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David Hammons performing ‘Bliz-aard Ball Sale’ (1983), Cooper Square, New York City
Courtesy Migros Museum, Zurich © David Hammons. Photo: Dawood Bey

From An Interview with David Hammons:

1. I CAN’T STAND ART ACTUALLY. I’VE NEVER, EVER LIKED ART, EVER. I NEVER TOOK IT IN SCHOOL.

2. WHEN I WAS IN CALIFORNIA, ARTISTS WOULD WORK FOR YEARS AND NEVER HAVE A SHOW. SO SHOWING HAS NEVER BEEN THAT IMPORTANT TO ME. WE USED TO CUSS PEOPLE OUT: PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT OUR WORK, DEALERS, ETC., BECAUSE THAT PART OF BEING AN ARTIST WAS ALWAYS A JOKE TO US.

WHEN I CAME TO NEW YORK, I DIDN’T SEE ANY OF THAT. EVERYBODY WAS JUST GROVELING AND TOMMING, ANYTHING TO BE IN THE ROOM WITH SOMEBODY WITH SOME MONEY. THERE WERE NO BAD GUYS HERE; SO I SAID, “LET ME BE A BAD GUY,” OR ATTEMPT TO BE A BAD GUY, OR PLAY WITH THE BAD AREAS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

3. I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY BLACK PEOPLE WERE CALLED SPADES, AS OPPOSED TO CLUBS. BECAUSE I REMEMBER BEING CALLED A SPADE ONCE, AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANT; NIGGER I KNEW BUT SPADE I STILL DON’T. SO I TOOK THE SHAPE, AND STARTED PAINTING IT.

4. I JUST LOVE THE HOUSES IN THE SOUTH, THE WAY THEY BUILT THEM. THAT NEGRITUDE ARCHITECTURE. I REALLY LOVE TO WATCH THE WAY BLACK PEOPLE MAKE THINGS, HOUSES OR MAGAZINE STANDS IN HARLEM, FOR INSTANCE. JUST THE WAY WE USE CARPENTRY. NOTHING FITS, BUT EVERYTHING WORKS. THE DOOR CLOSES, IT KEEPS THINGS FROM COMING THROUGH. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE THAT NEATNESS ABOUT IT, THE WAY WHITE PEOPLE PUT THINGS TOGETHER; EVERYTHING IS A THIRTY-SECOND OF AN INCH OFF.

5. THAT’S WHY I LIKE DOING STUFF BETTER ON THE STREET, BECAUSE THE ART BECOMES JUST ONE OF THE OBJECTS THAT’S IN THE PATH OF YOUR EVERYDAY EXISTENCE. IT’S WHAT YOU MOVE THROUGH, AND IT DOESN’T HAVE ANY SENIORITY OVER ANYTHING ELSE.

THOSE PIECES WERE ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT THE BLACK VIEWER HAD A REFLECTION OF HIMSELF IN THE WORK. WHITE VIEWERS HAVE TO LOOK AT SOMEONE ELSE’S CULTURE IN THOSE PIECES AND SEE VERY LITTLE OF THEMSELVES IN IT.

6. ANYONE WHO DECIDES TO BE AN ARTIST SHOULD REALIZE THAT IT’S A POVERTY TRIP. TO GO INTO THIS PROFESSION IS LIKE GOING INTO THE MONASTERY OR SOMETHING; IT’S A VOW OF POVERTY I ALWAYS THOUGHT. TO BE AN ARTIST AND NOT EVEN TO DEAL WITH THAT POVERTY THING, THAT’S A WASTE OF TIME; OR TO BE AROUND PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT.

MY KEY IS TO TAKE AS MUCH MONEY HOME AS POSSIBLE. ABANDON ANY ART FORM THAT COSTS TOO MUCH. INSIST THAT IT’S AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE IS NUMBER ONE AND ALSO THAT IT’S AESTHETICALLY CORRECT. AFTER THAT ANYTHING GOES. AND THAT KEEPS EVERYTHING INTERESTING FOR ME.

7. I DON’T KNOW WHAT MY WORK IS. I HAVE TO WAIT TO HEAR THAT FROM SOMEONE.

I WOULD LIKE TO BURN THE PIECE. I THINK THAT WOULD BE NICE VISUALLY. VIDEOTAPE THE BURNING OF IT. AND SHOOT SOME SLIDES. THE SLIDES WOULD THEN BE A PIECE IN ITSELF. I’M GETTING INTO THAT NOW: THE SLIDES ARE THE ART PIECES AND THE ART PIECES DON’T EXIST.

8. IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE THEN IT’S EASY TO MAKE ART. MOST PEOPLE ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR IMAGE. ARTISTS HAVE ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE BOXED IN BY SAYING “YES” ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE SEEN, AND THEY SHOULD BE SAYING “NO.” I DO MY STREET ART MAINLY TO KEEP ROOTED IN THAT “WHO I AM.” BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT’S REALLY GOING ON IS IN THE STREET; THAT’S WHERE SOMETHING IS REALLY HAPPENING. IT ISN’T HAPPENING IN THESE GALLERIES.

9. DOING THINGS IN THE STREET IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ART I THINK. BECAUSE ART HAS GOTTEN SO….I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK ART IS ABOUT NOW. IT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING. LIKE MALCOLM X SAID, IT’S LIKE NOVOCAINE. IT USED TO WAKE YOU UP BUT NOW IT PUTS YOU TO SLEEP. I THINK THAT ART NOW IS PUTTING PEOPLE TO SLEEP. THERE’S SO MUCH OF IT AROUND IN THIS TOWN THAT IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. THAT’S WHY THE ARTIST HAS TO BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT HE SHOWS AND WHEN HE SHOWS NOW. BECAUSE THE PEOPLE AREN’T REALLY LOOKING AT ART, THEY’RE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND EACH OTHER’S CLOTHES AND EACH OTHER’S HAIRCUTS.

10. THE ART AUDIENCE IS THE WORST AUDIENCE IN THE WORLD. IT’S OVERLY EDUCATED, IT’S CONSERVATIVE, IT’S OUT TO CRITICIZE NOT TO UNDERSTAND, AND IT NEVER HAS ANY FUN. WHY SHOULD I SPEND MY TIME PLAYING TO THAT AUDIENCE?

DAVID HAMMONS 1986

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Pop Art Design at Vitra Design Museum

2DM/The Blogazine

If you were to think about some of the most common art movements that became elusive arguments for myriads of different exhibitions around the world, surely in the first place you’d find French Impressionism and right after that the oh-so-popular Pop Art. Yes, this post-war art movement is 
one of the most analyzed subjects in any museum worldwide, and every single one of you reading this article must have seen one of these shows telling its history and legacy.


Many of the iconic elements of Pop Art, that introduced the vernacular and the everyday in the high circles of art, have been designed long before it had officially taken the stage: bold objects designed by Raymond Loewy, the colourful furniture and even more colourful lifestyle proposed by Charles and Ray Eames, or the intricate graphic designs of the period, have all penetrated the art world marking it unforgettably. Strangely enough the love-hate relationship of mutual contamination between Pop Art and design of that period has never been explored before the current “Pop Art Design” show at Vitra Design Museum.


The links between art and design of the period are fairly intricate, not only the graphic design of the period must have given a spin for the classic work of artists like Roy Lichtenstein and elements of penetrated design culture works of great masters like Andy Warhol, but many of the artists started off as designers themselves. Hence the show atVitra Campus tries to untangle those stories showing some of the most interesting but disregarded relationships between art and design: from Gaetano Pesce’s or Achille Castiglioni’s furniture, to Jasper John’s paintings or rare screen designs by Andy Warhol. Even though grand part of what can be seen at the show is widely seen contemporary classics both in furniture design as well as in art, the close juxtaposition of the two fields might offer a new evaluation and inspiring insights in both disciplines, ultimately contributing to the idea that boundaries between art and design maybe don’t even exist.



“Pop Art Design” runs until the 3rd of February at Vitra Design Museum.

Rujana Rebernjak Share: Facebook,  Twitter

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Gentletude International Typography Awards

06Dec

…big news just in for Graphic Design Communication and Chelsea. The Gentletude Design Award is an international award for typhographic design students, both undergraduate and graduates within 4 years of graduation), who study or studied in England, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Argentina, or Japan. In November we submitted 18 entries and achieved 10 finalists of 14. We now have the results from the jury in Italy and our students have been awarded first, second and third prizes!

The Award is organised by the NGO Gentletude, a not-for-profit organisation founded by Cristina Milani. The award aims is to encourage a new generation of designers to be creative at an international level and to encourage a broader community of practice.

Our students implemented the the alphabet to create a message elaborating the term ‘gentletude’ and including the words ‘Kindness’ and ‘Attitude’. A key criteria required messages to be shared by smartphone, so it was important to consider technological constraints when creating work. The idea was that the recipient of the message will reflect on kindness as an option for a better life.

Please see:

http://www.facebook.com/gentletude?fref=ts
First prize is 1,000 Euro and second 500 Euro. There will now be extensive home and international press coverage. The first prize winner is Joe Hayes.

Keep an eye on the Graphic Design Communication blog –http://brighterchelsea.com/

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Nov. 23, 1889

San Francisco  Gin Joint Hears the World’s First Jukebox

By Tony Long Email 11.23.07

For a nickel apiece a thrilled group tunes in on a screechy jukebox of the 1890s. 
Photo: Bettmann/Corbis

1889: The first jukebox is installed at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It becomes an overnight sensation, and its popularity spreads around the world.

That first jukebox was constructed by the Pacific Phonograph Company. Four stethoscope-like tubes were attached to an Edison Class M electric phonograph fitted inside an oak cabinet. The tubes operated individually, each being activated by the insertion of a coin, meaning that four different listeners could be plugged in to the same song simultaneously.

Towels were supplied to patrons so they could wipe off the end of the tube after each listening.

The success of the jukebox eventually spelled the end of the player piano, then the most common way of pounding out popular music to a line of thirsty barflies.

The machine was originally called the “nickel-in-the-slot player” by Louis Glass, the entrepreneur who installed it at the Palais Royale. (A nickel then had the buying power of $1.08 today.) It came to be known as the jukebox only later, although the origin of the word remains a bit vague. It may derive from “juke house,” a slang reference to bawdy house, where music was not unknown.

(Source: writersalmanac.publicradio.org)

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SPECIAL EVENT

Label
Tate Britain
Saturday 24 November 2012, 13.00 – 17.00

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Tracey Moberly, Mam
Courtesy Tracey Moberly

You are invited to join us on a spirited quest to explore questions of identity and belonging. Amidst pumping bass lines and crowd mayhem, LABEL will explore the one question that has intrigued mankind for centuries: “Who am I?”

LABEL features live acoustic performances with Q+A sessions from Speech Debelle and Shakka, DJs Stööki Sound, plus installations and workshops with Soulful Creative.
Come and work with leading urban creatives on a giant collaborative piece that will transform the façade of Tate Britain, choose how to represent your super-talented self in a portrait taken by our photographer, join a guerrilla mosaics workshop to re-think emblems of Britishness or create a unique label that reflects who you really are with artist Chloe Cooper.

LABEL is curated by Tate Collective as part of the Great British Art Debate. What does Britishness mean to you? Join this audacious retort to stereotypical ideas about Britishness.

Follow The Great British Art Debate on Twitter @GBArtDebate and on Facebook
Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Funded & Great British Art Debate
Tags:
Art and ideas

The Paradox of a Book

http://archives.obs-us.com/obs/english/books/nn/bdcont.htm

Being Digital (1995)

by Nicholas Negroponte

Introduction:

The Paradox of a Book

Being dyslexic, I don’t like to read. As a child I read train timetables instead of the classics, and delighted in making imaginary perfect connections from one obscure town in Europe to another. This fascination gave me an excellent grasp of European geography.

Thirty years later, as director of the MIT Media Lab, I found myself in the middle of a heated national debate about the transfer of technology from U.S. research universities to foreign companies. I was soon summoned to two industry-government meetings, one in Florida and one in California.

At both meetings, Evian water was served in one-liter glass bottles. Unlike most of the participants, I knew exactly where Evian was from my timetables. Evian, France, is more than five hundred miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Those heavy glass bottles had to traverse almost one-third of Europe, cross the Atlantic, and, in the case of California, travel an additional three thousand miles.

So here we were discussing the protection of the American computer industry and our electronic competitiveness, when we seemingly could not even provide American water at an American conference.

Today, I see my Evian story not so much being about French mineral water versus American, but illustrating the fundamental difference between atoms and bits. World trade has traditionally consisted of exchanging atoms. In the case of Evian water, we were shipping a large, heavy, and inert mass, slowly, painfully, and expensively, across thousands of miles, over a period of many days. When you go through customs you declare your atoms, not your bits. Even digitally recorded music is distributed on plastic CDs, with huge packaging, shipping, and inventory costs.

This is changing rapidly. The methodical movement of recorded music as pieces of plastic, like the slow human handling of most information in the form of books, magazines, newspapers, and videocassettes, is about to become the instantaneous and inexpensive transfer of electronic data that move at the speed of light. In this form, the information can become universally accessible. Thomas Jefferson advanced the concept of libraries and the right to check out a book free of charge. But this great forefather never considered the likelihood that 20 million people might access a digital library electronically and withdraw its contents at no cost.

The change from atoms to bits is irrevocable and unstoppable. Why now? Because the change is also exponential – small differences of yesterday can have suddenly shocking consequences tomorrow. […..]

Read more of the electronic version of “Being Digital”:

Next: Bits and Atoms or Epilogue

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A Book is Technology: An Interview with Tan Lin

Angela Genusa on Wednesday Oct 24th, 2012

Over the past 15 years, poet, novelist, and filmmaker Tan Lin has been at work creating an “ambient” mode of literature that engages a set of practices including sampling, communal production, and social networks, addressing issues such as relaxed copyright, boredom, plagiarism, and the commodification of attention.

He has written 10 books, most recently Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking; Insomnia and the Aunt; and HEATH COURSE PAK. His video work has screened at the Yale Art Museum, Artists Space, the Drawing Center, and the Ontological Hysterical Theatre. He is currently finishing work on a novel, OUR FEELINGS WERE MADE BY HAND. He teaches creative writing at New Jersey City University.

We talked by Skype, G-chat, email, phone, and used Google Drive in real-time to talk about the many different uses of technology in his work and what its implications are for the future of literature:


In your books, especially HEATH (plagiarism/outsource) and Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking, you introduced people to a new idea of what a book of literature can be. For these books, in their various versions and associated events, you incorporated everything from email to Twitter, programming languages to RSS feeds, Google Translate to Post-it notes. What led you to use so many different forms of technology in the creation and publication of a book? How would you define a book?

People forget that a book or codex is a technology. My interest with HEATH and 7CV was to treat the book as a distinct medial platform through which a lot of ancillary information passes, much like a broadcast medium like TV or a narrow-cast medium like Twitter or Tumblr. Reading is information control, just as a metadata tag is a bibliographic control. So I wanted to highlight the book’s medial and time-based underpinnings.

How would you prepare someone who has never read a Tan Lin book to read one of your books?

It’s a little hard to say. I think a book is something consumed slowly over many years—it’s a little like watching a plant reproduce. What are HEATH and 7CV? I’m not sure, but maybe a delayed reading experience that involves Course Paks, marketing departments of publishing houses, seminars at the University of Pennsylvania, RSS feeds, and Post-it notes. And, of course, other books—with 7CV, The Joy of Cooking—and with plagiarism/outsource, blogs that chronicled Heath Ledger’s death. Why insert The Joy of Cooking into the title of 7CV? Because it was the cookbook my family used to become American and because I thought the title would increase Google hits. I consider Google a mode of (loose) autobiography. A book in Google Books, like someone’s search history, isn’t really a book; it’s data connected to other data, and it’s searchable. Reading, like autobiography, is a subset of a search function…

MORE »

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