“The paintings are kind of primitive and amateurish, which is kind of how I remember him as president,” said Paul Chan, an artist based in New York. The initial works in particular looked as if “they were being painted by someone who had a very literal view of the world.”

+ "An Ex-President, Brush in Hand, Captures His Fellow Leaders" (New York Times, Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux )

Tumblr login screen, 2/25/2014, 9:36 pm

How Not To Be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational .Mov File, Hito Steyerl, 2013, HD video file, single screen, 14min

I am writing an essay based on this video …

Alexander McQueen: Spring/Summer 2014 campaign film
Directed by Steven Klein; starring Kate Moss

"Not only are the general, mainstream media-consuming public thinking about network security and Internet privacy—these were not topics of everyday conversation a scant four or five years ago—but it also wants to see those concerns embodied in some form. Information isn’t enough to satiate the public imagination in 2013: Photographic proof is required.
Artists, it turns out, hold a particular form of agency here …”

I selected a few ‘highlights’ of 2013 for the Frieze blog. The tyranny of choice!

(Image of the National Security Administration’s building, shot from a helicopter flying through restricted air space by artist and geographer Trevor Paglen, graces the December 23, 2013 issue of Time magazine. Courtesy Trevor Paglen)

Cory Arcangel (b. 1978), Yada, Yada, Yada, 2013

Join me (and plenty of others) at the Whitney on Tuesday, January 14th for Shared Spaces: Social Media and Museum Structures. Here’s the details:

This two-part symposium addresses the transformation of the museum in the age of social media. How does the presence of networked digital devices affect our experience of art in the museum’s galleries? In what ways do these historical shifts in the mediation of our perception reflect our beliefs about the function of the museum in our society? How can we understand the role that the numerous corporate digital platforms utilized by museums and their publics play in the presentation of art? We will explore the ways in which rapid public sharing from within the museum transforms our attitudes toward works of art and the spaces that house them, seeking to assess the stakes of this affective digital economy.

Distinguished scholars, curators, and artists discuss these questions in two sections—a panel of long-form presentations followed by a fast-paced series of short creative lecture propositions, followed by discussion among audience and participants.

Part I: Long-form Panel
6:30–7:45 pm

Opening remarks and discussion moderated by Christiane Paul.

Jonathan Crary
Edward A. Shanken
Donna De Salvo

Part II: Micro-lectures
8–9:30 pm

Seven-minute presentations.
Discussion (moderated by Christiane Paul and Gordon Hall).

Ben Thorp Brown
Lauren Cornell
João Enxuto and Erica Love
Sarah Hromack
Forrest Nash
Mendi and Keith Obadike
Will Pappenheimer
Brad Troemel

Shared Spaces is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and Gordon Hall, Director of the Center for Experimental Lectures, and João Enxuto and Erica Love, Whitney Independent Study Program, 2012–2013.

This event will be utilizing a site-specific network developed by programmer and activist Dan Phiffer. Please bring your laptop or device for use.

Played with facial recognition software in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gallery One interactive during yesterday’s research trip. See also: I am a man, apparently. #latergram

#datacenterselfie (at Microsoft)

The sun rose over the edge of Manhattan just as my train exited the city for Pennsylvania. Mom’s text: “We’re very anxious to see you.” (at Amtrak 186 Northeast Regional)

“If the tone of magazines has gotten more gossipy, direct, and conversational, the post-2.0 web has been characterized by a general sense of passivity and indirection in the way people themselves write and interact online: we don’t talk to one another anymore so much as talk at or around one another through an endless series of taps and swipes. Some of my dearest friends and colleagues are people I first encountered online. Where we once held heated written exchanges in streams of comments whose audience I could count on both hands, now we “endorse” one another’s professional skills, tweet, retweet, “like,” and “favorite.” We lurk now more than we ever did, watching vigilantly but failing to say much more than 140 characters will allow.”
Beyond the Scene and Herd Effect is a piece on the social web’s impact on art magazines that I wrote for the December 2013 issue of Artpapers. Guest edited by Paper Monument editor Dushko Petrovich, the issue is dedicated to artists’ magazines, writ large.

I truly despise the fetishization of hacker culture within the digital arts and humanities! Let’s discuss!

“You’re supposed to think of it as an investment. And it is: it’s a lot like taking a mortgage on an invisible house. This house is made of ideas about art, so along with being invisible, it’s invaluable. That’s great, but you still have to pay it off in monthly installments. So, the Master of Fine Arts works as a studio assistant, an adjunct professor, an art handler. Thankless work most of the time, but, at the end of the day, the Master goes home to his very own invisible house. It sucks to live in an invisible house, as the Master’s invisible children are always quick to point out. And the market in these invisible, invaluable houses is notoriously hard to predict, so the Master naturally gets a little nervous about his investment, and starts asking around about resale values, and payment plans, and default options, and—sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, I’m in some group shows, re- doing my website, having some good studio visits. Can I give you my card?”
From the Editors, Paper Monument No. 4 (via N+1)

Having just purchased tickets, I am now officially awaiting Massive Attack v. Adam Curtis, a technodystopic convergence of band and filmmaker that debuted at the Manchester International Festival and will migrate to the Park Avenue Armory from September 28-October 4.

Massive Attack is Massive Attack, as in, the Bristol band we’ve been nodding our heads to with cool restraint since the late 80s. Curtis, however, might be less commonly known. His most recent BBC documentary series, All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace is widely hailed for its critical look at the relationship between technology and society. His 2002 BBC series, The Century of the Self, traces the history of the Freud family’s lasting influence on the way corporations and governments exercise control over people through marketing and advertising efforts. It’s a brilliant piece that connects so many points in European and U.S. history and culture—I cite it often and now, someone has graciously uploaded all 3.5 hours’ worth of the series to Vimeo. Excellent.