would have dismissed as savagery, as well as all the things we do today that no savage or French King would have hoped to have understood as art. But because so much of what we have in mind…

Spot Shops- Art is a commodity-ness outlier, a black swan out at the far edge of the consumer economy's left field. Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Consumerism, The Past, Photo Wall, Black Swan, Contemporary, Mugs, Frame

Spot Shops

Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent. (1999); $30 Damien Hirst spot themed coffee mugs (Return to Part I) "Laundry detergent is a commodity," the art blogger Greg Allen reminded me over twitter recently. Allen, who like Felix Salmon is an art collector with a background in finance, pressed me to explain my assertion that art is not a commodity in any way-shape-or-form. Allen pointed out that companies like Dow "invest heavily to differentiate [these products] as brands, so as to get a premium price."…

 the cynical mariage of art and commerce: Jeff Koons, Total Equilibrium Tank New Wet/Dry Trip. Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Consumerism, Archive, Floor, Paintings, Marketing, This Or That Questions, Home Decor

Spot Markets

Of vitrine and vitriol; the cynical mariage of art and commerce: Jeff Koons, Total Equilibrium Tank (1985), New Wet/Dry Tripledecker (1981); Damien Hirst, A Thousand Years (1990) (Return to Introduction) "Art is bought and sold, but it is more than a commodity." I plucked this quote from the comment thread below a Ben Davis post about the economics of being an artist (or lack-there-of). This sort of hand wringing reached it's hight within art world critical theory circles during the 1990s…