Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Video Distribution and Meaning: Panel Discussion @ Momenta, this Sunday, April 1

This is not an April Fool's set-up, I promise.

Please join artists Janet Biggs, Amber Hawk Swanson, Leslie Thornton and me for a panel discussion that brings to a close the 2012 edition of Momenta Art's influential Annual Video Series. This Sunday, April 1, at Momenta Art's (relatively) new location, 56 Bogart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. (Quite literally, right outside the Morgan Avenue entrance on the L train.)

Momenta has exhibited over 80 artists who make video since 1991, many of whom were virtually unknown at the time but who have gone on to very prominent careers (including Janet Biggs, Omer Fast, Rico Gatson, Laurel Nakadate, and Michael Smith, just to name a few).

The topic of our discussion is one I've been quite obsessed with for the past few years: video distribution and its formal impact on meaning, the steady growth of video as a collectible item, and how the mode of distribution affects the perception of the work.

Few fine art media still enjoy as much passionate (i.e., heated and at times downright explosive) debate over "meaning" as does video. Partly, this is because the early history of video as an art form is still being written, and those with a stake in that understand what it will mean to be left out and are rightly refusing to do so quietly. Partly, though, it's because the landscape of video technology and distribution is shifting so rapidly, and The Early History will rely on agreed vocabularies and other components of "meaning" before it can be signed off on.

Moreover, and complicating the issues almost beyond any hope of quick resolution is the backdrop in which all artists (indeed all humans) continue to wrestle with whether to embrace or reject "technology" as a component of or barrier to a worthwhile (dare we say, spiritual) human experience.

Because it's so much more accessible and affordable, more and more contemporary artists (even those whose main practice is painting or sculpture or what-have-you) are creating moving-image-based works than ever before. It's not quite there yet, but it's quickly becoming simply another accepted mode of expression, and that may eventually neutralize some of the largest questions about "meaning" in my humble opinion. But the question of distribution is not likely to be simplified any time soon, so how distribution is connected to meaning remains a wide open topic.

For example, back when Nam June Paik was quite literally playing the TV (video mixing, live, on air at WGBH), part of the meaning of such works was found in their immediacy and improvisational nature. Watching it at home (something I missed) must have been amazing: anything might appear on your TV set, there was no editing before you received the sound and images, happy accidents were yours to enjoy as were any clumsy moments yours to cringe at.

What does it mean that today you can watch recordings of some of these experiments? I'm happy they've been preserved, but (like listening to an album of a live performance) while watching them you're always somehow reminded that you're not really "there." And other questions keep occurring to me, lessening my experience: Is this the whole piece, or has some of it been lost? What about the advances in video technology? I have an HD TV (something no one watched Paik's original performance on at home). Has that altered the work significantly, as I watch it?

And there are significant political questioned intertwined with distribution and its connection to meaning. Many of the earliest creators of art video were making a statement by using an infinitely reproducible medium that was chosen specifically because it was seen as more democratic than the rarefied art objects that had become so commodified. Some of these artists (or the keepers of their estates) later on editioned that same work in order to appeal to the market. This helped preserve the work, so it's not as if it were all bad, but it most definitely altered the artist's original intentions/meaning.

These are but a few of the topics we'll discuss this Sunday (others include the meaning of putting one's video art up on YouTube, etc., the meaning of distributing recordings of live performances as the "art" itself, and so on).

Please feel free to add questions you may wish to be added to the list, and please come to the discussion if you can.

Momenta Art
Video Distribution and its Connection to Meaning
Janet Biggs, Amber Hawk Swanson, and Leslie Thornton
Panel discussion moderated by Edward Winkleman
Sunday, April 1 at 5 pm.

56 Bogart Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Labels: panel discussion, video

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Few Thoughts on "Stand Your Ground" Laws

I suspect it's simply not human nature, but it sure would be nice if everyone could stop projecting all their political opinions onto the 17-year-old kid who was killed in Florida and the 28-year-old man who shot him, and just let the investigation continue without preemptively turning either into a monster or a martyr.

After days of fear and outrage (and precious little else) virtually painting Zimmerman as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, we're now in the backlash days of political anus twitching (mostly by the NRA and its supporters) and seeing Martin painted as some sort of street-hardened gangster.

Neither portrait stands up to scrutiny. Both are offensive and hurtful.

And even if Zimmerman does turn out to be a Charles Bronson wanna-be vigilante who ignored simple instructions by the police or if Martin turns out to be a teenage pot dealer (or even just less angelic than the most popular photo of him out there wants us to believe he was), the fact remains that their lives were/are much more complicated than the tragic event that led one to kill the other, and it's grotesque to reduce either to a caricature to score political points.

The inescapable facts here for me are that Martin's life is over, and the murky details surrounding that tragedy would seem a good reason to review Florida's so-called Stand Your Ground law.

No law is perfect, and you can find anecdotal evidence to argue against the wisdom of literally any one on the books. But the issue that's driving the nation to the brink of riots over this isn't whether or not Martin truly threatened Zimmerman's life and the shooting was in self-defense, but rather that with Martin dead and Zimmerman very highly motivated to claim self-defense, we have too many unanswered questions to just let it go. Why that's important beyond the potential for injustice to Martin's family, is that with no arrest or trial, the public never gets anything close to satisfaction that they're not complicit in letting a killer, who will possibly do it again, go free. Add in the fear that this killing was racially motivated (again, something an investigation or trial could help dispel, if it's not true), and you have a public complicit in letting a racist killer go free, possibly to kill people he doesn't like the skin color of again.

In short, the fact is that the law has been revealed to be dangerous and idiotic in this regard: the surviving person of such altercations has every motivation (including the lack of any perjury consequences) to lie about what happened. Essentially, if they concoct even a reasonably credible account of what happened, they win all in the eyes of the law. They walk free. The dead obviously don't. This is an imbalance and, therefore, an injustice.

But the very powerful and politically intimidating National Rifle Association (NRA) and its supporters would prefer to separate out the investigation of this killing from a critique of the Stand Your Ground laws:

National Rifle Association lead lobbyist Marion Hammer – one of the architects of the stand-your-ground law now figuring prominently in debates over the Trayvon Martin shooting death in Sanford, Florida – says she won’t be baited into arguing the merits of the law while the case is still being investigated.

In the wake of last week’s growing outcry over the fact that the acknowledged shooter, George Zimmerman, has not been charged, Gov. Rick Scott Thursday tapped an outside prosecutor to investigate the death and a task force to review the 2005 law.

Scott, too, says further action should await the results of the investigation.

And in any case, Hammer said Monday, “the law should not be on trial. The law did not do anything wrong.”


“I have seen the media predict that nothing will change,” Hammer said, “and that’s probably because the media understands that there’s nothing wrong with the law.”

I'll submit it's probably more likely because the media know the kind of money and political pressure the NRA will bring down on the heads of anyone who tries to change it.

I'll also submit that anyone without ideological (or paid) reasons to claim there's "nothing wrong with the law" can easily see how that's not true. There is plenty wrong with the law. At the very least, because the police just let Zimmerman go, citing the Stand Your Ground law as their reason why, his claim of self-defense is harder to prove (or disprove):
Police have not released the incident report, and because there has been no arrest, there is no arrest report to examine. A mugshot that might have showed the extent of Zimmerman’s alleged injuries is not available, again, because there was no arrest.
Remember, we're talking about the loss of a human life here. I can't accept that in that context it's too much inconvenience or a violation of one's civil rights for the survivor of a deadly altercation to cooperate with the police in providing evidence of the claim of self-defense in some official manner.

More than that, the law is seriously flawed in how it essentially assists in any desired cover-up of an unjustified homicide. We don't need to imagine the real-world consequences of this:
Since the law was passed, the number of “justifiable homicides” has tripled. Last year, according to the Tampa Bay Times, “twice a week, on average, someone’s killing was considered warranted.” This week, the state attorney in Tallahassee, Willie Meggs, told the Times, “The consequences of the law have been devastating around the state. It’s almost insane what we are having to deal with.” Gang members, drug dealers, and road-rage killers are, according to Meggs, all successfully invoking Stand Your Ground. “The person who is alive always says, ‘I was in fear that he was going to hurt me.’
But the NRA insists "there is nothing wrong with the law." I would hope we could all agree that if a law assists people in freely murdering other people, there is something wrong with it.

It's time to review Stand Your Ground laws.

Labels: , politics

Monday, March 26, 2012

Taking the Country Back

Given they both use the same phrase, all the time, it becomes a bit difficult to understand what baseline either side is referring to when they insist it's "time to take back our country."

On the right, I think, you have to imagine the baseline is perhaps the 1950s, when white men dominated every position of power and women and minorities knew their place.

On the left, you have to image it was either the late 1940s, when the ideals behind New Deal were spreading their tentacles and business and conservatives were willing to compromise with social progress to keep the Reds at bay, or the late 1960s, when, to be honest, white men dominated every position of power, but women and minorities were encouraged to be hopeful.

But who exactly we are "taking our country back" from remains unclear to me.

On the left, today, we have Paul Krugman using the phrase in a great op-ed I too hope shines more light on the workings of the so-called (but not remotely believed to be) non-partisan American Legislative Exchange Council:
Now, ALEC isn’t single-handedly responsible for the corporatization of our political life; its influence is as much a symptom as a cause. But shining a light on ALEC and its supporters — a roster that includes many companies, from AT&T and Coca-Cola to UPS, that have so far managed to avoid being publicly associated with the hard-right agenda — is one good way to highlight what’s going on. And that kind of knowledge is what we need to start taking our country back.
Here, it's more clear that we're taking the country back from powerful business interests and multi-national corporations.

On the Right, "taking our country back" is a cottage industry, with entire movements adopting the phrase. There is and (which seems from skimming through it to be the more secular of the two, but I could be wrong). Here, it's noted that we're taking our country back (not from, but...) to its founding principles:
We believe the most important thing for us to do in Taking Our Country Back is to restore our knowledge of, devotion to and faithful following of our founding principles.
which just so happen to have been outlined when white men held all the positions of power and women and minorities were either not allowed to vote or were actually enslaved, but...the actual principles (in general) are indeed worth reminding ourselves of.

It is ponderous why several of the main goals of the right's "take our country back" top 10 demands were not as loudly championed during the Bush years as they are now during the Obama years (such as #3. Demand a balanced budget; #6. End runaway government spending; #8. Pass an ‘all-of-the-above” energy policy; and #9. Stop the pork), but I'm sure the Heritage Foundation has a talking point ready to distract them from that inconsistency.

Murat, for those reading who don't know, is Kyrgyz by birth (but an American citizen now). In general, the Kyrgyz people migrated to and have remained in the same place on earth for about 40,000 years (the longest of any people among our otherwise highly migratory species according to "Journey of Man" by Spenser Wells). This has ingrained in Murat a historical perspective on things that repeatedly humbles me. He notes, from his much longer-term sense of history, that all this talk about "taking our country back" would only make sense coming from the Indians (aka Native Americans). Discussing "taking the country back" in terms of decades or less, as we do, seems ludicrous to him.

Indeed, I suspect what we're really talking about when we use the phrase in contemporary America is more aligned with the current occupant of the White House and whether he's our man (or soon to be woman I hope) or not, or the majority in the houses of Congress. Noting that House of Representatives members are elected every two years, then, we barely go a full year before the losing side drags out the same posters and banners and the phrase is geared up for another campaign season.

Murat is right. This tug of war is ludicrous. The election cycle is essentially non-stop and so too is the use of the phrase. We are therefore perpetually "taking our country back" from each other.

I for one think perhaps it's OK to pause a day or two and let every American feel it's, you know, their country too and no one is trying to take it back.

Labels: politics

Friday, March 23, 2012

Opening Tonight! Rory Donaldson's "Shared Roadway Ahead" @ Winkleman Gallery, 6-8 PM

Winkleman Gallery is very pleased to present “Shared Roadway Ahead,” our second solo exhibition by Scottish-born New York artist Rory Donaldson. Pushing his ongoing exploration of the space where photography and painting can overlap, Donaldson presents for the first time a body of gorgeous new work he calls the “RDX series”.

Each piece in the RDX series begins as a digital photograph of a landscape, cityscape, or other urban motif. Through an emotive selection of process, Donaldson then erases, moves, expands or reduces elements of the photograph. In his earliest works of this series, Donaldson began by technically removing graffiti off a surface, updating the erased graffiti works made in the 1990’s. He later expanded this “cleansing process” to take on board the entire image.

Altering the position, dimension and scale of elements of his photograph has been part of Donaldson’s process for many years; however, the process for the RDX series is a reversal of where he had ventured before. What remains takes on a look of paint, both oil and acrylic painted on board and canvas (which is not surprising, given Donaldson formally trained as a painter in these mediums). A work may begin as a photograph of parking lot, for example, yet end up looking like a painting of an iceberg at sea by stripping out the dark and the dull and re-organizing what remains. Other works end with less literal outcomes and their final form is more abstract, holding a different narrative, based not on re-representation but on reconstruction and the structures held within.

As Donaldson builds each work, the original representational photographic elements gradually recede leaving in their wake distorted renderings that evoke different types of paint that looks as if it has been dragged and dripped, poured on and wiped off. While the illusion of paint is present, there are always digital reminders left in the process to confirm that these began from a photographic base and have grown into their new forms from this point of construction. The outcome of Donaldson's current investigation has resulted in a marriage that has long been in the courting stage. The works in the RDX series lie in a new realm between painting and photography, created by blending processes traditionally used in both, that he has been considering and mastering for years, and it is this path that he views as the shared roadway ahead.

Rory Donaldson is a Scottish-born artist living and working in New York; he was educated at the Grays school of art in Aberdeen Scotland from 1982-86 where he received a BA with honors. From 1986-87 he studied at the University of Ulster in Belfast where he received his MA, and from 1997-1998 at the Whitney Museum of Independent Study Program in New York. Recent exhibitions include "Industrial Aesthetics: Environmental Influences on Recent Art from Scotland" at the Hunter College Time Square Gallery in New York and "Chinese Take Out" at Art in General, New York. In 2008, Donald received the 2008 Morton Award (given for innovative work in the discipline of photography) by the Royal Scottish Academy.

For more information, contact Edward Winkleman at 212.643.3152 or

Image above: Rory Donaldson, "Shine Against : Willingly Mine," 2011, digital photography, 14" x 11", edition of 1, plus 1 AP.

Winkleman Gallery
621 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001

Labels: gallery artist exhibition

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The "Your Own Private Idaho" Micro-Revolution || Open Thread

It seems everywhere you turn these days there are stories of people rejecting the extant systems and power structures and building their own private empires or networks. Taking matters into your own hands seems to be a micro-revolutionary response to limited access or limited ability to get the powers that be to change how they run things.

Among others:
  • Writers are rejecting the hard to get into publishing houses and cashing in on self-publishing.
  • Comedians are rejecting the club/TV/movies circuits and cashing in on direct access to the laugh-hungry masses.
  • In our own industry, what many pundits seem to miss is how the explosion of art fairs recently ( here are two brand new ones in Miami: Miami River and Miami Project [in addition to the 4,382 already there] ) is in part a response by dealers themselves (who are launching or collaborating on most of the new fairs) to the fact that that's where the sales are happening.
  • There are even still people rejecting the governments of the world and establishing their own micronations. (Don't miss this fabulous story of the island nation of Sealand.)
It's a concept I've long been aware of and encouraged in lectures about blogging. "Think of a blog as your own private media outlet," I tell people. Long ago it struck me that the real goal of getting press for your efforts is having readers act on their sparked interest, not simply seeing your name in print. It doesn't really matter where they read it, so much as they act upon it (in my case, that means by creating a wider dialog about an issue or getting people to visit the gallery to see a show, etc.).

The trick with all these efforts, of course, is offering something that people will actually like or care enough to participate in, and then defending it from those who would swoop in to co-opt it. Sealand, for example, had its sovereignty undone by a 1987 extension of Britain's territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles, swallowing up the tiny kingdom.

What's most attractive about establishing a micro-version of the network or system your industry relies on is the freedom and purity of intent or message, of course. Consider the revolution in comedy:

The turning point arrived in December, when the comedian Louis C. K. released a stand-up special, “Live at the Beacon Theater,” that was sold only as a $5 download, without electronic copy protection, from his Web site.

Louis C. K., who stars in the FX series “Louie” and has performed in comedy specials on HBO, Showtime and Epix, said that he was seeking minimal outside interference and maximum ease for his audience.

“I don’t have to go, ‘Here’s this product,’ to whatever company,” Louis C. K. said, “and then cringe and shrug and apologize to my fans for whatever words are being removed, whatever ads they’re having to watch, whatever marketing is being lobbed on.”
Youtube has also been an important tool in the micro-revolution of wrangling power away from the long-established gatekeepers of taste and access. In fact, YouTube is such a well-established path to your own private happiness and success, there's even a WikiHow outlining the six steps need to "Be a YouTube Star." The fact that all six are either obvious (#1. Get a video camera) or much easier said than done (#2. Develop an idea or get lucky), shouldn't discourage you. WikiHow is also its own Private Idaho, circumventing the stranglehold by certain publishers on "How to..." books or seminars.

As it suggests, though, referring to these micro-revolution as one's "own Private Idaho," does mean to indict them for the pitfall they most often fall into: myopia-induced shorter shelf-lives. By not being connected through the larger systems (which overlap and are frequently inter-dependent), the micro-versions lack the resources (and support networks) to withstand the tougher times or capitalize on shared interests. Just like Sealand, you're literally out there on your own.

Still, the freedom is pretty damn sweet, I must say. ¡Viva la Micro-Revolución!

Consider this an open thread on taking matters into your own hands.

Labels: blogging, open thread, , self-publishing

Monday, March 19, 2012

What Do You Dream of Now?

Satellite's gone
up to the skies
Thing like that drive me
out of my mind

---Lou Reed, "Satellite of Love"

Dreams of a better (or at least different) world have fueled artists' pursuits for millennia, with more modern examples ranging from finding inspiration in exotic locales (think Gauguin or Rousseau) to exposés of human suffering designed to raise consciousness (think Picasso up through Emily Jacir) to simply musing on the aesthetics and metaphors of space exploration and the technology explosion of the last century (think Rosenquist up through Cory Archangel).

The appeal of "over there" or "tomorrow" (that is, the unknown and hopefully better) worlds is understandably a rich vein to mine for artists, but while we see turmoil the world over with protests and wars and plans for new wars and what not, there seems to be a bit of loss of direction (perhaps simply the result of a vastly connected and much more complex world) in the dream department these days.

Neil deGrasse Tyson makes a passionate argument that the lack of enthusiasm for more space exploration (via NASA funding) is an indication that we have stopped dreaming the way we used to in this video:

Of course, there is a generation of artists who recognize the appeal of deGrasse Tyson's other declaration (that "the universe is in us") and have concluded (rightly, I think) that that's a rich enough territory for any artist to explore. But at other times I find it hard to separate dreaming inward from the eventual drudgery of "navel gazing." The idea that there's still so much more worthwhile "out there" is difficult to give up.

Art world types (ok, so mostly those who fall into the "geek" or "nerd" categories) are excited for the upcoming return of director Ridley Scott to the sci-fi genre, with his highly anticipated new flick "Prometheus."

And among the super-geeky there's also viral enthusiasm for Scott's envisioned TED talk from the year 2023:

It's an blisteringly exciting vision: "We are the gods now." And isn't it partly the their secret desire to be more godlike (to create new universes that he/she completely controls) that makes exploring new territories or building new, better worlds (according to one's own vision) so appealing to artists?

But, alas, achieving anything approaching the Prometheus vision would seem to require that we continue to invest in space exploration.

Is deGrasse Tyson off base?

If so, what do you dream of now?

Labels: art making, future art

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Waning He-man Women Haters Club

"Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn't matter what country they're in or what religion they claim, they all want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our health and our own bodies." ---Secretary Hillary Clinton, 2012
Several people mentioned it. There were a notably large number of strong works by women artists at the Moving Image art fair.

I had noticed it myself as the selection process was coming together. The number of works by women artists stood out.

It wasn't intentional. The committee didn't decide this was the year to focus on women. It just happened organically.

But Moving Image wasn't the only venue. One of the top collectors in the world posted on his facebook page that "It's the year of great women artists at the art fairs in NY this year" in response to his visits to the ADAA Art Show and Armory, and the downtown favorite mini-fair Salon Zürcher presented solo projects by women artist only this year.

So what's happening?

After the last Whitney Biennial (the first in its history that featured more women than men artists), the pendulum swung back this time to including nearly twice as many men as women in the line-up. The funny thing is, though, that I had to count myself. No one that I know of has remarked on the numbers this time.

I think that's a good thing, actually (that, even if momentarily, we're enjoying a bit of "post-disparity" refocus on other issues). And it's very heartening to see Rush Limbaugh's sponsors flee from his show after the political shock jock piggishly mocked a woman who insisted her health insurance cover her health care needs.

It seems to me that the reactionary attacks on women from the right-wing extremists in this country reveal a desperation for another "other" to project their political frustrations onto (read: attempt to veil their incompetence). The fact that women legislators are fighting back (and how) across the country suggests the extremists chose the wrong scapegoat this time.

Vigilance is obviously still called for. Had Limbaugh's comments or Issa's censorship gone unchallenged, my guess is they might have succeeded in changing the subject from how lame and utterly disjointed the GOP's current vision for the country is. So it's still very important to call a pig a "pig." To draw attention to disparity and slam those who would promote it.

But I think we're also seeing signs that things are actually improving. When larger numbers of women artists just so happen to be included in exhibitions or fairs (without a set agenda to do so) or when women lawmakers shove nonsense misogynist legislation right back down their creators' throats, I personally become more hopeful that we're reaching the point, as Secretary Clinton also noted, where women's rights are seen as human rights, plain and simple.

Labels: Art and politics, gender disparity

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

All That Glitters... Open Thread

If History is any indication, then Felix Salmon was correct in making his controversial assertion at the Armory Show panel discussion on Art Funds that they "have strong claim to being the most ridiculous asset class in the world, no one should ever invest in them, and they invariably fail." (I wasn't able to attend the panel, unfortunately [we were a bit busy], but provides a nice summary here.)

History, however, while perhaps among the best indicators of how things have been, isn't always the best indicator of how things might be, should determined souls (like, say, the Wright Brothers, or Guglielmo Marconi, or Steve Jobs, etc.) put their minds to a particular problem. So I'm not entirely sure someone with the motivation won't find a way to make one not fail.

Still, one point that came up during the discussion touches on something I've been thinking/talking about with friends for a while now:
Though Salmon was outnumbered, he held his own, pointing out that most art funds fail, and the success-imbued makeup of the panel probably had more to do with survivor bias than the fundamental strengths of the industry. There were, however, some decent counterpoints to his doomsaying. While Salmon argued that art funds are "an animal that doesn't serve any obvious purpose," [fund manager Bruce] Wilcox came back with the point that neither, really, does gold. Touché.
Murat and I are obsessed with Deadwood (we have only two NetFlix episodes of the series left, so no spoilers please), which, if you don't know, focuses on the legendary gold mining camp that drew all manner of corrupt and contemptible personalities to what would become South Dakota to seek their fortunes. In watching the literally murderous lengths people would go to in order to find what a rather libelous portrayal of (later California US Senator) George Hearst called "the color" (i.e., gold), I've begun to think quite a bit about why we as a species value this shiny yellow metal so much. As Wilcox noted, it doesn't serve any obvious purpose. Yet independently of each other, societies around the world will go to extreme lengths to find and hoard it.

Of course, gold is only one of the so-called precious metals that societies will prize enough to make it a currency. Silver is another, and gems are common treasures too. But gold holds a special place in human history as the virtually useless, heavy thing we'll kill each other to get some of.

One of the reasons for this, a friend and I decided over cocktails (noted, to indicate the quality of thinking perhaps), is its permanence. Gold jewelry from thousands of years ago looks very much like it did then. It doesn't rust away or disintegrate. It remains, long after the humans who mined, reshaped, and treasured it are gone. In fact, should we happen upon a golden trinket from a by-gone era, we treasure it too, as a vessel of that time (and, of course, its current market value). Another reason, obviously, is its shininess. Little more than wingless crows or magpies, apparently, we humans are mindlessly distracted by the glitter of the stuff. The aesthetics of it draws us in and captures our imaginations somehow.

If you've read here long enough, you'll
perhaps see where I'm going with this. The reason I'm not quite ready to sign on to Felix's view that Art Funds will always fail is that I think the parallels of art and gold are strong enough (most of all, that both are vessels that future generations of people, even uninitiated ones, will find themselves drawn to) that some determined financial whiz kid could work out the current kinks and make one work.

Not that that's necessarily a good thing, though, mind you...

Consider this an open thread on why we as a species prize/value the things (i.e., objects) we do.

Labels: art market, Value

Friday, March 02, 2012

Next Week : Moving Image, Armory Film, The Armory Show

As you may have noticed, postings have been rather sporadic around here lately, to say the least. Over the past few months we have been preparing for the New York Moving Image fair, organizing the inaugural Armory Film presentation, and organizing our booth at The Armory Show. Oh, yeah, and we've been running the gallery all the while. To say we've been insanely, super, nearly bonkers busy is to employ an absurd degree of euphemism.

But...our extremely hard-working (if long-suffering) team has been stellar (really super thanks to Jay, Alex, Janet, Andrew, MTV, and the team of Moving Image interns!'re all stars to Murat and me!) and as I sit here typing, on the cusp of it all, I find myself remarkably calm. Things are in very good shape.

Below you'll find more information about the events we're involved in over the next week. I can hardly imagine as it begins in earnest that I'll have any time to blog, but I look forward to more regular posts on the other side. Hope to see you at the fairs!

Moving Image

Moving Image, the contemporary video art fair, returns to New York's Waterfront Tunnel, March 8-11, 2012, with 31 artists presenting single-channel videos, sculptures, and installations represented by galleries from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and North America. Moving Image was conceived to offer a viewing experience with the excitement and vitality of a fair, while allowing moving image-based artworks to be understood and appreciated on their own terms. For the 2012 edition, we are delighted to announce an expanded program of presentations and panels, including what promise to be very lively discussions on conservation and preservation of video artwork, the future of video art technology, and what you actually get when you buy video art.

Highlights of the 2012 New York program includes works by highly influential experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs (presented by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York) and legendary pioneer of conceptual art, VALIE EXPORT (presented by Charim Galerie, Vienna, Austria). Along with a 2003 work by Zhang Peili (Saamlung, Hong Kong), widely considered the father of Chinese video art; a new work by renowned New York artist Mary Lucier (Lennon, Weinberg, New York), and an installation by the celebrated Estonian artist Jaan Toomik (Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia), these works reflect Moving Image's dedication to presenting historically important artworks (image below from Toomik's 2004 video, Seagulls).

Moving Image New York 2012 also presents several large-scale installations, including works by Martha Wilson (PPOW, New York), AES+F (Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne/Sydney, Australia) Janet Biggs (Winkleman Gallery, New York), Josh Azzarella (DCKT Contemporary, New York), and Daniel Phillips (DODGEGallery, New York).

New works in the program by emerging artists include videos by Kate Gilmore (Braverman Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel); Alex Prager ( Yancey Richardson, New York, NY); Jesse McLean (Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, New York); and Jesse Fleming (The Company, Los Angeles, CA; image below from Fleming's 2012 video, The Snail and the Razor).

We are very pleased to announce the full list of participating artists and galleries, as well as the schedule of events, for Moving Image 2012:

Artists / Participating Galleries

AES+F / Anna Schwartz Gallery (Melbourne / Sydney, Australia)
Sama Alshaibi / Lawrie Shabibi (Dubai, UAE)
Josh Azzarella / DCKT Contemporary (New York, NY)
Janet Biggs / Winkleman Gallery (New York, NY)
Eelco Brand / [DAM] Berlin Cologne (Berlin, Germany)
Josef Dabernig / Andreas Huber (Vienna, Austria)
Song Dong & Yin Xiuzhen / Chambers Fine Art (New York, NY)
VALIE EXPORT / Charim Gallery (Vienna, Austria)
Jesse Fleming / The Company (Los Angeles, CA)
Alexa Gerrity / The Company (Los Angeles, CA)
Kate Gilmore / Braverman Gallery (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Christopher K. Ho / Winkleman Gallery (New York, NY)
Susanne Hofer / Christinger De Mayo (Zurich, Switzerland)
Ken Jacobs / Electronic Arts Intermix (New York, NY)
Yael Kanarek / bitforms gallery (New York, NY)
Kelly Kleinschrodt / Carter & Citizen (Los Angeles, CA)
Julia Kul / Postmasters (New York, NY)
Mary Lucier / Lennon, Weinberg (New York, NY)
Jesse McLean / Interstate Projects (Brooklyn, NY)
Jaakko Pallasvuo / Future Gallery (Berlin, Germany)
Zhang Peili / Saamlung (Hong Kong)
Jenny Perlin / Galerie M+R Fricke (Berlin, Germany)
Daniel Phillips / DODGEgallery (New York, NY)
Alex Prager / Yancey Richardson Gallery (New York, NY)
Hunter Reynolds / P.P.O.W Gallery (New York, NY)
Miguel Angel Rojas / Sicardi Gallery (Houston, TX)
Mariateresa Sartori / Galleria Michela Rizzo (Venice, Italy)
Jaan Toomik / Temnikova and Kasela Gallery (Tallinn, Estonia)
Stefanos Tsivopoulos / prometeogallery di Ida Pisani (Milan, Italy)
Martha Wilson / P.P.O.W Gallery (New York, NY)
Marina Zurkow / bitforms gallery (New York, NY)

Schedule of Events

Thursday, March 8, 2012

11:00 AM- 8:00 PM
: Admission Is Free

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM : Opening Reception

Friday, March 9, 2012

11:00 AM- 8:00 PM :
Admission Is Free

5:00-6:30 PM
Hidden Treasure: Special Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) Presentation on Video Preservation

EAI Executive Director Lori Zippay will discuss EAI’s pioneering video preservation program, exploring how this initiative has led to the “rediscovery” of significant but virtually unknown early works by artists. Anthony Ramos’s rarely seen, politically charged performance videos of the early 1970s will be featured (with other seminal works) as examples of how preservation can result not only in technical restoration, but also in the restoration and illumination of forgotten histories.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

11:00 AM- 8:00 PM : Admission Is Free

12:00 -1:30 PM
Panel Discussion : Moving Image Technology of Tomorrow

Moderated by Bridgette Howard (Ogilvy Digital Lab, New York)
Panelists include Jacob Gaboury (staff writer and Doctoral Candidate, Media, Culture and Communication, New York University); Steven Sacks (owner of bitforms gallery, New York); and Anne Spalter (artist and digital art collector, Providence, RI).

2:00 – 3:30 pm
Moving Image Spotlight Panel : What Do You Get When You Buy Video Art?

Moderated by Rebecca Cleman (Distribution Director, Electronic Arts Intermix, New York)
Panelists include Lisa Dorin (Associate Curator at The Art Institute of Chicago); Jefferson Godard (video collector, Chicago); Berta Sichel (Curator-at-large at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, independent curator and art writer, Madrid/Berlin); and Fabienne Stephan (Curator, Salon 94, New York)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

11:00 AM- 4:00 PM :
Admission Is Free

For updates on programming information, please visit our website or contact Ed Winkleman at 212.643.3152 or

Moving Image's New York 2012 Curatorial Advisory Committee

  • Viktor Misiano
    Independent Curator and Critic, Chief-Editor, Moscow Art Magazine, Moscow/Ceglie-Messapica, Italy

  • Elizabeth Neilson, Director, Zabludowicz Collection, London

  • Berta Sichel, Curator-at-Large at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia,
    Independent Curator and Art writer, Madrid/Berlin

  • Stephanie Roach, Director, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York

  • Dr. Stephan Urbaschek, Independent Curator, Munich

Moving Image gratefully acknowledges the support of our Media Partners and Sponsors:

  • Ogilvy Art

  • Ogilvy Digital Lab

  • Art in America

  • Safiniart

  • Electronic Arts Intermix

  • The Art Newspaper

  • Artnet

  • The James Hotel New York

  • Encanto Vineyards

  • Hotel Americano Chelsea New York

  • Dazian Creative Fabric Environments

  • 42Below Vodka

  • FAD Website

  • Aesthetica

  • ArtNow Online


Moving Image

March 8-11, 2012

Waterfront New York Tunnel

269 11th Avenue (between 27th and 28th Streets)

New York, NY 10001

T: (1) 212.643.3152



Thursday - Saturday, March 8-10, 2012: 11 am - 8 pm

Sunday, March 11, 2012: 11 am - 4 pm

Moving Image New York 2012

Murat Orozobekov, Co-founder

Edward Winkleman, Co-founder

Janet Phelps, Director

Jay Grimm, Managing Director

Amory Film

The Armory Show announces The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge Programming

This year, and for the first time, The Armory Show will present a dedicated media lounge, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. The lounge will feature the OPEN FORUM talk series, curated by Amanda Parmer, which will draw on the distinctions and affinities between the Nordic Countries and the United States; Armory Performance, curated by Jacob Fabricius, featuring artists active in the Nordic Region and in the United States; and our inaugural edition of Armory Film, curated by Moving Image, which will highlight a selection of the leading contemporary film and video artists represented by Armory Show exhibitors.

Located on Pier 94, The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge will serve as the intellectual hub of the 2012 fair, offering a convivial space to engage with the leading cultural producers of our day.

Alex Prager, Despair, Film Still 2, 2010_Wincklemann 2
Image Credit: Alex Prager: Despair, 2012, (Still), Courtesy Yancey Richardson Gallery.

Armory Film: Curated by Moving Image

The Armory Show and the Moving Image Fair have partnered to present the inaugural edition of Armory Film, a selection of leading contemporary video and experimental films featuring artists represented by Armory Show exhibitors. Screenings will take place in The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge on Pier 94. Schedule and programming as follows:

Wednesday, March 7, 5:00-6:00PM: Flight, 2011 by Liz Magic Laser with actors Nic Grelli, Elizabeth Hodur, Liz Micek, Michael Wiener, Lia Woertendyke and Max Woertendyke followed by a Q&A with the artist and cast. (Represented by Derek Eller Gallery, Booth 520, Pier 94)

Thursday, March 8–Saturday, March 10, 5:00-8:00pm
Sunday, March 11, 4:00-7:00pm

Nancy Atakan: Lost Suitcase, 2009
Pi ARTWORKS, Istanbul
(Booth 834, Pier 94)

Brody Condon: Saks, 2010
On Stellar Rays, New York
(Booth 521, Pier 94)

Mathieu Dufois: Momento Mori, 2011
A.L.F.A., Paris (Booth 132, Pier 92)

Rico Gatson: Gun Play, 2001
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts,
New York (Booth 824, Pier 94)

Cao Guimarães: Limbo, 2011
Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paolo
(Booth 706, Pier 94)

Gavin Hipkins: This Fine Island, 2012
Starkwhite, Auckland
(Booth 836, Pier 94)

Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley: The Syphilis of
Sisyphus, 2011
Fredericks & Freiser, New York
(Booth 816, Pier 94)

Jennifer Levonian: The Oven Sky, 2011
Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia
(Booth 138, Pier 92)

Ho Tzu Nyen: The Cloud of Unknowing, 2011
Singapore Tyler Print Institute,
Singapore (Booth 623, Pier 94)

John Pilson: Long Story Shorts, 2011
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery,
New York (Booth 534, Pier 94)

Liliana Porter: Matinee, Matiné, 2009
Sicardi Gallery, Houston
(Booth 434, Pier 92)

Alex Prager: Despair, 2012
Yancey Richardson Gallery,
New York (Booth 254, Pier 92)

Andres Serrano (edited by Vincent Velazquez): I Declare, 2012
Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art,
New York (Booth 604, Pier 94)

Adam Shecter: Last Men, 2011
Eleven Rivington, New York
(Booth 819, Pier 94)

Tom Thayer: Old Smelly Haircut, 2008
Derek Eller Gallery, New York
(Booth 520, Pier 94)

Leslie Thornton: SONGS One Two Three, 2012
Winkleman Gallery, New York
(Booth 536, Pier 94)

Suh Dong Wook: Rue du theatre obscur, 2007
ONE AND J. Gallery, Seoul
(Booth 515, Pier 94)

Karen Yasinsky: This Room is White, 2011
Mireille Mosler, Ltd., New York
(Booth 136, Pier 92)

ZimmerFrei: Panorama_Roma, 2004
(Booth 538, Pier 94)

The Armory Show

Winkleman Gallery is pleased to present a Solo Project of new work by Jennifer Dalton at the 2012 edition of The Armory Show, to be held from March 8 – 11, 2012, on Pier 94 on Manhattan’s West Side. Our booth number is 536. This will be the first time that Winkleman Gallery has participated in The Armory Show.

Jennifer Dalton is well-known for her investigations into the nature of success in the art world and in the culture at large. Leavened with humor, her work often focuses on the biases inherent in the process by which winners and losers are chosen and the dilemmas presented by inevitable clashes of artistic ideals and market logic. Using a wide range of media and strategies that embrace the hand-made as well as the mass-produced, Dalton does not presume to answer the questions that she poses. Finding the most honest questions to ask is an end in itself.

Dalton created an entirely new body of work for Winkleman Gallery’s presentation at The Armory Show, including Paradox Party Favors, a work in which viewers are invited to fish a wrapped candy out through a small hole in a vitrine. Each candy wrapper is inscribed with one of four personal existential paradoxes inspired by the tension between the purity of theory and the reality of practice. The sweet offering to the audience, then, is not so much a gift as an invitation to consider the part that they themselves may play in the process by which art gains value.

Another work, Top Ten Collector-ibles 2011, is an updated look at a subject Dalton first visited in 2006. In this piece, an enclosed shelf is filled with ten mounted plastic superhero figurines representing the “top” ten collectors of art as defined by ArtNews in 2011. Each figurine, labeled with the collector's name and the source of his or her fortune, carries tiny hand-made shopping bags inscribed with the type of artwork collected, humorously transforming each of these people into tiny superheroes, spoofing the very real power that each of them possess.

A life-sized cutout photograph of the artist herself will stand in front of a large banner image of a glamorous party. Titled Art Is So Fabulous, Isn't It?, this work invites visitors to The Armory Show to take their own photographs simulating a personal encounter with Dalton in a party setting. Here again, the artist is encouraging the viewer to both participate in and question the process that assigns value to art.

A series of works on paper as well as an special interactive sculpture that will make innovative use of The Armory Show 2012 VIP cards will round out the booth, which is located in the “Solo Project” section, a new addition to the fair this year. Winkleman is extremely pleased to be presenting Jennifer Dalton in its first appearance at the Armory Fair; during her long relationship with the gallery she has had five solo shows over the past ten years. Recent exhibitions for Dalton include the upcoming group show “Data Deluge” at the Marfa Ballroom, a Texas non-profit space, and a solo show at the FLAG Art Foundation in 2010.

For more information, please contact Ed Winkleman at or Jay Grimm at or call us at 212.643.3152.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We are also very pleased to announce the screening of "SONG: One Two, Three," a new film by Leslie Thornton, making its world debut at The Armory Show as part of Armory Film, a new video and experimental film program. Leslie's film will screen as part of the program organized by the Moving Image team.

Leslie Thornton, 'SONG One Two Three" (video still), 2012, single-channel video, 14 minutes.

Armory Film screenings are daily 5-8pm in the The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge, Pier 94, 55th Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan.

For more information, visit the Armory Show website or please contact Ed Winkleman at or 212.643.3152.

Labels: Armory Film, Art Fairs, Moving Image, The Armory Show