Episode 65: Francesco Bonami

November 26, 2006 · Print This Article

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THIS WEEK: the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art’s Manilow Senior Curator Francesco Bonami interviewed live a Three Walls on Tuesday November 21, 2006. Francesco gives his frank and funny perspective on everything from: why Australian art is bad, compares Kentuckians to Europeans, and talks about the role of the curator as artist.

Well the residency is over. Thanks for coming. Thanks to Three Walls for all their help and patience. It was nice to meet so many of you and there was a minimum of rotting fruit thrown at us.

Hey! We need your help, yes you dammit. We crank out this show every week for you information and amusement, now it is time for your sorry butts to pitch in.

We need to hear your feedback, we are about to have our third formal staff meeting ever and would love to hear from you on what works, what doesn’t, who you’d like to hear interviewed (no, don’t say “me” unless you have a solid reason or are a superstar) and any other wit and wisdom you the loyal listener wishes to send our way. We are going to re-examine and re-evaluate the project to see where we go from here (if we go from here?) and would love to hear from people outside of our sad, insular, little bubble. Please e-mail us at badatsports@gmail.com, title your e-mail “Feedback”. Thanks!

Francesco Bonami
Flash Artmagazine
Museum of Contemporary Art
Venice Bienniale
Manifesta: European Biennial of Contemporary Art
MCA’s 12 x 12
PS1 Contemporary Art Center
Walker Art Center
Art Review
Gagosian Gallery
Andy Warhol
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Rudolf Stingel
Pablo Picasso
Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye
Julia Roberts
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci
Matthew Barney
Sarah Lucas
Robert Altman
Werner Herzog
Kaspar König

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_65_Francesco_Bonami.mp3

14 thoughts on “Episode 65: Francesco Bonami”

  1. Richard says:

    No witty comments? WTF

  2. Bart says:

    There is A LOT to be said on the subject of digital art in the museum and bienalle. This answer could have addressed the shaky boundaries between architecture, design, and the stuff which is usually called art – and if there is pressure for an curator to stick with themes of irony, and stick with artists who use convential conceptual art foundations for projects. Some of the most interesting digital work is systematic, and telling, but lacks the kind of irony which is so hot in the ‘art world’..

    When a curator shows technologically innovative work, their values must still be tested (he seemed to say they were not) because many times the subject expands to include a very apparent NON-IRONIC and straightforward inclusion of a commercially available technology (mostly i mean design software).

    In this years architectural bienalle in Venice there was nothing but electronically projected visual research which was not that different in intent or interest than the digital work in shown in art galleries and musueums. The only odd vibe was an apprehension that the architects had. It seemed as if they felt they were making work that was kind of artsy.

  3. BillDolan says:

    Digital art is a very broad term and seems to be interpreted differently by people, mostly based on each one’s familiarity with computers. Some would say that digitally manipulated photographs are “digital art.” I would say that it is photography, as manipulating the photo on a computer isn’t much different from doing it in a darkroom. In fact, in many cases there is a manual counterpart to the digital technique. By calling a photo that was altered in Photoshop, digital art it places the piece in the same category as say, an installation piece that runs on a computer and interacts with the viewer, or rather, participant.

    To me then, an installation piece that interacts with the viewer by computer is an installation piece. A video that was created or altered on a computer is a video piece. A drawing created on a computer is a drawing. Therefore, the categories for most work that involves a computer already exist, so it is really difficult to set up a new one called “digital art.” Digital art then, is a more horizontal category of art that crosses all of the vertical ones, and therefore, harder to segregate as its own category.

  4. And I do everything with my FINGERS in one way or another, so I call it all “digital.”

  5. Richard says:

    MSB is here all week people, yuk yuk yuk…

  6. katiesehr says:

    mark, i agree. that is probably why francesco laughed when asked the question. “digital art” should change it’s name for the sake of it’s self. it is a means to an end or a component. then the “artist” prints it – i do “printed art”. dumbasses. the elephants can’t make digital art. they paint with their trunks.

  7. Thanks Katie! — Richie, I gotta million of ’em …..

  8. I agree with Bonami, Dolan and Sehr, really, although I couldn’t pass up the joke. We know it means “art made with some sort over overdependence on the computer” but that just shows how silly the whole dichotomy of digital and analogue, in terms of production and ontology, is. Since I’m working on Seneca right now, I can’t pass up the derivation.

    digital [Origin: 1400–50; late Middle English digitālis, equiv. to digit(us) -ālis -AL; Latin digitus finger]

  9. BillDolan says:

    Whether I’m pushing pixels or pushing paint, it’s all art to me. Though, I have to admit, pushing paint is more fun and it smells better.

  10. Bart says:

    In the last century there has been a significant amount of procedural artwork that addresses the idea of creating a system for looking at things in a new way, or creating representational models by creating programs that use memory to sythesize structures. Data mining is now part of art and design, in the same way that video art was a part of art in the late 60’s.

    Photoshop (the program itself) is an example of “Digital work”, although it isn’t very interesting because it has evolved to be fairly utilitarian and the tools are derivative and simple. I agree with the comments above, most work made with photoshop might be closer to collage, photography etc.

    Golan Levin’s work, for example, should be called digital art because the transformations of data is/are the medium, it is intertwined with the subject, and it is the most material way to refer to the describe the spot where the piece is most active.

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