Episode 243: The Present Group

April 25, 2010 · Print This Article

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This week Brian sits down with Eleanor Hanson and Oliver Wise, the Oakland-based founders of The Present Group, who describe the project as “like a mutual fund that produces art instead of profits.”; A quarterly art subscription project, The Present Group enables a community of subscribers to create a new avenue of support for contemporary artists.

They produce thought-provoking work in a variety of media, and each of the four annual limited editioned art works is paired with an essay contextualizing the edition.

Their goal is to engage art enthusiasts who never thought of themselves as art collectors and to introduce them to the experience and pleasures of owning contemporary art. This is the next installment of the collaboration between Art Practical and Bad At Sports.

An abridged transcript of this interview appears in AP Issue 13. http://www.artpractical.com
Image: David Horvitz. Hermosa Beach, CA, Issue 9, Winter 2009; viewmaster reel, viewer, and Somerset cotton rag paper card. Courtesy of The Present Group.




Top 5 Weekend Picks!

April 22, 2010 · Print This Article

It’s that time of the week again. I don’t know about you, but the last three weeks I’ve been sweating bullets. Show last weekend, show this weekend, performing at Art Chicago. Jesus, does it never end? But really, for all my bitching, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love Chicago and all its bat-ass crazy art-ness. And now, for my picks for the weekend…

1. Vers10n Festival at Co-Prosperity Sphere (and the surrounding Bridgeport art community)

You can’t not love the Co-Pro Sphere for this shit! Ten years running, and the insanity continues.

Vers10n Festival in located (primary) in Bridgeport at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, The Benton House, Zhou B, and many, many more places. Opening party Friday at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan St. from 8pm-2am.

2. The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History at DuSable Museum of African American History

Get a helping of history during your gallery crawl. Photographs by Stephen Shames.

The DuSable Museum of African American History is located at 740 E. 56th Pl. Show begins April 23rd and ends August 8th.

3. VictoryLand (you, I shall answer your letter) at Threewalls

Chicago bad-ass and revolutionary Claire Pentecost struts her stuff at Threewalls. An event not to be missed.

Threewalls is located at 119 N. Peoria St., #2A. Opening reception Friday at 6pm. Artist talk May 6th at 6pm. Show runs ’till May 22nd.

4. OPENING at The Part Time Gallery

A new space, who knows what you’ll find. Remember, new experiences are good for you!

The Part Time Gallery is located at  5219 N. Clark St. Reception is Saturday from 7-10pm.

5. Transitions and Translations at Concertina Gallery

Theory, anyone? Work by Amanda Brinkman, Maureen A. Burns, Joel Kuennen, Susan Morelock, Jorge Mujica, Benjamin Pearson, and Brian Wallace.

Concertina Gallery – 2351 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd fl. Reception is Saturday from 7-10pm.




Off-Topic | Elijah Burgher

April 22, 2010 · Print This Article

Off-Topic invites artists, curators, writers, and cultural workers to discuss a subject not directly related to the practice of making art. We would like to welcome Elijah Burgher as our latest guest. Earlier this week Elijah participated in the magic-themed Cabinet of Curiosities at the MCA, hosted by Bad at Sports’ Duncan MacKenzie.  His Off-Topic post takes the form of a narrated YouTube tour of his favorite group Coil.

COIL ARE MY FAVORITE
Elijah Burgher

On November 13, 2004, Jhonn Balance died after falling from a second floor landing in his home. His death effectively ended the mighty Coil, which he had founded in 1982 with Peter “Sleazy” Chistopherson. Along with Psychic TV and Chris & Cosey, Coil rose from the ashes of Throbbing Gristle—Sleazy is a member of TG, who recently resurrected—and, with Current 93, Nurse with Wound,

Death in June, plotted a new course for the various strains of experimental music that issued from the first wave of industrial music in the mid-to-late 70s. For more information about the band’s history and recordings, look at the Threshold House site, Brainwashed’s Coil page, or the brief entry on them on the Disinformation site.

Coil are also my favorite. I love a lot of things, and have named possibly hundreds of artists, bands, filmmakers, books, etc. as my “favorite” at one time or another. When Claudine asked me to write an Off-Topic post for the BaS blog, I knew I wanted to write about something that I loved, and considered Swans’ Children of God, Dennis Cooper’s George Myles cycle, and Pasolini’s Salo, the latter of which I’ve seen too many times to justifiably claim anything resembling mental health. But Coil really are my favorite. They are what I listen to when I work in my studio. And I have a Coil t-shirt that I consider a good luck talisman and wear when I feel particularly stressed out or sad. They inspire exactly this type of ecstatic, pathologically intense fandom in their followers. For this blog post, I’ll be leading you through some of my favorite songs by the band.

Balance had long suffered from alcoholism and drug abuse, which contributed to his untimely death. Since we started with news of his death, here is “Heartworms,” where he reflects self-deprecatingly on his addictions, intoning “there’s too much blood in my alcohol.” (Also I stole the name of my drawing blog from a lyric in this song: “Ghosts vomit over me.”) An enterprising YouTuber has added a super 8 short by Derek Jarman for visuals:

I first heard Coil when I was a teenager and a big fan of industrial music. I loved Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Pigface, and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Originally, I had picked up their cd, Love’s Secret Domain, because I’d buy anything Wax Trax put out. It came out in 1991, so I must have been 13 or 14 since I didn’t buy it too long after it had been released. That record soundtracked much of my high school years, from toothy teenage blowjobs to acid comedowns watching the dancing patterns of my bedsheets, and numerous late night sessions hunkered over my journal writing bad poems and drawing cute boys. I remember playing their track “The Snow” on repeat. It is now a veritable classic of early 90s house music, albeit still somewhat anomalous for the genre. Here is the “Answers Come in Dreams II” remix from “The Snow Ep”: Read more




Flowchart to Pick the Typeface You Need

April 21, 2010 · Print This Article

From the good people at Dataviz comes a massive flowchart to help pick that typeface you are in need of for any project.Flowchart to pick a typeface




Version Festival 10 Begins Tomorrow!

April 21, 2010 · Print This Article

Every year the folks behind the Version Festival present a capsule view of Chicago’s ever-evolving ecology through a series of events that emphasize the “Do-It-Together” spirit of the Chicago art scenes. Version Festival 10: Infrastructures and Territories begins tomorrow, Thursday, April 22 and runs through May 2nd (pick up a guide to the festival at various galleries and art spaces around town, or download one here). The festival kicks off with the group exhibition called Territories @ the Zhou B Center. At Saturday’s opening performance the Paper Rad band Extreme Animals, LA -based Telefantasy and local giants Mahjongg and much much more will perform at Co-Prosperity Sphere.

On Saturday April 24 and Sunday April 25 the festival takes up diggs at a community center in Bridgeport in order to host its version of an “art fair cum experimental trade show”: the NFO XPO. According to the Festival’s website, this year’s events will include “historical re-enactments, antiwar organizing, Version tv shows, an art parade, an artist-run art expo, a catalog of interventionist strategies, networking between independent groups and spaces, inflatable art, one-night exhibition formats, Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together projects, the Tech Noir Bar, a mobile silkscreen printing cart, artist granting projects, a national WPA-inspired public poster project, a free school, impressive musical performances, boring theoretical nonsense, mapping projects, pop-up galleries, Korean/Polish BBQ and more.”

Visit the Version 10 festival website to find the full schedule of events. Check out their Facebook group to learn about upcoming activities and the over 30 events organized by the festival’s 300 participants from around the world.  And if you want your Version in the form of 140 characters or less, comedian Nick Bahr will be hosting the Version Tweets. Be there people!