Endless Opportunities: Film Department Gigs, Curatorial Calls, Emergency Grants, & Writing Possibilities to Boot

October 13, 2013 · Print This Article

1. University of Iowa Full Time Position Description: The Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature at The University of Iowa invites applications for a tenure-track position that will be filled at the Assistant or Associate Professor level, depending on qualifications and experience. The position will begin in August 2014. We are looking for a Film/Video maker with significant experience in digital documentary filmmaking. The successful candidate might also work in non-fiction and experimental modes of film and video production. This new faculty position is part of Iowa’s Public Digital Arts Cluster initiative. (for more information see: http://now.uiowa.edu/2013/06/new-faculty-cluster-public-digital-arts ). New faculty with expertise in public digital arts will complement the University’s considerable existing expertise in these areas to form the core of this innovative multidisciplinary initiative. Participation in the PDA Cluster will be an important component in performance evaluations. Candidates will be expected to teach courses in digital video production and post-production at all levels of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Possible courses may range from documentary filmmaking, digital cinematography, and new media to digital animation, 16mm, directing, and screenwriting. Screening begins November 15, 2013. More info here.

2. Unsolicited Proposal Program at APEX Art: Applications accepted Oct 11 – Nov 8, 2013 — online only Submit your idea for a curated exhibition.

Now in its 17th year, apexart’s Unsolicited Proposal Program open call is accepting submissions for exhibition ideas starting October 11, 2013. Three winning proposals will receive funding and administrative support from apexart to present their show in its Tribeca space.  The Unsolicited Proposal Program asks for idea-based, 500-word proposals for curated shows of three or more artists that examine a compelling idea. Exhibitions can be about any topic that the organizer finds compelling—successful shows have been selected about everything from television to mapping to literature. No prior curatorial experience is required and we invite submissions from people of all backgrounds. Proposals are anonymously evaluated by an international jury of 150 people from all disciplines. Votes are processed through a unique apexart-developed crowd-sourcing computer script to determine which three proposals received the highest scores with no direction or interference from apexart or its staff.  The three winning exhibitions will be presented in apexart’s 2014-15 season. Proposals are accepted online at apexart.org/unsolicited.php from October 11 – November 8, 2013. You may also visit this page for FAQs and other guideline details.

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3. The Journal for Artistic Research (JAR) invites original submissions for future issues from artists worldwide, with or without academic affiliation. The journal is open to submission from all artists who wish to reflect on and expose artistic practice as research, who are interested in exchanging ideas and processes with a group of engaged peers and, thus willing to contribute to the ongoing debate about research in the arts. Submissions that should be considered for JAR5 need to be made before November 15, 2013.

JAR is a peer-reviewed journal, publishing original research from artists of all disciplines. Published twice a year, with currently four issues accessible online, the journal is unique in its field, marrying the rich-media and social networking capabilities of online publishing to peer-review and scholarly rigour.With the aim of displaying and documenting practice in a manner that respects artistic modes of presentation, the journal uses the Research Catalogue, a free-to-use online tool that allows the weaving together of text, image, audio and video material.JAR is open to all possible approaches to the publication of research including those that use little or no text. The Research Catalogue also enables collaboration, allowing multiple authors to work on the same document simultaneously and submit to the journal as a team. Articles that are not accepted for publication in JAR can be self-published, free of charge in the Research Catalogue.

JAR is a free open-access resource, with an international readership and a growing pool of renowned artistic and academic reviewers. The journal’s issues are non-thematic and submissions are considered by an experienced editorial board, in a rolling fashion, as they are submitted. To submit an article, contributors are required to register for an account on the Research Catalogue, and use the writing space to layout and expose their research. JAR provides editorial guidance and technical help with these processes.

Interested contributors should first acquaint themselves with previous issues at www.jar-online.net (the inaugural issue JAR0is a good place to start) and then contact the journal to discuss the suitability of their material and receive advice on progressing towards submission.

The next issue, JAR4, will be published in November.

Send your correspondence to Barnaby Drabble, Managing Editor, Journal for Artistic Research: barnaby.drabble@jar-online.net

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4. Call for Critical Writing Proposals:JAR is published by the Society for Artistic Research.

gorse‘s website will publish shorter pieces of criticism [1], narrative essays and interviews. We are not currently considering fiction or poetry. Please send a query, or the first 500 words of your proposed essay, to info [at] gorse [dot] ie. Work should be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as you tell us straightaway if your work is accepted for publication elsewhere. We will do our best to reply to all queries, but if you don’t hear back from us within six weeks please feel free to submit to another venue. Please note that as our resources are limited, we are only in a position to offer contributors a token fee. Finished pieces for the website would ideally be between 500 to 3000 words.

We are interested in the potential of literature, in literature where lines between fiction, memoir and history blur (Sebald, Cendrars, Bolaño, Joyce), in experimental [2] writing, in fiction in translation, in the unconventional and the under recognised, in the personal essay (Sontag, Dyer). We are a literary journal equally interested in the arts (fine art, photography, architecture, film, music), in culture, in politics. We’re looking for smart writing, not academic.


1. “I. The critic is the strategist in the literary battle. II He who cannot take sides should keep silent. III. The critic has nothing in common with the interpreter of past cultural epochs. IV. Criticism must talk the language of artists. For the terms of the cenacle are slogans. And only in slogans is the battle-cry heard…” Walter Benjamin ↩

2. We acknowledge the word ‘experimental’ is not without its problems. (See John O’Brien on this point: “If Sternewere writing today, he would be labeled a postmodernist, but what sense would that make, given when he was actually writing? As far as I am concerned, the history of fiction is one of invention, oftentimes playful and conscious of itself, but always pushing limits in terms of what it is and what else it can be. But I absolutely do not think of a Sterne or a Joyce as “experimenters”: they didn’t experiment, they made these remarkable books whose ingenuity and art are rarely seen in other writers or matched. Their works are finished and complete achievements, not experiments.”) ‘Experimental’ is not weird for the sake of weird, it is innovation. ↩

Michael Durek5. Emergency Grants

Created in 1993, Emergency Grants provides speedy funding for visual and performing artists who have unanticipated, sudden opportunities to present their work to the public, or who incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates. The grants are intended to support the creation of innovative and experimental work, and are meant to assist individuals and groups when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding.

Requests are primarily granted to artists who are “emerging” and have few sources of financial support. Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists working anywhere in the United States.

Emergency Grants applications are accepted year round; there is no deadline. Applications are accepted online only; please refer to the application requirements below. Grants are determined on a monthly basis by the Emergency Grants Panel, a volunteer committee of established artists. In 2012, grants ranged in amount from $350 to $2,440; the average grant was $1,165. Go here for more information

Book Review: Beethoven’s Shadow

October 12, 2013 · Print This Article

If we are lucky, our work becomes larger than we are and takes on a life of its own. Sometimes we know this at the outset and sometimes we come to know as the work moves forward. I’m thinking here of Walt Whitman and his Leaves 51gK+oBTT2Lof Grass, which started as a slim and youthful volume of poems. Whitman revised this modest book until, on his deathbed, book had grown weighty, to over 400 poems. Over his lifetime, as Whitman had hoped, the work had grown with him. Pianist Jonathan Biss might similarly be embarking on this sort of life’s work. At 33 he is undertaking to record all of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, a project scheduled to take nearly a decade.

I was taking a MOOC on Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas and thought I would do a little extra reading on my own. The simplest Google search brought me to a book written by course’s instructor, Jonathan Biss. At $1.99 it didn’t seem like much of a risk, so I downloaded it. I didn’t know who Biss was before I took the course, so I had no idea what to expect. Beethoven’s Shadow is an odd little book. It is not a full-length collection of essays; it is not a full-length book at all. Instead, it is a long essay, a meditation really, on what it feels like to play Beethoven. Biss opens the book with an anecdote about one day in the recording studio in which he became completely unmoored by the experience of recording Sonata Opus 109. Biss writes:

“The microphone is so often likened to a mirror not only because it exposes flaws, but because it is so passive in its judgment — it offers no response. An audience can be an intimidating thing, but it feels, and one can feel it feeling. But the microphone has no feelings, no agenda — it is merely one’s own doubt reflected back.”

The book continues in this vein, addressing what it is like to interpret a genius. I don’t know if Beethoven was a genius or not. I don’t really care. What is interesting, though, is reading the someone who experiences transcendence with Beethoven’s work. This is a good thing, because Biss is scheduled to record all of the sonatas over the next nine years, a project he looks at with a bit of trepidation. To complete this task, Biss who is now only 33 will have to set aside nearly a whole decade to Beethoven. Our laser focus on certain things, perhaps we might call these our passions, by extension must exclude other experiences. Part of the subtext of the book is Biss’s asking the reader to question our own choices. What is it that we love? What art moves us beyond reason? What is it that we exclude in our pursuit of that which we love? And lastly, is it worth it?

Biss is an excellent writer and does a great job of placing the reader somewhere they might not otherwise have been, like a recording studio or on the stage at a concert hall. At the end of this book, I knew a little more about Beethoven, but a lot more about the what it means to undertake a creative project that might truly end up being a life’s work.

Beethoven’s Shadow, by Jonathan Biss

Rosetta Books, Kindle Single

December 2011

56 print pages

$1.99

Bringing art to Birmingham with curator Stuart Tulloch

October 11, 2013 · Print This Article

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Guest Post by Mark Sheerin

Mark Sheerin is a writer and critic from Brighton, England. He is a regular contributor to Culture24, Frame & Reference and Hyperallergic.

There are at least a million differences between Chicago, USA, and Birmingham, UK, but surely the two cities have something in common. Both are working cities, marked by grit rather than glitz. And both have thriving art scenes, which are often overlooked by media outlets based elsewhere.

Nevertheless, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, remains one of the UK’s most exciting regional spaces – some feat, given its long 50-year history. Speaking with Curator Stuart Tulloch offered a chance to get some insight into what it takes to bring art to the provinces.

“If you’re in London, you’re still thinking about people who are in London, and in a sense the angle’s still provincial,” he says. “London will think about what’s relevant to be shown or to be seen within London, and in some ways Birmingham removes you from that.”

Ikon, as it seems, exhibits more artists from Japan, than from the UK capital. Says curator Tulloch: “Contemporary art allows you to progress ideas or to bring ideas from another place. I think that’s the wonderful thing about it; it’s very much a global discussion.”

But not all discussions run smoothly and Tulloch is a veteran of debate and persuasion. For nine years he was at Grundy Art Gallery, in the cheap and cheerful seaside resort of Blackpool in the North West. Working in a space run by the local council he was forever negotiating with councillors with little interest in and knowledge of art.

By the time he left Grundy, “it got their respect.” And the embattled curator now considers one of his best achievements: “convincing them that this artist from that part of the world, doing something which they didn’t understand, was very good . . . and was good to have in Blackpool”.

If anyone doubts that so many years as curator of a smalltown gallery would be anything but a labour of love, think again. “My wife and I decorated the place,” Tulloch recalls, “and I’d clean the place every morning. It was small enough I could do that, but the more ambitious it became, it got harder.” Despite these daily trials, he recalls it as “a great time”.

But you also sense his relief to be at Ikon, “where the focus is about the art,” rather than local services. “This is an amazing place, with an enviable reputation and an international reputation,” he says with no hint of spin, ”It can say ‘This is interesting. Here’s something you’ve never seen before. Let’s bring this person from the other side of the world to share something with Birmingham’.”

Working in any gallery has its challenges, meanwhile, not least challenges from a coalition government who aren’t keen on the public sector. Tulloch speaks of “trying to do the same things, which people have become accustomed to, with the same quality, the same depth, the same ambition, but with less money”.

One paradox about visual arts in the UK is that, against the backdrop of ruthless cuts, we have seen a healthy spate of newbuild galleries open in recent years. These pose an added challenge to an established space like Ikon. “People are, like, ‘Oh yeah, Ikon is great,’ but then it’s passed over, because it’s ‘great’. How do you get that attention? How can people refocus back into it?” asks the curator.

Just as there are more and more galleries, so there are more and more artists to consider. Tulloch says, “Certain countries are opening up to contemporary art,” and suggests that, globally, we do have a “shared language”.

But at the same time, he is under no illusions that work produced just anywhere will travel well to Birmingham. “It’s interesting when you go away to any international art event, like Venice, there’s still stuff there that’s relevant only to that country. You think, This is very Italian, or, It doesn’t quite translate into what’s going on here.”

In an interesting aside the curator also points out that “Commercial galleries will show different work during Frieze Art Fair in London than they would show at [Art Basel in] Miami.” For the record he suggests “very bright fluorescent pink” stuff does better in Florida.

Unsurprisingly, Tulloch is more at home in the public sector where support counts for more than sales. Previous to Grundy, he was at Hayward Gallery in London where the first show he worked on was for Belgian artist Panamarenko: “Here was a man making flying machines, with his own theory of relativity, and I thought, That’s amazing. It kind of blew my mind.”

There was only an outside chance this artist’s creations could ever fly and this has stuck with the curator, “That really appeals to me – trying to achieve that – the hopelessness and eternal optimism that you can find in contemporary art.” It reminds him, perhaps, that the odds are stacked against you, wherever you try and get a brilliant show off the ground.

Ikon’s current brilliant show features Birmingham artist Hurvin Anderson and can be seen until November 10 2013.

Top 5 Weekend Picks! (10/11-10/13)

October 10, 2013 · Print This Article

1. Unfortunately, It Was Paradise at City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower

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Work by Regina Mamou.

City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower is located at 806 N. Michigan Ave. Reception Friday, 5:30-7:30pm.

2. Your Everyday Art World Book Release Party at threewalls

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Conversation with author Lane Relyea, moderated by Duncan MacKenzie with Shannon Stratton and Abigail Satinsky.

threewalls is located at 119 N. Peoria Ave. Reception Friday, 6:30-8:30pm.

3. Symbiosis at Century Guild

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Work by Rory Coyne and Lauren Levato Coyne.

Century Guild is located at 2136 W. North Ave. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.

4. Little Man Pee Pool Party: The Whiz Paddler’s Lament at Antena

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Work by Meg Duguid, Bruce Conkle, Micki Tschur, Paul Mack, Mariano Chavez, Sarah Beth Woods, Marie Walz, Scott Wolniak, Sabina Ott & Michelle Wasson, Catie Olson, Andy Pizz, Eyeball Mansion, Nick Drnaso, Sarah Leitten, Andy Gabrysiak, Scott Anderson, Taylor Hokanson, Paul Somers, Edra Soto, Ryan Standfest, Bert Stabler, Matthew Novak, Kevin Budnik, Jeffrey Boguslawski, Ryan Travis, Christian Lars, Bra Jim Zimpel, Tom Torluemke, Tim Ripley, Eric Lebofsky, Andy Burkholder, Erik Lundquist, Krystal Difronzo, Marieke McClendon, Lyra Hill, Alyssa Herlocher, Joe Tallarico, Chris Cilla, Andy Gabrysiak, Chris Kerr, Keith Herzik, Kevin Budnik, Jason Robert Bell, Abe Lampert, Ryan Travis Christian, Jo Dery, David Alvarado, Ryan Standfest, EC Brown, Grant Reynolds, Max Morris, Otto Splotch and Anonymous.

Antena is located at 1755 S. Laflin St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

5. Alive! Commodity, Zombie, Avatar, Fetish at Sullivan Galleries

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Curated by Ginger Krebs.

Sullivan Galleries is located at 33 S. State St. Reception Friday, 5-7pm.

Call of the Wild: One View of Twin Cities

October 10, 2013 · Print This Article

The days have been warm recently. The last heat of summer is slowly entering the trees. The nights are growing longer, and when the wind is suddenly filled with the smell of decomposing leaves, I feel the call to be outside, to experience the changes and vibrancy of this time of year. I want to say, “Come out from indoors. Come out to experience the real world around us.”

I went to the 2012/2013 Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition over the weekend, and I felt the same way. The Jerome Foundation Fellowships have supported emerging artists since 1981. The fellowship comes with $10,000, studio visits from professional critics, technical assistance, and a culminating exhibition. It is one of the premier individual artist awards in Minnesota. The opening was full of people wanting to see that work, to support that legacy of emerging artists, to see who the Jerome Foundation had selected as the artists to continue watching, but I wanted to say, “Come out from the gallery. Come out to experience the real world around us. The work in the exhibition is good and interesting within the gallery, but it has truly come to life as I have lived with it outside, in the real world.”

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Michael Hoyt, One Another

The installation of One Another, Michael Hoyt‘s bicycle drawn mobile drawing table and drawings of community members he asks to sit with him in parks, playgrounds, and public spaces, is a small distillation of a project that can only exist outside the gallery. The drawings point to longer interactions and conversations that cannot exist in the static space of the exhibition. The questions of what those conversations were and why the participants did not draw have lingered. I have lived with the multitude of imagined portraits of Hoyt all week.

Amanda Hankerson‘s The Hankersons pulls me similarly into the lives of the many Hankerson families she has photographed. The physical presence of the large portraits reinforces the fact that the work is more than a tumblr of related images. Beyond the gallery, I can see into the lives of the other Hankerson families across the country, as they seem to contemplate the trajectory of their own lives more within the collective life of a group of strangers with the same name.

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Melissa Loop, Altar at the Fish Traps

Melissa Loop pushes me away from the internet similarly. Her move away from her former landscapes inspired by endless internet images to the acid skies and dripping, decrepit buildings within the landscapes of the exhibition has inflected my own looking at the buildings we live in, the landscapes that decay around us. Her landscapes feel lived in, repopulated from the emptiness of place online with a flatness that I recall when I see the flickering blue of a television in a curtained room, a depth of life beneath the veneer of exterior walls.

Susannah Bielak’s ongoing project Vientos investigates the wind, “a force made visible by its impact on other things.” The video and static work she presents explore the visible impacts of wind, power, ideals of perfection, but they exist in an environment devoid of any atmospheric turbulence. The impacts of wind, the implications of its layered associations are mediated, but the associations have returned again and again as the wind rushes around me, as I hear wind chimes out my windows, as the piles of leaves change overnight. The ghostly hands of the wind are inescapable. We may grow inured to the way it shapes our lives, but I have started feeling its presence again in the way we talk, the way we interact.

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Susannah Bielak, Ventifact Breath Drawing I (Vientos) and Ventifact: Breath Drawing II (Vientos)

The figures in Lauren Roche‘s paintings partially emerge from darkness, faces, hands, mouths, animals suffused with a palpable energy that is exponentially multiplied by the number of works in the exhibition. The figures are grounded in another reality that continues to speak to me beyond the gallery. I do not speak their language, but they tell me that their transformation from notebook page to finished painting is full of the answers to questions I do not know how to ask.

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Lauren Roche, Partial Installation View

I often prefer work that forces me to spend time with it, durational works, books, music, film. My understanding of those works changes throughout my experience of them. One of the pleasures of visual art is its immediacy, its more instantaneous consumption. The deeper pleasure is in works that linger, that seed my mind with thoughts, explorations, and revelations that slowly unfold. As I put on sweaters and put up storm windows, I will rest assured that the outside world continues to exist within the indoors we are preparing.