Center Field | Archiving Soul

May 11, 2010 · Print This Article

PhotobucketOur bi-weekly column, Center Field | Art in the Middle with Bad at Sports on Art21’s blog has its latest post with an interview I did with Ken Shipley of Numero Group.  Check the teaser below and go read the entire article over on Art21’s site.

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While sitting in his office listening to some soon to be released albums, Ken Shipley quickly noted, “we have found a way as a record label to be like a band.” Founded in 2003 by Shipley, Tom Lunt, and Rob Sevier, Numero Group has done just that. With almost 60 releases to date, the company has garnered a devoted fan base and established itself as a leading archival record label. Similar to the alternative apartment spaces within Chicago, Numero Group has set up shop on the first floor of a three-story brick home here in town. With series like Eccentric Soul, Good God!, and Cult Cargo, it has traveled far and wide in search of records that share not only a distinct sound but also a unique story.

Meg Onli: You have spoken before about building your compilations based on not only your (and everyone else in Numero Group’s) collection, but also that of retired DJs, performers, and fans. Could you talk about how you would typically go about making a compilation?

Ken Shipley: I think there is a misnomer about what it is that we actually do. The amount of time that we spend in the crates is really minimal. Most of the projects that we are working on we found through other research or development or work that we have already done. Like in the case of this Lowlands record that we just made, digging for the records are almost impossible. Two records came out of the entire studio, but we ended up buying the entire contents of the studio. I think people get the impression that we are crazy crate diggers that are running around the world looking for records.

Read the entire article over on Art21

Center Feild | Exhibiting the Intangible

April 27, 2010 · Print This Article

PhotobucketBad at sports has teamed up with art21 for a new bi-weekly column entitled, Center Field | Art in the Middle with Bad at Sports. This week Claudine is up with her post Exhibiting the Intangible

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Recently, Bad at Sports was invited to exhibit at apexart, an alternative gallery space in New York known for presenting innovative thematic exhibitions and public programs. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, we as a group had to confront a few logistical as well as conceptual hurdles. First and foremost was the question of how to transfer the “Bad at Sports experience,” as it were, to a gallery setting.

Bad at Sports exists as a series of conversations and interviews that sometimes take place as live in-person events but are usually pre-recorded and streamed online or downloaded from our website. We also have a blog that focuses mostly on news, reviews, Chicago art commentary, and other fun and irreverent stuff. So the question for us was, how do we “exhibit” the work of the group, when what that work consists of is, ultimately, a dynamic, intangible and all-too human set of social relationships? Another way of putting it, offered by B@S co-founder Richard Holland: “we are a podcast and work in intangible audio, we don’t maintain offices, we go to the person we are recording, the entire show’s artifactual footprint would fit into a grocery bag and looks like a Radio Shack threw up.”

Because our exhibition would be taking place in New York, live events and interviews could not occur with the frequency that might be possible in Chicago. Thus the gallery would need to be filled with something other than conversation. As a group, we hashed over a number of possibilities. Should we hire a shrink to psychoanalyze exhibition visitors? Should we platform the space and offer it to other groups for short periods of time? Or – this one was Richard’s suggestion– should we duct tape B@S co-founder Duncan MacKenzie to the wall naked and have that be the exhibition?

Read the entire article here

Center Field | Art in the Middle with Bad at Sports

April 13, 2010 · Print This Article

Illustration by Christopher Hudgens
Bad at sports will be teaming up with art21 for a new bi-weekly column entitled, Center Field | Art in the Middle with Bad at Sports. Every other week on Tuesdays, we look forward to bringing a different aspect of Chicago’s art scene through interviews, profiles, reviews and editorial pieces written by members of our collective: Meg Onli, Claudine Ise, Duncan MacKenzie and Richard Holland. For our inaugural post I had a chance to interview Jacob Meehan, Director of GOLDEN. Check the teaser below and go read the entire article over on  art21.

via art21:

Meg Onli: There has been a lot of press covering the rise of apartment galleries in New York City. Chicago has had a very rich alternative/apartment gallery scene for years. GOLDEN, however, is a commercial gallery that uses an apartment as a showroom. Could you talk about how you utilize your space and discuss how you try to distinguish yourself from an apartment gallery?

Jacob Meehan: The showroom of our gallery occupies the entire first floor of a 120+ year old graystone, nestled on a landmarked avenue between Chicago’s Wrigleyville and Boystown neighborhoods. So what would be a generous two-bedroom apartment has been converted into a contemporary art gallery.  At first, I was worried that people were going to hate the fact that it wasn’t a massive white cube, but it has proven to be a great space for showing work.  The segmentation from the various rooms is actually an asset because it allows us to play with pace and rhythm.

I don’t mind being deemed an apartment gallery because we are a gallery in an apartment, but the notion of an apartment gallery usually brings up thoughts of artist-run types of spaces. I’m not actively trying to distinguish our space from those types of ventures, because those places are important and necessary. I think that what we’re doing is (unknowingly) from a more European model.  I was in Milan last month (my first trip to Europe, proper) with my boyfriend, Henry, and the first gallery that we went to was, to our surprise, exactly like GOLDEN…and this space (Studio Guenzani) shows artists like Cindy Sherman, Catherine Opie, and Laura Owens. Unlike traditional apartment spaces, we are concerned with exhibiting, but furthermore, representing some of the best talent that is out there right now.

Read the entire post on art21