‘Fielding Practice’ Podcast Episode 6 on Art:21 Blog : MCA Shifts Gears, Ikea Hacking as Art, Ai Wei Wei

July 12, 2011 · Print This Article

First off…if you haven’t listened to this week’s Bad at Sports interview with Hennessy Youngman, the creator of Art Thoughtz, make sure you do – it’s a gem, and just went live today! Next, on this month’s episode of Fielding Practice on Art21, we’re joined by two guest panelists: Nicholas O’Brien, our regular B@S columnist and an independent curator and writer on net art, and Abraham Ritchie, Chicago editor of Art Slant online magazine and The Chicago Art Blog. Along with our regular moderator Duncan Mackenzie, we discuss recent changes to the long-running 12 x 12 exhibition series at the Museum of Contemporary Art and review its current exhibition, Pandora’s Box: Joseph Cornell Unlocks the MCA Collection, then take a look at Jeff Carter’s current solo show, The Common Citizenship of Forms, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, in which the artist uses hacked Ikea furniture to recreate a number of Chicago buildings by Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius that were demolished in 2009. Finally, we discuss the situation faced by Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei, who was recently released from a 3 month detention by the Chinese government. Plus, our picks for events and other happenings in Chicago for the month of July. Click on over to Art21 to listen in, and as always, thanks for joining us!




New ‘Centerfield’ Post on Art:21 Blog: Nicholas O’Brien on Gallery 400′s ‘File Type’

June 29, 2011 · Print This Article

Christopher Meerdo, "Cypher," 2011 (.aes-256 file). Courtesy Gallery 400.

Our latest Centerfield column is up on Art:21 blog. This week, Nicholas O’Brien takes a look at Gallery 400′s current exhibition, File Type, which looks at how “formats… represent ways that artwork in digital or Internet media create particular standards of representation.” Nicholas also talks to the show’s curators, Lorelei Stewart and Chaz Evans, about their ideas behind the show. A brief excerpt below; click on over to Art:21 to read the full post!

When I initially saw the promotional poster for File Type, currently on view at University of Illinois at Chicago’s Gallery 400, I was immediately intrigued by the curatorial premise posed by curators Chaz Evans and Lorelei Stewart regarding how “formats… represent ways that artwork in digital or Internet media create particular standards of representation” (quoted from the curatorial statement). The variety of artists selected for the exhibition — a combination of local, national, and international makers – would have given me enough reason by itself for me to attend the opening. As I entered the space and browsed the works on display, I felt my curiosity continue in ways that I had not expected when initially considering the above statement by Evans and Stewart. Even after I left the show, questions kept reappearing and presenting themselves to me with intense frequency. Initially, I couldn’t help but question why some works were displayed on flat panel monitors as opposed to computer screens and as I continued to peruse the show, I wondered how the mounting of a physical show reflecting on the effects of network technology on artistic inquiry inevitably varies from a digital exhibition of identical material (something that perhaps I have had more comfort in discussing as of late). Can an exhibition highlight recursive dialogues between the language of the screen and the language of the gallery? Is there a sense of irony in the idea of a file type, since a great majority of the works deal with the translation and fluidity between codecs and mediums, as opposed to the static state of objects that galleries and museums tend to support and reenforce? Without outright calling File Type a “media art show,” how does this show effect the reception of the work, or even more importantly effect my (and the viewer’s) understanding of “media art?”

As these questions bubbled around in my brain, I decided take the initiative and voice these queries to the curators themselves. (Read more).




New Fielding Practice Podcast on Art:21 Blog | Open Engagement; William J. O’Brien at The Ren

June 14, 2011 · Print This Article

On this month’s episode of Fielding Practice, Richard Holland joins Duncan MacKenzie, Dan Gunn and I for our regular roundtable discussion about art, culture, and related happenings in Chicago. Duncan provides a brief report on this year’s  Open Engagement, an annual conference addressing current issues in art and social practice; and we all discuss our views of the current survey of William J. O’Brien’s ceramic sculptures at The Renaissance Society (May 15-June 26, 2011). Click on over to Art:21 blog to listen to the podcast, and thanks for tuning in!

 

Installation view of William J. O'Brien at The Renaissance Society




Centerfield | Fielding Practice #4: Chicago’s Art Fairs & Early Modernism Redux

May 10, 2011 · Print This Article

It’s time once again for Fielding Practice with Bad at Sports, a special podcast produced for the Art21 blog. On this month’s episode, Duncan MacKenzie, Dan Gunn, and I are joined by Abraham Ritchie, Chicago editor of ArtSlant, to delve into the wild world of art in Chicago and beyond. April was art fair month in our fair city, with the Merchandise Mart’s Art Chicago and NEXT fairs taking place over the April 29-May 1 weekend and the upstart MDW Fair organized by threewalls, Roots & Culture, and Public Media Institute rolling out the weekend prior to that. We debate the pros and cons of both fairs, which–although polar opposites to one another–seem somehow to embody the strengths and weaknesses of Chicago’s own art scene at this particular moment. Next, we move on to a more theoretical, and certainly more speculative, discussion of an early Modernist revival among some of the artists we’ve been looking at recently: from Ruby Sky Stiler, Mark Grotjahn, and Ryan Fenchel (artists who are featured in exhibitions this month at The Suburban, Shane Campbell Gallery, and Dan Devening Projects + Editions, respectively), to L.A.-based artists Amy Bessone, Aaron Curry, Thomas Houseago, and others. Click here to be taken to Art21 blog, where you can listen to the podcast and check out examples of the artists we discuss during the episode. Thanks for listening!




Centerfield | Visions for Chicago: Public Art with Organizer Daniel Tucker

April 26, 2011 · Print This Article

 

Our latest Centerfield column is up on Art:21 blog. This week, Abigail Satinsky talks to Chicago artist and organizer Daniel Tucker about his platforming project “Visions for Chicago.” A brief excerpt follows; click on through to read the full post on Art:21.

I’ve known Daniel Tucker for about five years now and I’ve always thought of him as a true Chicago artist, somewhere in between artist, organizer, writer, and administrator and always interested in collaboration and bringing in multiple perspectives to any given situation. For anyone that’s worked with him, they know that Daniel’s candor can be both disarming and challenging. When one gets involved in Daniel’s projects, like I have in the past, he’s straightforward and conscientious in his process. Is that a Chicago thing? I’ve come to think of it that way, probably because of him.

He’s done a lot of amazing work, like founding AREA Chicago six years ago and then, when he wanted to move on, gracefully stepping back from the project to be taken on by new energetic group of organizers. What I love about AREA (which stands for Art Research Education Activism and is a publication about culture and politics in Chicago) is that it gives voice to what people are actually doing to transform their city, not a theoretical discourse about what might be possible. And there’s big changes happening on the ground here, with Rahm Emanuel handily winning the mayoral election after Daley decided he was done. I’m new to Chicago but I know that this is a really, really big deal.

And so Daniel is using this opportunity to create a platforming project called “Visions for Chicago” for Chicagoans to articulate what they want to happen next. Starting in November 2010 and lasting through the beginning of the mayoral term in May 2011, Daniel is giving out hundreds of handmade election-style yard signs to politically-engaged Chicagoans throughout the city to tell their own vision for the future. Photographs of the signs and their makers will be published in a book by Green Lantern Press to be released May 16, 2011 at 6pm at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. We talked about how the project started for him and where it’s going.

Abigail Satinsky: Let’s start out with a bit of a background question. You have a lot of experience making work in public space and an interest in graffiti. How does this all fit together for you?

Daniel Tucker: Since I was a teenager, I’ve been interested in the political conflicts surrounding people’s access to and definition of public space. That drew me to be a graffiti writer, which was really my introduction to art making and all of the considerations of concept, audience, context, and formal design that come along with art making. And that stuff is really particular and important when you think about graffiti, street art, or more antagonistic forms of public art. Pretty soon after my initial interest in graffiti and its sub-cultural (think hip-hop and punk rock youth culture) as well as aesthetic traditions (bubble letters, characters, and “wild styles” as well as the more recent “artschool” graffiti that involves putting lots of objects and forms not traditionally associated with hip-hop graffiti into public space), I began to get bored with the general questions associated with making work in public and wanted to deal more with content. (Read more).

 

 

Photo by Daniel Tucker