Monday, October 22, 2012

Auditioning the Gatekeeper : David Corcoran [80]

David Corcoran
Greenbrae, California, USA

Auditioning the Gatekeeper
Date: 2012
Medium:  Chain Link Gate, Headshots, Resumes, Business Cards

Friday, July 27, 2012

Untitled (Retail Pricing) : Aaron Lish [78]

Aaron Lish
Bend, OR  USA

Title:  Untitled (Retail Pricing)

For the show Seeds of Capitalism, PoetHouse Art, May 4-May 28.

Description:  Create a “theater set” consisting of a 3-D line drawing which houses the wall text “By entering the space defined by this drawing, and for the period you remain there, you will be charged for the air you breathe.  The rate of exchange is to be mutually agreed upon by the viewer and the attendant prior to entry.” Text color: black; constructed in Blue Highway font.  The drawing will be constructed using black tape that nearly matches the thickness of the letters.  Dimensions of the block of wall text: 24 in high X 82 in wide.  Dimensions of line drawing: variable, but must be larger than the block of text and must include at least one inside corner between two walls so as to allow the drawing to translate a space or volume in three dimensions.

Offer the viewer the unique opportunity of getting to stand inside of a drawing.  Then engage in conversation about the price they are willing to pay to enter the drawing and why they chose that amount.  Bring the conversation to the fact that the fee is for breathing the air, which is much more important to one's health, not for entering the drawing. In negotiating the price, offer to barter for items they have or are wearing.  The rate of exchange per minute could be negotiated as being at a progressively higher rate every minute as the importance of oxygen goes up the longer you are without it.

Notes from the opening night:

- I was referred to as a "Fascist capitalist" by a serious-looking middle-aged gentleman.

- A woman shared that she had lost her job and her field of work to capitalist practices so she didn't have much good to say about capitalism.

- "It makes you think about something we take for granted" was what another viewer shared.

- Most viewers who engaged in conversation tried to come up with something creative to offer in trade for the air in the space.  This was probably, in part, due to the fact that they did not have much on them to give up, but also due to the illogic of the scenario.  They wanted to play along, but were caught between the huge value that air has for survival and the hilarity of me trying to charge for air in an open space connected to the rest of the room.

- One gentleman stepped into the space before he finished reading, or comprehending the text.  As what he had just read registered in his brain I turned from my conversation with another visitor and told him I would have to charge him for the air.  He immediately emptied his pockets, spilling change and a $1 on the floor as he tried to step out of the space and collect his money at the same time!  We settled on a dollar and his sincere, heartfelt apology!

-"What is the going rate?" was asked a lot.  My response was that "I had been offered lots of different things from cash, to goods, to services, some of which had been accepted and some of which had not."  And that they should make an offer based on what they thought the air was worth.

- A number of guys, and one girl, offered me a hug as payment to enter the space.  I questioned the value of the hug for me as I was already getting lots of great social interaction.  I received various responses to this comment; none were able to convince me that a hug was worth the air.  However, these conversations did bring up the interesting question of how people perceive giving and receiving physical acts of affection in our culture, as well as how much people value meaningful physical contact.  Are we starved for such meaningful contact?  Social grooming is an activity that primates spend as much as 25% of their day consumed with.  It is theorized that language was developed to replace the need for social grooming as a way to develop and maintain alliances in a troop or tribe; however, we still need physical touch.  Human babies who do not receive enough touch will suffer from development issues; or in the extreme will die!

- "We buy water already" was a statement that came up a number of times.

- A grandmother thanked me profusely for doing such work.  As she said "it is up to people of my generation, and of her grand-kids' generation to do something about protecting the environment."

- A young man presented me with an autographed guitar pick from Los Lonely Boys.  He said the bass player gave it to him after the concert they played at the Les Schwab Amphitheater last summer.  He said that he too plays the bass, so it was a very meaningful experience, and a very precious object to him.  I remarked that I could see why it was valuable to him, but that as I am not a guitar player, and not much of a music person, that it really had very little value to me.  He asked what would be of value to me that he could do for me as he had nothing else to offer.  To this I said that if he was to recount his experience to five different strangers on the street, plus give me the guitar pick that I would allow him five seconds in the space, and we shook on it!!  I later had a couple tell me that a man on the street looked at them very seriously as he told them about his experience bartering for air and trading away his Los Lonely Boys guitar pick!

More notes from the project at:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Money Laundering (Consumption as the Impossibility of Use) : Aaron Lish [77]

Aaron Lish
Bend, OR, USA

Money Laundering 
(Consumption as the Impossibility of Use)

This project, held at the tbd community gallery as part of the group show titled "Consume | Preserve", was what I would refer to as a constructed situation in which I was offering U.S. currency ($1s, $5s and $20s) for sale as limited edition authentic artworks. Each denomination was available in an edition of 30 numbered pieces and one artist proof (A/P), with pieces priced at the face value of the currency housed in the artwork.  Below are some of my most interesting notes, which I wrote down any time I had a break between conversing with gallery visitors.

 - The very first visitor I chatted with was actually the woman hosting the cash bar for the night. She asked about what I had going on, and I explained the project (that I was selling limited edition authentic artworks, etc...). She looked at me with a very puzzled look and said that she did not get it. We chatted more, with me trying to explain without becoming didactic (which became the biggest challenge of the night), and the illogic of what I was doing causing her to great puzzlement, possibly even a level of resistance. Then, all of a sudden she looked at my with her eyes bright and a big grin, and said "My mind just did a back flip! Oh my God! I'm not sure I totally get it, but yeh, okay!"

- A gentleman, after hearing me explain what I was selling, pointed at the U.S $5 and said "That one's very cool". I got the impression that he had not actually taken the time to look at a five dollar bill in a long time!!

 - After talking with another gentleman for quite some time (he, like many visitors, was not coming to any conclusions for himself and was wanting me to tell him the purpose of what I was doing) I said "part of what I was doing with the project was creating a situation where something was being made un-useable, but in doing so did it truly take away the value of the item (the money)?" To which he responded quite emphatically "But nobody would use it" as if it would indeed lose its value. But then his face softened and he said more softly, as a thought struck him "But they could..."

 - In discussing why someone would want to buy the money-art I stated that it is probably the best art investment you could make as it is guaranteed to maintain its value. The two middle-aged men I was talking to had begun to step back from the table when one said "But I think it's over-valued." I asked him "How so?" and he said seriously "Well, it's a U.S. dollar."

More at

Permission granted by the artist to publish this work.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

William Powhida [75]

William Powhida
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Seditions, 2012
McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, Texas

What Can The Art World Teach You, Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper, 22" x 30", 2012

Derivatives, 2011
Solo Exhibition at Postmasters Gallery, New York

Things I Don't Get, Graphite, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper, 2011. Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery

What Do Prices Reflect?, Graphite, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper, 2011. Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery

The 1%, Letterpress on paper, ed. of 25, 2011. Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery

Sell Out! The Bastard Tour, 2008
Platform Gallery, Seattle, WA

Images posted on this blog with the kind permission of the artist.

One of many articles written about the artist:
ArtNews - Biting The Hand That Feeds Them - Carolina A. Miranda 12/6/2011

Special thanks to William Evertson for recommending the artist's solo show "Derivatives" at the Postmasters Gallery.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Capitalistic Rene Magritte's shaving industry: Milan Kohout [74]

This poster situation is called:

"Capitalistic Rene Magritte's shaving industry" .

It is about that stupid requirement by capitalistic societies to shave the body while we are not supposed to show it.

And of course also about the picture being just a reflection of a reality, not reality.

It is not a vagina - it is a picture of a vagina.

Milan Kohout
Czech Republic

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dick Dock Collection 2011: Willie Baracchi [73]

Willie Baracchi
Massachusetts, USA

Statement of Intention:

Dick Dock Collection surge as an idea originally by the objects left behind the night before by the people after wild sex under the infamous Provincetown Dick Dock.

Provincetown MA, the largest Gay community in the east coast of the United States, it is also a gay resort during the summer season, The Dick Dock, it is a place where Men gather at night to have wild sex under the dark dock after a wild night in town.

Dick Dock Collection intentions is to create awareness and to up rise dialogs about the link between unsafe sex and Drugs and alcohol abuse in a sarcastic and humorous way.

The collection consist in 50 Boxes and 4 Posters (6 feet x 4 feet) ink-jet prints.

Dick Dock Collection 2011
October 1st, 2011
Fundraising for the Aids Support of Cape Cod, Boatslip, Provincetown MA

The artist gives special thanks to:

Rick Conley (Mates Leather Weekend) and The Boatslip for all your support and enabling the use of space for this piece;

Darren Showers with helping designing and printing of labels;

Bob Sanborn and Stephen Young (Prince Albert Guest House), Frank Vasello (Relish), Exuma Fine Jewelry, the SMFA Boston, WA, Leonard Alberts, and Rik Ahlberg for all the Monetary Support;

John Swanson, Jay Critchley, David Moulton, Damon Leard (Roots Home and Garden), Reynaldo Guevara, ... and many many more .....for all the moral support, your personal inputs and the encouragement necessary to make this exhibit possible.

Joe Carleo (Executive Director ASGCC), Tania Rosario (ASGCC), Katie Ledoux For the Incredible Job you are Doing every Day at the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod.

Photography by David Wennerberg

Artist Statement:

My intention as an Artist is to create work that emancipate the joy of living and enhance the curiosity of the mind by empowering the knowledge and the truth about events in our community and to hopefully create dialog and solutions to the issues exposed by the piece.

Most of my pieces are multimedia and it tends to be Site Specific installation work. Temporary or permanent, I like to play with the space making it engaging and interactive for the observer, striving always to be a full sensory experience.

Usually the Idea surge from an external event, the content of my work reflects political, environmental or social Issues, the process involves a large amount of information and research also involves drawing, modeling, planning, mapping, etc. to finally achieve the culmination of the final piece.

Painting and drawing helps me to unleash the Ideas trapped in my mind, in a fast pace process and almost with my eyes closed I like to follow my instincts and discover the hidden image after, it is a much more expressive and interpersonal experience, most subjects are from my imagination how ever i tempt to use my memory as a model some times, i never draw or paint from nature.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Apple Petit Fours: David Corcoran [72]

David Corcoran
New York, NY, USA

Media: Video

Professional Waiter Herve Garcon presents Apple Petit Fours at the Apple Store in Boston

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"Keep This": Sky Santiago [70]

Sky Santiago/Sky2Urth
Walkerton, Indiana, USA

Title: "Keep This"

These works were posted online in the sub-context of being a net artist

and a second interpretation: