Saturday, February 28, 2009

Creative Financing

Swan's Nest, Brooklyn 2009 Dalton Rooney

If you type "creative financing" into Google you come up with 674,000 results, the first several pages taking you to sites for real estate. I find that interesting since we are on the verge of The Great Depression part deux, generously contributed to by greed feasting on a steady diet of the creative financing of real estate.

This is about a different kind of creative financing (although the first offering does depict a home and there are those who consider the landscape as just so much real estate). Dalton Rooney is a Brooklyn photographer looking to sustain his creative pursuits. Towards that end he has started a Print of the Month subscription series available in 3 month and 6 month durations (individual prints are also available at a somewhat higher price). I signed up for a 6 month subscription and already feel (with the receipt of Swan's Nest and preview of the second offering, Sheepshead Bay coming in March) confident that I have made a wise investment. An investment not only in the prints to be received but in art making since the series will consist mainly of new work.

His blog (with posts like this) is also a good return on investment... your time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chasing the Family Drift - the book

It has been nearly a year since Todd Deutsch last posted to his blog. I have missed him. Saturday he reappeared to announce Chasing the Family Drift has been made into a book. My copy arrived in the mail today and it is just wonderful. Chaos stilled by a gentle eye.

Todd writes:

I started making photographs of my family shortly before my first son was born in 1997. The pictures became a way to maintain an even keel in the midst of rapid change. We now have three boys and are awaiting a fourth. As they grow older the desire for assurance that everything will fall into place is undermined by the reality that no such certainty exists. There is no single destination, only perpetual movement. Being a father, as it turns out, is a process of constant adjustment and evaluation. I find myself being carried along by the current rather than heading deliberately and confidently forward. I am chasing the family drift with the hope that knowing where we have been will provide insight into where we are going.

My great- grandparents recorded milestone events in a family bible. Birth, baptism, marriage, and death created a simple and reliable narrative path describing our family history. These records are now kept in photo albums. Although the format has a less religious overtone, the element of ritual remains intact. Yearly school photographs, along with snapshots of birthdays, holidays, and vacations make up the bulk of these obviously selective, routine histories. They describe an optimistically simple and peaceful version of family life; one in which change is predictable and effortless. But what is left is a broad outline that ignores the complexity and richness of the life it is meant to recall. The reality, of course, is that it has never been as peaceful (or organized as efficiently) as the photographs might suggest. Chasing the Family Drift is a way of staying mindful of the time spent in the gaps.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Saved by Science

African Lion Justine Cooper

I dreamed about this photograph last night after seeing it in Seed Magazine's feature devoted to Darwin's 200th birthday. The photograph is from the fascinating series Saved by Science made at the American Museum of Natural History by artist Justine Cooper.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Empty Walls

A week ago I had a one night exhibit/sale (highly successful, virtually sold out of more than 50 pieces) of pottery by Viroqua (southwest Wisconsin) artist Greg Cheesebro in my studio. It has been a busy week and I haven't taken had the time to rehang the collection which usually inspires me. I feel as if I am working in a Roger Ballen photograph sans the cat/puppy/rabbit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seeing and Being Seen

I had the pleasure of taking a short trip to Chicago yesterday. The main purpose was to accompany Sonja (with a j) as she dropped off prints to be mounted.

We then moved on to City Gallery to see Colleen Plumb's The Animals Are Outside Today.
It was my first opportunity to see her work (which I have admired for years, several prints are available through 20 X 200) in person. Absolutely wonderful. Further value was added by a friendly, informative young woman manning the desk. She welcomed us, told us about the Columbia College space, gave us a short bio on Colleen and filled us in on the piece Karen Irvine (citing credentials) had written. All without being asked and without the air of interruption that so often hangs over such encounters. I wanted to clone her and send one to every gallery/museum/exhibit space in the country.

On to Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art to see Curtis Mann's exhibit in the 12 x 12 space. I first saw his work at the 1st Silverstein Annual in September of 2007. It was a pleasure to see his work growing more complex, yet more subtle over time. One piece has left the wall entirely to become sculpture. If you, like me, lost track of his blog when he moved hosting you can find it here. He is planning on putting up video of the artist's talk he gave at MCA soon.

If you're headed to Chicago in the next couple of weeks set aside the time to visit these excellent exhibits.

Monday, February 16, 2009


digging from Ali Roche on Vimeo.

For the first time an artist is in residence for the full 4 month summer season in Antarctica. Follow along at One Minute Week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Digital conversion

I apologize to readers outside the United States for whom this may not make sense, think of it as a public service announcement for people who are the polar opposite of this (NSFW).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I think this might be brilliant...

I installed Add-Art in Firefox today. Rather than spend a lot of time going to sites that are advertising heavy I'm going to just sit back and see if the change is noticeable and further, enjoyable.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To Illustrate and Multiply: An Open Book

video still of Animated Discourse Larry Bell and Guy de Cointet 1975

LAMOCA has put together an excellent web overview of their exhibit on artist's books. Covetousness is not an attractive state. A preview video and full resources, including essays can be found here. The more complete video presentations of each book can be viewed here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"44" Published!

The virtual becomes actual. As if I had lit a candle to the gods of synchronicity the Proof of "44" and Issue #39 of Blindspot magazine arrived in my mailbox together today. While I shy from the hubris which would place this 'zine in the canon of work edited by Taryn Simon in Blindspot the recognition of similarity of intent is unavoidable.

Geoffrey Batchen writes, "...Offering a counterpoint to the kind of work usually featured in Blindspot, the practices found here share a tenacious commitment to photography tempered by a skepticism about the photographs capacity to effectively communicate on its own and by itself. In short, this issue represents a challenge and a provocation."

His closing paragraph reads, "All this asks us to consider such artwork as a mode of inquiry, rather than as definitive statements, and this in turn makes us but one more of its necessary components, one more of its constituent parts. To include photographs in such work is to point to something indisputable within it, to insist on the once and future presence of a thing, an event, or a scene before the camera. But it is also to place us in a particular relationship to that work, to stitch us into the perceptual and even the social fabric of what is being seen. This gives both it and us a certain power. As readers of this artwork-as-encyclopedia, it is now up to us to use our new found knowledge to see beyond whatever blind spots remain in our view, not only of photography but also of the world it signifies."

My mind was blown.

I am very pleased with the finished 'zine, the reproductions are remarkably good. You can preview and order
here. I have found the delivery to consistently fall to the 7 day end of their estimate. Magcloud has added Canada and the UK to its shipping sites. If you live outside the US, Canada or the UK write me and I will work out mailing you a copy directly. As I wrote earlier I have not added any mark-up to the price. $5.60 plus postage is the cost.

I am profoundly grateful to all who participated in and supported this moment specific event. I hope you too have derived the satisfaction I have from this collective project, both political and social.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Black and white in color

DSB John Divola 2008

The Los Angeles Times has a review of John Divola's current exhibition at Gallery Luisotti.

Monday, February 2, 2009

February 2

Happy Groundoppossumhog Day! It would seem he has decided that hibernation is over, or at least interrupted for a snack. Notice the shadow.......

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I came across this on Eyeteeth. This is the logical consequence of a concept requiring talent and production values falling into the hands of people who possess neither. Good lord, can't you just hear how that meeting went in your mind?

In case you have never seen the original "Super Bowl Shuffle" from 1987 you can compare here. I could not bring myself to put up video of da Bears.