Episode 496: Justin Cooper

March 2, 2015 · Print This Article

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This week: This show has everything, the Amanda Browder Show, Justin Cooper, Richard finally records a new outro, and some of the most annoying music ever used on BAS!!

NYC/Browder talks to Brooklyn based artist Justin Cooper. Post a few deadpan jokes, and moments of spacing out…(edited of course)  we discuss his history of his work, and his installationSpreadsheet, and performance Mowers of Ten presented by the Art-In-Buildings program, and Monique Meloche Gallery. The project is in conjunction with The Armory Show that is going on next week.

Employing a strategy of “endless introducing,” Cooper plays both host and hosted, in an effort to eradicate the line between these two states. With the classic Charles and Ray Eames film, Powers of Ten, as inspiration, and Cooper’s installation, Spreadsheet serving as a backdrop, the performance aggregates comedic bits, routines, acts, sound fragments, free floating signifiers, and chains of non sequitors systematized into miniature narratives, into a simulation of comedy. Like “Friends” minus the laugh track or AstroTurf as a surrogate for suburban lawn, Mowers of Ten, highlights the impossibility of reconciling the intellectual with the visceral. “I know this isn’t funny…and yet.” “I know this isn’t grass…and yet.”



Art Fair weekend is next weekend in NYC! The Armory, VOLTA, Scope, etc. etc.

BUT Time to go see the SPRING/BREAK Art Fair. Amanda Browder and a ton of very cool artists in NYC will be showing at this fair in the abandoned section of the Post Office on 33rd Street between 8th and 9th. It is a fair of guest curators who are bringing their collection of artists to each room in the massive office space.

Look for her on the 4th floor with curators Jacob Rhodes of Field Projects and Jen Schwarting.  You can also find: Adam Parker Smith, ESP TV., Siebren Versteeg, Julia Oldham and Trish Tillman

Episode 455: Prospect New Orleans

May 19, 2014 · Print This Article

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Prospect New Orleans
This week: Live from our bed at Volta, the fine folks of Propsect New Orleans! We talk to Franklin Sirmans the Artistic Director of Prospect New Orleans(who moonlights as the Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and the Executive Director of Prospect New Orleand Brooke Davis Anderson!

Plugs from our intro include:

Karen Azarnia, her installation work “Luminous” will be up at Terrain (http://terrainexhibitions.tumblr.com/)

May 4 – 28, 2014
Reception: Sunday, May 4, 4 – 7pm

Terrain Exhibitions
704 Highland Ave.
Oak Park, Illinois


Opening May 22, 2014 at Rush and Chestnut Streets (50 E. Chestnutt)

Curated by Jeffly Molina


Jennifer Reeder’s new movie, help out, kickstarter!!


Episode 445: Katy Hamer Fair Roundup!(TM)

March 11, 2014 · Print This Article

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Katy Hamer
This week: Katy Hamer, who in addition to her superior intellect and charm ALSO has stamina. So she demonstrates that stamina in our bed… and by bed we mean our bed booth at VOLTA in NYC this past weekend during which she tells us all about the art fairs.

What did you think we meant? What the hell is wrong with you, we don’t roll like that. Well, okay there was that time at a certain campingy art residency but I was drunk and I didn’t know it was a sheep. But Katy should have her good name sullied by associationw with us! She is a talented writer and critic, how dare you.

Read her wildly impressive blog:



B@S would like to acknowledge that Mr. Holland’s discussion announcing the death of Christine ‘Moose’ McGlade was in error. Moose is alive and well. Mikey didn’t die from pop rocks and soda, Paul is not dead but he is embarrassing himself by trying to get the credits changed, Richard Gere does not “gerbil” although he did make a movie completely abhorrent to his Buddhist beliefs romanticizing a prostitute’s life into the Cinderella story which is super creepy despite the fact we all saw the movie and were charmed by “Guido the killer pimp”, Jamie Lee Curtis nor Lady Gaga are hermaphrodites, and the US really did land on the moon. Are we okay now?

Episode 438: Skylar Fein

January 20, 2014 · Print This Article

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Skylar Fein
Skylar Fein was born in Greenwich Village and raised in the Bronx. He has had many careers including teaching nonviolent resistance under the umbrella of the Quakers, working for a gay film festival in Seattle, stringing for The New York Times and as pre-med student at University of New Orleans where he moved one week before Hurricane Katrina hit.

In the wreckage of New Orleans, Fein found his new calling as an artist, experimenting with color and composition of the detritus of Katrina. His work soon became known for its pop sensibility as well as its hard-nosed politics. After a few starring roles in group shows, he had his first solo show in May 2008 at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans.

In the fall of 2008, his Prospect.1: Biennial installation, “Remember the Upstairs Lounge,” shined a spotlight on an overlooked piece of New Orleans history: a fire that swept through a French Quarter bar in 1973, killing everyone inside. The worst fire in New Orleans history has never been solved. His installation walked visitors right through the swinging bar doors, and offered visual riffs on politics and sexuality circa 1973. The piece was praised in Artforum, Art In America, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker, among others.

In late 2009, Fein had his first solo museum show, “Youth Manifesto,” at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The exhibition was an ode to punk rock as a force for social and cultural upheaval. True to form, the opening reception was shut down by police responding to the look of the unlikely art-going crowd.

In March 2010, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery presented Fein’s solo installation, “Skylar Fein: Rise of the Youth Front” at VOLTA Art Fair in New York during Armory Week. This installation drew thousands of people and delved into revolutionary politics past and present, a continuing theme in Fein’s work.In May 2010,Fein was invited by the New York curatorial project No Longer Empty to recreate his “Remember the Upstairs Lounge” installation in a vacant Chelsea space.The exhibition, once again, drew thousands of visitors and sparked renewed interest in this piece of history. In September 2011, Fein exhibited over eighty new works in his solo exhibition Junk Shot at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans. This exhibition embodied this artist’s turn towards formalism and art historical reference while maintaining Fein’s iconic sensibilities and aesthetic.

Skylar Fein was the recipient of a 2009 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award and his work is in several prominent collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, The Louisiana State Museum, The Birmingham Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art and collectors Beth Rudin DeWoody, Lance Armstrong, and Lawrence Benenson.

The Rise of the Performance Art Festival in the USA

December 17, 2013 · Print This Article

Guest Post by Autumn Hays 

Over the last few years within the United States a growing interest has arisen in festivals that specialize in Performance Art, that offshoot of the visual Arts, who’s practices center around temporal body-based works. This festival-circuit format for showing performance based art works has already produced a strong development in terms of organizations and events outside of the United States. Often however it’s difficult for American performance artists to break into these circuits. Although there have some who have successfully done so, many festivals go years without showing a single American performance artist. This could be for many reasons, but one is certainly the relative lack of funding. Often the diplomatic and cultural establishments of foreign countries, such as embassies and consulates assist artists with expenses so that they can make and show artworks outside their country of origin. In the USA however, we do not invest money in the arts to the extent of other countries and thus American artists often have less accessibility to funds outside of their own pockets.

Arahmaiani. Rapid Pulse 2013. Photo by Arjuna Capulong

Arahmaiani. Rapid Pulse 2013. Photo by Arjuna Capulong

Performance art festivals are often intensive endeavors, involving a diverse group of international artists. Always on very tight budgets, these festivals often seek to supply food and housing for the artists for the duration of the festival, often lasting from several days to weeks. Unlike showing at a, gallery the festival becomes a sort of community or summer camp. Here artists and curators network and meet performers from all over the world. Viewership is open to the public but there is a community of support at many festivals where artist see each-other’s works, often living together and sometimes collaborating on the fly. Festivals are often popular for performance art as spaces willing to show the work, or spaces aware of the needs of exhibiting performance art are often few and far between.

The good news for performance artists is, the USA is starting to develop their own performance art festivals. These festivals seek to bring international artist to the USA while showcasing local talents. It will be exciting to see what other festivals are brewing here in the United States and some in and near Chicago itself. Here are three festivals to look for this year:



     Lone Star Performance Explosion

     Huston, TX

     February 19-23, 2014


This is the second time around for this international performance art      biennale after a successful run in 2012. “LONE STAR EXPLOSION 2014 seeks to showcase performance art that pushes the artists and audience in new ways, especially performance art that questions fundamental assumptions about the way we experience time, space, relationships, the self, society, and sexuality. “ As many of our festivals on this list the line up features local, national and international talents in Performance Art. Lone Star Explosion 2014 is curated and directed by Jonatan Lopez and Julia Wallace. Confirmed artists include: Elia Arce (Costa Rica), Marce Sparmann (Germany), Natalie Lovleless (Canada), J. Morrison (NYC), Ryan Hawk (Huston), Roberto Sifuentes (Chicago), and over 25 more artists. http://lonestarlive.org/





Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival

Chicago, IL

June 5-15, 2014


This is year three for Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival, taking place here in Chicago. “The RAPID PULSE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL aims to represent a range of styles and forms in order to provoke thought and stimulate discourse surrounding performance art.” This intensive festival features performance,  video screenings, artist’s talks and panel discussions. It includes a wide range of performance art from durational, public, and digital based works. Unlike the rest of the festivals on this list Rapid Pulse is centered in and around Defibrillator Performance art Space as opposed to being a wide range, multi-venue event. Artists have yet to be announced but the application period is closed and the curatorial process is beginning. Rapid Pulse is curated by: Steven Bridges, Julie Laffin, Giana Gambino, and Joseph Ravens.  http://rapidpulse.org/





Supernova Performance Art Festival

Rosslyn, Virginia

June ?


Super Nova first took place in June of last year and word is the event will be back again this year. “SUPERNOVA will bring together emerging and established local, regional, national and international performance artists to present an expansive range of positions and approaches to performance art.” Though not confirmed Supernova came together well last year showing and they have to potential to continue on this year. Tough mostly national based artists, Supernova has the bones of a strong festival and hopefully they continue. Supernova’s 2013 Chief Curator was Eames Armstrong. http://rosslynartsproject.com/


Lone Star Explosion 2014

Lone Star Explosion 2014

The question that arises with these projects and others like it is one of sustainability. Performance Art festivals are often struggle all year to find funding for the next event. Often performance artists who wish to see this kind of festival thrive in the USA produce these festivals. These factors, and the fact many performance art specific festivals around the world struggle to stay open make the running of an international festival a labor of love, to say the least. Even if these festivals eventually come to an end, the recent creation of these festivals might be pointing to a new trend in performance art exhibitions in the USA. Hopefully the adoption of the festival format international performance festivals will continue to propagate more opportunities in the exhibition of performance art. It will be interesting to see if the new trend in festival production will flourish in the United States and if festivals like these will run strong and multiply in the years to come. Perhaps, the appearance of American Performance Art festivals, and the participation of American artists in them, may lead to an increased interests in American practitioners of performance works both at home and abroad.



Autumn Hays is an Artist, Curator, Teacher and Writer. She graduated the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA in Performance where she received the John Quincy Adams Fellowship. She received her BA in Visual Arts at UCSD. Hays was the recipient of numerous scholarships, grants and awards including two major Jack Kent Cooke association scholarships. Currently she is assistant curator at Defibrillator and Co-Producer of the 2014 IMPACT Performance Art Festival. www.autumnhays.com