Thursday, November 27, 2008


Growing up in the 90's and being a part of MTV culture definitely had an affect on my youth. I practically grew up on Jackass, which provided me with hours of juvenile entertainment. A lot of their earlier skits involved pranking unsuspecting patrons, hoping to get a reaction.

yoga class - Johnny Knoxville stretches and farts his way through a yoga class.

street fishing - Utilizing a fishing rod, tackle, and dollar bill bait, Steve-O goes fishing for downtown denizens.

the hearse - Johnny Knoxville plays a bumbling mortician and keeps losing his casket in public.

Their ideas and methods, while often crude and usually wildly inappropriate, don't seem far off from many performance pieces I've seen in the art world. Would you consider being a public "Jackass" to be a performance piece? Could you consider this "art"?

Jane Alexander

I learned about this amazing South African artist in the November issue of Juxtapoz. Her work is really dark and gritty, but so subtle. Her work is really reflective of her own views on art and on her own art. She typically won't talk about her work, but it doesn't seem necessary, it's just so dense and skillfully executed. Typically Juxtapoz interviews the artists they feature, but Alexander wouldn't give an interview. I feel saying anything else is a disservice to the way her work is to be experienced (being in the room itself.) I'll leave you with a link to a google image search, I can't find a website for her. If you dig her stuff keep your ear to the ground and try and catch one of her installations.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Artist Book

So I've been researching and looking at various artists books to get alternate ideas for the composition of my book I'm working on. I stumbled upon this artist book, which is by Nicola Dale. She collected lines from her favorite British poetry and created her own poem. I obviously connected with this as it's similar to one of my projects I presented. I also love her creativity in the composition of the book. Pretty much brilliant. Check out her other stuff as well, its pretty interesting. Nicola Dale

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chris Burden explains his work

In Documentation of Selected Works 1971-1974, Chris Burden talks to the camera, explaining each work and his documentation process. This video was brought up in Cole's critique last night because of the candid way in which both Cole and Burden talk about their work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ron Mueck

So since I have this fascination with Hyperrealism... I came across another sculptor that I don't think has been brought up yet.  Ron Mueck actually started off as a puppeteer and also made them apparently for children's television.  Since then he has gotten very interested with hyperrealism, and in most of his works he enlarges them.  The best source of his images is a short video containing more than a dozen of his pieces.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall From Grace

To follow up on our discussion of Jeff's work with footage of evangelizing hate as protest/preaching, here is a link to the documentary about Fred Phelps, his family and the Westboro Baptist Church, Fall From Grace made in 2007:


Here's an artist in response to Cole's ongoing projects:

"Dan Dunn's Paintjam is an exciting, high energy, improvisational painting performance. Watch as the most astounding paintings take shape as if by magic, in just minutes!"

"Improvisational Art meets classic painting"

Paintjam: The story

"Deep in debt, Dan was looking for a way to meet his families growing needs. His wife asked him what his plan was? He replied that he was going to rent a storage warehouse, drape it in plastic and throw some paint! She never wavered in her support. 23 years together and still going strong!

Dan had amazing success right from the beginning which led to being part of a stage show in Atlantic City, Dan's daughter posted video from the show on YouTube where it received millions of hits and gained Dan worldwide attention.

Dan was inspired by the world renowned painter Denny Dent. Denny passed away at 55 years young in the prime of his career. Dan is finding his own voice within this fascinating new genre of performance art.

Dan has appeared on numerous local news shows worldwide and has appeared on The Ellen Show and The Carson Daly Show."

Here is Lady Liberty and Ray Charles


Here's a link to Julia Nunes' latest video which is a fun stop animation she put together with some friends.

Also the Head of the Ceramics Department here at Iowa is having a show at AKAR all week long that is probably one of the greatest ceramic shows to be seen in Iowa City for a long time to come. It is comprised of 40 artists that have been students at, taught at, or just had some general impact on the Ceramics Department at the University of Iowa over the past 30 years. Also Bunny's own work is in the show and I highly recommend stopping in sometime, you won't be disappointed. And it's free, just don't knock anything over.

Finally, Al Tennant, a ceramicist from Washington will be visiting the U of I all day Thursday and Friday. Guest lecturers are always a good time in the Ceramics Department because they demonstrate their own skills while holding conversations with students and whoever else shows up to watch.

that is all.

Media Fakes From Last Week:

The Iraq War Ends and the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy

On Wednesday, the Yes Men distributed a fake issue of the New Times with a headline that announced the Iraq War was over. A pdf can be found at

On Monday, it became known that a "senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy" had been "leaking" made up information about Sarah Palin and the McCain/Palin campaign to the media. This fake McCain advisor and policy institute is actually two filmmakers working on a tv pilot. The article can be found in the television section of the NYTs at
They have relied on blogging and you tube videos as sources for their hoaxes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

reenactment vs commemoration

Here is another video by PRANGSTGRÜP

This one is called Reenactment Club. "This is not performance art. This is commemoration."

I really like this idea of commemoration (an observance or celebration designed to honor the memory of some person or event) instead of art. Even though in reality, it is a performance about pretending to not be a performance (kind of in a mocking fashion, too). This one gets a very different reaction from the crowd, one almost of pity.

What do you think about reenactment vs commemoration?

Christmas on Mars

This weekend was exciting for KRUI staff. We moved back into the IMU, which means our regular equipment, regular library, and we are all comfortable again.

This Thursday KRUI and the new re-opened Bijou Theater in the IMU are inviting people to a FREE Iowa City premier of The Flaming Lips film Christmas on Mars. This Thursday Nov. 13 and the film will be screening at 7pm and 9pm. I hope I can see you there!

Here is the youtube link for the film trailer

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jill Greenberg: The Manipulator

Jill Greenberg has recently come under a lot of flack for her manipulated photographs of John McCain during the campaign. She pretty much shot her chances of ever working commercially again.  You can't find many of these pictures now, only in thumbnails. But it brings up a lot of issues of artists in the community. 

She is also really well know for her photographs of crying children. They are perfectly manipulated and supposed to represent these sad state of the world. I think her work brings up a lot of issues about the responsibility of the artist.

Look at Rubbish

THIS is a site that some kids I know maintain to show their films and assorted doings. If you click on the video tab there are a few shorts, one of which they got into the Cannes Short Corner and there is also a video they produced for Cool Kids.

Bob, one of the kids in Rubbish, showed the Cannes flick and a new in-progress piece at the Happening that occurred a few weeks ago.

"A wall is the place where the human body entwines with its habitat"

Visiting Artist Analia Segal will be giving a talk about her work on Monday November 10 at 8pm in the Pappajohn Business Building in room W151.

We will be attending as a class--see you there!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mark Manders

I came across Mark Manders when I was looking through the archive of reviews on Circa Art Magazine's website. I usually check out Circa because of their amazing design and layout work,but figured it was also a good spot to try to find a new artist to post on here. I hadn't heard of Mark Manders before but was interested after reading the review on his Self-Portrait as a Building. It's a highly conceptual work of art where he creates several scenarios that relate to rooms of a building or living space. These scenarios are highly reduced versions of what they would be like in real life and also present a new twist or story within it. What really got me interested was a writing about the piece I found on his website. It's beautifully written and very intriguing. I especially love the first line,

"Under a table you have the possibility to test your own absence. The realization that life is taking its course, even without you, is an intense human experience; it shows the finiteness of personality."

Thursday, November 6, 2008


/ \
\ /


: "the whole warehouse scene"
"one seventy two"
"you cant function without your phone"
"she's really excited"
"the thing is I really want to fucking go!"

after for a second time
i look up, see david.
i do not begin to see what he sees.
my line is automatically drawn.
six news paper dispensers and not one has paper in it.
there are six of the smaller fountain area tiles between me and these machines, they make a a direct line.

Controversial Art

Here is a link to a top ten list someone made of controversial artwork.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

sitting on a bench

Here's my response to the creative writing assignment we did last Wednesday.

Last Stand In Open Country

Here are the lyrics to the song I used in my latest project:

I was looking for America, in a western movie Saw a young gun slinger with something to prove And I came lookin'... like anybody else, I came searchin' anybody else Lookin' for that golden calf. And I came shooting for the stars, like any young blood I found a fat cat city and crooked judge I killed anything standing in my path I killed anything till I laid my hands Laid'em on the golden calf Now it's our last stand in open country This is my last chance to be with you This is the last dance fot this kind of man I'm still lookin' for something to prove I come around full circle, aged like an old dog Lookin' at them young bucks just green as frogs But I ain't layin' back no time to laugh I ain't layin' back There's new kids a comin' gunning for that golden calf I was looking for America in a western movie I saw pike bishop stridin' through aqua verde He was headin' down that dusty path Headin down that blood path Runnin from his crooked past He's lookin' for another life Sick of chasin' down that golden calf But there's always someone faster Someone quicker on the draw Someone with a hunger closin' in Some younger steppin' up to be The next outlaw Oh I'm still looking for something to prove This our last stand...

And here are five of my photos I presented in a slideshow style while the song was playing:

Ron Mueck

In response to Cole's Duane Hanson post, here is another photo realist sculpture, accept Mueck plays with scale to shock his viewers.

Monday, November 3, 2008

black, small.
the hands of a child.
apparently his ass is worth millions.

i can't understand that black woman speak
especially since I don't see her that often.
jilted steps with large breasts and short pants.
oh, you're doing some service work?

crossed legs make a square
not only did he shake his head, but he would push his body
it was just confusing, he was a kid
dude, we owe it to ourselves.

dolphins aren't as graceful as a grocery bag
have you calculated the lines?
sit still to improve your vantage point
here is my response to Christina's writing project.

"Painting is a very beautiful thing, if at least painters were painting instead of depicting the thoughts of others."

Francis Picabia

Observation Walk Writing Piece.

It's fairly short but I like it. I'm combing my own observations of several different men and my own personal thoughts I had written down. This is something I'm really starting to enjoy, as I did similar things in my last project. I like the idea of creating characters and stories through sentences and words that didn't originally exist together. 

He must be traveling somewhere with that rolling suitcase. 
He seems to work so diligently. 
Hurry, haste, keep up the pace. [He says to himself]
He looks around, he wanders.
Hand on chin, he wonders. [What do they do in the rooms so high above it all. Some lights on, some lights off. Some active, some passive. Some alone, some accompanied. If I could hear their thoughts the roar of sound would most surely be overwhelming. Still, I wonder. ]

Picasso and Apollinaire

I have recently rediscovered Picasso. In doing so I have also discovered the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. He was a poet whom Pablo converged with during his blue period and the initiation of the cubist era.  I am reading a book called Picasso and Apollinaire, The persistence of Memory by Peter Read. The connections are astounding and well worth researching time.

Reconstructed Narratives

This last project was a demonstration of a hobby of mine. When reading, I have a habit of fixating on simple sentences that are beautifully written. I often underline and make notes about these and come back to them later. Here I presented 5 books that I have enjoyed reading in the past. I went through each book and looked at stuff I had underlined, notes I had made, and skimmed pages to find stuff I may have missed. With these I constructed new narratives for each book. The lines were taken from various points within each book, and organized in a way that told a similar story the book did, but with a different focus. In some I focused on a character and used lines to describe them, others I took sentences that related to a strong emotion or common theme in the book to retell the story. I really enjoy this practice and what comes out of it. I have even more appreciation for the books after doing this.

Heres a view of the installation:

Here are the 5 books and the reconstructed narratives that they were paired with:

Sylvie was about thirty-five, tall, and narrowly built.

Her raincoat was so shapeless and oversized that she must have found it on a bench.

Sylvie always walked with her head down, to one side, with an abstracted and considering expression, as if someone were speaking to her in a soft voice.

“It was nice with the lights off,” she suggested.

 [Evening was her special time of day.]

Sylvie had no awareness of time.

I was content with Sylvie.

Such habits (she always slept clothed, at first with her shoes on, and then, after a month or two, with her shoes under her pillow) were clearly the habits of a transient.

Watching her seemed very much like dreaming, because the motion was always the same, and was necessary , and arduous, and without issue, and repeated.

…why do our thoughts turn to some gesture of a hand, a fall of a sleeve, some corner of a room on a particular anonymous afternoon, even when we are asleep, and even when we are so old that our thoughts have abandoned other business?

…what are all these fragments for, if not to be knit up finally?

Sylvie smiled and nodded. “Now you’re in on my secret…”

She had left without a word, or a sound. 

Dear Friend,

I am writing to you because she said you would listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.

This is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.

I don’t know the significance of this but I find it very interesting.

It happens very fast, and things start to slip away.

I just open my eyes, and I see nothing. Then I start to breathe really hard trying to see something, but I can’t.

It makes me think too much.

I just want it all to stop spinning.

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. That you wanted to not be aware that you exist.

I guess what I’m saying is that this all feels very familiar.

I was suddenly aware of the fact that it was me standing up in that tunnel with the wind over my face.

I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite.

The policemen found me pale blue and asleep.

Not thinking anything. Not feeling anything. Not hearing the record. For hours.

So if this does end up being my last letter, please believe that things are good with me, and even when they’re not, they will be soon enough.

I will believe the same about you.

Let the truth seep out, that’s what I’ll do.

I was young and had so much more orientation and could talk with nervous intelligence.

Work was my dominant thought – not love. Not the pain, which impels me to write this even while I don’t want to, the pain which won’t be eased by the writing of this but heightened, but which will be redeemed, and if only it were a dignified pain and could be placed somewhere other than in this black gutter of shame.

[Quick to plunge, bite, put the light out, hide my face in shame.]

Rise, do some typing and coffee drinking in the kitchen.

[It was enough to drive anybody crazy.]

Something is sick in me, lost, fears –

Suddenly someone had come up and was standing in the stairwell.

Well, I thought, this is the end…

And I go home, having lost her love.

[You threw away a little woman’s love because you wanted another drink with a rowdy friend from the other side of your insanity]

Fortune will not necessarily turn out in the way we want but in the way it must. It is a modern heresy to think that if we do right always, we will avoid situations for which there is no earthly solution.

You can live as a particle crashing about and colliding in a welter of materials with God, or you can live as a particle crashing about and colliding in a welter of materials without God. But you cannot live outside the welter of colliding materials.

The Mahabharata says, “Of all the world’s wonders, which is the most wonderful?”

“That no man, though he sees others dying all around him, believes that he himself will die.”

There’s nothing makes us feel so much alive as to see other dies. That’s the sensation of life – the sensation that we remain.

It really doesn’t matter if it is I who die or another. What matters is that we are all marked men.

How can an individual count? Do individuals count only to us other suckers, who love and grieve like elephants, bless their hearts.

Although we are here today, tomorrow cannot be guaranteed. Keep this in mind! Keep this in mind!

Someone is getting excited. 

This person is laughing out loud…

-- This person is not who they thought this person was

[She’s blasé. She doesn’t give a shit.]

For a moment, this person is almost creeped out by the scene, but it would be so like this person to become depressed on the happiest day ever.

This person’s heart was broken.

This person hardly knows what to think.

[Some may say that such a girl is not ready for a relationship with a man.]

How strong this person was.

-- This person is not who they thought this person was.

[She’s grown a lot since you last saw her.]

[I think she’s going to become a terrific woman one day.]

This person sighs. This persons eyes begin to close, this person sleeps. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Beyond the Pale" Observation writing

This is the culmination of the words I wrote during our observation exercise. The picture is one that has been in my sketch book for some time and I thought the words fit the image perfectly.



"Prangstgrüp, founded in 2001 in New York, meets only in secret and films pranks only in public. Their guerilla performances follow a strict formula: act natural, don't half-ass it, and hide the cameras. From street corners to lecture halls, subways to libraries, Prangstgrüp shows captive audiences everywhere exactly what they're missing when we're not there."

My favorite is "Reach! Lecture Musical." These are my favorite type of performances... being able to go engage an unsuspecting audience in their daily lives with a performance that engages them. I love how supportive the audience is, too. Their reactions are the best.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


this is a stop motion animation video that some guys made for the band Fleet Foxes. Check it out, WHITE WINTER HYMNAL, great song...great video!
it reminded me of the video that megan presented to our class the other day.