Episode 108: Marc Fischer

September 23, 2007 · Print This Article

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Marc Fischer love his Sabbath
This week Anthony Elms and Duncan talk to Marc Fischer about the Public Collectors project and other things.

Then Marc LeBlanc and Brian Andrews talk about how Marc is turning Japanese, he thinks he’s turning Japanese, he really thinks so…

The intro discusses how Philip von Zweck is a thug.

Anthony, please, dear God, talk in to the mic, seriously.

The following blurbs were shamelessly stolen from PVZ’s site:

Marc Fischer is 1/3 of the group Temporary Services, 1/11th of Mess Hall- an experimental cultural center in Roger’s Park (where he co-organizes the Hardcore Histories series), and an artist who curated the prison-themed exhibition “Captive Audience” at Gallery 400 earlier this year. In addition to believing that vinyl remains the superior format for the appreciation of recorded music, Fischer still refuses to own a fucking cell phone.

Anthony Elms overcame his youth as just another punk in Michigan to become the assistant director of Gallery 400, the editor of WhiteWalls, and a writer whose works have appeared in like every freakin’ magazine ever (except Artforum, whatever), plus in some exhibition catalogs for stuff that didn’t happen at VONZWECK, but was still ok. He’s pimped himself out at times; and participated in some panel discussions, but I think the panel discussion is always a bad idea, always. Anthony agrees.

On Public Collectors:
VONZWECK- as an entity, doesn’t care about art. You know it, you always have. But VONZWECK likes administration, and… stuff. Especially other people’s stuff! So does Marc Fischer. He likes stuff so much he’s started a whole new initiative to get to see it, and, being the unselfish soul that he is, to share it.

It’s called Public Collectors and it is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks people that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials, to help reverse this lack by making their collections public. It’s voluntary and it’s free. Not about selling, or buying and not restricted to art. It’s about getting to see something you might not have access to otherwise and exchanges of knowledge.

For this – the kickoff, the ribbon cutting, Marc will be sharing one of his collections: records. That’s right actual records, long players, vinyl, what have you. Many will be on display; many more will be brought to the space for listening on request.

But the idea isn’t just for you to see Marc’s stuff, it’s for you to share your collection(s) and view other peoples’. Other collections are online and many more will be added soon at www.publiccollectors.org.

Gene Siskel Film Center
Marc Fischer
Anthony Elms
Public Collectors Project
Philip von Zweck
Mess Hall
Harold Washington Public Library
Bruno Richard
Jonestown Punch
Steve Lacy
Stephen Perkins/Subspace Archives
Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll
Tim Yohannon
Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers
Bern Porter
The Jesus Lizard
Stoner Rock
Dan Graham
’68 Democratic Convention
Jean Genet
Allen Ginsberg
David Yow
John Miller
Walter Benjamin
University of Chicago
Carol Jackson
Shannon Stratton
Ota Memorial Museum of Art
Le Corbusier
Julia Barnes
Nakaochiai Gallery
Clint Taniguchi
Misako and Rosen Gallery
Will Rogan and Yuki Okumura
Triple Base Gallery
Magical Art Room
Shugo Arts and Gallery Koyanagi
Kerry James Marshall

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_108-Marc_Fischer.mp3

21 thoughts on “Episode 108: Marc Fischer”

  1. Balzac says:

    I have collection of complaints I’d like to share publicly, might I have a show as well?

  2. Bill Dolan says:

    Coudal Partners have the “Museum of Online Museums” on their website. It’s a directory of collection sites. There are all kinds of odd collections. One of my favorites is the van advertising site.

    Check it out:

  3. Richard says:

    Caliope was this one sufficiently informative for you?

  4. dutes says:

    Hey- There is this new libary in chicago- not realy new but –kind of new-
    It is the “chicago underground libary” . They have an online catolouge.

    and thanks for the indepth inteveiw.

  5. I think it was pretty cool hearing Anthony & Marc. They obviously know each other well. This allowed more of an intimate exposure of Marc’s practice, which as a viewer I’ve always thought is a dang interesting one.

  6. salem says:


    balzac said “I have collection of complaints I’d like to share publicly, might I have a show as well?”

    Yep — it’s called the internet. badum-ching!

    dutes et all: chicago underground library is at http://www.underground-library.org/

    Elms & Fischer — I actually listened to the whole thing, and I applaud that you worked the following words into your chat: jackoff (tho I prefer the more sineous “jagoff”), “sludgier than though”, “inflammatory”, “earn the right to bitch”.

  7. balzac says:

    All I want to know is who are the three chumps how are defending Philip von Zweck, that guy is trouble by all accounts.

  8. Michael Workman says:

    Oooh, yeah. “Get some.”

  9. Marc Fischer says:

    The very best part of the interview is not anything said by Anthony, Duncan or myself, but the inclusion of “Feel Like [Killing Someone]” by Italy’s The Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers at the beginning and end of the conversation. Good work on tracking that down Bad at Sports!

    Thanks for the link Bill Dolan.

    I met up with Nell Taylor from Chicago Underground Library a couple weeks back and we had a great exchange of information and ideas. I really appreciate the direction of the work they are doing.

    I regret not pointing to a few more local examples during the talk like AREA, CUL, or the Gochgo listserv that have been stepping up to increase the level of information exchange, resource sharing, and local information preservation over the past year or so. This is important work that is thriving quite nicely.

    Also, if the discussion gave you listeners any ideas for how you might participate in Public Collectors, please feel free to contact me through http://www.publiccollectors.org.


  10. Richard says:

    Thanks! I do my best to track down the music cues.

  11. I think Public Collectors is a prank with the real goal for Marc to collect emails of people with collections. I’m onto you Marc. (Marc- Did you get my emails? Seriously!)

    And did anyone see the Anthony Elms / Hamza Walker Industry of the Ordinary grudge fight? Vicious stuff. Elms- has your groinal area recovered?

  12. Richard says:

    If that is true, I should try that ploy with comics.

  13. Richard says:

    I have 5 bucks on Hamza. He seems laid-back but I bet he can kick some serious ass when he has to.

  14. Marc Fischer says:

    Mike – I replied to both of your emails but the second one you sent kinda made it sound like you maybe didn’t get my reply to the first one?

    I’ll try resending them now.

  15. Boy is my face red. The replies went to my Bulk Folder which I never check. I hereby clear Marc’s name.

  16. anthony says:

    thanks for listening salem. I too prefer jagoff.

    and, ummm…”Anthony Elms / Hamza Walker Industry of the Ordinary grudge fight?” I have no idea what that can mean.

    hamza and I are lovers, not fighters. even if you threw a killer rare jazz record in front of us, we wouldn’t even fight over it, unless it was to get it on the turntable fast. I think we’re both too distracted to grudge. grudges are for the petty. hate: now, that’s good with bourbon.

  17. duncan. says:

    Whatever Anthony. The tongue lashings you give are sever. I for one want details.

  18. Note to BAS Fans:

    Upon reading his 9/27 post, it is clear that Mr. Elms would like to leave the tough and tragic reality of his Industry of the Ordinary fight w/ Mr. Hamza Walker behind him. Out of respect to Mr. Elms’ dedication to the arts, and his ardent support of countless Chicago artists, let’s all honor his wish to allow this event to be forgotten.

    (Between you and me, Anthony, I thought you did really well. You have a searing double jab! Who knew Hamza would throw so many low blows? And who knew the ref would “look the other way?”)

    Let’s also try to forget Mr. Elms’ admission that Hamza and he are lovers.

  19. duncan says:

    One day I’ll double check my spelling before I post. severe.

    Also congratulations.

  20. “Helvetica” as a movie? Weird idea, I’ve got to see it. Especially since all the street signs and so on are in that font here, seeing as it was created here (“Helvetica” is the Latin word meaning “Switzerland.” — so I kind of made it in this week anyway.)

    The collection idea is quite amusing, even if it borders on nerdy-cute. Could be some amazing gems out there that Marc will end up promoting or even indirectly saving. I agree with him that the “other” web-group presences seem far more energetic and supportive than the fine art one. I’m involved with the comic art world, e.g., a founding member of the Gene Colan discussion list and so on, and have met far more people of a far greater variety, got more visits and more opportunities (to write part of a history book, etc.) from there than from the fine artworld web stuff I do.

    By the way, Richard, I have about 5000 comic books from the 60s and 70s and even some from the 40s and 50s, but all stuffed into boxes, no collector-plastic etc. I still take them out an re-read them in the bathtub, etc. It makes real collectors who visit me insane. You can come read them if you’d like.

    That being said, though, I’m not certain I would wish to entirely replace the critical fine artworld online with a fan-based culture derivative. I think too many suburbies from the art schools see it in these terms already, as a form of substitute geeky hobby for the ones they had in high school. I think we have too much backstabbing, as he points out, but are trying to foster a more critical (in both senses), analytical perception of art. When eveything is okay, nothing is great.

    Nevertheless, I think Duncan and Balzac and I may have to push Marc around a little in the school yard or a back-alley for having called all BAS commenters jackoffs.

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