This week: Brian and Patricia sat down with Oakland-based artist Michelle Blade on February 20 in her storefront studio, which is also the location of Sight School, the alternative space she created in 2009 to encourage dialogue around the connections between art and life.
It was the day following the opening for her solo exhibition, “Blow As Deep As You Want to Blow,” on view at Triple Base gallery in San Francisco through March 21. Their conversation tackled a range of topics, from the economic realities that perennially plague artists in the Bay Area to the pleasures of walking across a painting.
This is the second collaboration between Art Practical and Bad At Sports. Image: Music from the Mountaintops, 2010 (still). Courtesy of the Artist.
SFMOMA’s Open Space blog has an interview with Art Practical editor Patricia Maloney, who is also one of Bad at Sports’ San Francisco correspondents. Art Practical is a new online magazine that covers the visual arts in San Francisco and shares SF-related podcast content with Bad at Sports. A brief excerpt from the interview follows; go on over and check ’em out!
From the beginning, your strategy has been to partner with other web-based content providers. How does this strategy reflect the larger philosophy and approach of Art Practical?
In the mission statement, I wrote that Art Practical is not a proprietor of information; our goal is to generate pathways for investigation. In additional to the original content that we produce, which appears as Reviews and Features in issues, we share content with three web-based platforms-the calendar and directory Happenstand, the podcast Bad At Sports, and the forum Shotgun Review-as well as one quarterly print publication, Talking Cure.
Shotgun Review now exists as a section within Art Practical; the other entities operate fully outside of Art Practical as well as providing us with content. Our event listings for openings and closings, as well as our editorial picks, come from Happenstand; we conduct interviews that appear simultaneously as Features on Art Practical and podcasts on Bad At Sports, and many of our Features are published first in Talking Cure. Together, we function as a coalition that provides comprehensive information and analysis of events, practices and exhibitions.
Art Practical is the site that choreographs this coalition. The idea came together via conversation with and the generosity of the people involved with the respective entities you, Joseph, and Scott Oliver (Shotgun), Lucas Shuman (Happenstand), the Bad At Sports team, and Jarrett Earnest (Talking Cure). I had no interest in duplicating their activities, but instead saw an opportunity in which we could mutually support our shared objectives. Collectively, we create visibility for individual projects and a forum for critical reflection for an audience much broader than our individual efforts.
Art Practical itself is a collective endeavor, emblematic of the collaborative spirit of the Bay Area visual arts culture, which has a long local history of incubating experimentation and innovation. The team members that have created Art Practical and produce each issue have each played crucial roles in creating a model for visual arts criticism that is highly conscious of the audience it is serving. Perhaps more than anyone else, Stoyan Dabov, our developer, recognizes and articulates the ways in which familiar forms of communication are being ruptured. As the site evolves, he is pointing us toward embracing new approaches. The Editorial team, Hope Dabov, Vicky Gannon, Catherine McChrystal, and Morgan Peirce, work tirelessly in encouraging our writers to be creative, to find new modes of description and criticism, and to further define their personal voice. Their collaboration reflects our entire approach. (Continue reading here).
This week Bad At Sports debuts its collaborative partnership with the online journal Art Practical. Scott Oliver, who has previously been on the show with the Collective Foundation, sits down with J. Morgan Puett. They discuss Mildred’s Lane, a collaborative project with Mark Dion, the revolutionary politics of garments, and reclaiming the term migrant worker. An abridged transcript of the conversation can be found at Art Practical .
Hooshing and the Nexus of Clothing: A Conversation with J. Morgan Puett
By Scott Oliver
I met J. Morgan Puett during her Bridge Residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts this past fall. I knew little of her or her work, but was immediately struck by her warmth and charm, and by the language she used to talk about her practice. She refers to it as “a practice of being” in which “an ethics of comportment” defines any engagement she might have-with students, collaborators, participants, fellow artists-in-residence. But also with her son’s teacher or her car mechanic. Terms like “hoosh,” “workstyles (a play on lifestyles),” “algorithm,” “emergent,” “entangled,” and “complexity” pepper Puett’s speech, effectively communicating her expansive approach to art. She doesn’t often mention “social practice,â€ perhaps because her work has been socially engaged all along. But the term is also insufficient, so is â€œinstallation artâ€ (a form her work often resembles). Puettâ€™s work is difficult to summarize. It is sprawling, layered, immersive and open-ended. It is as intellectually rich as it is sensually pleasurable. It is narrative, process-based and participatory. In short, it is meant to be experienced, yet none-the-less fascinating to discuss.
Scott Oliver is a sculptor and project-based artist living and working in Oakland, California. He has written catalogue essays for Southern Exposure, The Present Group, and independent curator Joseph del Pesco. Oliver co-founded Shotgun Review, an on-line source for reviews of Bay Area visual art exhibitions, with del Pesco in 2005 where he was a regular contributor until 2008. He is currently working on an audio walking tour of Oaklandâ€™s Lake Merritt. Read more