This week: The west coast bureau keeps on bringing it large! Patricia Maloney talks with the concept engineer and Otolith Group co-founder Kodwo Eshun.
Kodwo Eshun is a British-Ghanaian writer, theorist and film-maker. He studied English Literature (BA Hons, MA Hons) at University College, Oxford University and Romanticism and Modernism MA Hons at Southampton University. He is currently course leader of the MA in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
This week: This week we talk with artist, writer, and WhiteWalls co-founder Buzz Spector!
Buzz Spector is an artist and critical writer whose artwork has been shown in such museums and galleries as the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA. Spector’s work makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. He has issued a number of artists’ books and editions since the mid-1970s, including, most recently, Time Square, a limited edition letterpress book hand altered by the artist and published in 2007 by Pyracantha Press and ABBA at Arizona State University in Tempe. Among his previous publications are Between the Sheets, a limited edition book of images and text published in 2004 by The Ink Shop Printmaking Center in Ithaca, NY, Details: closed to open, an artists’ book of photographic details from images in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, (List Art Gallery, Swarthmore College, 2001) and Beautiful Scenes: selections from the Cranbrook Archives (Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1998).
Spector was a co-founder of WhiteWalls, a magazine of writings by artists, in Chicago in 1978, and served as the publication’s editor until 1987. Since then he has written extensively on topics in contemporary art and culture, and has contributed reviews and essays to a number of publications, including American Craft, Artforum, Art Issues, Art on Paper, Exposure, and New Art Examiner. He is the author of The Book Maker’s Desire, critical essays on topics in contemporary art and artists’ books (Umbrella Editions, 1995), and numerous exhibition catalogue essays, including Conrad Bakker: untitled mail order catalogue (Creative Capital, Inc., 2002) and Dieter Roth (University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1999).
Spector’s most recent recognition is a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA Fellowship. In 1991 he was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, and in 1982, 1985, and 1991 he received National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Awards. He is Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.
This week: Our final installment in the Open Engagement series. This week we talk to Jule Ault!
Critic and Curator Jeff Ward joins Duncan and Richard in interviewing Comic theorist, artist, educator and all around kickass guy Scott McCloud.
From Scott McCloud’s website (www.scottmccloud.com)
“At the age of 15, I remember telling my friend Kurt Busiek “I’ve decided to become a professional comic book artist.” It was the Summer between 10th and 11th Grades. My previous decision to become World Chess Champion had proved impractical, but this time I knew I could pull it off and a year and a half out of college, I finally did.
Today, I’m probably best known for:
Understanding Comics. A 215-page comic book about comics that explains the inner workings of the medium and examines many aspects of visual communication along the way. Understanding Comics has done well in stores, is in over 15 languages and, while not universally liked, is about as close to it as I’m ever likely to see. A favorite of interface, game and Web designers despite the fact that it doesn’t mention computers once. (Published 1993).
Reinventing Comics. The controversial 242-page follow-up to U.C. advocates 12 different revolutions in the way comics are created, distributed and perceived with special emphasis on the potential of Online Comics. Nearly every page seemed to step on somebody’s toes, and the debates in the comics industry over comics on the Web have gotten increasingly heated since its publication. Reinventing Comics is the only book I’ve ever written that’s been actually described as “dangerous.” (Published 2000).
My Online Comics. They’re all here (or at least linked to from here). Take a look.
Public Speaking and Teaching. Click to find out more.
Zot!. My first series ran for 36 issues at California’s Eclipse Comics. Though ostensibly a superhero story, Zot! had an alternative flavor and featured some unorthodox storytelling and compositions. “A cross between Peter Pan, Buck Rogers and Marshall McLuhan” is how I usually describe it. (1984-1991)
My Inventions. Over the years, I’ve created a number of strange, comics-related, um… things. Enough that I decided to give them their own section of this site. Check it out.
My Other Comics.Though not numerous, I have done other printed comics including 1985′s Destroy!!, a 12 issue stint writing Superman Adventures, in the mid-90′s, a bizarre and generally disliked graphic novel about Abraham Lincoln, some mini-comics, short pieces, and various comics-style articles in magazines like Wired, Nickelodeon, Computer Gaming World, Wizard and Publishers’ Weekly.
Depending on who you ask, I’m either comics’ leading theorist or a deranged lunatic, but life continues to be very interesting for me and the ideas that I’ve raised continue to provoke reactions throughout the comics community and — increasingly — beyond it. Pick up Understanding Comics (or look for it at your local library) to begin finding out why.”
ALSO: Mark Staff Brandl checks in to review art with his students from the Central European Bureau!
Lastly Duncan and Joanna act wacky and Joanna has some interesting ideas.