Hallelujah! A resurrection is in the works

imagesAfter a fruitful brunch, (the conversation, not the food; it was mostly delicious carbs and bacon), Amy and I have decided to give Night School another go.  It’s too soon to tell if this is a longterm commitment or a one night stand, but for better or worse we are going to convene a gathering of some of our most favorite people, have a great meal and talk about some stuff.  Stay tuned for information on the prompt!

Born in 1987: The Animated GIF

Artist: Katharine Friedgen

The GIF is a medium I’ve needed some time to adjust to. I think in part it’s because of these (linked) images popular with teenage boys the world over and terrifying little girls since the 90’s. I always had this fantasy that kittens and dancing babies were playing digital version of the The Steadfast Tin Soldier on my computer monitor all night after I turned it off. Dancing and taking over my screen until I popped it open in the morning and there they were endlessly moving waiting for an audience. So with that said I’ve had to get used to them now that they’ve made it into advertising and newspapers and tumblr is full of them. And now slowly they’ve made it into the gallery.

Born in 1987: The Animated GIF is a project launched by The Photographers’ Gallery  featuring a number of artist with varying backgrounds. The work ranges from typical GIFs to newer versions commonly called Cinemagraphs*. Digital medium has been slow to take on much interest in the art world, I’m sure it’s an issue of ownership but that’s a topic for another post.


Note: I had a little glitch with WordPress this morning so if this subject is posted twice I’ll edit it this afternoon. Sorry!

*if you’re not familiar with the term Cinemagraphs you can find a quick article in Trip Wire Magazine with some great examples as well.

Atlanta Mini Maker Faire

Atlanta Mini Maker Faire.

Does anyone know anyone who went to this?  Between my e-gadgets class where I’m learning to use my arduino and my sound installation where I’m learning to use Max and Pure Data, I feel like I will be a card carrying geek by the time December rolls around.  A few months ago I would never have been curious about a Maker Faire.  Glad to know Atlanta is getting on the Maker bandwagon.

Conversations with Contemporary Artists at the High

I’ve posted on Sarah Sze before but that was before I knew she was speaking at the High.  Tickets are $5 with a student ID, $10 for members.  I’ve got mine (thanks Abe!).  Hope to see everyone else there too!!!



This has recently become a bit of an internet meme but the story behind it is worth some gasps. Check out this New York Times article about good intentions gone very, very wrong. Opps!




UPDATE: Cecilia Giménez is demanding royalties.

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Argentine Bully Ants

In scheduling out next Night School gathering, Jen reminded me that we still haven’t discussed our topic “Social Insects.”  I’ve talked before about how once you have something in mind you see it everywhere.  As if on cue, the most recent Radiolab podcast downloaded on my computer and it was about ants!  Not only is this episode of Radiolab about Argentine ants, they also mention how their research on these ants can act as a Rorschach test, meaning that people see what they want to in the research, both in bad ways and good.  We see what we to see, whether we know it or not.  Maybe that is a future Night School topic.


Rider Spoke – Games for Grownups

I may be too busy for a whole lot of Night School blogging this semester, but it’s only because I’m doing such cool stuff!  (Not to worry too much, blogging is one my favorite means of procrastination.)  I’m taking class on Interactive Art, with a focus on Sound Installation.  We learned about this project and I thought it was blog worthy.  From the description on the project’s website, “Rider Spoke is a work for cyclists combining theatre with game play and state of the art technology. The project continues Blast Theory’s enquiry into performance in the age of personal communication. Developing from works such as Uncle Roy All Around You (2003) the piece invites the audience to cycle through the streets of the city, equipped with a handheld computer. They search for a hiding place and record a short message there. And then they search for the hiding places of others.”  It made me think of our discussion around play.  I like that there is a slight element of danger in this game, however.  What would a Night School game look like?

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james turrell at rice university

Skyspace by James Turrell is a place to sit and watch the sky through an aperture in a canopy above your head.”

Adventures in Skype

Due to some increased Skype interactions these past few weeks. I thought you’d find these photos fascinating. NYTimes Skype Projections and Family Reunions 


Bike portraits in ZA

I just bought a South African art mag the other day I an I saw an advertisement for this book of bike portraits.  I haven’t gotten to ride a bike since I’ve been here and this made me quite nostalgic for my bike back in Atlanta.  Let’s make a Bike Portraits Atlanta book when I get back ok?  At least a zine or something?  Bike portraits Night School?

The Formidable Aura

The New York Times just published an article titled ” An Artist’s Formidable Aura” about Marina Abramovic and the upcoming documentary about her on HBO.

I am very excited to see it because I wasn’t able to experience her retrospective at the MoMa personally. I haven’t figured out  exactly why her performances resonate with viewers so strongly, and I hope this documentary investigates that along with her methods, history, and provides insight to her theory of art making.

new do ho suh!

I’ve always loved the work of do ho suh.  I first heard of him when I watched his segment on art 21 and saw the beautiful rooms he recreated with painful detail in transluscent fabric. There are ghostly and nostalgic of other places in the best way. “Fallen Star” his new work in UC San Diego, has a different approach to the concept of the home.

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William Kentridge

I’m doing some lesson planning today and since I’m teaching in South Africa I’m hoping to incorporate William Kentridge.  I came across this video of him interviewing himself and I loved it.

Art Controversy in South Africa

I don’t know if this story has made it all the way to the states, (I think it has?), but there has been a contemporary art controversy brewing here in South Africa.  The news papers are filled with stories about a painting at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesberg.  Titled, The Spear, the painting by Brett Murray has caused an uproar that has resulted in defacemant of the painting as well as protest.  The painting depicts South African President Jacob Zuma standing with his genitals exposed.  I don’t quite have a handle on the general public’s opinion of President Zuma as a political figure, who recently added his sixth wife, but is appears that the general public feels the painting is disrespectful.

The art teacher that I working with for my student teaching asked how the painting would have been received had it been painted in the United States and depicted Obama.  I always feel a little awkard trying to represent the opinion of my entire country, but it was a fair question.  I said that considering the piece was presented in an art gallery, many people might be offended by it but they wouldn’t call for procecution of the artist, or at least they wouldn’t have grounds to.  If the image were used on a magazine cover such as the New Yorker’s depiction of the President and Michelle Obama, the backlash would have been different.  It’s hard to know what would have happened in the US.  Piss Christ certainly sparked controversy.  But I think sometimes we’re more sensitive about religion than politics.

I don’t have a problem with the use of Zuma as a subject.  I think political figures are perfectly good fodder for art.  I just don’t think the painting is all that interesting.  I’m always happy for contemporary art to ruffle a few feathers, but I would rather it be in a way that is more poetic.  To be clear, I don’t believe for art to be poetic is has to shy away from the crass.  Paul McCarthy has used the crass to strike a chord that is far more intriquing and complex.  I don’t, however, like when a painting such as Murray’s turns the general public away from the role contemporary art plays in commenting on contemporary culture.  Maybe part of the point of dipicting Zuma the way that he did is that is the only way to get the public’s attention.

Honey Hunters


Honey Hunters in Nepal risk their lives to capture the nests of the largest honey bee in the world.



Two members of night school, Aria and Virginia, were awarded funds to create art on the beltline! We are so proud and excited!

(I’ll try to convince them to post their proposal so we get an exclusive preview.)

We can’t wait to see it!

NOTE: You can see a version of the proposal here. We will post updates and probably make pleas for assistance as the installation date nears. Thanks again Ellen!- VA

2012 serpentine pavilion

image from archinect

I’ve always been fond of the Serpentine Pavilion projects – it’s an architecture exercise usually completed by world renowned architects to complete a small pavilion on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in London.  (You can read about it here.) It’s an interesting project, because it’s open, with very few site challenges, and on a very small scale – so it’s really a small scale expression by the architect. ( It reminds me  of an architecture version of the fourth plinth project which is also quite interesting to see how artists handle the issue of “completion”, but I digress.)

This year’s SP is by Herzog + de Meuron and Ai Weiwei and from the looks of the rendering, it looks like it is dealing with horizon line, materials, and some sort of ground condition.  It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out and how it stacks up to previous years’ projects.

performance art meets architecture?

archdaily image


This recent posting of OMA designing the Marina Abramovic Institute brings to light the age old question of how can architects make innovative space – without detracting from the art? and here, this building  serves as more of an active role than simply a gallery, perhaps due to her body of work, being very physical and performative.  It’s less about perfectly lighting a painting and providing ample room to view it.  Instead, she charges spaces and interactions and it’ll be interesting to see if the architecture can live up to it, rather than distract from it!

Sarah Sze, For the birds

I’ve been thinking more about the purpose of public art and I came across this piece by Sarah Sze on the Highline in NYC.  Sarah Sze piece is both functional and beautiful.  It educates the public on the birds that share their urban habitat and provides a home for the birds.

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Do you have any regrets?  Any projects you look back on and wish you had executed them?  Right after I finished my senior show as an undergrad I wanted to make one more head out of sugar (in pink of course) and leave it outside to be eaten by ants.  Its was an idea I talked about forever but never completed.  I wish I had, but since I didn’t do it when the idea was fresh it seems like going back to do makeup work now.  I’ve moved onto other things, but I wonder if I had executed the candy version of myself (or a myriad of other projects) where would I have ended up?  I’ve been thinking about this project because of our upcoming prompt, Social Insects.  It would have been perfect!  But it remains locked away in the gallery of my mind’s eye.  There’s all kinds of stuff up there!!  Do you have projects that nag at you, hoping to take form?

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