Does the Museum of Modern Art’s live feed of Marina AbramoviÄ‡’s performance “The Artist is Present” defeat the purpose of the piece, or enhance it? “The Artist is Present” is the title of both AbramoviÄ‡’s retrospective, which opened at MoMA on March 14th, as well as her new live performance, which takes place in MoMA’s Marron Atrium throughout the run of the exhibition.Â In her performance, AbramoviÄ‡ sits on a wooden chair in front of a wooden table. The chair across from her is occupied by different museum visitors, who are invited to take a seat across from the artist and gaze at her while she gazes at them. Visitors are allowed to sit in the chair for as long as they want. (One man stayed for seven hours).Â MoMA’s exhibition website notes that the retrospective as a whole endeavors to “transmit the presence of the artist” by including “live re-performances” of AbramoviÄ‡â€™s works by other people, along with this new durational performance by the artist herself.
I couldn’t find any mention of how live streaming the performance fits into the exhibition’s overall attempts to “transmit the artist’s presence,” however. Ideally, of course, viewers will experience AbramoviÄ‡’s performance in a more direct fashion, either by sitting across from her or watching from the audience as other people share her gaze.Â But the existence of MoMA’s live streaming “marina-cam” (my nickname, not theirs) is downright puzzling. What’s the purpose of streaming a performance–one which purportedly explores what it means to “be present” in this particular historical moment — for the benefit of anonymous internet users who can engage with it only by staring at their computer screens for a few seconds at a time?
For a work of art that necessitates ‘presence’ in all the multivalent meanings of the term, I find it curious that AbramoviÄ‡ agreed to the livecam broadcast in the first place. Read more
Off-Topic invites artists, curators, writers, and cultural workers to discuss a subject not directly related to the practice of making art. We would like to welcome Alicia Eler as our latest guest with her post,Â â€œWhere did all the Tweets go? A conversation lost on Twitterâ€. Â Alicia is a writer, critic, curator and the Arts & Culture Community Manager ofÂ ChicagoNow.com.
Where did all the Tweets go? A conversation lost on Twitter
GUEST POST BY ALICIA ELER
Is it easier and more efficient to host conversations on Twitter or Facebook? This was my only question when I began research for this blog post. Things changed when Twitter lost the conversation, which is ironic because the conversation is the entire point of Twitter.
I, @aliciaeler, organized what was to be my first of many conversations about lesbian movies on Twitter. The conversation would begin with tweets from Chicago celesbians @trishtype, the Afterellen.com Blog Editor; lesbian erotic fiction writer @deviantdyke; queer sex blogger @annapulley; freelance writer and bonafide lesbian @jennispinner; and ChicagoNow tattoo blogger/AfterEllen.com music blogger @chubbyjones. Later, we could move to Facebook and try it again. For the Twitter convo, @jennispinner and I came up with the idea to label tweets with hashtag #lezflix. The chat began promptly at 2pm on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, and lasted well over the 10 minutes we had originally planned. Lesbian twitterers from all over the country jumped in. Read more
Last Monday, a woman Tweeted that her water broke moments after the event occurred. And it was a long Tweet too – close to the 140 character limit. I guess it was bound to happen.Â Now, to be fair, she’s not just any woman, she’s Sara Morishige Williams, the spouse of Twitter founder Ev Williams–probably the only person one would expect to Tweet at such a moment–and it was very early on in her labor. But still. I’m not one of Williams’ Twitter followers, but upon learning of this news of course I had to know how far into the labor she got whilst hanging on to her iPhone (wow–you’ve gotta be pretty good with that thing if you’re able to type on it with clenched fists).
Turns out, not too far. Her last Tweet before officially becoming a mother read: “Epidural, yes please.” I can’t help but think she kinda punked out by not Tweeting throughout the delivery. I mean, she’s the wife of Twitter’s CEO, for God’s sake, shouldn’t she feel some sort of cultural responsibility when it comes to this sort of thing?
Just kidding. Mostly.
*Visitors to the Art Institute have a jaywalking problem (Chicago Tribune).
*Getty Research Institute to close Bibliography on the History of Art (BHA, IBA) (via CAA news).
*NEA Survey indicates arts audiences getting older, scarcer (er, more scarce) (CAA News).
*Even more pr0n!!: Highlights from the World Air Sex Championships (The XX Factor).
*Students design exhibitions that get people to talk to each other (talk! as in, ‘in person’!) (via Tomorrow Museum).
*The drawings of Chicago artist Deb Sokolow featured on Beautiful/Decay.
*Writer Dave Eggers tells those bummed about loss of print to buck up.
**(Image Credit: Robbie Cooper’s Immersion: Porn).
Here’s what’s got my attention, web-wise, so far this week:
*San Diego Museum of Art director Derrick R. Cartwright appointed director of the Seattle Art Museum.
*Art Institute of Chicago director James Cuno hopes to initiate massive fundraising drive for free Museum admission.
*No Boys Allowed: yearlong exhibition at the Pompidou Center is for women-only.
*Scope Basil is only three weeks ago away, and still ‘aint got no permit.
*”I spent a year asking why the contemporary art bubble was the biggest, bubbliest bubble of them all”:Â Ben Lewis’ The Great Contemporary Art Bubble preview clip on YouTube ( ART21’s Ben Street has a funny post on the film too).
*Speaking of Twitter, it could be coming to a t.v. near you.
*Beautiful/Decay needs YOU to help pick the theme for its next limited-edition publication. Winner gets a copy of the book. For free!