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Posted inArt

Signs of Protest: One Nation Working Together with Marker + Paper + Political Opinions

Washington, DC — This is a protest post. A post about a protest in the city that is Paris done in the American wide style (not the Las Vegas lights-and-money-style) on the banks of the Potomac; the city of pearly bureaucrats, and neo-cons, and neoclassical columns; all things National, American, U.S.A. This post explores the signs at last Saturday’s progressive protest, One Nation Working Together: Jobs, Justice, and Education for All.

Posted inArt

Katamari Damacy’s Keita Takahashi Turns From Video Games to Playgrounds

As auteurs of the video game world go, Keita Takahashi is pretty far up there. The biggest game-changer of video games as of late isn’t the advent of 3D or the latest advance in the bloody realism of the latest first-person shooter, rather, a good argument could be made that it’s Takahashi’s Katamari Damacy, a quirky game that became a cult classic. Now, the designer has found himself too constricted by the traditional video game business, and with it, the company that helped bring him to fame. Along with wife, composer Asuka Sakai, Takashi has opened his own creative studio, called Uvula, and launched a blog to go along with it.

Posted inArt

John Cage “Silenced” on YouTube?

YouTube user AdamLore posted a video on his channel November 8, 2009 of John Cage performing his seminal piece 4’ 33”, a piece of music in which the famed minimalist composer placed a stopwatch on his piano and did nothing for the specified length of time. The twist to the Youtube version is that the audio has apparently been excised from the video, leaving John Cage’s performed “silence” as real, literal silence. The censorship is apparently courtesy of Warner Music Group, with a tagline below the video claiming “NOTICE This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by WMG. The audio has been disabled.” But is that the real story?

Posted inArt

Letter from Los Angeles: Cults, Cacti, and Crystals

Narcotic-riffing duo Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe have been at it again, creating an immersive drug den abandoned to time and decay. After staging their faux meth labs in Marfa, Miami, and New York, they’ve moved onto a fictional narcotic, Marasa, and an invented cult figure, Dr. Arthur Cook. Like previous projects, this new installation, Bright White Underground, is a serious gesamtkunstwerk, man.

Posted inArt

Words and Pictures: A Controversy

Molly Norris has been told by the FBI that she needs to change her name and go into hiding because of a cartoon she drew making fun of Comedy Central for censoring South Park. I don’t know what to do about it, but I’m not going to respond by making a cartoon ridiculing Muslims. Maybe I’ll ridicule terrorists and their sponsors, but they just don’t listen to me. Back in May, Hrag wrote about Molly Norris and the stir it caused. I see I clicked Like, and its a good article, but I remember being bothered by Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, and not wanting to participate in it.

Posted inArt

Aiko’s “Blog Post of an Exhibition” in Shanghai

Aiko’s recent exhibition at Andrew James Fine Art in Shanghai was actually made entirely in that Chinese city while she participated in the gallery’s residency program. This locality lends the work a different significance, a home-grown quality that’s reflected in the mix-in of Shanghai street signs and graphic elements. What we see is not so much a heroic, tragic artist struggling to produce a masterpiece, but a practicing artist reflecting the time and the place she occupies.