Category Archives: Uncategorized

Walid Raad

A post honoring the important Walid Raad show at MoMA

In his MoMA retrospective, Mr. Raad devises a set of fantastic tales from a few hard facts and a backdrop of war.

Walid Raad’s Unreality Show Spins Middle Eastern History as Art – The New York Times

Official political history is as self-assured sounding and logically suspect as presidential primary promises. This is the kind of history — a modest amount of matter plumped on clouds of hot air — that the Conceptual artist Walid Raad devises in his Museum of Modern Art retrospective: a set of fantastic tales spun from a few hard facts, with the live equivalent of an operatic mad scene at the center.

Among the facts the art is built on, though they go unmentioned, are details of the artist’s life. He was born in Lebanon in 1967 and left that country as a high school teenager to escape what would be more than a decade and half of continuous warfare, with invasions by Israel and Syria and endlessly splintered sectarian conflicts. [read more]


another good article:
Hyperalleric:Unreliable Informants: A Walid Raad Primer

A Conversation with Jonathan Lethem

From Rhizome: A Conversation with Jonathan Lethem.

In 2007, novelist Jonathan Lethem published an essay in Harpers ending with a grand reveal: “every line I  stole, warped, and cobbled together.” The patchwork includes dozens of sources — part of a Steve Erickson novel, something from a Pitchfork review, a quote from an interview with Rick Prelinger. Sandra Day OConnor and Ralph Waldo Emerson are stitched in too.  The Ecstasy of Influence, now the title of his recent collection of writings, often addresses the process of integrating and “cobbling together” ideas and culture to make something new. Yet, stories Lethem relates of hosting “mailing parties” for the Philip K Dick Society or working in a bookstore seem like snapshots from pre-digital age. Recently I talked with the author about our rapidly dematerializing culture as well as appropriation as an art practice: read interview

A page is a door [inspiration]

A Page is a Door

by Remy Charlip

The Excitement in a well written book happens from word to word, sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, chapter to chapter.

But usually the turning from page to page is incidental, and in a long book a bother. It doesn’t matter if something happens on page 9 or 289.

While reading a book, I sometimes wish I didn’t have to hold it up, it gets so heavy, and I fantasize a sea of type automatically unrolling, one word in focus at a time, at just the right speed, on a moving screen or scroll.

A scroll, or long paper with accordion pleats or separate sheets in a portfolio are all books of a sort. But a book, as we refer to it today, has distinct physical properties, just as painting, sculpture, film, and other art forms have their distinct physical properties

A book is a series of pages held together at one edge, and these pages can be moved on their hinges like a swinging door. They could also be half-doors, doors with windows, double doors, like fold-outs, doors with attachments, pop-ups, textures or moving parts, and shaped doors.

Of course if a door has something completely different behind it, it is much more exciting. The element of delight and surprise is helped by the physical power we feel in our own hands when we move that page or door to reveal a change in everything that has gone before, in time, place, or character.

A thrilling picture book not only makes beautiful single images or sequential images, but also allows us to become aware of a book’s unique physical structure, by bringing our attention, once again, to that momentous moment: the turning of the page.

via The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

Bomb Project

The Bomb Project is a comprehensive on-line compendium of nuclear-related links, imagery and documentation. It is intended specifically as a resource for artists, and encourages those working in all media, from, film and video, eco-intervention and site-specific installation to more traditional forms of agitprop, to use this site to search for raw material. The Bomb Project has gathered together links to nuclear image archives (still and moving), historical documents, current news, NGOs and activist organizations as well as government labs and arms treaties. It makes accessible the declassified files and graphic documentation produced by the nuclear industry itself, providing a context for comparative study, analysis and creativity – Joy Garnett/First Pulse Projects

StoryCorps and oral history

This post in honor of  National Day of Listening [otherwise known as Thanksgiving]

StoryCorps mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our broadcasts on public radio and the web. Read more…

**They offer a DIY guide about recording stories**