When it came to light that the newest release in EA’s Medal of Honor video game series contained a mode in which players could choose to fight as a group named the Taliban, and the US Army was understandably not too happy about it. After all, they had previously been cooperating on developing the game, allowing EA access to military equipment for rendering as well as aiding in the recording of sounds for the game. Yet the thinking behind this pressure from the Army and EA’s final decision to remove the game mode is more complicated than it seems.
It was a beautiful day last Saturday and I took the opportunity to wander the post-industrial warehouses of north Brooklyn with the mission to explore the studios taking part in the 2010 Greenpoint Open Studios. During my afternoon of wandering I only managed to visit 30% of the studios but I, nonetheless, saw a great range of work that gave me a feel for the area — painters appear to dominate the artistic life of this corner of Brooklyn.
While I came eager to see new work by new names, I also encountered some established figures, and I even came across a large white work by artist Joe Bradley leaned up against a wall — the work was on its way to the New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art (NJMoCA) in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is slated to open this month. During my visit to one sculptor’s studio, Stacy Fisher, I was told that recently the world-renowned playwright Edward Albee — of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” fame — showed up a few weeks earlier to buy one of her Hydrocal, wood, hardware and latex paint sculptures … a sign of things to come for this neighborhood with infamously bad public transportation options?
Yeah, so everyone knows Kanye West has invaded the Internet since he got on Twitter, and has been dropping songs every (GOOD) Friday. But the rap star’s presence online has done some funky things to online aesthetics as well. Just like Kanye has the supernatural ability to create a Twitter trending topic at will (see lipstick … ) and memes seem to spring fully formed from his forehead, or iPhone as it may be, he has the single-handed capacity to inspire self-replicating conceptual art moments online.
Internet artists have been taking the raw materials of Kanye’s digital output and using it as the basis for new works. Part collage, part DIY crafting project, the spinoffs are interesting studies in the creative scrapyard of the online world.
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.
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.
Since the inception of Facebook’s photo viewer, an influential tool that’s become the go-to for documentation of everything from social events to product launches, users have been stuck at a pretty lousy 72 DPI and 720 pixels. Those digits mean an image size that’s low enough to make even high quality pictures look bad, adding grain and distorted colors. The limitations were even annoying enough for artist Jonald James to start a Facebook group in protest, Artists Against Facebook’s Image Compression Process. Yet though difficulties remain, new Facebook updates point to a way forward for art and artists online. The message of James’ group is that Facebook isn’t just for presenting shitty party pics, but also presents a tool that artists depend on for marketing and sales. “Let’s face it,” their About statement reads, “Facebook’s photo management really sucks.”
“William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible” is a new hour-long film from ART 21 that gives viewers an intimate look into the mind and creative process of William Kentridge, the South African artist whose acclaimed work has made him one of the most dynamic and exciting contemporary artists working today.
Art 21 is hosting a special premiere screening at MOMA in New York City on Monday October 18th and they are giving Hyperallergic readers a few chances to win a pair of tickets to this special event.
This past weekend may have artistically been notable for having three different open studio events in Brooklyn — Greenpoint, Gowanus, and Crown Heights — but it was also pretty significant because the first-ever Nuit Blanche event in New York, titled Bring to Light, took place in Greenpoint … sorry Gowanus and Crown Heights, you’ll have to wait for yours.
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?
With a month on a plane, I had boredom on the brain and packed what books I could to feed it. The worst decision I have made to date was to bring Michael Cunningham’s latest novel By Nightfall with me and read it over the first few days of jetting … because the book’s protagonist, Peter Harris, is an art dealer suffering from a crippling bout of nihilism and, when you’re setting out from New York City to look for what’s happening elsewhere in the art world, the least helpful thing to bring along is a book busy interrogating everything that underpins the creation, enjoyment, and dissemination of contemporary art. But I read on, attentive to detail in a fit of masochistic idiocy, and because I had room in my backpack for two books and the other one I brought was Learning from Las Vegas, which I wanted to save, of course, for Las Vegas.
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.
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