Let’s All Argue About Digital Art

You’re digital! I’m digital! We’re all digital! No better way to stir the pot than to bring up the post-IRL condition that has us all confused: What does it mean that we spend so much time online? How are artists engaging technology? Everyone’s arguing, from the curmudgeonly Artforum-approved art historian Claire Bishop to curator Lauren Cornell and author Eleanor Heartney. Here’s what they’re saying.

An Artist Caught Between Two Floods

As has been all too visible in the tossed wreckage of homes and devastation of whole neighborhoods from the recent storm, floods ravage what they consume into fragments, pulling away some things and leaving the rest in disorder ready for decay. Although Phong Bui’s current exhibition at Show Room, Work According to the Rail, Part I (After the Flood), was planned before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, it features 25 collage paintings mostly created after a flood in the artist and Brooklyn Rail publisher’s studio this past August that destroyed around 20 percent of his work. Unfortunately, Bui was also hit hard by Sandy just a day after the opening at Show Room, telling Hyperallergic that his Greenpoint studio was “decimated” by flooding that rose from the Newtown Creek.

Required Reading

This weekend’s Required Reading brings us up to speed on the situation of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, plus catches up on some of the things we missed while breaking the news, from movies demystifying the myth of the artist to video games histories and questions of morality and happiness.

Reading Brooklyn Rail’s November Issue

This month’s Brooklyn Rail didn’t just update me on the critical reception of the past months’ art exhibitions, it also kept me well-informed about the state of vegetarian burritos, Indian call centers and the misunderstood G train! The November issue (my copy is elegantly covered in a Jonas Mekas lithograph of a hand cradling a flower bud) is a primer for anyone who hasn’t necessarily seen all of the right shows and read all of the right books for the recent spat of cultural production. Taken as a whole, though, the weighty newsprint publication’s most interesting articles lay in unexpected places and concern unexpected topics.

Battle for the Nation: John Yau Questions Jerry Saltz’s America

In the newly released edition of the Brooklyn Rail, editor John Yau takes on New York Magazine’s art critic Jerry Saltz and his characterization of America as “big, bright, shiny, colorful, crowd-pleasing, heat-seeking, impeccably produced, polished, popular, expensive, and extroverted—while also being abrasive, creepily sexualized, fussy, twisted, and, let’s face it, ditzy.” Yau asks, “Is this ‘our America?’ Or is this Jerry Saltz shilling for Jeff Koons?”

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