Episode 116: Scott McCloud!

November 18, 2007 · Print This Article

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Critic and Curator Jeff Ward joins Duncan and Richard in interviewing Comic theorist, artist, educator and all around kickass guy Scott McCloud.

From Scott McCloud’s website (www.scottmccloud.com)

“At the age of 15, I remember telling my friend Kurt Busiek “I’ve decided to become a professional comic book artist.” It was the Summer between 10th and 11th Grades. My previous decision to become World Chess Champion had proved impractical, but this time I knew I could pull it off and a year and a half out of college, I finally did.

Today, I’m probably best known for:

Understanding Comics. A 215-page comic book about comics that explains the inner workings of the medium and examines many aspects of visual communication along the way. Understanding Comics has done well in stores, is in over 15 languages and, while not universally liked, is about as close to it as I’m ever likely to see. A favorite of interface, game and Web designers despite the fact that it doesn’t mention computers once. (Published 1993).

Reinventing Comics. The controversial 242-page follow-up to U.C. advocates 12 different revolutions in the way comics are created, distributed and perceived with special emphasis on the potential of Online Comics. Nearly every page seemed to step on somebody’s toes, and the debates in the comics industry over comics on the Web have gotten increasingly heated since its publication. Reinventing Comics is the only book I’ve ever written that’s been actually described as “dangerous.” (Published 2000).

My Online Comics. They’re all here (or at least linked to from here). Take a look.

Public Speaking and Teaching. Click to find out more.

Zot!. My first series ran for 36 issues at California’s Eclipse Comics. Though ostensibly a superhero story, Zot! had an alternative flavor and featured some unorthodox storytelling and compositions. “A cross between Peter Pan, Buck Rogers and Marshall McLuhan” is how I usually describe it. (1984-1991)

My Inventions. Over the years, I’ve created a number of strange, comics-related, um… things. Enough that I decided to give them their own section of this site. Check it out.

My Other Comics.Though not numerous, I have done other printed comics including 1985’s Destroy!!, a 12 issue stint writing Superman Adventures, in the mid-90’s, a bizarre and generally disliked graphic novel about Abraham Lincoln, some mini-comics, short pieces, and various comics-style articles in magazines like Wired, Nickelodeon, Computer Gaming World, Wizard and Publishers’ Weekly.

Depending on who you ask, I’m either comics’ leading theorist or a deranged lunatic, but life continues to be very interesting for me and the ideas that I’ve raised continue to provoke reactions throughout the comics community and — increasingly — beyond it. Pick up Understanding Comics (or look for it at your local library) to begin finding out why.”

ALSO: Mark Staff Brandl checks in to review art with his students from the Central European Bureau!

Lastly Duncan and Joanna act wacky and Joanna has some interesting ideas.
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Episode 115: Judy Ledgerwood with guest host Tony Tasset

November 11, 2007 · Print This Article

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Holy crap! This show is an instant classic. Richard returns; not only to production duty but also, at long last, to interview duty. Painter and art legend Judy Ledgerwood is our guest. Guest host Tony Tasset joins in on interviewing duties to ask the hard hitting questions. Not to be missed.

The following bio is shamelessly stolen from the Hyde Park Art Center, please don’t sue us:

In the tradition of Modernist painting, Judy Ledgerwood paints monumental abstract compositions that explore light, color, and structure. Her paintings are formal, decorative, and tranquil while simultaneously being highly personal, optically challenging, and inherently subversive. In her compositions, she creates a dialogue that is uniquely feminine but also powerful and authoritative. Early in her career, Ledgerwood began incorporating traditionally feminine pastel colors into her landscape based paintings in an attempt to challenge and undermine the historically male-dominated tradition of gestural abstract paintings. Today her compositions include circular motifs typically associated with the decorative arts tradition. In the 1970s many feminist artists identified and celebrated circular patterns as being connected to female identity. Ledgerwood acknowledges this tradition through her continued use of dot motifs, which she identifies as her form of non exclamatory mark-making. Ledgerwood is the recipient of a Tiffany Award in the Visual Arts, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, an Illinois Art Council Award and two CIRA Grants from Northwestern University. Her work is represented in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Swissbank New York. Her degrees are from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, BFA, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA.

If that weren’t enough, crack open a diet coke plus and sit down for Mike Benedetto who is joined by Tony Fitzpatrick as they review the new Jodi Foster Revenge thriller The Brave One during which they use the phrase “Charles Bronson with tits”.

And for you Encyclopedia Brown sleuths out there, allegedly there is a secret message from Tony Tasset hidden somewhere in the show.

If you listen to one freaking episode of BAS this year it sure as hell better be this one.
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Episode 114: Carol Jackson, Anthony Elms, and Jubilee City

November 4, 2007 · Print This Article

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On this week’s exciting Episode, number 114… Art Forum’s Anthony Elms and Bad at Sports’ Duncan MacKenzie interrogate Carol Jackson about her dynamite exhibition at Gallery 400, and Terri Griffith and Joanna MacKenzie take apart John Andoe’s “Jubilee City: A Memoir at Full Speed”. It doesn’t get any better then this.

Also, to the person who scrawled “I MISS RICHARD” in lipstick on the mirror of the men’s bathroom at BAS HQ, we know who you are and this is unacceptable behavior.

From Gallery 400:
Carol Jackson’s signs, sculptures, gouaches and drawings use common, everyday “signatureless” styles to let loose the grandiose morality within the picturesque languages and visuals of advertising. Her work is a bitterly humorous send up of the demands and promises commercial representations make for goods, be they detergent, food, or real estate. Long focusing on a series of meticulously hand-tooled leather reworkings of both store advertising and real estate development signage, Jackson replaces the found text with disdainful, mistrustful and self-depreciating thoughts that sales language represses. What remains is the epic longing and promissory nature of the address.

From Publishers Weekly:
n this charming memoir, Andoe narrates his journey from his Tulsa childhood through redneck, hard-partying teen years to a highly successful career as a (hard-partying redneck) painter in New York City. While Andoe may not be a professional writer, his humor and offbeat artistic sensibility make up for any lack of prose-writing chops. Through discrete anecdotes that seldom run longer than two pages, Andoe assembles vivid portraits of his family and friends and of the various environments he inhabited—the working-class Tulsa neighborhoods of the 1960s, the high school and college drug culture at the end of the hippie era, and the New York art scene of the 1980s. Andoe rarely said No to drugs, and the marginal characters and dangerous encounters of the lowlife provide the book with a great deal of energy and pathos; at times his memoir reads like a more amateur version of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son. Yet whenever the gonzo stories verge on tedium, Andoe modulates his tone and shows himself as the stay-at-home dad, the outdoorsman, the artist. While Andoe has an occasional tendency to settle scores (his ex-wife receives particularly brutal treatment) or trumpet his status as an outsider, for the most part his wide-eyed sense of wonder and keen observations make the everyday strange and fresh. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Episode 113: Tracy Marie Taylor/ Front Forty Press

October 28, 2007 · Print This Article

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Duncan and Richard talk to Tracy Marie Taylor, artist and curator who curated the new show Bilingual, Art at the Intersection of Painting and Video.

Bilingual focuses on artwork at the intersection of painting and drawing, film and video, encompassing both conceptual and process-driven approaches. The artists in this exhibition are acting as visual linguists or interpreters, breaking down one language and reconstructing it in another, holding the sense of the structure together with an understanding of both.

Bilingual will feature works by Shira Avni, Kylie Baker, Wafaa Bilal, Jeremy Blake, Eddy De Vos, Terence Hannum, Jay Heikes, John Hiltabidel & John Grant, Jo Jackson, William Kentridge, Patte Loper, Joshua Mosley, Sabina Ott, David Reed, Peter Rostovsky, Alison Ruttan, Jason Salavon, Marcelino Stuhmer, Fraser Taylor, Jim Trainor, and Scott Wolniak.

Joanna and Terri talk to Doug Fogelson from Front Forty Press about art books and lots of other neat stuff. Front Forty Press is a small publisher focused on artistic projects. A Front Forty project is one that embodies uninhibited creativity and deals with current topics. The work can be functional, political, ecological or simply expressive. What matters most at Front Forty Press is the cultivation and communication of ideas.
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Episode 112: Trevor Paglen/ Pate Conaway

October 21, 2007 · Print This Article

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This week: Marc and Brian talk to Trevor Paglen.

“Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. His work involves deliberately blurring the lines between social science, contemporary art, and a host of even more obscure disciplines in order to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to interpret the world around us. His most recent projects involve close examinations of state secrecy, the California prison system, and the CIA’s practice of “extraordinary rendition.”

Paglen’s visual work has been shown in galleries and museums including MASSMOCA (2006), the Warhol Museum (2007), Diverse Works (2005), in journals and magazines from Wired to The New York Review of Books, and at numerous other arts venues, universities, conferences, and public spaces. He has had one-person shows at Deadtech (2001), the LAB (2005), and Bellwether Gallery (2006).

Paglen’s first book, Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA’s Rendition Flights (co-authored with AC Thompson; Melville House, 2006) was the first book to systematically describe the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program. His second book, I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me (Melville House, 2007) an examination of the visual culture of “black” military programs, will be published in November 2007. He is currently completing his third book, entitled Blank Spots on a Map, which will be published by Dutton/NAL/Penguin in late 2008/early 2009.

Paglen has received grants and commissions from Rhizome.org, the LEF Foundation, and the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology. In 2005, he was a Vectors Journal Fellow at the University of Southern California.

Paglen holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently completing a PhD in the Department of Geography at the University of California at Berkeley.”

NEXT: Terri and Serena talk to Pate Conaway.

“Pate Conaway is an interdisciplinary artist from Chicago, Illinois. Conaway sees the act of art-making as a performance in itself. Conaway has produced art in gallery situations, including during a five-week stint at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago where he knitted a pair of nine-foot-long mittens. The artist, whose background is in performance and paper arts, continues to work in sculpture, installation, and interactive performance. Now learning to sew, Conaway is fascinated by the idea of applying garment construction techniques to bookbinding. Pate Conaway is a graduate of Chicago’s Second City Training Center and received his MFA from Columbia College, Chicago. He has exhibited extensively in the mid-west and his work can be found in the Artist Book Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.”

Also Richard horribly mispronounces Mr. Conaway’s name and gives a profound apology from one Richard Wholand.

AND Mike B. has a rant to offer.
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