Sad news for all of us who knew him.
From Philip von Zweck…
Jim suffered a heart attack while waiting for a bus to work on July 27 in Taiwan, where he’d lived for four years with his wife Zen “Mimi” Lulu; they’d been married just under a year.
Jim completed a BA in English in Seattle University in 1995 He then relocated to Chicago to pursue a BFA and then an MFA from School of the Art Institute Chicago. While in graduate school he was so broke that, against policy, he secretly lived in his SAIC-provided studio. He befriended the security staff, learning their routines so he could hide his sleeping mat and hot plate in the storage cabinet when they came through for inspection.
As an artist, Jim was interested in wonder and discovery and in demystifying art itself. He may best be known for his Two Foot Square art gallery, which he set up in parks and other public spaces to engage the casual passersby in a discussion about art. He was also known for his long-running project with Hui-min Tsen, The Mount Baldy Expedition. Inspired by historic voyages during the Age of Discovery, they built a boat to sail from Chicago to the Mt. Baldy sand dune in Indiana.
To make a living, Jim did what many young artists do: he was a preparator and mount builder. He worked at the Smart Museum of Art and in other exhibition spaces before site-managing SAIC’s G2 (later Sullivan Galleries). He later became the galleries’ Exhibition Manger. It may be in this work that Jim’s greatest legacy lies, for somewhere in his job description was the one word that kept him coming back, despite the stressful work, low pay and occasional verbal abuse by a sleep-deprived students with no concept of how to install a video projector; and that word was mentor.
Jim was a recognizable figure on State Street, where he took his breaks in his Sox cap, horn rimmed safety glasses, Carhartt shorts, tucked-in, oversized t-shirt and work boots, chain-smoking Reds and elegantly balancing his cup of coffee on top of his thermos.
He loved baseball, Iggy Pop, the Cramps, cooking and the work of Tehching Hsieh. He often tried to get me to accompany him to tango lessons: the man loved to tango. He also loved to regale anyone who would listen with tales of the chaos caused by the Monkey King from the classic Chinese novel The Journey to the West. To the chagrin of the administration, Jim made the Monkey King the unofficial mascot of Sullivan Gallery.
Most nights after work Jim would say, “Let’s get a quick one,” which we both know would be neither quick nor just one. Over whiskey at the Exchequer, George’s, or the L&L, where Jim had been a regular for years, talk would inevitably turn to our student workers: “the crew,” then “the kids” and by the end of the night, “my kids.”
He loved his “kids” and taught them all he could—not just about hanging art, but also about being an artist and a stand-up person in the world. Jim assembled not a team of student workers, but a family. Through his work he impacted the lives of countless SAIC students, the crew and every student who exhibited in the gallery, which means pretty much every graduating student. Jim missed the good parts of SAIC, and for many of us, he was certainly one of them.
Jim is survived by his wife Ye Mimi, his mother, the cowboys, SAIC, countless friends around the globe, and of course by his “kids.”
Philip von Zweck
WTF? We are lecturing at an Apple store. BOOM. Yes. It is true.
We will see you and all of the Chicago area art enthusiasts at:
Apple Store, North Michigan Avenue
April 23rd at 7pm.
Bad at Sports (B@S) can be tricky to describe – it’s a weekly podcast, a series of objects and events, and a daily blog that features artists and “art wonders” talking about art and the community that makes, reviews, and participates in it. Founded in 2005, the series features more than 20 principal collaborators and has included more than 450 interviewees. Join Bad At Sports cofounders Duncan MacKenzie and Richard Holland for a conversation about this constantly evolving series.
Bad at Sports at VOLTA NY
82 Mercer Street, NYC
March 6-9, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY (February 17, 2014) â€“ Bad at Sports Art Podcast will be featured at VOLTA Art Fair 2014 in SoHo, NYC â€¦ in bed.
This year Bad at Sports will be snuggling up with an exciting list of interviewees In Bed for coverage of VOLTA NY. Located in the heart of SoHo, the Bad at Sports â€œbedroom boothâ€ is a nod to the original 1969 Bed-In performance by Yoko Ono and John Lennon. Can peace and harmony be made in the art criticism world? Will the art fairs cause extensive napping and dream-like chatter?
While trying to steer clear of pillow fights, podcasters Amanda Browder, Duncan McKenzie, and Richard Holland will be conducting live interviews with a collection of local and international artists, critics, and curators. Stop by to catch the interviews in person, or tune in online at badatsports.com to listen to chatter with participants like Adam Parker Smith, Kristen Schiele, W.A.G.E, and Hajoe Maoderegger and Franziska Lamprecht (eteam). Get the dirt later on with guest critic Katy Hamer from the art blog Eyes Towards the Dove. We will be making peace, love, and naughty jokes around the art world and fairs â€¦ in bed.
Featuring bedside chats with:
Franklin Sirmans â€“ Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art, LACMA and Artistic Director, Prospect.3 New Orleans
Hajoe Moderegger and Franziska Lamprecht (eteam) â€“ artists, NYC
Judith Reddy Blum â€“ artist, NYC
Kristen Schiele â€“ artist, NYC
Rebecca Goyette â€“ artist, NYC
Jeff Stark â€“ Editor, Nonsense NYC and artist
Critical Practices Inc. â€“ artists, NYC
Adam Parker Smith â€“ artist, NYC
Carolyn Salas â€“ artist, NYC
Katy Hamer â€“ art writer and artist, NYC
Lise Soskolne â€“ artist and core organizer, W.A.G.E.
Vincent Dermody â€“ artist, NYC/Chicago
Casey Ruble â€“ artist, NYC
Willie Cole â€“ artist, New Jersey
Martin Bromirski â€“ artist, New York
Read more about Bad at Sports at VOLTA NY here.
About Bad at Sports
Founded in 2005 by Duncan MacKenzie, Richard Holland, and AmandaÂ Browder, Bad at Sports (B@S) now features over 20 principleÂ collaborators and is a weekly podcast, a series of objects, events,Â and a daily blog produced in Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and NewÂ York City that features artists and â€œart worldersâ€ talking about artÂ and the community that makes, reviews and participates in it.
B@S canÂ be tricky to describe: it acts as a curious investigator, anÂ archivist, oral historian, and occasionally as a provocateur. WeÂ produce content that lies somewhere on the venn diagram of art,Â journalism, media, intellectualism, and â€œthe naughty bits.â€ Â WeÂ represent artists and their art world through an archive that is text,Â audio, physical, ephemeral, historical, and constantly evolvingÂ through ongoing and unique projects.
Bad at Sports has â€œdone stuffâ€Â with apexart, The St Louis Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary ArtÂ Chicago, Baer Ridgeway, NADA Art Fair, Open Engagement, Cannonball and manyÂ others. We share collaborators with Art Forum, Art Practical, TheÂ Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, Art21, BUST magazine, ProximityÂ Magazine, Modern Painters, Beautiful Decay Magazine, Art in AmericaÂ and numerous other publications.
Our podcast has includedÂ approximately 450 interviewees/co-conspirators including Kerry JamesÂ Marshall, Jeff Wall, Larry Rinder, Peter Saul, Liam Gillick, Mary JaneÂ Jacob, Chris Ware, Tania Bruguera, Jeffrey Deitch, James Elkins, MegÂ Cranston, Carol Becker, and Polly Apfelbaum.
Bad At Sports has been a lot of different people but is currentlyÂ Brian Andrews, Amanda Browder, Stephanie Burke,Â Terri Griffith, Richard Holland, Christopher Hudgens, Jamilee Polson Lacy, Duncan MacKenzie, Patricia Maloney, Sarah Margolis-Pineo, NicholasÂ Oâ€™Brien, Caroline Picard, Abraham Ritchie, and AbigailÂ Satinsky.
We are embarking upon a new little project. Over the next 80 or so weeks we are going to do a series of micro broadcast studio interviews with the local heros that we have some how forgotten or over sited in our slapdash and ramshackle scheduling.
That’s right, I said we are going to be live on the radio – boom – step back. Minds blown. But sadly, only for the few blocks around the interviewed artists studio. How it will work is, a few days before the broadcast we will let you know roughly where and roughly when we are going to do the chat. Then we will rock it out, if you are interested show up in the neighborhood with a radio and find us. We will, of course, archive the conversation and release it at our leisure some time in the near-ish future.
We are going to get started Monday around 8:30 pm in Albany Park near Lawrence and Kimball with Carl Baratta and Oli Watt. I’m pretty sure we are going to rock 91.1 fm. (#neverforget) It is going to be magic.
As we move forward with micro broad casting chicago art or the MBCCA project we need a little help from you.Â Here is how…
We need to figure out our initial list of the people whose contributions to our art history or the Chicago arting life have been so big that it is embarrassing that we have not already had them on the show. Â We have been compiling a list (which I have carved into my studio wall) but it doesn’t feel complete.
We have a lot of the obvious people Jessica Stockholder, Michael Rakowitz, Jeanne Dunning, Dan Peterman, Barbara Rossi, Phil Hanson, David Hartt, Karl Wirsum, John Sparagana, Susanne Doremus, Gladys Nilsson, Doug Ischar, Kay Rosen, Phyllis Bramson, Jim Nutt… I could go on, possibly forever, but what we would like to know is, who do you think it is important to get on the record? Who do you think that it is tragic and disappointing that we have not already rocked the mic with? To that end, I am enabling comments again, but just for this specific post, in the hopes that we collectively can produce a list which reflects the gaps in Bad at Sports audio production and archive. Â That being said, I’m reserving the right to delete any comment I want for any minor infraction upon human decency.
2013 was a huge year for us at Bad at Sports. We did a ton of big projects with places like the St Louis Contemporary Art Museum, EXPO Chicago, Open Engagement, Orange County Art Center, and Cannonball, but perhaps the biggest deal of all was that Caroline Picard took over as Bad at Sports’s most important collaborator and contributor, our Blog Czar. Caroline took the torch from Claudine Ise, who took it from Meg Onli, who was the spark that lit our blog, and like them she took us further then we had a right to ask her to. It is now her turn to pass that torch.
As you know Bad at Sports takes a “barn raising” like approach to the notion of “art journalism.” We are the voice of an art world. We are that voice because we choose to speak for and about the things we most care about. We are the artists, educators, curators, and writers that make up your world and we do this because we love it. Bad at Sports as a rule doesn’t make any money. It is 100% volunteer and for the last 8 years any money “it” made went to pay its bills so that a few of us are not continually paying them “out of pocket,” and Blog Czar is the hardest job we have. It means you are the bottle neck for everyone’s problems and contently chasing folks for the things they said they would do. Caroline has done it beautifully and gracefully, and her calm and stability will be missed.
Caroline presided over massive and continual change as the blog progressed and developed its scope and national interests. She supported the development of 20 new voices and instituted several new columns. She brought back an impulse to post daily and pushed for discussion around the issues that face performance art and the context of social practice. In short she has been incredible and our collective work has been pushed, pulled, and forever changed by her participation.
For Caroline this departure is nothing but the heralding of big things to come. As we speak she is grabbing coffee in a Paris cafe while she rocks a French residency and works through a number of ideas around object oriented philosophy and the animal world. When she returns to Chicago in May it will be just in time to publish a number of new books through the Green Lantern Press and start a new Chicago exhibition space in Logan Square. She promised that Bad at Sports will not be completely without her voice and she Â will remain a consistent contributor.
We owe her a huge thank you and a lot of love.
But now is the time of Jamilee Polson Lacy! Jamilee is one of the most interesting independent curators in Chicago and if anyone can fill Caroline’s shoe it will be her.
This is only the start of what will be an incredible and change filled year at Bad at Sports. Get ready.