“Billions and billions of stars.” Carl Sagan’s awestruck if indeterminate census of the universe became a comic catchphrase in the wake of his 1980s PBS series Cosmos. Johnny Carson would intone the line, exaggerating the astrophysicist’s sing-songish repetition of billions and we’d laugh. Not because Sagan’s estimate was so low (estimates currently put the figure at between 10 sextillion and 1 septillion), but in part because the mere idea of billions of suns and consequent solar systems like our own is a patently impossible notion to comprehend. Contemplating god (as a bearded chap on a throne or some vague organizing “force) is water off a duck compared to the mental rearrangements required by the proposition that everyone alive and who has ever lived amounts to nothing more than a mote of cosmic dust. Now that’s hilarious.
This week’s prescription is a heavy dose of Performa 11 with just a taste of the must-see highlights of this year’s festival. The three-week event can be overwhelming, but thankfully the Hyperallergic doctor is in to help you through it.
This week’s Required Reading has Serra at the Met, pole dancing’s relationship to art, tech’s relationship to whiteness, mud stenciling, sound art, ruminations on the art world by a bigwig at Christie’s and the art of getting high.
A month ago, artists Michelle Vaughan and John Powers made a bar bet — I’m guessing it was a drunken one — over one of Powers’s bombastic claims. He made the sweeping statement that “movies are the art of our time.” Not one to step away from a challenge, Vaughan disagreed. Eventually Vaughan, who is a painter, and Powers, who is a sculptor, decided to transition their debate online and I offered to judge their exchange and declare a winner. Today is that glorious day. Click through for the final verdict.
Mary Louise Schumacher on Steve Martin’s art world novel — Carolina Miranda on the “new shape of street art” in ARTnews — “Smithsonian” of Arab art in Qatar — Filip Dujardin’s architectural remixes — Star Wars Modern blogs on art and technology
Every week, we’ll recap the best comments we’ve received on Hyperallergic’s posts, whether that’s on the blogazine itself, on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Be sure to check in every Friday for new comments.
This week, check out responses to our Powerless 20, additions to our list of dangerous works of art, and commentary on the conflict between installation artists and the environment.
If you are unable to attend tonight’s “Star Wars & Modernism” event with John Powers and Luke DuBois, don’t worry, we’re going to do our best to ensure it is livestreamed online for you. This is the first time we have attempted such a complicated feat (combining live and prerecorded video) but wish us luck … and, of course, stay tuned …
We’re psyched that Hyperallergic is now a Jedi. As proof of our love for the force, we’re hosting a special event with John Powers and Luke DuBois, who will be making a world premiere presentation at Hyperallergic HQ by screening episodes 2 (robots as peasants) & 4 (abstraction is the force) in the continuing epic that is “Star Wars Modern.” Get your tickets now!
This is an artist’s essay that explores some of the ideas put forward in Powers’ three-part essay, “Art, Not Suicide,” published earlier this week. -Ed. Note
This week we are pleased to publish an essay by sculptor and blogger John Powers about the relationship of death, sculpture, and modernity. The essay, titled “Art, Not Suicide,” wrestles with Rosalind Krauss and her influential essay “Sculpture in the Expanded Field,” as a starting point and asks, “What is the role of death in modern sculpture?” What he finds may surprise you.
This past Thursday, sculptor John Powers presented excerpts of his ambitious project “Star Wars and Modernism: An Artist Commentary.” Accompanied by composer R. Luke Dubois and Columbia Art History Fellow and Triple Canopy senior editor Colby Chamberlain, who provided editorial assistance, the film is an original and provocative look at Star Wars not merely as a Hollywood blockbuster and mythic narrative, but as an art object.