Folk Art Museum to Sell Off Works at Sotheby’s for Chairman’s Debts

The Tod Williams and Billie Tsien-designed building isn’t all that the American Folk Art Museum is losing as it retreats from its large home in midtown and cedes it to the Museum of Modern Art. It also has to give up over 200 works that were promised to it by collector and museum chairman Ralph Esmerian, who is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for fraud, reports The Art Newspaper.

The Almost Anonymous of the Digital Art World

Remove Justin Bieber from your internet. Slice up subway posters for easy remixing. Mix LEGO, K’nex, and Lincoln Logs in an incestuous scramble of childhood toys. Star in your own guerrilla TED talk. Those are just a brief excerpt of the mischievous things an active viewer can accomplish at Eyebeam’s retrospective of the hacker-internet artist-new media graffiti collective F.A.T. Lab.

Get the Daily Weather Forecast in Emoji

We live in a data-driven world. Computer-driven algorithms sense and predict what the future might be like instants before it happens. Google Earth uses satellites to quantify the entire earth. Weather is pretty complicated, too. Dark Sky is a short-term weather predictor that uses real-time data to show a complex view of our current environment, visualized with radar animations. But what about a forecast anyone can instantly understand?

Sesame Street Explains Sculpture

It takes a lot of work to carve a sculpture, but apparently muppets have all the strength it takes. On the April 18 episode of Sesame Street, “sculpture” was the word of the day and the little red fuzzball Elmo teamed up with chiseled Mad Men star Jon Hamm to give viewers a quick history of the medium, from Rodin to David Smith.

After Sandy, Eyebeam Is Thriving

In late October 2012, three feet of water crashed through Eyebeam, a technology and new media non-profit located in a vast warehouse space on 26th Street in Chelsea. The ground floor location proved catastrophic as the flood poured over from the Hudson: Eyebeam sustained damage to just about every part of its operation, from studio space and galleries to the institution’s all-important archive, stored on vulnerable media formats like hard drives and storage cassettes.

Beam Me Up, Marco

The second floor of the Room Mate Grace Hotel last Wednesday night was humid. A crush of guests lined up around the hotel’s small pool and perched on bleachers staring down on it, hypnotized not just by the summer atmosphere but by the surface of the water. The pool didn’t look so much like a pool as a floating vat of primordial mist. Dancing on the upper layer of mist, circles of light bubbled up like so many blown smoke rings. The surreal vision was an artwork, called “Materialization/De-Materialization,” installed by Marco Brambilla for After Hours, a monthly series of events hosted by Clocktower gallery and Times Square Arts of which Hyperallergic is the exclusive media sponsor.

Turn Your Vines into Flipbooks

Flipbooks have been around since 1868 when they were invented as “kineographs” by John Barnes Linnett. They used to fascinate crowds as the pioneer of moving image media before they were eclipsed by, you know, film projectors. So you totally need a new way to make flipbooks now, right?

Color-Changing Furniture Controlled by Electrical Pulses

Part of choosing to buy an aesthetic object, whether that’s a piece of art, a decorative sculpture, or a provocative furniture item, is committing to living with it. Sure, your Zaha Hadid desk looks amazing, but would you really want to do work on it every day? Into that conundrum comes British designer Ron Arad whose new series “No Bad Colors” is a series of pieces that can change in response to any environment.

Actors Restage Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” in Mall

A thief in a garish feathered hat runs out of a shopping mall store with a leather bag clutched in his hand. He jumps down the stairs and tries desperately to escape as ropes descend down the mall’s atrium. Guards emerge to catch the criminal — but they’re on horseback, dressed in brimmed caps, and decked out with ruffled collars. A regiment of guards on foot marches toward the thief with halberds outstretched. After they catch the would-be escapee, a frame falls from the ceiling of the mall and brackets a view of proud policemen: This is Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.”

Which Artist Did It Better?

Sometimes it’s not so much about who did something first, but who did it best. In the technology start-up world, it doesn’t matter that dozens of other companies were creating video upload sites before YouTube; YouTube just hit the right combination of community, buzz, and content. Art history is the same. Enduring fame, of the centuries-long variety, doesn’t come to the artist who first followed through on an idea, but to the one who did it the most prominently.

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