Monthly Archives: February 2009

Brooklyn DIY

Wednesday was the premiere of Brooklyn DIY, a documentary on the rise and fall of the Williamsburg art scene from the 80’s until the present. The one time viewing at MoMA will hopefully be distributed to a wider audience as it provided an intimate and informative perspective of a nearly extinct community of well wishers and evil doers. Despite the fact that the film historicizes, therefore pronouncing dead and past a movement that lingers and hangs on a narrow thread of relevance, it stirs the need to recharge our anarchistic creative stimuli that have been silenced by a commercialized corporate art industry and formulate once again a community of people who exhibit and perform without remorse, pretense, or concerns of a marketable status. 80s-90s Williamsburg can work as our near distant model of a starved yearning for the resurgence of art for art’s sake, artmaking without apologizes, excuses, self-conscious proclamations and defenses, extending the community as an integral part of the art practice, extending from the lone rider in the studio to a house of misshapes and backward over-achievers.

Interviews abound in the documentary, many of them from the school of Pierogi headed by Joe Amhrein including artists such as Jim Torok, Mike Ballou, Jonathan Schipper, Brian Dewan, Mike Ballou, and Ward Shelley (no women). There are unmistakable tones of irony, mockery, and overall we-never-take-ourselves-seriously attiude resonating through the artists, from Ballou’s donning his paper mache animal masks during the interview or Brian Dewin and brother playing sound affects from their makeshift sound machines as he affirms there was room back to do whatever they pleased, to experiement without pressure or self-consciousness. Ken Butler makes guitars out of random instruments such as a gun or a bow and he plays with earnesty and we can’t help chuckle at the Wernor Herzog-ish, Spinal Tap-ish mocumentary exposure the film provides.

The whatever-goes environment sprouted artist owned spaces and alternative means of performance and exhibition created places like Four Walls, the Green Room, Minor Injury, Mustard Factory. The environment allowed them to do something revolutionary, a utopic sensibility that tinged with anarchism and debauchery. And they were aware there was no market to support their work, that there was so nowhere else to be showing so there was nothing to gain or lose, literally, anything goes. Artist did it all in pure DIY fashion in these warehouse parties and artist owned galleries and expanded their microorganism surviving through free will and unabashed unlimited exploration. There was no particular aesthetic or linear movement. It was chaotic with multiple access points.

The glory days are over. Williamsburg is now rife as one artist says, hipsters that exudes an aura of satisfaction with themselves, the new yuppies of America. This new generation of creative types have created their own community of artistic expression with the added notion of seriousness, competition, and sumission to a corporate identity. But we mustn’t underestimate the hipster potential to collaborate and start anew this urgency to regnerate art as performance, art as community, art as denial of commercial production. It might not be as free will or anarchistic as the first generation but we as a new generation will follow behind their footsteps and be reminded of the beauty of unhindered creativity, no matter how vulgar, insane, unmarketable, and unhip it may be.

Two quotes to end this note on a need for change in the art world, from Holland Cotter’s “The Boom is Over. Long Live Art!”

At the same time, if the example of past crises holds true, artists can also take over the factory, make the art industry their own. Collectively and individually they can customize the machinery, alter the modes of distribution, adjust the rate of production to allow for organic growth, for shifts in purpose and direction. They can daydream and concentrate. They can make nothing for a while, or make something and make it wrong, and fail in peace, and start again.

I’m talking about carving out a place in the larger culture where a condition of abnormality can be sustained, where imagining the unknown and the unknowable — impossible to buy or sell — is the primary enterprise.

Watch the trailer

Read some reviews

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Reader: Feb 26, 2009

– Sex with objects. (via art fag city)

– How to successfully make bread. (via epicurious)

– L train goes robo. (via greenpointers)

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– Toys on dope. (via world’s best ever)

– Image matters show at Mary Boone looks good. (via art observed)

– Film about Warhol’s superstar Candy Darling. (via gothamist)

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Blackberry Pear Cobbler. (via dandy sugar)

– Buy rougher, recyclable toilet paper. (via NYT)

– Get a dose of brooklyn brewed kombucha. (via brooklyn based)

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Dark chocolate, rum and candied orange truffle. (via flagrante delicia)

Happy cloud. (via Matteo)

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Roasted vegetable quinoa salad. (via closet cooking)

– Comprehensive art fair prep map. (via art fag city)

Sharon Butler on artists engaging in social and political practice that is open and outside of the studio. (via art 21)

– Yves Saint Laurent, biggest auction in Europe. (via arts journal)

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Meatball sliders. (via smitten kitchen)

– MoMA denies commissioning Poster Boy. I think I’m over it. (via Hrag Vartanian)

– I was invited to this press studio visit of Jeremy Earheart and am sorry I didn’t go. (via Oly’s musings)

– Awesome time lapse of a writer’s edits/deletions as it happens. (via personism)

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Vanille and green tea sables. (via food beam)

– On masks. (via wnyc)

iPhone is the new polaroid. who’s that artist who recently had an iphone photo show? (via notcot)

– Good design in 10 commandments. (via notcot)

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3D street art. (via psfk)

Fake man leaps from building. (via scouting ny)

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Reader: Feb 25, 2009

– Yves Saint Laurent auction raises $264 mil in first night. what art market crash? (via art observed)

– Marcel Dzama, animated, with David Byrne, for NASA. (via art observed)

– Awesome article on the Brooklyn culinary scene. (via NYT)

– Comedian Louis CK is our next Jon Stewart. This is amazing. (via Victor and Amy)

Report on the ADAA show, more museum like, less resembling stock exchange. (via arts journal)

– John Baldessari and Yoko Ono are awarded. (via arts journal)

– Hungry Hyena contemplates on the afterlife. (via hungry hyena)

– Computer and video game related tattoos. silly. (via i heart photograph)

– James Wagner on the Kippenberger show at MoMA. Can’t wait to see it. (via james wagner)

– Museums cutting staff. (via time)

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Lebanese Lamb Stew. (via smart mouth)

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Lobster Sunchoke Risotto. (via one & supp)

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Agave sweetened coconut fudge carob brownies. (via altered plates)

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Super Food Chocolate Bark. (via dani spies)

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Pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce. (via diet, dessert & dogs)

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Date bars. (via just eat food)

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Boeuf Bourguignon. (via gastronomers guide)

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Homemade granola bars. (via craving greens)

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Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics

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The FEAST dinner I mentioned a few days ago was this past Saturday and it was quite a blast. It took place in the basement of a church a few blocks away from me and housed at least 80 guests who filled the space with cheer and chatter enjoying the great food and company for the sake of supporting emerging art. It was so encouraging to see such a strong group of young creative types gathering to share in an evening of carefree good times, an alternative to moping about the failing economy and how it’ll affect folks like you. The event successfully brought individuals together to build a foundational network spilling productive means of inspiration, creation and compensation.

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Each visitor donated anywhere between $10-20 and voted for proposals that ranged from comedic acts, design/art forms, baby toys, film projects, performance art, and outdoor wallpapering project. Everyone voted for whichever proposal spoke to them and at the end of the night the outdoor wallpaper man won and took home a bag of cash worth about $750. We’d better see some prettifying gestures in the next few weeks in our hood!

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There was a quirky indie folk band playing on stage whilst we ate and vote. It was sweet and made me feel like I was in a southern home eating comfort food. It was very humble and evoked much camaraderie.

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Some if not all of the dessert was provided by Tracy of Sweet Tooth of the Tiger, which I’ve written about with much envy. The raspberry apple pie was my favorite. There was vegan chocolate cake and crumbles and brownies and pecan pies. Yum.

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The Ribollita soup was pretty amazing, beans and greens, clean, comforting, and mild. The roasted veggie salad was a bit on the oily side but was rooty and simple. I hope they will incorporate a fuller meal next time around. I helped chop garlic and parsnips and made a few new friends rinsing dishes.

I can’t for the next FEAST event, what a perfect way to combine food, good company, and art!! The next event is April 4th, so don’t miss it!!

Listen to the wnyc podcast here, FEAST website here

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The Master Cleanse: Day 3

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I didn’t really think to write about my journey through the Master Cleanse detox diet until this morning after reading an email from a friend reminding me to keep a journal of everything that occurs day by day. Keeping record of how many times I poop in a day and how many cups of lemonade I drink is vital to a successful completion of this cleansing experience. This is my second attempt at the cleanse, the first time being this past September which resulted in the newfound discovery of cooking and baking and the inevitable gaining of 15 pounds as well as a gluttonous compulsive eating habit. I made the mistake of ending the cleanse a day early and not waiting two days to eat solid food again. I dug right into a big piece of brownie followed by a huge ham, lettuce, tomato sandwich on a roll with doritos. I have been permanently full and bloated since then. The first time did lead to this passion for cooking, especially baking but directed me to an unhealthy diet of consuming multiple helpings of coconut brownies before even starting on the roasted vegetables that waited patiently for me. I’ve quit smoking at the second time only to return 2 months later. I’ve done the same this second time around and vow never to be a smoker again.

The master cleanse is slightly an act of masochistic deprivation. To deprive your body of a primal act of survival and sustenance is torturous. It not only saps energy out of your physical body, it traumatizes your brain signaling DANGER and eventually combusts to a dysfunctional oblivion. This is what happened to me the first time. Why then, am I doing this again? Because I maintain a healthy dose of self-destructive behavior and am guilty of always wanting to start fresh and new, wash away the bad, the old, the accumulated junk, swipe it all away and start with a clean palate. That’s how I’ve approached relationships, work, school. It’s a building up of getting sick until I just can’t handle getting sick of it any longer and burst and explode into a tantrum and shout ENOUGH! The last few months have been great in that I’ve tried recipes and ingredients that I’ve never come across in my entire life, but I’ve been eating in such disproportionate rations that it’s eventually debilitated my sense of well-being. I felt fat and bloated all the time and could barely fit into my clothes. I gained 15 pounds and in the last few weeks was short of not caring and ate all day nonstop. So a few reasons of embarking on the cleanse yet again:

1. Rid this compulsive eating habit. To learn to moderate rations and willingly stop eating when stomach tells me I’ve had enough. To find peace between mind and body and engage in conscious eating.

2. To lose this heinous belly fat that folds over jeans and jiggles when jumping. Shudder.

3. Start incorporating healthy healthy meals and desserts into my diet. I’ve just found a few great blogs that will help me do this. No more all purpose flour and refined sugar, yes to oat flour, Mercado sugar, date bars, and rolled oats, soba noodles,  vegan chocolate cake, homemade granola bars, eggless frittata, chili, tofu, chickpeas, peanut sauce, coconut oil, and vegan cranberry scones. I will never be a full out vegetarian/vegan, I’m Korean and that would be impossible. But, I can limit intake of beef to a minimal and poultry to weekly. I can’t friggin’ wait!

I am currently on Day 3 and I feel lighter and airier today than I have the last 2 days. I’m not hungry, I’ve been eating with my eyes browsing through tastespotting and hundreds of other blogs bookmarking millions of recipes. I haven’t had serious cravings or urges to eat or smoke, I’ve been feeling pretty normal if not a bit weak and aloof. I went jogging last night which felt awesome. I have been going to bed super early, around 10 which I haven’t done in years. I’ve made it a rule never to crawl into bed before midnight because sleeping is a waste of time and I don’t need more than 6 hours. Well, I’ve done some catching up the last 2 days that’s for sure. I haven’t frequented the bathroom the first 2 days as I expected which can only mean there’s a bunch of shit (well intended pun) clogged in there. Today was another matter, I frequented the bathrooms frequently. Which is good, I think detox is officially starting today whereas the last 2 days it was preparing to rev up and decompose all that nasty stuff in my intestines.  This cleanse is the drano that declogs and cleans up your intestinal and blood pipes. It will make you so fresh and so clean after. Let us see what tomorrow brings.

Now to ramble abit about the Master Cleanse, the manifesto was published in 1976 by Stanley Burroughs and was originally used to cure ulcer. It’s extended since then to be a surefire way to cleanse the entire body system of toxins, not just the belly. It’s recently become popular once the likes of Beyonce engaged in the cleanse and lost a few pounds. It’s not only a physical cleansing but a spiritual and psychological release.

The recipe for the lemonade:

2 TBSP fresh squeezed preferably organic lemon juice

2 TBSP organic maple syrup preferably grade B

1/10 TSP Cayenne Pepper.

Mix it all together with cold or hot water and drink 6 – 12 cups a day.

Every night drink Senna Tea to contract intestines and encourage pooping, upon waking drinking 4 cups of seasalt water, which is just a mix of 2 TSP of sea salt and lukewarm water. This finds balance with your blood stream and flushes through your intestines causing you to poop a few times in the next half hour to hour.

The lemon works as alkaline and neutralizes the toxins. The syrup gives you energy and power and sustainability. The pepper releases mucus from toxins.

One can pursue the cleanse for up to 30 days, as long as you continue for at least 10 days you will see successful results. You know when you’re done when your tongue is clear and pink. Breaking out of the fast is super important, you can’t rush to solid food. Depending on if you’ve maintained a vegetarian diet prior to the cleanse, the process differs. But basically you drink orange juice only on the first day, and incorporate fruit for lunch the second day and maybe veggie soup for dinner with no solids, on the third day off stick to veggie soup and by dinner have solids.

I just pray I don’t pick up old habits and keep up with the goals I’ve created for myself once this is over.

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Reader: Feb 24, 2009

– Art pawnshops swapping for cold cash. (via arts journal)

– Closing shops and hiring freeze at the MET. (via arts journal)

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– Win yo-self a stikman at c-monster. (via c-monster)

– How to buy (art) in 2009. (via edward winkleman)

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– MoMA subways ads, mashed. (via eyeteeth)

– 10 year old graffiti genius. (via eyeteeth)

SFMOMA collection images paired with songs. Richard Serra’s song is my fave. (via MAN)

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Compound Editions sells multiples, organized by Edward Winkleman and his gallery neighbor. Current multiple is a box of gilded golden eggs nestled in shredded cash. Perfect timing. (via MAO)

Moodwall. (via rice candy)

– A lengthy article on the greatness that is Peter Schjeldahl. (via two coats of paint)

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– Geometrically arranged race-sensitive porn photography. (via we make money not art)

– Shepard Fairey, Lawrence Lessig, and Steven Johnson speaks thursday at NYPL. (via wooster collective)

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– I love red stripe. (via fffound)

– 80’s guide to successful seduction. o god the hair. (via the world’s best ever)

– 50 best food blogs. (via craftzine)

– How to start an etsy business. (via craftzine)

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– Cool knitwear. (via craftzine)

– Oscar recap by hipster runoff. (via hipster runoff)

– Aenieid on facebook. (via notcot)

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Hand writing. (via design is mine)

– Rad LED installation. (via psfk)

– Tropicana going back to old package design, noone likes the new. (via psfk)

– I like these from fashion weeks too. Especially Libertine. (via design is mine)

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Sketchbooks. (via design is mine)

– Michelle Obama gives tour of White House kitchen. (via kitchn)

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Reader: Feb 23, 2009

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BMW Art Cars by Rauschenberg, Warhol, Stella and more, coming to NY. (via art observed)

– Tediously long interview with Henry Matyjewicz, aka. Poster Boy. (via AFC)

– AFC’s gallery short list. (via AFC)

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Behind the scenes at Museum of Natural History. (via c-monster)

Jerry Saltz ruminates on the “art is unethical” debate. (via arts journal)

– I needed to watch this video explaining Twitter, I want to be convinced. (via twitter)

Winkleman on the relevance of blogs and support of to the pointedness of twitter. (via edward winkleman)

Jaydiohead. This is so awesome. (via c-monster)

– Obama considering works by living artists for the White House. (via c-monster)

– 1930s understood importance of supporting arts for a sustainable America. (via edward winkleman)

– Vartanian on Matt Held. I interviewed him over the weekend, more on that soon. (via Hrag Vartanian)

– Seeing 100 shows in 100 days. (via one day at a time)

Brian Sholis on reading dates at On Kawara show, on Valentine’s day. (via the search was the thing)

Jen Bekman at Santos tonight: 20 slides in 5 minutes. (via Personism)

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