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~ Catcher, Stella Rose and the Dead Language, Shallowhalo – Elsewhere – Zone One Mon 25 Apr, 8:00 PM New York

Elsewhere is a community that values inclusivity, joy, and creativity. In order to make this space accessible for everyone, we operate a strict zero-tolerance policy for harassment, discrimination, or hate of any kind. In order for you to join us, we require a US Government issued ID or foreign passport for admission! Please keep in mind that ticket sales are final, with the exception of a cancellation.

Please note that during this difficult time, our first priority is the safety of our community – before buying your ticket and planning your visit, please be sure to read our COVID-19 policies at http://bit.ly/elsewheresafety.

~ A Field of Vision: An Interview With Nancy Burson

The Face Of Global Carbon Emissions, 2022

To coincide with Nancy Burson’s recent NFT drop with Lobus, we decided to take a look into her cutting edge practice. Burson is no stranger to the intersection of technology and art. By the mid-1980’s Burson was known as the pioneer of facial morphing, ironically challenging the notion of photographic truth at the birth of digital manipulation. She has been interested in the interaction of art and science since the inception of her career as an artist and her work has been included in museums all over the globe: MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, LACMA, SFMOMA, Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, amongst many others.

Burson’s Inaugural NFT The Face Of Global Carbon Emissions, is up for sale on Earth Day, April 22. This NFT is composed of the top five heads of state of the countries most responsible for global warming. The composite image is weighted to reflect the approximate percentages of each countries’ carbon emission contributions to our global climate crisis. China (Xi Jinping), US (Joe Biden), India (Narendra Modi), Russia (Vladimir Putin), and Japan (Fumio Kishida). A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Clean Air Task Force.

These NFTs will be minted on Polygon.

We had Brittany Adames interview artist Nancy Burson over the weekend to discuss her artwork and upcoming NFT piece.

A lot of your pioneering work is about the digital manipulation of the human face. What inspires this apparatus? 

When I first moved to New York in ‘68, the first exhibition and first museum that I went to was MoMA. They had an exhibition called The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, and when I walked in, the things that I related to the most were the things that were interactive.

I had these ideas that maybe the way to go for my work would be to do things that were interactive because I thought it was fun. I went to a nonprofit called Experiments in Art and Technology, which was Robert Rauschenberg’s organization, and they paired artists and engineers together. That was around ‘68 or ‘69, and they were new but were really great about finding [an engineer] for me who would be just the right person. This was very, very early in computer graphics. I went to see [the engineer], and he showed me a stylist, a pen, and a pad, and I thought: Why would I use that if I could use a pencil?

I then had an idea to create a machine to show people how they would look older. I asked him how we could do this, and he said he’d have to wait for the technology to catch up. He told me at a certain point—I guess this was around ‘76—that I should contact a Nicholas Negroponte at MIT. He worked for what was then called the Architecture of Machine Group, now called the Media Lab. It was a year when you can exactly pick up the phone and actually reach important people. Nicholas was crazy about the idea of doing this project. They had something that was one of the first digitizers. There was basically a camera on a copy stand attached to a computer, and we would put people under there for five minutes to scan their face, telling them to blink. This was the start of being able to digitize the human face—in just five minutes.

How do you structure your art process? 

I feel like my source is what I’m doing, so in other words, the ideas aren’t really coming from me. I kind of follow instructions to a point, and it’s very complicated when you hear what to do. Everything in my work is attempting to show people how to see differently. I haven’t strayed from [this motive], but I think there hasn’t been a greater mission in my life that hasn’t been fulfilled yet, and that’s what I’d like to do. I did some public performances from 2006 to 2011 all over United States and through England—and even one at the UN—and those performances allowed people to see energy and to see what I do. It’s not that there’s any difference between what goes in space and what goes on around humans. It’s a very beautiful, bright world, and I think I’m here to introduce people to it.

What medium do you find yourself most drawn to recently?

I’ve been doing a lot of painting. I was a painter in college and always wanted to continue it, but there had to be a really good reason, mainly because I really considered myself a conceptual artist. I kept wondering for years what to paint, and then in the late 70s, I had some ideas about painting—they were afterimages that I saw in different light sources. They were very dark and a couple of them were in my retrospective at Grey Art Gallery in 2002. I really like those, but they’re very hard to see; they’re oil painted black on glass. They’re beautiful but subtle, like afterimages themselves.

I remember going to a couple of friends’ studios and asking them if I could just watch to figure out what I’m meant to do. And so I picked good artists to go to. I started painting five or six years ago again, and they were paintings made from words; I started painting and drawing both handed. I would draw over and over again the word “love” or “I love you” or even things like “success” or even a whole series of paintings I did called Time Is Nothing But a Rhyme. Those are paintings that are abstract but they’re only marked by the words repeating. 

Several years ago, I started studying quantum physics, which for me is about quantum entanglement, which seems to be an expression floating around the art world these days. It’s interesting to me because when I see energy, it has to do with how I see energy. Quantum entanglement was something that I didn’t particularly understand: It’s really about two particles interacting. As physicists have found, the two particles can be very close to each other, or they can be half a world away, but they’re still communicating. For me, it’s kind of a hint that the world we are living in is really about determinism and acting as some sort of matrix that many physicists believe we’re in. I believe that’s the truth behind human existence and I’ve used my art to document the evidence of that. These paintings are actually made up of tiny sets of eyes, because for me the universe both watches and sees. The paintings on the videos are pulsing, and I’ve recorded a bunch of them as a living representation of quantum entanglement. It would be great to do some sort of an interactive installation with the paintings in the future. 

How do you see your techniques and/or modes of intrigue shifting with each new project? Or is it mostly all in alignment?

For me, it’s really all in alignment. I hear what to do, and so that’s how I understand, at this point, where my ideas are coming from. I have guidance and am clairvoyant, and so these are the tools that I’ve used to access my ideas. By the 90s, things were very clear about what I needed to do and how to do it. I really think that everything an artist does and that everyone does, in fact, is destiny. I believe in scripts, but in any case, that’s just my belief.

A lot of your work like the Human Race Machine, “There’s No Gene For Race” billboard, and other public artworks serve to speak of diversity as an integral way of life.  How do you conceptualize global unity through these varying mediums of art? What does global unity look like energetically?

What global unity looks energetically is that many other people are capable of seeing what I do. When you see what I do, then it changes your perception of faith and what faith is, and what God and/or the universe is. 

Nancy Burson | First and Second Beauty Composites (1982/1982) | Artsy
First and Second Beauty Composites, 1982/1982
Silver prints on original mounts trimmed to edges
7 15/16 × 8 7/8 in
20.2 × 22.5 cm

How you are conceptualizing diversity in your most recent work?

I think it has to do, again, with seeing and seeing differently. That’s why I’m really keen on more work that has to do installations and paintings and things of that sort. I’d also love to make those kind of things into NFTs. I don’t even know the technology well enough to know how it would work, but I just will. 

In what ways do you see these evolving technologies enhancing and/or manipulating truth? Do you think there are limitations?

You know, tech is very complicated. I came into the tech world in all innocence, but what I think is shocking to me now is that there’s people or companies who you can buy faces from to sell products on your website. This is not something I ever imagined. And even my relationship with AI and identity and everything that’s been done in terms of law enforcement was not also something that I ever really imagined.. Maybe I should’ve—I don’t know, but I wasn’t thinking like that. What we were thinking is that we got this technology down, we could make movies with actors. It was very early, and we even had a version of Snapchat with an interactive, cumbersome setup we called photomakers. Photomakers lived and died one year in the 80s. It was used on Valentine’s Day at a mall in Staten Island so people could put their faces on hearts. We also had more imaginative backgrounds where you can become the Mona Lisa or Statue of Liberty. 

And how is today’s technology impacting your art right now?

I think energies are fascinating. It’s an opportunity for people who don’t know my work to collect it in a certain way in a whole different community. I think it’s great—it opens up possibilities for artists and I also think this was a totally appropriate place for me to land because it is about artist ownership. It’s really important for the artist to continually reap awards for their ideas.

How do you cultivate your audience?

I’m really open to speaking through any platform that I can; I’m new to the platform and it’s a new language for me that I’m not as familiar as I’d like to be. Everyone’s very young and dynamic, and they’ve got it down, so all I can do is learn from the experts. I really wanted to put The Face of Global Carbon Emissions out there because I think it’s a great way to put a human face on the problem. It’s five different men  and it’s weighted to the approximate percentages of each country’s carbon emissions. First is China (Xi Jinping), which has twice as many as anyone else; the United States (Joe Biden); India (Narendra Modi); then Russia (Vladimir Putin). This is humanity’s biggest problem, and I think at this point people do understand how severe and serious it is, but it’s not getting anywhere.  

I hear you’ve created an NFT that’s being released on Earth Day. Can you talk more about it?

It would be great to see the humans get out there, see it, and think about it. We’ve got to get together, and we’re not it. That’s where Lobus comes in. It’s an artist ownership platform, and you can see the morphing as it is now.

In 2018, TIME published your thoughtfully compelling composite image “Trumputin” as their cover. Can you speak about the political interface of your artwork?

The Helsinki summit in mid-July 2018 was the first time that we really understood that Trump was in Putin’s pocket; it was an unbelievable moment where suddenly we had a president who was undoubtedly in alignment with a dictator. How could this be happening? [The cover] was kind of an answer to that moment in time.

I see morphing in a different way. I don’t do it that often anymore; I really only do it because there’s a good reason for it, but mostly I feel that behind me in the pocket of physicists, where my studies are. I really don’t believe humanity is responsible for any of the problems that we’re having right now. I do believe that there’s an intelligent matrix that’s always controlled humanity and that’s what I hear and what I see. And for me, seeing has always been believing. I always see a lot of energy around people, and I see it very clearly, so I just don’t think we’re responsible. Humans were born with mirror neurons—our empathetic source that’s place in our brains. I don’t see it anywhere right now. People are wondering what’s going on and I keep saying: People are not responsible. I just hope that there’s a time that it stops and that we move on. 

The cover for the July 30, 2018 issue of TIME Magazine

What are you working on right now? Where can our readers see, hear, or read you? 

I did an interview last year with Bill Hunt at PhotoLondon. There’s a new site called The Truth in Photography, who I wrote an article for them about Quantam Entanglement. 

There was a whole series of images that I painted and worked through, so there’s drawing and painting, and those I think will be my next NFTs. I’m trying to find a way to have a broader spectrum of visibility. There’s a documentary filmmaker making a short film about my work, which will be shot soon, so I’m hoping that becomes a bigger film. It will come out sometime this year. If it’s meant to get out there, then it’ll get out there.

About Brittany Adames:

Brittany Adames is a Dominican-American writer. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in Palette Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Cosmonauts Avenue, Rust+Moth, TRACK//FOUR, and elsewhere. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at Brooklyn College.

~ Op art

Like most movements of the ’60s, Op had its own politics. It proclaimed a direct appeal to the senses—anyone’s senses, not the rarefied gaze of connoisseurs. “Art is the plastic aspect of community,” Vasarely wrote in 1953, long before Op as such existed. The Op “democratization of art”—Vasarely’s phrase, the title of his 1954 manifesto—remains steeped in a “positivist” attitude toward technology, and the movement remained explicitly attached to ideas of progress. But how do these communitarian and technophile impulses square with the discomfort/vertigo question? Does the radicalization of content presuppose a radicalization of form, as it did for Berlin Dada, Futurism, and Russian Constructivism? Does the visual overload/overkill of so much Op art (Boriani’s “psycho-sensoric infuriation”), its pointed destabilization of “normal” vision, correspond to a potential rupture in established modes of social and political address and behavior? Op art stands at the intersection of these contradictions, its positivist belief in technological progress bluntly opposed by the pain inflicted by many of the artworks, and the concomitant, acute sense of perceptual and bodily disequilibrium they induce, from Riley’s Current to Boriani’s stroboscopic room. This is the true politics of Op, quite different from its ostensible program. It accords with profound epistemic rifts within the broader culture of the 1960s. Op is the nonobjective correlative of psychedelia, the promise of a realm of vision and experience beyond the accepted protocols of quotidian existence. But its potential, historically understood and as an early twenty-first-century “revival,” depends on its capacity to alert the viewer to what he is already experiencing, even though he may not be conscious yet of what exactly is going on. The pain and disequilibrium that are absolutely constitutive of Op—the way it rattles the cage of “everyday life”—point to what isn’t future-fantastic in our technocratic and media-glutted modern world. Utopian dreams brush constantly against dystopian dread; dysphoria follows euphoria as today’s hangover follows last night’s cocktails. Headache and party fuse.

~ Luxury Counterfeits and More

Another event being hosted by Canal Street Research TONIGHT, April 19th, 2022 at 7pm. This one is a screening and a discussion. More details in the IG post and in the caption.

Please join Canal Street Research Association and Spectacle, Tuesday, April 19, 7 pm, for a screening of P.I. SNAPS, Monica Sharf’s portrait of private investigator Dempster Leech, and Yvonne Rainer’s FILM ABOUT A WOMAN WHO…, starring Rainer, Leech, Shirley Soffer, John Erdman, Renfreu Neff, James Barth, Epp Kotkas, Sarah Soffer, Tannis Hugill, and Valda Setterfield.

Followed by a conversation around fiction, reality, cliché and artifice with director Monica Sharf (@monica.sharf), Dempster Leech, Spectacle’s Steve Macfarlane (@dimension_tide) and Canal Street Research Association.

~ Coops On Canal St

Wanted to share something happening on Sunday hosted by Canal Street Research that I thought would be cool. Check out their Instagram HERE.

Left: Chinatown guidebook entry, 1939. Right: The facade of the Kletzker Brotherly Aid Society at 41 Canal Street, now a Chinese funeral home, still bears sculptures of beehives—symbols of the sweetness of cooperation.

Join us at the Canal Street Research Association (264 Canal Street, #5E New York, NY) on Sunday, April 24 from 4–6 p.m. for Coops on Canal, a discussion about self-organized economic models—mutual aid, ethnic associations, informal loan clubs, and cooperatives—along Canal Street in New York City’s Chinatown, with speakers Wellington Chen, Dan Katz, Rebecca Kobrin, and Boukary Sawadogo, introduced by Canal Street Research Association and Coop Fund

In Chinese, an association or “hui” (會) refers to a secret society or members-only club organized along ethnic or village lines. Many such associations line Canal Street, including Canal Street Research Association. The hui has roots in rural Qing dynasty enclaves, where such societies formed to combat unjust rulers. Hui is also a term for gathering or assembling, and can be an informal lending club whereby members contribute to a collective pot, taking turns to receive the total sum. 

Loan clubs and ethnic associations have long been a source of support among communities neglected or abandoned by the state, and for those who face discriminatory policies barring access to housing, medical care, or work opportunities. These cooperative economic structures offer a way to amass a sizable sum without incurring exorbitant interest, and to bypass the exclusionary requirements of banks. 

For the first half of the 19th century, the New York African Society for Mutual Relief assisted African Americans buying property in the neighborhood of Five Points, the former site of Collect Pond, Lower Manhattan’s main reservoir, whose tributaries overflowed into the canal that became Canal Street. Half a century later, waves of Jewish immigrants to the neighborhood formed aid associations called landsmannschaftn. Today, West African traders on Canal Street draw on kinship for economic fortification. Should the police seize their goods in a raid, a shared recovery fund is available, recalling the West African sou-sou or savings clubs that proliferate across the diaspora.

At times, these informal organizations replicate the oppressive power structures to which they respond, as landlords and business owners within a community accrue influence and exploit those with fewer resources. Yet in the face of economic instability, forms of self-organization rooted in principles of solidarity and mutual aid offer ways for communities to continue to survive and thrive in New York City.

Participants 

Wellington Chen is a public servant, community advocate, architect, and planner. A first-generation Asian American with a lifelong interest in community resuscitation, he once worked in a wig factory on Canal Street and now leads the Chinatown Business Improvement District and the Chinatown Partnership.

Daniel Katz teaches history at the School of Labor and Urban Studies at CUNY. He is the author of All Together Different: Yiddish Socialists, Garment Workers, and the Labor Roots of Multiculturalism and founder and Chief Historian of the People’s Heritage Tours, a walking New York City history tour company that highlights past movements and contemporary struggles for social justice.

Rebecca Kobrin is Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History at Columbia University, with a specialization in immigration history and Jewish economic history. She is the author of Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora

Boukary Sawadogo is Associate Professor Cinema Studies and Black Studies at the City College of the City University of New York. A scholar of African cinema and African immigrant communities in New York City, he is the author of the forthcoming book Africans in Harlem: An Untold New York Story.

Canal Street Research Association is a fictional office founded in an empty storefront on Canal Street, New York City’s counterfeit epicenter, in fall 2020. Through research, re-staging, shadow economies, and vacancy, it delves into the cultural and material ecologies of Canal Street and its long history of probing the limits of ownership and authorship.

Coop Fund is an experimental cooperative funding platform that accumulates financial resources through member contributions, and redistributes small funds to members using a cooperative decision making process.

The Canal Street Research Association’s fifth-floor space is accessible via elevator. Its bathrooms are located up one step and are not ADA compliant. Please feel free to reach out to canalstreetresearch@gmail.com if you have access needs.

This event was made possible by funding provided by the members of Coop Fund

~ Armando Visits art. #1

As you know, I systematically drop in museums and art galleries in New York City. It’s very entertaining and also, in some way, I get to imitate the act of “falling in love”.

In the past, There has been countless times where I didn’t enjoy the work but I went with intentions are to sit with and appreciate the art. At this moment, these are my recent visits and favorites (in no particular order) in the lower Manhattan area:

Ryan Foerster at Martos Gallery
Jane Dickson at James Fuentes
Lukas Quietzszch at Ramiken
Jake Manning at TIf Sigfrids
David Worjarowicz at P.P.O.W
Nora Torato at 52 Walker
Mary Manning at Canada
Emily Weiner at Brackett Creek Exhibitions

I will be visiting more galleries in the next few days and will keep you all in the loop!

Hope to see you at an opening! Thanks!

~ A Selection of Franca Sozzani’s Controversial Vogue Italia Editorial’s

Vogue Italia, “Makeover Madness,” 2005
Vogue Italia, “Cinematic,” 2014
Vogue Italia, “Super Mods enter Rehab,” 2007
Vogue Italia, “State of Emergency,” 2006
Vogue Italia, “Vogue Unique,” 2012
Vogue Italia, “Que será, será,” 2006
Vogue Italia, “The Vagaries of Fashion,” 2001

~ ‘The Batman’: The Riddler’s Easter-Egg Website “Seized” by Gotham Police 

A website connected to the marketing campaign for Matt Reeves’ The Batman went through a new change, as the domain has been “seized” by the Gotham City Police Department. The “rataalada” website was initially a secret domain that offered fans the opportunity to talk to The Riddler (Paul Dano), solve puzzles, and get small rewards for finding the correct answer to the villain’s questions. While the puzzle game is now offline, due to its fictional seizure by the GCPD, the sudden change on the website might tease Warner Bros. is ready to announce some news about The Batmanuniverse.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Having spent my entire adult life running away from Georgia O’Keeffe, I’m coming out of the closet yes I was obsessed with Georgia as a child and teenager. The big Viking Press publication of 1976 and Perry Miller Adato’s documentary the following year, that was pretty much the only thing PBS showed in the late ‘70s, that and those other jewels the Dick Cavett Show and The Joy of Painting and of course McNeil-Lehrer. So what are the absolutely most splendiferously loony paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe?

Alfred Stieglitz, “Georgia O’Keeffe” (1918, printed 1920s)

~ Richard prince Instagram paintings

I was thinking today that richard princes instagram paintings would have been better if they were printed on the lowest quality paper like printer paper from kinkos instead of being big shiny finished paintings. i never really thought about them in terms of their material concern cuz theyre so socially loaded but i think they would be better if they were printed on printer paper or something like it because that would be more offensive to the people that are getting their work appropriated and also is more materially interesting.

~ Get Heroin Gia

“She scared me a little bit,” recalled Harry King. “There was something about her that made me feel uneasy. I used to say it to Way: ‘She has a demon inside of her.’” — Steven Fried, “Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia”

I’ll never forget walking into 303’s room at the first Gramercy Park Hotel art fair and seeing a big Karen Kilimnik drawing with the text GET HEROIN GIA. I laughed in an embarrassed way. It was thrilling, one of my favorite contemporary art moments ever, indelible, kind of mean but rotten glamorous. I can’t find a picture of this but it’s in a book I have. I’ll photograph it.

Gia Carangi photographed by Chris von Wangenheim, 1979.

And this is definitely the gayest thing I’ve posted all day.

~ 4WD – Tenant Worker People Power

Gentrification and rich pandemic migrants are pushing the local residents out of legacy neighborhoods transforming the city in an awful amusement park for the riches with no soul. You can support purchasing a tee for this year amazing collaborators Alaska-Alaska, Cali Thornhill Dewitt, Carrie Munden/Cassette Playa, Daniel Arsham and Partners&Others on 4worthdoing.com

“Miami Workers Center (MWC), founded in 1999, is a membership-based organization that builds power with tenants, low-wage workers, women and families. Through leadership development and grassroots campaigns, MWC is fighting for a Miami where everyone has access to a home and dignity on the job”

4worthdoing.com

~ On Kawara – Today Series/Date Paintings

On Kawara, MAY 20, 1981 (“Wednesday.”). New York. From Today, 1966–2013. Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm). Pictured with artist-made cardboard storage box, 18 5/8 x 25 x 2 inches (47.3 x 62.5 x 5 cm). Private collection. © On Kawara. Photo: Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

On January 4, 1966, On Kawara began his Today series, or Date Paintings. He worked on the series for nearly five decades. A Date Painting is a monochromatic canvas of red, blue, or gray with the date on which it was made inscribed in white. Date Paintings range in size from 8 x 10 inches to 61 x 89 inches. The date is composed in the language and convention of the place where Kawara made the painting. When he was in a country with a non-Roman alphabet, he used Esperanto. He did not create a painting every day, but some days he made two, even three.

The paintings were produced meticulously over the course of many hours according to a series of steps that never varied. If a painting was not finished by midnight, he destroyed it. The quasi-mechanical element of his routine makes the production of each painting an exercise in meditation. Kawara fabricated a cardboard storage box for each Date Painting. Many boxes are lined with a cutting from a local newspaper. Works were often given subtitles, many of which he drew from the daily press.

Kawara’s choice of dates appears to follow no overall principle. Some dates may have been personally or historically significant. Above all, however, the Today series addresses each day as its own entity within the larger context of the regularized passage of time. The series speaks to the idea that the calendar is a human construct, and that quantifications of time are shaped by cultural contexts and personal experiences.

After the first year, Kawara found that he had no more room in his studio to hang them and began—the story goes—having nightmares about the Date Paintings. A few months after Kawara began constructing storage boxes, he began adding newspaper clippings from the date on which the painting was painted. While these have been displayed with the paintings over the years, Kawara did not consider these part of the artworks themselves.

At the same time, the boxes were more than just a place for the artist to store his prolific output. This is very Japanese. You have a scroll painting, and you unroll it, and you roll it back, and you store it. He didn’t make it to be presented. It’s more like a scientist who tries to find something out and then publishes it. And the form, the way he publishes it, is part of the research.

~ Index

An Andy Warhol photograph dated 1984 that shows a hand pointing at what looks like a misplaced appendectomy scar. It reminds me of certain works by John Baldessari like those in the series “Commissioned Paintings”(1969-70), which take as point of departure an alleged comment of Al Held, “All Conceptual art is just pointing to things.”

~ Matthias Poledna -Imitation of Life, 2013

Questioning the very essence of Disney’s historical hold on traditional character design, Imitation of Life uses actual Disney animators to create a musical, filled with familiar surroundings, animals, and characters we think we’ve seen before, once upon a dream. We realize, we’ve been unknowingly taught to think of traditional animation through the eyes of Disney. The unnamed character dances through the film, singing to the birds like Sleeping Beauty, and taunting us to figure out what significance this world holds and the words he sings. The song feeling just as familiar as the animation. What could possibly be the story and origin of this little donkey sailor.

Mathias Poledna
Imitation of Life
35mm color film with optical sound; edition number five of five, plus 2 artist’s proofs
3 min. loop
2013