After getting lost in beautifully tucked away trails toward the north west corner of Central Park, the discovery of the S.S. Hangover made for successful end of art hunting in Central Park this past Saturday. The only one disappointed in our group of six art viewers was the 5 year old who had envisioned riding the boat along the lake as the music played. Fortunately the soft pleasant music performed from the boat by the brass sextet calmed our disillusioned interactive art connoisseur.
Upon studying the ship, my 6 year old immediately asked why there was a fat unicorn on the sail. A Creative Time attendant, corrected him that it was not a unicorn, but the winged horse, Pegasus from the myth of Hercules. To everyone’s disappointment, she went on to explain that the fat Pegasus represents the struggling artist who has gotten older and is unable to achieve artistic recognition and glory. I immediately wondered why the artist had to take a nice performative piece and stamp it with such a trite concept.
The boat appeared to circle around a small island as it performed a piece by Kjartan Sveinsson. We only remained for iterations that were relaxing and pleasant. As we continued to walk around the Harlem Meer, we encountered Karyn Olivier’s “Here and Now/Glacier, Shard, Rock” – a lenticular signboard that shifts between photographs of the immediate environment behind the billboard, a glacier and pottery shard that resembled a Western classical pottery work.
Upon exiting Harlem Meer and Central Park on the east side, we encountered Spencer Finch’s “Sunset (Central Park)” – a soft-serve ice cream truck that employs solar panels to cool and power the soft-swerve. The line for the free ice-cream was far too long for us to experience the solar-cooled ice cream.
Overall the work that we encountered was poetic and relaxing at a time when so much of the immediate social issues carry friction, stress and the growing schism between the rich and poor on our earth.
Over the past year, I’ve been slightly obsessed with Vladimir Putin. As the annexation of Crimea occurred in spring of 2014, I took in all the news as I tried to understand why in this day and age following two world wars and the cold war of the past century a world leader would behave in such a manner. I understand that Crimeans speak primarily Russian and not Ukrainian, that Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 and perhaps culturally the Crimean majority identify as Russian. But to make the power play of absorbing a portion of another country immediately following a revolution, strikes me as a land grab of another era not reflective of our globalized, pan-capitalist world. I of course wondered if Putin is today’s Stalin, as many other people make the connection. In considering this annexation, I assembled this animation as I work on a slightly less shorter animated portrait.
My son and I were listening to WNYC this morning while having breakfast. The Morning Edition was reporting on the Supreme Courts upcoming decision regarding Gay Marriage. So my six-year old asked me what “Gay Marriage” is and I explained that it is when two people of the same gender want to be married and that currently in many states, it is not allowed, whereas here in New York gay couples are allowed to marry. So, he asked if they can marry here, why are they talking about it on the radio. I explained as best I could the Supreme Court and that if the judges decided that Gay Marriage is lawful, people would be able to marry in all states. And I asked what he thought – should gay couples have the right to marriage just as a man and a woman do across the country? He shrugged and said, “it’s none of my business, if they want to marry, sure.”
Celebrate Social Justice Journalism
Friday, April 24, 2015 @ 6:30 p.m.
Free & open to the public
The 25th annual James Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism will go to reporters who have exposed the collusion of a major U.S. corporation with a vicious African warlord, the impact of violence on some Baltimore children, the growing legion of elderly Americans who work menial jobs in the warehouses of the world’s largest online retailer, the myriad costs of neglecting to care for the mentally ill, and the injustices that plague America’s Indian reservations.
Winners will discuss the inspirations and difficulties of reporting such stories at a free public presentation Friday, April 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College, 68th Street & Lexington Ave, New York City.
Just some of the winners:
William Greider, Career Achievement
In a career spanning more than 35 years, William Greider has been a steadfast and tireless reporter and editor focusing on American politics. He has been the national affairs editor at Rolling Stone; an assistant managing editor at the Washington Post, where he was also a national correspondent and columnist; and the national affairs correspondent for The Nation. In addition, Mr. Greider has written several books and numerous articles for additional publications.
Nathan Fitch, Mikros Soldier (2014, 51 minutes)
Mikros Soldier investigates the Impacts of Militarization in the Federated States of Micronesia, an independent Island nation in the Pacific that has suffered very high casualty rates in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nathan Fitch, a filmmaker and photographer holds an MFA from the Integrated Media Arts program at Hunter College.
Sam Feder, Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger (2014, 72 minutes)
In this uplifting and timely feature-length documentary, Sam Feder profiles the brave, pioneering transgender performance artist and activist Kate Bornstein, who underwent sex-reassignment surgery in 1986 at age 38, to address the importance of being true to oneself while considering, more broadly, what it means to lead a fulfilling life. Sam Feder, a filmmaker and educator holds an MFA from the Integrated Media Arts program at Hunter College.
Eyebeam is a not-for-profit art and technology center that offers artists fellowships and residencies and presents new media exhibitions; it is one of a kind here in the U.S.. I have been an artist in residence and Eyebeam has always been supportive of my work. Although there are several art and technology institutions in Europe there are few to none in the United States that are dedicated to the creation and union of art and technology free of commercial interests. Please consider attending this important event or donating to Eyebeam. Below is the invitation.
Eyebeam’s first Award Benefit Celebrating Creativity and Courage in Art & Technology
21 April, 2015
6:00PM – 8:00PM
Sony Wonder Technology Lab
550 Madison Avenue (entrance on 56th Street)
New York, NY
For tickets please click here.
Join us at Eyebeam’s First Awards Benefit on 21 April! We will be honoring Ayah Bdeir and Trevor Paglen and featuring work by several current and recent Eyebeam artists.
Ayah Bdeir is being honored for enabling current and future generations to easily explore technology’s creative potential and Trevor Paglen for helping citizens understand the profound magnitude of digital surveillance through a variety of media. Together, their creative and provocative work demystifies public understanding of technology.
For more information see our announcement here.
Eyebeam is a nonprofit artist colony and R+D lab that supports creative and risk-taking work at the intersection of art and technology. Eyebeam exposes diverse audiences to experimental and interdisciplinary work, providing an environment for dialogue, collaboration, learning and discovery.
Last fall, I had the great pleasure of working with Hunter College Macaulay Honors student Ashley van der Grinten to create this beautiful animation. “Dance” is a collaboration between Ms. van der Grinten, videographer and dancer Shanika Powell and dancer Christina McEachern. The final animation is a beautiful and creative hand drawn work that brings to life an abstracted human figure that dances across your screen.
I’ve been following closely the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine regarding Crimea. At first, it seemed to be no more than a power grab by Russia for all sorts of reasons from capitalist power to cultural identity to saving face from a post cold-war reality. I’m not sure that this is not all true from the perspective of Russia, however, from the view of those who dissented and revolted against the Ukraine, it seems even more complex. Without living the reality, who knows, however from a distant observation, I couldn’t help, but create the GIF below.
There’s more to come soon!
I’ve added new art work to my Society6 site. Now you can get vector illustrated portraits of Putin and Stalin on everything from t-shirts to tote bags to coffee mugs to clocks and more…
The Department of Film & Media Studies at Hunter only has a couple of 2D animation courses – an Introduction to 2D Animation and a Motion Graphics course, so generally the work reflects that students are just getting started with animation. There are, however, amazing projects that come out of these courses. The professor of last fall 2014 Intro to 2D Animation, Anita Cheng, sent me the animation “The Commute” by Hunter Media Studies junior Joy Ling and I am so impressed by the work that I had to make note of it. Also I believe that any New Yorker who rides the subway can identify with it!
My 2001 net.art project “audiophile” is on view as part of the exhibition titled “Press Play” curated by Ruth Bruno and Cortney Lane Stell. “Press Play” is collaboratively produced between RedLine and Denver Arts & Venues. The exhibition is on view at McNichols Civic Center Building 144 West Colfax (corner of West Colfax and Bannock) from March 21st through June 28th.
Curators Stell and Bruno describe the conceptual premise of the “Press Play”:
“Rules of games, like those found in video games, imply ethical models or boundaries to be kept within in daily societal interactions and experiences. These parameters often structure our actions, perspectives, and worldviews. The artists in Press Play use these normative tools as structure, starting points, or forces to push against in their work. While some artworks explore conventional modes of structured play, other works use ruled play systems in order to subvert these conventional models of participation and competition.”
Participating Artists: Mark Amerika, Molly Bounds, Brody Condon, Milton Croissant III, Humberto Duque, Joseph Farbrook, Miltos Manetas, Eva and Franco Mattes, Alex Myers, Chad Person, and Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga.