Sunday, September 30, 2012

Greg Oct. 15: Abstract reasoning

For Greg's discussion group on Oct. 15, we will be discussing what is happening in abstract art today based on the following readings and links:

= "Simpatico" group show at BU Art Gallery reviewed in Boston Globe.
= Jessica Stockholder
= "Not About Paint" at Steven Zevitas Gallery in 2011 reviewed by Greg Cook.
= Chris Johanson
= Leonardo Drew reviewed in New York magazine.
= Robert Irwin reviewed in the New Yorker.
= Mark Bradford reviewed in New York Times.
= Rachel Harrison reviewed in LA Times.

Questions to consider: What is happening in abstract art today? What are some similar/common ideas and styles that you see in the artists in the readings and other abstract artists active today? What makes a good abstraction?

A one-page typed transcript of your research paper interview is due Oct. 15.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Caroline's Readings for Mon Oct 1st and Weds Oct 3rd

Caroline's Readings for Mon Oct 1st and Weds Oct 3rd

1. Marxist Arts Criticism - Dictionary and Encyclopedia,
2. Chandler, Daniel. Marxist Media Theory Gramsci and Hegemony, Stuart Hall, Strengths of Marxist analysis. 
 3. Haacke, Hans, Statement, from Harrison and Wood, Art in Theory 1900 - 2000, pp. 930-931
4. Lipton, Eunice, The Laundress in Late Nineteeth - Century French Culture:Imagery, Ideology and Edgar Degas,  Art History, vol.3, no.3 Sept 1980, pp 295 - 313  
5. Burgin, Victor, What does possession mean to you?
6. Cotter, Holland, Martha Rosler, Photomontages:1965-2004, NYTimes Dec 24, 2004

ALSO Check out the NYTimes Friday Sept 28th 2012
Review by Karen Rosenberg of 2 shows by Thomas Hirschhorn in NY.
Concordia, Concordia at Gladstone Gallery, Chelsea through Oct 20
Timeline: Work in Public Space, future Dia, Chelsea, through Nov 3
Hirschhorn's forthcoming Dia commission is an "monument" to GRAMSCI!!!!! ( see 2nd reading for this week)
ALSO Ken Johnson reviews "Joy in People"Jeremy Deller at the ICA in Philadelphia...see last weeks readings...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Greg Oct 1: Pretty art about ugly things?

For Greg's discussion group on Oct. 1, we will be reading and discussing art and the environment via:

= "Poison Pictures" by Rebecca Solnit, 2003, on the photography of Edward Burtynsky (who talks in the video above--which you're not required to watch).
= "The Green Moment: Land art and the rise of the environmental movement" by Tyler Green, Modern Painters, 2012. (Note: Link goes to summary, not full article.)

Questions to consider: Among the ways artists are addressing environmental issues, as described in the readings, which are more effective? How do we define effective? Are they aesthetically effective? Are they effective at fostering social change? Can they do both? Tyler Green speaks about environmentalism within 1960s and '70s Land Art, but how "environmental" was that work? The most famous pieces often involved major interventions in the landscape. Should art be socially conscious? Is it okay to make pretty art about ugly things?
Related (unrequired!) things to consider:
= "How to Turn a Parking Space into a Park."
=  “The Ends of the Earth” at LA MoCA.
= "Ansel Adams: At the Water's Edge," Peabody Essex Museum, through Oct. 28. Adams sometimes used his photos in campaigns promoting environmental conservation.
=  Andy Goldsworthy’s “Snow House” at DeCordova.
= Boston Tree Party.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Caroline's readings for Sept 24th and 26th

Caroline's readings for Sept 24th and 26th

Bishop, Claire, Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics, October 110, Fall 2004
2nd half of article continued from last week
Roberta Smith, ART, NYTimes, Sunday Sept 23rd 2012

Week of Sept 24th: Submit a written list of two or three exhibitions that you might like to write about.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Greg Sept. 24: Art worth fighting over?

For Greg's discussion group on Sept. 24, we will be reading, watching and discussing the "art of controversy":

= Watch the video above, variously titled "Innocence of Muslims," "The Real Life of Muhammad," etc., which is said to have sparked protests across the world.

= “Inside the strange Hollywood scam that spread chaos across the Middle East: A group of rightwing extremists aimed to destabilize post-Mubarak Egypt and roil US politicians. They got their wish” by Max Blumenthal, The Guardian, Sept. 13, 2012.
= “Boston mural: A ‘rorshach test for idiots and racists’: The Brazilian street art twins, Os Gemeos, reveal their latest work, and Facebook erupts” by Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic, Aug. 8, 2012. 
= “Smithsonian Institution fails to stand up to anti-gay bullies” by Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 6, 2010.
= “The Art of Controversy” by PBS Newshour, Oct. 8, 1999. On New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s efforts to shut down a show of contemporary British art in Brooklyn because he found it “anti-Catholic.”

Questions to consider: What were the aims of these controversial artworks? Did the artists achieve their goals? How are we to respond to offensive art? What art is worth fighting over? How does this relate to the free speech maxim: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Related unrequired reading:
= "Controversial 'Piss Christ' art back in New York," New York Post, Sept. 21, 2012.
= "Heathen President Refuses to Condemn Piece of Art from 1987" by Louis Peitzman, Gawker, Sept. 22, 2012.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Caroline's readings for Mon Sept 17th and Weds Sept 19th

Caroline's Readings for Mon Sept 17th and Weds Sept 19th

Bishop, Claire, Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics, October 110, Fall 2004, pp 65 – 80

Monday, September 10, 2012

Greg Sept. 17: Robots are watching

= For Greg's discussion group on Sept. 17, we will be reading and talking about "the New Aesthetic" via:

= James Bridle's blog "The New Aesthetic." Dig through some of the pages.
= David Albert Cox, "Playfulness and Processuality--Interview with Bruce Sterling about the New Aesthetic," Cox's blog.
= Paddy Johnson, "What New Aesthetic?" The L Magazine, May 9, 2012.
= Mark Frauenfelder, "A Short PBS documentary about Glitch Art,", Aug. 9, 2012. You must watch the video, so follow the link.
= Rose Eveleth, "Amazing Shots Captured by Google Street View,", Aug. 29, 2012. Follow this link to the photos.

Questions to consider: What do Google Earth glitches, drone visions, and other manifestations of how computers and robots record, translate and process the world tell us about life today? What are the machines watching? Is it all about surveillance? What are they doing? What are they thinking? Does the Internet have moods? Is there a new aesthetic to be found in this new technology? How do you feel about our technological world? How does it enter your art or the art of others? We expect the machines to be perfect. What does this tell us about us and them? Do our mistakes reveal our humanity? Do digital glitches reveal "the very soul of a machine"?

Related unrequired (!) reading:
= James Brindle "#sxaesthetic," blog post, March 15, 2012.
= Bruce Sterling "An Essay on the New Aesthetic," Wired Magazine, April 2, 2012.
= Greg Cook "Boston Dynamic's new killer robot," New England Journal of Aesthetic Research, March 3, 2012.

Greg studio visits Sept. 10

Greg will be visiting these folks on Sept. 10: Justin Durso, Angela Ferrara, Brittanny Handiboe, Sam King, and (hopefully) Alyssa Kline.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Caroline's groups readings or Mon Sept 10th and and Weds Sept 12th 2012

Caroline's groups readings or Mon Sept 10th and and Weds Sept 12th  2012

Steinberg, Contemporary Art and the Plight of its Public from Other Criteria: Confrontations with 20th century Art, (New York:Oxford, 1972)
Storr, An Interview with Mike Kelley, Art in America, June 1994 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fall 2012 Research Paper

Write a report on the presentation of a single exhibition/performance/screening that you go to this fall. You are required to interview the curator/gallerist/editor about the artist(s) and the development of the presentation. Questions to addressWhat is the presentation about? How did they research and develop the idea? How did they find and select the artist(s)? Did financial/logistical constraints like cost, shipping, size affect their decisions? How did logistical constraints affect what is presented and the meaning conveyed by the presentation? How well do the selected works represent the artist and/or theme? How do the works convey or embody their meaning? 

We prefer that you interview your subject in person because this generally results in getting better information and a better paper, but phone or e-mail interviews are okay. The presentation of the art must open/debut after the start of our semester. This might include a public screening of animation, a fashion show, photo display, graffiti mural, an art installation in the woods, a galley exhibit of interactive web art, etc. We encourage you to discuss your choice with Greg or Caroline. We're interested in all kinds of art. If you feel that these guidelines don't accommodate the art you're interested in, please speak to us. 

Note: The subject of your paper must be an exhibition/performance/screening happening outside Montserrat and featuring art/artists not affiliated with Montserrat.

Also remember this is a research paper, so your final paper must include a bibliography listing at least two sources, which could include artists' statements, artists' websites, reviews, etc. Bibliography format: Author (last name first), “Title of Reading,” name of newspaper/magazine/blog/journal it appeared in, date of publication, page of publication, web link. Examples:

Book: Dukes Jordan, Matthew, “Weirdo Deluxe: The Wild World of Pop Surrealism & Lowbrow Art,” 2005.

Magazine/newspaper: Meland, Louis, “Top of the Pops: Did Andy Warhol change everything?” The New Yorker, Jan. 11, 2010, pages 57-65.

Web: Caruth, Nicole J., “A Look into the Future with Saya Woolfalk,” Art: 21 Blog, Aug. 18, 2009.


Paper should be 5 to 7 pages, and turned in as a typed, printed-out copy.


Discussion sections that meet during the week of Sept. 24: Submit a written list of two or three exhibitions that you might like to write about.
Week of Oct. 15: Submit a one-page typed transcript of your interview. This should be an excerpt from your interview.
Week of Oct. 29: Finished research paper due. Grades will be reduced one letter grade for each week the paper is late.

Greg Sept. 10: Failure Support Group

For discussion on Sept. 10, Greg's group will read/watch, write about and talk about:

= The above antique Nike commercial featuring Michael Jordan.
=This Mike Kelley quote from "Art21": “I knew by the time I was a teenager that I was going to be an artist, there’s no doubt about that. There was nothing else for me to be. I didn’t even want to be the other things that at the time were outside general culture. I didn’t want to be a rock musician; I wanted to be an artist. And I think the reason I chose it was that at that time it was the most despicable thing you could be in American culture. To be an artist at that time had absolutely no social value. It was like planned failure. You could never be a success. And the fact that I’m now a professional artist? At that time it seemed like a contradiction of terms. I came from a milieu in which artists were despised, whereas rock musicians and drug dealers were—you know—hipster culture heroes."
= Platform2's invite to their 2008 "Failure Support Group."
= Matthew Nash's report on BigRed&Shiny on the "Failure Support Group."
= "If at First You Don't Succeed ... Celebrate" by Lisa Le Feuvre, Tate, 2010.

Some questions to consider: Why do we fear failure? How do we define failure? How do we define success? What does it mean to fail in life? In art? Is art making like scientific experimenting, in which failures can be part of testing out an idea? Should art making focus primarily on end results? What are the benefits and drawbacks of these approaches. Is there, actually, a recipe for failure? Are certain methodologies more prone to failure than others? What is at stake in acknowledging failure in one’s process, one’s community, or one’s career? Can you think of other contemporary art addressing failure? Does this or doesn't this art somehow reflect our society today?

1. We'll be briefly discussing essay writing. So bring the writing handouts, including the research paper assignment.
2. We'll be talking briefly about art happening now around Boston, so think of things you might recommend to the group.