Monthly Archives: January 2011

Tackling Marketing

Ever since the new year rolled around I’ve become more and more interested in the role of marketing, social media, and the digital world. I’m not quite sure where this interest comes from but it’s growing deeper and I’m not quite sure what to do with it. For example last night I ran into a blog whos bio stated “digital strategist by day, blogger by night.” I wondered, what the hell is a digital strategist? So I shared my question with twitter and Amy informatively responded, “someone who uses digital media with set plans & goals to increase # of users, web traffic, raise brand awareness, build name.” So I wondered how is this different from someone heading the marketing department for a company, and is it really just a “more respectable term than ‘social media guru’?”

Veken is also a digital strategist and he and Veronica sent over the Wikipedia link which defines a digital strategy “is the process of specifying an organization’s vision, goals, opportunities and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits digital investments and efforts provide to the organization. These can range from an enterprise focus, which considers the broader opportunities and risks that digital potentially creates (e.g., changes in the publishing industry) and often includes customer intelligence, collaboration, new product/market exploration, sales and service optimization, enterprise technology architectures and processes, innovation and governance; to more marketing and customer-focused efforts such as web sites, mobile, eCommerce, social, site and search engine optimization, and advertising.”

So how long has digital strategy been around? Can I get a degree in it? I’ve been thinking more and more about the possibility of going back to school for marketing, digital media, and all those terms that in the end mean the same thing. What I can’t get over is WHY this vested interest? Where is this coming from? Is this a natural progression from having been involved in so many community building events and working with people, transforming mass amounts of people as data in which to create maps and surveys to determine what is popular and desired? I experienced this at I guess I had a small stint with marketing and all this stuff when running Greenpoint Food Market. I had to figure out how I could get all these people in here, make them want to trek all the way out to bumfuck Greenpoint and share/participate/contribute to a growing community of artisanal food makers and budding small business entrepreneurs. That whole experience allowed me to gauge what the audience wanted, what the producers needed, and how to accommodate for both. So that was I guess my entryway into marketing, digital media, social media, digital strategy. Right?

I don’t fucking know. All I do know is, I want to be more educated by it. I want more field experience relating to it. I see all these available positions that sound too official for me to apply, I am unqualified. So how do I get to that point? Teach me!

I’m buying some books to start the self-education process. I’ve also been looking into building my writing skills and style and potentially also going back to school for nonfiction writing or journalism. So…I just splurged and bought these books. Any other books I should be reading?

On Writing Well

The Making of a Writer

The Liberal Imagination

Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself

Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications

The Invisible Dragon

The Elements of Style

The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era (Advertising Age)

The Artist’s Way

The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers

The Journals of Andre Gide

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Dinner for Hyperallergic

A couple days ago I was made an irresistible, albeit nerve wrecking, offer to write about the Greenpoint arts scene for Hyperallergic. I’ve known wrtier & art critic Hrag since the haydays of when art blogging came to fruition in the early aughts and I’ve been a loyal fan of his writing and community building ever since. He and husband Veken started Hyperallergic 2 years ago and combined the best of blogs and magazines to form, in essence, a blogazine.

Hyperallergic ain’t your typical art blog with opinionated uninformed rants nor is it an art magazine inundated with jargon and self-officialdom. It’s full of provocative news and stimulating gossip in addition to reviews and interviews of the most important folks in the art world. I don’t know that I can match up to their criteria. I’m very nervous. Very. Very. Nervous. My writing process extremely differs when I write about art as opposed to reviewing some sort of food topic. It requires more brain power and a strenuous effort to be relevant, meaningful, neutral but with a strong voice of your own. I feel it requires a skillset that combines the elements of style and content that I haven’t quite achieved yet. Writing for my own blog is one thing, writing for any other publication is a whole new ballgame. But if I don’t take advantage of this now, when will I ever learn?

Hrag I do pray you will be patient and supportive as I try to master a writing style worthy of Hyperallergic. For anyone with tips and ideas regarding the Greenpoint arts community, whether its a new gallery or a funny performance, or any heart-wrenching story we can make fun of, then please send them along my way.

Hrag, Veken, and genius artist William came over for dinner last night, to discuss the prospect of my contribution amongst other art worldly things. These 3 men are most informed and critical, saavy and satirical of the ins and outs of the art world. I learned much and spent the evening listening, absorbing their knowledge more than yapping about shit I didn’t know about. It was comforting. They’re also serious goofballs and we chased our margaritas with a shot of tequila. Good times.

For dinner, I failed to take any pictures which is a great pity. I’ve distanced myself from the Canon G10, I’m sick of it and want a new camera. I want a Canon 5D. Someone get it for me so I can document my life and experiences better.

For appetizer we started with crackers and cheese, blueberries and the simplest Potato Leek soup. I added 3 whole dried red chiles to give it a kick. It worked.

The main course was a roast chicken with herbed butter which I’ve made a couple years ago and love its simplicity and juiciness. I roasted a medley of root veggies including beets, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, and onions as a side which when infused with thyme made for a homey, comforting, and healthy dish. I wanted a creamy pasta to reflect the snowy weather’s need for sticky warmth and made creamy pasta. The sauce was as simple as chopping up garlic and adding creme fraiche and lemon juice. In the end it was a bit too lemony and not creamy enough but it hit the spot. For dessert I baked a few apples with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon and topped it with a scoop of ice cream. The crust-less-ness made it that much more healthy, I’d like to think.

Here’s to a future of many a more satisfying meals, art world jibber jabber, and thoughtful meaningful writing.

Recipes:

Potato Leek Soup (add 3 dry whole red chiles when adding broth)

Roast Chicken with Compound Butter and Herbs

Thyme Scented Roasted Vegetables

Creamy Pasta (I left out the Broccoli since there were already so many veggies being consumed)

Baked Apples (I just cut them in slices and baked them loose and spread on a baking pan)

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Salmon in Bengali Mustard Sauce with Rice

January hasn’t been as cleansing, productive, or transformative as I had hoped. The problem is that I expected to do all these THINGS, like going on a crazy cleanse for the 3rd time while quitting smoking, then eating healthier after, blogging everyday, yoga-ing every other day, swing dancing, diary-ing everyday, and partying a whole lot more. Well, things went seriously awry and I feel just as anxious and overwhelmed as I did pre-disillusioned-New-Year. I’m smoking more, I’m eating more, I’m not cooking as much as I should, and I’ve developed a new phobia: Apocalyptic Floods.

Wanna know how that happened? I was making fun of our wedding day being on judgement day and read into some of those psycho-websites predicting the second coming of Jesus, some New Yorker cartoon about Noah’s ark, a video collage of a tsunami with computers and construction cones washed up to shore, an article about California about to expect a “superstorm” and the snowpocalypse we’ve been experiencing here all jumbled together made for one frantic crazy little Joann.

I’ve been trying and trying to shut the fuck up and “stay present”, “mindful and compassionate”, “letting go of factors I cannot control and accepting inevitable changes”. For the most part I’m getting by but knowing we’re about to be hit with another crazy snowstorm sends panic prickles down my spine. It’s so useless and I’m so sick of it but I think eventually I’ll just have to accept the fact that I’m a little nuts and embrace that because whether or not you want to admit it, you LOVE it. Ha.

So I’ve been looking into the healthy recipes over at Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse regimen and found this recipe with salmon. The picture you find there and my end product look nothing alike. BA’s salmon looks like it’s been doused in yellow spray paint. I accompanied the fillet with brown jasmine rice and the best way I learned to eat this is to simply break up the salmon and mush it into the rice and it immediately becomes a homey, simple, deliciously savory and flavorful meal. I also realized fish skin makes me want to barf and I absolutely love watching whole mustard seeds pop. They’re like those jumping beans from childhood. Whatever happened to those?

Recipe here.

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Mark Your Calendar: This Weekend

A few things on my calendar this weekend:

Michael Alan

TONIGHT

Pierogi is having an opening featuring works by Patrick Jacobs. It also looks like they FINALLY revamped their website. I mean seriously, it was time.

Yes Gallery in Greenpoint is also having an opening tonight featuring the works of Michael Alan. He’s also the man responsible for those crazy performative live drawing sessions.

Glasslands is hosting a release party by Minks. Honestly I have no idea who they are and what kind of music they play but I’ve been wanting to expose myself to more local music as a means of discovery and think Glasslands to be the place of choice to find new music. Hopefully I’m right.

Duane Park is a burlesque and live jazz joint in Tribeca and the Brian Newman trio is performing alongside some seductive performances. I look forward to mingling with stuffy squares.

NY Gypsy All Stars is playing at 11:30 at Drom. Stoked.

– I’m super disappointed I can’t attend this show because it’s too goddamn much money for dinner. (There’s apparently a dinner tonight)

Loren Munk

SATURDAY

– There’s a good list of shows between the Lower East Side, Brooklyn and Chelsea that I’m hoping not to miss, including Rita Ackermann & Harmony Korine at Swiss Institute and Loren Munk at Minus Space.

– There’s a few sample sales going on this weekend and I don’t want to miss the discounts happening at Opening Ceremony, Pixie Market, and Built by Wendy.

– Jimmy No. 43’s 3rd annual Cassoulet Cook Off is today, to benefit Greenmarket. Come. Hungry.

– My dearest Megan Burns has an opening at The Proposition Gallery’s new space tonight.

– My swing dance teachers host a dance party every Saturday night in Jersey City. Let’s see if I can get myself to get on the Path train.

– My dearest Lauren Darling, with Hungry March Band and a slew of others will be at Red Lotus Room for a night of revelry called Voluption. Lineup includes performances, music, clowns, gogo girls, burlesque artists, baton twirlers, and an overall variety fest. “Glitter, glitz, fringe, fur, sequins, feathers, suits, ties, top hats, headpieces…the sky is the limit!”

– Kheedim, aka Beatardo, aka Mama O’s Kimchee, is djing at K&M.

– This dance fest at Ace Hotel is tempting. I need to dance my brains out on a regular basis and am on a grueling search.

 

Sunday

– Sundays I try to do as little as possible including going to the movies. On my watchlist is Illusionist and I love you Phillip Morris.

– Brooklyn Brainery is hosting a kimchi party that leaves me skeptical but not uncurious.

– Every Sunday at 4pm Go Yoga hosts community reiki sessions on donation basis. Let them touch you. and heal you.

– Matt Timms hosts a jerk off at The Bell House. I’m sure you’ll leave with tongue fatigue and pruned gums. Drink lots of water.

– My dearest Meg the beekeeper organized another awesome pie contest, this one to benefit Rooftop Farms.

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Reader: January 20, 2011

– Pretty disappointed Saltz chose The Panorama of the City of New York at Queens Museum, which is outdated and irrelevant considering the context. Not to say I can do better, I’m just shittalking.

– Being the first to market anything rarely pays off. “…many entrepreneurs falsely assume that success lies in being the first to brave uncharted waters…it boils down to having a good strategy.”

Sriracha Honey Buffalo Wings.

– Touchy feely inspirational post.

– Modern Art Notes on VIP art fair, which I think is full of poo poo.

Lisa Congdon. Check out her Collection a Day series.

– Strand launched a new website! Don’t know why that gets me so excited. FYI, my birthday is coming up and ALL I WANT is a gift certificate to Strand, or Amazon so I appease my gargantuan book wishlist.

– NYC big deal book.

– I’d like a hot foreign pen pal please. I was actually thinking about pen pals and how it works in elementary schools these days, do they write via snail mail or emails?

Female butchers with a sustainable philosophy.

– How to start a food truck.

Lauren Edwards.

Communal dining can be annoying and invasive but it can also be refreshing change and opportunity. It all depends on who you end up sharing the table with.

– Make a daily profile photo for your fridge.

– This is a pretty silly contest but I would love to score tix to that dinner/show. I didn’t know it was $99! goddammit.

– Online arts reporting as performance art?

– Teased hair criminals. via c-monster

Six girls, one apartment. If you’re looking for a sexy pillow fight, look elsewhere.

– Google street view as art.

– She received death threats? good. “Chinese mothers are awesome at getting their kids to practice their instruments three hours a day, but suck at irony!”

– Loving the Williamsburg house built and lived in by artist Nicole Eisenman and partner Victoria Robinson.

– When is nude OK on facebook?

– I really like this building and is the only exception to my no-way-i’m-living-in-those-shitty-new-skyscraper-condo-buildings.

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Calvin Tomkins on George Condo

screengrab from new museum site

Last week’s issue of New Yorker featured a profile on painter George Condo by Calvin Tomkins. I look forward to every profile Tomkins writes on artists including Koons and Currin but hate who he writes about. More often than not they’re big profile hooty toot artists that, for me, are in the periphery of my art-consumptive habits. A few years back I read Lives of the Artists, a collection of said artist profiles, for its art historical credentials but I’m growing to disfavor this leaning towards prominent male artists. Please do correct me and point me towards any essays he’s written on prolific women artists, I’d be relieved and shut myself up eternally.

Meanwhile this essay, which you unfortunately can’t read unless a subscriber, points out trivial moments and cringeworthy details in Condo’s practice and quotes statements that were irrelevant, trifle, and left me a bit dumbfounded. I didn’t care to take Condo seriously before, and hoped that the essay would change that, but it had the opposite affect.

Some useless details discovered from the essay:

– “In a shopping spree last fall, they replaced most of what Condo called the “fake French furniture” in their living and dining rooms with the real thing: a Louis XVI dining table and six Regency chairs, a George Jacob settee, and several exquisite marquetry pieces signed and stamped by the 18th century masters Roger Van der Cruse and Pierre Migeon, including a commode made originally (by Migeon) for Madame de Pompadour’s bedroom.”

– “Warhol stood behind him for a while, and then asked, in his soft voice, “Do you just go up to a painting and do whatever you like?” Condo said he guessed so. Warhol said, “Gee, I could never do that.”

– “According to Condo, he [Kanye West] also said that he was looking for “something that will be banned.”

– “Graffiti artists spray-painted their names on walls and subway trains; Condo emblazoned his in Old Master landscapes.”

– “He took the Concorde on trips to and from New York, and, guided by Bischofberger, aquired a taste for very expensive wines.”

– “To call attention to the new work, he invented a term to describe it: “Artificial Realism,” defined as “the realistic representation of that which is artificial.””

– “Pictures by Currin and other painters of his generation sometimes sell for a lot more than Condo’s do, and this is annoying to Condo. Now and then, he feels that others get credit for things he id first, but he also knows that having his work admired b younger artists has made critics and collectors look at it with renewed interest.”

– When Condo visits his mother, he usually stops off, in his chauffeur-driven Mercedes (Condo let his driver’s license lapse in 1978 and never renewed it), to play the high-stakes slot machines at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Connecticut…Losing never bothers him, he told me, because “I only count what I win.”

 

Some quotes of non-interest from Condo:

– “I’ve never had any trouble selling work.”

– re: a character in his paintings, Rodrigo, is “a kind of lowlife, the one who parks your car…the piano player at a wedding, doing the worst song you’ve heard.”

– “What happens now, is I sit down.”

– “This was the height of the punk-rock thing, with the Ramone and the Sex Pistols and Patti Smith. I thought it was really great, a cross between John Cage and performance art.”

– “People were dying of AIDS, And besides, in the Canary Islands I’d really liked the feeling of being away from the crowd.”

– “When I finished paying back the gallery, I still had more money left over than I’ve ever had in my hands at one time- and Anna and I spent the entire amount in two months! I don’t know how. We were just traveling, and staying in hotels, and buying stuff.”

 

Let’s just say, this is a roll-of-the-eyes tribute to George Condo. After reading this I can’t help but picture Condo as a sheltered spoiled brat prone to tantrums and unhealthy disturbing fantasies produced from a perpetual state of infancy. This profile I think really does disservice to his biography and his artistic practice and that’s just too bad. It won’t prevent me from wanting to see the show at New Museum though, let’s see if this mid-career retrospective exceeds beyond that of a faulty creator.

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Reader: Jan 19, 2011

Is it really mid-January already?

Friskyscopes remind me that despite me being convinced I’m going insane I need to laugh it off and move on.

– Pretty stoked about Greenpoint CoWorking opening a communal workspace for lonesome freelancers.

– Ticketing cyclists in Central Park.

A restaurant that changes completely every 30 days. This sounds AWESOME.

– Please god don’t let me turn into a hoarder.

– She makes my blood curdle.

– Subway hotties.

– Saveur’s 100 tools and books.

Last suppers.

– Restaurants and their A grades.

Immaculate Infatuation‘s reviews are charming: “Just close your eyes and open your mouth…The ice creams make up for the baked sweets being kind of…whatever.”

– Tips for small indie businesses: defining your target market. Also, how to envision and set up your office space.

– Deitch condoms.Conceptions

– She & Him amidst modern furniture and design.

– Bloggers quit blogging.

– Trippy breathing therapy. “Basically, you breathe in huge amounts of oxygen very quickly, which takes your mind to an ecstatic place and supposedly helps you deal with a range of emotional and health issues.” Learn more about it from the Breath Guru.

– How to be a 20 something.

Brooklyn Brine, Brooklyn Salsa Company, and the Mast(erbation) Brothers Chocolate. Love it.

Duane Reade + Beer Bar + Brooklyn = mindfucking throw up everywhere.

– No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed.

– Let the customer work with you.

– 5 quarterly food publications.

2010 Year in Food in Greenpoint Gazette including my dearly beloved Greenpoint Food Market.

Tech cleanse.

– Border Patrols instigate nightmares.

Yum.

100 greatest headlines ever written.

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